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.


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

  1. liverpool dominated for around 20 years when the Moores family and their company Littlewoods pumped money in, and that dominance ended when the Moores could no longer do it, and then we saw Man Utd the richest club in England dominate for almost 25 years, then CFC outspent everyone and had their finest ever spell, with only Man Utd able to spend similar, with the two of them dominating the league between with a ten year period where one or other won the league and the other usually runner up, now City outspend and are top dog, Man Utd are still spending at similar level to city,

    in the 20’s Huddersfield outspent their rivals and were top dogs, in the 30’s Arsenal brought it to new levels of spending and dominated, Wolves were the big spenders in the 50’s, Liverpool began their spending in the 60’s and made their breakthrough, then dominated most of the 70’s and 80’s before Utd’s spending power put everyone else in the shade.
    of course during all these periods we had periods where the spending of clubs was much closer and even had a good spread of clubs spend similar amounts, and seeing as Nottingham Forrest was mentioned, yes they had a genius manager, and made use of some discards from bigger clubs, but they too spent large amounts, the after all were the first club to pay £1M for a player, and if I’m not mistaken that deal actually doubled the Record transfer fee, they also in the following years brought in several more players for over £1m and other big buys, in fact there spending crippled them when there four or five years of success waned, as did their manager.

    I would be wary of saying City are going to dominate for years and years to come, as Man Utd can and will spend shit loads of money too and as we seen with City and even Utd in recent years, if manager and/or players not doing it then the money is deemed misspent. But having said that, if city want to they have the money to bring it to another level of spending which will only make it harder for everyone else.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Youre very welcome foreverheady.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. if you want to take your mind off the PGMOL appointing Dean, or off the spending of City here is my latest Rock/Metal show, the Yorkie Show, feel free to share it around.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Andy, please don’t concentrate on that one incident and suggest he favoured us. We all know that’s not how football works. He made a mistake in that case which looked a nailed on foul at the time especially as he wasn’t up with play.
    If you go back and watch the game you will see it is littered with inconsistencies that didn’t favour us. Overall he was just as shitty as always which I think you know. This business about look at this one incident and take 90 minutes worth of evaluation from it is something the low life Media use as I hold you in high regard please don’t go the same route

    Liked by 3 people

  5. ian it might be something if we were to just judge Dean on 90 minutes reffing us, but we do have a decade of his shit to judge it on, the stats for him as our ref were put up by me here last year in the lead up to the NLD and several other blogs ran with them too, and for me it actually helped get our home fans on his back from early on, remember too it only took Dean a few weeks before he was back to his usual self with the Chambers penalty call in the WBA away game

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dave I hope you like the latest Yorkie show, it has a couple of your choices in there


  7. Mark.
    ‏ @MarkBFoot

    Mike Dean penalty stats:

    Man Utd – 16 in 61 matches, one every 3.81 games.
    Chelsea – 12 in 65 matches, one every 5.42 games.
    Man City – 11 in 63 matches, one every 5.73 games.
    Spurs – 10 in 58 matches, one every 5.80 games.
    Arsenal – 3 in 64 matches, one every 21.33 games.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Sure did Ed!
    Have you seen L7 doing LPWD live on the Word, its on You Tube. I cant think why you didnt use the Shrubs though( banned smileys)!


  9. Did I or did I not read on Twitter that the last time we lost a game of PL with Deano in charge was September 2015 ?

    And the last three times against the Totties when Mike has had the whistle we have won ?

    That is what the “data” says isn’t it?

    Keep up that form you beautiful bald ugly bastard and I will be happy enough on Sunday. Suit yourselves though.


  10. Pogba dropped, Fellaini and Lukaku on the bench

    *smiles with sinister glint in eye


  11. Fellaini in !


  12. Some problems (scrapping) at the AEK Athens /Ajax game tonight.


  13. Hear we are off to Kiev on Thursday. And unbidden comes a memory of a 1970s cut-price concept album. £1.47’s worth of moog inspired indulgence I think.


