Spanish Law changes make Ronaldo and Messi Arsenal targets… right? | Defence and midfield assessment

by & filed under News Review.

I moan about this every year, but seriously, who in their right mind thinks an international break three games into a season is acceptable in any way, shape  or form? Firstly, 90% of football fans don’t care about international friendlies. Secondly, we’ve over indulged in low quality international tournaments already. The Olympics and the Euros hardly blew me away. Thirdly, give us a damn chance to get into our club game rhythmn before we start throwing national games into the melting pot.

… and fourthly, what the f*ck am I supposed to write about for the next two weeks?

Well, firstly, I had a text from Geoff this morning saying that the Spanish tax rate was just put up to 52%. As he pointed out in a blog post, Spain are bankrupt… they’ll need to recoup some money… and they’ll come for the foreigners first. The Government has closed the loop hole on the so called ‘Beckham Law’ allowing the Treasury to claim an additional 28% tax from players like Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Modric.

That’s going to put the Spanish Champions in a bit of a situation. The same for Barcelona. How will they afford to up those players salaries? In short… they won’t be able to. So they’ll have a whole host of players thinking about leaving I’d imagine. Which to be honest, is totally hilarious. Christiano ‘I want a life contract’ Ronaldo is only in it for the money, which does make me feel slightly better about all the money grabbing monsters we’ve had at Arsenal over the past few years.

In Arsenal news, where are we at now the transfer window has shut?

Well, right at this very moment, we’re in a pretty good position. I think if we’d conceded a few more goals this season, we’d have had the ready made excuse of not having 3 of our back 5 playing. So far, we’ve conceded a total of zero. That’s a big, big positive for the side. Especially as we have Koscielny and Sagna coming back after the break and hopefully Chezzer (who seems to be missing games in the same way Diaby used to before we were told he was out for the foreseeable).

The first two games of the season were geared around defensive solidity. We lost some of our attacking flair as a result of this. However, it was clear that much of the attacking prowess we lacked was probably down to a lack of familiarity the midfield forward had with each other. The Liverpool game opened gave us the first glimpse into how this new team can play and I’m pleased to see that there seems to be a whole variety of attacking shapes opening up.

With Giroud up top, we can play in a very direct way. He wins almost everything in the air and he’s a tall striker who is comfortable with the ball at his feet and he has the ability to play with his back to goal. We’ve also got a suitable amount of pace in the side to break at speak. That was demonstrated with the first goal we scored against Liverpool. Then there is the sort of goal every Arsenal team of the last 15 years has had the ability to nail… the pass and move. The fact this is all underpinned by discipline and accountability is the reason I think we’ll have a good season.

We’re only a few games in, so we can’t get too carried away, but the signs are positive. A team built with the collective ideal of not conceding goals is always going to fair better in the league. 49 goals was a massive failure last  year.

31 -37 – 41 – 43 – 49

The fact that it had got progressively worse over 5 years was the really worrying trait. It meant no one at the club was paying attention to the issue. We were trying to solve our defensive inability by becoming better at possession football. That was an insane way to approach the problem. Defence is an absolute art and it needs to be taught with the respect it deserves. It looks like we’re on track with that. If we want to win the league again, we’ll have to be sub 30. Too much of an ask this year I appreciate, but Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor was the famous back four.

In midfield, the praise Abou Diaby has been receiving has been quite incredible. Fully deserved after the performance against Liverpool. It’s amazing how players who have been out of the game for so long can develop without training. How did Robin go from a good striker to a great striker without having the game time to match it? Abou Diaby might do the same this season if he can string 10 games together. That’s a massive if, and sadly, our season depends on that happening. His ability to turn defence into attack in a split second is a joy to watch. When those long rangy legs pull of a Kanu-esque piece of skill it’s an absolute pleasure… we need to see it across 40 games though.

It was interesting to read him compare himself to Yaya Toure in terms of role…

“In our teams, Yaya Toure and me have very similar roles,” he said.

“I am not like Alex Song. We have many players who can take his place like Francis Coquelin or Mikel Arteta, who likes to play deep. I want to get forward – that’s me.

“I have defensive duties as well so I need to have a good shape defensively and, as soon as we get the ball, go forward.”

What I like about that comment is firstly he respects that he has defensive duties. You can make that sort of mindset a part of the culture in the same way Newcastle used to have the culture of ‘we’ll score one more’. The other interesting comment is that he says Arteta likes playing the anchor role and that Coquelin can play there too. I mentioned earlier in the summer that the young Frenchman was 1 year younger than M’Vila. That’ll be a huge litmus test for us… what happens when Arteta picks up a knock? If he can fill in an play with the same discipline, we’ll be in a good position. We’re basically taking a massive punt on his development, but I have to be honest, I’m more comfortable about that than I was when we took a punt on Denilson. At least he’s talented!

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

Anyway, that’s 1000 words which isn’t usually part of the Tuesday deal. Enjoy and hey, maybe let me know your thoughts in the comments?

530 Responses to “Spanish Law changes make Ronaldo and Messi Arsenal targets… right? | Defence and midfield assessment”

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  1. Santi Claus

    Iffy I agree and Wenger has to be a thank you very much but what have you done for me lately goodbye.

    Red nose would have been put out to pasture in the boardroom if he had not one a trophy for 7 years. He would have probably fallen on his own sword.

    Its not your club Arsene!

  2. Lordbergkamp

    How many teams have won the prem? 5 since it started.

    Look at Blackburn as a great example of big investment being pulled away. Down the shitter into championship.

    What will happen when sheik Mansour gets bored at citeh? Or Abramovich at Chelsea? Flush, down the shitter.

    It took citeh upwards of 300m to win the prem. Chelsea about 250m over the years. And the inflation is getting worse.

    Do you want a title now followed by a massive crash in the future? Or like me, a lifelong supporter, something that my little boy can support and his kids?

