Economics, Terror Windows and why we pay more for the same thing…

A new era for the mighty red and white?

A new era for the mighty red and white?

 

So, another terror/transfer window (TW) is upon us and just in time for the injury gods to strike down our own TW (Theo Walcott), along with the usual other collateral damage of the holiday season (Bendtner, Ozil, Ramsey,  …. list until squad is finished).

However, like modern asymmetric warfare, terror, in this case the TW, and should we add an ! to that, TW!, is the solution. A chance to buy what you need, and loan out (metaphor for leave at the curb) that which you don’t. It sparks something akin to Christmas fever among otherwise sane adults who suddenly dream of that star ST, DM, CB, RB, … that might be “theirs” for just (insert large number of millions). All SQ of course! 🙂

2012 lexus lfa profile chain

So, we know right away that the TW! Is like a car. Put a normally sane person in one and you may well end up with a wild-eyed crazy person. This article is about adding some sanity and fun economics to ever growing lists of “what we need,” where just today I read an article that for just 7 new starters Arsenal will be solid for the rest of the year.

Seven!? That’s not a change, it’s a whole new team, kind of like Spurs this year, who have done oh so well with that plan!

Anyway, we all know the basics and have discussed them ad nauseum, but let us review so I can get my word count up:

  • Release clause: specifies the amount of money for which a player may leave, key point here, if they wish to. No car lot bargaining here, stump up and a willing player is yours. Imagine if the car could look at you and go “nah, I don’t think that he/she is my type of owner, …”
  • Available: an adjective describing the state of being open to offers. Often overused in the TW! To mean “desperately desiring”
  • Interest: a noun that means lightly intrigued in principle, but in a TW! It suffers inflation to mean “stalking and acting quite anti-socially weird”

All of which is to say that all wish lists are subject to a player in question being willing to leave if a suitable deal arrives and they have a release clause, as well as a team being willing to part with that player for a price if they don’t.

Lesson 1: Embrace Reality: It’s all well and good to say “get XXX” and all his friends, but if he isn’t interested in Arsenal or moving just now, or his team won’t sell then … This is despite the fact that all supermodels desperately want me, even now, which is to say,

à It helps to see the world as it is rather than how you may want it to be.

Lesson 2: Strength from Scarcity: If a hundred SQ strikers were all available due to the simultaneous collapse of the Spanish, Italian and several other economies, then getting a good deal would be easy. Alas, never true when you need it! Scarcity is what drives prices in the TW! Scarcity, and fear of missing out on a one chance opportunity. How do you beat scarcity? You look for weak teams or those who need money, or who need something else even more. AW knows this, and has basically said so, good economist that he is, and we see it every game that Santi and Nacho play. And Ozil, and many others who were bought for needed money when the time was right. Players entering the last year of their contracts, forcing teams to cash in before losing them on a free, in effect reverse scarcity, which is to say create desperation for the team, by their desire to leave. At least towards the end of a TW!

à Need and player are only two elements, timing matters. Who are the teams that need something even more and have the player we want? How can we create a reverse scarcity with the teams we deal with?

Lesson 3: Marginal is of central importance: An economist will tell you that when the price of a good and its value are about equal, you are in an area where small margins of interest or need determine the final price. Another way to look at it is that lower priced, more available players who turn out to be great, with some input work usually, are a far better bargain then buying a star. For Ozil’s 40M how many youngsters and training years could we have bought. Figure TW and AR together didn’t cost that much. Hence, AWs preference for youth, it’s a better buy. If you can wait.

à It would indicate that buying now should be an act of desperation. If we consider Lesson 2 then, the real moral of this story is to find someone more desperate. With some SQ to spare. Who are those teams? Who is this year’s Malaga or Anzhi?

Lesson 4: Prices are optional: The price set is optional. I can charge you $100 for a coffee from my brand new espresso machine, and 17HT might pay it! But, if you have other options (see Lesson 2, or Lesson 1 if you are addressing my price), then I likely wont get many buyers after 17.

However, more interestingly, they thus reveal information. The price set in a release clause for example shows not only the players value to the team, but also the added value they derive from not losing him. A form of insurance if you will. Find a desperate team and you will find that the second price component comes down, and you have a Santi or Nacho for example.

à Use the quoted price (and total cost) to determine how much a team feels “not losing” a player is worth to them. Who are the teams with a player we want who can “afford” to lose them the most?

 

Lesson 5: Much of business is figuring out how to get a customer to pay more for the same thing: This is fundamental and to me denotes much of the TW! You’re at the movies and of course you get overpriced popcorn. It’s like $10 for a small, and immediately the perky teenager behind the bar says “Would you like the next size up (appears to be about 50% more) for another $1?” Whoa, really?!? What a deal… And so we grow fatter. But, that’s not it really. What has really happened is that you paid $1 (10%) more for about $0.01 (1 cent) more of cost. I.e. you just paid more for the same thing!

TW! time concentrates the market and its desperation, and thus we pay more for the same thing. Far more then if we had a more open market. That should clearly point out that the TW! benefits not teams, nor players, but agents and leagues who profit directly and, by the publicity of large sums for players in their leagues, indirectly.

Please don’t go on about how we can make it up in shirt sales. I agree, but, that money also goes towards infrastructure development, paying the person who sells you your tickets or keeps Arsenal player online so Gerry and I can watch the games. Like a bonus or a tax return you should save, you can, or at least should, only spend it once.

The real question is how to pay the same for the same thing. Something I think AW has been very good at over the years but, with all the other lessons above, requires patience, and a willingness to be creative. We didn’t *need* Ozil, but he was available for the “same” price when you compare his cost to Bale for example.

Now, before you leap on the “he’s a cheapskate, kill him!” wagon. This is not about being cheap. Our friends across the way at Spurs are the classic case of paying more for the same thing. They took £80-100M of Bale money and spent it on just about a whole team. That played the same. One 40M Ozil or similar might have been a better deal and a way of paying less for more. ‘Nuff said!

