Arsenal to Park The Bus?

I should be excited as we go to play one of the very best teams in one of the best stadiums  in the world, I’m not. Is this CL fatigue, Arsenal fatigue, same old same old or something deeper – perhaps a winter depression? Who knows, all I know is that I’m not as passionate about tonight as I should be.

Last night didn’t help; to see the best team of my lifetime, Barca, humbled by a team we drew with twice (luckily!!) was a sign not just of the inevitable atrophy of life but also the end of another era, and I have only a few more eras left! A depressing thought.


Let’s be honest, the vast majority of us hope only that Arsenal can fight hard and return with the second leg being competitive. If we score then that must be possible and score we can.

Bayern Munich are not unbeatable and if we had a fully functioning first 11 in good form I would expect us to win. Instead we have to be pragmatic and this is where Micky’s BM line up will come to the fore. Coquelin is not good enough or strong enough to combat BM’s midfield, he will need help, a lot of it.

We have beaten City  and BD  playing conservative tactics, rope-a-dope works sometimes (thankfully not often). Will Mr Wenger PTB? Doubtful.

My Team:


Bellerin       Mustafi      Koscielny     Monreal

Xhaka     Elneny     Coquelin


Welbeck     Sanchez

Of course AW will not play the above, he will start Theo ahead of Danny and almost certainly Iwobi ahead of Elneny, but we can hope.

Much has been written about Ozil, little of it good, but we all know that if there was a combined AFC/BM team only 2 or 3 of our lads would start and Ozil is one of them. He is German Player of the Year and has been  for 5 of the last 6 years. He is not a bottler, he is just a man out of form and we all know, form is temporary, class is permanent.

Arjen Robben may start tonight; what an objectionable cheating arse he is, for a man who has as much talent as any footballer on the planet, why does he have to be so objectionable? Hope he gets Xhaka’ed early..


Thinking of which, if he starts this is a huge game for Xhaka. Get sent off tonight and his Arsenal career is deeply in doubt, we cannot play top teams with 10 men. Has he learned his lesson? Can he be as effective without a bit of spite? Vieira learned it and became a legend.

This could be Mr Wenger’s last CL campaign, he deserves a signature victory and tonight would certainly be one.

Can we win? Why not.



187 Responses to Arsenal to Park The Bus?

  1. Hlanganani Thodlana says:

    End of this season, I would like to see Ozil and Sanchez go ! Whatever happens will happen afterwards . We are after all used to coming out in the top four season after season. Wenger stays, they GO !

  2. fatgingergooner says:

    Speaking of ‘end of an era’ this is not the same Bayern team that we’ve played over the last few seasons. The likes of Alonso, Lahm, Robben and Ribery are all 33 or over and players such as Costa, Coman and Kimmich are not at the desired level…yet. They have struggled a bit this year in an average league and aren’t thrashing everyone as they have in previous seasons. You only have to look at their scoring stats in the league this year to see they are not the same team:-

    Lewandowski 15
    Robben 7
    Kimmich 4
    Costa 3
    Alonso 3
    Thiago 3
    Ribery 2
    Vidal 2
    Muller 1 (yes, that’s Thomas Muller!)
    Others 1

    They do not press in the same way that they did under Guardiola so hopefully we will find a bit of space. When they beat us 5-1 they swarmed all over us and we couldn’t get out. I’m not sure it will be the same game tonight.

    They still have very special players, but I think if we set up correctly, keep it tight for 20 minutes and keep 11 on the field, we have a chance to let our younger legs take over and we could cause them problems with pace on the counter. With that in mind I’d go with this:-

    Bellerin Mustafi Koscielny Monreal
    Coquelin Elneny
    Welbeck Özil Iwobi

    I want pace on the flanks but also players who will work hard defensively and I think Welbs and Iwobi offer more than the likes of Walcott and Ox. Wenger won’t drop Özil or move him away from the 10 so we just have to accept it and I think Elneny’s workrate and ball movement gives us a chance to get the ball into Özil’s feet. If Welbs doesn’t start then Ox would be next in line. I’d leave Walcott on the bench for the last half hour.

  3. Big Raddy says:

    FGG. BM have won 10 of their last 11 games.

    So …. my team except Iwobi for Xhaka 🙂

  4. chas says:

    Thanks, BR.
    I woke up the complete opposite to you, excited and far more hopeful than is usual for a trip to the Allianz.

    It is a real shame that we keep drawing the same teams, so I can understand the CL ennui, but am hoping a rousing away performance can set up a second leg of extreme excitement.

    I like both your’s and fgg’s teams.
    Barca last night looked less of a team and more like two separate entities, defence and attack. I’d imagine us playing together as a team at all times will be crucial to getting a decent result tonight.

    Up the Arsenal.

  5. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Play as a team? Hadn’t thought of that 🙂

    Thanks for customising the header.

  6. fatgingergooner says:


    I would expect nothing less in matches that included the likes of Ingolstadt, Freiburg, Darmstadt, Mainz, Bremen, Schalke. Not exactly top sides. The results have not been convincing. Quite a few won by a single goal and it took last minute winners to beat Ingolstadt and Freiburg.

    I’m not saying they are a poor side, just that they are not the side of old and are a team we can beat over 2 legs IF we give ourselves a chance going to the Emirates. Their away results in the group stages were not convincing either:-

    Atletico L 1-0
    Rostov L 3-2
    PSV W 1-2

  7. fatgingergooner says:


    I would probably have gone with Xhaka instead of Iwobi myself but that would mean changing formation and I just don’t see Wenger doing it.

  8. chas says:

    It just struck me that we hadn’t really done that (play as a team) when getting battered by them on previous occasions.
    Apologies for my simplistic take on things.

  9. Eddie says:

    I hope horrible Robben doesn’t get Xhaka’ed early. BM can replace an injured/dead player, but we cannot replace a red-carded one.

    please Arsene, don’t let Granit anywhere near the Allianz stadium.

    I am a bit like you Raddy, neither terribly excited nor very scared. It should be a good game, IF our lads turn up tonight. A draw would suffice, but if we lose I wouldn’t cry. Maybe because I have accepted that with this team are not likely to win much, But maybe I am wrong, maybe Ozil will have a game of his life, Bayern will play shit and we will return true winners, maybe.

  10. The Jenkins says:

    I recall you know who on talksh!t radio cynically saying PSG had let Arsenal win the group stage,did they know they would be more than a match for Barca?Listen to hear if ginger starts crowing about his brilliant football radar 4pm today!

