93 Comments

New Club Proposed By Disaffected Arsenal Fans

Today’s post is by Muppet

 

A friend of mine in the City has brought me some worrying news:
NEW CLUB PROPOSED BY DISAFFECTED ARSENAL FANS

Muppet1

The Grove – Proposed new Stadium, to be financed by Bank Of Dave
A breakaway consortium, to be financed by the Bank of Dave, is proposing a new club. The spokesman confirmed:
“We are sick of Arsene Wenger and the years of austerity, failed tactics and incompetence. We propose a new club called Farsenal Plan B, with a new stadium called The Grove. The new club will have a new constitution, stipulating no injuries, a guaranteed trophy every year, and a maximum of 2 French players.”

The proposed initiative is to be financed by the Bank of Dave, a Yorkshire entrepreneur , who went on the record:
“A group of unhappy bloggers on some Arsenal sites and Twitter came to my shop in Burnley and had a business proposal, to turn Farsenal Plan B into the number 1 club in the world. They were attracted by my low rate of interest. “

Muppet2

Money does grow on trees
The spokesmen confirmed that Bank of Dave wanted assurances that Farsenal Plan B would win the league every year:
“We are convinced there are numerous managers who could do a far better job than Arsene Wenger. We are busy looking for them. We know they are out there somewhere.”
INJURIES – NO PROBLEM
The spokeman also confirmed that injuries that have the plagued the current Arsenal squad, will no longer occur:
“My mate who is married to a doctor, assures me that the wrong pills are being prescribed. But that’s not the real problem, we are not buying the right players. They have the wrong DNA. “

Muppet3

Proposed DNA profile of new players – sadly lacking in current crop
Players are currently sought after via Bob, who is a mate down the pub. He told the spokesman that he would scout some kids in the local area, and come back with some news. Another scout has been offered a free holiday to Brazil, in order to bring some prospects back. He hasn’t been seen since, but we are sure he will have some good news for the new consortium.
In the meantime, negotiations are ongoing with Ronaldo, Messi, Schweinsteiger, Lahm and others.
NEW CLUB MOTTO
The club’s spokesman confirmed that there will be a new motto, reflecting a much needed change in attitude:
“Who dares wins”
The spokesman stressed the need for a change of emphasis at Farsenal Plan B:
“Who dares wins is a new idea and a new motto for a fresh brand of football. We will be looking for a director of football and a manager who is not scared to spend. The mistakes of the past must not be repeated. We had the opportunity to spend the £100 million war chest in the last window, where Spurs proved there were literally thousands of players available, and we totally wasted it. To cover for injured players we propose a new squad size of 50. Never again will injured players ruin our season.”
An outline sketch of a new club motif is underway:

Muppet4 V2
Proposed new club motif

NEW IDEAS
Some more innovative ideas are that of soliciting the team via crowdsourcing. The spokesman was enthusiastic about the merits of Twitter:
“We believe in the idea that the collective wisdom of Farsenal Plan B fans can add a great deal to the process of team selection and transfer negotiations and procurement of players. We propose that fan suggestions for players and evaluations are taken seriously and fed into the club’s management process. We believe that the model of player evaluations is too manager centric, and for that reason is fallible. “

Muppet5V2

Planned technological innovation- listen to those “in the know”
“Arsenal missed the boat on many players who have since gone on to world super stardom. The names stick in the throat – Melo, Scott Parker, Affellay, Defoe. If the club had been more tech savvy, these names would have been heard loud and clear from a very influential fan base. Farsenal Plan B will now take advantage.“
DETAILED FINANCIAL ANALYSIS NOT REQUIRED
The spokeman was bullish that world domination could be achieved by what he called “Weeding out the dross” from the squad:
“Too much money has been spent on the likes of Chamakh and Gervinho. 50k a week for players who offered little. We propose that we attract better players at £30k a week. This model is proven at other clubs and will secure our new future. I drew this inspiration from Costcutters. There are hundreds of players available for £30k a week. “

Muppet6

Hackney marshes – hundreds of players available for £30k a week
A NEW DAWN, A NEW FUTURE
PREMIER LEAGUE 2014-2015

1. FARSENAL PLAN B 90 points
4. ARSENAL 60 points
PREMIER LEAGUE 2015-2016.

1.FARSENAL PLAN B 90 points
5. ARSENAL 60 points

 

PREMIER LEAGUE 2016-2017

1. FARSENAL PLAN B 90 points
6. ARSENAL 60 points
Premier League Predictions for next 3 years.
The spokesman confirmed that Farsenal Plan B will win the league in the next 3 years:
“We believe that 3 straight league wins would be a modest return on our investment. By hiring a manager with tactical nous, and employing the wisdom of the fan base, we will go from strength to strength.”.

