Usmanov worth £5.7 billion, maybe a gift called Villa would swing it.

by & filed under Uncategorized.

So the official Sunday Times rich list is out, with Alisher Usmanov worth a staggering £5,726m which is considerably more than the £2 billion we all thought he had, now that could put a different spin on things, with him the largest shareholder, he could easily give us a gift, a show of good faith if you will!

That gift could be David Villa or Benzema, go on Alisher show us how much you love Arsenal, that would be beer money to you, if you did, I for one would start warming to you.

My feeling is that Flamini and Hleb will stay and Henry will return, we may sign a center back and a third rate goalie and that will be it, disappointing, but that’s it, unless of course our Usbeck friend comes to the rescue, it’s up to you Mr Usmanov, it’s now in your hands.

Not much else to talk about other than the title is still mathematically up for grabs, so the Derby game is still hugely important, we can’t lose third place now but we can get 1st or second and like in 1989 when we thought it was all over, it’s not, so keep going boys.

So boss, no resting those well paid players, first team out there, we only have three games to go and win all of them, we may enrich our transfer kitty.

Unless of course Alisher Usmanov does it for you.

It was quite sickening to see how many footballers were on that list, and how much they get for kicking a ball about, and we didn’t have one in the top twenty, interesting that eh?

Have a great Domingo Grovers, tomorrow we start talking big!

180 Responses to “Usmanov worth £5.7 billion, maybe a gift called Villa would swing it.”

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  1. Mike

    £5.726m! That’s not that much!

    Good site and a good article.

    I don’t think Henry will come back though.

  2. paul

    I seem to remember Abramovic bought a star forward for Chelsea – wasn’t his name Schevchenko or something?

  3. Sniff

    No way Henry will come back!! How do you think the atmosphere will be like in the dressing room after players such as Cesc and Hleb said Henry’s departure liberated players???

  4. Isaac

    If he would but spend 1% of his fortune => 57mil…. Arsenal will be invincible next year. now i’m have a good day dreaming about this possibility

  5. Geoff

    I think he’ll be very humble Sniff, very embarrassed and not the big time Charlie he was, I think his experience will be good for the team.

  6. nr790

    i have a feeling that if hleb leaves we will sign van der vaat get a huge centerback a winger and a couple of youngsters

  7. gooner

    great article, but i don’t hope we become the next chelsea.

    i mean. where would they be now without abramovich?

    are people gonna say: arsenal are the “new chelsea”, speaking of money that is.

    i think you forgot about Huntelaar, hasn’t he been linked with us quite many times for the last 3 weeks.

  8. kenny

    Flamini will only stay if we meet his demands which i gather we have made an improved offer????? i think his agent is really pushing him to hold out signing for as long as possible in order to get the best deal…. i think he wants to stay and i think he will,,,,,,,hleb on the other hand is a dodgy one…… i think he would go to inter its just a case of will wenger report them to fifa???… if he does then inter have no chance of getting him from us.

    I watched henry’s interview on football focus yesterday and he looks like he really wants a return eh? he was caught between not wanting to say too much and trying to make out he was happy at barca. i think he will be back next season, might see him more on the wing. RVP and ade upfront with henry on the left and henry and RVP switching positions throughout the game.

    quit with the Usmanov thing cause i think people are getting tired of him now. i really dont want to see arsenal in a state like liverpool are in just now! id rather see investment from kronke than usmanov cause he gives me the creeps!!! he’s too fat!!!

  9. Geoff

    I don’t want us to be a Chelsea, but I would like us to compete with them and the Mancs, and buy at least 1 star, we were 4 short this season, and that’s why we won nothing.

  10. Big Raddy

    I am almost always wrong in my predictions, and I cannot see anyway that AW will take TH14 back.

    Much as it pisses Ethan Gooner off, Ade will be our main striker for years to come. With a decent support striker (get well soon Dudu), we will be the dogs.

  11. Big Raddy

    I agree Geoff, I love that we are a club with tradition, but if that gets in the way of being a winning club……….

    Show me the money

  12. Sam

    Hi, ive just read a few of these comments and all you supporters seem to think he only has 5.7MILLION, well he really has 5.7 BILLION POUNDS!! Just imagine what that sort of money could do for arsenal??????!!!!!!

  13. Finestcuts

    The whole point of the lockdown agreement is to give Usmanov no opportunity to have an influence over the club. Thats the way we should move forward, we do not need him, we never will. Usmanov is closely connected to the Kremlin, you have to take into account what you’re dealing with here.

    A) He would not give any money over to the club without expecting a return, he’s an investor, just like millions of people who own shares, he owns part of the club but he’s not a decision maker. It would be cheaper to get a loan from the bank.

    B) The board would not take it because the club don’t need the money. To the board he’s a nuisance rather than a good Samaritan.

    If we start dealing with Usmanov, WE’LL pay for it, not him.

    Usmanov has done the wise thing, he’s kept quiet, we don’t like him, he’s a dodgy geezer as far as most Arsenal fans are concerned, I hope he sells up in a few years time, takes his profits and that we’ll have an investor who really has the clubs interests at heart, not only personal gain.

  14. Geoff

    I just have a feeling he can use Thierry as an example to Cesc etc, and Henry has a lot to offer still, all our strikers are injured for huge parts of the season, it shows you need 4 or 5 fit ones, worth a punt if we don’t buy a Benzema or a Villa.

  15. Geoff

    Currency markets, property, the list goes on Sam, I have shares in the club, but the amount of time they’ve taken to accumulate has been too long for me.

  16. Big Raddy

    This cannot be a money thing for Usamov. So he makes another 100 mill. So what.

    He wants a plaything like the other crooks at Chels/City.

    So the grounds for the lockdown are moral as opposed to finacial. Oh and the self interest of the board

  17. Geoff

    I think you’re are right Raddy, it’s about living in England, getting respectability and having a hobby, but with teams like Man City, Villa, West ham getting investors we need to buy occasionally to compete.

