Sven Bender for £15m, shouldn’t we be looking? | Why David Villa concerns me | Swansea is today…

by & filed under News Review.

Ahhh, well some of you may have been expecting a match report this morning. Most of you probably knew the Arsenal game wasn’t until today. So if you want to read my match preview, check yesterday’s post. It was most enjoyable, even if a touch early!

So, instead, today, I’ll just hammer into some transfer stories and we’ll see how far that take us.

First up, finally, Wenger has delivered to news we’ve been telling you for ages. He’s the man responsible for the wage structure… you know, the one that pays the poor players too much and the great players not enough.

“We don’t have a big gap ­between what our players earn at Arsenal,”

“We are more a socialist model and vulnerable because of that.

“We have something that is ­defendable in front of every single player. We make ­exceptions, but the ­exceptions are maybe not as high as elsewhere.

“We have an amount of money that is dedicated to wages. Within that we try to do things that make sense and are defendable.”

“I’ve believed all my life to pay well people who work for us. If you can afford to do it, you do it. But we have no players on £200,000 a week.”

So there you have it. The problems we’re having at the moment with certain players is down to one man and a CEO who refuses to challenge a fatally flawed philosophy. We don’t have any players on £200k a week, yet we have the same sized wage bill that City had a season ago. So it’s not like we can’t afford it. Wenger is supposedly umming and ahhhring over whether or not to sanction Theo Walcott on £85k a week, y et he’s more than happy to sit on £140k a week himself!

Our wage structure doesn’t stand up to basic sporting ideals. Sport, in essence, is a meritocracy. You earn what you’re worth. Sometimes, you earn what you could potentially earn, but mostly, it’s down to what you can do. If the club you’re with can’t pay you that, you tend to go to one that can. Arsene Wenger has taken the merit out of giving out deals. For me, that’s buying love… which again, everyone knows you can’t do. It works with poor players, because they’re never going to get better elsewhere, it works with very young players because it means they don’t have to work for the big dollars… but as soon as the money drys up, the players whose talent exceed their salaries look elsewhere.

Arsene, just because you can afford to do something, doesn’t mean you can defend it and it doesn’t mean you should do it. The very fact you haven’t defended it in your comments says it all. The output of the wage structure shows it’s not defendable… our best players leave, our worst ones won’t leave. Could it be any clearer?

‘If you can afford to do it, you do it.’

The above snippet is exactly why there is no wiggle room in our wage bill. If we paid our players what they were worth, we’d probably have £50million more a year in profit which would mean we wouldn’t have to sell to buy and it would mean we could bring in some hefty talent.

Anyway, back on the transfer round. So, David Villa was heavily linked yesterday. Upon further reading, it would appear Barcelona don’t want to let him go this summer. There’s a chance of a loan move and apparently Wenger has called him personally. He’ll apparently go for £16million. Now, there is so much smoke here, there must be a fire somewhere. For me, I’m not a fan of the deal. So many people have said ‘oh, you want world class players, now you’re moaning’, well, for me, that’s a pretty dim way of looking at some valid concerns.

A few reasons I’m not a fan of this…

1) He’s two years older than Robin Van Persie was. Unlike Robin, he doesn’t have 56 games of fitness behind him. He’s coming back from a very bad injury on the wrong side of the thirty. Our most expensive buy every should not have these risks attached. It was ok when it was Overmars because he was 24…

2) He’s world class, don’t get me wrong, but he’s played his whole career in La Liga. If he was 28, I’d be game on. However, at 31, it’s a massive ask to come over the toughest league in the world and hit the ground running. Sure, Didier Drogba was banging them in late in his career, but he was build like a WWE wrestler. What happened to Shevchenko at 29?

3) The whole Theo Walcott deal hinges on him playing central striker. Now we’re bringing in an old player to step into that role for £16million? How often has Wenger ever killed the career of a love child?

4) Sticking him out on the left makes little sense as well. He’s just invested £90k a week in Podolski. When has #WengerLogic ever seen him give up on a player after 6 months?

5) He purchased the 26 year old Giroud who has 11 goals and 9 assists for a half season. I’m struggling to see how he’d make a marquee signing which would effectively relegate him to 3rd choice striker… because you’re not rotating a £120k a week player are you?

