Arsenal: We are what we believe



Good morning Positives far and near,

My apologies for the late start this morning, a roofer booked at 12.00 arrived at 9.30 and if you knew how hard it is to find a decent contractor to repoint your stack you’d understand my priorities.

Yet another Arsenal win yesterday and another professional  performance from every player. For long periods of the game we were totally in control with Brighton pinned like a butterfly under glass, and Arsenal prodding and poking at them to find the relevant opening. It was not until the final 20 minutes that they managed to gain any consistent possession and by that stage we were comfortable and the points in the bag.

Most of my focus yesterday was, understandably on out attacking efforts but our defensive performance yesterday was very good and domestically it is five weeks since anyone managed to get past Cech and score. During that time we have had to employ several central defensive formations by reason of injury so the record over four PL games is to our credit. Nacho has been a permanent rock but yesterday Mustafi was the leader of the defensive gang, confident on the ball and always pressing the attacker.

Of our lads in midfield and up front it was definitely a day to saviour for the Alexiphiliacs rather than those of the phobic persuasion. The Chilean is getting back to his form of last season and yesterday had him creating several prime scoring chances, the most notable being the back-heel with left three Brighton defenders on their heels. Even I went the wrong way watching on TV. Top finish from Iwobi required and executed even with the space he had. Evidence of a maturing player, and congratulations to him . Aaron and Granit very business-like all afternoon. Lacazette another good day and a little unlucky not to trouble the scorer.

My only gripe on the day was that at 2-0 in front and with 20+ minutes to go we did not create more after Theo and Olivier came on. Both had enjoyed a goal scoring week so their ‘eye’ was in. I fancied that we would open up our by then tiring visitors but it was not to be. In fact, as I mentioned above, in the final 20 minutes it looked as though we had relaxed and allowed BHA to come back into the game. While a five goal margin to pass Chelsea I admit was ambitious I expected a little more.

Of a well organised Brighton a sound effort from their keeper and defensive eight. I fancy them to stay up. No complaints about Friend on what was a clean game, although a bit pernickety at times.

What does all this mean for us?

Well April the 2nd is the last time we dropped any points at home in the Premier League. We have won game after game at home. Some easily, others with sweat and little art. Two away games in prospect starting on Saturday, both winnable although we went to Everton last season when they wee in the same disarray and let ourselves down. Koeman is the media’s whipping boy this week so they may be managerless by kick off Sunday week. However home form is the key. Next up at the Ems is Swansea on the 28th. The foundation of a genuine challenge for the Premier League title by any club is winning games at home, not drawing, not allowing a keeper the benefit of save after save. We must perfect the art of breaking into the bus for the full 90 minutes.


Enjoy your week

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94 comments on “Arsenal: We are what we believe

  1. yeah mandy, these old school love arsenal type who want a seat on the board sound ideal, in the same way old school love arsenal ex players like Adams and Henry, and Merson and Petit, and Robson and Smith and Wright sound ideal, until you actually take a look.

    fins I have said it many times, that I would love KSE to take 100% shareholding for no other reason than to fuck off the AST and all the other self important idiots who attend the meetings and AGM’s, Q&A etc only to bad mouth the club at every turn, never acknowledging that AFC are one of the very few clubs who do as much interaction with the different fans groups.
    also if club taken private, then maybe it will put an end to the circus that is the analysis of the accounts and the AGM. So many who have built a reputation on both of those will have the rug pulled out from under them quicker than Stan can pull off his rug.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I love AST this morning “urging” Usmanov not to sell his shares to SK.

    They are like young children, aren’t they?

    Liked by 4 people

  3. well Anicol their message to Usmanov went something like this

    please please please Mr Usmanov, don’t sell your 30% stake in AFC to that cunt wighead Kroenke, as he would force us to sell up our 3% stake in AFC, and if that happens how can we go round pretending that we are important. Now don’t get us wrong Mr Usmanov, we don’t want you to buy out Stan either, as you are a cunt too, and you would only force us to sell our 3% too. No no no, we need you to keep your 30% and sit on it, so we can pretend and act like we have 30% of the shares, and write articles, tweet and if we are really lucky get our names in the papers, and a few select few of us get to give interviews like big boys, to the written media and now and again to sky, its like having your birthday and christmas day all rolled into one.

    so to sum up, Mr Usmanov you cunt, don’t sell your shares to Mr Kroenke the cunt, and don’t buy his shares either, or you’ll make us feel like the cunts we are.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. isn’t it odd that this “third” option for the shares of Usmanov, are so unwilling to come forward and reveal who they are. Why are they afraid to go public, have the something to hide, why hide behind “group of businessmen” who are long term AFC fans. Which of them would they want on the board. AST love to go on and on and on and on about transparency, yet see no problem with this mystery group being in the shadows. I smell something fishy about it all.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Eduardo @ 2:25

    Smells fishy, eh?

