Wenger is right to believe in our future: Sustainability is working!


 Sustainability.  This has been identified as a main theme in all aspects of Arsene Wenger’s dealings with the club.  Whether it is financial sustainability, our style of play being constant or the caliber of player we are now buying, sustainability is continually highlighted.

In my opinion, Arsene is a wise manager who understands the necessity of keeping the majority of a team together over the years, while only adding a couple pieces each year, so as to not disturb chemistry and morale.  He is often accused of being a romantic, whose ideal of developing a squad that can grow together and form a dynasty will never be realized.  Unfortunately, I believe this philosophy has not been able to come to fruition the past eight years due to the immense pressure to cut costs and operate at a profit, in order to help finance the stadium debt.

Arsenal FC appear as though they are finally ready to enter a period of stability, in which key players are retained, unwanted players are released/sold, and new top quality signings are added in each transfer window if need be.

However, this new cycle would not be possible if our club was not run on the tenets of sustainability.  Being financially prudent means that we often cannot compete with other clubs for the best talent available, but that we are also not committing massive sums of money for underachieving players.  This philosophy has kept the club in line and poised to take advantage of the upcoming Financial Fair Play rules.  We’ve been operating with footballing profits for years without investment from our owner, and while the desired results have not been achieved, we’ve been consistent and produced respectably, when you consider our net spend relative to clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City.

One must also consider Arsene’s sustainability in fixating on one particular style of play.  His infatuation with free flowing, expressive football has also helped to form an identity that speaks to generations of footballers  – and supporters across the globe – and makes our club an attractive destination.

Arsene is not without his faults though.  In a way, he has handicapped our club with poor signings over the years, not replacing departing players with ones of equal or greater quality.  This has led to a few players whom cannot be offloaded due to inflated salaries who rarely, if ever, play.

On the flip side, his patience and unwavering faith in his players has also led to some pleasant surprises: Alex Song going from CB to DM to a wonderful creative B2B mid; RVP from injury-prone, bad boy to a top EPL striker; Theo from only pace and no finish to our leading goal scorer, etc.

Another aspect of sustainability where Arsene has come up short, has been our squad’s ability to stay healthy throughout a season.  Every team experiences their fair share of injuries, but this process seems to be more potent and frequent with some of Arsenal’s key players.  Squad players integral to the success of our club seem to suffer through recurring injuries or fall victim to new ones, namely Arteta, Wilshere, Diaby, Gibbs, Sagna and potentially even Podolski now.

The failure of key players to stay healthy inevitably leads to greater inconsistency and difficulty establishing chemistry with one another.  Whether it is injuries or transitioning new teammates into a squad, players take time adjusting to the varying skill sets and not all have an immediate, innate understanding of where one another will be on a given play.  The effects of unfamiliarity and inconsistent performances are then amplified through the combination of injuries and bedding new players into a side, thus negatively influencing squad sustainability.

The focus of my article is not to highlight Arsene’s shortcomings in sustainability, but to acknowledge that I am cognizant of them, and to point out his successes in the theme and what it means for our future (i.e. our transfer dealings).

If we follow the trend of AW’s most recent purchases in the past winter and summer transfer windows, there is gravitation towards established players nearing the prime of their careers.  Further, each player has been identified as skilled, team-oriented individuals who do not beleaguer the organisation in any way and strongly believe in our manager’s long-term vision/goal.

This is a stark contrast to some of his purchases in prior years, where several bought players were talented, but lacked the focus, discipline and affection or loyalty for our club (i.e. Adebayor, Nasri, Clichy, Cole, RVP etc.).

In a way, Arsene’s new purchases have reflected his ingenuity: purchase a collective group of individuals who still have room for further development and with a good head on their shoulders, in order to form a base from which higher quality talents can eventually be brought in as to complement the established group. 

My perspective is that it’s more difficult to buy top quality players and immediately integrate them into the foundation of a team, without an existing culture of stability and promise.  I believe the egos and selfishness several top players exhibit are more controllable in the aforementioned environment, as they look to impress not only the fans, but the already established group of players too.

Liverpool is a distinct example of this, where players have stayed committed to the club, despite their inability to qualify for Champions League in past years and Europa league next year.  Integral components to the team such as Gerrard, Reina, Carragher, G.Johnson, Skrtel, Leiva etc. have likely all played a role in convincing a top quality player like Suarez to stay.

So then, what can we expect (hope) to see in this coming summer transfer window? 

In my opinion, the time is ripe to add a world-class talent or burgeoning world-class talent if the funds are available.  I’m not advocating that we frivolously spend our transfer funds to purchase a ton of world-class players, as this would create imbalance within our organization. But, based on our established pillars of sustainability, it makes perfect sense to complement our foundation of skilled and team first players with a top quality talent.

As our great manager recently stated, “Everything is here to have a great future.  We have a good fan base, we have now a strong financial situation, we have good young players and a squad with a bright future with the quality of players we have.  It is just to manage it well now.”

In order for sustainability to be successful, it must resonate from the top of the organisation down to the individual daily tasks.  The owner and Board of Directors have initiated the process, by keeping their faith in Arsene and not replacing him with a different manager when Arsenal was not winning silverware.  Arsene repaid the club’s loyalty by honouring his contract, despite limited transfer funds and many top players he developed being sold, year after year.  What the club must now do to maintain the theme of sustainability is refuse to sell our top players, unless they are not 100% committed.

All the pieces are finally in place to enter a cycle of sustainability and success, and Arsenal must capitalize on their competitive advantage in FFP and stability. 

Do you, fellow Gooners, believe that our model of sustainability is the right one going forward? 

Or do you believe it is simply an excuse to compensate for the fact that we lack ambition and are unwilling to use the resources at our disposal to compete with the top clubs?

Written By: Highbury Harmony

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167 Responses to Wenger is right to believe in our future: Sustainability is working!

  1. Fred says:

    Great post, I totally agree with you that sustainability is the way forward. With all the young players we have (if we can keep them) then we can expect to see our squad improve season after season. If you look at the Chavs how have continuously spent around 100m a season and are only a couple of points above us it is clear that spending masively season after season isn’t essential. Personally as you say I think we only need to add two more world class players, Higuain and Lars Bender in my opinion would propel us to challenge for the EPL.

  2. Bond James says:

    great read, HH

    well done for mentioning the liverpool bit 😉

    i do agree with you to an extent and yes,patience is a virtue and i certainly feel that we have shown plenty of patience thus far and have waited enough, now it’s time to go out all guns blazing , which basically for us means keeping hold of our best players (like we did with theo) and show our intentions by doing our summer business nice and early.

    we have sustained successfully and now we need to move onto the next bit, which is to add a few quality players and keep building on it, think of it as the Barca model if you may, have a decent playing 13-14 and then add one quality player every year, keeping things fresh and then promoting within the youth as well.

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    This was Wenger response the news of RedNose’s imminent departure:


  4. Highbury Harmony says:

    Fred, thank you for sharing your insight and for the kind words!

    I agree that money is not the only answer to success in football, but it certainly does help! However, it must be used sensibly and in a sustainable matter. Chavs are a great example of how massive expenditures can cripple a club (ahem Torres). Even $hitty who bought their way to a title last season were not able to replicate that success, thus proving their blueprint to not be fully sustainable.

    Higuain and L.Bender would be incredible purchases and certainly 2 players that would bring us into contention with Europe’s elite! There are strong links that Higuain is headed for Juventus though. If Rooney leaves Manure, I could see them replacing him with one of Lewandowski, Falcao or Higuain too.

  5. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA @ 21:19 hahaha 🙂

  6. James says:

    Load of complete drivel. Wenger has sold all the clubs crown jewels and replaced them with mediocrity while the wage bill spirals ever higher. Arsenal have the resources to compete for major trophies now, Bayern Munich and Dortmund do it despite playing in weaker leagues and with much lower wage spend and significantly less match day income, the reason Arsenal can’t is because Wenger is simply no longer up to the job. His tactics are one dimensional (same system in every game regardless of opposition), his motivation is poor, the players don’t believe in him (couldn’t beat any of the top six clubs), his buys are increasingly lame and his so are his excuses. When Wenger is gone, Arsenal can start competing again, nothing to do with money – Arsenal have more than enough to achieve their aims irrespective of other clubs riches, and if Wenger cannot punch above his weight then he’s being paid too much.

  7. Highbury Harmony says:

    Cheers BJ :).

    As you agree with me to an extent, I also agree with your perspective to an extent ;). So long as guns all out blazing does not mean spending frivolously and massively inflating transfer fees and wages, then I agree. With our foundation, it’s more about continuing to build off of our base and adding quality, opposed to quantity. Completing transfer business early is always a big benefit in transitioning new players into a squad in both off and on the pitch chemistry. It also allows players not familiar with the UK to become better acquainted to their new environment.

    All agreed on following a Barca model, however the pieces they have been adding have largely been failures in the past few years (or have not turned out as they have hoped in terms of playing style and gelling to their team aka Sanchez, Song etc.).

  8. TotalArsenal says:


    Thanks for a cleverly build up post, looking at all the areas of sustainability and being both complimentative and critical of what Wenger and the club have done in the last few years.

    The main minus point is the quality of some players Arsene has bought in recent years, both in terms of football qualities and personality/ cultural fit with our club.

    Agreed that key is now to hold on to our first 11-18 players, bring through some of our promising talents (youth) and add that top top quality. Jovetic would be a nice start! 🙂

  9. Highbury Harmony says:

    Also Fred, how would you feel about joining a BK inspired Fantasy Premier League contest next season?? It’ll be $10 per entrant and the winner will be awarded with an Arsenal kit of their choosing with whomever player they want on the back!

  10. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA thank you for the kind words and continually compliments on my writing :).

    Your second point about not purchasing the proper quality the last few years is a point of contention among many and I hope that AW rectifies the debate around whether or not he’s lost his touch in the transfer market this summer by purchasing two top quality talents.

