Arsene gets a free ride through risk aversion

by .


Ok, so we’r getting into off-season territory, so I’m not sure how I’m going to keep things going this summer.

If you are an excellent writer and you have an editorial idea, float it past me and send it in. Make sure it’s interesting, loaded with opinion and grammatically correct.

Unlike most of my stuff.

Badum tscchhhhh!

Wasn’t even a joke.

Right, what have we on the plate of football today?

Errr…. Arsenal fans have forced BT to stop recording outside of the ground because of the bad language. OMG. Bad language. Isn’t it ridiculous that we’re in the 21st century and people will complain if they hear a naughty word on the TV. I mean, honestly, 20 people out of 5 million watching and they have to change the way they schedule shows because boring people are affronted. It’s pathetic.

What else are we talking about?

Javi Martinez is apparently subject of a sensational £28m bid from Arsenal (The Telegraph didn’t call it sensational, another headline I saw did). Errr… sensational? He cost £35m before he was a European Champion. I can’t imagine he’s leaving for anything less than £40m considering he’s 25 and an incredible player. He’s exactly the sort of player we could do with, he’s mobile, powerful, 6ft3 and full of tenacious rage. He’s also technically brilliant.

… begs the question, why would he leave?

Well, he’s not happy about playing in a static defensive midfield position. I think he wants to play more Ramsey / Vieira-esque. I still think there’s room for that type of player in our team. It’s not like we’re looking for a Gilberto, we need energy in our midfield to replace the weary legs of Arteta.

However, I don’t see this happening. I really don’t.

I find it quite incredible that a team as well stocked with cash and glory as Bayern are having this player exodus talk.

So far, we’ve got:

Kroos > United

Mueller > United

Martinez > Arsenal

Gotze > Arsenal

Can’t see all those guys moving, at the very worst, they just don’t like the competition on offer at Bayern. I doubt it though, who wouldn’t want to play for Pep G? Also, on the Martinez story, I don’t mean to be a total realist here, but move from Bayern to Arsenal? Why? Same with Bayern to United? Why?

Manchester City as good as tied up the Premier League last night. They spanked a terrible Aston Villa out of sight in the second half and edged closer to their second league title. Two goals from Dzeko proved what having a squad stocked full of talent can do for you. He’s bagged  27 odd goals this season. An exceptional return for a player who had been pushed aside by Jovetic and Negredo.

When people harp on about ‘if only we had Ramsey and Theo fit’. I think they forget that other teams have suffered injuries this year. City have gone large chunks without Aguerro, but they had a back up. I don’t think you can ever bank on a full season with your best players. We can definitely improve it, but it goes beyond just the injury, it’s about keeping your best players fresh. We were spanked heavily by City with Aaron in the side.

The way you foster fitness isn’t by simply amending training and rotating a bit. You’ve also got to look at the depth of your squad.

Arsene never talks about squad depth (he called it an illusion in the Shreeves interview). He always talks about the reaction he has to take to injuries and the toll that has on the squad. I’m shocked he’s not worked out that the injuries he has happen because his squad isn’t deep enough with quality, so he doesn’t rotate. The starting 11 get tired, then injured… then that same process happens to the reserves.

Arsene might only be able to make 3 major 1st team signings this summer, but there’s no reason he can’t boost our bench with midrange players with attributes. Now, I’m not suggesting Puncheon, but when he played against Liverpool the other night, his pace stretched Liverpool and forced them to defend basically on their goal line. He’s not the greatest player in the world, but off the bench, 70 minutes to go, he’s asking questions.

Who is asking questions of our bench at the moment?

Monreal. The cheeky chappy.

Did anyone see the quotes from Arsene when talking about Hazard?

‘Yes, I wanted to take him, I had his agent at my home but again the barrier was financial and Chelsea made an effort that I couldn’t make.

‘He can be one of the players who grows into the Messi, Ronaldo stature if he continues to develop well.’

Now, if Wenger thought he’d turn into one of those players, why couldn’t he match the Chelsea offer. We had the money in 2011? He was clearly going to be a world beater. Billy Beane said that if a player is smashing it in his teens, he’ll be a worldy most of the time. Hazard was an exceptional teen. So why didn’t we punt for him? He’s an educated risk… Ligue One player of the year twice before he was 20. Fast, low centre of gravity, goals, assists… great technique. Buy him for £35m… could be worth £50m within 2 seasons.

