It is Your Fault Players Are So Expensive

Following on from yesterday’s  topic, it seems an unwritten rule in football that the higher up the pitch you play, the greater the price tag. This is a generalisation of course, but it is an undeniable fact. Strikers command the highest prices and goalkeepers seem ludicrously cheap when you consider they have it every bit as much within their power to win or lose a game for the team.

Why is this?

Well the answer has to be that it is 90% down to commercial considerations. Strikers are the glamour boys of football. They score goals, they put bums on seats, they sell shirts, they recruit new supporters who will spend money with the clubs, they appear in advertising campaigns …. everyone loves a striker. In short, strikers create revenue for the clubs, it’s market forces.

Furthermore, it is easier to gauge a strikers abilities by the simple goals/game ratio, whereas a centreback for instance has no such definitive data on which to judge them. There is even a subtle difference between the relative values of an attacking midfielder in relation to a holding midfielder.

Admittedly there is now a plethora of statistical information available for the geeks and statos among us to analyse the performance of players in all positions (no offence intended GN5 πŸ™‚ ), but as we have agreed many times on here, stats can be used to prove anything you want – or sometimes the opposite of what you want! In any case, which is the sexier, a player who smashes the ball into the back of the net or a defender who wins a header?

Some supporters are exceptions, like those who have played the game (even if over the park) who will have an appreciation of the skills of a player who occupies the same position on the pitch as they once did, but most people these days watch football from the comfort of their sofa. We are a generation of fake football managers, experts on everything and nothing …. and yet as a collective, we wield more power than we imagine when it comes to the price tag attached to players.

Obviously specific criteria are important in different positions on the pitch. The most obvious being height in defence, speed on the wings, vision and work rate in the midfield, trickery up front etc etc. Beyond that, there are fundamental considerations for all player purchases that combine to reach a price tag – and then add 20% on top for the agent!

I thought it might be timely in this January window period to examine what these criteria are, and why they affect the player’s value.

This would be my list in order of the effect they have on player value in the current transfer market …..

  1. Position
  2. Ability
  3. Marketability = persona
  4. Age
  5. The wealth and need of the buying club
  6. History of injuries
  7. Nationality

I would argue that points 1,3,5 and 7 are influenced by fan power.

It is you who makes the strikers so expensive … just because you aren’t sophisticated enough in your appreciation of football to value a defensive midfielder. You’re so shallow you have to have pretty boys wearing your shirts. You feel deprived if your club doesn’t spend every penny of its transfer budget on shiny new players every window and what’s more, you want a German in defence, a Spaniard in midfield, a flying Dutchman on the wings and a South American magician up front.

Hopefully I have managed to insult everyone so far πŸ˜€

Footballers are overpriced and overpaid because we, the supporters, idolise them. We give them their value and the money men take their lead from us.

So is there anything we can do about it? Yes, we can just stop loving them for their flair, brilliance, athleticism, fabulous goals and crunching tackles, the way they love only our club (not!) ……. OK, maybe we can’t do those things.

You may wish to disagree with my list of criteria, or to rearrange the order of precedence, or just insult me for being ‘an armchair expert’. Feel free to steer the debate in whichever direction you desire – just remember, it’s not the fault of the new young generation – it’s all your fault.


190 Responses to It is Your Fault Players Are So Expensive

  1. Nice one Rasp.

    I’m one of the few who appreciate a good defender, and Centre halves in particular. Controlling the back four, putting in good clean tackles to break down an attack, reading the game so well that they are able to sweep across the defensive line and cover for a full back by tacking out a winger. Heading the ball away from the penalty area when a corner comes in. And occasionally, going forward for a free kick or a corner and scoring. It’s what I watch most in a game.

    However, forwards have always been the glory boys, paid the most and are the most expensive in the market place. I prefer the unsung heros, who quietly go about their job, doggedly stalking the glory boys and ruining their moment of possible adulation from the fans. A hard tackle here, a block there, breaking down creativity and preventing goals. I also like the tactics of Pulis ha ha ha

    And Frank McClintock is my all time hero πŸ™‚

  2. Rasp says:

    Thanks NB, I agree. Logically all players should command the same price, but it is the supporters who make strikers the most expensive. My favourite player was Vieira simply because he was a true leader and example to the other players. He led from the front and protected those around him. Shame he had to go to city, I think he should be next in line for a statue outside the Emirates ….. or maybe Charlie George … or maybe Liam Brady … or maybe Ian Wright/Cliff Bastin πŸ˜†

    ?topic for a post another day?

  3. dim says:


  4. Viera is a possible Arsenal great. I really believe that Coq au Vin could maybe take on the same role. He has the passion and could develop into a defensive midfielder great. Has he agreed a new contract yet? I think I read somewhere that he is in the process?

  5. LB says:

    This all reminds me or the euphoria that Chambers created at the beginning of the season. My favourite part of that was when Wenger was asked in an interview around that time if Mertasacker would regain his place when he came back from late World Cup leave; Wenger came as close as I have ever seen him to howling out loud with laughter.

    Coquelin has played one good game………………

  6. One good game LB that shows potential…. don’t put the boy down!

  7. Rasp says:

    I’m surprised no one has taken issue with my list of criteria. I certainly think in the case of the signing of Park, nationality came far higher up the list πŸ™‚

  8. Rasp says:

    The Coquelin issue is as I remarked yesterday. Like Cashley, it’s perfect timing, he has been given an opportunity to shine. If he can prove his worth for the rest of the season, he will have a future at Arsenal – and who knows, may one day be seen as ‘a great’. On the other hand, his contract expires at the end of the season and he may just be in the shop window. What is certain is that we need a player who can perform the role he did against city consistently.

  9. MickyDidIt89 says:



    I see this post as a personal attack as I fall squarely into each and every category πŸ™‚

    Damn right the sexy players should be paid more. Much more.

    I would however add in another group, and that’s the Arsenal DNA’ers who are certainly worth more because of their superior breeding πŸ™‚

    Micky Thomas for a statue I say, and Rocky, Davis etc

  10. Were you looking for an arguement then Rasp πŸ™‚

    Personally, I still think Englishmen still make the best defenders, not Germans…. but at the end of the day, does it really matter what nationality a player is if he does the job?

