Have Arsenal simply been priced out of the game?

By Bard

The times they are a changing…

For Arsenal the reverberations of this summer’s transfer window run far deeper than the disappointment of not signing a striker or a defensive powerhouse. It marked the moment, to use Gazidis’s analogy, when we moved from being off the shoulder of the big hitters to them moving rapidly out of sight. This window marked the moment when it was possible to say with some certainty that Arsenal under their current financial structure and owner are unlikely to win the Premier League ever again. I would go further and suggest that within two seasons the gap between what we pay and the other top clubs will mean we will be back to having to sell our best players. The reasons for such bold statements have very little to do with the Boss and his current way of working, so let’s leave the ‘it’s another anti Wenger rant’ to one side.

Anthony Martial: Worth more than Alexis?

With the stadium debt easing and the financial fair play rules coming into effect it was reasonable for the club to hope that they could start to compete with the bigger clubs. But barely two seasons into that project the football landscape has suddenly and irrevocably changed. Financial fair play was a noble but naïve project. If governments can’t control large corporations how realistic was it to imagine that football’s governing body would be able to do so. Whilst they exist in a modified form they haven’t prevented football from becoming a game of no limit poker. It’s a game for only those with very deep pockets and while Stan is wealthy beyond our dreams, at this level he is a minnow. He neither has the resources nor the will. The transfer window demonstrated an unprecedented increase in the level of spending on transfers, £58m De Bruyne, £49m Sterling, £36m Martial, none of them world-beaters by any stretch of the imagination. No model of self-sustainability would be able to generate the kind of resources needed to take a punt on any of the above. Add into the mix the wages that come with that package (Benzema allegedly on £300,000 per week) and Arsenal have simply been priced out of the game.

As an economist it has been strange that Wenger has never understood that ‘inherent value’ doesn’t exist. The price or value is beholden to the forces of supply and demand. A glass of water is of more value to a man dying of thirst in the desert than to a housewife in Surrey. This has hampered our pursuit of players in the past but is largely irrelevant in the new world. The stratospheric prices now being paid have very little to do with proven ability. Is Sterling really worth nearly £10m more than Ozil, is Martial worth the same as Alexis?

I am certain the club have recognized this although how they spin the issue will be interesting. For us fans sadly the only two options are that we hope Stan sells to Usmanov and we join the game or we accept our fate with good grace. Wenger may have his faults but in this financial climate he is impotent.

7th September 2015 09:00:00


Comments and Reaction

User comments on this article are now closed. If you want to continue the debate, why not do so on the Gooner Forum.

ant  9:57am 7th Sep 2015

Arsene was part of the group that mugged us of to go with Stan from the beginning,to go with Stan and not usmanov. David dien was the really Mr Arsenal and was force out,with Usmanov - Post No. 79797

Avenell Road  10:13am 7th Sep 2015

£200m isn't nothing. It can be well used to sign the 2 or 3 players we need to compete. But to buy nobody? And leave us short on numbers for a long campaign? You don't need to be an economist to see the issue with that - you just need to be a decent football manager worth your salt. - Post No. 79800

Charles  10:15am 7th Sep 2015

As a season ticket holder of many years and a lifelong supporter before that, I think this view might have some truth to it. The ST prices are going to keep rising and if the struggle is going to be as an also-ran I reckon myself and several thousand others are going to have serious decisions to make. Interesting piece though. - Post No. 79801

Ron  10:36am 7th Sep 2015

Probably priced out to an extent Bard of course. 300 mill turn over isnt to be scoffed at, though as i recall the profits are only single figures. High wages ratio we have too but to many non producer players who aren't worth it in my opinion. - Post No. 79802

Westlower  10:52am 7th Sep 2015

Blimey O'Riley Sir Bard, that's the most sensible piece you've ever written. Well played that man. I fancy we may have to revisit the past once more in buying potential rather than marquee signings. Occasionally the odd big name will slip through the net but it'll be the exception rather than the rule. I've recently witnessed 'FOREIGN' money completely dominate English horse racing & now it's the turn of English football to be the playthings of the mega rich. We've long since sold our soul & assets to the highest bidder. At least AFC are hanging on to the coat tails of the big 3 money clubs but Spurs & Liverpool, et al have left it too late to enter the 'big boys' arena. - Post No. 79803

foxinthebox2001  10:55am 7th Sep 2015

We have the money, but we also have a ditherer. I think Benteke would have fitted well with our single striker system. And he would have improved. - Post No. 79804

Excuses Excuses  11:10am 7th Sep 2015

What an utter rubbish article. This is just an excuse in my opinion for our lack of activity in the transfer market. Since Dein left our summer activity has been an utter farce. We needed two players, a defensive minded midfielder and a quality striker. We could have easily have got the players required for under £70m (Benzema didnt need to be the only option). Arsenal as a football club are now a global brand. Look at all these far eastern fans we have that turn up in their tens of thousands whenever we go for pre season friendlies. Our fans pay more than any other in world football for the privilege of watching football that doesn't compare with the class of 2004. Purely on season tickets alone the club brings in well over £100m a season. That's before you even start to look at branding, sponsorship, merchandise sales and the money we get for being in the CL every season. Wenger is to blame for this. He is past his best, a stale old manager who is too stubborn to move with the times. - Post No. 79805

Eliot  11:16am 7th Sep 2015

Erm, Athletico Madrid did OK. - Post No. 79806

Seven Kings Gooner  11:18am 7th Sep 2015

Good article, I think a typical conversation in the boardroom at the AGM would be as follows: SK: "Arsene, if we spend 200 million could you guarantee us the PL or better still CL?" AW: "No" SK: "Arsene if we spend nothing can you guarantee us 4th place?" AW: "Yes" SK: "OK gentlemen 4th place it is" That really is why we are trapped in this scenario of every season being the same - groundhog seasons. The board are frightened of the major challenge that faces our club, winning the CL or PL. It will take much money, much effort and a hungry staff to get to the next level - the board always takes the soft and safe option and I suppose with the money the board members and manager are able to take out of the club you cannot really blame them. Unless of course you are a fan and want the club to compete at the highest levels and that is of course the reasons why we have a split fan base. - Post No. 79807

