Arsenal commercial deals put us on Bayern’s level by 2015

by & filed under News Review.

Arsenal from the boardroom

Morning to the world, not much happened with Arsenal in the news over the last 24hrs, so I don’t have an awful lot to go on.

I did head up to meet with Ivan Gazidis, Charles Allen and Dan to talk about some changes that are coming and have a broader off the record chat. I’m getting some flack for it online, which I find a touch over the top, but totally understandable. A few things to note, firstly, I’ve been totally open about where I’ve been. Secondly, first hand information if deciphered correctly, is better than taking it third hand. Thirdly, I spend everyday moaning about the way the club is run… or at least aspects. Why wouldn’t I take the time out to voice many of the shared opinions we have as a community?

You can’t win with blogging… one day you’re getting slammed for not using your blog to organise protests to grab the attention of the board… then you’re getting slammed for taking up an invitation to speak to the CEO.

Anyway, I have nothing to gain by melting into the background of opinion… but everything to lose. That said, I’m not able to used quotes as the talk was off the record, just follow the narrative over the next few weeks.

Alisher Usmanov has gone on the attack again, branding Stan Kroenke unambitious, stating the team ‘lack superstars’. Well, this much is true. We don’t boast big names like we used to. The team has players like Jack and Cazorla, but I’m not sure you move into superstar status until you help your club make a superstar impact. We have a lot of good players. We need to infuse that squad with 3-4 world class players before we can make an impact on major trophies.

What the end game looks like for either billionaire is still a mystery. Does Stan care much for football? No. Does he ‘get’ the culture? No. Is he waiting for Arsenal up lay all their commercial ducks in a row before selling up? Maybe. If you’re looking to sell a company, as far as I know, the more long term revenue streams you can guarantee, the more value you can pass onto the eventual buyer. Don’t ask me what the formula for that is…

From what I’ve been told, you can comfortably put our commercial revenue as of 2015 at £100m. That more than doubles where we are now, putting us at Bayern Munich levels of overall revenue (£300m). By the sounds of it, Bayern Munich is where we want to be as a footballing and business entity.

It was quite interesting hearing about some of the deals we’ve struck. The Emirates shirt deal sits at £30m for the shirt, which is higher than what Madrid, through the same brand have just been given. Then the stadium rights sit at £15m. The deal struck on the stadium revolves around a reduction of Emirates signage over the duration of the contract, which opens the club up to more secondary partners.

The shirt deal, which still hasn’t been signed… is apparently going to be major. The only club likely to have a better deal is United. But lets be honest, the lack of success we’ve had on the pitch… that was always going to be the way.

So the jist of the Usmanov story is there might be light at the end of the tunnel. Stan might sell up… alternatively  he’s waiting for the league to pull rank, start behaving… then we’ll have the second highest revenues which should at least sustain a competitive football team. I think the Stan and Ivan dream is very unlikely to happen. But at least with commercial revenues at market level, we’ll be able to compete for players on price and salary.

So in short, who knows why the future holds for the ownership model.

In other news Arsenal have rejigged their membership schemes. This part of the post is sponsored by a chicken wrap. Basically, the club have had the reverse realisation of The Times.

‘Hey guys, we make a s*it tonne of cash, why do we need to pay wall our digital content?’

‘Yah, totes not understanding that vibe. Lets break our content free and let it pull in many more members globally’

So that’s what the club have done. Now, for the cost of a few details, anyone in the world can watch Johann Djourrou apologise for a poor performance on Arsenal player for free. They’ve been working with IBM over the last 18months to upgrade the CRM system.

A couple of things they’re doing is allowing you to pick and mix what you get from your membership. So, if you just want silver membership without the pack, you can now opt out. At a saving of £45. There’s also some crazy algorithm that tracks what you look at on the site so it can tailor content to you.

Arsenal have also had a think about the average age of a Premier League attendant… which I think is about 43. Clearly, there’s a two fold issue here. Live streaming for teenagers is the easy option. Going to a game is no longer a standard behaviour. Why? Problem two, it’s expensive. So Arsenal have taken a German like approach to lure the next generation in by creating a 800 capacity block next to Junior Gunners section for Young Gunners. Basically a place for teens to escape and make some noise with their mates. This means category B and C games will cost just a tenner. Forget cat A games cost £456, the point is, teens can afford to go with their mates and get used to the total banter that goes with football with your mates.

All very interesting and all far more consumer focused…

The stuff that is far more interesting comes out next week, but embargoed on it. Needless to say, there’s been a big step forward with ticketing and the data that sits behind it.

Right, that’s me done for today. Tune in for more tomorrow.

