Arsenal look and feel like an American franchise | Striker rumoured to want in | Wenger and his squad of crocks

by & filed under News Review.

Arsenal look like a franchise

Welcome to a wet and rainy London Monday!

I’ll start with something off topic today, then power onto Arsenal news.

I took in a Brookyln Nets basketball game last week. I was struck by the similarities in their set up when compared to ours. Now, they’re a relatively new franchise, I think this year is their first ever in Brooklyn. They 80% owned by a Russian billionaire, the rest is owned by various other people including this chap called Ratner who was the brains and charisma behind the project. They’ve also managed to land rap superstar Jay-Z who joined the project. He’s a Brooklyn rags to riches story and the new team have used him to great benefit, especially when cajouling the local community into backing the new stadium.

What was interesting about the Brooklyn project is the clear parallels you can draw when comparing their struggle with that of Arsenal’s. They built a brand new billion dollar stadium called the Barclay Center  The capacity is only 20,000. You can’t quite believe how spectacular an indoor centre can be until you go. Inside… well, my gosh. If you thought club level was fancy, this place takes things to a whole new level. All the corridors feel like club level. They have every brand under the sun around the ring of the stadium, they have a buffet section, they have boxes. They even have a super special corporate area called The Vault that costs $550,o00 dollars a  year! Quite amazing. Quite vulgar when you consider how poor some of the surrounding areas are. That said, they do supply 2,000 $15 tickets per match.

With regards to branding, they’re looking to turn the club into a lifestyle brand. I think America’s fascination with streetwear lends itself to that type of ambition. That’s where they use Jay-Z and his youth following to gain traction. He helped design the logo and the team strip. His Rocawear brand is on sale at the centre and he helped to further push the cool factor by opening the centre with 8 back to back gigs in September. It doesn’t stop their with Jay-Z, who seems to act like the director of football we don’t have. The rapper gets involved in player trades when he needs to, which is crazy. He’s also helped lure big artists to play the venue in down times. 200 gigs are already booked! How often is the Arsenal ground filled for a gig? His involvement for a mere 1 percent stake has sky rocketed to the franchise into the top 5 revenue generators in the league. An incredible achievement in such a short space of time.

They’ve also invested in affordable housing in the same way Arsenal have, they’ve created 20,000 jobs and they’ve built a whole new fanbase from very little. The main difference between them and us is players. Whilst we do whatever we can to scrape by not spending, the Nets have assembled a team that contains superstars and looks capable of competing this year. I don’t like the whole franchise model, but whatever I think, it matters little, Arsenal are the first club to copy the American model. Whilst we don’t have it totally right at the moment, it’s the future and I expect other clubs to follow suit.

… and yes, the atmosphere was about as inspiring as the one we have at The Emirates.

Onto Arsenal news…

So Jack Wilshere sat out the game at the weekend?

“He had a little bit of inflammation of scar tissue (in the ankle) but it’s nothing. It’s very minor.

“The rest (against Villa) will help him get rid of it. Apart from that, he has done very well.

“He has not played for 17 months. People forget what that mean. Seventeen months in a career is massive.

People do forget Arsene. You included. If Jack has been out for 17 months and he’s an injury risk, which lets be honest… we knew was the case, why was the back up plan to this Abou Diaby? Who is also an injury disaster.

Wenger spends the whole summer talking about returning players as the reason we can’t sign new ones, then when these guys come back, he talks about how we shouldn’t expect too much of them.

Arsene, these are our first team players. We’re dropping points because they’re not back to match fitness. We do every year. It’s a joke. Our success is dependent on far too many players who aren’t dependable. They say you don’t win trophies with kids, you could debate that one, you can’t debate the fact that you don’t win trophies with a squad decimated by injuries every year. It’s an all too familiar issue. It’s also further compounded by the injuries always assigning themselves to the first team players.

I’d take on the David Seaman quotes doing the rounds last night, but if he can’t be bothered to research the facts surrounding the club and their financial position, then why should I bother correcting his inaccurate statements? The irritating point about false statements from ex-pros is people believe he’ll have some sort of inside line on what’s going on. He doesn’t. He’s probably got less interest in the club than you or I and he certainly doesn’t have an interest in commercials.

