Let’s All Ignore Arsenal (“2 Points Off City Now”)

Today a guest post from Muppet (@MuppetGooner )


With possibly the tweet of 2014, Rob Ross (@gooner145) nails apparent media attitudes towards AFC

I read over the weekend that if the title race was down to media perception, then Arsenal would be 5th.

An alternative to this was if you list the top of the table, the club sitting in top place would be nameless [see above, ed].

Such is the contempt held of our title challenge in great swathes of the media.

I have lost count of the times I have heard the words “Awesome” and “Manchester City” in the same sentence.  This is a team that has never, until this season, reached the 2nd stage of the Champions League, despite having a squad worth around €450 million.  Whilst they are extolled, Arsenal are consigned to the dustbin.

On TalkSport at the weekend, Adrian Durham: “Everton outplayed Arsenal at the emirates and that was the moment everybody realised that they were not going to win the premiership”.

A co-presenter –  “Newcastle outplayed Arsenal at St James Park.”

Then a Liverpool pundit, Houghton – “Everybody is waiting for Arsenal to fail”.

He then follows up with the idea that Liverpool will step into the void.  Righto …

It gets worse.

A Chelsea fan on BBC 606 is asked about Chelsea’s title challenge.  She says:  “Well, City are looking so strong at the moment.  I don’t think we’re going to get past them.”

Then Geoff Shreeves comes out with his “2 points off City now”, statement.

These people are not alone in doubting Arsenal.  There are worst offenders out there.  Shearer for one.  Furiously backtracking on MOTD with his “Arsenal can’t win the premiership statement”, changing it to “won’t”, because he didn’t want to look like a massive twerp on national television. Then, squeaky voice Owen, who still maintains Arsenal will finish 5th.

Now, I have no trouble conceding that our opposition are pretty good. None at all, especially considering the levels of “investment” in their squad.  Since 2008 we have:

Arsenal net spend: £11.1m.  Chelsea net spend: £328.7m.  Man City net spend: £509.6m.

Want to go back further ?

Net spend 03/04-13/14: In first place in the expenditure table is Chelsea with a net spend of £585m.  Next up City net spend: £507m. Then Liverpool net spend: £198m.  And Man Utd net spend: £169m.  Then, in 17th place – Arsenal net spend: £17m.

Actually, looking at these figures, doesn’t it seem remarkable that we are top of the league?  Will we get credit for that?


The media perception that we are also-rans still grates tremendously.  More so because of the media love-in of 2 clubs (City and Chelsea) who don’t appear to be playing it by the rule-book.  A 3rd major rival, Manchester United, also don’t really appear to be playing it by the rule-book, but in their case, they are becoming unstuck, as evidenced by the league table and their own fan protests at the weekend, holding banners claiming that they have a “£600 million debt to service“, before they spend anything on new players.

In defence of City and Chelsea, Martin Samuel claimed in an article within the last year that without the “investment” from them, Manchester United would be a monopoly, and how would other teams get a look in?  This is where Samuel has got it completely wrong.  Nobody has a problem with investment in a football club.  The problem here is when the line is blurred between investment by people that would reasonably secure the future of a club, where risks have to be taken within economic constraints, and that of the kind made by Chelsea and Manchester City, where no economic rules apply in a standard business model.

Everybody knows what City and Chelsea do when they don’t win the title.

They simply go out in the transfer market in the summer and spend a minimum of £100 million, and change their manager. There is no risk attached to this.  If they fail, they will go out and spend another £100 million.  This was Abramovich’s response when Arsenal won the title in 2003-2004.  This was Mansour’s response last year when City lost the title.

But hardly anybody in the media will speak out against this.  Arsenal fans who quite rightly express outrage at this, are quizzed as to why we don’t join the party, which makes it doubly insulting.  The witch hunt engaged against Arsenal on TalkSport, in certain quarters, should instead be turned on City and Chelsea, asking how is it fair that 2 clubs can get away with such abuses, at the expense of all other clubs in the premier league who are trying run a football club and living within their means. The media instead, embrace the situation, which of course they will, as they know which side of the bread is buttered.  Speak out against it, and you will probably not have a job for very long, as Sky and others have massive vested interests.  Just talk up the circus, and paint the like of Arsenal fans as sanctimonious, with sour grapes.