P.S. There was also something around spreading the cost of joining the season ticket waiting list over three years… I thought this sounded great, until I realised the cost was £15. Apparenlty though, they’re reducing it to £12. Free digital membership goes live from August this year.

 

510 Responses to “Arsenal commercial deals put us on Bayern’s level by 2015”

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  1. slade

    Mr. Keyser:
    “Because it gives you some sort of perspective, an idea of how competitive we can really afford to be.”

    Are you saying there is a correlation between being competitive and the amount of money available?

  2. TheBayingMob

    So this nonce here …

    http://legendaire.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/wenger-has-his-summer-transfers-done/

    Says, and I quoteth …

    “2. We have now finally moved onto new vastly improved commercial deals during this season which certainly give us a proper transfer pot… and don’t talk to me about 100M in the bank until you have a degree in Accounting like I do and analyse balance sheets in order to make investment decisions as I do for a day job. I will just eat you up and spit you out”

    I bet he spits, he’s not even a proper rent boy … it’s astounding to see there’s still people out there who think the tortured artist Arsene hasn’t been allowed to play ball, but will now get it all back on track. He’s 60-odd years old for gods sake, why people can’t see he’s lost his way entirely and muddled himself up into a massive wagebill that gives nothing back is utterly beyond me.

  3. gambon

    “and don’t talk to me about 100M in the bank until you have a degree in Accounting like I do and analyse balance sheets in order to make investment decisions as I do for a day job. I will just eat you up and spit you out”

    I read this pathetic article yesterday.

    guarantee this twat works in KFC

  4. TitsMcgee

    For Arsenal supporters, 2012-13 is panning out rather similarly to 2011-12 — an underwhelming first half of the season followed by a late rally to secure a Champions League qualification spot.

    — Defending toward the top four

    It often feels like Arsenal fans are repeatedly experiencing Groundhog Day. Their last seven league finishes have been fourth, fourth, third, fourth, third, fourth, third — and this looks set to be another fourth. No Premier League team enjoys, or endures, such consistent seasons — but the truth is that Arsenal have three completely separate types of campaigns; they simply end up in roughly the same position.

    Arsene Wenger’s side has finished third or fourth every season since 2005-06, yet only twice — 2006-07 and 2008-09 — have they experienced uneventful campaigns when the minor Champions League places always appeared likely. If Arsenal’s long-term status is firmly as a ‘second tier’ club — unable to challenge for the league title but comfortably clear of the chasing pack for fourth — it’s actually rare for an individual season to sum it up.

    In reality, despite never finishing in the Premier League’s top two since their last trophy — the 2005 FA Cup — Arsenal have challenged for the title three times. Their problem, in stark contrast to recent campaigns, was their tendency to fall away in the final three months.

    In 2007-08, Arsenal were five points clear in mid-February. Amazingly, they’d only lost one match all season — a surprise defeat away at Middlesbrough — and then traveled to Birmingham for a seemingly simple away fixture.

    Then, disaster struck: Eduardo’s leg was broken by a terrible Martin Taylor challenge, Gael Clichy made an inexplicable error to concede a needless late penalty and William Gallas’ leadership abilities came into question with his bizarre late strop. Arsenal collapsed — winning only one of their next seven matches (and that was a 3-2 win at Bolton thanks to a last-minute own goal), and by the time they lost 2-1 at Old Trafford in April, Manchester United had moved nine points clear.

    In 2009-10, Arsenal found themselves two points behind Manchester United, and one point behind Chelsea, with seven games remaining. Crucially, they had the easiest run in — the other two title challengers had to play each other at Old Trafford, while Arsenal faced a succession of bottom-half clubs, and star forward Robin van Persie was set to return after the majority of the campaign out injured.

    But Arsenal recorded just two victories from their final seven matches, dropping points against Wigan, Blackburn and Birmingham. They finished 11 points behind champions Chelsea.

    Then there was 2010-11 and a familiar pattern. It’s mid-February, and Arsenal are one point behind Manchester United at the top of the league. Sir Alex Ferguson’s men have a game in hand — but they still have to travel to the Emirates.

    Arsenal won that meeting 1-0, with a goal from Aaron Ramsey. But Arsenal only recorded one other victory in their final 11 matches, and this time they finished 12 points back, in fourth position.

    That’s three league challenges. But as we know, Arsenal have often staged sudden late rallies to secure Champions League football when other sides (most frequently, archrivals Tottenham) have threatened to finish ahead of them.