    As the fisherman said to the cod – “long time no sea”.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. All this kerfuffle about Usmanov bidding for Kroenke’s shares —- no, wait – that was last month — as I was saying — all this kerfuffle about Kroenke bidding for usmanov’s shares has a touch of the – yah, boo, sucks – about it.

    They are puerile in their dislike for each other. I can imagine them saying something like;
    “If you bid for my petty cash shares, I’ll bid for yours!” –
    “Oh, no you won’t” –
    “Oh, yes I will – and my dad’s bigger than your dad!”
    “Oh, no he’s not.”

    It’s great to think the Arsenal have been entrusted into the hands of such sterling nincompoops.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I see lots of articles today suggesting that KSE buying all the shares in AFC would be anything from bad to a disaster for AFC, this goes along with all the tweets and blogs that suggest the same, all agreeing that Stan has been a bad or even awful majority shareholder, but I am yet to see anyone give any good reason as to why it would be a bad thing, or how he has been a bad majority shareholder. What has he done wrong.

    The most I can gleam when I press those saying such things, is that KSE are bad cos

    1. all his sports clubs are not dominating their sports

    2. he does not give his own money to Arsenal

    3. and this it the most important one for many – he has not replaced Wenger with somebody/anybody else

    so once again I ask can anyone please enlighten me as to what actual good reasons are there for declaring Stan Kroenke a bad majority shareholder

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Henry I see people complain that Stan has not given Usmanov a place on the board, but really why should he, all Alisher has done in regard KSE/AFC is attack and belittle the club, and of course only when club is on a bad run, never a peep from him when we are doing well, not a word after any of our recent FA Cup wins.
    He plays a good PR game, he curries favor with the malcontents and loudmouths, says what they want to hear, well other than he too backs the manager.
    Arsenal through Gazidis contacted Usmanov looking for his companies to sponsor Arsenal, an ideal opportunity to not only make friends but to actually help improve our commercial revenue, but no this was out of the question for Usmanov, not only that, but at the same time as he was blasting the club for lagging behind the likes of utd and co in revenue streams, he laughed at the “imcompetence” of Ivan actually asking for his companies to sponsor AFC. This is the same Usmanov who has had no bother in sponsoring Everton’s training ground. But he loves Arsenal. Yeah right.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Its about money Henry. Neither would allow puerile dislike to interfere with their financial judgement for a split second, in my opinion as I have never met or spoken to either of them, and nor has anyone I know.

    Both appear are sitting stride an enormous money making (global) business, and each will have a backroom team sweating the spreadsheets to realise and enhance the value of their asset.

    It seems highly improbable to me that either would sell their shares at the present time because the football business is still growing and the potential is, as yet, unrealised. Admittedly only a fool holds out for top dollar but this investment journey has a distance to run yet. In my opinion.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. So, if there is a truth to this unsourced story, what would Kroenke’s end game be?

    If he managed to convince Usmanov to sell his shares at a very handsome profit, and fook off to Everton, his options are, in simplistic terms, twofold.

    First: he could choose to call an Extraordinary General Meeting and pass a resolution of more than 75% of the shareholders, to force the remaining shareholders to sell their 3% holding to himself, and take the company private.

    Achieving that would mean that the company would no longer meet the requirements of being a publicly listed company and would become a private listed company with no requirement to reveal the financial information of the company as the shares are not traded.

    Second: He may choose to change the domicile of the management of the company, (say the US) and legitimately take it Offshore, to benefit from more ‘friendly’ laws elsewhere to protect the assets, and more importantly to benefit from tax savings/avoidance.

    Should we as fans panic? Well there is many a slip betwixt cup and lip, and getting Usmanov to sell could be very problematical — and he does love Arsenal, you know – yeah right.

    The main business of Arsenal is here in the UK, and if Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs smell Eduardo’s reeky fish, then a quick look at what has already started to happen to prevent tax evasion would quickly give him pause for thought.