 

Muppet can be engaged as your rogue media spokesperson via Twitter @MuppetGooner

 

81 Comments

Proud To Be A Gooner

 

 

 

It really irritates me that for as long as i can remember we have been the club everyone loves to hate. The media have never really been our friends and I do not believe I am being paranoid. But as a supporter of this great club I find it appalling that we have a group of our own so called fans, who deliberately spin and create negativity.

Every injury is the clubs fault. Our medical team are insulted, our coaches are insulted, our scouts are insulted, our manager is insulted and I have seen people wish ill health and worse on him.

Our players are insulted, Giroud gets it by the bucket load and fellow fans who defend the club and offer an alternative opinion get called abusive names. It is very sad because Arsenal is a great club and what we have built with our own money should be celebrated. instead we get the 9 years thrown down our throats. These idiots seem unable to recognise just what a great achievement we made.

The stadium and renewed sponsorship deals have capitulated us into mega club status, which ensures long term competitiveness. The Fifa list of clubs that have abused FFP may provide further proof of just how we have created a monster. Whenever I ask a stadium denier how they think we paid for the stadium and the Highbury redevelopment, they cannot answer. When I ask how many of the 9 years they think we had money to spend, they cannot answer. They use income received from player sales, as meaning we had money to spend. They are clueless.

I watched a football finance show a couple of years back where Cristain Purslow of  Liverpool and David Gold of West ham were talking about Wenger and the stadium. Purslow described the stadium move and regular champions league qualification as a miracle. Gold agreed. These are guys who know what they are talking about, not some marketing bloke that writes a blog or Adrian Durham. These are professionals that know how business finance and football works.They understood the problems we faced, the Granada issue, the delays, the fact we not only had to finance the Emirates but also the redevelopment of Highbury. The sponsorship deals that were negotiated on the basis that we were beggars at the time. And the arrival of the oil men. The fact we had a manager that bought into the plan and did not leave because of an over inflated ego that dictated he needed success on the field, like a Mourinho. These problems were being sorted out right smack in the middle of an economic collapse. For an Arsenal supporter to drool over cheque book managers like Ancelotti and Mourinho is truly embarrassing.Wenger and Arsenal were a match made in heaven and we got lucky. The history books will show that.

I am proud of being an Arsenal fan and the way the club conducts itself. I am proud of the fact that we have done things properly and without the aid of a foreign national that has no real interest in the sport, other than the egotistical rewards it provides. I despise the way Chelsea has conducted itself over the years, pretty appalling stuff. Even Maureen gets an easy ride. I just wish Arsenal fans would stick together and put two fingers up to the hacks, ex players and blog writers that seem intent to abuse our great club and anyone displaying what I consider to be true support.

As you can see I am passionate about this subject and the defence of our club. Better get some work done now and a nice cup of tea.

 

This was a comment by proudkev that I felt deserved its own space. *

*And a little addition for Gainsbourgh69

38 Comments

How About Arsene To United ?

So farewell then David Moyes. You were the chosen one – but now they’ve chosen another one. Or are about to, and it will be interesting to see which way the wind blows. The problem United have of course is that there aren’t many managers available with proven experience of managing a top, top club – and unless someone has a track record of doing so, then any appointment will be a gamble. I thought they had probably got it right with Moyes, but the players decided differently, and they didn’t really run a yard for him all season. Injuries didn’t help of course, but I suspect it was the Rooney situation as much as anything that did for him. Virtually frozen out last season, it looked odds-on that he would leave the club in the summer, but Moyes couldn’t sell him to a rival, and I doubt he wanted to go too far afield. So instead of twisting Moyes got stuck, and landed the club with a massive wage bill for a waning star – and, if the pre-season scarred head is anything to go by, a player that no one else in the squad much liked, despite his odd moments of brilliance.

