RVP’s departure: Can we finally say it was a blessing in disguise?


No one ever believed that RVP’s treachery would end up benefiting the team, but we are here now.

Nobody likes to admit it, but Van Persie’s departure from Arsenal last year was one of the lowest points in any Gooner’s season. It doesn’t help that he left to one of our fiercest rivals and helped them win the league, scoring in both our encounters with them. That said, his departure may just have bucked a trend that may have been standing between Arsenal and silverware for many years.

At some point in the season, Arsene said that RVP’s departure was a positive because it facilitated a sharing of goals around the team. That statement barely scratches the surface. You see, during the Invincibles era, Thierry Henry was undoubtedly our talisman. However the team did not rely on him. Sure, having him in the team meant that there was an easy path to three points, but that did not mean that the team would crumble in his absence. On top of that, the team was not built around him, in the sense that Thierry had the luxury of playing anywhere across the front, but that did not come at the expense of another player. Nobody was ever asked to perform a role that was not in their nature just so that Thierry could express himself.

In that squad, everyone played their game and Arsene found a balance of players who complemented each other to produce the kind of results that they did. Even their style of play wasn’t just to hit the ball to Henry and wait for him to score, as tempting as that was. Thierry thrived off the team and not the other way round. Vieira and Parlour would command the midfield, Bergkamp would dazzle and create, and so on and so forth. I hesitate to say that we had ‘leaders’ on the pitch because that is not my point. This all changed after these players left.

After the invincible season, Wenger changed tactics. He decided that from then henceforth, he would build a team around one player. First it was (obviously) Henry: in the 2005-2006 season he virtually carried the team. Then he left, and it was Cesc’s turn: this was even more shocking given his age and experience levels. He proved everyone wrong and made the team tick for many seasons, to the point where an injury to him spelled doom for the team. Then he left and for a season, passed the baton to RVP. During the 2011-12 season, he literally singlehandedly dragged us to 3rd spot.

It doesn’t matter how good a player is, these tactics do not work.

Relying on one player means that you create a dependency mentality in the squad. Not only that, more often than not to accommodate this player, others are sacrificed or moved around to find the balance that best suits that player. Look at how Rosicky was played on the flanks to enable Cesc to have that free role in the middle. At Man utd, look at the fate that befell Rooney when RVP arrived. Even the mighty Barca have felt the negative effects of this.

Last season, though, we were left in a position where we did not have a clear talisman. This meant that everyone had to step up. In the end, Walcott finished as our top scorer, Santi as our best player, even though Wilshere was widely expected to take this honour, and had he been fully fit throughout, it would have been near impossible to distinguish between the two. All of a sudden, players’ positions in the team weren’t guaranteed and big names, such as the skipper, were dropped from the starting-11. These were moves which were unthinkable in previous seasons. The consequence is that we finally (after years of despair) have a proper defence.

It is good we had the season we had last year, because now everyone knows what everyone in the team can do. This means, that even if we bring in top players the squad will not place any pressure on them. Now everyone knows that Santi, Theo and Poldi are scorers, so a new striker will not have to shoulder the goal scoring burden alone. It has created an atmosphere where each player has a greater desire to contribute to the team, as they know that the platform is there. It also ensures that everyone gives 110% on the pitch rather than hide behind another player’s brilliance, because the focus is now on each and every one of them.

We now, after a long time, can truly say we have a team. No one ever believed that RVP’s treachery would end up benefiting the team, but we are here now. Football is a team sport and therefore we should never encourage the influence of certain individuals to determine the direction of the team, otherwise we ruin the essence of the game. Can you name one player that Bayern depends on?

Written by: Marcus.

183 thoughts on “RVP’s departure: Can we finally say it was a blessing in disguise?

  • Marcus πŸ™‚

    A top, top post, and for me the best one you have written to date.

    I fully agree that we have become far more balanced as a team when it comes to scoring goals, and next season we only have to improve on scoring more against our top-four competitors, so we can take more points of them.

    I love it that we can share the goals between four different scorers – it is a bit naughty of you to not include Giroud – and that is indeed a fine platform for new signings to come into.

    I disagree with you on one point though: Arsene has always based his team around one key player who is his embodiment on the pitch, and before Henry/Cesc this was Dennis. The Dutchman was the Fulcrum – the conductor and all the other players fed of him.

  • Well said. I hope some of the muppets that wanted Wenger out will actually start supporting the club now rather than disrupting it.

  • i like the post 130% because depending on a single player lead barca to lose 7-0 to bayern last season

  • Good article and there is certainly some truth in what you are saying. I’d like to see Giroud mentioned also as a goal provider as I feel he had a good first season with us. I can see him providing near 20 goals a season and works for the team too.

  • Marcus, I just recently subscribed to ur blog, I find it most refreshing, informative and reflective, this one is awesome, pls keep it up.

    That being said, you are really on point with building a team around one player, no matter how special h is, just look at FCB, their season almost crumbled when L. Mesi got injured. it really makes me wonder what Wenger would do if he manages to get Cesc back?
    Let’s hope for the best, this coming season will be the real beginning of the new era.
    I can’t wait!

  • It’s always good to get rid of absolutely massive scumbag festering arseholes. Only an honourable chap should wear the cannon on his chest.

  • Marvellous Marcus !. πŸ™‚

    Lets give Marcus the benefit of the doubt, he may have just had a slip of the memory regarding Giroud`s contribution !. Fine post my friend !.

  • I read on NewsNow….Plants can do “complex arithmetic”, scientists have found !.

    It`s true, I once heard a Spud from N17 counting….” One plus one is two….one plus two is three…..one plus three is….uhh…..durh….give me a chance…it is complex ! “

  • Talking of N17, the local Spuds and the rioting there the other year, if they had any brain cells they would have rioted in Hatton Garden and looted gold and diamonds not some second hand MFI wardrobe they had donated the previous to Oxfam in Bruce Grove !.
    Some credit though, apparently when the Spuds play at home the crime level around N17 drops. Some say it is just a coincidence that whilst the Spuds players are on the pitch sexual assaults, roastings, speedings, buggery, bestiality and necrophilia drop to an all time low !.

  • I realy enjoy you post every time, you are such great football mind in terms of analysing football, your nxt to none……building a team around a player is risk, i could see how Barcelona struggled in UEFA when Messi was sidelined due to hamstring……congrats

  • TA,
    Thank a lot. It goes further than just goals and assists. You find that Cazorla, Theo, Jack, Rosicky and everyone else is able to show what they have to offer on the field rather than playing in a certain way to suit one player.

  • TA and Brian May
    Oops. I forgot Giroud..My mistake. And TA to build on my point, it has also affected us in the sense that before when we were facing stubborn defenses or were losing, players were always looking to RVP to bail them out. This season we have had very many match winners. Santi, Giroud, Poldi, Koscielny, Nacho, Jack and even Gervinho have all at some point bagged the 3 points for us. Now when we are in tough spots everyone steps up and it increases our chances of success. Before when a team scored against us and were up in the dying moments of the game, they knew that all they had to do was keep an eye on RVP. From now henceforth they have lost that luxury.

  • Veepee,
    I appreciate your support infinitely. Will try my best to keep them coming..

  • This post is spot on. In the long run his betrayal will help us. Especially if it means that Wenger realizes we can’t build a team around one player and buys MULTIPLE top class players this summer. Not just one. πŸ˜‰ Also on a side note from the last post: I personally think Tello is just what we need. Especially if Ox if moving to centre midfield. I believe we were first linked to him last summer (as one of three players who could possibly move this way as part of a player plus cash deal for Song. I think the others were Barta and Muniesa). He is versatile, quick, and has potential. He can player all across the front and could give us that extra winger we desperately need. I can’t find a link, but I recall him scoring a fantastic goal in the Champions League this season and saying to my mom that we should’ve gone after him last summer as part of the Song deal. He would come cheap for someone of such high potential, could build on our Spanish core, would give us backup in a needed area, and would probably want to leave seeing as Neymar will now be taking his position in all likelihood. That being said I also think we should go after Thiago. He could be a good replacement for Arteta once he gets too old. Plus, imagine stealing two of Barca’s brightest prospects, who are also already quality players at the moment, for Β£23.5m. Sounds like a good deal to me.

