Premier League wage deferrals?!

by .

via @Arsenal Instagram

Gooood morning you sexy beasts. How are we today? It’s a roll-neck-jumper-no-hair-product kind of day for me. I’m in business mode. I’m gonna invest £63 in the stock market and tell my cat I bought in the dip. I’m gonna put meeting notes in my girlfriend’s digital calendar to discuss her poor performance when I’m on Zoom calls. This is not a day to trifle with Pedro Buffet.

In the news, we’re really lacking out here. It’s Oxford Street on lockdown right now. If news were a person, it’s just been caught by the feds going out for a Mars bar for the SECOND time in the day. It’s rarer than… ok, you get the point. I’m padding this blogs word count like Mesut pads his stats.

We made a podcast last night and questioned what’s going on with the Edu and Raul transfer strategy. Watching the stats guys drop out of the club is a worrying Twist. As Alex correctly asserts, Sven was the data guy, Raul was the contacts guy. The yin to the yang. Sven finds the gems, Raul brings them in. That model with a strong CEO overseeing the show should have been a dreamy combo. As it turned out, it wasn’t so dreamy. Now we seem to have shifted heavily into the contacts world of sport.

How often has that worked out? What does the future of Arsenal look like when it comes to deals? You can look at the speculation, which has us competing for Walce, Jonathan David and Odsonne Edouard. That ‘seems’ like a roster of players you’d hanker after.

… but then you see the reality. Cedric Soares and Pablo Mari. Willian this summer. Top corner contacts scouting.

Where are we heading? Hopefully, it’s more Saliba’s, Tierney’s and Martinelli’s… because I really would be sad to see us hoover up a load of favors that never seem to be returned. We’ll see though.

In a very interesting twist, the Premier League clubs are asking the PFA to accept a motion for clubs to defer payments of up to 50%. A huge sum of money, but one that makes total sense when you consider the entire world is shut down with thousands of people losing their jobs. Footballers earn more in a week than most do in a year, they should be able to handle a temporary cut, especially if it’s to save the clubs they work for. It’s already happening in Germany, Hans-Joachim Watzke calling the play “a valuable sign of solidarity.”

Talking of the PFA, it’s believed that the players are not happy about the notion of returning to action behind closed doors.

‘Players do have concerns and understandably so. It would not be our preferred option but everything has to be considered at the moment.’

I think this is a fair worry. Conflicting messages have been a key theme in politics. I’m not sure that telling the UK they can’t go out to buy a second packet of sausages because of social distancing quite works if you’re letting 22 guys on a pitch play sport. People are also easily led astray. You know that fans would go and hang around outside the ground just because it’s more interesting than eating another bag of spicy Wotsits.

… but, on the other side of things, maybe a bit of well-regulated sport is what we need right now? I can’t decide.

I think the big thing to watch for is how the TV firms deal with this. If they pressure the Premier League or ask for a rebate, that could spell trouble for negotiations for the next deal. Bezos, Cook and Hastings might be waiting in the wings with their extremely deep pockets ready to offer a far sweeter deal. There will no doubt be a strong relationship with Sky, so we’ll see how they play it. Now is not the time to be overly aggressive. What a nightmare though, the TV execs have to protect shareholder value without pissing off one of the most valuable prizes in world football.


This week we talk about the Premier League, what social distancing will do to future crowds, and we speculate heavily on the summer or autumn transfer window. I’m on with Alex, give him a follow here.


264 Responses to “Premier League wage deferrals?!”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. G

    Defo right to replace him but to win more doubles and more FA cups then in Arsenals previous history is unbelievable

  2. Freddie Ljungberg


    Fancy seeing you throw yourself in front of any bullets heading Wengers way.

    There’s a free signing, 2 loans and 2 stop gaps in that list of players you don’t like, why do you think that is? Pep is 24 and still one of the most highly rated wingers in Europe and better than anyone we’ve had there bar Sanchez in a long time, you don’t like him too bad.

    Bit early to call Tierney a crock, wait until he’s been broken for 5 years and had 2 contracts extensions first.

    Elneny who is now out on loan? Sure it wasn’t smart to give him a new contract but they wised up quickly instead of pulling a Wenger and keep him around for another 4 years clogging up the squad as an excuse to not sign a new player.


  3. China1

    Ray parlour the romford pele is probably the most awesome personality we have had or will ever have at arsenal football club

    The guy was a quality player. He was consistent as fuck. He showed up in cup finals with worldies. He bled for the cause and was arsenal through abs through. He played with us for yonks. And best of all he has the most hilarious stories from way back when. He’s so much larger than life and his stories are consistently some of the best in football.

    The very definition of a legend even if not quite as technical as a DB10 or TH14 etc

  4. alex cutter

    “No no, he was a genius and no one can fill his shoes. Daddy please come back all is forgiven…”

    You can always tell when his kids forget his meds.

  5. Valentin


    The problem is that you are so obsessed with Wenger that you refuse to look at Arsenal current problem objectively. Easier to blame everything on Wenger.

    You are tolerating unacceptable things simply because “at least it’s not Wenger”. I am not pro or anti Wenger, I am pro Arsenal. When Wenger was mistake I spoke, now criticising the current regime is viewed as being pro Wenger. Look at what some wrote about Pedro when he dared criticising Emery.

    Cheering for Emery when he was clearly floundering simply because he is not Wenger was not helping the club. If Emery had been sacked last summer (as long we had not hired somebody worse to replace him), the club would have been in a much better shape.