  11. mickydidit89 says:


    You started in rather gloomy mood, but seemed warm up as you typed. Then you dropped the bomb of an incredibly exciting team, which I reckon could beat The Hun.

    I’m not saying we bomb The Hun, I am saying one should always lob in a WWII reference.

    Achtung Fritz, ze Gunners ist commen

  12. mickydidit89 says:

    Hlanganani Thodlana

    You say we should get rid of Sanchez and Ozil. Are you on drugs?
    Let’s add Koscielny to the list. Reckon he’s the third best 🙂

  13. GunnerN5 says:

    I belong in the “very strange” category because I look forward to every Arsenal game.

    99% of premier league supporters would be absolutely over the moon to have the privileged/pleasure of being able to see their team play against the best teams in Europe.

    Due to the excellence of our manager we have this pleasure every single season and it’s apparent that our supporters take it all for granted.

    I’m of the opinion that any team can win any game on any day and it’s been proven that football is full of unexpected results and conclusions.

    Here are five such outcomes.

    Greece winning the European Championship in 2004
    Chelsea beating Bayern in the 2012 CL final.
    Liverpool beating AC Milan in the 2005 CL final.
    Leicester winning the PL Championship in 2016
    Chelsea going from zero in hero in one season -2016/17

    I never lose faith and will stay positive up to the very last game I have the privilege in watch.

  14. mickydidit89 says:

    Do you take drugs GN5? 🙂 🙂

    Actually, sitting here, I’m really cheesed off I didn’t go. It was down to the fact that I so wanted us to draw Madrid or Barca as I’ve never been to either, but I did love my visit to The Allianz and Munich is superb

  15. mickydidit89 says:


    It is infectious. I don’t think I’ve ever thought Arsenal wouldn’t win the next game once we arrive on the day itself

  16. GunnerN5 says:

    Micky It’s very possible that the return game against Bayern may be AW’s last CL game while he is Arsenal’s manager and I hope upon all hopes that the fans show their appreciation.

    But I know that if we are knocked out our team and manager will leave the pitch to a chorus of boo’s.

    So f***ing sad.

  17. GunnerN5 says:

    Micky I am also one of the “very strange” people who has never indulged in any illicit drugs.

    A good glass of single malt scotch is my only “drug”

  18. Eddie says:

    time for an Eddie rant 🙂
    GN5 dearest! do you really think that ciggies and booze are not drugs? Any mind altering substance is a drug. Alcohol and fags are responsible for thousands more deaths than heroine, cocaine, crack together. I haven’t got exact figures but I know that alcohol is responsible for at least 4% of all deaths!!!

    It has actually been proven that it is healthier to take some cannabis than to drink booze. Have you ever heard of anyone being violent on ganja? No, I think not Have you ever heard of anyone being violent on booze? Yep, we all have.

    Right, enough, I am going out to have a ciggie

  19. The Jenkins says:

    This all reminds me of that bygone soccernet forum cybergoon ‘Alan Partridge’ telling me he used to go to that nature reserve behind Gillespie Road for for a few jazz woodbines! 😉

  20. Big Raddy says:

    As the day progresses I am becoming more engaged. By kick-off I will be excited.

    I think my depression is due to it being over 2 weeks since I had an alcoholic drink. (Eddie 😀 )

  21. Big Raddy says:

    Jenkins. I thought we all did. Didn’t you?

  22. The Jenkins says:

    No comment 🙂

  23. GunnerN5 says:

    Eddie, I have no disagreement with you on either cannabis or alcohol – but both can be addictive and injurious to your health unless taken/used in moderation.

    I quit smoking in 1985 after 25 years of smoking either cigarettes or cigars; fortunately my lungs have shown no ill effect but my liver has taken a good beating due to my love of single malt. These days I only partake in one or two glasses a month.

    As I said “A good glass of single malt scotch is my only “drug” “

  24. Red Arnie says:

    oh god! I’ve missed a lot of fun past couple of weeks by knot bin ear. Apols.

    anyways, very positive. we are underdogs and have nothing to lose. I expect us to score an away goal and return with a 1-2. then give it back to them at home. this is a season of upsets in the CL, so be it!

    nice negative spin, Raddy, and it works! makes me want to win even more! onwards and upwards. 🙂

    we know technical bolleaux does not work with our team, the good guys play proudly for the colours they wear, and it works reasonably well against top teams in Europe. remember we had a decent group and we have negotiated it well so far.

    COYG. 🙂

  25. Red Arnie says:

    Eddie. I’m not avoiding your question, but you know my answer, and I know your reply. I also think that will be your alter-ego speaking. you are not from the me-generation after all! 🙂 so, onwards and upwards!

    CLASS it is! 🙂

  26. Red Arnie says:

    GN5. its time to move to single cask, so let’s do it! 🙂

  27. Red Arnie says:

    lovely discussion, folks. up the arsenal. 🙂

  28. Big Raddy says:

    Annie. Single cask is good. My preference.

  29. GunnerN5 says:


    In Ontario you can only buy alcohol at a LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) outlet, some wine and beer can now be purchased in some select retail outlets.

    I checked their availability site and can find no listings for single cask scotch, which is a bloody shame as I’m very intrigued.

    I’m off out shortly and I’ll pop into an outlet and make some inquiries.

  30. mickydidit89 says:

    Can any of you connoisseurs tell me honestly that anyone could tell the difference in taste (not colour) between a single cask and a single malt of the same shit? 🙂

  31. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Of course I couldn’t. Can you tell the difference between say Icelandic smoked salmon and Scottish?

  32. GunnerN5 says:

    Micky I want to be able to make the determination myself but I may not be able to buy any in Canada so I’ll see what is available in the US.

  33. mickydidit89 says:

    Stop trying to be difficult Erik, that’s a totally different proposition.

    Bet Arnie could 🙂

  34. mickydidit89 says:


    I’m amazed there aren’t great Canadian Whiskies
    Certainly got the ingredients

  35. mickydidit89 says:

    Why would single cask be your preference over single malt?

  36. mickydidit89 says:

    I like a gentlemen who demands a fine sherry. So there 🙂

  37. GunnerN5 says:

    Micky, Canadian whiskey is called Rye whiskey and like American bourbon it’s too harsh for my palate whereas a good single malt scotch can be as smooth as a good cognac.

