113 Comments

Kroenke Out, ATS In. Yeah Ok Lads!

Good morning all.

Reading through the comments section I saw this post.

eduardo792April 24, 2021 at 4:16 pm Edit

Former PM Gordon Brown was on Football Focus this morning and he basically ruled out the 50+1 model for the UK game, he backed some of the points I made yesterday on that model, you just can not force billionaire owners to sell their shares, to give up control, to in fact make their shares worthless or at the very least massively devalued. It would even affect the stock market in a big way.
Plus that model has not been a success in Germany, 17 of 23 titles to one team.

I actually saw some of the 50+1 guys suggest that the fans wouldn’t even have to buy the shares, they would just be given majority voting rights – for f. sake I ask you just how self entitled are these people? Well you don’t have to answer that, we all know about Tim Payton, it’s been his view for a very long time that he is the man best placed to run Arsenal and that he should be co-opted on to the board.

Arsenal Values is the slogan the noisy fans have spouted all week, but ask them what these values are, and they can barely string a few words together.
Yesterday Elneny put up a post asking for fans support when things are going poorly for a player, and the replies were filled with guys with the #kroenkeout and #wecaredoyou and most of their responses to Elneny was along the lines of “you useless tw*t get out of my club”, what Arsenal Values are they the guardians of?
We have the Arsenal Value brigade say they don’t want a sugar daddy owner, but almost to a man if you question them about what they do want, its filled with “an owner who cares”, and “an owner with ambition, and of course “an owner who will invest where needed”, and then the real gem, “an owner who listens to the fans”, each and every one of those replies mean “I want a sugar daddy owner who will buy AFC success, but don’t you ever dare suggest I want a sugar daddy”

As ever Eduardo hits some nails on the head.

Now let me be clear, I would love to see the back of Kroenke and his conservative business model but realistically, it’s not happening.

Firstly, he doesn’t care what the fans think and want , to anything near the extent “the fans” think he does. Fans are important to the club but he’s the 100% owner, I’m fairly sure he thinks it’s his club and not theirs.

“The fans” wanted Wenger out, he listened and it has cost him a fortune, I can’t imagine him listening to the same idiots again.

Who is going to buy the club, if he changed his long term, and recently confirmed intention, to stay long term? And how much would it cost to buy the club then invest enough to make us competitive?

“Arsenal are the eighth most valuable club in the world according to a new Forbes report that estimates the worth of Europe’s biggest teams has risen on average 30% over the past two years.

Despite the pandemic and owner Stan Kroenke’s unpopular management of the club, with supporters groups not satisfied by the lack of direct financial investment, they have seen a 23% growth in 24 months with a current value of £2.04bn Forbes say.”

So if Kroenke doesn’t want to sell, and he doesn’t, in order to make seling attractive, a buyer would have to pay a premium that is enough to tempt someone with a huge sports franchise to relinquish one of the jewels in his crown? Another £ billion on top of the £2 billion value? That’s £3 billion already. The city and Chelsea owners has subsidised their clubs to the extent of about £2 billion.It would take similar spending to compete with City, always assuming that they just don’t up the ante from the north of £2200 billion available to them in the overseas development fund of  Abu Dhabi.

Ok, so we are looking at a spend of upto £5 billion now, just to hopefully challenge City , United and Chelsea. Where is this billionaire Knight in shining armour coming from?

Let’s look at the new hope, Daniel Ek. We will be generous and say he is worth £3.5 billion. That doesn’t mean he has £3.5 billion in the bank, it means his business is valued at that. So to buy Arsenal (which he could just about do by my calculations, but with nothing left for squad investment) he would either have to sell his massively successful business or borrow against it, with it’s own cost implications. I’m telling you now, it’s not happening.

I’m sorry, but we are going to have to make peace with Kroenke being the owner and hope that he makes some good appointments to run the club better, and also accept our place in the pecking order. That means 5th or 6th should be the reasonable expectations at the start of every season for the foreseeable future. In my opinion all these protest will achieve is making any enjoyment of watching the team, more difficult to get.

Finally, look at the motives of those leading the noisy protests, they either want attention or they will profit financially from the unrest.

Pedantic George.

104 Comments

Everton, A Dead Rubber In A Dead season.

Good morning all,tonight it’s Everton.

This is a game that for Arsenal has taken on almost zero importance. Fans and management seem to have accepted that hanging around mid table is where we are and where we will stay. This would normally be seen as a disaster for a club like Arsenal, but somehow we have convinced ourselves that it ok because we might win the Europa Plate competition, the competition for losers is now the limit of our season’s hopes. Oh my goodness.

