Herb, Oligarchs, Sheiks and Arsenal supporters

Morning all

Rant Friday again, don’t they come round fast. Herb’s post yesterday stirred a few and  emotions were let loose as many of the regulars on AA are ardent Wenger supporters. I felt agitated by Herbs Post, whether he meant it as a post or not is irrelevant, as what he wrote was for someone to read and it reflected the way he felt.

Herb is of course entitled to his opinion, what kind of supporters are we if we are not willing to listen to another side of the story. In the post Herb wanted to vent his concerns over the current transfer policy. I think he feels we need to spend vast amounts of money, he didn’t exactly say vast amounts of money, but when he showed dismay with Ozil and Sanchez I can only assume he wanted bigger and better players and they don’t come cheap.

Reading the post it struck me that Herb is the kind of supporter who would want a Bale or a Ronaldo or perhaps even the Holy Grail Messi so I assume he would want the board to spend obscene amounts of money. Its easy spending other peoples money when you’re a supporter. There are supporters who moan about the price of a packet of fags or the TV licence but when it comes to their very own club, they expect anything from 50 million. Many of this kind of supporter has out laid on an Arsenal scarf or pushed the boat out and brought a snide Arsenal shirt, some will even be season ticket holders. They can be the worst as they feel they have paid so much for their ticket and what’s 150 million to a club like Arsenal? They actually believe that the money they have out laid to be entertained should be spent to make their enjoyment even better.

Supporters come in all shapes and sizes. Some supporters are ardent Wenger supporters but others can be called Wenger haters and they are critical if we don’t buy or if we buy the wrong players according to them.  I feel we have to realise that perhaps the club do not always feel like many supporters do, that winning the League and Champions League is the only goal.

Looking at it from the owners side, a good season for Arsenal is when it makes more money than it has laid out. Usually supporters will look at the figures put out and assume the profit at the end is what we have to spend on players, well don’t make me laugh, that is the money that the owners and shareholders own, not the clubs money. Any money over is their profit for their investment, not for the clubs to spend on players.

We always look around us at what other clubs are doing and assume our club should be doing the same but what we should be doing is realising that Arsenal are making money and now and again the Manager is allowed  to use some of their money to replace with new stock. Again a further investment made by the owners money.

What you have at the other big spending clubs are owners who have always had huge amounts of money. These people have been used to having the best that money can buy for yachts, mansions, land and cars. They can afford to buy everything that you can think of and the ownership of a football club with no expense spared. Like all oligarchs and Sheiks the very best is a must have, our own Mr Usmanov would be the same, if only he could get his feet under the table. Many say he is a proper Arsenal supporter and wants to spend spend spend but apparently he has his rules before he does that and before that happens he will keep hold of his billions, whether we win or lose. A fine supporter, right!!!

Supporters ask for money to be spent, when it looks like we have weaknesses. This last transfer window seemed like one of those occasions, but it seems that the money holders felt that the last three signings were enough investment for the time being. Close on a hundred million, I make them right.

Steve Palmer


81 Responses to Herb, Oligarchs, Sheiks and Arsenal supporters

  1. Thanks Steve for the post. There is a frustration among supporters that we don’t spend enough money now that we have it.

    Maybe we were trying to buy someone and it just didn’t come off ………….. all I know is that there isn’t a supermarket shelf for top strikers as there just aren’t that many out there. Besides I love Giroud so why would I want anyone to take his place.

    On to tomorrow, there’s a rumour that BigRaddy won’t be back in time to write a pre-match so if anyone fancies stepping up to the plate we’d be very grateful.

    Have a good day all

  2. RC78 says:

    SP – I think that the frustation among supporters is mainly related to the fact that the team is shy of 3-4 players to take us to the next level – meaning a Top 2 finish, a FA Cup Victory and last 8 in the CL -> nothing too ambitious to be honest but still, we need these players to take us there.

    4 gaps were apparrent in the last season:

    1. GK – > Addressed with Cech
    2. CB -> When Kos is injured, we are struggling. Gabriel is growing but we would have needed a confirmed CB. Available players that could have joined us if we moved for them: Skrtl and Otamendi.
    3. DM -> Coquelin is flourishing but if he gets injured, we have Arteta who is more of a CM and Flamini who is not a powerhouse anymore. Available players: Khedira, Vidal and Schnederlin.
    4. FW/ST -> I believe we needed more of a forward that can play off the flanks than a ST. Available players: Pedro, Turan, De Bruyn, Depay.

    Cech -> 14 Mln EUR
    Otamendi -> 40 Mln EUR
    Schnederlin -> 25 Mln EUR (Khedira – FREE and Vidal around 35)
    Pedro -> 30 Mln EUR

    So for a total of 109 Mln EUR (roughly 80 Mln pounds), we could have improved our squad. This is the frustration.

