Epic?

by .

tumblr_mzlyodilXd1qhebo9o1_500

Good morning from me, I hope all is well in the sunshine of this February day. Arsenal vs Liverpool. It’s going to be massive. So dust off that hangover and start getting excited.

First up though, Ray Parlour was in the press talking about Arsenal’s finances. He dropped this little pearler into his Daily Mail column.

‘I understand why supporters are frustrated at the lack of trophies, but there has been an awful lot going on inside the club during that time. I know for a fact Arsene didn’t have a lot of money to spend. It all went into the stadium, trying to pay it off as quickly as they can.’

Now there Ray, this looks like a bit of creative revisionism going on here. Sure, when we moved, Arsenal were broke. We had to defer the Robin Van Persie transfer because we were strapped for cash. However, reading Ray rewriting history feels a bit PR to me.

Firstly, Arsenal are tied into a long term mortgage. So we can’t pay off the stadium early. That’s a total nonsense statement from the off. Secondly, we didn’t have to play the skint card through that period. Stan could have invested some of his billions in the club to give us a cash boost, but he didn’t. Why? Because it didn’t suit him to. The sustainable model simply meant that his investment was worth more when the new commercials dropped.

We’ve also always had a pretty large wage bill. Wages correlate to league position in the main. So while Wenger has done a good job over the years, he hasn’t exactly performed miracles. He’s spent less on transfers, but he’s spent a shedload of cash on wages. So much so, he cleared £500k a week off our books last summer by shifting deadwood that didn’t play.

Someone made an interesting point about transfers. Whilst the manager hasn’t had cash like City, he has had funds, he just hasn’t spent it particularly well. The summer we missed out on Chelsea, Arsene opted instead to spend £24m on a teenager from league one and Gervinho. One went on to be twice player of the year for Chelsea, the other two… well, one is in Italy after being a total flop, the other is still trying to make his mark.

Point is, Arsenal can’t plead poverty. We’ve just been impoverished compared to Chelsea and City. During that same time, Ferguson, using sustainable funds, more than matched them. So whilst money is important, it’s not the only factor that drives success.

Onto today. Liverpool. It’s going to be a tough game. I’m not hugely confident if I’m honest. Their two strikers are going to be a nightmare and I fear that away from home, they might turn it on.

Still, we’ve both had a week off. Both teams will be energised and well drilled. So the encounter doesn’t have any excuses wrapped around it. The better team will win. On paper, that’s us. How that plays out in reality is another story. Brendan Rodgers has injected a new belief into that Liverpool side. Today is a cup final for his boys. If they lose, they’re out of the title race. If they win, they close the gap and they’ll get a boost of momentum.

For Arsenal, a loss and the next 3 weeks start to look depressing. Win and it could be the start of something glorious. It’s a massive game for both side and the game has epic written all over it!

Right, see you in the comments, enjoy the game!

1,831 Responses to “Epic?”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Guns of brixton

    Game will be won for us if we dominate midfield and i mean DOMINATE. keep the SAS” quiet like in the reverse fixture, we should be looking forward to another anfield victory. polds to start for me. he likes to score vs LFC doesnt he?

  2. Carts

    Is Parlour pining for a position within Arsenal’s coaching/ youth set up? Poor from him.

    Must win game fo’ shizzle!!!

    Think it’ll be 2-2

  3. TT

    I’d take a draw to be honest Pedro but would be absalutly buzzing if we win, Just dont think we have quite what it takes at the moment with Ramsay and Theo out. But here is to being optimistic so I’ll go 1 nil to the good guy’s.

  4. Thomas, it's up for grabs now..

    AFC v Liverpool always a top game for me despite their recent doldrums. A win up there is huge.

    We have never been so well equipped in recent years to get a result. They on the other hand have a top strike force and not much else. A defence that can be breached and exploited.

    If our defence can keep the two mugs to only 1 goal we can win it. We’re good to score 2-3 but must see our defence have a top top game.

    Personally I’d start Gibbs and Pod. Either way.. Pod to have an impact whether he starts or comes off the bench.

  5. N5

    “I dreamt last nite that Wilshere scored d 2nd goal for Arsenal and it was a beauty.”

    That wasn’t a dream, it was a premonition! come on the Arsenal!! 😀

  6. Mark S

    COYG! There back 4 is decimated, and we’ve done a good job keeping Suarez in line when we play each other. I believe he’s scored 2 goals in 6 against us. This game feels like a 2-1 to us or a 1-1. I just can’t see us losing right now.