John Gage  11:37am 7th Sep 2015

I appreciate that Arsenal might not be able to compete for Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo but Morgan Schneiderlin was available for £27 million, so was Arturo Vidal. Bastian Schweinsteiger could have been bought for £10.6 million. These players could all have been cover for Coquelin, and well within Arsenal's transfer budget. It is the failure to sign another DM which to me is baffling. - Post No. 79808

Ron  11:38am 7th Sep 2015

The mention of Dein is a good one. Whatever anybody thinks of him, the Club and Wenger lost a lot of influence and nous when he went. Wengers managment may have changed anyway as result of his philosophies and ideals etc but Dein was clearly a check on him for the best reasons. Wenger bemoaned his departure. I bet looking back, hes glad now Dein went. Its doubtful total control of all that Wenger surveys would have occurred had Dein have remained. Its all very unhealthy there. We need the lot gone. Wenger and his back room crew of yes men, SK and Gazardis. - Post No. 79809

Skooner  11:45am 7th Sep 2015

To say we cannot compete with the highest prices may well be true, but leaving a considerable chunk of money in the bank under the pretense of not being able to find anyone better than we have is not acceptable of a club which talks of winning titles, particularly when it simply is not true. Wengers definition of "value" has long been outdated in the transfer market, the price of a player is what the buying club is willing to pay and the selling club is willing to accept. Every other manager asks how much he is allowed to spend and then generally spends as much as possible to give them the maximum chance of success. At Arsenal the economist in charge tries to extract maximum success from minimal investment to try and prove it can be done (the last 10 years suggest it cannot). He then hides behind the excuse that we were out spent so should be proud of what is achieved, when all along he had money and chose not to spend it. - Post No. 79810

Chris  12:07pm 7th Sep 2015

Did you mean to write "Wenger may have his faults but in this financial climate he is important."? If so, you may have a point. - Post No. 79811

Arseneknewbest  12:11pm 7th Sep 2015

Bard - I think it's an interesting rhetorical question to ask, but I reckon the answer is no. Financially, as we're often told by the press, we're up there with the big clubs (the fifth richest club in the world?), so we're not being priced out of the market. What Kroenke, Wenger and their buddies are doing is recusing themselves from this aspect of the industry. The Bournemouths, Palaces, Southamptons, and everyone below them in the rich lists are the types of clubs that are priced out. The Arsenal's problem is that it is run by money-grubbing capitalists for whom the bottom line is god, and for whom success is secondary (or tertiary if you consider maintaining a stable position in the financial world order. Wenger is a self-proclaimed socialist in the same vein as Robert Maxwell. This could all change in an instant with different senior leadership. - Post No. 79812

Where's Wally is a Gooner  12:16pm 7th Sep 2015

Wenger is the man living in a tent for ten years, waiting for house prices to fall and they keep going up. He has been perennially behind the inflation in transfer prices.With more money to come in next year they are continuing to go up with clubs like Stoke outbidding far bigger clubs. We should have bought Reus for £60 mil because next summer he's £75-80 mill. That's the reality and moaning about it is not going to get you the players we need. If you have the money it's negligent not to spend it. - Post No. 79813

Ron  12:21pm 7th Sep 2015

AKB - these pesky 'socialists' get everywhere don't they. Ferguson used to like to play at being one too didn't he. Champagne socialists, the lot of them in my view. Whatever would 'Jezza' make of them! - Post No. 79814

Jokes  12:31pm 7th Sep 2015

Kroenke is a billionaire and there's £200m cash sitting in an account. That's not small change its massive money. Enough to buy you Cavani, Lars Bender and Hummels. A whole new spine of a team, and you'd have enough change left to buy Marco Reus! Seriously this is an embarrassing piece. Arsenal are flush with cash and can easily afford to compete - the inept manager just chooses not to. - Post No. 79815

Westlower  12:45pm 7th Sep 2015

The £200m in the bank remark by Lord Harris muddied the waters re Arsenal's transfer kitty. My understanding is that £50m was available for spending in this transfer window. That wouldn't buy top target Benzema AND a DM. Rightly or wrongly we appear to have put all our eggs in one basket in trying to get Benzema. We wouldn't pay the £50m for Cavani, rightly so IMO. The current Arsenal wage bill is £180m (Man U £214m, Citeh £206m) up from £166m in 2014. Benzema is currently on £15.6m a year (double AW's wages) so our wage bill would have soared even further. Obviously a large cash reserve is needed for the day to day running of AFC with 550 employees + players. Add in our debt of £259m it's not hard to see why the board are only willing to release £50m of cash for the transfer pot. To add some perspective of transfer dealing outside the top 4 , Spurs were only offering split payments over 3 years for a player valued at £22m, one year on from receiving the Bale riches from RM. It's a financial crippler to build a new stadium as our neighbours are about to find out. - Post No. 79816

Arseneknewbest  12:52pm 7th Sep 2015

Westlower - that sounds like a typically apologist line. Most clubs/companies borrow at one time another and I would suggest that AFC's credit rating is probably pretty good. Whatever the amount of "cash" available for transfers, there are always banks (and Uncle Alisher) who would bend over backwards to lend to the club at a very competitive rate. - Post No. 79817

Tony Evans  12:55pm 7th Sep 2015

Hi Bard - I find myself caught between the proverbial rock and hard place. I hate the mad, mad world of mega salaries and transfers that football has become but don't want my team to be the only one that extols business acumen and focuses on pure profit rather than competing on the pitch; especially when we have someone like Usmanov ready, willing and able to step up to the breach. The issue is made even worse by the fact that we have a manager who is reluctant to spend even relatively modest sums on improving the team - the glaring example of which is the current defensive midfield shambles. - Post No. 79818