    However, it seems that:

    – our club either does not have the same appeal as City, Chelsea, Utd, Juve, Bayern and Barcelona; or
    – we do not want to spend; or
    – a combination of both.

    It may be a combination of both, which is even more infuriating but there you go, we have addressed the GK position and that’s a positive and I hope that the rest of our “gaps” will not cost us a better season than last year given the fact that our competitors have improved their squad.

    Imagine: CECH – Bellerin, OTAMENDI, Kos, Monreal – Ramsey, SCHNEDERLIN, Ox – Ozil – PEDRO, Sanchez

    Now this team is very balanced and scarier than what we have at the moment…

    On the cheap: Cech – Bellerin,SKRTL, Kos, Monreal – Ramsey, KHEDIRA, Ox – Ozil – PEDRO, Sanchez

  3. Shard says:

    Hi Steve. Thanks for the post.

    I agree with the sentiment. I don’t believe there’s anything inherently wrong about the owners making profits from running the club.

    However, it must be said that I don’t think Arsenal have made a profit for a couple of years, though I could be wrong about that. But more importantly, any profits stay with Arsenal, since the club pay no dividends. There was a bit of an uproar when the club paid another of kroenke’s companies a fee of 3m. But this appears to be a one-off and not a normal course of action. Apart from that, the board members just draw a salary. 25k annually when I last checked.

    As to the assumption that Usmanov will spend out of his own pocket. I disagree. He’s certainly nver said so, despite many opportunities to do so. His regular beratings of the club model also never suggested that as a working plan, and if you look at how he made his money, it has been by investing in companies shares and then selling them on for a profit. Kroenke meanwhile has been running sports teams for a while, and he stays in it for the long run. Of the two, I’d definitely prefer Kroenke. Which admittedly, isn’t a ringing endorsement of him.

  4. Shard says:

    Slightly on a tangent. I find it unlikely that a billionaire who wants to win throug spending a billion pounds on transfers and wages will look to buy any of the bigger clubs. Why spend another billion just to acquire a club and then spend another half a billion on top, when you could buy a smaller club for peanuts and turn them around. This is what the two most succesful examples of the sugar daddy model have done.

    Of course, ManU and the LBO provide an akternative, but it required the existing owners wanting to sell rather than being made an offer which was too good to refuse.

    The other reason I can think of is to acquire real estate, with the club just an extension, rather than the main asset.

  5. stevepalmer1 says:

    Thank you for your comment 78,
    I do think you are missing the point i was trying to make. We are owned by two different people, one an American Entrepreneur who is not i feel a football fan. He has made fortune by sporting clubs. As far as i know, none have been that successful. They make a living and offer people work and of course make profit, The man is a businessman and looks to make a profit on his investment.

    The other owner is an Oligarch who i feel is looking for a safe haven, i could be wrong as i am not an expert in such things. He is a man who has a shed load of money, Who has made it known that he is prepared to spend vast amounts of money to better Arsenals players. But of course he wants to be more involved with the running of the club than he is now.

    Both these men have their reasons for owning a piece of Arsenal football club, but from what i have seen, are not that interested to spend the vast amounts to be overhaul Champions.

    There we have the dilemma, Kroenke shows out that he is happy with how Arsenal are progressing, He seems to be prepared for others to do the everyday duties as long as the club make profits, while Usmanov is only prepared to invest his billions should he have more say in everything Arsenal.

    Of course we still have other investors, shareholders who are happy to leave their shares in, and know that their investments are safe. We all know that should they want to sell their investment, there are those that would buy their shares at a very reasonable profit.

    Supporters want the Holy Grail, in football terms Premier league trophy, and Champions League. Anything else to them is meaningless.

    Our inverters are only concerned with making money, they realise that you have to replace to be kept around the top and qualify for moneymaking competitions, they have managed their fund very well as we have done that for close on two decades.

    The amount we have spent against some of the other top clubs is not really comparable but our profits are still up with the very best. They are only interested in the profits and spending vast amounts of money for an iffy massive investment does not really way up the risk so thats why they keep with the plan they have its tried and tested.

    Of course i may have it all wrong, but if i have why have we not brought when most feel its imperative.

  6. goonerjake says:

    Good rant! Should you ever expect or demand your club to buy new players just because you have paid money for say a ticket, a shirt, a membership etc.

    You have received something for all those things. Is wanting more greedy? Unrealistic? I don’t know. I will have to think more about it and listen to the considered view of others.

    But one thing I am sure of is the owners of our club first and foremost want to make money for their time and investment. Are they being greedy?