  7. Mark S

    Meant to say *their back 4! Doh! It’s 4:55am here though. Time to finish feeding my son so I can go back to sleep, and get up in a hour to watch. 12:30pm kickoffs mean 6:30am for me.

  8. 9jagunner

    I have a dream… that arsenal fc wins the treble ! Arsene Wenger smiles on the cover of TIME magazine as he bags man of the year award!!!

  9. Dissenter

    Morning y’all,
    Liverpool have shown up for every big game this season except again the Emirates where Brendan handicapped them with his tactical blunders.
    If we avoid a loss and come out without injuries and suspensions, it will be a trophy for me.

  10. Guns of brixton

    If OX starts at CM, le prof is serious about him being one. (would prefer him to be a AM tbh)
    LFC 1- 2 AFC

  11. ArsenalJoe

    Not sure about the Parlour comments in today’s post. Now it could be PR spin, but that feels a bit ‘that doesn’t go with my line of thought, must be PR spin’ to me. I feel the arguments you’ve given against are a bit weak.

    1. I’ll admit, I haven’t looked into the finances of the stadium in depth, but there are definitely ways to pay off a long term mortgage more quickly.

    2. You’re argument about Stan not giving funds for more players actually agrees with Ray… You’re saying here that Wenger did not get more money to spend?

    3. Wages, yep you’re right. I guess that was a gamble that didn’t pay off. If he didn’t have big money to sign players, it seems Wenger used the money he did have to try and find unknown talent and keep it at the club with bigger wages. That was our wage system which when you don’t find the talent, is just flawed. (Although Gervinho now looks like he’s the real deal, ffs)

    There’s so much bullshit flying around the internet about Arsenal, when someone who actually has deep inside connections to the club, it seems unwise not to take some notice…

  12. Gozilla

    Liverpool will not concede space and possession to us like they did at the Emerites.
    Arteta will need to put in another MOTM performance to control the space between the lines that Suarez could exploit. He did that very well at home.
    Liverpool will press hard and Wilshere will have to be as sharp and clinical as Arteta or turnovers could lead to chances.
    I expect Rosicky to be used because of his technical abilities and workrate.
    AOC and Podolski will provide options off the bench.
    Gibbs should start if fit to cover pace of
    Sterling/Sturridge who I expect to switch
    sides regularly.
    Keeping possession and tight in defense
    early and absorbing the pressing energy
    of Liverpool will be important. Controlling the game and then upping the tempo in the 2nd half has worked well this season and is another sign of the new tactical maturity from this Arsenal side.
    Liverpool will get chances just like they did at the Emirates so a big game from Chezzer will be needed.
    Possession, patience, coordinated attacks, clinical finishing and desperate defending are called for in what will be a big challenge.

  13. Guns of brixton

    One a serious note, this is one game we cant have our usual slow start with. he need to come out at them from kick one, cos you can guarantee they will, we cant leave everything to a great 2nd half performance.

  14. Dissenter

    I don’t see any of the big four winning at Liverpool this season. If we get a draw, it wont be bad. If we eke out a win, that will boost our title aspirations a lot.

    Skertel is probably the dirtiest and luckiest defender around. I hope he gets called out today.

    This game will be decided by the referee, I think. Suarez and Sterling like to dive. Unfortunately, Kosh will dive in at some point, so who knows.

  15. Savage

    “Today is a cup final for his boys. If they lose, they’re out of the title race. If they win, they close the gap and they’ll get a boost of momentum.”

    Feels like we’ve been saying this for months. For just about every team we’ve played against.

  16. Savage

    Been reading the previews on the Liverpool blogs. The general opinion is that they have the better forwards and we have the better everything-else.

    Can’t wait for this game – a humdinger.

  17. Craigy

    Savage…. Can’t argue with that, talk about those scoucers stating the obvious, Suarez is pure class, sturridge may not be world class, but he’s a tricky player, who has an amazing understanding with Suarez! We on the other hand have a bang average striker, although he’s more than capable of putting in fine performances, but the game has to be set up for him most days for him to achieve that, as his lack of pace and immobility as we all kno is non existent! But it’s safe to say we win this game if our midfield turn up, wish Rambo was back but he’s not so looks like the pacey arteta has to stifle the SAS, ha ha hated saying that!! I’ve got a sneaky feeling giroud is gonna score today, hope so, OXO in my opinion is very important today, hope he plays well, come on u gunners!!!!

  18. samsensible

    Well said arsenal Joe. The fact that Stan didn’t invest actually backs up what Parlour says. If it’s PR it isn’t to try an protect the club it’s an attempt to make people understand Wenger power in the transfer market versus his rivals; Fergie had much more money available to him, sustainable or not.

