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Where Gunners Have The Edge

The fallout of our horrible capitulation continues to rumble on, it is obviously worth discussing the whys and wherefores, which I have done in a previous article. Whilst slight tinkering with the squad rather than sweeping reforms are necessary, it is worth pointing out why our infrastructure looks to positive in comparison with our competitors. It is easy to think your club is in a state of perpetual collapse, as we are given to psychoanalyse every eventuality with razor sharp focus. So let us turn our attention to those around us.

I think it's clear that right now, we do not have the financial clout of Chelsea and Manchester United. But that gap is narrowng and will continue to narrow. Peter Kenyon's ever shifting parameters for Chelsea to break even will have to see the purse strings tightened at some point. In effect, we saw this last summer, when mangerial genius Jose Mourinho, without the security of football's most significant chequebook, bought in Steve Sidwell, Claudio Pizarro and Tal Ben Haim. If any of those players are still at Chelsea next year I will be amazed. Despite finishing this season very strongly and with a possible European crown in the offing, Chelsea will probably end up culling at least ten of their current squad in the summer. These players will need to be replaced and with Abramovic looking to be more frugal and less interested in Chelsea nowadays, one must question whether the replacements will be of the megabucks ilk we have become accustomed to seeing in SW5. Chelsea simply cannot continue their scattergun transfer policy of replacing entire squads every season. The pinch will come and then we will see the true quality of their manager. Whoever it may be.

Manchester United look set to enjoy another historic season having spent huge sums last summer reinforcing their title winning squad. However, under the stewardship of the Glazer's, United are servicing a 660m debt just as the US heads into a major recession. The Glazers may not be so forthcoming with funds to buy another Anderson or Carrick. Ownership at other clubs looking to chase the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow in the shape of top four positions looks tenuous at best. City supremo Shiniwatra looks set to sack City's best manager in a generation, who will presumably be given a sack of money to spend before being sacked next summer. Shiniwatra put a five year deadline on Citeh winning the league upon assuming control last summer. He also gave himself five years to entirely banish drugs from Thailand, so unrealistic targets are par of the course for Frank. The likes of Mike Ashley have adopted scattergun managerial policies which will ensure their sides stay in the wilderness for years to come. Ironically enough, of the sides chasing the top four oasis, Everton have looked the most likely. The team that stuck with their manager, has spent seldom but wisely, and has a stable playing staff. Tottenham continue to vomit money they don't really have, yet have regressed continuously over the last three years. Whilst Pompey have had an excellent season, 'Arry was given large sums of money to spend last summer and with Gygamak looking for a return on his investment and Pompey building a new stadium, money will leave the club quicker than it enters. As for Liverpool, well, not much else needs to be said does it?

As long as Arsenal resist the lurid neon claws of Usmanov, we are in a very stable position, with our financial clout swelling year on year, as other clubs will be forced to tighten the purse strings. Our current 'war chest' is misleading as Arsenal, so long as we continue to operate soundly, will be in a position of muscle whilst others slam the wallets shut. Arsenal appear to be the only one of the big players who are thinking long term. Of course we have been aided and abetted by a genius of a manager who has been able to keep us competing on a comparitive shoestring. I guess this is why I feel quite relaxed about the prospect of finishing the season empty handed. While we are battling a troubling and unattractive zit on the end of our noses, a more panoramic view out onto the horizon suggests that we will have the last laugh.LD.

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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday May 3 2008

Time: 11:45AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
It is hard to take a long term perspective when football seems all about instant gratification - you either win or lose. But Arsenal is a club that has competed continuously in the top league for almost 90 years. Wenger had it right yesterday when he said I feel you have to take a distance from immediate results. What is important is to make the right decision, have the right philosophy and the decision you make today is the one you still make if you want to be successful in 10 years." The more realistic know he is right.
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03/05/2008 12:01:00

Good article LD and now that feelings of disappointment we all felt when losing to Liverpool and the league the last few weeks have subsided, we can still look upon this season as progress, the only blight being the possible departures of Flamini and Hleb, compounded by the fact we lost Diarra cos of Flamini being first choice! I wonder what kind of reaction Flamini will get tomorrow at the Emirates - perhaps a solid show of support will sway him...
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03/05/2008 12:38:00

Thanks for a good read LD. Feel a bit cheered up now. ManU 1-0 up. Guess who scored?
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03/05/2008 12:59:00

Can't blame Flamini. He served his full contract after 3 initial years in wilderness. I believe it would not be wrong if he went for the money. It would be a shame though as he's only really establishing himself as a player. He hasn't got enough of a name. A bad start in Italy and he could be back in the wilderness. Even TH14 is hurting.
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03/05/2008 13:02:00

I wonder if we can somehow sign Micah Richards, he'd be excellent for us, does anyone else also think so?
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03/05/2008 14:12:00

Money we dont really have? explain please LD. then ill tell you why youre wrong
Report Abuse
03/05/2008 14:53:00

They have loads of money LD. They made about 35 million on 5-1 DVDs, mugs and other memorabilia.
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03/05/2008 15:01:00

correct paul!!! that 5-1 DVD is a favourite of mine i have to say!
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03/05/2008 15:14:00 know what i enjoy yiddo? celebrating st totteringham's day every *****. oh and enjoy...its the only 5-1 dvd youll ever make. and if you brag about silverware..nobody cares a bout a beer cup, and just so you know...carling is a disgrace of a beer.
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03/05/2008 15:58:00

yeah micah richards....but i reckon what we need is someone that knows the game..someone old, with a better head than billy gallas', theres nothing wrng with him, but i just think we need another one of those, if not, at least sign michael johnson, i think hell be perfect for us, and again...what is it with mark milligan?
Report Abuse
03/05/2008 16:00:00

your financial clout is restricted by your debt in building your new ground!
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03/05/2008 21:21:00

the reasons your feeling relaxed about winning nothing this season is because your used to it, you hav'nt the depth of squad the top 2 teams have, and last but no means least, you aint as good as you think you are!!!
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04/05/2008 11:37:00

Arsenal are by far, one of the most fiscally responsible clubs in the Premiership. The club's revenues will increase this season coz of the new TV deals and the debt repayment is a fixed amount, which will not be impacted by the current credit crunch or fluctuating interest rates. This will ensure that more money will be available to Wenger with every passing year. Few clubs have a healthy wages to turnover ratio - Arsenal is one of them. The transfer 'war chest' may only be 25-30M (and not 70M as reported), but I'm confident its enough for Wenger to sign 3 quality / experienced players given his track record.
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04/05/2008 22:13:00


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