LA Rams electric success and the power of a guiding philosophy (long read)

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The pent up desire of some American’s to lambast an Englishman for daring to speak of NFL is one of the most amusing things I’ve seen online all year. It’s like 15 years of being called shit fans by Brexit Twitter has had an impact on them. I can’t tolerate the steady stream of nonsense from people telling me the LA Rams and Arsenal aren’t comparable. If you’re saying that, you aren’t paying attention to a sport you’re trying to claim a knowledge advantage on, so now I am about to school you in with a touchgoal of a post.

My central argument is that the LA Rams has embarked on an innovative strategy to capture the imagination of a city that has plenty of elite pass times. This from the WaPo:

Anywhere else in America, an undefeated NFL team beating teams by 15 points on average would be a dominant civic force. Here, it is different. The Dodgers are in the World Series, LeBron James is on the Lakers, and the box office totals come out every week. All the Rams do is win. But are they winning over Los Angeles?

The output of the strategy is to dazzle. The anxiety driving that approach is that no one will buy a shitty product in LA. Stan has to entertain to make his investment work. Money is on the line.

The Rams were shite in St. Louis. I have worked extensively in that city, listened to cab drivers bemoan his drab leadership, and actually worked with business people who tried to keep the franchise in the city.

When Stan moved them to LA, betraying his hometown, his team went on the record stating they needed an excellent product, because LA folk wouldn’t tolerate substandard sport. Stan had this to say:

Our goal always has been to create an exciting and long-term solution for the NFL, our 31 partners and Los Angeles football fans.

The LA Rams guiding philosophy comes from the very top and drips down into management team, I believe they call it trickle down guiding philosophy, and it works. This is their VP of Operations, Kevin Demoff.

This is actually getting to how you build a fan base brick-by-brick, fan-by-fan, and get people to understand what the Rams are

It is a very crowded landscape we once had a lofty perch in. It’s going to take time to get back to that lofty perch. The way you do it, you play exciting football. You have players who people not only recognize but they like and understand. You have a coach who brings an exciting style of play.

This sort of approach is what I called for in the summer. It’s a business winning idea, especially if like Stan, you consider sport a content game. It’s why Madrid and Barcelona invest so much on the pitch, because the rewards that come back from commercial deals rocket if you’re appealing to a global audience. The below piece in Forbes by Dr. Rishe of the Washington Business school drills into what he calls the hearts and mind strategy the new franchise is adopting.

Well, when the on-field product is abysmally boring and unimaginative, who among us as consumers of sport want to “belong” to a losing brand?  Nor do we want to “identify” with a losing brand.  Nor do we feel enriched from supporting a losing product.

Thus, the transformation of the Rams organization on the field since Sean McVay’s arrival as head coach plays a crucial role in transforming consumer perceptions of the brand.  Now, when we think of Rams football, we think of an electrifying and innovative approach which is both hip and efficient.  And these characteristics not only resonate with just about any consumer, but especially the cherished millennial and Gen Z consumers which most companies covet (due to their higher potential lifetime customer value to the company).

In short, winning the hearts and imaginations of fans helps to reinvent a brand, change consumer perceptions, inspire greater brand loyalty, which ultimately leads to a more premium-priced and profitable product.

Chasing Gen Z and Millenials is all I hear about at work, but in Premier League football’s case, it’s especially pertinent as we have an age issue in the stands with the average age of season ticket holders sitting at around 43! Clubs need to fill the pipelines back up, otherwise, there’s going to be an issue further down the line. Playing incredible football feels like a business necessity heading into an era of sport that will be be more global, mobile, easier to access, and more competitive than ever before.

Creating an incredible experience at Arsenal should have been the goal. The club had 6 months to think about who they wanted to be after the Wenger reboot, but they clearly didn’t have a plan (or it was a bit shit). Nothing screams that the club is united around a vision, or has an idea of how they’re going to make it happen. We don’t even have a CEO, opting for a Houllier/Evans power share.

Our objective is a return to the Champions League, we’ve tried to achieve that by blowing money on experience that’s not good enough. Our strategy was a tactic, with a average vision of how to achieve it. We should have been thinking about the bigger picture, clearly defining how to become exceptional within realistic contraints. Riches should have been the byproduct of succeeding with the said vision.

Arsenal do not look like they know how to be exceptional, and rumblings of Denis Suarez and Ever Banega don’t convince me that’s changing anytime soon.

Below are the actions the Rams took to get themselves into the position they’re in right now.

Key personnel decisions have completely transformed the vibe of the entire organization, including:

  • The hiring of the innovative and energetic Sean McVay;
  • The patience to allow McVay to develop Jared Goff into a successful NFL quarterback;
  • The wisdom of extending standouts Todd Gurley and Aaron Donald to long-term deals;
  • The aggressiveness during the 2018 off-season to add considerable skill and depth on both sides of the ball (specifically on defense)…not to mention the recent acquisition of Dante Fowler Jr. (though his outbursts in the Seattle game almost cost the team severely).  While the defense needs serious refinements and some of the additions have underperformed (Marcus Peters) or not performed due to injury (Aqib Talib), there is still hope that the skill, depth and experience of these veterans will pay dividends in the playoffs.

Collectively, these decisions were strategically shrewd because (1) you could afford to be aggressive financially in the short-term while QB Goff is still under his rookie contract, and (2) you want to create excitement and positive energy about the brand in the build up towards the team’s eventual relocation to the palatial new stadium in Inglewood in 2020.

In short, the Rams rebrand has been accelerated by a series of strategic personnel decisions.  Largely because of the play on the field, the Rams brand is now perceived to be hip, innovative, creative, and explosive.  These winning traits certainly play anywhere, but especially the case in a market like Los Angeles accustomed to supporting dynamic winners.

There’s a guiding principle at the Rams, and because the goal is set at the top, you can build everything around achieving that with the resources you have at your disposal. They have built buzz from top to bottom, they know the sort of coach they needed to hire, they know the type of players, young and old they need to recruit. They know the expectations of how the game needs to be played. They have built something from nothing and there’s a huge buzz around the place.

Arsenal should be replicating this approach. It’s perfect for us. We can’t win with lavish investments. We can win by having an ambitious goal of being the most exciting young football team in Europe, building our entire club around that idea.

Key learnings from the LA Rams:

  • They have a north star: Play scintillating football that captures the hearts and minds of the locals
  • They hire the best thinkers in the game
  • They have been creative with their approach to player trading

The exact same person that runs Arsenal dismally is pulling up trees in LA, doing ALL the things you’d want him to be doing at Arsenal.

Now, in their 3rd season in Los Angeles and 2nd season under Coach McVay’s leadership, the organization is now perceived as an innovative and electrifying team whose executive leadership isn’t afraid to make big moves both on and off the field.

That concluding point is what you want people to be writing of Arsenal. If the perception of your club reads like that, you become an exciting opportunity for young players who want to grow their careers and develop their talent with coaches that can help them. You win new fans because people want to watch you play. You grow commercials because big brands want to be associated with the most exhilarating team on the planet. You attract the best minds in the game who want to express their ideas at a club like London. You open yourselves up to new uses of technology, cutting edge fitness approaches and even science of the mind. Everything gets better because there is a guiding philosophy of excitement that drives the club.