Now on top of not really caring about three irrelevant points, we are all busy with our hatred of all things Kroenke. The hypocrisy of the Arsenal fan base has gone ballistic. Let me be clear, I’m all for #Kronkeout, but because KSE keep making bad decisions and appointments, I agree with a self sustaining business model, but I’m furious about the application of by our owner. However it appears to me that the vast majority of fans are upset that Stan doesn’t fund their desire to be competing with City and Chelsea for the big prizes. The irony is that if you suggest these fans want a sugar daddy they are outraged and vehemently deny it. They will come up with soundbites to justify their denied desire, but none of these distractions bear scrutiny because a sugar daddy is exactly what they want.

This European Super League malarkey has been a disaster for the club. A PR nightmare and more. Most of the criticism from “the football family” is justified but some of the hatred towards our owners is misplaced. In the end, if it had happened and Arsenal were not included, fans would go berserk. Of course the thing is unjust and unfair, but so is the financial doping that City and Chelsea have done, the same doping that our fans are desperate for Kroenke to provide.

On top of this we have fans thinking that the ESL collapsed because of fan power. Now fan power might have played a very small part, but it was FIFA, UEFA , FA, SKY, Talksport and the billionaire controlled media that actually killed it. It died because the greedy sorts that control the money in the game, wanted to keep that control. Fans have just helped the existing greedy shower keep their grip.

We have seen fans thinking they should have a say in how and who runs the club. The AST trying to turn things to their advantage and get a say on the board, a powers grab by the lunatics that feel the asylum is rightfully theirs. I can’t imagine anything worse.

Let’s be honest, when the fans demanded that Arsene was sacked, Kroenke listened. If I were him I would say “These clowns ruined my business last time I listened, never again”.

Right, back to the dead Everton rubber,

Aubameyang and Lacazette are out…………………………….oh forget it, I don’t care.

Try to enjoy the players and keep safe.

Pedantic George.

107 Comments

Prague, Fulham and Super League- The Good, The Bad And The Ugly.

Today we discuss recent games and the Super League, I don’t get the outrage and immediate condemnation, but @shotta_gooner does.

Pedantic George.

127 Comments

Arsenal vs Fulham. What Now?

Good morning all.

Today at 1.30 Fulham come to the home of football to face the mighty Arsenal.

The mighty Arsenal on a bit of a roll , by the way. In our last two games we have comfortably seen of Sheffield United and Slavia Prague. Ok, not the mightiest opponents, but we have dispatched them with somewhat of a flourish. Things are looking up. We may not be flying high, but at least there is a bit of an accent, we should enjoy it while it’s going.

Fulham are desperate for points, but they are finding them very hard to come by. They find themselves in 18th place, and 7 points behind 17th having played a game more. In other words, they’re relegated. They have lost their last four games and although they play some nice football, it’s not nice enough to get them any points.

If memory serves it’s a battle of the two youngest managers. Both have struggled this season but neither of their jobs seem in danger, That’s odd these days.

I’m back to guess work on who might play , personally I would go with the same eleven that started in Prague but of course I have no idea about fitness levels or anything else, so it will likely be all change.

This is a game I expect us to win comfortably and with a bit of style too. We need a bit of cheering up and I think we will get it.

Enjoy the game and stay safe

Pedantic George.

62 Comments

Arteta Is Doing Madness, Not In A Good Way

Today @shotta_gooner has to try and restrain me as I go an a maniacal rant about Arteta’s “achievements”. the state of our play and I blame all my worldly woes on our dapper manager.

The end is neigh.

Pedantic George.

54 Comments

It’s Sheffield United, Who Cares?

Good morning all.

Tonight we play Sheffield United, comfortably the worse team in the league. After 30 games they are on 14 points with a goal difference of minus 35. This should be a stroll in the park, a gift 3 points, we should be a shoe in, but…….well you know?

Three points could see us climb back up to the dizzying heights of 9th place, exciting eh?

Apparently our captain, Aubameyang, is the first person in the country to catch Flu this year,. If you’re having that!. ESR is out and Odegaard is a big doubt, this on top of Luiz and KT both being out for several week. It never rains but it pours. Still, Arteta’s army have a ready made script should the worse come to the worse.

Having made a bit of a ballocks of our home leg in the Europa League, and with all of our eggs in that particular basket, can Arteta risk resting key players like Xhaka and Partey? Perhaps he should, but the natives are finally getting somewhat restless and he surely has to win this game. There’s a limit to the patience of even the more process trusting fans. The ice is getting thin.