    In 2005-06, Arsenal relied upon Tottenham’s lasagne-inspired defeat at West Ham to re-qualify for a tournament they narrowly failed to win that season. Last year, Spurs collapsed while Arsenal won nine in 10 throughout February and March. This season, Arsenal have spent the majority of the campaign chasing Spurs but are favourites to finish ahead of them — Arsenal lost at White Hart Lane in March, but that’s been their only defeat in the last 13.

    Three times, Arsenal have been good over the opening two-thirds of the campaign, then collapsed in the final three months. Another three times, it’s been the opposite. Why can’t Arsenal put together a good start and a good finish?

    On a similar note, it’s worth considering the apparently long-standing problems against other big sides. This season, Arsenal’s record against the sides battling for the top four places (Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham and Everton) has been disastrous — seven points from 10 matches. The only victory was achieved at home to a Spurs side forced to play for 73 minutes following the dismissal of Emmanuel Adebayor.

    Again, this is similar to last season, when Arsenal also had an underwhelming record against the top sides. But it’s actually not a consistent pattern over the last eight seasons. In 2006-07, Arsenal took eight points from their four matches against Manchester United and Chelsea, the runaway top two. They were unable to challenge them because of their habit of dropping unnecessary points at bottom-half clubs — they lost to Bolton, Fulham, Sheffield United and West Ham.

    In 2008-09, Arsenal beat both Manchester United and Chelsea 2-1 at home in November and drew both matches against second-placed Liverpool. But they’d already lost to Fulham, Stoke and Hull, so their title charge never got going. Why can’t Arsenal play well against the big sides, and confidently defeat everyone else?

    Sunday’s draw against Manchester United was another example of Arsenal fixing one thing, then suffered when it came to their previous strong suit. All season they had started poorly at home, with various senior players attempting to find an explanation. Thomas Vermaelen said they tried to assess the opposition’s strategy before the starting to play their own game, while Mikel Arteta believed they gave the opposition too much respect.

    However, Arsenal dominated second halves — they’d played brilliantly after the break at the Emirates against Newcastle, Liverpool and West Ham in particular.

    And then, when they finally started well, against Manchester United — going ahead after two minutes and dominating the first 15 with intense pressure all over the pitch, they ended up tamely fading from the game, and were slightly fortunate not to lose.

    Identifying Arsenal’s specific problem is a frustrating experience — they solve one issue, then simultaneously create another. It’s easy to paint Arsenal’s problems as being consistent over a number of seasons, but that’s not necessarily a fair reflection of their Emirates era.

    Some suggest Wenger has underachieved in not winning the title for nine reasons, others marvel at his record of qualifying for the Champions League every season throughout that period. Realistically, the two views are both entirely reasonable — Arsenal should have won the league at least once in the three seasons they put up a serious challenge, and they’ve done well to finish in the top four on another three occasions.

    In terms of their performance over the course of the season, and their performance against big sides compared to smaller sides, Arsenal’s problem is that they don’t have a consistent problem. It’s easier to make steps to fix a long-standing issue than it is to predict what their weakness will be in 2013-14.

  5. Mayank

    Gambon

    You keep going on about how United, Chelsea and City are going to strengthen and become so much better and we need to invest even more to compete. What about diminishing returns? I thought you were into finance.

    United are at the absolute top of their game right now. 95 points is the highest anyone’s ever got and I really doubt that that record will be broken soon.

    As a matter of fact anywhere between 85 and 90 points will probably get the title next year.

    If Arsenal spend 50m and improve by 15 points we should get about 85.

    Do you really think Utd, City and Chelsea are all going to get above 85 points just because they’ve invested more than it?

    We should be looking to improve our team. Looking to beat Chelsea and City for the sake of it isn’t going to achieve anything.

  6. Pedro

    Gambon, you should see his twitter profile… reckons he’s a stockbroker… which I’m pretty sure doesn’t require a degree… and he has Don Draper as his profile pic.

    What a cunt.

  7. Keyser

    Slade – Just that ‘funds’ is ambiguous, a value would give you a better perspective.

    30 million for example may buy you Benzema, Higuain, Jovetic, Cavani, 10 Michu’s.

    ‘funds’ tells you almost nothing.

  8. goonerbone

    Kioshy-san, totally agree! 😀
    I must say I love this forum- fans of the same team ready to slit each other’s throats! S(a)tan, you better play it right now (leave) our you will have a lot of blood on your hands!

  9. BacaryisGod

    There’s a 95% chance our season will come down to needing a win away to Newcastle. Even that might not be enough.

    Let’s play it out.

    Chelsea: 65 points (Up a point with a game in hand). Put it this way. Even if they lose to Man United they are still a point up on us. They are on good form and even with a tough remaining fixture list should get 3 points against Spurs, Villa and Everton. A Man U loss isn’t a given either. The likely range is between 8-10 points putting them at 73-75 points for the season.

