173,000 empty seats: Here’s the problem and the solution

by & filed under News Review.

Man, I’ve woken up thinking it’s a Friday, not a Thursday. I had a picture of a goat ready and everything. What a shame.

Anyway, big news so far this morning is my mobile phone provider cut me off. The absolute buggers. Still, it’s ok, I can write way quicker at a desk than on a bus.

One of the main stories this morning centres around ACTUAL attendance figures. I think it was pretty clear last season that Arsenal weren’t always filling their pretty stadium.

TICKETS WERE SOLD

For sure, they were. But the gaps around the ground are pretty apparent.

Here are the stats from A is for Arsenal.

* on average the actual attendance was 5,998 lower than that stated by the Club
* on average 6,550 seats were empty per game
* the worst attended match was Fenerbahce at 44,779, which was 15,559 lower than capacity and 11,492 below the official attendance
* the best attended game was Liverpool in the league at 57,341
* the real average attendance was 53,788 compared to 59,786 announced by the Club
* a total of 173,945 seats went unoccupied at home games last season

Some pretty alarming numbers there. If everyone bought a £8 salt beef bagel, which is entirely possible, that’d be an extra £1.3m. Ok, I know that we don’t get the catering figures. Where exactly do Arsenal make money in the stadium?

I missed about 3 games last year, I think? One was because I forgot my ticket. If everyone missed three games over a 29 game period, we’d have actually had more missing seats at 181,014. I guess when you put it like that, it’s not inconceivable that we’re in the situation we’re in.

Things Arsenal need to do…

Build an app through the magic of technology that allows you to share your ticket with other app holders, or allows you to sell you ticket back to the club at short notice.

Get this… you gain entry into the stadium in exactly the same way you gain entry to a plane with ticket systems like the one you have on an iPhone.

This, for me, solves it all.

I also think the idea of fuelling this ticketing idea works by giving people home credits for attending games. People bloody love rewards schemes. Arsenal should make this app the hub of all their digital activity. Retail outlets are gamifying their purchasing experience, maybe Arsenal could do something similar? Think of all the data they could accrue… imagine being able to buy your food in the stadium through NFC… no more massive cues because the guys at the tills can’t count. Imagine getting replays to your phone in the ground. Imagine being able to watch the highlights on your way home in your exclusive season ticket app. IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES IF ARSENAL HAD AN INTEGRATED DIGITAL APPROACH TO ECOMMERCE, TICKETING, MEDIA AND ALL THE OTHER STUFF.

Next level shiz, right there…

It’s clear there are probably a lot of people who just buy up the tickets so they have them for the big games with clients. This isn’t on. Arsenal need to weed out the people who buy tickets and don’t use them. There should be a clause that if you don’t use your ticket, you lose it. Bit draconian, but come on, this is a club that needs people in the ground… because the waiting list is so long.

Still, it has to be said, having a season ticket is not only expensive, it’s also a massive time drain. You simply can’t make all the games during the season. The problem is that when you can’t make the games, the club don’t give fans the tools to distribute their tickets properly. I sorted my pals ticket last season, the next game, I forgot mine in the flap to make sure I had his. It’s such a ball ache shifting someone else’s ticket, then there’s the added pain in the arse of potentially getting nicked selling it on… there has to be another way.

When firms like Viagogo are cool to sell third party tickets at horrendous markups, why can’t fans or clubs build a system that takes care of it. I’d rather give my seat back to the club knowing someone else could get it on the day.

Something for Arsenal to work on I guess… ultimately, if there were cheap last minute tickets on the door, the club could indoctrinate young fans into the Arsenal way (I’ve been watching Jesus Camp).

I’d jump into the affordability thing… but for me, it’s not about affordability, it’s about the convenience of shifting your ticket. If you can’t afford to go, don’t buy one.

Finally, before I go (I’m totally ignoring the Mbia stories), take a watch of this hilarious advert from Fox about too much sport killing marriages. I love American sport advertising.

591 Responses to “173,000 empty seats: Here’s the problem and the solution”

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  1. Romford Pele

    Yeah it’s not really about affordability – demand for Arsenal is high, evidenced by the amount of people on the waiting list. It’s more a case that people who don’t go don’t give their ticket to anyone. The app idea is a good shout though.

