Hull come to play…

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Happy Saturday you sexy beasts!

Hull come to town today, yeah, the team we smashed 3-2 in the FA Cup. Glorious memories, totally sweet.

This season, they’ve added some very good players to their squad and they look far more capable than they did last season. They’re not as one paced as they were, they’re still just as powerful and this year, they have a bit of class in front of goal. This game isn’t going to be easy.

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AGM: Choreographed to perfection. Almost.

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Welcome to the Friday edition of Le Grove. It’s going to be great.

Yesterday’s AGM wasn’t. That’s for sure. Sir Chips is the new boy in town (he may have been compere at the last one) and he’s not as fun as PHW. Not that being funny is of key importance, but it definitely lessened the event. He even had to ask for a round of applause, talk about despo.

For the first time ever at an AGM, questions were dodged. The less than positive show of hands for new boy Josh Kroenke wasn’t even acknowledged. The output of the questioning was tired.

Key thing we learned yesterday is that Arsene Wenger’s transfer market incompetence is now being clouded with the…

‘The cash being put forward in the media isn’t accurate, but we won’t tell you how much it is. But we told The Telegraph what we want you to think it is. And we want you to think it’s low so you’re unsure whether it’s acceptable to critique what we do.’

Nice. All those promises of catching Bayern. All the talk of self sustaining utopia post deal expiration. Nonsense. We’re still skint. Apparently.

I have so little belief in this line of fire. The concern for me as a fan is that when everyone was disappointed Arsene signed on, the club were keen to push that he had £100m to play with, because Jeremy Wilson put it in his paper. Now they’re back bitching on about how other clubs have more money than us.

Arsene Wenger is always an interesting character to listen to. The two hours is pretty boring, but that 15minutes of Wenger speaking is always a great barometer of where he is mentally (he’s also a very assured public speaker, which is a credit to him). First observations for me is he’s starting to look very tired, and he’s talking like an older man suffering a confidence crisis. Each year that passes, he gets more apologetic, more attuned to the disgruntled nature of the fan base and almost incredulous at the critique.

His chat was the same as it always is… he did admit he maybe needs one more defender and they’ll do that in December (have that, to the people who think you can’t make a deal earlier than the window opening).

The really interesting point was when a fan came to the mike and slagged off the situation in which we sold Vermaelen and didn’t buy in a defender. Sir Chips said something like…

‘We back the manager when he has a plan, we keep quiet when he doesn’t have one’

That for me people, is the line that sums up all our problems. It sums up 5 years of me moaning on. There’s no plan. There’s no one to tell Wenger that not having a plan is a very bad idea. So we end up in a situation where the manager is blaming ‘accidental injuries’ which is just simply not on.

Ivan used PowerPointing to explain why the 3% rise on ticket prices was fine. His first slide mapped how club revenues have grown since 2006. Like, massively for TV and commercial but only £9m on tickets. Then his second slide mapped all of the price explosions we’re dealing with, like wages etc… and he mapped the ticket price as basically flat.

The trick of his slide is he mapped the shocking rise in wages, but negated to put the staggering rises in revenues on the same graph. The ticket price increase is unnecessary when you’re banging in deals left right and centre and you’re making a killing on TV. He also failed to allude to the fact that our ticket prices are ridiculous compared to the rest of the world from a starting point. So it was a bit weak.

Not as weak as his ‘it’s up to the Government’ on the London Living Wage.

You can read the detail here if you need it…

https://twitter.com/LeGrove

Good news is that Neil Ashton’s translation for the Daily Mail was apparently doctored. Wenger didn’t know anything about it until they went out to play. So he’s exonerated and I apologise for attacking the comments with such aggression… because sadly, it’s exactly the sort of thing I could imagine him saying. Anyway, more good news is Ozil might be back in 6 weeks rather than 12. Hooray!

Right, that’s me done today. See you on the other side…

 

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£20m warchest figure is a pre-AGM PR tactic

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So, you know when you’re heading round to your girlfriends place, she wants to talk to you about something serious (like that damp patch in the airing cupboard), and you don’t want to talk about that something serious, so you turn up at her place naked with a black eye to divert conversation?

Well, I feel like the Telegraph just showed up at Arsenal fans houses naked, with a black eye accompanied with a fresh tattoo of pudge the cat on its arse.

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