    No revisionism there unless Pedro is saying Ray is claiming Stan had no money? Which he isn’t.

    Today is going to be nail biting. We must not concede first. I think Liverpool will score so we will need a couple…

  19. Willie

    If it turns into a freak show like our 5-3 win at Chelsea a few seasons ago, I’m afraid LFC will come out on top. We need to play a mature game.

  20. Southernpeople

    arsenaljoe

    “Not sure about the Parlour comments in today’s post. Now it could be PR spin, but that feels a bit ‘that doesn’t go with my line of thought, must be PR spin’ to me. I feel the arguments you’ve given against are a bit weak.”

    spot on.

    Today I like to see Gnabry start on the right or podolski on the left for front 3. We need to attack liv., theyre very weak and have spaces between their defensive lines. But, we should widen the pitch and draw the defenders to wide areas to create space for Caz and OX to shoot.

  21. Same Story

    ”I dreamt last nite that Wilshere scored d 2nd goal for Arsenal and it was a beauty.”

    That’s funny cuz I had a dream where Cazorla scored our equaliser and i immediately woke up i was so excited.

  22. Same Story

    Liverpool starting XI vs Arsenal: Mignolet, Flanagan, Cissokho, Toure, Skrtel, Gerrard, Henderson, Sterling, Coutinho, Suarez, Sturridge.

    We should be beating these.

  23. Southernpeople

    same story

    “”I dreamt last nite that Wilshere scored d 2nd goal for Arsenal and it was a beauty.”

    That’s funny cuz I had a dream where Cazorla scored our equaliser and i immediately woke up i was so excited.”

    hahaha

    I dreamed of Bendtner coming from the bench in wenger time to score a brace that seal all three points. It was a day dream i must say.

  24. Guns of brixton

    ha ha! LOL rollen. . .they all seem to blur into one super-fuck up some times. . . wish AA23 was around for this game. another 4 goals would be nice.

  25. Simon

    Hope Ozil is in scouse spanking form and per and Kos restrict Suarez and Sturridge to shots from the half way line.

    3 nil please.

  26. Samir

    Arsenal team: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Wilshere, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Ozil, Giroud

  27. Bade

    #Arsenal team: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Wilshere, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Ozil, Giroud #LFCvAFC

    That’s probably the best team we could’ve fielded, given our injuries/suspensions situation

  28. Southernpeople

    rollen

    in what football planet kagawa would be better footballer than hazard?

    saying hazard is light weight is ridiculous argument in every sense and at every level.

    hazard is physically stronger than kagawa and skill-wise there couldn’t be any any comparisons because hazard has higher skill level, better goalscoring and everything else basically.

  29. N5

    “Today is a cup final for his boys. If they lose, they’re out of the title race. If they win, they close the gap and they’ll get a boost of momentum.”

    Unless of course Citeh and Chelsea lose too!

  30. Cesc Appeal

    Just worried about Wilshere being so important in the middle, gives the ball away and falls over a lot…him and Arteta need to have a brilliant game.

  31. Dannyboy

    Happy for Poldi to come off the bench later.

    I’m thinking Rosicky 60, Poldi 70 and Gnabry 80 if we’re chasing the win. Gibbs instead of Gnabs if we’re winning.

  32. Charlie Boy

    If we can smother Suarez, Sturridge and Sterling – we can win this handsomely.

    Their defense is far from immense and they don’t have our talent in their midfield.

    Gonna stick my neck out and go for a 2-4 win to the Arsenal.

    COYG!!!

  33. Southernpeople

    simon

    “SouthernSo you are saying that Kagawa is the better player then?”

    are you sure you’re not drunk?

  34. Simon

    6 nil. You know it going to happen. Suarez’s will retire, Brendan will resign. And Anfield will close for the rest of the season.

  35. Southernpeople

    im going for 2nil to Arsenal. We should be too strong for liverpool and if Toure is playing we should all thank Rodgers.

  36. reggie57

    I’m gonna go for a 3-1 win today with ozil playing his best game of the season so far.

    C’mon you go go gunner’s!!

