Money Can’t Buy You Love (or Silverware)

Following our recent disappointments the blogs have been awash with requests for Arsenal to spend money – big money, in summer. Apparently, it was our lack of spending in 2015 that has led to our current situation.

Some blame Kroenke for not investing into the team; calling for him to sell his shares to Jabba the Hut who will buy Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar, Pogba etc etc and thereby bring back the glory days.

Perhaps, but let’s look elsewhere to see if this is true.

I will start in Spain and at the second biggest club in world football, Real Madrid. Note I wrote second. RM spend on a massive scale, they have the two most expensive players in history and have spent hundreds of millions on their squad.

RM won what in 2015? I will tell you … nothing. Zip. De Nada. Rien.

Let’s come closer to home and look at the Premier League.

Nett biggest spenders … MC, MU, Chavs, L’pool. How are these 4 clubs faring this season? As of today, they are all behind the mighty Gunners.

Arsenal have spent €250m less than MU,CFC and MC over the last 5 seasons and €140m less than Liverpool.

To be fair, MC and CFC have won stuff but MU and L’pool, despite huge investment haven’t and are unlikely to in the near future. For them money has not been able to buy silverware.

Mr Wenger has often talked about financial doping  and it’s negative effect. Just look at France and Italy. Their leagues are ruined by the massive spending power of the two main clubs, PSG and Juventus.

I am definitely not saying that Arsenal do not need to buy players, we clearly do but let’s be realistic – throwing money at the team is only part of the project to take us to success.

In my opinion some tweaking, a couple of quality signings and good fortune with injuries will see us dominate the PL for many years top come.

Written by Big Raddy



117 Responses to Money Can’t Buy You Love (or Silverware)

  1. Big Raddy says:

    First off, an apology.

    This post was written in haste and straight after the Swansea game.
    Not a post I am proud of but at least it opens a discussion 😦

    Re-reading it, I am surprised by my positivity following a horrible result.

  2. we’re not asking mr wenger to spend recklessly; but there has to be a happy medium between his current ways and what you describe above. had he been successful in getting suarez or higuain, i feel we would be leading this year. by (trying and ) failing to get a world-class striker (and a backup to coq) we lost points when coq got injured, and we lost points when our current striker posse was ineffective.

  3. John Gee says:

    I agree with your comments, for the most part. However, a clear out is needed. AW must accept that too many players are not up yo the mark, and have been given amply opportunity.

  4. kelsey says:


    accepted that this post was written after the Swansea game but our home crowd in some sections is becoming frustrated and toxic and that will continue to happen unless we string a decent set of results together.

    Do our fans fear coming below Spurs, or even worse Spurs winning the league, or not qualyfing for CL next year, or all the options..

    We don’t need tweaks we have a major overhaul starting this Summer and that will take a number of seasons and money to get us back on course in coming seasons.

    Of course theoretically we can still win the league but IMO we are just as likely to finish out of the top 4.

    There are no easy games left,just look at the bankers we have lost already this season.

    Regardless were we finish we need a new man at the helm for next season and if things do go pear shaped it will be the paying fans that drive him out.

    Any business has to have a long term strategy and that includes “sick leave” for important personel, replacing quality players who are retiring,not experimenting with kids

    . We aren’t doing very well on that front,I am afraid.

  5. pseudo says:

    Wenger needs to spend some money and get rid of some deadwood…. we have no chance of winning the PL or the CL as things stand. You say spending money guarentees nothing ie: Real but to do nothing is worse. We have players who are not improving and are actually adding to our problems…. get rid of them, get new players in and see what happens.

    The first season since 2005 where we’ve had a chance to win the PL and what happens….. our players are not up for it, load of freeloaders.

  6. Big Raddy says:

    kelsey. No, no and no. I do not agree with you at all.

    You call yourself a realist but do you really believe AFC are going to change root and branch? They will not.

    As to sick leave – is this possible?

    Experimenting? One word – Bellerin. Another – Coquelin.

    Replacements? TR, Flamini and MA on their way out. We have already signed Elneny, expect more.

    Of course we fear the Spurs situation but nothing lasts forever and that includes St Totteringham Day though I still think we will finish ahead of them.

    Toxic? Does that make them right? Millions of people are voting for Trump and will for Brexit 🙂

    “Of course theoretically we can still win the league but IMO we are just as likely to finish out of the top 4.” So that makes it 50/50. I will take those odds. I bet you a smoked fish that we finish top 4 😀

  7. Good post, Big Raddy.
    Positivity is not a dirty word. I’m positive.

    Leicester will win only 4 of their remaining games.
    Arsenal will not lose a game, winning all but one.
    Liverpool will go unbeaten in all of their 10 remaining games..

