Phew, that was too close for comfort

Well as I suggested earlier in the day this was going to be a squeaky bum time 90 minutes, and so it turned out to be.

There will be countless opinions about the referee but on the whole even with his bizarre booking of Chambers and to an extent Szczesny we got lucky on at least one penalty call when Wilshere was a cigarette paper away from conceding, which he admitted could have been given.

There was no doubting our commitment and energy levels and IMO there were stand out performances especially from Cazorla, Wilshere, Debuchy and of course Sanchez for his work rate and sealing the win.

alexis scoring

We so often don’t make it easy for ourselves, but to be fair after only four competitive games we have had to make several changes to the line up through injury and suspension. There were signs of the return of our fluidity especially on the counter attack but there is still improvement needed and hopefully at least one if not two quality signings before the deadline approaches.

One minute in the game stands out for me.

Oxlade – Chamberlain really should have made it 2-0 and within thirty seconds Debuchy received a second yellow, so from basically having the game in the bag we had to endure twelve odd minutes of extreme angst, however overall the team dug in and there was relief all round as the final whistle was blown.

I hope Wenger was bluffing when he said there was no need to buy an additional striker. Sanogo and Campbell are raw recruits who hopefully will come good. Walcott is still at least twelve matches away from being considered and Podolski who was on his way to the airport forty eight hours earlier is now apparently another option upfront.

I don’t generally like to pick out players for a poor performance but if we persist playing Ozil out on the wing we will never get the true benefit of his class. His whole demeanour and body language is quite different to anyone else in the team yet I get the feeling he is uncomfortable in the chosen role that Wenger has allotted him. Any thoughts?

Finally, seventeen years of consecutive Champions League football is to be congratulated and hopefully as players get more playing time their fitness will improve. I wish with additional funds available this Summer we would have been bold and added a couple of quality players earlier and not have a last minute rush as in previous seasons, if we actually further strengthen at all.


243 Responses to Phew, that was too close for comfort

  1. mikesteeden says:

    Ozil made a good few outstanding, intelligent passes – a class apart from just about any other player in the league I think. Flamini for work rate, effort, determination and organisation was – oddly – my man of the match. Get the boy on loan to MK Dons back – scored two against Man U in the week – if we don’t sign a big lump before the window closes!

  2. Morning Kelsey

    Nice and brief but sums it up perfectly. I don’t think there was anyone deserving criticism last night. I couldn’t nominate a MOTM…. for me it was a team effort, steely endeavour and balls. My bum squeaked quite a few times 🙂

  3. RA says:

    Good Post, Kelsey.

  4. mzalendo says:

    Arsenal cannot be comfortable playing this kind of games to get to group stage every year, it is shows lack of progress. The player off are getting competitive hence there is no guarantee that they will always get to group stage.

  5. LB says:

    Very good summary Kelsey, you capture the game well. Your posts are getting more fluid as you suggest (and I agree) the team are.

  6. Motning all,

    always enjoy your “feelings” match reports oh bouffant one.

    I was only following the game on twitter/Sky sports news and me an poor old Charlie Nicholas were going through the same trauma in the last half hour that Kesley describes.

    The tension was worse than when I was at the Wigan FA Cup semi at Wembley.- nerves shredded and heart pounding.

    We really must finish higher than 4th this season as we can’t be doing with this aggro so early in the season.

  7. RA says:


    Just a follow up to your comment about bell-ringer Kozzer, there is an ancient joke about campanology, which I wonder if you have in Poland.

    It goes like this.

    Following the death of the hunch-back Quasimodo, the Bishop of Notre Dame Cathedral sent out word that a new bell-ringer would have to be appointed.

    He decided to conduct the interviews himself, and that he would interview applicants high up in the belfry.
    He listened while several applicants demonstrated their skills, and was just about to call it a day, when an armless man approached him announcing that he was there to apply for the post.

    The Bishop was astonished and said, “But, my Son, how can you, you have no arms!”

    The man insisted he would be alright and then proceeded to strike the bells with his face, producing the most beautiful melodic sound.

    The Bishop was delighted and believed he had indeed found a suitable replacement for Quasimodo.
    Unfortunately, when given the news he had he job, the man rushed forward to strike a bell tripped and plunged headlong to his death in the street below.

    The Bishop, stunned rushed down to the street where a crowd had gathered around the dead man. As they moved aside, in silence, to allow the Bishop through, someone in the crowd asked, “Your eminence, who was this man?”

    To which the Bishop replied sadly, [No groaning please]
    – ” I don’t know his name, but his face rings a bell.”

    {I think it’s funny – but there is a sequel to this sad tale} 🙂

    The following day, the Bishop felt he had to continue his interviews for a replacement bell ringer.

    The first man to apply said, “Your Grace, I am the brother of the poor armless man who fell to his death from this belfry yesterday. I beg you to allow me to replace my brother.”

    The Bishop agreed to give him an audition, but as the man reached to strike the first bell, he groaned, clutched at his chest, collapsed, and died on the spot.

    Two monks, hearing the cries of anguish from the Bishop, rushed up the stairs, and called out, “What has happened? Who is this man?”

    “I have just met him, and I don’t know his name” exclaimed the distressed Bishop,

    [Anyone groaning will get a smack!]

    —-now, wait for it—-

    —– “I don’t know his name —- but he’s a dead ringer for his brother.”

    Well, I am still happy after last night!! 🙂

  8. Any thoughts on the CL draw that’s best for us ?

    I’m going for Zenit/Bilbao and Ludogorets.

  9. VCC says:

    RA….groan groan

  10. This tale seems to be a reminder of the position Wenger is in at the moment:

    In a small village a man is at his house listening to the weather forecast on his radio. There are warnings of serious floods in the area and people are being advised to leave the village. The man thinks, I’ll be OK, God will look after me. It starts to pour with rain and the waters rise around the mans house. Some men in a row boat arrive and plead with him to leave the house but he says, “Don’t worry, God will keep me safe” so the row boat leaves. Eventually the water rises to the roof so the man goes to stay safe on the roof. A helicopter arrives and over the tannoy they shout to the man, let us winch you uo to safety, but the man shouts back, “It’s ok, I have faith and God will save me”
    Eventually, the man drowns and when he arrives in heaven he asks, ” I had faith in you but you didn’t save me?” and God replies, I sent you a fucking radio message, a fucking row boat and a fucking helicopter, how the fuck are you here talking to me?

    Wenger take note, we need a striker.

  11. VCC says:

    Kelsey…..nice report, it sure was a squeaky bum night.

    The whole team performed well. I was particularly pleased with Monreal’s celebration at full time.

    Fingers crossed for a kind draw this afternoon. 🙂

  12. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ‘morning all, Well we did it! For all the huffing and puffing by Demba Ba and the moaning and groaning from Ozyakup between them and the rest of the Besitkas team they didn’t manage a single goal attempt on target. Kushti!!

    This was a much better performance than in the first leg, our players hounded theirs when they were in possession, we competed much better in mid-field and the defence played very well. Szczesny did all he had to with aplomb, he never looked likely to drop a cross, or come charging out of his area. A special word of praise for Debuchy, despite appearing to have been the victim of a tonsorial atrocity, he had, in my opinion, his best game so far, at least until getting a second yellow and then stupidly returning to pitch to continue his argument with the ref at the end of the match. UEFA will be taking action I’m sure.

    Up front we lacked a bit for the first half-hour or so but gradually Ozil, Wilshere and Alexis started to work together and with Cazorla pitching in the Turkish defenders started to realise they were in a game.