  11. Rasp says:

    Hi Micky, yes, you are a striker slut πŸ™‚

    Hold those thoughts. I think a ‘who should be the next statue?’ post is a great topic for a quiet day this week. All I need is someone to write it.

  12. Rasp says:

    πŸ™‚ not at all NB, you always have to put something in a post for people to disagree with – and I’m not sure I’ve achieved that!

  13. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Yeah but no but Rasp

    Park slotted into Cat 3: Marketability

  14. Don’t let Micky write it please……….. we all know what he will say, actually, he’s already said it πŸ™‚

  15. LB says:

    What a wonderfully grumpy post. Lol

    I am sure I am not alone in trying to guess who wrote the post as I make my way through reading it.

    My emotions went hmmm, good English, well written, interesting idea, bit grumpy, Rasp, happy laughter.

    We are forgetting that other people have lives and do not dissect every minute detail as we do. There are young children who are not to know the subtitles of a good performance by Coquelin for example, understandable focusing on Giroud’s goal and his celebration.

    I feel like someone explaining that grass is green — everyone already knows.

    Good read Rasp.

  16. Subtitles of a good performance πŸ™‚

  17. Rasp says:

    πŸ˜€ LB, we had no post so I sat down and wrote something blindingly obvious and then felt disappointed with myself 😦

    But I do like the ‘next statue’ idea, that should prompt some diverse suggestions. I’m guessing you’d pick Liam Brady …. get writing πŸ™‚

  18. LB
    Grass is not always green, in the summer and lacking water it can be brown, or a dirty siena colour, or grey and wilted, or even black and dead.

  19. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Will you stop banging on about the statue post right now, or I’ll have to reveal which one I’d melt down today πŸ™‚

  20. The Cockie Monster says:

    I`m surprised Rasp had time to write such a terrific post with the endeavours of erecting his tent at the base camp of Mount Eddie !. πŸ˜†

    Strikers are the Icing on the cake and finding one like Alexis is like finding El Dorado !…………The Spuds El Dorado is a trek from the swamplands of N17 to N5 on a mystical search for the glowing yellow elixir of Arsenal`s yellow snow !. hahaha

    We really need a cheap Β£30M face of Keown, Speed of Walcott. Strength of Hulk, Tackle of Le Cog, Brain of Moore, Passing and Coolness of Bergkamp, heart of Adams and knuckle dusters of Eddie type of Defender……but will settle for a Β£60M Cavani !.

  21. MickyDidIt89 says:

    We’d win more games with a Cavani AND get more sponsors, more tv overseas loot, as well as more people buying shirts, duvet covers key rings and stuff

  22. Eddie says:

    How is it my bloody fault? All the polish players were cheap, good and resalable.

    Personally I would limit the criteria to one factor – how much oil rich clubs want the player

  23. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Rasp. I agree with all you said and was insulted 3 times…wait….maybe it was 4. Well at least I am behind Micky in the count for being insulted.

    I think you are right that a flair attacker will be more expensive than other players, but there are examples where the value a club places on a defender / keeper / defensive midfielder is very close to that of an attacker. Although I think all the points are correct and have contributory factors I put greater significance in number 5 in relation to the market prices (in a general sense) over the last number of years.

    We would probably take and could afford either of Falcao or Cavani at Β£30-35m and on wages of Β£150kpw which are not insignificant sums but are realistic for them. The fact that they are both being touted as nearer to the Β£50m brackets with wages in excess of Β£200kpw is not because that is realistic or true market value, but only because both Monaco and PSG outlayed more than their genuine business model would allow, just so that they could get them with no real competition as everyone else was backing off from these prices. Now they want to offload the players but don’t want to lose face and drop too much so we enter a stalemate.

    PSG and Cavani both know that Β£35m and Β£150kpw wages are realsistic and generous but they have cornered themselves with greed and extravagance and will try and tell everyone that their value of the player is the true one and that our value is laughable and derisory. I would like a Cavani but not at the prices they are talking. FFP kicked in too late IMO and still clubs are finding ways around it and loopholes. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next season or 2.

    I think the whole market has been permanently distorted by the sugar daddy and government bankrolled clubs (Madrid) who have spent more than they could genuinely afford to. I actually believe that other smaller clubs that get into financial troubles can put it all down to this distorted market in transfer prices and wages, and can realistically point the finger at the clubs who have been the instigators of it.

    It seems to me that the 2 biggest expenses for any club are wages and transfer fees and clubs that hit the wall financially only end up there because they tried to keep a foot-hold in a market that was distorted to an unrealistically high level by irresponsible greedy bank-rolled clubs, and the inability of the footballing authorities to act upon it sooner.

  24. The Cockie Monster says:

    True Micky and Cavani also like Alexis ….works his Jean Paul Gaultier platinum stitched socks off !.

  25. GoonerB says:

    BTW Rasp I thought of a new post “Who should be the next statue?”.

    I can’t think of anything else to add to it, that says it all for me. No further additional words needed.

  26. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Or GB, how about…..

    “Who should be the next statue?”.

    On the ball is what I am

  27. The Cockie Monster says:

    GoBoner !…………………….this is an idea for a statue and will be voted on by all !.

  28. Rasp says:

    GoonerB and Cockie sssshhhhhhh

  29. Rasp says:

    Eddie, that’s more like it. I hear players from Bhutan are also available at knock down prices πŸ™‚

  30. Ozil could be the next statue… he’s like that on the pitch! πŸ™‚
    Giroud would love to be cast in iron for all the world to admire his good looks πŸ™‚
    Mertesackers statue would put the Emirates in shadow πŸ™‚
    but the best statue would be one of Wengers zipper, it has nearly become more famous than the man himself: Something like this…

  31. The Cockie Monster says:

    ( In a whisper ) Sorry Rasp !

  32. The Cockie Monster says:

    Great photo `69er !………It has been scientifically proven that a statue is quicker than Mertsnailer !.

