Arsene you GENIUS! / Gamble on Robin / Why do you hate Spurs?

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Today's post is sponsored by Marriott Hotel Lasagne

Arsene dropped one of the most important comments of his career yesterday, yes, he admitted that losing your strikers to injury results in less points.

“It is difficult to say what would have happened had they not been injured. But I am confident we would have a few more points.”

I know there were those of you out there who couldn’t work this out, but rest assured, that little issue has been laid to rest by the ever so sharp Mr Wenger.

I’ve even put together a mathematical equation just to break it down.

Theory of goalativity: Football team + Strikers = goals

You see, if you put zero strikers into the equation… you end up with very few goals. Genius. Glad it took all of 13 years to clear that conundrum up! A shame he didn’t realise that in January when we were all screaming for him to add someone to the squad. That’s negligence. Plain and simple.

Comments like that certainly don’t do him any favours with the fans. I wonder what will be on tomorrow?

‘A good goalkeeper can save you points. If we’d had one, we’d probably be 10 clear.’

Still, with the bad inevitably comes some good. On Cesc’s future came this…

‘We don’t work for four or five years with young players, stand up for them, let them come through and, when they are ready to perform, sell them. That would be irresponsible. But I cannot stop them from talking in Spain.’

Amen to that Wenger. Trouble is, do you mean it? It’s about this time of year we get all the conflicting messages. I’m sure that goes directly against the usual,

‘If a player wants to leave, it’s very hard to make him stay.’

Still, if the new Arsene has grown a pair, I’m all for it.

So, onto the game… I’m pretty fired up.

Robin Van Persie is now fit as a fiddle and ready to play if called upon. I said the other day I wouldn’t play him as Nik has done enough to merit his place in the starting line up. Then I started thinking… why does it matter? If he comes on with 20 minutes to go and breaks down whose problem is that? Holland’s. I care more about the state of Ashley Cole’s marriage than I do about the Dutch world cup challenge.

Playing without Robin is hardly something we’d have to get used to in the remaining games. If the worst does happen and he breaks down again, maybe that’ll force Wenger’s hand to go and buy another striker this summer… because we can’t be relying on a player who has only given us more than 30 starts once in 6 seasons. I’m not saying sell him, I’m saying get a proper striker in to replace the games you know he’ll miss, ala Arshavin for Rosicky (Chamakh isn’t nearly prolific enough).

So our defence lines up as usual with the inclusion of Sol Campbell. You’d expect him to be mega fired up for tonight I always feel better about our chances when he’s on the pitch. Not just because he’s a top defender but because he has an  aura about him… the type that makes the young players put that extra bit of effort in. Wenger said he’s undecided on Sol’s new contract, whatever Arsene, I bet you’ve got the contract in your brief case already.

In midfield I’m expecting to see Denilson, Diaby and Samir Nasri. From where I’m typing, that looks like more than enough to take apart a Spurs midfield that doesn’t contain Palacios, Lennon or Kranky. There is no Song, which I revealed via twitter two days ago.

Up front it’s got to be Theo Walcott, Nik Bendtner and Rosicky… who owes us a big, big game tomorrow.

Personally, I’d prefer to see Eboue in front of Walcott. However, with his England place up for grabs, I’m hoping for a ripping performance if he does get the nod!

Arsenal need to impose themselves on the game early. We need to press like we did at the start of the season and we need to have a dig at goal because I’m still not convinced by Comical Gomes. We also need a big game from Almunia. Spurs will be whipping balls into the box for Crouch to nod in. The erratic Spaniard needs to be commanding and make sure he lets the defence know what he’s going to do either way. A Bentley cross for a Crouch goal is not an image I want to become a reality. That dirty little scrot’s smiling face is making me angry just thinking about it.

The whole squad is going to be buoyed by the return of ‘new signing‘, Robin Van Persie. That’s massive boost for the team and it’ll be a toe up the Arse-nal for Nik B who’ll want to prove he can compete. Expect and excellent game from him this evening!

