Arsenal pragmatism is upsetting fans

by .


Yesterday was a weird one. You can’t quite fathom what really happened. Arsenal fans are suffering something akin to Pavlov’s Dog (ring the bell – salivate regardless of whether food is brought).

We generally know what to expect of Arsenal against big teams. Drab performance, upsetting result. The first half yesterday felt like a drab performance.  It felt like the full force of a typical Arsenal hangover swinging into effect. But did it feel like that because we’re preconditioned to be disappointed?

Quite possibly. To the naked eye, we lacked confidence, we defended deep and we created nothing. If that was a Chelsea first half performance, we’d all be coo-ing like a sycophantic Sky Journalist in the midst of a ‘witty’ Jose interview. Instead, a large majority of fans were dismissive and annoyed by a shit show of a game.

Sure, there were plenty of reasons to be angry. We didn’t find our attacking rhythm, Giroud did a particularly poor job in front of and around goal… the defence creaked badly for the Herrera goal.

… but, was playing a reserved first half game part of, you know, part of a bigger picture plan? One that wasn’t executed to perfection… but one that was at least executed.

Well, you certainly can’t deny we did come to life in the last 25 minutes. The second half was certainly punctuated by a much smoother flow. We found our game, played with more ambition and created the bulk of chances.

Wenger switched things up dramatically on the all too predictable 70th minute mark. He brought on Jack and Theo, switched Coquelin to right back and aimed to stretch United with penetrating break outs through midfield and blistering runs out wide. The result was positive-ish.

Theo forced United subs Blackett and Valdes into a disaster when they broke into the box, cut a hard low cross into Blackett, the ball ricocheted up and over a misstepping keeper. A strangely sweet equaliser.

… worth mentioning the stunning long ball from the impressive Ramsey!

So the game played out with a point shared a piece. The top four all but secured. We miss out on second, and we miss out on making much progress on our points tally of last term, but plenty to be pleased about.


Don’t become Pavlovs dog. You have to relearn how to watch Arsenal in this modern era of planning and doing clever things. I was as guilty as many of you. I didn’t see the plan, but on reflection, I totally can now. Arsenal play with purpose, we don’t just play to entertain.

Have we nailed it perfectly? No. Did we win yesterday? No. But a point away at Old Trafford is always an achievement. Sure, I understand that the United team we saw was average, but they’re managed by a Wiley old fox who is very good at getting the most out of average teams.

I think what yesterday showed is that we are still lacking quite a lot quality wise. If we’d had more quality around the pitch, we’d have made those three points ours.

Olivier Giroud really didn’t cut the mustard again. He made some very cute touches, but his finishing under pressure and his overall game just isn’t world class. He had two very good chances yesterday that a Thierry would have scored. He fluffed both. When the team is playing for one chance, you need someone who can convert it. That’s not Olivier long term. I also have major doubts about his lack of pace, really doesn’t work with counter attacking tactics. How much more would we get out of a Benteke style player?

I also think you’re starting to see the pitfalls of having a keeper that’s not quite there. I think Petr Cech would have done more with the Gomis goal last week and the goal yesterday. It’s a very subjective point, but I just don’t think he’s the right man. There aren’t many keepers in the Premier League that get away with being small. He’s managed it for a while, but I kind of feel like that’s more luck than pure ability.

I also think it’s interesting watching Bellerin. He’s an immensely talented young player, but jeez, he was getting roasted by Ashley Young yesterday. He’s certainly a player who relies on his pace to bail him out of trouble. I think I’d prefer to see a bit more stability in that role when Debuchy picks up his fitness.

Overall, it’s a bit of a tough one to get your head around. We played pragmatic Chelsea style football and picked up a pragmatic Chelsea style point. We all hate it, but we went there, did a job and now we’ve secured Champions League football without having to qualify.

The performance wasn’t what we’re used to seeing, but maybe that’s a good thing? Maybe that’s part of the evolution of the club?

Well, it can be part of the evolution if we build in the quality to deliver in those games. There are still very big quality gaps that could be filled this summer. Question always centres around whether the manager has the ruthlessness to deliver on it.

A drab point, but one that allows us to start thinking about the FA Cup final.

Onwards and upwards!

424 Responses to “Arsenal pragmatism is upsetting fans”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Carts


    I was expecting us to play like a team who wanted to win and had a game plan, from the first minute. Not a team who perform almost exactly the same week in, week out hoping for different results.