  2. N21 Tone

    Hi Ped, no need to miss the match if you leave your season ticket at home. Just go to the box office and they will issue you with a temporary ticket for the day. Was told you can only do this once a season or you get charged an admin fee.

  3. Ash

    Is it wrong for me to hope either flamini or arteta get a long term injury to force wenger into the CDM market? It is gross negligence on his behalf if we fail to sign a CDM before deadline day…Bring in Carvalho who can play both CDM and CD and that is 2 signings in one!

  4. Nasri's Mouth

    Anything that helps people who want to go to a specific game actually get to that game is a good idea.

    You need to take your app idea to the club Pedro 🙂

    It would be interesting if Arsenal released the figures for ticket exchange too.

  5. Nasri's Mouth

    qna: Nasri/Wallace we would have been closer than 7 points if we had only got a striker in January.We still havent got an out and out striker. But I am sure that Sanchez in January would have done the job.

    As I said, there are plenty of ways we can bridge the gap, and none of them are mutually exclusive. Sanchez in January would have given us a big lift given Walcott’s injury and Giroud going off the boil. However, I can’t imagine Barca selling him then, nor him wanting to leave at that point

  6. captain pigeon

    The yanks exagerate everything anyway sports killing marriages total crap lol my wife loves football and sport in general . Her favourite thing to do is swear at the ref on thetv when a decision goes against arsenal lol.

  7. Doyindav

    I was actually dreaming of how Cavani scored the winning goal from a sublime Ozil pass to knock Madrid out of the CL semis.

    Sigh

    Anyway Footie in 2 days

  8. Romford Pele

    This team Saturday methinks:

    Szcz
    Debuchy Chambers Kos Gibbs
    Arteta
    Sanchez Ramsey Wilshere Santi
    L’Oreal

    Bench
    Martinez
    Monreal
    Mert (only to be used for emergency)
    Flamini
    Rosicky
    Ox
    Sanogo

  9. Al

    Apart from preventing injuries…..If shad can give us that ability to start games at full pace and not as slowly as we started literally every match last year I will be very impressed.

    We seemed to start very quick against city. ..Hopefully that’s the norm because we showed how good we was once we had the lead

  10. Romford Pele

    “We seemed to start very quick against city. ..Hopefully that’s the norm because we showed how good we was once we had the lead”

    Yeah agreed. Big games more often than not are decided on small margins. Once we take the lead, we can then revert to playing deep and hitting on the counter as we saw on Sunday.

    A lot got made of the big defeats last season and, while they were bad, isn’t exactly representative of the gap between the teams. It was more naivety, lack of options available on our part. We still need key additions at CB and DM but a lot can also be improved internally. The internal improvement is what i’d class as small details that can give you the edge.

  11. Nasri's Mouth

    @Al

    Against City we looked quick because they were slow. Neither side were up to PL pace, it’s just that we were closer to it than they were

  12. Charlie Boy

    For what it’s worth – here’s my strategy for the 2014/2015 Season.

    1st 20 mins
    Play at a ridiculously high tempo and score two goals

    Next 60 mins
    Play 11 men behind the ball, stifling the opposition

    Last 10 mins
    Hit the opposing team on the break for another goal or two

    Finish the season unbeaten and BPL / CL / FA Cup Champions

  13. Romford Pele

    “Against City we looked quick because they were slow”

    I’m not sure it’s that simplistic. We were better than them on the day. Our 3 in midfield outnumbered them and we pressed a lot higher up the pitch (no Mert or Giroud in the starting line-up).

  14. Wallace

    RP

    agree with your team, apart from up top. wouldn’t be surprised if Sanogo starts. Giroud still being a little behind fitness-wise.

  15. Sean Falvey

    A very interesting blog
    I’m a former Home and Away gooner I moved to OZ 6 years ago.
    Over here they have some very smart ideas
    At the AFL you can buy Ticket and a prepaid amount in food in one purchase some of these games have inexcess of 95,000 people attending.
    All tickets bought for no matter what event can generally be sent to you via a text link to e-ticket, iPhone users can save to passbook.
    Whilst I understand in Australia there is not such a week in week outdemand for football tickets.
    The foundations of these initiatives could surely be used by AFC maximise attendance and revenue.

