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From The Outside, Something Doesn't Ring True

Firstly let me say I don't like Arsenal. It's not been a lifelong thing and I think it probably has more to do with the post Wenger era fans than some of the old stagers who are generally quite reasonable. Those fans who seem to think that Arsenal are some divine gift to wonderful football and should therefore not be judged like others.

The older fans remember 'Boring Boring Arsenal' and tend to be more reasoned about where you are now. (Indecently I remember watching Arsenal beat Chelsea 0-2 at Stamford Bridge about 10-15 years ago (Alan Smith was the player that stood out that day) and thinking men against boys then so last Sunday was especially sweet)

A big surprise on reading the programme on Sunday was your squad list. It seemed to go on for ages. Who are all these people? How many of them are genuinely good enough to start in the premiership for a top 4 team? At a guess, of the 30 plus names on that list only about half are genuine contenders for a starting place. You are rumoured not to pay the highest wages in the league but your total wage bill is still one of the largest, I presume therefore that this long line of people are all picking up a decent wage.

I know this is based on supposition but get rid of 15 of them, replace them with 6 or 7 experienced players and your squad is more balanced with probably not much more on the overheads.

Personally I think someone at your club is not playing fair with the supporters. Either there is a real cash crisis and Wenger has to balance the books and take profits where he can, in which case he is brilliant (but you are being lied to) or he has lost the plot and is being given an easy ride by the board, not having to win trophies. Either everyone at a high level has actually written this period off whilst the stadium is paid for (a valid strategy but you should at least be told in order to lessen expectations) thus setting up a base for the future or there really is money to spend which should not be lavished (no matter how good Arshavin is) on another identikit player when the actual requirements are glaringly obvious to all.

A couple of years ago we beat your kids 2-1 at Cardiff. Sitting on the bench or in the stands that day were half a dozen senior pros (Henry - Pires etc). Last year we beat you in the semi final. Your team was just as inexperienced but that was your first team, no better players sitting it out.

In my view you have not progressed but actually gone backwards which is a bit poor for a manager 10 years into his role with some kind of supposed grand plan. If this gets published I am sure some of you will resent it and slag me off for coming here giving my views but from the outside something just doesn't ring true




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The Journalist

Writer: Mr Reasonable (Chelsea Fan) Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday December 2 2009

Time: 1:09PM

Your Comments

The first team squad has 29 players, one less than Chelski's. Realistically at least 4 or 5 of them are just reserves/ youths getting to train with the first team to gain some experience. The average PL squad size is 26. Chelski's wage bill is 40% higher than ours. Last season we beat your first team 2-1 at Stamford Bridge. So far this season we have more points than at the same stage last season and have picked up 4 points more than from the corresponding fixtures last season so not too far backwards then. The financial position is strong and getting better. We can invest consistently over the future. Your financial future is wholely dependent on the largesse of one man. He won't break even this year as he intended to but it isn't possible for anyone to make losses forever. If I were you I would be far more concerned how long or if you can continue to go forwards in the future than whether we are truly going backwards. (Though nothing has yet been won this season)
Amos.
You're just repeating what many Arsenal fans have been saying for at least three years.
Professor Calculus
Yes - and with the same degree of insight.
Amos.
People can have various opinions about the situation, some are positive others negative, but the one comment which for me has some credibility is the "Something doesn't ring true" one. Some of the decisions made by the club are very strange if we are to assume they are focused on winning, which is what we are told. If however, the club is very carefully treading water whilst dealing with the new stadium and still managing to finish in the top four, then the current scenario makes much more sense and they are doing very well. To tell the Arsenal fans that the new stadium was the start of a new golden transfer era, was not the right tone or tactic in my opinion, in hindsight I think the board would have made it a priority not to build up expectations.