  2. tunnygriffboy


    Apparently you are not allowed to put debt onto your club like Portsmouth and, ahem, man u, but owners can put their own money in. The likes of Inter and Roma with new owners are up in arms plus there’s a worry that our new tv deal has made big hitters in Europe the jitters in terms of player recruitment

    Sad thing is we’re now back to waiting until City, Chelsea and other clubs have first dibs on players as we can’t out bid them. Of course we have better financial monies but not compared to the big boys

    Wiggy needs to get his chump change out and buy us a couple of £30 million players. Yeah, right. In the long run winning things raises profile of the club

    I’ve always been against sugar daddies but I’m getting to the stage if we can’t beat them, join them.

    Bu.ggery, bu.ggery bollox.

  3. Keyser

    Carts – I don’t think you’d be able to tell, unless you saw the scoreline.

    You can prepare all week, but if the teams not on form, or play poorly you adjust as we did, first at halftime and we did improve then by subs.

    Is this where you say ‘Well we should’ve prepared better, our tactics..’

  4. salparadisenyc

    Another non footie bit, than is unless man city blue is you’re colour.

    35 years ago today Ian Curtis.

  5. Cesc Appeal

    We don’t really need a billionaires investment, just Wenger and the board to do their jobs.

    We have plenty of money and a decent squad, we can easily challenge with the proper investment no matter what City or Chelsea do.

    City have a heck of a lot of work to do. I’m not sure Chelsea will abandon this more sustainable business model they have going right now either. United are United.

    So not really a problem.

    We don’t need a billionaire, and it isn’t an excuse for Wenger failing either, needs to make sure he makes the right additions to the squad and we will be fine.

  6. Bennydevito

    having read that ffp article I agree with the sentiment. All ffp was designed to do was keep the status quo – teams like man utd, barca, Madrid with all their revenue would of course want ffp to restrict clubs like city, psg and Chelsea joining the party. A bit like green taxes and carbon bollocks print stopping developing nations from industrialising and being seif sufficient, the western nations of power imposing green restrictions to keep the poor poor.

  7. Carts

    Keyser –

    So do you think Wenger looked at “variants” – being a word you love to use – of how Utd would set-up?

    For example, somehwere in Wenger’s hard-head, Wenger must’ve seriously gave thought to the likelihood of Shaw not playing, meaning Rojo/Blackett would replace him.

    Let’s say he did. So Why would you opt for Ramsey over Theo, especially if you genuinely want to beat Utd?

    Was Ramsey ever going to stretch Rojo? Would Theo + Bellerin make more sense vs Young and Rojo? We’re talking about direct threats here, not some fucked up belief that Rambo has it in him to fuck shit up from out wide.

    So yes, we should’ve prepared better. Nothing I saw for the first 70-odd minutes tells me we had a genuine game plan. Unless you’re going to now tell me that the game plan was for Utd to tire and we pepper them for the last 20 minutes..

  8. daz

    Bamford you either need to admit you were wrong about utd being stronger or explain how a title winning side could be weaker than the runners up.

    I would admit you were right if they some how finish above us

  9. Bamford10

    Don’t get overconfident, Daz. I have you beat. You’re just too dim to know it.

    However, a man must finish his work before he takes time out to educate fools. 😉

  10. Keyser

    Carts – Answer the question I asked right at the start.

    There’s a reason I asked it, because you’re looking at the game in hindsight now.

    If we had Ox/Welbeck do you think they would’ve played and why would they be preferred over Theo ?

    If United use Herrera, Fellaini and Blind, is there a reason Ramsey could be useful ?

    You’ve basically placed Theo, Sanchez and Ozil in front of Cazorla and Coquelin. Come on dude, we saw Sanchez and Ozil struggle to hold onto the ball, and you want Theo ? Who’s barely played and has struggled to get involved even late on against tiring defences ?

    All of that could make more sense than any of what you said, but then maybe Wenger wants us to be able to pass through pressure, he wants Ozil, Ramsey and Sanchez to be able to work together through various situations, and because they’re the future he also leaves Rosicky on the bench.