    A £30 million pound goal from Alexis wrapped up a compelling first half.

    I’d give MotM to Alexis for the work he put in up front prior to Debuchy’s departure, and for the effort in tracking back, and helping out the defence in the latter stages. We often hear that so and so “gave his all” but in Alexis’ case he really did.

  13. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all. Nice one Kelsey
    What are you talking about. Must qualifi next year, we made 3 million on gate recites last night. It all adds up to a new striker 🙂

  14. RA says:

    Hi VCC, long time no see! 🙂

    I thought you might have been left immobile because Glic and Terry had nicked your zimmer frame!

  15. Big Raddy says:

    Kelsey. Another fine write up. Looking forward to watching the game on the arsenal iplayer after which I can better asses the game.

    RA. I enjoyed the joke especially the second part.

    Norfolk. Kushti 😀

  16. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Well done Kelsey, brief and to the point.

    There was nothing bizarre about Chambers’s booking, he entered the field of play before the player being subbed, Ozil, had left it. Presumably someone in Wenger’s retinue cocked up and sent him on too soon.

  17. Big Raddy says:

    “Debuchy, despite appearing to have been the victim of a tonsorial atrocity, 😀 😀

  18. Norfolk Gooner says:

    BR, thinking that one up got me through some of the fraughter moments towards the end of the game.

  19. Norfolk, I recall people tweeting at the time that the 4th official had waved Calum onto the pitch before he got the yellow and hence the outrage at the referee.

  20. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Chary, if that is the case then there are grounds to appeal against the booking, but from watching on TV it seemed that Callum was on the pitch before the fourth official had raised the number board to indicate which player was coming off.

    By the time of the booking the ref seemed to be card happy and intent on collecting as many names as he could before he had to blow the final whistle.

  21. fatgingergooner says:

    My joint motm was for Santi and Alexis. Cazorla was absolutely faultless last night. He worked harder than I’ve ever seen him work in defence, espescially when we went down to 10. As for Sanchez, his goal won us the game and he also worked tirelessly as a lone front man. Even when he looked shattered he was still able to sprint away from defenders. His energy levels are unbelievable and he lifts the whole side with his chasing down.

    What GiE said yesterday was spot on about bias towards certain players, but what I always find is best when listening to fan reaction is to take the most positive outlook and the most negative outlook and the reality will be somewhere in the middle.

  22. 26may1989 says:

    Hello there. Good write-up, kelsey, and that’s not just me being polite, I pretty much agree with all of it.

    That said, I think the referee was absolutely terrible. 10 yellows? Two of them might have been justified, but both teams got it from that tool. And as Chary points out, Chambers was told to go on by the 4th official.

    Besiktas are a very good side, so well organised and hard working. As Wenger said, Hutchinson (a Canadian I believe) was excellent, but several of their guys played well. The CL would’ve been better to have had them in as well as us.

    Our superiority (and we were definitely the superior side last night) was in our penetration. We should have had the game sewn up way before the end – Cazorla, Wilshere, Debuchy and the Ox all had great chances to score. At least we created the chances though – in that sense, the performance was our best of the season so far.

    I thought pretty much everyone in red had a good to very good game. Ozil? As Norfolk says, he was being played out of position and he did a job. Not perfect, and he probably was a shade below everyone else in terms of his performance, but he still did well. Whatever the thinking though, giving Cazorla the No 10 berth worked really well.

    It was tense at the end of course (conceding then would’ve killed us), but we deserved to go through, no doubt about that. And I think the players will draw a lot of comfort from the performance in terms of building their confidence and cohesion for the league campaign.

    MOTM? Wilshere, Koscielny, Monreal and Cazorla were stand-outs for me, though Debuchy, Merts, the Ox and Sanchez all did really well too. But my pick would be my least favourite current Arsenal player: Mathieu Flamini was excellent, none of his frequent ill-discipline, and he showed great covering play, efficient passing, and amazingly for that refee, no booking.

  23. Well said 26/05/89

  24. Norfolk, I didn’t see the match so I;m going on hearsay, never ideal I know.

    The ref did get very card happy, 6 yellows and a red in 14 minutes I think; now that’s banter..

  25. Rasp says:

    Excellent analysis Kelsey. Its odd how different people can see the same game and reach contrasting conclusions.

    It was a fine team performance against a very good side. I agree that everyone worked very hard and Debuchy, Alexis and Kozzer were the standout performers.

    Once again Chambers looked strong and self assured when he came on. Mertesacker doesn’t look up to speed at all and clearly Ozil is struggling to have an impact from the left. There was a time last night when he appeared to almost give up when he was put through but being chased by defenders.
    Jack was excellent 70% of the time and a liability for 30%. His inability to keep possession in the last 5 minutes was worrying, but he was exhausted at that point like the majority of the team.

    But we won and we’re improving and that’s all that matters.

    I expect to see several changes at the weekend – Sanogo and Podolski to start.

  26. wally says:

    Great effort from all, Alexi and Santi especially. Wilshere was better but at the end of the game wtf was he doing? f’ing brain dead!

    I agree that Oz is wasted on the wing. He should be in the middle dealing left and right, not just right. Wenger, inexplicably did the same thing with Arshavin. Took a hole player, put him out on the wing, asked him to do defensive work and ultimately killed him. Why?

    If Wenger does’t buy a striker i fear we’re doomed for fourth, again. If I hear that he’s afraid of killing sanogo we’ll have to get a collection up and do it for him!

  27. chas says:

    Cheers, kesley, you’re right the referee was another shocking specimen, hell-bent on ruining a clean game of football because of his own desire to be the centre of attention.

    As far as Ozil is concerned, what we need is a bigger hole.

    Santi was excellent in ‘the hole’ yesterday but still some say Ozil should be playing there.
    If we get a bigger hole we can fit all of Santi, Rambo, Mesut and Rosicky there. Job done.

  28. kelsey says:

    Thanks for all the comments so far.

    I see Chambers has been called up for the England squad which is remarkable after about 20 odd PL starts.No doubt he is a star in the making and he will be an integral part of our squad not as many initially suggested,to be used sparingly. I wonder if this might just be a little early for him, for his own good, and ours..

    Another observation that even allowing for not being up to full fitness I see that Pers has lost a yard of pace, something which was never one of his best attributes.

  29. RA says:

    Crikey, the Rasper has spoken at 11:58, and agree completely with him too.

    Welcome viewpoint Master of the Blog. 🙂

  30. RA says:


    Wasn’t it Flamini who almost in the last minute ran onto the ball in the penalty area, twisted and stupidly kicked it into the Besiktas player and from the rebound presented it to Ba who shot into the side netting – and should have scored?

    Not for me.

  31. fatgingergooner says:

    Özil is better as the number 10, but we aren’t really playing with one!

    Last night we lined up 4-1-4-1.

    Debuchy Merts Kos Monreal
    Ox Wilshere Cazorla Özil

    Now when Ramsey comes back he is guaranteed Wilshere’s space in that line up, so that leaves only 1 central position for either Cazorla, Wilshere or Özil. Does Özil have the engine to play in there? I’m not so sure, which is probably why he’s playing on the left.

  32. Rasp says:

    Hi Redders 😛

    I thought Flamini was very good last night. I’ve been a big fan of Arteta, but I doubt he’d have covered as much ground and put in as many tackles as the Flamster.