Professor Calculus
Seemingly
centrelink1
Something most certainly doesn't ring true. The board in my opinion without a doubt care more about the running of the football club than the history books, or the success that could come on the pitch, some of Wenger's interviews and theories on where we are right now are infuriating, but i really feel he's wrestling with the gods on this one.
shewore
And...the amount of players in the squad, a lot of those players are seen as commodities, no real hope of really making the first team, but with a decent transfer fee and subsequent sell on clauses they make us a tidy little sum further down the line.
shewore
Amos I am not trying to compare against Chelsea and somehow say we are better - honest - I know there are many things people hate about us and our structure. It may be just that you like to include everyone but the Arsenal squad list in Sundays programme was huge in comparison. Unfortunately I dont have it to hand. You say you are going forwards - perhaps you are from last year when you only finished 4th because Villa blew a gasket. But compared to 3 years ago? 5years? 10 years? I saw a table on one of the Arsenal fan sites. Out of 5 games played against teams 1-9 in the premiership you have 3 points (Spurs), in games against teams 10-20 you have only dropped 2 (West Ham). To me there is evidence of a problem Wenger seems too stubbon to address.
Mr Reasonable
Undeniably the new stadium was the start of a new era for the club. Financially the club is on a wholely other level now than 4 or 5 years ago. The test is not how much we can spend in one season or one transfer window but how much we can generate to spend consistently to secure enduring success. The club didn't build expectations our success did that but if you want sustained success don't pin your hopes on the Chelsea model no matter how tantalising it might appear in the short term.
Amos.
As I have tried to point out Mr Reasonable our first team squad is smaller than yours. Check it out on the official website of both clubs. Check out the average squad sizes in the major European leagues at the Professioanl Football Players Observatory. There really is nothing at all peculiar about our squad size. The stats about points picked up against the top half of the table against the bottom half meaningless at this stage especially as the points dropped apart from against Chelsea were away fixtures. look at it at the end of the season rather than draw conclusions one third of the way through - but do remember that ManU won the title having only won once against the top four clubs last season. There's no stubborness just frustrating pragmatism. The teams that have topped us have done so spending £500m more over the last 10 years in the case of ManU and £500m in 5 years in the case of Chelsea. That gap is going to be different over the coming 10 years.
Amos.
Amos I may have to give into you about the squad sizes but I did say "as listed in the programme last week" (and that bit is true.) Of the 30 players listed on the Chelsea website 21 I would call "real" first teamers, 8 as youths making up the numbers and not yet ready for the premiership and then there's Daniel Sturridge and I'm not sure what category to include him in. You sort of make my point for me in your spending comment (although get your facts right, Chelseas net spending 2004-09 was £186m (timesonline) wheras Arsenals was a positive £27m. Dont confuse Abramovich buying the shares, paying off stadium debt and building a training facility in your numbers or else we will need to include the equivalent in yours as well.) Why are you not investing in the team? 60,000 high paying punters every home game - regular champions league football and income - several billionaires as shareholders. My origional point was either Wenger has been told to break even on players or he is losing it and ignoring blatant weaknesses.
Mr Reasonable
Amos you're starting to sound like a Spurs fan where the convenient non existent future is the promised land and everyone else better watch out, but who the ***** knows what might happen. I endorse and support Arsenal's self sustained model and I'm 100% convinced that the big spending model for short term success is on a road to ruin, but none of this means Arsenal will have any success in an abstract red and white future. Who could have predicted Abromovich would come along? Arsenal certainly didn't, and it really hit their plan hard, they were planning for a future on a level playing field, not one where success can be bought by a third party. My point is that all this sacrifice in the current in order for a bright tomorrow is just as risky as the big money spenders, once a winning momentum is lost it can take decades to regain it and sometimes it is lost forever.
Professor Calculus
Yes cut 15 or so of the young players and get some experience! should have done that from the start, im sure Anekla and Ashley Cole would have made it to be as good as they are had that been our policy...I hate the argument of 'how many Arsenal players would start for Chelsea' - thats the exact same thing that was said about Vieira/Henry/Pirez/Bergkamp/Ljunberg etc etc just prior to them winning trophys, as soon as Arsenal win a major trophy popular opinion will change and all of a sudden everyones going to come calling for our players
bootoo
When was the last time you looked down at the Chelsea yougsters and got really excited about a player, Mr Reasonable? When was the last time a youth player from the Chelsea ranks broke into the first team? Our full squad may seem bloated to you, but that's because we actually intend to use some of it.
