Feb 012011
 

So the transfer window is shut, and if there was ever an advert for not getting involved, it was yesterday’s madness. There is little doubt that our squad remains a centre back short, and that we will spend the rest of the season looking on anxiously whenever one of them goes down, but despite the obvious hole there are few dissenting voices this morning.

It is easy to see why. Not only is it extremely difficult to come up with names of defenders who could slot in and do a job this season, as opposed to arriving in the summer and preparing for the next, but the fees demanded are preposterous, for frankly very average players. Gary Cahill is probably the best of the bunch we were linked with, but the mooted £12-15m is quite ridiculous.

Transfer deadline day can be a damp squib, but there were some significant moves yesterday. But for each of them, you can question the sums of money being thrown around, and understand why Wenger, and indeed Ferguson, stayed well clear. The summer is a good time to rebuild, January is a good time to frantically throw money around trying to capture anyone. Just look at Spurs’ hilarious and failed attempts to bring anyone in at the last minute.

Torres moved to Chelsea for £50m, which clearly strengthens them while posing the question of how Drogba and Anelka now fit in. But despite the brilliance of the player, it is an extraordinary amount of money for a player who has been below his best for the past couple of years, largely because of muscular injuries that it is hard to claim he is free from. Liverpool were so reliant on him under Benitez that he was constantly forced to play when half fit, and that took its toll. If he does fire for Chelsea, it poses a lot of questions about his recent form for Liverpool.

On the face of it, losing Torres is a blow for Liverpool, but from a business point of view, £50m is an enormous fee that should have allowed the club to do some serious rebuilding. Instead, £35m of it went on the immediate replacement of Andy Carroll who, while undoubtedly a good player, is worth absolutely nowhere near that sum of money. The only surprise was that Newcastle took any time in considering what was a ludicrous offer rather than giggling and snatching their hand off. Arriving alongside Carroll is Luis Suarez, prolific in Holland, but no more so that Mateja Kezman and Alfonso Alves were before him. Personally, I think Suarez will be a success, but it is hard to argue that losing Torres and around £7m to bring in the pair amounts to a good day of business.

All of which leaves Arsenal where we started. The squad is big, and largely healthy, but much will depend on the fitness of the centre backs and Song for the rest of the season, as losing those players would have the most dramatic effect on the quality of the team. Suddenly Djourou in particular is a vital cog if we are to continue challenging on all fronts.

It is a strange post-window feeling – we had a gap to fill, we didn’t fill it, yet there are general nods of understanding around the fanbase, an acceptance that the option of a stopgap signing at an inflated price may not have been a good one, particularly for a manager so insistent on avoiding being ripped off. It was wise not to get involved.

It is certainly more important that the players who have been rotated in over the past few weeks improve their performances than we bring in a player or two. Wenger has been giving the squad players plenty of match time in the cups over the past few weeks, and while we’ve come through each of the tests, not many of them have made a case for a regular berth in the side. Sunday’s scraped 2-1 win over Huddersfield was another prime example – the lack of drive when certain players are missing is alarming, and once again it took the late introduction of Cesc to give the side the focus needed to go on and win the tie.

No doubt we will be put through the ringer again in the next round – away to Leyton Orient is another chance to give the fringe players a go. I have no problem with that policy – we are still in four competitions and there is little doubt that the players should be comfortably good enough to dispatch lower league opposition, but they are playing below the standard we expect at the moment.

That said, we got through, and the rotation means that others are fresh for tonight’s clash with Everton, who were impressive in their cup meeting with Chelsea on Saturday. Everton have caused us a few problems in recent years, and this fixture last season saw us put in a dreadful performance, only to be rescued by a late Rosicky equaliser. But the fixtures are falling kindly at the moment and we have no excuses for not putting a run together. Everton are still struggling to score, and a continuation of our improved defensive record would give us the platform for three points.

It is a week of tricky fixtures for those at the top – United face Villa, while Chelsea and City travel to Sunderland and Birmingham respectively. A win tonight puts the pressure on others.

Enjoy the game.

  87 Responses to “Arsenal remain sensibly silent on a day of transfer insanity”

  1. I wonder what you consider sensible. We pay for the most expensive season tickets in the world and welcome free transfers, while minnows down the road spend money we can afford more easily than they can on the best Centre for ward in the world. Arsenal, a club with greater history, more potential, little or no debt, richer owners and more organically generated funds than Chelsea, get to watch Chamakh. Chelsea, comparitive paupers, get to watch Torres.

    Please tell me what is sensible about our approach. And dont spin me the bull about going new financial rules and the Chavs going bust. While clowns were trying to sell me that line last year, the Chavs were ‘collapsing’ to a double win, while we won nothing as usual,

    Stop the lies. Their approach is sensible and tinged with the one element that makes us love football – fantasy. Ours is the folly of myopic grey dull unambitious greedy owners and management. I weep for my club.

    • Go player championship manager you wuss

      • …I am 58 years old child. I dont understand computer games. But tell me, my wise cracking little friend, were heh Chavs playing championship manager yesterday? No. Time to get your head out of computers and lands mags. Yesterdays events happened in real life, not on a computer game. Its time the likes of you faced reality. Other clubs with less resources are bringing in the best players in teh world. It is not the stuff of computer games. It is reality – or perphaps you are a lackey of Abramovich trying to convince us that such things are beyond the mighty Arsenal?

        • Other clubs with less resources? That line is complete fantasy.