    Without the base we have in place, there’d be no hope to add two top quality players into our squad at all! Adding in new players and placing the burden on them to solely be the core is a recipe for disaster, since it will give them egos and a feeling of entitlement too quickly, or they could succumb to the pressure or need time to adjust to a new country and league.

  11. Fred says:

    No problem, HH I agree with every word, 2 world class signings this season, keep our key players and maybe add 1 high quality player to add competition and strength in depth every season after would (hopefully) take us back to the heights we were at previously. Arsenal belongs in Europes elite, and the EPL benefits from stronger teams. The two players I mentioned would certainly enable us to reach new heights. IF rumours are to be believed that Real Madrid are after Cavani or Falcao then we could get Higuain (relatively) cheaply and it would be a real signal of intent as would L. Bender. Another lesson we should take from the retireing SAF is to get our business in the transfer window done early so that the team gets to bond together before pre-season rather than try and get last second deals or panic buy on transfer deadline day.

    But I do agree with the sentiment that if we can keep our young players and they reach their potential then the future is bright for arsenal. But in the short term we need to bring in a couple of world class signings. This would help us to both challenge for trophies and help us to persuade our younger players to stay with the team.

  12. Highbury Harmony says:

    James, if the Bundesliga is so weak, then why are the two teams left in the CL finals from there? If the Bundesliga is so weak, how come Schalke were able to beat us across two legs?

    Is Santi really a lame buy? Nacho? Both players are Spanish Internationals…Can you predict the future? How do you know the club will not fall further into obscurity without AW at the helm? How many other managers would have the balls to play teenagers in the EPL?

    Personally, it seems that much of you just wrote is “complete drivel”.

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Totally agreed, HH. The main part of our growth has to come from within under the guidance of Wenger and Bould, and I believe there is great growth in the current squad. But adding that extra bit of quality, for technical as well as psychological reasons, should give us a big push forwards.

  14. Savage says:

    Also, many were calling for us to scrap our existing contracts and turn our backs on existing sponsors. The club were not willing to do that based on a code of conduct. The big numbers on the new contracts are now a payback for those ethics, as you won’t find new sponsors lining up to join a club that will happily ditch them.

  15. TotalArsenal says:


    It is a shame you have to start with an insult. You are making some good points but if you want to blog here, please keep your insults to yourself.

  16. Highbury Harmony says:

    Fred, did SAF really complete his transfer business early in the last summer window though ;). If I recall correctly, RVP was purchased in August! But yes, I agree there is no disadvantage on buying a player you want very early in the window. Of course, there may be some unexpected players made available towards the end of the window, but that should not deter us from bidding on them either!

  17. Highbury Harmony says:

    Savage, excellent additions to my article! Yet another example of how sustainability resonates at our club and why we are able to attract top deals from sponsors!

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    Savage, you’re spot on! 🙂

  19. Glic says:

    Yes indeed a fantastic post, but come on, come on gays….oops guys……the Tiger from Toronto !…..how f**king Gay Lord Shirtlifty is that !. hahaha

    Great post Tiger ! hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha….sorry, that is sooo funny !. hahahahahahaha

    Yes, HH, as long as FFP works, we carry on the right path. With 2/3 SQ`s this TW ( CL or no CL ), I`m certain we will be competing.
    If FFP fails, then I`m sure with no Trophy`s gained and possible no CL, then Kroenke will not be able to carry on, the wrath of the supporters will be too much for him to endure and he will sell out for a substantial profit to Usmanov !. I/we have waited long enough with the sound foundations that have been laid, just a little more patience, nearly there !.
    An important couple of weeks ahead, but to me, more important is what we do in the Summer TW !. An intriguing and exciting Summer ahead !.

    Go Tiger !.

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice comment by the crustacean of Cornwall 😛

  21. Ain't Got A Kalou says:

    HH, this another damn good post in a line of several others that have been written on BK over the past few months. I loved the one TA wrote bout van gaal/klopp/wenger and mair’s on 5 things to change this summer. Also there was admir’s with fabo insight into the past.

    Sustainability is what has kept relations in all our business stable and given us a positive image. Disappointed in how AW has treated some players with no playing time, but such is football and we don’t know what happens on the training grounds/behind closed doors.

    In sum, nothing 2 disagree with buddy, keep up the great work. Some of you should become writers for arsenal.com.

  22. goughy88 says:

    You worded my thoughts magnificently, here here…gooner for life….arsene is also a gooner for life no arsenal without wenger…

  23. Highbury Harmony says:

    Glic, thank your for the fine response and kind words ;).

    Of course, if I anagram(ed) your name it would be logic without the “o”, and it sometimes takes a bit of scrambling in your comment to see the point you were really trying to make hahaha (just kidding if that wasn’t obvious).

    I absolutely agree that the summer moves will largely determine the fate of whether or not we’ll be seriously competing domestically and with Europe’s elite next year.

    Also, any interest in joining the much discussed BK Fantasy Premier League next season?! Won’t be the same without you to ridicule for finishing last in the league! If by some stroke of luck you managed to win, you could even put Isco on the back of the winner’s Arsenal kit to fulfill your sick fantasy!!

  24. Glic says:

    Yes AGAK……………Dr Glic of Arsenal.com……I`ve gone all dreamy now……ahhhhh………Nobellend Peace Prize………ahhhh………BBC Sports Pervanality of the Year……Loose Women……Wake up bastard ! hahahaha

  25. Highbury Harmony says:

    AGAK, always a pleasure when you stop by. I will be sure to try and steal your name again so as to put a stain on your reputation (:devil:)

    This club was built on a sustainable model and look poised to take advantage of FFP (if it actually works). I’m not going to complain about another competitive advantage that serves to better our club!

  26. TotalArsenal says:

    Good to see you back here AGAK, and thanks for the fine words. 🙂

  27. Highbury Harmony says:

    Glic, I think AGAK’s comments were reserved for authors of this site, not some bloke who speaks out of his ass most of the time hahaha 😉

  28. Glic says:

    Of course HH, I will be delighted to participate in the BKFPL….I`m obviously not one prone to the odd fantasy !. hahaha
    You are of course right….I will come bottom, as with the UMFL, I will not be able to buy players from teams I detest as I do not want to sub-consciously hope their players do well !.

  29. Highbury Harmony says:

    Cheers goughy88, glad we see eye-to-eye on how Arsenal should continue going forward! Isn’t it too great of a coincidence that Arsene became manager of Arsen-al?

  30. Highbury Harmony says:

    Glic, surprisingly if you look at some of the top teams in the world, they do not include van Judas, Bale or any typical villains to an Arsenal team! Everyone has a unique strategy and I enjoy viewing the teams that go Anti top 4, heavy towards their main team and fill out the rest of their team with differentials.

    Glad to have you on board mate 🙂

  31. Glic says:

    HH….how very dare you !….I may not be an author, but I am a Doctor…..saver of lost BBBB souls !. hahaha

  32. Glic says:

    Actually, tell a lie, It`s only been one soul so far……the fictional VCC !. hahaha

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    If you can save his soul, Beast of a BBBB, you can save us all hahaha 🙂

  34. Highbury Harmony says:

    Glic, if you had rolled with this team for most of this year in FPL:





    Subs: Begovic (GK), Bassong (DEF), Davies (DEF) and Maloney (MID)

    You would have been in the top 20,000 in the FPL world, maybe even top 10,000!

  35. TotalArsenal says:


    It has been years since I played FF league. How many players of one and the same club can be chosen?


    HH, you devilshly delightful dervish. the best post you have ever written and i could not agree more.

    There has never been any thing wrong with our strategy. We acted in accordance with our cicumstances and envoirement.

    Its like been a nightclub, you strike when the time is right. Go in to early and that wont be the only thing ending prematurly. Go in to late, never mind the end, there wont even be a beginning.

    No, they key is to pull when in harmony with your envoirement (in my case after i have popped a pill in there drink hahaha). This is exactly what Arsenal are now going to do. With increased finacial muscle we can build a team that meets our needs

  37. Bond James says:


    all guns blazing usually means us making near 50 million by selling players and then spending 30-35 million purchasing players 😀 but this time round i would be happy if we didn’t sell anyone from our playing 15 and purchased 2-3-4 quality additions .

    TA @ 21.19 ahahahahhahahahaha

  38. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, a player can only be chosen once and you cannot own more than 3 players from the same team. Formation is entirely up to you as I’ve seen teams commonly go 3-4-3, despite the default setting being 4-4-2. You could even go 4-5-1 if you’re daring!

    You must always have 3 forwards, 5 midfielders, 4 defenders and 2 goalies on your squad at all times. At the pick team screen, you can select whom you wish to start and the order of players on your bench. The bench order becomes important because if a player on your starting line-up fails to make an appearance in a given GW, then your 1st sub will automatically be substituted in (or 2nd or 3rd sub if the prior subs are injured and/or did not play as well).

    5 points for goals scored by mids or defenders, 4 points for goals scored by forwards, 3 points for assists, 4 points for clean sheets by a goalie or defender, 1 point for a clean sheet by a mid, 1 point for 4 saves from a keeper, 2 points for 5 or more saves from a keeper, 2 points for 60 mins or more played by any player and 1 point for a player who makes an appearance for less than 60 mins.

    -1 point for a yellow card, -2 points for a red card. -4 points for every extra transfer you make in a GW and you are given 1 free transfer each week. For example, if you had Suarez and Giroud, neither can play since they have both been suspended. In order to swap them both out for two new forwards, you would need to take a 4 point hit to replace both. You are also given 2 wildcards, one that can be used all year and another only in January. Basically, you have unlimited transfers for the week when activating it. The more astute FPL manager will use their wildcards prior to or after DGW (players with two games in a GW) or if they are very far behind in their leagues/have a ton of injuries or under performing players and need a restart.

  39. goonerboy says:

    A make believe post with no evidence base-The evidence is poor for sustainability-Jack Wilshere is really the only youngster who is an unqualified success and he’s injury prone.
    In reality the buy cheap & young policy has failed to produce a team that can compete at the top-level. The list of overpaid failures that we are stuck with until their contracts expire is a long one.