  • Dylan,
    I agree with you re Tello. He is young but Lightning quick, has fantastic technique (a requirement to be a barca player) and knows where the back of the net is.
    Regarding Thiago however, I’m not so sure we can offer him what barca can’t..Game time. He is a hole player and we have Santi, TR7, Jack,Arteta who can all play there. Unless we move one of them on, I just do not see it.

  • Hi Marcus πŸ™‚

    Good to see you on here so soon after the post came out.

    Yes, the focus on the Judas two seasons ago was both horrible to watch and soooo dangerous. Alex and Theo were totally focussed on him and some how we kept getting the results needed.

    The difference with Giroud is enormous: he is the centre of our attack but seldom the final station (something he will have to improve on though). The rest knew there would be chances for them and that they had to create AND score themselves as well. It worked a treat as per your point of various match winners (and Theo was one of the best in this respect, especially towards the end of the season).

    With Higuain we would have another threat, and yes we would be even better, as long as we do not make him into another RVP….

  • Interesting Post, marcus.

    It allows at least two possible interpretations of ‘do we need an RvP type player’, to paraphrase your headline.

    In the first instance there are those who think that entrusting goal scoring, or goal making, to one superbly skilled player is not the right way forward, and it is better to spread the goals around otherplayers who are probably lesser lights.

    Then there are those who interpret it as an invitation to buy several superbly talented players to replace the single superbly talented player.

    I agree with neither.

    There is always room for a ‘special’ player like Dennis Bergkamp, or Ian Wright, especially in those years when they kept Arsenal in games and competing for trophies virtually on their own by the ability to score out of the blue or to make brilliant assists.
    In other clubs there are further examples such as Messi at Barca, or Suarez at Liverpool or, to be fair, RvP when he was at arsenal.

    The impractical interpretation that rather than have one RvP, or one Ian Wright, we should buy several RvPs or Wrights is far fetched and has no basis in the real financial world, as these players are special and very expensive because there are so few of them.

    I always enjoy your work, as I have said on previous occasions, and this one is no exception. Excellent stuff! πŸ™‚

  • TA and Red Arse,
    In post there was a point where I wrote, ‘it is good that we had the season we had’..You see in this post I’m not saying that we shouldn’t get another RVP type of player. That season where we did not have a clear talisman, where Theo established himself as not only a consistent goal scorer but a top performer for the team alongside Santi,Poldi, Giroud, Jack and the rest is enough to show everyone in the team that we no longer are a one man team but have enough talent to go places. Even the players’ confidence is now at the peak with Santi, Ramsey, Giroud, TR7, Theo and Gibbs all in recent weeks coming out to say that they believe next season we will be a force to reckon with. You see now even if we bring in top talent (RVP type), everyone is confident in their abilities so rather than depend on them for success, they will complement them. That is what is most important.
    By the way thanks RA for your endorsement

  • absolutely beyern rely on no single player. Nice observation, i like that.

  • Yunusa,
    Thanks..Given their success, it is the most obvious comparison to make..

  • Hi everybody. I’m glad to see I haven’t missed anything. No new signings Same old garbage being put out on the rumour blogs. And two days into official summer time I had to don my winter coat!

    Some things have been quite hilarious though. Adams saying he could ave been Chairmen.LOL! Whilst it is true, we may have one old duffer taking charge, but I don’t see him making stupid comments that were are ‘a million miles away from the title’?
    Thanks Tony, the Chairman’s job has gone to somebody who has more than two brain cells left.

    I just knew ‘Gazprom Git’ would get irked if SS was about to steal his thunder. Bit miscalculated on Rooney though, with fans on a fifty fifty as to whether they want him or not? However, if I hear glic even mildly thinking of supporting this individual, who’s is a wolf in sheep’s clothing when it comes to Arsenal and their transfer budget, as he wants shareholder dividends paid out, and that will come straight out of a future transfer kitty? So I’ll send an army of arch-feminist over the border into Lesbania and properly sort him out.

    Mind, I did here on the news that glic was after the DNA of the guy with the 12 stone testicles, as his are undersized and over used!

    His alter ego has had a problem too. It was reported that Dr glic was still waiting to hear what exactly was the complaint a chap reported, after he ended up with a 8 month erection? And now he is too busy with a two year waiting list of people wanting the same implant?

    So how is it in limbo land?

  • Gerry,
    I am quite disappointed with Adams’ behavior. He is obviously a big part of the club and was even honored with a statue. He let this get to his head and actually thought he stood a chance of making it to the board. While that speaks volumes about his commitment to Arsenal, even I wouldn’t have made him chair of the board as he has no idea what it takes to hold such a position. As a result of his obvious and justified rejection he became bitter and began spewing what I consider insults towards us. That was very petty in my view.

  • Now to the serious stuff. I have just put together my list of response to missed blogs?

    June 13 – Closer look at Higuain
    Response – A bit like looking in a cake shop window and wondering if you are going to get the money together before all the good ones are gone?

    June 15 – More to come from late developer, Giroud?
    Response – Loads, with the right team mates.

    June 16 – Ox, Jack Santi, Gibbs, Theo ..Is it enough?
    Resonse – See end of responses

    June 16 – Theo – Higuain – Nani up front. it could work a treat?
    Response – Who wrote this (aarh,TA) splendid piece on ‘what if, world’. As it stands, one week on, it is Theo and Santi in a 4-4-1-1?

    June 18 – 5 reasons why Higuain should sign.
    Response – A couple good reasons given in the blog, namely 1 & 3, but 5 is a bonus,
    However, missing the important one? He wants to became part of Arsenal’s rich history, and be recognised as one the great players alongside, Bergkamp, Henry, Pires, et al.

    June 18 – Fellaini as DM or SS?
    Response – I diagnose a growing anxiety with regards this fixation on the DM ‘beast’, and one individual. I suggest a little diversion therapy until this matter is resolved.

    June 19 – Arsenal fixtures 2013-14.
    Response – A doable start depends; on the team/squad starting well; and strength in depth to cover injuries. If that is in place, then the tough Easter program will not be a problem.

    June 20 – Payet, El Sharaawy, Nani, Jovetic, Cabella or Nani … Who is the best foil for Higuain and Theo?
    Response – Fine bit of fantasizing, but I do not like the initial premise that these are our strikers are who these players should be ‘foils’ for? I keep saying that we have to think squad, squad, squad. So whoever comes in has to be part of the squad, and to be foils for Podolski and Giroud as well, and not just ‘wonder boy’ who has not even signed for us yet.
    The list itself, along with Isco, really only comes down to Payet and Nani. The promising, but unproven versus the proven, but with baggage? I am sure AW will make the correct choice?

    June 21 – Will Jack escape the jaws of failure?
    Response – Well if the final pieces on this transfer jigsaw are finally put together, it will not rest entirely on his shoulders, eh?
    However, like all the players, he is going to have to learn to take a back seat at times. First team spot is not a ‘possession’ to be owned by any individual player, but an opportunity for each to do their best each and everytime they are called forward.

    June 23 – RVP’s departure, a blessing in disguise?
    That really depends on whether we could/would have added to the squad last season if he had stayed, minus the Β£23m?

    We almost certainly would be adding to the squad this season, but would they be the same players we are after now? If contiuing to add to the squad strength, built around him, might well mean we would be having the same failures that we have had in Bendtner and Chamakh and others? Indeed, as MU could well be heading for now?

    Would last season have been easier if he stayed?
    Who knows. Not our problem now,… move on.

  • Yes Marcus he has done it a couple of times before this one. His ‘Legend’ status is getting ever so slightly tarnished. He needs to get a job, and stop talking to journalists?

  • building a team around a player should not be an issue especially if all the players are top quality.the main issue is we should not loose our world class player eg kochielny whom have grown under mr wenger

  • Marcus, top post. πŸ™‚

    There are many pundits and fans saying Wenger was an idiot to sell RVP to one of our biggest rivals but you have to look at it like this. Wenger stretched SAF and managed to get 24 million pounds for an injury-prone 29 year player who had 1-2 really good seasons. That was a good bit of business in my opinion. Then remember how Wenger tried to sell RVP abroad but he wanted to go to United and was not having it and if Wenger did not sell RVP he would have just joined United on a free at the end of this season.