à How can Arsenal and AW buy more for less or the same price, rather then paying more for the same thing (or less if you buy the “Arshavin Corollary”)? To me it’s about being creative, need a ST, buy a DM and play different perhaps… How can AW be creative and still get Arsenal where we want to be at the end of the year?

So, just some thoughts to keep in mind when reading those wish lists and figuring out who we might want and who we might get. Consider them tools to use in analyzing what might really be going on.

Who’s really willing? Who’s desperate? Who’s “scarce” and who’s not? Are we being super-sized to pay more for the same thing? Should we care? Who’s the player we don’t need that will turn out to be the player we absolutely needed (keeping in mind another midfielder wasn’t top of many folks lists this past TW!)?

What are your thoughts?

 

Cheers — jgc

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97 Responses to Economics, Terror Windows and why we pay more for the same thing…

  1. Dylan says:

    Hahaha hope Lesson One isn’t directed at me! 😉 Great comprehensive post! Ultra realistic for sure! Are you Wenger in disguise telling us off for not being reasonable in our demands? 😉 haha

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    jgc 🙂

    Excellently written and well argued post and it does indeed help to put things in perspective.

    Yet, I cannot help but feel that Wenger is a natural born ditherer – perhaps TOO much of an economist and risk averse to be really successful in getting the right players in quick enough. And this characteristic might also be adding to the complexities you described so well in your post. My business experience is that intelligent, calculated (and often risk averse) people need to be balanced by streetwise, risk-seeking, intuitive people, and vice versa. That’s what gets the best outcomes.

    Could we have had Cahill, Mata, Jovetic, Higuain, etc with a bit more business nous… I reckon at least some of these players could/should have become Gunners and I am hoping Gazidis is the right man for this going forward. He got us Ozil, SOMEHOW and AT THE LAST MINUTE, but is he really the best partner for Arsene?

  3. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey Dylan: No worries, keep posting, etc. Definitely some misunderstandings that a bit of editing might have corrected… I’ll get over it… 😀

    Professor: Beyond the notion that I might pay $100 for a cup of coffee there are a lot of good thoughts here, many of which I try and employ when wading through the transfer “news.” Like I said in response to Dylan’s post, there are ways to make your scouting lists which can be illuminating. Indicating the costs AND the availability helps keeps things real. We should also never look past the fact that these people are just that–they’re human beings. The notion of competition for places is all well and good but confidence and belief and knowing your mates (team spirit) are precious commodities and are not always on tap when new people are constantly being mooted, let alone actually coming in…

    So, like I say, scouting is good. We don’t all watch (or even have the opportunity to watch…) a lot of other players so I appreciate it when others alert me to guys they’ve watched closely. On the other hand, just throwing out names and asserting that they will improve the squad gets my goat–just because something is new and different doesn’t mean that it’s better…

    Something I’d like to say is that overall, I think, Football is a game about perseverance in the face of routine failure. Good players have the talent AND they have the mentality to keep going (and going and going) and trying things and, with a bit of luck, once in a while, they come off and a spot on MOTD is theirs! That’s at the offensive end. At the back, it’s all about being fastidious and never making mistakes and, ideally, NEVER being shown on MOTD! Unfortunately what we get IS MOTD (and other highlight reels…) and that’s where we decide who we want at the club (I’m still pushing for Messi and Ronaldo 😆 )… Unless we watch players as closely as we watch our own can we really say they’d be an improvement?…

    Anyhow, just more thoughts about how to approach the TW! To each their own, different strokes, etc., etc., etc., This squatchy is gonna try to go for a run even if I wish I was skiing…

  4. James Bond says:

    ah, The professor has spoken and given us all a mighty fine lesson , that’s why they call him the Professor with the J G and then C 🙂

    Realistic wish list :

    Wayne Rooney = Final 16-18 months, not willing to sign the contract on the table just yet – is RVP repeating itself ?

    Benteke = Signed a mega bucks deal only in the summer, however, Aston Villa need the money to be able to buy a few players , otherwise they will be in trouble – they have to do a west ham and sell their best player ? offer them 9 to 15 million and at 60 k per/week, might end up being the next big thing at Arsenal ? worth a punt – also available for all cup competitions ? Also, loves Arsenal and if we showed enough interest may even put in a transfer request himself, who knows.

    Remy = According to my understanding he has an 8 mills release clause still active, regardless of what Harry rednapp says (Gerry, informed me that he wants 16 for him)….he’s french, he can play along side Giroud in a 4-4-2 and strengthen his claim for the WC ahead of Benzema ? for 8 Million, it’s worth a go but maybe AW isn’t comfortable with his personality and so on ? off the pitch shenanigans ? saying that, if you can deal with Bendtner then dealing with him wouldn’t be a bigi

    already mention Vela , Salah and co, so not going to repeat.

    My personal wish list out of the 3 mention is Rooney for obvious reasons , an offer of 35 million should do the trick.

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    I just read the WordPress annual report on Bergkampesque and the total number of views in 2013 has been about 1.3million! The top five commenters were:

    1 Bond James 4240 COMMENTS
    2 thegooner19 3242 COMMENTS
    3 AFC 3135 COMMENTS
    4 glic 2421 COMMENTS
    5 Gerry Lennon 1723 COMMENTS

    Thanks guys and especially JB: you are Top of the League! 🙂

  6. James Bond says:

    where’s my statue ? you promised a gold statue in the last TW , if I got the Ozil one right –

    still awaiting my gold statue and now the trophy for TOTL 😀

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    In cyberworld you only have to imagine it and it’s yours, JB 🙂

  8. James Bond says:

    booo

  9. James Bond says:

    by the way, that’s the Gap I want Arsenal to have when sitting pretty at the Top to the runners up,

    go on Arsenal, we can do this just follow my lead 😉 off now before the Missus sees that and makes me sleep on the sofa for another night, ha

  10. geoffchase says:

    Dylan, TA, 17:

    Well, Dylan, it wasnt you I was referring to actually! … and yes, I am AW! .. 😀

    TA: Is it dithering or is that in past we have been so desperate it pays the other side to wait and watch. Especially if they know they will sell? Ozil only came because RM needed the dosh and he wanted out. Jovetic and Higuain, I wonder if they werent also due to who a club wants to sell to or who a player prefers more. I think especially with Higuain he chose Napoli for the long ago Argentine connection… Hard to say who is at fault.