    Spurs: 62 points (down 2 points with a game in hand): If Bale continues his form, they will push past Southampton, Stoke and Sunderland. Worst-case for them is they draw one of those, but might also get a point at Chelsea. Range for the remaining games is 7-10 points putting them at 69-72 points

    Arsenal have 3 games remaining and are on 64 points. 3 wins and we’re outside what we can reasonably expect Tottenham’s range to be but we would still probably be behind Chelsea. Most likely scenario is 2 wins and a draw or a win and two draws. Our range is then 5-7 points putting us on 69-71 points.

    Chelsea: 73-75 points
    Tottenham: 69-72 points
    Arsenal: 69-71 points

    Essentially, Chelsea would have to slip up badly to fall out of 3rd place and we’re a very slight underdog for 4th. No matter what, if we go into the last game of the season needing a guaranteed win against Newcastle and they need a win to guarantee survival, this could get ugly particularly with Spurs at home.

  10. gambon

    Ha

    A stockbroker is a glorified telesales rep, a guy that looks at a price then puts a vig on top.

    I have them cunts from ICAP on the phone every day.

  11. Dan Ahern

    Opening up Arsenal Player is a great move. The site announcement was still a little ambiguous over whether all the content would now be free, but, giving people content in exchange for data is a nice move for both parties. It includes fans and gives Mr. Fox something bigger to sell.

  12. gambon

    Mayank

    The point is, if UTD keep the same team they likely will not score as many points as the whole PL will catch up with them

    Why? Because of the influx of TV money the whole lower end of the PL (6th to 20th) will become better.

    You are right, the best idea is to build a team that can score 90 points then you are virtually guaranteed the PL.

    The fact is you cant win the league without one of the following:

    – The PLs best attack
    – The PLs best defence
    – The PLs best attack & defence

    Now when making your shortlists ask yourself if thats gonna be the case, if it isnt we aint gonna win anything. Either make changes that give us the best attack/defence in the entire PL or dont bother.

    Always makes me laugh when people say “our first XI can match anyone, we just need squad players” cos that hasnt been the case since 2006.

  13. goonerbone

    Gambon
    a stockbroker is a glorified thief, don’t bad mouth people who are just trying to make a living 😉

  14. Mayank

    “”I think people are starting to realise now that I am coming back, looking sharp again – and there is no better feeling than winning people over, proving you are capable of doing a good job and you are a good player.

    “I am confident in myself and think I can push on to the next level now.”
    -Ramsey

    I’ve defended Ramsey quite a bit on here but that quote really pisses me off for some reason.

  15. follow the money

    Thanks for the link Tits. It was clear to anyone with half a brain after the 2007-8 collapse that what we needed was a Giggs or Scholes type veteran in order to show the kids how to get over the line. A veteran leader like that wouldn’t have cost much. We could have gotten someone like Van Bommel–he may have cost a bit, but it would have been worth it for a couple years–and I would laid down money we would have won something. 2006-2012 Arsenal had the skill, talent and verve to beat anyone, but not the leadership on the pitch. The 2009-10 collapse was what finally broke me. I realized Wenger was not going to address the problem, we wouldn’t win anything, and our best players would want out

  16. goonerbone

    Mayank, give Rambo a break. The guy needs to totally indulge in the self-confidence he is rebuilding.

  17. Keyser

    Mayank – Why ? It’s just a standard quote, sounds a bit like Walcott, but he’s had to overcome a fair amount more.

    “We should be looking to improve our team. Looking to beat Chelsea and City for the sake of it isn’t going to achieve anything.”

    If we looked at anyone, it’d be United since they’ve been the most efficient, even though they’ve been pretty scatty with it.

    All we need to do now is improve our team, we have no real style or gameplan, so we need to find players that compliment who we have to establish our own identity, if this was 2-4 years ago you could look to other teams and find ways to outdo them.

  18. Mayank

    Gambon

    My point is whichever way you look at it huge investment won’t guarantee anything.

    Like you said, City, Chelsea and Utd will strengthen in the summer. Do you think it’s possible for all three to have 85+ points? Now suppose we match or exceed their investment, there’ll be 4 clubs over 85 points?

    That’ll never happen. Most likely there’ll be two clubs fighting it out for 1 and 2 and 2 fighting out for 3 and 4.

    That mean at least two club’s investment would’ve gone completely to waste. Who’s to say one of those clubs isn’t us?

    Now we’ve blown a transfer kitty accrued over 4 years of selling our best stars. Where does that leave us then?

