Abu Dhabi FC Might Kill The Golden PL Goose!


WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 29/05/2018 – Programme Name: A Very English Scandal – TX: n/a – Episode: n/a (No. 3) – Picture Shows: ***EMBARGOED UNTIL 29th MAY 2018*** Sir Joseph Cantley (PAUL FREEMAN) – (C) Blueprint Television Ltd – Photographer: Robert Viglasky


Yesterday I read that Abu Dhabi FC are considering building a training complex in London. This will be passed off as a genius move by a wonderfully organised football club to give them a marginal advantage when playing in London. They will claim it saves them travelling time and avoids the need to stay in hotels overnight, presumably they will include a residence.

I think it’s far more likely that it’s a move to give them more opportunity to be a player in the economy of the capital and so become more influential and acceptable to the government of our country. Because lets face it, the whole Manchester City project has nothing to do with either football or the local community of Manchester, it’s simply a PR exercise for Abu Dhabi and the UAE. A advert if you will.

Those that say it’s good for the game and the local community have been taken in, exactly as they had hoped. Their greatest achievement isn’t building an outstandingly good football team, with their £2.7 billion drop in an oily ocean spend, it’s been fooling people into thinking it’s good for the game.

Below is an extract of a post from our very own Arsenal Andrew, with sums up my feelings more eloquently than I could.


“I read somewhere (and don’t know if it’s true) that AFC were doing slightly better, points wise at this time last year and yet most fans are either pleased or thrilled at Emery’s start. Personally I feel he has done exceptionally well, exceptionally swiftly; most managers, like most players, take more time to bed in, so well played, Sir.

We’ve certainly scored the best goals in the PL this season, but my question to readers is, how well did we think we were doing by the start of December last year?

We clearly fell away after New Year (if not before) so I guess this is a physical/psychological hurdle Unai has to get over in the weeks ahead.

Again, I ask, what has really changed?

We look a bit more ‘Liverpool’ these days with our energy and physical commitment as well as our potency up front. At the back the need for further improvement is evident to all and Emery at least gives off the impression that he is working hard on all areas of the pitch, not just the attacking third.

Certainly in Leno at the back and Lucas in the middle we have the beginnings of an absolutely top class spine, yet our front players, despite more than a few flashes of brilliance, are yet to settle into a routine of lethal consistency. And we still DO look vulnerable at the back. And in some ways, I quite LIKE that we haven’t changed TOO much; it suggests to me that, contrary to what some say, Wenger was still not SO far from where he/we needed to be.

So I think there is more, much more to come from new-boy Emery’s new Arsenal and one remains optimistic, up to a point.

The fly in the ointment of the future lies in the total domination of the EPL by Manchester City. Liverpool’s challenge is merely firing City up further and we know they have the limitless funds to quickly replace the injured or formless as required. Pep’s chequebook deployment impresses few beyond those paid observers and the sycophantic, eagerly assembled mob on the press and pundit benches. Pep would have to work hard to screw things up given his resources although Jose shows what is possible and success is obviously not a complete ‘given’.

But how exciting is the PL these days, honestly?

What really is the point of Emery and his predecessor, even our neighbours over in Middlesex toiling away for years to achieve incremental improvement when clubs are allowed to pump eye-watering yet illegal volumes of cash into a club with complete impunity to ‘claim’ the league without really having to try. I mean, what is the point of it all?

3-0 to City has little resonance when that is really the minimum expected from them. To be almost nailed on PL winners by the end of November does nobody any favours and I can’t help but think the empty seats at Wembley, at the Emirates and most other grounds is symptomatic of an ongoing growth of apathy which continues to develop unabated. Tag all that to the ludicrous cost of watching someone elses’s choice of live football on tv and you have a recipe for a long-term decline in fan interest.

Certainly I still look forward to Arsenal games and I can’t wait for the introduction of VAR into the PL next year, no matter how flawed or poorly executed that may be, at least initially.

But while City sit at the top of the table having purchased their seat there rather than truly competed for it, forgive me if my excitement in the game can now be described as ‘not what it was’.