  37. Ilerioluwa

    Arsenal joe
    “Wages, yep you’re right. I guess that was a
    gamble that didn’t pay off. If he didn’t have big
    money to sign players, it seems Wenger used the
    money he did have to try and find unknown talent
    and keep it at the club with bigger wages. ”

    Why in the world did he have to pay extremely higher wages to average ones, most of whom were certainly unknown but not particulary talented. Why not pay them the same everyone else pays them or even less since we didn’t have much to spend and then use the savings to attract one or two world class players. does that mean that those players were not “keepable” at the club without those wages Especially when you consider we would have been offering them what was only the going rate for their talent level. If he didn’t pay the likes of diaby 60k a week does that mean he won’t have signed or we couldn’t have gotten another player with similar talent to diaby at less than 60k.
    And since we routinely kept paying players more than what they were worth, was wenger omniscient enough or proud enough to believe that all or most of the “unknown talent” he signed will become world beaters to justify their wages. Surely he should have known that even under a very good coach, not many young players go on to become stars.
    Going by the way we kept selling our best players, it was obvious that those so called high wages were not enough to keep needed players at the club perharps because they were spent on mediocre players who we couldn’t shift when needed instead of the deserving ones.
    That for me is one pointer that Wenger is not an elite manager.

  38. Southernpeople

    n5

    some of our bloggers think that every player who plays in the Bundesliga, la liga or italy should be better than Ligue 1 players. ligue standard distorts some people’s judgment including those so called experts.

    Hazard has so obvious footballing skills from very young age; he was about 16 when i first saw him and you could see his talents then.

  39. Leedsgunner

    I have a lot of time Ray Parlour normally but I think he’s been spoon-fed what to say. Besides why is his voice more credible than Ian Wright, or Jens Lehmann who have both called on Wenger to invest in the team?

    In any case, the transfer window is over, we must focus on the matter at hand. Wenger has made his bed and he must do the best that he can with it.

    We have to approach every game we have now sensibly and with discipline. Due to the fact that Wenger has chosen NOT to strengthen our squad for our title push, injuries and suspensions will be just as decisive now until May. Come on let’s get behind the lads!!

    We have to go to Anfield looking for the win. Their defence is poor and exploitable if we can control the game from the middle of the park. It’s imperative that we take the lead and shut Suarez and Sturridge down. Both players are similar to Giroud in that although they find it easy to score against the “lesser” teams of the EPL when the big boys roll into town they are strangely wanting. Giroud needs to repay the faith that Wenger has placed in him starting today.

    We are one of the big boys… we need to believe and play like it.

    0-2 to the Arsenal. Poldi and Cazorla to hit the back of the onion sack.

    Go on you Gunners!

  40. Khun George

    Looks like the ox is going to play right wing .. Let’s hope Arsene gets his tactics right today .

    They haven’t beaten us at there’s since 2007 . 🙂

  41. Hitman

    This will be our most pivotal game of the most season.

    Win today and the title becomes realistic possibility.

    Beat Man U on Weds and it will make us favourites and front runners.

  42. Craigy

    Ha ha I kno man, nutty movie or what 🙂 enjoyed it tho! yea I’ll av a look at that m8, love my foreign movies, I saw the devil 2010 is a brilliant movie, korean! Korea and Japan got some movie gems about 🙂

  43. Harry Redknapp

    monreal has figured it out, perform badly and arsene will keep you in the side. play well he wont feel so bad about benching ya.

  44. Ilerioluwa

    Its a myth to say that our relatively high wage bill was spent on young unknown talent
    Many of our players or signings were not young,
    Few were especially talented anymore than was usual but many were simply unspectacular players that no one else of note wanted. Or else players of decent ability but certainly not world class.
    However wenger comes across to me as someone who is afraid of delving into the transfer market because he is scared of upsetting the balance of the squad(whatever that means). An example of that is this; if an injury prone player like diaby wouldn’t really have accepted less than 60k(and he almost certainly would) then he should have been sold and a player of similar talent to him at least bought for his fee who would have accepted what was the going rate for his services. But wenger probably doesn’t like such scenarios.
    Now I am not saying its that black and white to sell and replace players like that but in general, it works out that way. But like I said, wenger seems to have fixed ideas about how a squad should be composed and the kind of particular players he likes who should be in those squads.
    Its almost useless pointing out that those ideas have not helped him much.

  45. bergkamp63

    Sensible old man February 8, 2014 12:33:13
    Being realistic we won’t win today. 3-1 Liverpool . The downward spiral begins today as we start to implode and hence the battle for fourth spot ensues.

    I was thinking exactly the same ! Let’s hope we are wrong !

  46. Arsene's Nurse

    So, how many times is Skrtel going to pull shirts in the box today? I fucking hate that cheating cunt with a passion.

  47. TitsMcgee

    We need 4 points from today and UTD next week at the very least. Anything less and we’ll be depending on poor results from our rivals

  48. Craigy

    You can tell in Owens voice he wants Liverpool to win, he should not be commentating this! Can’t stand him, he’s so excited he can’t hardly speak