There’s talk that many of the senior pros are fed up taking the blame for our results and performances and to be honest, I would be shocked if that was not the case. There’s only so many times they can roll out the remaining popular players to tell us how impressed with Arteta they all are and what a happy camp it is. Unfortunately there is no Mesut Ozil to scapegoat for leaks and disquiet in the dressing room, so even that tried and tested deflection wont wash.

Basically, yet again, I have no idea what team will take to the field and honestly, I’m struggling to care. It’s painful to watch this football and even more painful to write about it. I hope the rest of you are still engaged, and I could be again, but I need at least a little taste of something to be enthusiastic about.

Sorry

Pedantic George.

9 Comments

Arteta Has No Style Befitting Of Arsenal

For me the biggest problem I have with Arteta is that he is here 16 or 17 months and for the life of me I don’t know what sort of football he wants us to play, surely to God its not this stale, negative, counter attacking sufferball with Tierney crossing stuff aimlessly that we see so often. There is no formation or good style of play that you could say well yes that is what Artetaball will be.

People bring up that it took Klopp a few years to get Liverpool to be the top side they are now, but from very early on in his tenure at LFC you could see what he was trying to get them to do, in his first full season his biggest problem was that at about the 60 or 70 minute mark his players were out on their feet and they lost so many points in the latter stages of games due to it. But you could see his gen gen football, but what the f*ck is it that Arteta is meant to be building?
If I was seeing something that gave me confidence we are implementing a certain style of progressive football, I could get behind it, even if like Klopp in the early days at LFC it was a little flawed, but you can not convince me what we are seeing under Arteta is just a step away from being something special. Even the bloggers and twitteratti who are very vocal in their support of him don’t even suggest we are close, no its all about him needing 2 or 3 more transfer windows where he can end up with a squad that are completely his own. I’d have no problem with that if there was any sign that Arteta actually has a game plan, a style of play that will bring success. They try to tell us he has fixed the defence, yet tell us he needs a right back, a right sided CB and maybe even a keeper, that doesn’t sound like its fixed to me.

As for attacking football under Arteta, there is nothing that gives me even a glimmer of hope that he even wants us to dominate and take teams apart. He keeps going on about 2 or 3 chances in a game should be enough to see us win or at least get something out of the game, that is Sean Dyche type thinking, its not befitting of an Arsenal manager.

@edminton1966

61 Comments

The Biggest Game Of The Season Is Slavia Prague, Blimey!

Tonight we play Slavia Prague in what has become a massive tie for the club, manager and players. Quite simply, it’s our season and a big part of next season too. All of our eggs are in the Europa league cup now, seriously, ALL OF THEM!

We sit 10th in the PL with little or no prospect of getting European football through the league position, we are out of both domestic cups, so no way in through them either. We are playing in the last chance saloon with a piano that is very much out of tune. However you look at it, it’s a desperate situation for a club like Arsenal. Or should I say “for a club like Arsenal used to be”?

Winning the competition, very much a second rate competition, in itself is not that important, I mean seriously, it’s a competition for losers and second rate clubs, but it comes with qualification for the Champions League, and that’s a massive prize, far bigger than the trophy itself. The financial benefits of the Champions League are huge, and even if we get dumped out after the group stages, we might have the losers cup again to see us with something to play for come to the end of next season. The owners will be desperate for the cash windfall. Also fans will cling to the hope that with Champions League qualification the club will be in the transfer market for Champions League players.

On top of the cash bonus, people think that we will be able to attract better players because they want Champions League football. I believe they do, but I don’t think qualification through the Europa will do the trick. Players will look at our league position and conclude that future participation is a long shot.

That we find ourselves with all the eggs in this second rate basket is a worry, to say the least, but it’s where we are and we have to try to win it.

Fail to win this competition and we can safely say the season has been an unmitigated disaster. We started of as the 8th placed team and now we are 10th, the squad is ageing and we are depending on loan players to start games. What a mess.

Anyway, to the game itself.

Let’s be honest, we should be thinking Slavia Prague is a formality. Suddenly though, I’m reading blogs and tweets that tell us what a difficult opponent they are. Well they might be, but it’s not because they are good, it’s because we might be awful. Another Liverpool like performance and the Dog & Duck could be difficult opponents.

KT is out for 4-6 weeks, this is a disaster but not as big a disaster as us being so reliant on a left back that it becomes a disaster when he’s injured, again.

Also missing will be David Liuz, like him or not, that too is a big miss for us,

Good news however is that Xhaka, ESR and Saka should all be fit and Odegaard’s knock seems manageable.