          Yes, we have rich people on the board, but sensible people do not throw money at a business and expect nothing in return. Chelsea operate at an enormous loss, and you seem to be suggesting we do the same (by saying that those actions shouldn’t be beyond us).

          Football is a business, not a charity.

          • No. And this is the big problem. It is a FACT that Arsenal has more resources than Chelsea at this stage. It is a question of choice as to how those resources are used. When all is said and done, we support a football team. We do not pay our money to watch balance sheets paraded on the pitch. We want to see the best players. That is the ONLY place we want to see our resources – on the pitch.

            I do not think that the Chelsea owner is more stupid than our owners, he is, from the available facts, simply more deveoted to his team. We do not know what his motivations are, but it is an unarguable, concrete fact that, with now substantially less resources than the Arsenal shareholders, his strategy is more successful than ours in the place where it really matters: on the pitch.

            You will, no doubt point to a future when they crumble and we are left to inherit the earth. Well I heard it last year, and they won the double. And I heard it this year, and they’ve just bought the worlds best centre forward. Alll you can offer is fears and the prospect of some rosy future – the facts and cold reality are that their way is more successful than ours, and the shame is that we can now afford to pursue this more successful path more safely than they can. And yet we wont.

          • Gunner55 I don’t know where you get your “FACTS” from, possibly Le Grove but you’re talking nonsense. Having a serviceable debt is not the same thing as having no debt. We still have big bonds for the stadium to pay back and that is significant and most certainly what you’d call debt.
            The wealth of the members on the Arsenal board is completely irrelevant because we are not owned by an individual. The assets and debts of Arsenal FC belong to Arsenal FC, not to any member of the board. They don’t recieve any dividends or any kind of bonus based on the success of the club. We should appreciate this set up while we can because if we do get a sugar-daddy owner, we may garner success in our generations but our kids and grand-kids would pay the price.
            What people try to explain to you about the Chelsea model is that Abramovic has taken the debt of Chelsea onto himself, allowing them to act with abandon in the transfer market but that set up only lasts as long as Abramovic is interested in Chelsea. If he decides to walk out tomorrow or 10 years on, do you think he will write off the debt or do you think that he will demand a payment plan is set up?

            £50 million for Torres is almost as obscene as £34 million for Carroll. You say we should be bringing in big names but if the market dictates that 2-years-out-of-form Torres costs 50m and Gary Cahil is worth 12m, who do you have in mind?

        • “Their approach is sensible and tinged with the one element that makes us love football – fantasy.”

          You’re talking to us about reality when your asking for fantasy! Which one is it?! You can’t have both!

          • I think you are a pedant! Of course you can have both. Fantasy in a football sense is bringing in those players who can do something special. Fantasy players, if you like, such as Henry, Bergkamp etc exist. Its a question of having the balls to buy them. and Torres is one such player, a player who can bring fantasy to a club. And I wish it was to us.

          • Gooner 55

            ‘Spin you the bull about financial rules’ What, like its a myth is it? So getting a stadium move out the way nice and early was a bad idea as well was it? We are paying the sacrifice for that at present, but in a few short years when it is over, we will be one of the bigger spenders again.

            I would have thought at 55 years old you would have known about patience. Who cares if Chelsea buy 10 trophies in a few years, they had nothing for decades before that and will have nothing for decades again on the other side. They WILL have to fall in line with the rest of Europe at some point, whether you think it is a myth or not. And when they do they will be in a terrible position, having relied on super signings to get them through until then. Even Abramovich accepts that he won’t be able to play in Europe unless he sorts the club out, its just he is too weak willed to see it through. They will pay…

    • Taxi for gooner55 please.

    • Gooner55,

      I believe there is a reason you support Arsenal and NOT Chelsea! I suggest that for as long as that reason remains continue supporting Arsenal and stop bitching about. Arsenal is your team/club so stop casting your lusful eyes upon “other peoples'” clubs/teams. Or alternatively just cross over…

      • As a true fan, Im sure you know that nobody would want to cross over – it is a disgusting concept and those so called Arsenal fans who drop that line at every opportunity to people who question the clubs path are, tehmselves, disgusting. They need to know that this is a democratic society, not communist bloody russia. Why do you have a problem with me wanting my club to better itself? Chelsea, of themselves are an irrelevant nothing. But they have shown us what is possible and I see no reason to stop clamouring for us to improve. I would ask you – how would you have felt if it was Arsenal who had the courage to buy Torres yesterday?

        • You honestly believe buying Torres for 50 mil would have been a good idea for Arsenal?!

          I’m proud that we have excluded ourselves from the moronic, hyper inflated prices. Surely, if you can be above Chelsea at this point in the season in the league, having totally outperformed them at home, be in one wembly final in a few weeks time, CONSISTENTLY in the knock out stages of the Champs league despite a monumental stadium move and 2nd to United in the league, SURELY that proves it is worth following this route.

          • Where we are now is largely irrelevant.If we finish above them this year, and win some silverware I will agree. But after yesterday, which club do you see as having the better second half to the seaon.

            But I’ll tell you what, if it was us that had signed Torres, we would be on a different level to them completely. Surely that can at least make you see where I’m coming from?

    • Where are Chelsea in the league again?

      And I’m guessing you would rather we were taken over by Usmanov than maintain our current, sustainable model which goes a long way towards protecting us from a potential financial collapse in the future?

      And we get to watch Chamakh and they get to watch Torres? While I suppose we get to watch Fabregas and they get to watch Mikel? I struggle to see your point to be honest. Torres hasn’t even kicked a ball for them yet and you’re making him out to be the signing of the season.

