Disasterclass summer. Do the numbers point to a rational explanation?

by .

Ok, ok… so is it time to start getting angry on Twitter?

Should I be at the Kroenke out protest?

Should I strap a camera to my face and VENT for the good people of Youtube?

I think it’s nearly that time.

We are a week away from preseason, we haven’t sold a notable flop, we haven’t purchased the 8 players I was SURE we’d bring in. I don’t even have a slick new haircut from Theo Walcott to excite me.

We’re basically rolling into preseason like this was peak-Wenger 2012.

I’m half expecting Emery to roll in with a French accent and say something like, ‘we look for maybe one special talent, but we will not pay over the odds.’

I still remember 2008 when Wenger told us he’d surprise us with a signing, then dropped Silvestre! Good times.

There’s certainly a disorder with Arsenal fans that we picked up from the halcyon days of ‘WENGER KNOWS’ and I call it retroactive intellectualism. It’s where you find sense in chaos. It’s a comfort blanket to project a plan where there is none.

I’m rolling with that today…

Raul must know that what he’s being served up under Emery is flatulent and unlikely to move us to where we need to be. I know from speaking to people in and around the club that things aren’t going well. I think our exec leadership will know this as well unless they aren’t talking to people. Which come to think of it isn’t beyond the pale… surely if someone walked down to the training ground and saw the bus driver giving the team speech, they’d say something?

I digress…

So, is it possible that we’re writing off this season as an inexpensive transition moment? We blood the kids, keep our powder dry and wait for the arrival of Edu to whom all responsibility for success will lie?

That could be the plan.

Alternatively, we could just be witnessing a botched attempt at a summer because we have zero leverage in the market. We have a severe cashflow issue, a bloated wage bill, expensive players no one wants, and too little money to bring in the players we do want.

The money side of things is utterly staggering. But it all comes down to so many people at the club being ok with coasting back in the day. We didn’t make hay when the Champions League was giving us a monster advantage. We let great managers pass us by. We were dominated by the presence of yesteryear. Now we are paying the price because we are starting from scratch.

That said, as I’m writing this, I feel very depressed. Arsenal has spent the last 15 years bemoaning what they DON’T have instead of working out how to make the most of what they DO have.

You work with the tools you are handed. You find an edge. You hire people that are cunning. You find market disruptors who find value under the rocks that no one is looking under. In my job, can I pay the best wages? No. Can I hire the greatest creative talent on earth? No. Do I moan? Yes. But I find a way because if I don’t, there’s no job for me. That’s the same in EVERY industry. Just fucking get on with it and find a way. There are enough talented players to go around. Technology is BOOMING. Incredible people are there for the taking. We need a driving force at the club that cares about one thing, and one thing only… making Arsenal the best they can be.

Who do we have doing that at the moment?

We’re competing in the second tier of experienced players by the looks of things. Carrasco, Zaha… instead of hunting out elite young players with a couple of seasons under their belts like BVB. To be fair, Tierney would fit that mould, but we should be bringing in 5 like that.

I felt like Sven Mislintat was our explorer. Someone that’d do things differently. Something that’d attempt to restructure the way we find advantages with talent. We’ve lost that hustle, and the worrying thing is it’s because Raul doesn’t believe in that approach.

We’re hunting for rebirths in a network of dodgy agents. I hate that. We’re trying to make a marquee signing of Wilfried Zaha. Good player, but really?

The industry of football is moving towards intelligence and we’re anchoring ourselves in the cigar smoke-filled world of the contacts game.

It. Is. Sad.

But hey, maybe we’ll sign Pepe today and I will come CRAWLING back on my hands and knees begging for your future clicks.

We’ll see. Hope is all we have. And each other. I love you guys.


331 Responses to “Disasterclass summer. Do the numbers point to a rational explanation?”

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  1. Elmo

    £40m, with United taking 25%, leaves Palace with £30m for their best player and icon of their club.

    If you were a Palace fan, how much would you want as a very minimum, even if the player wanted out (4 years left on contract; United to take 25% up to £15m)?

    In a worst case scenario where the player was disrupting pre-season, I would accept £70m and not a penny less, meaning £55m to re-invest after paying United their £15m.

    Arsenal are not going to pay £70m, so I can’t see it happening unless some big departures are lined up (Laca, or Mustafi and Chambers). The more likely scenario is Palace also demand north of £70m.

  2. Elmo

    Oh, and for the poster (Marc?) who pointed out The Sun going heavy on ‘Skint Arsenal’ this summer, here’s how they approach the Zaha story:

    “PENNY-PINCHING Arsenal have made a derisory £40million bid for Wilfried Zaha — with Argos-style payments over FIVE YEARS.

    Incredibly, cheeky Arsenal also demanded a hefty DISCOUNT if they managed to cobble together the cash to pay off bits of Zaha’s transfer fee early.”


  3. Leedsgunner

    In light of Swiss Ramble’s revelations I have lost all hope that change will happen under Raul, Vinai and Kronke.

    Remember when Raul and Vinai did those interviews for Arsenal.com? Remember how they said all those grand sounding words and mouthed pretensions of ambition? How could they say all those things with a straight face when they knew how bad our finances were?