‘The biggest risk is not taking any risk… in a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks’

That quote is from Mark Zuckerberg. Now, I know Facebook and Football is a but different, but my point here is that we spunked all our risk into the stadium. Then we gave up. We’ll have £170m in the bank this summer, that’s been sitting there, losing value for years. Why? Because the manager is petrified of risk because it makes him accountable. Wenger computes risk with cost. So his cheap risks are not deemed as failures, when in the context of having massive amounts of money his risks are actually pretty ridiculous.

He’s right as well, I see fans justifying our shit show of a season with spend totals. Wenger gets a free ride for spending the 5th highest amount in the league, despite having enough cash to spend the most. Why does he get a free ride for having a poor season with the budget to have a great one? He didn’t do the best with what he had. Surely inaction is worst trait in sport?

Juan Mata – £22m (Wenger pulls the plug) >>> Opts for Gervinho (£8m) + Chamberlain (£15m)

The outcome? Chelsea sign a player who helps them win a bunch of trophies as well as picking up player of the year for them twice. Arsenal flunk out with Gervinho and Chamberlain is still a way of being the finished article.

The cost of taking two lesser risks is that we forfeited trophies. The expense of Mata was recouped almost twice by Chelsea 3 years later.

High cost players are generally high cost because they have a talent premium. It’s not up to me to tell you who has premium talent. That’s not my job. However, someone like Draxler is on my radar as is Marco Reus. £35m players now, could be £70m players in 2 years. You have more chances of those players turning into super elite world beaters over someone like Drmic. Not to say the Swiss is a bad player, but he’s a risk. He’s being purchased based on price. Because I refuse to believe he’s the best you can get in the market loaded with £175m cash.

People think spending lots of money is more risky than spending nothing. I think this is the wrong way to look at it. We’re so risk averse these days we’re devaluing the cash in the bank and we’re missing out of bringing in assets that appreciate in value with immediate effect.

Anyway, hope that wasn’t too much of  a ramble. I’m sure there’s something in that…





662 Responses to “Arsene gets a free ride through risk aversion”

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  1. Dan Ahern

    Yeah let’s not forget Pep’s Bayern could basically take a third of the season off because they won the league that early.

    But anyway, yeah, do hope Dortmund return to their best form. That Champions League final between them and Bayern was incredible, it’s too bad they lost. Would’ve been such a triumph.

  2. Cesc Appeal

    I love Dortmund though – love everything about them.

    Play beautiful football, mix of skill and power, heavy metal. Well run. Great fans. Great stadium. Great manager who’s up to date, passionate, accountable and proactive.

  3. london gunner


    I would of loved BVB to win if Robben wasn’t playing for Bayern.

    Robben is one of my favourite players so I loved the fact he scored the goal that won it! No one deserved a CL title more than him IMO

  4. Carts


    Haha Tsunami.

    Ramos, Dong Won, Immobile, Ginter, Sahin (re-signed)…as well as a couple of players who’ve made a step up; Jojic, Durm, Hoffman.

    Looking positive.

  5. Cesc Appeal


    I hope so. Like seeing Dortmund doing well.

    There’s no capitulation in Klopp like a certain someone we all know. Proper fighter of a manager. You could watch him on the touchline for 90 minutes, going through the kaleidoscope of emotions the fans do.

  6. Al

    Yep Immobile is quality. Talk is that he might even be a starter for Italy so i guess they want to snap him up before he performs in the world cup and his price sky rockets.

    The problem is while we are waiting to make this “big” signing upfront we are missing out on excellent players like Immobile, when the likelihood is that we will end up with Giroud because the dominoes didnt fall in our favour like it did last year with Ozil

  7. kwik fit

    ‘We have been 128 days at the top of the league [this season], so we won the stamina league’ 🙂
    Quote of the Decade. Take a bow Arsene Wenger!

  8. london gunner

    I’ve always been a massive fan of cuntish arrogant players.

    Love Robben, Costa, Suarez. Ibra, ballotelli

    There the kind of guys you hate as enemies but would be great fun as mates

  9. Dan Ahern

    I like all those guys except Robben. He’s not arrogant, he’s a sniveling bitch who never looks up. He’s selfish. Those other guys might be cunts, but they make their teams better. Robben plays for himself, and often cheats to get his way.