  16. gazzap

    shocked that about one in ten seats are actually empty at games. That’s higher than I thought it was. We make all these excuses for people but back at Highbury when the actual attendance was given, we sometimes got close to 100% capacity. So something about the Emirates means that 10% of ticket holders aren’t coming to games. I think it has to be the corporate element.
    there needs to be some kind of action against persistent non arrivals IMO and /ore rewards for those that go to all games.

  17. Nasri's Mouth

    @RP

    yes, we were better than ManC because tactically our set up in midfield was better than theirs, and the pace of Alexis and Sanogo we could press higher.

    But neither side were up to the pace of a competitive game, and if we played at that pace in the league we wont be getting praised for it.

  18. Nick

    Unsure how it works from a season ticket holder’s point of view but as a red member the ticket exchange worked perfectly to get tickets for all games last year without having to sit in the upper tiers. Have to be patient and log in often but from a buyers perspective it was great

  19. Romford Pele

    “Mbia!! Hope for better than that.”

    No chance of this happening. I’ll headbutt my sister if it comes off.

  20. Bankz

    Emiratesstroller

    Giroud is a shit striker and he may have outscored Chelsea’s strikers last season but they still managed to outscore us in the league.
    Giroud stiffens our attack because of his lack of creativity and movements.

    I’ve always posted here that in the big/important games when up against a decent team, your midfielders get marked out of goals.
    First thing when facing a City,Chelsea or United side is to nullify our goal threat from the midfield.
    When that happens, the centre forward is given the bulk of the burden to win you games/score. Something Giroud hasn’t been able to do in the last 3yrs.
    He couldn’t even score against Hull City at Wembley.
    Look At Eto’o goals last season, 90% came against the big teams.
    Look at the teams across Europe and you’d see how important a good centre forward in big games is.

    Rogers has been a manager for a couple of years . Will he win anything? I don’t know but from Swansea-Liverpool…you’d be funny to think he isn’t innovative & smart especially considering both his EPL teams in the last 3yrs have been a joy to watch.
    He has a system & he gets in players who fit into that system. I think they will be devastating this season & only the adaptation to weekdays UCL games will affect their league finish.

    As for Man United, you keep screaming the 15 point gap we opened on them last season but you keep forgetting Moyes Was an absolute clueless disaster who should never have be given that job.
    I repeat Man United is a a team I won’t want to write off finishing in the Top4.

    As it stands the only team I see us finishing above is Liverpool because of the champions league adaptation process not because they lost Suarez.

    We would only improve our chances of finishing ahead of one of City,Chelsea & United if we buy either a better centre forward or CDM.

    By the way for the 108th time …Alexis Sanchez isn’t A CENTRE FORWARD.
    He may get to lead the line as a false 9 in smaller games at the Emirates but he will ALWAYS be behind Giroud & SANOGO in the pecking order. .

  21. jules

    Lol Romford! Anyone else have the bad feeling that now Arteta is captain, we may not sign a DM or at least a top one that would take his place??

  22. Romford Pele

    “yes, we were better than ManC because tactically our set up in midfield was better than theirs, and the pace of Alexis and Sanogo we could press higher.”

    I’m not sure about the set-up tactically. Both teams would line-up the same if it was a league game. I think we did start quicker than them. Not sure how you can say it wasn’t to the pace of a league game, it’s hard to quantify. Watching it live it looked like a very quick tempo to me, especially first half.

  23. Romford Pele

    “By the way for the 108th time …Alexis Sanchez isn’t A CENTRE FORWARD.”

    You can keep saying that to yourself but i’ve seen Pep use him there for Barca before. Wenger has also outlined plans to use him there so it’s neither here or there whether you think he’s a striker or not.

  24. Wallace

    Bankz

    “He is a striker and he’s a good finisher,” Wenger said. “He made a great impression in Italy – I saw him there and he was really outstanding. Then at Barcelona it was a bit more difficult….I like the fact he can play left, right, up front and that’s why I went for him.”

    Wenger on Sanchez

  25. Leedsgunner

    Nasri Mouth

    I’m sure there’s a mug of club out there who will give us some money for him. Although acquired for free, we’ve spent millions on wages… 🙁

  26. Nasri's Mouth

    @RP

    Ha! Interesting how personal opinions differ. Within 5 mins of the start I was thinking how slow it looked.
    I’m not saying we weren’t quicker than them, we were, but they looked really off the pace.