ChaosTeaCup
Mr Reasonable, there is no satisfying credible answer to that question, if there is one then we have not been given it, why indeed are we not investing in much needed players? It's a very simple question. Even some insurance signings, nothing spectacular but decent finished players who can consistently do a job, players who are signed because the club assumes we are going to get key injuries just like we have for the past three seasons, and therefore attempt to reduce the odds of failure by bringing in some cover. Right now the attitude of the club is to risk doing nothing rather than risk doing something, they would rather not sign a player than bring in a new face and that is bizarre in the context of the official Arsenal FC line about the club being totally committed to winning things now.
Professor Calculus
Spurs and Arsenal used to be clubs of a very similar size. But we slipped behind over a period of time as Graham and then Wenger consistently won trophies. The big five became the big two, and we continued to slide. Change at the top evolves and the competition is intense. We still haven't managed to claw back the defecit, but things have improved over the last five years. Arsenal have slipped under Wenger and been replaced by Chelsea. Of course we know why, but the gap does seem to be widening and Arsenal would do well to reflect on the woes of their North London rivals as a warning in regards to the need to stay as competative as possible.
jinkin jimmy dimmock
There is no need to explain the make up of your first team squad ours is not greatly different - except for the cost. Regarding transfer spending the nett figures will be different from gross but you still make the point well for me that yours is 7 times greater than ours over the same period. The stadium costs were something over £400m. We borrowed £260m. The £140m difference prior to the commissioning of the stadium came out of our cash flow. Would our squad be different if that £140m had gone into the team? Most probably. We have just started the 4th financial year since moving into the the stadium. The first year yielded nothing as commissioning and loan restructuring costs absorbed any profit so we have had just two years of profits while financing the property developments in a stalled market. This seems to have been substantially resolved in the current financial year. Payback on long term investment is always a lagging process but paying back it is. It doesn't matter whether our shareholders are billionaires or paupers we don't work your way - the club is self-sustaining. Your original point is wrong on both counts. Wenger has understood that he has to work with the resources available and will adjust those resources as they grow. He has most certainly made errors of judgement and underestimated squad strengths and weaknesses in the past and will do so in the future - but probably not as often as most other managers have done and will do.
Amos.
ChaosTeaCup, Chelsea don't have a youth policy, and we all know our youth academy is awesome but I don't think that's the topic here, I think the focus is on right here and now and why Arsenal are repeating the same patterns of failure. Is it because Wenger is highly compromised or is it because Wenger is losing it? I think that's a reasonable question from a Chelsea fan who's last two visits to Arsenal saw his team score seven goals. Wenger is not losing it by the way.
Professor Calculus
Amos you're in full 'Arsenal Defense Force' mode again, the media are full of ***** yes, but not all rival fans or indeed Arsenal fans are victims of the media, some can clearly see something which doesn't add up, they can even see similarities to their clubs, and I still think the observation of the front page article is a fair one.
Professor Calculus
Despite Profs slightly tetchy assertion that I am speaking like a Spud jinkin you couldn't be more wrong. You are right to claim that we were clubs of a similar size not so long ago but the gap that has grown will increase significantly until you build your new stadium. Even then the gap will grow even faster while you are actually building it. Financially you are in for at least 10 years falling further behind us. Those claiming 'something doesn't ring true', even those of our own supporters, do so because they haven't taken the trouble, or are simply unable to understand what has gone on and is going on. It is truer now than ever in the past but to be a successful club you first have to be a successfull business. Over the long term there is no way to avoid this incontestable truth. Ask GilzeanisKing to explain it to you if need be.
Amos.
I think that's exactly it Professor Calculus, a pattern has emerged. The question is why? I'm a Spurs fan, but i've come on here because i do find the question genuinley facinating. Arsenal do things the 'Wenger way', unlike any other club. It was working like a dream, and now it isn't. What's going on?
jinkin jimmy dimmock
The observation of the front page article isn't an unfair one Prof., just an uninformed one. I am not defending the club at all just providing some data for those interested in having their observations informed. I quite understand that there are many that won't want that in which case they are free to ignore it of course.
Amos.
