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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Fiszman wants more than artistic merit

Interviewed after the champions league draw in Monte Carlo, director and major shareholder Danny Fiszman is quoted in the Times explaining that contrary to reports in some sections of the media the club`s board does not interfere in the managers transfer objectives.

"If Arsène said he needed £30million for a striker, he would get it, no problem at all," Fiszman said. "It is not our decision who he spends money on and nor will it ever be. We totally back Arsène, but there is a dual problem for him. If we were to buy the sort of big names that people talk about, we would be looking at relatively mature players who then need to be integrated into the way we play."

The clubs largest shareholder believes there is genuine purpose to the strategy the club has followed which can bring success.

"Secondly, it impacts on the youngsters, and in many cases Arsène thinks it is quicker for us to bring a player through our system. But that does not mean all we are interested in is the artistic achievement award. We are not settling for second-best. We want to win trophies and I think it is time we did, but Arsène also believes in creating teams with a certain style."

Claiming that a lack of availability of players of the right calibre and profile that fit this style is the handicap in the transfer market he continued,

"There were great hopes that we would buy heavily this summer. But I would refute that we have not bought well. Nasri has two goals in two games at the Emirates Stadium, and if Arsène could find the right player, he would buy again, but he hasn't."

Mutterings that stadium investment is restricting the club and that we should embrace outside investors are given short shrift by Fiszman.

"I hear all the time that we have no money, but I just wish someone would take the time to look at our accounts. We do not need extra investment. This is a proper business which produces its own cash and lives or dies by its performances. Our net payments are £20million and the revenue increase from the new stadium is close to £50million. Explain to me how that stadium is a drain on the club, when it produces an extra £30million a year.

"This constant suggestion that the stadium is bleeding us dry is crap. The reality is our wage bill is very similar to Manchester United, substantially above Liverpool and substantially below Chelsea - but that is to be expected. We pay good salaries, but we pay them more evenly, so we do not have extremes of very high and very low wage-earners. There is an ethos of a team effort."

Many supporters will remain unconvinced by a policy in which the team is the star but rightly or wrongly there is a clear plan at the club and a genuine belief that success can be achieved our own way.



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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday August 29 2008