  27. Josip Skoblar

    Zlatan has announced that he’ll retire in 2016 when his PSG contract expires. He’ll never play in the EPL and for AFC. What a shame… 🙁

  28. Gregg

    The best way to utilise Sanchez and in my opinion the way he will be utilised, when he’s acclimitised, is as a roaming forward. Just as Ronaldo became at Utd and to some extent Henry, who nt a conventional striker.

    Sanchez is one of these players that wants to be involved and will roam in order to do that. He has that confidence, that swagger. It’s always disappointed me that Walcott has never done this, he doesn’t demand to get involved if the game’s passing him by.

  29. DiabyEarnsHowMuch

    Been banging on for ages that there should be a pay on the day turnstile. Seats still empty 5 mins after kick off get sold for £10, money goes to Arsenals designated charity. would mean people have to arrive early, so better atmosphere. and by 20 mins into the game the place would be full. Also, anyone who leaves early…. just fucking shoot them on the way out! unless of course there is actually a fire drill.

  30. Romford Pele

    “To be honest i’ll take Mbia over Arteta better something than nothing…”

    You obviously haven’t watched Mbia play much.

  31. jules

    You could have a point Cannon! He looked dreadful for QPR but then again no one played for that side with any motivation. Seems to have had a good year since but would like a better player for the most crucial position that needs filling imo.

  32. Romford Pele

    “Sanchez is one of these players that wants to be involved and will roam in order to do that. He has that confidence, that swagger. It’s always disappointed me that Walcott has never done this, he doesn’t demand to get involved if the game’s passing him by.”

    Yeah Sanchez will get more opportunity to roam here rather than being restricted to a position like at Barca.

    RE Theo; he just doesn’t have that ability. He can’t ghost past players and see a pass like Sanchez does. He’s good at what he does but you don’t really wanna be giving free roles to players who lack natural ability.

  33. Leedsgunner

    “To be honest i’ll take Mbia over Arteta better something than nothing…”

    You obviously haven’t watched Mbia play much.

    Today freebie = tomorrow’s deadwood.

  34. Alan Sunderland's Barber

    Permiership rugby clubs have arrangements with firms that allow people who can’t attend a game to sell their season ticket seat for that game online. A stub is produced that can be collected from the box office on the day. Job done, full house and the club can make more in programme and merchandise sales.

  35. Al

    NM

    Completely ignoring man city…..just watch the first 10 mins of the match …We keep flying out the traps. ..pressed quickly and moved the ball very quickly

  36. Nasri's Mouth

    @diabyearnshowmuch

    I can see some issues with that. People might stop buying full price tickets thinking they’ll save money by coming in late and getting a cheap ticket. Crowd issues of people after cheap tickets, desperate to get in asap because the game has already started. Not sure what the legal implication is of selling on someone else’s ticket because they’re 5 mins late (possibly through no fault of their own) either.

  37. Bankz

    Romford Pele & Wallace

    We would see when the season starts.
    Gervinho played as a centre forward a couple of times…same thing I see Sanchez doing for us.
    He will Not be our Centre forward in the starting XI.
    I see him occupying the right till Walcott returns and then given the left wing position.
    Pep didn’t use him as a false 9 in more than 3 or so games when Messi was out injured.
    Barcelona are my 2nd club and I watch All their games.
    That’s why I’m so confident in typing these words in Caps….ALEXIS SANCHEZ IS NOT A CENTRE FORWARD!

    Remind me when Wenger makes him our no1 Centre forward in the course of the season.

  38. Dark Hei

    @NM

    Disagree there. In the Community Shield match, our passing was lighting quick. There was nothing tentative there. When we pass this quickly, the right thing for City to do would be to crawl back into their shell and try to ride it out. They tried to press us and got caught instead.

  39. Jim Lahey

    The gaps last year I think were more evident than in previous seasons. A shame really considering the amount of people that would love to go see the Arsenal play.

    Nice use of draconian Pedro.

  40. Romford Pele

    Bankz, I’m going off what Wenger has said. It’s not inconceivable that Sanchez will play there. I believe that he’ll be moved to the middle once Theo comes back. Wenger likes technical security so will often play with a playmaker wide. Let’s see though.