  14. Official: Arsenal’s match away to FK Vorskla Poltava in the Europa League tomorrow has been moved to the Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kyiv due to security concerns


  15. Mike Dean on Wenger: “He then said ‘you’ve done this to us many times before, you’re supposed to be professional, you’re a disgrace’. He was then ushered out of the room by the West Brom safety officer.”

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Wasn’t that what Wenger said to Dean ?


  17. yes that is what Dean reported Wenger as saying.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Sorry – not paying attention with one eye in Manchester and the other in Lyon – 0-0 all round. The Swiss are 2nd best but Lyon should be ahead.


  19. Reiss Nelson only a sub once again for Hoffenheim


  20. UEFA
    ‏Verified account @UEFA
    1h1 hour ago

    UEFA’s Emergency Panel has today taken the decision to relocate FC Vorskla’s UEFA @EuropaLeague group stage match against Arsenal from Poltava to Kyiv, following the introduction of martial law into certain regions in Ukraine.


  21. How does Fellaini manage to turn, time and again, from average most of game to a giant terror in the box in the last ten minutes??


    So wanted Coq and Gabriel to have the chance to end them on last night.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Gabriel and Coquelin losing out to Shezza in the 2015 Cup Winners derby.

    As a result of that match the stats, those useful stats, they tell me they can still drop down to the Europa and could play against the Gunners later this season.
    The late goal for Shaktar means it is unlikely that Nelson and Nordveit will play in the Europa.

    It was unlikely that all three of Liverpool, Man Utd or the mighty Tottenham would all drop down to the Europa to join Arsenal and Chelsea. Promising at one stage but the odds can’t have been favourable. With a home victory required tomorrow against Inter Milan and a result in Barcelona we could see all three London teams in the Europa in the new year. Inter might have trained on the local farmers field before their trip to the billion dollar home of football, whatever they do hopefully they run a hard game tomorrow.


  23. Curious to see if the new gaffer asks Özil to fly all the way out even with a reduced journey for the thirty minutes of football, unless he’s starting hehe, given the niggles after the last transcontinental adventure.


  24. Interesting selection all round on Thurs, Fins- Smith-Rowe, Eddie, Ainsley and Willock all in contention, maybe Pleg,too, but saw again today a couple of reports insisting Emery wants a ‘full strength’ squad

    Almost feels like Eddie has to start if Laca has any sort of fitness issue, but again that full strength idea, and Eddie’s bad luck so far with being denied minutes by fickle fortune.

    Thinking about it, we also surely have to try getting minutes for Ainsley now. Up against it after the injury and with other factors- two new centre mids Emery likes a lot- to get as much playing time as did last year, and that’s far from ideal at this stage.

    Pleasantly surprised the tv boys missed a trick by not showing Ozil all the time on the bench during Sunday’s game, but their mighty pen wielding bro’s started making up for it immediately in the days afterwards.

    There is a point to it for once at least : it will be interesting from here to see if that’s a regular thing for away days against particularly intense teams/pressers. I don’t see him reacting well if it is. Hopefully he, we and everyone give it at least a little time to see what’s what

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Good call on Eddie Rich. With Welbeck out for, well, the rest of the season this may just be the sort of opening Eddie need to take advantage of. May he grab it with both hands, feet and head.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Fellaini: quite possibly United’s most influential signing since RVP. Not Wenger’s sort of player at all, but I remember him bossing games for Everton against us and thinking that we could have done worse than pursue him.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Not anyone’s sort of player Tim, and not player whose talents would allow him into any top quality football team. If he was three inches shorter he would belaying for Liege still. It is a mark of how poor ManYoo have become that he has probably been one of two of their most influential players and got them out of the mire game after game. Only De Gea has done more.

    As for last night’s goal from Fellaini it was blatant handball, clear, deliberate and crucial in his control of the ball. What on earth was referee Brych and linos thinking of ?