    Or in contrast, I think ManU under SAF and nowadays City, get what they want because everyone “knows” they can do without. Easier shopping when the seller knows you may just walk away. And, the players often want to test themselves at the best so it’s amore “natural” fit maybe. I think that that is where ARsenal want to be in terms of being able to walk away.

    Thus, IMO, if AW has a weakness, its that he wont overfill the squad to that point. Or not as much so, which makes it harder not to end up quite so desperate perhaps.

    17: are you saying my coffee sucks!? 😈

    Overall, IMO, I think the way to go is to have good youth always coming through (invest via the shirt sales receipts!), like Gnabry is this year and AR over the prior few, and thus be less “desperate” if you can, while investing carefully for the most impact (not paying more for the same outcomes/thing).

    cheers — jgc

  11. geoffchase says:

    JB,

    I like your list. My thoughts:

    a. Rooney – could be had for the right price. I suspect ManU need the dosh given their debt to reinvest elsewhere. Equally, he can provide the impact … I.e. he might meet everyones needs

    b. Benteke – disappeared lately, so the question would be if he could reinvigorate with teh service he’d get at Arsenal. … or do we wait for Lukaku over summer… ?? Again, he could be waiting and Chelsea might be willing (or not! 🙂 )

    c. Remy – lately not so impressed. The argument is correct, but he seems to disappear in games? Or is that lack of service. I dont watch enough to know really…

    To me, I think RM needs money to keep investing how it wants to catch Barca. So, some fringe players will go this summer or maybe now. Morata? Equally, teh spanish leagues and economy are struggling, so Martinez or Costa may well go now to someone aggressive. The part that makes me wonder is how some Italian teams stay afloat in their mid tier, there are some good players there …

    Just some random first thoughts!

    cheers — jgc

  12. geoffchase says:

    TA:

    Can you not just change the background for poor JB… something golden for a day or so?? 🙂

    cheers — jgc

  13. Dylan says:

    Poor JB gets no gold. 😉 Haha. 😉 Of your list of strikers the only one I’d really want is Benteke. He passes like Giroud and could be an even better player in a few years!
    Good to hear 17!! 🙂

  14. Gerry says:

    JB – Two thirds of your comments are made during matches in hyper mode, and if they filtered out
    ahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    you would not be on the list 😀

  15. James Bond says:

    sorry, I could not resist but posting whilst I’m in bed as the wifey is on the phone –

    you do realize that Giroud Passes and his completion rates are one of the worst amongst strikers in England or Across Europe, right ? it’s at 60ish % or along them lines

    so if Benteke Passes like Giroud, then he can stay at AV @ Dylan

    🙂

    Remy,has done well with NW and goes missing because of not much creative play most of the times @ JGC – you got that one right.

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Interesting theories jgc….. But I am not buying it all. For me he is ditherer.

  17. James Bond says:

    Ah, Gerry must be the 2nd one on the list, hence the bitterness oozes out along with the grumpy ness – indeed, the grapes are sour

    PS: HI-FIVE GLICS !

  18. James Bond says:

    *or 5th

  19. Dylan says:

    JB, well I meant more in his link up play style in vision not in his percentages. Benteke has WC vision and an AW brain. 😉

  20. Just slapped myself to get out of the dazzling lights of the post !.
    Totes…..Does Glic`s comments include Monsters comments, even though they are separate personalities ?. 😀

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    Remy goes and went missing everywhere – not a good option in my view

  22. Nice to know my Logic has so many hits !. hahaha

  23. Gerry says:

    JB – I was only jesting, but when I read it back after posting I did not believe it was my message.

    It came out all wrong, sorry about that, but there was a smiley face?

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    I reckon it is all included into one: Glic, Cockie and Fozzer hahahaha 😀

  25. That’s the sort of comment to start a rumour !. hahaha
    Glic and myself are on different email accounts that’s why I ask……….as for Fozzer….different fcuking Planet !. hahaha

  26. How many serious comment from my 2.4k ?…….count this as one !.

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey nutbum, I pay two pennies for every comment! 😈

  28. For my unique originality, that’s cheap at half the price !. 🙂

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    Just different degrees of insanity, Glicockiefozzer 🙄

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    You are a uniquehorn and utterly original :p

    Night all.

  31. Gerry says:

    Professor – ‘Tis a good deed you have done there. Fine stuff.

    I am at a loss for words, which is unusual for me 🙄

    I guess what I am trying to say, you hit all the points that go into the complex mix that makes these windows either fun or dread, depending on each perspective.

    The missing ingredient for us on the outside is that we never know the full details. I tend towards TA’s view that AW can deliberate too long, and this allows others to step in.

    Sanabria was on my wish list, and it seemed quite a simple matter of meeting the release clause of £3.5m and a deal was done. But, from the outside, distractions of too many pies perhaps, meant we left an opportunity for Roma to step in. That is the outside view, there may have been other considerations that we never hear about. Of course the headline is ‘Barca starlet snubs Arsenal’.
    🙄
    I even saw one earlier ‘Berbatov told to snub Arsenal’, which I thought was hilarious.

    We can take it far too seriously of course. Speculation is one thing. Thinking our views have an impact is another. We are just paying passengers on a line that we do not know where it will take us. So let us just comment on the view out of the window …

  32. geoffchase says:

    Gerry and TA,

    Interesting thoughts. The real question in all cases is “was AW still (as) interested after further investigation?” of whatever player or deal.

