MIND THE GAP – Feels good, but can it last?

by .

via @Arsenal Instagram

The race for #Top3 is no longer a dream, it’s a fat slab of steak on an unguarded BBQ in a neighbors garden, can you taste it? I can…

I don’t care what anyone says about the quality of that Newcastle team, they set up solidly, they can beat big teams and before last night, they had conceded the same amount as us.

That was a banana skin and we absolutely passed it by without a slip.

We dropped a whopping 600 passes across the night, the manager elected to play MG and Ramsey at the base of midfield and the two of them controlled the game. I thought Mesut was menacing, dropping in and out of the game, adding that touch of class we missed earlier in the year.

The Welshman opened the scoring after capitalising on some lost control from Lacazette, his swept shot easing past the Newcastle keeper.

The last goal was a thing of beauty, a very messy one-two with Auba saw Lacazette slipped in on the 18-yard box, lobbing the keeper with a lovely half volley. He really has come on leaps and bounds. He does SO much dirty work for the team, he never stops, and he’s becoming more and more decisive as the season goes on. I love him so much. He’s also well cool… like, oozing in something I don’t have. I want to be him.

I thought AMN had a very solid game, he genuinely looks like competition for the injured Bellerin. What he lacks in final product, he more than makes up for in work rate and defensive work. He was savaged by some of the fanbase earlier in the year, I hope they are all scrubbing their DIRTY DAMN MOUTH HOLES… he’s a player.

Ramsey was a total beast. He’s wearing the captain’s armband and he’s performing like an absolute model professional. He’s the guy in the HR videos touching below the elbow. He covered the ground, he bombed forward, he looked out for MG and he produced the goods. What a good player we’re losing, but fuck it, I have to get over it and move on.

The only moan I’d have for the evening would be the empty seats on TV. Are people really not showing for Arsenal when we’re playing well? Seems very odd. But it might just have been my TV. If it’s not, is it a deeper issue with the oversaturation of football in an increasingly connected sports world? A question for another day my friends.

ONE MORE MOAN. Anthony Taylor was f*cking awful. He’s going to be shite, even with VAR. Terrible decisions all game.

The race for top 4 is well and truly on. Spurs have 5 games at home, 2 away, we are the reverse. United are prowling, and don’t write off Chelsea.

We have not been great away from home this season, our next batch of games are exactly the sort we could switch off in, so we’re by no means guaranteed to drive this home.

Now it’s all about the manager. How well can he motivate? How can he manage training to preserve energy? Can he bring maximum insights to all his game plans? Can he continue to defy the laws of hairstyling by using weapons-grade hair gel?

If he does, we’re looking good.

The great thing for us is we have two chances at CL. Europa and Top 4. I’d say top 4 is looking more likely, but let’s see.

A really great night for Emery, and super exciting that we’re in the mixer for this after such a drab post-unbeaten run.


563 Responses to “MIND THE GAP – Feels good, but can it last?”

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  1. Emiratesstroller

    Much has been written about Arsenal’s supposed poor away form this season.
    However, is it really as bad as has been suggested?

    If you discount the predictable losses against both Man City and Liverpool we
    have actually lost only three other games away from home this season.

    The first was against Chelsea right at start of season when several players were missing.

    Bournemouth followed the serious injury to Bellerin and with Lichsteiner and
    Koscielny playing at Centre Back. Koscielny had only just returned from surgery and a long term injury.

    So the one against West Ham was probably the only one which you might argue might have been avoided.

  2. Dissenter

    “Neves is a total don, what a buy he’s been.”

    He only cost them 16 million GBP
    Leander Dendoncker only caused them 13 million

    I wonder who’s the chief scout for Wolves.
    I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Sven Mislintat
    I say that because there are some here who keep on whining as if good scouting is only embodied by a certain =German.

  3. Marko

    I wonder who’s the chief scout for Wolves

    Jorge Mendes that’s who

    Also I have no idea why we’re talking about Chambers he’s shit his loan spells at Middlesboro and now Fulham coupled with his performances at Arsenal suggest that he is not going to make it here. Sell and buy better

  4. Emiratesstroller

    Words on a Blog

    I meant Southampton and not Bournemouth.

    If you look also at the poor run just before Christmas and afterwards it followed the loss to long term injuries of both Bellerin and Holding.

    We started the Southampton game with Bellerin, Lichsteiner, Koscielny and
    Monreal in defence and Bellerin was forced out of the game at half time.

    So that defeat was not exactly unexpected in the circumstances.