Charlie George Orwell  13:02pm 7th Sep 2015

The key point in this piece is Kroenke (and Wenger) not having the will to win the title. I could handle continued failure if I could at least see some intent or drive in actually competing to be champions. But instead of desire, we get stubborn inaction and instead of meaningful achievement we get verbiage. Without the will there is no way Arsenal will finish top of the tree. Kroenke and Wenger out. - Post No. 79819

Platitude Problem  13:15pm 7th Sep 2015

Saint David Dein? The man who brought both Kronke and Usmanov to the table? The man who moulded Football from being a game which supported 92 clubs which you couldn't make a buck out of to that which revolves around a handful of clubs which no-one could break into without the need for a sugar daddy in which the customer can be milked dry. He who priced out the working class fan with the bond in 1992 and merely said in mitigation, 'Sorry, the club is not a charity'. This Saint David Dein are you talking about? - Post No. 79820

Ron  13:20pm 7th Sep 2015

Behave Westie. Benzema wasnt a 'target'. Hes openly said quite a few times he wasnt leaving Madrid and why would he want to leave there to join us? A target denotes a shot being fired. The Arse made no bid. Had they have done Madrid would have told all as they tend to do.Its a bit more Arse fueled, media stoked smoke and mirrors you've fallen for. Lord Harris seemed pretty unambiguous to most of us but keep em coming! As for the Spuds, they clearly (correctly in my view) had doubts about Berahino. Is he that good etc etc hence stage payments. Do you reckon Joe Lewis at Tottenham would have blinked at 20 odd million otherwise? Come off it. That pit of apologies of yrs is a big one indeed, but the ones dredged out lately are quite quaint Westie. - Post No. 79821

Gaz  13:20pm 7th Sep 2015

If we were to finally spend what we have on improving all the key weak areas in the side it gives Wenger and the board absolutely nowhere to hide. If it goes well we could win the title-if it goes badly Wenger is either pushed into resigning or the board or pushed into sacking him. That's a big gamble to take when the other option is to simply fail to strenthen and continue to finish in the top four. Excuses are made, the cash keeps rolling in and difficult decisions avoided... - Post No. 79822

Ron  13:37pm 7th Sep 2015

PP - Hadn't noticed anybody had anointed Dein? The 'big' 5 who carved out the SKY era were Utd, Arse, Liv, Tottenham and Everton by the way. The rest either tacitly went along with it or abstained. Agree re the Bond - though the Club's managed very well to rip the fans off these last 7 yrs without his help. Highbury had its very own'Great Stadium Mystery'. The Grove is the great stadium con job. You might recall that Dein didnt want it.He claimed it would be unfit for purpose in time. He was right in my view. He wasnt all bad for an East end spiv and he certainly knew how to keep Wengers dreaming head out of the clouds. - Post No. 79823

Captain Frank  13:45pm 7th Sep 2015

Nice piece Bard and it certainly strikes a chord with me. There were really very few players who moved over the summer who I thought were worth the outlay because I don’t think they would have provided the step-change which we are craving at Arsenal. Benteke for £32m? Is he really that much better than Giroud? Would he have been able to adapt to our style of play? I could make more of an argument for adapting our style of play to him to be fair, but that’s probably not going to happen all the while Wenger is in charge. Benzema? I’d rather have had Benteke? It would have been amusing if we’d snatched Berahino from under the noses of the Spuds, but I don’t see him as being much more than another Welbeck or Walcott so wouldn’t have wanted to splash out £25m whether it was in one-go or “staged payments”. The position where we could have strengthened was in midfield where a few players – some already mentioned – moved clubs and could have provided competition and/or cover for the DM role currently performed by Coquelin. They might not have been better than Le Coq, but they would surely have been better than our current back-up options. - Post No. 79824

Westlower  13:51pm 7th Sep 2015

What nonsense to believe the club won't spend money because we'd have to try & win the PL. People who believe that are so tied up in their own negativity they can't see the wood for the trees. @Ron Why didn't Joe Lewis put the cash on the table? What was stopping him? Didn't trust Levy's judgement? Didn't trust Pochettino's judgement? Didn't rate Berahino, then why bid for him? Or is it Ron doesn't rate him? Maybe they've got a stadium to build, which makes them soil their pants when thinking about spending money on new players. Dein remains a close confidante of Wenger's and I'm sure they have dialogue concerning all things AFC. - Post No. 79825

AMG  14:09pm 7th Sep 2015

What makes you think Arsenal don't have the resources to compete, where are the facts and figures? Were Arsenal passed over when the FA were handing out the £5bn in TV money? You're right on one thing, the don't have the WILL to compete, simples. Having watched De Bruyne a bit, I think you do him a disservice. Though in truth, those fees you mention have only come about because the respective selling clubs were in strong positions with no great need to sell. - Post No. 79826

Red Member  14:15pm 7th Sep 2015

Gaz makes a very good point and probably the most accurate one. westlower continues to defend the club as if he were an employee at Arsenal. It is amusing really as the more he defends the club the more indefensible they become! ever realised you were backing a loser westie? - Post No. 79828

Seven Kings Gooner  14:17pm 7th Sep 2015

Westflower : you miss the point, the board would give Wenger the money if he said he thought he could give the PL & CL a decent shot by signing 3 or 4 new world class players. However AW does not think he can win the PL & CL with or without the money - I actually think he does n't know how to improve the team. - Post No. 79829

brad (@lancasterb)  14:20pm 7th Sep 2015

Chelsea, City, UTD, Barca, Juve, Real, Munich. All have the same mentality, WIN AT ALL COSTS AND WHATEVER IT TAKES! 2nd is for losers. 4th, well thats not even thinkable. Kronke and the Board, just dont share that. - Post No. 79830