  41. Nasri's Mouth

    @Alan Sunderlands Barber

    Arsenal do have the ticket exchange system. Means season tickets can be sold on up to 3pm on the day before the game

  42. Dream10

    Josip and Romford

    Jack Cork going to Palace for just 3m! Absoulte quality player and very underrated. Top player. Would have solved our DM issue.

    Enner Valencia for 12m will end up being a steal as well. Switched to a CF role in Mexico and scored 18 goals last year. Very good World Cup. Starting to perform at the same age Drogba, Costa did. See a little of Ian Wright in him.

    Shane Long went for 12m FFS

  43. Nasri's Mouth

    Bankz: Gervinho played as a centre forward a couple of times…same thing I see Sanchez doing for us.

    Do you not think that if Gervinho had been better, he would have got more games in that role?

    Do you not think that Sanchez is better than Gervinho?

  44. Gregg

    @Jim

    I think that was evident by them leaving him out of their squad for Tuesdays match. Maybe that’s the player that Jim White was referring to.

  45. gambon

    So Giroud outscored Chelseas strikers last season.

    Guess what, Chelsea werent happy with their strikers, and therefore sold them off (Torres on too much £££ to sell) and they have brought in 2 excellent CFs in Costa and Drogba.

    See the difference with Arsenal?

    We had an average Giroud and a terrible Sanogo…..and we still do.

    Chelsea addressed their problems, Arsenal bought Sanchez.

    This is why Chelsea will finish at least 10 points ahead of us.

  46. jules

    Hope for Khaderia or similar quality. We have not really strengthened the squad. Debuchy, Chambers and Ospina good quality replacements for the departed in those positions. The only really addition in quality is Sanchez so far. we need more.

  47. Josip Skoblar

    Dream10
    I am not saying it is the easiest thing to sign a talented DM but as you suggest there are some available. Wenger needs to act decisively NOW.

  48. Jim Lahey

    @Gregg – I wouldn’t mind him coming in at the right price and wage, would be another big name player, maybe not exactly what we need in a midfielder, but I would feel more confident with Khedira beside Ramset than I would Wilshere or Arteta.

    But I can’t see Wenger giving the captaincy to Arteta only to have him sit on the bench. So that is a bit worrying.

  49. gambon

    “Jack Cork going to Palace for just 3m! Absoulte quality player and very underrated. Top player. Would have solved our DM issue.”

    Come off it.

    Would have solved” is a ridiculous thing to say.

  50. Nasri's Mouth

    Jim Lahey: but I would feel more confident with Khedira beside Ramset than I would Wilshere or Arteta.

    Playing Khedira and Ramsey together would be pretty risky actually. I’d prefer it to Wilshere, but that’s because Wilshere isn’t a DM either

  51. N5

    gambon, I agree about Costa, but Drogba? when Wenger bought back Henry he was torn to pieces, Hasn’t Maureen done the same thing?

  52. Gregg

    @Jack

    I guess you’re right re Arteta. Although Wenger seems to regard the captaincy as more of a ‘head-boy’ role than having an on pitch leader.

  53. jules

    Jim , that is my worry! Does giving Arteta the captaincy tell you we will not sign a top dm to take his place??

    Gambon,, what would your take be on this?

  54. Leedsgunner

    “But I can’t see Wenger giving the captaincy to Arteta only to have him sit on the bench. So that is a bit worrying.”

    Why? He did that with TV5.

    Frankly I think Arteta would be better off as a sub coming off the bench. I know he was vice – captain last year but imo but Mert should have been made captain…

  55. Romford Pele

    Yeah i’m not sure about Jack Cork sorting our problems. he’s moved from Southampton to Palace. That says a lot really.

  56. gambon

    N5

    He scored 14 last season, hes not a bad backup striker.

    Hes probably Giroud level, and if we were a serious club Giroud would be our backup/plan B striker.

  57. N5

    “People need to get some realism in their lives”

    Quiet you, your putting me off of my blowjob from Angelina Jolie whilst Britney Spears sits on my face!!

    And I almost crashed my Ferrari into a purple monkey!!

  58. Dream10

    gambon

    “Solved” is probably too strong to use. But, I think he is a very good player. He could have been one of two defensive minded CMs purchased. Along w/ a Martinez or Gonalons

    This summer I wanted us to buy a RB, 2 CBs, 2DMs, and 2 goalscorers.