    Football is not sustainable at the moment. Ronaldo for example is part owned by a couple of Spanish banks, if they need to recapitalize I suspect he would be in the non core portfolio to be sold off…

  3. Santi Claus

    If Arsenal are successful this season then it shows Arsene up for being stubborn also because its obvious Bould has sorted out the defense. So we did need a defensive coach.

  4. Iffy da goon

    If we always compete but narrowly miss out for 20 years i won’t complain once. This tinkering with the team that wenger does just doesn’t go down well with me. He’s had 8 years to build a team and look at what we have today

  5. Red&White

    We should be financial neutral – not making a profit and not making a loss. Over the period of 5 years we should be break even. Problem is Wenger wants to make a profit – We are a football club not a business. People like the Yanks want to make money – just look at all the clubs owned by Americans – disaster for Football, they want profits not trophys. In American sports you can be a perernnial loser and make money. Seems Yanks have taken same attitude to Football here. Yanks out is what I say.

  6. Santi Claus

    The pain comes from being so close and falling due to incompetence. We had the players to win add to that the players we have now and lose the over paid kids. with player wages invested and big money look at the team Arsenal would have and would not have lost.

  7. mystic

    gambonSeptember 4, 2012 16:22:46
    ‘I assume that means you’d like a bet on whether Podolski scores >37 goals this summer?’

    That sentance sums up your stupidity. I Frankly I don’t give a toss if he only scores a dozen goals, it is what the team manage that counts. RvP scored a stunning number last season and Arsenal managed to do fuck all.

    According to many people on here RvP soley got Arsenal into the CL last season, I hope to god no ONE player is responsible this season. It should be the whole team that contributes, not be reliant upon a single player.

  8. Gbenga


    Interesting read from another perspective:

    How did Robin go from a good striker to a great striker without having the game time to match it? Abou Diaby might do the same this season if he can string 10 games together. That’s a massive if, and sadly, our season depends on that happening

    So Abou Diaby goes from good midfielder to great midfielder and he’s the very next player to be sold ehn?
    Well, i dont have to bother about that for like 9 months.

  9. Iffy da goon

    Unlike sheikh and abrahamovic, usmanov is an active business man. He doesn’t plan to just give away money. He has at least outlined his plan for Arsenal were he in charge

    “A debt free Club, with a big enough war chest to buy top talent players who can hit the ground running and who can complement the Club’s long tradition of developing young players and homegrown talent. Together they can help the Club win the most prestigious trophies – because it is the trophies which are the crowning achievement for everybody at the Club”

  10. Santi Claus

    This team has been a shop window for players like Adebayor and Nasri , whos to say RVP wouldnt have gone sooner had he been fit for a whole season.

  11. Iffy da goon

    The first thing he’d do is pay off the debt, then forward Arsenal some money (i heard 100m) to buy some world class players, and then compliment this from there on with home grown talent.

    We can presume what’ll happen to chelsea if Abrahamovic got tired, fact is they are now a big club with a fan base huge enough to support them so even if he left, they’ll still be able to compete to some measure which is more than i can say for portsmouth or rangers

  12. Ritesh

    Wenger wanted to create Barca MKII. But he failed because all his players left for money.

    Now we are back to the old style. Less risk with everyone doing his job. The balance of the team was great, let’s only hope that Bould does not get wengerised like so many before him…..Arshavin, Denilson etc.

  13. Santi Claus

    Vermy is great as is Mert we are Arteta’s payday club and the new signing look sound. I never trusted Nasri or Ade and RVP left for money simple fact.

  14. marcus

    I don’t want to be the one to piss on the Diaby-parade, but Livepool pressed very poorly for large portions of the game. I was basically only the first 15-20 minutes that they played with the intense press you would expect. Diaby’s issue for me has always been that he is too slow to control the ball and to slow making decisions. In my opinion, he thrived against Liverpool because they allowed him the time to be comfortable. It will be very interesting to se how he fares against Man City, where he will not get a fraction of the time he was allowed by the liverpool MFs.

    (please note that I state “In my opinion”, in order to move away from the absolute “true-ism” that has become le-grove of late..)

  15. Iffy da goon

    We need to live in the here and now of football and now the best players cost big money. No one will wait for you to tally all your discount coupons, the guy with the platinum master card will be passed to your front

  16. Lordbergkamp

    Iffy – WYF? Abramovich is a hard assed Russian gangster and sheik Mansour richest dude in the world.

    Facts are that if you want to spend 30-40m per player the money has to come from somewhere. Where does Chelskis and citehs money come from? Owners.

    They put their hand in their pockets and LOAN the money. Which means that they will ask for the money when they depart.

    Look at Portsmouth. Different scale, but millionaire owners fucked the club and butt fucked the fans to get their money back first.

    Be careful who you wish for.

  17. Santi Claus

    Iffy if Abrahamovic left so would the fan base its plastic in the main. Mostly Palace and Brighton Supporters fed up with no winning anything

  18. gambon

    “What will happen when sheik Mansour gets bored at citeh? Or Abramovich at Chelsea? Flush, down the shitter.”


    This sums up how fucking little you know about football.

    Both of these clubs have grown significantly since their owners took over.

    Chelseas revenue matches ours, so its hard to see how they would get in any trouble. Man City will also likely be level with us off the pitch within a year or so.

    As for the “Abramovic will get bored soon” yeah, it really seems that way, hes only spent £70m this summer.

  19. Iffy da goon

    We continue to understate the importance of a single player. Imagine if we never had thierry henry, or db 10 and had to go through a series of strikers, some good some just ok. Image all the emotion that would never have been.

    Fact is whoever signs falcao is in for some of the best football.

    Another fact is that we’ll never see eden hazard play for Arsenal. He’s gone.

  20. Santi Claus

    I agree marcus there is a difference for imposing yourself on a game and being allowed to. When Diaby bosses Chelsea or Manc in the same way I will get excited.