  7. RC78 says:

    SP1 – I see your point…I was just trying to bring the supproters’ perspective as well…

    On the way our club is run:

    – I like Kroenke’s method and I think that it is mostly correct. However, to be competitive and to grow revenues and investments, the club must also spend on its major assets- its players. Of course, you do that within reason because the club must be financially self-sufficient and ran in an effective and sustainable manner. That said, our club is doing well financially and we can always sell a valued asset (for example Cazorla) whose value will decrease because of his age to finance some purchases…For example – sell Cazorla andbuy Schnederlin…

    – Usmanov – we do not know how he will run the club but if he wants to be another Sheikh, it will be a bit against our principles so I am all open for an injection of cash if needed for certain transfers but not to go all out like City and Man Utd to over pay for a player…

  8. RC78 says:

    Click to access gun__1425375743_Arsenal_Holdings_plc_Interim_A.pdf

    You can check everything on line for our accounts

  9. Hi Steve, I’m not sure about your final comment,

    “This last transfer window seemed like one of those occasions, but it seems that the money holders felt that the last three signings were enough investment for the time being”.

    From all that he has said over the past several months, Wenger, and thus by definition the club, was prepared to spend money if “by doing so he would improve the squad”. We just have to accept that the players available for purchase were not of the calibre required.

    As to Usmanov’s ideas for raising money for the club, his preference was to create more shares and offer them for sale as a rights issue so existing share holders would have the opportunity to purchase them. This would of course have had the effect of watering down Kroenke’s holding and would, perhaps, have led to a take over..

    Usmanov also proposed that the club pay a dividend to share holders, an idea that Kroenke rejected out of hand.

  10. RA says:

    Well, I am not sure if this is a rant, but some fans do not understand that there is a quite distinct legal difference between owning shares in a public limited company that is permitted to offer its shares to the public on the Stock Exchange (such as Arsenal) which is a legal entity in its own right, and the quite separate personal assets of someone who might also be a shareholder.

    For example, if I owned 100 shares worth £1 each in a public limited company, and it went bust owing £1m – my liability would be limited to the value of the shares I owned in it – in this example £100.

    I may be personally worth £2m but I would not have to pay £1m to the creditors of the bankrupt company.

    There are strict rules that govern public limited companies, as laid down by the Companies Act, and also the rules of the Stock exchange.

    That is pretty straightforward.

    Now what if kroenke wanted to spend his own money buying a player how would this work?
    Would he give the company a loan to do so? What security would he have for his loan? What would be the interest rate and when would it be paid back to him. What would happen to the club if he became bored and wanted to move on, and decided to withdraw his loan money, especially if it made the company technically bankrupt?
    Hmmm – this might become tricky – now where are those statutory, Stock Exchange and UEFA rules……

    Perhaps the company could instead issue more shares to match the value of the player(s) they wanted to buy. Really?

    Kroenke currently owns roughly 70% of the Arsenal shares and Usmanov owns 30%. The club is valued at something around £1bn

    Depending on which director bought those new shares it could materially alter the relative ownership of the club.
    So, if the club wanted to buy players to the value of £250m and fund it by issuing shares, and Kroenke bought them all, that would increase his % of the total shares issued, and de facto reduce Usmanov’s share % from 30% by roughly a fifth.
    Or vice versa, if Usmanov bought them all the new shares his % of the issued shares would increase and Kroenke’s would reduce.

    Does anyone really think either of them would permit that?

    In the case of Chelsea, Abramovich owns the whole deal, so I understand he did at one time issue loans to finance the transfer activities of the club, but because of statutory, Stock Exchange and UEFA/FIFA rules involving FFP etc, he decided to convert the loans into share capital.

    I have deliberately kept this to basics and without quoting the rules and regs to prove a point.

    Nothing in life is ever straightforward, and to hear the clamour from some fans for a wealthy shareholder to ‘put his hand into his own pocket’ to buy players is to show a lack of knowledge as to the reality of such doing such a thing.

    it is odd that people who would be happy to earn £50,000 per annum themselves, are happy to ask someone else to spend £250m of their money, on players, as if it was Monopoly money, and that would take them 5,000 lifetimes to earn, if they did not pay tax, or 10,000 if they did.

    Life is a bitch. 😀

    No – not really a rant – just boring! 🙂

  11. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Steve. I agree with most of your sentiments. I am relatively relaxed about how Kroenke is running things and still feel he and AW will spend fairly big when the opportunity presents itself. I believe they were prepared to do so but the right opportunities were not quite forthcoming.

    Having said that I shared some of Herb’s views from yesterday but feel they are mostly only relevant from here on or at best from a year ago. Before this / these times I don’t think we had the financial ability to do anything more and still believe that AW had us punching above our weight. The one thing that did rankle me a bit was the constant references to “9 years without a trophy” or “9 years of failure”.

