Arsenal: When Sir Chips Told The Mainstream Media To “Eff Off”

Eff you

After losing 5:1 to Bayern the English media have done everything to downplay the quality of Arsenal’s performance up to the 55th minute, ignore the diabolical refereeing (Wenger described it as “unexplainable and scandalous“) and to ratchet up the hysteria for Arsene to be fired prior to renewal or conclusion of his contract.

Leading the charge of the English media is one James Olley, Chief Football Correspondent of the Evening Standard. Before PSG was screwed over by the same UEFA referees he was a man filled with certitude.

“Arsenal were simply not good enough to compete at the highest level and after more than £85million investment in a squad Wenger had huge faith in, it is a damning indictment of the manager and this group of players (My emphasis).”

Despite the Standard being a rag that is given away to evening commuters, Mr Olley’s views are of such import that the Sage of Dublin made him his guest of honor on his Friday podcast to spew his diatribe to his army of followers. So let us dissect Olley’s views.

Did the manager ever have any illusions about the gap in quality between his club and Bayern? Unlike Mr Olley’s bill of indictment, the manager in his pre-game presser did not have great “faith” in his team’s chances:

“Let’s not fool ourselves, we have a one or two-percent chance. But you never know. That’s why we have to focus on the quality of our performance and our commitment.”

But should Gooners or neutrals be expecting superiority over Bayern because Arsenal invested £85million in the squad last summer? Apparently Olley believes after one summer of big spending Arsenal should be beating one of the traditional powerhouses of Europe (2-times Champion League and 3-times European Cup winners) and 26-times Bundesliga winner. If one merely focused on the headline statistic, i.e. market value of both squads; £472.73m  for Bayern vs £418.20m for Arsenal (a 13% difference), and this is before making any adjustment to account  for the more inflated English market, one would think it is a small gap.

Don’t expect Mr. Olley and his interlocutor, the Sage of Dublin, to dig down into the data as this would expose the shallowness of their claim that Wenger is all to blame for Arsenal’s defeat. Unlike them, we at Positively Arsenal demand data and facts to form a conclusion rather than act hysterically and emotionally.

A deeper analysis of the market value of the players representing both teams show a £20 million edge to Bayern, according to transfermarkt.co.uk Again it must be emphasized that England suffers from significantly greater inflation than Germany where Bayern can pick up a player with more or less the same qualities as one in the English market at a lesser transfer fee. This applies to wages as well.

David Ospina £5.95m
Laurent Koscielny £18.70m
Shkodran Mustafi £25.50m
Nacho Monreal £12.75m
Héctor Bellerín £21.25m
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain £17.00m
Aaron Ramsey £29.75m
Francis Coquelin £12.75m
Granit Xhaka £29.75m
Olivier Giroud £21.25m
Mesut Özil £42.50m
Alexis Sánchez £55.25m
Lucas Pérez £14.45m
Theo Walcott £18.70m
Total Market Value £325.55m


Manuel Neuer £38.25m
Mats Hummels £32.30m
Javi Martínez £21.25m
David Alaba £34.00m
Rafinha £4.25m
Thiago Alcántara £25.50m
Joshua Kimmich £21.25m
Arturo Vidal £31.45m
Xabi Alonso £2.98m
Robert Lewandowski £68.00m
Franck Ribéry £6.80m
Renato Sanches £25.50m
Arjen Robben £8.50m
Douglas Costa £25.50m
Total Market Value £345.53M

The fact that the financial disparity, when 11 v 11, was only 6% goes somewhere in explaining why Arsenal was competitive for the first 55 minutes. But once the officials decided to tilt the tables in Bayern’s favor by not only granting a penalty for Lewandowski’s appalling imitation of Jamie Vardy’s favorite diving technique, but going further by sending off Arsenal’s best defender (Koscielny), the disparity became a gulf. Approximately £20 million in talent was sent to the showers.

By the way: I am no great fan of transfermarkt’s valuation as a source of unbiased data but it certainly goes somewhere in exposing the shallowness of Olley’s selective use of transfer spending to support a predetermined point of view. As usual, I publish my data so readers can do their own analysis and agree/disagree with my conclusions. If time allowed I would have researched age,  years as a professional, performance rating (Squawka), etc., to assess the qualitative difference between both starting XIs.

Back to Mr. Olley’s campaign to discredit Mr. Wenger. One day after Bayern his headline was Arsene Wenger cannot be allowed to decide his destiny – he is holding Arsenal back:

“It is difficult to imagine how bad things have to get at Arsenal before the offer of a two-year contract extension to Arsene Wenger is withdrawn.”

Apparently this provocative headline earned him the invitation to do that Arsenal podcast. Birds of a feather certainly flock together.

It took Sir Chips Keswick, chairman of the board, to put Olley and his cohorts in their place by letting them know who decides Arsene’s and Arsenal’s destiny. He issued an official statement on Thursday, March 9th which stated:

 “Arsene has a contract until the end of the season. Any decisions will be made by us mutually and communicated at the right time in the right way.”

None of that dreaded statement of confidence, that platitudinous public relation puffery used by Board chairmen to assuage the media and incredulous fans to insulate themselves from criticism while they plot their options. It was a simple statement of fact; a big, polite “eff off”.