  18. clockendrider

    Why do so few of you understand that Usmanov treats Arsenal as part of a business portfolio? He has not accumulated his billions by going round lavishing alms on the poor and generally being a nice guy. Whatver he spends on Arsenal he will want a return on. That is the way business works. Abramovitch’s return is a UK passport and safe haven whenever the political winds form Moscow change direction. As a result he is prepared to finance a completely unsupportable business. Usmanov does not have his money and much of it will be tied up in Uzbekistan and other Russian satellites. He has not grown up in Uzbekistan listening out for arsenal results on the world service. A bit more reality and a bit less Championship Manager is required here.

  19. choy

    eh.. do you guys really want the ego to return?

    agreed he was the best player for arsenal uptil last year but we’ve moved on…

    do you want to pay him 10 mill again for a couple of appearances?

  20. Mike

    On another subject I think we really missed a trick in the league this year, Man Utds recent form has been poor with draws at Blackburn and Middlesborough then losing to Chelsea, if our form was just slightly better during that barren spell we would have won it. But saying that there’s plenty of positives for next season because I don’t think Man Utd are as consistently good as people think. Also this summer I think Chelsea are going to have more turmoil with maybe a manager leaving and a few players being departing, Drogba yesterday definitely told us he was on his way. If Arsenal get it right over the transfer window, bring in Villa, a winger and a tall centre back, keep Flamini and Hleb, then we’ll have an excellent chance.

  21. cheeky!

    A few additions to make to your transfer list that you’ve forgotten about.

    We’ve also been linked to:


    This list is getting ridiculously long already!

  22. Julian H

    If Usmanov buys Arsenal then Arsenal become his plaything. There will be no ‘club’ – no fans will own shares, no real collegiate decision-making will exist – the purpose of owning a football company outright is that the owner effectively has all the power.

    Thus with Abramovich – when he wanted Ballack and Shevchenko, he bought them, entirely irrespective of the manager’s wishes. When he wanted Mourinho out, Mourinho was kicked out – entirely irrespective of the fans (sorry, customers’) views. If he wanted, he could change their strip to being red with white sleeves.

    Let us ask – what is Arsenal and why do we care about it? Arsenal is a club – a club of people, with many people owning shares, a consistent board (who do not claim dividends), a loyal and local supporter base (albeit augmented by far-away fans, too).

    We support the club – financially, vocally and irrationally. Going to Sunderland (in a coach) on a midweek night to see a League Cup game is not a rational consumer decision – it’s the bahaviour of a fan – a fanatic. We are fanatic because this is our club – our Arsenal, our North London, our history and so on.

    Let us say Usmanov buys the club and spend £57 million on two players. Then what? Abramovich spends £80m. Usmanov spends another £100m. Two dodgy Putin-cronies fight it out, for fun. How does this involve us? What do we do at that point? Why support Usmanov? Because his team wear red and white?

    I think football is more than this. I don’t support the Arsenal just because the players wear red and white and are conveniently located. I support the club, because it is something I’ve been a part of for most of my life.

    This is not to do with exclusivity nor micro-nationalism. On the contrary I am more than happy to welcome foreign fans, foreign investors, to become part of the club and contribute – so long as the club remains and we keep shared ownership.

    I have no interest in financially supporting a rich boy’s plaything and thus cannot see why any Arsenal fan would want our club sold off to Alisher Usmanov.

  23. James

    Clockendrider! How do you know!

    You were the financial expert on last week regarding the transfer fund? A figure denied by the club.

    Usmanov clearly has enough not to worry about massive returns on his investment, but if he can make some cash out of having the best club in the world, why not?

    The fact is, you don’t know how much money Arsenal have and you don’t know what Usmanovs motives are.

    Dein says he is in it for fun and I would hazard a guess, but if you were in the business of making money, a football club is very dodgy investment.

    So a bit less of the “I am an expert” please.

  24. Big Raddy

    as to the argument re: Abramovich. This man loves his football, and he loves his team . He is there week in week out, goes to all the away games.

    I repeat, it is not about money.

    These guys want ways to fill their time, to give some interest in the hours away from the boardroom. And of course, the respectability that goes with it. Who knows maybe a British passport to stop extradition in the future. But then it hasn’t worked for the fellow at Fulham !!

  25. Finestcuts

    Sure there are faster ways of earning a buck and Usmanov knows them all. To become as wealthy as he has coming from a country where people are struggling to earn a hundfred quid a month says a lot about Usmanov’s knack for making huge profits.

    Usmanov is an embarrassment to Arsenal. If that’s the way we’re going to achieve why don’t we get Bin laden to give us a few quid, he’s a gunner and he could improve his reputation.

    If anyone like Usmanov started getting too involved we’d be heading down the route of being a club run on blood money, money whose value doesn’t equate to the losss of lives and serious problems caused to society in it’s pursuit.

  26. Finestcuts

    Yeah I completely agree Julian, some very good points. One point of contention though, Arsenal’s local fan base isn’t just about North London neither is the heritage.

    First of all Arsenal first played in Woolwich. Arsenal have fans from all over London, you’ll find Arsenal fans all the way down the Piccadilly line to Heathrow who are gunners, and it’s been like that for many generations. Arsenal has huge support in the home counties, last year when I was in Ramsgate for a few weeks, Arsenal were the most supported club.

    We need to keep that spirit alive.

  27. Pedro

    Morning all,

    Great post geoff, I think some people are missing the tongue in cheek aspect to the post.

    As for the people talking about Usmanov coming in a wrecking the club… last time I checked, when you buy something, you do your utmost to make is successful?

    Like Raddy said, its not going to be about money for these guys… go and buy £500million worth of tesco’s shares if you want a return!

    Bringing success to a club and being loved by thousands of fans probably has its appeal also.

    His past is shady, but no more shaddy than our diamond rich board members now! Blood money… Blood diamonds… whats the difference? Someone usually gets ripped off along the way to mega richness.

    I don’t care either way, but if Arsenal keep talking about being skint, it’s only going to make these type of investors seem more appealing.