    AW’s record, as RA pointed out yesterday, is exemplary. I do however subscribe to Cockies theory on AW, that he put out ages ago, about the different phases of AW’s Arsenal career. It does seem to be that we are in the last phase which is that of being able to compete more financially with the best of them, although I recognise that we can’t necessarily fully go to the lengths that maybe 3-4 teams can.

    As such I agree with Herb’s opinion about our success matching our resources, but only really from this point. Personally I think that only the strikers position may prove to be the critical recruitment (or non-recruitment) area that will possibly dictate our EPL and ECL challenge or not this season.

    I have said before that I don’t feel currently that any failings are mostly down to not recruiting player x or z as many would, but are more to do with how we use and set-up with those players we already have. This has already cost us points this season IMO. This is where I feel AW needs to get things right, and quickly, and also the area that I have felt he mainly falls down in when things do go wrong.

    Well that and injuries at least.

  12. RA says:


    It seems we were on the same page, but I was still tippy typing as you posted your comment. 😀

  13. Shard says:

    Gooner B

    What would be your preferred way to set up/use our players?

    So far this season, no team in the PL has created more chances or taken more shots than us. I think that our problem really has been finishing. We’ve had good chances and not taken them. To me this suggets that the system is working, but the personnel are not. So far. But I expect the likes of Alexis, Giroud, Walcott and Ramsey to atleast get back to their form from last season, and in some cases, improve on it.

    By the way, it may have sounded like belligerence, but my question to you is borne out of genuine interest.

  14. LB says:


    Why would Cazorla leave when he is certainly on a very lucrative contract exactly where he is and furthermore where would he go? Outside of Real and Barça, and he is too old to stir interest from those two, there is no one in Spain who would be able to pay him anywhere near what he is earning with us.

    You may have meant Cazorla simply as an example but the hypothesis does not work using this Spaniard.

  15. GoonerB says:

    I suppose Shard this is one of those where I would say do the stats tell the true full story? They may highlight that a better striker is needed at the club granted, and I was one of those championing that.

    Despite the stats though I really haven’t been left with the general impression that we are carving teams open with absolute clear cut chances, so I would wonder what constitutes a “chance created” and also what is the quality of these many shots we have taken and from which positions are we taking the shots during our attacking build up play.

    Were they predominantly from dangerous positions, or were many shots borne from frustration from not finding our way through to more clear-cut chances?

    Personally I think if Ollie starts then we need pacey goal-scorers working off him both sides. This way we have the threat behind from his lay-offs to them or Ozil’s defence splitting passes. I also think this will stop the opposition playing a high defensive line which I feel largely neutralises Giroud’s threat.

    With a quicker striker up top we can maybe go a bit differently, but in short I really don’t agree with any of Ramsey, Ozil or Cazorla operating from a wide attacking position. I feel that more often than not our stale or disjointed performances are on the back of one of them playing this position coupled with Giroud playing as striker.

  16. RA says:

    I have the utmost respect for Wenger as a man and as a manager.

    That is not to say I think he is infallible in his decision making on a number of issues as he is a man just like ourselves – well maybe not Terry. 🙂

    — He has shown that he is prone to adding miniature players to our playing staff and when they get bowled over by the bigger boys he shows ‘mum-like’ qualities when he claims they are too rough.

    Get bigger lads, Arsene!

    — He is also the master of repeating the same mantra every summer, by assuring us he ‘will spend’ and then adding caveats ‘providing ……’ and these usually boil down to ‘availability’ what? like Kondogbia, Gonalons were etc; – or ‘the right quality’, what? like Stepanov was, or Denilson in their day; – or the ‘right price’ – well he has a point there, with the obscene money demanded for very average players, – or – ‘we have people behind the scenes who are scouring Europe to find suitable players – get them to move their asses then Arsene, and get out into Europe and find the players – not sit around playing cards behind the scenes.

    — He is far too diplomatic and needs to kick butt when he is asked leading questions clearly designed to catch him out – would the Chav Tart Maureen put up with it? would sir Smart Alex put up with it? No they would not – if the journos cannot give respect them tell them to f*ck off and don’t come back until they have learned some manners.

    — And, he is rumoured to have a floozy in Paris and ……. no wait – there’s nothing wrong with that! 🙂 Stout fellow, arsene!! 😀

  17. Shard says:

    Gooner B

    As I recall, the chances we’ve created have been very good ones accoeding to the stas. While I agree with you that we haven’t looked on top form I see that as a good sign. If we can have such a high chance creation rat while not playing well, we shoukd be doing a lot better soon.

    Also, I think the reason it doesn’t look like we’re carving apart teams is because we’re not scoring the first goal, whih would need the other team to come out a bit and leave space. Football stas are tough to interpret precisely because the game changes so radically with one goal, or one sending off. If we manage to score the opener, I reckon it’ll feel like we played a lot better even if we don’t score too many.