  38. GunnerN5 says:

    I’m off out to the LCBO to see what I can find out about single cask scotch and to pick up a bottle of Red for the game.

  39. LB says:

    Starting to get anxious………………

  40. GoonerB says:

    Afternoon all. Just popped on at first available moment to see Micky saying that he likes a gentlemen who demands a fine sherry.

    Anything I don’t know about? Anything to be worried about?

    Anyway thanks for the post Raddy. I am actually very close to your suggestion for the team, and FGG’s also. I probably lean more towards FGG’s because of the required formation change with Ozil. The 3 man midfield makes it look a lot more solid but I reckon it could be a tad too much.

    I think the Elneny / Le Coq CM is pretty solid as long as neither one of them goes walkabout, and then just instructing the FB’s to pick their moments to support attack rather than all the time, and certainly not both being caught upfield together. Bayern have dangerous wide players that will exploit this so being a bit more refrained and patient could hinder their game plan.

    Get this bit and the CM 2 holding position right, and with them bossing this area, then the other 4 are more free to play. The only thing I might consider differently to you and FGG Raddy is to get Welbeck on the left of Sanchez where I think he is more dangerous. As such I would consider Perez for the right side over Iwobi.

    get the set up and discipline right and I feel like FGG we could cause an upset.

  41. Rasp says:

    Brilliant PM, thanks Raddy.

    I’m optimistic. We seem to raise our game for these big CL draws .. now if we were playing Stoke away tonight I’d be pessimistic.

    Of course Ozil must play, but he must be aware of the popularly held belief that he doesn’t perform in the big games, let’s hope he sees that as motivation.

    Fantastic news that Theo is on the bench, no passengers for this game!

    Lastly they’re making a big deal about Ospina instead of Cech, well I say he’s been very good so far so let’s stick with him.

    Everyone can look forward (NOT!!) to my customary rants during the game 🙂

  42. Eddie says:

    oh dear what have I started 🙂
    nope, during my heavy drinking years I could barely tell if I was drinking wine or Southern comfort. As long as it got me pissed I couldn’t care less 🙂 good old days 🙂

  43. mickydidit89 says:


    I did see your comment yesterday, and very fine it was too. Like a good sherry. Duckie 🙂

  44. fatgingergooner says:

    Real lack of pace in the spine of their team. Lahm, Martinez, Hummels, Alonso all starting. I wonder if that’s an area we could exploit.

  45. Big Raddy says:

    Has the team been named?

  46. chas says:

  47. mickydidit89 says:

    Neuer, Lahm, Hummels, Martinez, Alaba, Xabi Alonso, Vidal, Robben, Thiago, Costa, Lewandowski.

  48. mickydidit89 says:

    Where from the pic Chas?

    No Danny…boooo

  49. chas says:


  50. mickydidit89 says:

    When I saw the Bayern team, I did feel a slight chill

  51. Big Raddy says:

    Gibbs, Ox and Iwobi to start.

  52. mickydidit89 says:

    It hadn’t appeared on the Sky website at that time. Quick.

  53. Big Raddy says:

    I had forgotten BM have Vidal. He is fantastic

  54. mickydidit89 says:


    Ox, I get, but I worry about Sanchez away to Bayern as striker as he goes walkabout and we lose the quick counter focal point. I’d prefer Danny central and Sanchez instead of Iwobi

    Still. Tactics bollocks whatever. Can’t wait.

  55. mickydidit89 says:

    COME ON REF, BLOW THE BLOODY WHISTLE and lets get it on

  56. Red Arnie says:

    ha ha ha. yes, I can. the simplest reason. single cask is what comes out of the cask. nothing added. which means at least 55%. simples. 🙂

  57. Red Arnie says:

    Why dont you guys come to Sconny Botland and then we can enjoy together! 🙂

  58. GunnerN5 says:

    I’m going to watch the game with my son and grandson and they won’t be here until two hours time so we will be watching the game later.

    I was able to find a bottle of single cask The Balvenie it costs $155.0 a bottle. I’ve not sampled it before – so I’m checking out it’s rating before I make a purchase.

    Arnie/Raddy have either of you tried it?

  59. mickydidit89 says:

    I’d happily join you and the other wasters on here in Scotland, but if you think for one moment I’m poisoning my temple with that toxic and highly flammable liquid, then think again 🙂

    Come on you Gunnnnnners

  60. Eddie says:

    oh shut up didit, you are making me nervous

  61. Big Raddy says:

    I have tried Balvenie but not their single cask. 155 s a lot ofe money, well above my pain level

  62. Big Raddy says:

    I hate Robben, hate him.

    We were looking OK

  63. Rasp says:

    Iwobi 100% responsible for that goal, he didn’t even try to defend

  64. oz gunner says:

    Poor defending. Everyone knows he wants that left leg…and yet we let him have all the space in the world to get onto it. Should be swarming him to cover that space. You don’t sit back on a player with that skill

  65. Eddie says:

    pocket rocket 🙂

  66. Rasp says:

    Thank god we scored. Sanchez’ penalties haven’t been good of late. Brilliant he scored but why weren’t our players charging in when he took the penalty also looking for the rebound?

  67. A penalty? We don’t get penalties, oh yes we do 🙂

  68. oz gunner says:

    jesus…I went through too many emotions in a 3 second period.

    Good recovery by alexis.

  69. Big Raddy says:

    What a despicable bunch of diving cheats BM are. Sanchez got a yellow card for absolutely nothing.

    Wasn’t a penalty but happy nonetheless.

  70. oz gunner says:

    @ Big Raddy

    Why wasn’t it a penalty? If it was a striker people would be saying it was a penalty. Clear cut for mine

  71. Big Raddy says:

    May be my stream Oz but I couldn’t see why it was given. Kos ran across Lewandaowski

  72. mickydidit89 says:

    Rubbish connection here, so only really saw patches until Sanchez goal

    1-1 will definitely do for now 🙂

  73. Big Raddy says:

    I think it fair to say we grew into the half.

  74. Big Raddy says:


    Not a good start to this half.

    Don’t know which is worse, the goal of Kos’ injury

  75. Rasp says:

    Our players stroll around and Bayern slice through us

  76. Rasp says:

    Our defence is a shambles

  77. oz gunner says:


    Same thing every year. We’ll score a couple on the return leg and give a slight hope but it’s the woeful first leg that costs us yet again.

  78. Rasp says:

    Walcott and not Welbeck? WTF?

  79. Big Raddy says:

    Iwobi showed his inexperience tonight. Only positive is that he will earn.

