Self-imposed caps? Maybe + Dissent in the ranks

by .

via @Arsenal insta

Good morning dearest readers. I’m teetering on the edge. I’ve gone from 10,000 steps a day / gym 4 times a week / don’t eat because you’re sooooo busy… to a person whose biggest daily exertion is sliding across the wooden floors to the fridge to grab myself a morning beer and a cup of cheese. The body does not forget these transgressions. My girlfriend pretends she can’t see it. But I know. I am… fat.

It sneaks up on you like a coward, hitting you from behind (back fat). You can hide a double chin in a beard for the daily zoom, but you’ll never be able to hide side flank cellulite from a full-length mirror and a downward dog pose. It’s time to take action… I think… I’m going to buy an exercise bike.

I never wanted to be that person, but group cycling might be the only way to save myself from myself. If anyone is a fitness expert, please let me know if indoor biking can bring me back from the brink.

Things that are putting me on the edge… has Ozil agreed to a deal yet? I’ve heard no news. I did hear that Auba and Mustafi sided with him. I expected Mustafi, but Auba? Surprising. Well, not surprising when you consider our glorious run with captains. Makes the fact that Arteta swayed the squad all the more impressive.

Talking of our fave striker, Auba has apparently been reaching out to the top boys over at Inter Milan who seem very keen to bring him back to Italy. I think we need to accept it, he’s going this summer. It’ll hurt, but we’re not going to be able to offer him £350k a week to stay with us.

Arsenal fans need to brace themselves for the reality of what this summer is bringing them: Fuck all.

We are in terrible shape, so pull yourself away from Thomas Partey and Dayot Upamecano rumours, those are pipe dreams as things stand. The job of Raul and Vinnai is simple this summer: Cut, Cut, Cut.

Our wage bill is £50m too expensive considering where we languish in the table and the level of euro competition we’re likely to face this summer. We need to shed a lot of players. We need to rethink how we operate. The club absolutely has to tame Raul and Edu and their penchant for extremely questionable deals. We need a reset.

There’s no Europe however you cut the final league standings. The current hot chat is that points per game is the method being favoured. That puts us in 8th, hilariously ahead of Spurs, but still well out of the mixer. That means financial pain.

I personally think this is good news. Clear out the dross. Restart the future.

There’s going to be action in the world of football. The transfer market has collapsed. There’s too much uncertainty. There are too many lower league clubs that are in trouble. There will be no appetite for mega-deals. I have to roll back my earlier resistance to the change, it is very much going to happen. No ‘deal collapse’ nails this reality harder than Mbappe and Neymar being told they will not be heading to Spain this summer.

Major will have to step in and make moves. I think we’re going to see a number of things happen.

Firstly, the gravy train for players is over. Agent mega fees are finished. The planet is not going to accept this shit any longer. The 12.5% reduction in salary Arsenal players took is going to look paltry in comparison where it’ll end up. The world of football is about to enter a phase where 1) Fans won’t be allowed into the stadium 2) Probably wouldn’t want to even if they were allowed. A poll in the lamestream media in America noted that only 12% of America was unhappy to be lockeddown. The Economist had a similar study of Brits. Apparently, humans have a natural aversion to disease and no amount of Fox News ‘It’s not that bad’ is going to change that view.

Secondly, I think there’s going to have to be a global agreement on where transfer fees will sit. Clubs need to heal their bank balances. £100m deals are dead (Mbappe). More swaps are coming (Barca), gentlemen’s agreements on pricing will come into place, the game will have to go back to something that looks like normality. The only clubs that might be able to splurge will be clubs that are propped up countries. Not sure drawing attention to the unfair advantage would be the smartest given the moment.

Until there’s a vaccine, you’d imagine that we’re going to be in an intermittent phase of world sport. When Bill Gates is telling the world that football is going to be behind closed doors for the foreseeable, you have to imagine he’s thought about it harder than you. That’ll mean the Premier League will have to plug 14% revenue lost. The easiest way to address that shortfall is to renegotiate player deals, something the public would be in favor of… and killl the transfer fee, which the clubs would love.

I don’t see how this doesn’t happen. The game as we knew it is over. That’s probably a good thing.

Anyway, back to my original point, I think we’ll see a united action at some point. The game is too fucked at a every level for it to be business as usual.