  33. arnie says:

    Great stuff, Kelsey. Thank you very much. 🙂

    I am a happy bunny and I agree with all that is being said, including all the tactical bollix. Too much agreement, or is it just me? 🙂

  34. etfaust says:

    I was really impressed with Wilshere and Cazorla today. They’ve redeemed themselves since that opening match disaster. I worry about the defense though, as Mertesacker and Koscielny looked like they’d never played together in the first half. Here are my ratings for the match with some commentary –

  35. GunnerN5 says:

    Fine recap Kelsey.

    Sanchez showed us what a huge difference a world class footballer can bring to a team.

  36. RA says:

    Hi again, Rasp, 🙂

    Choosing between Arteta and the Flamster is easy in a way, as Mikel is by far the more cultured player, but he has lost his legs, in a manner of speaking.

    On the other hand Flamini covers a great deal of ground and did last night, so was possibly a better option to Mikel – if he had been available.

    My ‘beef’ so to speak is that I do not think either are now the right quality for Arsenal – and last night that penalty area mistake by Flamster in the dying minutes nearly put us out of the CL.

    I will probably change my mind again tomorrow – but at the moment that is the RA assessment.

    Hope you and your family have been keeping well, your opinions and comments have been missed on AA. We seem to be losing a number of the good old boys at the moment, and especially Sheep Hagger, Sharkey Sure, Rocky and ‘guests’ like Wigan Gooner.

    Oh well, I suppose all blogs change over time. 😦

  37. Rasp says:

    Hi Redders, I agree that the HM position is certainly one which needs top quality ……. I’m very disappointed to read that manu are now favourites to sign Carvalho – he is the man we need!

  38. arnie says:

    Yes, Carvalho is the man!!!!!! In my book, anyway. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  39. Rasp says:

    Redders @ 2:45, you can’t get rid of me that easily 🙂 I have had to take a sabbatical and am easing myself back into things – thank goodness peaches is way more reliable than me!

  40. Bayonne Jean says:

    Kelsey, excellent summary; would add Nacho for special mention, but in truth everyone played their part to exhaustion..

    I wouldn’t hold my breath on new signings, for as we all know. the one thing AW likes even more than new signings are his LANS, and we are now looking at a fistful (Arteta, Gibbs, Theo, OG, and [whisper] Diaby, who must now be in a witness protection program).

  41. chas says:

    Pot 4

    Monaco and Roma look tough opponents for pot 4, so I’d imagine we’d get one of them.

  42. chas says:

    Pot 3
    CSKA Moskva(RUS)

    Bilbao possibly the strongest team in pot 3, but we usually get the Turks or Greeks or the plastic pitch of CSKA, so expect one of those three.

  43. Norfolk Gooner says:

    I’m not at all surprised that Hodgson has called up Chambers. When you look at the dearth of good defenders, English that is, our man is an obvious option. The situation is made worse by van Gaal messing around with the three stooges from Manure, Evans, Jones and Smalling.

    Like Kelsey I’m not sure it’s a good idea from an Arsenal view point but the recognition should raise his confidence by another notch or two.

  44. Whenever I see “HM position” I think of Heavy Metal position – that is the power chord pose(legs a metre apart, down stroke on guitar followed by the upswing, point and pose to the middle distance).

    I know, you all love Val Doonican and his ilk on this site (I’m looking at you Mr Mdi89) so I’ll shut up.

  45. chas says:

    Pot 2
    Shakhtar Donetsk(UKR)
    Man. City(ENG)

    Basel would be best for us from pot 2, so expect Madrid or Barca to get them. 🙂
    A match up with old boy fatty Arshavin would be good, too, but I’d imagine we’ll get another trip to Germany.

  46. Ha Ha Chas, I can’t turn the sound on right now but I’ll bet it’s some nice easy listening.

  47. chas says:

  48. arnie says:
  49. Michael says:

    I didn’t get to watch the match last night, which is just as well if it was such a heart stopper. But fair play to the lads for what was a gutsy performance. We can all look forward to some more of the champions league anthem 🙂
    To buy or not to buy that is the question. Shakesfear, Circa sometime in history.

  50. fatgingergooner says:

    Always great games with Dortmund. That’s what we wanted the CL for, not poncy sides like Basel!

  51. Dortmund!!!!!!!!!! Again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  52. aizedlittlemozart says:

    Hi all. good post kels. RA, i’m still groaning in laughter!

  53. We need posts for tomorrow and Saturday by the way.

  54. fatgingergooner says:

    Galatasaray. Will be a tough trip over there and not always great for the away fans. Games we can win though.

  55. chas says:

    I doubt DidIt and Ommm will want to go back to Dortmund or risk their necks in Turkey.

    So if we get Monaco or Roma, I got all three right, more or less.

  56. chas says:

    Shame that the chavs got Lisbon when it was only 50:50 between us and them.

  57. chas says:

    Dippers will be happy with that.

  58. fatgingergooner says:

    Liverpool got to be happy with Basel and Ludogorets. Real Madrid is tough though!

  59. chas says:

    Haha, Mayonnaise on the chips.

  60. This is us …………………

  61. mickydidit89 says:

    On Mobile so can’t chat but
    Horribly dull draw
    Upside down smiley face

  62. fatgingergooner says:

    Anderlecht! Not as good as Roma or Monaco but never mind. Some interesting games in there and not too bad for travel, although Turkey is always a tough place to go.

    Chelsea and Liverpool already through! Not so easy for City though.

  63. chas says:

  64. RA says:

    Damn. We always get a tricky group.

    Mourinho always gets an easy ride. Bastard!

  65. aizedlittlemozart says:

    favourable enough draw i’d say. Gala & anderlecht should ideally be 12 points in the bag. top of the group battle against BvB again

  66. aizedlittlemozart says:

    Liverpool vs Real. now that’s the champions league right there!! welcome back yeah?

  67. fatgingergooner says:

    True what Hamaan just said, it’s definitely an easier group than last year, and we are stronger than last year. I would also say Dortmund are weaker than last season after losing Lewandowski.

    Nothing to fear in that group I don’t think.

  68. mickydidit89 says:

    Didit and Ommmm ROLF

    Easy group, rubbish places to go, and pointless teams to beat. Bloody awful draw.

  69. kelsey says:

    Anderlecht is interesting.Last time we played them in 1969/70 we beat them over 2 legs to win the Fairs Cup Final

    I was there and so was Raddy and I think Norfolk. Is that a lucky omen 🙂

    Now will AW buy,we could top this group or worst way come second. I still think we might go for Remy.he has all the credentials being,cheap,french and injured. 🙂

  70. mickydidit89 says:

    Dortmund. Done
    Turkey. Locked into the ground for three days after the game
    Anderlecht. As exciting as Bognor on a rainy day. What an utterly pointless country Belgium is.

    Bring on the Big Boys in the knockout stages pronto.

    Oh well, unless The Big Omm has any bright ideas, it’s more visits to the Ems for me.

  71. mickydidit89 says:

    Cheap, French and Injured 🙂

  72. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Am I in moderation? My gem of a post has not appeared.

  73. kelsey says:

    I can’t see it,NG

  74. kelsey says:

    Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey tweets: Some familiar and some new teams and grounds to travel to. Can’t wait to hear the Champions League anthem again in September, bring it on!

    Nice one Aaron.

  75. mickydidit89 says:

    “I can’t see it,NG”

    Take the shades off then Crystals

  76. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Certainly no group of death, progress to the knockout stage should be achievable, even topping the group isn’t necessarily beyond us.

    Sign a decent striker, plus maybe Carvalho and we’ll waltz through.

    Right that it’s for the CL for a while, bring on Leicester City!