But this is not sanctimony.  Samuel’s accusation of a monopoly, to me, should be turned on its head.  Instead of a monopoly, what we have here is a cartel, 7 or 8 super-clubs in Europe, who will dominate the landscape, and others will have very little chance of winning league titles and the champions league. When I grew up, a lot of teams were in the mix.  Here, and abroad. Villa and Nottingham Forest won the European cup.  That brilliant Everton side in the mid 80s won the European cup winners cup.  Even Spurs won the UEFA cup!  European teams such as Hamburg, Red Star Belgrade and Dynamo Kiev added to the plurality.

The current situation? I don’t have to work very hard to predict the dominant forces – Bayern, Manchester United, Barcelona, Real Madrid, PSG, Manchester City and Chelsea.

It is not for the good of football.

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70 comments on “Let’s All Ignore Arsenal (“2 Points Off City Now”)

  1. The maswer is in your post Muppet.

    Arsenal havent spent nearly enough on huge transfer fees and wages to warrant serious inclusion by the media in the title race.

    You can bet, if we signed a Draxler and a big name defender for a combined £50m or so, then you’d see a ten fold increase in pro-Arsenal chit chat.


  2. maswer = answer


  3. exceptional article. but you know what? john cross , amy lawrence etc THEY are the ones who should be putting durhams talksports shearers redknapps and morgans at their places…..they should be making noise and doubting the credentials of all these clowns who talk about arsenal with such disrespect. Why isnt samuel challenged on what he writes? why isnt ivan on their arses together with flamini making their lives uncomfortable? I hate to say it but david dein would just make a few phone calls and all these little people would re-consider their approach/words/ideas. As for ignoring us i dont mind, just as long as they dont talk shit about us in order to promote the rotten values of chelsea and city and manure……or worse…spurs….


  4. Of course the fact that Everton DIDNT beat us means sod all to that attention seeking inane shock jock Dullard. Despite the fact Arsenal have regularly, in the past out ACTUALLY and for real, out played teams they were supposed to lose to; Barca, ManU, Bayern etc… But the criticisms thrown at Arsenal were that, ultimately one or a few good results meant sod all.

    But when it suits an agenda, one game, in isolation, with no context or perspective, is all the proof that some need to mock, disparage, write off etc.

    I was at the Everton game and they played well, barkley was excellent, yet it was Arsenal who looked the most likely to score and should really have won the game, despite not being at their best.

    But I digress, the point I am trying to make is; FFS! Who in their right mind listens to talkshite in general and that utter talentless, brain dead hack Durrum???


  5. Enjoyed that. Right on the money. It makes me want to win the title even more than I always do. There will be so many media noses to rub in the Emirates turf.


  6. Who in their right mind listens to talkshite in general and that utter talentless, brain dead hack Durrum???

    haha..even worse….WHO pays them money to write such crap?


  7. Another fantastic read today. Well done and thanks Muppet and thanks George for what seems to be an expanding list of top contributors……


  8. That’s two brilliant articles (this one and United’s Plight….) I’ve read on this site in as many days. Keep up the good work fellas.


  9. Good piece Muppet – my respect is even more profound in relation to your willingness to listen to the likes of Durham and his nasty, snide Talksport cronies. The equivalent of reading the Daily Mail.

    The other point I would gently make is that Arsenal are not cash strapped. We are a very, very wealthy club and it is unsatisfactory to suggest that we are not one of the dominant forces of world football, or at least that is what Stan has pinned his investment to. Yes we have had a period of comparative decline but emerged stronger, better organised and, dare I say, much more ‘hungry’ for success.


  10. I cannot agree more with your observations, especially the ’embedded media coverage that is blatantly disregarding the hardworking apex team of the 2013/14 league so far’.