    TABLE TODAY – 7th March 2016
    Leicester … 60 pts
    Pretenders … 55 pts
    Arsenal … 52 pts
    Man City …50 pts
    West Ham …49 pts
    Man Utd … 47 pts
    Liverpool …44 pts

    LEICESTER – 5 home, 4 away (nine games)
    Leicester v Newcastle – W
    Crystal Palace v Leicester – D
    Leicester v Southampton – W
    Sunderland v Leicester – W
    Leicester v West Ham – D
    Leicester v Swansea – W
    Man Utd v Leicester – L
    Leicester v Everton – D
    Chelsea v Leicester – L
    = 15 pts

    TOTTENHAM – 4 home, 5 away (nine games)
    Aston Villa v Tottenham – W
    Tottenham v Bournemouth – W
    Liverpool v Tottenham – L
    Tottenham v Man Utd – D
    Stoke v Tottenham – D
    Tottenham v West Brom – W
    Chelsea v Tottenham – L
    Tottenham v Southampton – W
    Newcastle v Tottenham – W
    = 17 pts

    ARSENAL – 5 home, 4 away (nine games)
    Arsenal v West Brom – W
    Everton v Arsenal – W
    Arsenal v Watford – W
    West Ham v Arsenal – W
    Arsenal v Crystal Palace – W
    Sunderland v Arsenal – W
    Arsenal v Norwich – W
    Man City v Arsenal – D
    Arsenal v Aston Villa – W
    = 25 pts

    MAN CITY – 4 home, 6 away (ten games)
    Norwich v Man City – W
    Man City v Man Utd – W
    Bournemouth v Man City – W
    Man City v West Brom – W
    Chelsea v Man City – L
    Man City v Stoke – W
    Southampton v Man City – D
    Man City v Arsenal – D
    Swansea v Man City – W
    Newcastle v Man City (date to be confirmed) – W
    = 23 pts

    WEST HAM – 5 home, 4 away (9 games)
    Chelsea v West Ham – L
    West Ham v Crystal Palace – W
    West Ham v Arsenal – L
    Leicester v West Ham – D
    West Brom v West Ham – D
    West Ham v Swansea – W
    Stoke v West Ham – D
    West Ham v Watford (date to be confirmed) – W
    West Ham v Man Utd (date to be confirmed) – D
    = 13 pts

    MAN UTD – 5 home, 4 away (9 games)
    Man City v Man Utd – L
    Man Utd v Everton – D
    Tottenham v Man Utd – D
    Man Utd v Aston Villa – W
    Man Utd v Leicester – W
    Norwich v Man Utd – W
    Man Utd v Bournemouth – W
    Man Utd v Crystal Palace (date to be confirmed) – W
    West Ham v Man Utd (date to be confirmed) – D
    = 18 pts

    LIVERPOOL – 6 home, 4 away (10 games)
    Southampton v Liverpool – D
    Liverpool v Tottenham – W
    Liverpool v Stoke – W
    Bournemouth v Liverpool – W
    Liverpool v Newcastle – W
    Swansea v Liverpool – W
    Liverpool v Watford – W
    West Brom v Liverpool – D
    Liverpool v Chelsea (date to be confirmed) – D
    Liverpool v Everton (date to be confirmed) – D
    = 22 pts

    1. Arsenal … 77 pts
    2. Leicester … 75 pts
    3. Man City … 73 pts
    4. Pretenders … 72 pts
    5. Liverpool … 66 pts
    6. Man Utd … 65 pts
    7. West Ham … 62 pts

    Hi Kelsey. Nice to see you’re still posting.
    Keep up the (usual) good work.

  8. Big Raddy says:

    Big Al. Been a long absence, – great to see you on AA. Hope all is good in KS.

  9. Big Raddy says:

    It is my birthday today so I have the right to be positive.

  10. Rasp says:

    Many Happy Returns Raddy …. may all your predictions come true 😀

  11. LB says:

    I think it comes down to one view, you either believe that if a world class player wanted to come to THOF that Wenger and the board would do everything they could to get him or you don’t.

    I believe that Wenger and the board would spend whatever it took to sign a world class player who said he wanted to play for Arsenal.

    Do people really think that we could have persuaded Suarez to come to Arsenal which would have almost certainly meant that he give up the opportunity to play for Barcelona. Just imagine the situation of Suarez in his home town in Uruguay? Do you think he would get more kudos from playing for Arsenal or from playing for the “Spanish” speaking club Barcelona whose every single game is shown in every single bar throughout his home country.

  12. LB says:

    I know this is a real pedant comment but “De nada” means you are welcome “nada” means nothing.

    Thanks for the read BR

  13. Big Raddy says:

    LB 😀 Thank you. Next time I will use Niente.

  14. fatgingergooner says:

    The more clubs that have money, the less important it becomes. We are already starting to see ‘lesser’ clubs buying very talented footballers who previously might have been out of their reach (Payet, Rondon, Lukaku, Shaqiri, Bojan etc) and that’s only going to continue with even more revenue coming in to the PL next season. We are also seeing the lesser clubs able to hold on to their sought after talent (Berahino, Stones) and not have to take the money from the bigger sides.

    Another aspect is I think coaching, scouting and youth players are going to become more important in the near future as there seems to be less talent at the very top of the game with some clubs able to hoard talent (Chelsea loan players) and also the need to have 25 world class players in your squad rather than 15. We have seen with Leicester and Spurs what coaching and good scouting can do. Maybe they will drop off next season when the demand of CL football hits home, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a few other ‘lesser’ teams start to sneak into the top 4 in future seasons.

    Spending money wisely is the answer, but that’s not easily done.