    Another one of these brilliant “non English – I went to the World Cup” – officials. (shakes head)

    Take a bow Felix.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Rich
    Eddie’s sub appearance, his first appearance of the season is a strong indication given the data* at hand that he will start tomorrow.

    * I could be wrong, and I know some are allergic to Arithmetic Means etc. even it means that they have to ignore the floors beneath their feet or the roofs over the heads but fortunately we don’t ask those who put their faith in their faith to build our structures, not unless your name is Joe Lewis and you have a spare £300M to burn on unplanned expenses…yep, Eddie will start or get a good chunk of the game.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Interesting thing with Fellaini is that for a number of reasons they can’t really begin a game aiming for him in box like that.

    It only becomes the right option at a certain time- latter stages- and if game is poised a certain way. At which point he becomes a very good option for them and near impossible to stop if cross is right. Though maybe two big defenders sticking to him could bring threat right down, and leave space elsewhere.

    The thing is, the rest of the time, when he’s not in those areas and a game isn’t at that stage…he’s a factor ,when playing, in Utd being so strangely unimpressive much of the time for a team of their resources.

    I don’t know how much of it is down to the handbrakiness Mou puts in his players, or their neglecting to sign the right type (??) of passers in midfield…but they are an odd fish.

    What are they exactly now, what’s the style? Suspect he may want them to be like his early successful Chelsea sides and that he definitely can’t conceive of a team, no matter the resources, that doesn’t prioritise defence and minimise risk.

    Too simplistic, but while Fellaini’s there and playing regularly, it sort of sums them up for me. I don’t see them returning to past strength while he is a key player.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. anicol

    Least we can agree VAR should sort out one’s like that handball without too much trouble. I didn’t have a scooby till replays but maybe officials were positioned to have a view. Only one round of CL games left before its introduction.

    Pundits weren’t exactly unanimous nor enthusiastic about whether it shouldn’t have stood. Don Hutchinson is normally consistent in saying ‘I don’t think he meant that’, and did so again.

    Funnier though is the clip with Savage commentary. He talks through it bit by bit and at the handball goes ‘ and there’s a little touch’ – sounds clear that he didn’t mean ‘there’s a (deliberate) touch with his hand’, but rather ‘there’s the little touch (legitimate) to set himself up nicely for shot’.

    It was like he got brain freeze for a sec. There’s very little difference between what he did and Thierry’s infamous one (maybe even Maradona’s!).

    For me only a player as primed for foul play every second he’s out there as Fellaini is would have recognised what to do in that instant. The cheating git

    Liked by 2 people

  31. At Chelsea Mou had the best players in the league, some of the best in Europe.

    Now he doesn’t.

    But Woodword spent £70 odd million one summer on three LBs, at the previous market rate, and that was before Mou even arrived to donate once more to the Portugeezah charities and spend £40/£50M on Fred, not forgetting what they paid for the Lesser Diaby (still a v.good player!). Think of mark Hughes at City (Jo!) and you get the picture, evem Pulis could’ve won a title or two with that squad including Robben and pals. Robben and even Duff didn’t last more then a season with the “Special One”, they had better things to do in their careers. Nothing has changed since then, not at Madrid etc. Good footballers won’t put up with his gibberish for longer then a season. Becasue they like to play football, crazy as it sounds. Not my opinion, but it is Mou’s record. At every club!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Fins, fear not, there was no praise intended from me to Mourinho! Just me trying to understand the oddity that is present Utd.

    By way for any VAR watchers out there. Was used last night to overturn a late southampton goal in their Carabao game with Leicester.

    Can’t find complete confirmation but seems it was case VAR- Taylor- made the call to reverse it- for handball in build up- without advising ref to use pitch-side monitor.

    Another sign that is how they intend to use it if so. Alas. Much, much less satisfactory to me that way than VAR officials giving their advice and then asking on-pitch ref to make final call.