  21. Lordbergkamp

    Gambon – if Chelsea and citeh are just getting to our level revenue wise now, having spent 300m and 250m recently that may suggest their owners have spent more than revenue base should allow.

    I may not know as much as the almighty Gambon about FIFA and champ manager, but I do know finance.

    And Chelsea and citeh would need to find a way to back back over half a bill to their owners.

    How do YOU think they could do it? And stay competitive in the prem? Do tell you financially illiterate twat.

  22. gambon

    “Wenger wanted to create Barca MKII. But he failed because all his players left for money.”

    Wenger tried to do it in a pathetic cheap way.

    They have Iniesta, Wenger thought Denilson would do the same job.

    They have Messi, Wenger thinks little Theo is a better player.

  23. gambon

    “Do tell you financially illiterate twat.”

    Hmmmm, bearing in mind what you said made NO SENSE according to the English language that would be a problem.

  24. Lordbergkamp

    Ahhh Gambon, yet again when challenged you respond with an insult..

    Very classy as ever.

    I fucking hate glory hunting muppets like you. This club used to have a way of doing things, a tradition of behaving in a certain way. Ownership in partnership with the fans.

    And cunts like you want to tear that up, give us to Russian billionnaire and fuck the future of the club so you can feel better in the pub on a Friday night?

    Fuck you, you glory hunting dooming cunt.

  25. gambon


    So you aren’t gonna clarify whatever bullshit question you were trying, and failing miserably to ask?

    I was being deadly serious, your diction is like a spasticated mongol.

  26. LeMassiveCoq

    Honestly you mugs who think that the likes of Abramovic and Mansour are just going to pull the plug on City or the Chavs are just deluded. The thing is, is that these men are wealthy beyond belief and dont really even need the Billion or so they have invested in the football clubs. They are not in it to make money, they are just rich boys toys. Dont get me wrong, I don’t really like where football has gone over the last 10 years or so, it is being taken further and further away from the hands of the common man.

    But ask yourselves why would the likes of Abramovic and Mansour just get bored one day and say fuck it I’ve had enough? From what I’ve seen of Mansours investment especially, this guy actually cares enough about the development of not only football, but the local community in terms of facilities and redevelopment beyond football. A good friend of mine is a citeh fan and he tells me that area is buzzing.

    I must admit he looks at me with big jealous eyes when I mention our sustainable model and empty trophy cabinet.

  27. Lordbergkamp

    Which bit was difficult for your limited intellect?

    Let’s recap:

    1. Chelsea and city’s revenue is now approaching ours. It wasn’t before.
    2. They have spent 300 m and 250m respectively buying success.
    3. If said owners pulled out and asked for loans repaid.
    4. How would they repay half a billion pounds and still remain top 3 in the prem.

    Go on Gambon, please explain.

  28. gambon

    “This club used to have a way of doing things, a tradition of behaving in a certain way. Ownership in partnership with the fans.”

    Well in case you hadn’t noticed you thick cunt it’s now being neglected by a bunch of clueless cunts and a yank wanker who knows nothing about football or Arsenal.

    Behaving in a certain way?

    Charging the highest ticket prices in world football while refusing to invest more than Swansea in the transfer market?

    Behaving in a certain way?

    Chairman who tells the fans they’re stupid and that winning a trophy isnt important?

    Behaving in a certain way?

    Telling the fans we will not sell Nasri/Cesc/RVP and selling them the second season tickets are gone?

    Behaving in a certain way?

    Talking about ‘super super class’ signings or ‘top top talents’ then going on to sign no-one?

  29. Santi Claus

    Owners will not pull out unless they have to, they have invested too much and would never get the money back. so in for a penny. What might happen is they may get bored with financial constraints and just let it wind itself down ie not keep investing. These are people that are not used to being told they can not spend their money how they want. Abramovich want the ground so he can move Chelsea to Surrey and build a castle on it lol

  30. Lordbergkamp

    Gambon, coz unless you can explain how spending more than you earn can work for a club then all you other doom disappears in its own bubble of ignorance…

  31. michael

    i said it last week stan needs one spree to increase the value of his own investment in doing so he keeps fans happy and generates better revenue through reaching latter stages of tournament and better sponsorship/merchandising

    instead were doing it on the cheap

    liverpools owners gave money to two managers who overspent on avg british talent- carroll, allen, henderson

  32. Santi Claus

    The only reason Abramovich has spent big recently is because hes cock measuring with the Sheikh . Usmanov would behave the same way if he was buying for Arsenal.

  33. WengersSweeties


    September 4, 2012 17:01:52

    This club used to have a way of doing things, a tradition of behaving in a certain way. Ownership in partnership with the fans.And cunts like you want to tear that up, give us to Russian billionnaire and fuck the future of the club so you can feel better in the pub on a Friday night?

    How do you know an Usmanov take over wouldn’t launch Arsenal to greater things?

    Are Arsenal fans against so much because of his background or because they are worried we would be ‘Flushed down the pan’

  34. gambon

    Lord Cuntkamp

    1- This is utterly irrelevant. s ive said over and over, investing in the team facilitates higher revenues from all streams that a club utilises.
    2- And they have seen the value of their clubs rise by far more
    3/4 – Neither club has any debt. They dont owe money to Abramovic & Mansour, so i dont see your point

    Your whole argument is just a load of anger and incoherent cunt talk.

    Youre like Bjonans not quite so spasticated brother, But still a massive down syndrome cunt.

  35. gambon

    “coz unless you can explain how spending more than you earn can work for a club”

    Barca spend more than they earn, Utd spend more than they earn, Man City spend more than they earn, Chelsea spend more than they earn.

    Starting to notice a pattern dickhead?


  36. Santi Claus

    Only light at the end of the tunnel is Wenger may enjoy his third coming. He had a defense when he took over, he was lucky to get Sol and he now has a defensive coach and what could be an organized disciplined defense. Wenger could always do attack, so we have half a chance.