      Football is a lot more complicated than the little fantasy world you seem to crave.

      • Ok, I will explain.

        The so called ‘sustainability’ model is fine if it is calculated to try to win Arsenal the league and champions league. If it is designed to perpetuate mediocrity (i.e 3 or 4th at best), and to line the pockets of the boad, which I am convicned is the case, then get rid of it. Simple as that. Arsenal are close to a great team, and none of us should be happy to watch this opportunity wasted by a. refusal to buy the best to push on and b. teh sale of players such as Cesc. Yet the ‘sustainability’ model will allow both.

        And I am no racist – I have no more against Usmanov than I do Kroenke. And nor should any of us. It is results on the pitch, not on the balance sheet that motivates me.

        And of course Arsenal has some great players – but the point is, we never seem to try and improvve on what we have, which is surely the point of football.

        And, for the love of God, how can you call my world a fantasy world. It is an unquestionable fact that the Arsenal club and shareolders are richer than their Chelsea counterparts. It was, from a financial point of view, therefore more feasible that we sign Torres than they did. And yet they did. So it is not fantasy, merely a diabolical missed opportunity,

        • “I have no more against Usmanov than I do Kroenke. And nor should any of us”

          By us (the people who should not have anything against Usmanov), I assume you mean people who do not care about human rights, corruption and fraud.

        • At goonner55

          what many fail to see is that we already have our £50+ million pound players after yesterdays value.

          Our £50M striker = RVP
          Our £75M Midfielder = Fab 4 (if kaka went for £60m)
          Our £45M Midfielder = Nasri
          Our £25M striker bendner + Theo + Chamakh
          Our 35M DMF Alex song

          Others of Note: Arshavin 20M,Sagna 20M, Diaby 22M (yes I know), Wiltshire 30M and Ramsey 25M

          According to the market that is what I value our players at if we had to sell now.

          So I suggest that all those crying out for big signings should look home first as we already have them. The difference is we did not chop our own balls off to pay that price for them when we got them.Just good business. So gunner 55 chill out and enjoy our very own galacticose play everton tonight as we have 2 teams. Team A (the one thast beat chelsea) one of the best in the world and team B (the one we saw at leads) which is capable but not great.

    • There’s a few things wrong with your analysis. I assume you’re talking about Spurs when you refer to the minnows. I’m glad we’re not in their financial position, because Redknapp has rendered every club he’s managed practically bankrupt. When you compare their income to their outlay, they are heading down a very dangerous road.

      As for Chelsea, they have an owner willing to sink a daft amount of money and get no financial return. We don’t have a sugar daddy, very few people would do that and to say that we should just isn’t right. If you made a fortune tomorrow would you just give Arsenal a blank cheque?

      I agree that our squad needs strengthening, and will be massively disappointed if it isn’t in the summer. But yesterday proved that buying in January just means you throw more money away than you have to.

      • No. Chelsea are the minnows compared to Arsenal. Usmanov himself is more wealthy than Abramovich, and that does not take into account the Kroenke billions and the money the club generates. So the money is there. The will to spend it is not. The penny pinching is not, as the board and management will have us believe, a necessity. It is the choice of a group of people whose wealth dwarves Abramovich, but who are unwilling to put a penny of their wealth on the pitch for the benefit of the fans.

        I am tired of hearing phrases like ‘daft’ amounts of money. These people have it in spades. Is it more daft to be running around the pitch in the shape of a great striker, or burning holes in American, Uzbek or Etonian pockets is actually the only question we need to aks.

        • Usmanov is not on the board.

          And you miss the point, again. Abramovich threw an enormous amount of money at Chelsea, money he will never see again.

          Since he did so, many fans, yourself included it seems, appear to believe that is the normal and correct way to act, and the route to success.

          Yes, it does bring success, but 95% of owners are businessman, and do not treat their club as an expensive toy.

          Abramovich and Mansour are sugar daddies, no owners. That is not the norm, nor should it be.

          You need to stop saying that our board should act like sugar daddies – they have made their money through being businessmen, and businessmen do not hurl money away to placate the masses.

          It is entirely irrelevant whether they have the money or not. It is their money, not Arsenal’s/ The same principle as if you became a director of a company – that company does not all of a sudden own your bank account.

          • There is no legal classification of a sugar daddy. Abramovich and Mansour are as much businessmen as our people are. They are the owners of Chlesea and City the same way that our owners own our club. It is just a feasible for our shareholders to make ‘loans’ to the company as it is for them, as that is most likey the method they have used to finance their transfers.

            The only difference is will. And this is where we differ. I have defended their RIGHT to keep their hands in their pockets, but have said I profoundly disagree with their DECISION. You, on the other hand, defend their actual decision not to get involved in the same way that City and Chelseas owners have. That is, of course fair enough and I fully respect your opinion.

            For my point of view, however, I will continue to disagree, and, for me, the most important thing to get across is that self sufficiency is the choice of our board. They could do as the other owners do, but choose not to for their own reasons. And I strongly suspect that their reasons are not in the altrustic interests of a self sufficiency policy that they peddle, but are rooted in the self interest of protecting the value of their investment. Because, I suspect, all they care about is the bottom line, not trophies

          • No, there is no classification of sugar daddy. But that is irrelevant – it is what they are. I find it incredibly harsh that our owners are accused of lacking ambition because they do not act the same way, as if there is only one way of operating.

            You can disagree with their approach, but I don’t see how you can equate a different strategy with a lack of will.