    What’s done is done and now we are going to use the money from RVP’s sale to bring in Higuain. A much younger striker who will be able to play for us for a lot of years with positive contribution.

  • Marcus thank for the new post πŸ™‚

    Are you going to share your personal news with the rest of BK, because I believe it is the main reason behind your recent, enormous productivity! πŸ™‚

    IF there is a prolific striker at a team, you will see that slowly but steadily the team become more and more one-dimensional: goals become spread-out less and less and, especially in the crunch games, the team are looking at that striker to make the difference. RvP in Europe, and against the Chavs in the FA cup, for MU comes to mind.

    I reckon it is really hard to prevend this from happening and if I could choose between an improved Giroud next season or a prolific Higuain, I would go for the former. But we need another player who can bring that little bit extra in a game, and Higuain seems to fit the bill very, very well.

    RA, I hope the above fits well with your fine comment as well? πŸ™‚

  • Morning boys…Good post Marcus… (Perhaps like RA above) I agree with the general point that all eggs in one basket is bad, but I have some objections as well… And (I fear) this one might get a bit lengthy (like others from additional out-of-the-woodwork types, like Gerry)…Sorry…

    Losing RVP was rough, very rough….as was losing Cesc before him. Like any “selling” club we used the money from these sales to make several important buys and up the overall quality of the squad. Last summer it was Santi, OG and Lu-lu. The year before, Per, Arteta, Gerv and a couple of others who didn’t work out so well. I don’t believe any of this was by design. Luckily it “worked” and we were able to scramble for our CL spot. The way it went in 2011-12 (on the back of RVP, who tailed off at the end) was unsettling; this years’ “defense first, team approach” feels better. And now, with “money to spend,” the time feels ripe for adding to a confident group with high quality signings.

    That’s the best I can do in terms of spinning things positively. I think selling RVP (and the league title) to United was a real low moment for the club. Yes, public statements were spun to make him (and Alex Song) look traitorous, but a stronger manager (unafraid to spend in various ways) could have kept both those guys AND (with key additions to the squad, like Santi Cazorla…) created a much stronger team, one that might challenged for the title. Instead, we chose to strengthen a “rival.”

    It’s all history now and we can only move forward. While I enjoy calling him van Judas, etc., etc., I believe that RvP was at least a bit excited by the buys we made and could have been convinced to stay. The wage structure would have been busted (sky high…) but (also my opinion) if we REALLY want to compete we’re going to have to do so sooner or later. The suggestion that we’re going to do likewise (this summer) with somebody like Rooney seems absurd by comparison. My personal distaste for the player is one thing, his 250-300k/wk salary is another…

    Look, I will be over the moon if we acquire Higuain and Fellaini and (and maybe a solid keeper and a MF/winger for the future). It seems a real way forward and a potential path for competing with City, Chelsea and United and their new managers and (we would assume) their reworked squads and schemes. There is real opportunity and plenty of transition happening at the top in England. That said, the transition and opportunity has been there these past couple of years as well (see poor English results in Europe, for example) but we’ve spent that time selling our best players, buying new ones and scrambling for 3rd/4th. It’s all been entertaining but it’s also been a (massive) disappointment. Let’s not kid ourselves…

    None of the signings have happened yet. Fingers crossed they do and that the new guys improve the squad and that the nerve to eke out the needed results from the run-in carries over to the new season (and the CL qualifier and then the early parts of the CL and league cups). At the very least we may have some options (besides Route 1 balls to Giroud) and we should (italics) look better against the bus parking teams and in trying to play against the star studded squads. Still, we’re relying on Wenger’s (famous) ideal of bridging the gap by being a “team” (collective) while paying our players less (at the top, at least)… Who knows? It might work (and be extremely satisfying…) but it needs to gel quickly, and then we need to reward our best guys with higher salaries… or risk going through the same cycle all over again…


  • Igburu,
    What I meant is having a player who is everything to the team. Of course there’s always those special players who are key to a team’s play but having one who shoulders the fortunes of the team is what I am discouraging.

  • 17Highburyterrace,
    Don’t be sorry. That is a very insightful perspective you have which I agree with. Perhaps you misunderstood what I meant though. Obviously losing RVP was a blow. This post was meant to look at the positives that emanated from his departure. Not that losing him was all positive.

  • Sorry (again) for the long post (and my pessimism) above… TA/Marcus tell us the news….

    TA, I’ve got an e-mail (not a post) for you, but it’s too long as well…What is my problem? Let me know when you need some extra reading…. πŸ˜†

  • 17highburyterrace,
    Ok, My girlfriend and I recently had a baby girl. πŸ™‚
    Oh, and we are engaged now.

  • 17 HT, balance is your middle name, and like Marcus just said, no need to apologise at all: another fine comment from our own Tiger of Tahoe! πŸ™‚

  • Hey thanks Marcus. (News please)…

    Figuring out how to compete while keeping a level (financial) head, while others around you are losing theirs, is a metaphor for life or at least survival in the bubbly economic times. I’ve got a ton of respect for Arsene (less for Wal-Mart wife, Stan Kroenke…) and how he’s trying to do it. Sometimes I wonder if he’ll be able to do it with the new reality of (superstar) salaries…

    Selling RVP might’ve been the best long-term solution, short term it chapped my behind…As football fans we live for short-term (immediate) pleasure (glory) and it sucks to have to always be supporting our club in business (economic) terms. I’m not getting any younger, you know….

  • nice one, Marcus

    yes, in hindsight it was a blessing in disguise for the long term, besides if he hadn’t left then we wouldn’t be looking at players like Higuain probably and he would have been the focal point of most of our attacks instead of our wingers and midfielders taking the responsibility and sharing the goals….

    the other side of it is, what if he had stayed and given us those 20+ goals to go along what we had from the rest ? yep, we could have won e.t.c e.t.c what could have been is not – no point crying over spilt milk i reckon and yes, for the longer term , it was more of a favour to us than anything else….

    i truly believe that if we get Higuain he has the potential of winning the golden boot next year…

    so it’s happening ? sky don’t report it unless it’s almost in the bag.


  • Oops, should’ve opened a 2nd window and seen the news. Congrats!!! Kids are the best! (Well, in my opinion, at least)…

    Good luck, etc., etc., how goes it with sleep, etc.? Amazing that you’re writing posts with the new addition, but maybe it’s sharpening your focus. Hopefully you’re able to nap when she naps….That was a key to my early fatherhood. When they stop napping…well, that’s another issue….

  • 17HT,
    You know the more I think about it, the more I am convinced that Wenger is a genius. I don’t think there is another manager out there who can do what he did all those years on the budget he had. Especially being in a team that is strong financially then having that taken away for some reason. Mourinho can’t. I don’t think SAF could. That is why Moyes is a coach that scares me. He did it with Everton and now he is at United with a better team and better financial capability.

  • hahaha 17, my other big interest is literature; although, since I started this blog, I have had very little time to read proper books.

    Bring on that email, as I find champions of brevity rather boring usually!! πŸ˜›

  • 17HT,
    I hardly sleep, that’s why I am able to write so much. Being a father is a completely new experience for me, considering I am 23.

  • JB, I think looking at Higuain (and Giroud) vs RVP is the way to do it.

    RVP’s work as a “false 9” was incredible and he really made some players (Alex Song and Aaron Ramsey) look better than they were. All that running may have convinced Arsh that he didn’t have to, however…

    Frankly, I don’t see El Gonzo doing the same sort of thing and I think, as a team, we’re beyond that now. We should (italics) be able to get the ball across the center line in better style and then play 1-2s to break the final lines of defense down and make chances. Higuain can do both but he needs to stay closer to (or in) the 18 yard box. When we’re pushed way back and having trouble playing it out of our own half, Giroud may be the superior (true) #9…

    (As always, just my opinion, and dammit, now I’m already thinking about GH as part of the squad… 😦 )

  • nothing wrong with you thinking of him as a Gooner already, if it’s on sky then that’s good enough for me πŸ˜‰

    let’s put it this way, we’ve got him nice and early and he’ll have plenty of time on pre-tour to gel with the squad and it will allow wenger to get him upto speed on his role and fine tune his game….

    not sure if many of you will remember this but Modric joined RM not so early last season and hence had to spend a lot of time getting to grips with what his coaches wanted, at one point Jose.M told his assistant to conduct separate sessions with him e.t.c

    the point being, Higuain will be able to develop a decent understanding and will be upto speed with our philosophy (not that he will need to adapt or anything as he is a tailor made player for us really ).

    i think either later this evening or by tomorrow we’ll be getting these 2 official announcements :

    1: Isco signs for RM

    2: Higuain signs for Arsenal

    1 in 1 out.