So aloof & condescending at times Amos, so if we don't all follow what we're being told by the club, that we will be amazing both on & off the pitch in x amount of years... like lemmings, and that Wenger does really have money to spend, and his transfer kitty hasn't been impacted by the move to the spaceship...then we're just simply 'unable to understand'. The finances will undoubtably take a hit if we continue to win nothing, attendances and demand for games are down this season already, if the Emirates trophy cabinet continues to gather dust then that is sure to continue.
shewore
Good to see you and the Prof., of the same mind and speaking the same language jinkin jim - North London harmony at last. :)
Amos.
You don't have to follow anything the club tells you shewore. You can check it all out for yourself. There are plenty of resources out there. Nobody needs to spoon feed you anything - go and check it out and come back with your own observations. Don't rely on what I, some misinformed Chav or a deluded Spud tells you and then bleat because it isn't what you want to hear.
Amos.
Had we of beaten Chelsea on sunday, and it's quite possible we could of (not on the evidence of the game, but because football is never pre-determined even if it's sometimes predictable), would we even be having this conversation? If so it certainly wouldn't be being posed by a Chelsea fan, for sure 90 minutes is 90 minutes, and you are calling years worth of policy into question. Slightly sensationalist if you ask me. It is a source of frustration that we haven't been able to win stuff over the last four years, but there are many, many things you can cite, and most of them on the pitch; we could of won a Champion's league trophy had it not of been for an offside goal; we were flying in the league two seasons ago until Eduardo's leg was shattered, and the spirit of the team temporarily with it. The list can go on, and on, and on... I think the point you are making is too narrow, and doesn't consider nearly enough of the football evidence that can be attributed to out trophy drought.
ChaosTeaCup
You see...that's just it, the information isn't out there - the vast majority of it is, but how do we not know Wenger's been told not to spend in this climate, he may be being told to spend, we don't know, we can only speculate. What I do know as a supporter of Arsenal Football Club is that we're some way behind Chelsea, losing by 3 goals at home should be sacreligious, not something that's happened to the same opposition 2 fixtures consecutively.
shewore
'Had we of beaten Chelsea' - mate that would've taken 3 things...a poor Chelsea performance, no Drogba, and an Offside goal from us.
shewore
The information is out there. You just have to join the financial information which is freely and comprehensively available with other sources to draw your own conclusions. You don't make it easy for yourself by inventing the impossible hypothesis that no-one can possible know that someone hasn't been told something that they might not have been told in the first place. I wouldn't spend a lot of time looking for the answer to that one if I were you.
Amos.
I think Amos is pretty spot on with the financial mould our club follows. I also think he can be pver protective of the club finding an excuse/answer for almost any negative situation. I think some of our failings or lack of success has to be put down to Wengers choices and stubborness. I think amongst the young, smaller, agile and tecnhical talent he could of blended it in with some experience, stronger more physical players. A plan B when things dont quite go to plan. He could of been a bit more ruthless with some players rather than let them go like Diarra & Gilberto. I do find it hard to take that in the last 25 games we have lost 6 times to Man united & Chelsea, 3 times by large margins at home. That needs to change
paul_ownz
I think Amos is pretty spot on with the financial mould our club follows. I also think he can be pver protective of the club finding an excuse/answer for almost any negative situation. I think some of our failings or lack of success has to be put down to Wengers choices and stubborness. I think amongst the young, smaller, agile and tecnhical talent he could of blended it in with some experience, stronger more physical players. A plan B when things dont quite go to plan. He could of been a bit more ruthless with some players rather than let them go like Diarra & Gilberto. I do find it hard to take that in the last 25 games we have lost 6 times to Man united & Chelsea, 3 times by large margins at home. That needs to change
paul_ownz
Shewore - what you say may be correct, but that that doesn't really address my point, does it? Even if we had of won, and those three factors decided it, we wouldn't be clucking, we would be chirping.
ChaosTeaCup
I reject the idea that I am being over protective of the club. They don't need my protection. I am just responding to what I feel is misinformed opinion with some information. Nothing I have said excuses anything the club has done or is doing. Whether they provide answers is just down to receptivity and any information that can be taken from elsewhere.
Amos.