    Forget a statue for Wenger… we should erect a statue for Swiss Ramble. He has done the fans of Arsenal everywhere a tremendous service by giving us the truth… the unbelievable truth.

    The powers that be at the club must hold us in utter utter contempt.

    Of course, they will be desperately hoping that a signing or two will make us forget how badly we are being run.

  4. China1

    Let’s just throw in all the dross haha

    Ozil mikki xhaka el neny chambers mustafi and kos

    That should add up to a combined value of 15m ha!

  5. Caligooner

    Apparently Zaha is now the second coming of pele based on some of the comments on here. Hope it happens but anything above 50 million is silly.

  6. Leedsgunner

    Arsenal FC : the Kronke Years…

    Face it people, our beloved club has become a mockumentary right before our eyes.


  7. Leedsgunner


    Here’s something to bring a smile to our otherwise depressing world…

    Daily Mirror confidently stating Crystal Palace has identified Wan Bissaka’s successor…

    Ahem, drum roll please… One CARL JENKINSON!!! Their evidence? Roy Hodgson likes him and gave him his sole England debut.

    Yeah right… imagine that. Perhaps we can ask Palace to do a straight swap for Zaha.

  8. Leedsgunner

    Just read through again Swiss Ramble’s thread.
    Shocking incompetence, it is really is.

    No, it’s not a nightmare it’s reality.

    The question is what is Kronke going to do about this?

    No wonder Kronke took the club private… can you imagine anyone at the club wanting to give us an explanation and to be held accountable for this utter omnishambles?

    To think Gazidas and Wenger unashamedly soaked up all the plaudits last year.

    Merci Arsene? For what exactly?!?

    The only silver lining I can see from this mess is that Gazidas has left our club before he could do even more damage…

    To think while this was going on that man unashamedly still talked about Arsenal competing at the top level while he was driving us into the ground.


    Against I ask, what is Kronke going to do about it to rectify this lost decade of mismanagement?

  9. Freddie Ljungberg

    I called it months ago that Fekir wouldn’t be more than 30-35m, looks like I was right.

    Would take him any day over Zaha at the same price and doubly so for half of Zahas fee whether we play him CAM or on the wing, far superior player.

    For the 60-70m it would take to get Zaha (incl. players or not it’s still the same) we could completely fix our midfield and give us options on both wings.

    Fekir, Sangare/ Pulgar, Brahimi/ Bowen

    45-65m depending on which we go with. Since Brahimi is free and would only be 4-5m in sign on fee we could get both him and Bowen no problem.

    or Zaha? Easy choice

    Not ideal on the wings but at least we would have genuine options there unlike now.

    If we manage to fix our defence with Tierney and a Zagadou/ Upemecano coming in now and Saliba for the season after we’re looking very good squad wise for the first time in ages.

    Just need a few tweaks here and there after that, and we would be able to concentrate on buying 1-2 wc players a window instead of wholesale changes like we need now.

  10. Gentlebris

    ‘He’s scored 22 goals and has 4 assists in the Championship this season. Pretty impressive at 22.’

    Jarrod Bowen is 22, English, Hull top’s scorer last season.

    How much would Hall want for their 22 goals banger 22 years old?


    Unless we wanna sell Laca for £100m, it makes no sense.

    And I still maintain those guys in the commercial are here for next season, no way Adidas allows it different.

  11. Gentlebris

    ‘Fekir, Sangare/ Pulgar, Brahimi/ Bowen’

    And you would be here moaning again when City, Pool, United, Spuds begin to shit all over our team with sheer quality.
    Sangare, Brahimi…… aren’t you tired of bang average players?

    If you want a good team in 2019 you don’t begin to look for how you solve your midfield and your wings combined with £60m, especially when your neighbour who were behind you for decades just dropped £65m on ONE PLAYER.

    Now you would need a lot to convince me that Ndobele would be a better buy than Zaha.

  12. Freddie Ljungberg

    Sangare average? Sure.

    Brahimi maybe, but he’s still better than anything we have on the wings now, and he would cost around 3.5m in sign on fee.

    a Torreira – Sangare – Fekir midfield would be miles better than the crap we have now.

    Sure we need genuine quality on the wings, but not everything in the squad can be fixed in one window with top players and a modest budget, I would prefer real quality in midfield and defence and some cheaper players on the wings just so we have someone out there other than Iwobi.

    The wings can be addressed properly in upcoming windows.
    Our attack despite it’s shortcomings is still the best part of our team atm.

    Not every good player costs 60m+

  13. terraloon

    It would be churlish to seek any comfort from the Swiss Rambler summary but it was pretty obvious for some time that things both on and off the field were slipping. Easily identifiable but far from easy to reverse.

    The truth is that unless Arsenal get back in the CL or indeed start to really challenge then this decline isn’t going to be reversed without a huge injection of cash and as we all know that’s unlikely.

    Some point to the youth coming through but does anyone really believe that there is enough top talent in the academy to anything other than plaster over a few cracks in terms of the squad?

    Some bulked on here yesterday about the suggestion that some of the Adidas money would or even could be diverted and I agree that money paid to Arsenal will flow as a matter of course to Arsenal’s coffers but what for me is the issue is what happens to it when it gets there.