  33. Eddie says:

    Rasp – have you ever heard of a footballer from Bhutan? NO. But have you heard of yan Tomaszewski? Yes, you have. We Polaks have a good footballing pedigree you know

  34. Rasp says:

    I know you like a good Pole Eddie, I bow to your inside knowledge πŸ™‚

  35. oh ho, Rasp getting a bit suggestive there…. careful cowboy πŸ™‚

  36. Rasp says:

    My mind is pure πŸ˜•

    Seriously, I did add nationality to the list. It seems that some nationalities come with a premium. Spaniards, Brazillians, Argentinians and Germans = add 20% ‘ish

    Strangely Italians aren’t so sought after (behind the French) – but then they’re not the force in world football they once were.

  37. Northbank 69, Sure the grass here in The Emerald Isle is always forty shades of green, leave that hot, dry, dusty place that you live in and come to the beautiful island of Ireland where the gentle summer showers and the mystic mists feed the lush green grass.

    Bejasus and bedad, β€˜tis the most wondrous place in the world, if only it would stop f*****g raining just once in a while. πŸ˜€

  38. Rasp says:

    GB, good point @ 11:21.

    I did put ‘the wealth and need of the buying club;’ in the list. We all know that we back off if City, chavs, manu, Barca or Real are interested in a player – but do you think all prices have risen because of the super rich clubs even if they are not bidding for a particular player?

    Do West Ham pay more for their targets because of the oilers etc?

  39. chas says:

    Great post, Rasp.
    I wasn’t insulted once. πŸ™‚

    I think you’ve covered the reasons behind a players current value fairly extensively.
    Definitely if the oily clubs are involved the price goes up as it does if more than one club are interested, though point 5 probably covers these.

    About all I can think of to add is the length remaining on a player’s contract, but even that sort of falls in point 3.

    I don’t think there should be any statues of folks until they’re long dead. Otherwise you’re just encouraging the hero worship which inflates transfer fees. πŸ™‚

  40. Oirish

    And also produces some of the most beautiful and witty women in the world for sure. πŸ™‚

  41. Rasp says:

    Excellent point chas, I’m putting statues in Room 101 πŸ™‚

  42. chas says:

    I think the South Americans have a large premium attached because you have to financially sort out their whole family and sometimes village.

  43. wally says:

    Goals are so hard to come by aren’t they. And goals win games. No goals, no wins.

    Someone who has the ability to score consistently is invaluable. It’s so hard. That’s why they get the big bucks.

    That’s not to diminish defenders, I actually love them more, simply an explanation of why they get what they get.

  44. Chas

    That’s not a problem with the Arsenal, Kroenke could get family members and villagers a job in Walmart πŸ™‚

  45. Rasp says:

    Thanks wally, I agree, that’s why I put ‘Position’ top of the criteria.

    When a goal is scored, the player gets mobbed by his team mates. If a defender clears the ball off the line he may get a pat on the back from the goalie.

  46. chas says:

    Don’t shoot me – thought this was funny.

  47. chas says:

    Is this racist? πŸ™‚

  48. The statues idea for a post is a good one, but as Chas rightly points out, only those deceased should be so honoured.

    Erecting statues of some of the great Arsenal players of the past might just remind some of the younger generations that the history of our great club goes back further than the creation of the Premiership.

  49. Krystian Bielik eh! He’ll certainly scare the pants of Ryan Shawcross.

  50. Rasp says:

    I’m a bit of a saddo 😦 Whenever we sign a new player I look for anagrams of his name…. but somehow they all seem to come out a tad rude …

    Krystian Bielik……

    Sit Bare Kinkily
    Bit Ears Kinkily
    Beat Kin Riskily
    Bra Ties Kinkily
    Try Leaks Bikini

    …. see what I mean

  51. I don’t get this idea that a player has to be brown bread before having a statue erected in his honour? I suppose that means Rocky is top of the list

  52. Eddie says:

    Rasp – what got into you? Yesterday you talked “up the spout”, today “up the Pole”, I Strongly Suggest You Stop Now. After all this is a family blog πŸ™‚

    Little baby Bielik looks so young

  53. Rasp says:

    Arsene’s bust is very prominent.

  54. Rasp says:

    Sorry Eddie, I wont even mention Can His Sex Zeal … sorry, Alexis Sanchez πŸ˜•

  55. Rasp says:

    It’s this lack of football, it’s driving me to the dark side. Next thing you know I’ll be putting pictures up on GunnerSoreArse πŸ™‚

  56. GoonerB says:

    Rasp your 12.07 about Brazilians, Spaniards, Argentinians and Germans being more expensive. I have since racked my brain to come up with an in depth psychological and technical explanation for this and have finally arrived at a 6 point blueprint to explain it.

    Prepare for a GoonerB epic in my next comment.

  57. GoonerB says:

    Here you go :

    1 I’ts
    2 Because
    3 They
    4 Are
    5 Bloody
    6 Better.

    Right I hope you all got the technical details and it wasn’t too much and sent some of you nodding off.


  58. Rasp says:

    πŸ˜† GoonerB

    1. Can’t
    2. Argue
    3. With
    4. That

    But, in the same way we all used to pay more for Nike or Sony products, don’t you think the perception of their ability is slightly swayed by their international reputation. Would Koscielny have been regarded more highly had he been German?

  59. Rasp, have we over-rated Merts because he is?

  60. RA says:

    What a smashing Rocky-esque Post from the ramrod of AA, Rasper himself.

    First the important bit. Having been invited to insult you Rasp, I gave this a certain amount of thought and decided that the awful Mickydidit wentanddoneit earlier today, and that is enough, especially as I can think of nothing with which to belay your hard earned reputation for excellent footballing analysis. πŸ™‚

    Now, as for your rotten list – well, OK, it is a pretty good list, but I do not want to appear sycophantic πŸ™‚ so I would add to your list ‘reputation’ and ‘productivity’ for starters.

    An example of ‘reputation’ is the hoo hah concerning Falcao, who was accepted as one of the top forwards worth huge money, and the reason why – is linked to the second part ‘productivity’ because he has scored a lot of goals, and quality goals at that.