    Where is the evidence of Wenger making world class signings in the last 10 years? He has only sold World class players-he has been happy to guarantee success for other clubs- not us.
    The evidence is Wenger has sold successive top players and has not replaced any of them with players of equivalent stature and ability- that does not constitute sustainability.

    The Arsenal style is a thing of the past. Arsenal still can’t defend competently against top sides. Our record against the 4 best sides this season-1 win , 2 draws in 8 games-tells its own story.

    14 years qualifying for EFCL money every year-and we have a squad which is not as strong as teams like Spurs who have not been in it.

    Yes we have some more sponsors but the full revenue from these deals is contingent on being in the ECL-and the failure to invest in top players has made not qualifying an increasing likelihood.

    One of the biggest myths in football is that Arsenal is a well run club. Its only a well run club if you are a fat cat shareholder and that’s only because Usmanov keeps the share price high. or a supporter who regards being uncompetitive and having no top stars is as good as we can hope for.

  40. Glic says:

    Two too many Bindipper players for my liking HH, I would have had a sub-conscious boner every time Suarez scored and to be in the top 100, I would have probably have had a Manure, Chav or City player !. Too many sins for my liking and I don’t like having sinfull thoughts……apart from the wife`s sister !. hahaha

  41. Highbury Harmony says:

    Terry :), thank you for the very kind words and fine comment! I particularly enjoyed your nightclub analogy as there simply could not be a better comparison/one I could relate to hahaha!

    In part, I wrote this post in response to all the cries for an Oiler to take over and to appease posters such as yourself, Milo, Gerry etc who firmly believe in our model. I’m glad you enjoyed my article and knew you’d be a fan! There is light at the end of the tunnel and we will soon realize our long-term objectives! Hopefully, it all begins to take place this summer :).

    Also, any interest in joining myself, TA, BJ, 17ht, AFC, VCC and Glic in a BK FPL league next year? Will be something fun for us to discuss and ridicule one another in along with the UMF!

  42. Highbury Harmony says:

    BJ @ 22:29, all agreed mate. No sales (unless a player wants to leave) and a couple top quality purchases for me too!

  43. Highbury Harmony says:

    Glic, which teams would you not take players from, out of personal interest 🙂

  44. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, what is happening to the formatting on the site? First names were being linked to facebook now the background has shifted to a grey/beige colour!

  45. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers HH, that is comprehensive and very similar to FF leagues I played in. Should be fun next season! 🙂


    HH, what anology? hahaha

    Yeah, why not. You know my love for discussing transfers and potential targets. hahaha

    Its a great article mate. You have spelled out exactly my thoughts on the matter so i thank you. The great thing is its pertinence. We can finaly see some light at the end of the tunnel, and it will be worth the wait.

  47. Glic says:

    That will be all the other19 teams HH, I hate all the bastards !.
    Alright then, Spuds, Manure, Chavs, City and Scouse Gits !. Which will probably put me in the bottom 2 of the whole world with all the shit players left ( apart from the 3 Arsenal ones ! )

  48. TotalArsenal says:

    HH, Yes I have made some adjustments to the site. Dont know anything about linking names to facebook though 😕

  49. Glic says:

    That Light at the end of the tunnel Stretch is Number 52`s bulb in her bedroom as seen from your telescope !.

  50. Highbury Harmony says:

    Glic, a very strong FPL squad can be built around Arsenal, Swansea, WBA, Everton, West Ham, Stoke and Villa players! WBA, Everton, Stoke and WHU in particular are clean sheet magnets with relatively cheap defenders/goalies. For offense, there’s plenty between Arsenal, Swansea, Villa and Everton/WBA as well. With the correct captain picks each week (double points for that player) anyone could win the league, especially with a good differential pick!

  51. Glic says:

    Right I`m off to Z, I keep thinking it`s Friday due to my extra days work today, tomorrow, I will be touring Torbay !.

    Night BBB`s 😆


    Cornwall, i am not joking, The reason i havent been around is that i have been diagnosed with a torn retina. its a nightmare, everyone looks like David Moyes. hahaha

    They asked me wether i have had an injury or something. I couldnt bring myself to tell them i over excerted myself looking through the telescope. hahaha

  53. Glic says:

    Sounds like a case for Dr Glic !. hahaha

  54. Bond James says:

    here comes another one for you, HH

    Arsenal have activated Arda Turan’s 20 million release clause 😀

    why can’t we activate Falcao’s or Cavani’s release clause supposedly but every one else we have already signed (in the world of rumours), i wonder.

    i find it highly discriminatory, so for that reason i might start a rumour of my own, Dr.Glic to be appointed the new sports physiologist at Arsenal FC.

  55. Highbury Harmony says:

    Goonerboy, how many other top clubs have had to endure a stadium move that put them in massive debt?

    How are Gibbs, Szczesny, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, Jenkinson and Ramsey not considered successes? Regardless of whether they were developed in house or bought young, they represent fairly cheap signings (not so much with Theo and Ox) and all look like they will at least be everyday starters or quality subs.

    Is Santi not a world class player? Nacho is a Spain International too, so I fail to see how AW’s signings have not taken an upward trajectory.

    We’re not as strong as Spuds? Could have fooled me, last I checked in the standings, we’ve been above them every year.

    You focus too much on the past and your points give very little thought to the present and past summer and winter transfer windows. One who lives their life in the past is alone with regret. And if we go on to spend cash this summer and use our current model to continue to build our squad and become better, I will be sure to call you out and laugh in your face.

  56. Highbury Harmony says:

    BJ, I was extremely excited by the Turan rumours last January but nothing ever materialized. Now the links are becoming excessive! Jovetic seemed the strongest and most reported, which leads me to believe it has the best chance of happening. However, as we know with football and transfers, anything can happen…

  57. Highbury Harmony says:

    BJ, it’s unnecessary to go into a bidding war for Falcao or Cavani. Their release clauses/wages would handicap our team for far too long, not to mention the fact that if they did not perform we’d have wasted a significant amount of our cash into one investment. Also, how long until such a player moves on to another club? Winning silverware is no guarantee of loyalty either.

  58. TotalArsenal says:

    Sad to hear about Stiliyan Petrov’s total retirement from football.

    A great footballer to watch and a gentleman on and off the pitch.

    I wish him all the best with the continuous fight against leukaemia.

  59. Bond James says:


    point being, rumours are rumours, in the world of rumours nothing breaks our pay structure and we can afford anyone and everyone as no one is beyond our reach.


    i was going to bother writing up a substantive reply to you but then i read ” we have a squad which is not as strong as the one man team of spuds”, suffice to say in the famous words of a true philosopher ” you don’t know what you’re talking about”.

  60. Highbury Harmony says:

    BJ, very true I did not catch the hint of sarcasm in your comment!

  61. Highbury Harmony says:

    You have to give it to the media though, at least they keep the fantasy element of fantasy transfers realistic 😉

  62. jgc says:


    Great post! As a professor of fundamental sciences and such, I would note the following:

    A. The quickest way to become a millionaire is to become a billionaire and buy an airline (attributed to Richard Branson most often)

    B. One might update this nowadays with “buy an EPL Football team”

    No matter how you slice it, eventually, somewhere, sometime, the dollars in has to start matching or exceeding the dollars out.

    Personally, whether it’s FFP or simple “reality bites” eventually a lack of sustainability will bite, if only when there are no further investors willing or able to find value by pumping in more money.

    I myself dont know what value such owners find now actually… Certainly, they bear the cost…

    cheers — jgc

  63. jgc says:

    To some other posters,

    I would add, if we stink so badly and have no quality or plan or ability, then why are we 4th wtih a good shot at 3rd (ok, outside shot), and no worse than 5th (realistically)?

    I could make an argument that Everton have equal or better talent, but they are 6th and off the pace…

    Just sayin, where I probably shouldnt respond — jgc

  64. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi jgc 🙂

    Best is to ignore them, you are right.

  65. TotalArsenal says:

    Happy 44th Birthday Dennis! 🙂

    Night all.

  66. Highbury Harmony says:

    jgc, thank you for the compliment mate! Always enjoy reading your comments and appreciate that you can stop by and contribute :).

    Point A gave me a good laugh, however B is definitely a recipe for disaster. I strongly believe that being an owner of a football club is not an investment by which one looks to gain profit. As you state, eventually you either need to spend to compensate for results or you must sell the club to someone richer or more willing to spend.

    For me, football clubs are just another way for rich individuals to flex their financial might. A way to display to the rest of the world their excess in cash reserves, in addition to their passion for a particular club/the sport. However, the majority of the times, football clubs operate at a loss in order to achieve results and keep up with the pace of other clubs. This makes the Arsenal model even more fascinating as we have managed to maintain top 4 despite operating at a profit year over year. Unfortunately, this has come at the cost of no silverware, which will hopefully be rectified next year or in the near future.

  67. jgc says:

    Hi HH

    I think I’d argue that the result is that one cannot put too much money into a club. If we call breakeven at +/-5M pounds/Euros/etc per year on average then I would agree with you.

    If you average say 10-20 million loss per year.. you are not sustainable in the long term around who might invest regularly those kinds of sums. Certainly, the Chelsea’s and such do so to no appreciable gain. I could at least say that Arab owners get (very expensive) good PR for their countries and countrymen (maybe)

    Saw recent stat elsewhere, i.e. not sure of its truth, that Arsenal of the last 20 years netter -58M or -2-3M per year. Sustainable on club owners, and other investments. If your number is -200-300M over 20 years, eventually those who lend you the money want something back…

    Just my 2p… jgc

  68. Highbury Harmony says:

    All agreed JGC, football is not a business one enters in search of profit. Break even is already an accomplishment as an owner (if one looks to satisfaction outside of silverware and individual results).