We need to win. You see, I have a lot invested in tonight’s game… after Pompey put them out of the cup, I foolishly went on a gloat text spree of epic proportions. In the delirium caused by Spurs embarrassing themselves, I forgot we were playing them. I can’t have them turning us over… my life won’t be worth living. I’ll have to take the sack on the chin, because I won’t turn my work phone on for a week. No one needs a sacking off the back of a defeat to Spurs…!

Anyway, I’m feeling confident. Cliff Bastin came to me in a dream last night and told me we were going to win 3-1.

I hope you’re right Cliff, I hope your right!

Have a great day Grovers!

P.S. Apparently Asperger’s syndrome is where your brain randomly chooses a thing for you to devote your entire existence to. I’m not sure if mines loving Arsenal or hating Spurs? What makes you despise Spurs more than any other team in the World?

Sadly, my first memory is that freekick Gazza whistled past Seaman in the FA Cup semi Final in 91. Need I say more? Seeing his fat, slightly retarded looking face celebrating that goal scarred my young mind… the hate I feel inside hasn’t dampened since.

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Usmanov impresses / Where do you stand: Cowboy or Communist? / St Tott’s eve!

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Sorry people, I had a different post lined up for you but that was sadly binned (postponed for a day) on the ever so exciting news that there is a takeover battle!

Every cyber takeover specialist will be out on the web today correcting people with pigeon information they’ve accrued from the University of Wikipedia which will then be countered by more Google induced false information and before you know it… we’ll be back to square one pining after the good old days of David Dein!

So who do we want to buy up Lady Nina’s shares?

Put aside what you think you know and your childhood prejudices of good versus evil and take a long hard think.

Alisher Usmanov has mostly been keeping his mouth shut over the past few months. He’s ditched David Dein and had very little to do with the press. As far as I know, he’s been hoovering up shares on the quiet but not quite with the same vigour as Silent Stan.

People hate him generally because he’s an evil looking Eastern European. In the Corporate world, the line between criminal and law abiding is constantly blurred. I don’t think there are too many Billionaires who’ve played it by the book and if you delve into the back ground of any of them, you’d find skeletons.

Lets ignore that because that’s all in the past. Let’s go by what we know now. What the two money men have done in the last year or so.

Stan has bought shares up to 29.9 percent and now he’s perched on the cusp of a takeover bid. I think all he needs is 10 to trigger an offer. Over the other side of the pond, Stan has another decision to make. Does he sell his 40% minority stake in the St Louis Rams or does he stay on in an advisory role with prospective new owner Shahid Khan. Apparently the mysterious American has gone firmly off the radar over the last few months, even his closest friends don’t know where he stands on the subject of his Rams stake.

Now, it’s important to note that the success of American’s in British sport has been limited. Green and Gold tells you all you need to know about the Glazers, Liverpool’s league standing this year gives you an idea of their plight and Randy Lerner has hardly set the Midlands alight with trophies and Champions League success.

Stan’s total wealth at the last count was £1.17billion. Most of that will be tied up in real estate, I think that’s a similar figure to H&G. Not really enough to invest too much personal cash if it all goes wrong you’d have to agree. We certainly wont be competing with the Sheik’s or the Oligarch’s in West London.

What we will gain is an expert in the field of sport, albeit American sport. He delivered success in his first season as co-Rams owner. Since then, he’s done very little. I’ve had a read around the Rams blogs and there seems to be a pretty deflated attitude, very similar to the musings you might read on a Spurs blog. However, I couldn’t find a grain of negative press about Stan. That tells you a lot.

What we can guarantee with Stan is the continuation of our sensible business model, minimal interference and the full support of the board. What we can’t guarantee is that there wont be a leveraged buyout.

If I was worth £120,000 and I bought a shop for £60,000 that made £3,500 a year before furnishings, I’d probably want to make sure I got that £60,000 back.

Usmanov has been quiet on the footballing front, but in the world of business, the guy has been busy. Very busy.