On the transfer front. Stuart Downing was mentioned to me. Are you f*cking kidding? 

In other, more tasteful news, word has it that contract rebel Huntelaar of Schalke is interested in making the move to Arsenal this January. He’d be a very sound signing considering the lack of depth we have up top. He suffers from a lack of pace, but that’s offset by the fact his movement on and off that ball is outrageous, plus his finishing is sharp. He has that fox in box mentality we’ve craved for a while. He’s also plied his trade all around Europe. If we snapped him up with a young pacy striker in reserve we’d have quite the forward line. At the moment, we’re an injury away from a very dry spell in front of goal.

Above is a headline you never want to read when your club has aspirations of being the best. Everton should never be a six pointer, it’s a real shame that it is at the moment. They’re playing really well this season, they have some top players and a wage bill they consistently out perform. If David Moyes was French, there’s no doubt in my mind he’d be considered for grander jobs. When people talk about how well we do from so little spend, they always forget wage spend. Spurs finished a point behind us last year but spent £50m a year less than we did. If we had the same wage bill as Spurs, we’d have a pretty healthy cash surplus. For me, Spurs had a better squad than us last year. The fact they bombed out is not the point, they won the 4th place trophy but were ousted by a flukey Chelsea. Our wage bill should be lower, or it should represent better value.

Right, I’m still getting into the swing of things, I’ll be back with more tomorrow!

344 Responses to “Arsenal look and feel like an American franchise | Striker rumoured to want in | Wenger and his squad of crocks”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. kwik fit


    Your have been very observant. It does appear that Mr Wenger has alienated himself from the players. The body language between Bould and him does not look the best either.

  2. zeus

    ‘Bad guy’ Mourinho goes on the rampage

    According to the Portuguese boss, his side lacked composure: “We didn’t start well, although we were a little better than in the rest of the match”.

    “I try to be fair and objective and I don’t reach for excuses when my team loses. It’s obvious that if you play on Wednesday, you shouldn’t play on Saturday. It’s obvious that other teams have more control over the fixtures than we do, but we are talking about top professionals and they showed a lack of mental strength, ambition and spirit of sacrifice”.

    “When I see Stepanek, at the age of 34, playing three Davis Cup final matches and dying to win for his country, I think that players who are 23 or 24 should be able to play two games in four days. Since it’s always me doing the talking and I’m the only one who speaks out, then I’m made out to be bad guy”.

  3. Stan Donkey


    I’ve tried to respond, it’s all a bit sad isn’t it?

    Come on Wenger, get a grip, man up, go and buy the players you really want in your team and manage the hell out of it!!

    Nothing would make us happier than for you to prove us all wrong and win.

  4. Inter YourGran

    Sorry, take a minute out.

    I had to post this. It’s from the Online Gooner in response to their ”Wenger should be wary of war with the media” article today…. Basically a Wenger out post that funnily enough has the following “disclaimer”

    “Lastly, for any supporters posting a reply to this article in support of Arsène Wenger, could you please tell us a) How much you personally spend following The Arsenal and b) Why you are happy to spend that money, when we are being treated with open contempt?” (Very neuvo Le Grove that. Pedro your blog’s spawned something decrepit lol)

    It was good bait for some decent rampant keyboard warriorism’

    Anyway, Gerry;

