Morning Grovers! So it looks increasingly like my story about our transfer budget being under £25million was true. Wenger has barely spoken to Arsenal.com and he’s ankle deep in Groundhog crap (Time Out Hong Kong… are you serious Arsene?). So let’s pick through his comments…
‘Firstly, I must say that not being able to match the spending of the richest clubs does not mean that you can’t compete with them on the pitch’
This is true. The richest don’t always win out. We’ve seen that many times throughout history. However, if you’re not rich, you have to be smart. I’m not sure the Arsene way of playing football is the smartest these days. I’m not sure his recruitment policy is the sharpest either. We could compete 15 years ago because no one had seen training methods like Arsene’s. No one had a scouting network like the one he put in place. No one had a defensive base so drilled and disciplined as the one he inherited. No one could pick out talent like he could.
Nowadays, we’re not spending money efficiently and most have caught up or surpassed on the training front. Both with ideas and with technology. This is an area we’re looking at. We’re playing catch up with everyone else. We’ve got GPS people, we’ve got an amazing medical centre and finally, we’ve got an assistant who has his eyes wide open to the issues we have at the back. So we’re on track there. Trouble with Arsene’s comment is it’s becoming more and more obsolete. The richest nowadays do tend to dominate. In the main because we play so many games. You can’t out think richer more heavily resourced teams over 70 odd games. We have the biggest squad with the fewest ready players in the league. City have near enough a full 25 of top class players. They can deal with almost any eventuality. Spending money isn’t the be all and end all, but after 7 years of suffering because we don’t spend, I find it a little ridiculous to once again say we can win the league on a tiny budget.
‘We need first to see how effectively financial fair play can be enforced before we can fully understand the impact but I believe it will make for a more exciting Premier League’
… and there we have it. What that comment actually equates to is…
‘Stan Kroenke won’t put his hand in his pocket and we’re hoping that when FFP comes into play everyone will be screwed bar us. We’ll dominate and that’ll make for a more exciting league’
It’s not going to happen. Why would the richest clubs in the world bend over the to the Arsenal business model. In fact, how can any of this matter anyway? All the worst offenders in the money stakes are FFP compliant already!
‘I think that it is right that you balance your books – to accept the one basic principle for every company – and that’s that you can spend the money which you make.’
‘That principle just seems to be a common sense and logical one’
This comment is the best one by far. If Arsenal spent the money they earned. You know, the money outside selling your best players every year… we’d have ZERO money to spend! We break even as a business. So much for a sound financial footing. We can’t function as a club unless we’re selling out major assets every season. What a joke. You wonder how much we’ll have to spend even when the new TV money and sponsorship comes through… that’ll get eaten up immediately with new players contracts.
Arsenal are fighting a long term losing battle against the principles of modern day football. Just in the same way we’ll never revert to calling each other on our house phones as a primary communication method, my guess is we’ll never go back to the good old days of football. Arsenal need to deal with that. Our negative attitude to spending money is driving away our best players away… surely Arsene doesn’t see any logic in that?
On the transfer front, we’ll all get to see Ganso in Middlesborough on Friday. He’s stepping up against the Great British team. We’ve also been linked heavily linked with Llorente again. He’s 6ft 5 tall and he has great technical ability. Kind of like a more cultured Spanish version of Adebayor. He has a £28million buy out clause. I’d love to be part of the negotiations there…
Ivan: ‘Will £4million do?
Chairman: ‘No, £28million’
Ivan: ‘Ok, ok… how about £6.5million and Chamakh?’
Chairman: ‘Get out of my office.’
For me, Llorente would be one of the few strikers who would actually cushion the blow. He’d show the squad we’re ambitious and he’d lift the fans. We can’t go out and replace the Dutchman with a 14 year old sheep farmer from Tibet. It just won’t cut the mustard this season. However, if we could get him in and loan him out to Beveren for a season, I wouldn’t make too much fuss.
That’s all I’ve got for you today. In fact, it’s all I have for you for until Tuesday. I’m mincing it up at a Festival so Geoff will be taking over to tell you what’s what.
Have a great weekend!
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P.S. If you’ve been moaning about the purple Arsenal kit, check out the Spain Olympic kit… truly incredible! Thanks to Ela for e-mailing it over.