  37. Dimitri

    Erm Bergkamp, listen as much of a wanker as I think Gambon is, you are saying spending more than you earn. No Arsenal fan is talking about doing that, we have millions sitting in the kitty the point is we are not spending it when we clearly need to.

  38. Arsenal1886-2006

    Lordbergkamp September 4, 2012 16:41:41

    I understand what your saying mate but Abramovich wrote off the bulk of chelsea loans. He will leave the chavs near enough debt free.
    The main thing for the chavs is can they sustain the club with a different owner if they do not build a new stadium?

  39. Lordbergkamp


    So these super powered businessmen with laser like business acumen have given half a billion pounds away?

    For nowt? Hmmm. That sounds highly likely.

  40. Santi Claus

    Clubs speculate and have a serviceable debt in order to buy the players they want. Some clubs serviceable debt is half a billion quid thats life. The fact is if Chelsea had to pay back the debt they would have to sell everything every asset. Abramovich wanted the ground as it is security players are not as they get older.

  41. Ritesh


    Its funny you mention about spending. I wrote an oped for an economic journal to be published tomorrow where I explain the Chinese case: lowering the value of your currency to export more and tie into debt your partners. The startegy to come out on top is how fast you become stronger with the debt process or the lowering of you standard of living initially.

    In the case of the chinese, although they are like an assembly line for the moment, they have the magnets to attract intellectual property, capital and resources and retain them. Its their gift to the next generation. In the case of others who took debt, they might not have used it in the most effective manner.

    So taking debt for a club is not necessarily a bad thing if you can increase your revenue to offset your expenses. And that is a BIG IF. Just like the Chinese would go belly up if they lose in productivity, capital and resources. Obviously a high risk strategy which normal shareholders will never adopt. Its their money after all.

  42. gambon

    They havent given anything away.

    1- They arent interested in selling
    2- You think the clubs have no value? Clubs that turnover £250m in the most watched sport in the world have no value?

  43. Nasri's Mouth

    Iffy: Board: Manager what do you need?
    Manager: I need player X and player Y
    Board: Here’s player X and player Y

    The way a football club should be

    Yes, I think that’s the way Rangers FC was.

  44. JJ

    I can’t lie. Sometimes I come on here to just read Gambon’s comments. He does make me laugh.

    He might have a “different” way of expressing himself but I can’t argue with much of the content.

  45. Nasri's Mouth

    LordBergkamp: So these super powered businessmen with laser like business acumen have given half a billion pounds away?

    Not exactly, their investment has dramatically increased the value of their clubs. How much will ManC / Chelsea be worth in 3-4 years time compared to how much they’d be worth without the sugar daddy investment ?
    Answer: a lot more

    Will the increase match the investment?, probably not, especially if they have to continue chucking in the money

    Would they find a buyer willing to buy at that price ? They might find it tricky

    But neither owner will lose a massive amount in their world. It’ll be comparatively small change

  46. Jack G

    Gambon if youve got nothing constructive to say then please say nothing. Theres no use in complaining over what we could or should have done, we live in the reality of this siuation. Either do something about it or stop making this forum filled with bitter vinictive comments.

  47. chris

    I wish Daniel Levy was our chairman
    Harry did a good job at Spurs

    Gambon is a deep cover Spurs fan

    He will tell you himself one day

    Mark my words

  48. Stan Donkey

    Gnabry in Champs League squad…..

    Arsenal Champions League squad:

    List A: 1. Wojciech Szczesny, 2. Abou Diaby, 3. Bacary Sagna, 4. Per Mertesacker, 5. Thomas Vermaelen, 6. Laurent Koscielny, 7. Tomas Rosicky, 8. Mikel Arteta, 9. Lukas Podolski, 11. Andre Santos, 12. Olivier Giroud, 14. Theo Walcott, 15. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 16. Aaron Ramsey, 18. Sebastien Squillaci, 19. Santi Cazorla, 20. Johan Djourou, 21. Lukas Fabianski, 23. Andrey Arshavin, 24. Vito Mannone, 25. Carl Jenkinson, 27. Gervinho, 28. Kieran Gibbs, 29. Marouane Chamakh, 47. Serge Gnabry.

    Wilshere, Coquelin, Frimpong, etc. will be on B-List.

    A player qualifies for inclusion in List B if he was born on or after January 1, 1991 and has been eligible to play for the Club for an uninterrupted period of two years or more since his 15th birthday

  49. Lordbergkamp

    Nasri’s – don’t want to bore you, but it’s not about the value of an organisation. It’s about free cash flow.

    For e.g. If your club is worth 500 m then great. But if to get to that point you are making say 10 m per week in revenues, but your paying out 11 m in wages/transfer fees etc. then your business is not sustainable. As you then need investment to keep running.

    And it gets worse when you think that the principal assets of the club can go on strike, get a bad injury or race a cop car at 130 mph and so a six month stench.

    So your business might be worth 500 m but cannot function day to day without ank/ investor support.

    That’s why you always hear turnover is vanity and profit is sanity…

  50. Kempster

    unless I’m mistaken, Chelsea and City run at a massive loss each year.

    It is probably reasonable to accept that their owners may write off any money they have ploughed in during their tenure. But how will they continue to operate in the same way that they managed with this benevolent sugar daddy approach when they don’t have one?

    How will they sustain the losses? I don’t have the figures, but arent’ we talking about in the region of 100m a season?

    If they no longer have someone prepared to write those cheques, how do they then go out and spunk 50m on Torres, 32m on Hazard, 30m on Tevez, etc etc and then also pay them 200k a week?

    Won’t that be a problem?

  51. Lordbergkamp

    Kempster- see if you can get gobshite Gambon to face up to that one! He’s duck any questions he can’t answer all day!