So why can’t we have that?

You. That’s why. This is Stan on London fans.

Obviously London is a comparable stage to Los Angeles, and Arsenal has one of the most passionate and vocal fan bases in sports. So I don’t see that really impacting us.

We’re noisy, he hears us, but he doesn’t care. Why? Because a shitty Arsenal product doesn’t impact him at all.

Adidas still want to give us £60m a year. Rwanda still wants to advertise on our shirts. You still give over £1500+ for your season ticket without question. You will still attend every week, even if you find it boring. Why? Because there is no correlation between your love for Arsenal and how good they are on the pitch. This is a uniquely Premier League thing. Stan cannot lose with Arsenal unless things go really bad, which they won’t under semi-competent leadership. Premier League football is by default a success machine. The money never stops going up. You can disguise average leadership, because all the charts point upwards.

Stan works in the world of real estate. He’ll buy up property in areas where new Walmarts are going to open up, sit back, and play the long game. Same with Arsenal, he doesn’t need to invest any of his own money and the thing hikes in value like nobodies business.

He is succeeding in the NFL because he knew he had to bring new fans through the doors and he had to get people to tune into the matches. He had to do something radical, he had to entertain, and he had to invest in an idea.

Are we investing in a vision like that? What are our bold moves? What are the club doing to put on an incredible show to bring in new fans into the ‘franchise’? Doesn’t seem like a lot. We are making a lot of safe moves to catch up, but how are we using our resource to move ahead?

Arsenal can have everything the Rams have. But there needs to be a desire from the people installed at the club to push the owners for what they need. Or, it needs the people we hired to be fiercely ambitious and hugely competitive. Do we have disruptors in charge, or an easy life crowd? Outside of the excellent hiring of Sven Mislintat, where is the innovation coming from? Can you see who the club is shaping up to be over the next five years? Can you see a style developing on the pitch that you’d want to buy into if you were a young player?

I can’t.

The point of this post is it’s not all doom and gloom.

Stan has shown the world he can think like a proper owner. He’s shown that when he cares about something – because his money is on the line – he can make really exciting decisions and take risks that drive towards something.

Question is, how do we get some of that LA Rams magic to The Arsenal?

Podcast recording TODAY. Let’s all laugh at Spurs. Lololololol

490 Responses to “LA Rams electric success and the power of a guiding philosophy (long read)”

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  1. Dissenter

    Please send that post to Pedro since he’s the one making major leaps from superfcial assumptions.
    There was a time when Kroenke’s American franchises were proof of why renal will do well. Now it’s the reverse, let’s copy the US experience.
    Maybe we can set salary caps too, create a combinine for aspiring players an institute a draft.
    St Louis Rams were so crap they got so many first round picks for thier crappines. It was only a matter of time before they got the luck of the draft lottery. It’s similar to the Detroit lions who were crap until they drafted a good QB.
    There aren’t that many similarities.

  2. Receding Hairline

    Why do some keep comparing Wenger to Emery after six months and one transfer window ……….does it really make sense?? Does it add up?? How do both even compare??

    One lorded it over a club for 22 years and his word was law in every aspect of the club

    The other is an employee six months into his two year contract who is finding things a little rough at the moment and has been told all he gets to help are loan players

    Yes both look very similar, silly me

  3. Pedro

    Guns, when we sack Emery, we could be on a very United looking slippery slope downwards.

    Everyone will demand PROVEN WINNER and we’ll end up with Sven Goran Erikson to steer the ship

  4. Cesc Appeal



    If I was Emery though I would go back to just insisting on what I wanted. I would play youngsters if I had to for the legs and dare the board to fire me. Give me what I need or fire me.

    People being disappointed is fine, feeling we’re not doing enough, that Emery isn’t doing enough defensively etc is fine. It’s the hyperbole, the overreactions, the hysterics from some. From the pro-Wenger fans it’s obvious why there are doing it but from some others it’s a joke.

    Asking to see a vision and philosophy from the new lot who’ve had 8 months trying to turn around the worst squad in the top 6 despite it being the third highest spenders net in the top 6 and having a wage bill hugely larger than Spurs and only slightly behind Liverpool to the point you have a £64 Million budget and no room on wages is laughable.

    You’re in damage control. It’s like a massive trauma patient coming in, the doctors stabilising him and the relatives asking why he isn’t walking yet 2 days later.

    And that is not an Emery point, if he was fired right now and I would still say it will be the end of the summer earliest you will see the vision for the club ans that still largely depends on our success in selling/cutting loose.

    The appalling decisions made by Wenger and Gazidis have an impact that binds us for years and I think Sanllehi and Mislintat are simply trying to get value for money first and foremost.

  5. Sancho Monzorla

    Sancho, ‘luck’ is a nonsense. They made a smart hire and had a defined vision of what they wanted to achieve on the pitch

    Pedro, the notion that a professional sports franchise had no defined vision because they weren’t located in a good market is even more ridiculous. They had a vision, maybe they improved on it, but yes it was amazingly lucky that McVay has succeeded to the level that he has. Hard work and application absolutely, but lucky as well. Lucky that no major injury to the franchise players have occurred, lucky that McVay was able to hire and retain a defensive coordinator on the verge of retirement who has more experience in the NFL than the number of years McVay has been alive, lucky that his quick success excused any subsequent blips unlike for the new regime at Arsenal.

    Do you honestly believe success is attainable simply because one man at the top wants to try harder? I can certainly see that in the EPL or world football, there is no salary cap and if Stan wants to spend his billions to sign players, he can do that (but we know he won’t). But the NFL has a salary cap and the franchise tag and loads of other measures in place to ensure that parity is consistently there, not sure that point of view would apply.

  6. Pedro

    Sancho, I absolutely believe that having a north star that is set by the person at the top is essential to the success of any business.

    Know who you are, where you want to go and set a strategy in place to make it happen.

    Arsenal don’t have that in place and that’s clear by mish-mash of approaches we’re trying to get back to the top.

    … and yes, I can agree that luck plays a role in any sporting success. But luck can only happen if you’re underpinned by good process and thinking.

  7. Charlie George

    The structure the discredited Gazidas set up, needs to be broken up sharpish.

    It’s just a disparate set of names. That have no instinct,experience of Arsenal or the league we play in.

    They may have excelled In Spain/ Germany before- but what qualifications or expertise have they actually got.?

    Raul – Barca. Do they even adhere to tight budgets ?
    Do they find it to difficult to recruit players at Barcelona, then?

    As for the scruffy German. By all means have him – as your German scout. But What qualifications has he got to be promoted so quickly.

    Total mismanagement permeates Arsenal, currently.

    Kroneke needs to sack ,certainly the Spanish duo.
    They will do untold damage to Arsenal
    They already diluted our identity, chronically. ( see Ramsey, fiasco)
    That little pact will protect their positions rather than Arsenals

    After all – who is going to sack Emery?