        • Lol , i love the argument and the belief that Kroenke’s and Usamanov’s money is Arsenal’s :) Why the hell should they loan Arsenal without interest , like Abrohomivich is doing?

    • If you seriously believe there is anything “myopic grey dull” about Arsenal then I weep for you. We play the sexiest football in the league you plank. You don’t enjoy watching Nasri? Fabregas? Van Persie? Wiltshire? that’s your “fantasy” football right there.

      So your 58. Woo-hoo. You don’t sound like you’ve accumulated much depth of wisdom in years. You actually sound like a 16 year old who spent all day watching Sky Sports thrilling deadline day epic of emptiness.

      And if you really need the economic folly of Chelsea et al explaining to you this at this stage then I fear it’s too late for you.

      • In fairness, I only raised my age to show that I wouldn’t have a clue about championship manager. I dont claim any wisdom on the back of my years, but I will stand up for my opinions

        Nasri, Fabregas etc…yes they’re wonderful. But they’ve won…er nothing. When they win teh league talk to me about fantasy football. I dont know what age you are, but during the 70’s and 80’s there were London clubs who trumpeted that they played great football, and wouldn’t swap their style for trophies. We gooners felt sorry for them and derided them, and they hated us for our success. They were Pleat’a Spurs and John Lyall’s West HAm by the way, so padon me if I can’t get esctatic about our style until we win things. It betrays everything that being a gooner is about.

        And I keep hearing about Chelsea’s economic folly and they keep winning things. How long do you want to wait for them to collapse? Wake up. Its not going to happen.

        • It would happen as soon as Abramovich got bored, which, amusingly, it actually tied to their success in the sense that once they’ve won plenty, what is there left for him to do? It would make me chuckle to see them parade the Champions League only to financially collapse soon after.

          As I said before, I’m not saying it will happen, it may not. But the very fact that it could happen is exceptionally unhealthy. I would not swap ten years of trophies for financial ruin immediately after. Perhaps you would.

        • At gunner55,

          torres hasn’t won anything recently either and yet from what you say you wouldn’t have a problem with him.

          Right now our first team is very good. We have great balance and I fail to understand your fascination with torres (or is it what torres represents?). Do you really want to replace van persie (who is in great form) with torres? Our system doesn’t allow us to play them both together and hence you see chamakh instead of torres. Do you really think either torres/VP will be ok with playing only in the cup games? And don’t give me the injury argument bcos torres is as injury prone as VP and buying him to replae VP just doesn’t make any sense.

          If you were talking about the need for a CB, I might have been able to understand where you are coming from but even there what we need is only a backup and not someone who costs 50m.

          Did you maybe realize that chelsea spending 70m on a couple of players reeks of desperation of a club that is struggling to get themselves out of a slump? They have no youth infrastructure, no long term plan. Their only solution to everything is buy buy buy. To view that sort of management with anything other than contempt is beyond me.

          Our club is a role-model in so many ways – we play sexy football, we are extremely well managed, great scouting network, great youth, great stadium!!. Only thing missing – albeit from our point of view a very important one – are the trophies. But we are so close this season. We are in a final, have a very easy route to at the very least the quarters of the FA cup, second in the league with arguably the easiest fixture list possible, and yet now is the time you want to undermine our squad.

          So, yes – I dont’ want a torres. I would have a samir nasri any day of the week.

        • gooner55, you’re starting to worry me. I’m nearly as old as you but I’m praying I don’t lose my momory like you. I had some truly excellent times in the 70s and 80s but there were also real bad times. In the 70s we won the fairs cup (70), the league and cup double in 71 (what a year!) and the fa cup in 79.
          Equally the 80s consisted of the 87 tin cup and the 89 FA cup. They weren’t always such great times and sometimes the quality of football was terrible. The pitches had a lot to do with many crap games but not all of them. The problem is that we’ve been spoilt by AWs first 10 years in charge.

    • gooner55 has hit the nail on the head. Arsenal’s image is now that of a very highly skilled team of executives and accountants,,,the football personnel just are part of the accounting process. I need convincing that purchases such as squillachi and sivestre before him were motivated by the desire to win the major trophies

      • You can point to any manager’s failed transfers (e.g. Silvestre) and hang him by it. And fair enough – those were his mistakes.

        But to say a mistake shows a lack of ambition? Not convinced by that at all.

  2. Gooner55 makes some good points. You are making assumptions based on 2 transfers. If you can’t afford the entrance fee you won’t get in. No-one is suggesting that we spend £30 or £50 million on a player. It’s just that they see how poor our first rank of reserves can be and wonder why Arsene insists on working without a safety net. Chamakh was free and is very average, Squillaci is a disaster waiting to happen. Denilson, Eboue? enough said. Koscielny still makes too many mistakes and we should not expect much from Vermaelen this year. An injury or 2 and the experiences of previous years could repeat themselves. Twas ever thus I am afraid.

    • Adam,

      I can see you piucking on our players who are not even first choice as our weak points. If you will, please name a few players beyond Chelsea’s or Man U’s first eleven that you are dying to have at Arsenal..

      • Very true. People have a habit of doing this – analysing our reserves and criticising them.

        Chelsea’s reserves are far far worse than ours, despite being more expensively assembled.

    • Gooner55, I struggle to understand why you see Chamakh being free as a bad thing. You’ve mentioned it a couple of times as a criticism. Would you rather we’d paid a fee for him?