Reject the idea eh, great nod to Wengerlinguistics there. Erm, ChaosTeaCup, what if we'd won the league the last 5 seasons, we most certainly wouldn't be having this debate now would we? Ifs & buts mate, let's deal with facts and what's happened and opinions on what we think can happen, not what could've happened.
shewore
Amos. You are still making my point for me. The last 5 years published accounts show cumulative profits of £87.6m, after interest (and a £21m exceptional refinancing cost in 2007). I am fully aware that profit does not necessarily equal cash and you need cash to pay down the capital on the loans. If that is all needed then fine, Wenger is doing brilliantly (but the supporters should be told to enable them to modify their expectations and suitably praise Wenger for the job he is doing under the constraints). However there have been many comments from the board over the years that funds are available and first team spending has not been constrained. From a fans view I would expect my club to break even at worst. I don’t want profits to be made by shareholders. With Abramovich I have the best (but yes I know it’s not sustainable). If he wants to spend his money to give me extra pleasure it seems a shame not to accept it whilst its there. This really is not about comparison though. Either the money is there and not being spent or its not there at all. Either way Arsenal fans should be told.
Mr Reasonable
So you discount the fact that footballing matters have had a massive impact on the ups and downs of our past five seasons? Is Arsenal's policy to blame for the offside goal in the CL final? Or Gibbs disastrous slip in the semis last season? Or Kuyt's wrestling of Hleb to the ground without penalty? Or the team's elation at scoring leading to an immediate penalty through lack of concentration at Anfield? Or Clichy's fall when leading 4-2 against Spurs? Or Drogba's absolute brilliance? Or Ronaldo's absolute brilliance? Or Edu's shattered leg? Or VP's mangled ankle? And so on, and so on... I'm not pretending we haven't come up short, but I'm saying that football has had more of a say in the matter than the argument put against us here. Spurs have every much as right to win the league/cups as we do, and by God they try, using similar methods to those being advocated, and yet, funnily enough, no matter what they do, the ups and downs of the beautiful game conspire against them. They're rich, probably richer than us, but football is not something you can just throw money, players, and managers at, and expect the results to play out for you. Chelsea did it, but with a fantastic spine that largely came before the money. We could stumble across that spine, nurture that spine, or we could augment it, but it doesn't mean it will guarantee success. I just don't think the club's policy of keeping the spending to minimum/nurturing young talent is as responsible for the so-called slide, as Mr Reasonalbe is implying in this blog.
ChaosTeaCup
No I'm not Mr R. £82.2m of the pre-tax profits were made in the last 2 years. If you have a policy of not spending it until you have earned it then the profit we'd made 2 years ago would have been spent last year (I think we spent some £36m in that financial period) and the profit in the last financial year available to spend in the current one. Some will make the mistake of claiming that we earned money on the sale of Hleb'Adebayor/Toure and others but that is current income and shows as profit on player trading in the succeeding years accounts which only then is available for spending if and when a suitable player is available. Of course the profit for player budgets isn't only for spending on external transfer signings contracts have to be renewed as well and it seems the club spent some £20m as part of that process in the last financial year. As of yet the shareholders haven't taken a dividend in over 30 years. Everything is going back into the club.
Amos.
Not to worry, Wenger looks like he will keep good to his word and buy that striker. Apparantly sources say ARSENAL are close to finalising a move for another promising youngster with Zezinho confirming he is set to join Arsene Wenger's Gunners from Juventude
paul_ownz
At 17 years of age he should walk straight in to the first team
paul_ownz
What does this so-called slide amount to anyway other than the obvious lack of trophies? Last years PL points tally was the 2nd highest in the last 4 seasons. The season before within 4 points of the winner. This season, so far, we are ahead of last seasons points tally. Isn't it usually best to hold post mortems after death?
Amos.
Sorry Amos from page 54 of Arsenals 2008 accounts. Profit before tax 2008 36.6; 2007 5.6; 2006 15.9; 2005 19.2; 2004 10.7.
Mr Reasonable
CTC - i wouldn't say there's too much of an argument being put up here, more of an observation. You're still dealing with things that have happened, a pointless avenue to crawl down. Dwelling on what could've been and licking our wounds will get this side nowhere fast.
shewore
Amos - lack of trophies, nail on head.
shewore
it was just a 90minute game...9 months ago chelsea could barely score against other big four sides. They were dismantled 3-0 at old trafford and liverpool cutting doing double over them. What has carling cup 2007 got to do with last weekend's game?
