Dortmund are an exciting prospect | Our £24million man… | AST Meeting tonight, what’s on the cards?

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Goooood morning Grover-teers. Today it really does feel like winter is coming. No more home games in the sunshine. We have the Champions League Group stage creeping up on us and a winter scheduled packed full of big games. Exciting times if this team can gel.

We have German Champions Borousia Dortmund up tomorrow night at their place. There has been a bit of a resurrection for the ex-European Champions over the past few years, culminating in them winning back the Bundasliga last year in quite stunning fashion. Jurgen Kloop has proved that good coaching still exists, taking the trophy despite having a wage bill well under half of Bayern’s (£120m —-> £48m).

He’s basically tried to pull off a model not too dissimilar to the one Arsene Wenger has been trying to adopt. He’s bought in top youth talent but perhaps blended it with better experience. He’s one of the most passionate coaches in the league, so no slouching on his watch. The jewel in the Dortmund crown in Mario Gotze. He’s 6 months younger than Jack Wilshere and so far, he’s pretty much out performed him in all areas of his career (goals, caps, assists and trophies won). That doesn’t mean to say Jack wont catch up, it just goes to show that the boy is pure talent.

Tomorrow night is going to see a very tough challenge. They have players like Sven Bender, Marcel Schmelzer and the much linked centre back Neven Subotic. They also have Kagawa and Blaszczykowski keeping things exciting. They’re a technical powerhouse of a team… though on the upswing, they’re not in the best of form. That said, nor are we. Point neutralised!

Arsenal will have a much fuller team to choose from tomorrow night. We’ll have Mertesacker and Koscielny starting at the back, a partnership that looked fairly solid and complimentary against Swanseas, I’d imagine that Santos might get a run out if he’s fit enough, big question marks still hang over Gibbs and his positional sense. Sagna will play out right. In the middle, there are concerns over Ramsey. He’s packed in some severe minutes since the season started, so I’d imagine our midfield will contain Yossi, Arteta and Song. Leaving us hopefully with a 3 prong attack of Theo (If fit), Gervinho and Robin.

That should be more than enough to take on any side. Hopefully with all the top players back a bit of urgency can seep back into our game. Arsenal fans need to understand that although a win would be grand, a point will be no shame. We’re playing the Champions of Germany, we’re the 4th best team in the UK, this should be a 3 pointer for them, not the other way round.

German Engineering…

Buying a drink at half time when you’re not picking one up for free in club level is an unbelievably painful experience. If you leave when the whistle blows, you’re looking at 15 minutes minimum. The staff can’t count and have a similar lack of urgency to the players.

A solution on offer in Germany and more recently implemented in Brighton is that of the touch pay system. Similar to the Oyster Card, you load up a prepaid beer card and instead of messing around with change at the till, you tap and move on. We have the technology built into our season tickets and we have the same tilling system Bayern Munich have. If the club want to keep people in their seats for longer, a good place to start would be improving the efficiency in the bar area. It takes 3 minutes max to get a drink at Brighton… there’s not reason we shouldn’t be matching that.

AST Meeting…

So it’s getting to that time of the year when we start decorating that open top bus for the release of our financials. Only this year we’re not going to be too celebratory. Any profit we make will be off the back of players sales again and I’m imagining quite a bleak picture is going to be painted.

Arsenal have more than likely slipped to the 5th most expensive wage bill in the Premiership this summer. That should technically mean that if we finish higher than 5th, we’ve out performed our wage bill. If we win the league, it’ll mean we’ve performed a miracle.

Sure we can shift out some of that expensive deadwood and make some efficiency savings. We’ll be able to take £12million off the wage bill and bring in at least £4million cash for Diaby, Almunia and Squillaci alone. However, that still doesn’t give you a clue about how to take on the big 4. Still, it’s possible. If Dortmund can do it in Germany, why can’t we? Surely being a great manager is about outperforming the given standards of football. If can reduce the size of our squad drastically, bring in a better quality of players and develop those players to the levels we did with Thierry and Patrick all those years ago, there’s not reason we can’t compete to a higher standard than we have been doing.