    Right now, our defence is really in trouble mainly because BM are very, very good.

  80. Big Raddy says:

    AW going shit or bust with Giroud for Le Coq.

    Well played.

    4-1 or 6-1 makes no difference

  81. mickydidit89 says:

    Another goal may make a difference
    Come on Arsenal

    I know, I know, they’re much better at football than us

  82. Rasp says:

    Another typical Ozil performance in a big game …. he just doesn’t have enough influence on the game

  83. oz gunner says:

    @ Rasp

    Agreed. Never looks or tries to turn the tide. An icing on the cake type player. Mopes around and throws his hands in the air when it’s not going our way.

  84. oz gunner says:

  85. fatgingergooner says:

    An awful thing to witness. We used to be a threat to everyone in Europe and we used to be a relevant team. Now we are on par with the likes of Napoli, Monaco, Sevilla etc. We are good enough to finish top 4 in our league and make it out of the group stages. That’s it.

    The team needs a new start and new ideas. Watching Özil and Sanchez walking around at 4-1 whilst Ox is running about getting pissed off tells me we need to start again. We are not a team of 11 willing to fight for each other.

    I’m not going to go into tactics and formations and start having a go at certain players as Bayern just outclassed us in every position. It’s a hell of a long way to the top from where we are right now.

  86. mickydidit89 says:


  87. mickydidit89 says:

    Book time
    An explorer should take me far enough away 🙂

  88. Rasp says:

    I think a new manager would need to bring in 4 or 5 top players to inject some leadership and steel into this side

  89. Gööner In Exile says:

    Too many individual errors and not playing as a team cost us tonight.

    1st goal Coquelin why shimmy left you had two teammates there you just showed him the clear route to goal.

    2nd goal Mustafi and Gabriel lose Lewandowski, Gibbs and Iwobi can sort the defending before the cross.

    3rd goal, Coq and Xhaka let Thiago run into space and Mustafi falling asleep.

    4th goal like kids trying to clear their lines Coq and Mustafi both following ball.

    5th Ox what are you doing?

    Why insist on pressing, every time a couple of players broke rank to press they carved us open, they have too many options to make a full press effective. You have to keep shape and pick off the weak passes, and only press when they have had a bad touch, it’s what teamstry to do against us week in week out, it ain’t rocket science.

    Ozil is not on the pitch to win ball but he was our best tackler tonight…why? Because he reads footballl better than anyone else in our team. He knows when to tackle and when not, when he will win a ball and when he won’t so don’t waste energy. That’s what Bayern did to us tonight.

    Unfortunately we lost it in midfield Coquelin is not good enough and his limitations have been exposed regularly in last few weeks.

    But regardless of all that it was a heartless performance.

  90. fatgingergooner says:

  91. fatgingergooner says:

    The Simeone bus!

  92. fatgingergooner says:

    The Wenger Bus!

  93. fatgingergooner says:


    How many did Conte buy in the summer?

  94. LB says:

    Unsurprisingly I suspect, I do not have anything to say about that game.

  95. 1979Gunner says:

    A disgraceful performance. Wenger should go now. Every second longer he stays tarnishes the superb job he did for around 12 years and diminishes the respect he garnered for his successful first 10-12 years at Arsenal.

    The players (mostly) are not good enough. Those that are seem demotivated – despite their lavish earnings and the support of loyal fans.

    It’s sad but true – it’s time for change. All good things come to an end and Arsene’s time is up.

  96. fatgingergooner says:

    Surely he’s going to go after that, isn’t he? He looked as though it had hit home that its time to call it a day. Must be upsetting for him to watch players he’s shown faith in not willing to fight for him. Nothing but massive respect for what he’s done for us, but we need a change. It might be a difficult few years for us but at least it won’t be as predictable as it is now.

  97. Gööner In Exile says:

    I think judging by Arsene’s interview the decision has been made in his mind, and I wouldn’t mind betting the players know too.

    And then we will see whether anyone else can do better.

  98. Gööner In Exile says:

    Also wouldn’t mind betting he has probably made the decision long before tonight.

  99. Just looking at distances covered by players tonight and Sanchez did 8.0km, the lowest of any outfield player on the pitch who managed 90 minutes. To put that into perspective, Iwobi did 7.8 and was subbed after 66 minutes. Xhaka covered 12.1 and was the highest in the team. His midfield partner Coquelin only managed 9.1km.

  100. chas says:

  101. chas mobile says:

  102. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    At least this clears the decks for a good Cup run and a tilt at the title 😀

    Mourinho says that MU cannot compete on 3 fronts, so neither can we.

  103. fatgingergooner says:

    Clear the decks is certainly what I would do!

    If I was rebuilding this side I’m not sure I’d keep more than 10 of our existing players!

    That’s not going to help us this season though, so I guess we’ve just got to suck it up and hope we can win as many games as possible. Confidence will be totally destroyed now so I think top 4 could be a massive struggle given our remaining fixtures.

    If I was Wenger I would announce the decision now. If he’s leaving then the fans will probably rally behind him knowing it’s the end of an era and hopefully the players will respond too. As for Sanchez and Özil, if they decide to leave on the back of it then good luck to them.

    If Wenger announces he’s staying then god help us all!

  104. Eddie says:

    fattie – agree. I would have been a humble and honest thing to do if Wenger announced now that he is retiring.

    It is not a shame to lose to a team playing like Bayern did last night. What is a shame is the fact that we are not playing like that.

  105. mickydidit89 says:

    Marching geese. Quite superb.

  106. Big Raddy says:

    Ospina had a good game

  107. fatgingergooner says:

    Ironically Ospina was the best decision Wenger made last night! I’d keep him in for the rest of the season and give him a chance to prove he can be a number 1. He’s a sensational shot-stopper. Maybe if he plays every week his decision making and command of his box will improve. Worth a try as Cech is starting to look like a player who losing his edge.

  108. mickydidit89 says:


    That’s true and also a woeful conclusion to have your goalkeeper man of the match after conceding five!

    I like Exile’s analysis about the intelligence of Mesut. Other than that, we were lost for a plan, a set up, team spirit and every basic required to compete at this level.

    I hope the club act swiftly and with dignity.

    Agree with FGG that an announcement by Arsene would see the fans rally, and with that, their could be a happy ending with an FAC.