  77. I found it, it went into spam, I have no idea why ……….. I’ve changed the time so that it appears now. Oh the power 🙂

  78. mickydidit89 says:


    Qualification done. Easy passage to knockout stages, so how much money have we got to spend over the next few days?

    “Accountants, where are you?”

    Cash on hand? Net spend so far? Bit behind for maintenance and a rainy day, then Balance?

  79. RA says:


    Just curious.
    Wenger has said, quite emphatically, that he will not buy a striker.

    So, what will make you change your view; — “I still think we might go for Remy.he has all the credentials being,cheap,french and injured.”

    Naturally if it is just that your hair has gotten in your ears – then all is explained!! 🙂

  80. RA says:

    £1.15p + Vat

  81. I was hoping for Monaco… the only time I get to go to a CL match is when they’re in France. Dommage.

  82. mickydidit89 says:

    And Lo, one doth appeareth

    Hello RA

    Sums please. To the nearest billion will do 🙂

  83. kelsey says:

    It was irony,RA 🙂 but I think we will still buy someone.All the Puma and additional TV money is now secured with CL qualification..

    Net spend so far about 14.5 to 19 million.

  84. mickydidit89 says:

    There’s no vat on footballers. Blimey!

  85. kelsey says:

    Is that your credit limit,RA. 🙂

  86. mickydidit89 says:

    “Net spend so far about 14.5 to 19 million”

    Seriously, including Sanchez?

  87. RA says:

    Actually, it’s Kelsey again, Micky.

    Not content with writing a post-match report last Monday, and insisting Wenger is wrong and that we will buy a striker, he has appeared on another blog, pretending to be an accountant and has worked out that we have spent £1bn less 75p for a personal newspaper, so that would be £999,000,000.25, leaving us with £2,000,000,000,0000.47.

    Is there no end to what that boy can do? 🙂

  88. kelsey says:

    Bollox Ra 🙂 yes micky that is a true figure including all ins and outs and money owing on the sale of Fabregas wth add ons for the sale to Chelsea and what was owing on Song. We also got extra money on Vela.

  89. RA says:

    I said “Kelsey darling, that should be £999,999,999.25”

    But he put it to the other bloggers to vote and he won because his hair had the casting vote. Fix. 🙄

  90. mickydidit89 says:

    I read here someone accounting for monies paid by Barca for sums still owed on Song and Cesc. Do we know this for sure, and how?

    I’m guessing it’s more fantasy blog speak

  91. chas says:

    I’d imagine that was the net spend calculation if it’s true that Barca paid up monies owing for Fabregas, Song, Hleb, Overmars and Petit.

  92. kelsey says:

    We got 13.5 million for Cesc and 3 million for Song that was still owing.

  93. chas says:

    Yep, I assumed it was LG and Tim Payton’s way of saying we’d spent fuck all, too.

  94. mickydidit89 says:


    Here we go again, he said clearly he would buy any position. He said he would not be buying a preplacement for Ollie, which is not the same thing as not buying a striker. Complimenting, rather than replacing 🙂

    Anyway, it’s a left winger wot we want cos we aint got one

  95. mickydidit89 says:

    How do we know they coughed up?

  96. chas says:

    And someone who plays in the Headstand Missionary position.

  97. kelsey says:

    And Real Socidad payed the buy out clause on Vela, so they paid 12 million for him,which to be fair they would be paying in very slow staged payments,but nevertheless that is the figure owing.

    Chambers cost 12 million rising to 16 million based on appearances etc,but at this moment of time we paid 12 million.

  98. RA says:

    I did say to Crystals, look, Vat is charged at the appropriate rate on all supplies of goods and services, unless they are outside the scope or are exempt, and therefore Vat is chargeable on the supply of footie players.

    No – you are wrong, he said, I unilaterally abolished Vat on everything.

    You cannot beat that lad! 🙂

  99. mickydidit89 says:

    LG is for dribblers, so understandable. How’s Tim Payton?

  100. mickydidit89 says:

    oops, who is TP

  101. kelsey says:

    It wasn’t meant like that chas.

    It’s purely to show that our net spend is far less than many thought and we certainly have a large amount to spend if required.

  102. kelsey says:

    Oh and 2.64 million for Djourou and 15 million for Vermaelen.

    Sanchez is not confirmed but is between 30 to 35 million.

  103. Kelsey just posted a new photo of himself… he’s just got back from the hair dressers.


  104. aizedlittlemozart says:

    U21’s vs westbrom, diaby, coquelin, & Campbell start. 1:0 up, a Dan Crowley freekick apparently. 3 minuteU21’s vs westbrom, diaby, coquelin, & Campbell start. 1:0 up, a Dan Crowley freekick apparently. 3 minuteU21

  105. kelsey says:

    And if podolski had gone the net spend would be zilch 🙂

  106. RA says:

    You cannot beat him Micky, because there is not written evidence so it is what he wants it to be. Brilliant! 🙂

    Anyway, you are as bad as him. I specifically heard Wenger say (paraphrased) Giro is out until the New Year and you will ask who am I going to buy to replace him, and I will tell you NOBODY.

    Not sure where your interpretation comes in to the deal. But I do prefer your reading of the situation!! 🙂

  107. chas says:

    He’s that tosser who seems to be the mouthpiece for the AST who never stops dissing the club on twatter.

  108. aizedlittlemozart says:

    I could just kill wordpress right now!!! the hell?!!!!

  109. RA says:

    aized, Why?

  110. kelsey says:

    Wenger has openly admitted that he tells porkies.

    You want him to say “We ave plentee of money,the world is our lobster, and we can buy any qualitee forward we vant, who has mental strength.”

  111. chas says:

    I wasn’t casting nasturtiums, kelsey. 🙂

    I tend to not believe most of the stuff I read about Arsenal from the blogs and twitter, that’s all.

  112. chas says:

    Though Wenger must have been getting a bonus for not spending in the past……..

  113. aizedlittlemozart says:

    my 7:19 was turned to a hat-trick comment

  114. kelsey says:

    I don’t read them either chas, honest 🙂

  115. chas says:

    Where do you pick up all that bullshit, then? 😆

  116. RA says:

    Ahh, Kelsey, but when he openly admitted he was telling porkies, he must by definition have been telling porkies, and therefore that meant he was not telling porkies when he said he was. OK so far? 🙂

    Now if he said he was ‘not’ telling porkies, then he would probably be telling porkies and that would mean when he said he was not going to buy a striker, he really was going to buy a player.

    Ask Micky! 🙂

  117. mickydidit89 says:

    I’d like to say I read everything, but it’s here or I sniff about newsnow and pick out the rumours I like, then relay them as Fact

  118. RA says:

    Before I go, I have to admit I have gone all zen – which is to say I am emphasizing the value of meditation and intuition rather than the ritualized worship of football, and also not having a clue what the hell I am talking about.

    What do you make of that, Kelsey? 😀

  119. Would you all like to read the email I received today from the AST, it’s their interpretation on the subject of how much money we’ve got now …… this very minute to spend or not to spend on more players?

    You can then squabble about whether they know what they’re talking about 🙂 😛 😀

  120. mickydidit89 says:

    Ask RA, he knows 🙂

  121. Explaining Arsenal’s financial position ahead of transfer deadline day
    AST assessment of Arsenal’s financial position heading into the final days of the transfer window

    This short review of Arsenal’s financial position is in the form of a Q&A with AST Board member Simon Hill who leads the AST’s analysis of Arsenal’s financial position.

    The AST review of the last formal set of Arsenal accounts published – Arsenal Holdings PLC Half-Year Accounts for the period 1 Jun 2013 to 30 Nov 2013 – can be read here.