There will be talk of why Arteta had to take a pay cut. Clubs have to include wages into any transfer deal. The cost of Arteta over 4 years will be £24million. A big price to pay for a player who will be worth nothing at the end of that time period. Spurs pay Modric £12k a week less than Diaby. That’s why citing Spurs spending over the years as higher than ours is laughable. We spend £50mill more year than them on salaries straight off the bat. That’s a huge head start.

I’d imagine their will be some conversations about the Directors bonus schemes tonight. What will Gazidis be taking home this year in his pay packet? I’d also imagine there will be question over how United have stormed ahead even further on the commercial revenue side of things and we’re still lagging. There will also be question over the shocking summer we had and why we had to sell Cesc for a pittance.

Lots of big questions to be answered and I’ll be there, tweeting the answers, so make sure you follow me and get involved!

P.S. Le Grove have gone all arty and signed up for an Instagram account, you can find us… we’re called, LeGrove. Also a big well done to Lansbury, West Ham fans have been praising his hard work and solid impact for their first team in centre midfield.

[twitter-follow screen_name=’LeGrove’ show_count=’yes’]

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542 Responses to “Dortmund are an exciting prospect | Our £24million man… | AST Meeting tonight, what’s on the cards?”

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  1. zeus

    Ardent

    What else is he gonna do? He reads Le-grove, everyone was calling a cunt and calling his competence into question.

    At any rate, it doesn’t completely absolve him of the Fookery that took place this summer. Taking 2 months to sign Gervinho and losing out on others because we were dragging our feet partially his fault too.

  2. Keyser

    Yandi – Look I can only hope frustration is the reason for all the shit you talk.

    Ramsey was actually assisting and scoring in the Premiership, he Captains his country scores for them to, is quick, skillful, two footed, and younger than Taarabt who made no impression in the premiership and then went to the Championship.

    Also Ramsey suffered a broken leg which kept him out for a year. We’ll see if he can progress or maybe his injury is affecting him.

    You can either take in what I said, or carry on with your demented ranting.

  3. Yandi

    zeus

    Its clear nobody in Europe sees us as a big club anymore. Nobody fears The Arsenal. Who’d blame them though? That 8-2 walloping rubber-stamped the whole thing. No matter how many times Wenger tries to brush it under the mat, Arsenal FC’s name will forever be associated with that disgraceful day. You know who to blame. I can’t possibly call Wenger a c*nt enough times. Of all the cunts in all in the cunty villages in the world, he takes the cake…

  4. Mayank

    Haha exactly right Keyser. If I’d done Bio/Med instead of Engg. I suppose I’d be into gambling and not drinking. We all need self harm to a certain extent to carry on as normal. For some its being ultra-cynical about a football club and its manager. Much less harmful mind you.

    Way too late to be up here. Really, Nite all.

  5. Mayank

    Not all gambling is monetary investment Gambon. If you’d gambled and put forth any view that isn’t a massive exaggeration of blatant fact you’d know that.

  6. Keyser

    Mayank – Not when your cynacism is tied into how much you lay out to go watch Arsenal play, still escapism I think.

    Night.

  7. Yandi

    quick, skillful, two footed,
    ————————————————
    Surely not Keyser. Ramsey… Skillful? Oxymoron. Of the highest degree. Who’s he ever fucking assisted in the Premiership? And he really took the Championship by storm when he was playing for Cardiff didn’t he?

  8. Radio Raheem

    Nadal?Djokovic? Nadal?Djokovic? Nadal?Djokovic? Nadal?Djokovic? Nadal?Djokovic? Nadal?Djokovic? Nadal?Djokovic?