  11. daz

    Ok will look forward to it if you manage to convince me I will take my hat off to you can’t see though

  12. MidwestGun

    Well my interpretation of FFP is that it was never gonna be a hard fast rule where if you do x…. y will happen. It’s more like a tax code where the violatiors will pay a luxury tax determined by an ambiguous board who determined the fine, so it was never gonna hurt the billionaire owners because they don’t care. And because it’s on a 3 year rolling average…. it’s a moving target. And there is lag time and now a bunch of lawsuits.
    So really it doesn’t make much difference in our case as not much changes.

    I mean if Kroenke wanted to he could have paid the remaining balance off in stadium debt Anyhow as it is infrastructure. Probably out of his petty cash account from the ranch. But he won’t because of fines of early repayment and most likely a low interest rate and he doesn’t care.
    So not sure it really means much the loosening rules thing.

  13. Lee


    Yeah and look where that got us…..
    Theo came on and salvaged the game. Ozil and alexia were cack. So was ramsey until he was moved I to the middle.
    Would Young have been so confident in roasting bellerin if theo wads playing in front of him?
    Did Ramseys wing play or alexis for that matter outshine Theo’s 20 mins?
    The fact is walcott offers the kind of goal threat that no other player in our squad can.
    He is totally unique
    And it would be madness to sell him.
    Whats the point of watching Ramsey and ozil tapping the ball side ways with nobody making runs?
    Giroud doesn’t do it. How are we going to stretch teams on the break with the static approach you seem to be enamoured with?

  14. Bennydevito


    Agreed, we will be left counting our coppers at the coinstar while city, utd and Chelsea sign the top bracket quality.

    The loosening of ffp has massive ramifications for us as already explained. I truly believe our board thought ffp would lead us to the promised land of unrivalled spending picking up teams’ ffp cast offs trying to balance the books.

    How naïve.

  15. Bennydevito

    Hugo LLoris is apparently favourite to replace DeGea at utd. If he’s available we should be going for him.

  16. carts

    Your Comment HereKeyser

    This isn’t hindsight I’m using here. This is essentially the first thing I thought when I saw the line up.

    Yes, Theo has barely played all season!

    However, the point im making is that Wenger couldn’t have done his research let alone had the confidence to exploit Utd cos if he had, he’d have seen that Rojo at LB is Utd’s weak link across the entire back 4, thus opting for pace from Theo (or moving Sanchez across).

    *Pointless mentioning Ox or Welbz as they are both fucked and had been for a while now.

    If your saying that Ramsey’s usefulness to combat Utd’s midfield trio was the reason for him starting ahead of Theo then why not simply put Ramsey alongside Coq and Santi? Again, this isn’t hindsight speaking, these are things that even I noticed having seen the line up.

    Wenger’s approach to a lot of our games are repetitive and us winning tends to be down to certain players coming alive as opposed to approaching games how we did against City.

  17. WengerEagle

    Sorry to hear about your Dad Sal, he sounded like a top bloke and a proper die-hard Gooner.

    Have huge respect for life-long supporters like your old man was.

    All the best to you and your family mate.

  18. tunnygriffboy


    Levy would never sell Lloris to us. He’ll want top dollar and knowing that man u have ridiculous amounts of money plus DeGea’s fee in their pockets and they’ll be desperate he will fleece them good and proper. Plus he’s on a long deal.

    Having said all that I’d love him though

    Alternately Wenger should have the following conversation.

    ” Jens, who are the best 3 goalkeepers in Germany at the moment ? Who should we buy ? ”

    ” Thank you Jens “

  19. Keyser

    Carts – There’s numerous reasons, I asked you to think why Wenger had done what we had, you’re still looking at this game in hindsight, it’s inescapable because you’ve already seen the results.

    Rojo’s a decent leftback, you’ve got this idea that he’s a weakness so must be exposed regardless, that still leaves Blind, Herrera, Fellaini to worry about.

    United pressed us into mistakes, and crowded out Ozil and Sanchez, what’s Theo going to do if we can’t get the ball to him to begin with ?

    There’s reasons why his approach is repetitive, it’s because it works, all you’re doing is guessing and you’re guessing poorly. Theo’s barely played, and he hasn’t shown much consistentcy, but you’re adamant he would’ve exposed Rojo, why ?

  20. Willow Wilson

    “Thomas was a waste of 42.5 million of his dads sperm!!”

    Dad? Some random bloke depositing a sample in the Chelsea & Westminster Sperm Bank for the £4.50 fee, is hardly a ‘dad’…!