    As we have discussed before intangibles can affect deals. Sponsors *may* affect deals, image rights, third party issues, potential sponsor linkups *do* affect where players want to go and what teams can offer. So, is he dithering or simply interested until further details wane that interest.

    In some ways, it is no different then shopping for an all new car. One knows about cars in general and has broad ideas of performance and price range. However, if you are limited at all, you look also at warranties, fuel economy for the type of driving you do, repair statistics, service possibilities. That can take you across a broad range of possibilities. The must have car intially becomes a non-starter if they wont lower the price or offer more service perhaps…

    IMO, he didnt dither on Ozil but does on the “lesser” players as he considers whether our very strong youth side might offer more. Recall taht every time you bring in a Lewandowski, you make a Mandzukic less likely to succeed and thus more ready to leave… who had in turn “Gomez’ed” the prior place holder at Bayern.

    So, to me it’s often more complex then not given you give 2-4 year contracts and that can seem forever to a blocked youth player. Our young stars, AR and TW, came on so fast it was unlikely to happen to them, but what does a Gnabry think if we bring in a DiMaria/Reus? Yes, there will be enough games, but not if you consider that they all want to be superstars, when there can be only one of those… Finding that right balance is, I think, hard…

    Regardless, it wont get solved by my word count alone. I would as you this TA… if AW and Co win the league will he still be a “champion ditherer” or will become a “dithering champion”??? 🙂 😛

    cheers — jgc

  33. geoffchase says:

    I wuold *ask* you this and … or will *he* become a …

    What does this say for the grant I am typing!? 😦

    sigh — jgc

  34. Gerry says:

    Geoff – That is exactly what I meant about the ‘unknown’ factors for us on the outside.

    In the case I highlighted, in spite of the player being a bright prospect, it could be the form of Gnabry may have tilted the balance? It could also be that he indicated something early on that Roma could give him (or his agent?) that Arsenal were not prepared to match or better?

    Sometimes, like the Suarez ‘non-release’ clause, did mean by focusing on one player, we may have missed an opportunity elsewhere? I am sure AW, in his short list of possible signings, he has alternatives lined up. In the pursuit of Morata, he has ‘reportedly’ got Martinez as back up. But as I read it, if we are paying for the privilege of coaching another clubs player, £2m + wages?, with no ‘option to buy’ then there has to be a bigger reason to do it, other than the ‘short term crisis’. That is, imo, the big, available only in the summer, signing? There is also the possibility that AW is keeping that option warm in case RM want to spend big themselves, so he can pounce, Ozil style, with a big cash offer for an outright purchase?

    However, an this is me just speculating, the only reason I can think that Martinez was not snapped up earlier is the release fee being too high for a player untested in the tougher EPL? We, well more AW, had a chance to see him pre-season during the Emirates Cup, as the game Martinez was involved in was not televised, so I have my doubts about that happening at the current price?

    I doubt very much that Rooney is seriously thought of as a possibility either. He, or Colleen is, money driven. He is on £250k a week, I can only see Chelsea paying those sort of wages, and they need a striker that will score on a regular basis? But that in turn might mean the release of both E’to and Torres, which could open up possibilities for whoever they displace? But not this side of July? Not to mention, he is the only player that might keep Man U afloat if they get their defence and midfield sorted, or their reluctance to sell to rivals?

    I will still hope that AW has an ace up his sleeve for this window, yet to be revealed. Once the final details, and cost, of ‘the Big one’ is signed and sealed, then I hope we see more positive action follow in other areas.

    As to the Champion Ditherer title? I hope that will be avoided as long as he can secure the right player in the right placer, even if they do not match popular opinion.

    As always, a pleasure to read your analytical explained in simple terms. I like the car one above, but you missed out perhaps the biggest factor when deciding … Practicality, i.e. will it fill our needs in real terms?

    cheers

  35. Gerry says:

    I missed this article yesterday, but it goes along with what I was saying?

    http://sportwitness.ning.com/forum/topics/latest-from-spain-on-morata-to-arsenal-wenger-ready-to-pay-18m-an

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Geoff and Gerry

    All good comments and to some extent it is good that Wenger dithers as buying a player who does not work out can be very costly (Arshavin, Veron, Shevchenko, etc).

    Of course I dont know Arsene personally and it is only my interpretations from interviews and articles on his pursuits of players. Let’s wait and see what will happen next. Another Ozil like signing this year would change my perception, for sure! 😉

  37. geoffchase says:

    Ah Gerry

    That is also the real point of the car story! In practical reality, any car that works well enough will do! The rest is the style you arrive in! 🙂

    Always the great unknown, will they perform, or will they, per your example, “Torres” and not live up to what was thought, no matter the obvious promise beforehand..

    Cheers — jgc

  38. geoffchase says:

    And my above for you too TA

    I wish to death I could re-find the Economist article that showed that the big buys fail about 2/3rds of time to deliver the expected return. Ie They Are no better and often lesser then before.

    Much like superstar CEOs or scientists lured away for big bucks and bigger perks, they never quite repeat the feats. IMO it’s because they often do not know 100% what or why they were so successful at the first place. Often over ascribing success to themselves and less to team, organization, style or other “environmental” factors.

    Thus, I like creators and defenders. They are the safer bets. Creators create for others so it translates a lot. Defenders, well even more so what you see is what you get. Strikers are the worst, as success depends almost entirely on service, team, style, etc… A case for at least a little introspective dithering? 🙂

    Cheers — jgc

  39. TotalArsenal says:

    Aah Geoff but the arrival of the Torres car might have made the other cars perform better as in work harder and believe more that their team can go all the way… and the Chavs have won a lot since the SEAT’s arrival.. football players, unlike cars, have e-motion hahaha 🙂

  40. geoffchase says:

    TA and Gerry

    Circles in circles! But really, when in he didn’t do nearly so well as before he came. Something is IMO missing in what he had and what he ended up with, or different enough on field (or off) that he didn’t settle. … Still competition never hurts, but too much is dispiriting… Moderation in all things, yes? 🙂

    Gerry, re, Morata, well the story seems to fit.. But will he perform? So hard to tell, glad it’s someone else’s zillions…

    Cheers — jgc

  41. Gerry says:

    JB – I should also like to repeat my apology for the comment last night. As I said, it did not come across as intended.