    Same thing with recruitment, cheering last summer recruitment because at least Raul has spent money when it was obvious he did not spend it wisely.

    I am not defending Wenger, but blaming Wenger for stupid things when his successors did stupider thing is ridiculous.

    We were trying to offload Elneny, so yes giving a pay rise to Elneny was a stupid move.
    Yes, hiring Lichsteiner (who could not run in the slower Italian league) on a high salary (higher than the one he received in Italy!!) was ridiculous.
    Trying to hire a Director of Football at a salary lower than director of Football in Championship was never going to work.
    Getting Pepe a pure counter-attacking dribbler at an inflated price when we never play counter-attack was never going to be very fruitful.

  6. Tom

    “……replacing Wenger by somebody who gave us the worst start of the last 4 decades was hardly an inspired move. Somebody whom most sensible people had predicted would fail.”


    Predicting failure is much easier than predicting success.
    How much easier you ask ? Well, it’s a gimme.
    When you,Pierre, Pedro, Un, CC and a few others were jockeying for positions in claiming the title of Legrove champion in predicting Emery’s failure , I was predicting that whoever followed Emery would fail too.
    If the aim is to take Arsenal back into CL and eventually a PL title contention then Arteta will fail.

  7. Valentin


    Ray Parlour has 4 things for him:
    1) he is a raconteur. He can tell stories of his time with verve.
    2) he was part of a successful era, so people are more likely to listen to his stories.
    3) he is an humble guy, so even when he is center of the story he never blow his own trumpet. He is relatable.
    4) he is a lot more talented that he has been given credit for. It took the 2002 FA Cup final for people to grudgingly acknowledge that he was more than just a body. Reviewing the final on TV, having Tim Lovejoy “It’s only Ray Parlour” put down ram down into his throat is still as joyful as ever.

  8. Freddie Ljungberg

    “The problem is that you are so obsessed with Wenger that you refuse to look at Arsenal current problem objectively. Easier to blame everything on Wenger.You are tolerating unacceptable things simply because “at least it’s not Wenger”. I am not pro or anti Wenger”

    Ok, there’s so much wrong here I’m not sure where to even begin.

    First of all I’m not obsessed with Wenger in the slightest, he’s gone and it was way past time but other than that I don’t really care.

    It’s the complete rewriting of history from the usual suspects, you being one, that annoys me, we’re in this situation because of Wengers refusal to refresh the squad and mismanagement of contracts and poor handling of transfers, to think otherwise is to deny reality.

    Last summer we bought Tierney, Martinelli, Pepe, Saliba and Luiz. And loaned Ceballos.

    Only thing that hasn’t worked out is the loan, even the stop gap in Luiz is our best CB right now.
    I have no doubt the others are going to be long term successes for us, even if it hasn’t worked out quite yet.

  9. Valentin


    There are failure and failure. Glorious failure I can take. Failing to win the 2001 Fa Cup final, or the 2006 Champion’s League final I can take.

    Abject failure because of bad planning and gross incompetence, I find that a lot more difficult to swallow.

    Failure and success also depend on the expectation. Even without the virus, I don’t expect Arteta to win the premiership next season. But I believe that Arteta will succeed in bringing us back into the Champion’s League.

    Winning the premiership is different in that you also need the right circumstances, the right players, the right opposition and luck on your side. See Ranieri and Leicester who won with a number of points that would not have reach top 4 most season. Compare to Klopp who finished second last season with a total that would have guarantee 1st place in all the season except that one.

  10. Valentin


    2 summer ago, We passed on Evan N’Dicka at €5.5 million now quoted €40 millions in favour of Sokratis. We failed to get Söyüncü for €17 million because we spend the same amount on Sokratis.
    Had we bought any of those, we would not have had the need to buy David Luiz.

    Regarding Pepe, my view is that in a team like Leicester he would be perfect. For Arsenal he would flatter to deceive, but ultimately will not be worth the money spent on him.

    I repeat myself in that Saliba was Sven’s choice. We got rid of him and now are looking at 30 years old players. Instead of going that approach, we are moving to an approach that has already failed at other club.
    Moving away from the approach that brought us Martinelli, the great scouting success of the last couple of years.

  11. Tom

    Arsenal are so far away from competing for the PL title, let alone winning it, that even any mention of it with Arteta in the same sentence seems unfair to Arteta.

    We just got bounced out of 1/32 of Europe’s second tier competition by a Greek club full of players no one’s ever heard of.
    CL? Please.

  12. Valentin


    Merse is an idiot, a nice relatable idiot, but an idiot nonetheless.
    Wrighty has changed over time. He still has that crazy vibe in him, but he really matured. A more thoughtful, reflective guy than he used to be, but still as passionate and relatable as before.

  13. Valentin


    I did not say that Arsenal were going to win the EPL next season. However Arsenal should be targeting to be in the mix within 2 to 3 years.

    With good planning and good management, we should see a massive improvement. I can see the current big 6 teams having problem so the field might be more level.

    Spurs is going to struggle financially and with The Toxic one.
    ManCity may see an exodus of players if the ban from European competition is upheld.
    Liverpool will have to reinvent themselves as Mane and Salah will leave for the Spanish giants.
    Chelsea may be saved by their academy, but with Abramovitch at his helm it will remain an unknown quantity.
    ManUtd could finally wake up, but could also start to slide into mediocrity. De Gea is not the keeper he used to be.