    ”Arsenal fan for over 40 years. I won’t tell you how much I’ve spent as it’s probably more than you’ve even earned yet in your entire life and it’s irrelevant. I’m not sick of Wenger, I don’t want him out I’d much rather see this new generation of ‘quick fix’ FIFA playing fans who are jealous of Chelsea and City to leave and go follow one of those quick fix teams. You all call for the managers head, you think that’s a good idea at this stage of the season? There is no one better for us at the moment and instead of supporting our team you spend your money criticizing them. You don’t even sing when you sit in the Emirates, you sit there and record every corner on your phone, tweet to your friends and boo our team, shout abuse at Wenger. You’re not supporters you’re spoiled brats with a false sense of entitlement. I spent the first 20 years of my support with very little trophies, just a couple of FA cups but we loved our team, we loved going to see them play, they didn’t always play well but they knew they could count on our support as a twelfth man. Fans these days sicken me, they forget everything that makes our club great and it’s more important that they have bragging rights with their mates. Think how much you spend is important? Think you should get value for your money? Well if that’s how you feel, if the club that I love and always will is just a financial transaction to you then go ahead and get value for money at a team like Utd. You fans love to moan about how much the manager and players earn and how they’re spoilt, well look in the mirror. I remember the days when we sang even louder when were losing to encourage our team to drive forward, now you just boo every mistake Ramsey makes, suck the confidence right out of him, you abuse Jack Wilshere on twitter, you call Djourou useless to his face, yeah I met him in a shop in London and three people who walked past shouted abuse at him. And finally when Piers Morgan tweets a link to your post, you know you’re a man with little integrity and no respect for your club. I will wait until the end of the season to reserve my judgement on Wenger, we have 4 trophies to go for and you supposed fans would rather turn us into a club in crisis, pick on our manager for being in a bad mood. Well done, you can pat yourself on the back at the end of the season if we do miserably just like you wanted, because guess what? A club whose own fans won’t support the players or manager haven’t got a hope.”

    Offff … Made me feel a bit of a c*nt 😆 But on the other side of the coin…

    (Credit Mr Luke Hearn)

    ”Another thing coming from that. Every team in the league – nay, every team in history – has aspired. Had an ambition that exceeds what has gone before. QPR and Reading aspire to survive, as do 5 or 6 other teams. For them, this is called “consolidation” (QPR) or “survival” (Reading/Southampton etc.). West Brom have gone beyond this. Whilst I doubt they genuinely aspire to play in the CL, they aspire to finish higher than last year and maybe snatch a Europa League place. Because they have “consolidated” – their real aim this season is more than just that even though all managers will say that this is their first aim. They might not get there right away but that’s the target – the eventual goal even if not likely this year. Chelsea aspire to build on their CL success with another League trophy after not winning one for a couple of years, and failing that to win another domestic cup, which has so often led to league wins soon after. Manchester City aspire to win back-to-back titles and start to build a dynasty in the same way that United and Chelsea (to a lesser extent) managed. Liverpool aspire to get back in the CL – and the fact that they’ve made such a poor start means that Rodgers’ job is under threat even though it’s generally accepted that he is rebuilding and should be given more time. There are some clubs failing to meet their aspirations, hence jobs are at risk – see Hughes at QPR, Di Matteo at Chelsea (ridiculous, but if he hadn’t won the CL last year then totally justified based on Chelsea’s performance in the CL and mediocre league start), even the pressure on Adkins at Southampton and Rodgers at Liverpool. Arsenal? No aspiration. Stay where you are. Maintain your position. Cups GENUINELY “don’t matter” – because qualification for the Champions’ League is “a trophy”. We will never get better while we have no real aspirations. I can’t believe it’s been allowed to get this far without someone saying this. “WHY ARE WE NOT TRYING TO BETTER OURSELVES? WHY ARE WE CONTENT WITH DOING THE SAME THING YEAR ON YEAR WHEN EVERY OTHER CLUB IS AT LEAST TRYING TO IMPROVE?!” The reason Arsene should go is not because he is not reaching a target – which, for arguments’ sake, is to win a cup and finish 2nd or 3rd in the league with a genuine title challenge maintained until May. It’s the fact that he doesnt seem to HAVE that aspiration that is the reason he should go. If Rodgers had interviewed for the Liverpool job and told them that he thought he could probably finish 8th or 9th again – HE WOULD NOT HAVE GOT THE JOB. If Benitez thought that the title and/or a cup was impossible, they would have said “no thanks”. Only at Arsenal is standing still and not trying to achieve more ACCEPTED. It hurts.”

    Quality posting.. Where stand you?

  5. Royal Bludger

    Wenger – completely weak lost soul and without a friend in the world.

    Go now and maintain your dignity (what’s left of it).

  6. Trickeygooner

    Inter Your Gran 20.58,03
    Sort of understood Gerry because he so obviously loves The Arsenal,
    But Luke’s hit the nail on the head for me.
    Oh yeah if Iwas as unsuccessful at my job as IG is at his then I’d be fucking homeless. Cunt.

