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Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day

It's Groundhog Day!

In America they say you can tell when spring is near when the groundhog sees it's shadow. In England you can tell that summer is near when half of the Arsenal first team are preparing to leave. That's right, joy of joys, it's that time again for some of us to start worrying and for others to curse that 'Hleb 13' replica shirt you bought for you nephew's birthday as it mocks you every time you open your wardrobe (why did I give you one of my good hangers instead of a cheap wire one - damn you God!) I'm sure this is something that most supporters will claim to have the monopoly on, what with C. Ronaldo, Berbatov and Drogba attracting some possible suitors for the second season now. However, with Arsenal it just seems to have been the case for about the last 6-7 years. From Vieira to Henry on to Fabregas and now even Flamini?!

Every year the followers of Arsenal have had to forgo the delights of the summer transfer speculation instead settling for the cold sweats as we hear stories of Henry sipping Rioja in a suggestive manner and Hleb enjoying some clandestine strolls through the streets of Milan. I really hope that this summer Le Boss decides to dust off the Arsenal cheque book and bring in some established star players worthy of Arsenal and the football they play. It's something that really grates on me when I read that players like Kaka, Cassillas and Eto'o adore the way Arsenal play leading me to stand outside Wenger's home shouting that we must sign one of them and...oh ...what's that? you spotted a 16yo Kenyan left back? Your right Boss, sign him instead. Why must we always do that? Preferring to spend the summer budget on fat juicy contracts for our existing loyal players. No honestly, it's like signing a new player we're told, well if you spend 10 million on an existing player for twelve months work I guess it is kind of like a new signing....umm isn't it?

This summer Arsenal should use the existing funds plus whatever we get for Hleb on players like Villa to bolster the side so next season they can take the positives from this campaign and add the vitality that new signings bring. This will help a team of promising players to improve rather than hinder them as Wenger believes. We have been led to believe that money is killing football - utter nonsense. Money plus a good manager turned Chelsea from an under achieving club into one of the best in Europe, let's hope that same cocktail will be sampled at Arsenal - starting this summer.

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Date:Thursday April 24 2008
Time: 12:45PM


Arsene can't manage a big squad or egos. Throwing cash around is not the answer.
24/04/2008 12:58:00
and y the hell shud we sell hleb...thatrs just insane
24/04/2008 13:06:00
When you're saddled with a huge stadium repayment, you can't really expect signings like Kaka and Messi. I get really bored of this Championship Manager mentality to the point that I just completely turn off of football in the summer, I can't be arsed with all this, "we must sign Villa, cos the papers said we should, I've actually only ever seen him play three times but sod it." And comparing to Chelsea? The club that makes losses of £74m. You think that on top of the new stadium is the answer? Really? Why get so uptight about the whole transfer thing. You can't control it and in reality, we all know sod all about it. It's all very well bandying names about because so and so got an eight on heading on FIFA 2008, but we don't know the intracacies of contracts, personalities etc. Who's to say Messi would even fit in at Arsenal? If speculation about players leaving gets to you- ignore it. It's 99% bull***** anway.
Little Dutch
24/04/2008 13:17:00
I am getting truly tired of this every summer at Arsenal. Whereas before I was hoping that these players wouldn't leave, my attitude now is if they don't want to be here, then sod off, I don't want them here. I'd rather have some of our youth team promoted and us not win anything. I am sure part of it is the papers enjoying stirring it up, as they always do at Arsenal, but what's the point of buying The Arsenal magazine and reading about Hleb and Flamini saying how much they love it here, and then they decide to go off.
24/04/2008 13:22:00
Again Vin, that's all conjecture. Have Hleb, Flamini or Fabregas said they're going? No. I'm not saying they're all definitely staying, but what quotes do we actually have from any of those players? Zero. So it is all 100% media generated, ignore it. If they do leave, what can we do about it? The club's always there, I support the club, the team. I didn't buy a Flamini season ticket, I bought an Arsenal season ticket. The reason I don't stress about it is because regardless of whether Fabregas, Flamini etc etc are there next year, I know I'll be there next year. Anything else is beyond my control and therefore, not worth my stress.
Little Dutch
24/04/2008 13:27:00
I cant imagine Hleb and Flamini leaving, maybe Flamini but this team is near its completion, the club CANNOT afford to let something like this happen. Its not all media generated, you have articles on the official site with Wenger all paranoid about clauses etc..THIS IS ARSENAL why does this always happen to us ? I'm not too fussed about bring this that and the third in before we have even managed to keep this measly squad together, thats paramount and he rest should be put on ice. David Villa would be nice buts its pathetic to make a siging like that the be all and end all of our season, its so unlikely that its not even worth thinking about..
24/04/2008 13:40:00
0 A more considered view.
Little Dutch
24/04/2008 13:46:00
LD - agreed. By the way, I recall a few months ago seeing a link on one of these postings to a table depicting the spend of the 4 top English clubs. Can anyone remember what the link is? I am currently in the midst of an argument with Liverpool supporting mate and would like to ram that down his throat!!
24/04/2008 13:54:00
thank for the link LD...however, to keep emerging stars like Fabregas happy Arsenal has to start winning trophies...the mentality that Arsenal id a selling club can be changed. Le boss need to strike a BALANCE...its commendable the way Arsenal has handled himself and the club...i doubt that Fergie/MouninHO/ or any other coach and do what he has done with so little...but we NEED trophies...and i think it is unfair to judge him harshly this season...fate has not been our friend but i can say he knows better than ALL of us on here..i'll hold my breath and wait for next season...
24/04/2008 14:14:00
Two telling quotes from the original ANR piece, written by a guy from the Arsenal Supporter's Trust: "Wenger’s ability to continually generate profits from his transfer dealings and keep the Club at the very top level (10 consecutive seasons in the Champions League) is amazing" and "Of the near £70m of cash balances, £25m is unavailable as it is used to partially secure future repayments of the debt facilities and one also assumes some is set aside to meet the probable £20m of additional transfer fees payable on existing squad members. This does however leave maybe £25m for the squad building (transfer plus wages) that appears all too necessary to sustain a season long challenge for honours on several fronts." All gooners raving and ranting about who Wenger should buy and sell should read the article in its entirety:,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=957&cntnt01origid=30&cntnt01returnid=42 . Yes, I know gooners don't trust Myles Palmer but this piece wasn't written by Palmer. It's simply a basic summary of facts of the club's financial situation, that's it. I know it's cold comfort but it really is quite extraordinary that we have a manager who has kept us consistently in the top 4 and in the CL for so long with such financial constraints. As we all know the world financial situation is teetering at the moment, do we really want to imitate Manu's and Chelsea's business models?
24/04/2008 14:34:00
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