Right, that’s me done, see you in the comments. x


230 Responses to “Self-imposed caps? Maybe + Dissent in the ranks”

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  1. CG


    “”””””CG tbh even wenger would’ve probably not gone senile so quickly if Stan had actually done his part and put pressure on him to achieve.”””””””

    I have always opinioned if one of the greatest managers of all time with his vast experience and intelligence can’t make it work under Silent Stan no one can or will.

    As we are witnessing.

  2. Dissenter

    Sincere questions here
    Is the league considering the quality of product it’s putting out if indeed the plan is to restart in select stadiums for games played behind closed doors.
    Why would any sponsor be satisfied with paying mega money for a product that’s not what they signed up for?

    Will the players and designated staff be sequestered from their families during the time the games are being played?.
    What happened when one player tests positive and contact tracing takes out team mates and opposition players from teams recently played?. Don’t they have to be isolated too?
    I mean it’s a straw pyramid that comes crashing down with only one positive test.
    Just musing of course.

  3. Terraloon


    Far from stepping back in terms of the amount of money Abramovich puts into Chelsea in the last set of published accounts he put in over £240 million


    The Short Term Cost Control rule ,the rule that imposed a limit to how much a team could increase its wage bill without boosting income streams other than TV, was abandoned t the start of season 2019/20.

  4. Spanishdave

    Marc 60 to 87
    A lot of deaths from old folks homes. They are generally poorly run.
    If they had been locked down straight away it would have been better.
    The media like the headlines, and hidden in the articles they mention the actual death rate of younger Healthy people.
    Some of the cases are flu they don’t bother to check each one apparently.
    Last week it was quietly put out that so far 36,000 people have died this winter from pneumonia and flu
    There is an agenda so the government can justify their actions.

  5. Dissenter

    Read the said article, not just the headline
    Then tell me how Abramovich spent 240 million
    I won’t hold my breath waiting for a coherent reply. The article stated that Chelsea as an entity spent x,y,z. It doesn’t describe the cash infusion Abramovich made.
    It wrongly assumes that Abramovich and Chelsea are one entity, they aren’t. Same way Arsenal isn’t Stan Kroenke.
    Chelsea have been pretty good with making money from their academy, transfers and commercial deals. Abramovich wisely hired one of the best sports management minds to run Chelsea early. I’m referring to Peter Kenyon FYI.
    They had a plan to beat FFP and it worked.

  6. China1

    CG a key part of the problem is Stan never even told wenger what exactly he had to make work beyond get top 4

    Wenger was a football manager but doing 12 people’s jobs and the only part he should’ve been focusing on had a bare minimum type target set for him rather than an ambitious one to push him on

    The hole situation was frankly bizarre and underscores how odd and dysfunctional arsenal have been run. Wenger lost the plot entirely and for that he should be held accountable – but deary me Stan was the one sending him out with no serious targets, instructions, guidance etc. it should never have been possible that wenger was allowed to wield so much power

    If Stan has made Ivan do even a days work each month perhaps wenger might have stayed on the straight and narrow at least for a few more years and we’d have had a bit more to celebrate in those barren years.

    Stans club. Stans fault. It’s not like he had a one off bad year, it was a decade of misery.

    Stan needs to just fuck off

  7. China1

    Terralloon can you clarify if this means that the saudis can just pump half a billion into Newcastle via shell company sponsorship and be above board?

  8. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal in contrast to Chelsea have built a new stadium, which has cost the club a significant amount of money. You have also to factor in that its construction was completed just before the banking crisis, which impacted severely on the profitability of property sales made subsequently by club.

    Another factor is that Arsenal received no financial support for infrastructure projects from Government in contrast to both Wembley and Spurs who also
    benefited from utilising existing sites for their redevelopment.

    Finally I am not too sure that Chelsea have been particularly clever with their
    transfer business as some will suggest. After all they sold De Bruyne and many other players at well below market price.

  9. Spanishdave

    Police now fining people for going fishing.
    Welcome to the police state, they can burgle your house and they don’t care.
    But go fishing well that is a sin.

  10. Dissenter

    Your social distancing rules are crazy in the UK
    If you’re fishing 20 yards away from another person fishing [ People fishing don’t stay bunched together.] Who are you at risk of infecting?
    The bloody fish?