    As for Ramsey playinh wide, I think it is a conservative move, but partially is to compensate for Coquelin’s shortcomings. In the sensethat he can’t play through the lines like Arteta can. Ramsey can thus find spaces where he can be found by either Coquelin, or santi’s ball carrying skills.

    I don’t necessarily agree with the move, but I can kind of see the logic in it. Especially while the Ox hasn’t gained a sense of when not to dribble the ball.

  18. 2012 says:

    Hi all,

    Please excuse this interruption of Rant Friday: the news is just too hot not to share with you all.

    “Chelsea have confirmed goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will be out of action for a significant period as he requires knee surgery.”

    Confirmation on Chelsea FC site. Oh dearie me!

  19. 2012 says:

    Thanks for writing your rants, Steve. They, and the replies they invoke, are always good to read for perspectives.

  20. Redders, great minds and all that. 😀

  21. chas says:

    Thanks, Steve.
    I can’t really comment on the spending thing, though the ‘entitled to a £60m striker’ generation are alive, well and living amongst us. 🙂

    Courtois’ knee injury involved damage to the meniscus apparently. Having had both knee caps dislocated in the past, the news made me wince. My left knee has never been right ever since.
    The right knee has been fine which is a good job as my right ankle dislocates, too.

  22. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi Steve,

    thanks for your ‘Friday Rant’.

    So it’s your assumption that I want Arsenal to spend Messi and Ronaldo type money. That’s how you interpreted my ‘post’?

    It was more about the philosophy and ambition of the club, and how dramatically that changed after WWII, with new owners, and how Stan Kroenke has steadfastly stuck with the same principles.
    Essentially, Henry Norris’ Arsenal v Hill-Wood’s & Bracewell-Smith’s.

    It’s far too easy to use money as an argument, and it is a bit disingenuous launching an attack on me if you haven’t fully understood the point my e-mail was making.

    The closest I’ve seen to Arsenal’s 1930’s dominance is Liverpool’s dominance during the 1970’s/80’s. That wasn’t achieved through some massive financial advantage, it was achieved through hard-work, efficiency, intelligence and a certain amount of bravery in keeping faith with the vision that Shankly laid out. It’s what Liverpool have been desperately trying to get back since 1990.

    Personally, I think Arsenal are far too cautious, and it prevents them from being what we all know they have the potential to be, but that doesn’t mean spending ridiculous sums of money. We really should have better cover for Coquelin than Arteta and Flamini, and wouldn’t we have looked stronger with either Dzeko or Carlos Bacca as part of our striking options?

    We could really mount a serious title challenge with the right numbers and a few minor tweaks, but as bullish as we are with our support, we know deep down our season will play out pretty much like every other season at The Emirates. We finish 3rd/4th, and exit the CL at the Round of 16.

    Here’s a question for you, Steve. Do you think Carlo Ancelotti would win the PL and CL at Arsenal?

  23. mickydidit89 says:

    So angry I can hardly type

    “Couldn’t find better than we have”

    Are you having a fekin’ laugh Arsenal?

  24. mickydidit89 says:

    “the ‘entitled to a £60m striker’ generation are alive, well and living amongst us”

    Too bloody right we are 🙂

  25. mickydidit89 says:

    Seriously, it cannot be difficult.

    Footballers are not loyal, and their agents are the weak link. Bung the slippery wide boy a big enough envelope, and they’ll soon convince some thick orangutan his future is at Arsenal

    Jeepers 🙄

  26. Eddie says:

    You crazy Didit 🙂 🙂

    Poor Thibout, that must be painful. I hope cech sends him a get well for next season card. Jose has a perfect excuse now

    Phew, looks like it’s going to be between us and city this season. If we had a striker…..

  27. Eddie says:

    No, Ollie is not a striker

  28. mickydidit89 says:

    The blood boils, Herb.
    Last chance saloon is where they are and I demand two goals tomorrow or else 😄

  29. stevepalmer1 says:

    May i apologise to all my internet connection failed, after posting my last comment, not knowing if it went through or not, i Rang Virgin and apparently they had a fault and said i would get it back for seven tonight so i wasn’t best pleased, its back now.

    I have looked through the comments and as usual have learned a lot through some very informative comments.

    Herb No malice intended mate, i did read your post again and i have to say it still got my nose a bit, not your fault as i was only a secondary modern school goer and am not that bright.

    One of the things i have done since i started blogging on this site, is to try and take in other peoples views without predudice, but i sometimes jump the gun a bit and the mind starts working and i get a bit touchy. I tried to explain on the end of the last post but i am not to good on going back on what i have said.

    You did make some good points but in my eyes i could feel a little resentment there somewhere, as i said i am no brainbox like some of these guys on here, some act like clowns but i feel that some of these guys have another side, mostly for the good of Arsenal. I believe you are the same but your views can get the hairs on the back of my neck standing up thats all.