    Any fan would salivate over such a player joining their team, like the Manure fans did, until he turned out to be a dud. πŸ™‚

    Now the fact you are an argumentative sod (does that count as an insult) πŸ™‚ you may well claim (wrongly) that your ‘ability’ point covers this but I do not think so.

    There have been many players of great ‘ability’ who did not have great reputations other than as good jobbing professionals, and when we bought Kozzer for example, he obviously had ‘ability’ but a ‘reputation’? No.

    I have to go get some coffee — will be back to talk to myself later! πŸ™‚

  61. GoonerB says:

    Rasp your 12.11. I think other clubs have become better at scouting the cheaper markets like say Africa or the less celebrated South American countries. Arsene’s blueprint has been noted and copied. West Ham seem to have had some joy in that area.

    I do think that the average wages, for instance at most levels may have been permanently affected across the board by what the oily clubs are paying to ensure said player goes to them. I think this is also the case with transfer fees in many instances. Some clubs have been more canny than others.

    On the other hand I could of course be completely wrong and this just be a conspiracy theory and there has not been a permanent shift in transfer fees and wages initiated by the oilers.

  62. Rasp says:

    Very good points Redders.

    I could claim that ‘reputation’ was covered by ‘persona’ and ‘productivity’ by ‘ability’ …. but actually I’d like to congratulate you on being the only blogger to add to the list πŸ™‚

  63. RA says:


    You are clearly a ‘nodding-off-ist’ and deserve to be strung up by the goolagongs and have a camel wormer inserted! So there!!

  64. Rasp says:

    Ouch Norfolk, touchΓ© πŸ™‚

    I like your theory GoonerB. Southampton are probably top of the ‘value for money’ list in terms of the quality and instant rise in value of the players they sign and bring through the academy.

  65. GoonerB says:


  66. Rasp says:



  67. GoonerB says:

    For instance, anyone who has a one word name that ends in “O” and has once been spotted doing a step-over must be worth at least Β£35m. Whether you have heard of them or not is irrelevant.

  68. GoonerB says:

    Add another Β£5m if the you tube footage is accompanied by trendy Samba style music.

  69. RA says:


    It appears that I have to agree with a nodding-off-ist that the basic economic principles of supply and demand somewhat artificially instigated by the ‘oily ones’ as well as Real and Barca which has forced up the price of all players.

    There is a limited number of ‘top’ players who get shovelled up by that crowd and therefore the majority of non-oilis’ have to fight among themselves for the second or third tier players, because the money paid by the oily guys allow the recipient club to buy from the lower tiers at inflated prices. Oh, woe – woe is me – I am making myself nod off!! πŸ™‚

  70. Gervinho wasn’t Β£35 πŸ™‚

  71. It’s hard for English teams to get work permits for young South American players.

    Their heritage is most likely to be Iberian so they can claim either Spanish or Portuguese nationality through their grandparents. Clubs in those countries naturally soak up the best prospects.

    Apparantly, we are having work permit problems with target Brazilian centre-back Gabriel Paulista.

  72. RA says:

    OK. having been agreeable and conceded points made by the Rasp man, and GoonerB nod-ist, I am now prepared to say their unchallenged belief that foreign (non-British) players are more expensive because they are better is self evident nonsense.

    Any ‘British’ player who comes on the market always carries a premium to their real worth, because of the scarcity of such players, and the Home Grown rules etc and command transfer prices way above their actual playing ability.

    The highest priced player who has actually been transferred just happens to have been British – step forward Mr Bale.

  73. No fear of Barca pushing up the price, they have a transfer embargo until 2016.

  74. GoonerB says:

    RA’s 1.03 was kind of the point I was trying to make in my 12.21.

    Note to GoonerB :

    In future think what point you want to make in a short sentence, e-mail it to Redders, let him do the rest.

    Excellent, more time for tea and coffee

  75. RA says:


    The ‘rules’ which prohibit foreign players in the UK are self imposed, and are much more relaxed, as you said, in the Latin speaking countries.

    I have written to Arsenal suggesting that they smuggle players in via Calais. in a lorry, and then claim ‘sanctuary’ from poor coaching. πŸ˜‰

  76. Rasp says:

    May I refer the Right Honourable Mr Redders to the answers I gave some time ago πŸ™‚

    Position and ability were 1 and 2 in the list, nationality came bottom in 7th place. I do believe there is a perception that players from certain countries are better because of the football culture of that country, but the other criteria are far more influential when it comes to assessing value/price.

  77. RA says:


    I am in the habit of working my way back thru’ the comments when I join the blog.

    I have not yet got to my own 1:03 and ……. yikes.

    Ok, OK, you cannot fool me – and I do that very well myself – having ‘researched’ your 12:21 I find there is no such comment at that time.

    Time-ist!! Tsk.

  78. RA says:


    My genuine 1:34 might explain! πŸ™‚

  79. RA, nah! If their good enough they should be able to walk across the Channel. πŸ˜€

  80. Eddie says:

    Who’s the Tartar? My son’s dad is a true Tartar

  81. Rasp says:

    Nice with Scampi

  82. chas says:

    BR isn’t going to like the talk of tartar.

  83. Eddie says:

    Not nice, with slant eyes

  84. RA says:

    Sorry for the lull.

    I just found GoonerB’s 11:21 and nodded off halfway thru – I think we should have a ‘word out’ betwixt him and Shard, and the winner will be anyone who can keep their peepers open.

    In fact, I got the gist in the first half, when he played a blinder and we are in broad agreement. πŸ™‚

    [OK, this bit is in secret and not to be read by anyone other than Rasper!!!!

    You will remember some 4 or 5 years ago when I newly arrived on AA, I was occasionally admonished for my use of ‘odd’ vocabulary and Post-sized-comments.

    Promise not to tell anyone – I am so enjoying teasing GoonerB-A-Wormer, and Shardo. πŸ˜€ ]

  85. chas says:

    Skim-reading comes in handy.