  7. Stan Donkey

    right on cue, Paddy Barclay comes to AW’s defence

    “I have my views about Arsenal and they are tendered with respect for a great football man. One is that his policies have ensured that the club will remain stable and potent in the era of Financial Fair Play. Another is that the £40million Wenger is understood to have for the January window should be spent on, at most, two players.

    There are enough bodies about the place — what Arsenal need is more of the class that used to ooze from Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Vieira and company. Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla have it. One more top notcher would make a difference.

    But don’t imagine that this argument — or any — would come as news to Wenger. He knows what he’s doing.”

  8. Zacharse

    First off, you missed the huge puff piece on Kroenke in Sports Illustrated, THE American sports mag:

    The only comparison to be made between the emirates and barclays center is the astronomical cost of construction, hence branding, russian billionaires, and tacked on real estate. To compare the atmosphere of a regular season game to a game at the emirates is pretty cynical and btw the nets don’t have a chance in hell of coming close to winning this year. Also, next time you go to NY go see a yankees game, that is the appropriate comparison, the cost of tix skyrocket due to cprporate interests like goldman etc buyimg up seats to hand out as favors to midwestern/foreigm biz partners when they visit the big city for their ipo’s.

    That being said Kroenke knows jackfuckingshit about football and in no way will challenge wenger or gazidis or the entitled alcoholic dinosaur PHW which is what any half smart owner would do. Meanwhile with an owner like Kroenke there’s no financial threat to the vlub yet they persist with FFP bullshit. The SI piece is proof enough that the AFC situation is taking a toll on Kroenke in some form, possibly the m.o. Of trying to interest americans to fly over and fill the empty corp boxes. Not gonna happen.
    Also Pedro, if yr interested in a positive example of American ownership, which there is much more of than in EPL, look up Mark Cuban’s Mavericks or the new purchase of the Dodgers led by a contingent headed by Magic Johnson.
    Let’s not be too cynical, Wenger’s days are numbered, if by his mental instability alone.

  9. gambon

    Its not rocket science Arsene:


    A lot of money? Certainly, but we made £98m from selling Song, RVP, Nasri & Cesc, not to mention £26m from property.

    TV money also goes up by £30-35m next season, so its not like we cant cover it.

    Also, if we signed these guys does anyone actually think we would need to buy anyone for the next 2 years? Apart from the odd squad player.

  10. Zacharse

    I wish someone would explain why the club is so fixated on money. It’s an inflated market right, well, it’s not fucking real estate. Mata is going to score and assist the same whether he costs 25 or 30 mil. Living in a house is different than winning a football game. FUUUUUUUCCCKKKKKK.

  11. Keyser

    Joppa – Mate, get your head out of your arse, it’s an opposing view, do the Press like to manipulate things ? Yes, are they doing it in this case ? That’s up to you.

  12. Keyser

    Fellaini isn’t really the answer, unless the question is what 3 players can we bring in to our midfield ? He’d be one of them.

    Maybe if Mourinho fucks Real Madrid up even more, we could bid for Marcello. Not sure how old he is, and obviously Coentrao would be better, but he’s a good energetic left-back who seems to score a few.

  13. Keyser

    Gerry and Luke’s post shouldn’t really be and/or situation, neither look for the middle ground, something we discussed earlier, football’s changed soo much in the last decade let alone the last 40 years.

  14. ethan_gunner

    wow , we suck !~

    i knew it would come to this .. fighting to stay on the fringe of the top 4…
    poor management….. , can only be described as a FAIL !
    fuck me .. been doing this too long !

    we lost our grip on the top of the table ..
    and i knew it was always coming !

    every player who becomes wengers major star, just start to show fruit for 1 season
    then leave ! – GONE !

    selling club ..
    money 1st
    winning 2nd …

    ok winning like 4th 🙂

  15. Cesc Appeal


    I read that one.

    She does say ‘maybe the fans did chant that, maybe they didn’t’

    That’s where she lost me because…if masochism is your thing go back and watch the match….the fans definitely chant you don’t know what you’re doing.

    And the reporter saying about ‘the fans deserve some respect.’

    Absolutley…Wenger has been afforded too much of it for too long.