  5. Words on a Blog

    Hate to rehash the old discussion, but since were likely talking back-up DM/CB, how about sell Chambers, promote Bielik.

    I know, I know, but that 6-minute Bielik highlights video was impressive.

  6. Words on a Blog


    Yes, and I take your point on the special circumstances when we played against Southampton – plus they benefited from the usual New Manager Bounce.

    I’m reasonably optimistic that you’ll prove to be right about the overplaying of our poor away performances and record, although I have to say I’m not looking forward to the game against Wolves.

    I guess we’ll find out soon enough…

  7. Valentin

    The thing with Bielik is that everybody seems to think that his best position is defensive midfielder except Arsenal who has converted him into a central defender.

    I wonder where he will end up playing when back from his Charlton loan.

  8. Marko

    I know, I know, but that 6-minute Bielik highlights video was impressive.

    Nah I’d rather we cut our losses with players who aren’t working out and bring in players who do. I imagine that Guendouzi will be more of a back up next season so I’m not sure Bielik will be needed. Joe Willock who isn’t ready yet either is at least impressing at a decent level

  9. Emiratesstroller


    I think that it is highly unlikely that Bielik will be retained. I think that he will be sold in Summer.

    This player is now 21 and will be in final year of contract. He is in similar situation to Pleguezuelo. Probably a solid Championship standard player, but
    certainly not good enough to be included in our first team squad.

  10. Dissenter

    Words on a blog
    Don’t you think it’s a big step-up for Bielik to be playing Luton town , Barnsley, Sunderland and Portsmouth this season…..then be required to step up to facing Wolves, Leicester and Everton next season
    I intentionally left out the top-6 clubs.

    Cool off this Bielik promotion. It’s not healthy.

  11. Dissenter

    WTF is wrong with this “Thomas” poster?
    Why do you keep moaning on an Arsenal blog when you’re clearly not a gooner?

  12. shaun

    The youth might actually have a chance now that they are actually being coached and not just expected to take there chance and express them selves lol…………lol it really makes me laugh now but the arrogance of man and his project youth that mofo actually thought he could coach

  13. Dissenter

    I wonder why Bielik wasn’t sent on loan to a championship club?
    They did the kid a disservice. Arsenal academy players shouldn’t have to drop down to league one to get games.

  14. Valentin

    Championship club have agenda and style of play that do not necessarily ties up with Arsenal. The player must play regularly and the style of play must be technical based rather than hoof the ball to the big lump.
    Also when things go tough, team in the championship are more likely to revert to the trusted journeyman footballer rather than a loan youth team player who has no intention of staying with them long term. League One do not necessarily have the financial luxury or willing owner to buy their way out of trouble.

  15. WengerEagle

    That’s a top result for us tonight, United were the one side that I was seriously worried about given their momentum.

    5 of our last 7 matches are away from home which is a concern especially as four of those are at Wolves, Watford, Everton and Leicester which are all difficult places to travel to. We’re absolutely in the driving seat in terms of position and form though, Everton on Sunday will be a huge statement if we can go there and do a real job on them.

    Would be absolute icing on the cake if Spurs were to miss out on top 4 too, who’d have believed this just a few weeks back?

  16. Pierre

    “So the one against West Ham was probably the only one which you might argue might have been avoided.”

    The 2 defeats in Europe v Bate and Rennes should not dismissed as they could have been catastrophic for the club if we hadn’t redeemed ourselves in the 2nd legs.

    I have said previously that the Bate defeat was the best thing that could have happened as it proved to be a turning point in our season….A blessing in disguise.

    Emery was on his knees at this stage , the fans were becoming restless, the team was losing games on a regular basis, the football was pretty drab to be honest and offensively we had become predictable.

    Emery was at the crossroads and it could have gone either way…if Emery hadn’t made changes to personnel and the team continued to have poor results , thereabouts have been a backlash .

    However, he swallowed his pride and made the necessary changes and the team haven’t looked back since.
    The team are now playing with confidence , the fan base is back onside and we can look forward to an exciting end to the season .

    Of course , some on here will say that is not how it was but they would be deluding themselves as the club were in deep shit after the Bate defeat .

    They will also belittle our recent results as straightforward victories, but I can assure you that the 2nd leg v Bate was a game of immense pressure plus we beat Manchester United comfortably( after losing to them at home a few weeks earlier), we drew with Tottenham away ( after losing at home to them a few weeks earlier) and to come back from a 3-1 deficit to beat Rennes showed how far we have come in a relatively short period of time including 3 clean sheets in the bounce .