      • No, its not really the point. The point is that we waited for a little free to come along. I would rather we took the bull by the horns and went out and bought a world class striker, whatever teh cost, at the time we needed one, rather than get a very average one on the free. in the long run, we pay for not investing in top class where it really hurts – not the balance sheet (where the defecit can be made up), but on the pitch with dropped points (which cant be made up again)

        • Whatever the cost? That is precisely to attitude that got Leeds into trouble. And also Liverpool in recent years (not that they’ve learned).

          Put it this way – there are now enough super-rich clubs that even buying world class does not guarantee success. And then what have you got?

          You say the balance of buying world class talent can be made up. How, exactly? We’re in the latter stages of the Champions League every year, have high ticket prices (as you said yourself), and challenge on al fronts.

          How exactly would we make up that balance? Actual competition prize money is relatively puny.

    • Firstly, I agree – ideally I would not like the idea of spenidng 50m, but if thats what it takes to buy the best, why should we be left behind. One thing I will pull you up on – it is a far far bigger risk for Chelsea to spend 50m than it is for Arsenal, yet they have, and dont seem to be doing too badly. Our shareholders wealth dwarves Abramovich and we are a far more profitable entity – WHEN WILL PEOPLE WAKE UP TO THAT???,.

      IIt obviously follows that it is choice only that prevents us from paying these funds – the choice of the owners and management. They keep the money in their pockets to keep the share values high, not for the benefit of the fans – that is the way of commercial corporations, which is what they have reduced us to. To me it is a simple statement of lack of ambition.

      The great horror that this regime has visited on us is that the idea of our once pround buying Torres would have been laughed at even by our own fans, yet we sit back and watch other clubs, in our own city, go ahead and do it. Tell me, how can you accept that?

      • While you make some good points, I can’t help but feel your view on what owners should do has been warped by Abramovich.

        Before him, perhaps only Jack Walker sunk money into a club without hope of return, the rest saw the club as an investment – plough money in to raise the club’s profile, which had the happy result of improving the team and thus placating the fans, while incerasing prize money, which was then the major revenue stream.

        Now, it is completely different. There are so many rich owners around that even if you sink money in, you don’t guarantee sucess (the Blackburn story will only be repeated on the Man City scale, for example).

        We have owners who do not wish to throw £100m at players in the knowledge that they won’t see a return on that. And honestly, that’s fair enough. They are businessmen. I repeat – football is not a charity.

        The point is this – we have owners, Chelsea have a sugar daddy.

        Sometimes I wonder if people can get their heads around how much £50m really is, or whether it has just become a number in the eyes of fans.

        • What owners ‘should’ do, is compete in the current market at the level their club deserves. Can I ask you – why shoudn’t our owners have gone our and spent 50m on Torres?. Not only do we not compete at the level of a relatively rich (but poorer than us) club than Chelsea, but we don’t compete at the same leve as the likes of Villa. Do you think that is good ownership?

          • Why? Because it is their money, not Arsenal’s. Theirs to do as they please.

            That is the point we are fundamentally disagreeing on. You seem to think Arsenal should be able to treat the wealth of its owners as their own money. That is not the case.

          • You are venturing very close to philosophy here! It is, of course, up to them to do with their money (and their club) as they please. That much is obvious given the lack of invenstment in the club.

            However, you are confusing yourself over one issue. You say I think that ‘Arsenal’ should be able to treat the wealth of the owners as its own…the owners, to all intents and purposes ARE arsenal. They CAN use their money for their club…if they see fit. Abramovich and the Sheikh are not ‘Chelsea’ and ‘Man City’ merely their owers, but they spend their own money on the club. The situation is no different whatsoever with Arsenal’s owners, except that they have more money to spend than Abramovich.

            so of course they CAN refuse to spend. That is their right, just as it was Doug Ellis right not to spend his cash at Villa, and just as it is Mike Ashley’s right not to spend at Newcastle. But I am a fan and I see through their charade of poverty. And as custodians of the club, I think they should dig deep and invest if they want to bring back the glory days. They, on the other hand have CHOSEN to keep their pockets linded. But this must be seen for what it is. A CHOICE not to compete in the market. Self sufficiency is only possible because we are so wealthy that we can survive at a reasonable level without external funds. But sofar it has left us woefully short of our main rivals. As fans, I think all of us should be asking if that money is better serving Kroenke or Usmanovs other interests rather than being made to work for Arsenal

  3. Gooner?55 : I think you weep alone..

    Chamack has enjoyed more success so far this season than your boy Torres. (Feel free to jump on a bus and go and watch him along wiith your pauper mates).

    Maybe you should also check up on the ‘new financial rules’.

    And paying our management team a bit more respect would be nice.

    Some people are never happy. I am though, looking forward to 3 points tonight and hopefully see your boys struggle at Sunderland

    • A typical moronic statement from the blind followers of Kroenke, Hill-Wood and company- I very much doubt you know that first thing about supporting Arsenal, if you did, you wouldnt jump on the bandwagon of a million other pretend Arsenal fans and bleat ‘go and support so and so’ when you read something you disagree with. Pathetic and sad, but so typical of the modern plastic fan. I shouldnt dignify you comment but it really is so incredibly stupid and laughable as to be beyond true:-

      Firstly – Chamakn 7 goals in 20 league games. Torres 9 goals in 23 games (for a much worse team. Your point was?????. for the record, if you actually think Chamakh is on the same level as Torres, see a doctor. Fast.

      Secondly – The so-called financial rules. If they apply (and one would doubt how stringently they will be applied), they do, you know, apply to Chelsea as much as to us. Yet they can sign Torres and are in a far poorer financial position than us. So again,your point is???????