  15. Rasp says:

    I agree with FGG. Spending gazillions on players does not guarantee success.

    Failing to spend wisely to improve the squad will damage our chances of success – because now every club in the EPL will be doing exactly that.

    There is a critical point where a manager has to choose between encouraging a player we already have and extracting every drop of performance and deciding, this is not working, I need to find a better player for this position.

    Arsene could not have handled the ‘austerity years’ better IMO. The jury is out on how he is doing now there is money becoming available. Top marks from me for Ozil, Sanchez and Elneny, I now want to see key reinforcements arriving in the summer.

  16. fatgingergooner says:

    Man United

    Fellaini £27.5m
    Mata £37.1m
    Blind £13.8m
    Di Maria £59.7m
    Rojo £16m
    Shaw £27m
    Herrera £29m
    Martial £35m
    Schweinsteiger £6.5m
    Shneiderlin £24m
    Darmian £12.7m
    Depay £25m

    Spent £313.3m

    Man City

    Navas £22.9m
    Fernandinho £30m
    Negredo £20.6m
    Jovetic £25.8m
    Bony £28m
    Mangala £40m
    Caballero £6m
    Fernando £12m
    De Bruyne £55m
    Otamendi £32m
    Delph £8m
    Roberts £11m
    Sterling £44m

    Spent 335.3m
    Premier League 13/14
    League Cup 13/14


    Schurlle £18m
    Van Ginkel £8m
    Willian £30m
    Matic £21m
    Salah £11m
    Zouma £12.5m
    Cuadrado £27m
    Remy £10.5m
    Luis £15.8m
    Costa £32m
    Fabregas £30m
    Kenedy £6.3m
    Pedro £21.4m
    Rahman £17.6m
    Begovic £8m

    Spent £269.1m
    Premier League 14/15
    League Cup 14/15


    Sakho £18m
    Ilori £7m
    Mignolet £10m
    Aspas £7m
    Alberto £6.8m
    Balotelli £16m
    Moreno £12m
    Origi £10m
    Lovren £20m
    Markovic £20m
    Lallana £25m
    Can £10m
    Benteke £32.5m
    Clyne £12.5m
    Firmino £29m

    Spent £235.8m


    Özil £42.5m
    Gabriel £11.2m
    Welbeck £16m
    Chambers £16m
    Sanchez £35m
    Debuchy £12m
    Cech £10m
    Elneny £5m

    Spent £147.7m
    FA Cup 13/14
    FA Cup 14/15

    Here’s a list of major signings from the ‘big clubs’ in the last 3 seasons and what they have won on the back of it. Make of it what you will, but the thing that stands out to me is just what a minefield the transfer market is! Some very expensive flops in there who I would’ve been delighted had they joined Arsenal at the time they moved. Would they have been flops with us? I don’t know, but it just shows how difficult it is to spend money wisely. It also shows how much more we would need to spend just to be on par with City, United and Chelsea. Even the alleged £130m in the bank wouldn’t bring us close to them. With new managers due in at at least 2 of these clubs, and Klopp only just joining, you can guarantee the spending is only going to go up this summer too. So you could easily be looking at us needing to spend an extra £75m-£100m just to compete on the spending front.

  17. pseudo says:

    That Big Al is on something I want… where can I buy it?

    Thinks we’ll win 8 out of our last 9 games…. cuckoo,+ cloud, + land, I would bet a wet fish we don’t do that…

  18. fatgingergooner says:

    That was £75m-£100m per season.

  19. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Raddy. You already know that I think we have a very talented squad that we have been utilising incorrectly, which for me is the main reason for our under-achievement and why we are not better than what we are this season. The strength of this squad is down to Wenger but I am uncertain whether he can add the finishing touches to his own project.

    I actually think we also have a training and development issue within the club currently when it comes to us developing our highly promising young players. I feel we are somewhat selling certain players, like the Ox for instance, short. This is leading to fans calling for him to be loaned or sold (among others), but I am looking more at the club and how we are developing and playing them in the first instance.

    If I started to develop stronger feelings that Wenger needed to be replaced, it would be because of these reasons as oppose to the spending argument.

    This is why I would disagree with Kelsey and John Gee that major overhauls and clear-outs are needed, although I do agree that we need to buy in a certain way. I agree with Raddy in that sense that we need a tweak and a couple of additions, although he is likely to disagree with what I would do next.

    You see I would actually go full on (Madrid style) Galactico and blow £80m odd on the right player. Firstly because this should guarantee you a player that can make a huge difference. Secondly because it sends a statement to the watching world of other top footballers, sponsors, our worldy’s that are yet to extend their contracts (Ozil and Sanchez), that Arsenal are moving upwards. This is the place to be.

    I do somewhat think that our image for the top players and sponsors is somewhat unambitious. When we talk about the getting a top player and that the player has to actually want to come to us, then I wonder whether we are portraying the right image.

    I do worry about Ozil and Sanchez, and when I mentioned this a week or two back it seemed to create great consternation. I don’t see how it is beyond the realms of possibility that they will be having second thoughts. That the vision about where the club was heading is not the one they see being played out in front of them.

    If we lose those two it will become even harder to replace with top players as they just will not regard us as a viable option.