49ers
Actually 2009 accounts should be filed anytime soon. Presumably members already have a copy. Do you know the 2009 PBT Amos?
Mr Reasonable
The 2009 accounts are available Mr R - you'll find them on the club website. But remember they are pre-tax profits and as I explained earlier the profits prior to the restructuring of the loans in 2006 in advance of the opening of the stadium would (partially anyway) be attributed to the difference between £400m plus to build the stadium and the £260m we needed to take as a loan. Hope that helps. I feel you are beginning to get there - if you do it'll be a lot quicker than some gooners - but I shan't hold my breath just yet.
Amos.
49ers A topic for another day. I never thought managers actually made much difference and that Grant was proof of this but Scolari's reign where the same players lost form, fitness and motivation scuppered that view. My point was that we narrowly won the CC final but you had much better players to come in. Playing your full team could have easily reversed the result. We pretty much have the same team as then and on the last 3 occasions have beaten you easier than we did your youth side.
Mr Reasonable
Amos half year accounts to Nov 2008 but I cant find the full year unless they are not in the corporate information part of the site but somewhere else. An additional £24.5m profit for 6 months. The business continues to go from strength to strength whilst a net nothing is invested in the team (in fact a further £8m player trading profit made.) We are a year further on - when exactly arte these big purchases due to be made?
Mr Reasonable
Full year accounts for 2009 aren't going to be out yet are they.
shewore
I'm not dwelling on what could of been, Shewore - you're not getting my point. Which is: On pitch shenanigans have had far more of a say on the outcome of the last few seasons, than the issues being used raised in this blog.
ChaosTeaCup
http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/arsenal-holdings-plc-results-for-year-end-ma -should get you there. As I mentioned above we spent £36m in the last financial year on Ramsey, Nasri, Arshavin and a little bit for Silvestre. Plus we spent on renewing contracts and apparently about £5m on agents fees. Transfer fees are amortised over the period of the contract but the liability is still incurred. Depends on what you call 'big' purchases. I would regard Cesc and RvP as big purchases. I guess you'd be thinking more along Shevchenko lines.
Amos.
Amos we must be reading different things into what we see because whatever you spent you still made a net £3m profit on player trading. Since the year end you have bought one £10m centre half and sold 2 players for over the odds to Man City. So even more significant profits generated. Cumulative profits before tax over last 6 years £133.5m. Say what you like about dividends but this is adding significant wealth to the shareholders and well over 50% of the shares have changed hands over the last couple of years. I posted earlier with some general views but the more you have made me look at the real numbers the more convinced I am that this is not being run just prudently this run as a profit making venture and you fans are being taken for a ride.
Mr Reasonable
Wrong analysis Mr R. I suppose it is a difficult concept for a Chelsea supporter to grasp. No need to repeat the information I gave you earlier (and little point as it has gone straight over your head) but current spending is made from prior year earnings. Current income goes into current year profits. The only shareholders to make a profit are those no longer shareholders or have reduced their holdings. The fact that others have bought those shares at a premium simply tells you that the business is sound and can continue to invest in enduring success. That's how markets work - nobody will pay a premium for an unsuccessful business. Of course it's being run as a profit making venture but it can only be profit making if it is a successfull club. If it weren't we'd need a billionaire sugar daddy to invest in the business until he tires of funding the losses and tries to run it at a profit. Come back in 5 years time and tell me what we are doing now is wrong. I suspect your tune will be a different one then.
Amos.
I cannot add much more of significant value other than support Amos' ideas. We are doing smart business for the club, not for greedy shareholders. And the fact that we do sell for a bigger amount than buy players does not mean it weakens us. Simply makes Wenger a smart entrepreneur. And he did indeed explain to you that there is a lag in getting these fees for Touré & that other one. I am quite open to critique but I am a gunner for the values demonstrated off the pitch and on the pitch. Sure, we're going through a rough patch... The trophies are non-existent... We're still achieving our goal of breeding some of the most aspired young players, show (most of the time) good football in an age where plenty of clubs have a sugardaddy splashing the cash and most cannot even come close to the entertainment we enjoy nor the consistency we deliver in reaching always the latter stages of the CL etc. Criticism is good... but don't whine about what we don't have without looking at what we do have. And what we have is, ironically, priceless and cannot be bought by any of those sugardaddies.