    That’s why I think it’s stupid to have targets like
    -Outspend City
    -Get the best attack in the league(how do you even go about trying to do that?)

    None of those guarantees a title.

    Now I know we have to speculate in the transfer market to even hope to achieve anything but you’re looking at thing from the wrong perspective.

    We need to spend on players that will give us a balanced team capable of beating 19 other teams in the league. After that it’s just hoping for the best.

  19. Mayank

    Goonerbone, Keyser

    Like I said I’m not exactly sure why it pissed me off just that it did.

    Keyser

    “All we need to do now is improve our team, we have no real style or gameplan, so we need to find players that compliment who we have to establish our own identity, if this was 2-4 years ago you could look to other teams and find ways to outdo them.”

    Which is basically what I’ve tried to say in my post above addressed to Gambon.

    Spending the most money, “getting the best attack in the league” etc are not guarantees nor is there any set way to do that. I mean If City add Cavani and Chelsea add Falcao we could add Lewandowski and still not have the best attack.

    We need to address the lack of balance in our own team and hope for the best.

  20. Mayank

    Also as for next season here are a few things that may go wrong for the clubs above us. And I’m willing to bet at least one of these things happens

    -Mancini quits/gets sacked mid-season
    -One of Rooney and RvP gets fussy about not starting as CF
    -Mourinho sticks one or more of Hazard, Mata or Oscar on the bench and instead plays a behemoth in the middle of the park. Roman gets pissed off.
    -Rio and Vidic start less than 10 games together

    Of course there’s an equally large list of things that can go wrong with us but I just wanted to illustrate the fragile nature of football.

  21. Kiyoshi Ito

    あなたはTwitter上でブロックされていることを、驚いています。
    あなたが実際に合計ジャーク、悪夢です。
    誰があなたをブロックしていないだろう!
    ここでポスターのうち、エネルギー&生命を吸う。
    あなたは一日中、すべてのポスターのコメントの欠陥を見つけるすべての夜を過ごす。

    常に、それらを矛盾、常に障害&常に最終決定権を有する見つける。

    ご意見のように、全能の方のことです。

    あなたが助けを必要とし、非常に悲しいと孤独な男、です。

    あなたは解読がこの投稿することができている場合は、私はちょうどそれを終了している知っているだろうと、
    “性器のNM-最高裁カント”

  22. Max85

    This new Prem TV deal that everyone is saying is so lucrative, do we know exactly how much extra clubs will be getting from it?

  23. Nasri's Mouth

    @Arsenal1886-2006

    I know bugger all about Spanish law, but the judge’s decision seems completely mad.

  24. Mayank

    Johhny5,

    Yeah he’s right. But either all clubs follow this policy or none. Germany has created an environment where this is possible. England has not. That’s what Uli is saying anyway.

  25. Arsenal 1886-2006

    NM.

    I believe it could be to do with the fact that there was no law against the practice in Spain at the time, it could well be seen therefore as an abuse of their Human Rights as what they were doing was not strictly illegal in Spanish law.
    The Americans covered up most of their doping regime using this clause during the 70’s through to the present time, it is usually only when an athlete uses a substance banned by law that proceedings actually take place.

  26. Kushagra

    Nasri’s Mouth
    May 1, 2013 18:22:56
    @Arsenal1886-2006I know bugger all about Spanish law, but the judge’s decision seems completely mad.
    ————————————-
    No judges are rarely mad it’s more to do with Spanish privacy laws..

  27. Kushagra

    Keyser May 1, 2013 17:00:31
    “Some define themselves almost more as Mourinhista than Madridista”Lol
    ——————————-
    You can find quite a few here as well . MKBs

  28. vicky

    All the great footballing minds here pls enlighten me – does playing home or away make any technical difference in football ???

    In Cricket,it surely does.

    But don’t u think in football it is more of a psychological thing than a technical thing??

  29. Nasri's Mouth

    @Arsenal1886-2006 / Kushagra

    Will Spanish law might have allowed such tactics, it’s the rest of the world I’d be concerned by, and these athletes would be competing throughout the world.

  30. gambon

    Mayank

    Your whole attitude screams fear of getting it wrong.

    Much like Wenger you would rather not even bother trying.

    So what if we get it wrong, ITS NOT FUCKING ARSENES MONEY!!!!

    If Arsene cant properly spend £100m then sack the cunt as i can guarantee you there are others that can.

  31. Mayank

    “So what if we get it wrong, ITS NOT FUCKING ARSENES MONEY!!!!”

    Yeah it Arsenal’s money.

    “If Arsene cant properly spend £100m then sack the cunt as i can guarantee you there are others that can.”

    Sure there are others that can but they won’t since we’d have already spent it.