  8. vickingz

    Pedro is a green snake. I’m sure if it were arteta that’s performing this badly, pedro would have shifted the blames on anyone and everyone but arteta. You at least tried praising emery during the unbeaten before showing your true colour. Emery ain’t doing well now we all know but chanting arteta’s name again and again is you shoving your agenda down our throats.

  9. Sancho Monzorla


    I don’t disagree, and I’m not a big fan of Stan exactly. But I find that he has been remarkably consistent in the way he’s been an owner across all his franchises, and that doesn’t absolve him of criticism but it also makes it kind of silly to constantly get on him to change his approach. Arsenal will be run the way it is run, and we’ll have to find success within that model.

    I just don’t see how Kroenke has changed his approach with the Rams, They just found success within a model. I for one think Arsenal are a stronger brand globally, with more history than any of Stan’s other franchises. Dare I say that I think the Arsenal deserve more respect and attention than the Denver fucking Nuggets. But what I want is completely separate from what to expect from a billionaire whose (lack of) actions as an owner are well documented.

  10. Pedro

    Sancho, that’s the point, there’s a model.

    There’s not one at Arsenal. It’s ‘get CL football’, which isn’t powered by a specific strategy

  11. Guns of SF


    Some of us yanks have pointed out that unlike EPL, we have a draft in our pro leagues. When your team is shit, they are in a better draft position, and over time can acquire better talent going that route.

    EPL no such thing. Its about producing or buying or selling.

    Very different my friend

    A big market can help with game day sales etc. However, if you are shit, you are shit. Look at the LA Clippers for years. Had Donald Sterline- a maniac of an owner who was forced to be removed due his criminal and poor management style. He sat on the team, did not invest and was happy making millions with the piss poor clippers. Since then, the new owner has really revitalized the team

    With Arsenal, our owner has done the minimum. He needs to know there is no draft, and a loss in profit is inevitable without a competitive product.

  12. Charlie George

    Pedro is 1000000000% correct. Arteta was perfect for Arsenal.
    Sometimes there are no other reasons. It just felt right.
    Thats why , I always go on about INSTINCT.

    David Dein had it
    Fergie Has it
    Hate to say it ,Levy has it.

  13. Charlie George

    Look at Deins instinct to get rid of Rioch and appoint Wenger
    And his recruitment of sol Campbell

    We need that man back to do a root and branch reform of our club.

  14. Sancho Monzorla


    You really believe that all the moves being made on all levels at the club, installing new directors of whatever division they are making, having more people to do the work as compared to years past… all of that is just part of a “get CL football” model?

    You could be right. I just find that hard to believe as it would be so, so incompetent. It beggars belief. It would mean the efforts to move on from the past are fake, rather just insincerely going through the motions until the fanbase gets sick of it and accepts it like so many of us did for so many years. I really hope that isn’t the case.

  15. redandwhite83

    Pedro, I love the blog but breath, man. Breath. A lot of your ideas are interesting but do sound alot like they’ve come from a film that you dreamed about that’s spliced Moneyball with Fever Pitch. The whole point of your blog was to oust Wenger. Now you’re running down the new set up in the first 6 months. Look, nobody’s raving about the way we’re playing/operating at the moment but I can’t buy into the relentless ‘corp’ chat on here at the moment (you’ve essentially replaced the word ‘Wenger’ with ‘Kroenke’ and ‘Profit & Loss’ for the past 3 months). So much of your content lately is about running a multinational (fair to an extent given the recent upheaval – but reads more like a blog about advertising firms or local government.)… yawn. It would be a refreshing change to get back to, you know, talking about kicking a football about on the pitch. The brave new ‘Rams’ young guns era (on pitch) that you’re craving… didn’t we have exactly that during the ‘Banter Years’? We played the best football in Europe on our day, scored goals for fun, with an average age of under 25, sold off our best talent, and all under the management of the man you wanted out so badly. We all know this nose dived in recent years but the team I’m talking about wasn’t 2002-2006, it was 2008-2010 with players like Almunia and Song. So, are you actually saying that after all this, you actually had the ‘Rams ball’ you want now a decade ago under Wenger (who produced miracles with a bunch of – far from world beating – kids)? Let’s not forget this reaped precisely zero trophies, division in the stands and on his head be it. One thing I do agree with is that I am yet to see a style under Emery but, for the love of Leno, give it a chance with four months of the season to go. Keep on with the good stuff!

  16. Pedro

    Guns, I am a resident in your country. Draft picks are no guarantee of success. Why do the Patriots win so often? Great coach, with a very specific way of doing business. They have a vision and they built the club around it.

    I don’t understand how anyone can look at what the Rams are doing and say it’s just a bit of luck.

  17. Guns of SF

    if we can get our hands on a younger, stronger and more technical midfield, it would really help.

    My crack pipe dream midfield team- young fast technical and upside

    Pepe/Lozano, Aouar, Sarabia, Inaki Williams -St/wing

  18. Pedro

    Sancho, our strategy was to buy in experience and make the CL.

    We bought two £60m strikers, took a poor gamble on Mikhi, gave Ozil a mega contract and nearly did the same with Rambo.

    It didn’t work. It was a short term punt that has put us in a situation where we’ll have to retreat heavily in the summer.

  19. Guns of SF

    Pedro, draft picks that are top talent certainly can help
    There was a dude named Jordan, once upon a time. Not even a top draft pick
    Some others too…


  20. bennydevito

    TR7January 14, 2019    17:35:37

    Ask all these gentlemen who defend Emery day and night one positive aspect of Emery’s coaching/management, they will all start scratching their heads.

    No head scratching from me.

    22 game unbeaten run.

    Smashing the spuds.

    Visible passion, involvement and commitment from the sidelines.

    Most 2nd half points.

    Most points from coming from behind.

    Most points from substitutions, not afraid to change things Immediately when needed.

    More points away already this season than for the whole of last season

    Completely hamstrung from a car crash of a squad inherited from never seen before levels of incompetence and ineptitude.

    Nowhere near enough money to spend to even begin remedying the mess he inherited.

    Squads woefully below the levels left behind that of which Pep, Klopp and Sarri took over.

    Only 6 months in the job.

    But hey; forget all that and let’s get the unproven zero experienced Arteta to take over.

    What could possibly go wrong?


  21. Guns of SF

    Pedro your an marketing advertising guy right?
    Your posts are great from that angle- vision, models, product, marketability, consumer satisfaction etc.
    In order to get all those things- you need an ownership that gets that and invests in it.

    my wife works for Salesforce and indeed, the company has a unique culture! love how Mark Benioff hates Trump BTW

    Stan is banking on luck and hiring the right people… but that is not going to be enough.

    Fuck already- just sign us a 100M check to get us on track!

  22. Sancho Monzorla

    Whoa, no one said that’s all it is. The success is due to hard work from the coaching staff and the players. What I meant is, that success and hard work didn’t come about because Stan got more interested in the franchise. The people who were already in place to make decisions made a new set of decisions, and they got lucky that the decisions they made are paying off at the right time.