Ron  14:25pm 7th Sep 2015

Berahino - pretty decent id say actually, though perhaps a dressing room risk. Can understand the hesitancy about him due to that but also over producing at a higher level though as anyone can who s got any sort of feel for the game. How do you know Spurs don't routinely use stage payments as every other Club does and it was the Albion who weren't wearing it? Youve bought the media myth that Tottenham blew every penny of Bales cash up front. Get real Westie. - Post No. 79831

jjetplane  14:37pm 7th Sep 2015

Look at Swansea at the moment and how they go about buying players to fit into a highly specific scheme of play. Against Man UTD and Arsenal it would be a suprise if Swansea were to lose. same thing happening at Palce with every pound spent well and creating a particular dynamic for the club. Wenger is an abstractionist by nature and is incapable of either dealing or managing the game with any detailed specificity whereas the likes of Monk and Pardew (and Koeman) talk the game and play it in their sleep. Arsenal like Man Utd have lost their identity and now are making up the numbers at the top with a view to creaming a CL placement each season. In a sense they are the relegation fodder at the high table. When I saw the title of this piece I thought ROSIE is back to add to his canon (sic). WESTIE loves it (great crumbs of comfort) but really it is all by the by as is Arsenal unless they wish to 'go for it' again. It would take a couple/few years with a manager such as the above at the helm but at least the likes of Sanchez would have a squad to work with - not a disjointed party of spoilt young men. More importantly we have a game with none other than Hook Norton on Saturday at 3 o'clock which if we win will put us in the FA Cup proper. See how exciting football can be for three pound a throw? No wonder WEStIE hates the 9th tier. Like Arsene, he hates football. Like Fergie, he loves horses. - Post No. 79832

Johnny Lynch  14:49pm 7th Sep 2015

Wenger F*ck ups. No 1 ........... European Cup Final 2006. 74 minutes gone , 1-0 up against Barca .. Substitutes Cesc and puts on Flamini... Yeah, that worked. - Post No. 79833

Peter Wain  15:05pm 7th Sep 2015

There is no doubt that buying a striker was difficult but buying a defensive midfield player was not. there were many options available apart from Schinderlin. Wayama, Bender, the Portugal player , and the Czech to name but four. It is disingenious of Wenger saying he could not find a DM or another defender. As for the money side of things yes a striker would be difficult but why is Wenger paid £8 million a year and have scouts through out the world. Are we saying that only Benzema at a certain price or Cavani or the Swedish bloke were the only ones we wanted. There are players either in Europe or South America who could have done a decent job and allowed us to compete in the PL. We cannot now and I agree with the articule with this management set up we will never be in a position to challenge again. So sack the lost and lets start again. - Post No. 79835

Westlower  15:26pm 7th Sep 2015

@Peter, The board are un-sackable but can be bought out when & if they decide to sell. Would you surrender your controlling shares in AFC? Got a spare £billion to buy them damn Yanks out? @JJ You must be gutted Arsenal beating Palace. Life can be so unfair. Go back to making a big splash in your small 9th tier pond. Water off a f*cks back? - Post No. 79836

Exeter Gunner  15:38pm 7th Sep 2015

The article is quite depressing but what's really depressing is Westlower's view of AFC - that everything is done as well as it possibly could be. Transfer windows are handled impeccably, it's all others' faults if things don't work out. AFC's style of play is the best they could possibly have. AFC finish as high as we could possibly expect them to. It's a very negative perspective - it holds there is no scope for improvement in the way things are done. - Post No. 79837

Johnny Lynch  15:43pm 7th Sep 2015

Wenger f*ck ups No 2 - Thinking it was appropriate to make his appointment as the 4th Greatest Moment in OUR History . - Post No. 79838

mbg  15:46pm 7th Sep 2015

Good Article Bard, I remember after Newcastle were beaten of the park at Highbury with a proper defence and the likes of Veiera, Pires, Bergkamp, etc,etc,etc, with attacking power football (no tippy tappy to be seen) Shearer saying in an interview afterwards we're five years behind them, instead of pushing on from there and becoming a real power house we now find ourselves in Newcastle's position then, thanks to an old past it managers pet projects and failed philosophies. - Post No. 79839

Far far away fan  15:59pm 7th Sep 2015

I was reading all the comments about if it was so and so club, they would have gone and bought the player no matter the cost. So I searched the most expensive transfers in history (obviously all of them were from the last decade) and found something really shocking. I didn't find Bayern (or any German club), Juve, AC Milan and until DiMaria, Man United. Most of the top 10 transfers were Madrid and Barca. The next 10 were mostly City, Chelsea and PSG. Amongst these big hitters, I only count Madrid and Barca as true legacy clubs and I would venture a theory that they spend money to add gloss to an already brilliant team. They bring in flambouyant players who will sell shirts as much as win trophies. And most of City's, Chelsea's and PSG's major outlays were hilariously disastrous. Silva, Toure and Kompany were bought for reasonable sums of money. How come we didn't go for any of them? - Post No. 79840

mbg  15:59pm 7th Sep 2015

Bard, the times are a changing alright, whether we like it or not (as we're always been told by some) and we have to change with them is another favourite of theirs, it's just a pity in their wisdom they're not as quick to tell the club and they're messiah. - Post No. 79841

Westlower  16:24pm 7th Sep 2015

@Red Member, No, I'm not and never have been an employee of AFC. I'm what used to be known as a 'SUPPORTER.' I am well accustomed to backing losers though as 54 of my 96 bets this flat season have lost. So I'm currently a 56.3% loser. - Post No. 79842

mbg  16:38pm 7th Sep 2015

SKG, good post and point that always goes way over the AKB's heads every time, if OGL wanted this amount, that amount 30, 40 50, 60, plus mil for players he'd get it, the fact is he hasn't the balls to give it a real go, he hasn't it in him, more importantly he hasn't the know how how to spend it, do it, he's past it, and he knows it. - Post No. 79844

mbg  16:59pm 7th Sep 2015

jj, Hook Norton no doubt a good honest club, but a very appropriate name for this club and it's manager especially if you were to add an s. Jonny Lynch, yes indeed 2006 should have told us all something and started alarm bells ringing, completely out of his depth even then. - Post No. 79845