Again, I have no idea who Arteta will pick and what our tactics, if any, will be. Well I hope for his sake he gets it right for a change, because failure might see him chased out of Dodge, if not now then when the fans return to the stadium.

I’m sorry that a game against Slavia Prague is such a massive event, but this is what it has come to.

#Wengerout they said!

Enjoy the game and stay safe. We might win at a canter and have a week of celebration?

Pedantic George

33 Comments

Red Flags Over Arteta

The problem with Mikel Arteta, thanks to his long association with Arsenal, his excellence as an Arsenal player, his unflappable cool, amazing hair and piercing stare, is that we all either quite like him, or like him a lot. The static nature of the Arteta Out ‘movement’ is too obvious a point to labour.  Nobody really wants him out and certainly nobody wants him to fail. Yet.

Whilst some think he is failing, others point to the sign saying ‘trust the process’.  As yet, (and possibly due to prevailing social conditions) there have been few concourse fights called over the matter, and as of today, being pro- or anti-Arteta is not yet a resigning matter from any board of friends or fan collective. Nor is it yet a source of malignant material for social media figures, or grist to the ghastly ‘fan’ tv groups’ mill in the way that the polarisation of Arsene Wenger once provided such valuable service.  People are not yet ready to fall out over the red flags waving over Mikel Arteta.  And there is as yet no meaningful market for the nascent ‘Arteta Out‘ clickbait industry.

But when Arteta does go, it’ll be a pretty big moment in the history of Arsenal.  

By some weird quirk, he remains the only significant link with the Wenger years, and, by extension, ‘Wenger’s Arsenal’.  (This, of course, excludes Hector Bellerin, who, some say, may well be gone from the club before the summer is out). When Arteta departs, it will be no exaggeration to claim that the attempted metamorphosis that had been under way at Arsenal since Arsene Wenger joined the club in 1996, will effectively be over. This circle of the club’s life will have been completed, but not in ways any of us hoped for, or expected.

The Grand Plan that emerged from the early Wenger years would see us, theoretically, transformed from being one of the biggest clubs in London to one of the biggest clubs in the world.  Truth be told, we were probably already one of the biggest clubs in the world thanks to a lengthy, albeit inconsistent history of periodic success, and an unbroken stint in the game’s oldest league.  And Highbury was hardly a backwater. But, you know, we were all set to join the absolute top, topper-most table of Planet Football – supping luxuriantly alongside the Barcas and the Bayerns of the world.  What could possibly go wrong?  

Well, what actually went wrong was a new source of funds and matching tolerance of unlimited spending was discovered, welcomed in with open arms by a salivating, pumped up, leg’s apart league. One that was very comfortable with selling it’s very soul. And in return, that league duly became the richest home of the sport on Earth.  At this precise moment, football went from being the Beautiful Game to the wealthiest one. Outrageous spending blinded most of us to the eventual costs, for which we continue to pay, and pay heavily.

Chelsea’s vulgar arrival on the stage in 2004 was simply the start (if you ignore Sky’s and the Premier League’s more muted arrival some years earlier).  Worst was to come in the form of the slightly less provocative – but even wealthier – Manchester City. Freshly minted, they wasted no time in becoming the noisiest of neighbours, supercharged on oil and with a spending brashness encouraged by still more tolerance of unlimited club funding of what was, after all, only supposed to be a bloody game.

In fairness, none of this can be put at the door of Arteta and he could hardly have chosen a more challenging time to join the club.  But the journey the former player has taken, from delighting the fans with the excellence of his own on-field performances has morphed to a so-far less inspiring stint as a manager. Despite winning two cups, his insipid, at times dismal, team displays can be characterised as a feast of initial promise which all too rapidly morphed into an unpopular plate of frustrated disappointment. With a side dish of fear-for-the-future, served cold.

So exactly where are we today, with Arsenal FC?

At the very least, we all know we are in for a ‘busy summer’ – Mikel has all but said as much and the writing on the ball is clear for all to see, as a number of players are set to move on.  

But this is where it gets interesting – which players?  

Are we talking Ainsley Maitland-Niles, by any chance. Eddie Nkitieh?  Or Aubamayang and Willian?  The mood music appears to be swirling around the former pair as it doesn’t appear to matter how nonchalantly the latter two complete their laboured, generally disinterested shifts on the pitch, Arteta, you feel, will seemingly never call the pair of them out by rewarding them with an extended run in the reserves.

Who knows, maybe Eddie – England’s U21 record goal scorer – just is not Arsenal material.  Yet, Maitland-Niles has gone from winning the Man of the Match award for our win in the Community Shield last August, to playing a critical role in West Brom’s slaying of Chelsea, at Chelsea, 2-5, just a couple of days ago. Somehow or other, 2nd from bottom of the Premier League West Bromwich Albion, have managed to find a starring role for Ainsley in a team battling for league survival.  One that Mikel simply could not locate. A problem that just does not apply to his first choice forward line, it seems.