  23. Sancho Monzorla

    Sancho, our strategy was to buy in experience and make the CL.

    Yes, that was the hope. You really aren’t suggesting no one at the club gave any consideration to what may happen if the club aren’t able to achieve that?

    I’m not saying the front office has the right answers. But to say they aren’t even looking seems really, really unlikely.

  24. Barney75

    Daniel Levy has instinct…? He hired about 10 managers in 15 years before striking lucky with Pochettino. Granted that was a smart move but before that his instinct was to consistently fuck it up.

  25. bennydevito

    Charlie GeorgeJanuary 14, 2019    18:21:48

    Look at Deins instinct to get rid of Rioch and appoint Wenger
    And his recruitment of sol Campbell

    We need that man back to do a root and branch reform of our club.

    I would absolutely LOVE to have David Dein back here running the show, 100%.

    Let’s put Emery to one side and all get behind that idea, maybe even Pedro could do a post and use his Twitter following to get that idea trending and gathering some momentum?

    If we’re going to take a punt on unproven ex players I’d rather go with DB10 and Overmars, PV4 and TH14 than Arteta, I genuinely don’t understand the Arteta love in. He really was a mediocre player and such a terribly dull uninspiring captain.

  26. Wengaball


    But we already had all of this

    Exciting football – check
    Bringing through young players – check
    Financial discipline – check
    Footballing success – moderate yes (20 years CL), but still a check

    We chose to drive away the one guy who had the vision. It didn’t always work, but the vision was there.

    As we know, for some, the workd is not enough.

  27. Charlie George

    Dein ,back at the Arsenal, refreshed, energised after his exile.
    Putting arsenal people in positions of influence.
    Laced with overseas STARDUST
    How exciting would that’ be..
    Come on arsenal!

  28. Wengaball


    It was Fizsman and co’s hatred for DD that made them sell to Kroenke, and not to Usmanov.

    They didn’t want any way back for him. Selling to Usmanov would have brought him back as part of Red & White Holdings.

  29. Guns of SF

    Artetas hair does not move.
    another yes man for sure. Anyone who was Wenger’s yes man is a NO man for me!

    He will continue to inhale Peps farts and hopes that will teach him something.

    Heck, what would Pep do without the superstars that he has always had. I do not even include him in these coaching conversations.. Dude has always had stacked teams

  30. bennydevito

    Charlie GeorgeJanuary 14, 2019    18:45:58

    Dein ,back at the Arsenal, refreshed, energised after his exile.
    Putting arsenal people in positions of influence.
    Laced with overseas STARDUST
    How exciting would that’ be..
    Come on arsenal!

    It would be a dream to have him back and I second everything you’ve just said 100%.

  31. Charlie George

    A hugely astute Arsenal man.
    With a great footballing antennae

    It would be the best move the Kroenkes could ever make –

    Take the heat off them
    Put The Calm back with the fanbase.
    Everybody would know- regardless of his decisions

    He is an Arsenal man.

  32. bennydevito


    I hear you, but they’re all gone now so if there’s any chance of getting DD back in we should be all over that. Unfortunately with Kronke running the show that will never happen because of his ties with Usmanov.

    Pretty disappointed that Usmanov through the towel in so easily especially as he has way more money than Kronke and would have taken a much more active role.

  33. Dissenter

    Charlie Georege
    “He is an Arsenal man.”

    What does this even mean?
    It’s Arsenal people that got us into this mess.
    Don’t you ever get tired of all these “Arsenal values” and tradition nonsense.
    We need the best people in charge regardless of their background or nationality.

  34. Charlie George

    What arsenal people got into this mess

    WENGER gave arsenal fans football- no one has seen over here
    So what it went belly up
    That’s life.

  35. Black Snake

    So basically Pedro, Kroenke isnt doing shit for us, doesnt care cos the value goes up every year but you dont want him to eff off?

  36. Charlie George

    He cant move from his pro UK EPL experienced bias.

    Perhaps, Its because we play in the UK
    And there is clear evidence, British players have more chance of succeeding( power and pace) and getting success

    If we ever play in the euro super league technical League
    (Go more European/technical)

    Clubs with unlimited funds can
    Go and get the best regardless.
    We ain’t.

  37. Pierre

    There is an easy way to solve the immediate problem …beat Chelsea and Manchester United…..put in performances similar to the spurs (4-2) and Liverpool(1-1) games and you will be amazed at his quick the fans perception of things will change .

    The manager needs to be brave with his team selection , he needs to pick a team and a formation that is attacking and positive , we need a performance that will get the fans back onside.

  38. Charlie George


    “Arsenal values” and tradition nonsense.
    We need the best people in charge regardless of their background or nationality.


  39. azed

    “The manager needs to be brave with his team selection , he needs to pick a team and a formation that is attacking and positive , we need a performance that will get the fans back onside.”

    That ship has sailed for Emery. No matter what he does, Emery is damned.

  40. Pierre

    “That ship has sailed for Emery. No matter what he does, Emery is damned.”

    No he isn’t…..our ex manager was the master at picking a rabbit out of the hat in times like these and Emery needs to find a rabbit to save his bacon.

  41. Pedro

    Emery isn’t doomed.

    I agree with that militant CA. He should double down on his approach, give us glimpses of where we should be going and he should give more time to kids over players like Licht.

    He can easily win the doubters over

  42. Pedro

    Black Snake, he lives in the states, he’s never leaving.

    So you have to hope he can focus the same energy on us, as he is the rams

  43. Guns of Hackney

    One of the best, if not, the best post you have ever written, Peter. I’ve read your blog for years now and this one is excellent.

  44. Pierre

    It really is that simple …… When we were winning there was none of this negative off the pitch talk because fans were happy with what they were seeing on the pitch.

    Think about it ,win the next 2 games and we are back in contention for champions league place and in the next round of the fa cup…

  45. Sancho Monzorla

    I think what azed is referring to is the number of fans like Pierre who have already made up their mind because they cannot stop clamoring for a spectre from the past.

  46. Valentin

    I agree with what Pedro is saying in that post. I don’t know enough the NFL to be able to judge whether Kroenke stumbled on the recipe for success by accident, luck or by design.
    However I know that in order to be successful a franchise and now that Arsenal is US owned, it is a Franchise it has to maximise local, national and international appeal while minimising cost. The way to appeal is to provide a fresh product that either win or entertain. If you don’t win and propose a turgid display of games, then your franchise will slide into mediocrity and oblivion.

    Arsenal’s chance is that because of Wenger it is already internationally known. It is based on London making it all things equal comparatively easier to attract talents than say Newcastle or Leicester.

    However it has one major drawback, it is fighting in a division with three financial behemoths. No matter what people may want, Arsenal will never be able to overspend ManCity, ManUtd or Chelsea.
    It has to outsmart them. Better scouting, better coaching, better retention of players, clear path to the first team so we do not lose the star of tomorrow as Chelsea is currently experiencing with Odson Odoi and Manchester city with two leaving (one at Bayern and one at Real Madrid).