  59. Romford Pele

    Hmmm the Dortmund and Gnabry rumours seemed to have resurfaced again. Can’t see us sanctioning it anyway. But first and foremost, where is Gnabry? Thought he was fit but hasn’t played since March?!

  60. Gregg

    To be fair I can see why Schneiderlein is pissed off. He’s been with them through all the divisions and he’s seeing them sell everyone else before him.

  61. Wallace

    Dream 10

    where’d you read the Cork to Palace deal?

    a friend who is a Saints fan thinks very highly of Cork.

  62. DUIFG

    Rosicky Ox Sanogo on the bench is perfect for me, I would call them all impact players, bring any one of them on and they have ability to pose the opposition a different problem.

    Lets hope it does not come to that, start nice and bright and make a statement early.

    Given the vibe in the camp im pretty confident, much rather play palace now then January some time.

  63. Nasri's Mouth

    @jim Lahey

    I said I’d prefer Khedira to Wilshere to play alongside Ramsey, but playing either (assuming we have Ozil / Cazorla as the 3rd player in the middle) is risky. We’d be leaving ourselves open to counter attacks with our style of play, and while it might be interesting to see how it worked, I think Khedira is more of a replacement for Ramsey than someone who can play alongside him

  64. gambon

    “Gambon,, what would your take be on this?”

    I have been saying all summer:

    1- We desperately need a top MF
    2- Wenger will not sign a top MF

    He loves Arteta, he completely refuses to see the issues in our MF. He clearly had enough of Flamini last season, but he cant bring himself to be ruthless.

    He just doesnt see why its an issue having 4 CMs that are all under 6′, none are proper DMs, 3 of the 4 are very limited physically.

    He just doesnt see it.

    Nothing has really changed. Sure theres the odd £30m player, one per year id imagine, but we are still not facing up to our issues, we are still content to fight for 4th.

    I dont think Wenger has any desire to fight for the PL at all.

  65. DUIFG

    The Colombian sanchez as a DM for 5 mil would be nice at this point, would take anything really, looked solid in the WC

  66. Romford Pele

    “Read that Hull are after Welbeck for £14m. …that must be nonsense. NO way is he going for £2m more than long”

    Few things wrong with this:

    1) Welbeck is a lot better than Hull.
    2) United will sell Hernandez before they sell Welbeck.
    3) Welbeck will get a lot more chances as a striker in United’s 3-4-1-2/3-5-2 this season.
    4) Welbeck is good. Needs to start fulfilling his potential but doesn’t help when he gets shipped about left, right and centre

  67. Nasri's Mouth

    Drogba scored most of those goals in the Turkish league last season. Hard to use that as much of a pointer given the quality of the league.

  68. Jeff

    The list so far:

    Alexis Sanchez
    Mathieu Debuchy
    David Ospina
    Calum Chambers

    MIN REQUIRED
    Top Striker
    Defensive Midfielder (Arteta as backup of sorts)
    Center Back

  69. Gregg

    Agree with Gambon on the DM position.

    It’s strange, Wenger seems to place financial value on each position. You look at Mourhino (wanker that he is) and Pelligrini / Mancini before him; they see the DM role as vital and spend vast sums of money to get real quality there. It’s a bedrock position in their mind-sets. Wenger simply doesn’t see it that way, sort of appears to play lip service to it. As long as you can collect the ball of the defence it’s alright by him. Combative qualities are completely overlooked.

  70. Romford Pele

    Al, It’s a weird one. It does say on the injury website that he’s suffering from a knee injury but to be about for 6 months with no sign of when he’s coming back is a weird one. Maybe i’m wrong but he doesn’t exactly strike me as a trouble maker. Team mates seem to speak highly of him. Who knows.

  71. jules

    Gambon.

    Sadly agree. Prepare to be completely over run in midfield against top four teams again then I guess! It is so glaringly obvious isn’t it! Power and height so needed.

  72. gambon

    Dream10

    Hes just not even close to good enough for Arsenal. Hes not even close to good enough for Everton and we should be shopping in a much different window to them.

    If you were ranking players out of 100 in all positions, we need 80+ and some positions (DM, CF) 90+

    Cork would be a 55 or something.

    Id rather play academy kids than waste time with Crystal Palace level players.