    Out here, you can do stuff outside to stay healthy and sane. You allowed to even drive for pleasure to regain your sanity, after all who are you going to infect with your window s up. You can go for a jog so long as you maintain social distancing.

    Unless you host or attend a barbecue with a crowd no one is fining you for shite.

  11. Dissenter

    Of course Chelsea made mistakes too
    The point is that the aggregate of their transfers has been positive. They ran up the score by starting a legal loan farm system. They get talented players, young and cheap, loan them out to European clubs and sell them at profit without them ever playing for Chelsea.
    They did this dozens of times ….that’s how they beat FFP. All the while we were hoarding money waiting for FFP to clear out the deck.

    They even made a profit from Salah, money wise
    They made a profit on KDB, money wise
    Footballing losses…financial profits

  12. Sid

    Apart from obesity pre existing conditions should include low IQ which is easily tested

    Im telling you for free

  13. CG


    “””CG a key part of the problem is Stan never even told Wenger what exactly he had to make work beyond get top 4″”””””

    Well if Stan wanted more than top 4 he should have given him the tools/funds to do so.

    Stan could have blocked Man City and Man United taking our best players.
    He could have stepped in and said NO!

    He is stepping in now though- asking for wage cuts.
    First club to do so.

    Stan only bought Arsenal- because of Wengers first decade of brilliance and then spent the next decade doing absolutely nothing to build on it.

    What would our Wenger have achieved if Abramowich had bought Arsenal instead….

  14. NEEG


    If Roman had bought AFC he would have sacked Wenger. Stan gave Wenger freedom to do what he wanted – that would have never happened under Roman.

  15. Emiratesstroller


    The difference between Chelsea and Arsenal is that the former threw their money like confetti in the transfer market for many years and no-one else apart from perhaps Man Utd could compete with them financially until Man City arrived on the scene.

    Every club makes its mistakes and has regrets. I am pretty sure that Man Utd
    regret losing Pepe to Barcelona and of course Ronaldo to Real Madrid.

    Arsenal have always operated a self sustaining model with a limited budget.
    The reality is that the club has never been particularly successful at spending
    mega bucks on players.

    Ozil is a classic example of that situation. We paid for him what was at time a
    record price. He was rated the finest attacking midfield player of his generation, but the reality is that he has never “kick started” the revival of the
    club and he is now a millstone around our neck.

  16. Spanishdave

    Why can’t you have limited crowds at football say 15% of capacity’s
    At least there’s some crowd to cheer the side on.
    The stewards can organise the leaving strategy.
    It can be done ask the army.

  17. CG


    “”””Arsenal have always operated a self sustaining model with a limited budget”””””

    Total Myth .
    (although they have been cautious granted)

    How did they move stadium?
    Pay for a a new training ground?
    Buy Alan Ball?
    Buy SuperMac?

    Its called investment.

    (With this self sustaining defeatist talk – Sir Henry Norris would not have even set up a competitive Arsenal.)

    And Arsenal have not invested one penny in 10 years of KSE.
    Not on infrastructure or players.

    Here is a basic example of this self sustaining model drivel.

    How does a Uber driver becoming an Uber driver if he does not first invest in a vehicle?

    Does he say to the wife- when she asks why are you sitting at home every day?

    “”We adhere to a self sustaining model- we only spend what comes in!””
    Or does he go and invest in a car?

  18. Emiratesstroller


    Arsenal have never been big spenders in the transfer market. From time to
    time we bought by our standards expensive players, but by no figment of
    imagination can we claim to be heavyweights in that department if compared
    with Man Utd, Chelsea or Man City.

    We paid for the training ground by selling Anelka to Real Madrid.

    The Emirates Stadium cost just over £300 million and a large proportion was
    covered by sale of land and property development. The major shareholders did not spend their own money on the project.

    Talking about players recruited in a bygone era whether it was Alan Ball, MacDonald or George Eastham is not remotely comparable with what is being spent today. There were plenty of other clubs who outspent us in that era not
    least Man Utd, Liverpool and our neighbours the Spuds.

    Arsenal were known as the “Bank of England” club not so much because of its
    wealth, but rather the prudence of the owners.

  19. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Just get the players going gone.

    League done .

    We should be focusing on signing the good youngsters on long term
    Promote balogun.
    Smith Rowe.