    The problem is that I don’t see that in the current team. What I see is a club divided at the top. The board going for project youth and a coach not on board. Clearly Emery does not want Project Youth 2.0, he wants experienced ready made players. The problem is that we do not have the budget for the really good one. So he is trying to shop on a budget. Hence the frankly poor names we are being linked with. Banega, Denis Suarez. Why attempting to sell Ramsey for 18 millions when his replacement is older, slower, has already failed in league faster and more physical than la Liga, and will not be able to adapt until the end of the season?

    I live in London and attend games, most people were initially excited with the new season. Then the undefeated run got hyped. Everybody who has attended the game knew that was not the reality, we have been extremely lucky for a lot of games.
    Now reality is coming crashing and having the coolee everything will be better once we sack Wenger, people are losing their nerves. If we don’t perform against Chelsea, the native will be restless. Boo, shout and insult will resonate.

  47. azed

    Pierre, Pedro Dissenter

    With the fans, unless of course if he wins all games.

    You and I will never agree on Ozil and there are lots of fans like that so for every loss Emery gets, he would get it based on his position on Ozil.

    We lose without Ozil you would say we might have won with him.
    We lose with Ozil, you know what I will say.

  48. Graham62


    Never say never.

    Is Kroenke indestructible or something?

    Maybe kryptonite would solve the problem.

    You’re becoming Americanised.

    Are you sure you have a passport?

  49. Pedro

    Graham, one can dream… not sure he’ll pack it in unless TV money hits its peak. Even then you know he’s hanging on for a super league

  50. Guns of SF

    The situation with Ozil is exacerbating the hard losses.
    We make top 4, they will say Ozil was not needed and Emery was right. We lose out on top 4, they say that Ozil would have made a difference.

    I too am starting to believe that he needs to field his best team, and let Ozil succeed or fall flat on his face. This sporadic playing of him, is leaving too many questions-

    My money is on Ozil leaving in summer regardless.

  51. Graham62


    I changed my views dramatically not just because we started stuttering, it was because Emery was making some brain dead stupid decisions.

    Infact, it’s now got to the stage(exceptionally quickly for me) where I’m seriously questioning Emery’s appointment.

    Who would have thought?

  52. azed


    “I too am starting to believe that he needs to field his best team, and let Ozil succeed or fall flat on his face. ”

    This is what I mean by Emery is doomed unless he wins all the remaining games as every loss would be judged on Ozil’s playing time.

  53. azed

    People seem to also forget that Emery has had to play Xhaka at left back and centre back because of injuries and suspension.

  54. Guns of SF


    And Ozil is sitting smugly thinking after every loss, his supporters are getting more and more demanding and vocal.

    Not bad for him… dont play, we lose, and Emery gets blamed.

    its this cat and mouse game all season long.

    IF we cannot sell Ozil now, play him and let the world see how shit he is.
    Perhaps he can give us an assist here and there since he has declined at a rapid pace

  55. SUGA3

    If you look at the first team squad, it is littered with totally gash players, with midfield being particularly shit.

    Only Torreira and Guendouzi are first team material. I don’t count Ramsey, as he is on his way out. Might keep Xhaka and AMN as a bench player. The rest of them are a waste of space. Earning more than their worth and unable to motivate themselves. Unfortunately, one of these fucks is earning 350K per week, making him unsellable in any case, even if he had a worldie rest of the season, everyone knows his attitude stinks. For as long as we do not have a functional midfield with interchangeable cogs, we are fucked.

    Regarding the defence, it is actually not so bad personnel wise, just our coaching sucks. I mean, we managed that still unbeaten record time without conceding a goal with Senderos and Flamini in the back four in the CL. This was no miracle, it was good defensive coaching. Granted, the midfield and forwards kept them less busy, but still.

  56. Pedro

    Graham, Stan isn’t going anywhere. We are the crown jewel in his portfolio. It’s pretty black and white. I get out enough.

  57. Pierre

    “People seem to also forget that Emery has had to play Xhaka at left back and centre back because of injuries and suspension.”

    he didn’t have to split up the Torriera/Xhaka combo that was so effective…..elneny or one of the kids coming through could have filled in for a game of 2…….I feel he panicked a little with his selections.

  58. azed


    “IF we cannot sell Ozil now, play him and let the world see how shit he is.”

    Ozil lost the ball for the 3rd goal against Southampton, lots of people blamed him for play Kos who was our only fit defender.
    Emery was also blamed for play Leno even though Leno is central to the way Emery wants to play.

    Pedro has said he should play the kids meanwhile there are fans calling for Emery’s head because he plays Guendozi.

  59. azed


    “he didn’t have to split up the Torriera/Xhaka combo that was so effective…..elneny or one of the kids coming through could have filled in for a game of 2…….I feel he panicked a little with his selections.”

    Hindsight is 20/20
    but don’t you think he felt Guendozi is better suited and ready for the first team than say Medley?

    And this was an away game.

  60. azed

    Iwobi who is a squad player at best is the only player that remotely resembles a winger and was one of our better players against WestHam but that didn’t stop Pedro from taking shots at him.

    The question is who would Emery have played in place of Iwobi?

    Against WestHam, Ramsey came on and was decent but the few games he had started, he was really poor so the question is should Ramsey be a starter knowing that he’s one leg out the door?

  61. SUGA3


    Iwobi is a trier, but also a bit of a headless chicken. Good impression against WHU is a result of him being the only one running like he gave a shit.

  62. Charlie George

    This new regime – thought it was fit to extend Elnenys contract.

    They bought lichsteiner .
    They extended Xhakas contract
    They buy players with no sell on( sokratis, PEA, arguably with Leno)

    They choose a manager- who does not speak English -and who named 5 ( not 1) captain.
    And yet carp on about a self sustaining model.

    They are humiliating our magnificent Ramsey- by pulling his contract so publicly

    They will never get this club.
    And they never will.

    This pack of cards- won’t last until Easter.

  63. RjM

    In the summer sell Ozil, Lacazette, Xhaka, Mustafi get what we fucking can and rebuild, not just the team but the mentality.

    Sorting out the shocking state Wenger left the squad in physically and mentally was always going to take time.

  64. bennydevito

    I think if we finish below 6th and fail to win Europa Emery will be gone in the summer.

    I think because so many of us put up with Wenger for so long we’ve ran out of patience and want a very quick fix and I also feel the knives are out so quick for Emery because none of us saw his appointment coming and none of us wanted him or were happy with his appointment – I definitely wasn’t and was extremely disappointed that he got it over Allegri or Ancelloti.

    However, like I said, with the DOF model put in place I can see why we hired him and why bigger managers wouldn’t agree to working under DOF constraints and a 2 year contract is very sensible and ensures we won’t have to pay out too much in compensation should it all go pear shaped and we fire him this summer.

    I think gambon and Pedro are right insofar as we’re not seeing an improvement in playing style or defending but I still think Emery needs more time and money to sort that out. If Ozil’s not going to feature in Emery’s plans then we absolutely must sell him this winter otherwise it’s a criminal waste of money and a good talent who on his day is up there with the best. Conversely he should perhaps persevere with both Ozil and Ramsey and build the tram around them for the rest of the season at least and he needs to play Lacazette and Aubameyang together to get the best out of them.