    I am unsure about the striker position until I see Danny have more time there, and I seriously hope we finish this season with him as first choice. Then we will know.

    There is one glaring position that I would recruit for that I believe would automatically shift us up 2 levels with the right player, and that is the attacking right side.

    My £80m or so would go on persuading Gareth Bale to come to THOF. Imagine an attacking 3 of him, Ozil and Sanchez all behind the right striker (could be Danny). I think we move up 2-3 levels already and I bet that gets Ozil and Sanchez signing on the dotted line as well. I bet it also starts to pay for itself immediately with better sponsorship deals and merchandising.

    I don’t think it is beyond the realms of possibility either. I actually believe Madrid would consider it. I think Bale as a home grown lad would as well. He is a childhood Arsenal fan. Rambo is here and he knows he would be joining a highly talented squad. Also imagine the little faces of the miscreants from down the road 🙂

    It would be out of character and not something we could do every year, nor should we. It does however make perfect sense to me in both the playing front and the commercial and club image aspect.

  20. LB says:

    Very impressive comments today Slim.

  21. Shard says:

    Happy Birthday Raddy!

    I’ll never understand why people believe Usmanov will be an Abramovich type owner. He’s never said he will spend his own money. In fact he’s refused to say that even when asked directly, and the only ‘vision document’ his R&W put out (as usual opportunistically) had exactly the same business plan as Arsenal already follow, mainly, increasing commercial income and having those funds boost the transfer budget. And if we look at the man, he’s made his fortune by investing in companies and then selling at a profit. Oh, and early on he also asked for dividends. The only Arsenal shareholder to do so. (Although Kroenke can now be accused of taking a de facto dividend)

    As to our cash on hand that causes such an uproar. It’s all about spending it wisely. If there are world class players available who want to come to Arsenal, we should be willing to pay for them. And the arrivals of Ozil, Alexis and Cech attest to that being the case. Having cash on hand would also give us an upper hand in case a player of that ilk suddenly became available.

    Maybe we should buy a few more players, and definitely this post season we should, but the cash on hand is not really a bad thing as long as it is helping us purchase players, which it is.

    I haven’t been on here because I couldn’t trust myself to be measured, but my biggest disappointment from the Swansea game was our supporters. That doesn’t excuse the players, and it is ultimately down to them. In some ways it is even more of an indictment of them. But I saw a team low on confidence, who as usual were on the receiving end of bad refereeing decisions, still try to play their way back into form and the lead…..until..the crowd abdicated their responsibility and started moaning and groaning at every back pass, and then booing the substitution and then everything (there were even boos at half time) I believe they cost the team points there.

    I thought the Spurs game would be a good game for us because we won’t have our own fans on our backs, because the team will not want to just lie down for them, and I was pleased with the fight we showed. Less happy about Coq’s silly decision and the subsequent panic. Also concerned about Gabriel’s clearances. Against ManU that led to their first goal, and he nearly scored an own goal against Spurs. Also, as usual, we have to play against the ref as well. But very pleased with the fightback and probably should have won it at the end when Ramsey was through. If only he had shot just that fraction earlier like Micky Thomas did. It’s all still up for grabs though. Hopefully we now have our belief back.

  22. Shard says:

    Gooner B

    I agree with our right wing position being one we need to upgrade, and also with your suggestion. Madrid must be getting itchy fingers to buy a shiny new toy and Bale might find himself on the scrapheap as a result. That’s what they do.

    However, recently Ronaldo has been making noises about being unhappy with his teammates. The guy is 31 now. Will Madrid decide to sell him and stick with Bale as his eventual successor? To me that is possible too since ManU’s millions would surely be interested in buying back Cristiano.

  23. Jeremy says:

    Happy Birthday Big Raddy!

    Interesting list fgg.
    Looking at just the other teams, out of just over 50 players, there’s maybe 5 I’d like at Arsenal. The rest would provide very little improvement.

    I know there’s even more money coming into the league, and it should get way more difficult, but if most teams have proven one thing over the years, it’s their ability to spend millions of pounds, on average players, go into debt, then administration, then the championship.

    When he does spend the money, and can get the players he wants, there’s still hardly anyone I’d trust more than Arsene.

  24. LB says:


    I probably was a tad harsh on you the last time you floated the idea that Sanchez and Ozil might be having second thoughts, I don’t agree but I can see that you are only saying it out of concern rather than just to wind people up.

    As I said before I don’t believe they are going anywhere. There are those who point to the fact that they haven’t signed a new contract, this I believe is a tactical ploy of their agents to purposely wait until the new TV deal is in place before they open negotiations.

    We obviously have issues competing financially for the really big names in football but once they are with us I believe we would make sure that we competed with anyone.