    So stroller , you may think that things were not that bad but as far as I’m concerned we were on a road to nowhere.

  17. ddkingz

    since the emirate is were all the retired generals and over sell by dates now come to play their last big games as a footballer….in the process of signing Valencia, we could also make enquires about Ashley young or may I say Ashley old, what a great summer that will be…

  18. ddkingz

    that moment when you realized the specialist in failure bought fucking chambers for £16m….

    I’m ashamed of monseuir wenger

  19. Pierre

    “I was supremely confident we would beat Bate in the 2nd leg unlike the many ignoramuses on this blog.”

    you were supremely confident we win the first leg ties v Bate and Rennes and you were supremely confident we would beat West ham and Southampton and you were supremely confident we would beat Manchester United and
    Tottenham at home in the cup……… However, we lost all of those games

  20. Dissenter

    Why are you always making all these snide arguments to support Ozil.
    All Emery did was to challenge Ozil to do more…and so far Ozil; is getting that challenge after an initial hiccup
    All these yamayama you’re writing is just Wenger bereavement syndrome

    Emery was absolutely right to ask more of Ozil

  21. gnarleygeorge9

    Gr8 post Pedro

    I’ve heard that the new Spuds patch has incorporated some nostalgic touches taken from the old shite hart lane.

    Apparently all the TV monitors around the ground will be in black & white to give that 1961 feel about the place. And for the opening ceremony they are having the Dave Clark Two do a re-jigged version of the old Prince song, ‘tonight we’re going to party like it’s 1961’.

  22. Pierre

    “Emery was absolutely right to ask more of Ozil”

    Emery was absolutely right to ask more of Ramsey …correct.

    Let’s be honest here, if we were not playing so poorly and losing so many games then Ozil(or Ramsey) wouldn’t have been reinstated to the team .

    He was messing up big time that was obvious..

  23. Dissenter

    “Emery was absolutely right to ask more of Ramsey …correct.”
    Of course, the same as he demanded that every player step up.
    Ozil threw a tantrum initially and only returned back because he is ready to do the dirty stuff like every one else. It’s heartening to see him closing down the ball like every one else. Wenger gave him special treatment , Emery wasn’t ready to extend it.

    “However, he swallowed his pride and made the necessary changes and the team haven’t looked back since.”

    Have you considered the possibility that it was Ozil that swallowed his pride and is now doing the teams business as well as his?
    You’re the one throwing up conspiracy babble here because the new manager wanted Ozil to do more.
    I recall you lambasting Emery for just wanting runners.

  24. Sid

    It’s mind numbing how people on here simply forget about the home grown quota we need to fullfill.

    And I’ll take chambers over mustafi every day of the week and twice on Sunday. What it gives you is a home grown players who is better than the a non home grown currently on the sheet (even as backup as I expect we will bring in a cb) opening up more possibilities in the non home grown part of the roster.

  25. Dream10


    Nah, it was Emery who swallowed his pride and reinstated players. We went thru a bad period. The shit was hitting the fan, so he looked for a solution.

    We’re on course for a CL spot, let’s get it.
    Playing Napoli next week. Difficult match. If we go thru, then great. If we get knocked out, at least we won’t accumulate more matches.

  26. gonsterous

    people here need to stop suggesting promoting the youngsters to the first team. Are anyone of them better than guen? Cause guen is class but because of his age and experience, he makes mistakes, and people are on him for not dominating the midfield at 20. So I don’t know how much criticism the younger kids with hardly any experience in the first team will get. Of course the solution for those posters will always be to add them to the sell list. look at iwobi, ramsey (to a degree, but I wanted him gone too), AMN, bellerin (when he was not having a good season).

  27. Dream10


    Agree that it’s difficult for kids to make it.
    Not sure many of the young players in the PL will make it at a top 6 club because of circumstances beyond them. Teams not willing to take risks. Many won’t even reach the level that Iwobi or AMN have for us.

    Look at Hudson Odoi for example. He has all the tools to be a top player. A manager has to give them a chance. This is our best crop of youths since Jacky Wilshere broke thru ten years ago. Let’s see if they’ll get an opportunity. Iwobi made the first team because our connecting playmakers like Jack, Rosicky were broken. AMN started to get games at fullback/wingback because of need.

  28. Pierre

    You know and I know that the marginalization of Ramsey and Ozil would have continued until this day if the team had not imploded during our sequence of 7 defeats in 14..