    (Note on Suarez: used to be a lot less likable for similar reasons: cheated all the fucking time and complained a lot. Oh and racism.)

  10. salparadisenyc

    To get back to a more interesting conversation, I once had and Israeli bird tell me I won the gold medal in the stamina competition. Miami hotel.

    Beat that Wankfest.

  11. Romford Pele

    Loooool I didn’t get to finish the girl convo earlier. I’m trying to settle down now, met a nice girl a couple weeks back, been texting since. She seems cool so we’ll see how it goes, seeing her tomorrow night. I gotta give my liver a break ahead of the cup final next week!

  12. london gunner


    I got the gold medal in the size competition

    Plus I can fuck a girl for 3 hours plus without busting a nut! though you get serious chaff eventually! Tip if you don’t have lube use olive oil..

  13. Romford Pele

    London – I went to uni in Brighton, great nightlife down there. Went to their stadium when we paled there last season too. Quality ground and quality atmosphere. Like you say, they played decent stuff under Poyet and seemed to have carried that on under the new manager so here’s hoping. That said, Derby in third finished so far ahead of the other play-off contenders so will feel aggrieved if they don’t go up

  14. kwik fit


    I do not jest. Arsene keeps on giving in terms of trashy quotes and today he beat every crap he’s spurted before. I truly believe he’s a wind up merchant who just love’s annoying the fans.

  15. salparadisenyc

    Never a finer word spoken THAG.
    I’ve never done anything for three hours….
    well except drink.

  16. kwik fit

    Researchers have discovered that excessive masturbation can cause dyslexia. Hwoevre, tihs is olny in etxreem caess of slef aubse.

  17. reality check

    Click the link. Click the video. Wait for advert to fin. Sit back and watch.

    It’s a press conference

  18. wenker-wanger

    128 days top and finishing 4th…….not stamina, just the outstanding example of failure….from the specialist in failure.
    Wenker could have strengthened in january to give arsenal a real chance of the title. Maybe we would have still failed but it would have been a sensible effort to try and maintain our position. Most of us knew we would capitulate…..thats the disappointing thing, you always know its 4th that wenker really needs.

  19. Cesc Appeal

    I love how even writers are taking the piss out of our transfer impotence.

    The Guardian.

    ‘Martinez could be on his way to Arsenal. Provided the gunners are willing to pay £30 Million for a player they really need…let’s face it, he won’t be going to Arsenal will he?’

  20. Jeff

    A couple of naked lesbians barged into Wenger’s house today, and started wrestling with his wife while she was in the bath.

    He tried to help, he could only knock one out.

  21. Jeff

    I phoned my work this morning and said, “Sorry boss, I can’t come in today, I have a wee cough.”

    He said, “You have a wee cough?”

    I said, “Really? Cheers boss, see you next week!”

  22. jason

    couldn’t agree with you more.Pedro, its better to tk risks than opt for cheap options who can’t make the grade. if I think about the suarez issue last summer I just wonder Hw our season would hv turned out in our squad. we need lots of quality to conquer Europe and in the league.

  23. Thank you and goodnight

    @ Ashwin
    Knowing wenger mate they will be ok ‘ ish but nothing more. I know our french supporting Arsenal fans will probably say they are great but I don’t really rate the french league so my opinion is obviously biased.

  24. N5

    “Rami would make a good addition to the Rossoneri backline. The Frenchman is dominant in the air, very comfortable at bringing the ball out of defense, and a considerable goal threat on set-pieces. He does lack pace and can suffer from few lapses in concentration, but overall would improve Milan’s defensive options.”

    “Rami’s attitude is most pertinent here however. The Frenchman’s transfer to Milan was only made possible because he was forced out of his club. Rami made unsavory comments following Valencia’s poor results, blasting his teammates and coach on Spanish radio. The club fined and punished the defender, who publicily apologized for his outburst afterwards. Both parties then came to a mutual agreement that Rami would leave in January.”

    “Rami has in fact already had previous in terms of these kinds of incidents. He left Lille in very much similar circumstance. Following the club’s double-winning season in 2010, Rami became more vocal in his criticism of the club and his teammates. His attitude saw him quickly ostracized from the group and soon forced his exit from Lille.”

    By all accounts he reads like a right taxi shagger! NB52 MK II