    If he keeps making the same errors in team selection and we continue to struggle with our game in the 1st half, fail to see an improvement in our defence and fail to see an improvement in our attacking play with no real identity then I will concur that Emery should go at the end of the season.

  65. Charlie George

    No other club of stature- would persist with what we are witnessing.
    Psg got shot off him- and he won 3/4 last year!

    Why should we?
    Everton got through 3 managers last season.
    Watford 2
    Leicester 2.

    Why are we so wretchedly timid.
    Let’s not wait

    Freddie L – til the end of the season
    We could then get momentum and still go on an ole inspired run!

  66. Cesc Appeal

    Is anyone watching the U23s?

    Absolutely taking it to City, Saka has 2, Willock has scored and Amaechi has scored.

    Mavropanos started, is anyone watching who can say how he’s doing?

    I really think Mavropanos should be starting, but that Saka, Smith Rowe and Willock should get some first team minutes in the EPL seeing as our options are so limited.

  67. Dissenter

    Wolves are really well coached.
    They’ve maintained their defensive shape since they lost one man and still venture out on proper counters.

  68. Charlie George

    Even Huddersfield have gone with the parting of the ways with Wagner.

    And he has been brilliant for them.
    No time for timidity in modern soccer.

  69. gambon

    The way Saka & Amaechi have played, they should be involved in the first team squad.

    I would not usually suggest that fr 17-18 year olds, but they are real prospects, and we have such poor AM options.

    We had 3 fucking full backs on the bench on Saturday.

  70. Unai

    Anyone else think that without some form of cash injection then this is us for the foreseeable?

    Just can’t see it happening any time soon no matter how well managed or creative we are.

    So utterly depressing.

  71. Cesc Appeal


    There’s probably a stream for them, not sure if Arsenal Player shows the youth games.

    I was following on Twitter and wanted to see if anyone was actually watching who could comment on the players.


    Saka is being talked up by everyone, just seen someone tweet he’s too good for this level.

    Why not throw him in? What an absolute gift that would be even if it was just something raw you could see in him. Might help us out massively for the rest of the season and potentially with regards to our summer plans.

  72. Dissenter

    “The way Saka & Amaechi have played, they should be involved in the first team squad.”:

    That’s one of the indictments against Emery. He’s been playing it too safe recycling dross.
    On Saturday, we should have brought on either of them when it was clear that Auba and Lack weren’t ‘t doing anything.

  73. gambon

    “Anyone else think that without some form of cash injection then this is us for the foreseeable?”

    Not at all.

    Just needs good recruitment and good coaching.

    Look at some of Svens buys in the last few years:

    Akanji £19m
    Zagadou £0
    Sancho £9m

    Those 3 would have cost the same as Torreira and would improve us dramatically.

  74. gambon

    Cesc Appeal

    The thing is, we needto maximise our resources, so some tough decisions need to be made.

    For example selling Iwobi and Mykhitaryan, and replacing with Nelson and Saka would release maybe £40m to spend on other areas without reducing squad size.

    Selling Elneny and replacing with Willock would release £10-15m without reducing squad size.

    I would much rather loan them out at first to test if they have the ability, but we’re in a situation where we have to sell some players, use some kids and make smart purchases.

  75. Dissenter

    Poch would have played a lot of these youth players as well.
    They are better than a lot of the oldies we have been relying upon.

  76. azed

    “Poch would have played a lot of these youth players as well.
    They are better than a lot of the oldies we have been relying upon.”

    Not remotely true.

    Emery is getting ripped for not playing Ozil and Ramsey

  77. gambon

    Nicolas Pepe cost £10m a couple of years ago
    Tanguy NDombele was £8m
    Dele Alli was £6m

    Along with Sancho, Akanji and Zagadou…..we would be in the top 4 with these players and a good coach.

    Cost for all 6 = £52m

  78. azed

    “I would much rather loan them out at first to test if they have the ability, but we’re in a situation where we have to sell some players, use some kids and make smart purchases.”

    This is the way to go. Send them to Germany. As for selling players, there’s Lacazette, Elneny, Kolasinac, and Mustafi that can be sold.

    Heck I’ll add Xhaka to the list and hope Sven can get his old club to give us Weigl.

  79. azed


    Emery has a two year contract with a team option for the 3rd. He’s almost halfway through the contract. I believe this coming summer would be for clearing a lot of the deadwood and bring in new players (Sven earning his money) which leaves Emery with one season to show what he’s made off.

    We can’t be in a position were we can only get players on loan and then add paying off a coach to the list of our financial worries.

  80. gambon


    We have a lot of money in the summer. We arent broke, we have just spent our budget for the season.

    We cant just waste a season.

    It feels thats exactly what we’ve done.

    We are no further down the road than the day Emery joined. If anything we’re much worse off.

  81. azed

    “We have a lot of money in the summer. We arent broke, we have just spent our budget for the season.”

    We still have wage problem which I think is the most important thing. We can’t have Mkhitaryan, Ozil and Lacazette on the bench.

  82. bennydevito

    Charlie GeorgeJanuary 14, 2019    20:30:20

    No other club of stature- would persist with what we are witnessing.
    Psg got shot off him- and he won 3/4 last year!

    Why should we?

    Because we’ve got more class and our board know the extent of the mess Emery has had to work with that not even a DNA engineered clone baby mix of Pep, Klopp, Poch, the 2nd coming of Christ and Father Christmas couldn’t fix within 6 months, that’swhy.

  83. Charlie George

    Yes all true of yesteday year.

    Gazidas choose Emery
    Gazidas has gone.

    The board did not choose him. If they did.
    I would them to back their man.

    We are in this uniquely absurd position:

    Where the only person in the world who wanted Emery to be the Arsenal manager
    Ivan Gazidas- left weeks after the appointment.

    Thus this appointment is clearly unsustainable in any world class organisation.

    My question is- who sacks Emery?

  84. Cesc Appeal


    I completely agree.

    You also have the chance to build a young and athletic team that the manager can mould because there are no bad habits and no egos.

    I just hope the new lot have the urgency to make these difficult moves.

    Just hit the reset. If Arsenal fans can see real change and movement everyone apart from the pro-Wenger fans will be behind it.

    Not to mention if you’ve got a team with Nelson, Smith Rowe and Saka doing well you start to get the media love and general good feeling from the EPL set up for having English youngsters up and coming.

    I agree on Willock, I don’t know if he’s ever going to be an important player for us but he can take Elneny’s place, actually I’d say he can offer us more than Elneny in that role.

    Elneny is exactly the type of player you don’t want. Offered the chance to move but he’d rather stay on a massive salary and live in London even though he knows he will get hardly any games.

  85. bennydevito

    Why are people saying we should sell Lacazette, I don’t get it? You need 2 top class strikers in any successful squad, us Aubameyang isn’t that good on his own, misses far too many chances and plays much better with Lacazette in the side.

    Really odd thinking imo.

    Welbeck, Kos, Monreal, Lich, Win any and Ozil need shot of but we should keep Lacazette for sure.