    It was nothing to do with good man management , it was a desperate last throw of the dice from a man who was losing the fan base and was in severe danger of losing his job if the the results had continued in that fashion.

    If it makes you feel better to call it good man management then you carry on but the truth is that Ramsey and Ozil would have been used sparingly at best if it wasn’t for the Bate defeat that finally sparked Emery into action to save our season..

  29. gonsterous


    look at the teams around Europe, how many top teams have youths breaking into the team ? of course players turn a corner at various ages in their career, There are a lot of players who were good during the youth that have turned into very reliable players when they reach around the 27,28 age bracket.
    I think a lot of youngsters just become very good squad players, a few (like cesc,) dominate games when they are around 20 and even fewer become elite like the neymars and the messis and the mpabbes.
    So my point being, if we promote youths, we need to give them time, something le grove is infamous for..

  30. Pierre

    In saying that , his management of the players, including substitutions, rotation etc has been spot on since the Bate defeat .

    It will be very interesting to see what personnel and tactics he will use in our run of away games , I believe he will rotate frequently due to the heavy fixture congestion.

    The team look very confident now and any rotation should not affect the balance of the side too much .
    Mhkitaryan will be brought back into the team on occasions as will Torreira which will not reduce the quality of the side in any way .

    Arsenal fans should be really looking forward to an exciting end to the season with the possibility of a European final…..no team will want to play Arsenal in that competition if we continue to improve as we have done in the last few weeks.

  31. Redtruth

    The Bate defeat was always going to be a banana skin especially when we went down to 10 men.
    I never doubted we would progress against the pub team.

  32. Emiratesstroller


    The result at BAT was I concede a very poor result. Rennes was probably a consequence of Sokratis being sent off.

    However, the reality is that Arsenal’s first team squad has a lack of depth particularly in absence of Messrs Bellerin, Holding and Welbeck through long term injuries.

    Emery disclosed over weekend that our priority this season is to finish in top
    4 in EPL. I suspect that is likely to be true.

  33. Graham62


    That’s your PoV .

    Maybe it was down to the fact that both O and R put in the effort and commitment to warrant their inclusion in the team.

    “Emery swallowing his pride” is mere speculation and your own underlying belief that Emery is not upto scratch , which we all know stems from your undying love and respect for you know who.

  34. Graham62

    Rather than keep blabbering on about players that will always divide opinion, why not show our faith and devotion for those players that are displaying genuine and consistent commitment to the cause.

    in my opinion, Lacazette is Arsenal’s most prized asset at this moment in time.

  35. gonsterous

    laca, most prized asset and gambon and co were of the ideology of selling laca and getting in a winger. They expected Auba to play all the games, and over estimated Aubas all round game.
    Emery has adapted rather well thanks to iwobi and kola.

  36. RodneyKing

    “It was nothing to do with good man management , it was a desperate last throw of the dice from a man who was losing the fan base and was in severe danger of losing his job if the the results had continued in that fashion.”

    If Ozil had come back into the team and carried on with his usual style, then you’d have a point. Instead, he’s clearly adapting to how Emery wants the team to play – “with intensity in every moment, to give us a big performance…”.

    Ozil was in danger of ruining his own reputation and marketability, even if he stayed on to run down his contract.

    In my opinion, Ramsey’s case is slightly different. I remember Emery was (rightly or wrongly) quoted as saying that he intended to build the team around him… until the contract talks broke down. Ramsey clearly wants to prove that he was deserving of a much better contract and that Juve haven’t made a mistake.

  37. RodneyKing

    In my estimation, Papa and Lacazette are currently in pole position for Arsenal Player of the Year. Although if Aubameyang ends up scoring 20+ goals, he may knick it.

  38. Tony

    “yet , some are still bloviating about goals that are currently unreasonable.”

    Nice word Dissenter “bloviating”.

    You do have your moment where at times you misread or misconstrue the intended message.

    Do try to keep up old chap. 🙂

  39. Tony

    From last post.

    I don’t disagree with your regarding the poor budget we have to keep to, but it is what it is.

    Raul has been brought in presumably because he can bring us to a level to genuinely compete for the CL & PL title/cup.

    Right now I just don’t believe Emery, to coin Pedro’s choice of word, has the sauce or juice to do it.

    Let’s see if he can get us CL football for next season and then what he does with the money and how he fares in the competition first.

    He’s here until the end of next season regardless of results now.

    As with all things Arsenal, I’m always happy to be proved wrong if the club moves significantly forward.

    To reiterate Raul is my biggest concern.

