Jabba Says Arsene Wasted His Best Years – Do You Agree?

August 6, 2015

The ever-charming Alisher Usmanov has been speaking again.

In between appearing at Comicon as the world’s best Jabba the Hutt impersonator, Usmanov is also a major shareholder at Arsenal – albeit one who has been squeezed out of day-to-day involvement in the club.

His pronouncements are infrequent but usually serve to advance his agenda: namely to suggest that he would be a better majority owner of the club than Mr Kroenke.

This week he is reported as saying: “Arsene Wenger had a very, very difficult position when the club shareholders did not want to put their money to construct the new stadium. Because of this he lost five years – maybe the best of his career – without a trophy. In reality ten years.”

My first reaction was anger: from a certain perspective, those years of austerity can be viewed not as lost years, but as Arsene’s BEST years.

Sure, there were no trophies, but during those years he arguably performed his greatest miracles: he kept us in the Champions League positions year after year while spending less than net zero and while watching his best players waltz out of the door at the end of every season.

When people compare Wenger and Mourinho I always look at it this way: could Arsene have won Premiership titles with the squad that was bought for Jose – at eye-watering expense – at Chelsea from 2004 onwards? The answer is self-evidently “yes.”

Now flip it on its head: could Jose Mourinho have kept a team in the top four of the Premier League for eight years with the resources that Arsene had to work with in the period after we moved to The Emirates? The answer is again self-evident and this time it is “no.” In fact, “no, no and thrice no. Not a cat in hell’s chance.”

Hence my reaction to Jabba’s words. They are an insult to a great manager – and to our club and to all the people who kept supporting Arsenal during those leaner years in the hope of eventually seeing a brighter tomorrow.

But, on reflection, I realised that Jabba is also implying that, had he been the boss man, he would have dipped into his own pocket to build the stadium and would have kept the cash flowing for buying new superstars and retaining our existing ones.

Would that have been such a bad thing?

We could have avoided all those years of watching other teams lord it over us, of fans turning against fans, of vitriol poured over our greatest ever manager.

It does make you think…

On balance I’ll stick with my original instincts: I’m glad we didn’t become another sugar daddy club; I’m glad we are an institution that “pays its way” honestly and doesn’t engage in financial doping.

Somehow it feels right – it feels like the Arsenal way.

And how much more satisfying are the trophies when we have all been through a barren and frustrating period?

But that’s just me. What do you think?






Are the Oligarths looking after their own money?‏

July 23, 2014

Morning Gooners,

Now I know we don’t do politics, religion and all those things that make the world go round, but I felt I had to put a few words together to discuss the following. Many supporters have been asking for one of our major share holders to use his billions to buy Arsenal FC outright and spend some of that vast wealth on players.

Many supporters don’t care where Usmanov’s money has come from. He is a business man, who has his billions in many pots, but where his money has actually come from no one can say for sure.

Chelsea’s owner Roman Abramovitch is also running a big football club, it’s reported that he started off selling matches on street corners, and then branched out selling rubber dolls from his pokey little flat. He must have sold a lot of matches and dolls to build his wealth to six Billion.

Usmanov is another that has amassed an eleven billion fortune, rumoured to have come from minerals and other means, but no one seems to know the actual truth. These two billionaires are not alone in Great Britain judging by the papers, who recently named six russians that were all multi billionaires.

With the trouble between the Russians and Ukraine where things are getting warlike, I noticed that our Prime Minister, David Cameron has threatened sanctions on Russian deals, and wait for it, he has also stated that the Russian billionaires funds which are sitting in British banks may be held, and will not allow those billionaires to use their funds, until this Ukrainian business is settled.

Now I am far from a financial wizard, but that suggests to me that the kind of action that the Prime Minister is suggesting, is saying that their money is not really theirs, but is being looked after by them for the Russian Government.

Looking at what is happening, has made me think that what the Russian Government has done, is syphon of the country’s wealth, and given it to certain people to look after, until this money is needed. It’s been smuggled out of the country, so the Russian public are not aware of it. Of course these so called billionaires have to act out the rich man, but when you’re holding a billion what’s a yacht or two, or even a football club, lets face it yachts and football club money can be redeemed, Mayfair Apartments can be sold and so on.

Now wouldn’t you take on a job like that, live like a billionaire, and find a safe haven, invest a bit in a business and look the part. Putin runs the country, and also lives like a wealthy man, but with him he is hungry for power. And when the shit hits the fan, he always has vast wealth being held, and could disappear at the snap of a finger,

Now I may have it all wrong, and all these people may be straight down the middle, but I have a sneaky feeling that I am not that far wrong, I have always been against Usmanov’s money being used  at Arsenal, and even if I’m wrong I am still glad we do it our own way and don’t need a ‘Sugar Daddy’.

Written by Steve Palmer