  28. Julian H

    “Arsenal’s local fan base isn’t just about North London neither is the heritage”

    Yep, fair point – indeed the size of our club is partially due to drawing support from all over London and the home counties. I myself was brought up in SE London, but somehow ended up with the Arsenal instead of Crystal Palace (thank fuck).

  29. Finestcuts

    Fine then lets start a crack operation on the streets like Tottenham, we’ll be loaded.
    But seriously, it’s important to make sure that the club remains intact.

    Usmanov is making profits out of the clubs money, it’s a perfect little chip to have, no operating costs, a club whose value shoots up year after year.

    So if Mugabe came along and he wanted in, would we be up for it?

  30. Geoff

    As I was trying to suggest, he could as a goodwill gesture buy us Villa and Benzema, just a present, then see what happens, I didn’t say take over the club, to those of you who have trouble reading between the lines, that’s what I meant.

    You both know who you are as you’re both knows alls.

    Enough said.

  31. Pedro

    I think comparing Usmanov to Mugabe is a little over the top…

    What do you mean keep the club intact? Give me an example of a club not remaining intact?

  32. Julian H

    Geoff, can you provide an example (in any field of life) of an individual giving £40m+ of assets to a profit-making company as a ‘gift’, just to ‘see what happens’?

  33. Finestcuts

    By intact I mean a club whose outgoings don’t exceed it’s profits, a club which is never in danger of financial meltdown should the life support machine switch off, a club whose board and management have the future interests of the club at heart as well as making a profit today.

  34. Patrick7

    Raddy, Abramovich wasn’t there yesterday!

    Usmanov, no way. Keep well away from him! As Julian says keep Arsenal as a (supporters) club not a rich boy’s ‘speculation’.

    Henry, as great as he was, he deteriorated badly and cost the club a bomb for his last short season. He rarely scored in important matches but put the gloss on results against the weaker teams. Don’t look at him through rose tinted glasses. He was an Arsenal great for his goals but he wasn’t a ‘fox in the box’ like Gerd Muller. Perhaps and hopefully Eduardo will get the chance to be that for us………………………………

    If we can keep Flamini, replace Hleb who sounds as if he’s gone with a more productive goalscorer/goal assist maker or modify him if he stays and add a couple of experienced quality we’ll be winning silverware next season!

    With Arsene’s talent spotting and not too much cash, I’m sure he’ll get us there. I would like a defensive coach though again, like Keown to sort out our back line with some height there added!

  35. Julian H

    Not sure why this has turned into a test – but off the top of my head, I believe he was elected following the liberation (from white rule in ‘Rhodesia’), admittedly with the blessing of fellow liberation leaders like Mandela.

  36. Pedro

    Great, examples of clubs not intact then please?

    Chelsea are going to be self sufficient by 2010.

    Also, it is important to understand that he wont just pull his investment and leave… he’d want to sell if for a profit, so its not in his interest to sell a failing company.

  37. Julian H

    Geoff, this is getting tedious – you proposed, bizarrely, that Usmanov might give £50m+ in players to the club, not as a means of taking over the club.

    I asked for an example of someone giving a gift of this size to a profit-making company.

    You then provide an example of someone who invested his own money in his own company.

  38. Julian H

    Pedro: “Chelsea are going to be self sufficient by 2010”

    Are you serious? You actually believe the Kenyon propaganda?

    They’ve even admitted themselves that they “might not” hit their target.

  39. clockendrider

    when you grow up you may find out two things. A) That you sometimes need to read between the lines. The club isn’t going to say explicitly, “this is the size of the transfer fund”.
    B) That financial statements are actually quite important and contain some considerable information which can inform the guesswork we all make.
    I am not claimimng insider knowledge. A little bit of basic corporate finance plus experience of human nature are all that is required. If the money was there, do you really think Wenger wouldn’t spend it in order to bring succs? He is a pragmatist who has made a virtue out of necessity. Do you think he wouldn’t have bought Essien or Drogba or Ronaldo if he had the money to spend? Does he get some perverse kick out of not spending the money? In which case why shell out for Henry, Wiltord, Reyes? Because when the money is there, it is the prudent thing to do to invest it in players from the top echelon. When it isn’t you cut your cloth accordingly, promote youth and take some gambles on unproven potential.
    Of course Wenger could imagine it’s Championship Manager and imagine that some binary code relating to “manager experience” or “player stamina” or ” man marking” provide the answer. Personally, I’d rather hope he sticks to reality.

  40. Geoff

    Julian I’ve seen your site and you are a bleeding heart Liberal, this site is non political and not for you and your soap box.

    For the record, Mugabe, a terrorist ,was installed by Lord Soames as President, Mugabe then went on to massacre his own people, destroy the economy, take away farms from their owners and become Dictator for life, not to mention become Africa’s richest man.

    All made possible by people with your opinion.

    You are in moderation, if you have something we all want to hear, we’ll let you on, if not goodbye.

  41. Finestcuts

    Yeah Usmanov will sell for a profit, but that is down to the board and Wenger’s management, nothing to do with Usmanov’s business acumen.

    When Chelsea are self-sufficient, I’ll believe it.

    There are many clubs in the Premier League, living off credit with managerial problems, financial difficulties, relegation woes etc.

    But it’s not about comparing Arsenal to other clubs in such situations, we just need a bullet-proof strategy to prevent us having similar problems, and so far it’s working.
    I don’t want us to be a soul-less Manyoo, the policy at the moment is pragmatic and we already have the foundations of a winning team.

  42. John

    We dont want the fat Russians money, thank you, but no thank you. TH14 will NOT return, AW will NO sign a goalkeeper, he WILL sign a proven centre back and a left sided midfield player.

  43. GMR

    Julian H,

    You said you have no interest in supporting a rich man’s play thing, well what do you think Arsenal are at the moment?? They aren’t owned by the fans, they may have more than 1 owner but when did the fans last make a decision for the club??

    Are you seriously trying to tell me the likes of Fiszman, Hill-Wood & Co aren’t making money off the fans?? Why did they move stadiums? So they could fit more suits in & make more money, but not for team building as was the reason given for moving in the first place.