  52. GUNNER786


    “We are working very, very hard. We have resources available so if it is not happening now it will happen in December.

    “We are active but we do not just want to bring average players in. If we find a special player who can find us a plus we will do it, if not we will not do it.



    The people who abused Wenger(including myself) should apologise to him.


    Because he knew 7 years ago that there will be a mass exodus of top top players from La Liga when the tax goes up.

    He has saved over £200 Million pounds to buy Messi and Ronaldo.

    Wenger is a genius!!

  53. zeus

    Back to bitching I see. sigh.

    I’m telling you right now, and if u wanna put money on it feel free, but Arsenal are gonna finish top four a small distant behind the top 3.

    We won’t win the league despite what Gambon thinks.

  54. GUNNER786


    I’m in a dilemma.

    I dont know whether to order a new AFC shirt with ‘Messi’ or ‘Ronaldo’ on the back.

    Please help.


  55. Nasri's Mouth


    The overall plan of teams such as ManC will be to increase their revenue to a point where they are profitable, or at least where they will be profitable in the near future. If they can improve their sponsorship income, their commercial deals income, their TV income (which will increase pretty dramatically) then they wont be spending £11m to bring in only £10m as you put it.

  56. GUNNER786

    ” and fourthly, what the f*ck am I supposed to write about for the next two weeks?”


    Why don’t you spend a week or two in Bangkok and leave the post writing to the Grovers?

  57. Lordbergkamp

    Nasris – you’re right, but if we’re spending in our means and our record signing is 17 m how much more income do you need to spend 32m on a player and 200k per week?

    And we’re what 5th richest club in the world? Doesn’t add up.

    Barca and Real are propped up by ailing Spanish banks, and if you noticed didn’t spend big big like they normally do.

    And theyre shy every year by 100m diff in income vs wages. You cant keep that up. (city and Chelsea)

  58. BillikenGooner

    All this said, and we will probably finish 3rd behind City and Chelsea.
    United are crap and I don’t think RvP can carry a second team in a row.

    I just wonder how much a little digging deeper into our pockets would make us more competitive for the top spot? and I’m not talking 100m in debt.

  59. BacaryisGod

    I’ve seen a few comments about our schedule but one little overlooked positive this year is that we’ll be staying in London for nearly the entire last month of the season. From April 13th-May 12th we have 3 home and 2 away games (Norwich, Man United, Wigan at home, Fulham and QPR away).

  60. Kempster

    Yeah, the bit I don’t get is the lack of investment. I don’t want us to be a russian’s plaything. But the numbers appear to suggest we could invest more in teh team based on what the club is generating. So why don’t we?

    I like this year’s signings, but why didn’t we make more, along the lines of those that Wenger said he wanted to make a couple of weeks ago?

    I’m all for not jeapardising the future of the club, and I support being able to sustain ourselves without needing to rely on the whim of an investor who’s ego and desire to play Football manager for real is greater than their love of the odd half a billion – but the numbers suggest that we are being overly cautious and the explanation for this is missing.

  61. Radio Raheem

    You guys seen this?

    But Hill-Wood was confident Arsenal would mount a serious title challenge this season and insisted the board were not worried about Arsene Wenger’s failure to win a trophy for seven years.
    The Arsenal chairman also said he was “disgusted” by those fans who abused manager Wenger last season as the club once again came up short.

  62. Radio Raheem

    Specially for some le grove posters…

    “The Glasgow Rangers example is something we’ve all got to guard against. They spent far more money than they could afford. We’re ambitious enough but we’re not going to end in the same plight as Rangers. That is a fact of life. So my advice is, don’t get miserable about it.”

  63. Marko

    That Hill Wood fella really isn’t with the times. And to be honest I’m assuming the only reason someone like him is so opposing to Usmanov is cause he’d be out the door. Why people think it’s ok for him to represent the club and to speak for the club is beyond me he’s a bag of bones.

  64. kwik fit

    liverpool offering del pierro a deal

    I would have del pierro in a heartbeat. He may be 37 but he’s exactly the type of striker we currently don’t have. Wenger should do a ‘Sahin’ and wipe Rodgers eye.

  65. baffoon

    Our CL squad :

    Gk: Szczęsny, Fabiański, Mannone.
    Defenders: Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Santos, Squillaci, Djourou, Jenkinson, Gibbs.
    Midfielder: Diaby, Rosický, Arteta, The Ox, Ramsey, Cazorla, Gnabry
    Strikers: Walcott, Podolski, Giroud, Arshavin, Gervinho, Chamakh.

  66. Marko

    Ronaldo’s a horrible prick how much money does he need? I’ve no doubt the added tax he’ll have to pay has added to his “sadness”. He probably wants to get away from a league where he’ll never be considered the best player in it.

  67. Leedsgunner

    “Liverpool’s failure to sign Clint Dempsey on deadline day, prompted principal owner John W. Henry to write an open letter to the club’s fans in an attempt to respond to hostile criticism coming from all quarters and defend his transfer policy. ”

    From BBC Sport website.

    If only Silent Stan was as forthcoming… then again I guess we should be thankful for small mercies, and say at least we are not Liverpool…

  68. Marko

    Anybody have any idea or care to speculate as to Usmanov’s plans? has he bought new shares recently? Is he thinking of making a move or what? No doubting that if he offered enough Stan would sell cause why else would he stick around?

  69. S Asoa

    “if Abronovitch n the Sheik get fed up of their obsession n pack up n go” sounds like a wet dream . It gives you pleasure but nothing really happening. So AFC should prosper getting better and not hoping others will trip . Realitymight trip Wenger’s luck

  70. BacaryisGod

    Regardless of your view on Arsene, it’s got to be said that it’s amazing how we’ve slipped through into the Champions League every year and then did enough in the group stages each year to mean that our co-efficient ranking is comfortably in 6th (behind Barcelona, Man U, Bayern, Chelsea and Real Madrid).

