Sack the club: LIKE | Samir social problems | Defender on the way?

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Good morning Grovers! Geoff is in Slough today, so you’ve got me again. A big fat ‘gutted’ to Geoff, Slough is about as pleasant as a DIY root canal.

Anyway, plenty to crack on with this morning I tells ya!

Firstly, the very exciting news that Alisher Usmanov has taken his stake to ‘over 27%’… yep, Usmanov and Kroenke are part of the slowest race since Eric the Eel jumped back in the pool with a hangover to compete with a floating brick.

I’ve said before on Le Grove many times, ideally I’d love to see the club kept independent of a sugar daddy. Obviously I’d like to see more investment in the first team squad, but quite frankly, from what I understand, that’s all down to the coach which is a separate matter no Sugar Daddy will change.

If you were to put the two moguls together in a business fight, Usmanov would hammer Kroenke. He’s far more visionary in his investments, he has enough money to manoeuvre if things went wrong and he’ll be keen to upstage Abramovich. I’m not sure I’d want an American with similar wealth levels to the departed Liverpool duo guiding the club for the next ten years. If we want to compete at the highest level, we’re probably going to need some help. The current board are coming to the end of their careers so some new and fresh ideas on how to market, brand and expand the club would be welcome.

Regardless of his murky past, Usmanov has the team that could take us to the next level.

If you were wondering how Stan and Usmanov would square off in a real fight, here’s how I see it panning out.

The rip-roaring news that JD could be back in 4 weeks filtered down to us mere mortals. Now, I’m not sure how this works because Arsenal haven’t got a standardised injury press release. Does 4 weeks mean back and playing… or does that mean 4 weeks + 2 weeks to regain fitness + 1 week for a minor set back? If it’s the former, brilliant, he’ll be here for our last 5 games, if it’s the latter… well, there’s not much point is there?

In other news, apparently Samir Nasri wants his ‘friend’ Mehdi Benatia at the club next season. Now, this could be because he’s a good centre back of French/Moroccan descent, or it could be because Samir Nasri has no friends at Arsenal. You know, first of all it was Thierry, then it was Gallas… now it’s probably Cesc.

Surely there comes a point when you have to hold you hands up Samir and admit you’re a bit annoying? Recruiting your friends isn’t going to stem the issue here… just hold your hands up, buy a Tony Robbins self-help tape and get cracking on your social skills.

Finally, I wanted to touch on the topic of social media. Lately, I’ve been receiving e-mails and tweets asking me to give my opinion on Facebook groups, petitions and fan movements. Well, my opinion is that everyone is entitled to do as they please in the world of online (providing it doesn’t involve two girls and one cup or a horny donkey). If I don’t like something, I simply don’t read it or partake in whatever they’re up to.

That said, I really am against this Facebook generation of online revolution. For me, clicking a like button is one of the laziest forms of action you can take. What exactly does a ‘like’ entail? What does it mean? What effort or thought has gone into setting up a 60 second page and asking a few of your mates to click a ‘like’ button?

I totally understand that people are upset about how our season has panned out. Arsene Wenger should have purchased the players we needed at the start of the season, he should have made better decisions in the Champions League and perhaps the fitness of certain players should have been managed better. However, we’re second in the league, we’re a shoo-in for Champions league qualification and if we win all our games from now until the end of the season, we’ll win the league.

Like Geoff said yesterday, there will still be major questions asked of the manager even if he does win the league at the end of the year, however, setting up destabilising groups/sites when we’re still competing really rankles with me. Things like this only count if there is credibility behind them. Setting up a webpage takes hardly anytime at all, creating 6 negative posts in a year does not constitute effort and merchandising off the back of whatever you’re doing reeks of profiteering.

We’re known as a dissenting voice in the online world but we’ve always had fan interest at heart. If we didn’t, the simple fact is most of you probably wouldn’t be reading today. We’ve put in the hours though, we’ve written 1350 back to back post over the past 4 years, we’ve shared in the joy and in the pain and we’ve never taken a penny for our efforts. Hopefully that gives the our readers some sort of comfort that whatever we’re writing is for the right reasons and that sentiment goes for a number of other top sites in the Arsenal blogosphere.

Le Grove will always defend the right of anyone to have an opinion, however, I can’t condone this new wave of thoughtless action group that pop up at the merest hint of a bad run. For me, there are some really awful things going on all around the world that are far more worthy of protest, petition and social media attention. Look no further than the 38 Degrees group for stuff like that. Personally, I think trying to bring the club down via your laptop is a little rich considering the plight of other clubs.

However, that’s just my opinion, if you have a different take on the matter, set up a Facebook group and let me know how many people liked what you had to say!