Fabby69
Mr. Reasonable, yours is the first article I've responded to on this board since Sunday. I don't like what you've written because it comes from a Chelsea supporter but I accept it as credible and generally fair (tho a few of the details aren't). Something indeed doesn't ring true, I think you're right. And I frankly am tired of trying to figure out the truth, I wish the Board could be more honest with supporters but maybe that's not a good idea strategically. Since Sunday I've been too f-----g furious, fed up with the constant yearly humiliation from your lot and United season after season after season (oh, and that 5-1 debacle at WHL too). Every single goddamned season we are subjected to 1, 2, 3 humiliations like this -- this now makes the last 3 home games against top 4 opposition 3-1, 3-0, 4-1. When was the last time we really thrashed top 4 opposition convincingly that was full strength? (And btw, the only reason we beat Chelsea at the Bridge last season was because they had no Drogba, Essien and had a poor manager). When I first started following Arsenal, we were condemned for being dull, horrible to watch. Then when AW arrived, we were hated but were admired for being exciting to watch but with tough, intimidating defense. We were feared. NOW we're constantly ridiculed, laughed at by opponents, the press, rivals. Our team is full of spineless midgets (I don't care if that's politically incorrect). Middtable and even lower table teams don't fear us. They come to our home ground and think they can get a result. This season I thought the failure to close down opponents consistently had been addressed (like Barca immediately closing down Kaka in the penalty box with THREE defenders on Sunday) but apparently no. I never expected to see the day that Arsenal would be a goddamned laughingstock for so many seasons, year after year after year. And progress? End of November 2008: Played 15, Won 8, Drawn 2, Lost 5, conceded 19 goals // End of November 2009: Played 13, Won 8, Drawn 1, Lost 4, conceded 18 goals. However, Mr. Reasonable: if some of our johnny-come-lately fans are arrogant about our beautiful play, YOUR team have MANY MANY johnny-come-lately fans who never even heard of Chelsea until Mourinho arrived and now bask in the glory of your millions. If some of us gooners are overly proud of our beautiful game (and stupidly believe that we're somehow entitled to trophies because of it), YOUR crowd are overly proud of your boring "grit" and macho swaggering (and also expect that you should be winning every single trophy in existence every year). It works both ways.
jaelle
CTC: "On pitch shenanigans have had far more of a say on the outcome of the last few seasons, than the issues being used raised in this blog." - sorry, I can't accept this as nothing more than poor excuses. The simple fact that we CONSISTENTLY have "bad luck" means there's something more going on. The most consistent thing about this team is the plague of injuries, and yet AW goes into a season thinking he'll be able to rely on Rosicky and RVP a whole season, and is amazed when he discovers that he can't. The simple fact that there are so many bad luck or refereeing incidents season after season that derail our search for trophies means that this is not a squad capable of dealing with bad luck, poor form, bad referee calls and so on. A few years ago we used to get bad referee calls and bad luck all the time, yet we won trophies. Trophy winning teams CAN deal with all of that, this team can't. Using that as an excuse for our annual collapse in competitions and humiliations makes us sound like the spuds. It's the argument of losers.
jaelle
I've enjoyed this but this will be my last post Amos. What may be a more difficult concept to accept is that this Chelsea supporter is a qualified accountant who has been advising clients on creating value in businesses for over 25 years. I am not arrogant enough to say I am always correct but beieve me I do understand the numbers. I will repeat what I have said earlier. In my view a football club should be run to break even over a sustained period of time with all profits being invested in the team to hopefully make it better. Arsenal have made a profit each year for the last 6 (over £133m) yet your manager does not address obvious needs in playing strength. Why? Someone is not telling the truth. Jaelle. Thanks for the backhanded compliment. I find new fans just as irritating but we all had to start somewhere. Most older Chelsea fans are gobsmacked at the thought of winning anything after years of being let down constantly. There is certainly no expectation of anything but disappointment and let down. I had been going to Chelsea for over 35 years before I saw us win a title, my father had seen 1 in 70. To be honest, before that, just one in my lifetime would have done me.