  86. Charlie George

    If Gazidas stayed. Then Emery deserves more time.
    Now ,Gazidas has gone. He does not warrant a further day
    The longer he stays- the more bad decisions will take place.
    E.g. suaraz/banega types

  87. bennydevito

    Charlie George,

    That’s a really good point regarding Emery’s appointment being down to Gazidas then he fucks off. Really good point.

    Hmmm. I guess the DOF team or the new Chief executive will be the one sacking him in the summer if need be?

  88. gambon

    “Why are people saying we should sell Lacazette, I don’t get it? ”


    Because he is the most expensive back up player in world football. It makes no sense.

    They cant play together, and in our position we cant have a £60m player on £170k pw sitting on the bench, when we need a £60m attacking midfielder in the first team.

    None of our rivals have such a high profile backup striker.

    I would rather have someone like Nicolas Pepe in the team. He can cover as a striker when Auba is rested or injured, but also contribute week in week out alongside Auba.

    Not to mention Lacazette is a terrible succession plan. When Auba is 32 at the end of the 2021 season, Laca will be 30.

  89. azed

    “Why are people saying we should sell Lacazette,”

    He’s the only player people would actually pay good money for.

  90. Charlie George

    Also annoited by the discredited Gazidas.

    They all have to go.

    Hence, imperative to get An experienced British football man at the tiller.

    E.g.. 74 year Mr. DEIN.

  91. Cesc Appeal

    ‘Welbeck, Kos, Monreal, Lich, Win any and Ozil need shot of but we should keep Lacazette for sure.’

    Welbeck is going on a free, Kozz is going on a free, Lichtsteiner is going on a free, Monreal you won’t get anything for and Ozil we will have to give away to get rid of.

    Elneny might get you £10-15 Million.

    After that you’re making difficult choices.

    Now consider you need a CB or maybe 2, you need a RB to challenge Bellerin, you need a LB to improve on Kolasinac, you need to either hope Guendouzi comes on leaps in the summer or you need to replace Xhaka, you need a winger, you need a CAM as well.

    That means worst case you need a RB, CB x2, LB, CM, CAM and a winger.

    You have a transfer pot of £70 Million and we’ve worked out you might get £10-15 Million for Elneny. So what else are you doing?

    If we head into the season with Lacazette and Aubameyang again you have liked not got 2 or more of those things on your list.

    Selling Lacazette instantly doubles your transfer pot and might well allow you to get a good young CAM and be halfway to a good winger. What would you rather have? Those 2 things or Lacazette on the bench?

  92. bennydevito


    When you put it like that I see what you’re saying. Makes sense then to shift him and Ozil on in the summer, along with the rest of the shit.

    How much do you reckon we can recoup in transfer fees and wages if we get rid of who you think should go?

  93. Pierre

    ” For example selling Iwobi and Mykhitaryan, and replacing with Nelson and Saka would release maybe £40m to spend on other areas without reducing squad size. Selling Elneny and replacing with Willock would release £10-15m without reducing squad size.”

    I can see the reasoning in that…

    If we do drop out of contention for top 4 , it would be the perfect time to blood a few of the young ones, see what they are made of ….personally ,I think we have some real talent there , it remains to be seen how good .

    The fans would be much more forgiving(or they should be ) if good results are not forthcoming.

  94. gambon

    Guns of SF

    In terms of transfer budget, it really depends on how we handle the wage bill.

    Our wage bill is way way way too high for our revenue this season. For 15 years we have paid about 50-55% of our revenue, this season it will be about 65%, or £30m too much.

    Next season our revenues grown even without CL football to £440m or so, and £460-470m with CL football, so we can afford that wage bill, but its still being spent very badly.

    If we can get a grip on it, offload overpaid players, we could spend £100m.

    Add sales to that and we could have a big budget.

  95. Cesc Appeal

    The thing is even if you managed to sell Mkhitaryan for £10 Million and gave Ozil away you’d be up £9 Million a year on Mkhitaryan’s wages and £17 Million a year on Ozil’s.

    So your suddenly missing £26 Million in costs that is now available money and you’d have got £10 Million from Mkhitaryan, you factor in selling Elneny for £10-15 Million and your basically at your Havertz type young CAM buy with a minimal spend having only raised £20 Million in actual player sales.

  96. gambon


    I should say, I think Lacazette is our second best player. I just think he plays the same position as our best.

    It would be like having Alisson and DeGea. Great position to be in, but common sense is to sell one.

  97. Batistuta

    You can see Pedro and his agenda towards Emery from a mile away.

    There’s a reason why Arsenal fans are said to be the most deluded in the country and one only needs to see the comments from gunners online to see why.

    If i were Emery, I’d pack my bags up on the 31st if no new signings(loans or whatever) came in to help out in the final stretch of the season

  98. Charlie George


    So 6 new signings equating to 70 mill aint enough for him, then?
    Crikey- he is supposed to make the current crop greater than the sum of it’s parts.

    That was the only reason Gazidas appointed him for
    Not to go on a shopping spree and wreck the gaffe!

  99. gambon


    In terms of potential sales (and guessing wages)


    Cech (£100k per week)
    Ospina £3m (no wages cos hes on loan)
    Martinez £3m (£40k per week)
    Macey £2m (no wages)


    Lichsteiner (£80k per week)
    Koscielny £5m (£100k per week)
    Monreal £5m (£70k per week)
    Jenkinson £0 (£40k per week)
    Chambers £15m (no wages)


    Elneny £15m (£60k per week)
    Ramsey £0 (£100k per week)
    Ozil £10m (£350k per week)
    Mykhitaryan £15m (£200k per week)


    Lacazette £60m (£170k per wek)
    Welbeck £0 (£80k per week)

    None of these guys are really first XI players, which would allow us to sign some real quality and demote current first teamers like Mustafi, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Iwobi to the bench.

    This would raise £133m and save £1.4m per week in wages, so about £70m from our £230m wage bill.

    We would need to sign a GK, LB, RB, 2 x CBs, CM, AM, Winger and young striker.

  100. Cesc Appeal

    That might be why there’s all those rumours we are scouting Moraes of Brugge. A young ST who will be happy to be Aubameyang’s back up for a season.

  101. gambon

    I do think that Mustafi will go also though.

    He s down to 2 years left in the summer, and the club surely wont be keen to extend. Add £20m to the above, and another £100k pw off the wages.

    So that could be £150m and £1.5m pw off the wage bill.

    All that said, it may take Raul all summer just to deal with Ozil and Mykhitaryan, so im not hopeful about how well we will do with sales.

  102. gambon

    Even absolutely worst case scenario, we should lose the following:

    Cech £100k per week
    Lichsteiner £80k per week
    Jenkinson £40k per week
    Ramsey £100k per week
    Welbeck £80k per week

    So thats enough for 4 very good players to come into the first team.

    Its just a question of do we have the time, manpower and ruthlessness to really clear out the squad.

    Even with the significant changes I listed above, we would still have:


    Plus young talents:


    So thats 18 players and a £250m budget.