    Your question on whether another Manager could step in now and win us the league and Champions league is a bit of a loaded question, some one has to win both of them and it could be Wenger. The odds are against Wenger, because of our history but anything is possible.

  30. Herb'sArmy says:

    History is on our side, Micky, we usually smash Stoke at home, it’s at The Brittania we struggle.
    I wonder how Giroud is coping with being boo-ed off by the French.
    Maybe Walcott or Sanchez up front?

  31. Eddie says:

    Ollie was booed?????

  32. Herb'sArmy says:

    Sorry Steve, I’ll re-phrase the question – (by the way, I did mean specifically Ancelotti).
    Do you think Ancelotti could win the CL with Arsenal?
    I have no doubt that someone like Ancelotti would revolutionise Arsenal, and if he was given three years he would deliver a PL title and a CL, though not necessarily in the same year.

  33. stevepalmer1 says:

    To be quite honest Herb, Anchelotti could possibly do many things, but for a start he would have to change things at Arsenal. Do i think he could do that NO, Kroenke took over at Arsenal and i believe he needed to trust in somebody. Yes it was a good Investment, but could he spend the time doing the things that need doing, and i think he needed Wenger.

    Wengers record was enough to tell him the right man was in place, he knew Wenger had agree’d not to spend he also knew that Wenger was committed long term, the way i see things wenger has probably to much say but when your an owner you need time to keep an eye on your other investments.

    Wenger has been true to his word, our new build went smoothly and Wenger has in my eyes balanced the books with his buys and his sales.

    For Anchelotti to get that freedom would take longer that the years you are suggesting, he would obviously have new idea’s but would the players take to him, the supporters also could make his time here very hard. He would still have his hands tied as far as spending so would have to work a lot with what we have.

    Anchelotti is no better than other Managers i have seen so no i dont think he could do that in the length of time you give him, or even longer.

  34. Herb'sArmy says:

    Fair enough Steve, we’ll have to agree to differ.
    Ancelotti is a three times CL winner, so he’s better than most. He sold us Ozil and won CL.
    Again you go back to money and book balancing, but what about tactical ability when setting your team up?
    We’re still looking for a proper Vieira-Petit replacement after all this time, and the left wing hasn’t been sorted out since Robert Pires left in the summer of 2006. That has nothing to do with money.

  35. stevepalmer1 says:

    Herb, to be quite honest mate the past is the past, the war was a long time ago and i think you dwell a bit to much on the past.

    Arsenal is present day. Viera and Petit are long gone along with many other greats and i feel at time that supporters keep on saying we need this and we need that referring to players who were yesteryear.

    Times change and clubs change, and by Christ we have seen the changes. Most supporters still say Highbury was the place, and we should still be there. they of course have their opinion but we needed the move to go on to greater things. Wenger may never do the things we want him to do but i have no doubts that his succesor will have whats needed to help him achieve it.

    Our move and the oligarchs and sheiks seemed to happen at the same time had we not have had that happen we may well have a cabinet of silverware, But that’s the modern game, whoever expected tv to be a major sponsor of football, or Arab signs in many stadiums and on the front of the Arsenal shirt, your old Etonians would quake in their boots today.

    Arsenal the modern Arsenal, are doing their best to cling on to the shirtails of clubs that were nothing clubs ten years ago but are now the biggest in England, You moan about me talking money, but thats what put them there. I have no doubts that what Arsenal did when they moved was to put The Arsenal at the top of the tree, and i believe we would be there now had money not been a factor.

    I agree Wenger may not be the the greatest tactical man but he has still kept us in touch with his style of play. Now for me i like that kind of play i would like a finish at the end of it but that will come i am sure of it.

  36. GoonerB says:

    Sorry Shard, buggered orf for a bit. I do that you know. I fully agree about a problem in not scoring that first goal when we are in the ascendancy, in fact I have made that very point myself already this season.

    As for Le Coq’s deficiencies. I think his passing range and accuracy has been steadily improving to an impressive level. I am not too sure I see how it may hamper us. Further if there was any deficiency I can’t see how Ramsey offers a solution to nullify this beyond what AOC or Walcott would, but as I enjoy a bit of tactical bollix I am intrigued by what this concept means. 🙂

  37. GoonerB says:

    Looking at the Herb and Steve debate with interest. As I said earlier Herb I agree with some of your sentiments but I am not sure Ancelotti could just walk in and do better than AW currently. I rate him as a manager and think he should be a serious consideration when AW does step down but what he has won and when could also be down to other many variable factors like what kind of team he had and the year in which it happened.

    Also you say we are still looking for a Vieira / Petit replacement but to me they were different players. I saw Petit as more a holding midfielder and Vieira as a box to box DM.