Johnny Lynch  17:06pm 7th Sep 2015

Wenger f*ck ups No 3 - Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Niklas Bendtner - Post No. 79846

RedPig  17:18pm 7th Sep 2015

As Charlie George Orwell and others rightly say ... it is the will to compete that is what is really lacking at Arsenal. It is certainly not a lack of resources and I am not convinced it ever has been . If the title automatically went to the biggest spenders then yes we would be priced out. Fortunately football doesn’t quite work like that. Not yet anyway. There is no doubt a certain amount of funds and other factors are needed to compete but make no mistake, Arsenal do have them. We are not a club like Stoke or Everton that have to settle for something other than winning the title. Just because we cannot match the spending power of Chelsea and Man City doesn’t mean we cannot finish above them. In fact we have finished above them in recent seasons - the trouble is there is always at least 2 other teams that finish above us. The infuriating truth is that under the trio of Wenger, Kroenke and Gazidis Arsenal never even attempt to compete. That is what is unacceptable. If we invested what we have into determining who goes out onto the pitch every week (surely the way a proper football club is supposed to operate?) then this, allied that with proper coaching and a fully motivated set of players, is all we can ask. If we come up short then I am sure 99% of supporters would applaud the effort and be willing to back the club again the following season. The support would certainly not be divided like it has been for so many years. Talking of which, if there is one reason above all others for Wenger to go, it is that he is a divisive figure at a place where unity is required. Of course fans naturally want to back their club and be proud of the,. But despite what the rose-tinted brigade want to believe, backing this current regime is no longer the answer. Arguably anyone still backing those in charge are as big a part of the problem as the board and management. The trouble is they see themselves as the ‘real fans’ and relish taking every opportunity to portray themselves that way. Whatever side of the divide we are on, we are being asked to be 100% supportive of a club that in the pursuit of glory isn’t giving anywhere near 100%. - Post No. 79847

John F  17:27pm 7th Sep 2015

With the appointment of Jonkers as academy coach Arsenal are clearly going down the youth development route and we really do have a talented bunch coming through but it is like a new miracle cure we may have to wait five years.Maybe under a new boss by then? - Post No. 79848

Ho Hum  17:31pm 7th Sep 2015

Bard- No, of course not. And why do you refer to FFP in the past tense? It's not gone anywhere. As I was telling your (understandably) new biggest fan Westlower in the previous thread, the only revised rules that are applicable to rich established clubs like Arsenal and City are those that have been tightened. In the long term FFP may well be watered down significantly for everyone but the next 2 or 3 years should be even more beneficial to us than the last 2 or 3. In any case, player sales and amortisation should see City within present FFP restrictions, and despite Utd spending silly money on Martial their (and Chelsea's) net spend is paltry compared to previous years, and of course compared to the amount Arsenal spent last season. But don't let the truth get in the way of a good excuse, eh? Westlower- Yes, those pesky directors keep 'muddying the water' with their ambitious quotes, don't they? If fact a different director seems to do it every season, going all the way back to Keith Edelman. Must be very irritating and inconvenient for those still desperately trying to defend The Great Man. - Post No. 79850

DANNY  18:11pm 7th Sep 2015

Why was my posted deleted. Too much negative on the useless coach This is a AKB site -shame....... - Post No. 79851

Johnny Lynch  18:24pm 7th Sep 2015

Wenger F*ck Ups - No 4 . The Coat - Post No. 79852

Cyril  18:26pm 7th Sep 2015

Ron, just to carry over from last thread. Summerbee who was good friends with Rodney Marsh states that the purchase of him stopped them from winning the league in 72. They were 6 clear under the 2 point system and sailing away. Don't forget they won the league and Fa cup, end of sixties. They played fenerbache in the 1st round of euro cup in 69 and away each player had an armed soldier to look after them as they approached the pitch. Let's just say that there was a diplomatic exit for them in the 1st round. Anyway, he states that Marsh was not fit enough and slowed the game down as they had lightning wide players with pace prior to this . As great a 'crowd pleaser' as he was, his purchase introduction blew it! He also says he has spoken to Marsh about this too and they are friends. Just shows you Ron, it's a team game and tactics win the day! - Post No. 79853

John C  18:51pm 7th Sep 2015

The answer is no, in 1999 Thierry Henry was bought at the cost of £11m when Arsenal turnover that year was £48m, thats about 23% of turnover. Arsenal's current turnover is £301m, thats over 6 times larger. i know it's unscientific but extrapolating that forward at todays rate thats around £69m! In retrospect is De Brugne any more of a punt than Henry was? i don't think so and as a percentage of Arsenals turnover he is cheaper than Henry was. The rate of inflation in football has been so rapid i think it's been difficult for people to get their heads round and i think Wenger is one of them. I think the prices are now so large is unable to back his own judgement but when factoring in inflation Martial is actually almost half the price of Thierry Henry! - Post No. 79854