    Owning 100 % of a company means you can, within the law, in effect do what you like with the assets and indeed the finances. That for me is a real issue for Arsenal going forward.

    It’s pretty clear that KSE borrowed heavily to buy Arsenal’s shares .A few years ago when KSE made their first failed bid to buy up the remaining shares certain assurances regarding a leveraged buyout were given to AST.

    Alas times have moved on and for me is a concern is that dividends can be declared and paid, directors loans facilitated and so on.

    Yesterday the whole Lamar debate was opened up again.

    Many seem to have been convinced albeit based on a questionable interview that Arsenal bid £90+ million for a player who less than 12 months later was sold for €60 million.

    Yet elsewhere it’s stated that prior to buying Lacazette Arsenal bid around half the sum for him and that Liverpool made the highest bid and even that wasn’t higher than the figure AM eventually paid. Does that really suggest that Monaco had a £92 million bid?

    So on to Tierney and Zaha I don’t doubt for one second like Suarez and indeed Lamar before the club would love to buy them but there is no way clubs are going to roll over and allow Arsenal to tickle their tums. Why should they?

    Forget all this chatter about dream move and all that these are professional footballers and most if not all the comments attributed to them will have originated from agents or the like.

    Somehow or the other Arsenal are going to have to buy in top quality goods.

    Not seconds or indeed close to the sell buy date but that comes with a cost and the truth is that at this time Arsenal may well be window shopping at say M&S but will end up buying in Lidl!

  14. Guns of Hackney

    Arsenal don’t want to be a football club anymore. Once you come to terms with that, you can move on and start living again.

    Arsenal don’t want zaha. This is another classic piece of Arsenal propaganda to deflect from the real story…we will probably be giving one of, if not all…Laca, Auba, Xhaka and Bellerin new improved deals. Because after all “these guys are world class”.

    Arsenal are irrelevant now to everyone outside of the real die hards whose great grandad laid bricks at Woolwich Arsenal in 1886 or whatever. No one cares. Arsenal don’t. The sane fans don’t. Critics don’t. Players don’t.

    Edu isn’t coming in for any other reason but to tow the line and pick up a pay check. People say “he knows the club” ummm…no he doesn’t. The club isn’t the same. We’ve moved stadium. Have new owners. Sorry, Arsenal are not the same club and never will be again. It wouldn’t surprise me if we changed our name at some point.

  15. Gentlebris

    ‘More like 12-15m for Bowen, not everyone is as deluded as Crystal Palace.’

    Yeah, when a Scottish league Celtics are demanding £25m bottom for a left back Tierney. Scottish league equals league one in my opinion.

    Hull are not stupid, you don’t come across young guys who bang it in often. If you think they should take £15m for Bowen, how much do we take for Iwobi who put 3 inside from the wing?

  16. Freddie Ljungberg


    Did you even read the article I linked? I didn’t just pull that number out of my ass you know.

    Tierney may play in a crap league but at least he has CL and national team experience and has played against top level opposition. Bowen even at 15m would be a gamble because he hasn’t as far as I know had any regular experience of top level football so we don’t know if his talents are going to translate into the PL.

    You seem to have a very strange view of the transfer market and what our needs are.

  17. CG

    July 1st 2019

    Bids in for Zaha, Bowen and a Bald Algerian) who looked 39 not 29- I hope we have checked his passport DoB.

    July 2nd 2019

    What has Raul got up his sleeve today.?
    (More Tierney shenanigans?
    Revert back to Saliba?)

    There will be bids going in somewhere- that is for sure.

    Scattergun Yes
    Strategic No

    Making it up as You Go Go- Wham style!

    Pre season starts in a few days time.

    And Has Edu packed yet?

    Tick Tock.

  18. Buckagh

    Breaking news,
    Arsenal are going to zone in on star players in the, Ladies world Cup, with a view to maybe signing qualiteeeeee players on a loan basis

  19. CG


    “” Edu isn’t coming in for any other reason but to tow the line and pick up a pay check””””

    Ain’t just that the Truth!

  20. TheBoyCornelius

    Jarrod Bowen is exactly the type of signing i thought we’d be making. That young player, between 18 & 24 who has had few seasons at a decent level and looks like they can make the step up. And if it doesn’t work out, their value remains stable, with maybe a little profit.

  21. Nelson

    “Fekir, Sangare/ Pulgar, Brahimi/ Bowen”

    I want to give Willock and Nelson a chance. I agree to replace Ozil with Fekir.

  22. Knoxville

    I dont know if you guys on Le-grove watch AFCON but your god Zaha has been sub-par the whole tournament. Especially against Namibia.

  23. China1

    The irony is that spurs didn’t catch and overtake us with 60m players

    Whilst we were buying expensive dross, they were buying cheap gems.

    It’s now how much you spend but how smart you spend it

  24. China1

    If adidas do have any sway in our transfer matters (I’m doubtful tbh), they would want ozil to stay

    He’s a hugely marketable asset despite being such a tosser

    He’s also German, same as Adidas which could be a marketing consideration in their sizable home market