      As to rspecting the management team – respect, sonny boy, is earned. I see the current management team as perpetuating a degree of inertia. They have the tools to be successful if they tried, but they are far too happy with counting profits. I have no respect for that.

      • Gooner55, you are almost arguing against yourself. You say Chamakh has 7 in 20 (0.35 goals/game), Torres 9 in 23 (0.39 goals/game). Almost identical records, and Chamakh has had to adjust to a new league.

        One was free, one cost around £25m a few years back. And you think Torres was better value?

        I repeat a question I asked earlier – if you earned a fortune, would you write Arsenal a blank cheque and expect nothing in return? That is what Abramovich does, and it is unrealistic and unfair to expect all boards to follow his example.

        • Firstly,the use of the statistics was just to show that an off form Torres has done as well as Chamakh., it was not my comparison, it was just to make this point out to the previous commentator, who was suggesting otherwise.

          For the record, I think Chamakh is average and Torres is the best no 9 on earth. And at 60 odd goals iin 110 odd games, yes I think he was better value than Chamakh will be to us.

          And your’e asking the wrong person about what I would do if I had Usnamov’s wealth, I would not only buy Arsenal, I would buy Messi and Ronaldo and stick them up front. And the pleasure I would get from winning teh champions league is all the return I would want from my invenstment.

          • I agree that Torres is better than Chamakh, no argument there. Hence the wild price.

            Hmm, you sound like you’d go down the Galaticos approach, going over your manager’s head to buy the players you want.

          • I bet you’re not even a season ticket holder, probably even never go to The Ems.

            You should have seen from all the comments that you’re making no sense. Probably due to your approach. Fact is, most of us gooners, stand with AW and the board on this one. A lot of others believe too that it’s outrageous paying those amounts for overrated players.

            We certainly don’t have to go in the direction of the wind.

  4. Hey Barca, Cesc just went up to $120 Million

  5. “Ours is the folly of myopic grey dull unambitious greedy owners and management.” Quite seriously, fuck off and support Chelsea. Idiot.

    • You are clearly very intelligent. You made that up all by yourself? Oh wait, Ive seen that type of put down before – and always by a plastic fa, just like you. The truth hurts boy. Its time you and a lot of other fans woke up to that.

      • Can we all please stick to the debate? We don’t all have to agree, but I’d appreciate it if we could remain civil. Thanks.

  6. Gooner55 your wasting your time with this lot of arseholes, the very reason arsenal are in this postion is because he has these blinkered fans pandering to his metal strength and more than half a team that dosn’t deserve to wear the shirt, when you get silly little pricks telling you to play CM because you dare to speak the truth move on mate these aint worth it, most of these idiots dont even come from Islington, they just started supporting us when wenger turned up, lol i mean ffs “And paying our management team a bit more respect would be nice” fucking tool

    • ‘More than half a team that doesn’t deserve to wear the shirt’ and we’re the only PL club still in four competitions… You silly man.

    • Wow, that’s a lot of sweeping statements.

      More than half the team don’t deserve to wear the shirt? Go on, name six OF OUR FIRST TEAM that apply. Don’t name Denilson etc, they are reserves and Chelsea’s reserves are even worse than ours (I accept we have weaknesses in our 2nd XI).

      You don’t know when commentors started supporting the club, and it really weakens your argument (and pisses people off) to assume that just because people don’t agree with you, they aren’t real fans. Incidentally, that applies just as much if people turn round and respond to you in the same way. I don’t begin to judge how long you’ve been a fan – I don’t know. Frankly, it doesn’t matter.

  7. Thank you for a sensible article. A voice of reason in a football world gone crazy. I just wish all these stupid fans who are forever moaning would fuck off and support another club. Please get the message you idiots. We have the best manager in the world, officialy, and a club which is in a much healthier financial position than most. We are in this for the long run and not only each transfer season.

  8. Terraformer said…

    “and more than half a team that dosn’t deserve to wear the shirt”

    It was hard enough to understand your poor English, but this quote?

    Please explain who and what you mean, and i will do my best to decipher your reply.

  9. I just don’t buy this “we’re a centre back short” thing.
    It looks as if Djorou & Vermaelen (back in 5 weeks) will be the first choice CBs and with Song / Wilshere in front that looks solid. And certainly more reliable than a defence with Samba, Cahill or Mertesacker FFS!)

    Koscielny, (24) has had 5 months in the English game and is improving every week. Arsenal’s signings are always long term (and the moron who wants us to compete in fees and wages with Chelsea needs to wake up)

    Any CB playing alongside Eboue with Denilson as “cover” is going to look poor but with a solid MF in front & Sagna alongside, the reserve CBs have looked ok. Look at Arsenal’s goals conceded in comparison with the other top clubs. And then look at the fact we have clean sheets in our last four league games & the defensive side of the team seems to be improving all the time.

    You can’t expect the team not to suffer at all if the 2 first choice CBs are missing. Look at Chelsea without Terry / Alex or Utd without Rio & Vidic. They have Jonny Evans! Chr1st I wonder what Arsenal fans would be saying if we had someone of his qulaity as backup.

    Personally I’m proud we run our club differently from Chelsea. I’m surprised we get lambasted for not spending, Arsenal is the only club run properly and with a visionary manager in place.

    Wenger will not just be responsible for the trophies we win in the next few years – he will be responsible for the trophies we win in the next 30-40 years.