And all the while that Arsenal and others are effectively debarred from the top two positions in the league on account of cash rather than credible, authentic ‘merit’, then this more measured interest in the game is unlikely to change anytime soon.

Still, COYGs, eh?”

I hope this blog doesn’t come across like a Judge handing down a ruling, but really, we, and all the other hopefuls , are goosed.


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147 comments on “Abu Dhabi FC Might Kill The Golden PL Goose!

  1. Wonder if that thing about Medley ineligible is correct. Saw it as well and assumed true.

    Holding is only other centre back in there, though, unless *checks again* I’m reading list wrong. Licht or Jenkinson could be pressed into duty there I suppose. Or Elneny.

    One thing’s very clear : stuff about playing strongest team is wrong.

    I’m happy with decision. Seems right call all things considered.

    Exciting,too, for at least a couple of youngsters guaranteed start, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Arsenal Academy
    ‏ @ArsenalAcademy

    1️⃣2️⃣ of the 2️⃣0️⃣ players included in our @EuropaLeague squad are products of the academy 🙌

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As this is not a forum where people depend upon your clicks for bread this was probably the only arsenal blog where people like Ian could express what was logical and obvious:

    That Özil was rested on the weekend. And not on the flight hehe! (Blimey. I was shocked!)

    Thanks Ian for helping to blow that gritty meme on Özil out of the water.
    And thanks to George too.

    Will the mighty Liverpool fail to match the declining un-coached Arsenal result against. much of the same PSG squad in Paris?

    As you all know I am counting on inter Milan to chuck the “most physical team in Europe” out of the champions league. If they’re playing for the draw it could backfire on them, but then I couldn’t enjoy the cliche of an Italian team playing for a draw away in Europe when that is all they need!

    Looking forward to the football match tomorrow.


  4. on a financial level we don’t want LFC and THFC dropping into the EL, the way payments are decided means the less clubs from England in it the more we get, its also same in CL, so by more staying in it, their divide is that little bit less too

    Liked by 3 people

  5. More in what seems a never ending run of media wankfest tomorrow.
    Let’s hope we stop it in its tracks on Sunday

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Really looking forward to tonight, as a follower of the youngsters there’s nothing better than a good performance from a young team as they are really the heart of the club.
    You can get excited about millionaires from all round the globe beating their equivalents from chelski,manure,spuds, Liverpool city etc but the youth is where it’s at

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Big chance for Eddie to shine tonight, I’d love to see him do really well. Hope the Corp also has a great game, and all the lads of course,and good chance for some of the youngsters tonight ,those lads on the bench will be hoping its their night, all Arsenal eyes will be on them.


  8. I see Medley in the subs, so all the reports that he was not eligible must be untrue


  9. six English and one Welshman in the starting 11, with 4 English and a Scotsman in the subs


  10. Top notch finish from Willock. So cool and calm. Jenkinson looking good too as a CB.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. A most satisfactory 45 minutes – cruising to win the group, playing good football and scoring goals.


  12. HT: Vorskla 0-3 Arsenal

    dominant performance, with our goals coming form Smith-Rowe, a Ramsey penalty that he had won himself too, and Willock with his first Arsenal goal.



  13. Pleasant. Lovely goal Willock but Smith-Rowe the standout so far, has looked very sharp in touch and movement, and been involved a lot

    Supposing we use all 3 subs and Mkhi is one of them- what two of the youngsters would you like to see?

    Think Gilmour, Saka for me. Any will do though


  14. saka and either osei-tutu or John-jules for me Rich.


  15. Jeez, the legacy trashers are now gunning for our ex keeper coach!
    On to more important matters, sounds like things going well in the Ukraine

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Medley on for Holding, its his first team debut


  17. somehow Smith-Rowe has had a goal ruled out, for the life of me i don’t know why


  18. laughably the smith-rowe goal was ruled out for offside

    first year scholar Saka is now on for his first team debut, in place of Ramsey, what a start to the season for the 17 year old.