  109. Big Raddy says:

    Cracking song by Etta James. I prefer the Fleetwood Mac (UK) version thanks to the wonderful guitar work of Pete Green

  110. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. I said on Saturday that if we were as open in defence we would get hammered and it came to pass.

    Losing to BM is not a disaster but the manner of the defeat was depressing.

  111. Eddie says:

    “I hope the club acts swiftly and with dignity” – absolutely.

    Do you know what I felt last night? I felt sorry for our players, it must have been soul destroying to be ridiculed like that. They probably thought (unitl last night) that we were playing at the high level. Some fans thought that too. I am sorry to rub it in, but I saw signs of us going backwards for some time now. Call me a doomer now if you wish

  112. mickydidit89 says:

    God, how I wish we could play someone not very good at home tonight.

  113. Big Raddy says:

    Agree. Someone like Watford 😀

  114. Eddie says:

    Raddy 🙂
    How was it watching last night without a bottle or two? Unbearable? Scary?

  115. mickydidit89 says:


    Remember, Erik is weak, and was probably on the absinthe by minute twelve 🙂

  116. Big Raddy says:

    Nope. Stayed off the booze. I expected little and received it. I was shocked we went in equal at half-time. Gave up before the 5th goal.

    Micky is right. I am weak.

  117. chas says:

    I feel so sorry for Wenger this morning.
    Completely let down by his players once again.

  118. fatgingergooner says:


    It’s a bit ‘chicken and the egg’ when it comes to who let who down I think. Some will blame Wenger, some the players, but ultimately if losing 1 player to injury causes your whole defence to unravel like it did last night, then there is something wrong with the whole set up of players and staff. This is where it’s someone’s job to step in and say to both players and staff that it’s not good enough and a decision needs to be made.

  119. chas says:

    I was simply balancing the ridiculous sympathy for our poor players expressed earlier.
    I completely agree that the whole set-up is shot if an injury to one player causes the whole team to play like brain-dead imbeciles.

  120. GoonerB says:

    Afternoon all. Oh well.

    I kind of agree with FGG that it may be better to announce a retirement at the end of the season now. There are many fans that want a change but also want to see AW bow out with the dignity, thanks, and respect he deserves. These are fans that don’t want to experience the boos and banners but still feel the change is required.

    If everyone knows the change is coming then many if not most fans will probably unite behind him and the team to ensure the send off is a good one….and you never know it may be with a F.A cup and top 4 secured again. Not a bad way to end.

    Beyond this I think I may have under-estimated the situation at the club with the squad and players e.t.c. I have always maintained we have a fantastic squad that, has been recently, and is currently close to competing at the top end of things. I am now no longer sure at all on this, and wonder if it was just my pure hope that we weren’t too bad that made me try and convince myself of this.

    The squad may look decent on paper but I think has been in a vicious circle of descent recently into a very mentally weak one that I now feel may be severely psychologically damaged. This psychological aspect may be very hard to shift while retaining the current team all together as their mental weakness could almost feed each other.

    It may be that individually each player can move elsewhere to teams with a greater confidence and mental strength and regain their individual confidence but collectively, all together, I can’t see anyone there with the mental strength and winners mentality to pull the others out of this, and I think it is too big a job for any one manager to change this now, even one like Wenger.

    I now tend to agree with FGG that we will require a number of wholesale changes to freshen things up and restore some winning mentality and belief. Wholesale changes is not normally the done thing, and is often deemed harmful to continuity, but I feel in this case there is no continuity to harm, and we may as well implement the huge upheaval and change now even if it puts us a bit on the back foot for a season.

    Ozil and Sanchez once represented the dawn of a new project and era where we would develop into that top side again but the brakes were somewhat applied to the project after securing them and they now look like part of a (somewhat) failed project and era. As good as they are I think we need to purge ourselves of many players that represent this period, and in all likelihood we will not keep them anyway through their own choice.

    Worryingly I think I can add about another 10-12 players to Ozil and Sanchez that we could off-load and replace with about 8-9 better suited players.

    Get the right manager with the right winning mentality and standing in the game and provide him all the funds from the sales and add a fair bit more and let him shape a new squad in his image as a mentally strong one with quality and a winning mentality. It will not likely be an immediate thing.

    I still lean towards Allegri if we can get him because he is a good age and a proven winner. Perhaps he can persuade a few battle hardened experienced Italians to join us to provide that solidity, leadership, and mental strength we lack.

  121. wally says:

    If wenger is going he’s better to announce it now. Otherwise anything less than strong performances exposes himself and the players to greater barracking that surely won’t help him or the team. The mood will only worsen. It’s doubtful anything good can come of this.

  122. IanRealGunner says:

    A rubicon was crossed last night, and not by the fans, many of whom had already worked out that it is not working. The rubicon last night looked to be from Arsene’s realisation that he is done.

  123. Big Raddy says:

    Come on chaps. Put this into context. Did any of you believe we would beat BM in Germany?

    The manner of the defeat was horrible and there can be few excuses BUT before Kos went off we were holding our own and looked strong.

    I agree that we should not rely on one player to be the vital cog. Had BFG been fit enough to take Kos’s place I think we would have lost but not by 4.

  124. mickydidit89 says:

    The crossing of the rubicon for me was Theo coming on ahead of Danny

    Then, to send me over the edge, and simply to annoy me, Arsene sent Ollie out over Danny as well.

  125. Gööner In Exile says:

    Interesting this talk ofwholseale squad changes, I am not averse to the idea, but that’s mainly because I still hold on to an era where the majority of our team was homegrown. Let’s look at some of the players that have come and gone in the last twelve years, was the team that featured Cesc, Nasri, RvP and Theo more compelling and enjoyable to watch than the team we see now? For me it’s an undoubted yes.

    Pressure has been applied by fans, media and probably internally that we must buy stars, we must pay the big wages. Santi didn’t cost massive amount of money, Montreal either, neither as far as we know have held the club to ransom, could they if playing for Chavs be regular starters, I’d say yes, could they be champions, again I’d say yes.

    I watched Gibbs and Ox last night try their best, and that is at the end of the day all we can ask. Would I prefer us to have young squad players than spending £15-£25m on players that are new to the club…yes I would

    Would I prefer Szczesny and Wilshere in our squad than loaned out, again yes I would, because despite what anyone thinks about their abilities there was a time when they lived the club and they were like fans playing for the team and for us, and you knew it hurt them as much as it hurt us and Arsene. How many who started last night hurt as much as we or Arsene do today? I’d probably take a guess that I could count them on one hand.