    You missed the entire point of my post. I said we need to invest to get a good team not to beat Utd and City in the spending league. You’re focussing on entirely the wrong thing.

  32. Nasri's Mouth

    @Vicky

    There are some technical benefits to playing at home

    a) you’re playing on a size of pitch you’re used to.
    b) the grass will be cut and watered to a level appropriate to your style of play. (IE at home, it’s like a snooker table, but when we’re away at Stoke, they probably let it grow up to jungle levels)
    c) the ballboys should be quick or slow with return of the ball as appropriate)

    a) and c) probably make little difference to be fair

  33. tom

    Very interesting blog today. Given you’ve charactized Gazides as defensive, I’m curious if he was open and responsive to your points? Did you feel you got a fair chance to represent your views? If you did, I’d say it reflects well on the club.
    I’m also curious about the format of the meeting and who else attended.
    Making Arsenal Player free is great. So are cheap seats for youth. Both encourage our fan base.
    I can’t feel good about Usmanov. His statements have that Roman-esque quality and I worry that he would interfere too much. Stan might be too hands off but the opposite is worse in my opinion.

  34. Mayank

    Marko a message in Japanese is about as annoying as an ad, You can easily ignore it.

    Agree on the page long posts.

    It’s says ‘POST COMMENT’ not ‘CONTACT PUBLISHER’ at the bottom of the box.

  35. gambon

    Mayank

    You completely missed the point

    If Arsene isnt spending through fear of making mistakes in the transfer market then we have to sack the cunt immediately. It would be akin to a lawyer not taking cases as hes not confident he knows anything about law.

  36. vicky

    NM

    So basically it is the same unless you go to San Siro and find that both the flanks are totally shaved off. (No grass).

  37. Nasri's Mouth

    @Vicky

    Well, I have no idea how you’d quantify the difference, but if we we’re playing Stoke in a weeks time, and our groundstaff had access to the pitch in that time, you can bet they’d be doing different things to it compared to the Stoke groundstaff.

  38. Mayank

    “If Arsene isnt spending through fear of making mistakes in the transfer market then we have to sack the cunt immediately.”

    I’m talking about what we need to do in the future. I mentioned many times that this includes spending money on players we need to make a balanced team.

    Your suggestions have been that we try and outspend everyone, we try and get something as arbitrary as ‘the best attack’ etc.

    We need to spend money and get a good team. That’s it. We don’t need to outspend the others for the sake of it. We can’t stand to buy a Torres or Berbatov only for them to flop(both players that were bought simply because they were available.)

    Your musings on who we need to buy and why have been correct for the most part. Concentrate on that rather than setting useless targets.

  39. tom

    I reckon it’s a little unfair to compare AFC and Bayern too closely. Bayern are by far the biggest club in Germany and enjoy all the advantages that come with that ( including first dibs on who ever they fancy from teams beneath them).

  40. gambon

    Mayank

    When was the last time a team won the PL without having either the best attack, best defence, or both?

    When was the last time we scored 90 points?

    If we dont do the above, we wont win a thing.

    Signing Wengers usual £12m “bargains” like Podolski, Giroud, Gervinho will only guarantee another season struggling to make top 4.

  41. vicky

    Mayank

    Sorry but got to say you are unnecessarily dragging your point.

    Your point is as clear or vague in your last post as it was in your first post.

  42. tom

    Buying superstars is well and good but, above all, a team needs collective spirit and identity. You can’t buy that. It only comes from common experience and training along with the right blend of temperaments.
    Arsenal needs to find a little continuity if they are to achieve, after the disruptions of the last few seasons.
    I have hope the young engish core will find togetherness.

  43. gambon

    “Buying superstars is well and good but, above all, a team needs collective spirit and identity.”

    Absolute bollocks.

  44. Kushagra

    Söngenfreude (v):

    1. Taking delight in the demise of Alex Song.

    2. Laughing at a benchwarmer.

    3. Watching Alex Song get ruined by Munich.

  45. tom

    QPR show how not to buy a team. I bet thier fans would have prefered to stick with the lads that won them promotion in hindsight.

  46. Mayank

    “When was the last time a team won the PL without having either the best attack, best defence, or both?”

    Well, how many goals you score or concede are decided at the end of the season, not in the summer.

    Man Utd added RvP and will have scored fewer goals than last season. City’s attack stayed the same but will score almost 30 fewer goals than last season.

    You can buy attackers but that doesn’t guarantee you having the best attack.
    Ditto for defence.

    A well settled team with good balance and the few exploitable weakness will probably do very well. Which is what we should aim to do. The result of that has too many variables for us to account for.