  86. Rasp says:

    Strictly between you and me Redders, its up to the individual if they wish to post long comments. They should just be aware that most bloggers are lazy gits and won’t bother to read the whole thing, or maybe any of it if it’s intimidatingly long – so perhaps their efforts are being wasted 😦

  87. Rasp says:

    As chas has just attested πŸ™‚

  88. Vintage Gooner says:

    I am a little surprised that the list of expensive nationals does not include English which I reckons doubles the cost -yes a full 100% increase which is why our national team suffers from over-hyped and under-coached talent.

  89. Rasp says:

    Actually GoonerB has explained several times that the nature of his business means that he only gets a break once in a while so he has to cram a lot into one comment … and Shard always goes into great detail and has much information to impart – therefore they’re both justified. But do carry on ribbing them πŸ˜€

  90. GoonerB says:

    Just trying to make the day go quicker RA…..well would you look at that, it’s almost 4.00pm already, time for another quick cuppa.

    I agree on the British players RA. I don’t get this work permit thingy though. Britain seems to have been prepared to open its doors to economic migrants arriving from all corners of the globe, who instantly need to tap into tax payer funded benefits because they are not arriving on the back of having secured a job before leaving their country.

    Then you get an oversees footballer who is well paid and can instantly pay their taxes and their own way and you have more chance of finding Lord Lucan than getting the authorities to allow them to come in to carry out their paid profession. Something feels very imbalanced, beurocratic and nonsensical in that.

    Sorry…. getting too political…..

  91. GoonerB says:

    You little tease RA (except I know you are of Herculean stature).

  92. RA says:

    Well, Eddie/Evonne,

    The Tartar is of course that fiercely unrepentant Norfolk, who plays a mean banjo and would disown any player suffering from a headache let alone a broken whatnot.

    He claims he is of Scottish ancestry, living in LaLa-Norfolk, and also claims to be an Oirish leprechaun, or something, and likes sauce! πŸ™‚

  93. Vintage Gooner says:

    Apologies to RA who posted a similar comment whilst I was laboriously typing.

  94. GoonerB says:

    Had one of those days where I can post a bit more but do need to pop off now. Normal “war and peace” size comments will resume shortly.

  95. chas says:

    VG, VG.
    How right you are.

  96. chas says:

    Oooops, didn’t read RA’s comment.
    Must have nodded off.

  97. RA says:

    GB, @ 2:03

    It’s not really my business I suppose, tho I do pay taxes here too, but the illogicality of the current rules do strike one as ……… illogical, as you say. πŸ™‚ Hence my flippant comment.

    Now my secret is out — that I lay the original trail for lengthy comments — all of them exquisitely to the point and amazingly interesting – obviously – I have to say that I do read all the comments, including yours and Shardonay’s, looking for anything incongruous or whimsically fascinating – like camel worming which really tickled my imagination.

    Take no notice of my teasing – I will pick on someone else, eventually, like Rasper, again, and in truth you are an interesting correspondent. πŸ˜€

  98. RA says:


    No need for an apology – I do that all the time – and anyway you are right, so deserves to be repeated. πŸ™‚


    Cheers Rasp

    Attacking players cost more coz there better players. defenders just work hard on there game. If my mum wasnt frightened that I would get brain damage from heading, I would now be an Arsenal centre back.

    All pro defenders start up front. They roast some asthmatic kids who play wearing glasses and a few others who tried to wriggle out of P.E. so are playing in there Y Fronts, and think there the bollox. Then when they come up against good players, they realise there a bit shit and end up as defenders.

    People also want to be entertained. Players like Sanchez are the star turn, a bit like the lead in the theatre who milk the finale applause.

    Defenders are just extras who you clap out of politeness and admiration of effort, though you knew there acting was hammy and there singing and dancing best suited to an arnie video.

  100. RA says:

    Rasp, @ 12:07, said:

    It seems that some nationalities come with a premium. Spaniards, Brazillians, Argentinians and Germans = add 20% β€˜ish

    GoonerB, responded @ 12:55 and 12:57:

    Rasp your 12.07 about Brazilians, Spaniards, Argentinians and Germans being more expensive. I have since racked my brain to come up with an in depth psychological and technical explanation for this and have finally arrived at a 6 point blueprint to explain it.

    Prepare for a GoonerB epic in my next comment.

    GoonerB @ 12:57 pm:

    Here you go :

    1 I’ts
    2 Because
    3 They
    4 Are
    5 Bloody
    6 Better.

    Right I hope you all got the technical details and it wasn’t too much and sent some of you nodding off.

    My response to the pair of you was the very antithesis of that: πŸ™‚

    RA @ 1:24

    OK. having been agreeable and conceded points made by the Rasp man, and GoonerB nod-ist, I am now prepared to say their unchallenged belief that foreign (non-British) players are more expensive because they are better is self evident nonsense.

    For all those still awake – πŸ™‚ Rasper challenged my 1:24 comment by referring me to his earlier comments. Bleeding different, I think! πŸ˜€

  101. RA says:

    Terry, darling;

    So your adoption of the defender related soubriquet; TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT is just a clever way of disguising your true love of Dennis Bergkamp.

    Or are you just blaming your poor mum because she said you were rubbish at football? πŸ™‚

  102. RA says:

    I need more coffee and will be back later. (Don’t tell the leprachaun) πŸ™‚

  103. Rasp says:

    Redders, Redders, Redders, I was just being polite to GoonerB, I don’t believe half of what I say – but the point about the priority I gave to the criteria is valid πŸ˜†


    I admit I was crap Redders. I was always the last one left when players got picked, and then the two captains pretended I wasnt there in hope that I would go away.

    I didnt though, so would come out on the pitch and play for both teams.

    i dont blame my mum, God rest her soul, but if only she hadnt “Terry, youer notter playings with those roughings brainer damaged boys, they aller haver grown mens testiceles ” then I could have worked on my game and made pro.

    Okay, I admit maybe not Arsenal level, but definitely a shit club like Totnumb

  105. Rasp says:

    The Gabriel Paulista stories are gaining momentum. If you believe the reports, only the work permit hearing is standing in his way to becoming an Arsenal player.