    You’re either a fan of the team or you aren’t, but don’t start talking rubbish that a different owner somehow means its no longer Arsenal!!

  44. Evo in OZ

    Just watching some highlights from the 03-04 season from that website Rohit mentioned earlier…

    didnt realise Cesc was wearing no. 57 when he scored his first goal!

  45. Big Raddy

    I am slightly disturbed that a man who is obviously a ‘proper’ Arsenal fan is put into moderation because of his liberal political views.

    Julian’s original post re: Usamov, was well reasoned and well written. I don’t agree with his conclusions, but isn’t this a discussion?

    I am an Arsenal fan, if Fred West was Chairman I would still be a Gooner

  46. BB

    patrick7 .. the notion that TH14 only scored against smaller teams is complete and utter rubbish
    but taking your argument, albeit wrong on board, on board, maybe we would have won the fukking league this year had any of our glorious players scored against smaller sides
    what about this then??
    form is temporary, class is permanent
    i tell you.. TH14 is due a good season and it will be the next one ..wherever he will be and most likely it wont be Barca..

  47. GMR

    There is one site I particularly hate (no names mentioned) however its an extremely popular site & I could be wrong but I’m pretty sure its been around the longest of all the arsenal blogs & its run by an Irish guy.

    I used to enjoy reading it, but for about the past two years he’s spent all his time on his soapbox, slating players like Adebayor (before he signed), Song, Hleb & just lately his target is Gallas. Yet he defends Adebayor (who he never wanted) & Senderos, telling everyone they’re idiots for doubting them.

    Now my point being that he once interviewed PHW & since then he seems to think they are friends so he goes out his way to decimate the characters of people like Kroenke & Usmanov. Yet funnily enough, suddenly he has been saying how Kroenke’s sports knowledge would be welcome at the club & what a nice guy he is (around the same time that PHW changed his tune). This morning he is saying that PHW said Wenger can have any money he wants yet on reading that article PHW actually says:

    “Yes, Arsene works with a tight budget but it is also a realistic one. He said to me a few years ago that there is no good him spending a whole lot of money and bankrupting the club in the process.”

    To me that is a far different statement to him having all the money he wants. What he is actually saying is that Wenger can only sign what the board see as reasonable, Arsene doesn’t get turned down because he doesn’t bother asking for large amounts in the first place, knowing he won’t be given them!!

    Financially speaking Man Utd are bigger than us which is fine, but Liverpool are on the same level, Spurs aren’t anywhere near as big but both those clubs outspend us every year. If they can invest 120-150 million on players over a 3-5 year period then why can’t Arsenal, if they are well run as we are continually told??

    Sorry for the long rant!!

  48. Geoff

    Be disturbed then Raddy, this is not a political site and he was getting political. I moderate to protect the vast majority of people from views like that.

    That’s my job.

  49. Finestcuts

    At the risk of being moderated myself, I’d also like to see Julian H being given a chance to voice his view. I like reading and contributing to this blog and some of the comments are extreme, but I’d rather someone spoke publicly to the disagreement of all than be prevented from voicing their view.

    For example the BNP, some people think banning the BNP would be a good solution to prevent them from offending others. I’d rather they aired the views in public to the condemnation of the masses rather than giving them the “I’ve been suppressed” card.
    It’s much better for them to display their bigotry in public rather than privately dis-seminating their views and denying what they stand for in the face of criticism.

  50. Goona P

    Just watched bbc interview with thierry i forgot how much i love that man… a true arsenal legend… i’d love to have him bak at the emirates…

    theirry henry… thierry henry…

  51. Geoff

    That’s fine finest but I don’t want them on this blog, as I said if he wants to come on and leave politics out he’s welcome.

  52. Finestcuts

    Yeah, he was a bit cheeky linking his page to one with a poilitical spin, but lets make the rules clear so that if a person is put into moderation, the offence committed is backed up by a clasue from the rules, it just makes it more clinical.

    So far the Rules of Engagement don’t dis-allow that:

    Here are some examples I’ve found from other sites with forums:

    . Members should post in a way that is respectful of other users. Flaming or abusing users in any way will not be tolerated.

    Members should remember this board is aimed at a general audience. Posting pornographic or generally offensive text, images, links, etc. will not be tolerated.

    Spam is not tolerated here under any circumstance. Don’t even bother to advertise your site, or other sites by posting one line with a pick, and then a link to the analysis somewhere else.

    The moderating, support and other teams reserve the right to edit or remove any post at any time. The determination of what is construed as indecent, vulgar, spam, etc. as noted in these points is up to Team Members and not users.

  53. Geoff

    Finest we have that already, I also allow them back if they comply, I told that to him as well, it’s there call.

  54. Pedro

    Hi Guys,

    Let me just clear a few things up.

    Julian has missed the point of the article, maybe he is new to the site and he didn’t realise that it was tongue in cheek. Both Geoff and I are well versed in business and how the world works.

    Geoff is not seriously proposing that Usmanov gives us £40 million to buy new players… he is joking. He has taken a boring news day and put a spin on Usmanovs fortune.

    Julian started firing questions at Geoff like he was being serious, which got a bit boring because then everyone else started jumping on the band wagon…

    I repeat, the article is tongue in cheek.

    We are not a political site, so when things start going down that road it is time to bin the comments.

    Julian and Clockenrider are welcome back, just don’t patronise others and try to understand the nature of the article before you start getting on your high horse. Its not nice blogging in a crappy atmosphere and we wont allow it to get like that.

    Sorry if that offends anyone, but thats just the way it is.



  55. Chiku

    guys do any of u gu want any of the players we are linked to? Obviously. Well Instead of debating about which players might come to arsenal this summer why dont we the fans try to make it happen. the board, the gaffer and usmanov might or might not know who we are linked with so why dont we get the message to them. I mean that at games we put up banners like ARSENE KNOWS: THAT WE NEED DAVID VILLA AND BEN ARFA why dont we sings made up songs about them to really get the message clear that which ever player that is linked with the club might be a good addition to the squad. i know that if we make pleas to usmaov at the remaining games to get us DAVID VILLA we might as well see another Free Kick master at The club. The thought of Van Persie & Villa Stepping up to the ball 25 to 30 yards away from goal disscusing who should take it gives me A mssive thrill

  56. Pedro

    So anyway… onto something that matters… FOOTBALL!

