The new transfer process

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Oohhh, a crusty Draxler

Oohhh, a crusty Draxler

Well, there’s a serious drought of daily news. Papers are still pushing Kaboul to Arsenal. It’s not a funny joke… but look, we nabbed Silvestre for a year. So anything is possible. I hope Ivan has Wenger’s list now. If it contains any players like Kaboul or Park, lock him in his office until he comes out with something better.

I also hope this summer, Ivan has a new process for transfers.

1. Arsene what are the positions you need recruiting for this summer? He should have been asking this all year so he could work out consistencies.

2. Right now Arsene, tell me the players you want.

i. Mega players £30m+
ii. Good unknowns £15m+
iii. Back ups £14.9m<

3. Now, prioritise those positions.

Once Ivan has all that data, he and Dick Law go and make phone calls. Assess who his available and at what price. When they have the players there, interested in signing, they roll the manager in. All prices and contract details are taken care of the CEO in line with the pay structure at the club.


That way, no mincing over transfer fees. No backing out because the salary might be high. No fear. The guys who are trained in finance and management of mega organisations make the decisions. Arsene is left with the players. He deals with things from there.

This summer, if led by Arsene (as the manager), needs to be controlled by the board. The manager has been left to his own devices for long enough. If intervention that is constructive means he leaves in a sulk, then that’s up to him. We’re a billion dollar club. If things don’t work, which they haven’t under Arsene over a sustained period of time. You make changes.

‘Arsene, you manage transfer windows like an amateur a man under pressure… so we’re going to takeover the pressure off you, acquire what you need, and make your life easier.’

… and here’s the other thing. If Steve Rowley doesn’t have a decent list of players for us to chase, then we’ll move him on and address our scouting network. I’ve seen nothing of late that suggests he’s nailing it. Someone commented yesterday…

  • Ozil was pretty famous, but can’t hack the physicality. That was public knowledge.
  • Sanogo has a terrible injury record
  • Flamini came in from Serie A with a bad injury record
  • Kim Kallstrom came in with a broken back

Can someone look me in the eye and say they think the chief scout is doing a great job here? Who is looking at the fitness levels? Who is looking at suitability to the league? Who is looking at physicality, height and speed? Who is checking the player doesn’t like to bang hookers in Vegas and smoke shisha pipes in between games?

Someone should be. What clubs are getting it right? Bayern, Dortmund, Everton, Atletico, Bilbao… what are they doing that we don’t? What does modern scouting look like? How can Arsenal and Ivan take things forward? How can Arsene be pushed into making better decisions on talent? How can you get him to trust people outside the chosen group of old timers?

It’s going to be tough. But we make huge proclamations each summer and it never happens… so why not intervene?

‘We trust the manager”

Great sound bite on paper, but the reality is, he can’t be trusted. How many times has he botched the window? His inaction threw the last window and killed our title dreams. I had a debate with a guy at Arsenal station who stated…

‘There were no players to sign’

That’s how brainwashed Wenger has people. In bankrupt Europe, there were no players to sign?


Anyway, the Champions League was interesting last night. Chelsea were spanked by PSG. It was a relatively easy game for the French. Jose continued his embarrassing protest against the club by not playing a striker. Sorry Jose, Torres might not be much craic this year, but he’s a striker. Sorry Jose, but Demba Ba is not only a striker, he’s one you said couldn’t move to Arsenal. Jose, Lukaku is a pretty good striker. It’s all going down the pan for him right now, he’s lost 4 of his last 6 away games. Makes our pummelling by them all the more embarrassing.

In other areas of Europe, Ancellotti took his Madrid side to a 3-0 win over Dortmund. The Germans look like they’re heading out of the competition and Madrid really are looking strong. I’d love to see a Madrid / Bayern final. A lot of power going head to head there. Could be a spectacular.

What I do find amusing now is that every time a club with a good manager suffers an injury, some idiot comes forward with a justification as to why they’re no better than Wenger. Jurgen Klopp has an injury  pile up at Dortmund this season. Do I know why? No idea. I don’t follow Dortmund that heavily. However, it’s worth noting, he’s reinvented the hard pressing game over the last 4 years. He gets fitness. If he’s having his first poor year with injuries, that’s slightly more palatable than heading into your tenth year of the same problems like Arsene Wenger. Also, remember he has a wage budget similar to the one we had 12 years ago.

I can’t remember where I read it, but it was in an American publication from a famous manager, the guy said something like…

‘Get the best talent into your club, then keep it on the pitch’

You’re always going to lose players, when you do, you learn why and try and stop it happening again. But look back at our best years as a club, they happened when we kept our best players fit. An obvious, but an obvious our owner puts down to luck.

This is the thing about Arsenal on the playing side of things… there are so many glaringly obvious issues that could be fixed if there was a desire from Arsene, or some force from Ivan.

Self preservation. A one way street to malaise. Something has to break. I just hope it’s not in two years time.


Finally, before I go, a good friend of mine is throwing a day festival in London in a few weeks. She’s not throwing it because she’s trying to break the hipster scene, oh no, she’s throwing it in support of an MS Charity. So all the funds from the festival go into a very good cause.

So, if you’re around the North London area in three weeks, why not head on over? Loads of exciting new bands, it’s at a really good venue called the metal works and at the end of it all… you’ll be able to say that you got smashed and had a good time for two days in the name of charity.

PLUS. I’ll be there. We can chat about my art installation.


Click the poster below to PURCHASE. It’ll be good.






Would you share a stadium with Spurs?

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Big Arsenal badge in case you were wondering.

Big Arsenal badge in case you were wondering.