    As for Gareth Bale coming to THOF; well, all I can say is a boy has got to dream

  25. GoonerB says:

    Thanks LB. I didn’t actually remember who said what but thanks for being non harsh on me today 🙂

    I seriously hope you are right about those 2 LB. If they started to angle for moves it could halt the project in its tracks and set us back significantly. Bale would sort it though 🙂

  26. fatgingergooner says:


    I like where you are coming from, but as much as I would love Bale at Arsenal, I think the ‘spending money wisely’ idea means we have greater needs to address imo. I still believe the squad is unbalanced and with the manager being as attack-minded as he is, it would make sense to me to strengthen our weak areas first. The signing of Cech has started that process, but we still need a top class CB to replace Merts and a quality midfielder to replace the outgoing Flamini, Arteta and Rosicky. If we are now considering Elneny as a Cazorla cover, then we still very much need someone to compete with Coquelin. If we were to spend £20m on a CB and £20m on a DM then we would still be able to get a very talented RW with the money that remains. I remember us being linked with Javi Martinez a few years back, maybe £30m might get us someone who is equally good at DM and CB and that creates room in the squad for other quality signings.

    To me, it makes sense that if you have better defensive players, then your attacking players are going to thrive, as they will have more of the ball, won’t be chasing games from losing positions, and will be able to concentrate more on going forward. Sort the defence and spine of the team and we won’t necessarily need a Gareth Bale to win us games.

  27. mickydidit89 says:

    Very Happy Birthday Erik

    Massive thank you for all you do for us.

    Now, big ROLF to Big Al. Play 9. Win 8. Lose 0.
    Skin me up a King Sized one of those bad boys right now 🙂

  28. goonermichael says:

    Happy Birthday Raddy

    I don’t think we need a scatter gun approach like city and united. I think it would be good to add a “name” player every season as well as players like Elneny. I don’t like to use the term World class as I think it’s thrown around too easily. What does it even mean?

    Enjoyed the scum match in the end. Bar seemed to be full of them but I went a bit mental. I think the team showed some fight. Shame the ref bottled sending dier off..

  29. goonermichael says:

    I can’t see us winning our next 9 games either

  30. Shard says:

    fgg has now got me agreeing with him. Hmm.. what to do?

    *looks at squad list*

    Of the U21 players and those on loan only the two GKs Szczesny and Martinez, and Sanogo and Wellington will need to be registered in the 25 man squad. (assuming Debuchy is gonzo)

    Considering we have 2 empty slots (now that Jenkinson is included in our squad) and we expect to lose Arteta, Rosicky and Flamini, we have 5 empty slots to play around with.

    The battle for second choice between Ospina and the two loanees. One out, one in I should think. So as is. 5 slots left.

    Is Jenkinson to be trusted with the backup RB slot especially after a serious injury? This might be a potential area we need to buy in.

    I don’t think we should sell Per. We’re losing a lot of experience in midfield, so should look to hang on to him. But his playing time needs to be reduced. So maybe we buy a CB, and push Chambers out as our backup RB and another year as Per’s successor in training. 4 slots left (or 5 depending on Jenkinson being sold)

    Some folks have misgivings on Gibbs, but I think we’re good there.

    Coquelin, Elneny, Wilshere, Cazorla, Ramsey. Even with the possible additions of Hayden, Maitland-Niles and Bielik, we probably need a great signing here. If I had absolute freedom, I’d say two signings. One DM, and one CM/AM in the Cazorla mould because Wilshere can’t be trusted to stay fit. Toral/Zelalem/Iwobi might see some game time too. 2 slots left

    Alexis, Ox, Campbell. Maybe Wellington. Jeff and maybe one of the other youth prospects will see increased playing time here. If Wellington added 1 slot left.

    Giroud, Welbeck, Theo. Maybe Sanogo and Akpom(they are in the Giroud and Welbeck mould) If Sanogo added 0 slots left.

    If I were to prioritise our signing needs, I’d say a DM (unless Hayden et al are really special), a striker/winger (Theo upgrade). I can’t decide between the CB and the CM/AM. Perhaps CB, because we seem to have a lot of young midfield prospects.

    That would mean 4 signings and we do have the squad space for that*. But the immediate futures of Jenkinson, Wellington and Sanogo affect that. I’d expect Sanogo to be loaned out again, while Wellington should get his chance. Jenkinson, I don’t know.


    Happy Birthday Raddy. Birthdays are very formative experiences. True story On my eighth birthday my mum threw a party but no one turned up. It was on that day I swore that henceforth I would make loads of money and never pretend to like any one again.

    22 years later the first wife decided we celebrate my 30th by inviting every one over, about fifty attended.. However, all the old feelings had come back, so I never turned up.

    Completely agree with Ginge at 11.39. Besides, if money could buy you love then over 200 women would now be amorously pursing me, along with an assortment of angry blinged up men wearing big hats and capes.

    Whats happening at the moment is exciting, and hopefully it continues. The premier league should not be about the dominance of a select few.

    Its a wake up call to the big clubs. Teamwork, organisation, and total commitment is back on the agenda.

    Jumpers for goalposts.

  32. Eddie says:

    Happy Birthday Raddy!!!

  33. GoonerB says:

    Happy birthday Raddy. Time to go and dig up that buried herring that has been maturing in the ground for the last year for the special occasion……or do they only do that in Norway?

    Interesting from Ginge and Shard. i have thought about the other positions too.

    With the GK’s, I would be happy for Martinez to step up at number 2.

    Fairly happy at FB’s as Chambers can cover and I don’t think Jenks is a bad back up either.

    CB may need an addition but I too would keep Per so numbers wise we are well covered. Only if we don’t think Gabriel or Chambers can develop nicely for next season do we need to buy. I have a good feeling about Chambers though.