    My informed guess would be that the donor was one of those cross dressing individuals who knocked one out while watching Brokeback Mountain on the Internet, while wearing a stetson and a pair of leather Chaps.

    In the very unlikely event that I am wrong, I apologise to CT.

  21. Willow Wilson

    “However, the point im making is that Wenger couldn’t have done his research let alone had the confidence to exploit Utd cos if he had, he’d have seen that Rojo at LB is Utd’s weak link across the entire back 4, thus opting for pace from Theo”

    How do you know starting Theo would not have resulted in us losing the game?

    You seem to be trying to argue based on an ‘unknown’, its all speculative bollocks. Anyone can use speculation and hindsight to argue a point because you can never be proved wrong. By playing Theo, we may well have lost 3-0. If we had, you would have been saying ‘why did he start Theo’.

    Just saying you can have an opinion but you can’t rant about something speculative as if it is a proven fact.

  22. Willow Wilson

    ” a bit like green taxes and carbon bollocks”

    Yep. like ‘Global warming’ suddenly being changed to ‘climate change’ when the truth came out that we had in fact been cooling!! The amount of crap we get fed just proves how gullible and stupid we all are.

    However, FFP has good intentions and much of that will remain as football clubs are businesses at the end of the day and must be solvent. The changes in the Spanish TV money were long overdue but these clubs have so much influence, especially Barca and RM, that it’s impossible to shackle them. There would be no winners. Too much money involved, so a dilution of FFP was always likely to happen. But I don’t expect sweeping changes. Its still good for our club, we are gradually becoming one of those super clubs.

  23. tunnygriffboy

    Meant to mention this earlier today. Did anyone actually notice yesterday that Theo made an effort to go past and beyond Blackett using skill before he got the deflection ? Happy days I think. More of it please Theo 🙂 🙂

  24. kwik fit

    Speaking of Knobs how are they all hanging for you guys out in the ether space, Straight down or to the side?

  25. kwik fit

    Glad to hear that Mid 🙂 Isn’t that a picture of loreal with a massive knob or is it a picture of just a massive knob ?

  26. MidwestGun

    Kwik –
    Haha. You decide…. speaking of which have you ever seen a striker tackled by a player lying on the ground in a prone position before?

  27. tunnygriffboy


    Well I was dragging mine behind me when coming out of the sea this afternoon.Two ladies were laughing at me so I said ” It always shrinks when it gets cold ” 🙂 🙂

  28. bennydevito


    Yeah, like humans can have any say in a natural ecological cycle of the planet of warming, tropics, cooling, ice age,…

    Massive con IMO. The sun’s solar cycle drives this planet’s climate, which in turn drives up C02 levels, not the other way around….

    Anyway, here’s hoping ffp will still have some teeth where it matters.

    On a different note, Liverpool looking at Arturo Vidal to replace Gerrard. Seeing as Pogba will most likely either stay or go to one of the ffp flouters, I think Vidal is someone we should be in for.

  29. Relieable sauce

    My condolencies to you & your family Sal.
    Lost my dad quite suddenly in 2009 & it still upsets me if I think about it now.
    I am a bit of a wuss though.

  30. northern gooner

    Yeah she is. I dont think she will be making it into next seasons catalogue showing off the new kits.

  31. goona

    Just read today’s post… my opinion we were shite, predictably shite, against manure “a big team”….Manure are their worst for years and we can beat them…..until we can we can only dream of winning a league title again. Giroud doesn’t cut it, aguero in his place and we are streets better.

  32. Bennydevito

    N5, Karim, anybody else who knows,

    I’m thinking of coaching it over from Bristol on the Sunday in the morning, arriving for mid day. I can stay at the Angel Islington right on the doorstep for £100, or, stay at hackney which is 1.2m away, so walkable, for £74. What’s it like walking that way at night? Am I likely to get mugged, buggered, or if I’m lucky, both? How much would a taxi fare cost?

    I can of course come over Saturday instead and go back Sunday if that suits but prices will probably go up.

    Any advice would be great.

  33. N5

    Benny, both the Angel and Hackney aren’t the greatest of areas, but you’ve nothing to worry about mate. Especially during football time, the town is buzzing and police are everywhere. The Hackney walk is really easy so it’s just preference for you on saving money. I can drop you off on my way past to Hastings anyway.

    Are you wanting to go to both days football?