    Also the left wing not sorted out? I thought Sanchez was making a decent fist of it.

  38. RA says:


    Sorry – but I just realised that I did not compliment you on your rant – so I do it now. Well done sir! 😉

    And what is more I have just seen England, my second home, come back from 0 ; 2 down in the ODI cricket series to 2 : 2 and all to play for on Sunday in the series finale.

    Excellent stuff. 🙂

  39. stevepalmer1 says:

    Cheers RA, I should thank you mate, as you inform me of many things related to the Arsenal that i never knew, and most of the time you don’t even know it 🙂

  40. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi GoonerB

    I was more referring to the dynamic they brought to central midfield rather than their tactical descriptions. I could have mentioned Gilberto. We haven’t had a real midfield ‘bully’ since moving to The Emirates. Coincidence? Possibly.

    Isn’t Sanchez predominantly a right winger?

  41. RA says:

    There you are Herb, what I told you all that time ago is true — you might have fixed ideas on Arsenal and Wenger but there are those on here who either agree with you, like GoonerB, or are prepared to talk to you without rancour — and I was right.

    Welcome back to the party. 🙂

    A last point for you to consider – no one on here, even JC, was alive to see the Chapman era, and he was definitely a visionary man, but it is history, a noble history, but it is gone – best leave it there, or someone will tell us Henry V111 was the best striker ever! 🙂

  42. RA says:

    Thanx, Steve, and I like your style too. 🙂

    Are you the same Steve who posted on Bergkampesque?
    I have just been catching up on the cut and thrust on there that I missed! 🙂

  43. GoonerB says:

    I think Sanchez has played from both flanks but seems to have nailed down the left flank cutting in on his right foot role ala Pires.

    I do get the Gilberto, Vieira, Petit argument but we seemed to improve immeasurably in the 2nd half of last season to he point that we were the best team in the EPl from January. This started after Le Coq’s introduction and the move of Santi in beside him so I would also ask, coincidence? Poor midfield dynamic?

  44. I haven’t had time to read through all the comments, has anyone offered to write us a pre-match for tomorrow?

  45. Not yet Peaches, so feel free to go ahead, I for one will look forward to reading it. 😀

  46. RA says:


    Interesting that you are comparing the players from 10years ago with their current counterparts and saying we have not replaced players like Vieira, Gilberto and so on.

    For myself, I looked back on the players in the Chapman era and got quite cranky that we have not replaced Joe Hulme, Tom Parker, Herbie Roberts, Eddie Hapgood, David Jack, Alex James, and Cliff Bastin.

    I am sure you will agree with me that is a disgrace, especially after we broke the world transfer record by paying c £11,000 for David Jack from Bolton.

    OK, I may have amalgamated players from slightly different years – as you would know – but it proves my point, don’t you think? 🙂

    When will Arsene ever learn, eh? 😀

  47. Now you know that’s not what I meant NG 🙂 Don’t anyone take any notice of that comment!

  48. chas says:

    C’mon Everybody.
    We know we can’t replace Vieira and Petit.
    They were part of a double tandem in the middle of a 4 in a 4-4-2.
    The world has moved on and 4-4-2 doesn’t work against a 4-3-3.
    Everybody knows that. 🙂

  49. chas says:

    Here’s what £60m would have bought us.
    Top picking.

  50. chas says:

    If it wasn’t for the reasons that…..

    PSG didn’t want to sell
    Cavani didn’t want to come to the Goons
    he looks like a ladyboy

    and this

  51. chas says:

    A pre-match from you would be superb.
    Nothing in depth, just your feelings about a match you are about to attend. 🙂

  52. Herb'sArmy says:

    Point taken on Sanchez, GoonerB.

    As for the new pivot of Coquelin and Cazorla, it was discovered accidently because of our never-ending injuries. It has yet to manifest itself into a title-challenging midfield though, so only time will tell if it’s good enough.

    The best team in the PL after January? Did it count for anything? We still went out of the first knock-out phase of CL against the ‘weakest’ side.
    If only that were the case twelve months earlier when we were top at the end of January. Both seasons had similar endings, as has been the case for how many years now?

    RA – Hi, hope you’re well.

    Your question is a valid one: ‘When will Arsene ever learn?’ Naturally it depends on the context, but winning an F1 race in a Skoda will never happen.
    Constantly leaving the squad a couple of players short seriously handicaps the club’s chances of success.
    Yet he does this every season without fail. I defer back to your question.

  53. GoonerB says:

    Evening Ra. You may just need to read back on the comments between myself and Herb to decipher who was suggesting we had not replaced certain players and who was countering that argument with a different perspective. Anyhows, how are you my giant North American comrade? I trust you are faring well?