See you in the comments… be sure to click the like button, we get a pound everytime you do that.

P.S. Wenger finally got his hands on 15 year old Siemann. You know, the 15 year old defender from Hertha Berlin? Mucky buggers…

Also, off the back of some heavy Le Grove campaigning, it seems the Government is prepared to listen to the case about standing areas in football. Read more here… For me, blaming standing areas for previous disasters is a bit like blaming planes for 9-11.

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516 Responses to “Sack the club: LIKE | Samir social problems | Defender on the way?”

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  1. SUGA3

    albo,

    obviously, the football does not exist without money and it’s stupid and naive to think otherwise…

    but where is the balance? and where is the ambition to take the club one step further, to be even more successful commercially by the way of winning stuff and bringing more joy to the fans?

  2. albo

    Personally, SUGA, I think we get the balance better than pretty much any other club – despite veering a little too far to the side of thrift for my liking.

    (I have regularly posted on here that it wouldn’t hurt to add a couple of signings to the current squad, and if you go back to the trasnfer window articles you’ll see that I was massively in favour of bringing in a defender).

  3. SUGA3

    albo,

    and I never suggested you said anything different – the only difference between us is that you say that it WOULDN’T hurt to bring in a player and I say that it DEFINITELY WILL hurt NOT to bring one in 😉

  4. Zorr0

    Most of them don’t care while they are winning; think Leeds fans were bothered about paying shedloads for Seth Johnson when they were in the sf of the champs lge? Think when Gaydamark turned up at Pompey they were bothered or were they actually dreaming about seeing world stars at FP.

  5. Rohan

    I disagree that most of them don’t care when they are winning as you put it, ZorrO.

    Look at the whole Green and Gold thing. united were winnning everything left,right and center then.

  6. Zorr0

    Albo, but this is the point, most of us realise that with a decent keeper, a top CB and a proper holding midfielder added to this squad in the last 2 seasons and we would not be without a trophy and hoping now that an injury ravaged squad can pull off a minor miracle to win the league now.

    We are not asking much. Forget all the bollocks from some on here who obviously spend too much time on champ manager. 3 fucking players? Is that too much to ask from a club that got 40 mill in Aug 09 for Ade and Kolo?

    We have a genius manager and a well run club. Add some additional player purchases we would win some trophies and everyone would be on ACLF blowing hot air up AW’s arse and the tumbleweed would be blowing across the LG plains!

  7. SUGA3

    Rohan,

    the green & gold thing is just about the way ManYoo was taken over by these Yanks, as they have to service their debt, which is incurring interest at stupid rate, it’s not like it’s the nice, low APR mortgage-like debt…

    you will find that they were practically debt-free before all that happened…

  8. albo

    But I do think a HUGE amount of negative feeling over the past few years is based on an inaccurate picture of our finances – partly bred by the club itself in its (understandable I suppose) desire to be seen to be posting excellent financial results.

    The bottom line is that, despite all the profit brought about by the new stadium and player sales in the past 5 years, right now we still only have £40 million set aside for squad investment (really not a big number in the greater scheme of things).

    Now, when you consider that we have been getting financially stronger every year and that total will have been slowly building, that surely means that for much of the past 5 or 6 years we really haven’t had much more money to spend than we did spend.

    How many Arsenal fans do you think would be totally behind Wenger if we had been honestly told in 2004 – ‘there will hardly be any money available and we are just going to have to make do for 5 years while we build for the future’. After all, most Everton fans (and media pundits) absolutely worship David Moyes for the job he has done on a BIGGER budget than Wenger has used.

    Personally, I think Wenger has been the victim of his own classiness in just getting on with the job without letting on how hamstrung we were (and to some extent still are). Compare that to Benitez (for example) who constantly bought fan favour at Liverpool by shifting the blame to the owners despite their making huge sums available to him…

  9. Zorr0

    Albo, yes and yet those fans still decided to show they were unhappy with the financial state of their club, which was good to see that they cared and could see past the trophies, although I would say that in the 2.5 seasons of gold and green they ain’t won much in the latter part of that period.

    At least those who were unhappy did something. What do our unhappy fans do? Moan on here day after day, fighting with anyone who does not agree; calling them AKB’s. I think we are worse for doing nothing.

    Like I said and I am sure you know my opinions well enough, I have tried to get something done not because I am particularly unhappy with things, but I have had enough of the moaning tossers on here and the fact they are too lazy to do anything about it. I see it as calling their bluff a bit actually!

