So, you know when you’re heading round to your girlfriends place, she wants to talk to you about something serious (like that damp patch in the airing cupboard), and you don’t want to talk about that something serious, so you turn up at her place naked with a black eye to divert conversation?
Well, I feel like the Telegraph just showed up at Arsenal fans houses naked, with a black eye accompanied with a fresh tattoo of pudge the cat on its arse.
The story doing the rounds is so specific and inflammatory in its nature, it can’t be anything else other than a plant. Genius really. The story is that Arsene only has £20m to spend in January, good enough for 2 £10m players… but remember, that includes wages. Perfect for putting Arsenal fans into a total frenzy before the AGM which should be dominated by far more interesting lines of questioning.
Now, the headline is ‘warchest’. So have a go at this. Type ‘arsenal warchest’ and ‘Jeremy Wilson’ into Google. It brings back many conflicting numbers over a relatively short period of time.
It was only late May when The Telegraph was celebrating the £100m warchest. It was there to usher in a new era under Wenger. Finally, he had money Arsenal were in the big time. Things had changed. Hello future. Goodbye to the skint past.
So let’s move this on, in the summer, Sporting Intel have us down with a net spend of £43m (Telegraph says £60m which is wrong) and I’m pretty sure that doesn’t include the Cesc fee which was about £5m.
So how have we gone from at worst £60m of surplus warchest to £20m? Where did the £40m go, because we have to assume Wilson has the same source for all his Arsenal information? If it’s accurate, there’s a black hole. There’s the mention of it being about building works, which certainly would have been accounted for in May. Pretty sure it’s not going to be £40m. So to me, it looks like we’re having to wool pulled over out eyes for many reasons…
1) Ivan can take the heat over transfer questions at the AGM because they don’t involve incompetence. He can be ever so flowery and divert people easily, because he’s world class at that and he’s had many years practice deflecting those stories.
2) People will forget about the injury problems because transfers fury is more interesting
3) People definitely prefer talking transfers over silly things like Arsenal’s approach to the London Living wage
4) It pours doubt over Wenger’s ability to compete in the transfer market. Giving him a get our of jail card when it comes to the centre back and DM failings of the summer
… thing is, with the above, Wenger wasn’t tuned in to what’s going on. This is the thing with PR, have all the stakeholders in the room when you’re concocting a plan, because if one person falls out of line, your plan is thrown into disarray.
Wenger, talking to his new fave sports channel, BeIN, dropped a few total clangers yesterday (article here).
This is so car crash, I have to take it slowly, mainly because it shows you how clueless he can be.
‘He had a little problem just before he went out at half-time. He had a little pain with his knee, he felt a crack.
So a few things here, because I’ve actually seen people defend this. If you hear a crack in your knee when you’re running the dog through the park, it’s a little different to hearing one when you’re a top class athlete trained to run 12km a game. A crack is pretty serious especially if it’s accompanied with pain. Anyway, it carries on. This is the moment you’re praying someone in PR will fake a fit or something.
‘I said to our physio to keep an eye on him and if there was anything wrong with him, tell me because when you’re 1-0 down, you want to keep your offensive players on the pitch.
‘I am deeply shocked. He wasn’t involved in a collision with anybody.’
Now, this reads to me like it was his decision to keep him on the pitch. He’s made a medical assessment of a player that he’s not trained to do. This isn’t just a Wenger thing, we’ve seen it with players and head injuries over and over again. Point is here, Ozil was having a total stinker anyway, so throwing caution to the wind was hardly going to kill us.
‘It was just after making a pass with the outside of his foot that he injured his leg so it’s very hard to believe that you can damage your ligament with just making a simple pass and it’s very difficult to take that he will be out for a while.’
So clearly here, we have a total lack of understanding. Now, I’m not saying I’d have an understanding, merely pointing out that it’s crazy he’s making the decisions without having all the knowledge at this finger tips. I’ve seen players break their legs without making contact with other players (Camara when he was at Marseille the second time), so the idea that you can’t bust a ligament without a collision isn’t an informed one.
‘I am not a great believer in coincidences but this time it really is coincidence.
Arsene is the manager who, without an ounce of sarcasm or irony, stated hair pills could be a problem with his injuries. Players who are drugs tested all the time do not take illicit back ally hair pills because it could result in a lengthly ban (See Kolo), so he does beleive in coincidence or luck. Because he had no scientific evidence backing that statement.
It’s such a car crash of an interview and it gives you a pretty good view of why the Shad thing hasn’t worked out. If he’s leading the decision making over injured players and can’t understand where they come from, you can imagine how he feels when someone presents data based on statistical modelling and science that tells him to rest a player. Unfathomable we’re this backward in this day in age.
Main story of today is going to be the answer Arsenal give about the London Living Wage.
Why, is a club with our wealth, not supporting it’s poorest staff with the basics so they can survive in London?
We need answers. I know some bloggers are working on presenting something to the club today, I totally back their stance and I hope to hear Ivan give us the lowdown on this. Those low paid workers keep Arsenal ticking over. If you can afford it, always look after your staff, because valued staff do a better job. I know I’d certainly feel better about my club if they budged on such a massive issue.
Right, LOADS TO TALK ABOUT.
See you in the comment you naked disgrace.