  73. Romford Pele

    The DM is a vital position. It’s baffling. Fine, Wenger doesn’t want someone to just sit infront of the back four but what about a combative ball-winning midfielder who can do both sides of the game? Khedira isn’t perfect, sure. But it still makes sense. It’s not like there’s a lack of options on the market either.

  74. Leedsgunner

    Shane Long for £12m? Steve Bruce must be laughing his head off. Although ignoring the price tag – arguably he’s a slight upgrade on Lambert… why did they sign Forester? Boruc was fine for them… what they needed was to replace Lallana, Lovren and Chambers…

  75. Jim Lahey

    @NM – Ah so you did, sorry about that! Yeah I agree that Khedira and Ramsey do fulfil similiar roles, and a pure DM would be a better match beside Ramsey.

    I wonder has it anything to do with ball retention and the idea that a purely DM focused player would lack the ability to retain the ball as well as a player like Arteta?

  76. Nasri's Mouth

    Dream10: Matt Le Tissier tweeted it

    It was talked about yesterday. He’s just replying to speculation in the press about it

  77. gambon

    “Drogba scored most of those goals in the Turkish league last season. Hard to use that as much of a pointer given the quality of the league.”

    Yet people are asking for Joel Campbell, who played in a far weaker league, to be our new superstar striker….

  78. Romford Pele

    “I think he will be out for a long time.”

    ACL I think it is. Same thing Theo and Jay Rodriguez got. That injury is devilish man.

  79. jules

    Yet was is strange is that Wenger had it when we won the league, ie PV4 and Petit, Edu. All tall and bloody strong. So if he knows it worked before , why not replicate??

  80. Romford Pele

    “Although ignoring the price tag – arguably he’s a slight upgrade on Lambert”

    Is he though? Has Shane Long ever reached double figures for goals in the PL? Not a Lambert fan but his output is very high considering his lack of pace. Actually think he’s quite a decent option for Liverpool.

  81. Gregg

    Not sure I agree on the opinions of Khedira being a risk at DM. I think modern day players are more versatile than ever before. You could put a pairing in there and as long as their both intelligent and disciplined then it can work easily.

    Scweinsteiger is a perfect example of a player that can adapt to the needs of the team. I don’t see why Khedira can’t do the same

  82. Nasri's Mouth

    @Jim Lahey

    I think Wenger hasn’t been able to get the player he wants yet.

    It’s entirely possible we’ll bring someone in before the end of the window, but it’s also possible that he thinks we’ll have enough energy in the team to cover for Artetas legs getting older. (With Ramsey alongside him, Arteta won’t need to do so much work. )

  83. jules

    In fact nearly the whole 04 team were over 6 foot tall . You must have crapped your self in the tunnel standing next to that lot! If you got past Petit and PV 4 , up next the nasty Keown! Owweee!

  84. Gregg

    Ah Petit.

    Tony Adams calls him the best defender he ever played with. The first player in this league to play as a sweeper in front of the back 4. Vieira hunted it down, Petit swept up and the two centre halves had an easy afternoon’s work.

  85. Nasri's Mouth

    Gambon: Yet people are asking for Joel Campbell, who played in a far weaker league, to be our new superstar striker….

    YOU’RE saying that Campbell isn’t good enough because he’s played in a weaker league

  86. Dream10

    Romford

    Strootman and Kondogbia left footers like Petit. City, Utd, Real will definitely bid for Strootman next summer. Kondogbia needs to kick on as well. But Real were interested in him as well, when he was at Sevilla.

  87. jules

    Romford.

    I loved the bloke. What a player. Seeing the blonde pony tail flying through the air into a tackle. Bloody marvellous!

  88. gambon

    The problem is our balance in midfield is horrific.

    We have so many little technicians and attacking players: Wilshere, Cazorla, Ramsey, Ozil

    So wheres the physicality and defensive nous to back that up?

    Arteta and Flamini are nothing players. West Ham level footballers. Theres a reason they have 3 caps between them and neither will ever play international football again.

    Put 2 proper CMs into our MF, and you will see an improvement.

    Wenger isnt close to ruthless enough.

    Sure hes bought big twice in Sanchez and Ozil, but our transfer business is still pretty shocking in recent times.

    We’ve needed a top CF for 2 years (5 transfer windows) and we’ve done nothing to address that.