    The guy can’t even hire a credible DOF/TD of football …………

  40. Pierre

    It appears that many on here are reading between the lines of my comments and are coming up with complete nonsense.

    I never said or implied that the Ozil was carrying the team …Receding Hairline came up with that assumption , wrongly I hasten to add as Ozil isn’t capable of carrying a team .
    As you remember , Lacazette ( a player I rate highly) was in danger of being marginalised by Emery for showing frustration of being substituted ( similar to Ozil and Ramsey) but after being messed about by Emery he decided to play the game and come off with a smile and a wave to the crowd and that endeared him to the manager ( very intelligent by laca).
    He could quite easily have been marginalised along with Ramsey and Ozil for non footballing reasons which I find unacceptable.

    Let’s remember, I have been slaughtered by many on Le Grove for defending Ozil , I knew he was still capable , given the chance, and I knew that he would improve the team so yes I will gloat every time he puts in a man of the match performance.

    As the perceptive “taking the mihk” pointed out , Ozil has still created the most chances for his team mates this season despite his lack of game time but as anyone with an ounce of football knowledge can see , Ozil gives so much more to the team than that, his touches and football brain are a joy to behold but I don’t for one minute expect many on Le Grove to appreciate the finer points of the game.

    It’s their loss .

  41. HighburyLegend

    “Tottenham’s new stadium officially opens on Wednesday – but how does it compare to Emirates Stadium of arch rivals Arsenal?”

    Very simple : our stadium is beautiful, their stadium is fuck ugly.

  42. HighburyLegend

    @Tits : wenger opening his dirty mouth again ?? Wasn’t he supposed to find a fucking job in a big club ??

  43. HighburyLegend

    @Pierre : we will erect a statue for your God when he will ba capable to reiterate big performances against big clubs.
    FFs, what a troll you are…

  44. Samesong

    Very simple : our stadium is beautiful, their stadium is fuck ugly.

    Nah there stadium looks the shizzle. As much as I hate them there stadium is impressive.

  45. HighburyLegend

    “there stadium is impressive.”

    A stadium can be impressive and be ugly at the same time.
    Look at Old Toilet lol

  46. Emiratesstroller

    It makes me laugh that whenever I watch football on tv or read a newspaper the so-called media pundits [ex footballers] are always discounting Arsenal as
    ‘likely’ qualifiers for the top 4 in EPL.

    Most do so, because they “dislike” Arsenal rather than because they have valid
    reasons for their opinions.

    Whilst I accept that Arsenal could implode in the last 7 games of the season
    not least because they have to play 5 away matches the facts tell me otherwise.

    1. The team is playing well in recent games and surprisingly has not conceded
    a goal in last 3 matches.

    2. Arsenal have got a decent track record in away matches against all remaining opponents apart from Watford.

    3.We are currently in third place so there is margin for error even if we drop
    some points.

    4.Our goal difference is significantly better than Man Utd and Chelsea, which
    could be critical at this stage of season.

    5.All our opponents have to play top 6 teams at the end of season. Therefore
    points are likely to be dropped in those games.

    6.Spurs and Man Utd have been losing games recently.

  47. Graham62


    Obviously your “No shit Sherlock!” comment is directed at me.

    Great contribution.

    As always.

  48. Graham62

    Our stadium is elegant and refined, but lacks the wow factor.

    Spuds crib is shit ugly but ………..omg, wow!!

  49. Graham62

    Because of our stadiums design, we could easily increase the capacity to 70,000 if needed.

    Spuds though have space left only for a couple of extra urinals.

  50. Emiratesstroller


    Every stadium which is being built is the biggest and the best according to their club management.

    Mr Levy thinks that his bright new stadium is the best.

    I am a season ticket holder at Arsenal. My concern is not all the gimmicks, but
    my comfort in the stadium, the view of the game and above all the quality of

    Frankly I don’t give a damn about the gimmicks or the size of bar at the stadium.

    There are of course some improvements which could of course be made at
    Emirates. The most obvious is easier access to the upper levels. The stadium
    could do with escalators and more lifts to the upper levels.

    Also transport links could/should be improved. In contrast to Wembley and
    Spurs we did not receive the financial support to improve these facilities.

  51. HighburyLegend

    “Spuds crib is shit ugly but ………..omg, wow!!”

    Ah ah ah!!
    On a more “serious” note, now we have Old Toilet… and New Toilet !!

