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Dein Defends Arsene On Transfers

Ex Arsenal Vice Chairman David Dein has defended his ex colleague and friend Arsene Wenger's approach in the transfer market. Speaking on Sky's The Footballers' Football Show, Dein said, '"Firstly, buying big name players only guarantees you one thing; a big salary to go with it. Secondly, Arsene Wenger as an individual, one of his greatest skills is that of a teacher.

"He will get an average player to a good player, a good player to a very good player and a very good player to a world-class player. He`ll get Nicolas Anelka, pluck a Cesc Fabregas, a Patrick Vieira, a Thierry Henry virtually from obscurity and make them into world-class players. That is an art form.

"Buying the finished product for 30, 40 or 50 million pounds? Anybody can do that. But they`ve got to work, they`ve got bond and blend into the squad to do well.

"[Selling them at their peak] That`s a different story, I accept that, but it depends who is coming through the ranks.

"It is a shame, the fans don`t like it when a world-class player leaves. Against that you`ve got to back Arsene`s judgment that he knows who is coming through.

"Who would have thought they`d have a young Jack Wilshere coming through? Liam Brady is doing a great job with the youth development scheme to make sure there is talent coming through. You`ve got to develop your own because in the end that is the future as well. Making sure your Academy is working well so you`ve got your own talent."

Meanwhile, current chairman Peter Hill-Wood is recovering well after a recent heart attack, '"I am really much better," he told the Daily Star.

"I am almost fit. I am walking about and although I have a few after effects, it is nothing serious. I`m looking to go to the Aston Villa match in a couple of weeks."




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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday February 15 2013