After the recession hit, his wealth dropped to a paltry $1.6billion (What Stan is worth now roughly), undettered the Uzbek has fought back and his pound coin collection has multiplied by 488% to a staggering $7.8billion (£5billion).

As a business man he is impressive. He started life as a plastic bag manufacturer which led to investments in the metal markets. Now he’s venturing into the highly volatile world of the web and telecommunications. He’s officially the biggest social media investor in Eastern Europe. He is hoping to buy up popular web messenger ICQ, he’s a part owner of the web firm SUP who own live Journal, a 1.96% investor in facebook and a part owner of the yet to be floated FB application designer Zynga. He’s also in the process of building a super telecoms company for Russia via his Megafon company.

His investment firm DST (Digital Sky Technologies) does most of the buying for his tech side and you can’t help but be impressed with how they go about their business. Character aside, the guy is a pretty handy businessman and a ruthless one at that. If you look at his history it seems he is very intent on proving himself as a true business genius after early set backs in life.

He’s got enough money in the bank to take over Arsenal and make them a success out of his own pocket. He seems to have a keen eye for a good business and he knows how to make money. If the due diligence Facebook performed failed to find any problems, then I don’t see why Arsenal fans should be too bothered.

Mr Pincus of Zynga had this to say on our 2nd highest shareholder.

“I know there’s been press about Usmanov being a colourful oligarch, but I didn’t spend a lot of time worrying about that.”

More important, said Mr Pincus, was DST founder Yuri Milner’s vision for the future of the social web.

“He believes the opportunity could be to be the dominant social network and the largest social gaming company.”

Taking Arsenal to the next level is all we should be worried about.

Usmanov’s business success across multiple industries impresses me, Stan’s experience in sport intrigues. Talk of a possible joint venture is could be of interest to us all.

When mulling over who you’d like to takeover the club, consider the important things that matter NOW. Not what happened 20 years ago. Neither man seem like the types to run the club into the ground or have a vested interest in making a quick buck. If Usmanov wanted to make fast money, he could invest in hundreds of other businesses with far brighter profit yielding prospects.

For me, he’s in it for Eastern European glory, to show the World they mean business. If Stan was in it for the quick buck he’d have demonstrated that type of attitude with his past ventures. I’m not quite sure of his reasons. Prestige would surely be an American team? Money… not sure £35mill a year counts as good money for a billionaire. I’m stumped for a reason!

Anyway, word on the street is Lady Nina doesn’t want to sell to Stan. Her timing seems perfect to cause the American maximum problems! Could be an interesting month.

For me, we’ve got two very good options should the worst case scenario happen (We sell).

Hey, maybe Arsenal fans could club together and buy her stake, we could make Championship manager a reality! Vote on our team, elect Presidents, put under performing players in the stocks… what a laugh we’d have!

Have a think about what you’d like to see happen and drop us a comment… it’ll make you feel special inside, like you do when you put your 16 pence change in the McDonalds charity box.

I’m in Wales today, don’t hate me because I’m a jetsetter. I’ll be back online later!

Have a great day, play nice… it’s St. Totteringham’s eve!


Tottenhahahahaham \ A day of epic greatness! \ Arshavin to leave

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When Robin Van Persie first injured himself one of my ‘know it all’ scouse mates said that there would be no way we’d cope without our striker. We stuttered a little and a world class striker could have made things a little easier, but overall, we’ve dealt with the issue extremely well.

Manchester United have benefited from a fantastically inform Wayne Rooney this season. He’s been knocking in Nani and Valencia crosses with incredible regularity. Arsenal fans have cursed his fitness and the United fitness team’s ability to cure his injuries… they also claimed if United ever lost him they’d struggle badly. Well, the injury came and so did the United collapse… they lost to Chelsea, went out to Bayern in the Champions league… and yesterday, they drew to Blackburn!