  34. london gunner

    Benny Devito

    I’m from Hackney. What part are you staying?

    Its a massive borough so it varies considerably from area to area like most of london’s boroughs there be good bits and not so good bits.

    However you’re more likely to bump into hipster graphic designers. rich kids moved in from cambridge/oxford or super rich bankers/financial experts. Nothing like it used to be tbh.

    As for Cab fair if you get an uber its £6-12 max works out even cheaper if you are with friends.

  35. N5

    LG, I assume by him saying 1.2 miles from the ground that he’s talking Finsbury Park end which is fine isn’t it. My uncle is from Hackney and he grew up in a rough part, but like you say, so much of it is different now.

    Are you no longer Hackney LG?

  36. london gunner


    Yeah Finsbury park used to be extremely rough my dad from East Ham used to visit his auntie in an estate and she would show him the bullet holes in the walls.

    But tbh pretty much most parts of Hackney were crime ridden aside from Stoke Newington which I assume has always been very well to do. (Saying that a lad from my school was killed in stoke newington, but in a city like London crime does tend to spill over into higher wealth areas)

    Anyways the hipster/yuppies/ entrepreneurs moved into shorditch and branched out from there slowly taking over dalston and other parts of Hackney.
    Granted Finsbury isn’t trendy or gentrified, but decades of it being well policed has had a significant impact. I think the biggest impact in the area was the massive crackdown they had on blackstock road many years ago when I was a teen. They basically disbanded most of the black market and crime kind of nose dived. after that. Not really sure if it truly dropped or ended or whether the crims just moved onto fresher pastures.

    I am still Hackney just have moved about.

    Note to Benny Devito. It really is night and day from how it used to be. Don’t let the above comments put you off. It’s actually a great place to visit as a tourist and is actually seeing a massive increase in tourism to the area as the reputation of the area spreads.

  37. rollen

    Yeah, like humans can have any say in a natural ecological cycle of the planet of warming, tropics, cooling, ice age,…

    Massive con IMO. The sun’s solar cycle drives this planet’s climate, which in turn drives up C02 levels, not the other way around….


  38. N5

    What a great comment, thank you LG. I’m familiar with Hackney, but not to your level and appreciate the education.

    You were saying about Shorditch and I know Whitechapel has gone that way too bur are you familiar with Hoxton? I have family there too but I’ve kind of lost contact with them over the years. Is that place as bad as it once was do you know?

  39. london gunner


    Hoxton and Shorditch are part and parcel of the same area really.
    It’s like saying Finsbury park and Manor house.

    Basically there was a massive (tech) boom whereby loads of mainly tech based small start ups moved into the area because of the very cheap (at the time) work space rent prices and plenty of space (as it was previously a semi industrialised area also the fact it was in the heart of the city really helped draw traffic to the area.

    This was pushed to a large extent by the government who wanted a flagship project in what is now called tech triangle based in old street a few mins walk from hoxton. The gov wanted to A. Promote small businesses B. Promote new technologies, innovation and look for a further way of building/modernising the economy without focusing purely on the financial sector.

    So this drive and super cheap rents meant loads of young people with “big” ideas moved into the area and networked with fellow creative’s/business men and women which lead to business such as Last FM, mobile app companies ect. The area originally took on a alternative kind of attitude and look to the City boys only a few miles south and to the west of them. This was the whole Hipster movement. Also of note Hoxton/Shorditch is one of the biggest clubbing meccas of not just England, but europe now. It still being characterisied by a kind of edgy alternative east london scene different from the polished clubs of mayfair and the glamour (more like tackyness )of west end.

    However, the area is increasingly becoming gentrified with the money that has been made and has come to the area and because of its very close locating to the finacial heart of the city you are increasingly more likely to bump into people who work in finance/ bankers.

    It still has its hipster qualities of oddball/focus on green issues and “edgy” style, but its more kind of rich people from out of london and taking on certain stylistic qualities/camouflaging to a degree.

    Problem is gentrifying is always a mixed bag as rents are increasing both domestically and on commercial property meaning the start up culture is increasingly being eroded as new business is being priced out.

    It looks lovely and there are great things to do, but I think its going the way of Notting Hill and becoming the playground for the rich.

    If I was to bet I would say areas in South London are becoming the new new hackney.

  40. N5

    Cheers LG that’s very comprehensive and I’ve certainly learned something. I appreciate you taking the time out to write that mate.