Time: 1:42PM

Your Comments

All pretty obvious but sounds a bit hypocritical when he also claimed, at the time he sold out to Usmanov, that the club needed investors to compete against clubs "prepared to invest previously unimaginable sums aimed at winning the game's biggest prizes". With actions that might limit those sums to more imaginable levels now gradually being introduced he seems to be singing a different song.
Amos.
From what I’ve heard, Dein will always be very cautious when speaking about Wenger in public. He turns down a lot of invitations to supporters association meetings etc because he’s uncomfortable being quoted on the manager. They’re not colleagues anymore, just friends. Arseblog News carries more quotes http://news.arseblog.com/2013/02/dein-defends-wenger-transfer-policy/ where he does seem to imply very vaguely that he doesn’t think the squad is good enough to win trophies.
Little Dutch
He doesn't have to be coy about it the squad isn't good enough to win trophies at the moment and hasn't quite been good enough for a few seasons but that doesn't make it a bad squad it just means some other clubs have been able to build better squads. You simply cannot compare the operating environment which Wenger was able to prosper in between 1996 to 2004 with what has happened in the game in the 8 or 9 years since. Wenger hasn't operated any differently nor was he able to with the same resources. Football is still changing and Dein says "It's a different story today" Well that means it was a different story yesterday then and will probably be a different story tomorrow. Arsenal have been right to play the longer game rather than chase the rainbows some others have tried to at greater cost.
Amos.
Yes, but Dein is speaking rather specifically about Wenger and his ability to turn average players into great ones. Things change and back when Dein was given the boot he had no reason to believe Wenger would still be manager 6 years later. He was thinking about how to make Arsenal competitive in the future with or without Wenger. He clearly doesn't believe there are enough world class players in the squad but to say so would invite the same ranting accusations from the board and the AKB brigade we've seen levelled at Usmanov.
Wyn Mills
Not sure you can label him hypocritical for wanting to invest more money in the squad at that time. I'd wager he still does, as do many Arsenal fans, and that doesn't necessarily mean buying big-name players (although a decent sprinkling seldom hurts). We all hope your faith in FFP is justified but when Dein sold out to Usmanov FFP wasn't even a twinkle in UEFA's eye.
Wyn Mills
Wenger doesn't turn average players into good ones. He just allows good players to use their skills positively. They're good players anyway, he's just able to judge players on the true value of their ability more than their star status. I've no reason to doubt that Dein still wants Usmanov to take over the club and pursue the benefactor model but with FFP that ship seems to have sailed. The fact that he failed to see that an unsustainable financial model couldn't be sustained doesn't earn him any more credits than his flawed vision of renting Wembley from the FA in my eyes. The squad isn't good enough to win titles in the current operating environment but I don't see that trying to understand how that comes about need necessarily result in anyone not buying into the Dein short term view of the club branded as an AKB. It's all far less superficial than those quick to bandy such terms about are willing to consider.
Amos.
Imagine how impossible it must be for Wenger when we play the likes of City and Utd if he knows the squad isn't good enough. It would explain some of the appalling performances vs teams above us over the last few years. 'don't worry lads, we all know you're not good enough to win trophies, but let's go out there and give em a masterclass eh?!' - doesn't really work does it.
shewore
That's why Wenger invests so much time in encouraging the team and building the confidence to believe it can compete with the best but you're confusing the concept of the strength of the squad with the strength of individual teams. If, at times in the past, our first team had been available to us for the majority of a season ( as it was in the unbeaten season) our results would, in all probability, have been better than they have been. Your capacity to see things only in simplistic and superficial terms and on that basis condemning Wenger, the board and those who have to deal with the complexities and nuances of managing a football team in differing operating conditions, is far too facile at times.
Amos.
Not sure how many more credits Dein has to earn when you consider that he has directly or indirectly been responsible for introducing huge change to not just the way the club has been run, but the league itself. From selling his shares to Fiszman, bringing in Wenger and introducing Kroenke to the board. Wembley may not have been the right move but it at least shows Dein was thinking laterally. The man is three times the visionary Gazidis could ever hope to be. And he's an Arsenal fan.
Wyn Mills
There's no denying that Dein invigorated a stuffy, patriarchal boardroom and for that and other positive contributions he deserves full acknowledgement. Selling his shares to Fiszman was something that he did with some reluctance but he profited enough from them to get himself out of the difficulties his failing business interests had brought him. Dein isn't a visionary. He's a social climber but a poor businessman and a chancer who found himself in the right places at the right time. Gazidis is ten times the professional executive, and far better equipped to run AFC now, than Dein could ever hope to have been. Plus, Piers Morgan is an Arsenal fan but I wouldn't want him running the club either.
Amos.
Ah yeah to encourage em let's continue playing utter ****e like Gervinho, Santos - keep playing em and they'll really realise their quality! Utter balls, sometimes simple or " superficial " analysis is all you need. So many players are not good enough - some good passing stats tho
shewore
Dein isn't a visionary? Really? The man who signed up Bergkamp and Wenger? The person who sold the vision of Arsenal to Kroenke in the first place? One of the architects of the Premier league who with its lucrative TV deals that propelled Arsenal into the top five? One of the driving forces behind the development of the Clock End and North Bank at Highbury? The man who stuffed PHW's immortal words of 'dead money' back down the old goat's throat? You may be happy with suits running the club but I'd rather have someone who knew what it meant to fight for success in the boardroom.
Wyn Mills
Dein backed the ITV horse in the TV deals auction. The same organisation that left football in a bit of a mess when ITV Digital went belly up. I've acknowledged the positive contribution that Dein made but his barrow boy philosophy belongs to a different time. Whatever he did for Arsenal, Arsenal did a lot more for him.
Amos.
Not particularly surprised Dein backed ITV as it involved Granada and it's the vehicle he used to get Kroenke involved. But that's beside the point. Dein wasn't perfect but at least he was an engine for change. He saw the way the wind was blowing and acted on it. He was proactive rather than reactive. And his 'barrow boy philosophy' gave him a natural advantage when it came to securing the best talent for his club. He had a vision of success on the field that frankly shames the current board. If Dein hadn't brought Wenger to Arsenal one can only guess where the club would be today. Take nothing away from Fiszman, but if you can't sell a vision to a team beyond a shiny stadium and cash surplus you'd better be prepared to lose the support of both players and fans. Success on the field is what matters. It matters to the best players. It matters to the fans. And as hotshot Gazidis will soon discover, it matters to the sponsors too.
Wyn Mills
The Granada deal came almost a decade after the vote on TV rights which Sky won. He didn't always pick the right partners. I'd already made the point that he brought about a much needed shake up in the boardroom but his talents and ability to take the club on were exhausted some while before he was removed. It's true the best sponsorship deals follow success but the deals struck by clubs like Spurs and Liverpool show that there are other values attached to sponsorship. It's a shame that Dein was so poor at recognising the importance of the commercial side of the business. While he was busy gladhanding his way around the great and the good in football and buffing his own reputation ManU were taking care of the real business and we're having to play catch up. Fortunately we have professional businessmen in place now.
Amos.
It's a pity, and perhaps, a result of how well Dein has managed his PR - that he is being hailed as a visionary, and not Fizsman. Building our own stadium with our own money rather than moving to Wembley - now, that was visionary. Dein did a lot of positive things for the club, there's no taking away from that, but Fizsman's contribution to Arsenal's long term vision and solidity is being under played.
prits
Not being underplayed at all. Fiszman was important to the club but Dein was also a massive contributing influence, and for some to label him as simply a 'barrow boy chancer' says more about their own prejudices than anything else.
Wyn Mills
What prejudices would they be? Pointing out that he's singing a slightly different song to one he sang earlier is an observation not a prejudice. Other than that I'm hardly unique in not buying into the canonisation of the cult of Dein even while I acknowledge his positive contributions. You should read Jon Spurling's assessment of him. Much of the existing and previous board thought he had his shortcomings too and the fact that his business failed heavily is a matter of public record.
Amos.
 

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