    This can’t be underestimated because it becomes self-fulfilling. Creep into the champions league in 3rd or 4th place and then be in prime seeding position to get into the knock-out stages every year. Rack up the 20-26 points and keep the coefficient score around 110-120 in order to keep in the Top 8 for seedings.

    If your primary goal is long-term stability and consistent revenue streams, what we’ve done is a work of art. If the goal is titles and trophies, maybe not so much…

  71. BacaryisGod

    The lack of a forward signing tells me Arsene is hoping a Giroud/Podolski/Chamakh rotation will be enough for the lone striker role, but just in case it isn’t he’ll keep a spot open for another Thierry return after the break.

  72. Doublegooner

    Wenger to leave in 2014 ?

    If that were to happen, would it also be the same time Stan sells out with millions in the bank new sponsorships in place & a massive return on his money & Wenger getting a lovely big bonus ?

    No one on here or anyone I know has ever suggested the club spend like the northern or southern chavvy clubs.

    All we’ve wanted is a certain level of investment that may give us a better chance & visions to win some silverware instead of the lying year in & year out.

    Hearing that old cunt ‘Sir Les’ Hill Wood ‘Patterson’ blubber on slating fans who pay good money daring to criticise when he sold out to the guy who ‘We don’t want his type here’ is a disgrace.

    He made his money riding on the back of his daddy. Kroenke, probably made his from his wife’s connections. Usmanov, I doubt is angel but survived communist Russia, worked the system & is now one of the world’s richest men.

    Bring him on with Guardiaola & a new backroom setup of old legends in the sameway that is happening at Ajax.

  73. Bob N7

    Kempster- you nailed it. We appear to be keeping money back when say £20 mill on two players would really provide us with a competitive squad.

    The debate around the spending of Chelsea and Citeh(and to a lesser extent Barca and RM) revolves around very rich people pumping 100s of millions into their clubs. gambon rightly makes a point about increased revenues but it’s not a realistic business model. Now those Usmanov supporters are hoping we replicate this sort of over the top spending. I understand why some people get a hard on thinking about the players we could sign but I for one find it vulgar, distasteful and inflationary. Arsenal have almost got it right…hopefully FFP will make a difference and we will compete. As it is I’m happy to take the moral high ground even if it means we’re looking up to the top clubs. By the way Bayern Munich and ManU are very impressive in the way they run their clubs…think how far ManU would be away if they had another £50-60 mill to spend?

  74. Doublegooner

    Barca fans want Cesc..

    I’m holidaying near Barcelona now & have asked 6 different Barca fans whether they like & want to keep Cesc.

    Everyone of them said yes. They all see him taking over from Xavi in the future.

  75. Nasri's Mouth


    Obviously ManC are losing a shed load of money every year at the moment, but if they do things right, and they have a bit of luck that wont last for ever.

    Lets say they bought the club for $500m and the club has an income of £100m and the club was basically breaking even

    If they can cement the team’s position as a CL team every season, a team that is challenging for the title every season, then they’ll increase their income dramatically. They’re already on their way. If they can continue to improve, (for example it wouldnt surprise me if they look to increase the capacity of the stadium soon) then they could have an income of £250m.
    Now at present they’re spending huge amounts because they’re basically playing catch-up. As I said they need to cement their position among the big boys, so another PL title in the next 2 seasons is a must IMO, but their squad wont need less investment next season, and less the following season. Likewise as wages increase in the next few seasons, ManC ‘s will come more into line with other clubs, because their initial reason for paying huge amounts (attracting top top players to a middling club) will have disappeared. Now they’ll be attracting top top players to a top top club, which will be easier. They’ll still be spending large sums on each player, but now it’ll only be 1 or 2 a season. And then in theory they’ll be neck and neck with ManU (or somewhere near it).

    If they can do that, with an income of £250m, they’ll be able to keep the club right at the top of the league by spending within their new (much increased) means

    Now the club wont be worth £500m, it’ll be worth lets say £1000m

    If they manage to do that by spending £500m, then they’ll have basically broken even. If the club ends up being £1500m then they’ll have made a profit.

    (I’ve no idea how accurate the figures are, I’m only using them as an example)

    I have no idea whether the plan was to make a profit, to break even or to lose a £100m or 2. They might consider it worth it for the entertainment value, who knows, but if they do things right, they wont be losing too much.

    As for the Spanish big 2, I suggest you check Swiss Ramble. Both clubs are doing pretty nicely

  76. Doublegooner

    Bob N7

    Do you agree with Stan’s way of running the club ?

    Do you believe he is looking to do the right thing for the club – or the right thing predominately with a view of selling on 2 or 3 years time ?

    BTW: See my post @ 19.13. I don’t propose a mad spending spree, & if FFP were to be adhered to ( I have my doubts over a 5 year period) then Usmanove couldnt go crazy, but I do believe his business nous would create a better commercial model & beter player investment within the constraits of the club’s income.

  77. Bob N7

    Doublegooner_ I’m not sure about Kroenke. I don’t fully trust him as his background/love is in American sports. However, it appears he’s a capable business man so it’s not in his interest for Arsenal to do anything but be a success on the pitch. Where I am nervous, (and have no real understanding of this likeliehood) is if his other franchises need money and Arsenal have spare, can he just ‘pass’ it over and suck Arsenal ‘dry’. I feel he probably has an exit plan in 5 years or so to cash in but again, who knows? I guess he could turn a chunky profit if he sold to Usmanov now.
    What I would love and this is complete dream land, is for Usmanov to come in…pay off our ‘mortgage'(assuming no punitive ‘early clause’), enjoy a realistic(not stupid spending) few years and then in a massive benevolent way ‘give’ the club to the supporters.