  19. Josh James
    ‏ @JoshJJames78

    Aaron Ramsey overtakes Liam Brady and Kevin Campbell as the 37th top scorer in Arsenal history (60 goals)

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Gilmour on for Guendouzi, its his first team debut


  21. medley has very impressive ball control


  22. Medley looks good. Very nice touch and good awareness.


  23. FT: Vorskla 0-3 Arsenal

    Smith-rowe, Ramsey and Willock with our goals, first team debuts for Medley, Saka and Gilmour

    dominated the game and really could have had at least 3 more goals.
    Nketiah done well up front, smith-rowe was impressive in possession, Jenkinson as assured as I’ve ever seen him despite being at CB, Medley showed a silky touch in his time on the pitch,

    top of group guaranteed with one game left. on wards and upwards, 18 unbeaten


  24. Lovely stuff. Great night for the academy.

    Amused by how much Eddie wanted a goal though. Don’t mind that. Think tonight will be very good for him if he gets to play again soon. Lessons fresh from tonight. Eager to go again and get a goal.

    Liked by 3 people

  25. Well we’ve had a few difficult Euro evening this past decade but that was a very easy watch. Dominant physically, technically and on the scoreboard so that ticked every box.


  26. Excellent game all round, seniors guiding the youngsters to an excellent performance.
    I thought Elneny was a strong influence throughout got the ball off the cbs and kept us pushing forwards. I was a little dissapointed we started playing backwards abit in the second half which got us into trouble sometimes but overall fantastic 0-4 ARSENAL you cant complain. I say 0-4 because it was a perfectly good goal COME ON YOU YOUNG GUNNERS!.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. All the youngster talk- got to echo the shout out to Jenkinson.

    Played well and last man standing (among us and officials) in gloveless stakes.

    Ramsey good game. Missed when went off. All the seniors solid. Hard to keep in mind at times Guendouzi same age as youngsters. Superb prospect.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. That was a very cohesive performance, remarkable for such a mix-and-match team. All the youngsters did really well. Smith Rowe is an obvious talent–strength, drive, skill, and an ability to retrieve a pass that’s behind him when he’s at full speed. Willock with a clever goal and intelligent play overall, and Nketiah bothered them throughout. Roll on Sunday!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. So rare to get to fully enjoy us having a big technical advantage over a team. Clear physical one,too, so they were really up against it.

    The Ukranians were no angels, battled hard, made a few fouls, but it felt very different, to me, to playing lesser teams here who use fouls (and sometimes play on threat of getting smashed and injured) to close gap.

    Was impressed by officials and- whisper it- even think Eddie may have clipped defender and made a little foul on the disallowed goal. Soft though.

    That our first pen in Europa this year? Puts us ahead of domestic tally if is, and smashing it if we’ve had one already.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Arsenal and Chelsea both through to knock out stages, Celtic and Rangers both still in the running to get through too.


  31. Ramsey’s 60th goal for Arsenal


  32. Zech Medley became the 861st player to represent The Arsenal

    Bukayo Saka became the 862nd player to represent The Arsenal

    Charlie Gilmour became the 863rd player to represent The Arsenal


  33. Unai Emery was understandably satisfied after we secured top spot in our Europa League group with a 3-0 win at Vorskla.

    Afterwards, our head coach faced the media to discuss our performance and how some of our youngsters fared.

    Read on for a full transcript of his post-match press conference:

    on whether it was a comfortable win…
    In the first minute they started pushing and they had some action in attacking moments, but we stopped it well and then when we scored the first goal we took confidence and then took control of the game. With our positioning, with having the ball, possession, and continuing finding every time an attacking moment for us. The individually quality was good and it was a big performance for us.

    on the thought process behind his subs…
    We were thinking today about our victory and also to create with the right players and to give chances to a lot of players. We played with young players also and they are working with us in training every day. In the 90 minutes, the first thing for us is to win, and then finish the match with some substitutions and the end result.

    on Emile Smith Rowe…
    He is taking confidence, he is taking responsibility and also I think today his performance in 90 minutes is very good. He is a good example for the other young players. We think they can help us but they need the confidence of playing matches, not only working with us in the training sessions. They needs to take minutes in matches like today. We want and have the responsibility with the young players like Emile but also the others for them to stay, work and show us that they can improve and stay with us.

    on what was tough about Vorskla…
    Every match is difficult for us, we respect them and then we wanted to impose our quality and our mentality over the 90 minutes. They work it and they play it well, but we didn’t concede chances to give them opportunities to beat us.

    on his expectations and thoughts about Vorskla…
    We analysed the opposition like in other matches and with this respect in thinking to impose our work, our ideas and our qualities. But, with respect to them and then, on the pitch and at half-time, we are speaking to remember things tactically and individually to continue with our ideas in our match against them.