    …oh and it is Djokovic (like we all thought) who has won the US Open blah blah blah…

  9. Keyser

    Yandi – See, you’ve gone with demented again, off the top of my head I think he crossed to Song for a header against Portsmouth, not too sure, same game he scored with his left.

    Premiership he scored against Man United, that’s a bit old though eh, he assisted Walcott for the Champions League goal against Udinese though.

  10. SUGA3

    Yandi,

    I can’t believe I am agreeing with Keyser, but Ramsey is actually a very good player, he is definitely a part of the solution than a part of the problem in my eyes…

    I said he looked dire against Swansea, but having re-watched the game on TV, he actually looked reasonably useful…

  11. Keyser

    Suga3 – People are saying his injuries affecting him, so he might nevr fulfill the potential we saw before, but it’s hardly an ideal situation for him anyway.

  12. frenchie

    ramsey is good.

    against swansea he had a mental pygmy on the right, an overweight pygmy on the left, and a holding midfielder who could not complete a pass sat behind him. he fluffed one pass on a 3 on 1 break away, likely due to having the shit kicked out of his legs, and we now think he is bad? sad.

  13. Yandi

    I don’t rate him. Hard grafter. That’s all. Doesn’t do anything extraoardinary. He’s anything but part of the solution SUGA! He’s one of main reasons we’ve looked so dire in midfield. Runs around like a headless chicken all game long doing nothing productive, and at the end of the game we continue hearing talk of how great he is. The fuck he is! He was just as bad as Walcott on Saturday! Alex Song contributes more… and that’s fact.

  14. Keyser

    Yandi’s already said that he’s only overly harsh on Ramsey because he feels other players like Diaby, Song and whoever else get similar or worse treatment.

    Vicious cycle continues.

  15. gambon

    Ramsey is not really improving, another case of wenger indulging himsel by buying a player way too young.

    71 games for Arsenal and no more than a few promising cameos.

    Worrying.

  16. SUGA3

    Diaby gets a harsh treatment for being a lanky freeloading halfwit with crap attitude…

    Song is a tidy enough player, but not really a first choice in my eyes…

  17. frenchie

    suga-

    i agree he put in a good shift. forgive a fella for some bad humor. 🙂

    the ramsey bashing is really pushing the limit, though.

  18. Radio Raheem

    Ramsey did okay against Swansea, his best performance for Arsenal this season. He is not yet a ‘quality’ player though but he has got potential to be. Yandi’s criticisms maybe harsh but the SPIRIT of his view are right. In fact, until Swansea his performances this season had been dire.

  19. frenchie

    gambon-

    even better point! after all, arsenal pay diaby more than modric for a couple fantastic goals and potential quality…

  20. Yandi

    I’m still convinced Ramsey’s shortcomings get masked because he’s British. There’s no other explaination. He does absolutely nothing productive for the team. I really can’t believe he’s held in high regard by some supporters. The same supporters who’ve seen Vieira, Edu, Gilberto, Fabregas, Parlour, Flamini and most recently Wilshere in midfield during Wenger’s era. Fucking travesty. Diaby never had apologists when he got injured. Still doesn’t to this day… All I ever hear is how his injury made him lethargic. Well then, his rehabilitation shouldn’t be at the expense of Arsenal Footabll Club’s results. And so far, it has. He shouldn’t be anywhere near the team. But he is because Wenger’s showered us with shit once again, and he’s above average…

  21. Gooby

    Yandi

    Every body in British football can see ramsey is a top talent. He’s surely not messi but he deserves a chance, he’s got the potential to be a world class player.

    The arsenal staff are in a better position to judge his abilities anyways.

  22. SUGA3

    Yandi,

    Diaby has ‘recovered’ from the injury five or six years ago, the only reason he is still here is that he is French, Eduardo got what, two years before ge got sold?

    just saying…

    injury did not make him lethargic, he is just a dopey twat who thinks he is the bollocks, something of a black version of Bendtner, I can’t wait to see the back of him…

  23. Gooby

    “I’m still convinced Ramsey’s shortcomings get masked because he’s British.”

    how about cahill? What do you think of him?