  • Wow, Marcus…Only 23…I’d like to think that I could’ve done it (been a competent father) at such a young age, but I dunno… All I can say is that responsibility (and love) can sharpen one’s senses. Keep it up!

    The Wenger story IS a huge part of the excitement of being an Arsenal supporter and I wonder how much of the total situation we see. Sometimes I sense that he is tearing his hair out being the good “company man.” At others, maybe, he calms himself deciding that his legacy will be in his service to the club and that he must absorb the bad with the good and stay true to a longer vision. I just hope that we get a little (big-time) upside (glory, winning a big trophy, etc…) so that, when the “book is written,” we have a happy ending. Certainly, at the very least, I think Wenger has put Arsenal into a spot (financially) where we’ll be able to enjoy following the club for the rest of our (well, at least my…) days…

    Maybe, like in fatherhood, there is a certain sense of genius in giving yourself over to something more than just individual ambition (and doing it thoughtfully). On that account Wenger may qualify…

  • Mr. Bond,
    Especially with the pre season schedule we have. We go to Asia where we play three games, one against Mancity, then we come back and play the emirates cup against Napoli, gala and Porto, all formidable teams. Then you consider the two legged CL qualifier. He’ll have been fully inducted into the team.

  • Bond, I may have to check with my RM people…Does Isco in (for them) spell trouble for Di Maria or for Ozil? Certainly he’s not a like for like with Higuain….Or maybe it means trouble for Modric… If Higuain comes our way and Isco goes to Madrid does it mean that CR7 now lives in Benzema’s hole or plays as a (false) 9 when the (“inutil”–useless) French (Algerian?) man sits?

    Bale to Madrid (for the moment) looks less likely. How would he and Di Maria share that left side?

    Who (really) cares? If GH is really ours, I’m beside myself with rapture…What # will he wear?….

  • Oh and by the way Tony Adam’s told talk sport that we have a budget of around 158M to spend. see it here—–> http://www.talksport.co.uk/sports-news/football/premier-league/130623/exclusive-%E2%80%93-tony-adams-signing-wayne-rooney-would-be-massive-risk-arsena-2002?

    I don’t know whether we have that much but I know it’s at least 100M. David Ornstein of the BBC who covers all things Arsenal in February tweeted that Arsene would be given 70M plus the TV revenue to spend. It was reported at the end of the season that we made around 32M from TV revenues so I know that we have at least 100M.

  • Marcus – Congats to you both. Just remember it is new to every father with their first born?
    You are young enough to grow with your family, and still be young enough to enjoy the freedom when they fly the nest. ha ha

    Just enjoy the ride, and it will all work out.

  • Guys it has been a tremendous week for BK this week. We are less than one hundred away from 50,000 views this week (from 38,000 visitors). There has only been one ‘50,000 views week’ before, and that was due to a monstrous day in which the blog generated 35,000 views in one go.

    From the UK to Canada, Kenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, we had some of the best blogs in the Arsenal cyber-world this week. There have been many new ‘first commenters’ this week, and Marcus’ post about transfer target options for the LW was picked up by Arsenal.com media watch, which is a great recognition of the quality of his blogs.

    Many thanks to all the regulars and especially to this week’s co-writers: Highbury Harmony, Marcus and Admir. You are doing the blog proud and I am lucky to have you writing for BK. πŸ™‚

  • Marcus,

    If you can write like you do at just 23, then you must be a very fine father for your girl as well. πŸ˜‰

    The first weeks are a shock to the system and you are likely to value sleep more than anything else in the world, but soon things settle down and a certain rhythm will enter your life again… just in time for the start of the new season! πŸ˜‰

  • 17HT – what do you mean ‘out of the woodwork’ .. I’ve had a very demanding week, and I did not lose a penny. Only because I didn’t have a bet though!

    Regarding the gossip. I am still trying to separate the smoke from the smoking gun, so to speak. If by targeting players that our rivals try to pinch, then the real targets might still be available?
    Nani = smoke
    Payet = smoking gun?
    Fellaini = smoke(@23m)?
    ilarra = smoking gun?
    El Sharaawy = out of the blue, but expensive version of Nani?
    Gonalons = smoke
    both smoke for Le Gren? = smoking gun.
    or Maher? = not quite, but finger is on the trigger?.
    Higuain = smoking gun, but the bullet went too low to get immediate signature, Reload?

    and so on and so forth

    Once the Higuain situation is sorted, they will know what they can or cannot get this time around?
    And as it is just over a week before the window opens, I think there may well be a couple more deals done before then?

  • Congratulations Marvellous Marcus on the baby girl ! πŸ™‚

    Please don’t go calling 007….Mr Bond !……the thought of the laser coming out again gives him nightmares !. hahaha

    Gerry, your exaggerating about the guy with the 12 stone testicles, they were only 10 stone !, but in a nutshell, your correct !. Tea bagging him must have nearly put Tetley out of business and I`m surprised his wife is still alive, she must have nearly drowned whilst trying to swallow it !. hahaha
    I bet the locals were saying….” he`s a bit old to be playing with space hoppers ! ” .

  • Haha, Gerry, sounds like you are about as much of gambler as I am… Breaking even IS winning… Hopefully you saw my comment (a thread or three back) lauding your comment about developing our own Xavi, Iniesta, etc… Playing catch-up here (with so many great writers writing and some of us using too many words…) can be a be-otch (as we say)…

    Total, YOU are the man… I’ve just been showing my kid some DB10 youtube videos and he’s starting to understand what the site is all about. Being an “inclusive” site (and emphasizing the positive) is what it’s all about. Great job! Again, sorry if I’m bringing too much of the “fair and balanced” perspective to the party (at the moment)… ( πŸ˜† “We report, you decide,” that’s another of the sayings of Murdoch’s–right-wing, hate mongering–media outlet here in the States… 😳 )

    For me, it’s all about managing expectations… but I am getting excited for the season ahead. If we can get Higuain in and maybe Arteta’s discotheque buddy (Fellaini–between his hair and Arteta’s, and the open shirts with jewelery it’s all very “Saturday Night Fever”…) or some other physical presence for the middle of the park, I’ll be beyond pleased…

    The other teams should be making some big changes as well…Watching Brazil-Italy yesterday it’s curious (for Chelsea and Mourinho) that David Luiz was all drama queen while Oscar was nearly invisible. Fred, the only non-European based Brazilian, was strong and decisive as their #9. As always, they looked pretty frail defensively, but getting 4 past Gigi and Italy is something…I would’ve like to have seen the new Man City guy… Spain play today (I think)…

  • marcus, may I add my congratulations to you and your wife to be, on the birth of your beautiful daughter!! πŸ˜€

  • brilliant post – I like the eventual outcome of goal sharing, but without vP, United would have had a lot less points, definitely wouldn’t have run away with the title.. and we can assume maybe a few more points for us, with vP plaing instead of Giroud (maybe a bunch more points).. but as someone else said, as long as we still would have brought in Pod and Cazorla–
    for me, the only way I can say it’s positive, is if we do nail down Higuain or another excellent striker.. anything less, and it still comes down to Giroud replacing vP.—.that’s not good enough.

  • Bond, James Bond, Jimmy,

    You can ignore that Glic personage, he is trying to scare you with threats of my lazer!

    I gave him the lazer treatment on his wibbly willy, and reduced it from 2.5 inches to a 1 incher.
    It was only after he woke up and said he still couldn’t see that I realized he only wanted his wonky eyes lazered.