  69. OMGArsenal says:

    HH…..a really,really well thought out and intelligently written article and a very,very pleasant change from the drivel some anti-Arsenal websites bombard us Gooners with!
    Sustainability is the central philosophy for most of the football World, smaller Clubs cannot afford any other options. It is only the profligate, super-rich, win-at-all-cost Clubs like Real, PSG, Chelsea and City that forsake the longer term sustainability model for the immediate gratification of trophies and titles, thus mortgaging their future success for short-term glory. Manchester United’s success with relatively average teams but big scorers does show that a properly managed Club can expect to win titles ahead of Sugar-daddy outfits….and even if they don’t they remain highly competitive. Especially with friends like Arsenal to help them out:)

  70. Highbury Harmony says:

    OMG, thank you so much! I really appreciate the high praise and your additional thoughts :). I structured the article to be well balanced and to consider both perspectives on successes and failures, in order to shed light on the promise that lies ahead. Many other Arsenal articles are either too positive/evangelistic or too pessimistic, so I wanted to remain fairly neutral, but still positive!

    As much as we love to rag and insult the “rich” clubs for the ways they go about winning trophies, I do enjoy how those sorts of clubs have altered the competitive landscape, without completely making us irrelevant. There’s something to be said for being able to work under a sustainable model and still achieve relatively satisfactory results.

    In the case of Real, Mourinho and a couple other managers aside, I will give my respect to Florentino Perez. He not only demands results, but that his manager achieve lofty objectives while playing beautiful football. Unfortunately, Perez and their fans became desperate for any trophies and sacrificed beautiful football for results the last couple years. The Real fans are some of the most intelligent around and demand their team play beautiful footy (which they sometimes do on counter attacks and going forward but it can be few and far between at times). No comment on PSG, Chavs and $hitty though :).

    As you reiterated, it’s better to not win the title with our sustainable model than sacrificing everything for short-term success that inevitably leads to setbacks and long-term unforeseen consequences later on :).

  71. Didn’t know we bought Cole, thought he came up through development…
    Good read.

  72. Jamesofsouthwales says:

    Completely agree, awesome post the squad now looks good and like you said just add a few key Cazorla type signings in each position through the spine of the team and well be laughing. We should be signing on a ratio of 2-1 from now on, 2 established talents of 25-27 years of age and 1 player 23 and under who can develop over 2-3 seasons with no pressure.

    And I mostly pleased for all the players who I said would come good especially Ramsey, 2 player of the months in the last 3 well done son keep on that upward spiral and well be seeing hat class player in no time at all.

  73. Red Arse says:

    Good Morning Folks, 🙂

  74. malaysian gunner says:

    Wenger’s self sufficient model has seen the gunners decline the last five years.I think in 2008 and 2009 were the two seasons when the gunners could have won the epl only to shoot themselevs in the foot.Then the red face wont be so dominant in the epl.As said having been the king of the epl,he want to dominate the cl which aint going to be easy.
    As is well known the ref connection aint there.I doubtMoyes can win the epl next season because all the top teams will be strengthening,including and finally Wenger who has the folly of his wasteful years.

  75. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning Redders! 🙂

  76. VCC says:

    Good Morning All. It’s our legend God’s birthday manana, he will be 44 years young.

  77. VCC says:

    Hi Harmonious.

    How you keep knocking out great posts time and time again is a gift. Well done Sir. 🙂

  78. Chapman's Ghost says:

    Self-sustainability has yet to prove a success on the field. Average players have replaced those we sold to ambitious clubs. Ramsey, Ox and Jenkinson have not done anything to deserve the term successful purchases. Gibbs is good but injury prone. Our Polish GK seems to have a bigger mouth than hands and Walcott is as inconsistent as ever. Neither Podolski or Giroud have made up for the glaring hole upfront since we sold our last remaining world star, though at least the latter tries hard and has done reasonably well. Cazorla looks class but still disappears occasionally and Monreal maybe brilliant but a bit too early to tell.

    The team needs a trio of world stars to bolster it. If we get CL football one would hope such players would be forthcoming. If we don’t then we’ll hear the usual excuses and end up with someone from the French league who nobody’s heard of and bring back Henry for a few months.

    The club is now bulging with money. It’s about time we put it to good use.

  79. Red Arse says:

    HH, congratulations, sir. 🙂

    I wish I had written that. It was concise, insightful and entirely convincing.

    I think you have a valid point regarding ‘Pool, although during Benitez’ reign they seemed to buy scores of quite rubbishy players at a high cost, and then discard most of them almost as quickly.

    You are not someone to easily allow yourself to get swept along with the hype of something, so it is encouraging that you have such a positive outlook for the ‘new’ Arsenal team, once we have bought one or more quality players and blended them with our existing squad. 🙂

  80. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning Vickers 🙂

    Hi Chapman’s Ghost 🙂

    It all depends how you define success on the field. If it is purely winning silverware, then I can see where you are coming from. Sustainability has helped the team to go through the difficult period of financing a new stadium whilst dealing with the arrival of the Oilers: we remained at the top, or there about and have been playing CL football throughout.

    Now, the club is in a fine, strategic position to make another step upwards and this is entirely build on solid foundations.

    You are right to some extent about your player assessments and the need to add some good quality this summer. Let’s see what happens next.

  81. TotalArsenal says:

    Redders all agreed. It is fair to see that HH writes his posts with sustainable qualities. 🙂

  82. Red Arse says:

    Hi Chapman’s Ghost,

    You make some valid early points, altho’ I think you have also been a bit harsh. Still it is your opinion, and that is fair enough.

    Being realistic, there is no way we are going to buy a trio of world class players this summer. If you are anticipating that, you are doomed to disappointment.

    A quick calculation will show what that would cost. Do you consider that Falcao, or Cavani or Lewandowski are world class? Well the first two are regularly reported as costing at least £50m each, and Lewandowski at around £30m.
    I do not know who else is deemed to be world class, maybe Ronaldo? But let’s go with them.

    So, that would be £130m to buy Falcao, Cavani and Lewandowski, or similar world class players [and this presumes any of them would want to join Arsenal] and when you add on their salaries (say, £250,000 each, per week * 52 = £13m * 3 = £39m p.a. * 5 years = £195m) so the grand total over a 5 year period would be £130m cost + £195m salaries = £325m total, which if amortized over the 5 years would amount to £65m per annum.

    If you think that is either affordable or justifiable, then you are on your own. 🙂

  83. TotalArsenal says:

    We only have to get rid of our deadwood, Redders! 😉

  84. Red Arse says:


    You will have to administer your wooden clogs to an awful lot of unwanted asses to recover £65m per year. 🙂

    But the alternative is to send Dr Glic around for a love-in, now that would work a treat.

  85. Red Arse says:


    Where is GlicenFart, has he gone to ground with my man Terry T?

  86. Red Arse says:

    I have just remembered that Glic is pestering Torbay today. 🙂

  87. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes, RA, Glicenfartface is on the road – no doubt, poisoning himself with ours and ours of Talkshite 😛

  88. VCC says:

    I loved that kit Total. With the red n white hooped socks.

  89. Highbury Harmony says:

    cockofthesouth, thanks mate :). Cole was indeed developed by Arsenal, but I simply threw him in there as he was not loyal and sought glory and money as a typical mercenary. He just seemed to fit in line with the list of players who left us for other clubs domestically!

  90. 17highburyterrace says:

    Excellent post HH and some great comments too. The timing seems good what with the big switch up in Manchester and rumblings about Maureen returning to Chelsea and C-Ron talking about running down his contract.

    Overall, I’m not sure that “sustainability” is the thing on display, so much as “consistency.” Obviously Wenger seems deeply committed to the club, but sometimes I think of this simply as a strategy for enhancing his legacy. SAF did it this way and so did Moyes, well, up until Wednesday….Can the two of them (working together?) produce sufficient results? I wonder, the expectations of the “modern” football fan (and his internet echo chamber) are pretty damn high these days….”What have you done for me lately,” seems the mantra of the times….

    By contrast, Arsenal are selling the long game. We appear to have values: spending what we earn (or less….) and playing “good” football–although not so much lately as grinding out the proper results has taken precedence. Youth was (and is) touted, but it’s a(n?) hard concept to bank upon when the young guys need chances and come up short. Cull those guys and then the better ones get swooped up by the crazy money clubs. All the while the results suffer….

    I’m an optimist and I see Arsenal very well positioned for the long-term. And this is despite the fact (well, I think it’s a fact….) that our majority shareholder (Kroenke) seems in it for the profits. My hunch is that his goal is to be the most “successful” owner in sporting history, something he measures in dollars and cents (i.e., not in trophies or titles). Unlike some owners who view their teams as playthings, (I fear) Stan sees fans that way; their loyalties allow for manipulation. Here in the States this means developing real estate–in partnership with government, as (politicians need) the votes of local supporters. He came on late in our stadium project and the landscape (literally) in England is different. Luckily, in London, there seems to be a pool of people (and businesses) to fill the seats (or at least buy the tickets….) at ever increasing prices, Longer term, I think, he sees Arsenal as a worthy international brand in a period where only the strong will survive. The pot of gold at the end of that rainbow is television (and internet) rights. Doesn’t he already harvest the profits from “Arsenal World” and “Arsenal Week” or whatever those shows in the upper end of the sports channels are called? If those sorts of products sell a little bit here and in Asia and Africa, imagine what the matches themselves (long-term) might be worth….

    But we care about the product on the pitch and the shorter term and here is where I don’t quite share the optimism. As I’ve said, I think it’s been stop-gap stuff the past two seasons and that v1.0 of the youth project with Cesc, Nasri and RVP (along with the midfield dentist lads–DDS-of Diaby, Denilson and Song, is history. Now we’ve got serviceable oldsters (and flops, still on our payroll….) with a (supposedly) more loyal core of young Brits. There’s a lot of back and forth over whether or not that latter group has produced and if they will in the future. Put me in the group with the unconvinced (but hopeful)….As we wait for them, the oldsters only get older (though a couple, Kos, Giroud, anybody else?…. we hope, are so-called “late bloomers”)….