  14. Freddie Ljungberg


    So we passed on Ndicka when Sven was supposedly in charge of transfers? Are we doing this whole song and dance routine again?
    Every good signing before and after Sven was because of him and every bad one Rauls fault? That’s a bit boring, swerve me with that one.

    What 30 year old players are we looking at? Do you have any more of that inside information that you constantly pretend to have?

    Gueye, Ndicka, Gabriel, Upamecano, Partey, Jonathan David, Edouard etc etc, those are the most common links and Partey is by far the oldest at 27.
    I don’t take the Willian and Smalling links very seriously, obviously clickbait.

  15. Pierre


    “Predicting failure is much easier than predicting success.
    How much easier you ask ? Well, it’s a gimme”

    Not really, it’s all down to circumstances.

    It was easy to predict that pep would be a success at City.

    As for Emery, I’m sure that many on here would never believe in their wildest dreams (or nightmare) that he would fail so spectacularly , especially this season.

    So for you to say that it was easy to predict Emery’s failure is false as I would say the majority , 18 months ago , would never have predicted his failure.

    You go on to say
    ” I was predicting that whoever followed Emery would fail too.If the aim is to take Arsenal back into CL and eventually a PL title contention then Arteta will fail.”

    Time will tell on this but I believe you will be wrong on this as well.
    Unlike Emery, Arteta is doing all the right things in setting the team up to be successful.
    It may not be next season but i predict that the 21/22 season will be the season we make a push for the title.

  16. Freddie Ljungberg


    Look at the composition of that “whole new squad” that we bought and you see where Wengers mismanagement comes into play.

    Most of them are youths, loans and freebies simply because we didn’t have the funds for serious strengthening in multiple positions. We got hardly any money for players we sold. A lot of players either refuse to leave or hasn’t got anyone interested in them because of their wages, of course that’s going to affect what we can achieve in the market. Soon those restrictions are off hough and hopefully real progress can be made.

  17. UTarse

    “It must be difficult for many on here to read that link about Parlour eulogising over wenger”

    You poor obsessed numpty, the scars are deep with you.

  18. CG


    “”””””As for Emery, I’m sure that many on here would never believe in their wildest dreams (or nightmare) that he would fail so spectacularly , especially this season.””””

    Well Le Groves Nostradamus did.

    You could tell after his opening press conference he was a complete Wrong -Un.

    Very reminiscent of the Spurs joker( Gross) who waived the train ticket in the air as his opening gambit at the press conference.

    Two impostors there.

    Folk have always got to remember- there is no industry like soccer that has as many heavy duty BS’s in it.

    And our club currently is rife full of them.

    From Edu to Raul to Vinny.

    Vinny, ( if he ain’t getting caught traipsing the Manchester night streets )who lied to all the Arsenal fans worldwide and stated publically with regards to Emerys appointment.

    “””We would not change a thing!”

    As I say BullShitters- all of them.

  19. azed

    I repeat myself in that Saliba was Sven’s choice. We got rid of him and now are looking at 30 years old players.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t Sokratis and Lichtenstein bought under Sven’s watch?

    How does Sven get the credit for Saliba but Sokratis is Raul’s fault?

  20. Marc


    Sanllehi’s is also blamed for the size of Ozil’s contract even though he didn’t join until the middle of Feb – strange why Sven didn’t put a stop to that either.

  21. azed

    £200m spent in 14 months says different Freddie


    100M of the supposedly 200M was spent on Pepe and Saliba.

  22. Freddie Ljungberg


    Do you seriously think 200m gets you a whole new squad in 2019/20? It gets you about 4-5 top players, not elite, or it gets you a bunch of prospects or hopefuls. Not every signing is going to work out either, no club gets everything right.

    We still have some turds blocking the system, holding us back and stopping us from properly strengthen some positions. Long term contract mistakes doesn’t get rectified in 18 months.

    Most sane people recognized this years ago, it was always going to be a long rebuilding job after Wenger.

  23. Marc


    No no no – just because Gazidis was CEO and outranked Sanllehi doesn’t mean Sanllehi wasn’t in charge and responsible for anything / everything that is deemed to be not perfect at the club.

  24. Marc

    Could someone advise me of all the young players we signed when Sven was with the club because I can only think of Mavropanos and Guendozi – one out on loan because he can’t get fit and the others just been bitch slapped by the new manager for being an upstart.

  25. Marc

    “Only chambers holding Mustafi ozil and xakha are wenger players
    Chambers played a season under wenger so does he really count? ”




    Chambers was signed in 2014 and Wenger joined in 1996 and left in 2018 so a season is bollocks.

  26. Freddie Ljungberg

    Ozil is on 350k a week and refuses to move, how do we sign a replacement for that? How many new players could we have had on his salary?
    The less said about Mustafi and Xhaka the better.

    Pretty sure Kola and Bellerin played under Wenger too but whatever.

    Yes, there’s a lot of new players in there but you’re still, as always, ignoring the fact that on average we had to sell 4-5 players to pay for a new one, is that because the players we had were so totally awesome and amazing or was that because we had a squad full of overpaid crocks and pensioners?
    Yes, we lost a lot of PL experience which was the only thing keeping us semi competitive but it had to be done to move forward.

    As I’ve said before I think we have a lot of players in the squad now with the potential for greatness, I couldn’t say that 2 years ago.