    Focus on the next 36 months for a team to win the league.

  20. Spanishdave

    To move forward we need a strong athletic midfield who can also score some goals.
    Partey would be great start but it won’t happen.
    Difficult to know how clubs will react after this flu.

  21. NEEG

    The focus must be to clear out the dross. It will cost money to do so but these are exceptional times. How on earth have we still got Elneny on our books and why oh why did we sign him in the first place – who bought him I wonder?

  22. Marc

    “Welcome to the police state, they can burgle your house and they don’t care.
    But go fishing well that is a sin.”

    Someone filmed a copper having an argument with their husband the other week, the copper was having a go because this guys young kids had been playing outside in their own front garden.

    Then the police wonder why they don’t get the respect of the public.

  23. Marc


    Where did you get the 36,000 dead from flu and pneumonia this winter from?

    I’m beginning to think that there are parts of the NHS who are helping to promote panic – don’t get me wrong front line doctors and nurses are doing a fantastic job but they’ll always be a few who look to make political gain.

  24. Spanishdave

    Hi Marc
    It was in a BBC report a few days ago, buried in the news not on the front page as usual.
    There are between 17,000to 26;000 cases of flu deaths per year yet today a reporter said it’s normally 8,000!
    Septis kills 36,000 per year
    All these deaths are normally people over 70 with some other condition.
    What people forget is most 80 year olds smoked during the war and suffered with bad song and worked in heavy industries during their lives a subsequently they have some form of lung disease and copd .
    Any form of flu is a danger for them.
    These experts disregard the truth to help their own agendas and theories.

  25. Mgooner

    Are we on track to win our next trophy guys. We are still the 11th club in the world in terms of revenues.

    Wenger is gone and the purse strings must have been loosened.

    Looking forward to our next trophies!

  26. Marc


    I got into “trouble” with a few relatives a decade ago when my Grandfather died. He was late 80’s, had smoked since he was 14 and only stopped a few years before he died because he was taken into hospital for a few months at one stage. He also drank, not at a dangerous level but the do gooders still used to go mental. He raised 4 kids and ran a successful business.

    When he died they gave a cause of death – I pointed out that was fucking stupid it was old age – didn’t go down well!

  27. Mgooner

    Haha Marc. There is no such thing as dying of old age. It is either natural death or a symptom of an illness.

  28. Marc


    Of course 20,000 deaths is a lot and I feel sorry for anyone who’s lost a loved one but the death rate from “other” causes has also gone up and they are now wondering just how extensive the damage to health the lock down is.

    That’s without the damage to the economy and impact that could have on health etc.

  29. Marc

    ” There is no such thing as dying of old age. It is either natural death or a symptom of an illness.”

    Isn’t a natural death dying from old age? They had some medical term – can’t remember what it was now but his lungs were fucked. Strange that after smoking for over 60 years that his lungs were fucked.

  30. Mgooner

    @ Marc

    I think they weighed the pros and cons for the lockdowns. There is no perfect solutions.

    And we could yet see a second wave.

  31. Spanishdave

    We have to live with this now we can’t hide behind the sofa.
    Their will be a vaccine before October there is a big prize for the winner.
    They are building premises that can produce millions of vaccines once it’s ready.

  32. Terraloon


    Apologies as this is a bit long winded

    I am far from an expert in terms of how Chelsea are structured but how it was explained to me is like this.

    Abramovich as well owing many other businesses owns 100% of the shares in a company called Fordstam ( anagram of Stamford )

    Fordstam in turn own 100% of the shares in another company ( I can’t remember it’s name but will call it CFC ). CFC in term owns 100% of the shares in Chelsea Football club.

    Chelsea Football Club regularly receives cash from CFC in exchange for an increase in share capital. To enable CFC to buy those shares in Chelsea Football Club Fordstam ( RA) lends CFC money and lots of it.

    CFC currently owe Fordstam around £1.2 billion . Chelsea Football Club is virtually debt free but year on year has issued more and more shares.

    Moving on to RA still investing.

    There is a vast difference between what accounts show in terms of profit and loss and what is taken into account for FFP.

    Chelsea since RA shipped up tend to pay the majority of their transfer fees up front. Arsenal owe significant sums to other clubs as they tend to buy players on the never never.