    Wenger on Flamini,

    “Flamini can earn more somewhere else that is for sure because it would be a free transfer – but how much is he ready to sacrifice to stay here,” he said.

    “What is really important is that this team says ‘let’s go to the end of our potential together and not walk out for any simpler reason’ – and that is where I expect them to show strength, and care what they can achieve together.”

    Sacrifice a shed load of cash? What will the flamster do?


    “All I can say is that I enjoy the game here and enjoy playing for Arsenal. There is more to come from this team and from me.”

    “We have to accept that victory will not always look beautiful. We need to learn to play to win, not just play the beautiful game.

    “The win is more important than beauty and my feeling is that playing the beautiful game is no compensation for not winning a trophy.”

    That sounds like a player who is heading off doesn’t it!

    Judging by Hlebs previous comments you wouldn’t have thought he’d leave. I think Geoff could be right, they might both say. They should at least win something before they leave, especially as they have been so close this year!

    I’ve also read that we are going to sign that bulgarian, Dimitriov. I don’t know anything about him… but I wish we’d sign him or bin him… its been the most boring transfer saga since Cashley…

  57. Finestcuts

    Hleb told The Independent: “All I can say is that I enjoy the game here and enjoy playing for Arsenal. There is more to come from this team and from me.

    “We have to accept that victory will not always look beautiful. We need to learn to play to win, not just play the beautiful game.

    “The win is more important than beauty and my feeling is that playing the beautiful game is no compensation for not winning a trophy.”

    What does Hleb mean by that, slapping more people about to get a win?

    That’s actually a critcism of Wenger, he’s claiming he hasn’t learnt how to win under Wenger. If he hasn’t learnt that in his time at Arsenal, does he really think he’ll learn elsewhere.

    Goals = winning trophies, there haven’t been enough when necessary this year. A team like us should always be playing for the second goal.

  58. James

    Julian does seem to have taken the story rather literally? If the author says he can come back then I guess that is fair. Nothing wrong with a bit of banter as long as it doesn’t get boring.

    Pedro, his comments seem very much like the comments of a man who is prepared to stay. I think Flamini will stay, he is good buddies with Cesc and I can’t see him wanting to break up a great partnership to go and play in a league that is fading fast.

    I only hope he doesn’t end up signing for an english club. Oh the horror of seeing the Flamster lining up in a Liverpool shirt.

    Whats the deal with Gareth Barry? I hear we may bid £15mill for him? Steep, but he has been doing great things in midfield for Villa for a while. A player who could make the step up I feel.

    Arsenal can still win the league, who’s with me!

  59. Gooner K

    Finestcuts, those comments could indeed be taken the wrong way. Where does he think he is going to go to guarantee those trophies? Inter are only on top due to the match fixing scandal.

    Hleb needs to look at his own game before he start trapping off. Where are your goals?

    You can’t blame him for wanting a trophy though, he has probably never won one professionally.

  60. Finestcuts

    We can win it next year James. Liverpool have spent a fortune in the past few years, and it hasn’t amounted to them making a decent challenge for the Prem, so tactics are key. I believe we’ll get the quality signings we need to take that next step, whether they’re players we know about or not.

  61. Pedro

    James, have you heard that Liverpool may sign him? Or is that a ‘What if’ kind of statement?

    We could win it next year, but I don’t think we’d stand a chance if we lost two of out most important players.

    I agree with Arsene, the players should see the project through before they go and make their millions elsewhere.

    I am interested to know when we shift our pay structure and put it inline with Europe’s elite.

    I thought that was the idea of the Stadium? To compete on things like that!

  62. One_Touch_Genius

    Here is just a thought, do you think our current board know that they will have to sell up eventually which is why they are not making much available for transfers because if the current board leaves after spending money they will lose out a hell of a lot of money. This way they make the max profit and spend minimum on the squad. The scary thing this summer is that Man U, Chelsea & Liverpool can only get stronger!

  63. raif

    i think u want us to become like the Chavs. Usmanov will take money from out of the club not put it in. he does not love the club. he will tell wenger what do to and what players he wants to sign. just like Roman.
    and we all know wenger wants 100% control over players in / out and how to run his football team. any one who thinks this guy will do us a world of good are mistaken.

  64. Geoff

    I think they’ll both stay, If not though I’d consider Barry, he’s an England player and left footed.

    I think they know it would be foolhardy to leave this team, anyway Hleb still has a contract.

  65. Finestcuts

    One_touch, I believe the current transfer policy is Wenger’s doing not the board’s, they give Wenger enough rope to hang himself with.

  66. Geoff

    Raif, how do you know that? have you spoken to him?

    I didn’t say we wanted him, I said he could buy us a couple of players, that’s all.

    He can buy me an Island in the Carribbean as well but I don’t think he’ll do either, now do you want to re-think your last comment, or shall I keep my fingers crossed for the Island?

  67. Finestcuts

    Why is the Henry story still the top story on for the past three days?
    Thierry would definitely help us out, but for two seasons prior to his departure we finished fourth. He may be a piece of the jigsaw but not the conclusive answer to our squad deficiencies.

  68. Pedro

    Raif do you have some sort of insider knowledge we don’t?

    No one knows what his intentions are, so making out you do is a bit silly.

    Don’t say you want a carribean Island Geoff, you’ll have people asking you when that has ever happened before!

    Someone said Wenger was asked what he’d do with £100million, he said he’d give it back! So I guess it wouldn’t matter who was in charge!

  69. Finestcuts

    It’s that dreaded “Usmanov” word Geoff, the guy emits bad vibes. Maybe a bit of a build up to Derby wouldn’t go amiss.

  70. Pedro

    Finestcuts, I think his goals could have helped us out in the last 13 games!

    We’ve had no one to turn a game!

    We lack match winners I think… who can do what Bergkamp, Henry and Pires used to do in the current team?