Managing a side looks easy to the casual fan: throw enough money at buying the right players, tweak a formation here and there, employ the best and latest medical advice and then sit back to see your side move effortlessly to the top of the table. Except it doesn’t seem to work quite like that in practice, and the fact that ten Premier teams have different managers now than they had at the start of the season is testimony to the fact that it is probably a lot harder than it looks. A lot, lot harder, especially at the very top level and at the very top clubs, where expectations are so high that two defeats in a row is treated as a real crisis, three as grounds for termination. Professional sportsmen are an interesting breed, and they need a lot of managing. They tend to be fiercely competitive and have massive egos, which is an interesting combination. Very often they aren’t very nice, and sometimes they lack a little in terms of educational polish. Actually, some seem to lack any education at all. In football, they are also very young, and exceptionally wealthy. Coping with a squad of 24 such men, perhaps drawn from five or six different countries (with all the attendant language issues that such eclecticism brings) is no mean task. David Moyes did that task very well indeed for a number of years at Everton, and it was clear that the players not only trusted his judgment but also tried their hardest for him. But Manchester United was one step beyond: he hadn’t been where most of the players he’d inherited had been, and it was soon clear that they didn’t really trust his ability to manage them in the way that his predecessor had. His advice and instructions would have rung hollow in the ears of the hardened pros who’d enjoyed the glory years under Sir Alex, especially as the decisions started to go against them and as he chose to side-line the evergreen Giggs. Take a moment to recall the way that Arsene Wenger made use of the established players at Arsenal when he took over, as well as putting his own unique ideas into play. It soon became clear to the watching world that it was only a matter of time before the season became irretrievable, and the only surprise writing this now is that the decision to replace him wasn’t taken at Christmas time. I suspect that there were sound financial reasons for this: scrapping a six year contract after a few months is expensive after all, so perhaps a few performance-related targets needed to be missed first. Familiar names are being bandied about, but in truth there aren’t many ready-made alternatives for a club of United’s stature. Van Gaal seems possible as he is a free agent, Mourinho might like it on his CV, but I wonder if the finances are in place for him to spend as he would like. Klopp seems happy where he is, and I can’t see Rodgers abandoning his project anytime soon. No, it would seem that there aren’t many managers who are out (or nearly out) of contract and who also have the experience of managing at the very top level, of winning League Championships and Cups, who have extensive knowledge of competing year in year out in the Champions League and who know the pressures of managing a club with a significant global identity.

Except there is one, of course, because Arsene Wenger ticks all of the boxes. An unparalleled record of man management, of scouting ability, of financial prudence, of transfer legerdemain, of success. Players past and present not only play for him but also respect him, and his record in that field speaks for itself. It is no surprise to hear that over the years so many top clubs have sought his services, and I suspect that if he were to let the Glaziers know that he was interested, they would literally do a Suarez. And so we have the most ludicrous (and I hope hypothetical) situation of all. Arsene Wenger has yet to sign a new contract for Arsenal and Manchester United are looking for a new manager – and of all the potential candidates Wenger is the most obviously qualified to take over at the Theatre of Dreams. How will that be received by The Arsenal, I wonder, to realise that arguably the greatest manager in its history is not only tantalisingly close to becoming a free agent, but also of taking over one of its closest rivals. How indeed, would that be greeted by the fan-base, when it realises that it had actively encouraged the only properly qualified man for the Manchester job to leave their very own club? Something about prophets not being understood in their hometown springs to mind, and all I can say is that if the experience of United post-Ferguson doesn’t make a few realise that actually we are really rather lucky with the man we have at the helm, then I would be very surprised.

 

This was brought to you from the virtual pen of @foreverheady.

174 Comments

Proficient Arsenal

 
As usual when wrestling with the match write up I was looking for the “word” that captures the victory at Hull. The keystone of text on which the rambling edifice depends, the one single expression that you, dear reader, will retain as you reflect on the five minutes you invested this morning on the PA site.
 