  41. El Tel 1


    Brilliant write up.

    I know this area well. Every young Guy and Girl want to go out in Shoreditch. My only advice is stay on the main roads as the blocks of flats just off the beaten track still has scumbags hanging around.

    I worked in Brunswick Place just off Old St roundabout for 11 years on the night shift. There was still some idiots messing about.

    Nothing to worry about though if you are street wise.

    Make the most of the weekend and enjoy N5.

  42. Dusty Kart

    I’m originally from Hoxton N5 moved out in 87 used to be a shit hole went back a few years ago and was amazed at the transformation new apartments every where especially along regents canal all the old ware houses have gone all replaced with river side flats you should visit and see for yourself you wouldn’t reconize it.

  43. Wallace


    yeah, like London says, no worries re Hackney these days. just lots of annoying rich kids running around in need of a good kicking 😉

  44. Paulinho

    All the Chelsea youngsters look like those players you create on computer games with an afro to make them stand out.

  45. N5

    El Tel thanks mate, but it’s Benny who’s the guy coming down. I’m a regular around that way just not so familiar with certain parts as normally I stay in and around Islington unless I’m visiting friends/family but all of them mainly live in South London. Just the few that are in East. I have a couple in Hoxton and some in Bethnal.

    Dusty, thanks man. I was in Bethnal Green a few years back and that was very similar to what it used to be, but Shoreditch and Whitechapel were so different. I used to drive the Commercial Road way to Arsenal so saw it regular but now we go through Stratford way so I’ve not seen that part in a little while. Hoxton however, I’ve not been too in 20 years, so I may take your advise and have a look for old times sake.

    I grew up in Walworth which I imagine will be a shithole until I die, but I’d rather that than how some of these boroughs have gone. Pedro said they were doing all the Elephant and Castle up in the same way to which was a surprise.

  46. Joe

    Why Sal,

    So we can have another player with no end product. We need a winger who scores goals. I would rather have theo. at least he can finish.

    FFP easing. Another ready made excuse for wenger and his brigade

  47. bennydevito

    Thanks everyone,

    I’ve lived around some pretty rough areas of Bristol so I think I get what you mean but it sounds like a good place as you all speak of it with such passion, it’s a good endorsement.

    Regarding the Ems weekend, what do you think N5? How much and how available would both days be? What’s everyone’s preference?

  48. N5

    For me Benny it would be the Lyon game. It can get a little pricey if you do all the matches. Although I’m sure they do a deal for all 4? I’d rather just do the Lyon, otherwise I’d have to travel up twice from Hastings. If Karim comes over from France and Eagle from Ireland and you from Bristol then it might be worth I’ll while all making a weekend of it and staying over. I’m sure Karim won’t want to hurry back?

  49. northern gooner

    Is there a legrove meet going on at the Emirates Cup?

    Im bringing the little fella down to give him his first taste of a game.

  50. N5

    Yes NG mate, are you up for it mate. Me and Benny were talking about the time Pedro tried to arrange one and it all went belly up on the day due to one thing or another so we decided to give it another bash. So far it’s likely participants are, Me, Karim, WengerEagle, BennyDivito and hopefully you?

  51. northern gooner

    Sounds like a plan. It would probably be the saturday i would be down for.
    Dont think i could manage the full weekend.

  52. tunnygriffboy


    Raheem Stirling very unhappy that details of his contract have been leaked to the press

    Feels he’s been bullied into signing a new contract

    Feels he’s had no support from the club in a difficult time with all the negative headlines

    He will not be signing a new contract

    That is amazing. Things not right there. I had a fleeting hope he may come to us but with FFP now being relaxed seems that city and Chelsea will make huge bids for him. Unless he wants to come south

    City offering Milner 165k a week. How can we compete with that ? Madness

    Lpool though. Ibe not signed deal either. Platini and son with fingers in Psg pie will make sure the insane spending will continue. City were in the shite. Now they’ll chuck 200 million at it again. Madness.

  53. Dark Hei


    I will have to disagree. Both PSG and City were hit very, very hard by FFP sanctions. It is not the fine that hurts. It is the player quota that affects them badly and they are doing everything they can to avoid it.

    Which is why City needs Milnar, because he is a very good squad player and no transfer fee required, and also counts as home grown.