    RvP… then the list ends.

  71. Finestcuts

    Yeah Henry would have saved a few days, we lack that….Henry would make the team better without a doubt…..but we need more.

    Maybe a loan swap with Barca… could we bring him back, is this a “come back” cry from top level?

    It would certainly take the heat off management a little….speculation, speculation…

  72. david

    Does anyone know that Usmanov has good intentions then? At least with the board we have got is sort of a democracy and some of the shares are still owned by individial supporters.
    If Usmanov and his company take over he could force everyone to sell there shares taking total control, and he could unload the debts of the limited company on the club too like Man U.
    I would like to see more Arsenal supporters buying shares rather than less because I believe that wuld be better long term for the club.

  73. Geoff

    At £8,500 a pop that may well be difficult David, Usmanov is now the biggest shareholder, so we should stop thinking of him as a maybe, he’s there.

    Perhaps dialogue is not a bad thing, but don’t forget, someone sold him the shares, anyone could have bought them.

    Anyway I had no idea so many people would be talking about him today.

    I hope tomorrow we don’t see a Carling Cup side, I’ve had enough of that this season.

  74. Finestcuts

    Ok, so who’s available for Derby?

    RVP and Ade up front is my hunch, I think that’s pretty much all we need to beat them, our whole squad is better ythan any of their first team players.

    A clean sheet and at least three goals should be our result.

  75. raif

    Geoff & Pedro.

    i never said i had insider knowledge. it was there for all to see when Usmanov said he would want dividends from profits. and last i checked we keep making profits unlike all of our rivals who end up losing millions.
    yes he can buy players and a island on timbuck two along with sharks with lasers on there heads. ok maybe not the sharks. but we dont want his kind around our club.

    weather or not Usmanov gave wenger 100mil he would still be telling wenger what to do. like the other russian down the road. so if that happends dont be supresid if u saw wenger wave goodbye

    also may i point out Usmanov is a man utd fan. and i dont want some C*nt who supports man utd to own our club.

    and David has a point aswell

  76. david

    When David Dein sold his shares it was a shame that they couldn’t have been broken down to 10% of there value making them £850.00 each and having ten times more, making them more affordable.
    If Arsene is resting the boys who are going to the euros and what with the injuries Carling cup side it is I guess, if thats the case and we draw what happens if ManU and Chelsea lose there last 2 games I would have to agree about getting on Arsene’s back.

  77. kingsley

    does anyone think richard dunne would be a good signing? 1 year left on his contract so wouldnt be that expensive. he’s a leader and good in the air. Also does anyone remeber us getting linked with mark noble? it was in a paper a while ago and said wenger wants him to replace flamini………….

  78. raif

    any way forget Usmanov.

    i also want to point out im even more gutted we aint in with a shout for the tittle. if we had won just at least 2 of them games when we had a bad spell then we would have been in the race for sure.

    so gutted as EVERY ONE said we wasnt even ganna come 4th. so proveing them wrong would have been the best way of sticking 2 fingers up at every one.

    have nice sunday people

  79. Geoff

    Quite right, if we had beaten the chavs and the mancs, and we were in front and the better team…we’d be top right now!

  80. raif

    kingsley i think we should get his team mate mic richards. but it wont happen if we look at it realistically. im not looking forword to this summer. all were ganna hear is whos leaving and whos going else were other then arsenal.

  81. Finestcuts

    Even if Flamini stays, I’d still like to see Gareth Barry at Arsenal, 8 goals, 4 assists
    compared to Flamini’s 3 goals and 2 assists in the league.

  82. Tony C

    I think Fabianski has looked very dodgy the times I’ve seen him play.
    Henry won’t come back, it would change the whole ethos of the team and we’d go back to – ‘Everyone get the ball to Henry’……plus he’d be another injury prone player for us to nurse!
    Realistically we need four signings – keeper, centre back, left winger and striker. Ade is not top quality, I could score 15-20 goals a season in this team. Ade cannot control a ball to save his life and he doesn’t know what the offside rule is!
    We’re likely to get two signings at best, a centre back and a midfielder – neither of them will be big names and neither will cost over £7m.
    My question that I would LOVE to put to Arsene and the board is…………..
    You told us that moving to the Emirates would enable us to compete with the likes of Man U and Barcelona financially. We can’t even compete with Sp*rs and Newcastle so what the hell is going on?? Or are we talking in a few years time, like when Chelsea become ‘self sufficient’??
    We’re one of the most expensive teams to watch in the PL and sell out pretty much every single game, INVEST SOME OF THE BLEEDIN’ MONEY….PLEEEAAASSSE!!!!!!!

  83. stevie

    I honestly dont think Henry willreturn. Its fairly obvious from his BBC interview that he would like to return though!

    Reading Hleb’s comments it looks like he might stay, I hope so.

    I really cant wait for transfer movement to start for us, we need to strengthen with 3 real class players. I dont think Barry is the answer even though he is a good player. Unless Flamini leaves I cant see us investing in midfielders.

  84. Phobia

    I Love this players…………!
    Van Persie

  85. Ethan_gooner

    I think henry will return !
    Fact is he wants to be near his daughter !
    quoting several times that seeing her once a month isnt enough .
    So im sure he will be playing in england next season ..

    The only question is will arsene take him back ????
    he’s already said he is open to the idea …
    Im sure it will depend on terms and if arsene wants him back ..
    I cant tell you the answer to that part , its a wait and see !

    But guys never say never 🙂
    because i thought he wouldn’t leave either ..
    He has the loyalty needed .. i for one will be happy if he returns…

    Also ill be happy if they give the ball to TH14 , he cant do any worse than ade !

  86. fink23

    I read, that the Flamster is nearly gone to Ac Milan, where he will gain 4 million (€) per year.
    But the quote was from the “Gazetta dello Sport” which was in the past sometimes too quick with transfer-messages.