Pretty hard sitting through any sort of news today because of all the totally sh*t publisher bantz that went off yesterday. The joke of it is there’s no humour in publications that make their money talking lies, publishing purposeful lies for a joke.

The joke would have been an outrageous story that was actually true.

So basically I have very little chat today. One of the totally hilarious articles was about a stadium share with Spurs. Now, I know people would spit their cornflakes out at that, but if Arsenal charged £30m a season for the privilege, would you have it? Wouldn’t that be hilarious? Oh thanks Spurs, we just bought Draxler with your fans money!


Welcome to Arsenal, welcome to the self-preservation society

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The Telegraph is at it again, like clockwork, with the ‘greatest transfer budget of all time‘ article is out… remember last year when I plotted the warchest story against 7 years? Amazing.

Comments like this make me laugh, because they’re aimed at fans who don’t know any better.

‘Kroenke, the majority owner, is convinced that the club have made very definite progress this season and is sympathetic to how Wenger has been forced to navigate this past month without as many as five of his usual starting team.’


Liverpool showing the way…

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Nik B replay of a goal. First in 1071 mins. Treasure it.

Nik B replay of a goal. First in 1071 mins. Treasure it.

So much action this weekend?!

Yesterday, Spurs were totally destroyed by Liverpoool. They barely worked for it as once again, Tim Sherwood offered up nothing tactically. Say what you want about AVB, at least there was a hint he had an idea about management. Poor Sherwood sits in the stands like a sulky brat teenager whose just even ask to act out a biology exam he’s failed to prepare for.


Arsenal Chasing top 4, not the league – A point is good

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So I missed the pregame protest. As I understand it, it didn’t go well. Shockingly, not many people showed up.

I mean honestly, I don’t get it. 7,000 people on Twitter say they’ll be there. The moment comes, and they don’t show up?

Absolute shocker. 12 people showed. Like the unpopular kids birthday party (my 9th, to be precise).

This was the money shot…


Interesting for many reason. Firstly, that the protest was about ticket price hikes, so not sure what that banner was all about. PEOPLE LOVE BANNERS though. This much is true. Secondly, 5 people around that banner have their phones out. The revolution will not be attended, but it’ll be live Tweeted for sure. Crazy eh? You’re at the game, doing the mega protest and you’re on your phone showing everyone how hard your protesting?

I don’t like protesting at games. I don’t agree that we’re in a situation that merits it. Clearly, fans aren’t ready for it, regardless of the noise online. Also, let’s call a spade a spade here, the protest isn’t about the 3%, it’s about Wenger. Look at that banner.

Anyway, eloquent banners aside. The game. This post is late because I treated myself to all the beer pregame. The sun was shining, it was a stunning day… I wanted to be suitably numb.

Well, I needn’t have worried, that game was suitably numb in itself!

I think.

Or was it the beer that made it numb?

City and Arsenal were both playing their third game in a week and it told. I thought City would come to destroy, but the reality is they came for a point. They sat back most of the game and absorbed pressure. Arsene lined up with a side that wasn’t really capable of launching any sort of attack, so we had to play it safe.

Arsenal typically average in the first half. City dominated play in the main, with Arsenal contributing one shot to their seven. City took the lead after we lost the ball. Silva was given far too much space, we didn’t have the pace to catch him, he picked out Dzeko who hit the post but Silva was there to bury the rebound. Bad times.

The second half saw Arsenal fight a bit harder. Cazorla really had a good game, he was driven and pushing as hard as he could to open up play. Problem was that he didn’t really have anyone to target. We did get our break though, I couldn’t really see what was going on because Arsenal played away from me in the second half, but Matty Flamini turned in what looked like a Lukas cross. It was a great finish. I’m sure he was probably trying to clear it!

That charged the crowd, not that we weren’t already making a lot of noise. We saw some resurgent play. Wenger didn’t bring on subs until pretty late. Chamberlain got everyone excited as he sat outwide on the right. We still struggled to get chances. I mean, chasing a game and the best we can do is bring on a rookie… it’s a bit amateur, but there you go.

The half played out, there was one amusing moment. The fans were chanting ‘wanker’ at Samir Nasri and he threw his hand up in a really camp manner, like he was owning up to being a wanker. We all laughed.

The game finished a point for each side. Fair result I’d say, but still pretty damn disappointing. We didn’t need a point, we needed three. But after the week we’ve had, I’d have taken anything outside a spanking, so happy days.

Tings to tink about:


Man, I can’t keep writing it all the time, but Giroud really was garbage again yesterday. His averageness stank the ground out yesterday. It’s not his fault, but we really do need an upgrade this summer. A proper upgrade as well, none of this smart arsed stuff. We’re no good at that anymore. I want power, pace and a serious goal record.


Because of the power problem in our side, we don’t have gears. Wenger literally had nothing to come from the bench. Sure Chambo is a talent, but he’s not really a game chasing talent at the moment. Outside that, we had Kim Kallstrom and Sanogo. That really is a joke. We need to add some serious depth this summer. Wenger needs 4 really top players and he needs to add to the squad where he can. We need proper competition. We shouldn’t be broken 4 players down.


Really interesting watching City defend in packs. They didn’t press yesterday, but they pressed us when we attacked them. Countless times our players were dispossessed right to the end. I was chatting with the guys around me about our pressing game. We do it for the first three months of the season, then it disappears. Partly because the players don’t have the energy, but partly, I’m guessing, because Wenger doesn’t enforce it hard enough.

Concluding point:

We’re chasing 4th, not the league. A point is important. It puts Everton right up behind us. That’s a must win, because they’ll beat Fulham by a margin today. So overall, a good day and a refresh of our ambitions.

More tomorrow.