    [Tax avoidance = OK —— Tax evasion = No go – and is probably criminal.]

    The tax man can see tax avoidance as wrongly named, if the reasons for doing so, are to mask ‘tax evasion’ and large fines and imprisonment can await. Not that I am suggesting any such thing – natch. lol

    So I would not get too worried yet — it all seems quite hypothetical as we speak.
    Bloody billionaires and there games!!


  11. Hi Anicoll,

    I apologise for a momentary weakness making me comment on such matters.

    I have come into professional contact over the years with some extraordinarily wealthy men — and altho I understand your view that money is the only driver for such people, that is not always the case.

    Having come to my senses, I will now go into purdah, and not discuss this topic further. lol

    Liked by 1 person

  12. well Usmanov spent a little less than £400M on buying AFC shares, he is being offered £525M for them, that is a very big increase.

    If reports are true, that he would buy into Everton, and that it would see him and Moshir own Everton, then he would be on the BPL gravy train, and not only that but in control of a club. Might give him the money and the glory he may seek


  13. Get a grip Henry !!

    It is not the only driver Henry, and as you have been around very wealthy people you will know some of then can be breathtakingly stupid at times, but this is two calculating types, both able and willing to take a long term view.

    BTW – Usmanov’s holding company that controls all his assets, USM, is registered in Cyprus. Delaware, BVI etc. HMRC know there is no way in.


  14. “well Usmanov spent a little less than £400M on buying AFC shares, he is being offered £525M for them, that is a very big increase.”

    Not if he thinks if they will be worth £600 million in 18 months time it isn’t.

    And I think these admittedly big investments in football clubs are not close to full valuation.


  15. as for the accounts would no longer be public – well not really an accurate description – man city and cfc accounts are revealed, BPL rules mean they have to be, it is correct that less detail of the accounts have to be made public, – but is this actually a bad thing, up till AFC started the move to the Emirates, I never seen a word about our accounts, I did not see anyone voicing concerns about them, and I certainly did not see a single analysis of them, and not a single article written about them. They were a byline at best. And whats more is that this lack of accounts details did not impinge on my Arsenal support, or love of Arsenal in any way at all.

    I would not miss accounts talks, or AGM’s etc, and in fact I would relish the likes of AST getting what the deserve, Tim not so nice but dim Payton missing out on his 2 minutes of bitching about Arsenal on SKY is something I would look forward to.

    Arsenal registered in Delaware makes no more difference to me than them being registered in London. I trust AFC to meet any laws, and HMRC to make sure any due taxes are paid.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. the thing is Anicol, the usmanov shares may on paper rise to £600M in a few years, but will he get the offer again from Stan, and who will buy them if they are left in the same position as Alisher, namely, 30% but no input. While he can get his pay day now, maybe go to EFC and see their share value rise, they get a rather big TV payoff too.


  17. by the way the KSE offer of £525M actually price the shares at £28K each, which is £7K over the recent high of £21K. There is a lot of time normally needed for an AFC share price to go up £7K


  18. Why indeed eddy why indeed not take the money and run ?

    As I said it may be that the figures and projections both SK and AU have worked up fo not reach their peak for x months or years. Neither appears to have any financial pressure on them do letting the situation develop seems their preferred approach in the short to medium term anyway.

    Interestingly both may have in mind the Glazers decision to float a part (10-20%) of MU just a few months before Ferguson stepped down.


  19. true anicol, their future projections could be such that it makes sense to keep them, but would suggest that both KSE and R&W future projections are likely to be similar, and in such each will know the other has similar detail or projections, so any takeover offer is bound to take that into account.

    But as you say, neither men seem in need of cash, so no pressure to sell. As we know things can change very quickly in business and even more so in share prices, but if either man can afford to keep the shares no matter how much they go up or go down then it may be a long time before we see any change from the current breakdown.


  20. Ed, I prefer a more plural model than full Stan, or anyone else ownership, whatever the AST may think.
    I may be an idealist, but think there is a place for fans and long time club people to at least be represented, I am not saying Stan has or will done anything wrong, but dont see him as either a fan or club person.
    I am not going to have a go at Stan, because we dont really know what he would do if he was the only owner until it happens, he can be judged in that event, hoiwever I will say the performance levels of his other clubs dont exactly fill me with excitement


  21. from usmanov’s statement its clear there is a major dislike for Stan, the statement basically says he would consider selling to someone else but not to Stan


  22. of course his implied dislike for Stan may be nothing more than his usual good PR for the benefit of the gullible fans, saying what they want to hear, seeing as his statement also says he is willing to work with Stan if given a place on the board.