  24. gambon

    “The arsenal staff are in a better position to judge his abilities anyways”

    Hahahaha

    Cos this means a lot. The same people that judged Denilson & Diaby to be good enough?

    Oh and Bendtner, Chamakh et al.

  25. Yandi

    frenchie

    David Bentley scored a hattrick against United in 2005/2006. He’s now playing for West Ham in the Championship.
    ———————————————————
    When Mathieu Flamini left the club in 2008 at 24, Wenger bought 17 year old Aaron Ramsey, and gave him the #16 jersey. And now in 2011, Ramsey still isn’t ready. In fact, he’s as bad as ever. Demented planning by OGL. At any other club that senile twat would get fired for such. And this is not the only case he’s failed to replace adequately. Ramsey’s not even showing slight flashes of brilliance. He always looks laboured in possesion. He’s just another token player from Wenger’s failed youth project, and yet people are still buying the future from Wenger. Just yesterday I was reading that he was the new Gerrard… Lol.

  26. Gooby

    gambon

    You should be aware that the people in charge, whatever is your opinion, are in a better position than us to judge the players and have greater experience in managing a football team. Your argument is too simplistic, every club buy shit players sometimes and put expectations on young footballlers who fail to reach that level of expectation

    if denilson and bendy haven’t developed the way wenger expected them to develop doesn’t mean he lost the plot and can’t manage a football team that’s simply ridiculous, you can find a denilson and a bendtner in every football team around the club. Get some perspective.

    Why don’t you believe in ramsey by the way?

  27. ArsenalForever

    Gambon, If you had to choose ONE to get the sack tomorrow, who would it be, the board or Wenger? The proviso being that the other gets 3 more years of no pressure from the fans.

  28. gambon

    Gooby

    Ive always been a big Ramsey fan, but im definately worried he is way out of his depth in a big team as a starter.

    He isnt improving, and has been awful this season.

    We need a world class playmaker, im not sure he’ll be that.

  29. incesc

    thats dumb yandi

    ramsey began pushing his way into the side from the subs bench and in cup games as expected for his age and then had his leg snapped in 2 and was out of the game for over a season.

  30. Yandi

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/wenger-i-made-an-exception-for-mertesacker

    Arsène Wenger admits he made an exception to his transfer policy by signing Per Mertesacker.

    The German defender, who stands at 6ft 6ins tall, joined Arsenal from Werder Bremen on transfer deadline day to reinforce the manager’s defensive options. Wenger concedes he wouldn’t normally buy a player of the 26-year-old’s physique but believes he adds different qualities to his backline.

    Mertesacker impressed on his Arsenal debut against Swansea at the weekend and is expected to continue alongside Laurent Koscielny for Tuesday’s trip to Borussia Dortmund.

    “Usually, I look at the quality of the player and not at his size,” he said. “Because we play a more technical game, I choose smaller players.

    “But he is a calming presence, he has over 70 caps with Germany so he has experience and people forget he is only 26 years old.

    “He must get used to the pace of the game. It is an issue because he was surprised by that but overall he has qualities we need in our team.

    “He reads well the game, has good communication with the other players and he knows how important it is to communicate. That will play a big part in our season.”
    ——————————————————–
    So quality players with experience are an exception for Wenger… Genius that. He’s the man with the master plan!

    Does this right here prove to you that he’s lost the plot then Gooby??? There’s more shit like this where this came from btw…

  31. Gooby

    4 games into the season i think he’s done alright apart from the collective failure at the old toilet.

    The best way for him to improve is to play games he should be competing to get ahead of the others and start every game at this age, that’s what he wants to i reckon. Don’t forget he’s back from a massive injury witch is mentally tough on a young lad.