Now, if we sign him and he bangs in loads of goals, I wouldn’t be surprised. I’m not saying he can’t be effective, or he’s a bad player. However, for me, I’d prefer to see us invest in a player the right side of the 30 so we’re not scrabbling around next January because we’ve got a massive injury pile up on our hands. If we wanted value for money, for the life of me, I still can’t work out why we ignored Demba Ba who banged in two goals for his new club yesterday. He’s 4 years younger, has proved his fitness and he’s Premier League ready… for half the price.

Anyway, we’ll see. David Villa looks like we’re buying a name. He’ll get goals for sure, and I’m not saying his signing wouldn’t mark an exciting turn of events… I just question the value of making our most expensive signing ever a 31 year old who Barca are looking to shift on? Why would they sell him? What’s the underlying reason here? Wouldn’t it have made more sense to keep our 29 year old Dutchman on board for another season?

The fact everyone seems to be ignoring is that it’s not actually the strikers that are the problem. It’s that we don’t seem to be able to get the ball to them. Theo has some of the best conversion stats in the league, yet he hardly had a sniff the other day. For me, it’s that box to box midfielder we lack. David Villa is going to be no use if he doesn’t see the ball for ninety minutes. We need to be looking at someone who can take people on in midfield… a player who can intercepts and turn with pace… someone who can boss the midfield like Patrick Vieira used to. It’s a shame Mark Van Bommel isn’t 7 years younger… he’d do very nicely!

United are apparently looking to sign Dortmund’s Sven Bender. A player we’ve seen a few times line up against us. The German defensive minded midfielder is 23 years old and he’s a born winner. Just the sort of player we could do with at Arsenal. Why are we not linked with him? At £15million he’s well within our reach. In fact, why is there no smoke around centre midfielders or any player outside of an attacking one? It’s all very odd and very disappointing. Wenger doesn’t see what the fans see… or the pundits, or the ex-players… and that costs us year after year.

Anyway, enjoy the game today, see you tomorrow with the match report.

P.S. Looks like JD didn’t take a pay cut as he left on loan… defend that Arsene!

809 Responses to “Sven Bender for £15m, shouldn’t we be looking? | Why David Villa concerns me | Swansea is today…”

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  1. Gunner2301

    Danny

    Some Choice comments

    “This Wenger being sacked and resigning malarkey would be all well and good if there were a manager out there who is better and willing to join Arsenal. If Wenger goes we will realise that no other manager could have finished third last season with that squad.”

    Who assembled this squad? They seem to think it wasn’t him like it was forced on him 😆

    Another one

    “Wenger is a great manager, but something needs to change. Same shit every game..”

    Is this not a contradiction? So he’s absolving Wenger of responsibility for what he has failed to change hence the same shit every game but doesn’t seem to be able to put 2 + 2 together to understand that Wenger is the problem.

  2. Arsenal 1886-2006

    If only our players showed as much passion as Gunner2301 and Keyser, we would be sat top of the league and Bayern would be shitting their pants.
    Entertaining reading tonight, I love LeGrove.
    Night all.

  3. Gunner2301

    Keyser

    I don’t need to admit that Wenger doesn’t control everything, I know he doesn’t and if that’s what you understand from what I’ve said why would you start this by saying that’s what I said when I didn’t.

    I’ve clarified my position and all I was waiting on from the first counter post I made was for you to bring the direct quote and you haven’t, because you can’t. There’s no shame in that you made a mistake, we’re all human.

  4. Dannyboy

    haha Gunner, saw these and was going to post them on here, but you beat me to it. Literally the last time I click on their newsnow link when it comes up, just too many plebs on there that would happily accept a good old shafting from Wenger, rather than b a successful football team again. Weird shits.

  5. Arsene's Nurse

    The only person above Wenger I want to read about in tomorrow’s front page headline stating :

    “He died choking on a 12 inch cock”

    is Keyser.

  6. Dannyboy

    Mystic, wouldn’t surprise me if Barca didn’t owe us a penny, and it was just some bullshit that Arsenal leaked, to make us think we had debtors that would help us make a profit. Still can’t believe Wenger earlier began a sentence with ‘if we still want to make a profit we must..’ profit is nothing to do with you, you fucking cunt, your job is to put the club in as good a position ON THE PITCH as you can.

  7. Cesc Appeal

    So Holtby could end up joining Spurs for £1.6 Million THIS month….