    I had just finished watching the Stargazing thing on telly, read Geoff’s piece, and got to your humorous bleating about not getting a statue for your high comment input … and I was attempting to humorously dampen down your speculation. Alas, changing from tv to computer mode awoke dogs who then wanted to go out. I did not read it through, and just posted.

    Honestly, when I came back I thought somebody had hacked into my message as I could not remember writing it, in that form at least. I was on the verge of posting a message to that effect.

    I sat there rereading struggling to remember what I thought I had said. In the end I gave up, and by which time you had quite rightly labelled me a sad old git with a touch of the sour grapes.

    What I had hoped to point out was that single line …’hahaha’s’, and multiple ‘WTF!’s during matches might be considered to outside of the general use of ‘comments’ … but meant in jest.

    I will make immediate amends, after seeing I have sent in over 1700 comments, and spend a little more time catching up with my racing data. A prospect I have just realised will take all of the next 3 months to catch up …

    You on the other hand, might try your hand at writing a blog, and boost your tally higher as you fend off any negative comments 😀 Pretty please 😀

    Go on, I dare you …

  42. Fozzie B says:

    Greetings Terrified Tortuous Tranny Window Todger Tamers!! 😆
    A fine post Sammy the Eagle JGC and will comment more later as this is just a fleeting visit to award a prize to JB!!! 😀
    On behalf of all the BK brethren I would like to present to you …..
    Drums please!!!!
    Da da daaaaaaa!!!!! 😆

    http://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/51163901/authentic-leather-loincloth-gold?

  43. Fozzie B says:

    That’s right … And it’s gold baby yeah!!! 😆

  44. geoffchase says:

    Ah Fozzie

    ARs half a prize. He will have to make his own statue with that on!

    Cheers — jgc

  45. geoffchase says:

    Argh, .. *that is only*

    Damn ipad…

  46. Fozzie B says:

    Formal BK ceremony for Cockie … Totes is the one checking that Cockies Pituitary is ok!!! Haha … Such a thoughtful chap!! 😆

    http://m.zimbio.com/pictures/IhDav6ywSGx/36th+Annual+Daytime+Emmy+Awards+Show/uHMKTqNYlhD/Fran+Brill

  47. Fozzie B says:

    Picture 3 …. Totes says “Cough Cockie!!” !! Hahaha!!!! 😆

  48. Fozzie B says:

    Nice that Santi could make the awards (Elmo)

  49. James Bond says:

    ah, Gerry – there’s no need for an apology, I know it was all said in Jest and our usual banter was continuing, really there was no need for an apology let alone repeating it, my comment was also tongue in cheek and the PS should have been a give away where I sent hi-fives to Glic 🙂 I know you meant no harm by it and was said in the right spirit,even if it came out all wrong, no worres

    however, it’s “ahahahhahahaahahahhahahahaha” and not “hahhahahahaa” 👿

    re- writing a post, well, ever since I found out that it costs TA 2 pennies per comment, I don’t think that’s going to be a good idea considering I’m mostly controversial and have little support, so I will end up replying to a million negative comments which basically mean that TA may end up being bankrupt (I can help you with that , free of charge if it ever went that far @ TA 😀

    and I’m not sure it was a wise thing to do mentioning the cost per comment as now I expect to go mental with his comments and posts loads every day just to make sure TA ends up paying far more than before 😀

    ahahahahahhahahahahahahahahaahha @ FB – behave yourself but if it’s real gold, then I’ll take it 😉

    anyone on here interested in bit coins and such likes ?

  50. Congrats on all the awards… 007, it really might be time to write that first post. Maybe a thank you to all the Qs and Moneypennies, villains and double agent ladies you’ve wooed over the years…

    Speaking of Villains, don’t we have a match to play and some pay back to dole out?…Ugh, not until Monday…

    With the contradictory takes on the economics of the TW! (We can buy anybody and everybody say some; it’s pretty tough to make worthwhile purchases, say others…) I’m inclined to shut my pie-hole for a bit and just let the matches and the speculation play out. But then I start in on my coffee and suddenly here I am. 😀 I may not win a podium position with the # of my posts, but at least they tend to be on the longer and more blathery side…

    In truth, I’ve got nothing to say this morning, but notice how it doesn’t stop me… (Let that be a lesson for the younger guys…) The transfer “news” looks pretty empty (Morata would be same generation as Gnabry AND he’s from the RM academy, so I don’t see it…) and speculation as to how we might try and break down Villa seems premature. A battle of mid-fields and defenses and I like the looks of ours over theirs. Benteke’s been playing but not doing much. Maybe working our CBs and scoring a few will put him back on the transfer radar? It would be rather ironic if Villa is the club to bring out the haters for a 2nd time this season when they’ve been struggling with so many themselves. Is Giroud ready to play yet, do we make poor Lu-lu tromp around in his stead or do we unveil the 4-6-0 (Santi in the Arshavin role)?… There must be a question where the goals will come from, but also an idea that if the midfield starts purring they could come from all over. This match, in so many ways then, would seem like an opening day (for the 2nd half of the season…), all over again…

    As such, I think it’s time for Oz to step in with a pre-view…Or ToTL (we still are…) to let us know what’s on tap.

    Cheers! 😀

  51. 17highburyterrace says:

    Bond, you got me on the simulpost…ahahahahahahahahaha…(as they say)….