What exactly is the ‘word’ for that performance at the KC yesterday ?
 
I played with a few; Polished – professional -  competent – refined – strong – organised – sophisticated – cultured – cultivated – developed – powerful – authoritative – razor-sharp – distinguished – well oiled – commanding – superior – unassailable – talented – clever but none quite fitted the combination of speed, skill and intelligence that characterised our performance and our victory against the Tigers yesterday.
 
And then I saw it – PROFICIENT
 
The combination of art and science I had the pleasure of watching yesterday was proficient, a performance in which all the elements came together and meshed perfectly.
It started at the back and the opportunities that the home side had Szcz dealt with, he commanded the box, punched or caught the high balls and saved what occasional goal bound shots. The back four deal gave very little away, no stumbles or errors and a welcome clean sheet after a few games I which we have not been at our defensive sharpest.
 
Ah the midfield – Ramsey, Ramsey, Ramsey …………………………. I can say no more – my superlatives have failed. Santi vigorous, Ozil cleverer than a fox, and Mikel in charge across, the middle, dental problems notwithstanding.
 
 And our strikers , yes yes I know we play one man up but yesterday it seemed to me that Olivier and Poldi buzzed about in front of and behind each other, pulling the defenders out of shape, both strikers irrespective of their official; job title. Finest finisher in the club award ?  Give it to the smiling German.
 
And a fine cameo from the Ox, my goodness you can expect some severe competition for Cup final places.
 
Proficient – yes that is the word.
 
Not sure what to make of Hull, damage limitation when it went to 0-2. I anticipate a brighter effort on the greenfields of Wembley.
 
 Enjoy your Easter Monday wherever you are. I am off to Stratford for Henry IV Part 2 with Number One daughter. 
 
  “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.” 
This morning we have Andrew @anicoll5 to thank for our little sunshine bus trip
318 Comments

Can We Cross The Great Divide?

great divide

Never mind the buglers, where’s the FA Cup/4th place or better?

The fans are split, that’s a given.

But they are not split between AKB’s and WOB’s.  Oh no, there are another set that sit between the two extremes.  Just like in politics, the battle is won or lost in the middle ground. The vast majority of fans are floating voters.  Within this middle ground there will be – and is – a full spectrum of ever changing feelings.

I would guess that up until Xmas the vast majority were happy and very much behind the manager.

Now? Who knows?

But it will be a whole lot less.  And the amount they have shifted their positions will also differ greatly. Some will have had enough, while others may just have some nagging doubts.

Here is the crux.

They are all Arsenal fans.

They all want what is best for them.  (Oh sorry – I meant “what is best for the club”).  They all want us to win every game, they all want to win stuff, and they all want to be happy.

There is however, a basic divide.

Have the last 9 years been a success (as I believe) or have they been a failure?  Therefore, has the manager overachieved or underachieved ?

David Dein recently said that the stadium move would have been impossible without the success Arsene had brought. Ray Parlour said that some of the loans to build the stadium were conditional on Arsene signing a 5 year deal.  Arsene has told us he agreed to stay knowing that the league title was very unlikely. Ivan has admitted that there were indeed financial restraints that they had previously denied .

So taking those things into consideration, what was in Arsene’s job description? What did the board actually ask of him?

What was best for the club?

Arsene himself had said that his priority was qualifying for the Champions League with the financial rewards that follow it.  He did that every year, and given his resources, that was an over-achievement. This isn’t my opinion, it’s a fact backed up by impartial data. The AST had an analysis done (I suspect they were disappointed with the results) which proved beyond doubt that this was the case.

People will point out that it’s not his job to make the club money, his job is to win trophies, but the reality is that his job is to achieve what his employers ask him to achieve.  That may be very different to what a fan would want him to do.

If we finish in the top 4 and win the FA cup, I expect the undecided will once again shuffle towards us.

If we don’t?

Well we know all too well what will happen.

 

 

47 Comments

FFP Please, FFS!

 

wheels

Will the wheels of Arsenal’s fortunes finally turn together?

The next stage of the implementation by UEFA of Financial Fair Play is due to play out over the coming weeks and months – and mighty interesting it should prove, too.