  89. gnarleygeorge9

    Pedro

    Well you can expect the number of empty seats to increase this season in light of Maureen claiming that his Chavs are going to dominate for the next 10 years, apparently.

    I mean hey, Maureen is like some bimbo who has been taken back by her sugar daddy & is in your face about the Porsche Spyder he has just bought her.

  90. Nasri's Mouth

    Shane Long isn’t very good. He wasn’t very good when people on here were saying we should sign him, and he still isn’t very good now.

    Comparing him to Lambert as goal scoring strikers, the only advantage is that Long is a lot younger.

  91. jules

    Nous is the word Gambon. We are lacking.

    Kondogbia was so dominant against us. The point is you need Wilshire and Arteta to do what that guy did on his own!! Just sign one bloody good one.

  92. gambon

    Thats what makes me laugh about Wenger.

    He loved the big, physical midfield.

    Vieira & Petit, Gilberto & Vieira

    Then, for whatever reason, he completely turned his back on it.

    Now, he seems so preoccupied by making sure all midfielders he signs are as short and frail as possible.

    I think someone pointed out yesterday that Wenger has spent £100m+ on attacking MFs in recent years and £12m on CFs / £15m on Central MFs.

    That sums up Wengers philosophy.

    The only thing that matters is pretty passing moves.

    He would rather create 20 chances and score 1, than score 4 from 10 chances.

    Fergie always adopted the exact opposite approach…..function before form, and look at the chasm in managerial quality between them

    If Ronaldo had gone to Arsenal, he wouldve ended up like Quaresma, good on the eye but utterly useless.

  93. Bankz

    Romford Pele

    I get your point. Let’s see.
    If he is moved into the middle, Ozil out wide given his lack of defensive capacities isn’t such a wise move.
    That’s the reason I think he would play left so Ozil retains his roaming position.

    MarbleHall

    Don’t you ever get tired of bashing off Wenger?
    I’m not a Wenger man….wanted him out since 2010 & still do if given a better option but I don’t come into Legrove every morning screaming how SHIT Wenger is and how SHIT Arsenal have become.
    Get a grip of those emotions Son.

  94. Bankz

    Romford Pele

    I get your point. Let’s see.
    If he is moved into the middle, Ozil out wide given his lack of defensive capacities isn’t such a wise move.
    That’s the reason I think he would play left so Ozil retains his roaming position.

    MarbleHall

    Don’t you ever get tired of bashing off Wenger?
    I’m not a Wenger man….wanted him out since 2010 & still do if given a better option but I don’t come into Legrove every morning screaming how SHIT Wenger is and how SHIT Arsenal have become.
    Get a grip of those emotions Son.

  95. Bankz

    Romford Pele

    I get your point. Let’s see.
    If he is moved into the middle, Ozil out wide given his lack of defensive capacities isn’t such a wise move.
    That’s the reason I think he would play left so Ozil retains his roaming position.

    MarbleHall

    Don’t you ever get tired of bashing off Wenger?
    I’m not a Wenger man….wanted him out since 2010 & still do if given a better option but I don’t come into Legrove every morning screaming how SHIT Wenger is and how SHIT Arsenal have become.
    Get a grip of those emotions Son.

  96. Nasri's Mouth

    @Bankz

    Marble Hall is a troll, he bashes Wenger because he wants a reaction from people on here, nothing else.

    I doubt he believes half of what he types.

    He’s a Spurs fan with Wikipedia

  97. Gregg

    Again I agree with Gambons point on the CM’s we used to buy. Power and physique, pure athletes.

    Disagree re Ronaldo though. That guy is so driven that he was always going to be top class.

  98. Dream10

    gambon

    Comes back to the idea of shared responsibilty. With the exception of the back five, AW wants to play as many creative players as he can. Don’t kno if it was on here or another blog, but someone said that in the last five years, Arsenal have spent 150m on attacking midfielders and 15m on strikers. Shows where the manager’s intentions are.

  99. shad

    Hey up all!

    I just hope Wenger is not looking at Diaby and Wilshere to our DM problem. We are light up front, weak in defensive midfield..sigh.

  100. jules

    He is obsessed with Barca these days Gambon. But would Xavi and Iniesta do any better at Stoke on a cold winters night that us? Maybe, maybe not. Nous is the lacking word as you say.