    Indeed, the one thing that might stop me from posting is believing that ToTL actually has to pay money for my drivel…Surely there must be better uses for the money AND if he has to take a job to pay for comments such as these, I’m just not going to be able to sleep…

    ToTL, please tell us that you were kidding…

    Likewise, Bond, please tell us that you were kidding on still wanting the Shrekster or at least believing it has any chance (in hell) of coming off… The day we spend a pound on that guy is the day I cease to support this great club…

    OK, my people are waking up, back to the (espresso) machine…

  52. Fozzie B says:

    Actually it wasnt Cockies Pituitary it was his Prostate!!! Haha 😆 explains the googly eyes and the satisfied grin!! Totes “Goldfinger” really working his Midas touch!! .. Hahahaha!! 😆

  53. Fozzie B says:

    Sasquatchanova!! 😆 seems the expressos and the Sasquatches flaunting themselves outside your window have ye a bit frisky this morning eh??haha!!!
    You wrote:

    “Bond, you got me on the simulpost!!! …. Haha!!! 😆
    Appears Bondy has already put his bee golden Tarzan loincloth to good use!!
    Sounds like a scene from the BK Brokeback Diaries!! .. Haha!!
    So was that ahahahahahahahahaha laughing or
    ahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaa!!!! Daaaam that hurts??? Hahaha!!! 😆
    And when Bondy was done … Then Sasquatch 1 and 2 had their wicked way with you!! Hahaha!!! 😆
    Whatever you do 17h … Keep the family in bed a little longer and keep the curtains closed!! … Horny bastardo!!! 😆

  54. Fozzie B says:

    *new gold Tarzan loincloth …. (2p for such masterpieces … What a bargain!! Hahhaha!!) 😀

  55. James Bond says:

    cheers everyone including 17HT , I’m sure I had the award winning speech here somewhere, ah, can’t find it 😀

    Giroud is 100% fit @ 17HT – what are you on about ? Bendy is 90% fit and available for Fulham – happy days ? 🙄

    ahahhahahahahahahahahhahahahahaha @ FB – what do you usually have for breakfast, dinner and lunch, I wonder !

  56. James Bond says:

    Ox is playing 45 minutes tonight 😉

    and it’s all a bit quiet at the moment @ 17HT – sadly , If and when I hear something I’ll let everyone know and hold your hand if need be, if it’s something related to Roony 😀

  57. James Bond says:

    *Rooney, as long as you don’t promise to puke on me, ha

    before you all jump on me asking me this that or the other,

    there’s a game behind closed doors tonight.

    Bendy is doing rather well and back in a good way, sooner rather than later, both gibbs and ramsey are close as well along with Tv5, 3 out of the 4 have a solid chance for Fulham.

    if we don’t lose anyone else this month then it’s only theo our long term injury as Diaby is on the mend as well.

  58. Fozzie B says:

    Bacon, pork JB!! Mrs P wouldn’t have it any other way!! 😆 I definitely would have Shrek too JB, but see him at Chelsea with his wages. I no you say we can afford him but I still can’t see it. Only the Wenger factor could be the reason. I think Benteke would be worth a punt if not now later while his stock and the villains stock are down… At 22 he has so much maturity, room to improve and a gooner heartbeat!! If not SQ this window then Morat temp or Benteke for 15m or in the Summer to replace the Danish Samurai and then get our SQ then. 😀

  59. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ugh, Bond, there goes my breakfast… Rooney’s coming, you say? And where does David Moyes go then? My guess is Blackburn, but my sauce eats a lot of chicken… 😆

    I saw AW comments saying that Ozil and Giroud had “trained well” and “could play”… On Bendtner he said, “3 weeks until he begins training”… Gibbs and Ramsey sound close, however, and the comment on Ox was that he’s “back and available”… (We’ll see how this reserve match goes, I gues…) So, overall good news, even if Bendtner’s own take was a bit optimistic…

    Still waiting for ToTL to tell us what’s in the queue and to assure us (or at least me) that my 2 cents doesn’t actually cost HIM that much every time it dribbles off my fingertips…

    Fozzie, you have a very twisted mind, but yes, lubrication does seem a good idea when simul-posting… 😯

    Re: The Aston Villa match… Who is the ref? That was some ridiculous work on opening day with the guy that day (Anthony Taylor) taking the play-on idea to extreme lengths, except, of course, in our box. At least with the home crowd blinded by their “Spend Some F*cking Money” signs he had plenty of vocal support for his approach. This time round I expect some serious payback with Koscielny doing the in-my-pocket routine with Benteke. Agbonglahor (who can run the break) is a fitness issue himself, I think. If Ollie and Messy are back at it then it’s just a question of who rounds out the MF. No word on Arteta who required the final sub vs Spurs… As such my guess is that Flamini, Wilshere, Santi and Sicky round out the squad, though I wouldn’t be surprised if Poldolski gets a try over on the left. The 5 mins he and Ollie played together at West Ham yielded a goal… Could Gnabry also get a look in or must he wait for Coventry?… I guess, I’m ready now…Unfortunately it’s 4 days off… 😦

  60. 17highburyterrace says:

    Geez, nobody here… (Bond, I know you were only trying to worry me with the Shrek talk… Also, I wanted to say that at least Dylan is anti on that account–even if he wants almost everybody else–proving his honor-student credentials…)

    Neil Swarbrick? That’s our referee…

    BvB (Dortmund) swooping for Serge?… Sounds as likely as anything else I’m seeing 🙄

    Maybe I’ll have to do my UMFs early this week :double eye roll: …

  61. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening guys 🙂

  62. Fozzie B says:

    Evening Totes,17 … Check out the charitable munchies …
    Bayern Munich have told their supporters they will subsidise the £62 tickets at Arsenal by putting £74,350 towards the cost.
    The European champions said in a statement that they realised the match would make “a big dent in supporters’ wallets” and wanted the gesture to be “a small thank you for the great support of followers” in 2013, a year in which the club won the Bundesliga, German Cup, Super Cup, World Club Championship and Champions League.
    Bayern have made the 2,974 tickets available at £37 despite already having 18,000 supporters apply for the full-price tickets for the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie at the Emirates on 19 February.