    If they get themselves Moutinho as well they really look terrifying…and we can forget competing with them as far as I’m concerned.

    Their squad decimates ours as it is.

    My family are all Yids and they say to be honest they wouldn’t take any of our players…perhaps Cazorla and Wilshere…more so Cazorla because they lack him at the moment. The creative spark.

    I got a feeling they’ll make a cheeky bid for Baines as well…can you imagine!

    Lloris
    Walker, Kaboul, Vertonghen, Baines
    Moutinho, Sandro, Dembele
    Lennon, Adebayor, Bale

    That batters us into oblivion.

    We maybe win RB, maybe…but Sgana is pony at the moment…then again so is Walker.

    Their middle is more balanced, each players brings their own speciality to the middle.

    There upfront is 100x better than ours. Considering they have Defoe to come off the bench as well as Dempsey and then Holtby to provide more creation as well.

    They’ve quietly gathered pace while Arsene had his head up his own arse, along with Ivan’s and Stan’s.

    We’ve lost this one gooners….get use to seeing them lot up the road finish above us.

  8. Keyser

    Gunner2301 –

    “I don’t need to admit that Wenger doesn’t control everything, I know he doesn’t and if that’s what you understand from what I’ve said why would you start this by saying that’s what I said when I didn’t.”

    LoL this is you clarifying things.

    It took 2 weeks, but finally you’ve admitted it. Stop going on like he does now.

  9. Phil

    Gunner,
    When Keyser goes into battle with someone, I have some sympathy for them.
    I must say if I was going Tuna or Marlin fishing, I would want Keyser on my boat.

  10. Dannyboy

    Edinson Cavani has 25 goals in 25 games so far this season, including a hat-trick today,,, sorry Gambon, he is far too good for an unambitious club like us.

  11. Dannyboy

    Cesc Appeal, with Moutinho joining that first XI, and Defoe coming in for Adebayor, that is a title challenging side, we need big improvement in the Jan window for sure.

  12. Cesc Appeal

    Dannyboy

    Agreed.

    Never will happen.

    Tottenham can see that we’re not interested anymore. That no one has any fight in them at the club, no ambition.

    They are all sycophantic yes men, counting beans and hoping Stan and Arsene will pat them on the heads and say well done.

    I wish Stan would jack it in for a quick buck and sell up to Usmanov…we don’t even need his money – just his ruthless, I must win streak.

    Tell Arsene you’re spending or you’re gone. Wave Pep/Jose/Jurgen/Guus under his nose to put the shits up him.

    Sadly, that is the only way we’ll see wholesale change at our club…and it’s going to be a fight to get there…a fight we’ll have to watch. Powerless.

    It’s a fight I’m 100% convinced Usmanov will win, at he end of the day his money, his power and his ambition will win, he’s done ti time and again with multi-BILLION pound conglomerates…

  13. Gunner2301

    Phil

    Thing is Keyser lost 2 weeks ago and again tonight and he will next week but he just doesn’t accept or realise it. A bit like Wenger going senile I think.

  14. mystic

    Cesc Appeal scum look good on paper, but how many of the players you listed were playing when they got battered 5:2?

    Wenger is a cunt, Arsenal are no where near title winners, but the other teams are being over hyped as a way of releasing our frustrations.

    Wenger is fucking good at what he is there to achieve – pure and simple a top 4 spot. People underestimate him and that is why they cannot get to grips with why SS likes him so much.

    SS is happy with 4th on a meager budget and Wenger delivers every year. Wise up people what Wenger is aiming for is within his grasp, real success isn’t.

  15. Dannyboy

    Cesc Appeal, wish I had your optimism mate, but Usmanov has said many times that he thinks Wenger is amazing, and the best Manager in the world etc.

    It’s so fucking infuriating seeing Spurs not only signing world class players, but keeping their top players like Bale, then you get Wenger coming out saying ‘Champions League football is absolutely crucial if you want to keep your best players..’ ermmm no Arsene, because Everton,Liverpool and Spurs keep there best players, even though they are not Champions League teams, where as we always get into the Champions League, but sell our best players, year after year.

  16. Gunner2301

    Keyser

    That’s not me admitting it. You think you’re clever because now you’re trying to catch me out on this post and get me to say that Wenger controls everything because those comments don’t exist on the other post.