    Question 1. What spending power did Arsenal enter the summer transfer window with?

    The AST estimates that on 1 June 2014, at the start of the transfer window, Arsenal’s cash reserves would have just topped an extraordinary £200m. This figure is inflated by the fact most season ticket renewals are paid in April and May.

    Of this £200m an amount needs to be set aside to pay on-going running costs and to cover debt service requirements meaning approximately £140m remains free to be spent on player acquisition (and other club investment such as at Hale End), although a contingency for missing out on Champions League qualification of say £40m would be prudent.

    Hence the £100m figure the AST estimated earlier this year as being the resources the Club would take into the summer 2014 transfer window, an amount which was subsequently confirmed by other sources and often quoted in the press.

    Question 2. How much has been spent so far and what does this mean for the amount of cash remaining?

    Allowing for new signings and agents fees which are quite considerable factors these days we believe that close to £75m has been spent on player recruitment so far. Almost £30m has been recouped on player sales (Vermaelen, Vela and Djourou). The cash reserves available to the manager are therefore somewhere in the region of £55m to £60m including money needed to replace club captain Thomas Vermaelen.

    Question 3. What is the impact of the new signings and departures on the wage bill?

    Assuming a similarly remunerated replacement for Thomas Vermaelen, the net wage bill is expected to rise by approximately £10m – following a similar increase this past season – to approximately £170m in season 2014-15.

    Question 4. What is the ‘right’ amount of total wages that Arsenal should be paying, given the wages paid to players are often greater over the length of contracts than the amount of transfer fees?

    Wages are the pinch point and the factor that Arsenal’s Board will be watching closely. It is widely viewed that best practice is to keep wages at a ratio of circa 60% to annual revenues. Arsenal’s anticipated income of £310m for season 2014-15 therefore supports a wage bill of approximately £165m, once you make allowance for the debt service costs. This also allows £55m per annum for replacement of players, plus any profits on selling players.

    Question 5. How much more can Arsenal realistically spend this transfer window?

    Until a few days ago I assumed that up to £15m would be spent replacing Vermaelen, leaving £40m more available should a last minute option catch the manager’s eye in the midfield or centre forward position.

    Arsenal can afford to spend a bit above this level on players as they have surpluses brought forward and will make close on £30m this summer from player sales. I believe they could push the boat out for another £40m signing earning £10m pa without it being an issue of concern in terms of the impact on the wage bill.

    Question 6. What are Arsenal’s future revenue stream looking like? Can they continue to invest with confidence?

    Arsenal’s income looks likely to remain around the £310m mark for a couple of years, with the new Puma and Emirates deals now in place. Any growth will be from secondary commercial deals and then possibly from new TV deal revenues (new Champions League deal in 2015-16 and Premier League in 2016-17). Relative to its peers, therefore, Arsenal’s income is unlikely to change materially. Ticket prices may also increase again.

    6. When are Arsenal’s next financial figures published?

    Arsenal’s figures for the year to 31 May 2014 are due for release last week of September.

    7. Are there any Financial Fair Play issues that might prevent Arsenal from investing?

    UEFA FFP rules pose little risk for Arsenal because of past profits generated from player trading. A loss of UCL income would however cause an abrupt halt in wage growth under the Premier League’s own FFP rules, which restrict rises in wages to £4m except for increases justified by rises in non-PL TV deal income or player trading.

    You could argue Arsenal should spend the money whilst they can on boosting the wage bill (as Liverpool are!) and buy another big money player they can afford. This would set the wage total at a higher level and avoid the potentially serious issue of a wage cap imposed through the very FFP arrangements that they led the effort to introduce.

  122. mickydidit89 says:

    ps thanks Chas on TP.

    AST eh? Whatever 🙂

  123. Sorry, it’s really long ……… but I think I agree with kelsey that we’ve still got a fair amount of money to spend because our net spend is quite small.

  124. I like to be sure I’ve got my fingers in all the pies 🙂

  125. mickydidit89 says:

    Thanks Peaches but….

    What tosh. The moron has forgotten Crystals cash from Barca.

    Only £40M left to spend. Yeah right 🙂

  126. Big Raddy says:

    Bolleaux. What a shite draw for Micky and Ommm. No way I am going to Turkey, been to Dortmund and Anderlecht looks as attractive as Huddersfield on a wet winter’s evening.

    Might have to follow Malmo in their journey to Spain

    Any ideas Micky? The only possible is Brussels for a little moules and a beer. But ……

  127. mickydidit89 says:

    Given the turnover and expences shit, running a football club is not a very profitable business is it?

    As a start up business, I’d give it a swerve 🙂

  128. You’ve forgotten the cost of hair gel for Giroud… that accounts for a few £1000

  129. ……. and chips and mayonnaise and Leonidas chocolates yum yum

  130. mickydidit89 says:

    Evening Big

    Let’s go to Greenland 🙂

  131. chas says:


    Do you think it helps in any way at all for fans to make guesses as to how much the club has to spend?
    Doesn’t it have an inbuilt disappointment factor when the fictitious figures aren’t actually spent?

  132. mickydidit89 says:

    Oi Northbank

    Back off Giroud, he’s got two friends on here 🙂

  133. mickydidit89 says:


    I’ve read the figures, and have gone into full on doom mode

  134. chas says:

    Having seen some of the patently ridiculous suggestions as to who we should buy and for how much, I’m positive there are a lot of fans who think that we should spend “our money” up to the level the AST says we have, almost regardless of the quality of the players and whether they are right for the club.
    Roll on 1st September, ffs.

  135. Mayo with chips is ok… better than ketchup. 🙂

    Micky, I’ll bare that in mind…. he does seem to attract male admirers 🙂

  136. chas – the AST have been saying that for the past eight years ……. it didn’t seem to have any affect on how the club spent it’s money though. I didn’t put it up as the ‘truth’ just wanted folks to know where some fans get their stories from.

    Not kelsey though because I know he keeps a little black book in which he balances all the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ 🙂

    The club are much more powerful that the AST or any of the other fan organisations that think they have an ‘in’. The club will do what they think is the right thing to do. It all goes over my head, I’m just here for the football 😆

  137. Big Raddy says:

    I am up for Greenland but would prefer to go South (not like that your filthy minded succubus)

  138. Big Raddy says:

    Mayo is certainly the best accompaniment for the mighty chip. Infinitely better than the vainglorious vinegar or the creptitude of ketchup (I am sounding like RA 😀 )

  139. chas says:


    I realised you were simply passing on info, so apologies if I made it seem otherwise.
    100% agree about the club and about only being here for the football. 🙂

  140. That’s ok chas, you’re forgiven 😉

    Spuds have a penalty saved.

    Our under 21’s are 2-0 up …… Diaby started, just gonna check if he’s still playing

  141. Diaby replaced by Zelanem at half time

  142. mickydidit89 says:

    I had to look up the word succubus and still don’t know what you’re on about 🙂

    Look, I know you like all that sun and culture bullshit, but Greenland would be great. Tell the Missisisisis we’re off to some hell hole like Turkey to watch our Boys, then bugger off somewhere nice and cool and watch it on telly once we’re there

  143. RA says:

    I have foresworn commenting on hypothetical figures based on assumptions. Accountants do not assume. We might extrapolate, but that can bring a tear to the eye.

    What I will remind you all about is that talking about ‘cash’ availability is not necessarily the way to go, even if we knew the accurate ‘cash costs’ of players, and we really don’t as Arsenal often refuse to comment on such figures.