  23. Maybe Usmanov is behind the mysterious consortium, if it really exists of course


  24. Etonians were never renowned for having the common touch, if you won’t tell the Blaggers I promise not to too.

    There may have been a time when actual fans could’ve been involved but thanks to the amateurs sorry I mean earnest experts at the AST…

    What was ten years ago a strong probability is now a highly unlikely outcome in my lifetime. What we have witnessed since means that Genius could be an understatement given that context:

    Not Cazorla, Ozil & Alexis, but
    “Burgervic, Fellaini, Michu…”,


  25. Usmanov achieving sainthood in some quarters


  26. Andy, I’m listening carefully to what you say. Shall we chip in and buy a club?

    Liked by 2 people

  27. I shall have my people phone Stan’s people – it is as good as done.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. They’re both villains. Actually the same goes for the Swiss exile diamond dealer who has a bridge named after him.

    Germany looks great at times like these. You want to support St. Pauli – or Dulwich Hamlet who today said that any money they make from their league’s new bookmaker sponsor will be donated to charity.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. We shall keep the AGMs though even though to maintain our dialogue with important fan groups like AST – I suggest Christmas Eve afternoon – in Grimsby Civic Centre

    Liked by 3 people

  30. Just as I was starting to dare to dream of a suger daddy taking over the club & spending plus thirty big ones on proven talent like Mangala, Depay, Sissoko etc along comes Andynic and crushes all my hopes.

    As I understand it as long as the clubs have the peer to peer noose hanging around the receding broadcasters’ necks that they’ll be able to continue mark up the price. The cheaper and easier it becomes for a club to broadcast directly to your phone, the higher the increase in the broadcasters’ fees. At least that’s what I can observe from a perspective of profound ignorance.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Oh for goodness sake, we haven’t even decided who will have the controlling interest.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. There goes my casting vote.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Mandy its laughable, the AST have put out a statement welcoming Usmanov’s statement, despite it including 2 scenarios that would see the club end up in the one thing they say they are most opposed to, the thing they say is most worrying about KSE trying to buy out R&W – a single owner

    usmanov says he would buy out KSE, – something he has already tried

    he also said he would consider selling his share to someone if they were buying out KSE too.

    either way it would mean a single owner. AST have shown themselves once again to be frauds.

    By the way AST gave quotes to football.london where they said they would welcome an owner who would put his own money into AFC, a sugardaddy type. Again this is something that they claim to be against, but it clear as day they are a bunch of hypocrites

    Liked by 2 people

  34. A single owner is not just something the AST are opposed to as a wish, it’s in their Constitution that’s the entire reason that A.I.S.A set it up and gave them money to keep running.
    The club being stable is something AST is most scared of because it means it has no reason to exist and Tim nice but dim knows that would also mean he would slip back into obscurity.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Interesting Ed, so a single owner is ok as long as he puts money into the club, or they perceive he will put money into the club. They might not be aware of the old maxim , there’s no such thing as a free lunch, though I guess City or PSG could argue that.
    As has been posted, I am sure one of the biggest problems many of them have with Stan is that he supports our manager, and why on earth wouldn’t he!
    Seems like we have two stubborn billionaires that cannot stand each other

    Liked by 1 person

  36. mandy, ian, I have sent a piece to george on the usmanov statement and ast’s response, warning, except PG edits it big time it is a bit long, as it includes usmanov’s statement and quotes from an AST spokesman, as well as my ramblings.

    Liked by 3 people

  37. Will look forward to reading it


  38. We started AKB

    It’s now ABK

    (Anyone but Stan)

    Arsenal fans eh ?

    Couldn’t you just string’em up as it’s the only thing these bastards understand

    Liked by 4 people

  39. they will hang themselves with their hypocrisy. I tweeted to a couple of their members who were welcoming usmanov’s statement, about the things in his statement that are at odds with AST set out views and how it was hypocrisy from them to welcome his statement, no surprise not a single reply, much like usmanov’s statement it seems they just ignore any uncomfortable opposing views in my tweets

    Liked by 2 people

  40. New post up !!


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