    Oh, well, served him right for mumbling, probably as a result of too much fellatio with his own reflection in the mirror. πŸ™‚

  • Shit, I`ve just seen the link about Arsenal.com. I/we forget that 1000s of people read the comments, I just talk to you Broke Backers like I`m talking to my mates !. ( who incidentally are not Broke Backers like you ! hahaha and of course you are my mates, who just happen to like climbing a Bergkampesque mountain !. hahaha ) It`s quite scary really when you think about it and on that particular day I was in my consistent normal fine form !. hahahaha
    Seriously, it is quite scary, I may have to re-invent myself and be normal like you lot !. This needs thinking about and analysing !.

  • You bastard Redders, you had better sort my eyesight out with a magnifying capability !. Back to analysing !.

  • Glic,

    You are trying to tell me that Vickers, Terry Tale Tell and TA are normal.

    You will be telling me that you are normal next.

    I would say, liar, liar pants on fire, but you don’t wear any (so VCC tells me)! πŸ™‚

  • 17, Really pleased your son likes it too. One of the aims of the blog is to keep what Dennis did and stood for, special and ‘alive’. Hearing that your son gets what the blog is about is a great compliment.

    You are positive more than anything else, but also a realist; and we all benefit from your, Gerry’s and RA’s ability to manage your, and therefore our, expectation.

  • TA, (from earlier),

    I am sure that my opinions and yours are completely compatible — let’s face it I have so many opinions, nearly all of them bollix, that I change them at whim, and anyway, I never understand your double-Dutch, and proof of that is it you always seem to me to be saying that Theo is a good player — and that cannot be what you meant — obviously!! πŸ˜€

  • Come to think of it, realising the people who comment regularly on BK makes me think I`m really the normal one ! . Analysing over ! hahaha

  • Fine post marcus. I havent always found myself in agreement with your previous posts. After finding out your only 23 i suspect its more of a generational difference than anything else.

    I do concur with you on the over reliance factor. i guess the key is squeezing in big name players into a team framework. Teams that tend to rely on one special player are more prone to win cups as opposed to titles, thats my take anyway.

    Congratulations to you and your girlfriend on becoming parents, a gift you can not put a price on.

  • There are so many normal well adjusted people on BK, Glicster, that such a broad church needs a leavening of loony tunes to keep the balance — just ask 17ht. πŸ™‚

  • RA, I will clarify if you can explain how to fellate oneself in a mirror… If we could all do that, there’d be a whole lot less posting about football, I would guess… πŸ˜†

    Having been in Spain last autumn there was a LOT of angst among RM supporters about their struggles. Much of it centered around Mourinho using Benzema (rather than Higuain) as his starting #9. In many games they looked to run out of ideas and teams that could shut down Ozil and CR7 and Di Maria were getting results. By the time Mourinho would make his (late) subs–Modric for Khedira, Higuain for Benzema, somebody (anybody…) for DiMaria, it would be too late…

    So, in thinking about changes at RM (and hoping that Higuain is coming our way…) I keep wondering what they are thinking. CR7 usually lines up at RW (Di Maria on the left) but (obviously) has the freedom to do as he pleases. If Isco comes and takes up that spot does it mean that Madrid will now be playing a 4-4-1-1 with CR7 in the hole (behind Benzema) and if Benzema sits (as many supporters would like him to…) will CR7 play up top? Would it mean that both top Spanish teams would be playing 4-6-0, at least on occasion?

    Does that help clear it up? Traditional number 9 players (like Higuain) maybe becoming a thing of the past at the very top of the game. (Look at Gomez hardly playing for Bayern, for example…) That trend might also exclude the English teams–where breaking down more “resolute” defenses (or ones allowed to foul a good deal more…) make traditional, less mobile, target guys maybe is (still) necessary….

  • TA,

    We must be a lot closer to that magic 35,000 — are we? πŸ™‚

    There should also be a category for depth and quality of comments, in which case BK would walk away with the category.

    If HH came on, we would hit both targets easily! πŸ™‚

  • RA, if you’re accusing me of being a loony toon, I will take it as a compliment… The line between Looney Toon and Normal, seems a fine one, indeed…

    Looking forward to instructions on mirror-love… Cheers, in advance…

  • 17,

    That explains everything nicely — I was worried about the inference of broke back mountain incipient in such a comment. πŸ™‚

    As for the mirror fellatio technique, that is a Glic specialty, and if you give him half a chance he will explain how he fell in love with himself when he caught his reflection in a mirror in the men’s bathroom — god knows what he was doing in there — he usually widdles up the nearest lamp post!

    He is, in short, a narcissist — but don’t tell him!! πŸ™‚

  • 17,

    I was referring to TA’s comment that your responses are always well balanced, but now that you confess to being a loony tune …………………….. nuff said! πŸ˜€

  • Yes, RA, we have passed the 50,000 views this week (it is measured between Sunday midnight to next one). πŸ™‚

    Theo? I know you really rate him – you are just hard on him so he will get even better! πŸ™‚

  • !7 HT – You mean three back up on my catch up list? If so, no. I set about making short note having read the blogs, i had to be strict and not to click on during the week as my schedule was pretty exhausting.:
    Up around 4.0am most mornings. Breakast and straight into writing my blog, around 4hours. Back at 12 noon for dinner, check for errors and latest prices. Listen to the racing while I collected the data for the next day. Fast forward the tv recording of the races and a few comments. Back on the computer to rate the day’s race. catch an hour of TV and call it a day around 11.30pm. By the Thursday I had a very tongue in cheek view of what lay ahead on the blog, recovered slightly on the Friday, and Saturday stuck to two big races. Completed my ratings of the last day. Job done. Next 5 day meeting is at the end of July!

    What I am saying is i did not read any comments. I’ll have a quick go now and get back to you/

  • 17ht

    I will try to put you straight ( no pun intended ! hahaha ). My mirror narcissist thing has been a long standing joke going back to days on another site. It probably originated from one of my earliest comments that I like to play self kiss chase, a game I still play, where, because of looking f**king gorgeous at times, I cant resist chasing myself around the house and finally cornering myself in the bedroom and rodgering myself !.

  • Thanks RA….On the topic of being unbalanced…I’ll go a step further… I don’t watch nearly as much Spanish footy as (I think) some people do here but I’ll say this. I think we’ve scored hugely with Santi and Higuain will be amazing (uh, oh, I’m counting that one as done…) Navas, I think can be contained and will disappoint at City as I think Isco (and Falcao) would’ve (apologies to Glic and what he sees in the mirror)…

    Thankfully HH isn’t on (at the moment) to take me down a notch and tell me what’s what, but the game is very different and it’s a big step up for guys on the lesser teams who’ve looked promising with La seleccion (the National team). The lack of ref protection is huge and the pace of the game means one v one skills can be inhibited through commitment. Even Santi has had plenty of trouble getting his shots off near the 18 yard line…his two footed work from a deeper position and his long balls however still give me the boing-factor… (Boinging over long balls probably sounds quite BrokeBackEsque, but there it is… πŸ˜€ but there it is…)

  • Haha, double boing “there it is, there it is”… over Santi and his “long” balls…My favorite are his inside-out balls– Best to try that in the mirror before taking it out on the pitch would be my advice… πŸ˜‰

    Yes, the mirror is the best place for (us) codgers and our todgers, I fear… πŸ˜†

  • As good a player as RVP was , you certainly don’y want to relay on or set your team up around 1 player. Even more so when its a guy you make captain and you nurse for 8 years only to have a little boy up inside him and take his advise to join your fiece rivals at the drop of a hat, a truly disqusting act, tut tut. Great player , shit selfish personality Van Judus
    So i agree Marcus , good post Giroud, Walcott, Podolski, basically the whole team ,i think every player in the first choice line up scored last season did’nt they?? the only 1 im not sure about is Sagna. That is really very good.

  • Marcus, congratulations to both you and your girlfriend on the berth of your Daughter. Take plenty of photograph’s, as they soon grow up.

    Redders 18:18……of course GLiC don’t wear pants, he wears knickers. πŸ˜‰

  • Mmmm – Pity that was the one with148 comments?

    However, it did remind of something TA said earlier. He could not see how we can avoid keeping a 25 goal scorer out of being the focal point?

    Well if you want to retain back ups after the January window, they are going to need game time?