    When it comes to the annual accounts of course you have to factor in creditors and debtors and indeed the amount of shares issued

    In Chelsea’s last accounting year they spent ( as per transfer league ) £186 million on players. Let’s assume that sum is correct and all the players were awarded five year contracts then in the accounts it’s not the £186million expenditure that flows through to the accounts it’s £37.2 million amortised sum

    A fair chunk of that was paid immediately and was financed by RAs money albeit injected via the company structure and process detailed above.

    FFP doesn’t measure debt what it measures is losses. Hence why many think its seriously flawed.

    RA continues to invest vast sums into Chelsea Football Club and as long as they generate enough to fund running costs such as wages, amortised fees etc including profit from player sales and all the while remain in the allowable FFP losses then there isn’t an issue.

    RA has run rings around FFP


    The challenge for Newcastle will be growing their income in such a way as to not leave themselves open to challenge in the same way as City if and a big if they want to apply for a UEFA licence should they qualify to play in either the CL or theEL

    You don’t have to comply with UEFAs FFP rules if you don’t play in European football

    The PLs own version of FFP is no where near as stringent as UEFAs. As long as an owner is prepared to do so an owner can support losses over a three year period of around £100 million.

    It really becomes a balancing act

  33. Dissenter

    Your answer is like the Longleat maze; long windy and circuitous.
    Abramovich isn’t daft. He never intended to keep spending at the pace of the first 5 years.
    He bought in, spent big and hired one of the best minds in the game, Peter Kenyon who developed a long term plan that they used to move from a medium sized long term club to a global brand that’s recognizable on every continents.
    They shredded FFP because they developed a legal feeder/farm system patterned after major American sports. That’s where Emenalo comes in. They bought promising talent cheap, farmed them out to fatten then and sold them off at profit.
    When people make fun of them for selling KDB and Salah they forget that their sale was part of a vast enterprise to beat FFP…and it worked.
    Abramovich hasn’t spent on Chelsea because ha hasn’t needed to- the club has been self sustaining on their generated income.
    He would have built that stadium but for political pettiness.

  34. Dissenter

    While Wenger and Gazidis were twiddling their toes, piling money in the vault hoping FFP would level the playing field.
    Chelsea were actively putting up every talented young player they could find for cheap. Sign them up on long term contracts, loans them off to German, Dutch and French clubs. Once they mature , they sell them off for profit
    They bet on the footballing market while we bet on administrators policing a leaky FFP to level the playing. field.

  35. Andy1886

    ES, not strictly true, during the time that Arsenal were known as the ‘Bank of England’ club they were holders of the world transfer record for a player, David Jack signed in 1928, the first £10k+ player. That fee was broken in 1938 by….Arsenal again when they signed Bryn Jones.

    The other obvious example is DB10 signed for a British record £7.5m in 1995, a tremendous investment without a doubt.

  36. Marc


    Your comment at 21.39 is nailed on until “He would have built that stadium but for political pettiness.”

    Abramovich is an ally to Putin – in the last few years we’ve seen 2 political assassinations carried out on UK soil one using Polonium 210 and the other a nerve agent – all at the behest of Putin. It’s a miracle that more innocent people weren’t killed or affected.

    Short of declaring war on Russia what precisely was the UK Government supposed to do?

  37. Emiratesstroller

    Andy 1886

    Bracewell Smith and the Hill Wood families were rich, but as far as I am aware they owned shares like Fiszman and Kroenke, but never invested money in the club to buy players.

    The club has always adopted a self-sustaining model since the 1930s and their
    reputation as “Bank of England” was based on the club’s financial stability and
    not its buying power.

    Other clubs like Manchester United, Liverpool and Spurs spent much more in
    the transfer market notwithstanding their finances were far more fragile than
    Arsenal’s. All three clubs went through very ropy periods resulting in almost

    I made the point also that many other clubs spent a lot more than Arsenal. Nottingham Forest during Brian Clough era paid the first million transfer fee
    when buying Trevor Francis from Birmingham.

    Furthermore clubs in Italy and Spain were spending far more than Arsenal ever did.

    The real point is that Arsenal had a reputation for looking after and paying its
    players well in an era when loyalty counted for a lot.

    Sadly Arsenal can no longer rely on these factors. The advent of agents, Bosman and the billionaire owners has changed the rules of the game.