  54. qna

    Milner to Liverpool on a free, paid 150k/week should pad out their wage bill for a few years. Also, lets them relax their grip on Sterling, who can move to City for 50m, that should take up some of their spending power. A waste of money if you ask me.

    Best part of that scenario is we would dodge two bullets this summer. If only we could convince Liverpool to give us 30m of their windfall for Welbeck (or if they insist Walcott).

    That would be two bullets dodged and one dug out of our gut. Nice.

  55. Dream10


    50m certainly seems a steep price for a player like Sterling (even with the UK premium). However, this will not hurt Citeh. Firstly, UEFA will relax FFP regulations. They will be able to invest heavily in top quality (Reus,Isco,Cavani,Pogba). Secondly, Man City are a PL power and will challenge in Europe in the next five years. They have reached the stage where they can afford to make a 50m mistake unlike a Liverpool or Spurs.

  56. Dream10


    50m certainly seems a steep price for a player like Sterling (even with the UK premium). However, this will not hurt Citeh. Firstly, UEFA have relaxed FFP regulations. They will be able to invest heavily in top quality (Reus,Isco,Cavani,Pogba). Secondly, Man City are a PL power and will challenge in Europe in the next five years. They have reached the stage where they can afford to make a 50m mistake unlike a Liverpool or Spurs.

    AW was waiting for FFP to level the playing field so that Arsenal would find it easier to compete with Man City, Chelsea, Man Utd. Guess what? It ain’t happening.

  57. Wallace

    re Sterling – not at Bale’s level, but would definitely improve whichever side buys him. think it’s City favourites with us second depending on what happens with Walcott.

    the big one though is Bale. if he decides to come back whoever gets him automatically becomes favourites for the league. hopefully Utd buying Depay rules them out, and Mourinho hasn’t got the balls to play Hazard and Bale… can we afford him?

  58. qna

    Dream10. Although not disagreeing with what your saying overall, a 50m mistake will certainly hurt. Its an opportunity cost. Perhaps it wont hurt them as much as it would most clubs, but its certainly not nothing. Have heard several people on LG now talk about FFP being relaxed. What is this talk about. Could you share a link? I didnt know that the regulations had been changed since City and PSG got their sanctions.

  59. Dream10


    We can afford Bale if we get rid of Walcott,Sanogo,Podolski,Campbell,Miyaichi and perhaps Rosicky off the wage bill. We’re in need of at least one more goalscorer, two if we’re serious of challenging on multiple fronts.

    Man Utd can afford both Bale and Depay.
    De Gea + 30m = Bale
    Bale will earn similar to what RVP earns (230k I think) and he will likely be moved on. They are on a different financial level in comparison to us.

  60. qna

    Wallace. United have Depay, Di Maria, Young, Valencia, not to mention Mata, Januzaj, so they are all pretty stocked up. They could do with a CF. I can see United staying out of the race for Bale. But I think Chelsea could very well go in for him. I personally dont rate Willian, so I think Bale would be perfect for them. City will be favorites, especially if this talk of FFP being relaxed is true. Ultimately, I think Madrid will set a price around 65m. If Arsenal wants him, they afford that and they can offer decent wages that would probably match whatever Chelsea will be able to offer him. So unless City blow the other offers out of the water in terms of wages, it could come down to his personal choice – Chelsea, City, or Arsenal. If he is ambitious he wont choose us, but if he wants to move back to north London then who knows – stranger things have happened.

  61. Dream10

    Utd will likely move on Di Maria and perhaps Falcao as well.

    They can afford almost anyone if they are on the market

  62. Wallace


    think Utd would have to sell di Maria for Bale to become a possibility. and like i said, can’t see Mourinho sending out a team with Hazard and Bale in it. he’s too conservative a coach.

  63. qna

    Dream10, Wow. That is a massive blow. Hopefully this causes SK to rethink his long term strategy because the truth is that teams without this owner investment will not be able to compete with owner investment. Since his strategy appears to be capital growth, this will really affect Arsenals long term growth. It may be better for him to bail out now and move his money back into his NFL franchise in LA? I don’t know if Red and White are the answers to us, but that guy is richer than Abramovich, so in that case the FFP changes could actually benefit Arsenal (if it resulted in that particular ownership change).

  64. Dream10


    Agreed. Don’t know if the new TV deal is enough for the likes of Kroenke and John W Henry to keep ownership of their respective clubs. SK has a large piece of land in L.A. which he can develop to build a massive stadium for to host the NFL and concerts.