    It’s a bit of a mish-mash (in my opinion) but at least they’re getting it done (ugly) in this run-in. These next two matches are massive, but if we win those, do our business and get right back to it in August, it might be a platform for continuing success. It seems premature to suggest, however, that just sprinkling on some world class talent will be enough to take us to a significantly higher level. But maybe that’s the point–sustain with what we have and hope for the best…..

    It works for me, but I consider myself “dedicated” and a “long-termer” and (maybe) the new football audience isn’t quite in that mold. I actually think MY expectations are pretty high (in light of what I see on the pitch) but I think some (who maybe don’t watch every minute of the matches and rely on the highlights and the recent results and the more positive headlines to stay buoyed) might be getting ahead of themselves. Hey, it’s all good (as we say here in California) and my approach is not inherently better than anyone else’s. Still, low expectations seem the key to happiness, as a wise man once told me….

    Uh oh, I appear to have exceeded my word limit (again)….

  91. Highbury Harmony says:


    Thank you very much for the kind words!

    The majority of fans often lack the patience and long-term vision to understand what the club is trying to accomplish. They see the team as it is now, and believe AW will be doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past and that the team will fall further into obscurity. It is a very real concern, but as one learns in economics, it is a necessity to look beyond the direct and short-term results. The club is finally in a position to take advantage of its sustainability model that stemmed from profit and stability in the organization and all of its business dealings.

    For fans like me and yourself, we acknowledge the shortcomings of the past 7-8 years and recognize that there were extenuating circumstances surrounding our club that hindered us from winning silverware, but still achieved relatively satisfactory results given our owner’s ask to return profit in the form of CL qualification and player sales.

    Adding two top quality players each year until we have a strong spine again, similar to that of the Invincibles, is that path to success. Rome wasn’t built in a day and too many fans are expecting the increased rumoured kitty to equate to massive, sweeping changes at the club. The base/foundation has finally been built and signed long-term, it’s just a matter of exhibiting more patience and incrementally building another great team.

    I’m still not sure about Ramsey, I love him as a squad player but I’m still not 100% convinced he’ll be a starter for us in the future when we are at our very best. Nonetheless, he is still a valuable part of the bigger picture. Glad we see eye to eye on almost everything and thanks again for contributing your insight!

  92. TotalArsenal says:

    Me too Vickers.

    I so regret now that the club gave Dennis’ number to Van Judas. They should have retired the number forever.

  93. Highbury Harmony says:

    Champman’s Ghost,

    Certainly some truth in what you have just written. I agree with you that a few world-class players need to be added, though not all this summer as it would be too large of a transition that would undoubtedly set us back into perpetual transition again. Ramsey, Ox and Jenkinson are still young and have not reached their full potential yet, nor immediately filled the boots of their departed predecessors. Silverware has not been won on this model yet, and it has taken three players to recover the lost goals by van Judas.

    However, I challenge your assessment by asking you to be cognizant of the long-term view. Most of your points are contingent on the fact on events that have already happened and thus are the measuring stick of the future. In the case of Theo, despite his inconsistency, he is still improving year after year and 13 goals and 10 assists (quite a few match winners in there) is still quite an achievement. If that’s inconsistency that Theo should be ashamed of, give me inconsistency every day of the week!

    In the case of Ramsey, Ox and Jenkinson they are not complete successes yet. Key word is yet. All have showed great potential and considering their contributions at such a young age, there’s no reason to deem them as unsuccessful purchases. That type of tag is reserved for players like Park, Santos, Denilson etc. that never had the slightest impact on our team. As for needing Poldi, Giroud and Theo to recover all of van Judas’ goals, at least we have recovered all of them. AW is cognizant that we need more goals and depth/quality in the striking department and I believe he has already started his planning for this summer’s transfers accordingly. Now that we have that base up front, there’s no reason to believe we can’t add to it and improve even further next season.

    Results are all relative. One can point to our lack of silverware these past 8 years and immediately dismiss sustainability as a failed business model. However, we have continued to achieve CL football despite the extenuating circumstances of selling our best players and continuously paying back the stadium debt. If the stadium debt is finally understood to be manageable, there’s no reason to expect the trend of selling our better players to continue, especially with everyone signed long-term (however if a player wishes to leave the club, there may no desire to retain them).

  94. Highbury Harmony says:

    Malaysiangunner, the above reply to Chapman’s ghost basically covers what I would say to you.

    “Results are all relative. One can point to our lack of silverware these past 8 years and immediately dismiss sustainability as a failed business model. However, we have continued to achieve CL football despite the extenuating circumstances of selling our best players and continuously paying back the stadium debt. If the stadium debt is finally understood to be manageable, there’s no reason to expect the trend of selling our better players to continue, especially with everyone signed long-term (however if a player wishes to leave the club, there may no desire to retain them).”

    Let’s see what happens this summer before entirely dismissing the club’s sustainability model.

    I thank you for your input, but kindly disagree with your opinion.

  95. AFC says:

    HH, top post. 🙂

    I agree with most of your post, so I will start with what I do not agree with. Wenger in recent years has not signed poor players. These players have just played badly for us. The likes of Chamakh, Arshavin (if you include his performances in the last few years), Santos were all decent-good players before they joined us. I do not think you can blame Wenger for that.

    Also, the players who have left us, have been top players. Take last season where Song left out of the blue. Wenger only hada few weeks to try and replace him. It has been said Wenger tried to replace him in January but could not as well. To find a DM of Song’s quality is very hard. He has replaced departed players but normally one season after they have left.

  96. Highbury Harmony says:

    Cheers AFC :), nice to see you on BK again! Did you see my note in regards to the BK FPL league next season?? We’d love to have you join us for some fun as a dedicated BK regular.

    As for the point about poor purchases, it’s not indicative of the player’s talent! Perhaps I was not clear, but poor purchases represent the fact that certain players did not perform at our club and were deemed failures/were not ever given a real chance.

    In terms of replacing top talent, if the resources are now available, I’d prefer to see AW follow the path of Klopp and replace a like for like as soon as possible, Waiting a season or more after a top player has left us is extremely difficult for our squad to cope with and the over time it accumulates as the overall quality tends to consequently drop (more players leaving as the result of one top player leaving and not immediately replaced).

    Great of you to point out those points though! Hopefully, I gave you a better understanding of my point of view in what I may not have explained clearly enough in my article.

  97. AFC says:

    HH, the current model of sustainability is the right way forward. There are many fans who would say that we need to outspend our rivals to win silverware but if we do that we would just be fighting a pointless war which we would end up losing. There is no way we can outspend the likes Chelsea and City. City do not have stability and now it is starting to show. They are nowhere near the team they were last season.

  98. Highbury Harmony says:

    RA (and TA), thanks for replying to Chapman’s Ghost before I joined you all and for defending me :). The pack mentality is strong within BK!

    RA, always a joy to hear the positivity and high praise that resonates from you my friend. It was only after reading one of your articles that I was able to be motivated to finish writing what began as a simple idea for an article.

    In terms of the Pool, there reference was simply supposed to be a footnote. An example that loyalty can be achieved at a club even when results are not being achieved.

    Let’s hope that my long-term view of the club comes to fruition sooner rather than later so we do not enter another cycle of perpetual transition! Thank you again for the very kind words :).

  99. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC @16:14 100% agreed. We do not have the purchasing power to compete with the likes of the oil-rich clubs. However, it should not deter us from spending any money, so long as it’s sustainable (as you have stated!). What gets lost among many fans is the realization that there are traditional untraditional ways to win silverware, we just have yet to fully realize our untraditional path to success :).

  100. AFC says:

    HH, fully understood now. 🙂

    I think one of the reasons why Wenger has not brought replacements straight after the players have left has been because he had thought that players that our fringe players would have been able to step up when sadly they have not been able to. I think he now realises this as well.

  101. Highbury Harmony says:

    VCC, thank you for the kinds words mate :). I know you’ve been busy lately, but I (and others) miss chatting with you on BK!

    I understand you also have some discontent with the club as it is right now, but would some top quality purchases this summer convince you to come around (hope you didn’t read that as reach around, would be tough in the case of the glicster, since it’d almost be inside of his body 🙂 )?

  102. Highbury Harmony says:

    Exactly AFC, either they were miscalculated gambles on AW’s part OR he was perhaps not given the financial backing to purchase the players he wanted/they were not available and he decided to be patient until they were :). People tend to forget the second part and assume the first. However, not being privy to what goes on behind closed doors, we must do our duty to consider that the second may be just as true as the first.

    What do you think of joining us for the BK Fantasy Premier League pool next season?

  103. AFC says:

    HH, fully agreed.

    However if City actually had a top manager like Wenger they would be dominant and City would be able to sustain their success.

  104. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC you naughty Gooner, are you ducking my question on the BK FPL on purpose?

    RA, would you have any interest as well? We’re currently at 7 participants and are awaiting responses from Oz, PPP, alex and Henry too! Everyone else is confirmed 🙂

  105. AFC says:

    HH, I have heard a lot about the BK fantasy league but I will probably finish last. There will be busy times for me next season so I may even struggle to keep writing post. Besides how will I reach my target of writing the mosts posts for BK. 😀

    FIFA 13 is enough fantasy for me! 😀

  106. Highbury Harmony says:

    All understood AFC, but it is a lot of good fun and does not require to make transfers/edit your team more than once a week. You will be missing out on some good “inside” fun within the BK community!

    17ht, don’t worry I’m about to get to your comment ;).

  107. AFC says:

    HH, I was not avoiding your question. I am just replying to your previous comments first. 🙂

  108. Highbury Harmony says:

    17ht, some brilliant points as always in your comments :). Some worthy remarks that seem like they could be the starting points for an article, which leads to me to the question, why not write a follow-up article in response to mine?

    In terms of consistency vs. sustainability, you can’t have one without the other. In fact, I would go as far to say that consistency is a stem of sustainability. Without sustainability as the over-arching theme, there is no consistency (aside from consistently selling our top players these past 8 years…not the focus of my article though). Our consistency in maintaining top 4 and CL footy is a result of the sustainability set forth by the organization and has filtered into all aspects of business, whether it be style of play, manager etc.