Mr Reasonable
You're a qualified accountant!!!!! Advising clients on creating value for their businesses!!!! Nothing in your posts reveals any expertise whatsoever in that field!!!! It's amazing what you can become on the internet!!!
Amos.
Wow, try putting some of that into a chant. Both Chelsea and Arsenal have thousands of johnny come lately celeb prawn sandwich munching tossers who infest the ground every homegame. United suffer with it too, its the glory hunting disease. Or, the "what's in it for me" syndrome. And those ******** kids, you know, the glory hunting little *****s that need the approval of their peers in the playground so they wear the shirt of the team that won the title all of last week. One of the very few upsides of winning ***** all is that we don't tend to have people like that attaching themselves to the club because there's no kudos in it for the knob head concerned. I may like neither Arsenal or Chelsea, but i'd respect a true fan of any team if i met one. Both Arsenal and Chelsea are libraries because of those people. And before you defend them, yes we know they are 'a necesary evil'. Still a bunch of tossers though.
jinkin jimmy dimmock
Bugger couldnt resist. Amos - sorry after all this you resorted to personal abuse, did you run out of arguments? I am exactly what I say I am. You never actually refuted or answered the point I so clearly dont understand. You make an operating profit each year, you make a profit each year on player trading yet most of your own supporters say you need a couple of quality players at least. Who is stopping you buying them, Wenger or the Board? You clearly have the funds. (By the way we are currently losing to Blackburn - bloody typical Chelsea).
Mr Reasonable
There are some really clued up Arsenal fans on this site who are asking the pertinent questions and then there are others who just content themselves with endless personal abuse directed at whoever disagrees with them. For gods sake its a bit of fun.
jinkin jimmy dimmock
Where's the personal abuse? You may well be an accountant. I simply expressed the opinion that you don't show any particular expertise in any of your posts. As for running out of arguments they are all still there. I have yet to hear anything of any substance from you that counters any of it. But then I don't really expect to. At least you acknowledge that it isn't a funding issue. Wenger has total, complete and absolute control of the entire player budget, transfer fees, wages, et al. No-one else gets involved beyond agreeing the budget with him. He has a masters degree in economics and knows at anyone time just how much the club can afford to put into the player budgets.
Amos.
Theres no doubt Arsenal have gone backwards over the last 5 years, and the only thing i can ever see them winning is the fa cup (as is the same with us). But i have to defend Arsenal on this one. How the hell can Chelsea slate Arsenal on their model or achievements? Youd be reciding in the championship or worse without the help of RA. Sure you made the CL just before he joinned, but you were in financial ruin and your squad was aging. At least Arsenal are doing things the right way although id prefer a few more englishman and a lot less petulence from your horrible manager. Joke article though
HuddersfieldYiddo
The grand plan looks more like building up the value of the club to sell it with every passing day. You don't have to be an accountant to see that.
Wyn Mills
So would you rather they reduced the value of the club?
Amos.
So can we conclude that we have the funds to spend more, Arsene just doesn't want to?
shewore
The funds are definitely there. We know Wenger put a sizeable bid in for Felipe Melo last summer (but he had set his sights on Juve) so he is prepared to spend for those he wants - just not those you want :)
Amos.
I have no idea who I want, my knowledge of European football has waned the last few years, just know what I want.
shewore
You've no choice but to trust Wengers judgement then. You could try sending him a list of your wants - it's the right time of year for such things.
Amos.
Could do, you got his email address? Mr Arsenal PR.
shewore
Not Arsenal PR - just Arsenal shewore. I haven't got his email address but I guess the club website will have some sort of contact directory. You really should learn to do something for yourself instead of constantly complaining that nobody tells you anything. Go and find out :)
Amos.
Fair enough, Jaelle. I'm happy to be put in my place, but I just think that applying black and white science to grey matters is flawed, and there's more to it than 'we keep losing because of our frugal policies' talk. Maybe it's as simple as that, but I'm not inclined to see it that way.
ChaosTeaCup
 

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