Olley was not dissuaded. During the Lincoln game, like so many in the English media, via a series of tweets, one could sense how desperate he was to have an upset and his ensuing disappointment.

In his post game report Olley came to the remarkable conclusion that a 5:0 trashing was underwhelming.

“The performance was underwhelming as Lincoln held their own in a fearless and well-organised display but Wenger got the result he desperately needed to avoid further discontent.”

My friends, this is the state of the English mainstream media and its profitable footballing division; a state of rank bias and mendacity. And colluding with them are bloggers and podcasters who pursue ambitions completely divorced from the hard facts and reality that affect the club they claim to support. Rather than trying to educate and inform the fans they are in it to promote hysteria and emotionalism. What a shame!

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224 comments on “Arsenal: When Sir Chips Told The Mainstream Media To “Eff Off”

  1. They have indeed eddy – and while I dismiss Leicester’s chances in the QF against Athletico Madrid on checking La Liga I see the Madrid side are five points behind Sevilla.

    Surely not?


  2. he was that bad he actually had the home crowd united, and for a change they were on his back and actually supported the team

    Liked by 1 person

  3. just seen an article on why Walcott is not in the England squad, and it was like the many articles that used to be written about why Ian Wright, and before him Malcolm McDonald, were not in the England squads back in the day

    “Take away his goals and he is not good enough”

    It must be an Arsenal thing, all these boys can do is score goals, what use is that.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. could add double golden boot winner Alan Smith to that list too.


  5. I think the difference is that in the early 70s, and even in the early 90s England, had competent strikers better than Supermac or Smith – if Smith or MMc were around now they would walk into the starting line up.


  6. Be interesting to see if Southgate persists with a player who hasn’t impressed at the top level for club or country or plays somone who has, like AOC. From Hodgson’s actions I conclude that he would’ve played AOC in tournaments if he han’t been for the secondary niggles on the comeback from that big injury.

    Let’s not forget Welbeck!
    England’s leading striker.

    Taken out by that unpunished hack from Can.

    Don’t worry. Welbeck’s on the list.


  7. < AOC over Alli for me


  8. So the Great Banner in the Sky stunt has been called off as a result of adverse weather conditions expected tomorrow !

    Well I have just had a look at the Met office forecast for Sandwell tomorrow afternoon between 12.00 and 15.00, light winds from the West at 13 mph, cloud cover and intermittent showers expected.

    Perfectly good flying conditions.

    Feel free;


    Liked by 2 people

  9. will the fundpage give back the money, or will the lad have a good week with all the fools money

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I seen them talk about a banner flyover of the Emirates, but as far as I know there is no way to get a permit to fly over the Emirates.


  11. Arsenal Fixture News‏ @AFCFixtureNews 5h5 hours ago

    Our FA Cup Semi-Final against Manchester City will be played on Sunday 23rd April with a 3pm Kick-Off; Gooner’s have Wembley’s East Side.
    S/F Ticket News Allocation: 32,637 Sale Date: Thursday 23rd March @ 10am for AS & 3+ credits to guarantee a ticket Cost: £30; £40; £50; £60


  12. ” Chris Butler
    GUYs..we have some weather issues and the plane might not fly tomorrow..if it doesn’t it will at another game. That plane was paid out of a fans pocket. We have other big things planned and paid for and you will see them. We do not want to release to much info because of Wenger’s moronic, slave like supporters. Even if Wenger signs another contract the protests will continue until the end of the season. Your money will ALL go towards that.Keep the faith. WENGER OUT!!”

    Of course it will Chris – “weather issues” (banned smiley)


  13. 157 contributions so far and £2,882 in the pot

    If you look the firm that does air banner advertising http://www.airads.co.uk/Aerial-Advertising-Products and its rock bottom cheapest package that comes to £2118.


  14. ha ha ha, the banner boys are now saying the air banner advertisers got a £25K bribe not to fly tomorrow. You couldn’t make it up

    Liked by 2 people

  15. What other big things have they planned and paid for? A banner picnic?A banner party sleep over? Whose got the biggest banner competition? What about a big East End knees up banner party with songs like “Knees up Mother Banner” and “roll aht the banner” and maybe because Im a bannerer” .
    Or perhaps inviting Dr.David Banner and get him in a mood?

    Liked by 3 people

  16. arsenal should not be offering season tickets to any of those protesting against the club, or the manager.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Balloons, ice cream and jelly – that would be good – and those sprinkley hundreds and thousands !

    Liked by 1 person

  18. anicol they had hundreds and thousands on their last protest, well they claimed they did, others said it was tens and twenties

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Eddie,

    Your idea to suggest the club refuse to allow those ‘magnificent’ men in their flying machines the right to renew their season tickets is a good one — the thing is that the club could give a stuff what or where they fly — and if they want to betray their own views on how badly the club are administered or managed then tough sh*t. Straw men!


  20. but the thing is henry, that the lot of them are ruining the atmosphere, they want to make it toxic and that is not an ideal thing to have when you want your team to play well, chuck the bastards out, and sell the tickets to the thousands of fans who have been waiting years to get a season ticket.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Wengbert Wengabe‏ @wengarse 1h1 hour ago

    “They raised £2,882 for me to LEAVE? Nice gesture, but the club raised £8,000,000 for me to STAY”

    Liked by 2 people

  22. that last tweet is so true! Hope AW stays focused!


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