    You could put a very good squad together with that.

  103. Charlie George


    Elneny might get you £10-15 Million.?

    This rabble can’t even get a penny for samchez/Ramsey/ welbeck.

    If any clubs pays hard cash for this player. We would have won the euro lottery.

    He is utter garbage.

    Raul is clueless.. we have seen enough of his dealings within a year .

    His schooling is at Barcelona.
    Different kettle of fish here.
    He is getting exposed on a monthly basis here.

  104. Pedro

    Be interesting to see what they do with Ozil.

    Grant him a free?
    Pay him up a year to leave?
    Find someone to pay for him?

    What would make him leave? Does he really care about playing?

  105. Dissenter

    Charlie George ‘
    What will it take for you to just slow down for enough time to think your posts through.
    Raul just came into the club in February when all these mistakes were already set in stone. He couldn’t have had full authority to deal with the Ramsey deal until Gazidis left the building.
    Give these people a chance. A few hours you were asking for David Dein to come back, a 75 year old man to come and rescue us.
    The things you say will be laughable if it wasn’t so boring.

  106. bennydevito


    Thanks for that. So with a bit of ruthless clearing out over the summer things could be quite good all in all.


    Then it’s the question of whether or not we want Emery to be the man to take those resources forward. I think we’ll know in 3 pram league games time.

  107. Pierre

    It’s quite sweet the way guns of sf, Cesc Appeal, Bennydevito and Azed hang on Gambon’s every word as though he is the Oracle and has this amazing knowledge of Arsenal’s transfer policy.

  108. Upstate Gooner

    A little late to the party but I want to add my 2 cents to the post/conversation. I live in US since 1991 and am a huge Buffalo Bills fan. So I’ve been following NFL and the Bills for 28 years now, whereas Arsenal only came into the picture in the summer of 1998. Personally, I think that comparing the 2 sports is a bit of stretch. In the NFL there’s no promotion, relegation, CL/EL money, huge sponsorships, etc… NFL also has something call DRAFTS. So if the team sucks, it’s not gonna get dropped into a lower competition next season, and you even get rewarded for sucking by having a high pick in the draft. Let’s look at Cleveland Browns, for example. This is a team that went 0-16 a year ago. Fast forward a few months, they selected Baker Mayfield as the number 1 overall pick in the draft, and went 7-8-1 in 2018. Not too shabby. Yes, they also changed their coach mid-season, and yes, they were a bit lucky but there’s very little chance of that happening in football (Leicester’s Cinderella story is a BIG exception). Buffalo Bills – no playoffs for 17 years in a row until last year. New manager, yes, but also a TON of luck including Bengals beating Ravens in the last game of the season on a 4th down last second touchdown pass that gifted us the last playoff spot. This season – back to obscurity. So while I understand that taking a risk might payoff, it’s also a lot easier to do in the NFL that in it is in EPL. This whole “money makes money” concept is also good and well but it’s very low risk/high reward in American football, and the opposite in English. Kroenke is a businessman. He was not a fan and will never be one. So I understand his stance and his approach. I may not like it but I do understand it when it comes to running Arsenal as a business not a sports franchise. Frankly, I don’t see a way out of this mess. The club will have to start losing money first for him to consider selling it and/or investing more money, and that is very unlikely to happen any time soon.

  109. bennydevito


    In all honesty if I was Emery and I truly thought he was a passenger not up to the challenge I would play him in every game so the fans and board can see for themselves whether he’s good enough or not.

    If he tanks then the fans will let him know about it in the ground and on social media and he’ll want to go himself I should imagine. If he makes a good fist of it and becomes a pivotal member of the team then brilliant, we’ve got a WC midfielder saving us the need to buy somebody in.

    That’s what I’d do, I’d play him and get him to show his metal.

  110. Cesc Appeal


    He doesn’t care about playing. It’s going to be really tricky to get rid of him.

    I’ve always thought it will end up with him at some shit club on loan with us paying half his wages.

    It would still be a £8.5 Million a year expense for noting but that’s better than a £17 Million a year expense for nothing.

  111. gambon


    I used to be a huge Bills fan.

    Lost interest in NFL after the Kelly, Reed, Thomas team broke up.

    The comeback is still one of my greatest sporting memories.

  112. Pedro

    I’m writing a post on money tomorrow.

    The way I’m reading it is:

    We have to make up the £40m we’ve lost in CL money
    Adidas is an extra £30m

    So basically, if we shift £70m in wages… we’d reinvest £35m and try and create a cash surplus

  113. Pedro

    CA, nightmare really… no one would touch him here. He won’t go back to Germany. Besiktas can’t afford him. Doubt he’d go to China.

  114. bennydevito


    Lol! I don’t hang on gambon’s every word, I just know him from the beginning of LeGrove as we’ve been around since the start and you’d know that at the beginning we didn’t actually like each other and had some hefty debates. gambon’s toned it down immeasurably since then and 9 times out of 10 is bang on with what he’s talking about and has always been pretty clued up with the financials especially. I just knew it would be easier and quicker for me and other readers to ask him to do some quick figures with what we could clear out as he keeps his fingers on the pulse of the squad wages and market value.

    But by all means spin it which ever way you want, afterall after spinning a defence of Wenger for years you’re pretty good at it.

  115. englandsbest

    upstate gooner

    Your post was late but well worth waiting for. Anybody who believes Kroenke is going to shell-out or sell out is dumb as they come.

    Equally dumb is anyone (like me) who thinks that fans will do what’s necessary to get rid of him.

    Our best hope is that he gets into such a money mess with LA Rams that he forced to sell the Club (I mean Arsenal not the Rams)

  116. Pierre

    He is very good at coming up with figures but this transfer lark I find a bit tedious….I do get that fans like discussing all the financial aspects but there is only so much that can be said before it just becomes monotonous, especially as you could be discussing the stupidity of Emery’s stance regarding Mesut Ozil …

  117. Barking Arsene

    Need to hawk Özil around to clubs in Turkey – only 15% tax on footballers earnings so covering his salary wouldn’t be such an issue. Plus he might be tempted by an Istanbul based club (there are a few to choose from now).

    Either that or we just offer him a lifetimes supply of V Bucks for Fortnite and send him on his way…….

  118. Pedro

    Good post Upstate.

    I understand luck plays a big part, but it’s not like all the best teams just wait for draft picks.

    Don’t Patriots pick of the broken players on the way out and give them a new lease of life? Aren’t they consistently there or there abouts?

    Arsenal need a purpose. They need a guiding philosophy. You can’t build spectacular without a vision or a plan of how to get there.

    Same in business. Same in sport. Same in life.

  119. Charlie George

    Ozil aint going nowhere
    (He is a better bet than Iwobi.)
    Play him,perhaps! Involve him- invite him off the bench ,perhaps.!
    Don’t alienate- assimilate, perhaps.!
    Keep it simple.

    (But, then again We have Emery)

  120. Charlie George

    Raul had his hands all over last Jan transfer dealings . Regardless of his official starting date of Feb.

    If u don’t believe that. You are showing your naivety..