  47. vicky

    Tom

    If your version of spirit and identity is anything to go by, then a Ramsey will be more effective than say a Cavani for Arsenal at the moment.

    Quality is the primary ingredient to achieve success. Team spirit can be imbibed in to most players unless he is Balotelli.

  48. Nasri's Mouth

    From the sound of things Newcastle are a team that is missing collective spirit and identity

  49. Kushagra

    Dortmund worked because they can tap into German talent pool, for Arsenal England is barren, France not the same . Too many sloggers in this team, the need for superstars is paramount for that we need to spend big .

  50. Jeff

    Barcelona are clutching at straws here. They’ve left out Messi and are playing Song. How about that?

  51. vicky

    Song is playing because Busquests is injured.

    Messi was injured even in the first leg. Barca got it wrong. They should have rested Messi in the first leg and then let him play full throttle in the 2nd leg.

  52. tom

    I reckon the success of the german national team has done a lot to inspire the current crop of excellent players.

    Arsenal have a relatively small pool of youth to exploit due to 90 min rule and the competition of other London clubs.

  53. zeus

    I reckon the success of the german national team has done a lot to inspire the current crop of excellent players.

    ***********

    Wrong way round.

  54. Radio Raheem

    This is awesome how do these players manage to beat the first man with a cross? Watching Arsenal I had become to believe this impossible.

  55. Thomas

    Players that needs to be sold in the summer:

    Giroud
    Gervinho
    Santos
    Chamakh
    Park
    Bendtner
    Djourou
    Squillaci
    Frimpong
    Denilson
    Sagna
    Mannone
    Miyaichi
    Arshavin
    Diaby

    Fuck me our squad is average

    Oh I almost forgot get the most important thing: Get a proper manager!

  56. zeus

    NM

    No way England can reduce the amount of foreign players. Since the PL’s inception, the foreign players hold up the league, quality wise.

  57. Nasri's Mouth

    @Zeus

    I wonder whether the massive monetary success of the PL means that they don’t really want to try though.

    (I wasn’t suggesting that we should by the way, just thought that Tom might find it interesting given his post about german football)

  58. zeus

    NM

    I know you weren’t suggesting it, just making a point. Really doesn’t matter how much moneyy the PL makes, the FA should make it a point to produce talent the way that Germany has.

    To be fair to them, they have changed the policy at the grace roots.

    I wonder if I could find a Tim Vickery article about the talent pool in South America. Brazil , argentina, Uruaguay…………..the quality in the youth teams seems to have fallen off.

  59. tom

    I reckon England is on the cusp of their own golden generation. Standard of PL has raised the game in general. Technically gifted english players are forcing themselves into contention. Gibbs and Wileshere for example. The chances to play with gifted foriegn youngsters develops the game of the engish players good enough to join them in the academies.

  60. zeus

    gainst Dortmund on Tuesday, Gonzalo Higuaín had one of his worst nights at Real Madrid. The Argentine left the match without scoring a single goal and was drummed off the pitch to deafening whistles. Nobody questions his commitment, but in a Champions League semi-final, the White Army expected more.

    The Argentine should have put ‘Los Blancos’ 1-0 up at the start of the match. He was all alone in front of Weidenfeller after just 3 minutes of play. But the Argentine didn’t look up and ended up shooting straight at the goalie. For many it was a reminder of his blunder against Olympique de Lyon three years ago.

    It all went downhill from there for the Argentine striker. Whenever he recovered a ball there were bursts of applause but he didn’t muster a single shot in the rest of the match. His best statistics were offsides (3), just like in the first leg. Mourinho didn’t make any changes until minute 56, but Higuaín was one of those sacrificed. And although comparisons are always odious, in a semi-final they are absolutely necessary. Karim Benzema scored the first and assisted the second.

    Higuaín’s poor record in the Champions League continues. This season, in eight games, he has just one goal. In 48 CL clashes since he joined Real Madrid, he has scored just eight times. A poor CV. Just a year ago the Bernabéu was chanting “Pipa, stay!”. On Tuesday their whistles sounded like a farewell fanfare, especially since he was always a favourite with the fans. His time at Real Madrid appears to be drawing to a close.

  61. Arsenal 1886-2006

    Tom.

    I was born in ’66, I was 3 months old when we won the WC (I remember it well, the street parties in Dalston) and since then I have heard about Englands golden generation every decade.
    I have yet to see a world class England team in that time. I have seen some great players, but never a great ‘team’.

  62. tom

    Gambon, what’s your opinion on the unfluence of foreign players on homegrown develipment, in the long term?