    However, before we start feeling bad for poor Liverpool, Spurs et al let us consider their attitude towards the 8 or so Goliath clubs of Europe. Brendan and his Liverpool board, if media reports are true, would sooner see their mercurial striker, Suarez, in Madrid colours than see him plying his trade in the EPL. The unreliable media claims Suarez’ release clause is substantially higher for English suitors than it is for Barcelona, Real Madrid, PSG, Monaco or even Kaizer Chiefs of South Africa.

    Again the media tells us Levy of Spurs actively participated in blocking Julian Draxler’s rumored move to the Gunners by refusing to let go of one of Spurs players Schalke had targeted as suitable substitute for Draxler. Hahaha! The media believes he still kicks himself for selling Bale to Real Madrid which was a move that triggered the migration of Ozil to the Gunners. Stupid indeed but that’s the quality of the English sports pages.

    The English teams are supporting the monopoly you are talking about. How many excellent players has arsenal sold to Man City and Barcelona when their peers in the EPL refuse to sell even want-away players to them

    The EPL clubs are making the EPL weaker by preferring to export the best talent to some two-club leagues in Europe rather than on-shore trading. It’s even worse when they stop dealing for the sake of blocking other player transactions that make the EPL richer.

    No wonder the English National team is not expected to win anything in the next decade!


  11. Morning all. Another well written post. Spot on MUPPET. except for one thing. You can probably drop manure from the list at the bottom paragraph of your post. A force apparently spent and I don’t think there are anymore bullets in that particular pistol. As far as total expenditures by the oil clubs 04-14 , your numbers seem 300 to 400 million below the numbers I have seen by some estimates. I wonder if you could tell us where you got your numbers. Are they gross or net amounts? Thanks for the great read. As far as the Mejia, pffftttt. They probably hate us as much as we hate them. They will always gravitate towards the buttered side of the toast. Except for a brave few that call it as they see it. And promptly get marginalized while the fat cats crow lyrical about the oily clubs and take the spotlight. The gig is up. We have known for years now the kind of treatment we will get from them regularly. Makes it extra special every year to see them backtrack and get stuffed to the max on humble pie. And the fools come back with the same predictions yearly as if nothing was learned from the past. As I said before” extra special”.


  12. In a way it works our better for us hopefully as we will fly under the radar and hit them before they can react.


  13. An incredible job Muppet on a subject which we gooners run the risk of being called hypocrites simply because AFC is one of the financially elite clubs in the BPL. But it is nakedly obvious that the unregulated and irresponsible financing of football clubs with petro-dollars is distorting the competitive landscape in the short-run with negative implications for the long-term consequences for the so-called “greatest league” in the world. Rather than deploring the excesses of Chelsea and City and celebrating Arsenal’s fidelity to self-sustainability, the media simply endorses and reinforces this financial bubble. How can it be good for football that the majority of clubs cling to the bottom of the BPL pyramid unable to sustain a competitive challenge while Chelsea can hoard the most talented young players and strategically loan the best to certain clubs who can do harm to their immediate competitors, e.g. Lukaku. At the last count the Chavs have in excess of 20 such players on loan.

    Inevitably such excesses usually come to a nasty end. As we all learnt from the great recession that commenced 2007, nobody can time such events but the consequences are disastrous to the majority. I think our club is prepared to not only sustain our lead to the title but also survive the inevitable splat but football overall will suffer. That much is certain.

    Up the Arsenal!


  14. Top, top work, Muppet. We’re not following the script, we haven’t followed the script for nine years and they don’t like it. I share your outrage, but I deal with the nonsense by ignoring it.

    @ Anicoll5
    “The other point I would gently make is that Arsenal are not cash strapped. We are a very, very wealthy club and it is unsatisfactory to suggest that we are not one of the dominant forces of world football, or at least that is what Stan has pinned his investment to. Yes we have had a period of comparative decline but emerged stronger, better organised and, dare I say, much more ‘hungry’ for success.”