    More diversionary tactics. Like I said in the beginning. You stated that’s what I’d said. I challenged you to find it and post it here. You come back with everything BUT the quote and try to muddy the waters. It’s a simple request.

    For the record I don’t think Wenger controls everything and I never said that.

    STILL WAITING …… TARAP…….TARAP…….TARAP

  17. Dannyboy

    Gunner2301, perhaps you are right, who knows? but what if, like me, Keyser has no idea how to find exact comments from posts that were put up weeks/months/years ago? He’s not exactly gunna trawl through every single post is he?

  18. Phil

    DannyBoy,
    I wouldn’t be taken in by Usmanov’s public statements of support for Wenger.
    Whilst the polls still show Wenger being the preferred manager amongst Arsenal fans, why would he want to antagonize them.
    I would expect Wenger would decide its time to “retire, “and leave with a fanfare and the grateful thanks of Usmanov if there is a change of ownership.

  19. Keyser

    Gunner2301 – Do you even remember what we were talking about ?!

    So Wenger didn’t control everything on the Cole transfer ? Dein and the board had control to. Thank You.

  20. Dannyboy

    Phil, interesting viewpoint that mate, I suppose you could say the same about Gazidis, he doesn’t want to put pressure on Wenger, as he sees him as the fans preferred choice, but perhaps behind the scenes he is making strides to see him replaced? I used to be anti-Gazidis, but after researching him he seems to be quite a capable employeee of AFC

  21. Aussie Gooner Dave

    It’s all over for us Gooners until there’s a massive change at the club. As much as I respect Arsene for what he’s done over the years, it is really important he moves on so we can look to a fresh start. I feel we have been stale for 3 years at least & it really bothers me how much control he has over the club. Thanks Arsene & close the door on your way out……..

  22. Dannyboy

    Gambon, that would be too good for him, I’d expect him to be found dismembered in 4 different countries, after Usmanov showed his true colours, and tried his shady tactics to cover up his crimes.

  23. Keyser

    Dannyboy – Seriously, I’m just a bit of an annoying cunt, if you haven’t already realised/ had the pleasure, I’ve been here too long and when people talk shit, I call them on it, they get upset because they don’t like their opinion questioned.

  24. Gunner2301

    Danny

    Usmanov has to tow the party line for now. Of course he’s going to say that Wenger is amazing and that he is the right manager for Arsenal, he doesn’t want to alienate the AKBs. Once he has taken control he’ll sweep Wenger aside. Wenger on the phone to Usmanov.

    Arsene: Mr Usmanov congratulations on your takeover

    Usmanov: You not there when I arrive

    Arsene: What do you mean? You said you rated me and I was the right man

    Usmanov: Only a ploy Arsene business is business. 4th is not a trophy Arsene how did you get away with this?

    Arsene: It was a sound bite that got out of hand and I had to keep it going

    Usmanov: Very bad for team moral and very bad for business

    Arsene: But I can change give me a chance

    Usmanov: On the other phone line – “Pep how quickly can you get here?”

    Arsene: Please

    Usmanov: Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep – Phone goes dead.

  25. Gunner2301

    Keyser

    When people talk shit you call them on it? LMFAO 😆

    So you’re what now?

    You’re one of the biggest bullshitters on here. It wouldn’t even be bad if you could back up your arguments but you throw things out there like you’re the authority then when things get rammed back down your throat you get all excited or should I say confused.

    Question for you if you call people out that talk shit how many times have you called yourself out? You must be constantly having a word with yourself? Symptoms of a mad man, sounds a bit Wengerish to me. I don’t know though I;m no expert on these kinds of conditions,.

  26. Dannyboy

    heh Gambon you topical bastard, of course I immediately search blackfriars bridge, and discover some cunt was murdered by the Mafia there…

    HAHA Gunner2301, business is indeed business, you have to be ruthless to be successful, I’d love to see something like that, I remember Chelsea fans going mental when the Tinkerman was sacked to bring Mourinho in,, bet they aren’t too disappointed now.

    Lol Keyser, I normally appreciate your efforts, but you defending Ramsey earlier was shameful, he should have got 2nd yellow for diving there and we all know it!

  27. Gunner2301

    Keyser

    Are you for real?

    So Usmanov the man who wants to win in everything he does is going to buy into Arsenes 4th place trophy? You’re having a laugh right?