Ron  18:55pm 7th Sep 2015

Hi Cyril - Re Marsh. yes. Its been said before. I hardly missed a game at Maine Rd that season. To be honest, ive always taken the view that Marsh was signed in response to Utd signing Ian Storey Moore (brilliant player) a very short while before. Allison was obsessed by Utd and pressed to buy Marsh. It was common knowledge in Manchester that many of the players werent keen on Marsh joining. Alisons arrogance in seeking the glamour of Marsh sacrificed the league. I blame him and not RM. RM shd have been boyught and left in the reserves or used from the bench for the run in. City had been great all season, though by 1972 to be honest i do think Liverpool were the stronger and more energetic team. Mike is right (ive met him 3 or 4 times!!). Marsh had his moments but not until towards the seasons end. I recall a game v Derby (top side at the time). City won 2-0 and Marsh scored a superlative goal.I saw his debut too. Away at Coventry (if it wasnt his debut it was close to it)He was shocking. Fat and unfit. Mortimer and McGuire for Cov City tore City apart. Can recall Marsh scoring at Old Trafford though in a 3 - 1 win. Once Joe Mercers control was wreseled of him by Alsion Cyril, things went down hill. As a Manager of men ive always thought Alison was inept. Revolutionary as a coach though at City and a lot of this stuff they say Wenger and other foreigners introduced here, Alison was doing 40 yrs ago. Dietary measures etc and conditioning. Mercer always gae him credit for that and JM could keep Alisons big hot head under control. Citys destiny during those Alison years under the control of Peter Swales chairmanship and thereafter has arguably been a calamitous one until Sheik Mansour took over. I for one am very pleased to see City doing well. Fantastic core support, very good humored and theyve had to be. Ive not seen many better cavalier style footballing teams than City between 69 and 71.They were a joy to watch but could always have catastrophe days too, though Evertons 69/70 team was fantastic too. That Everton team i feel wAs better disciplined than were City. A lot of my student mates back then were Evertonians and we used to go to Goodison too. Great days. Great football. Far better than this garbage thats passed of as football today. Good stuff Cyril. Nice chatting to you about this. - Post No. 79855

A Cornish Gooner  18:55pm 7th Sep 2015

Bard. I’m a bit surprised by this article. Like Ho Hum, when I first read the headline I thought it must have been written by one of the Wenger apologists, or ‘The True Believers’ as they are referred to on Le Grove. Or was it satire? Or somebody using your moniker? I agree with some of it, but the conclusions you draw seem to be at odds with what you posted only a few days ago: ‘Was this the transfer window when Arsenal's true ambition as a football club was laid bare for all to see. We have officially become the Marks and Spencers of football clubs. Happy to potter around the fringes of the top teams but more interested in the buck in the bank than the team on the park.The striker argument and the sum involved is completely fatuous. The club has a multi million pound worldwide scouting system that hasnt been able to find a decent striker since RVP left and who cant find one single player in world football who could improve the current team this window. If anyone on here truly believes that then they need their head examined. Amazing that euphoria and hope following the May fac has evaporated overnight. As Kev says , pressure on. Who will bet against the fact that if it goes tits up before Christmas we will suddenly, miraculously find that we have found a striker and can actually pay these inflated fees. - Post No. 79580’. I think you were suggesting a lack of willingness to spend, a lack of desire and/or competence. Today you’re suggesting it’s down to lack of funds only, making Wenger ‘impotent’. On your options for the way forward, I’m sure there are a lot of fans who don’t like either - Post No. 79856

Big Andy  18:59pm 7th Sep 2015

"Have Arsenal simply been priced out of the game?" No. We just have an owner, board and manager who all are simply interested in making as much money as possible. BTW: did you see the way in which Wenger eagerly leapt on the Martial signing at United? That signing surely proved that little Arsenal couldn't compete with the big boys, right? No. It just showed how desperate and badly managed the Red Devils are right now. Quality players can be snapped up at bargain prices - just ask Swansea. Even if you accept the specious argument that we couldn't sign a decent forward, why didn't we buy a DM? There are plenty of good, affordable ones out there? I'm just amazed that there are still so many stupid Gooners who can't see what a bunch of con artists the management have become. - Post No. 79857

Torbay gooner  19:01pm 7th Sep 2015

Thing is Bard, you cannot possibly leave Wenger out of this! We have spent big money on two marquee signings 2 out of the last three seasons and clearly the club had £50 million plus to do it again, but the manager choose not to. Having said that I'm glad he did not spend it all on Benzema, as don't think he's a good enough up grade on Giroud, however he could and should have bought a quality defensive midfielder and there was no excuse, financial or otherwise not to. It's true that this club(or any other English club) cannot match Man City's spending power,but as we know that does not guarantee them the title. The club lack the will to compete, not the financial muscle. - Post No. 79858

Jason B  19:07pm 7th Sep 2015

Bard,it just sums up the transfer market for Arsenal over the last few years.Last season we bought 6.But out of those 6 only Sanchez has been a success.Debuchy,Welbeck,injury prone,Ospina inconsistent,Chambers not up to standard.Gabriel will probably be a good one in time.There always seems to be an outcry for proven quality,but never available on the cheap so while I accept that we have money to spend to strengthen,is there much point in spending for the sake of it like Man United have done with the young French player? - Post No. 79859

mbg  19:34pm 7th Sep 2015

RedPig, good post, and your right it's certainly not the lack of resources (as some would have us believe) but the will to compete, and as well as that and even more importantly a proper coach and manager who wants to, and is up to the job, something we clearly haven't got. - Post No. 79860

Cornish Gooner  19:34pm 7th Sep 2015

Will the agony never end? Are we going to hold the dubious record of "employing" the oldest manager ever in the premier league? Fear not - Herr Klopp, the rock 'n roll manager we would love, has today stated that his next club may not be at the top level. Isn't that AFC? Bet there would be more exciting, turbulent times with him in charge because he would damn well give it a good go to get us there. Mind you the usual suspects in the AKB High Command would find a million and one reasons for poo-poohing him & sustaining the status quo. - Post No. 79861

danny  20:00pm 7th Sep 2015

I have said it a few times on this site,while the Mancs City and Chelsea spend silly money on average players then we don't stand a chance of signing the best there is as they will spend 100m to sign them. I do agree he should have gone in for others and not just Benzema if that was the case. - Post No. 79862

mbg  20:08pm 7th Sep 2015

John C, not the wengerites and AKB's they seem to have got their heads round it very well, they keep telling everybody else things have changed, to move with the times, and accept it, if only they could take their own advice and get their messiah to do the same - Post No. 79863