    We were relatively cash-strapped from 2005/6 until 2012/13 for obvious reasons. Now, we are indeed a wealthy club. Due to the hard work of the commercial department, Wenger’s miraculous ability to keep us in the CL and not forgetting the new TV deal, our income has increased massively over the last couple of years. Our outgoings are now a much smaller proportion of our turnover. Profits, ie the amount available to buy and pay players with, have therefore increased. However, in terms of competing financially with some of the clubs Muppet lists, the difference our greater wealth makes is marginal.

    In purely football terms we are a dominant power but not we still have to work to a budget, albeit a much larger one than a few years ago. All of Barcelona, Real Madrid, PSG, Manchester City and Chelsea have some sort of unfair advantage – either access to (in practice) unlimited funds or some sort of national or local government subsidy, or financial link with a sports broadcaster. Manchester United and Bayern are not doped but have much bigger global revenues than we do. For now. They are catchable in revenue terms, the others are not. We are competing in some cases with wealth greater than the GDP of entire nations. They don’t care how much they spend because the owners’ vanity is at stake and they did not have to sweat to earn the money they throw around..


  15. Nice work, Muppet.

    We live in a culture where money is king. That’s why no one questions financial doping and the way it’s slowly killing our sport.

    Oh my, Adrian Durham. Can’t someone tape his mouth and his hands so he can’t say or type any more?


  16. Fun, the thing about maniacal owners who are willing to spend millions building a squad is that they think they know more about football than people who have been around the sport all their lives.

    Real Madrid has been through at least ten coaches since they got rid of Vicente Del Bosque. The man has won every single trophy a manager could ever want, but he was thought to be too old hat by their chairman, a guy who looks like he never saw a ball up close as a kid.

    Look at Chelsea. Ranieri built a team for the ages, but he was let go as soon as he wasn’t needed anymore. Now Chelsea has gone through their own managerial merry-go-round and there’s no Ranieri to build them a team. There you have a chairman making all the moves as well.

    City is heading down the same path. If Pellegrini doesn’t advance past Barcelona and he doesn’t win the league, he’s on his way out. Who will they get to manage them? Mourinho and Ancelotti are booked so perhaps they’ll go for Klopp or some other hyped up manager.


  17. I enjoyed that Muppet… Its about time attention is drawn to the derision with witch we are treated… then again its always nice to be under the radar!!


  18. Nice one Muppet,I’m still amazed people take the likes of Adrian Durham seriously and listen to his deliberately spiteful take on Arsenal.Man City & Chelsea have ruined football in this country but it doesn’t suit the papers or Sky & BT’s agenda to admit that,sadly I don’t hold much hope for FFP either-I mean UEFA are useless-they couldn’t keep a rabbit going with lettuce could they? We’re a club that’s built and almost paid for its own stadium,we spend what we earn,we have a manager that is even more impressive as a man than he is a manager (even the Wenger out mob will see that years after he’s gone) I’d rather do things the right way than do what City,Chelsea,PSG & the ugly sisters in Spain do.


  19. Excellent article, Muppet.

    Very good replies, as always. Personally, I don’t agree with the idea that David Dein would make any difference, after all, he didn’t go along with having the Ems built/might’ve had us playing at Wembley, (and what would’ve happened during its rebuild?) and I think his power was on the wain, at the FA, and, obviously, Arsenal.

    The amount of money Arsenal spends on transfers makes no difference to the Circus, given Arsenals refusal to simply be dishonest. This doing things the Arsenal way is not hated and that ain’t gonna change soon.

    No, we will just continue to get kicked.

    I’ve said it before; I don’t care if Arsenal win trowfies, but I wish for it just so the naysayers have to ‘eat their words’ (euphamism).


  20. Tremendous stuff Muppet, as always.

    One has to assume that one reason the media-ocracy has singularly failed to change the narrative as it pertains to Arsenal’s prospects this season is partly due to the sheer volume of goals City are scoring which affords them opportunity to save face from an embarrassing public admission that they got things badly wrong.

    Additionally, Chelsea’s re-emergence as a force able to bore on sight whilst avoiding defeat and grabbing tedious victories also helps supposedly professional commentators to retain their entrenched positions.