    Arteta, benayoun and rosicky will take some pressure off his shoulders, he won’t be regarded as he main player and that will help flourish at his own pace.

    cracking tennis match by the way, top top quality

  32. Gooby

    Yandi

    He basically said, as far as i can understand, that he usually picks technical player over physical players because it suits his tactics and the way he wants the team to play. But as he said, he thought that a bit of experience and size will improve the back line so he went and got a tall and experienced CB.

    I don’t see how i can come up with a “lost the plot” or “mental illness” diagnosis after reading this

  33. Yandi

    incesc

    That snapped foot is like a get-out clause for any argument against Ramsey. The truth is his football is as bad as ever. Let’s not dispute the fact that he looks awful. It’s not like he was a world-beater before the injury is it? I think we’ll actaully see a more fluid team without him tomorrow. I’ve watched top young players from the football world, and if Ramsey’s one of the heights of Arsenal’s talent pool, we’re fucked as a big club. We have to pray Wilshere get’s back soon. The mandate is clear for the new manager next season… Sign M’Vila And Gotze, and relegate Ramsey back to the bench. Let’s see some real football back at the Emirates.

  34. Radio Raheem

    It turns out Gyan didn’t have a say in his loan move to the Middle East and Sunderland will, in effect, be getting £8M from the deal. That Steve Bruce and Sunderland are such cunts together with all the moralistic twats slagging him off.

    I feel better now

  35. Carlito

    I see we’re back to slagging off Ramsey again.

    He shouldn’t be a first choice for a club of our stature at the moment, but give the lad a chance.

    It’s Wengers fault that players are thrown in too early.

  36. OPG

    “We are full of hope but I understand why people raise that question [about Arsenal not being equipped to win the Champions League],” said Wenger, whose team came through a play-off tie against Udinese to reach the group stage. “We have not had a particularly strong start in the league. We have had five players coming in [just before the transfer deadline] and nobody knows how good they will be.

    “I wouldn’t rule it out but it’s too early to speak about winning it [the Champions League]. Saying that would raise a lot of scepticism about the team and I don’t think anyone would believe it. But we have to do as well as we can and we have to form a team in the next two months. It’s too early to have that kind of ambition.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/sep/12/arsene-wenger-real-madrid-barcelona-arsenal?CMP=twt_gu

  37. incesc

    “When Mathieu Flamini left the club in 2008 at 24, Wenger bought 17 year old Aaron Ramsey, and gave him the #16 jersey. And now in 2011, Ramsey still isn’t ready.”

    its hardly a get out clause when you argued this.

    we should at least give him half a season before writing him off.

  38. Carlito

    Sorry if anyone has already mentioned this quote from Wenger on Mertesacker.

    “Usually, I look at the quality of the player and not at his size. Because we play a more technical game, I choose smaller players.”

    Well fat lot of good that has done us, hasn’t it. What a total cretin.

  39. Gooby

    rambo is 21 in 3 months, he isn’t a kid anymore he should be fighting for his place like he is now not rotting in the reserve.

    Yandi

    the transfer window is close, you want gotze and m’villa too bad we didn’t get them now we have to move on and focus on our players

  40. Goon from BD

    #Players don’t perform and they are responsible for it.

    #The coach plays them so he is responsible.

    #The board appoints the coach so its there responsibility.

    I don’t think theres really any need of argument over who is “more”. It is the board. I don’t give a flying fuck what Arsene has to say or Diaby or Ramsey have been doing. Its worthless. Get ambitious people there and situation will change.

    So whatever happened to the protest?

  41. Carlito

    I’m not saying he should be rotting in the reserves. I just don’t think he should be in the position where we are relying on him too heavily.

    It’s okay in a smaller team, but when you are playing for a top four side every match is high pressure. Look how slowly Anderson has been brought along at Man Utd. If he was at Arsenal he would have had 200 games by now, and be expected to carry the midfield.

    Hopefully having someone like Arteta will help Ramsey though.