  63. Johnny5

    Tom,

    I know he’s young but Gibbs isn’t ever going to be a world beater. He’s good but Monreal is better IMO. And England are definatly not on the cusp of a golden generation

    Wellbeck- average
    Gibbs- average to good
    Smalling- ok to good
    Jones- pretty good potential
    Wilshere- good potential to be really great but injuries may hamper that
    Henderson- shit
    Downing- not really a young un but shit
    Theo- average ok on one of his rare good days

    Explain how they’re going become the golden generation?

  64. Jamal

    Say what you want about Robben, He is without a doubt one of the best wingers in the world!

    Could any of our wingers score a goal like that?

    Never.

  65. gambon

    I think the foreign talent is necessary, but taken too far at Arsenal.

    8 of our next gen team were overseas players, thats ridiculous, we’re just an overseas academy.

    When you consider that the likes of Ebecilio & Angha are moving on this summer, you have to say what was the point.

    Im all for unrestricted numbers of foreigners in the senior game, but the academies have a responsibility to help educate local kids.

  66. kwik fit

    Jamal

    None of our players bar maybe Caz and Pod could even have a shot like that. Its incredible how poor our players are at shooting.

  67. Radio Raheem

    I worry Guardiola will mess up this Bayern side. They are so far ahead of everyone else I feel they can continue to dominate next season if they just maintain their form.

  68. tom

    English FA have never created the space for serious national team development. England has had good players over the years but never a great team.
    England always seem one step behind the competition.
    Also the factional quality of the game in this country has an influence, in my opinion.

  69. Arsenal 1886-2006

    RTE commentator has just mentioned the rumour going around Europe about Wenger leaving and Joachim Low taking the Arsenal job with heynckes taking the German job.
    If only this were true.

  70. Cesc Appeal

    Bayern are incredible, on and off the field.

    Let’s get Usmanov in, not for his money but for his aggressive attitude toward ownership and start building toward being a Bayern.

    Look how organised they are, incredible really is. Now ask if Wenger was in charge would that defence be as stalwart? Or the team so energized and organised?

  71. tom

    Gambon, there simply aren’t enough kids in North London that are good enough or commited enough to fill our academy.
    But the cream of the London talent city-wide (and distributed across the clubs) is quality and will produce stars.

  72. kwik fit

    Wenger by luck had the ‘barca’ of the early noughties. Players who could be compared with this barca team in their prime. That collection of players seriously underachieved under Wenger. We accepted it and put him on legendary status because of our low expectations.
    They just went out steamrollered teams in the first 20 and then took the foot of the gas. It didn’t take muck management skills.

  73. tom

    Still more impressed by Dortmund. I hope they beat juggernaut Bayern. All german final. Bayern are United.

  74. reggie 57

    Is it just me or has Fabregas turned into a very average player!!

    So much for the Barca Dna……

  75. tom

    ” they just went out steamrollered teams in the first 20 and then took the foot of the gas. It didn’t take muck management skills.”.

    Ridiculous statement.

  76. sixx pac

    Does anyone know what a Pique is? My phone auto corrects every other Spanish player’s name except Pique. What is a Pique?

  77. Arsenal 1886-2006

    Sixx Pac.

    pique 1 |piːk|
    noun [ mass noun ]
    a feeling of irritation or resentment resulting from a slight, especially to one’s pride: he left in a fit of pique .
    verb ( piques, piquing, piqued )
    1 [ with obj. ] arouse (interest or curiosity).
    2 (be piqued) feel irritated or resentful: she was piqued by his curtness.
    3 (pique oneself) archaic pride oneself.
    ORIGIN mid 16th cent. (denoting animosity between two or more people): from French piquer ‘prick, irritate’.
    pique 2 |piːk|
    noun
    (in piquet) the scoring of 30 points on declarations and play before one’s opponent scores anything. Compare with repique.
    verb ( piques, piquing, piqued ) [ with obj. ]
    score a pique against (one’s opponent).
    ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from French pic, from the Old French sense ‘stabbing blow’, of unknown ultimate origin.

  78. Radio Raheem

    Jamal

    Yeah I thought Larkin was the most talented but he has lost up there, hasn’t he? I think the other guy will win it, he’s a bit more inventive.

    Barca getting sodomised by the looks of things

  79. sixx pac

    Arsenal 1886-2006
    May 1, 2013 21:07:50
    Looks like Song and Cesc have injected
    the Arsenal DNA into Barca.

    Looks like something has not been injected into these Barca players…..

  80. zeus

    “Pique picks up a yellow card after flying into the back of Muller near the byline on the right. Should Barcelona score eight in the last 12 minutes, Pique would miss the final.”

    Goal.com taking the piss.