    Cover for Le Coq. Call me bonkers but I see absolutely no problem in trying Gibbs out at holding midfield. He has played it before and has pace and being a defender will give us that natural defensive protection. Do we really need to spend here?

    Nope, I am a purist and will stick to my principles. Barca concede less and defend less because they are so good in attack that the opposition struggle to get down their end, not necessarily because they have superior defenders man for man. Bale helps us keep teams down the other end, so he is still where I would spend my money. Welbz, Sanchez, Ozil and Bale as our front 4 and you don’t need to worry your little cotton socks about all this defensive reinforcements 🙂

  34. chas says:

    Happy Birthday, BR

    Thanks for the post.
    I sense a little devil’s advocacy; especially if written immediately after the Swansea game.
    Wouldn’t it be weird if all teams had equal amounts to spend? Then we might see an exciting League title race every season.

  35. fatgingergooner says:


    Your last statement is exactly what I’ve been thinking about. There is no right or wrong really, it’s just dependent on how you want to play football but more importantly who’s available to sign.

    The way I see it is (simplified) if you score attack and defence out of 10 but no more than a 17 score overall then you can go a few different ways. Its rare you will get high scores in both attack and defence, so you can either have a 10 attack with a 7 defence (Barcelona) or a 10 defence with a 7 attack (Chelsea of old) or maybe you can even it up and try to balance the side and have a 9 attack with an 8 defence (Bayern), or 8 attack with a 9 defence (Juventus last season). At the moment we are probably about 7 attack and 6 defence, so either we can get a Bale and try to match Barca’s blueprint, or we can do a Chelsea and improve defence.

    One thing I don’t quite understand with Wenger is why when we weren’t getting Suarez and there was an obvious lack of strikers out there, he didn’t just go and buy a quality CB and DM player? It’s this reluctance to spend on defence which makes me think he will go for the Barca style every time, and I’m not sure we have enough good players for a Bale to take us to that level.

  36. Big Raddy says:

    GB. I agree entirely about Bale.

    If we are to sit at the top table then we have to pay the money for the seat!

    At present we do not have a single player who would get into the top 3 clubs in the world. We used to have a few (DB/PV/TH/Sol).

    I would buy Bale and a tip top DM. We can spend the future income from the new TV deal, sit back and earn big bucks by winning the PL and CL (I can dream)

  37. Big Raddy says:

    GB. In this household it is champagne and smoked salmon bliny’s

    Though I am sure one of my relatives will be bringing some seal flipper to the party 🙂

  38. Big Raddy says:

    chas. You know me too well …

  39. GoonerB says:

    Haha Raddy, seal flipper…. I would have laughed more but then paused and thought that in all seriousness they probably do have a seal flipper recipe up in North Norway or Svalbard.

  40. GoonerB says:

    I think if you have more dangerous players and prolific goal-scorers in all your attacking areas then the likes of Sanchez and Ozil will probably score even more as well.

    Why? Well firstly I think that they are having to try and carry the team, and in Sanchez’ case especially with goals, and that adds extra pressure in goal-scoring situations. Also at present I feel many teams recognise that if you focus on snuffing out Sanchez then our ability to score drops significantly.

    If you have someone on the other side equally as prolific and dangerous in hitting the back of the net they can’t focus on any one area or player. Sanchez then becomes just another member of a prolific front line than can attack and score from all areas, rather than the one we look to more specifically.

    That front 4 is an 80 goal a season front 4 to me. We are on 46 through the entire team at present.

  41. GoonerB says:

    Hilarious Chas 🙂

  42. GoonerB says:

    I always liked the Swedish Chef and the trembling Chicken act.

  43. mickydidit89 says:


    As a purist, I think you will be impressed with developments at this end. I am working on a new concept.

    Armchair Fans Royale.

    I’ve only got as far as provisional Terms and Conditions for membership

    1. Giroud starts. We switch off.
    2. Home games. Switch on once we’re 1-0 up and not before.
    3. Away games. We watch from the beginning unless Point 1 has taken place.

    Good so far, eh?

  44. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Thank you 😀

  45. mickydidit89 says:

    The AFR’s (armchair fan royalers) fully intend to enjoy the best of the remainder of this season, and will not let rubbish and misery get our way

  46. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Full kit, or shirt or just something red and white? e.g. a gin and tonic with a campari chaser?

  47. mickydidit89 says:

    Red and White? Mmmmm, thinks.
    Straight vodka. Drink. Then tomato juice straight. Drink. Jump about a bit to mix. You’ve had your red and white (ish) and ultimately a bloody mary

  48. mickydidit89 says:

    Away Kit
    Blue Caracoa straight. Whisky straight. Jump about a bit. For fun.

  49. GoonerB says:

    Definitely sitting down in ones Edwardian mahogany armchair with the gin and tonic with the campari chaser, with the purists coat of arms hanging proudly above the T.V is the way to go Raddy.

    Micky I think you have all things covered in points 1-3. Can’t see a flaw myself.

  50. mickydidit89 says:

    The Centenary Kit
    Merlot. Gulp. Gin gulp. Sick. Fall over.