    The concern about our owner will always be present and it’s less than encouraging that his teams in NA experience little to no success. However, it’s interesting that the Rams and Avalanche are starting to build teams through the draft and only a slight focus on trade/free agency. Unfortunately, the landscape is different in football and it’s a whole other playing field. I think SK is cognizant of this and has given the majority of the reigns to the BoD and AW imho.

    I can’t give you a concrete answer on what will happen this summer or where we’ll be next season even with a couple top quality additions. All I have is expectations and the hope that we’ll be a better team. To say otherwise would be misguided! There’s definitely promise to be excited about in our own players, in our rumoured targets and transfer kitty and new kit deal, FFP etc. so it’s not nonsense to view our club in a positive light and on the verge of something special either. Whether it be a mish-mash or a pure strategy that wins us silverware or takes us forward to compete with the world’s elite, it’ll be an untraditional route to success and be achieved our own way, which is something we can hopefully be proud of (when the time comes).

  109. Bond James says:

    out of curiosity on the subject of poor purchases,

    how many would call “Kaka” being a bad purchase for Real Madrid ?

    point being, he was a world class player hence madrid paid what they did, he wasn’t the only one who they signed in a mega bucks deal, he was one of 2, suffice to say due to injuries or not being able to deliver the goods in la liga coming from serie a may well be a good topic and the other play going from the EPL to la liga made it look easy and felt right at home ?

    not many can safely say or predict that a player purchase may end up being a stroke of genius or a bad one unless and until they come and show their trade.

    wondering where all this is going ? yep, it all goes to serie a and my reservations on our likely new addition jovetic……although kaka was world class at the time and had a few injuries and so on, he still didn’t deliver the goods, where as C.Ronaldo didn’t take long to settle in and show his class going from England.

    verdict ? call me crazy but if i had the choice, i would be buying Wayne Rooney over Jovetic, or would prefer getting someone from spain (isco) or germany (reus).

    i know many of you are big on jovetic and he may well end up being the next big thing and may well light up the premier league but tell me, when was the last time a player came from Italy and did a decent job in England ? (from the top of my head i can recall Aquilani and Borini being bought from italy in the recent past who struggled to cope with the rigours and pace of the EPL).

  110. Bond James says:

    i also forgot about Mario.B 😉

  111. Glic says:

    Did someone mention Isco ? ………..BOING !. hahaha

    Oh….and good evening Broke Back Bergkampesquers !. 😆

    What about all that crap that the board is telling Arsene to buy Willyfried Boner over Lick Rimmy, they may have told him to sell Na$ri etc`, but telling him who to buy !….complete bollox !.

  112. Glic says:

    And on the subject of transfer rumours………what or who the f**k is Maxime Gonalons ?…………..Sounds more like what Stretch was diagnosed with at the STD clinic !. hahaha

  113. Glic says:

    Happy birthday Dennis !…………and I thought VCC was the only person older than God !.

  114. Red Arse says:

    Interesting conversation guys. TA and I were talking about the monies Manure have spent over tha last few years, which bolstered Sir Red Noses reign there.

    Bear in mind that Arsenal’s biggest transfer record until recently, was the money paid for Arshavin, which was less than £15m

    1 Dimitar Berbatov ….. Tottenham Hotspur …. £30.75 million …. September 2008
    2 Rio Ferdinand …. Leeds United ….. £29.3 million …. July 2002
    3 Juan Sebastián Verón …. Lazio …. £28.1 million …. July 2001
    4 Wayne Rooney …. Everton …. £27 million …. August 2004
    5 Robin van Persie ….. Arsenal £24 m ….. August 2012
    6 Anderson …. Porto ….. £20.4m ….. July 2007
    7 Ruud van Nistelrooy ….. PSV Eindhoven ….. £19 million …. June 2001
    8 David de Gea ….. Atlético Madrid …. £18.9m …. June 2011
    9 Michael Carrick ….. Tottenham Hotspur …. £18.6m ….. July 2006
    10 Nani ….. Sporting CP ….. £17.3m ….. July 2007

    There are myriads of other players bought for sums up to £15m, (Smalling, Jones, Zaha etc, etc) and makes you realize the handicap Arsene Wenger was competing with.

    The other point, is that spending big bananas does not guarantee successful deals, if you look at Veron (which in today’s money would be about £35m, and Torres at Chelsea for £50m, or Andy Carroll for £30m (?), other Chelsea misfits, it shows why Arsenal have had to be careful, because we could not afford such mistakes.

    Just saying.

    That is what I meant yesterday, TA, when I spoke about Manure always finding money to buy ‘new blood’.

  115. Red Arse says:

    Glicster, 🙂

    We have missed your madcap humor today, while you have been whizzing around Torbay terrifying the inhabitants!! 😀

  116. Highbury Harmony says:

    BJ, if that were true, no teams would gamble on anyone outside of La Liga, EPL or Bundesliga. We would not have ever seen the likes of RVP, Henry, Bergkamp, Vieira, Ljungberg, K.Toure etc. at our club. Would you purchase Rooney over Cavani simply on the basis that Rooney is proven in the EPL, despite Cavani clearly, clearly being the more clinical finisher and more complete striker?

    My point is, yes there are purchases that ultimately fail, but AW has unfortunately had more failures in past signings than successes (until last summer and this winter’s TW). What determines a failed purchase is not the player’s talent level coming into the league, but what they produce for the club once they are here.

    In the case of Jovetic, there’s no telling if he will succeed or fail. There’s just hypotheses, predictions and hope. He’s 23 years old and still has the world at his feet in terms of potential. He’s barely scratched the surface on what he’s capable of and has single-handedly brought Montenegro on the map in football. Whether or not that success translates to the EPL is another matter entirely, but I’d rather spend 20-25 mil on Jovetic and focus on other positions in need of upgrade than spend 35-40 mil on Rooney (20 mil is a massive undervaluation that will never be accepted from Manure).

  117. Glic says:

    Hi Redders 🙂

    I was just looking on Arsenal newsnow and saw Piers Morgan trying to entice Wayne Rooney to Arsenal by tweeting….” come to Arsenal and I promise to never call you shrek again ! “. If he really wanted to entice him to Arsenal he should have told the fat khunt we are going to be sponsored by Greggs the bakers !.

  118. Highbury Harmony says:

    Hahaha Glic, Gonalons or Dingaling as you once called him, is a DM making quite the impact at Lyon this year. He is what makes their team tick and is more or less a faster, more physical and natural DM than Arteta. His passing is fairly accurate and he does not often make the risky, adventurous pass. However, with Arteta alongside him in more of an advanced role, hopefully we can remedy this conservative passing style that is used between Arteta and Ramsey right now.

  119. Glic says:

    Hi HH 🙂

    Actually I was quite concerned for you a minute ago, as also on newsnow, there was a heading……..” The charred and bullet-riddled bodies of two Canadian monsters have been found in Sicily ! ” , but on closer inspection it said …” mobsters ! “. hahaha

    From what I`ve seen, I have been impressed by Gundogan of Dortmund, but not sure if he is a DM !.

  120. Glic says:

    It still amazes me that back in 2001/2002, Manu spent nearly £60M on two players and still the most we have spent is £15M !. That will surely be broken this up and coming TW, but as Redders and others have said….plenty of big named big monied players have failed to live up to the hype and after Arshavin, I can see why Wenger may be a little hesitant !…….but f**k him it`s our money spend it !. hahaha

  121. 17highburyterrace says:

    I think I speak for everybody when I say thanks HH, for the personal response…. 😀

    Like I say, I don’t mind the Arsenal approach and RA’s list above shows just how far behind we are in playing the transfer wars with ManU….

    I haven’t watched Jovetic (by which I mean, actually over a full match) so I cannot comment. Breaking our transfer record and putting him on wages equal to our top guys would be a bold move. Everybody needs to remember that players on high wages will be sold for less than their “value” because the buying team has to absorb those wages AND the selling team frees that money up. Feel free to express this in better words, my accountant friends…. 🙂 A guy like Wayne Rooney (who, by the way, in my very humble opinion, has zero chance in hell of ever coming to Arsenal….) may sound cheap, but most certainly isn’t…..And then there’s the ripple effect on wages through the squad if one guy is making double our current top earner….

    It’s all about perspective. I watch our recent matches and I’m thrilled with the results and that we’re in a position to secure our CL spot in matches with wins against two bottom of the table clubs. That there’s so much discussion about the Stoke-Spurs match, however, shows the real confidence people feel (perhaps?). I’ll take it as a positive that we’ve beaten all the clubs below us but the scorelines have been (excruciatingly) tight and we’ve had to rely on the kindness on linesmen (and women) for a couple of those, while the play, at times, has been of the eye-gouging sort. The (fortunate) draws, at home, against Everton and nothing-to-play-for United, were probably deserved as well. Improvement can only be made incrementally–but at least there’s plenty of room for doing so! 😀

    Just trying to keep in real (on all fronts) which isn’t always easy with such a positive lot. I enjoy it in comparison with trying to talk the Doomer (and the Wenger Out) crowd off their ledges….

    Of course, it’s ALL just a little premature. The season ends in 9 days, so we’ll know a whole lot more allowing us to pontificate with complete surety… 😉 The table, like Moses with his ten commandments, will be set in stone…and then preaching (laying down the law?…) can begin in earnest….

  122. Bond James says:

    considering Rooney would cost half the price of Cavani and can be used anywhere up front including midfield with a guaranteed 22 goals on average (since joining utd) per season and 10 assists, i would buy Rooney, yep. Also do take into account the better understanding he will have playing with fellow british players around him….uniting him with the likes of wilshere and theo may well turn out to be a stroke of genius both of his domestic team and international team, something that promises to deliver dividends for arsenal in due course

    Re-Cavani, have you watched Cavani play along side Suarez for Uruguay ? Suarez mostly if not almost every time seems to outshine him.

    if i was to gamble with 20/30 million at my peril, then i will gamble with the likes of Rooney instead of Cavani (whom i don’t rate beyond 25-28 million personally) one of the major reasons why he is so talked about (apart from his goal scoring ratio in serie a) is because of a movie industry clown making it all dramatic and keeping him in the news to get twice the money he well and truly is worth .

    coming back to the original point, then you have been rather naughty in trying to side track me to rooney vs cavani when it was rooney vs jovetic 😀

    none the less, i’ll stick to proven talents whom i know can deliver and have delivered the goods so far.

    saying that if we had the funds to out muscle man city and get cavani, i would have opted for Falcao.