    Bear in mind that the accrued accounting method of dealing with player acquisitions is to amortise them over the life of the contract, and salaries are charged to the profit and loss account in the year in which they are incurred.

    So using the Financial Accounts, which are based on the accrued accounting concept, as the basis of calculating the player budget, and then switching to the cash accounting concept in trying to calculate the available net cash reserves is fraught with difficulties.

    I will say no more, because trying to be succinct and make financial matters understandable to non-accountants is like a lawyer trying to explain the provisions of Statute Law in a non-legalistic way is doomed to misunderstanding and inaccuracies. Brrrr (shakes head sagely) 🙂

    Ask GIE — he explains things so much better than me. 😀

  144. RA says:


    A succubus is a female demon supposed to be keen on having hanky panky with sleeping men.

    Umm, as there is only one female on here tonight — I wonder what Raddy was implying? 🙂

  145. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh belt up RA and stop sensibling us this minute 🙂

    Cash in the bank is utterly useless because they’ll spend it on posters and statues and other such naffery 🙂

  146. RA says:

    G’night, guys. 🙂

  147. fatgingergooner says:

    Do all clubs fans have conversations about how much money is sat in the bank, I wonder?

    I’m very happy with our business so far. You can always improve a squad, but it doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t always happen by signing new players. Sometimes you just have to give your current players time to develop their full potential.

    As much as I would love a striker, I’m not sure I see any sense in signing someone on a 4 year contract to cover a 4 month injury. Only thing that would make sense to me would be a loan, getting an older player on a short term deal, or buying a world class replacement for Giroud.

  148. Whoa keep me out of this …………… I only mentioned the chips and mayonnaise to be friendly 😉

  149. RA says:

    Keep an eye on Raddish, Micky! 🙂

  150. mickydidit89 says:

    As I said RA, I looked succubus up.

    In fact, on the strength of my findings, I’ve just ordered two of the little darlings off amazon.

    One to break, and a spare.

  151. I thought a succubus was a bird who liked getting a double decker in her gob?

  152. mickydidit89 says:


    He’s googleizing Greenland 🙂

  153. kelsey says:

    I like chips with mayonnaise.They used to sell them in Belgium and Holland wrapped up like a bunch of flowers with a little stick on top.

    Anyway in conclusion our net spend allows us to still comfortably buy one or two quality players.

  154. I disagree fgg – we don’t know how good Joel Campbell is, we don’t know if Theo will come back and stay fit or break down, we already know that Sanogo is injury prone and Podolski hardly featured last season.

    I don’t think it’s a risk to sign someone. Campbell can go out on loan in January if he’s surplus to requirements. We can always move whoever we sign on next summer or Podolski can move in January.

  155. Under 21’s 3-0 up, a second goal for Akpom.

  156. kelsey says:

    I agree 100% with peaches.Too many ifs and maybees 🙂

  157. mickydidit89 says:

    Chubby Akbomb’s on telly?

    I’m off

  158. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Thank goodness Peaches Mum didn’t read my little joke – she would have been less than happy 😀

  159. Poor Micky’s gone searching for Chubba and he’s not on telly but he has scored a hat-trick, 4-0 to the good guys. I should have gone to the Emirates this evening, silly me

  160. fatgingergooner says:

    Whatever Wenger decides to do he needs to be wary of the message he sends out to Campbell and others. It was only a month ago that fans were raving about Joel in the World Cup and were wanting him to stay at the club. He now has a chance to get playing time and he’s no longer experienced enough or good enough to lead our line. He only has a short contract and a new striker would possibly see him leaving.

  161. arnie says:

    Tuppence worth. Maybe we should not have signed Sanogo or brought back Campbell. But having done so, it is the responsibility of the club to offer them a chance to play.

    Wenger has developed a culture of fair opportunity within the club. This is the reason young players, like Jack or Rambo or Ox or Theo or Calum, want to play for us and not the oilers.

    The same logic holds for the more senior players like Theo and Poldi. We have too many forwards. If we get a fantastic bargain, on with it, otherwise that is it. IMO. 🙂

    The same logic does not hold for the DM position. Carvalho please. 🙂

  162. Shard says:

    Morning all.

    How much is a tuppence? Is it worth more than two cents?

  163. chas says:

    Tuppence is the fee a ram has to pay.

  164. mickydidit89 says:

    Only just got up and see the words “chequebook closed” first thing, and you reckon I’m going to read than? 🙂

    Email answered

  165. Thanks for the arseblog link chas. If Theo was already back from injury and we knew with some degree of certainty who was playing on the left then I would feel very excited that Girouds injury had allowed the new plan to come into effect now. I’m just concerned that there aren’t enough of the personnel available at this moment to make it work.

    But, maybe it will and I’ll have to eat my words 😉

  166. mickydidit89 says:

    Good Arseblog article.

  167. kelsey says:


    Indeed a good read chas but what happens if Sanchez suffers a long term injury,and he needs time to adapt. Walcott who has a history of various injuries and won’t be available for quite a while and I am yet to be convinced he will remain injury free.
    That leaves the raw and exciting Campbell who has been on our books for three years and many point out his goal at Old Trafford and a pretty good WC,but do you think he will get a regular slot in the side or will it be a few sub appearances and Carling Cup, as that is the usual apprenticeship under AW.If he is so good why wasn’t he recalled last year.

    Sanogo,again another raw recruit,strong but is miles away from being a consistent goal scorer,so playing him is again an experiment.

    Podolski was on his way out and I am sure he will go either January or at the end of the season as records prove that Wenger only gives him limited time on the pitch,yet he has a great shot and his goals against games played is quite good

    CL football is the minimum requirement by the board and AW and it’s great for the fans,but this year could be even more competive for the top 4 than even the swings and roundabouts of last season.

    I agree that Suarez would have been ideal for the system we play but how many players are there currently playing with his football brain,let alone available.

    So in a nutshell we need at least two more players preferably strong and taller 🙂 to be able to compete and move closer to Chelsea and City.

    Gibbs,Diaby and Walcott all have a horrendous history of injuries as did Rosicky and unfortunately we missed him a lot these past few seasons,yet he has come back but is getting older and will only feature spasmodically as already proved this season.

    Sorry I don’t know anything about surf boards,waves,dolphins etc 🙂

  168. mickydidit89 says:

    Hi Peaches

    Good point about Theo, but that’s saying that Arsene’s masterplan hinges on Theo and that there’s no back up to him. Kinda like last season.

    I would really like to see one more versatile two footed fast front boy, so that the Sanchez central Plan A he talks about can work.

  169. I think Joel Campbell played 90 mins last night and I know he had the assist for one of Chubba’s goals so maybe AW learnt more about him.

    I just feel Ozil is not right on the left wing.

  170. Micky – I’m coming to find you

  171. mickydidit89 says:


    Is Joel two footed and can he play equally happily either flank?

  172. mickydidit89 says:


    “I’m coming to find you”

    Very exciting news, but hard as I look out of the window, nothing!

  173. mickydidit89 says:


    Agree about Mesut

    I wrote can Jack and Aaron play in the same side (right now)
    Maybe time for ditto Santi and Mesut

  174. mickydidit89 says:

    Can’t wait much longer Peaches

  175. Wait wait ……………

  176. Are you logged in through wordpress?

    Do you have a black line at the top of your page now that starts on the right with your gravatar and Name?

  177. I agree that Santi and Mesut in the same team probably doesn’t work either – well it kind of works if Mesut is stuck out on the left but that’s not where he should play methinks.