    This way can have a ref seeing something quite well, having their opinion on it, then being dissuaded or overruled by the VAR team with their opinion based on different views. With obvious potential then for ref to look at it later and think ‘damn, I wouldn’t have made that call if I’d seen the replays’

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Mark Hughes moaning like a drain about VAR and his disallowed goal last night Rich. HIs complaint is ghat in real-time the match referee said to him he would have given it. The man watching on the screen, who clearly has no need to rely on a single real-time view, decided it was not a goal.

    Sad, sad Sparky.


  34. Didn’t mean to imply you were praising the Mendes’ specialist Rich!

    Just underling George’s observations on clubs outspending rivals by copius amounts and the resulting affects on the leagues. When Chelsea were free spending before their owner put a few brakes on they had the best team in the league. Now it is City.

    Utd under Woodward are certainly Special but not on the pitch! i am still grateful for the consequences of him chosing to get rid of a title winning back room team from the off. if we consider what he has spent so far, that Rooney has probably been paid by Utd till the end, it could take Utd another decade to fully recover and rebuild. Fingers crossed.

    As for VARS. Will take a few years for the footy to adapt and copy the Rugby FOOTBALL and Field Hockey models that have helpfully cleared the way for what will work in the FOOTBALL (little bit clue there). But none of that will feed into the PL and we know why as the structure is not credible (according to former head of the pgMOB Hackett – he said it. Not me. Please forgive me!).


  35. How does Sparky still get a gig?

    How do i get his agent’s number!


  36. Typical sour faced manager comment from Hughes to excuse his own and his players’ inadequacy on the night – you lost mate – no use hiding behind the referee

    “I’ve said for a long time that I’m an advocate of VAR,” said Hughes. “I think referees need help. In recent weeks, we’ve demanded that it’s introduced, so we can’t complain too much.

    So what does he do ?

    “But the guys looking at the situation are the referees that sometimes get decisions wrong on the pitch.

    “What you’ve got to be careful with, when you’re looking at incidents in games is that if you slow it down to the nth degree, then sometimes it looks deliberate. When you play it in normal time, and Nathan’s running through at pace, there’s no way he can avoid that ball.

    And just to finish it off;

    “From our point of view, it’s a valid goal and we should have won that tie.”


    Liked by 1 person

  37. Laurent Koscielny made his long-awaited return from injury on Monday night as our under-23s were beaten by Derby County.

    The France international was substituted at the break while we were trailing by a single goal – but Freddie Ljungberg believes thatplaying alongside our club captain will be a valuable learning experience for his young defenders.

    on the first-half performance…
    It was okay. We were a little bit off and we’d made a lot of changes because there are games coming up in the week, but it was okay. We unfortunately conceded a goal that was a little bit rash in the tackle, but we created some chances and at half time we thought there were certain things that we could make difficult for Derby. But we got a sending off after a few minutes so that ended the game a little bit, so that’s a bit sad.

    on what his players will learn from playing with Koscielny…
    Of course it’s great – and especially so because Koscielny came through it. He looked okay afterwards so that’s a great positive for the club. The players will learn a lot from him and you can see that we dominated possession and we held the ball quite well in the first half, so it’s just unfortunate that we gave away the penalty. I thought he did really well and I’m happy that he feels okay.

    on our slow start after the break…
    They took Jordi [Osei-Tutu] by the throat and then he got sent off for some reason. It became a bit itchy after that and then Danny [Ballard] got a sending off, which is a bit sad. And then after that obviously with nine men we had to sit back and try to defend as good as we could. Unfortunately the scoreline got out of hand and in my opinion it got too big, but it’s not everyday that you get two men sent off.

    on what was missing in the final third…
    I think what we were missing is quite clear. They played very high in their press and we talked about it beforehand. They play man for man in the back and with pace up front we could do them a little bit, but we didn’t have much pace today as we normally have – and I thought we could have hurt them a bit more. They were on the front foot and did well and hopefully next time we will hurt them a bit more.

    on what he can learn from the game…
    I’m very disappointed after a day like that. In the end we just had to sit in two blocks of four and try to stop the scoreline from getting too far out of hand. The players had to work on that and not allowing too many split passes, and we said in the dressing room that there was a game before the sending off and a game after the second half. We’re mostly going to look at the game before the sending off and it was okay. We thought at half-time that with some changes we could change the game, but unfortunately we never had that opportunity.