  126. mickydidit89 says:

    I think you’re saying you’d rather see a Leicester 2015-16 side, which I understand, but it does take more than that to consistently be a top side.
    It’s a balance, and however much I like your sentiment, we are and should be a top side. Well, topper than a Leicester 🙂

  127. Some very good comments and suggestions for the future on here today.

    If AW has decided that it’s time for change then I would like the club to announce it sooner rather than later. It would take the pressure off and I for one would sing his name loud and proud at each and every remaining game. He should have the send off he deserves for all the amazing memories we have.

    The decline has been hard to watch and there may still be more embarrassing games ahead but it’s not over yet.

    Whatever the game plan was, I think the players let themselves down badly.

  128. Exile

    The team with Cesc in was more exciting to watch because it had Cesc in it 🙂

  129. Although Bobby Thierry and Dennis take some beating

  130. Sol Campbell – possibly the very best thing Arsene ever did 😉

  131. chas – can we watch some Invincible goals to cheer us up

  132. GunnerN5 says:

    An extremely bad loss but I hope it does not signal an end to AW’s time at Arsenal. I cannot believe that he is past his best but I do believe that he is far too loyal to certain players.

    Just why he chose to bring on Walcott as a sub when he needed to score goals was beyond my comprehension as we had both Welbeck and Giroud on the bench.

    But then again that (loyalty) in itself may be the underlying problem that has been holding us back from achieving better results.

    By the way our mid-field looked non existent.

  133. Eddie says:

    GN5 – exactly, Walcott instead of Welbeck or even Giroud. Is he really losing the touch? I simply thought that he reached the stage that he cannot improve or excel again. But as things stand I think the situation is worse than I thought

    I bet you any money Wenger thinks we can beat BM convincingly at home. He will wait until then

    Like others, I wish him all the best, I always hold him in highest respect if he goes now. Further damage would be unforgivable

  134. Gööner In Exile says:

    Micky I think we produced and signed better young players when we weren’t trying to dine at the top table with expensive signings. Yes they needed help, but the reason we lost them was more the inability to compete on wages. After all if it really was because they wanted the club to invest to help them win things then they weren’t worth keeping anyway.

    That’s what I feel we have lost in last few years, as much as I have enjoyed watching Ozil and Alexis it’s the changes around them that have given me cause for concern. We haven’t just added two to three new players we have added five/six/seven and kept and indulged players like Theo as club “brands” rather than letting them go.

  135. Gööner In Exile says:

    Why inflict last night and the team’s general malaise on Danny, if I was him I would have been glad to stay on the bench last night.

  136. mickydidit89 says:

    Ah ha, now I understand Exile, and I agree with that in your 5:23

    It goes back to what GN5 was saying about Arsene’s loyalty. It is of course a fine quality, but the moment that loyalty isn’t reciprocated by an individual through effort, he should be out, gone, history.

    There are many examples, and Theo is a good one.

  137. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok, now for some hard core wiff waff.

  138. Eddie says:

    perhaps if Danny played last night the misery would be halved.
    All we needed was 1 more goal from us and 1 goal less from them
    Then we would still be within chance and without humiliation.

  139. Eddie says:

    do you think we were clueless last night? check this out:

    A military helicopter pilot gets some help from a lorry driver after losing his bearings during an exercise in Kazakhstan

  140. 1979Gunner says:

    The squad does need wholesale change – you can bet whoever takes over from Arsene will want that guarantee before signing on the dotted line. Arsene has lost his touch in the transfer market. How he missed out on Kante is a shame. I’ve said for a long time Coquelin is not good enough. He seems to play to the camera – all huff and puff. His attempted tackle on the giant Eden Hazard was a total embarrassment. He should be given away. Ramsey is done. Gabriel is awful. Gibbs and Monreal not good enough. Iwobi has potential but appears to be Arsene’s next darling. He rarely buys the finished article. When he does, it’s on a luxury like Ozil.
    I love Arsene and am eternally grateful for what he has done for Arsenal but the time has come to say thanks for the (distant) memories but it’s time to let someone else have a go.

  141. Gööner In Exile says:

    Oh well Spuds only lost 1-0…..but it was to Gent and they had their full side out from what I could see.

  142. Eddie says:

    hands up – who still wishes Wenger signed another contract?

  143. chas says:

  144. chas says:

  145. LB says:

    I have my hand up.

  146. fatgingergooner says:

    It wouldn’t be a huge shock if Wenger did sign. According to some sources the club want him to stay and a contract is available to sign, so if the season ends with some good results then he could still be here next year. How that would go down with fans I’m not sure 😳

  147. Gööner In Exile says:

    I know it’s confirmation bias working at full effect but I found this interesting on BBCftom Mesuts agent:

    “He is not someone who runs around aimlessly and tackles just so everyone thinks he is fighting. If it doesn’t make sense to run somewhere he will keep that power for the next run.”

    And since Henry Winter is busy telling everyone that money is no object to Arsenal and the pauper status is some kind of lie I looked at the financials, even though I swore I wouldn’t any more.

    2015/16 profit £1.6m

    2015 cash £228m
    2016 cash £226m

    So actually £2m less.

    We are still in a precarious position financially.

    Now one of the biggest costs was impairment of players contracts,£57m.

    To understand that we have to think of a player like a car, but him for £40m on a four year contract we write him down by £10m a year, because if he leaves at end of 4th season he is worthless. If we sign him to a new contract we may show a profit because we may add back the previous write down in value.

    So it can be argued we actually made £58m and if we kept our players past their contracts expiry then we don’t really lose that money, and we have £58m to spend if we don’t want to reduce our cash position.

    Well we probably spent that on Mustafi and Xhaka so in truth money earned has been reinvested and if we don’t keep Ozil and Alexis then we will have to sell some players on longer contracts to balance the books if we still want to keep spending.

    I know that’s not what people want to hear, but they are stone cold facts, and they were occurring before Kroenke’s takeover.

    Now maybe we need to change the model, many teams who have won the league over last four/five seasons have not been able to compete on all fronts, they have made sacrifices somewhere, in order to have 11-15 highly paid and therefore better players than our evenly spread squad.

    Here’s the rub, who do you cut? We hear cries that our squad isn’t deep enough but unfortunately our 25 man roster is full to the brim. So we need to cut maybe ten players, replace them with youth teamers, and the likes of Jenkinson, Akpom, Zelalem, etc and hope you only use them in League Cup and FA Cup. Then go out and sign the best 8-9 players you can to bolster Kozzer, Mustafi, Alexis, Ozil, Santi, and Bellerin and convert them into a title winning team?