  178. Eddie says:

    don’t worry micky, you will hear her coming!! the church bells start ringing 🙂

    Well, Wenger will have to make it work. Both Santi and Mesut are fantastic players and will learn to compliment each other, I am sure of it

  179. Eddie says:

    Kelsey – they were very good analysis of the game, enjoyed reading, thank you!

    RA – thank you for the Quasimoto story, very amusing 🙂 My church bells story is not as exciting, but based on true events 🙂 I was assigning different ring tones to friends (must have had lots of spare time then) and Peaches (not real name) was given a lovely church bells tune. I did not realise the funny side of it (Peaches is not a church bells type of girl) until she rang and cheerful ding dong dingey dong reverberated in my kitchen. I laughed then and laugh every time she phones me 🙂 She sees the funny side of it too and announced herself ‘Church bells here’ 🙂 🙂

  180. RA says:

    That is funny, Eddie, and good morning to you. 🙂

    You and Peaches Not Real Name are so close, I am surprised that you have not adopted the avatar name ‘Cream’.

    It also surprises me that Micky who goes everywhere with Big Raddish doesn’t rename himself Little Lettuce.

    But there you go! 🙂

  181. RA says:

    Micky @ 7:27

    I have heard that some fans call Campbell a donkey, so I think he has four feet for Kelsey can choose from.

  182. Eddie says:

    ha ha ha RA, you are funny 🙂

    Game of sunday and then nothing for 2 weeks, is it the dreaded internationals?

  183. Big Raddy says:

    If we get out of Leicester with a point or more, it will be a fine start to the season and the team have 2 weeks to recover and train.

    Still pee’d off about the CL draw. Why do we always get the Germans?

  184. Eddie says:

    same reason Poland always draws England. I think it is called sod’s law

  185. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all,
    No signings yet that i am aware of, and i see that one or two are worried about our wage bill, some thinking that we are overloaded with similar players, some even thinking that Campbell should be loaned out.

    All this amounts to some supporters not happy with their lot.
    Arsenal players seem well paid to me, but having said that other clubs pay more, so as a professional they would all want the highest pay they can get.

    I feel that wages can be paid in different ways Bonuses can be paid to compensate but at the end of the day it all works out as wages. As in all walks of life people envy the top earners, it can cause upsets between players, who’s to say who should earn the most, usually strikers earn the most, but as we all know if a defender should give away a goal everybody goes banana’s.

    Having wage restrictions and trying to level wages can only be good., I worked in a factory for many years Union controlled and our wages were the same for the same trades. Money went down for semi skilled and down further for Labourers.

    Is that what we have at Arsenal different grades, Strikers Midfield and Defence. If it is and defenders say get the least, why should they give their all when strikers are not winning us games. You can see how problems come about can’t you.

    As for Young Campbell being loaned out as one of our bloggers suggested. I feel this would be a very bad idea, as Campbell has not had any run since he’s signing 3 years ago, loan him out again and we will lose him before we know what we have.

    As far as having similar players, and how some of you believe that certain players cannot play with one another. Professional players should be able to blend in with team mates and if they cannot perhaps they need to move to a club that will settle them in and tuck them up at night.

    There is a lot of open spaces on the field of play good players find that space wherever it may be, if they believe they should only ever be in one place on the field then perhaps they need to be in a team on their own.

    If somebody offered me 50 grand a week to play football i would play anywhere and run for the full 90 If only..

  186. Big Raddy says:

    SteveP. Interesting read about wages – would have made a good post in the international break. Get writing!

    I know that Tony Adams had a clause in his counteract that he would be the highest paid player at the club which meant that when big earners (DB10) arrived his wages moved accordingly.

    I doubt that is the case today.

    As to player combinations. Think of your youth and sexual partners. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t and sometimes it’s extraordinary. AFC need extraordinary 🙂

  187. kelsey says:

    Who said Campbell should be loaned out Steve ? Gnabry has now been loaned out.

    I think some miss the point.Last season injuries in particular robbed us of most probably winning the league.
    We have more money than last year and tried and proven players might just tip it our way.
    We should have done all our business earlier though no one knew we would lose Giroud now so it’s all about having a good balanced squad not filling certain positions with youngsters who at this moment of time are a risk and an experiment. Amen 🙂

  188. mickydidit89 says:


    That’s a very good topic for a post.

    Should game changers and entertainers get paid more?

    I’m in the yes camp.

  189. mickydidit89 says:

    Well done Raddy for easing the subject of wages on to your sexual conquests

  190. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning guys,
    That put a smile on my face, remembering sexual partner’s ha ha.
    Yes we are not all compatible, But when finding a sexual partner money only comes in to it should you be paying ha ha.

    Entertainers and game changers, good point that, would you say that would be for winning your team a result or saving your team. In my mind at Present i have been entertained by young Calum Chambers, what i have seen in this young man is comparable with the best in the league, i suspect this lad is the lowest paid Arsenal player but would be first pick if i were the Manager.

    Campbell has not had a chance, and should we buy a top striker he won’t get one either. Yes i understand how Arsenal is a top club but we are also a business. Sure we all want top players but as far as youngsters are concerned why have academies if we don’t intend to use them why spend out millions if we buy top talent.

    Good business is training youngsters on low wages then bringing them through and save on transfer fee’s. Running a club has to balance out and we must be aware that any savings only helps the business.

    Always spending is not a complete science, You don’t always win things and can make you skint. I see in Campbell and Gnabry quality if they are given a chance but Gnabry will be sold on that is my opinion and i feel he could have been a good un.,

  191. mickydidit89 says:


    I certainly see Chambers as one of the highest earners at the club if he continues the way he’s started.

    Let’s leave this chat for the excellent post on the subject you’ll be inking for the Interdull 🙂

  192. chas says:

  193. Shard says:

    I just saw the Le Grove headline on Newsnow.. ‘Arsene not accountable if he opts out of spending’

    Why do people demand SPENDING? Shouldn’t they care about what they are getting for the money? Let’s spend 30m on Christopher Samba. That should keep them happy.

    And there’s this constant need to belittle our own players just so they can then DEMAND a new signing. Wenger is not being disingenuous when he says he’ll only buy players who are better than what we have, and can contribute to the team. It’s really really hard to buy players as good as what we have at the club. Money is only the first point of the checklist in buying them. But just because you have money doesn’t mean you can get them. Unless you massively overpay, which you do only for that once in a generation player. Not for every player you might want. Why is that concept so difficult to understand?

    Ugh.. wish I could ignore that sort of talk all the time, because it really ruins the enjoyment of the game for me.

  194. mickydidit89 says:

    That’s a bloke with moobs Chas 🙂

  195. chas says:

    100% agree, Shard.
    And what I was trying to say yesterday evening. You say it far more eloquently. 🙂

  196. chas says:

    Haha, I laughed at Jimmy Shittyknickers as a twatter name.

  197. Shard says:


    I think defenders, on average, get paid less than strikers or creators, because their skills are not as scarce.

    Defending is easier than creating something. It is easier to coach defense, and that is why you have teams with smaller budgets generally being more defensive. Because they can make up for the deficit in skill by defending as a team.

    Coaching someone to be creative (within a structural framework) is really tough, as is learning it. Not everyone can defend brilliantly, but if they train well enough, they can defend competently. Because it is about sticking to the rules. Not everyone can think beyond mere instruction and do something unpredictable which is also efficient.

    As in any business, they more scarce your skill set, the higher you get paid.

  198. arnie says:

    Motning all.