  78. Iffy da goon

    @lordBerkgamp…i’ve given it a lot of research (and thought) and quite frankly you’re right. Abrahamovic is loaning money to chelsea. While chelsea fc is debt free it’s parent company owes about £ 1b to Mr. abrahamovic so in the event that he parted ways with the club (i.e issues with the British gov leading to his deportation, bitterness from an unfair ruling etc) he could essentially force chelsea to repay those loans.

    We are owned by 2 very rich men both vying for control of Arsenal. This is untenable and will not continue forever. So in the near future one of those men will most likely buy the other one out. Once this happens Arsenal fc essentially belongs to him and he may do as he pleases. If he decides to heap debt, force other shareholders to sell, move the club abroad, it’s entirely up to him.

    Now going on the track records and statements made by Mr Kroenke and Usmanov, i’d say that the most likely to move the team, or trample on our values is mr Kroenke.
    Being a sports magnate, his first priority is to make money from his teams so he’ll be inclined to “Follow the money”. Usmanov on the other hand is not in sports for the money. He is at least 10 times richer than Kroenke and he won’t be swayed so easily, but he won’t be giving his hard earned money away either.

    According to his letter to the board, he plans to retain the ownership of Arsenal as a long term investment and source of pride for his family. A man with his business acumen and connections will put Arsenal on the right footing in terms of investments. He is a staunch business man, although he made his money through the same means as Abrahamovic by taking russian over state owned companies, he has expanded into fortune 500 companies like MegaFon, Digital Sky Technologies, and facebook.

    Everything this man touches turns to gold. If he takes control of Arsenal you can be sure that we’ll be the best team in the world.

    We can continue to kid ourselves that the gov will suddenly deport a man they’re making millions from, or that he’ll suddenly decide to embarrass himself with a public battle against a club he owns or we can face the truth that football has become a one man business and ask ourselves whether we’d rather have a man with a proven track record of success in charge, or a man who fans of his other sports clubs wish they had never heard of.

  79. zeus

    Cesc is still the best arsenal player since Henry.

    Have to say, this Isco doesn’t really do it for me. None of my youtube recon work convince that he is special. He apparently had a poor Olympics as well.

  80. sam

    another english reserve player scored 2 goals last night, sanchez watt.
    it doesn’t matter if he scores 3 hat trick in a row, he’s just waiting to be shipped out for 1 millions to another team.

  81. kwik fit

    ‘Arsenal prepared to give Andrei Arshavin a free transfer in hope of securing move to Dynamo Moscow ‘Telegraph

    Just as I thought Wenger is going to offload Arshavin without any cover.

  82. Samir

    Cristiano Ronaldo’s FULL STATEMENT:
    “That I am feeling sad and have expressed this sadness has created a huge stir. I am accused of wanting more money, but one day it will be shown that this is not the case. At this point, I just want to guarantee to the Real Madrid fans that my motivation, dedication, commitment and desire to win all competitions will not be affected. I have too much respect for myself and for Real Madrid to ever give less to the club than all I am capable of. Abrazos to all madridistas”

  83. sam


    if we play champions league 20 times and never won it once is a failure.
    not something to be proud of.
    why is mediocrity seen as success at arsenal?

  84. mystic

    kwik fitSeptember 4, 2012 20:13:36
    ‘Just as I thought Wenger is going to offload Arshavin without any cover.’

    Do I take it that you consider Arshavin a vital enough cog? Personally I believe he has spent his usefulness and like some other dross, is a drain on Arsenal’s wages.

    Let him and some others go to Russia on frees, freeing up some money that HOPEFULLY might get spent in the January sales.

  85. sam

    wengerism is really brainwashing system.

    how can anyone take pride that we play champions league every year.
    and wenger has not plan to win it whatsoever even younger guys like mourinho, di matteo, rijkaard and guardiola all won it.

  86. kwik fit


    If Arshavin would ‘pull the finger out’ he could still be a useful cog.
    especially when we are short of forwards.
    What gets me is that Wenger knew he was offloading him and failed to bring in cover. I shouldn’t be surprised though as he done exactly the same think in January. He likes living life on the edge when the dollars are being piled up.

  87. sam

    to win champions league you need to build a squad that will last all season to cover injuries and tiredness.
    wenger cannot handle a big squad, i don’t think he has the nerves to manage superstars moaning on the bench. like mancini and other managers do, he doesn’t like to be challenged. thats why he loves the likes of chamakh, djourou, squillaci who know they are sh!t anyway so he doesn’t matter if they get games or not.
    i don’t see us winning it under wenger

  88. sam

    kwik fit,

    please get over it,
    arshavin not only his performance harm the team, he’s also bad influence to arsenal youth. did you see how defensive ox was last game? surely he’s watching podolski.
    we don’t need arshavin, even as a cover. no we don’t!

  89. Leedsgunner


    I wholeheartedly agree with you re reinvestment into the club.

    Ideally we should have added 1 or 2 key signings per year to supplement the squad from 2004 when the Invincibles were rebuilt. If this was done we would been ok with a top squad. However because the team was starved of investment for 4/5 years we are now in a vicious cycle where we do need to go on a serious spending drive if we are to seriously challenge for the highest accolades.

    Will they do it, I fear not esp after PHW was in the media about how we can’t compete financially. How anyone can say that with a straight face with £200m in the bank I do not know.

    WENGER and the BOARD OUT!

  90. sam

    what i mean is, chamberlain defensive work has improved.
    and podolski is the reason why we don’t need that lazy merkaat who doesn’t track back.

  91. BacaryisGod


    You missed my point. What I admire is that Arsenal have executed their strategy to perfection. It’s required a little luck along the way (mainly involving choking Spuds) but it’s been entirely successful.

    I don’t like that it has come at the cost of no titles or trophies, but even if I don’t support the strategy 100% I’m an Arsenal fan and I’m in for the long haul.

  92. WengersSweeties

    Hill-Wood is such a CUNT.