    Was it going to happen overnight? No.
    Is it necessary to flush the turds before progress can be made? Yes.

  27. Marc

    “The less said about Mustafi and Xhaka the better.”

    I think not I think a huge amount needs to be said about two players who cost a combined £70 million and are amongst the worst 10 players in the PL.

  28. Freddie Ljungberg

    “The only thing stopping us from upgrading is our Inepts financial team and Kroenke

    So you want Kroenke to pay for new signings? Possible maybe if we don’t want to be able to play in European competitions for awhile but hardly likely.

    We had about 4 Cams before with a combined salary of about 700k a week ffs, how do we upgrade that position without clearing the decks first? Half of that sum is still stinking the squad out btw and is refusing to leave.

  29. Marc

    I’d like to apologise to the other 8 terrible players in the PL for lumping them in with Xhaka and Mustafi.

    The truth hurts though.

  30. Pierre

    “Do you seriously think 200m gets you a whole new squad in 2019/20? It gets you about 4-5 top players, not elite, or it gets you a bunch of prospects or hopefuls. Not every signing is going to work out either, no club gets everything right.”

    You’ve changed your tune.

  31. Freddie Ljungberg

    Really Pierre, do tell?

    I think we had a very good window last summer but only one of those signing can be labeled a top player in Pepe, and even he isn’t an elite, fully developed player yet.

    Saliba, Martinelli and Tierney are all great prospects but are they elite at this moment or when we bought them? I think not.

  32. Freddie Ljungberg


    Who the fuck is talking Martinelli down? I think you need to have a chat with Pierre on that front.

    He’s an elite prospect and we’re incredibly lucky we got him but is a ready made superstar nailed on for a place in the team week in week out?

    Tierney has been mostly injured and wasn’t bought as an elite player with pedigree in the best leagues in Europe, he’s like I said a great prospect though.

    What has this got to do with Emery you lunatic?
    Saliba has world class potential, but we bought him before he made that step and had to loan him back for a season. Also not a top ready made player but a great prospect.

    Now it’s a 4m deposit, that’s strange because that 200m figure gets bandied about a lot when it suits and his 26m is included in that despite never kicking a ball in anger for us.

    I’m not sure how much more I can dumb this down for you so you have to try harder.

  33. Freddie Ljungberg


    You’re seriously comparing transfer costs 20+ years ago to today? The landscape has changed slightly since then.

    That’s a nice list you got there, when was the latest player in there bought? Asking for a friend.
    oh, and Theo cost more than 6m btw.

  34. Freddie Ljungberg


    Berbatov 229 games and 94 goals £30m

    Giroud 253 games 105 goals £12m

    Ehm, ok?

    Doesn’t change the fact that a teenager in the french second division or Brazilian 4th dicvision costs 6-7m nowadays like Guen, Gueye or Martinelli so comparing that to Anelkas pricetag in an other era makes 0 sense.

    Not many players in that list from the last decade which is exactly my point, Wenger lost it completely in the transfer market and made much more terrible decisions than good ones and we’re still paying for that. I have never claimed that he was always that bad though.

  35. Tom

    It was easy to predict that pep would be a success at City.
    Was it?
    Would you like to produce any evidence for that, like say, a post or article from his first season in charge stating “ no doubt Pep is going to break records and dominate the league.
    I seem to remember many doubted whether his possession style would be effective against vertical , over the top football the likes of Burnley play.

  36. Freddie Ljungberg


    Cesc was 16 when bought and Malaga was in financial troubles when we bought Santi. I’m not even sure what you’re arguing anymore?

    Is it that Wenger in the past was good at picking up gems, because I agree with that.

    He stopped doing that a long time ago consistently and he failed to strengthen the team for so many years it was criminal, that’s what is holding us back now. What Anelka cost in the 90s is irrelevant to say the least, glad it paid for Henry and Colney though, but still…

  37. Pierre

    “I seem to remember many doubted whether his possession style would be effective against vertical , over the top football the likes of Burnley play.”

    Never doubted him for one second .

    I think you will find that it was the know nothings like Jamie and Fred who doubted him .

  38. Freddie Ljungberg

    “throughout his career at Arsenal”

    Clearly not Don. He did in his first decade though, no one is arguing otherwise so settle down.

    Pierre please find a post where I mention Guardiola, I’ll wait.

    While you’re at it you can explain how I have changed my tune about last summers signings.

  39. Freddie Ljungberg

    “Our current best players were either signed by wenger or coached through the wenger ethos”

    After kicking out most of the crocks and has beens we’re left with a couple of good ones yes, only Auba is elite though and that’s why we are where we are now.

    Not sure who the other best players are though?
    Saka maybe, does he count as a Wenger player?

    Can’t be Mustafi, Ozil or Xhaka because they’re still wank even after a small uptick in performances, Laca? Meh, he’s ok but would replace in a heartbeat.

    Lots more potential in the squad now and that’s something to be excited about imo.

  40. Freddie Ljungberg

    Arteta was bought after his best years were behind him, never liked him as a player for us, hopefully he’ll be much better as head coach.

    Arshavin was good, until he lost his motivation and discovered burger king.

    Ox was bought 9 years ago and wasn’t cheap for a youngster, spent most of his time injured, plenty of average performances mixed in with some really good ones, was one of the poster boys for the like a new signing bullshit but at least we got good money for him.

    Yes, Santi was good value.

    Kos likewise even though it took him a while to get going.