  38. Dissenter

    Ally to Putin?What does that mean?
    That he’s a Russian business who has to be in Putin;s good graces to continue to stay alive. Didn’t you see what Putin did to the other oligarchs in the early 2000s? You have to be in Putin’s good graces to not lose everything.
    Abramovich was scapegoated plain and simple.
    Truth is the UK just lashed out at the most reachable rich Russian around. When a guy has been allowed to lavish billions on the UK economy, you don’t get to treat him like that.
    So now that he’s carrying an Israeli passport, what next. Mistreat him every time Isreal lashes out at the Palestinians.

  39. Dissenter

    Abramovich got shafted in a very nasty way. If he had done something wrong then why wasn’t his visa just revoked rather than the delayed approval which made him withdraw it? Why wasn’t there an appearance of legal charges bvrouhght uno against him.
    How much do you think he’s spent on the UK economy since 2004? Be fair on this issue.
    Putin was untouchable so they went for the nearest Russian billionaire with some proximity to him.
    Anyone who understands the way Russia is run ought to know that you can’t be anti-Putin and have any domestic existence. Every rich Russian has to play nice with him or lose everything domestically and possible be targeted by the FSB.

  40. CG


    “””””The other obvious example is DB10 signed for a British record £7.5m in 1995, a tremendous investment without a doubt.””””””

    Correct. That’s because we had David Dein in charge. A man who wanted to win.

    Dein got us Dennis.
    And he got us Wenger.

    Hopefully him and Wenger will soon be back involved when the club is sold and we have new owners who want win as oppose to drift,hoard and be silent.

    Exactly what Newcastle Utd are doing with Kevin Keegan with his proposed new ambassadorial role.

    Buy Newcastle United to win title in 2/3 years.( subject to takeover)

    One also imagines a player like Saha will be in their sights…..

  41. Sid

    UNITED STATES: The Illinois Department of Health says that over recent days there has been a significant rise in calls from people who have ingested cleaning agents, including bleach.

    MAGA! You heard it here 1st!

  42. alex cutter


    “Not sure- but I reckon it was more recent than a trip to North London.”

    “Want to bet?”

    ”No Bet, Cutter

    I am copying Stan mantra and keeping my wallet firmly shut.’

    Maybe you should adopt Stan’s mantra about being silent as well, you fucking useless, babbling twat. Try backing up one of your rare, verifiable ramblings with facts for once, you miserable cunt.

  43. alex cutter

    The Illinois Department of Health says that over recent days…”

    I’d rather get my medical info from Marc and his elderly boyfriend “SpainishDaveWhoSpeltHisOwnScreenNameWrongForYears.”

    Whatever happened Bleeding Anus Don?

  44. Spanishdave

    Are the Blues Brothers still stuck in Illinois Police Dept?
    That film still stands the test of time.

  45. CG

    I note the Corona Champions -Chelsea have abandoned their wage cut proposals.
    Asking the players to donate to charities instead.

    Lets hope the Arsenal players do the same and instead of donating to Stans favourite charity (KSE) donate to much more worthier ones.

    I think we will all agree with that, including Alex.

  46. Marc

    If clubs are binning off the proposed wage reductions it’s because they’re expecting football to resume in a few weeks – even if it is behind closed doors. If clubs aren’t losing any TV revenue, possibly getting more if all matches are screened then they can’t “sell” a wage reduction to the players.

    It’ll be interesting to see how they propose to show all of the matches – will some of them be on free to air channels, will they have normal kick off times and show multiple matches etc.

    At least it will give us all a distraction.

  47. Spanishdave

    Looks like we are back in training tomorrow.
    So maybe it’s possible games will resume in three to four weeks time.
    The players will have to watch what they say as there will be no crowds to smother their swearing.

  48. Spanishdave

    He’s only got to run about 50 yds before his hammy goes!
    When he was fit Arthou Teta
    Current value about 25p.

  49. CG

    You can’t begrudge the player though Spanish,

    If someone offers you a five year contract worth millions and pays £30 million for your services ( 10% signing on fee as well)- you are going to take it.

    “””Outsmarting the market they told us!””


  50. Moray

    If they do finish the league out, I wonder who the break would benefit and who will suffer? Presumably the smaller clubs like Leicester and Spuds could lose the inertia they had picked up.