  87. paul walsh

    ya why not invest if in the club we are self sufficient but a few milion on two or 3 top players would do us the world of good if mr usmanov wants to give us the cash for top class players to add to the quality we have why not. for good business reasons if he was to invest say 100 mil we would almost certainly win every trophy and he would get his cash back its nt selling out its investing in top tallent if he wants to give us money for villa richards benzema ben arfa im sick of those mugs at WHL even spending more than us

  88. Paulinho

    Bayern Munich decided to splash out on world class talent last year. The sort of signings that the AKB would call vulgar and ‘selling out’. The players they brought in included Ribery and Luca Toni.

    Where are they now? On the verge of the treble.

  89. BB

    to whoever said that the last two seasons with TH14, we only finished 4th
    may İ just kindly remind you that in the 1st of these 2 seasons when we had lost all power to survive as we had no players and everybpdy was fukking off, he single handedly got us to the CL final and got us to 4th place – does anybody remember that Spurs game at home when we were played off the pitch until an İNJURED TH14 got us a draw with a sensational drwa
    fact is if he had not left last season for the wrong reasons of trying to play in the star ensemble and Arsenal never ever investing a penny into their squad, he would still be a hero at Arsenal for being our best player
    now there is a guy at Arsenal that everybody raves about ..RVP .. what the fukk does he do to us? .. has he ever won us anything? can we count on him?
    get TH14 back .. and in a better squad that we have now, we will have the most potent forward again .. dont need Etoo .. look at him 2day.. well past his best
    and we need a forward .. nobody in Europe rates Ade..nobody

  90. KeviN

    Hey guyz check this player; his name is Juoa Mouthinho from Sporting Lisbon and let me know what you think about him. I say if Flamini wants to go let him go i’m sure next season he will want to come back just like Henry but no way they come back again as we don’t need guys like them at Arsenal. Henry left us when we needed him most and now that the team is doing well he want to back ‘ I Say No Way ‘ Henry is history now !!! There’s also De Rossi from Roma what a replacement he would be for Flamini hmmmmmm and also Arsenal need to sign David Villa ‘ Its A Must ‘ !!! and why not Bentley cause if there is a player to come back, it is HIM he should be our number 10. When you hear Bentley speak about Arsenal it is obvious to see how much he wants to come back and he is waiting For Wenger to say I WANT YOU.
    I’m sorry if i will hurt some Arsenal Fans but Gallas must GO !!! as he is the worst Captain we got since Arsenal foundation LoL. Cesc should be the next Captain of Arsenal and why not replace Gallas by Raul Albion or Pablo from Atletico or even Anton Ferdinand from West Ham.

  91. Geoff

    I think the next week will sort it all out, Flamini will decide and once the ball starts rolling it won’t stop, one thing is for sure, he’ll buy before the Euro’s.

  92. Finestcuts

    BB, I think you may be referring to my post, here it is again:

    “Why is the Henry story still the top story on for the past three days?
    Thierry would definitely help us out, but for two seasons prior to his departure we finished fourth. He may be a piece of the jigsaw but not the conclusive answer to our squad deficiencies.”

    Yes I know what happened which is why I stated that it’s not the complete answer. It would certainly help but we also need to improve in other areas as we did before. TH14 was my favourite player, I rejoiced many a time when he scored, trust me, I know how good he is, and I know we would be able to make proper use of his skills.

    Just as I thought the days of va va voom were gone there’s a teasing chance he might wanna do it all again. Come on you know you want to Thierry…back to your favourite club.

  93. Ray Gooner

    At the beggining of the season everyone was saying that Arsenal would have to fight with the likes of Tottenham & Everton to even get the 4th place in the league! Very few people thought that the new players bought in were enough! (Sagna, Eduardo & Bendtner back from loan). Arsenal were in winning position until that horrible injury to Eduardo and in my mind would have given United & Chelsea a difficult time hadn’t Eduardo been injured! In my mind the new players were enough to win the league but circumstances went the other way (though mathematicly we still can win the league). For the next season the most important thing will be to keep the likes of Hleb & Flamini, and to buy 2-3 players that can make the squad even better (and Wenger will do so, i’m sure of it). It doesn’t have to be world class players, the only important thing is that they fit in the teams playing style! And Wenger will not buy any player that doesn’t fit in! Of course i’d like to see the likes of Eto’o, Villa, Benzema a.s.o. but if he can find some player with the same quality like Sagna or Hleb f.ex. i’d be delighted! And don’t forget that we get Carlos Vela back next season to play on the left wing like he mostly does in Osasuna. I remember when Wenger was building the great 2003-2004 team, he began after the 1998 double winning season and then he didn’t win any titles for 3 seasons also (1999, 2000, 2001) but then won the Double in 2002, FA Cup in 2003 and the UNBEATEN League in 2004! So why should this be any different!? I think a lot of fans have forgotten that between 1946-1996 before Wenger came to Arsenal we only won 12 Trophies in 50 years!!! Now we have won 7 Trophies in Wengers 12 years (and were in 2 European Cup finals)! Not that bad i think! You can’t stay on top all the time but you have more of a chance to stay for a longer spell if you build a team from youth and talent (not bringing in world class and older players that will surely not stay for long)! Arsenal have a great future ahead with this team and will surely get some trophies to celebrate with in the next couple of years to come!

  94. Pedro

    Paulinho, case and point there my friend. They bought about 8 players!

    Someone said earlier…

    ‘Do you think Wenger gets perverse kicks out of not spending money’

    You know what, I really think he does! Other sites have been saying the Spuds are getting the money from the sale of Berbatov… don’t kid youself if you believe that, they spend dough every year!

    It gets them nowhere, but if they had the right man in charge…

    TH14 would work now Finestcuts, he wouldn’t be King Henry this time and he be playing in a squad with vastly improved players. I’ve changed my mind on him coming back now!

    It would be nice and he has a lot to offer, but I can’t see Wenger doing it though! He does still talk to him though?

    If the Flamster goes how about that Blonde guy who plays for Sporting Geoff? I can’t remember his name, but you were champing him earlier in the year?

    I’ll have a look at Moutinho Kev! Any youtube links?