    Giroud would have been ok as a backup striker, should never in a million years been our first choice, but good value, sure.

    Again, these are all players that either retired already or are the cusp of it or we signed nearly a decade ago as kids and moved on years ago.

    No one is arguing that Wenger was never good at finding gems!!!! ( Pedro can you make this in extra large font, maybe with colours so Don can absorb it?)

    He was still shit at it the last 10 years of his reign, sure he got some things right but the squad got worse with every year. Selling great players and replacing with good ones and the replacing them with average ones. Spending pretty decent sums on doing it too. Not to mention the absolute clusterfuck he made out of our wage bill.

    This is what is holding us back now, not what Arshavin cost in 2009.

    You’re still not getting the point, I give up.

  41. Freddie Ljungberg

    That’s great Don, and if you see him you can blow him as much as you like he should still never have been our first choice striker.

    Going from Henry, Ade, RVP to Giroud and Chamack and Sanogo was a travesty, no question about it.

  42. Freddie Ljungberg


    What’s the contradiction there?

    He was good at it, then he lost his touch and was shit at it.

    Did you seriously think All that mess was going to be fixed 18 months after he left? Because most sane supporters/experts, pundits agreed that it was at least a 3- year project getting us back to the top again, and that is optimistically thinking.
    Still think we can do it with the right signings.

    Only people blind to the shambles our squad had become thought all we had to do was tweak it a bit and get a new manager in.
    It was never going to be enough, not after that many years of neglect and poor financial decisions.

  43. Overmars

    Has anyone listened to that Cesc Fabregas interview on Aresblog?

    He mentions that he spoke with Xabi Alonso all summer about him joining Arsenal, and everyone was desperate for the deal to happen, but Arsenal didn’t want the deal to happen enough. So frustrating.

    At the time in the summer of 2009, all we needed was a centre mid, centre back and goalkeeper and we would have been more than capable of winning titles.

    Can you imagine this team with 3 top quality editions that were available at the time:

    Julio Cesar (I remember we were linked with him for 2 or 3 years)

    Cahill (If I remember right, we refused to pay over 10m for him)

    Xabi Alonso

    Van Persie


    Great squad if you ask me.

  44. Olumide

    Great squad if you ask me.

    Unfortunately, Wenger didn’t think that way. “we’ll only sign players when we find those that can improve us.”

    Wenger lost his touch in his last 10 years. It was just awful to watch and too predictable.

    We could be on top of the table till December and the media would still be reluctant to see us as a serious contender. Predictably, we always fell apart.

    In Wenger’s last 14 years at Arsenal, he won no league title. But don’t worry, we won 14 top 4 trophies.

  45. Overmars


    I loved that team between 2007 – 2012. It was class and other than The Invincibles, that team played some of the best football I’ve ever seen an Arsenal team play.

    Wenger’s trouble was he put all his faith in players such as Bentdner, Denilson, Eboue, Djourou, Senderos and Almunia. We genuinely had 3 or 4 top top quality players and a quality first team. But as soon as we had a few injuries, we didn’t have the squad to replace them.

    I also forgot about Diaby, what a player he could have been. Perhaps the reason that Wenger didn’t go through with Alonso was because he thought Diaby would go on to become a better player.

  46. Tony

    “When Wenger was mistake I spoke”

    Thought this was a ‘Joke Friday’ joke when I read it.

    Funny I don’t remember Val posting every day since 2008 bar the 3 FA cup win days.

    You still haven’t got the hang of writing English Valentine.

    What’s your next pearl of wisdom going to be oh great Arsenal sage?

  47. Dissenter

    You hear that Cesc interview and then you realize how far Wenger took Arsenal into the wilderness.
    He was done and dusted by 2008-2009, he was just operating on fumes afterwards with mistake after mistake.

  48. Emiratesstroller

    Wenger recruited some brilliant players when he first arrived at the club specifically from the French stable.

    This was combined with our “fabled and solid” English defence, which he inherited.

    Arsenal’s demise resulted from the club’s inability to hold onto its best players
    and became a “selling club” plus recruitment of some distinctly second rate
    players particularly in defence.

    The only world class Defender that Wenger managed to bring into the club during his twenty plus years at club was Campbell whom he managed to recruit on a Bosman from Spurs.

    In contrast to Man Utd and Chelsea our club were reluctant to spend top dollar on defenders despite the fact that there was generally an acute shortage
    of such players in the market.

    The recruitment of top class defenders is a lesson that the club has yet to learn.

  49. Dark Hei

    Well the striking thing from the Cesc interview, to me at least, was the revelation that Wenger actually coach players!

    I thought he just ask them to go home and express themselves.

  50. Dark Hei


    I think there is a very long rope between “fixing Wenger’s legacy problem” to “tanking the league”.

    In between, there is “stabilizing the squad” and “making modest progress”.

  51. jwl

    Joke Friday –

    A bus full of nuns falls of a cliff and they all die.

    They arrive at the gates of heaven and meet St. Peter. St. Peter says to them “Sisters, welcome to Heaven. In a moment I will let you all though the pearly gates, but before I may do that, I must ask each of you a single question. Please form a single-file line.” And they do so.

    St. Peter turns to the first nun in the line and asks her “Sister, have you ever touched a penis?”

    The Sister responds “Well… there was this one time… that I kinda sorta… touched one with the tip of my pinky finger…”

    St. Peter says “Alright Sister, now dip the tip of your pinky finger in the Holy Water, and you may be admitted.” and she did so.