It’s taken what feels like an age to come into effect but the Summer of Reckoning may finally be upon us for a number of our favourite clubs – PSG and Manchester City  being at the forefront of everyone’s affections on this front.  Whilst this ‘reckoning’ could fickle out in a damp squib of laughable fines or lengthy delay-inducing appeals, given the recent unprecedented (I think) transfer ban on Barcelona for recent transfer transgressions, I’m actually more hopeful that UEFA are of a mind to finally stamp their authority on the financially reckless and the morally lawless.

As a particularly pleasing side benefit, it should, once and for all, help the penny to finally drop in the minds of all those who have refused to understand how essential self-sustainability in the financial make-up of all clubs actually is.

Hopefully the days of Citeh-style excess will now prove to be finally behind us. And whilst the football playing field may never be perfectly level (especially for the smaller clubs) the era of Sheik/Oligarch hi-jacked clubs jumping in with a modest fanbase but over-loaded with cash, subverting all the player markets as they go, may finally be at an end. Doubtless PSG will have something to say about this – and possibly in the courts – but it is hard to envisage a successful rearguard action by them given the wider economic context the bulk of the football world has to operate in, not to mention the overall moods of governments and governing bodies almost everywhere.

That the timing of this next stage in the unfolding of FFP so neatly dovetails with the turning of the Arsenal commercial wheel should escape nobody.

World Cups aside, this will be the real story of the summer:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/manchester-city/10766475/Manchester-City-to-be-made-to-pay-a-high-price-for-spending-spree-under-Uefa-Financial-Fair-Play-rules.html

There may be only a few of us naive enough to have faith in FFP, to be honest, and  its effective resolution is by no means a done deal.

Despite having been politely but firmly put in my place on FFP over the years both here and on ACLF, I’ve still retained my faith in it for two main reasons.

Firstly, given the wealth of our owners and their connections – and remembering also Danny Fizman’s indication that AW had access to £100M if he wanted it – given all that and despite the very real difficulties of the last few years as symbolised by the ‘different directions’ identified by RVP, for one – then the club itself must have had a very real belief in FFP as a process which would either penalise AFC if ignored, or effectively reward it, if observed.

Secondly, the spectre of football clubs failing en masse across Europe was intolerable to a somewhat unholy trinity of European government, UEFA and the clubs themselves. Remember, it’s not just about curbing the worst excesses of the biggest clubs, but any club tempted to spend beyond its means. Small clubs desperate to retain top league status were routinely pre-spending anticipated revenue streams risking disaster in the process. How many more Leeds? How many more Rangers? Two once mighty beasts still struggling to survive as much smaller entities? Portsmouth and QPR are another pair of English clubs – smaller – but now struggling, who once enjoyed their unearned days in the sun.

One question I would like to one day ask of Ivan or Arsene relates to the timing of all this and to what extent, if any, AFC deliberately structured their balances to deliver them a massive transfer warchest comprising spendable assets at a time when all other clubs would be obliged by FFP to rein everything in?

Finally, the very fact that one of the most financially profligate – Jose, not ‘Arry, in this instance – is having to sell (indeed, has already sold) before he can buy suggests to me that to even the once mighty Chelsea, FFP may mata, after all.

That the angry, impatient and seemingly ignorant element of Arsenal’s fanbase appear to have failed to trouble themselves with a consideration of the wider financial horizons should hardly surprise us – we are football fans first and foremost, not economists. But our collective ignorance on this, alongside the failure or willingness to appreciate the devastating impact of injuries on the team is very telling.  Some are trying to blame AW for those injuries in the same breath as they blame the club for not spending more, sooner.

And it’s true, we have access to so much information and ways of sharing it, yet so little insight or wisdom to apply to it all. And if that sounds more than a little pompous I make no apology for it. Sitting through the appalling booing that gripped Wembley on Saturday at the substitution of Podolski – I’ve been repeatedly told it was aimed at Arsene, not the player, but frankly, regardless of its intended victim – I’m in little mood to continue to tolerate the excesses of the club’s own fans.

Arsene, in the eyes of many, appears to be on the brink of walking away rather than re-signing.