  123. Bond James says:

    also when you compare the serie A of yester years to the current serie A then you really don’t make much of a case, all if not most of the names you mentioned played in an era where the difference in quality to EPL wasn’t as such, or maybe the EPL wasn’t as dominating back then and Serie A was better equipped hence those players did really well coming to a different league…..

    now the roles have reversed…you feel if a player from the EPL goes onto sign for a team in Serie A they will have instant impact and success. (ok, minus the greatest striker in the world bendtener).

  124. Highbury Harmony says:

    Glic :), he certainly is a hybrid DM/B2B player and would be a quality purchase. Nice of you to show concern from me though hahaha!

  125. Highbury Harmony says:

    BJ, what quality in the EPL? Last I checked, AC Milan beat Barca in the first leg of the round of 16 and Juventus made it onto the CL quarter finals, farther than an EPL club, only to lose to Bayern.

    It’s one thing to compare the quality of each league throughout, but another to assess individual talent. Serie A is just as good, if not better than the EPL at the top, but likely not as competitive throughout. AC Milan just went through a mass exodus of experienced players (Pato, Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva etc. yet are still doing well. Napoli are going to be in the CL next year and are clearly a club on the rise, behind one of the most, if not the most, clinical strikers in the world.

    Your argument holds no weight, because players like Hazard, Remy, Giroud, Vlaar, Oscar, Coutinho, Debuchy, Garrido, Cesar, Boruc, G.Ramirez, Lloris, Vertonghen, Nastasic, etc. have all come from lesser leagues in the last couple transfer windows and have performed very well. Ignoring a league because of perceived lesser quality would be a huge mistake.

  126. Highbury Harmony says:

    farther than any EPL club*

  127. Highbury Harmony says:

    How would Rooney cost half the price of Cavani? Cavani’s buyout clause is 56 mil. If Manure were to sell Rooney, he’d cost 35-40 mil.

    One could make the case that it’s more difficult to score in a stingy, defensive Serie A league than it is in the EPL. Cavani has 27 goals in 32 matches in Serie A and 38 in all competitions. Now, that’s class. 2 goals in 3 matches this year for Uruguay begs to differ that Cavani is “not good internationally”. Suarez plays the Rooney role as a SS for Uruguay, so it’s no surprise that he’s more noticeable than Cavani. Two different types of strikers as Suarez carries the ball and creates, where Cavani is more of a pure finisher that is the ideal poacher.

    But back to the original point, who’s to say Rooney’s decline this year isn’t indicative of what’s to ultimately come (I don’t think it is, but you can’t rule it out). Rooney has too many off-field issues that would come to the detriment of this squad and his transfer fee would be inflated because Manure would be selling domestically and to a rival (not to mention he’s English). I guarantee if Manure were selling to Arsenal, Rooney would easily go as high as 40-45 mil.

  128. Admir says:

    Hello, people! 🙂

    HH made a few excellent questions with his text and it’s hard to decide what the real answer is. I agree that self-sustainable model is the best one but sometimes you need to make a risky move and make some investments that can end up either spectacularly good or spectacularly bad.

    The best example is story of Van Judas. We could keep him in the club and lose 24 (at the end, it’s 25,5) million pounds when his contract would expire. However, we decided to sell him and – thanks to the fact we missed a lot of chances in big matches due to lack of top-drawer striker – get ourselves in a difficult position in which our CL-spot is not secured yet. If we fail to snatch that, our loss might turn out to be even bigger than the gain from 25,5 million pounds Red Nose paid to us for Van Judas. From Manure angle, they made a risky move by paying 25,5 million pounds for 29-year-old striker with an injury list longer than the one that contains Dr Glic’s lesbian clients. At the end of the day, they won their 20th title and Van Judas’ goals often took them out of manure.

    @BJ – regarding Cavani: he is a striker that scores in big matches. He scored against both sugardaddies’ clubs in Champions’ League last season. He scored a hat-trick against Lazio this season. He scored a hat-trick against Juventus two seasons ago and this goal http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87gGX9J3dRs is something that would make even today’s birthday boy proud. If you want Bergkampesque football, then Cavani is the man to deliver it.

    Regarding Rooney vs Jovetić – it’s not hard to choose. I’d pick Rooney in a second. There is only one manager in England left that could deal with him and we all know who that man is. 😉

  129. Highbury Harmony says:

    17ht, excellent points and all agreed, BJ make sure you read his comment at 18:55!

    And you’re welcome mate :), I try my best to get back to each blogger individually when I write articles!

    People seem to forget that Jovetic is 23 years old, not exactly old in terms of development and he’s already producing at a respectable rate in a good league. Of course, it might not translate to immediate success in the EPL, but the best is yet to come from him and he wouldn’t cost us an arm and a leg in terms of transfer fee AND wages.

  130. Bond James says:

    yet you fail to give me a name of a player, who has managed to make it big in the EPL from serie A in recent years.

    Re- no English teams making it to the QF’s this year is utter rot , it could happen to any country however, british teams have been most consistent in europe over a period of time, which reflects in the europa league, next gens e.t.c.

    you can keep mentioning names from all over the world all day long, none of the names you’ve mentioned are relevant to the discussion in hand which is “SERIE A players”.

    sure a player from league 1 and league 2 can be a success in the premier league, why not ? but if i had the choice,i would choose a proven talent instead of someone who may or may not make it big, from within the league.

    also, Serie A is neither as good as EPL nor better , which clearly reflects in the Uefa ranking system….further more we have 3 british clubs there as opposed to one from italy.

    we’re 2nd overall currently as opposed to them being 4 … these are not merely my thoughts and opnions but facts backed up with substance .


  131. 17highburyterrace says:

    BJ, please see my comment above re: Rooney’s wages….

    The rule of thumb I use is that players who I’ve “heard” are on approx. 200k/week x 50 weeks = 10 million/year. We’d want to extend his contract back up to 4 or 5 years so that’s 40 to 50 million quid on top of the “low” transfer fee. Compared to Jovetic rumours of 20 million pounds + 100k/week (5 million per year, OK let’s call it 6….) and there’s not really any comparison….

    Team wages will be spiraling upwards over time and we can afford that if it moves slowly enough. Right now we’ve got part-time players Poldolski and Walcott on the highest wages, with many (who play every match–and some that don’t, Arshavin….) not that far behind. There is no way (in hell, in my humble opinion….) that we’ll be buying ANYBODY who commands double what Lu-lu and Feo get, without an infusion of (sugar-daddy) money. And that’s before the various buy-out clauses, etc….

    So, no Rooney, no Falcao, etc., etc. You can have them on your fantasy team (if they’re playing in England), however….. 😉

    Carlitos (Vela)–14 goals, 11 assists this season, dijo yo….

    On the other hand, I think you’ve got a (strong) point regarding how far Italian football has fallen, but there is a certain romanticism in believing that Jovetic (a done deal I say, lol….) can follow the sucesses of DB10, TH14 and PV4 in making the move. Only time will tell….

  132. Bond James says:

    we may end up seeing how clinical of a striker Cavani really is when he makes the move across to man city (its very likely that it may happen), so until that happens i won’t go any further on the Cavani debate, it promises to be a cracker though – let’s put that one on ice 😉

    Re- Rooney, then i hope you have picked up the wages being a stumbling block concerns expressed by me already, i was merely being a “wishful” thinker again on that front and comparing him to Jovetic….As you say it yourself Jovetic is still work in progress where as Rooney is the finished product even so there is a decline or one that seems to be, he still is a game changer and one who can provide killer passes/assists when he has had an off season (it is kind of expected when you buy the best striker in the premier league – RVP and then play him almost every where), wouldn’t you agree ?;)

  133. Bond James says:


    i am in full agreement over his wages obstacles and so on, it would be foolish of me to assume that we can offer him 250 a week, i was merely expressing my proffered choices, rooney was one of them as were Isco and Reus over Jovetic.

    i’m glad you managed to grasp the focal point of my argument.

  134. Glic says:

    Did someone mention Isco again !……..BOING !.

  135. Bond James says:

    hahaha @ Gleek

  136. Highbury Harmony says:

    BJ, Nastasic, Coutinho, G.Ramirez, Boruc and Cesar are all from Serie A…not to mention the best players in Serie A (italics)stay(italics) in Serie A and do not move to the EPL. Buffon, Pirlo, Di Natale, El Shaarawy, Giovinco, Cavani, Marchisio, Vidal, Cassano, Hamsik, Totti etc. are all fantastic talents that likely would excel in any league. Just because they have not played in the EPL, the perceived “center of the universe” does not mean Serie A has declined entirely.

    Italian players generally stay within their own country’s leagues. The UEFA rankings are a joke as England is ranked 3rd as a country internationally, when Italy have bettered them in almost every major competition. Just look at the most recent results Internationally for both.

  137. Glic says:

    You will have to stop mentioning Isco BJ, my laptop keeps levitating !. hahaha

  138. Highbury Harmony says:

    Isco buy-out clause 36 mil, Reus transfer fee 30 mil. Each one would be more expensive than Jovetic and Reus is likely not even for sale. Not to mention, we haven’t been linked to Isco or Reus, so preferences do not matter here. The discussion is between Rooney and Jovetic, not Isco or Reus over Jovetic.

  139. Highbury Harmony says:

    Both Italian clubs in the CL this year made it to the round of 16 this year, compared to two out of 4 from the EPL. Juventus was the only club out of both leagues to progress to the quarter-finals

    All 3 Italian clubs made it to the round of 16 in the CL last year, compared to two out of 4 from EPL. Chelsea ultimately won the tournament though.