    • I completely agree that our first choice CBs seem great. I’m not holding my breath on Vermaelen though – Achilles injuries are notoriously tricky and we cannot assume he’ll be back when he is currently due to be.

      The worry is what happens when we get injuries, just like last year when Silvestre came in for Vermaelen. The dip in quality is staggering.

      Even without Vermaelen, Djourou/Koscielny and Djourou/Squllaci look fine. My major concern is if Djourou himself gets injured now.

      Don’t get me wrong – I agree with you. It does make me chuckle when people pick out our reserves and criticise them against the first team members of other clubs. United are the prime example – their reserve centre backs are pretty poor in comparison.

  10. Gooner55, one small point. I know you don’t want to hear how Chelsea might collapse, but present success isn’t an argument against long term instability.

    Abramovich has LOANED the money to Chelsea Holdings. If he walks away tomorrow, they will go into instant financial meltdown.

    I’m not saying it will happen, just that it can. Honestly, irrespective of who they are signing and how much success they are getting, I would hate for us to be in that position.

    Particularly when the man you are reliant made his fortune by being utterly ruthless.

    • exactly – they are a club that’s done nothing (one league win in the 50s) in their entire history. They are and always will be a small club who won the lottery.

      It’s honestly not jealously (I’d hate Arsenal to be run that way) but I think they and City are just p1ssing all over football.

      And yes clubs have blown money in the past (everyone points to Blackburn) but never if football history have clubs had the financial power to sign 2 established internationals in every position. It takes the p1ss out of building a team.

      Arsenal are now relatively well off (as the suicide brigade constantly remind you) with the stadium debt coming down & yet our record fee is what £15 million for Arshavin?

      Man City have about 15 players over this figure. It really just takes the p1ss out of the game & forces many other clubs to pay higher wages & fees.

      The PL is the most commercially profitable in the world and yet 90% of the teams are in debt |& that is mostly thanks to Chelsea & City.

  11. A lot of anger in the room!

    If only all of you could channel this emotion and start singing and cheering a bit more at home games the atmosphere might improve and we might see a better performance from our players. The ones that give our players a hard time dont deserve the privilege of being at the Emirates.

    We are the only club in England in 4 trophies, one final, challenging for the premier league and a great fixture list of games that are winnable.

    Dont know about you lot but im getting right behind Andrei Arshavin tonight…. remember that star signing you were all begging for two years ago that you now give a hard time too!??

  12. I want to make two point, which those who disagree with me are welcome to argue against (in fact that would be great).

    1) It is a myth that Chelsea are just spending £50m. Because they keep buying ready made players, not investing in a youth system, and blocking the path to the first team of the young players they have, they will continue to be forced into buying ready made players. £50m soon becomes £100m, £200m etc. It is not self-sustaining. Some people talk as if these signings are one-offs. They are anything but.

    2) This is the important point that people miss. Owners money is not the same as club money. If you sign up to be a director of a company, that company does not have access to your bank account. Abramovich blurs the lines, but that is because he is willing to lose a billion trying to buy success. That’s his choice. Don’t expect anyone sensible to follow him.

    • No, with respect, you are blurring the lines yourself a little with your distinction . The owner (or shareholders) are always a legally distinct entity from the company (the club). The company will never have direct access to these indivicuals bank accounts (unless you are giving a guarantee for a security) in the ordinary scheme of business, unless the individual wants it, and that will never be the case (for obvious reasons of bankruptcy, liability). The owners/sharehohlders money will always be separate from the company’s money, unless the owner/director decides to finance the company with his own money. Abramovich is no more blurring the lines than the Arsenal owners,he is merely using one of a number of ways to put his money into the company’s accounts, and these are open to anyone.

      The shareholder or owner can avail of a number of mechanisms in order to fund his company (eg. Abramovichs loans or Usmanov’s proposed share issue), but the essential point here is that these mechanisms are available to the onwers/directors of all companies. So it goes back to a matter of choice as to how much of their own money owners or directors put into the club. The only difference between us and them is we have a board of directors who make decisions on behalf of the company, while, at Chelsea, I imagine the decision rests with Abramovich (although technically he may also have to run it by a board)

      In Abramovichs case, he had decided to invest a portion of his own fortune. In the case of the Arsenal shareholders, they have put in nothing of their own. Result? Chelsea trophies every year. We do not. These are facts.

      You can argue about the future, but the truth is none of us know what will happen then.

      • Do you think Usamanov and Kroenke run charities to give money to Arsenal so that “you” can be happy ? If they really want to do such thing they will be better off giving it to poor and needy than to the Arsenal FC so that you could feel good. As a fan i guess you are just buying a product you pay for the football that is it, it is not a charity thing you expect. When you do not like a product you just have to shift to another product rather than expecting the owners to give you money to buy their products.

        I really really cant understand ur logic, I am actually surprised why these Usamanov and Kroenke invested millions in Arsenal shares without dividends . There can be only one reason arsenal share value will grow.

  13. And if we’d spanked £20 mill plus on a CB?

    The same suicidal, joyless wannabee “I know best” managers will be straight on the blogs to slaughter the new signing if he takes more than 2 games to produce his top form.

  14. The arguments against the logically formulated view of gooner55 seem to be based on a preposterous link in buying decent players capable of winning major trophies..(for say 20-30 million for 2) with the financial catastrophe at leeds united. Also why compare chelsea with arsenal…we are and will never be like chelsea…but we both need quality players and ironically we appear to have the funds and they dont. Is there anyone of sane mind out there that really believes our recent transfer captures have any proven quality?. “You get what you pay for” is a very old saying…and like it or not it always proves correct

    • Gooner55 was the one who drew the comparisons with Chelsea. My point was that the comparison was invalid, which I think you agree with.