One man team anyone? I mean, it’s embarrassing that Arsenal can throw a 22 year old Dane into the mix and he can deliver a load of important goals, United throw a £28million striker into the mix and they still lose all effectiveness!

That means if we win the rest of our games, we finish second this year. That’s a fantastic achievement and one we can build on for next year.

That means that the Spurs game becomes the closest thing to a cup final we’ll have all season. Spurs went out of the cup in humiliating went out to cash strapped Pompey. Lord Justice clearly sprayed his magic dust over Wembley in a fantastic day for the south coast club. Spurs hit the wood-work plenty of times but when it came down to it… Pompey were just too clinical for them!

Oh… and Palacios is suspended… Kranky might also be out with a nasty injury.

Poetic or what?

Harry deserves everything he’s getting down at the lane. His awful management of Pompey’s clubs finances and his selfish quest to line his pockets first, think of the well being of the club second should have had him suspended from club management at the very least. Instead, he was rewarded with a cushty job at Spurs. Well, at least we can make sure they don’t take 4th and end the season potless.

We can hope they’ll be mentally drained for us on Wednesday… but for me… there’s no chance. Spurs have 4th to play for and they’ll need to restore their pride.

Wednesday is massive.

I think we’ll be just as up for it though. If I was going to make a prediction, I’d say this will be an incredibly passionate game. I think it has classic written all over it and if I was a betting man, I’d have money on some red cards!

I think we’ll do them… our players will want to banish the ghosts of the Nou Camp and give the faithful something to brag about in the office!

RvP is back in the mixer apparently and JD could be as well. I’ve heard through the grapevine that Robin is training really well and JD is looking sharp. If there was a risk involved, I wouldn’t play Robin. Nik has done more than enough to justify a starting berth. Song will be back to boss the midfield and you’d imagine Sol Campbell will be massively up for playing against his old club. Nasri and Diaby in the middle should be far too much for Spurs.

It’s going to be brilliant. I’m so excited, I’m thinking of investing in some Tena men… my bladder can’t take it these days!

Could we still win the Premiership? I’m not so sure… Chelsea are looking pretty strong at the moment. The best thing we can do is fight till the end and score maximum points. I’ve also got a bit of a problem with Man City. I’d like to reassert some dominance over them! Can’t have them thinking they’re a better team, can we?

I think if this season has proved anything, it’s that we have developed a good base of a squad. Some players haven’t risen to the challenge, but a number have. If we can avoid losing players this summer and replace where necessary, next season could be a different story. Imagine if we had a world class keeper and four top class defenders to choose from? Add Chamakh into the mixer and we could win the Premiership next season.

One bit of worrying news that was shared with us by one of the Grovers in the know, was that Arshavin could be off this summer. I don’t think he’s endeared himself to the faithful this year and I can’t imagine Wenger takes too kindly to his press out pourings and his sometimes lazy displays. Hopefully Arsenal can work around that because the guy is a huge talent and it’d be shame to see him somewhere else. Sol will get a new contract according to the source. This guy gave us the Ade news very early last season and he gave us the Sol resigning story as well.

This is going to be a cracking few weeks… enjoy it, you’ll miss it when the world cup comes!

Come on Arsenal!

P.S. If you haven’t read Old Birds Barca post, make sure you do. It’s an excellent account of an away day experience in Europe. I also forgot to post this excellent article from Who at all the pies yesterday. It fitted quite nicely with my talk of England, until I deleted it and had to start again.

I’ve got 4 away tickets for the Wigan game. If you’re interested, drop me an e-mail and I’ll put you in touch with the owners. My e-mail is in the side bar —->

Oh and just to clear something up. Marmite is a British delicacy that you spread on toast, bagels, potatoes or anything else you can think of. Their slogan is ‘you love it or you hate it‘. That’s why we call certain player the marmite’s, because they divide opinion. If I catch anyone making racist comments or insinuations, they’ll be lobbed off.

I love it more than Bendtner

Le Grove is a blog of love… the only thing that defines a Grover is their opinion. Simple as that.

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