  10. albo

    Zorr0 says:
    March 23, 2011 at 22:14
    Most of them don’t care while they are winning; think Leeds fans were bothered about paying shedloads for Seth Johnson when they were in the sf of the champs lge? Think when Gaydamark turned up at Pompey they were bothered or were they actually dreaming about seeing world stars at FP.

    Maybe not, but you can guarantee they gave a shit afterwards! 😉 And in fairness, in both instances they didn’t care because nobody had any idea how precarious their situation was. You can be sure they would have cared enormously despite any glory they were enjoying if they had known what might be around the corner…

  11. SUGA3

    albo,

    but most of us were keen to give him the benefit of the doubt until the last season, believe it or not…

    you say there is only about £40M available – what happened to the rest of the money then? oh, I know, we gave payrises to D******n and Diaby, so that no one in their bracket would even think of bidding for them!

    besides, even if there is just that much, why not use it? after you sell the players we all want out of here, it will make a cool £70M, surely, this will make a difference?

  12. albo

    Zorr0 says:
    March 23, 2011 at 22:19
    Albo, but this is the point, most of us realise that with a decent keeper, a top CB and a proper holding midfielder added to this squad in the last 2 seasons and we would not be without a trophy and hoping now that an injury ravaged squad can pull off a minor miracle to win the league now.

    We are not asking much. Forget all the bollocks from some on here who obviously spend too much time on champ manager. 3 fucking players? Is that too much to ask from a club that got 40 mill in Aug 09 for Ade and Kolo?

    We have a genius manager and a well run club. Add some additional player purchases we would win some trophies and everyone would be on ACLF blowing hot air up AW’s arse and the tumbleweed would be blowing across the LG plains!

    You’ll get no argument from me there. I agree with every word (tho perhaps as of this season I don’t think we need a keeper. I think Chezzer is class right now, and will only get better)

  13. SUGA3

    Zorr0,

    I had the idea with white ‘doctor’ coats, which would be pretty visible and easy to pull off…

    can’t participate right now, I have promised myself that I will not go to a single game, as long as the fake Brazilian cunt is still at the club!

  14. Zorr0

    Franch, I realise you MAY be joking, but that is the sort of comment that sets the movement back!

    Albo, anyone with half a brain would have known we were going to be fucked for a few years after moving, but with player sales we have had money to spend properly over the last few seasons and have not done it. This has cost us. You can not take into account injuries, shit decisions by refs and poor performances by players in big games. However, you can buy decent players to lessen the impact of the unknown!

    Wenger has not done this!

  15. albo

    SUGA3 says:
    March 23, 2011 at 22:28
    albo,

    but most of us were keen to give him the benefit of the doubt until the last season, believe it or not…

    you say there is only about £40M available – what happened to the rest of the money then? oh, I know, we gave payrises to D******n and Diaby, so that no one in their bracket would even think of bidding for them!

    besides, even if there is just that much, why not use it? after you sell the players we all want out of here, it will make a cool £70M, surely, this will make a difference?

    Look of course there is an argument that some of our squad players are paid too much. I’ve never seen any figures, but if Tim Payton at the AST says so, then I think we can trust it as fact. But that adds up to relatively small beans in the greater scheme of things. The reality is that most of the ‘loss’ is based on a misunderstanding about how much profit we make and how much it costs to run the club – not helped by the club declaring that there is £130 million in the bank, when in fact that is BEFORE they pay their bills and wages!

    Again, I’m not saying there isn’t ANY money right now. We know there is enough for at least 1 decent player. I’m just pointing out that over the past 5 years we have probably very generally paid out what we could afford and not all that much less. If more fans (and pundits) genuinely took that to heart I think they’d be a lot more forgiving…

  16. gambon

    It annoys me when people say there’s no way we should sign 5 top players in one window as its unrealistic & expensive.

    In reality its obvious where we’re short, a lot of the players we need should’ve been signed over the last 3 years.

  17. Zorr0

    Suga, saw the white coats idea you mentioned a while back. Not that different from the scarf thing, but just a more difficult thing to take to footy!

    Would remind me of wearing the butcher coats back in the 70’s with the players names written on in felt tip, lol. Bet Reggie had one of them too!

  18. gambon

    Albo

    Moves has a bigger budget than wenger has to be the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard…even from an akb.

  19. Rohan

    I think albo means, ” a bigger net spend or amount of money spent on transfers than Wenger”

    Even then, Moyes having a bigger budget isn’t that unrealistic??