  63. Gerry says:

    Very funny line up for the Under 21’s tonight?

    From what looks it could be a 4-4-2, but will play as follows:
    ——————–Macey————————-
    Jenks —— Ajayi———Hayden —–Yennaris
    ——–Olsson————Frimpong————
    AOC ————–Eisfeld___________ Ryo
    ——————-Afobe___________________

    Looks odd with Nico at LB?

  64. Gerry says:

    At least they have B54 on the bench for LB, but only Crowley and Toral for the attack now Akpom has got his loan deal. I hope Afobe can do the 90, otherwise it will be a 1-4-6 job to finish off?

  65. Evening Venomous Venereal Vulva Vommiters !. 😆

    A very detailed post, Proff Giddy !. 😆
    It covers all the intricate and complex ( to the layman ) details of why transfers are not as straight forward as we would all ( most ) like to think !.
    However, you didn`t cover the one small detail I wanted to know !…………………………………………who the fcuk are we going to buy ?. hahaha

    Akpom has gone out on loan the Brentford and here is a twitter link to the U21`s game away to Fulham tonight, as JB said….Ox will be playing in a quite strong team !.

    https://twitter.com/Arsenal

  66. Gerry says:

    TCM – The KO has been put back to 7.15

  67. You know what I love about Proff Giddy ?. He`s just like me !…………he has put up a “like this” on his own post !. hahaha
    I would do exactly the same if I ever did a post……what do you expect from someone who plays kiss chase with himself !. hahaha
    I bet being a Proff Giddy, he even marks his own papers with an A+ !.
    Professor and Van Driver……….not much difference really !. hahaha

  68. Gerry says:

    This might disappoint those who thought Martinez would be a great buy at £33m?

    http://www.newsnow.co.uk/A/689196027?-19387:844

  69. Gezzer………Fulham are top of the U21 League !…..so not an easy game, although not a lot can be read into this as players go out on loan etc` and teams can change dramatically over a number of games !.

  70. Gerry says:

    TCM – I know that, and I think we have 3 games in hand over them? I was just saying, it is not just the first team that is light for a CF?

  71. No one wants a SQ striker more than me, but I don’t want Arsene ( not that I think he will ! ) to buy the likes of Martinez or Costa !. If we cant get the likes of Suarez, Rooney, Reus etc`, then don’t bother and wait `till the Summer TW !. It`s great that we are not selling our best anymore, so for a sound future, we don’t want any potential wage guzzling deadwood either !.

  72. geoffchase says:

    CM

    I like my posts because I am brilliant. I give myself A’s because I am brilliant and humble! 😛

    cheers — jgc

  73. Will you be ” Stargazing Live ” tonight, Gezzer ?
    Stretch does a lot of that stuff using his hairy telescope in his observatory ( The Loft ) !.
    He did have a bit of an accident with the Pigeons !. They mutilated his `scope with some severe pecking and almost castrated the fat balls !.
    However, always the entrepreneur, he has swiftly moved from Astronomy to Astrology and now sits in his loft…..sorry observatory, ” Scargazing at his highly lascerated `scope !…charging the local octogenarians the small fee of a toothless blo-job as he reads his horrorscope !. hahaha

  74. geoffchase says:

    FB

    you claim Aoetearoa as home, yet you post at 5am?? 🙄

    cheers — jgc

  75. 17highburyterrace says:

    Gerry, Thanks for that link. I’ve met Tim and he really knows his football–and if he doesn’t he finds out! He’s doing even better blogging now that it’s not a (strictly) daily effort…(But because of that I don’t always check for new posts–thanks for alerting me on this one. Also, the one before on your boy–dare I even use the first letter of his last name–is very exciting even if we wait until Summertime…)

    It appears even Cockie is willing to wait…Did you see this one, my furry friend? http://hereisthecity.com/en-gb/2014/01/09/bayern-agree-new-summer-signing-swiss-stars-future-under-threat/ To me, beyond the fact that his hips don’t lie 😀 he’s a little too much like the Swiss Jack Wilshere. Also, I never see him starting matches, only coming in as a sub., but maybe you know more…

    Yeah, Arsenal are being linked with just about everyone but I sense zero fire behind all the smoke…

    Back on topic…Professor, doesn’t it all boil down to the basic idea that price is only one window into determining (future) value–and in the case of (used) footballers, not a very good one?… My thought is that there are A LOT of people who do not understand this concept and naturally assume that the more something costs the more it’s worth. Thank god that’s not true or we would have no chance to ever (foreseeable future, at least…) finish above 3rd in the league (Of course, if you look at our net-spend, we’d have been relegated… :shock:)

    Really I’m just trying to understand why I react sooooo negatively to the SSFM (spend some f*cking money) types… In truth, when I hear such sentiments I translate them as “I’m angry and stupid, please ignore me.” The problem is that angry and stupid people tend to repeat themselves in ever louder tones and I’m not good at ignoring… I wish I was more generous of spirit, but, unfortunately, the boys with their lists often come in for a similar judgement… 😳

    Any advice? I don’t want to be a bitter old man… (Big birthday looming, I fear…)

  76. Hahaha Proff Giddy………you are the only BKer who actually has the qualifications to class and call them self…….. Brilliant !. hahaha

  77. James Bond says:

    there you go then, least you have young Dylan supporting you on that one, but do bear in mind, that D doesn’t rate Rosicky too highly either 😆 or least he didn’t before our Ferrari ran half length of the pitch to score a beautiful goal @ 17HT

    the under 21’s are playing rather well, only a matter of time before we get off the mark, good decent 45 minutes there by the Ox – will he be on the bench for Aston Villa ? I would like to think so.

    let’s read Gerry’s link now, shall we

  78. Yes, 17 !. I posted ages ago Shaqiri would be a brilliant buy, not that I think he is anything like Jacky Boy !. From what I`ve seen, more a fast tricky live wire winger !. Make it so !.