    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.


  38. John-Jules and Osei-Tutu among a batch of youths who traveled as part of the first team squad for tomorrow’s match


  39. some of those in the traveling squad

    Gilmour, Guendouzi, Jenkinson, John-Jules, Lichsteiner, Willock, Medley, Ramsey, Smith-Rowe, Nketiah, Elneny, Thompson

    Liked by 1 person

  40. cech in the squad too, odd thing about Medley going is that its reported that he can’t actually be used in the game


  41. Have often wondered how Mark Hughes keeps getting top jobs.
    His agent certainly used to be, and as far as I know, still is Kia Jooabchian, not at the most elitest of the elite like the Portuguese chap who owns Wolves I bellieve, but KJ is still regularly described as a super agent, and clearly very good at this job.
    But agent aside, some of the regular candidates on the managerial merry go round never cease to amaze me.
    Wouldnt be at all surprised to see Arry popping up at some club that likes wasting money and is happy to make financial transactions with pets- allegedly, as soon as he returns from the jungle that is

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Hughes enjoyed what I guess is probably ‘the’ managerial peak last season in being sacked by Stoke, and watching the bastards sink, and being re-employed by Saints and keeping the South coast in the PL.

    Yeah – I think that would feel good.


  43. Mandy

    Had a look the other day after you were talking about Hughes and that Joorabchian fellow is or was apparently only an ‘adviser’ to Hughes. Doesn’t have an agent’s licence.

    His wikipedia page is pretty interesting- boy has he been into some schemes in his time- from flooding Corinthians with so many third party players they only owned 6 of their own players, and, after an initial surge, got relegated, to the Tevez/ Mascherano affair, up to the current day when he was apparently a key man in the Coutinho deal.

    (His mentor is apparently Pini Zahavi, guy who facilitated Chelsea deal and perhaps the daddy of modern super agents. Tapper-upper of Cole among many other things)

    Hughes bristled at any suggestion of undue influence and said he’s just a friend and interesting guy who he likes to talk to. Joorabchian also denied having any role in Hughes calamity with QPR. I’d heard long before then that Hughes had something going on with signing players from the agency who represented him but never seen anything like confirmation of that.

    Quite an achievement, really- how those guys managed to carve out a place for themselves in the game and such massive rewards and influence when, surely, without them clubs would still be able to do deals, as they did in the past.


  44. Cheers for the Freddie interview Ed. I’d missed that.

    Like his understatement with the Osei-Tutu incident, and his overall style in interviews.

    Pretty damn hard to judge how a manager is doing at youth/u23 level given the change of players each year, even more so given availability of stronger players can vary a lot.

    Think we had stronger, settled group available for much of last year though. DaSilva’s a big miss for strength, retaining ball and building in the middle.


  45. dasilva has barely had a look in at Brentford so far


  46. Sky Sports News
    ‏Verified account @SkySportsNews

    BREAKING: Vorskla Poltava say club cannot guarantee they will be able to play against @Arsenal in the @EuropaLeague tomorrow after venue was moved to Kiev. #SSN


  47. illiev and Saka made the traveling party today too


  48. the inclusion of Medley in the traveling party is an odd one, as its reported he is not eligible, i would have thought Ballard or Pleggy would have been on the trip ahead of him, but maybe Pleggy is injured.
    So Medley will be one of the 2 who out of the 20 not to make the match day squad, goalkeeper Iliev the most likely to miss out with him.

    Saka(17) is an interesting one, he is a first year scholar but is already a regular for the U23’s, and recently made his England U19 debut, he signed pro when he turned 17. He normally plays wide left, but for England he is often used as a left back


  49. Ed

    Think Dasilva was injured till about a month ago. Been featuring off bench few times recently.

    Early days of course, but think he’s a good chance of making it.


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