    Successful people surround themselves with other successful people. I’m sure you’ve heard that. That would put Usmanov with SAF or Maureen but not with Wenger unless there is some ulterior motive i.e. not upsetting a portion of the fans, but at some point when it’s convenient he will get rid of him.

  28. Gunner2301

    Danny

    I kinda liked the Tinkerman he had a bit of a hard time for a period but you could see the method in what he was trying to do. Wenger is a statue oblivious to what’s going on in the game tactically compared to him.

  29. Dannyboy

    I’d love to see Usmanov come in and bring Diego Simeone in, as he would almost certainly be able to bring in Falcao with him.. not a bad signing!

    Anyway, night fellas, early flight tomorrow, back to shitty little England, after 3 weeks in sunny Lanzarote, not looking forward to that!

  30. Gunner2301

    Cesc

    It’s a shame but that’s the way things are going and as long as there are people supporting Wengers madness the longer this will go on. If the Spuds don’t overtake us this season they will next if Wenger is still here.

  31. Keyser

    Gunner2301 – See there you go again, you infer what you want to, I’m not some sort of masked avenger, as much as you’d like to imagine me in my soiled underpants, You get annoyed when You talk shit and I call you on it. Sane people think before they make a choice.

    I’m not especially smart, I’m not intellegent, and you can write me off as a human being.. But.. and here it is.. I support Arsenal, I like football.

    When you say Wenger control’s wages, transfers and so on, and then try to make out he controls everything. That clearly goes against the general perception people had, not just me, of David Dein and his involvement with the club.If you’d like to argue against that, then fine we’ll do that.

    You were and are talking shit. 2 weeks on you’re still doing it.

    In this instance it I honestly don’t think it was a judgement that was hard to make, I’m no authority, looking back on it, it could be percieved as arrogant, but then why the fuck are you soo upset about being questioned in the first place when you’re posting on a public blog ?!

    There’s the crux of it really.

  32. Keyser

    Dannyboy – Honestly, there was one angle where Ramsey’s foot grased the inside of the Swansea defenders shin/thigh and it put him off his stride, if I find the video I’ll post it, not sure ITV’s highlights showed it at all.

  33. Keyser

    Gunner2301 – Simple really, you’d have to question why Usmanov’s buying into a club with soo little success then.

  34. Gunner2301

    Keyser

    ” Sane people think before they make a choice.”

    So you should have thought twice before making out I was a liar.

    “I’m not especially smart, I’m not intellegent, and you can write me off as a human being.. But.. and here it is.. I support Arsenal, I like football.”

    I see you’re dipping into sympathy here. You’re giving off a defeatist vibe like you know it’s almost over.

    “When you say Wenger control’s wages, transfers and so on, and then try to make out he controls everything.”

    There you go again. Every time you post this claim (which I didn’t say and you provided no proof that I did) all you are shouting out to the world is “IM THE BIGGEST LIAR ON LE-GROVE”

    “In this instance it I honestly don’t think it was a judgement that was hard to make, I’m no authority, looking back on it, it could be percieved as arrogant, but then why the fuck are you soo upset about being questioned in the first place when you’re posting on a public blog ?!”

    Now you go back to sympathy. Am I talking to two different people? And No. I’m not upset. Are you serious? Why would I be?

  35. Gunner2301

    Keyser

    “Gunner2301 – Simple really, you’d have to question why Usmanov’s buying into a club with soo little success then.”

    I think you need some sleep. You’re obviously not thinking straight. So you think that the sole reason Usmanov is interested in Arsenal is because of Wenger?

    Tell me you didn’t say what you said above?

    Arsenal has probably the most untapped potential of any club I can think of and considering Wenger has been running us into the ground he is making us more appealing.

    Wow. Get some sleep Keyser.

  36. Keyser

    Gunner2301 – It’s all in your head, seriously it’s like I should hire a public relations officer or something, everyone comes on with preconceptions.

    Sympathy ? Nah just the truth, maybe if you were a little less concerned with ‘Winning’ we’d get somewhere a lot quicker.

    How did I make out you were a liar ? How much of the Cole transfer did Wenger control ? Who was in charge ?!

    2 weeks on and we’re going around in circles ? I think Dein and the Board Negotiated and determined Coles wages and demands.