Ron  20:14pm 7th Sep 2015

Red Pig - Very true and absolutely correct save to those who utterly refuse to see.The trouble is his longevity. So many of the older fans feel sentimental towards Wenger and as such excuse his rapidly declined abilities. Other younger fans have known no different. Couple this with that infernal stadium that acts as the ready made scapegoat for everything and youve got the dry rot in the Club thats been hanging around like a bad stench for years. The whole set up is like a bad marriage that no longer works and the spouses just habitually stay together.The motivation to seek a resolution to the stagnancy has gone, but the thought of splitting and having to re build from scratch is too uncomfortable to contemplate for them. - Post No. 79864

Alsace  20:17pm 7th Sep 2015

Will people please stop wishing Usmanov on us. Have they no sense of self preservation? Stan may be boring and may not fancy or indeed recognise silverware, but we are at least relatively safe with him. if you told me that we had to endure another decade of ennui under OGL or have an Usmanov buyout, I would be round at the AKB tufty club clamouring for admission to their knuckle dragging classes and purchasing their "ten thousand more years of wenger" tee shirts. n - Post No. 79865

Carlos  20:18pm 7th Sep 2015

Are we really any good at spotting talent? Most seem to think that Coquelin needs some support as a defensive midfielder but we are told there is nothing out there. Yet two of the most coveted players in this position, one who is now at Inter and the other at Sevilla, both came to prominence in the French League of which the manager has supposed unrivalled knowledge. Both are £25m players now but 3/4 years ago they were moving for peanuts. Do we have a scouting department? The answer to your question is "no", we do have plenty of cash. But more importantly as far as I can see we seem to have lost the ability to scout and develop unheralded players into top top quality. - Post No. 79866

jjetplane  21:02pm 7th Sep 2015

Best you can do weStiE My - how the ex supporter falls! remember Palace took a Chelsea scalp which is something your master could never do in a game that matters .... Love the proper FA Cup - I know you don't. - Post No. 79868

Dartford gooner  21:54pm 7th Sep 2015

Alsace, you don't say why you don't want an Usmanov take over, Do you really think he could do any worse than what we have now, I and many others would like to see him on the board at the very least.The man who took over at the bridge turned out ok, ask any chelsea fan if they would like to go back to the ken bates days - Post No. 79869

Toe Knee Add Ums  0:55am 8th Sep 2015

I'd like to see some financial fair play on Wenger's salary tbh - Post No. 79870

Mark from Aylesbury  6:13am 8th Sep 2015

See there is quite a queue to have a pop. Just seen Lethal Bizzle say his days are numbered. It's definitely not Dench! Think I'll play fester skank in homage - Post No. 79871

Tony Evans  7:13am 8th Sep 2015

Arsenal have chosen to be priced out of the game, which many would say is admirable . The real frustration lies in the fact that we don't utilise fully the cash resources we do have and many suspect this is down to the manager rather than the board.H - Post No. 79872

Made Up Stat  7:28am 8th Sep 2015

Oh no, Lethal Bizzle will now be in the bad books of Jamerson/Clockender and Badarse. Wonder what he’s frightened of the most – being headhunted by a Chavski troll or being bored to death by reams of pseudo-boll***s? Perhaps Westlower can provide odds? - Post No. 79873

The Knowledge  8:21am 8th Sep 2015

Whilst the international break gives people time to vent their spleen I relax reassured that Arsenal will win the League this season. Best Squad by far with a fantastic manager at the helm. Full Stop. - Post No. 79874

Red Member  9:25am 8th Sep 2015

Alsace - I have no idea whether Usmanov would be the answer or not, but at least it would be trying something different and he does appear to have an interest in Arsenal as opposed to Kroenke purely here using Arsenal as an investment. Kroenke has also taken more money out of the club than he has put in. I can't see why Usmanov would be any worse? - Post No. 79875

Bard  9:58am 8th Sep 2015

To those dumping on the article. its an observation about the seismic shift in transfer fees this window. Its not about what we could have done. Is our transfer policy in need of change ? Yes. Could we have done a lot better over the last 10 years ? Yes. Should we have bought someone in the window ? Yes. But if the going rate is now £40-50m + another £40-50m in wages for unproven teenagers then we are out of the market full stop. I wrote in another piece that we should sell Wally and quoted £25m and got shouted down. That now looks like a serious undervaluation. Yes another creative manager might get us closer al la Simone but the game has changed significantly this window and Arsenal dont have the financial clout to compete in the market.This will also have a ripple effect on wages. Other players will be looking at Sterlings contract and think they deserve the same. - Post No. 79876

jjetplane  10:59am 8th Sep 2015

BaRd/WEstLoWEr just an observation & re ALSaCe he has a thing about the East so I am assuming he is a SK fundamentalist. Again - observation. re the transfer window we don't see it hampering the likes of Pardew, Monk, Koeman et al who know how to 'buy to fit' whereas Wenger just buys in a whimsical fashion and 42m on Ozil could have been spent better by a more energetic coach. Your conceit bARD in leaving Wenger out of the equation is flimsy and a seismic spin on the problems at Arsene Armadillos (sic). So Hook Norton hail from Cameron country. Long ball specialists no doubt. Love the FA Cup when it means more than 'collateral damage.' Good old East. - Post No. 79877

Charles  11:03am 8th Sep 2015

We're the 8th richest club in world football generating over £300million a year. There are plenty of great players we could buy if the man in charge showed some ambition instead of being afraid of success. - Post No. 79878

jjetplane  11:24am 8th Sep 2015

Benzema was never going to Arsenal (rubbish player anyway) and Giroud booed off the pitch at half time against Serbia and booed again when replaced by fat Benny. Add to the mix Giroud will not make Euro 2016 because Martial will be the top dog I can see why the AKBs are up in arms about 'all that money for a schoolkid' .... Good news is Arsenal are looking to buy a small midfielder (Real Betis) to complete the collection. And I was thinking seven dwarfs was the mythological maximum. I guess with Jack 'recuperating' (Arizona clinic?) a topping up never hurt. Good for the club selfies .... Mind you- forgot about Theo who is now scoring for fun against apparent opposition and believes he is the man to speak for England in the run up to the Euros. He just might end up at them with Olly. As a pundit team! - Post No. 79879