  148. GoonerB says:

    Sounds good GIE but you lost me at “impairment of players contracts” so I will take your word for it 🙂

    GIE, can you tell me something. Someone who knows more about all this stuff than me (a bit like you) said that Kroenke is mostly interested in his U.S based enterprises and is basically only using Arsenal as leverage and as an asset to borrow against for his U.S ventures, so the money we retain in the bank is more to do with keeping Arsenal in a position of being a strong asset that he can borrow against.

    If true then he really doesn’t care about Arsenal or progressing it from a sporting achievement aspect, and maybe the fans need to think more long term about him and how he may be hindering our progress, and possibly, if anything, what they can do about it.

    I still think Arsene has somewhat lost his way now and we need to freshen it up but are there even greater issues behind the scenes.

  149. wally says:

    If they don’t sign ozil or sanchez it won’t change the clubs finances at all. The cash flow from the gate and sponsorship keeps rolling in each year. That money will be spent on salaries and acquisitions, as well as daily operations.
    Broadly speaking Sanchez and ozil, player acquisitions, are simply the equivalent of capex. A portion of the capex expense is depreciated each year until they are sold, resigned (and rolled over), or left to walk. Depreciation is an expense against revenues, their cost, and all players costs, are recouped in the EBIT. They don’t materially change the clubs’ financial position unless cash flow dries up.
    No one has to be sold, nothing changes financially (maybe fewer shirts sold, fewer tickets sold, lesser sponsorship revenues but that’s a down the road item.

  150. Gööner In Exile says:

    GoonerB I don’t know if he could use it asleverage for debts in US he already has one in form of loan notes given to Nina Bracewell-Smith. But it’s just a long term investment for him, it’s made him more wealth than interestt would have done if you look at what he could sell his shares for now.

    Wally yes they are CapEx and yes impairment is depreciation by any other name the cash flow comes in but is by and large spent in full year on year.

    The point is if £70m worth of expenditure walks out of the club that money is spent and we have to make it back before we spend it again. If our profit is £60m per year before impairment then that is all we have to spend on players each year. And if we need to bring in two players akin to Ozil and Alexis money that’ll be gone in a heartbeat and that’s all we will be able to spend.

    People are talking like we can go and make massive changes to our squad. I don’t think we can, and if the players go out the revolving door the other end of their contract our squad will always struggle to improve as the fans want it to.

  151. mickydidit89 says:

    Apologies to professional accountants, but isn’t all that doom/worst case accounting.
    Yes, factor in massive impairment, as surely that’s lowering your declared profit and therefore tax bill.
    Reality in this day and age especially is that depreciation should not be one of our biggest costs simply because of asset inflation if bought well.
    Isn’t this how many good clubs, without the big boy branding value, survive

    Re the leverage: I guess it would be interesting to know, although I’ve always guessed Stan has Arsenal not to make money, but simply to spread bet and have a nest egg in another country, while also being in sports which he knows about and enjoys.

  152. Gööner In Exile says:

    Micky that’s all good if you plan on convincing them to leave before end of contract (and therefore selling and recouping some of your outlay) or convincing them to stay another 5 years so the initial outlay becomes paltry over life of their stay. This is what the likes of Chavs and Shitty have done by offering mega salaries and long contracts up front and then continuing that cause. By the time Eden Hazard leaves Chavs his original transfer fee would have more than adequately been worthwhile.

    My problem is in terms of cash flow if we can’t keep players like Ozil andAlexis, they leave out of contract and we have to replace, if we only make £60m cash in a year that’ll soon evaporate with the transfer fees being paid around Europe in last couple of seasons having to replace these kind of talents.

  153. mickydidit89 says:


    That makes it look as though I’m happy with Stan.

    The way I see things is that any Arsenal Manager does have a great platform to work off. He can spend well on wages, and if he’s good at juggling his pack, can spend well on transfers.

    My biggest issue, is that it appears to me that the manager’s job at Arsenal has become too big for one man. I think he needs a Director of Football above who is also a highly intelligent footballing man. Then, I’d like to see Stan juggle the board.

    In short, go a bit more Bayern

  154. mickydidit89 says:


    Surely a large part of the solution to that lies in a comment you made yesterday ie yer Mesuts and Sanchez’ would more likely stay/renew if they saw a different culture where free-loaders were not consistently rewarded

    Let’s be honest here, we’ve seen Ollie and Theo put in less than 100% many times. How the hell do they ever get selected ahead of Perez and Danny because it is not always about fitness

  155. fatgingergooner says:

    If Wenger goes then regardless of the financial situation we will see a lot of changes to the playing squad over the next 3 years and the team will be unrecognisable from what it is now. New managers bring new ideas and ultimately new players. We are a modern day football club and we are no different to any of the others in that respect.

  156. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    No doubt in my mind, speculate to accumulate.

    Spend, spend, spend. Seeing the midfield 3 of Bayern totally control the game was depressing.

    Trouble is Xhaka , Ox and Coq though all very good players but none would get into BM’s first team and possibly not even their reserves. I doubt we can attract such players.

    Do we buy a DM for massive money? Can you imagine AFC spending the money on a Pogba?

    Much as I would love to go down the big money route I just can’t see it.

    8 or 9 players out? Never going to happen.

  157. Eddie says:

    long comments, ooooh, I have to read them…back later

  158. fatgingergooner says:


    If we were going down the Director route would you have Wenger?

  159. Eddie says:

    GiE – how much is STan taking out from the AFC? Roughly

    And shareholders? How much do they get paid?

  160. Eddie says:

    fattie – Wenger is too set in his way to suddenly accept someone above him. It would be like accepting the fact that he cannot cope with his job and he needs someone else with him. Nope, that would never happen

    I have read the long comments and I cannot believe it – there is not one positive and not one blogger fighting Wenger’s corner. Am I on a wrong blog??

  161. mickydidit89 says:

    Just been on the Bayern website. Two interesting club statements:


    Financial Responsibility

    “Our expenditure is based on income – we only spend what we’ve already earned,” says president Karl Hopfner.”




    There can hardly be another club in the world with so many former players still actively involved as FC Bayern”

  162. Eddie says:

    yeah, so why Lahm is not happy there and publicaly announced his retirement before he let the club know?