  52. Thomas

    HighburyLegendApril 3, 2019 08:06:39
    “Tottenham’s new stadium officially opens on Wednesday – but how does it compare to Emirates Stadium of arch rivals Arsenal?”Very simple : our stadium is beautiful, their stadium is fuck ugly.


    Emirates is pretty soulless though. The big gaps between the pitch and the stands ruins it. Should’ve gone for a more classic look instead of trying to look like a giant spaceship.

  53. Valentin


    I concur. More escalators and not just for the Club level would be appreciated. Going to upper level with senior citizens or people with injuries (sprained ankles, broken leg in cast, …), or small children can be a drag.

  54. Dark Hei


    The current TV pundits hate Arsenal because they were the ones who got their assess handed to them during their playing days.

    The exception is Stewart Robson. I thought he just hated Wenger. Turns out he hates everybody.

  55. HighburyLegend

    “Should’ve gone for a more classic look instead of trying to look like a giant spaceship.”

    Tell that to Wenger, not to me.

  56. Dream10

    Dark Hei

    Stewart Robson goes out of his way to shit on Arsenal because they fired him from commentating on Arsenal matches on the official site. On multiple occasions, he was hoping that Arsenal lose.

  57. Nelson

    I remember that Emery was criticized of not improving our defense. Our defense looks much better now. If not for Mustafi’s penalty, we could have won all last six games. Emery must have some sauces also.

  58. Graham62

    Like or dislike Stewart Robson, he sort of got it right regards Arsenal over the years.

    Robson and Chris Sutton together would be a pay per view event.

  59. Valentin

    Stewart Robson hate everybody, but Arsène Wenger just a little more.
    He has not only been fired by Arsenal understandably in view of his comment on Arsenal TV, but also banned from Arsenal Colney training centre and other Arsenal facilities.
    I remember reading that he was not initially allowed in when he was on official duty for West Ham to commentate a youth team game.

  60. Emiratesstroller

    I am willing to bet that in six months time no-one will be talking about the Spuds
    new stadium UNLESS of course the roof leaks because of shoddy workmanship
    or the pitch is shit and the removal system breaks down.

    I agree that there is room for improvement in the atmosphere and acoustics at
    Emirates, but surprisingly there has been some improvement in atmosphere
    in recent weeks.

    Personally I am more than happy with my seat and view which is on the halfway line. I don’t go to the Emirates to eat an overpriced meal or snack or
    drink at the longest bar in England.

    I prefer to go to good restaurants and gastro pubs near where I live if I want
    a decent meal or drink.

  61. TitsMcGee

    Every new stadium is the “biggest and best” until the next one is built. Frankly I couldn’t care about Spurs’ new stadium or Chelsea’s(if they get one one day).

    The Emirates feels a bit corporate and they should have built the stands closer to the grounds(not that I think it’s as bad as WHU’s situation) but it is what it is.

  62. TitsMcGee

    Don’t we have the option to increase capacity?(by re-configuring the seating layout?). Think I remember reading that at some point.

  63. Dissenter

    It amazes how British stadiums cost over £1 billion one but don’t have a retractable roof!
    The FA made the same error with Wembley in a very daft way with a partial roof
    The Spuds stadium repeated the same error.

    No stadium that costly without a retractable roof can claim to be the best in the world. Barca and Real will,have retractable roofs when when the Nou camp and Santiago Bernabeu are rebuilt.
    All the excellent stadiums just built in the states have retractable roofs.

  64. Emiratesstroller

    There is plenty of scope to increase capacity at Arsenal if we wish to do so.
    Wenger made that point when Spurs announced their plans to build a larger
    capacity stadium.

    Also there has been some discussion to have a section with standing as opposed to seats which Everton are planning to do in their new stadium.

    The reality is that our stadium is large enough. Expanding its capacity is down
    to ego and one upmanship.

    The major difference between Arsenal and Spurs stadiums is the former is
    designed to be a football club and stadium. Spurs is designed to be a multi
    purpose stadium.

    I know which I prefer.

  65. Bamford10


    Pundits discount Arsenal because our squad is not that great and is not as good as some of our rivals. That’s really all that is going on there.

    However, it is now beginning to look like we have a good chance of finishing top four. If we do finish top four, this will be the result of three things, primarily:

    1. Unai Emery instilling a bit of will, desire and bollocks into this team
    2. Spurs, United and Chelsea all wobbling (in different ways)
    3. good leadership & good performances from any number of individual players, incl. Leno, Sokratis, Ramsey and Lacazette

  66. TitsMcGee

    Also there has been some discussion to have a section with standing as opposed to seats which Everton are planning to do in their new stadium.”