  51. mickydidit89 says:

    ha ha ha
    Adding 2-3-5 and you’ve sealed the deal Chas 🙂

  52. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Brilliant. I will order one to be painted and set above the front door

  53. fatgingergooner says:

    Still not sold on Bale. Nothing to do with him, as he would be a brilliant buy, but if you’re spending £80m on him then we aren’t buying anyone else. That means relying on Welbeck and Giroud up top, Coquelin and Bielik at DM, and Merts, Gabriel and Chambers at CB.

  54. fatgingergooner says:

    Sloe Gin and lemonade for the home kit.

    A hangover piss for the gold kit! 😂

  55. mickydidit89 says:

    Bang on the money. Brilliant 🙂
    Now The Purists have history ie we go back to the days before that idiot Herbert Chapman 🙂

  56. fatgingergooner says:

    What do The Purists have instead of the black scarf?

    Silk Handkerchief?

  57. Big Raddy says:

    Embroidered with the heraldic shield.

    A fat Cuban cigar in the cordoroy smoking jacket top pocket.

  58. kelsey says:

    Are you on the whacky stuff tonight Raddy,it being your 70th 😉

  59. fatgingergooner says:

    Happy Birthday BR!

  60. mickydidit89 says:

    Stop trying to pretend there is someone here even older than you

    Purists attire? Mmm, have to think.

    Night all, and enjoy the ritual Erik 🙄

  61. GoonerB says:

    Haha brilliant coat of arms Chas and exactly how I would have wanted it 🙂

    I like your clever use of the ancient Puritan word of Bullshit, meaning attack, (pronounced Boo–shee with silent L’s and a silent T at the end).

    There we have it “All for attack” 🙂

  62. GoonerB says:

    Ginge I liked your scoring analysis of attack vs defence. Probably no surprise that I am leaning towards trying to get higher on one scale more than the other 🙂

  63. fatgingergooner says:

    Sniff, sniff.
    Sniff, sniff.

    Smells like all out attack to me! 😂

  64. fatgingergooner says:

    I’m actually with you on that GB. I’d rather see a quality attack all day long, but if the attackers aren’t there to buy, then surely it makes sense to strengthen the defence in the meantime whilst we wait for the star forwards to become available?

    Maybe it comes down to money and if we’d spent £30m on defensive players then Özil would never have arrived.

    On a side note, one day I hope Özil and Ox form a good partnership, just so I can start calling them Öxil! 😄

  65. Red Arnie says:

    Brilliant post, Raddy, and one with which I agree. 🙂

    Too much agreement, I know! 😛

    Nice days blogging (welcome back, Big Al! 🙂 ), no time to respond. But just to say this.

    I agree that we should spend some money to buy. Problem is it is a lemon’s market, and we have had reasonable returns on the peanuts we have spent. Yes, we have got monkeys, but more that one of them! 😛

    Anyway, the point is that, we should be diversifying our risk by buying multiple players in the middle range. Rather that one highly expensive one as most Gooners would like. That way, we reduce the risk of a bad buy (the bad Oiler model) and at teh same time, allow the opportunity for our young guns to mature.

  66. Red Arnie says:

    Most importantly, happy birthday, Raddy. Have a great one! 🙂

  67. Hi all

    Just got a chance to have a look at the blog and see I’ve missed a birthday party today.

    Happy Birthday Raddy and thank you for the post.

  68. GoonerB says:

    Ginge, I still say that if we keep the faith with the Ox that he is best suited to the attacking left side. He has a great shot on him and I think can develop into a serious goal-scorer from that position. He could become the English Sanchez but obviously would have to play at understudy for a bit.

    Arnie, I think AW has done really well at finding those lower cost gems and now is the time to let loose. We don’t need a raft of middle range bargain cost players just 1, maybe 2, that really elevates the team. The only risk with someone like Bale is injury not how he will perform.

  69. fatgingergooner says:

    Is there really a price at which quality is guaranteed GB? I’m looking at the list I put up earlier and seeing Di Maria at £59m, Mangala at £40m, Benteke at £32m!

    I guess the top, top players are pretty much guaranteed, but then how often do they move, and have we ever bought anyone at that very top level?

  70. Eddie says:

    Polish national coat of arms.

  71. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. There is another AA birthday later in the week

  72. Big Raddy says:

    kelsey. I don’t do drugs apart from Love

  73. LB says:


    Please explain?

  74. LB says:

    Dennis Bergkamp was fairly high level.

  75. Eddie says:

    LB – look at Chas 5:37, taking the piss

  76. LB says:

    “Maybe it comes down to money and if we’d spent £30m on defensive players then Özil would never have arrived.”

    Although I understand this commonly held view I fundamentally disagree with it.

    This view in my opinion suggests that the club purposely limit their spending or in the vernacular: they are tight with their money.

    I firmly believe that if world class players such as Ozil want to come to Arsenal that the club will find the money to buy them.

    If Arsene Wenger had just brought a CB and DB and then immediately after they arrived Leonel Messa decided that he had suddenly seen the light and realised that Arsenal was his spiritual home I believe that the club would find the money to make that happen.

    The policy as I see it is buy the best players that we can and push the boat out if a worldy comes available.