    All 3 Italian clubs made it to the round of 16 again in 2010-11, but the EPL equalled them by having all 4 participants move on. The EPL bettered Serie A by having 3 clubs move on compared to Serie A’s 1 and Manure made it to the CL semis.

    What I’m trying to say is that proportionately, Serie A is just as good in the elite competition as the EPL is, diminishing any argument that the EPL is a superior league to that of Serie A.

  140. Highbury Harmony says:

    The discrepancy between the two leagues is miscalculated by most EPL fans because of bias and because of Chelsea miraculously winning the CL last year, in addition to Manure’s dominance domestically and in Europe in the last 5-7 years. There was a time when the EPL was progressing much quicker than Serie A was, but the leagues have almost levelled out and are about equal when you are considering the top teams from both.

  141. Highbury Harmony says:

    Anyway off for a bit, catch up with all of you later.

  142. Admir says:

    My brother just told me that apparently we agreed terms with Higuain – 22 million euros, I guess. Nothing official, though.

  143. Glic says:

    Personally, I think Blow Jovetic will be an anti-climax after all the talk of Isco !….. or Reus !….or Muniain !.

    Catch you later BBB`s, must spend some time with the ” trouble ” !.

  144. Bond James says:


    the names you have mentioned , most of them are in the first season in the EPL and have far from being proven, might i sway you in the direction of mario balotelli .

    the players you say would likely excel in any league in the world, they might well do or they may not, all we can do is talk from the recent past experiences (when i say recent i will say last 3-5 years) and on that basis, history hasn’t been kind to players coming through from serie A, it would help if you could give me 1 name of a world class player emerging from serie A and making it big ?

    Uefa rankings might be bit of a joke, however they do have a system in place which does reflect a much fairer picture for rankings based on clubs and hence country.

    no, you’re mistaken, i started this discussion by throwing 3 names saying that they would be better purchases if we were able to afford them, so of course my preferences do indeed matter since that is what you’re getting all riled up on.

    what utter garbage that is re- release clause fees, Santi Cazorla had a 45 million release clause, we got him for about 1/3 of that, oh dear…i must be dreaming 😀

    Gleek, my apologies for playing both with your heart and laptop, i won’t say the I name again .

  145. TotalArsenal says:

    RA 🙂

    Thanks for the data. They confirm to me what I thought is the case: in the last five years – since lazy fart Berbatov was bought for an eye-watering £30m – MU have not spend big on a player anymore, compared to the Chavs and Citeh. THe difference between them and us in the last five years is not so much the amount spend on an individual players, or even total spend, but the willingness/ability to hold on their star players/ need to balance the books.

  146. VCC says:

    Cool down everyone…Wenger will probably buy Gueida Fofana from Olympiqeu Lyonais.

    He ticks all Wengers boxes.

    Cheap (bargain basement)
    No one else wants him

  147. 17highburyterrace says:

    Not to change the subject (or fail to “sustain” it)….but could some of the older guys tell a noobie (cynical and from the States, no less….) about the good old days when the FA Cup final was important….

    Is it just me or is it just an inconvenience this season? Couldn’t Man City just give Wigan a big-ass balloon payment to roll over and play dead (while still making it “appear” competitive….) to help them get back up to the PL next year?….

  148. Bond James says:

    does anyone know how much Carlos Tevez cost the reds ? it was an undisclosed fee with many believing it to be in the region over 25 million ? if it was over 20-25 million then that was another substantive amount spent by the reds.

  149. Bond James says:


    there you are, i have it on good authority that you’re the authority on the UMF league, what is it what is it, i would like to know so i could be in it to win it next season 😀


    FA cup is still the bomb , if man city lose then they might even sack mancini, the whispers alone tell you that it is important…but you do have merit when saying it may have lost some of it’s zest for a fair few (usually supporters of teams who haven’t won it 😀

  150. Bond James says:

    * substantive amount even

  151. 17highburyterrace says:

    Thanks BJ….

    I think you have to send some sort of payment to VCC…. They wouldn’t even tell me the rules 😉 ….

    Here’s another one for the United accountants….Don’t they have to pay approx 40 million pounds every year for a guy named Debt? Somehow they’ve seemed to manage it. Maybe RA wants to do a side by side for the “average lay people”…. I’m not interested, of course, and, in fact, I was once called a “quite a bit better than average lay” by one of my conquests…. 😀

    But that was when I was practicing far better “sustainability” myself…..

  152. Tim says:

    Some very good themes is this post that warrant deeper analysis. I certainly disagree that we are not over paying average players; Walcott is only one example, there are numerous others on 60k+ plus who are on loan right now because no other club can afford them. The simple formula for the summer; get Rooney, get fab, spend it all!

  153. Bond James says:

    i hope it’s E-Cash as just like my club, i have plenty of cash on paper 😀


    what are your thoughts on Lukasz Piszczek, would he be a good buy if sagna was to be sold ?

  154. VCC says:

    Hi BJ…….sorry we have not crossed paths sooner.

    The UMF league is a fun thing that 12 regular BKers take part.

    It’s a predictions based league that started at the beginning of this season, where each member posts 5 homes, aways or draws in the week end premiership fixtures.

    Each correct home scores 1 point…..Each away scores 2 points….Each draw scores 3 points.

    Using Totals generosity, we use Berkampesque as the mother site . Within the confines of the UMF we have a bit of fun where anything goes. Laughs,Jokes, Inuendos, you name it we use it. Nothing is taken too seriously, and we all get on like a house on fire.

    This first season has proved a huge success where we have all had some fun and laughs. Next season looks promising as many have shown an interest in joining in. All are welcome, as long as it’s not taken too seriously.

    You would be more than welcome to join in next season where I hope we get many guys to join in a fun prediction league that goes through the season.

    ~This season, as you can see, we have five potential winners, with VCC slightly ahead of Henry with two week ends to go. The widget can be seen top right of the page.

    Next year we already have a fantastic gesture from Alex who is putting up £150 pounds as prize money. £100 for first place and £50 for second.

    There are two ways to enter =

    1) Donate a season ticket to Arsenal FC to VCC…. 😉 or

    2) Free entry.

    All aboard who enjoy a laugh.

  155. Bond James says:

    that sounds brilliant, VCC

    thanks for taking the time out to explain it, i would deffo be up for it next season.

    PS: TA, can we have a section where UMF is explained like VCC already has, so that people interested or new members can benefit without hassling VCC to explain it all over again to newbies ? or maybe there already is something similar on the site, which isn’t visible on my phone screen , apologies in that case.

  156. VCC says:

    BJ…that’s a great idea of posting a rules section on the site……BUT, I have to say, already you may not qualify for entry into the UMF 1 league, Sorry. You sound far too clever and intelligent to join a bunch of miss fits like us lot. 😉

  157. Bond James says:

    intelligence is the ability to adapt to change, i’m sure all of you will adapt sufficiently to my dumbness 😉

    look, if you threaten me again and tell me that i might not be able to qualify for the UMF league then i am warning you, i will mention the I name again and let Dr.Glic will sort you out.

  158. Milo says:

    Well, to start off, I don’t think Rooney would come to Arsenal, and to that I say, good riddance!!! He’s a de-stabilizing influence in the dressing room, and if we didn’t have immediate success, he’d probably just up and leave us at the first opportunity. I’d rather spend my money on a player who could stay his entire career, or until he stops producing. I admire Rooney as a player, but he’s a despicable case for a human being. Yes, we have had other “characters” in our club during the Wenger era, but none that keep hitting the news as regularly as Wayne Rooney. Don’t think that Wenger won’t think about this either, he is a highly principled man, and has values.

    It doesn’t matter who I or anyone else want, it just seems that the Jovetic rumours are much more believable and consistent, as well as congruent to our transfer dealings in the past, and that he will probably end up at the Emirates, providing we clinch Champions League football for next season. That’s just the reality of it, whether we like it or not. I happen to like it 😀

  159. Bond James says:


    there does indeed seem to be some sort of substance behind the Jovetic rumours and when it actually does turn official, i’ll be wanting him to do well and deliver the goods , besides he can’t do worse than Gervinho, surely ? 😀

    Aston Villa are so winning tomorrow and securing safety i reckon 😀 i’m looking forward to Villa vs chelsea more than stoke vs spuds for some reason 😉 maybe it’s got to do with finishing 3rd 😉

    i must admit, it’s kinda exciting even when we do things the hard way, keeps almost everyone interested

  160. Milo says:

    Hahahahahaha, exactly man!!! 😀 Who wants to sign the same old same old???? 😀

  161. Milo says:

    I think we will make it hard on ourselves at some point…I’m nervous about this Wigan match!!! My nails are gonna take a beating :S My fridge will be empty too!!! 😀

  162. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post – New Post! 😛

  163. Chapman's Ghost says:

    HH, I find it strange that you’d imagine that the introduction of three world class players would disrupt the team. Rather it would strengthen it. Great players usually give new impetus to a team especially one that has had no success whatsoever trophy wise for years. Top class additions boost a team’s morale I suspect. This club is in danger of becoming a business first, football club second, which seems to be a model for many of Kronke’s US teams. I hope we show some adventure in the transfer market this summer and to address another poster who suggested world class players like Lewandowski and Falcao are way beyond our spending power, they are not it’s just that we don’t spend that amount on players. I don’t have an issue with that as I think it would be unwise to spend the sort of sums that poster suggested.

    It’s all very well qualifying for the CL for numerous years but in the last five years at least we’ve never had a squad good enough to win it. We have been standing still for years, this summer we need to step up a level.

    But there are world class players that are maybe a rung or two down from the more exalted names, people like Mata, who we missed out on, and Hazard, who again we failed to secure. Surely there are other players of similar quality available? City and Chelsea can’t buy everyone. I’m not an expert on foreign players but I’m sure some on here could offer some names. I’ve heard that some guy in Holland called Bony is a great striker.

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