    On another note, DB10 is the most exciting signing I remember at the club. It took us to a whole different level. Serie A was the best league in the world at the time and had the best players. Bergkamp’s blood was forged at Ajax, sexy and total Football; he’d cut his teeth there alongside Van Basten and Rijkaard. We had Wright, Hartson, Campbell, Smith. Good players but nothing even in the ballpark when it came to touch, vision and creativity. He elevated Wrighty’s game and created a perfect partnership.

    Nothing can or will touch that signing for me. Hard to explain to later generations how it elevated us immediately into the elite. It was natural after that really for Wenger to arrive.

  51. Spanishdave

    Saka should be in front of Tierney and move Martinelli inside when Auba goes.
    What to do with Cedric though he hasn’t played.
    Need these games to sort out next years squad.

  52. Marc


    It will add some comedy gold to matches and it’s not just players it’ll be managers as well.

    It will also put the ref’s under more scrutiny – ref’s cosying up to certain players who they are more lenient on and the way they talk to them compared to others.

  53. CG


    “””Saka should be in front of Tierney and move Martinelli inside when Auba goes.”””


    I suspect Saka’ s agent will be asking for a better contract than Tierneys whopper!

    (Then we will have 3 of the most highly paid left backs in the world on the payroll.)

    As for Cedric- he is having a fabulous time at our expense.

    He is the only one out there who don’t want the lockdown to end.

  54. alex cutter

    “That film still stands the test of time.”

    I’m sure that to someone of your age and intellect it probably does.

  55. Dissenter

    The Cedric Soares deal was another mistake by Raul
    Paying for a not-special player 6 months before he would be available on a free was just horrific. He never stood out at Southampton so what was the rush about< more so since he was injured.
    We have to make sure that there are clear paths for Saka and Martinelli. We shouldn’t buy average players that will block their progression.

  56. Marc

    Kolas – £100k per week
    Tierney – £70k per week
    Saka – £5k per week

    The only player there who’s salary I see as being over what it should be is Kolas who was signed by Wenger. As for 3 of the highest paid LB’s in the world Luke Shaw is on £150k per week.

  57. Marc


    Soares is a RB not left sided, we didn’t have natural cover for Bellerin especially after Chambers did his ACL and AMN has made it clear he doesn’t want to play there.

    I’d also take a lot of the talk about how much it’s costing with a pinch of salt, paying a smallish loan fee and covering his wages is not unreasonable.

    That sounds a lot more realistic than what Ornstein is reporting.

  58. Spanishdave

    Suddenly managers and players saying.
    Oh what rotten luck!
    Oh bother
    Do you have parents?
    Oh poop.

  59. Dissenter

    I was making two separate points. I wasn’t suggesting that Soares was yet another LB. We have Saka, Kola and Tierney in that position already..

    We had cover for Bellerin. AMN plays that position, doesn’t he?

    You haven’t addressed why them need to bring in an injured average RB with three months left on his contract to cover an average often injured RB?

    Regardless of the financial numbers one chooses to believe, it was still a bone-headed deal. It’s just as bad as Wenger signing Kim Kallstrom.

  60. Dissenter

    A club that’s using poverty as a negotiation tactic should not be getting involved with signing injured players that are available on free transfers in 6 months.
    Southampton couldn’t believe their luck at the utter stupidity of the deal.
    You would have hoped we learned from the Denis Suarez fiasco from last season… but heck no, we didn’t.

  61. Tom

    Regardless of the financial numbers one chooses to believe, it was still a bone-headed deal. It’s just as bad as Wenger signing Kim Kallstrom.

    Weren’t we in a midst of a title fight and injury crisis when Wenger signed Kallstrom ?
    Hardly the same then, no?

  62. NJ Gunner

    I see that McNulty of the BBC has a list of the 14 greatest postwar managers and is conducting a poll.

    The list does not include either Wenger or Bertie Mee (who won the double when it truly was almost impossible).

    But Revie, Catterick, and Bill Nicolson (!!) all make the list along with the usual suspects. He’s picked George Graham over Mee and Wenger. Bloody atrocious.

    Is there an option for a protest vote?

  63. The realist

    I think no more games will be played and the season will conclude on points per game averqage. That puts us 8th above Spuds and in the final Europa spot , assuming City’s ban is upheld. That existing ban could go either way of course.