  20. SUGA3

    gambon,

    I second that, the more we leave it as it is, the more it will cost to be put right…

    Zorr0,

    I just thought of it as a bit of a humorous idea to collectively show OGL that as much as we love him, we think he is a bit bonkers 😉

  21. SUGA3

    Rohan,

    I have a Toffees supporting mate who says they had very little financial muscle and I am inclined to believe him…

    no contest there, all about the will…

  22. albo

    Zorr0 says:
    March 23, 2011 at 22:40
    However, you can buy decent players to lessen the impact of the unknown!

    Wenger has not done this!

    Ok, as I said above I’d love us to have signed a couple more players, but we spend WAY too much time focussing on the weaker signings and give SO little recognition for the ones that worked.

    In terms of bigger money signings, our purchases of over 5 million in the last 5 years are:
    06/07 Eduardo
    07/08 Sagna/Ramsey/Nasri
    08/09 Arshavin
    09/10 Vermaelen
    10/11 Koscielny

    (And if you go back 6 years it would include Adebayor and Hleb). In that list I’d say there is only really any kind of question mark over Kozzer, and I think most would agree he has shown signs that he is another excellent signing.

    Otherwise, that is a pretty classy list of footballers…

  23. albo

    gambon – I said he has had a bigger budget than Wenger has USED – which I believe, in terms of net purchases, is the case?

  24. Zorr0

    Everton are proper fucked! They will lose Arteta, Cahill, Skreech and Jagielka, Moyes will leave and they will get relegated.

    Unless some mug with more money than sense buys the club!

  25. gambon

    Arsenals wage bill would’ve been twice evertons every year since god knows when.

    Wenger also hasn’t spent his budget every window for years.

    Wenger is the only manager in the world that throws up in his mouth when he is informed he has a transfer budget. Mug.

  26. albo

    Moyes joined Everton in 2002. Since 2003 Everton’s net spend has been £22,950,500. Ours has been -£2,820,000!

  27. SUGA3

    Gooby,

    they did, hence they are now fucked, as they did not have enough muscle to cover that without doing well in Europe…

    changing the UEFA Cup format to this Europa League nonsense must have had some impact on that too!

    albo,

    I would not consider signings below £10M ‘big’ in today’s football…

    granted, these players are pretty damn good, but as AA said, all good and cheap players are already here!

  28. Zorr0

    Albo, you are proving the point. One very weak argument is that all the doomers demand huge signings and whilst I admit you get some planks on here that do that, most are just asking for signings such as Sagna, Nasri and Vermalen, all top quality players without breaking the bank. You could upgrade that and pay a bit more and get even better quality.

    Why did he not upgrade on Squiddly and pay a bit more for a better player?

  29. Gooby

    gambon

    you know we aren’t going to sign 4/5 class players for £15m at least each, don’t you?

    it’s just speculation, it would cost a hell lot of money

  30. albo

    I agree SUG, they’re just the ‘big’ signings in Arsenal terms, if you know what I mean…

    Gambon, yes our wage bill would have been more, but we are talking transfers here. And £24 million is a pretty sizeable difference! As for whether Wenger has spent his budget, I was arguing that (given what we now know from the AST rather than all the mythical figures spouted by guys like you) to a great extent he probably has.

  31. gambon

    Gooby

    I know we won’t, I also know if we don’t we will not be winning trophies next year.

    Albo

    Wenger has said numerous times he has money, the board have said the same, in the financial report 3 years running it has commented that wenger hasn’t spent his budget.

    He has also inflated the wage bill by 20m for some reason in just over 1 year….20m that could’ve gone on transfers if he wasn’t so keen to overpay a lot of these kids.

  32. SUGA3

    like I said, they are all very good players and I must applaud AW for getting them in…

    thing is that for the last four transfer windows we were in position to spend a little to replace the dross, it’s the upgrade of squad options I am talking about with one, maximum two marquee signings 😉

  33. albo

    Gambon – my argument was that the club haven’t wanted to appear as financially straitjacketed as they actually have been so have been talking up how much money is available. (I also remember in a slightly surprising moment on candour at the World Cup Wenger admitting that he had brought his chequebook but had then realised that it wasn’t nearly big enough for the players he liked)

    I agree, Wenger probably hasn’t ever ‘maxed’ out his budget, but I reckon he’s been far closer to the realistic limits than people realise.

  34. gambon

    Albo

    Wenger has said a few times that he downplays how much money we have to try & keep prices down.

    Your theory would also assume edelman, phw, Fiszman, Gazidis & wenger are all liars.

    Maybe you just want to believe that story?

  35. gambon

    Gooby

    That’s the problem….we are close, but not there in what’s been a terrible season.

    All of our rivals will be signing players & wenger will sign a few nobodys and tell us to judge him in may.

    Groundhog season again.