    St. Peter now turns to the second nun and says “Sister, have you ever touched a penis?” “Well…. There was this one time… that I held one for a moment…”

    “Alright Sister, now just wash your hands in the Holy Water, and you may be admitted” and she does so.

    Now at this, there is a noise, a jostling in the line. It seems that one nun is trying to cut in front of another! St. Peter sees this and asks the nun “Sister Susan, what is this? There is no rush!”

    Sister Susan responds “Well if I’m going to have to gargle this stuff, I’d rather do it before Sister Mary sticks her ass in it!”

  52. TR7

    Sal and Bamford

    You guys haven’t been around here for a while, hoping you are healthy and safe. The Chinese virus has exploded in the USA and particularly in New York.

  53. Valentin


    My secret terrius is a Korean movie not Chinese. And movie about shadowy company threatening the world with bio weapons are two dimes a dozen.

    BTW, the so called prescient book the Eye of Darkness written by Koontz about a Wuhan-400 virus that wipes the earth was rewritten as originally the virus was Gorki-400 named after the Russian city. After the fall of the Communist bloc, the enemy was changed from Russia to China.

  54. Valentin


    Again writing Nothing of note, just belittling people. Feeling superior and showing your insufferable ego.
    Every time you post something you just confirm that you are what Pierre and I said about you: a condescending prick.

  55. Habesha Gooner

    Every thing China 1 has said has come true. COVID 19 was supposed to be taken seriously. Now It has a free run at the world. Anyway way back to football, Arteta has recovered and gave an interview. COVID is going to make our summer rebuild more difficult. Moving players on is going to be tough but as a plus we will get cheap deals from smaller clubs too. It’s going to the weirdest summer in a while.

  56. Alexanderhenry

    On Wenger’s spending, there are three periods:

    The early years up to the cesc transfer.
    These were the genius years.
    Not only did he buy some of arsenal’s best ever players for relatively small change,( £3 million for lungberg) , he also got top dollar in player sales (£24 million for selling overmars).

    The middle period after the stadium move.
    These were the seasons where wenger had no transfer budget to speak of.
    Arsenal was the only club consistently making profits in transfers and was also finishing above teams spending a lot more.
    It was frustrating not to be winnig trophies but we came damn close especially in 2008 and in n retrospect, champions league football every tear looks pretty impressive.
    Could we have done better during this time?
    I don’t think so.

    The latter years. The tragedy here is that when at last wenger was given substantial funds, he spent poorly. Apart from sanchez none of his big buys have worked out
    Özil, Mustafi, Xhaka have been hugely disappointing in particular.
    The bitter irony is that he did better with no money.
    He also made the enormous cock up with the sanchez transfer.
    The man got too old, too set in his ways and it ended up hurting the club.

    Having said that, he did bag three FA cups.
    That’s diffult to dismiss even for the stauchest WOB. We’d all take one of those cups now.

    Well we’re back to’ no money’ along with project youth. We’ve been here before and it looks like a long way back.

  57. sarge

    Ornstein article in the Arhletic suggesting opinion may be shifting in terms of finishing the season. Hardly surprising. Given the gravity of the situation that was always always going to be an optimistic outcome.

  58. Alexanderhenry


    ‘Wenger lost his touch in his last 10 years. It was just awful to watch and too predictable.’

    It was a frustrating time but certainly not ‘awful to watch’.
    At the time–up until about 2014- I thought many arsenal fans were divorced from reality, expecting the club to compete seriously with Chelsea, man u, man city etc.

  59. Valentin

    Alexander Henry,

    I agree with what you said.
    The issue with his third stage is the fact that he had nobody above him who had a clue and who could control him.
    We did not replace David Dein. Wenger was by nature a cautious man, so he needed somebody not afraid to push him out of his comfort zone. Somebody willing to tell him, don’t worry I’ll deal with the financial aspect of it. Somebody he trusted enough he would bounce ideas with.

    All he got was Gazidis. He may have been a good commercial guy, but he is definitely not a European football man. US Sport leagues run like a close cartel. Running a franchise is not the same than running an independent business. Good club Management is about having a team of people who can work together within a specific environment. If the top man is a clown then everybody below will work on their own silo. We see that at Milan where Gazidis is like the drunk captain of a sinking ship. Recruitment is haphazard. Headcoaches changes in a regular basis.

    Even after Wenger left, we saw that with Raul fighting with Sven. Then the classic power grab with trying to replace a beaten by somebody with so many restrictions to avoid the new person from stealing his thunder. Unfortunately for him nobody bite. Edu was really going to be the patsy.

    Having to sack Emery really changed the dynamic. Edu being the new guy, he could not be considered responsible for the fiasco. Suddenly there is accountability when before there was none

    The Kroenke were absent owners who only now start to get a grip on the situation because their steadily appreciating asset was started at risk of slowly drifting into mediocrity.

  60. Jamie

    Wenger had been hoarding average players for years. He’d been fattening them up on a hideous socialist wage structure which has left the club nursing a £200m wage bill, whilst Spurs are above us competing on £60m less. Wenger was no longer offering value.

    Not just that, he was destroying the careers of young talents. Project British core was an out and out failure. Kieran Gibbs went to shit, Jenkinson shouldn’t have been in it, Jack Wilshere lost interest in the game, Theo Walcott never fulfilled his great potential, Chambo went to Liverpool and made a semi-final of the CL, and Aaron Ramsey was always injured.

