Stan, £3m to advise on what exactly?

by & filed under News Review.

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So Stan Kroenke and his crew took another cheeky £3m from Arsenal this season for advisory fees.

Nice work Stan.

Don’t really understand the point. When you’re a mega billionaire, is taking £3m from one of the clubs a little bit like stealing from a homeless man’s begging cup to pay for a coffee?

You have to wonder what the advice was?

‘We strongly advise nobody questions the manager on the obvious, thank you kindly.

Now give me that fucking money’

The whole setup is a big grubby if you’re a sport purist. We’re not being run for love, we’re being run as a portfolio pet project.

Worst thing is that the manager runs us like a pet project and because he suits the motives of the owner… i.e. Cash in the bank so he can fund the Rams move to LA, well, he stays in a job for as long as he wants.

… harsh, but let’s face it, Wenger is working in a ‘lifestyle job.’ He works for the joy of existing, but he doesn’t stress himself with pressure of winning. That’s why he can afford to ignore glaring issues each year. Because it doesn’t matter.

Matteo Renzi, leader of an Italian left leaning party, said that the Labour Party must enjoy losing by bringing in Jeremy Corbyn. Then he said…

“It’s not a question of being Blairite or anti-Blairite, it’s a matter of ‘Do you want to go to elections like you go to the Olympics, to win or to participate’?”

I like that line. I think Arsenal go to the Olympics, safe in the knowledge it’s not the winning, it’s knowing that your mum will give you a big ‘well done’ at the end regardless of what happens.

Before the infamous ‘specialist in failure’ jibe, Mourinho was a accused by Wenger of ‘fearing failure’… when you think about that, imagine, in sport, not fearing failure? Imagine using that to jibe a winner?

I mean, that’s the level we’re at with Arsenal. Wenger doesn’t fear failure, because he doesn’t have to fear it.

Security breeds contempt. Contempt breeds complacency. Complacency breeds mediocrity.

… and look, you can say, ‘well, we’re not mediocre’… but when you look at our standing in the global finance stakes, we’re pretty mediocre. We’re one of the richest clubs in the world with one of the least competitive attitudes to winning.

It starts with the manager, it filters to the players and it infects the fans who forgive a man who has dined out on success that’s so cold it’s started to go moldy.

But that’s Arsene for you. That’s Arsenal until he goes.

Anyway, too depressed for a big write up today.

I’ll catch you tomorrow when we can start talking about the NLD!


Gabriel ❤️| We need some Costa | Wenger’s record is beyond a joke now

by & filed under News Review.

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How’s it going my darlings? Not good, I can imagine. This morning is depressing as hell. I tapped out of the weekend on on the football blogging front as I had a leaving do which got out of hand.

However, I did take the Chelsea game in on my own in a Bermondsey pub.

Line up:

You could see what the manager was trying to do. Beat Chelsea with fast incisive play. He opted for Theo, Sanchez and Rambo up top with Ozil and Cazorla feeding the machine.

Didn’t really work out though.

I just don’t feel there’s enough quality in our side. We’re a good version of a Wenger post 2004 team, but we’re still not where we need to be if we have ambitions of titles and European cups.

Wenger said this a couple of weeks ago…

“Buying and selling is one way to strengthen your team but that’s not the only way,”

… possibly with that smug look he does when he’s thinks he’s being smart before he realises a win at home to Stoke isn’t a good barometer for success over as season.

The point I want to raise here is one that I used to make all the time. If buying players isn’t the only way to improve a team, what is?

I get all the preparation things, I get the coaches and I get the reduction of injuries. But look. Simply put. The only improvement method Wenger hasn’t tried over the last ten years is building a squad with enough quality players.

Defensive Midfielder & Striker:

I mean, once again, you don’t have to be a fucking economist or a football addict who watched 70,000 games a month to see that our squad lacked a striker and a defensive midfielder. Coquelin is now out of the Spurs game and we’re left with Arteta. A pitiful thought 3 years ago. Right now, I’m positively shiting my pants at the idea of our main man being out for longer than a week.

I don’t get it. It was so predictable that Coquelin wasn’t going to be able to play all the games, because, you know, he’s a human being that gets fatigued. Why wouldn’t the manager recognise he doesn’t have the resources to deal with a worst case scenario? I mean, even if you were rooting for Jack Wilshere adopting his England role for us, he’s a car crash with injuries as well.

Then onto the striker. Look, I get it must have been tough out there. So what… give up? With £220m cash reserves? I mean, how stupid does that now look? I don’t mean to get into a very premature debate, but United took a big punt on a player Wenger was also in for and he looks exceptional. Powerful, hungry, composed and raw… point is, they could afford a risk, so they took one. Southampton look better equipped up front that we do.

The inaction is passed off by many Arsenal fans as the football equivalent of the intellectual high ground.

‘I won’t be drawn into the crudeness of exorbitant expenditure’

Which is so fucking ridiculous it makes my blood boil. The reason we’ll never win the league under Wenger is because he refuses to accept that having the best squad wins you the league.

Alex is right as well. Wenger HATES losing. He doesn’t sleep. He gets into the office at 4am. He watches the games back over and over again. But why? I mean, he’s not absorbing what’s happening. He’s not learning off the back of it. Which kind of renders his expertise, well, a bit redundant. Because he can’t be that expert if he can’t see the glaringly obvious.