  42. Gooby

    CArlito

    that’s my point, arteta benayoun, rosicky will help him settle providing competition for a first team spot but 2 of them just arrive and the other one is a crock oh wait…they’re all crocks

  43. zeus

    Djoko looks knackered.

    Made a mistake on the last play. Should have gone across Nadal instead of come to his near side.

    Great match, but I don’t think it compares to Federer v Nadal at Wimbledon. What was that like over 4 hours?

  44. zeus

    4-1 Djoko.

    Nadal getting a bit fatigued. After 4 hours. The next time I hear Chamakh speak of being tired, I’m going to London to break his legs.

  45. Rohan

    That’s nothing. Chamakh earns 40k a week for jogging around once every 3-4 weeks for 15 minutes.

    These guys have to work for it.

  46. zeus

    Damn right Rohan, classic……..(where has this Arsene gone)

    ******

    “I will send my vibes and hope they will not be detected by Uefa,” Wenger said, with no little mischief. “I don’t think I will be man-marked [in the stands]. If you want to respect the rule strictly, you should be marked by two men – one on the right and one on the left. If one is sitting to my right, I can talk to the guy on my left.”
    During his time at Chelsea, José Mourinho dodged a Uefa touchline ban by concealing himself in a laundry basket to enter the dressing room. “I am too tall for that and the laundry baskets are too small in Germany,” Wenger said. “But what is difficult to explain is that we just did what we were told to do. They confirmed the suspension but then Michel Platini [the Uefa president] came out and said it’s not right.

  47. goonerboy

    I doubt if Ramsey would be getting over-exposed and injured if JW or Diaby was fit. He is playing too frequently at the moment and its no surprise that he is injured. He was probably playing with that ankle injury at the weekend. Walcott also is a player who needs to be fully fit- and is next door to useless when not fit.
    This is a tough period for us-but there is a lot of skill to come back into this team. We just have to hang in there when we are so understrength- and I dont care if we play badly and get results- as long as we do- because that will build the team’s confidence.
    Lets hope we can get a result and avoid a sending off and more injuries.

  48. gnarleygeorge9

    There is always someone @ Arsenal either sitting in the stands with an injury or playing with an injury.

    Like the former Guv’na of California would say. Its time for Arsenal players to “stop being girlie men” 😉

  49. OPG

    So we have £50m in the bank but would Wenger even spend it? The club seems resigned to the fact we can’t compete financially with many clubs so Top4 would be a success but we can afford to invest more and do much more than it is the club is bigger than that and the fans have to pay top prices.
    Then again our wage structure is all over the place, we pay so much yet don’t have so many stars as such anymore.
    Can we afford to bring in some top quality talent while keep our best players as it is? .

    Overall it seems the club has been hamstrung all summer by the lack of clear plan even with all the outgoings, although some of those had to came to compromises, including the Cesc deal and loan deals for Bendtner and Denilson instead of permanent deals but we are still left with Almunia and Squillaci. As pointed out earlier it seemed they did everything to try to get Nasri to stay even though he wouldn’t sign until the board intervened, but in the process missed out on most of our primary targets.
    Even with the late salvage of the squad there seems to be low expectancy overall, the poor start as a result of this summer and injuries seemed to kick things off. Sorry if that didn’t come out right it’s late..

  50. dennisdamenace

    To quantify my earlier posts regarding the AST/Gazidis meeting.

    The AST meeting last night was reporting the information from the meeting with Ivan Gazidis which was held BEFORE the Swansea game, and NOT last night.

  51. observer

    ” His position is bullet proof until he runs the club into the ground.”

    Is there anything left to taste the the dirt on the ground? Eight goals???? I don’t remember having heard that kinda scoreline in any competition in recent past.
    so, if you think we have been reduced to dust and we are firmly flat on the ground, please also accept the Stubborn French’s bullet-proof jacket is off. And, if its off, what are we all waiting for. Lets go for the kill. Go Go Go Go!!!! Kill him!!!!!!!!