      You get what you pay for does not always apply. You think Liverpool will get £35m value from Carroll?

    • If you want a club that buys proven quality then you’re in the wrong place fella. Was Vieira proven? Henry? Fabregas?

      I honestly don’t understand people’s lack of comprehension of our transfer policy – it hasn’t changed & won’t going forward.

  15. Gooner55, we may not agree on how the club can and should be run, but fair play to you – you’ve intelligently backed up your arguments. Just thought I’d say.

    We don’t have to agree in all things, only that we want Arsenal to succeed.

  16. The point still remains that it is definitely not sensible to have stayed out of the transfer market when you a) are competing in 4 competitions and are projecting ambition to win them all, b) want to keep your best player from going to Barcelona next season, and c) have historically a bad record with injuries.

    @Simon
    What if Vermaelen doesn’t return from injury in time? What about the time it will take him to get back to match fitness?
    What if, Koscielny, who has been playing almost every game this season, gets injured (very likely) or, starts making mistakes out of fatigue or burnout (even more so).
    Djourou, our best CB, is the most injury prone.

    The answers, statistically speaking, are all in the negative. I don’t believe that Arsene Wenger, who makes his plans on statistics, cannot see this obvious problem. Or he just chooses to be blind and stubborn. Or the board is just looking at the business side of things – which is not always compatible from a footballing point of view…

    • Yeah, see my earlier point. No team will cope with 3 players in the same position.
      Man U lose Vidic & Ferdinand and they have what? Evans & O Shea? The only teams who are even close to covering this type of problem are Chelsea & City and they’ve both spent over half a billion on their squads.

      And even Chelsea haven’t been able to sustain a 4 way trophy hunt.

      Let me finish by asking you a question. What would we do if we’d spent £20 million on a CB. He’d be on about 50k a week most probably for 4 years.

      You want us to do this with Vermaelen back in 4-5 weeks? It’s hardly long term sense is it. We’d then have 5 CBs, 2 of whom would never play.

      And I’d bet my house on the fact that if they happened to be a bit rusty if they were called upon, they’d get slaughtered for a poor game just like Squillaci after being out for 4 weeks.

      • Simon,

        You assume that all defenders are the same (Ferdinand, Vidic are not Vermaelen, Djourou). Like I said, Arsenal’s defenders are more injury prone. So, even if we get another, chances are, 2 will be injured at any point in time and having 5 around will not be possible.

        Also, if you get a good one, you get rid of someone like Squillaci, or keep him only for league cup / FA cup matches.

        ’20 mil and 50k a week for 4-5 years’ is exactly the business lens which is too prevalent in Arsenal’s decision making. Whether in business or football, you always have fixed costs that are essential, even if the asset is not fully utilized…

        • I’d say Rio was just as injury prone as Vermaelan or Djorou. And Vidic not that far behind.

          So you’re advocating getting rid of Squillaci on the basis of being in and out of the side for only 4 months?

          And what happens if the new £20mill signing ended up taking 6 months to settle? Just because you spend that amount doesn’t guarantee he will immediately slot in.

          Will you be advocating spending another £20mill to replace him if he doesn’t cut it in the first couple of months?

          • Worse what if that wonder signing picked up an injury in his first game for Arsenal. What would you do ?

  17. What many fail to see is that we already have our £50+ million pound players after yesterdays value.

    Our £50M striker = RVP
    Our £75M Midfielder = Fab 4 (if kaka went for £60m)
    Our £45M Midfielder = Nasri
    Our £25M striker bendner + Theo + Chamakh
    Our 35M DMF Alex song

    Others of Note: Arshavin 20M,Sagna 20M, Diaby 22M (yes I know), Wiltshire 30M and Ramsey 25M

    According to the market that is what I value our players at if we had to sell now.

    So I suggest that all those crying out for big signings should look home first as we already have them. The difference is we did not chop our own balls off to pay that price for them when we got them.Just good business. So gunner 55 chill out and enjoy our very own galacticose play everton tonight as we have 2 teams. Team A (the one thast beat chelsea) one of the best in the world and team B (the one we saw at leads) which is capable but not great.

  18. hmm… if Arsenal can produce a player like Jack Wilshere wouldn’t it be better to do so… Yea sure, most of our youngsters are bought but they are trained and brought up the Arsenal way.

    I am 20, I don’t play football fantasy. But I love football. Sure a few transfers here and there is exciting to follow but to pay 50m to a club for a player is just sad in this economic times. Even if there is no recession, clubs should already learn from Leeds.

    Well it is disappointing that we signed no one but hey, that’s business, no? It’s like shopping or eating, if you can’t get what you want, you move on with your own existing things. Chelsea won the double, so? Arsenal won more doubles than they did.

    If there is no legal classification for a sugar daddy… Then I would say attitude is the difference between Arsenal’s and Chelsea’s board. Chelsea may appear to be doing a lot but eyes can be deceived.

    No matter what, once a Gooner always a Gooner. We all want to see Arsenal succeed, it’s just our perception how it should be done is different. But, the way Arsenal is run, personally, I believe it is the best way to run a club

  19. The whole of Arsenal’s future as a well financed club depend on the continuation of our partipation on Europe. Take that away and we in in trouble. So beware we are extremely well maaged but there is an Achilles heel !

  20. Just hope suarez and carroll make a big impact this season

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