  36. albo

    Ok, playing devils advocate here because I do actually think there are almost certainly some under-performing 1st teamers on very good contracts, but:

    £400K per week, divided by 25 1st team squad players
    = an extra £16000 per week each. That’s an obscene amount of money, but probably not a crazy increase within the bonkers world of football and football wage inflation.

    (And obviously that is ridiculously simplified. Eg, Wilshere has probably gone from a (relatively) tiny contract to a pretty hefty one and will have added way more than the 16k to his salary, while others won’t have added anything)

  37. albo

    Your theory would also assume edelman, phw, Fiszman, Gazidis & wenger are all liars.
    ———————————————–

    Well, you ‘realists’ do love to bandy the word ‘liar’ in a way I find pretty naive. If someone connected with the club says, for example, ‘if we need to we can afford any player we want’ they are essentially conducting a PR exercise to ensure the appearance of being one of Europe’s biggest clubs with big spending power etc etc. (Not to mention reassuring all those investors and banks that Arsenal is a big business). I suppose if you want, you could call that ‘lying’ but it’s also just the way the world works. I’d have thought you, as a merchant banker, would be cynical enough to appreciate that 😉

    As I say every time this conversational comes up, there is no getting away from the fact that the AST has shown pretty convincingly that we only just break even before player trading. That is a VERY different picture to the one painted by people on here much of the time.

  38. SUGA3

    albo,

    that is a huge simplification, if you consider that there are players that did not have their contracts renewed in the ‘qualifying period’, i.e. when the £20M increase occured…

    and these extensions and increases occured without any merit behind it too – Fabianski (Jun 2009) is the prime example. did precisely fuck all to deserve a new contract and a payrise…

    same goes for D******n (Sep 2009), Diaby (Jan 2010) and Bendtner (Sep 2009)!

  39. albo

    Yeah, of course its a massive (ludicrous) oversimplification. None of us have access to who is being paid what, so I can’t really comment on it with any authority. But this oversimplification does show how easily these figures can tot up in the bonkers world of football salaries…

  40. Jimbo

    Wenger’s suggestion is stupid, mainly because he can’t figure the fuck out if there’s any benefit to playing early or late.

    Still anything to deflect attention from the fact that he’s a complete failure.

  41. wenger is blind

    WE NEVER requested arsenal to buy like crazy like Man city, real madrid chelsea.We just request arsenal to add some quality signings to our goal keeper, defender, midfield and striker department. 1 Goal keeper, 1 quality CB, 1 clinical striker who could actually shoot from far, and perhaps 1 AM and 1 DM.

    We never asked Wenger to forgo the youth policy.But youth policy is crap if there’s no one leading them on the field.How the fuck can you expect the youths to grow and improve when they had no one on the field to look up to.

    Arsenal should bring in:

    GoalKeeper: Rene Adler. We can forget about Reina, hugo lloris etc..too much interest on them and it will only drives up the price.

    Defender: Jan Vertonghen. He’s tall, had played in Ajax and thus will suit in arsenal style of playing.Best is he could be use as a Defensive Midfield. He’s rumoured to cost only 5-6 million and thats worth every penny. Pair him up with Djourou and we can settle all the set pieces that we are so weak in.

    Midfield: Ok this is where the trouble starts. We had too much useless midfield in our starting XI, we could promote some youths and replace the useless ones like rosicky, denilson, diaby.
    We should go and purchase Nuri Sahin.He is such a great footballer.He plays as a CM playmaker. He too can play as a DM and that is an incentive. This past seasons alone he had trounce over Bastian Schweinsteiger. We can forget about Schweinsteiger. He will cost a lot of money and Arsenal will not spend over the limits. His salary is also a problem.
    Another AM we should consider buying will be Eden Hazard.He’s young and talented and will provide the extra depth to our crop of AM.

    Striker wise there’s not much we can choose.Madrid won’t sell Benezma definitely.We should purchase HULK to replace bendtner.

    So the whole Arsenal squad will be:

    GoalKeepers:

    Rene Adler
    Fabianski
    Szczesny
    Shea

    Defender:

    Sagna
    Eboue
    Vermaelen
    Jan Vertonghen
    Koscielny
    Djourou
    Bartley
    Clichy
    Gibbs

    Midfielder

    Nuri Sahin
    Alex Song
    Frimpong
    Wilshere
    Ramsey
    Fabregas
    Lansbury
    Nasri
    Arshavin
    Eden Hazard

    Strikers:

    Walcott
    RVP
    Chamakh
    HULK
    JET

    Ten MF seems a lot but hey we seems to be playing 4-5-1 lately and having ten MF will be ideal to rotate the squad here and there.