    The club stopped being a sporting entity. The objective wasn’t about greatness, it was about an old mans ego and his rampant desire to hold onto power. The club didn’t exist for trophies and elite glory, it was a vessel for a long retirement. When you stop operating on a sporting values level, it makes it dull for fans who’ve been paying huge amounts of money to see their heroes compete at the highest level.

  61. China1

    I actually always liked and respected giroud and he was a very good player who was excellent value for money. He brought a lot to the table

    But no amount of checking his stats can cover the fact that he’s a huge step down from the strikers before him. Henry, Bergamp, van persie, wrighty, even Ade who didn’t know the offside rule and missed a lot of sitters was better.

    Giroud was a very useful and good player but he was a universe behind the kinds of striker who we had before him.

    As far as a second choice, a player for mixing up tactics against more physical sides, a battering ram impact sub, the guy was absolutely ideal. But you can’t replace RVP with giroud and expect to see the same level of performance up front

  62. Valentin


    The problem with Giroud is that he is a completely different type of striker than the one we had before.
    His lack of pace meant that he could not score the same type of goal than Henry, Anelka or Adebayor. He was not that type finisher, but he was somebody who bring other people. So he was not under-appreciated for what he was bringing.
    As proven with France, I still think that with a proper foil and a decent defensive midfielder he would have been a lot more successful at Arsenal.
    Henry had Dennis, Van Persie had Cesc and Song to ping him the right ball. Arsenal never had somebody who could put a decent cross into the penalty box during his time at Arsenal.

  63. Valentin

    So Boris has Corona virus.
    The best thing that could happen to this government is if he could have contaminated Dominic Cumming and keep the later out of Downing Street entirely in strict isolation.

  64. Dream10


    Those in power like Charles and Boris getting tested, but frontline healthcare staff largely aren’t tested.

  65. China1

    I think Boris has generally done a very decent job since he kicked up the level of action for the country

    Whilst he’ll probably be fine, you have to wonder who else he’s given it to in the last few days within government.

  66. CG


    “”””””Bojo tests positive for Coronavirus.”””””””

    Which will now mean – the 19/20 season will soon be announced null and void.


  67. Dream10


    It’s the right and safe thing to do to cancel the season. Impossible to have football in this current climate. PL may have to copy the proposed Bundesliga change where no one is relegated and two teams from the Championship are promoted. A 22 team league whenever football returns. Difficult to see it being August/September tbh.

  68. Valentin


    People may disagree with policy but what I really dislike with this government is that it is full of incompetent who have been chosen for their ideology rather than competence.

    Priti Patel, Dominic Cumming, Nadine Dorries should be nowhere near position of power and decision making. This government is in the image of the PM. Full of chancers and bullshitters who are not used to have to work hard or to be subjected to proper accountability.

    And right now they are facing with a crisis that is literally a question of life and death and they are out of their depth. You can blame Europe for bananas, but you can’t blame Europe if you choose to ignore the offer to buy in bulk ventilators.

    Initially Bojo was caught red handed and say he was not aware of it. Then when people pointed to Matt Hancock’s answer during participation to BBCQT, then they change their justification.
    Downing Street is now blaming an administrative error for the UK’s failure to sign up to an emergency EU scheme to help procure vital medical equipment to fight coronavirus.

    They can’t even lie convincingly.

  69. Valentin

    Back to the real important subject Football and Arsenal. 😉

    The only way out is for the season to be cancelled with two promoted and no relegation. European competition could be reduced to restart next January. With the participants decided by a new Cup competition that end in December.

  70. Olumide

    I thought many arsenal fans were divorced from reality, expecting the club to compete seriously with Chelsea, man u, man city etc.

    It’s not only about competing with Chelsea and the others, it’s about Arsenal improving. It’s about seeing a problem in the team and addressing it.

    And that was absent in the last 10 years of Wenger at Arsenal. Are you saying Arsenal couldn’t have possibly won at least 1 league title between 2004 and 2018?

    For many years, it wasn’t Chelsea that stopped us, it was Arsenal that stopped Arsenal. And Wenger had a lot to do with that.

    In 2008, it wasn’t Chelsea that stopped us from winning the league.
    In 2011, the same.
    In 2016 when Leicester City won the league, that wasn’t Chelsea or Man City stopping us.

    Asking for 2 or 3 league titles in 14 years isn’t asking for too much as an Arsenal fan. Especially from a manager who many felt ‘revolutionized’ the Premier league.

  71. Ishola70

    Poor Boris.

    Daft as a brush for shaking hands with coronavirus patients at the start of the month but he was only trying to show empathy and be a man of the people.

    Bless him.

  72. CG

    Oliver Giroud AFC stats:

    180 Games
    73 Goals

    Alan Smith AFC stats:

    264 Games
    86 Goals.

    Same type of player.

    Yet the older Arsenal fans never slagged Smudger off and complained about his lack of pace.

    Yet the Entitled Modern Arsenal fans slag off Giroud continually.

    Maybe it was the spoilt ‘fans’ that were the problem all along and not the players and manager after all?

  73. CG

    John Radford AFC stats.

    379 Games
    111 Goals.

    Frank Stapleton AFC stats.

    225 Games
    75 Goals

    Seems Oliver Giroud to me was the best Arsenal centre forward of his type Arsenal have ever produced…. but he still is not good enough for some…….