    Thought that was banned since Hillsborough?(or maybe it was just pens)

  67. Dissenter

    “I am willing to bet that in six months time no-one will be talking about the Spuds
    new stadium UNLESS of course the roof leaks because of shoddy workmanship
    or the pitch is shit and the removal system breaks down”

    I beg to differ
    We will be talking about that stadium forever because it cost 1 billion
    It’s utter madness for a club that size to build a stadium that expensive. The interest loans alone will be crippling

    It will be hilarious watching a fissure form between the ambition-less manager and the CEO ober transfer money that won’t materialize.

  68. Valentin

    Standing only section is still banned in principle. However stadium can be designed in such way that a standing section can be created. Steeper steps, deeper place in front of seat, barrier in front of seat. And you have a section where people can stand without infringing the view of the person behind without lowering the security. Knowing that if you buy a ticket for a standing section, you should expect people to stand.

  69. Dissenter

    I doubt the so called NFL involvement in the Spuds stadium.
    The NFL are set to maintain their intrest in Wembley despite the partnership with Spuds. They aren’t putting all their eggs in one basket and definitely had leverage in negotiating with Spuds.
    They have a range is stadium options in London despite playing at the new spurs stadiums.

  70. Valentin


    Quite often most of the cost of London stadium is not due to the building cost, but the cost of purchasing the land to build on it.

    Contractors are paid either a fixed cost for stadium (in which case they support any overrunning cost so they tend to overestimate the cost) or a full cost (in which case contractors tend to underestimate cost to tease customers and overcharge them later).
    The ballooning price of Spurs stadium was expected but not to that extend.
    In order to minimise the initial cost when raising funds, Levy negotiated a full cost. The stadium was therefore underestimated and extra cost were expected. The extra cost skyrockets because the FX rate pounds made sands and a lot of other imports a lot more expensive and because personnel cost exploded. Nobody had integrated that they were competing with cross rail construction for specialist sub contractors.

  71. Valentin

    The NFL have a range of requirements regarding stadium some usual such as size, accessibility to transport, advertising board, etc but some more surprising size of changing room, number of places available to media, number of toilets for VIP, …

    Spurs have made sure to meet all the new minimum requirements that the NFL imposes on new stadium development in the US. The only thing they could not change is their location.
    Wembley does not meet all of them. NFL biggest hurdle will be Levy as the chief negotiator.

  72. Dissenter

    Wembley was built at the same site
    The spurs stadium was built in the same site as their old stadium
    These are not land cost issues

    Every thing seems to cost more in the UK

  73. Dissenter

    Sorry but that last post about the NFL is just plain horse shite.
    Wembley meets all the criteria for an NFL stadium and so does Twickenham.

    The NFL specific stadium in Washington DC does not meet any of those things you mentioned…so I really don’t think you’re informed on this issue.

  74. Nelson

    Personally, I prefer to watch baseball than NFL. NFL looks better on TV because it zooms in on the action. Most NFL teams select more running plays than passing. Those running plays are very boring to watch from the stadium. The NFL season runs in parallel with the football season. A lot of baseballs are played in Summer. I would build a stadium for both football and baseball.

  75. Dissenter

    Eventually Spuds will discover that they have been shafted by the NFL.
    Too many local communities have come to that realization, way too late. Having 2-3 NFL games yearly won’t provide a lifeline for the stadium.

    They have the leverage of playing at Wembley (as alternatives) which is a far more prestigious venue to squeeze spurs.

  76. Words on a Blog

    The key thing to keep in mind about the new Spurs megabowl toilet is the size of the debt needed to build and complete it.

    Initially Spurs raised £400m of debt from 3 banks to help fund the project.
    Late last year, when the cost overrun started increasing, they raised a further £267m from the 3 banks.

    The debt is repayable in 5 years with no requirement to repay principal during the period, so net cash outflows in terms of interest will be around £25m.

    They’re planning to do an Arsenal and replace the bank debt with a long term (20-25 years) bond within 5 years.

    In order to successfully replace the bank debt with a long term bond, they are going to have to be very, very cash conscious in the next few years. Also there may well be loan covenants preventing excessive net spend on transfers in order to safeguard the bank debt and encourage a successful take up of the long term bond.

    Just as we were back in the day when the Emirates was built, Spurs will be net sellers for a good few years to come. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Kane, Alli, Eriksen and others leave in the next few transfer windows. Also buyers like Real understand very well the position Spurs will be in, and will drive a hard bargain.