    So they were in control. You think what ?!

  37. Phil

    Keyser, any good business man would be interested in buying something with some upside. And Arsenal have plenty of that.
    Also he claims to be passionate about the club, which puts him at odds with Kroenke.

  38. Keyser

    “So you think that the sole reason Usmanov is interested in Arsenal is because of Wenger?”

    “Arsenal has probably the most untapped potential of any club I can think of and considering Wenger has been running us into the ground he is making us more appealing.”

    Fuck me, you’re just a bit of a mong, I shouldn’t have bothered at all, so I must be a mong aswell, do I call you a liar, ask where I said that ? Was that an attempt at irony.

    You talk of business, Wenger’s running the club at a profit ? You talk of him surrounding himself with success, we’ve had none for 7 years.

    You’re saying Wenger’s running the club into the ground, but this makes it more appealing ? Then at the same time saying the clubs got probably the most untapped potential around.

    You need sleep mate, or you’re just an idiot.

    GoodNight mate.

  39. Keyser

    Phil – Why wouldn’t he want Wenger ? He’s already bought 29 odd per cent so obviously he sees the upside.

    People are soo consumed with irrational hate that they’ll say and think anything, Usmanov’s full of ploy’s supposedly, then maybe in the ultimate irony when and if he takes over, he’ll bemoan FFP and say he can’t invest because the clubs run soo well.

  40. Gunner2301

    Keyser

    To clarify – I think Wenger basically determines the figures and tells the board, Dein, Gazidis what he thinks a player should be paid.

    They (Dein, Gazidis) then negotiate up to that point. If they can save some money all well and good.

    I believe Wenger will indicate whether he is prepared to let someone go because their demands are above his valuation or that a special dispensation should be made, such as Henry and Fabregas and the wage structure should be broken.

    In these cases the board might get involved in that decision, because Wenger would obviously be going beyond his allowance I.e money available in the TPA.

    That’s what I believe.

    Is there anything there you want to catch me out on?

    On your other point

    “You’re saying Wenger’s running the club into the ground, but this makes it more appealing ? Then at the same time saying the clubs got probably the most untapped potential around.”

    There is untapped potential in the Club which could bring us much closer to United in terms of revenue, there’s no debate about that.

    Wenger running the club into the ground is only a problem if another investor doesn’t come in and we continue a downward spiral.

    If Wenger continues asset stripping (selling our valuable players) and continues not to win anything, he makes the club more attractive for a speculator like Usmanov and makes it more difficult for Kroenke to resist an approach from Usmanov.

  41. Gunner2301

    Maybe Wenger is doing all this in order to get Usmanov in? That would be s twist. That’s the only way this makes sense, he’s trying to sabotage us so Usmanov can get in. Stranger things have happened.

  42. Keyser

    “In these cases the board might get involved in that decision, because Wenger would obviously be going beyond his allowance I.e money available in the TPA.”

    There you go, mate that’s all I wanted, the ultimate control resides or did reside with the board. Now if you want to go over anything else feel free.

    I don’t necessarily agree with that just that you should really check what you posted a fortnight ago to allay any ambiguity.

    “There is untapped potential in the Club which could bring us much closer to United in terms of revenue, there’s no debate about that.”

    Yup, the commercial deals we tied up to fund the new stadium, again check what you’ve written in the past.

    The last two paragraphs are pretty pointless, don’t really agree with either, we turn a profit, we’ve built the new stadium and we’re a year or two away from significant money coming in from renewing commercial deals.

    Debates should be a whole lot more simpler between us from now on.

  43. Keyser

    “That’s the only way this makes sense, he’s trying to sabotage us so Usmanov can get in”

    The board oversee the running of the club, they’ve built a new stadium, kept us in the top 4 and turned a profit through a recession. I think Usmanov knows what he’s bought into is pretty happy with what’s gone on, and obviously would have liked to have more control, but can’t really complain.

  44. Gunner2301

    Usmanov is playing his cards right. You’ll see the change once he takes control. Like I said somewhere else he will be all cordial congratulate them on their model even though he’s openly criticised it. Wenger will be given respect for what he has done and shipped off with a golden handshake as Usmanov will want a winner running the Club not a manager focused on making profit. That’s what Gazidis should be doing. He may well be shipped out too but he’s safer than Wenger in terms of performance.