  74. Ishola70

    Arsenal didn’t “produce” Olivier Giroud.

    He was signed because he was top scorer in the French League.

  75. andy1886

    Good reason not slag off Smudger would be two league titles during and both seasons he was the league’s top scorer. Wrighty arrived in 91/92 season and Smith wasn’t the focus of our attack anymore, prior to that he scored 81 in 186 games, a slightly better ratio than Giroud. He also wasn’t one to hit the deck every time someone brushed past him either.

    Decent player Giroud but not one to rely on when you’re aiming to win titles.

  76. Ishola70

    Why the focus on Giroud anyway.

    Yes I think fans were too hard on him at Arsenal but it’s not like CF is a problem area for Arsenal.

    He left at 31 years old and was replaced by the leagues golden boot winner in Aubameyang.

  77. Ishola70

    It seems a long time ago now that some were sniggering at Iran’s health minister going down with the covid a day after saying everything was fine and in order in that country.

  78. Batistuta

    They’re showing the 2014 FA cup final and Ramsey has just scored in extra time and I’ve got the biggest smile I’ve had in a long time

  79. Uwot?

    The problem for “The handsome Frenchman “was that he followed strikers of the caliber of Henry,Bergkamp ,van persie & Sanchez.He was entirely diff type of player with different qualities.Not as easy on the eye or as gifted as those players.& for many that wasn’t good enough.yet his stats compared to other centre forwards from different eras compare v.favourably.

  80. CG


    “””””To be fair to Sanogo he put himself about a lot in that final.”””””””””””””””

    Wenger must have been truly special, if we were winning trophies with a postman up front.

    #Midas Touch#

  81. Ishola70

    The Israelis have come up with an idea for quicker mass testing.

    I’m not sure if the UK and US governments really want quick mass testing for the virus right now.

    If the UK think that this is “lock-down” atm then this current situation will look small fry compared to the mass population being tested for the virus and nearly half the population come up positive with many with mild or no symptoms.

  82. Marc


    “If the UK think that this is “lock-down” atm then this current situation will look small fry compared to the mass population being tested for the virus and nearly half the population come up positive with many with mild or no symptoms.”

    I have a feeling when all this begins to end and the numbers are known people are going to be asking why we bankrupted the economy when millions of people had and were either fine or didn’t even realise they had it.

  83. Jim Lahey

    @Marc –

    You are aware that over 500 people have died from the virus in England alone right? I mean, what is an acceptable amount of people dead for you?

  84. Ishola70

    The main point really is that the country will completely collapse if quick mass testing is carried out because of the real likelihood of there being so many carriers of the virus so it is in the best interests of those governing the country at this time to not do it.

    Harsh as it may seem.

    This idea from Isreal regarding quick mass testing will be thrown in the bin at this time.

  85. Ishola70

    Japan has come out well in this so far.

    No government restrictions on movement of their people and no mass testing done either but their death toll is low compared to others.

    They indentified the first clusters of the virus in their country very quickly.

    And the country has the oldest population in the world and full of smokers as well.

  86. Marc


    There’s not a correct answer to that but the fact is in 08 – 09 it’s estimated 13,000 people died from flu in the UK – it’s an unpleasant fact of life.

    If Corona deaths in the UK do not hit 10’s of thousands – which they could – there will be questions of was all of this a proportional response in the cold light of day. Fact is we could see more deaths from the economic consequences of the response than from the virus.

    I’m not saying I know or have answers – I’m just asking a question and we won’t know the answers for months if not years.

  87. Marc


    I was ill in early Jan – I missed the Sheffield Utd match because of it – with a cough, feeling lethargic and zero appetite (I didn’t eat anything for 3-4 days).

    Now I felt crappy but wasn’t on deaths door etc. With some of the other symptoms being reported I wonder if I had it. I think it’s highly likely this was circulating around Christmas in the UK.

  88. Terraloon


    We went to Tenerife in January ( ironically we stayed within 400 m of the H10 hotel that went into lockdown )

    Within a week of returning to the UK I felt terrible. Not a cold as such but felt shattered all the time and ached in places where you can’t ache. One night I had the shivers and at the same time was burning up. For a week or so after my breathing was not as easy as it normally is.
    I don’t think I have had Covid 19, but then again it’s possible but what I do know it was nothing like I have experienced in the past save the time I lost two weeks following a bout of Influenza

  89. Valentin


    Imagine Trump’s reaction if the smear campaign that the Chinese government tried to kick-start about the virus originating from the US was proven correct.
    The American virus…
    I can see another #TrumpMeldown moment if that became true.

  90. TR7


    ‘Imagine Trump’s reaction if the smear campaign that the Chinese government tried to kick-start about the virus originating from the US was proven correct.
    The American virus…
    I can see another #TrumpMeldown moment if that became true.’

    There’s no smear campaign from Trump. China certainly is the conspirator behind Corono outbreak across the world. Trump being a flip-floper that he is will eventually backtrack from his stated position on China but Corona is a Chinese creation.

  91. Gale

    Major being youths, loans and freebies just because we have a tendency to didn’t have the funds for serious strengthening in multiple positions. we have a tendency to got hardly any cash for players we have a tendency to sold . loads of players either refuse to depart or hasn’t got anyone inquisitive about them owing to their wages, after all that’s aiming to have an effect on what we are able to come through within the market. before long those restrictions area unit off hough and hopefully real progress are often created.