    Expect to hear a lot (more) about Sours Project Youth and English Core

  77. Alexanderhenry

    Have to say I am pleasantly surprised by arsenal’s position.
    I didn’t give us a chance of finishing top four at the start of the season but now it looks very likely.

    We’ve got to give most of the credit to Emery.
    If he manages it, that will be an excellent debut season.
    Yes, he’s been helped by the man utd implosion under mourihno and chelsea’s inconsistency, but he’s also had to adapt to a new league, learn to speak English, work with a squad that’s long in the tooth and a bit of a mess and deal with an injury crisis particularly in defence.
    He was also given no money to strengthen in January.

    I think he’s earned the right to go and do stop significant shopping this summer.

  78. Words on a Blog

    It goes without saying that’s if Spurs don’t make it to the CL, the financial constraintss will be much tighter and the pace of net player sales will be much faster

  79. Dissenter

    Words in a blog
    I think they made a last minute trolley dash to hedge funds s well to meet the overruns .
    They have several layers of debt to repay; conventional loans and high interest-no default hedge fund debt.

    Daniel Levi made a bet that there will be a NFL franchise in London pretty soon.
    Does anyone living in London think it’s a feasible project?

    Also that NFL involvement blew up the stadium cost because they decided to have a dedicated NFL turf that was retractable which probably added at least 50-100 million to the stadium. The cost of even maintaining that roll-out turf is astronomical.

  80. Words on a Blog


    I have a feeling the debt will be a millstone around their neck for a few years to come.

    The question is, if times are tough and Real or Manure come calling in a couple of years time, will Poch scurry off?

  81. Words on a Blog


    Yeah the annual interest cost of £25m I estimated only covers the bank debt.

    The hedge fund debt will be much more expensive

  82. Dissenter

    I don’t think Poch has the mentality of a big club manager.
    He’s comfortable playing manager for a club that is not imposing on him to win a trophy, even when they have only won four trophies in the last 48 years.

  83. Dissenter

    I do think they will spend ,assibely this summer just on the basis that they have to sell Wanyama (20-25 million), Ericksen (80-100 million) and Toby Alderweireld (25 million)
    They could easily spend 100 milllion solely sourced from players sales.

  84. Words on a Blog

    Sure, they will spend. But that will have to be funded from player sales. And they will be under pressure to make a net positive balance from sales and purchases of players for years to come in order to reduce their debt balance, particularly if they also have expensive hedge fund debt.

    Real Barça and others will know this, so they’re less likely to bid silly
    Money for Spurs players as Real did for Bale and Barça did for Coutinho

  85. jasongms

    Handing OGS a contract was the best thing that could have happened, I expect him sacked by Christmas. Allegedly he’s taking managerial advice from the septuagenarian Ferguson, the guy is a flaccid cuck.

    bamford, as much I admire your narrative, you’ve got this one wrong.

  86. Bob N16

    The only way Spurs can remain competitive is for Lewis to sell to a new owner who can soften the financial burden of the stadium debt. If they don’t make CL they’re really in the financial poop.

    Would be anybody be up for us finishing 3rd and throwing the EL final to Chelsea if Spurs are in 4th so returning Thursday to Spursday?

  87. Valentin


    Spurs new stadium is bigger and also include extra facilities and amenities, so they had to purchase a lot of land around it. The fight by the local business against compulsory purchase order have been epic. I am surprised that anybody could have missed all the raucous caused by those.

    Wembley does not meet all the criteria for the NFL. For example the size of the changing room does not have enough to fit a full NFL complement and media crew. Also the standard bandwidth of network for media work is too low so they have to add temporary extra network connection. Also in place (VIP loves, …) Wembley has some permanent sponsors logo that cannot be removed or easily edited out in real time.

    Nothing major, because the NFL is still interested in the European audience, but not to the level a brand new stadium could offer.

  88. Valentin

    The big chance for Spurs is that they have borrowed in a period of ultra low rate. Their problem is that with Brexit, the rate will increase when they will try to refinance.

  89. rollen

    Emery showing Ramsey and Ozil who runs a show is not swallowing his pride. Facepalm. Less blogging and more reading and watching would be very useful for many here..

  90. Emiratesstroller

    Saracens have just signed an agreement to play rugby matches in the Spurs Stadium. This will be presumably played on the grass pitch.

    So the playing surface could be easily wrecked as has been the case when games were played at Wembley.

    This is why I posted that their facility is a multi purpose stadium as opposed to
    Arsenal’s which is specifically used for football.