  95. Abdenor

    Hi guys, big fan of the site…

    I don’t understand why some people want TH14 back!! there are bigger & better players available, while i appreciate what he’s done for us & sall never forget his contribution, he is simply not the same player and i dont see what he’s got to offer.

    We should break the bank for someone like Karim Benzema , he’d get at least 30 goals for us next season , i know he’s only 20 but is world class already IMO….

  96. Ray Gooner

    And think about this:

    If you buy a world class player he will cost you a great deal of money, and when you sell him he will be past his time and you won’t get that much for him! If you would continue to do this year after year you will end up like Leeds United…
    At some point you have to take a couple of seasons to buy youth & talent so that you have a foundation to build on! Then from time to time you bring in a world class player to spice it up!
    Wenger has done that, he bought us Overmars & Petit in 1998, he bought us Henry in 1999, he bought us Pirès in 2000, he bought us Campbell in 2001, he bought us Gilberto in 2002, he bought us Lehmann in 2003, he bought us van Persie in 2004, he bought us Hleb in 2005, he bought us Rosicky in 2006 and he bought us Sagna in 2007! For me all of them were class already when he bought them! Maybe some of them didn’t deliver straight away but in the end they all did!
    Next season he will bring in another class player, i know it!
    I have my hopes for Diego Capel (Sevilla) but that’s only my wish…

  97. Ray Gooner

    Derby-Arsenal 0-4
    Newcastle-Chelsea 1-1
    Man United-West Ham 1-1
    Arsenal-Everton 2-0
    Sunderland-Arsenal 1-3
    Chelsea-Bolton 1-1
    Wigan-Man United 2-1

    1. Arsenal 83 points (+45)
    2. Chelsea 83 points (+37)
    3. Man United 82 points

  98. Finestcuts
    I’ve just found out about Moutinho…he’s exactly the type of player would go for. So many good players to choose from over summer, which ones will come to Arsenal?
    The future’s bright, we can attract top quality, and we’re going to sign some, I can’t wait to see who.

  99. Ray Gooner

    Arsenal’s tally of points in the League with Wenger:

    1997 68 points
    1998 78 points
    1999 78 points
    2000 73 points
    2001 70 points
    2002 87 points
    2003 78 points
    2004 90 points
    2005 83 points
    2006 67 points
    2007 68 points
    2008 74 points (with chance of getting 83)

    If we win the last 3 games we will have a tally of points that we only have have beaten 2 times before (2002 &2004) and equaled in 2005.
    That’s not so bad if you look at it!
    Either way we are getting more and more points if you count our last 3 seasons and it will continue so i believe, we will get around 85-90 next season!

  100. Pedro

    Finestcuts, nice vid…!

    Veloso is Flamini’s replacement. Holding midfielder for Portugal and can double up as a centre back!

    Check him out!

  101. Finestcuts

    You’d be a very rich man if you put 10p on those selections in an acca ray gooner.

    Oh Lord I’ve just done an estimation of the odds based on those scores, it’s over 76 million to 1.

    On a straight 1×2 acca (results not scores) rough odds estimate:

    About 1700/1

    10p would get you 170 quid, you can buy a home and away kit plus pay your leccy bill, marvellous 🙂

  102. Ray Gooner

    Which Team is Best?

    Dixon, Keown, Adams, Winterburn
    Parlour, Petit, Vieira, Overmars
    Bergkamp, Wright

    Lauren, Touré, Campbell, Cole
    Ljungberg, Gilberto, Vieira, Pirès
    Bergkamp, Henry

    Sagna, Touré, Gallas, Clichy
    Walcott, Flamini, Fábregas, Hleb
    van Persie, Adebayor

  103. Odub

    Evening all,

    Any team news re tomorrow yet?

    And Ray Gooner, points amassed each season does not mean a thing if we dont win the league end of.

    I’d go for the first team by the way. More grit,power and bloody single mindedness. And they’d hold a 1-0 lead for 90 minutes!!

  104. Ray Gooner

    Other important games are Fulham-Birmingham (Birmingham to win so that Bolton must get points from Chelsea)
    Reading-Tottenham (Reading must win so that Wigan must win over United)
    Only worry then is West Ham getting a draw against Man U at Old Trafford and Newcastle getting a draw against Chelsea at home!
    As for Newcastle i really think Michael Owen & co. can do it!
    But the most utopia of results would be West Ham getting that point at Old Trafford (though they won there last season) but you never know, maybe both Ronaldo & Rooney will get injured or United will be so devestated after losing to Barca 0-3 at home…

  105. Ray Gooner

    I’d go for the 2nd team myself on this day but if you ask me in 2-3 years i think and hope i’d go for the 3rd team…

  106. Big Raddy

    The Pires, Bergkamp, Veiera, Henry era will go down in history. To have one world class player in a team is special but to have four is incredible (at least in UK).

    Who can forget Dennis scoring that brilliant goal for Holland in the World Cup (v Argies?) and knowing he was Arsenal.

  107. BB

    the problem with all these portuguese guys that some of you are touting here is that big fat red nose has got them in his back – Veloso and Moutinho have been linked all season with the scum up north – and he will pay DECENT money for them

  108. Finestcuts

    Yup you;re right BB, the Quieroz Sporting connection is invaluable to Manyoo, they get first choice, I suppose it would be a massive dis to Quieroz if United wanted him and Arsenal got him.

    Jack Herer’s totally beaten you tonight Ray!

  109. Ray Gooner

    Talk about being positive…
    Can Adebayor score 7 goals more than Ronaldo and 1 goal more than Torres in the last games?

    Adebayor has 3 games left the other 2 have 2 games left…
    Say that Adebayor scores 8 goals and the other 2 only 1 each.

    4 against Derby, 2 against Everton & 2 against Sunderland…

    Now i’m feeling a bit too optimistic though, i know…

  110. Pedro

    There are only so many DM ManU can buy!

    Well said odub, we could finish on 90 points and it wouldn’t make a jot of difference if ManU finished on 91!

    Its nice to finish 4 points off, rather than the usual 28!

    Raddy, if you ever see a negative comment from Ray… let me know so I can frame it!