    Although he is yet to play for Brazil at any level, it would appear unlikely that he’d be happy to sit on the bench for that long at Arsenal.

    It begs the question, is he coming so kozzer can’t hold us to ransom? is he a replacement for Per next season? what does this do to Chamber’s chances? all very intriguing.

  106. arnie says:

    Lovely post, Rasp. πŸ™‚ And getting the attention it truly deserves. πŸ™‚

    It will take me some time to go through comments. But before that.

    I agree, it is the culture of idolatry that drives prices. And therefore, it is fans. Not value to the club, and hence, the valuable grafters get a rough deal. And the defenders.

    However, there are two things that you miss.

    One is Leadership, which you rightly pointed out in a comment.

    The other one is value to the club, not historical value of past performances, but what might come in the future. Not everyone has crystal balls (Kelsey πŸ™‚ ), hence past performance appears to be our main guideline as fans. However, someone in the prime of their career, or just past the prime, has less value to a future club.

    Arsene is IMO a great judge of such future value. Not only in knowing when to release a player after the prime is past (Henry, Judas, …), but also in attracting young-ish talent who are not yet at their peak, but rising stars. I can give many examples, but will give just one. Rosicky.

    Market value is not the same as value to a future club. It is this difference that Arsenal are good in exploiting. Long may this continue. πŸ™‚

  107. arnie says:

    Arsene, get off your arse and get us some nice bargains please. We trust your judgment. πŸ™‚

  108. Rasp says:

    Hi arnie, thanks. Paulista would appear to be a bit of a bargain if the rumoured price tag is correct. I find it odd that he has never played for Brazil, but those who watch Spanish football say he is a gem and not only defends well but is skilful at bringing the ball out of defence – sounds like an Arsene type defender πŸ™‚

  109. chas says:

    Paulista playing left back this season

  110. Rasp says:

    Thanks chas, apparently he can play CB, RB and LB – utility defender?

  111. Rasp says:

    He looks very comfortable on the ball in those vids

  112. Rasp says:

    ….. but appears to like to play very high up the pitch at LB …. typical Brazillian πŸ™‚

  113. arnie says:

    agreed, Rasp. πŸ™‚


    He tackles with his wrong foot. instead of sliding in with his left he looks to have a habit of trying to nick it wIth his right. Dont like the look of that.

  115. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. Nice post and some fine comments.

    I side with GB and of course Didit. I say pay the big bucks and get a proper goalscorer.

    Thinking of which …. Giroud. When some talk about how AW cannot spot good value, think on this … OG cost less than €10m. How much would he cost now when Bony costs €30m?

    Another addition to the fee is the Man City factor. Bony’s price is ridiculous and only because MC were desperate for a goalscorer

    Another cost-effect would be whether the player is cup-tied. Part of the reason Bony was so expensive is that he is eligible to play in the CL

  116. RA says:

    Hi arnie,

    Interesting take by you. πŸ™‚

    I do not agree that it is the fans that drive the recruitment and setting of the transfer price that a potential signing will cost.

    There are a number of factors dictating the cost and affordability of players the club might buy.
    One of them is not what the fans think. In practical terms the fans have so many differing opinions, and in essence have no real input to the scouting and other aspects of selecting players the manager wants.

    The actual case is, as you said later, that we have to trust in AW and with him, inherently, the Owner and the Board, as it is they who will decide the value of a player, and the affordability of any such price the seller demands.

    I am sure you will agree, that if it were the fans who decided these things then the many years of fan frustration would not have occurred, and we would have bought many players – and the club would have undoubtedly gone bust. πŸ™‚

    Good to see you managing to keep in touch. πŸ™‚

  117. The Cockie Monster says:

  118. The Cockie Monster says:

    As long as he`s not a Brazilian Andre Santos !.

  119. Shard says:

    I’ve read through all the comments but my brain is quite fried and I have nothing intelligent to add. I tried to think of a reason why strikers are more valued than defenders, but am incapable of putting it into words.

    Just to let everyone know, Villareal are going to kick off in about 5 minutes. Don’t know if Paulista is going to play. If not, is that a sign he’s on his way? If yes, then maybe we can watch him and see how he does.

  120. chas says:

    Pretty nigh impossible to watch this and not smile.

  121. GunnerN5 says:

    Hi Rasp , that was a fine post and I will choose to ignore your slight on those of us who indulge in statistics.

    While I fully agree with you that strikers are the darlings of football I would offer that that is not always the case. Look at Rio Ferdinand on two occasions he broke the transfer record and I remember when he transferred from Leeds to United in 2002 for 30 million it seemed like and was an ungodly amount for a football player. He was a center back and became a huge media hit everywhere except Highbury.

    Lets not forget Sebastian Veron set the previous record when United bought him for 28 million in 2000.

  122. GunnerN5 says:

    Wow, It just stuck me that it took 13/14 years for us to start paying those sort of transfer fees…..

  123. The Cockie Monster says:

    How about this for a smile, chas !. πŸ˜€

  124. The Cockie Monster says:

    If Coquelin stays at DM, should he be known as ….Le Coq Bloque !.

  125. The Cockie Monster says:

    Sorry !…….most of you don’t have a fluent French accent like me, so in English that’s …..The Cock Block !. hahaha

  126. The Cockie Monster says:

    FA Youth Cup……………….and already down 0-1 to………….Royston Town !!!…….who the fcuk are they ?.

  127. Eddie says:

    chas – I thought I was the only one giggling while watching Santi πŸ™‚ He laughs all the time too, love him to bits

  128. chas says:

    I don’t know about park the bus, Sheff Utd haven’t got off it yet!

  129. Eddie says:

    Kelsey’s childhood friend became a grandfather again on Sunday. They named the boy Santi πŸ™‚ ok, only temporarily, but still…

  130. chas says:

    Villareal v Getafe live on Sky Sports 5 now.

  131. chas says:

  132. chas says:

  133. chas says:

    Good job you didn’t want a ticket with the Arse fans BR and DidIt!

    AS Monaco v Arsenal – SOLD OUT
    All tickets for this fixture are now sold out.
    This fixture sold out to Platinum, Gold and Current Travel Club members with 60+ Away Points.