    We know on Monday who are knockout opponents are in the CL. Now just suppose it is a against some minnow team, Higuain an co have had a hard game against Spurs – No, I am not going to check whether that might be the case in timing or anything else. This is mental exercise, okay? – So, for the midweek match, we switch the striker pairing round, and play Giro with the second striker, the Ox in the hole, with help from Rosi. they win 6.0. The following Saturday the Higgy and co play say Everton, but for the second week running it is a struggle, winning 1-0. By the time this has played out three times, and the free flowing scoring continues, then ‘second pairing will be given a go against say Swansea, and smash the pants off them, What do you do with Higgy? Play him with Giro’s support man? May be try Poldi with the support guy, and that is also successful. Suddenly it is not about the striker being the focal point, but the playmaker/No 10. Then you are back in the same situation as with Cesc, and play him until he drops?

    I think AW is clever enough to know, when he has the choice of players, they will get chosen for whatever suits the team best. By rotating two or three players every so often, not necessarily for anything other than a tactical switch, then the players you bring off the bench will be sharp and ready. If they have just had ten minutes here and there as subs, they are less likely to do well in a full match, than those taking a turn on the bench, but are in form?
    It is difficult, but it simply has to be managed.

    Same with the youngsters coming through. Give them 30 minutes in a game we are winning, then give them a start the next lower side we play, and keep you main men on the bench for an hour?

    I believe we will have 5 new names going into the squad make up. The tour games will give a clue as to who gels with who, But I would be amazed if more than two start the game against Villa?

  • Marcus, where are you based?

    The article (and another one you wrote awhile ago, I think, about the “real” revolution being team play) suggests the problem we see today in football: How do you get players bent on individual glory to play the team game?

    It’s compounded, of course, with the new mega-salaries meaning that some guys (Arshavin, Squillaci, Almunia, Chamakh at Arsenal for example) are happy NOT playing. Motivation can be sapped once the deal gets signed…

    Or, it can be all about making your mark at your current club so that you get chances in the international games to help broker your next move. Players are supposed to be motivated for Club and Country which means passing to the open guy if you’re covered or have the poor angle. In this day and age god help the guy who reads NewsNow (or actually believes his agent)… How can you play your best if your head is turned to the point of spinning?…

    Wenger is trying to work out this issue but has (clearly) made some mistakes, mostly at the lower end of the wage scale. Now is his chance to make things happen by getting guys in who will take the responsibility that big money should entail. The same goes for big contract extensions (I’m thinking of you, Theo)…

    Or at least that’s what I’d like to think. In my more cynical moments I wonder if maybe it’s all about securing his own (very lucrative) contract….

    Spain 1-nil 3 minutes in (v Nigeria)…

    TA (for better or worse, i.e., no lack of non-brevity…) you’ve got mail…

  • One of the highlights of my life was being at this match, I was 22 and I think Stretch was there as well, he must have been under 10, what a great moment for the young transplant, watching a great victory and wearing his first ever syrup !. hahaha
    The hairstyles are different and to tell the truth, the football has moved on to a higher level of technique and skill, but the magic of that day will live with me forever !.

  • Gerry, don’t bother looking for my comment…I was just trying to say that I support your idea that we need to develop our own midfielders and we’ve got a few young one who might (eventually) get there. We don’t have a magic (La Masia-esque) academy situation on our hands, I fear.
    The problem (in MF) is bridging the gap in the meantime…a reason Fellaini might be worth it for all that money…

    Re: Spanish football… Interesting that the only non RM/Barca player today is a #9, Saldado of Valencia (soon to be Spurs?)…

  • Nice one Cornwall. It was one week before my 13th birthday. Best game ive ever been too, no doubt

    Even at that age i had hair problems, i probably started receeding when i was about nine, hahaha

  • Hi Gerryvinho πŸ˜›

    Rotation is hard, but yes, it simply has to be managed. Hopefully, we start well and Arsene has a bit of space to try things out. If we can do it all on a solid defence, it will be easier as well.

  • VCC
    Cheers mate…
    I am based in Kenya…And very true, the wage system could be an issue…Although I’m not sure the negatives brought on by wages disparities have a direct impact on the issue at hand here. Great thought though…You should do more posts..

  • Saldildo has just missed two easy chances, I bet Villa would have put them away !.

    Stretch, I went to the Manu final that season aswell, I could have kissed Sunderland that day !…..even with his dodgy looking tash !. Two great games in one season .

  • Fellaini with a Sunderland stache and some retro (white) shorts might be the “beast” you guys are hoping for… More fodder for the mirror games…. πŸ˜†

    Our boy Cesc at least puts it off the post rather than straight to keeper like the Spurs Spaniard does…

  • Great times mate. i was to young to appreciate 71 so beating Utd in 79 was my first real taste of a trophy.

    Football was so much more tribal in them days so the feeling of been a fan was more intense. A lot of the younger fans would probably be shocked at how bad it was.

    In the mid eighties there was certain games when you had no choice but to fight just to defend yourself. London derbies, especialy Totnumb was like a war zone

    I miss those days. hahaha

  • Hahaha True

    I remember about 13/14, being with my mates and we always tried to nick the scarfs off the Spuds at derby games, it was like ” scalping ” them !. It`s so much civilised nowadays and I don’t condone such actions now, but it was, as you say, different then and I have to smile thinking it was just a juvenile having a laugh !. hahaha

  • I would have loved to have seen them days more closely i was born in 1979 so caught some of it but was only young, even watching my old mans team playing on a saturday down the park in Ealing often fights broke out. Every man had a tash and mullet drunk load of beer

  • mindless just mindlessness lol Transplants and Glic’s drinking beer and fighting lol

  • They were all big geezers that generation as well, defo bigger then today. big strong dude throwing punchs on the pitch i can remember clear as day, i was often the mascot .

  • GLiC….I was at that ManUre final……It’s what sealed my hatred towards them. …There were a few up the Arsenal end who got pissed off at the end and started spitting at everyone. TOTAL SCUM. Now you may realise why I hate them more than the Spuds.

    Brain dead the lot of em.

  • Big Dave WAL Wallace cor blimey you could hear it connect the other end of the pitch.

  • PG, to be fair i spent most of my time running away rather than fighting. i became so qucik that i had a national trial for the 100 meters

    When i did get cornered, i would often fake an epeleptic fit. People tend to leave you alone after that. hahaha

  • Me and my mate got chased by a gang of ICFers at Upton Park ( can remember the year, we won 1-0 and Lukic was in goal ! late 80`s I think ! ) and when I say chased, I mean in the ground itself !, from one end to the other !. I started arguing with them and when I looked around my mate had disappeared !, the bastard !. I got chased some more and eventually had to jump on the pitch and was grabbed by the old bill and escorted out the ground !. What was funny is that neither of us had colours on and had somehow ended up amongst West Ham fans and these thugs didn`t like me as I was a dead ringer for Charlie Nicholas and when me and my mate gave a pitiful boo when Arsenal scored, they didn’t` believe us and still wanted to kill us !. hahaha

  • Looking back now, those days stunk.

    The worst thing that happened to me was an away game against Villa in the mid eighties. A big fight broke out outside the boozer were we drinking and we heavily out numbered. It was only when the old bill turned up and things calmed down that i realized that one of gthem had cut me across my hip. i lost a lot of blood and had to spend 2 nights in a Birmingham hospital

    Have a very nice five inch scar as a souvineer going down my hip towards my todger, so i guess i was lucky. hahaha

  • On to happier and better things, we are now be linked with Greek defender Kiri Papadopolous. Ive been very impressed with this lad. Hes built like a Tank and when he tackles people they tend to stay down.

    Not the tallest, maybe 6 foot, but wins a lot of headers coz he cant be barged out of position.

    Has a Β£19 million release clause so unlikely to happen. Cant see the Club spending that kind of dough on a defender.

  • but hey the babes used to be hotter back in the 80’s πŸ˜‰ that’s for sure

    on a slightly different note, has Tony Adam’s lost it big time or is he losing the plot completely ?

    he’s a legend and one of my all time arsenal players but he really needs to take it the foot off the pedal for a bit, tis not the right time for it i reckon

  • It`s so much better nowadays, you can go on a Spud site and take the piss without fear of losing your crown jewels !. Plus you`re gunner win any argument as they have nothing to back them selves up with !. We have the bragging rights full stop.