  77. chas mobile says:

    Any resemblance between the purists’ coat of arms and the Polish coat of arms is purely coincidental.

  78. Red Arnie says:

    GB. 🙂 above 70m you are probably right, 🙂

    but thats not going to happen, is it? I would much rather 2 players 25m than one 50m. not to put too many eggs in one basket. 😛

  79. Shard says:

    Judging players by their price tag might meet the silk scarves’ criterion of ability 😛 , but it doesn’t always fit with reality.

    Look at Mahrez. A great buy for Leicester for 400k. But it did take him 2+ years of playing in the first team before he found this level. Now there’s talk of him being worth 40-50m. More than Ozil and Alexis. He was undervalued before, and overvalued now. Like Di Maria was overvalued.

    The problem is, with the TV money set to explode, it’ll just make the 20m player cost 40m. So if we’re looking to pay 40m for a player, we need to downgrade our expectations. As long as it’s a known name we’re buying. If we’re buying an unknown, especially if we are willing to pay a premium for him, then he’s probably better quality than is generally acknowledged, or is exactly what we want.

    I’d say, in such a scenario, buying a 60-70m player is probably better value for money, because even with the TV money, there will be less clubs able to buy at that value, hence inflation will not be as high.

    But, will such players be available? Can we have a list of players we’d like to pay such money for? I bet there won’t be very many at all.

  80. Shard says:

    Bale, Aubameyang, Pogba, Lewandowski. I’ll add Cavani because Micky has a thing for him, though I don’t think he’s great. Maybe Reus.

    Can’t think of anyone else. apart from the fantasy buys of Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar.

    Any other suggestions for players in the say 60-80m range?

  81. mickydidit89 says:

    The Purists chicken has a crown, the Polish one does not.
    makes sense.

  82. mickydidit89 says:

    Lose tonight, drop out of top four, and all this talk of superstars goes down the bog I’m afraid.

  83. mickydidit89 says:

    I’m afraid the Cavani moment has now passed, and Aubameyang is the new object of my desires.

  84. mickydidit89 says:

    Oooo, and, Happy International Women’s Day to all angry lesbians and students

  85. mickydidit89 says:

    Just for fun, everybody speak really loudly when Erik gets here.

  86. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Somehow International Lesbians Day passed by my notice. I will go in search of some DM shoed females and wish them the best of the morning

  87. mickydidit89 says:

    Hope you had a nice evening, and doesn’t sound like you over did it. I mean, the tail appears relatively bushy and so on 🙂

  88. Big Raddy says:

    Correct in every detail.

    Have to write a hasty PM …. forgot we are playing tonight!

  89. mickydidit89 says:

    I wonder if the Hullers have changed their mind about FA Cup as a low priority knowing that since the first game, the draw has chucked up The Hornets as semi final opponents

  90. chas says:

    Quarter Final opponents.
    Their League form has suffered with the distraction.

  91. Eddie says:

    needless to say the eBay miser did not reply to the offer of a free box

  92. chas says:

    Happy International Women’s Day

  93. Eddie says:

    Thank you chas!!! It is a big occasion in Poland. Men give flowers to women on a street, work places turn into parties, at home women are treated well on that day…I used to love it

    The “Polish chicken” is a white eagle. And it has a crown. He was dethroned during the commie era but not the jewels were given back to him

  94. chas says:

    On here it says the chicken stands for Protection/Strength

  95. Eddie says:

    chicken is what spuds have on their shirts.

    Eagles are incredible birds. They are trained now to intercept drones used by criminals. This could mean an increase in numbers of this magnificent creatures, once almost extinct

  96. mickydidit89 says:

    “at home women are treated well on that day” ha ha

    And as Magda would say “on other days, women are taken out in woods and shot like pigs if they not have sex with man”

    You kinda need to see Lead Balloon or that may sound bad

    Morning both
    Back later

  97. Big Raddy says:

    Wow, Trained eagles. How wonderful. Nature triumphs over technology for once.

    Proper hippy stuff

  98. LB says:

    OK. got it. White eagle with crown is present day Polish flag. Simples.

  99. LB says:


    Was so good. The best thing about that program.

  100. Eddie says:

    no Lb 🙂 polish flag is red and white, the Arsenal colours. The coat of arms is the White Eagle in red background, like English 3 lions

  101. LB says:

    Actually, if you saw Lead Balloon that comment by Magda is brilliant.

  102. LB says:

    Thanks Eddie.

  103. Eddie says:

    Raddy – yes! Criminals program drones to smuggle drugs, phones and sim cards to jails. A trained eagle can spot a drone miles away and bring it back to ground. I am sure terrorists are already trying to send drones packed with explosives to busy areas on Europe and beyond

  104. LB says:

    “Not Heppy” (Magda)

    I think I need Micky for this one.

  105. Eddie says:

    who is Magda?

  106. Eddie says:

    shit! 7pm kick off, damn damn damn….need to reschedule things quickly

  107. Big Raddy says:

    There is a New Post

  108. mickydidit89 says:

    Magda didn’t actually say that line about getting shot, I simply made it up, in the style of Magda
    I really liked the daughter and boyfriend. Daughter reminds me of mine and her ways of justifying a loan 🙂

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