Time: 12:43AM

Your Comments

£30m??? Buy a decent English CB, Lescott would do and Xabi Alonso. He'd still have change left over for the rest of the French U19 squad he hasn't picked off yet....
michael105uk
http://www.thecnj.co.uk/camden/2008/082808/sports082808_03.htm How I love to hear these doom sayers wait the season has just started. Join in with your friend above michael105uk you both have something in common. For myself I just have faith in the club.
alwaysgunner
well this is our way of doing things, and if the boss and the club want to bring success this way, then i'm right behind them and always will be. everyone has their own way of doing things, and this is our way, the Arsenal way..
luckys_10
I absolutely 100% support the wage structure and any player who finds it unworkable isn't worth having anyway. But I refuse to believe in three months, he hasn't found a midfielder. If it's been so difficult to find one, why let Gilberto go without having a replacement lined up?
Little Dutch
LD who knows what Arsene has got up his sleeve. i'm sure he let go bert because he had a replacement in mind, but he is not able to sign him for some reason or the other. lets wait till the 31st and find out. maybe he really wants to sign alonso or barry, but it's too difficult to sign them at the moment because of their price tag, but i'm sure some sort of deal will be agreed in the next few days for one of these two or someone else..
luckys_10
I have faith in Wenger, we owe him that much after the last 12 years. Sometimes I think it's a personal pride thing, he gets more satisfaction in seeing one of the oys turn into a man on the pitch. I'm actually comfortable with what we've got now though. Obviously Cesc, but then Song (who has impressed when he's come on this week) and Denilson, with Ramsey as back up. Even Tommy can play in the middle when he's fit!
navydave
Just seen the Wenger interview. He says there is no interest in de Guzman. Plus, I totally forgot about Diaby in the above comment.
navydave
I agree with you Navydave. Diaby and Song can do as good a job as must out there, plus they've been at the club a few years and know how we play. Having said all that, I wouldn't be a bit supprised if Arsene pulled out one of his coups. A big name hat we or nobody has been linked to. The Arsenal way.
Bradys Chips
I'm sure Wenger will sign someone, but we've already lost three points to Fulham, for the sake of saving a million quid or whatever, I'd rather have had the points against Fulham. Nasri has showed the value of a new signing coming into pre season training, getting to know his team mates, having a few friendlies to familiarise himself with the way we play and he's hit the ground running. A new midfielder in July would have had the same, but anyone we sign will now need the time to settle and he won't have it, we've got Blackburn, Bolton and Kyiv away in his first week, which he won't be ready for. Letting three midfielders go and starting the season having replaced none of them is bad management whichever way you slice it. Diaby is easily forgotten because a) he's contantly injured b) when he does get it together to play he's lazy and totally not suited to our style of play. Song is a player I like, but is he ready to be our first choice midfielder? What if Cesc gets injured? Song will be the senior player in the most important area of the pitch which is unfair to him and to us. Nobody's saying it has to be a £30m superstar who rates highly on Pro Evo 2009, but we need a decent, senior DM in there, we've needed him for some time.
Little Dutch
I really find it frustrating reading this kind of 'interview' -what exactly is the point of it? They told us a million times they have no severe financial constraints. The accounts seem to back this up, so why repeat it, when we should be going shopping instead? There is NO excuse to not sign anyone - it's unquestionable that we need a player, as we do not have enough quality and leadership in the middle. It's not exactly hard to see - lets keep it simple - apart from Cesc and Nasri we have no other fit top-draw midfielder. None of Denilson, Diaby, Walcott, Ramsey, or Eboue have the expereince or class in the middle that we need to mount a title challenge. They are all fantastic squad/sub players with bags of potential, but trying to pretend they are something else right now, is misguided. And this is assuming, like LD says, that Nasri and Fabregas don't get injured. I am getting a bit annoyed with this now and simply cannot believe that Wenger sees fit to leave the team as it is.
Andy-bayor
Hey fellas...i just came across this - "Signed for Arsenal Football Club on 28th Aug 2008" - "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blaise_Matuidi" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blaise_Matuidi....its a possibility..another 21 yr old kid ...well
number14
Maybe Wenger see's Rosicky as the perfect partner for Cesc. He plays that role for Czech Republic. I don't see it myself, but in two months (providing we get no more injuries. Ahemm) we could have a midfield of RvP, Cesc, Rosicky, Nasri with Ade and Eduardo up front. Not too shabby. Add to that Theo, Vela, Bendtner, Denilson, Diaby, Ramsy, Bishoff, Song and Wishire in supporting cameos and it looks healthy. Problem is a) to get all these players fit is at least two months b) chances are more injuries / suspensions will occur.
Bradys Chips
I honestly don't know what to think anymore. I totally echo LD's concerns. So Fiszman says AW has the money, which means AW won't spend it. But then earlier this summer AW was famously quoted in the NOTW saying he needs to sell players every summer to pay off our debts, or something like that. Some bloggers disputed those comments' authenticity but I don't recall either AW or the club denying them. Then we've heard the many stories of AW trying to get players like Ribery, Tevez, Rooney in the past but not being able to offer higher bids than richer clubs. I just watched AW's interview on the official site, and he seemed to imply that there are negotiations for a deal going on but that it's not a smooth process, that 3 parties have to agree, etc. At least that was my impression. I just know I'm at a loss as to understand how a very intelligent, experienced, savvy manager like AW--a man who knows the realities of the modern game far better than we do, he works with those realities every day--can have such faith in a youth project that relies on most of his players maturing and developing together and staying for the long haul, esp. the most indispensible player (Cesc). Many people dismiss AW as a hopeless idealist but that is simply not the case--he's demonstrated in the past that he can be a ruthless pragmatist. I just can't get my head around it.
jaelle
That Arsenal has funds is beyond doubt. As Fiszman says - you can check the accounts. They are a matter of public record. Wenger has spent money already so it isn't correct to say that he won't. That he hasn't spent as much as is available despite a wish to add to the midfield complement can only be because he hasn't yet an agreement on the player(s) he wants. If he can't get what he wants he probably isn't going to buy just to add to the numbers. There may not be a plan B that doesn't involve relying on what he already has.
Amos.
Jaelle, much as i agree with you, i think AW is more of a hopeless idealist than a reuthless pragmatist...remember Mourinho called him a voyeur...maybe he is a bit of that. My main problem with Arsenal as a team is not the mere fact that we have not won more trophies..its the fact that we always seem to be inches away from greatness every time...last yr we led the table by 5pts and lost the league..the season before tht we got knock out of every competition within a week...we lost the CL to Barca in under 30mins in a game we cld have and should have won (no thnks to TH14/Almunia and who else shld i blame?) . Methinks there is a difference to not being ABLE to win and not wining because of a self-imposed defficiency...and most defficiencies in Arsenal are self-imposed...i wldnt be surprised if AW wants to go this campaign with only Song, Denilson in DM..now that is a self-impossed defficiency which can be cure by as little as 12-15million - WHICH WE CAN DEFINITELY AFFORD...pity AW is a hopeless romantic and i dont think he takes a balanced view to how to do things...last yr it wasnt really a lack of depth tht cost us - bcos i think we cld have won the leauge with waht we had - we just lacked a ruthlessness and were a bit too flacky. I wonder what we will blame the lack of success on this season if there were to be a repeat.
number14
I know where my blame will go tho...but at the end - come wht may - i'll always be a gunner
number14
number14, can't disagree with anything you say.
jaelle
just to add: I esp. agree with you that we could have won the league last season regardless of our supposed lack of depth. I've said all along that the teams that AW put out on the pitch during that run of 4 draws (which derailed our season) were fully capable of beating their opponents, incl. a strong Villa side. Even with exhaustion and injuries.
jaelle
The perfect footy team for the days we live in lies somewhere between Mourinho's win-at-all-costs approach and AW's organic-purist-romantic approach...of all the coaches in modern footy AW stands out as a genius but he needs to move a bit towards the left. IMO he has saved the club way too much money already over his 12yr reign and should dip his hands into the coffers - just a bit
number14
Yes Jaelle...despite the injuries..we didnt have much reason (apar from Edu) from loosing the league...flacky is the word...frm +5pts to -4pts...look at the stats again, once it was apparent we had lost, we went up a gear again last season..3more days to the end of the window..lets watch and see
number14
http://www.football365.com/story/0,17033,8652_4065499,00.html This suggests, as I've long suspected, there's an ion in the fire or two. But like I said, too late to resuce any points against Fulham and, assuming anyone we bring in is an international, they're practically a write off for Kyiv, Blackburn and Bolton. Twenty questions while either be posted tonight (when I'm *****ed) or tomorrow morning (when I'm hungover). What little lunch hour I had was spent discussing Kyiv flights, there are worse ways to spend lunch hours I suppose :-)
Little Dutch
The only problems I have with Wenger is his delay in signing the mid field player. I am certain that he will sign one more player, but its a scary thought that he may not sign anyone if he doesnt get him. With a club like Arsenal and a manager like Wenger, I would be surprised if he didnt have atleast 3-4 options for every position, so I dont buy the excuse that Wenger hasnt got who he wants. He should move onto the next option on his list, as this cannot be an excuse for not signing a player.
prits
 

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