  79. James Bond says:

    FB is under attack by the Professor 😆

    read the piece on Martinez, where as I don’t agree entirely with his analysis , I’ll say this, Giroud can’t have a carbon copy in Martinez since South American Strikers are very different to the ones we have in Europe , there styles of play are very different even if their stats look similar.

    anyhow, to cut a long story short, I wouldn’t even want us to fork out 2 million euros on the RM lad, what’s the point for 6 months ? unless we can agree the terms in such a way that would let us buy him for 8 million in the summer or so on ?

    I say all this because we still have Joel.C , who I reckon will be at Arsenal come this summer – he will be next in action against Man utd in the CL – so watch this space.

  80. geoffchase says:

    17

    Well, yes, very true, teh price reflects the future perceived value. That said, realising it is the real case. It also reflects need. Need to sell, and need to have. Those adjust up/down also.

    The real issue is that everyone only hears about and remembers teh big buys that do well. The 2 others, for every “success”, that “fail” or dont really live up hugely to the price and perceived future value (Arshavin? Torres?) dont get talked about much ..

    So, the risk is hidden and it’s easy to say SSFM… especially when it’s not your M you’re yelling about.. until ticket prices rise of course or your club “Leeds'” into a nether devision.. I just ignore it as the reality is that there is huge risk in spending big, especially on players like strikers who thrive, like delicate flowers, only in places where the environment and surrounding support are perfect.

    cheers — jgc

  81. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cockie, Is he strong enough to really get by the big (and rough) defenders in England, given that whistles blow so rarely? Maybe he’s more of a Swiss Aaron Lennon 😯 In fact, is he the one who couldn’t even get past Pique and ended up having his love-child? I feel very confused…

    Hey 007, give Dylan a break… To him somebody Rosicky’s age must seem like he’s 100… At least he can spot ugly, cheating, mercenaries even if their hairweaves are coming in nicely. 😀

    Yeah, I can’t see the Morata loan being considered unless there is an option to buy…

    Sounds like there’s a Belgian-Senegalese defender in the sights… Won’t bother trying to spell the name until he’s in the squad…

    But I’ll go by what you said at the top: “it’s all a bit quiet at the moment” So, even our int’l man of mystery suggests that it’s all smoke, no flame….

  82. Fozzie B says:

    JB that my sentiment exactly on the Morata deal! 😀
    Prof Giddy … Its taken you awhile to work out my posting hours eh? 😀
    You must be the only BK Brethren who thinks I live in NZ…. I’m a kiwi alright but live in the UK and never hidden that. ….. It’s all good. … 😀
    And thanks for posting a link a few weeks ago for the game
    😀
    Watching this documentary on BBC … On dolphins .. They play with puffer fish … Waiting for it to puff up then they use it as fish bong!!!! Hahaha!!! Apparently the pufferfish realises this mild toxin and they all got stoned off their nut!! 😆
    Love these guys!!
    Shame Stretchs pigeons don’t have the same affection for his dolphin eh??!! Haha!! 😆

  83. 17highburyterrace says:

    Thanks professor… esp. the words about players needing a perfect environment and surrounding support. In truth, I believe that’s what we (as fans) can actually impact, giving the players the OPPOSITE of the SSFM treatment and as much support as possible. Everybody has the right to criticize, but you don’t have to exercise that right where the players can hear you…

    Also, you picked up on the key element in my use of brackets…It’s not like a new car, there is no warranty. When buying used, you will pay a lot for “prestige” even if the vehicle doesn’t have many (smooth) miles remaining…There’s also the “opportunity cost” that buying big entails. Only 11 can play at any one time (14 in the full match). Putting new guys ahead of others who think they might get a chance is another spirit killer…

    So, yeah, until Bond tells me different, my money is on continued g-rowth for Gnabry and guys like Santi, Sicky AND Ozil stepping up to help us find Theo’s missing goals and assists. Ox and Ramsey as they become fit can also fill those forward positions where I like them best…

    Still, you gotta cross your fingers about Ollie staying fit. As crap as people think he is, he gives us a bit of shape that Bendtner can only dream about as he rushes his ankle along. My hunch is that Nicky isn’t pushing too hard with the water aerobics and the weights and that it’s all bluster from tightening the top-knot and smoking too many cigars…or puffer fish… 😯

    Speaking of staying fit, time to push off for my run on the trails…only small patches of snow out there but even they aren’t slippery what with plenty of sand ground into them by the hikers and bikers…

  84. TotalArsenal says:

    hahaha Fozzer 🙂

    For me you are now always the Gatwick Kiwi – always near the airport to make a speedy escape hahaha 🙂

  85. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post – let’s do some Maureen bashing! 😀

  86. proudgooner says:

    jgc,
    Good post, spot on in what you are saying . Except popcorn making you fat ha ha ha
    It seems as though the media does not really know who Wenger is after same as we don’t. I think they have probably all ran out out of steam after the last TW which was totally ridicules .

    Whislt reading your post a thought came to me, considering Wenger business mind and past transfers. I think he will be looking closely at lower league strikers. Giroud and Kos and Jenkinson and some other i have probably missed have come from there and been very good
    I remember in an interview Wenger saying this might be the way to go in the future and it could well be. Just thought i would throw that 1 out there. I bet there is a couple out there that could turn into a world class striker given the chance and Wenger’s teachings. I can’t think of any at the top of my head but i think Arsene would make the scouts search.

    JB
    I like you targets Rooney being the best as i think Benteke has a massive realease clause and is injured so can’t help at present we should have got him in the summer even more so when you think he is a gooner.

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