    Someone on here a couple of days back demanded a £30m+ striker. I feel it is a sad world when we demand not a 30+ goals striker but a £30m+ striker. This places too much faith on the transfer market assigning appropriate value to players. Which it does not do. Market for lemons. 🙂

  199. Shard says:


    That’s the first time I’ve been accused of eloquence 🙂

    I was nodding along in agreement when reading your posts yesterday. Wasn’t inclined to join in the discussion yesterday as had some other things going on, and I end up then spending too long here, but we agree completely. Now it’s only Raddy with his ‘buy buy buy’ that we have to flip. Kelsey too, but that’s a lost cause 🙂

  200. arnie says:

    Maybe the relatively uninteresting CL venues offers the chance of some people down the AA pecking order to keep Ant n’ Duck in good humour and try to attend an way game? I wonder? 😛

  201. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning Arnie, can you remember what we paid for our winger Henry, who turned out one of the best strikers in the world.

    Foresight can be a wonderful thing, trouble is, it is often by accident

  202. chas says:

  203. arnie says:

    Yes, Steve, it is through foresight, not not accident. For some people it happens repeatedly. Not always, but repeatedly. Like Wenger. It is a very special talent. 🙂

    It is the ability to separate the wheat from the chaff.

  204. kelsey says:

    I am certainly a lost cause,Shard 🙂

    However I am careful with my words,even though my spelling is awful.

    I never said we should spend mega bucks, in fact by our standards we have done with Ozil and Sanchez.

    I said that IMO there are sufficent funds to complement the team with qualty players as opposed to what amounts to risk inexperienced players by throwing them in the deep end as opposed to gently introducing them into the first team.

    Chambers could be the buy of the season,defensively as long as he isn’t overplayed. His talent is obvious but he is a defender.When you look at the attack we need to be more clinical.

  205. Motning all, afternoon Shard(as I presume it is where you are) I saw that headline too and jsut goraned inwardly.

    i have enough aggro in my life to think about and I didn’t feel like getting depressed by reading another negative dooming post by Pedro.

    To be fair I do occasionally read some stuff on Le Grove, a number of the founder members of AA are ex Grovers but some days I just can’t read that stuff … 😦

  206. chas says:


    We can try and get you tickets if you want.

    Judging from the twitter reaction, Anderlecht might be difficult to get as stadium is only 22,000 capacity and as we haven’t played there for a while (or ever?), the tickets will be in big demand.

    Presumably Dortmund will be the most likely choice since travelling to Turkey doesn’t always sound pleasant for football matches and we’ve played Dortmund a couple of times recently so some may give it a miss this time around.

  207. chas says:

    Dortmund is only 2 and a half weeks away and there are no ticket details up yet.

  208. arnie says:

    Chas. Thanks a lot. I was thinking of Dortmund. Depends on the dates. Let me check schedules. 🙂

  209. Shard says:


    I was kidding 🙂

    I often disagree with you kelsey but I don’t think it is on much of a factual basis. For instance, I agree that we have funds and I would love us to buy a defender (essential I think because Miquel doesn’t seem to be in our plans), a midfielder and an attacker (striker or winger) .

    But I also think players like Campbell and Sanogo deserve a chance, unless Wenger sees an opportunity that is simply too good to refuse. i.e a player like Cavani or Reus. If they are available, affordable, and want to come to us, then we should buy them. I don’t think it would be a disaster if we don’t. Campbell and Sanogo are youngsters yes, but they need playing time too. If Wenger trusts them enough to not buy someone like Loic Remy (who I like too btw) then I’m fine with that. It’s how a squad is shaped organically, rather than through injection of money alone.

  210. Chas, funny you should mention away games as I got offered one for Leicester by a fellow gooner at work.

    Sadly I’ve had to wimp out due to disquiet about that from the trouble and strife.

  211. chas says:

    Ant and me are going, Chary.
    £7.50 return on the coach from Notts. 🙂

  212. kelsey says:

    organically,Shard 🙂

    I love disagreeing with you.

    Chambers is a natural, Sanogo is a maybe.


    Anderlecht is a shit hole unless they have improved the ground.When i went there we were only allocated standing tickets and there was a lot of violence after the game.

    The belgians are generally miserable dreary people but the chocolate is nice 😉

  213. Shard says:


    I read Le Grove a few times too, though I read it with more of an interest in knowing the ‘line of attack’ being peddled there. I have no desire to engage with anyone there.

  214. Shard, I try and correct the factual errors when they come up, but yes, it;s can be quite a dreary environment.

    Chas. £7.50 – that’s less than a zone 4 travel card I use for 2 220 minute train journeys – rip-off Britain !

  215. chas says:

    It was completely rebuilt in 1983 by the sound of it.

  216. Shard says:


    I didn’t realise organically was funny when talking about squad growth. I thought it was an accepted term. Maybe in American sports? Or did I come up with it? 🙂

    Sanogo is a maybe (see! We agree on facts) But how will we get the answer unless we try him out?

    Wenger sees him in training, He’s a big man type striker with decent speed and by all accounts has a fantastic attitude towards training. He has also seemed unaffected by nerves in big games. Give me a choice between Sanogo/Campbell and Remy right now and I’ll pick Remy as the safer option.

    I’m just not opposed to taking a chance on the youngsters because a) youngsters are important for a team’s medium and long term future, and b) because if Wenger -with his track record- trusts them, then I’m prepared to too.

    In case of someone like Cavani, what they can bring to the squad right now far outweighs the medium term benefits of Sanogo blossoming, so I’d say we should do it.

  217. *20 minute, not 220 minute.

  218. chas says:

    Looks pretty good now and close to the pitch!

    Constant Vanden Stock Stadium


    Thanks for the post Kelsey. As usual no messing about, thoroughly refreshing.

    I did post on Le Grove a few years back but only lasted 48 hours.

    By the end questions of my identity and were I could be traced reached really bizarre and worrying levels.

    Apparently, I am Marc Almonds boyfriend and live in a very swanky two bed apartment up Arsenes backside.

    Not going on there again.

  220. kelsey says:

    Well it was 44 years ago chas 🙂

  221. chas says:

    I knew what you meant, chary. 🙂

  222. kelsey says:

    I maybe repeating myself but to those who don’t know all the founder members of AA originally met on LG.

    That was about 6/7 years ago.

    I think the average age on there has dropped significantly 🙂

  223. chas says:

    That photo of the Anderlecht stadium came up of its own accord when I posted the link.
    Has WordPress changed as regards photos?

  224. fatgingergooner says:

    Got to feel for QPR’s Faurlin. Third ligament injury in 3 years. Must be awful to have to work so hard to come back only for it to happen again after a couple of games.

  225. fatgingergooner says:

    Wenger again talking about Chambers playing HM. We have all been talking about the need for a HM who can play CB, like Carvalho, but maybe we already have him. Instead of looking for a new HM, why not get a new CB and give Chambo a chance at HM? He’s shown he’s more than capable of being a first team player and Wenger seems to think he has the ability to play there.

  226. chas says:

    Since you left, kelsey. 😆

  227. chas says:

    Ah, maybe it’s just for flickr photos.

  228. 26may1989 says:

    If anyone might be up for a trip to Istanbul in December, I reckon I might do that one. Yeah, I know Turkish footy fans, nutters and all that, but Istanbul’s a great place.

  229. chas says:

    Right enough titting about!

  230. fatgingergooner says:

    Good that we play Anderlecht as our CL double header but would prefer not to have to go to Galatasaray last game. Need to make sure it’s wrapped by then.

  231. arnie says:

    FGG. Ahem. Knowing Arsenal, that is not going to happen, is it! 😛

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