    Copyright 2018 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source


  34. Arsenal’s first unbeaten November since 2005

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Connor
    ‏ @TikiTakaConnor

    Stat of the day: That was the first penalty Aaron Ramsey has ever taken and scored for Arsenal.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. I knew that stat. 60 goals, now only one of which was a penalty. I’d love to see how often that happens. I have no data, but my gut tells me, not often. I wondered aloud at the time how many players get to 59 without a single penalty goal, but I never saw an answer. It may be more than I think.

    Liked by 2 people

  37. yeah alabama and we are told its not only easily but cheaply replaced

    Liked by 3 people

  38. Saw the first 30 min and we were cruising at 2 nil. Ramsey had the major hand in build up for both the goals. Vorlska not an accomplished team but so much so Ramsey did it for us.
    It would be a shame for the, management if we can’t keep Ramsey at the club.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. Blinking eck. That time of year when I can somehow miss fact we are playing Utd midweek after the Spurs game.

    Was only looking out of interest because u23’s have checkatrade game vs Portsmouth on the Tuesday.

    I hoped for that game they’d use most or all of youngsters, bar Guendouzi, from last night, but that’s unlikely now.


  40. Nothing revelatory but supports idea the horror fouls on us were direct result of managers whipping players into a frenzy beforehand.

    Has a pic of Ramsey’s injury in article so don’t click if want to avoid seeing that again.

    The ref who apparently did zilch to try discourage Stoke’s over aggression, evident from off I expect, that day is the same gimp who has rocked up on BT recently.



  41. All part of same garbage Jenas was spouting this week- claiming our players moaned constantly, you couldn’t pick out one or two for it as it was everyone, and it led to a ‘natural’ dislike of us.

    Very much in line with Neville and co’s insinuations over years that we were ‘precious’ etc.

    Pisses me right off. Something so insidious about us having to deal with extra targeting, horror fouls and injuries ,which were way out of line with the norm, then the suggestion we moaned excessively- and unjustifiably- leading to a ‘natural’, righteous almost, dislike, cue more aggression.

    It’s like some perfect circle- they don’t like it, let’s kick them; oh look at them complain, let’s kick them- of lousiness and dishonesty, all enabled and made possible by pgmol, and of course the pundits doing their part.

    Now there’s a conspiracy for you! All those parties- Players, managers, refs and pundits- what are the fucking odds?!

    But it’s what I saw. My only doubt is whether Neville, Jenas etc actually realised well enough the reality of it- that they could get away with extra, that any complaints were warranted, and not exactly out of keeping with the rest of the sport either- or whether they ‘naturally’ and opportunistically believed their own bullshit.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Rich: once a particular narrative is out there it takes an awful lot to shift it. Governments, dictators, commercial outlets spend fortunes on the stories they tell. Without consciously meaning to we listen to those stories and they become part of the landscape; it is quite likely that Neville and Jenas did not realise they had become part of the propaganda.
    And unfair though it undoubtedly is, it is not doing Arsenal any harm at all that the current line about the club is that now that Arsene has gone the team is more robust, fitter and tactically sound than used to be the case.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Very much agree, foreverheady.

    My hunch is that Neville- a clever man- largely believed it, only not so much that he didn’t fully realise he couldn’t play the exact same against other clubs as vs us, and had to change even more for Europe, national team etc. Also couldn’t coach players to do same, and also does have sound judgement of fouls et al when commentating.

    So he may have known and not known, so to speak.

    Yes, the notion we have changed should help us at least a little, though maybe not too much this weekend with Spurs and Dean.

    I should probably let go of past- even Kitson saying it is, roughly, how I’ve always said it was provides little sense of validation- but it’s hard to close door on that injustice and all the dishonesty which went with it.

    Liked by 2 people

  44. New post


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