  163. fatgingergooner says:

    Alonso -£8m
    Vidal – £25m
    Thiago – £20m

    Not exactly crazy money. Massive transfers still get the headlines in football, but there are thousands of transfers that happen every season that are value for money. Leicester were a prime example of this last season.


    Four midfielders that we already own who have massive potential to be as good as any other midfielders out there IF they are managed in the right way and put into systems that suit how they play. It’s not pipe dreams – we’ve watched these players control football matches and put in stunning performances against top class opposition before, they just need to re-find that form and build partnerships. If we can add the right players around them then there is no need for crazy transfer fees.

    This is obviously a massively difficult task, but world class players emerge from all different places. Maybe we’ve already got some in our squad that just need a little spark.

  164. mickydidit89 says:


    Re Lahm. Don’t know the answer, but it may be something very simple and not sinister

    Re Arsene as DoF. Mmmm, well if I thought he was being used in a smooth transitional way to a new set up, then yes.
    I know we have Bobby hanging around a lot, but definitely like to see more DB10 for example.

  165. mickydidit89 says:

    I really don’t think drastic changes are needed as most of the important stuff is in place ie stadium, financials etc. Net spend on wages and transfers is also fine

    Tweak transfer policy. Take on more Arsenal football people. Relieve Manager of some duties. Adopt zero tolerance for players not giving 100%

    All easily achievable

  166. GoonerB says:

    Morning all, some good points this morning and I can hash up a small post (in about 20 mins) to continue enhance / debate on a couple of key points if you wish.

    Let me know because I won’t bother if another new post is in the offing imminently.

  167. Big Raddy says:

    GB. What would be great

  168. fatgingergooner says:

    Interesting comments in the presser from Wenger. He said if he does not manage at Arsenal next season he will still manage somewhere.

    I guess that puts to bed any suggestion of him moving upstairs. Sounds like he’s still got an appetite for it, which if that is the case, I think he could end up staying. If anything is to drive him away it will be the fan unrest and possibly player unrest, which would be a massive shame if that was the case.

  169. mickydidit89 says:


  170. Gööner In Exile says:

    Eddie, these accounts £0 and £0 except any shareholders who might also be paid Directors, I’d need to look at accounts again, Gazidis is biggest earner on board and he doesn’t have shares as far as I am aware.

    Kroenke wont pay dividends on shares because that means money going to Red & White Holdings which Usmanov has previously demanded. He seems to be a lot quieter since his partner in R&W took ownership of Everton, perhaps he isn’t as wealthy as previously thought?

  171. Gööner In Exile says:

    FGG Arsene has always said when he leaves he leaves he wouldn’t want to cast a shadow. If he is anything he is a man of his word.

    Could easily see him going off to China, MLS or even international management.

  172. GoonerB says:

    Just sending it, sorry chaps. I have to part work while doing it so get interruptions. Will just copy and paste it into an email if that is ok.

  173. fatgingergooner says:

    Some of the comments Wenger makes at pressers are valid but just seem a bit out of touch with the fans.

    Saying we won’t win every game once he’s gone is true, but fans don’t expect that. They just want us to win some of the games that he’s failing to win i.e. Against big sides. Most decent managers could come into Arsenal with the players we have and win the games that Wenger is winning, but it’s the matches against the other top 6 that we need to improve on and stop seeing the same performance and result time after time. We would even be happy with losses in certain situations if it meant we were still in the tie i.e. a 2-1 loss to Bayern would’ve been a great result.

    He also said that he’s been in the CL 20 years in a row. Well that’s great, but only once have we come close to winning it and it’s been a long time since we even made it out of the last 16. Now if we were out of Europe for a bit I might crave it again, but at the moment, I couldn’t really care less if we are in Europe or not if it means going through this same pointless humiliation every February. It’s an achievement that he can look back on with pride, but ultimately it’s an achievement that doesn’t compare to winning titles.

    The other side of this achievement is that we used to qualify for CL as league winners, but at the moment it just feels like a very very slow decline towards eventually being a top 6 side. Would I rather have that or would I rather be watching a team who changes manager every few years but has bits of success along the way? I reckon the ups and downs in performance and new transfers that changing manager every few seasons brings would be a lot more exciting that what I’m watching now. At the moment, Arsenal’s results are predictable and dull and the performances not much better. I never thought I’d say that about a Wenger team.

  174. GoonerB says:

    Sent it now as an attachment. Can the powers that be let me know if that is ok or if you want it sent differently.

  175. chas says:

    New Post

  176. wally says:

    GIE, the team is not funded out of profits. it’s funded on cash flow. Yes that cash flow is spent on all aspects of the team. But if ozil and sanchez walk they simply accelerate the depreciation into the final year. plus they’ll realize on the sale of said players.
    Sports is very similar to the airline business. Massive investments in planes (players) which are depreciated over useful their lifetime. The depreciation helps cash flows. As long as cash flows exceed costs all is well.
    You don’t have to make anything back. The sponsorship and gate and whatever are going to keep coming regardless.
    Now as to changing 10 or 12 players i doubt any manager is going to come in and do that but it’s certainly fun for us to speculate on that.

    Eddie, from the statements presented i see no payments to stan other than compensation as a director and that is minimal. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any. It simply isn’t itemized at this level of disclosure. In all likelihood stan runs it as a business, not a lifestyle maintenance mechanism. Shareholders received no dividends last year.

  177. VP of Oz says:

    Gary Neville meets ArsenalFanTV –
    “…be clear. the coach, the manager, the board would be fully aware of everything you will be saying on social media, everything you are saying on this channel, and they will be aware of the fans discontent through booing, through the fact that before half time when your not winning or losing at home to a team you think you should be beating and there’s that ooorrgh! they can see the empty seats which I saw behind ..there were some empty seats there at the game on Saturday. Thats where you see discontent. So they will be fully aware of your voices. However they will just disagree with the fact, they’ve got a lower budget than… City have spent a billion, United have spent 750mil, Chelsea have spent nearly 750mil, I think Tottenham have spent 560mil even though their net spend is less, Liverpool have spent a lot more than Arsenal. They will be looking at that and they’ll be thinking, no they’ll be looking at that and thinking we are getting a really good level of performance and consistency from our manager with a budget we’re giving him. We can never compete with City and Chelsea on those budgets. They’ve spent double what we’ve spent. So my view would be that they might be looking, they might be listening to you and thinking..We Disagree, have you thought of that.”

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