  65. qna

    Dream10. I read somewhere that American investors were looking to invest into the PL clubs for capital growth. Like real estate. Do you now much about this?

    I really dont understand how they plan to make money out of this. They must predict huge inflation in the club value over time, or have access to very cheap capital. I cant see how a smaller club would even necessarily have an interested buyer 10 or 20 years down the track. Its obvious that there is a strategy that makes sense, but I havent had it explained in a way that I comprehend. That is to say, if I were in their position, I could see myself doing the same thing.

    For me, its a simple way of looking at it, you have asset value on day 0, cash flows in and out, asset value on day X (when you sell) and you apply some cost of capital discount value and get a number, like an NPV or an IRR. But it doesnt for the life of me make sense to own a billion dollar football club, which I assume has a fair amount of risk, as a cash making exercise if you arent taking out tens of millions of each and every year. He is not doing this, so that means that if his cost of capital is applied to the final price he must be expecting a huge appreciation in Arsenal’s value?

    They must know what they are doing, I dont doubt that, but surely SK can’t possibly be buying the club for the love, so it must be money. So he must walk around with a number in his head – if offered he would sell up. I can’t see this FFP change having any effect on his strategy though. He doesnt actually care about success, so he is quite happy for the current status quo of 4th place – which will not be affected by changes to FFP. Its up to Usmanov or that Nigerian to put their money where their mouths are and make SK the offer he will accept.

  66. gonsterous

    hope you guys will be carrying the le grove banner and flags… have a fun day out children ^^

  67. Alfie

    N5 – cool. Im going to America for a month on the 19/6 so wont be on here so any info you need, let me know closer to the time.

  68. bennydevito


    Both days would probably be too pricey. What day’s the Lyon match? What’s the loose plan? I’m going to look into coaches or trains today and book a cheap overnight Sunday into Monday. What time’s kick off?

  69. Alfie

    Benny –

    KO 4:20pm.

    Prob be best to all meet about 10am – bit of breakfast, little pub crawl, watch the match and than hit a bar.

  70. N5

    Benny no it’s Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 July, one ticket gives you both games from that day. So we’d watch Arsenal vs Lyon and Villareal vs Wolfsburg is anyone wanted too.

    Arsenal vs Lyon Kicks off at 4:20 (weed joke in there for some?) and Villareal is 2pm I think?

  71. N5

    That’s a good idea Alfie, if we all get a bit of breakfast it gives us a chance to get the introductions done before watching Sanogo tearing up Lyon! 😀

  72. Dark Hei

    Xcuse me fellas.

    How has FFP been “relaxed”? THIS season, City was forced to omit Jovetic from the CL squad. City is on course to meet FFP regulations this season because they sold Negrado to fund Bony. Which meant they played half a season with 3 strikers in their 4-4-2 formation.

    City can afford to spend, but don’t expect them to go mental. They are scared shitless due to FFP. Why do you think they are dumping $$ on Milnar?

  73. bennydevito

    Dark He I,

    Platini said it will be loosened to allow investors to spend their own money as long as it’s not levered on the club as debt. So effectively that £1bn Chelsea now owe Abromavich, he could turn around and say it’s a gift and Chelsea no longer owe it. That will no longer be against ffp. So expect city to spend ridiculous amounts all over again…

  74. N5

    Alfie, that’s criminal mate. Anyway, I’ll keep you informed when you’re back from US (Have fun by the way) and if you need me to get your ticket then let me know and we’ll sort that out.

  75. goonerboy

    We are miles away from exerting the kind of control Chelsea bring to a game- they may lose the odd game- like 3 this year .The main reason that Chelsea experience so few injuries is not luck- it is because they are no where near as stretched as Arsenal’s players. We have to work very hard to get a win-especially against top sides. Against Spurs away, against Liverpool away and again against Stoke and United in the first half we were completely overrun- to an embarrassing extent- did not look even an average side-against sides whose personnel are no better than ours.
    We need to realise to have any chance of winning the ECL we have not got to reach a much higher level of proficiency.

  76. goonerboy

    That organisational proficiency has got to be based on the kind of collective focus in defence and attack that sides such as Atletico and PSG and at their best Dortmund operate- and lets be clear Atletico would have won the EPL had they been playing in England-they are a better team than Chelsea