What a total shit bag. Nasty piece of work. A real handful. A real scuzzbag. But look. He’s what you need. You can’t demand leaders that fit the typically middle class stereotypes we have at the club. You need bastards. You need your Keowns. You need your Gabriels.

Sure, what Gabriel did was stupid. But damn, did I love him a bit for it. Standing up for his team mate against a bully. Refusing the backdown. Losing his shit. Haven’t seen that in years. I loved it. He needs to get a bit more street smart. But that fight is what you demand.

Compare his attitude to the ‘I’m off to play a nice game of football and have some ice cream after, mum’ attitude of Theo. Well, there you have the difference at the highest level.

Costa riled us. He beat us. He was the winner. I hate that we succumbed to it. But look, that’s what you call craft. The winning magic.

Also, pretty shabby that Oscar was leading the communications to Gabriel.

‘Oh mate, the ref said you’re a c*nt and he saw Diego whatsapping dick pics to your mum’

Victim Mode

My disappointment was the lack of reaction from the team. It’s the middle class vibe that runs through the core of who we are. A bunch of nice boys. Where’s the fight? Where’s the ‘not today Chelsea’? Where’s the leadership and backbone a PV04 or a TA06 would bring to the table?

It wasn’t there. We kind of accepted our fate. And that was disappointing. We don’t have that little something extra when we need it.

The Manager

A few were apoplectic that I could possible take umbrage at the manager after the game. But for me, if you’re looking at this result in isolation, you’re missing the bigger picture.

Wenger has never beaten Mourinho in a competitive game in over 10 years. That’s shameful. It shows that our man can’t adapt to the new world that’s in front of him. Tony Pulis took Mourinho out twice last year. This isn’t a resource thing, it’s a total shambles.

Wenger was responsible for that side. He was responsible for keeping the faith with two good strikers. He is responsible for not giving that side the fire and the grit they need to win. The buck stops with him because he controls it all.

Things went against us. They go against all big teams. The response wasn’t there.

This season is going the way they all go. A bit of hope, dashed, when you realise the man at the top just doesn’t care about winning to the level you need to in the modern game.

A depressing thought.

The update in our approach is welcome, but you kind of feel the extra 20% is going to have to come from someone else if we want to see the glory years return to our great club.

Arsene Wenger does hate losing. Who to play on Wednesday

by & filed under News Review.

Imagine this was your face though

Imagine this was your face though

Morning all, Alex here back for a second bite of the cherry.

So yesterday I disgraced myself by confusing Mike Dean with Mike Riley. Kinda undermines your argument if you can’t even remember the name of the bloke you’re slagging off. But in fairness they are both terrible referees so most of my points still stand.

Someone in the comments also mentioned that I did not talk about our lack of defensive awareness for the goals. Certainly the first one was preventable and showed a familiar naivete from a set piece. The second one was a result of being two men down and knackered so not much could be done to prevent that.

In other news the British Prime Minister put his old chap into a pig’s mouth.

Arsene Wenger has called for retrospective action for Diego Costa for his behaviour on Saturday. Absolutely the right thing do, but the chances of anything happening? Absolutely fucking none. Why? It would take Mike Dean having to admit he’s wrong. So let’s look forward to a three game ban for the Manager for making the appeal.

A number of people also took umbrage with my comment yesterday that Arsene Wenger hates losing so I thought I better explain myself. He does hate losing. What’s so frustrating is that despite this he absolutely refuses to critically assess why it keeps happening. In the same way he apparently spends thousands of hours watching and studying football without ever actually applying what he’s learnt, his hatred of losing is only outweighed by his refusal to sacrifice his principles in order to win. Clear?

Everyone was losing their tiny minds yesterday about Man United and Martial. He certainly does look like a player but it’s going to take a few more games (and goals) before anyone can declare if he was worth the money or not. It could be one of the shrewdest buys of the season, or he could be the next Macheda. Only time will tell but I’m erring on the latter because Van Gaal is a massive fraud. Also, United still conceded two goals yesterday, and most of that 40 pass goal was boring sideways passing. It was only the last two or three passes that were actually clinical and it was only because of a rebound that they scored. We’re not talking Brazil 1970 here.

Thinking ahead to Wednesday, a few decisions for me. First who do we play in the centre? I’m guessing he won’t drop Cazorla* so maybe one of Arteta or Ramsey, or even Chamberlain? That’s a midfield that will struggle to dominate. Up top, I’d stick with Theo in order to try and play him into some kind of form. And I’d propose dropping Alexis for a few games so that he can get his head straight.

Before I go I realise in my haste yesterday, I forgot to provide links to my cohorts. (Apologies in advance for this again, I know you hate these plugs but its only fair. If you are really offended by this I’d suggest you stop reading now).

If you want to get another perspective on the Chelsea game give Andy @chelseadaft a follow. If you want Chelsea news more generally go here. If fashion is your thing you can follow Hayley @teapartybeauty and you can view her blog here. ICYMI I blogged about why we all got together as part of the #peaceonegame campaign for International Peace Day (which is today). You can read about it here.

And finally you can follow me on twitter @aldo_doel

Have a good day x

* Thanks everyone for pointing out Cazorla is now suspended. Obviously was just testing you