  • Stretch. Is that the son of the geezer who owns the launderette in East Enders ?. hahaha

    Oi 007. I have the laser !. hahaha

  • No thats Popodopolous Cornwall. hahaha

    Bondy, Tony Adams seems to be a bit insane, but hes pretty harmless

  • oh RA, where art thou πŸ˜€


    where’s HH disappeared today :O:

    right, so tomorrow is apparently the D- Day (medical for Higuain ?

  • indeed, he is Terry

    he’s very passionate and i can understand where he’s coming from, it’s not that what he says is wrong, it’s just the timing of it, i mean i’m sure even you and glic wouldn’t mind being chairman of AFC and make cuppa’s for yourselves….oh and while we’re at it, you lot be the first ones to introduce ” sexy female cheerleaders at footy matches at the emirates ”

    see what i just did there πŸ˜‰

  • Sounds good 007, me and stretch will interview them to see whether they take up the Arsenal, Arsenal, Arsenal……………………………………

  • JB, I am expecting to hear official announcements regarding the signings of players by 1st July. Wenger has got a lot of work considering he will have to buy a lot of youth players to replace the youth players that have been released along with making the very tough senior signings happen.

  • Fantastic post, Marcus. You basically vivisected Arsenal in Wenger-era in a way I wish I did. πŸ™‚

    Regarding key players, Van Judas, Fabregas et al… I’ve made a bit of analysis recently which is based on comparison of Arsenal in 2011-12 and 2012-13, with sporadic mentioning of Arsenal 2010-11.

    Arsenal 2012-13 had dispersed quality all over the squad. It turned out to be a good thing when you take a look at our results against relegated teams. We won all 18 points against those this season while with Van Judas we won just 11 points in those games.

    However, lack of world-class player caused us problems in big matches and ever since we have been selling our best players our results in big matches deteriorated. Yes, 2005-06 side was Henry-centered but that was team that won at Santiago Bernabeu and against Juventus before reaching Champions’ League Final.

    What we need – like it was stated above – are two world-class(-ish) players to fill the gaps in the midfield and in the attack. Fellaini and Higuain might fit the bill.

    P.S. Congratulations, Marcus, to you and your significant other! πŸ™‚

  • Glic :):)

    where did Terry go ? don’t tell me, he’s already lining up a few birdies for this very demanding job πŸ˜‰


    we don’t care about the announcements, as long as the medical is confirmed by tomorrow, all is jolly good πŸ˜€ (sorry but i need myself a new quality gooner at the emirates πŸ˜€

  • regarding the youth signings then i think the club must have in place the list of players and possible targets in sights well before letting the 15-16 players leave, otherwise we wouldn’t have allowed them to leave in such a mass exodus to begin with.

    i’m not too fussed about the youths to be honest because we have a decent scouting system in place for youths and that’s Wenger’s forte..;)

  • JB, if Wenger really is going for Rooney 20 mill will not be accepted for Rooney. We will have to end up paying closer to the 25 mill mark if we want to get him.

  • AFC and 007. Do you guys go to any games ? and do you live local to the Arsenal ?. Sorry if you have answered in the past, but I`ve had to much contact with VCC and dementia is contagious !.

  • that’s our way of doing things AFC, start with 20 and then strike a deal at 24/25/26, similar to RVP transfer…

    no, the FA will mess Wenger about too much, for the under 21’s we need an established and hungry manager who “doesn’t moan” and gets on with it, Wenger is the 3rd best (actually 2nd best manager in the world now from that list which was published a fair few months ago).


    yes , i live about 15-20 minutes away from the emirates and go from time to time….what about you ?

  • dementia might be contagious but it’s got nothing on my fish memory, ha

  • Only about 3 per season 007, it`s about 250 miles from Cornwall and not so much the ticket price which I think is reasonable ( cheapest one Β£26.50 ? and Β£10 for a League Cup game ) but the money in travelling and food etc`. If I still lived in London, I would see all that were available as a Red Member !.

  • 17ht, this will need approval from RA. I have heard that just because Rooney is on 220 000 a week he does not get the whole amount. The 220 000 is the maximum amount Rooney can get but in reality he could be getting nearer the 170 000-180 000 mark. I’ll ask RA about this when he is next on BK.

  • AFC, did you check my link? Why are they reporting the numbers they’re reporting if they’re incorrect….

    Or maybe the message is that we shouldn’t believe everything we read in the papers… πŸ˜€

  • Glic, but I do not go to any matches.

    JB, Wenger for the under 21’s was a joke. He will probably manage the French senior before he retires.

  • 17ht, just read it. Players wages are very complicated and we do not really know what they get paid. For instance we could pay Rooney 100 000 a week with a huge bonus which would make up the remaining 70k a week.

  • 17ht,

    what if Rooney takes a pay cut ?;)


    3 is better than none πŸ˜‰ yep, the ticket prices are very dear, indeed….and sure, the travel and food isn’t very cheap either….it usually leaves me a 80-100 lighter in the bank after a game..

    that’s why i suggested cheerleaders at the emirates, i reckon it will make all the long hard trips that much more “doable” πŸ˜‰

  • People may think Rooney is only on 100 000k a week when in reality he isn’t.

  • by the way, Mancs got their sponsors paying part of players wages (bonuses ? ).

    it’s a clever way of not paying the whole lot from your own books, isn’t it ?

    Mancs have a close working relationship with their sponsors and they get the max out of it.

  • right, just to give you a rough idea on 100 k wages after tax (an approx and rough calculation) so you get the drift :

    100 k gross per month would end up as 49 k net (after tax, national insurance e.t.c)…sure you get some allowances e.t.c but since most footballers are on a high tax band, it’s peanuts for them…

    so in essence a 250 k week deal may get rooney 135-145 k a week in the bank….

    so in essence if rooney took a pay cut and got himself a 150 k deal, he won’t be getting a bad deal at the end of it.

    of course, player agents are clever and try to save their clients as much tax/ni as possible by using various different companies, e.t.c e.t.c

    but that’s a rough idea of how it works normally.

  • JB, I was heard that wages can be affected by amount of appearances etc. Rooney would get his maximum 220 000 a week by virtually playing every matdh. So if he only plays 50% of the season his 220 000 drops significantly.

  • AFC, your right about wages been complicated. A couple of years ago i was at a tax lecture and got a fascinating insight into how premeir league players are remunerated and how HMRC are tackling it

    Firstly, players are paid a standard salary like everybody else and have to pay income tax and national insurance.

    Secondly, there are the image rights, were the club agrees to pay the players company, more than one by the way and mostly situated off shore, amounts based on “fair” vaule of shirts sold etc. HMRC are beggining to tackle this, arguing about the proportion based off shore and the percentage compared to salary

    Thirdly, and most controversily, players and clubs have agreed a very aggresive tax avoidance scheme were by loans are given to players which are effectivly never paid back. thsi is also a hot potato with HMRC.

    Fourtly, and most simple is the structure of remuneration based on win percentages, bonus for finnishing in champions league spots etc.

    This is a very complex area, and thats why i laugh when some people complain about the length of time it takes to sign players.

    What people should understand is that a player os a hybrid of an employee and self employed (trading through limited companies) and is not sure himself what he will earn in any particular year never mind us. hahahaha

  • JB, could you help AFC do the maths…. His numbers add up to 170K/week….The article I linked to says 300 K/Week (with the new deal being reduced to 250 k/wk + incentives) and then later he says 100k/week. And then there’s your stuff on taxes… I can’t follow it all….

    My (on-going) point is that Rooney would be a terrible player to buy for many reasons, not least of which is what it would do to our wage structure… I’m not worried in the least that we’re gonna try and buy him, it’s merely paper talk from a twisted remark from Gazidis several weeks back….Fantasize all you want if he’s your guy… :sick face: πŸ˜†

    AFC, please be careful (my friend) about telling people that things are complicated (it sounds pedantic…) esp. if you don’t know the facts and/or have to be directed to read what other people post. Contextualizing your remarks or even using the smileys might help… I realize that often you are just “thinking out loud” in your posts and you’re (often) open to having your ideas challenged or even reversed. Other people, however, are a lot more invested in their own ideas and take things pretty personally. No trouble in this case with me, just my two cents…

  • yep, Terry spot on

    off shore companies, umbrella companies e.t.c e.t.c

    there’s a reason why players have “clever agents in place”.