    Essentially they are all banking on Arsenal failure to enable them to say ‘told you so’.

    What becomes ever-more evident is that despite the media love-in with the Oilygarchs, the emergence up and down the nation and beyond of an ‘anyone but City or Chelsea’ attitude is undeniable.

    Most neutrals can see what’s happening with those two clubs and most really don’t like it at all.


  21. Mel – I don’t understand the commercial imperative for Sky et al to ‘big up’ the Chavs and citeh.

    If the EPL becomes another two horse race we just end up with a league which eventually risks near-terminal decline as per the Scottish experience and, as you call them, the Spanish Ugly Sisters. Surely, for example, and in respect of Sky’s subscription base, plurality of club contenders in the EPL is essential in order to widen that crucial consumer revenue stream?

    It just makes such little sense to me.


  22. Thanks for highlighting my tweet, I feel honoured. It really touched a nerve with the number of RT’s it had. My twitter acc went crazy lol


  23. I agree Andrew,but the proofs in the pudding-look how Sky & the media are behaving over City & Chelsea now-it won’t be too long till their calling us Plucky Arsenal (bless em they won’t go away will they?!)…


  24. ArsenalAndrew
    January 22, 2014 at 1:40 pm
    Mel – I don’t understand the commercial imperative for Sky et al to ‘big up’ the Chavs and citeh.

    sky sells the epl rights worldwide for 4 billion…… which teams acquisitions give sky the platform to charge/profiteer as high as that ? you want to see our league with our drogbas silvas youres rooneys etc? you will PAY.oh yes you will. So if i want 4 billion a year for the rights i must have teams that justify this. chelsea does it, united does. it city does it,,,,arsenal? they dont do it? who do they think they are? we will fuck em.

    why were the epl club ownership rules changed by blair and brown?


  25. if this mata deals goes through i DEMAND our players go inside stamford bridge, win the game, and then chase mourinho inside his dressing room swearing and spitting and kicking him.


  26. @ Gainsbourg69 January 22, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    “Fun, the thing about maniacal owners who are willing to spend millions building a squad is that they think they know more about football than people who have been around the sport all their lives.”

    Agreed. You never get a billionaire owner who is content to take a back seat and trust the experts. They put the money in so they demand control. Highlights another good thing about our model – it’s the club’s own money which goes to fund its continued success.

    Trouble is, when the sugar daddy does happen upon a really good manager, it’s bad news for us!


  27. “does happen upon a manager and lets him do his job”, I should have said.


  28. Off topic, but for anyone who is interested in the Ladies squad, Rachel Yankey has signed a new contract. Yay!


  29. the thing about maniacal owners who are willing to spend billions building a squad is that they happy to see football clubs turned into larger versions o Glaswegian Tanning shops. Traditionally, as far as I know, football clubs are charitable community type things, not buisiness’, and this is something that the Ken Bates ad bigger sharks out there have been happy to exploit.

    The Shock Jocks will attack the minnows at Cardiff and Hull but not the bloated parasites of the Gas Clubs cycling their laundry, or building a guarantee for the future of their monarchies that are supported by giant (oil) corporations and not by their populations.


  30. For all the money these oligarchs and Sheiks have pumped into the 2 English clubs, on players fees, managers, wages, youth set ups etc, it is interesting that neither have sought to really leave a permanent mark by actually paying to build a new stadium.

    Now, I know Man City somehow (wink, wink) strike a deal whereby they pay about £20 a week rent for a tax payers’ funded stadium, but they could and most definitely should have agreed to buy it from the local council.

    As for Roman, he has been there 10 years and despite lots of talk about it, the chances of him financing a new stadium, that truly would be a legacy to leave, are as remote as Sam Alladyce conceding that he isnt a very good manager.

    Says a lot, well to me anyway.


  31. Hunter – the Premier League sell Premier League rights all over the world and the proceeds are divvied up among the clubs, Sky and the other broadcasters are understandably promoting their investment.