If true, given all of the above plus so much more, it would in many ways represent the greatest tragedy in the whole history of the club.

The fans, in my view, would very much deserve whatever it is they think they are wishing for. The ultimate irony is the legacy Arsene eventually passes on will do more to avoid an extended period of change and uncertainty of the kind currently gripping Manchester United, than many possibly realise.

And whilst Ferguson’s reputation may be judged on his history, the future will be all Arsene’s as AFC sit, deservedly and indefinitely, at the top table in world football.

The tragedy – the sadness – could come in the form of Arsene Wenger being prevented by the reaction and behaviour of the club’s own fans, from driving us to the very top of the summit himself.

It’s been a long time coming.  And as is currently the fashion on reality tv to never fail to mention – one hell of a ‘journey’.

I know I’m not alone in hoping the final leg of the trip will be undertaken with all still very much on board.

But the question for Arsene may ultimately prove to be, however – do enough of us still share that hope?

88 Comments

No Hammer Blow Tonight

I was delighted when Arsene Wenger took the trouble to write me an email yesterday about the win over Wigan, the remaining Premier League fixtures and the battle for fourth place. He ended by saying: “We have been in this situation before and I think we have the focus, the quality, the spirit and the desire to achieve what we want.” It seemed somehow typical of him to take time out of his busy schedule to find such reassuring words for me, and it all contributed to the rosy glow that had enfolded me ever since Santi slotted that final penalty late on Saturday afternoon. However, his sentiments didn’t seem to have such a positive effect on Le Grove’s apostles, who were positively apoplectic this morning about the situation that The Arsenal find themselves in: indeed, the manager was openly mocked for his letter, and I guess the sad thing is that he always will be now by certain sections of the fan base, no matter what he achieves between now and whenever he decides it’s time to call it a day. What I did find interesting was the scorn that was poured on the Untold lot, and in particular the link made between those who support Arsene Wenger and those who hold any kind of religious faith: both positions were laughed loudly out of court as being quite ridiculous, it somehow not quite occurring that it was they themselves that had made the comparison.

But strangely their leaps of logic made me think of the following lines from Melville’s Moby Dick (and I wish I was mature enough not to find that funny).

“There, then, he sat, the sign and symbol of a man without faith, hopelessly holding up hope in the midst of despair.”

If, as I suspect, we have all felt like like that from time to time in our Arsenal journey, then how much more must the manager have felt like it in the aftermath of crushing defeats and unwanted embarrassments. But what else is there to do when all seems lost? You can’t just give up, so you might as well light your lantern and provide something for the crew to fix their gaze on in the hope that things might somehow seem better in the morning. However, right now I don’t find the Manager’s words at all empty: we are in a good position and are very far from despair – we have been here before, and if anyone doubted the spirit and desire then they should have had all doubts removed by the Wembley performance. There seems to be a common perception that 120 minutes and penalties will have left us spent, exhausted and not at all ready to take on West Ham. But the bookies don’t think that: we are 4/9 to beat them with as big as 7/2 the draw and any price you like on a real hammer blow to our Champion League credentials. And you can bet the manager and players don’t, and nor do I. I reckon that the burden of expectation pre-Wigan has been pretty intense for the team, and that has now been gloriously lifted. Expect to see us quick out of the blocks this evening, with Podolski, Rosicky and Giroud all particularly keen to stake their Cup Final claims. Jenkinson too, and Gibbs will provide fresh legs, while Kalstrom may also play, which will be interesting. I expect we won’t see quite see so much of Ramsey, Oxlade, Santi and Sanogo (my new favourite player), but they will be waiting in the wings, and I also expect that the manager will make at least one tactical decision that will surprise us all a little bit. For the first time for quite some time I am really looking forward to the game, and although I am sad that the Box Office wouldn’t let me purchase two tickets for it last week (you’re only a Red Member, Sir: more than my job’s worth to let you buy both), I shall be very much there, right in front of the TV, ready to do serious battle with anyone who says that this is a poor squad managed by a man who no longer knows what he is doing. I don’t need to believe in him: the stadium we are playing in is proof enough of his genius.

 

Once again this post was brought to us by @foreverheady .

 

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 10,020 other followers