    A season ticket for some of fans will represent over a months wages. And they are paying that year in year out and for what? there isn’t even a scheme whereby loyalty is rewarded (5th year renewal is half price, 10th year free for example). it is just season after season of price increases for a decrease in performance.

    And all while Wenger wields such power within the club he will always be seen as one of the board that have fleeced the fans for so long. Therefore, he gets it with both barrels rightly or wrongly.

    And the reality is that it is simply unjustifiable. especially when you consider probably 40% of those home games will be featured on Sky/ESPN. the more savvy would just stream every single game for a nominal fee. not the same as being there, obviously but a saving of £1300 a year is a huge difference to the common man. this is the danger Arsenal are presenting themselves with. THEY ARE FUCKING WITH US BIG TIME!!

    They have become a corporate machine more interested in catering for the white wine and caviar brigade than the pint and a pie type which made the club WHAT IT IS NOW!!!!!

    Eventually, gate numbers will fall through disillusionment and subsequently profits will fall. by that time the club will be a shadow of what it used to be when we were at Highbury.

    All that history swallowed up into a generic corporate pile of SHITE!!!


  93. mystic

    kwik fit
    Unfortunately there is nothing to sugest that Arshavin will ‘pull the finger out’ – shame as he clearly has the ability when he can be arsed.

    He brings so little to the team now, that I am not sure offloading him with out bringing in cover is all that much of an issue.

    It is hard to believe that the man who scored 4 goals at Anfield is the same as the lazy, poor attitude one, that now occasionally gets a run out.

  94. Bob N7

    With you BacaryisGod, we’re in it for the long haul. I agree that silverware is long over due and the aim has to be to win things but it is churlish not acknowledge that reaching the CL for 15 years straight is not a success. It’s not by chance that we’re seeded in the CL. Sure, we seem far from winning it but in our whole history, we have never won it. I was there in Paris where we were close but at least on Tuesday and Wednesday nights we’re in the competition-it’s a level of success that we almost are taking for granted. I’m no apologist for Wenger but if you can’t acknowledge that then I’m not sure how much understanding you have of football.


    “Defence is an absolute art and it needs to be taught with the respect it deserves.”

    Too true. Three clean sheets makes me very pleased indeed. I’ve always always said “football starts from the back. If you don’t concede, you cannot got far wrong”.

  96. Marko

    So what’s the feeling then will Usmanov mount a take over in the coming months? The letter, the attack on Kroanke and the direction of the club and the recent acquisition of shares must indicate he’s looking to buy.

  97. youdamn

    Someone explain Financial Fair play rules to me. When exactly will Arsenal start benefitting from these new rules? Are they in play now? When will city and chelsea be restricted from making such big money transfers?

  98. Nasri's Mouth


    He can look to buy as much as he likes, but unless Kroenke wants to sell (which I’d be amazed if he did for at least a couple of years) he’s got no chance


    HAPPY NOW?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  100. Iffy da goon

    @marko….i really hope so. What i’m really interested in is who sold those 40 shares to him. Whoever it was will give an idea of some goings on behind the scenes. It’s on the stock echange so it shouldn’t be this difficult to find

  101. Iffy da goon

    Nasri’s MouthSeptember 4, 2012

    You’re an idiot
    So can I

    Guess this is the part where i say something about the time i spent with your mum last week and then you say something about something that happened to someone and that sort of thing.

    Unfortunately i neither have the time nor desire for bickering. If you can’t respond to a debate in a civilized tone then save your vitriol for someone with similar rhetoric like gambon

  102. Willo


    Gambon is ‘Nob Mag’ spelt backwards. Rumour has it there loads of them under his bed.

    I’m sure the lad is Sp*rs. Why he is ever entertained on here lord knows.

  103. mystic

    youdamnSeptember 4, 2012 21:35:59
    ‘Someone explain Financial Fair play rules to me. When exactly will Arsenal start benefitting from these new rules? Are they in play now? When will city and chelsea be restricted from making such big money transfers?’

    Main points I found were:

    The finances of clubs will be monitored by UEFA to ensure that they don’t lose more than a specified amount. If clubs go over the threshold they will not be given a licence to play in the UEFA competitions (i.e the Champions League and Europa Cup). To even out one-off events the monitoring will eventually be done over a three year period (although the first Monitoring Period looks at the accounts over two years). The first Monitoring Period has started and will look at the finances of clubs in the 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons. Club accounts are always produced after the season ends so we are unlikely to know the first results of the 2011/12 season until Autumn 2012.

    UEFA are keen to ensure that owners do not artificially inject cash into the club as a way of circumventing the FFP rules. Consequently they are
    set up a dedicated panel to review transactions made with ‘connected parties’ to ensure the transactions are carried out at a ‘Fair Value’.
    ‘Connected parties’ include the club owners and any family of owners who can influence the club. The panel are able to assign a ‘Fair Value’ rate
    to a transaction for the purposes of FFP calculations. The ‘Fair Value’ may not necessarily be the same as the Market Value.

    1.Reprimand / Warning
    3.Deduction of Points
    4.Withholding of Revenue from UEFA competition
    5.Prohibition to register new players for UEFA competitions;
    6.A restriction on the number of players that a club may register for UEFA competitions
    7.Disqualification from a competition in progress
    8.Exclusion from future competitions

    For the full article:

  104. Iffy da goon

    good summary mystic although it doesn’t point out some facts like

    How the fees for a player are calculated based on current installment i.e fee for song this season is just 5m according to UEFA, not 15m as its over 3 years and how some expenditure undertaken by the club like spending on youth, infrastructure are not included in UEFA’s evaluations.

    In my opinion FFP is a farce. Already we’re seeing “cans of worms” being opened. It’s being reported that GAZPROM (the company that funded the recent hulk, witzel transfers to russia) is a big sponsor of the champs league. This is already creating a conflict of interest based on the rule that investment has to be at a market rate. UEFA doesn’t want to lose one of its biggest sponsors