    As for poor old Roman he was not able to match the £400 million for the Battersea site of the Malaysians so Chels are suck at the Bridge – Oligarch envy


  32. Sky and the other broadcasters are understandably promoting their investment.

    absolutely, and arsenal isnt playing to their preferences/rules.

    why does sky though and epl think that their ownly way to protect their investments is via the sugardaddy/oligarch avenue and not the wenger avenue

    is it cause wenger’s way is harder ?


  33. But just because they have tv rights to sell still doesn’t explain why Sky etc are getting behind City and CFC in the way that they seem to be. Surely the ‘bigger’ story would be the David & Goliath narrative than the more one dimensional slugfest between two financial heavyweights?

    Surely a league where anyone could win is of greater interest than the dull predictability of a two-horse race as per the annual Barca:RM snorefest, or am I really just not getting this?


  34. A league where ‘anyone’ could win ( or anyone could lose) ?

    Are you out of your mind ?

    Do you imagine a billion Chinese Pay TV and digital subscribers are going to pay good money to see Hull take on West Brom in a tense final day decider for the PL trophy ? Do you want to see Arsenal and Manyoo locked in a desperate fight to avoid the drop to the Championship ??

    Well even if you do Sky don’t and I have some sympathy for them.

    Clubs have been built into global brands quite deliberately and the platform that sells them is the PL. Do not ever confuse the customer.


  35. Corr >
    Traditionally, as far as I know, for tax puposes football clubs have been registered as charitable community type things, not business’, and this is something that the Ken Bates and bigger sharks out there have been happy to exploit


  36. Sky have zero interest in a human interest story (david and goliath), much less an objective line of journalism, no matter how interesting. They have a massive now global stake in EPL as commercial television rights, viewership, subsidiary revenue and its derivatives, and anything that increases that revenue base is de facto editorial policy.

    Super-clubs (City and Chelsea, former greats at Yoo) make sense. More is better. The formula makes sense. Super-legend players – part cartoon super-hero, part reality TV – international brands in their own right, conform wonderfully, as a TV product, to the mass media dumbing down of certain types of TV formulas that produces huge revenues. It’s called building the brand. Who wants or even needs football, except a few on the terraces, and the few devotees of actual football. It’s not about football, it’s about the brand. Feeding the juggernaut, which is insatiable in its quest for bottom line profit.

    Arsenal is not good news in this setting, awkwardly positioned in terms of building the type of brand envisaged. Where are the mega-cost super-stars? Where is the story – which can only about super-stars with this brand formula? It’s about gladiators. It’s about super-heroes. It’s about being the best, not building a club and pretty football. The best sells. And, sadly the global super-hero brand formula works; they know this. Revenues are assured. Arsenal represents risk, the threat of a good example.

    So, we need not ask why pundits, paid by the self-same media juggernaut, plus its business allies and subsidiaries, do not much like the Arsenal story. They are doing their job. Whoever thought the mass media was editorially “objective” is in for a rude awakening. It’s like saying the rich care about the poor.


  37. very very good post, pointing out the issue very well. Thanks Muppet.

    AA, I dont think sense or reasoning is an often word used in this industry. Exploit what sells now to the maximum. Sky is the greedy farmer who will kill the golden egg laying goose to get all the gold forever.

    In their minds, it is more catching to big up a monster vs monster fight than a david vs goliath fight especially when they have been mocking david for years for not becoming another sugar daddy funded goliath. Sky, City and Chelsea are cut from the same cloth: Solve things with money, screw ethics, fuck honest work, buy off people, etc.


  38. What Coll said.


  39. ZimPaul
    January 22, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    on the spot!


  40. Great points and on the money ZP

    I am just trying to imagine Paul Merson and Redknapp Junior getting their head round it.

    “No brain at all, some of them, only grey fluff that’s blown into their heads by mistake, and they don’t think.”

    The wise words of Eeyore


  41. Okay, so working the logic, CFC and City play each other a couple of times each season in the league and the rest of the season is spent steam-rollering over the remaining 18 sides.

    Not that much of a draw, is it?