For Arsenal, this season is perilously close to being characterised as the dreaded ‘season of two halves’.  

The less said about the first half is still too much said, although covid conditions have proved challenging for everyone. Arsenal were about one game away, at one point, from an unenviable berth at the scene of this year’s relegation battle, but were saved from such ignominy by a revelatory – if not thrillingly inspired – switch to the ‘kids’, in the shape of Emile Smith Rowe, Saka and others.  

Gradually though, and thanks in part to injury, the first team has regretfully morphed back to it’s unwelcome pre-Xmas shape, with results to match.  But it’s hugely concerning that it took until Xmas for Arteta to realise who his best team is.  It’s just one of a number of red flags over Arteta that cause me the greatest concern regarding his future prospects as the Arsenal Manager.

Warning signs were already evident over the still hard to explain plight of Ozil, Guenduzi and one or two others. And whilst I was willing to assume Arteta had reasons for his outcasting of those two named, his treatment of a third player was, and remains, unforgivable, in my view.  

When Leno dropped out of the first team due to injury last June, 27 years old Emiliano Martinez (birthday 2nd September, so still 27, not yet 28 – have I got this bit right, George?) stepped up to the plate – and how! Coming off the bench to replace freshly injured Leno against Brighton on the 20th June, he saw out the entire remainder of the season, was commended for a string of commanding, stellar performances, and made crucial saves against Chelsea to help win Arsenal’s 14th FA Cup.  Incredibly, the ever-ready, always-prepared Martinez played just 15 games for Arsenal in 8 years, but was nonetheless visibly emotional and reduced to tears at the conclusion of the FA Cup.  He then went on to do it all again, this time against the mighty Liverpool in the Community Shield with Arsenal again winning, this time on penalties, against literally ALL expectations.  

Exactly the kind of player Arsenal have always needed.

But, despite being arguably the better ‘keeper, with a greater command of his box and generating superior confidence in the minds of his own defenders, this Arsenal stalwart, who joined the club back in 2012 and was in possession of the goalie’s jumper at the start of this current season, was somehow relieved of said jumper and sold for a bargain price of ‘up to’ £20 million to Aston Villa, currently ahead of us in the league, sitting pretty in 9th.

These funds are said to have gone towards the purchase of the excellent Thomas Partey – but also Martinez’ rather odd replacement, the Wenger-hating Runar Runarsson.

There are times when Arteta’s Arsenal play very well, but I never really know when that is likely to be.  

And Arteta’s red flags – the one’s that fly over his treatment of Ozil and Guendouzi, his sale of Martinez, his persistence with the sluggish PER and the reluctant Willian, as well as  alongside his perpetual sidelining of available talents in the form of Martinelli, Nketiah and others, continue to fly strongly in the breeze.

We all want Mikel to succeed – because we all still like him – but his decision-making is the primary source of concern for the future.  

Sure, some will trust the process while others, at some point, may start to protest.  Either way, despite his perfect hair and steely demeanour, the jury is still very much out on Arteta.  He has, by my reckoning, two transfer windows left.  Will his decision-making yet step up to the mark in the way at least 3 of his disappointing ‘stars’ currently refuse to, by and large?  The coming weeks will give us several clues. And the return of fans to the stadiums will likely force one or two hands, one suspects.

In the meantime, will his capacity to stubbornly stand by those under-performers, at the expense of better, albeit less experienced and younger alternatives, be finally tested to breaking point?

Or will those red flags continue to flutter?

And what of Arsenal, after he goes? 

Will we finally return, once and for all, to our more modest, traditional mid-table position, eventually with players of similar quality to match and only the occasional ‘break-out’ season to look forward to? Will our still lofty expectations, lifted outrageously high for so long by one lone, stubborn but brilliant Frenchman, experience the ultimate re-set?

Will we ultimately come to regret that tumultuous, hasty and unplanned  clean-break with Arsene Wenger after all? 

Have the red flags already been flying for longer than most realise?

39 Comments

Arteta says “It’s my fault” and I agree!

Hello everyone.

In this weeks podcast @shotta_gooner and I accept Arteta’s conclusion that the rubbish we churned out against Liverpool was his fault. Of course he had hardly gotten the words out before he shifted the blame to the players and threw them under the first Bus he could find. But hey? On the plus side, he looks well dapper on the touchline.

Pedantic George.