    HMRC can do all they want to close such loop holes but in the end, there will always be ways to work round it courtesy of clever agents, accountants and solicitors which the players can afford (no win for the HMRC until the legislation changes).

    but hey as long as we get Rooney by hook or crook, i don’t mind πŸ˜€

    this was all done to convince 17ht, ha


    all agreed.

  • Hey thanks Terry for that explanation. I really think we as fans need to hear more about wages. Here in the States it’s all pretty above-board. It seems pointless to argue on blogs about how much we have to spend when we don’t know what the true costs of a certain player really is. We’re all hungry for transfers but we (desperately) need to avoid the mistakes. Free isn’t free, as I learned over shisha with Mourane Chamakh… πŸ˜†

    I still hate the Mancs and Rooney in particular, but that’s just me… πŸ˜‰

  • 17ht, I was using the figures in my comments as examples not related to your link. When it comes to finances I know very little which is why I said I will ask RA about it.

  • 17 baby, relax dude. People like us shouldnt get worked up. The other night i freaked out and TA had to vanquish some of my posts. after my freak out i checked the hairline and noticed it was a full centmeter back

    I implore you 17 Baby, for the sake of whats left of our hairlines, take it easy. hahaha

    And what would make it even more ironic, is that debating the Pleb Rooney of all people that makes us lose more hair. hahaha

  • 17ht,

    in the real world – i don’t see us buying Rooney for a number of reasons you’ve already mentioned, however, personally i feel he’d be that perfect number “10” for us if it was to happen , that’s all.

    you have reservations about him which are genuine and i accept those at the same time !

    i’ll be more than happy with higuain, felliani if we didn’t add anyone else.

    at the end of the day, we’re talking about Arsene Wenger’s buying philosophy as well which won’t change overnight even if we were to give him 200 million to spend, he would only buy what he thinks is “necessary” and not do a Mancini or Mourinho.

  • ahahahahahahahahahaha @ Terry

    “And what would make it even more ironic, is that debating the Pleb Rooney of all people that makes us lose more hair.”

    ahahahahahahahahah oh my days, pardon me but that was too funny πŸ™‚

  • if there was a player name 17ht would want censored on the web then i reckon it be of Rooney , ha


    would you want Ashley Williams as our 4th choice CB for 8 million ?

  • JB, I would not mind Williams for 8 mill as 4th CB (but I think Swansea want 10 mill) as long as Miquel goes out on loan to an another EPL club. I would prefer a CB around the age of 22-26 years old.

  • Cheers Terry, for the sake of the hair, I will back down…

    Cheers too to AFC and JB for allowing me to hate on Wayne. I guess it’s just that he’s a cheater (with the hair stuff, the diving doesn’t bother me nearly as much…) and I don’t want his sort at the club. On that note, what’s the latest with Arjen Robben and his Bayern contract? πŸ˜†

  • Williams is reported to be “keen on a move to the emirates” and may hand in a request, if that happens then who knows ? πŸ˜‰ @ AFC,


    Robben was said to be available in the region of 13-17 million.

  • JB, why would Wenger buy a CB around the same age as our current 3 CBs who is not better than any of them or has the potential to be better than them.

  • JB, why would Wenger buy a CB around the same age as our current 3 CBs, who is not better than any of them or does not have the potential to be better than any them?

  • JB, what are Robben’s wages? πŸ˜‰ …. Great player and only cheats with the diving…. Personally, I’m not interested. CL final heroics notwithstanding, he’s never seen a pass that he’s enjoyed making…

    I was only fooling, but I think you realized that….

    Like you say above, I agree that I would be thrilled with Higuain plus Fellaini or another “presence” in our MF (a keeper to challenge Sir Ches and a winger/attacking mid–Grenier, perhaps… would be all icing)… But what fun is agreement?…

  • JB, I don’t want Williams. I don’t really rate him even based on his form last season. I’d prefer someone like Papadopoulos, younger and with time to learn from our current centre backs.

  • Good morning all, I fell asleep during the Nigeria v Spain game, and I am on a late start.

    For big guys, the Nigerians have very quick feet? Missed the second half, so I am not sure if it was the tiredness of the Nigerians, or the subs that Spain brought on that made the difference? Despite the commentary rabbiting on about them chasing the ball would catch them out later, I get the feeling that this quick passing requires concentration, and can result in mental tiredness? Same with 21’s, both Spanish and Dutch seem to suffer this late on?

    First comment I would like to make in reference to Tony Adams. I read the full(?) transcript of his conversation on 7 am Ko, and it does make somewhat better reading than the other ‘mongers have posted for their own ends? So I apologise for being too hard on him. He is still naive though, if he does not realise his words will be exploited?

    Rooney = smoke!

  • I was going to add more but had to investigate a mini dogfight. Found blood, and victim, who is also the likely instigator? As per usual, it was a break out between those in the lower pecking order that were involved. Not serious, but annoying.

    A metaphor for Arsenal perhaps? With a settled top order, the quibbles and frustrations will be lower down the order?

    17HT – I agree with you on the need for the age-bridgers being essential for the continuance of the academy player to fit seemlessly into the future sides. With that in mind i indulged in a possible outrageous 4-2-4 formation that would frighten the pants of all in the EPL and further … but I’ll await signatures before revealing it?

    I think it is this, and the fee, why I feel Fellaini might = smoke. To spend that on a ‘beast’, with on-field issues, when Ilarra, for less(? – because to get him, the wage might be more) you get a more technical player? And he is in that bridging age.

    It seems we are in quite a strong position with French, and possibly Spanish players regarding tax at the moment. The former are introducing/have introduced a 75% band for top earners, and in Spain they are closing the loopholes. But as Terry said, we may do that here, but the rates are still lower here?

    Just thoughts ..

  • Apparently, Roma would sell PjaniΔ‡ for 15 million euros as it seems Borussia Dortmund are keen on Bosnian playmaker.

    Perhaps we could hijack that deal?

  • Hi all.. Another nice post Marcus..
    No my brother.. We always play as a whole team.. that’s what VCC (our philosophy) is all about.. Never as a one man team.. never..

    For me last season the situation were different..
    And we must confess that Giroud just not in the same level from RvP.. not yet..
    We must give him more time to be at that level..
    And Wenger knew it verywell after sometime.. and that’s why he began to made some experienced with all the striker we had.. Walcott, Gervinho and Podolski all gived the chance to be a CF.. but all of them just not equal enough to RvP.. again not yet..
    Walcott is very good striker.. but his role is as a Winger.. and he is very good as a winger.. and for me he is our best winger.. RW.. hehehehe..

    And that kind of situation forced all the team to adapted.. and we know they evolved was so good.. as what we all saw them in the last 10 games.. I hope they all still growing better and better.. and get 30 point in our first 10 games this season.. hehehe..

    Higuan on the other hand is a very great CF.. hope he won’t need too much time to fit with the team.. and I think he has more quality than Giroud.. But as the team become stronger without need to focus on one CF.. the ariving of Higuan will make force them to adapt again.. hope the flow will be smooth.. and the team will getting stronger and stronger..

    I think Wenger will force Willshere to play at central role.. with one B2B and one ADM (attacking DM).. Arteta and Fellaini / Ramsey.. Hope Fellaini will soon be our team.. and still hoping to see Strootman also.. hahahaha..
    That’s mean Santi Cazorla will be play as a LW more.. especially if Willshere is fit.. Rosciky..
    will be his (willshere) subs.. and also we still have Eisfeld.. I believe Wenger will give Eisfeld more chance this season.. But that’s also could mean Gervinho (maybe include Podolski) must leave.. very sad thing.. cause Gervinho is my favourite LW.. more than Podolski.. hahahaha..

    If we can bring Higuan, Felliani and Strootman all together.. than we will win the Champion League.. hahahhaha..

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