    As it is already, people are complaining about Sky’s so-called ‘Super Sunday’ programme when you have an afternoon of smaller sides playing each other. Doesn’t happen all that often but we’re all aware of it when it does as it’s so dull. Their bacon is currently saved as there is still huge interest in games featuring Liverpool, Arsenal, Manure, Everton etc. Cut that down to just the big two, however …


  42. andrew you can look at it in terms that clubs liek city and chelsea are like the pillars that hold the epl product at value of 4 billion foricng everyone to follow suit ..the more spent /thrown in the carousel the better for all of them.

    if i could add to zimpaul’s brilliance……football and the epl are perhaps the uk’s last grand export commodity….everything else the uk sells abroad is in the category of service providers.

    when uk businessmen realised they could not bear the costs of running english football clubs the government changed the ownership rules to invite foreign tycoons……….. probably in an effort to protect their last exporting product in my eyes….

    when the foreign tycoon invests money in the domestic product he will also demand protection for his investment and promotion or else he will stop funding it……unless he is laundring money…or they could be doing both…


  43. Good to see Muppet!


  44. Its a draw if you have millions of ‘fans’ across the globe tuning in, and paying directly and/or indirectly , to see their favourites win each week


  45. Yes, you could be right coll; real death of football stuff that, tho, isn’t it?


  46. hah… football died when it turned pro…we are lucky that football has a wenger for those who trully love the game and believe in ethics and have some fucking principles on being rewarded on hard work. without him there would be no reason to watch/follow football seriously, as far as im concerned. he combines the realisation that you have to survive as a business and sets up accordingly as well as caring for the entertainment of the fans which is the ultimate purpose of professional sports.


  47. the above concept of entertainment though gets raped by egomaniacunts liek alex and mou who are in charge of owners massive ego dreams and vanity and the pressure to win brings about all this cuntishness you see in the game. another reason why arsene is head and shoulder above all these guys if you take what a manager offers as a complete package.


  48. Nice stuff, Muppet. As I’ve said in comments over the last several years: Arsenal are the only salvation!

    It is actually quite important that we win the league this year, if we can. It would make a real statement.

    However, it isn’t only City and Chelsea that are spending way beyond their means because of the ownership. The scale is much greater but there is huge operating debt (not just capital debt like ours) for a huge number of clubs. Stoke, Sunderland, Cardiff, and many lower table sides are spending far more than their revenue/turnover would allow without financial doping from owners.


  49. AA, according the formula, and its variations, essentially what you need is about half a dozen super-hero level clubs as real people/football teams to hook the product around. Thing is they need a “character”, a dumb ass one. That is where the narrative comes from, the product that is being sold. ManU, “old-school” values and traditions team led by canny Scot (good guy, winner); Chelsea the brash and brilliant upstarts (good guy, posing as bad guy, winner); Pool, much-loved has-been of glory years (loser). I suspect City are the first Thor-and-thunder mega-team, cartoon-based (strong guy, winner). Even Spurs, the sparkling and plucky upset team (loser), Everton, perennial also-rans (loser). Real football is different, and the contrived narrative can’t be far from reality, but once the narrative is set, it becomes part of the formula. All is good guys, winners and losers. You are creating millions of consumers via loyalty, often from adolescence, your products must ‘represent’ something. The rest are cannon-fodder, minor characters.

    The sum total of these products is EPL, the gladiators ring, THE contest of contests.

    And Arsenal? Ah-ha! The arrogant French intellectual, genius (which explains our great football) but “weak”, no guts, ultimately we always fail, serves us right! (loser). We are the clowns. Hell, we might even be the first “bad guy”. The EPL needs one. And now, what the hell. If we win the damn thing? In style. And this annoying thing of doing so at a fraction of the cost of the big guys, playing fair, building a club, youth, integrity, great football; god forbid. It doesn’t fit. Goodness me. The clown (loser) cannot win.

    Remember it (football) is for billions primarily a TV product, a thing on a square screen, like other TV products. It is marketed for viewership.

    Hold steady Arsenal.


  50. How the hell does Redknapp fils have a job in football punditry?


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