  54. GoonerB says:

    I do get that point Herb and we will have to wait to find out but in the last 8 months there has been very little to suggest that the Santi Coq partnership is inferior to anything else out there and there is no guarantee that any names flung into the mix as potential recruits will improve upon this partnership. I am not so sure this is the area we are currently weak in. The striker position still remains the biggest question mark for me.

  55. Gööner In Exile says:

    Evening all, what a shit week of work!!!

    So to arrive here and see we are back on a bit of a “done to death” discussion is not what I need to see.

    I am an Arsenal supporter, like my Dad, and my brother and hopefully my sons if I keep up the effort.

    That’s all I want from my club a team to support, I couldn’t give a flying fig what division we played in, whether we won things or not, I would still go to games, because I want to meet fellow Gooners, who have supported for long enough who enjoy the highs and commiserate the lows but rarely question why they bother…..because the thing is there is only one thing a ticket to the game or paying money at the turnstiles ever promises, the ability to see the game live and sit with many others wanting the same thing as you.

    That’s football, from a fans/supporters point of view, what the club do with that money is up to them, they spend the majority of it on making our lives as fans more enjoyable, very little is wasted. That’s fine by me.

    And the worst thing I have heard all week is criticism at AW for apparently lying about Welbecks injury before the transfer window.

    Think of it like this:

    I am in the desert the only water I have is contaminated and I come across a water salesman. Would I tell him why I need more water before I ask the price? Your damn right I won’t! Why would anyone expect the club to be open about Welbecks injury when we were trying to sign a striker? Well I suppose it would have meant we had paid big money and that would have pleased sone fans.

    Until tomorrow friends when we can get back to doing what we do best “supporting” The Arsenal.

  56. A great day of sport in prospect tomorrow, the Tour of Britain is coming through my village and the summit of the hill by the church has been designated a mountain stage. The height above sea level is about thirty metres. Hardly Mont Ventoux of Tour de France fame but at least I can say that I’ve ridden a tour mountain stage. 😀

  57. Gööner In Exile says:

    HaHa NG, it’s as slow steady climb though 🙂

    It’s a great route I’m a bit disappointed it’s missing us as it would have been good to go and see, but we have our only free weekend in September so will be using it to do all the things round the house that need sorting.

  58. Some fluffy pussy to start matchday… 😀

  59. RA says:


    My comments @ 1:11 and 7:03 were meant to contain some levity, and the one to your goodself @ 7:44 was very tongue in cheek, by implying that Wenger had not yet satisfactorily replaced players from 90 years ago, including a world record signing for £10,800 when we were the wealthy bully boys of that era.

    It was an attempt to move the conversation forward onto another topic.

    Having to explain that means I failed!! 😦

  60. RA says:

    Hi NB,

    I see that Eddie is till refusing your blandishments! 🙂

  61. chas says:

  62. Hi Redders,

    I see you’re still having to explain your failed ambiguous attempts to change the subject 🙂

    Don’t worry about Eddie… she knows a nice fluffy pussy when she sees one 😀

  63. mickydidit89 says:

    Oi Chas
    Your 8:19 What they earn

    Cavani 160k a week
    Theo 140k a week

    Of course we could afford him. Oh and wait, we paid Henry 200k!!

  64. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh Exile
    Don’t dis da doomers. Just because you’d be happy to watch Wimbledon ’80s style crap

  65. chas says:

    Ah, so you’re not denying that
    PSG didn’t want to sell,
    he didn’t want to come to us
    and that he looks like a ladyboy. 🙂

  66. chas says:

    That paying Henry 200k in his last season with us was a fecking great decision, wasn’t it?

  67. chas says:

    He was worth maybe 200k for the whole season.

  68. mickydidit89 says:

    Ha ha true

    Now, back to Cavani. Bet we never tried. You know, like properly.

    I just slept for 10 hours, and I’m now bouncing. Might make jam 🙂

  69. chas says:

    I have some damson and strawberry jam freshly made by my ex-landlady. Bloody lovely.

    I also have some blackberries fermenting in a brewing bucket to make wine. God, it stinks. Should be lovely.

  70. chas says:

    That should have read damson jam and strawberry jam – it isn’t mixed.

  71. chas says:

  72. mickydidit89 says:

    Years ago I moved into a place and found a gallon each of beetrrot and plum wine. No idea how old they were as at the bottom of a dusty shed, but both tasted like smooth as silk port

  73. mickydidit89 says:


    Shouldn’t you be heading off?

  74. chas says:

    10am pick up.
    Should be at the pub in time for Everton v chavs at 12.45 with a fair wind.

  75. Rasp says:

    Morning all …..

    …. New post ……

  76. chas says:

    Right, see anyone that’s going in the Kings head, maybe.

    Cmon you Gunners!

  77. Ant says:

    That 9.40am clip is how I imagine Micky would be as a Manager!

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