  134. chas says:

  135. Eddie says:

    Kyle Walker is a big Sheffield U fan. 17 members of his close family are sitting in the away section hoping Totts will lose πŸ™‚
    My friend said that if he knew Adebayor was the captain he would have put money on Sheffield to win


    The idiot just almost got him sent off evonne

    Yesterday I got a ticket for the West Stand upper for our game against them. Last time I sat there was back in the 90/91 season when Seaman had a blinder in a 0-0 draw.

    i wonder if my gas mask will make them suspicious?


    If they notice I moisturize ive had it


    Maybe I can dress like Bet Lynch again? People tend to leave me alone when ime Bet

  139. Big Raddy says:

    I went to that 0-0 with a Spurs friend. It was with the Spurs fans and I was incognito but my friend made the mistake of telling people I was Arsenal. I got dog’s abuse and a steward asked me to leave.

    Shit ground, shit fans, shit club.

  140. jnyc says:

    Smart post Rasp.
    I was talking with a gooner friend yesterday, and mentioned that i think Arsene believes he can save money on defenders by buying relatively cheap. … Therefore able to spend more on the expensive forward players. I actually think he’s right. You know the ridiculous prices teams have paid for scorers. ..
    But there are many good examples of bargains in less glamorous positions.
    For our team, example. .. debuchy, maybe the 2nd best rb in the league after zabaleta . First choice for france.. in his prime.. what did we pay, maybe 10, 11 mil. Tottenham able to get vertonghen for under 10, lloris very affordable, also good examples of quality players that were not over priced. I dont choose kos as an example, because he was a real arsene special from the second division, right?
    Good prem keepers available under 10 mil always.

    What bothers me is the savages that run the oil teams throwing ridiculous money around, and ruining it for everybody else lately. The silly price that man city paid for Mangala. On Matic i actually think chelsea is more reasonable. And the reason I’d pay up for a schneiderlin type.
    But no one is hurting the sport and leagues more than psg, and idiot david luiz as the worst example.


    I was in there end to Raddy. It transpired that in that corner of the west upper there was about fifty gooners. By the end of the game we were all getting up and cheering the boys on.

    The only thing one of there lot said to me was why I was in there end and not ours. Wasnt to bad really.

    Were you clean shaven and wearing expensive aftershave? They dont like that

  142. Eddie says:

    i saw it Terry, he is a halfwit, lucky to get a yellow 15mins into the game

  143. LB says:

    No easy task for a right footed player to play left back and yet he carries it off against Real Madrid of all opponents — impressive.

    CB, RB, LB: sounds more like a case of when rather than if.


    I wonder whats wrong with him evonne. Is it the fact he comes from a poor background?, is it a cultural thing? maybe he cant get it up? i dont know, but hes a right wanker.

    He does look good LB but I saw a video of him playing in a more central position and he was tackling with his wrong foot. Hes certainly challanged in the looks department though so will probably be brilliant. People who look like that have less to lose.

  145. Brilliant post Rasp and a great days blogging that followed.

    Did Raddy say he was writing something for tomorrow?

  146. The Cockie Monster says:

    Yes !, definitely peaches !…….he said he had loads of ideas for a conveyor line of non stop posts !. hahahaha

  147. GΓΆΓΆner In Exile says:

    Nice post Rasp, although if PSGs valuation of 20yr old Marquinhos…..Β£112m!!! For a centre back. Something tells me PSG are trying to balance their books.

    Their are probably a group of 20-30 players who should command fees around Β£50m most of them are already at big clubs and will stay there for life, what would Iniesta or Xavi have cost in their peak?

    Centre backs can command big fees, SAF paid Β£30m for Ferdinand, we paid similar for Sol (not to Spuds obviously as he ran down his contract so we paid Sol the money instead).

    There is a massive shortage of centre backs right now, even teenagers cost overΒ£10mand that’s a very scary situation to be in!

  148. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Paulista! Who?

  149. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Not liking this ticket availability thing at all. Is Monaco so hard because it’s such a small ground?

    Thing is, I’d imagine tickets for a Real Madrid type of game would be in far higher demand. True?

    Perhaps you and Ant could kindly start going to all away games from now on soley for the benefit of Moi und Big

  150. MickyDidIt89 says:

    How about a pic of a planecar this morning πŸ™‚

  151. chas says:

  152. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Fantastic πŸ™‚

    Had the “what would you buy if we won the euro lottery $100m biggy” question from children

    Answered private jet every time.

  153. chas says:

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the ticket allocation thing,
    My guess our away points come into play if there is an away allocation of 2.5 to 3K.
    So, hopefully, we’d be in with a chance of tickets for most decent away venues.

    Tottingham away sold out to 30 plus but they have a small ground and London games are always at a premium.

    Then again, the Brighton allocation was 4,400 (I think) and I assumed it would go to general sale. In actual fact it sold out to 5 plus away points. In that instance you have to factor in that Brighton is a great trip from London and the “magic” of the FA Cup.

  154. chas says:

    Btw, that was spooky you asking for a planecar photo as I’d just ‘favourited’ one in twatter yesterday as I thought it would appeal.

    Two thoughts occurred, either you knew what I was doing online or were reading my mind. The latter is more likely and slightly less worrying, too. πŸ™‚

  155. MickyDidIt89 says:

    How many points earned from an away game?

    Then, re Cup Final (25,000 allocation?). Neither Peaches or LB got tickets. Both ST holders, so does that mean there are 25k better supporters than them? πŸ™‚

    ie go to at least one away game per season

  156. chas says:

    There’s a chap who colours in old b&w photos.
    I quite like the results.
    I seem to remember the North Bank Gillespie gates being green. Maybe GN5 could confirm? πŸ™‚

  157. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Great colouring in πŸ™‚

    Wall to wall tweed and caps. Superb.

  158. chas says:

    1 point per away game.
    The trouble is that we have 45,000 plus season ticket holders and half have no away points, so go into a ballot.
    I’d guess there were 15 to 20k season tickets with at least 1 away point.
    Just having one cam make a difference.
    It’s a shame north western teams like Wigan and Blackburn aren’t in the prem anymore as they had big allocations and cheap tickets, I think Wigan was Β£20.