    No one can doubt his commitment, but he has too much power, believes his own hype and that of the board and he’s lost his spark. He doesn’t have the passion to win games anymore. He simply doesn’t care.

    He can throw water bottles all he wants, if he really cared about winning he’d have done something in the transfer market and not made another £11 Million profit selling Song and Van Persie among others.

  16. Cesc Appeal

    Does anyone else feel as if as soon as the ink is dry on Wilshere’s new contract he’ll get another injury a la Diaby?

    Got a horrible feeling…can totally see him as a future Arsenal captain just worry about this ‘inflamed scar tissue’ thing…

    …and the board selling him of course so soon as Chelsea/City/Madrid/United come in with a £25-30 Million offer.

  17. Dan Ahern

    Great point about the net spend figures bandied about never including wages.

    Funny how they gets glossed over or ignored over and over. Because honestly, it’s a serious issue. It’s wasteful. We are not smart money managers when you add everything up.

  18. Dan Ahern

    CA – It really feels like a certainty, doesn’t it? I’m actually not bothered about JW’s extension at all though. (Well, unless they overpay him, which I can easily see happening. But it’s a minor issue.) The guy’s obviously talented and hardly ever has a poor game. He’s the type you actually want to tie up early.

    Dunno about making him captain though. I’d like to see multiple years of work put in before that happens. We’ve used the armband as a bribe so many times that we should know by now that tactic doesn’t work.

  19. Bade


    Vidal won’t leave Juve to join us

    He won’t leave a bigger club that competes for titles, to join a club than aspires 4th rophy

    Nor Cavani. Indeed Arsenal bigger than Napoli, but probably he will be moving to $ity/Chavs, we won’t pay his price, though he worth every penny of it

  20. SUGA3

    Jack’s current contract runs until June 2016, anyone care to explain why are we entering contract talks with him right now rather than see whether he can stay fit throughout the season and sit at the table then, with 3 years still left to go?

    I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love the little fella and he is one of the bright sparks commitment and fight wise, but come the fuck on…

  21. Bade


    Oh mate, so so simple

    We are entering negotiations with the whole squad in a heartbeat I believe, as we’re going to generate so much money next season, so the nutty manager wants to spend it all in undeserved pay raises so he could claim we have no money to spend on new players

  22. mrz

    The REAL problem lies in our ambition. Ask Wenger what his ambition is. I am sure he can’t boldly say ‘TO WIN THE TITLE’- straight and simple .
    He might go like this —


    —-What does it tell u??????? He would rather settle for qualifying for champions league. If that’s what he wants to achieve, I think there is no point in arguing who should we bring on January.

  23. gambon


    Wenger clearly is still terrified of buying top players, so hes gonna piss all our money away on new contracts as he has been for years.

    Expect Chamakh, Bendtner, Chamberlain, Gibbs, Diaby & Rosicky to get £100k pw contracts in the next few weeks.

  24. Johnty79

    This club is a fucking joke. Wilsheres contract should be left until the end of the season. If turns down what’s offered get rid. Giving him a new 75 k contact is utter volley. Has gazida actually got any financial qualifications or business no how? Please answer. We r a car crash of a club. Wenger out!

  25. Johnty79

    Just realised from checking the accounts, in the last 6 seasons we have spent 267m more on wages than spurs. This is despite them having a better squad than us for all of these seasons. When wenger turned up at arsenal our wage bill was less than spurs and yet we still finished above them. Wenger in 2002 we had the second highest wage bill. Urgo generally wenger has been a failure at arsenal.

  26. Moray

    Wilshire’s played what, three games in a year and a half and we are falling over ourselves to offer him a new contract, yet we let Edu, Flamini, Nasri, VP10, Walcott all run theirs down. Wenger and Gazidis have something seriously wrong with their heads. I thought the penny had finally dropped with the overpayment issue after Djourou, Rosicky, Almunia etc, but no. Keep the mediocrity levels high by overpaying and buying loyalty from crocks and players with no ambition.

    If Willshire wants out, Wenger will flog him for a song, just to earn another lifelong friend and mentee.

    Somebody who is not an idiot really needs to come in and run a fine3 toothcomb through our salary sheets. At best we are wholly incompetent, at worst there is something corrupt going on. Cunts!