  159. chas says:

  160. chas says:

  161. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ok, got it. Thanks

  162. chas says:

  163. chas says:

  164. chas says:

  165. chas says:

    Not too smutty, I hope.
    In fact, this might have to come out every match day.

  166. chas says:

    How did your trip to Sweden go?
    Do you have to know the Swedish language or is it similar to Danish in the same way that Scottish is similar to English? πŸ™‚

  167. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Very tasteful indeed, Chas πŸ™‚

  168. chas says:

    Megs on Fat Frankie.

  169. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I can answer that. Yes, you understand one Scandi language, you got the lot

  170. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Has Rosicky got a lot better after all those injury plagued years?

    Could be welcome back Lionel Diaby soon

  171. chas says:

    ‘Lionel’ makes me laugh and I’ve no idea why?

  172. Big Raddy says:

    Chas. Thanks for asking. Yes all went very well, and I can understand other Scandi languages but not speak them (and they cannot understand my mangled Danish) but everyone here speaks English.

    Love the colourists work. just fantastic. The pic of the Gillespie road entrance took me back to my childhood. And yes, the gates were green – though painted red later

  173. Eddie says:

    I love Eddie Hapgood and his dog best πŸ™‚

  174. Eddie says:

    I was bored watching spurs last night so switched to some documentary about pets. There was a story from south America about dogs – several of them leave their homes in the morning and come from all different parts of town to meet their mates. They hang around together, have sex, fight a bit, chill out and at tea time they return to their homes πŸ™‚

  175. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. Sounds like NB’s day

  176. JM says:

    The Football money league (2015) (Deloitte)

    Click to access deloitte-football-money-league-2015.PDF

    The above link is a big chunk of data (pdf).
    In brief, the Top 10 revenue revenue clubs are (from 2013/2014 season):

    (1) Real Madrid €549.5m (Β£459.5m)

    (2) Manchester United €518.0m (Β£433.2m)(up 2 places fr. s12/13)

    (3) Bayern Munich €487.5m (Β£407.7m)

    (4) Barcelona €484.6m (Β£405.2m)(down 2 places fr. s12/13)

    (5) Paris Saint-Germain €474.2m (Β£396.5m)

    (6) Manchester City €414.4m (Β£346.5m)

    (7) Chelsea €387.9m (Β£324.4m)

    (8) Arsenal €359.3m (Β£300.5m)

    (9) Liverpool €305.9m (Β£255.8m)(up 3 places fr. s12/13)

    (10) Juventus €279.4m (Β£233.6m)(down 1 place fr. s12/13)

    Furthermore, Tottenham Hotspur(13th, €215.8m), Newcastle United(19th, €155.1m) and Everton(20th, €144.1m) also made into the Top 20.

    Arsenal’s full data are on Page 22.
    €359.3m (Β£300.5m).

    – revenue grew by 23%, although the gap to 7th-placed Chelsea widened by almost 50% to Β£23.9m.
    – Β£7.4m (8%) increase in matchday revenue (largely via our club’s run to FA Cup final)
    – broadcast revenue (which was 41% of total revenue) of Β£123.2m, an increase of 39% from s12/13.
    – commercial revenue grew by Β£14.7m (24%) via the commencement of the Puma shirt deal and renewal of stadium deal with Emirates.

    In regards to solely commercial revenue among the Top 10, we are still somewhat behind most of the rest (i.e. room for improvement from IG and company):

    (1) Real Madrid €231.5m (Β£193.6m)

    (2) Manchester United €226.4m (Β£189.3m)

    (3) Bayern Munich €291.8m (Β£244m)

    (4) Barcelona €185.7m (Β£155.3m)

    (5) Paris Saint-Germain €327.7m (Β£274m)

    (6) Manchester City €198.3m (Β£165.8m)

    (7) Chelsea €135.7m (Β£113.5m)

    (8) Arsenal €92.2m (Β£77.1m)

    (9) Liverpool €124.1m (Β£103.8m)

    (10) Juventus €85m (Β£71.1m)

    Borussia Dortmund (11th, €261.5m) has €123.9m (Β£103.6m) in commercial revenue alone.

  177. LB says:

    Good pics this morning.

    North Bank entrance, magic feeling.

    And the other thing I noticed was from the still of the picnic on the is how much the WAGS have changed over the years.

  178. Eddie says:

    BR πŸ™‚ dogs didn’t blog πŸ™‚

  179. LB says:

    I don’t understand how PSG have got themselves so high in that league; they were minnows only a few seasons ago and if I understand things correctly those figures are for income generated which has nothing to do with their wealthy backers.

  180. JM says:

    PSG’s commercial revenue (highest among the Top 10, even much more than Bayern, Real, ManU and Barca) alone covered 69% (€327.7m (Β£274m) of their total revenue.

    It has somewhat indirectly something to come from their Qatari owners.

    Quoted from the Deloitte pdf document, “wide ranging commercial deals with the Qatar
    Tourism Authority” and “Qatar National Bank” – i.e. the country’s service and financial institutes are “supporting” the club.

    Furthermore, key renewal of kit deal (Nike) and shirt sponsorship (Emirates), among additional deals with Ooredoo,
    Panasonic, Microsoft, Hublot and Heineken etc.

  181. Rasp says:

    Morning all, I was just having a look behind the scenes to see where our hits were coming from and I discovered that someone found the site using the following search words ….

    …. greek mythology gods gays jokes ……

    Where did that link come from??? It just goes to show that every reference we put up is logged and can attract people who have an entirely different agenda to AA.

  182. Rasp says:

    I love the coloured pics. I think we can see that although fit and lean, the players in those days weren’t the incredible physical specimens they are today – maybe that’s why they appeared to sustain fewer injuries … they weren’t pushing themselves as close to the limits.

  183. Morning all

    We have a New Post ……………………

  184. Big Raddy says:

    Also PSG are the only big club in Paris

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