Red Member  11:46am 8th Sep 2015

Bard - on the going rate this summer I would value Walcott at about £60 million. Those 2 international goals v San Marino must have added about £10 million - Post No. 79880

Westlower  11:51am 8th Sep 2015

Did you hear about the OAP, dawdling home with behind his zimmer frame, when he was mugged by JT & Giroud. The police asked him for a description of the two men who attacked him. "I can't remember, it all happened so fast." - Post No. 79881

GTG  11:55am 8th Sep 2015

@RedPig. Your post is one of the most well written, bang on the money pieces ive seen written about the current situation and sums it all up for me perfectly. If we went another 10 years without winning the league then fans can deal with it when they see the club operating in a way which does the best it can. - Post No. 79882

Ron  12:28pm 8th Sep 2015

Red Member - even more reason to do the right thing and sell Bambi then! Whats Ozil worth now after his latest disappearing act in a German shirt last night? - Post No. 79883

mbg  12:35pm 8th Sep 2015

Toe Knee, now that is one area where you'll sure as hell not see any FFP, and certainly not any called for as far as arsene fc fans go anyway, even though their calling for it and wanting it against other clubs. - Post No. 79884

Westlower  13:16pm 8th Sep 2015

@Ron, Ozil is the heartbeat of the German team, nearly every move goes through him at some stage. Obviously Joachim Low appreciates his talents far more than you do. I suppose you were cheering on the pub team in blue? - Post No. 79885

jjetplane  13:36pm 8th Sep 2015

Ozil, like Giroud are indulged by their countries. They can afford to. Somebody help WeSTIE - his feathers are all over the site! He has now reched the point that he thinks the last decade was better than the Tony Adam's Years .... History will show that it was indeed Adams who took over from Rioch/GG and completed that chapter of which so many of us were glad to have seen. still trying to figure out what exactly was Wenger's football role. the accounts stuff we can all see now and that is what excites the AKb camp for reasons unfathomable. Cannot wait for Saturday - the best day for going' to a match after a good morning's work. - Post No. 79886

Ron  13:44pm 8th Sep 2015

Low rates Ozil enough to play him up front and not centre middle Westie. He funnelled up and down out left between the Scots pen box and a point a qtr way back upon the pitch. Gundagon Kroos and Scheinsteiger throttled Scotland last night. Ozil was on the periphery so much so that it was difficult to know he was on the pitch for long periods, the same as at the Arse. Of course i was backing the Scots. I thought they gave it a real gutsy go against overwhelming odds. Did you pick up on the physical strength of the German players Westie? Therein lies the difference between genuine quality players and the feather light touches Wenger employs. Its a good ploy to wtach one player some times in games. Had you have done so you wodt be proclaiming 'everything goes through Ozil' because it simply doesnt. His is to contribute when the play is at the edge of the box and to look to thread balls through. He didnt do that last night. He can be carried as a passenger surrounded by such players as the Germans have. He s not asked to take responsibility by Wenger. He is though at the Arse and consistently fails to take it. Needs to be sold along with Bambi and Wilshere, if we re not prepared to invest in the team in the normal way. - Post No. 79887

jjetplane  13:52pm 8th Sep 2015

Just read two reports on Germany's win and the media bias against all things Arsenal is indeed rampant. Apparently, some nobody called Muller appears to be the heartbeat of the German team and though many players were mentioned in the reports you would be forgiven if you thought Ozil was injured/on the bench. In a sense that is where he is at and you have to admire him for exploiting the desperate romanticism that still exists at the top level, though more for marketing potential than anything as base as kicking a ball. Muller has been doing that for Germany since he was eight and no - Ozil was not mentioned in any of the reports. Nice try wEsTIE but better research needed ..... - Post No. 79888

Mark from Aylesbury  18:43pm 8th Sep 2015

Just think what a certain German Manager with a German / South American spine, tough as nails with some glossy existing Arsenal adornments could achieve. Proper tactics wedded around pace and counter attacking play (giroud) would have to go in this set-up. Sounds like a winning formula. Why has no one thought of this before!?!?lol Oh sorry forget that there is no alternative. - Post No. 79889

Gooner4life  22:04pm 8th Sep 2015

Is this site strictly a forum between jjetplane and Ron? One who doesn't even support the team anymore, the other who thinks he knows everything about Arsenal and shoots down any contrary opinion to his....what a strange lot they are. Obviously got nothing better to do I guess. - Post No. 79890

Wengerballs  1:01am 9th Sep 2015

Just accept that the game is immoral financially and in any event grossly overrated as a spectacle. People are stupid sheep getting fleeced with shallow tribal mentalities getting excited and wasting their money over a game that is most often defensive, cynical, and tedious, with hardly any goals scored and often hardly any decent shots on goal. Yawn. Stop moaning and find another hobby, screw silly football trophies. Frankly I admire AFC for not wasting tens of millions like all the other ridiculous immoral clubs. Man U make me sick spending all that on a kid defender, they deserve total derision. - Post No. 79891

adam  3:16am 9th Sep 2015

What I hate, is the club routinely patting itself on the back for the 'great position' we are in. All they did was ask the fans to high ticket prices, and sell off a few prized assets each year. Not to mention, our commercial deals never seem to be pioneering or market leading. Other clubs would be in a position of financial strength if they jacked up the ticket prices, sold of its best players and replaced them on the cheap. So I dont know why the board and Wenger want this 'achievement' recognized at every given day. - Post No. 79892

Juggernaut  8:14am 9th Sep 2015

I appreciate your point Adam, but you say "our commercial deals never seem to be pioneering or market leading" - our current shirt sponsorship deal set a premiership record at the time (although it has since been overtaken by United and Chelsea's). - Post No. 79893

Arseneknewbest  8:25am 9th Sep 2015

Gooner4life - give it a rest mate. Jjet and Ron (amongst others) are oracles of truth compared to what you've written. If anyone is doing the AFC community a disservice, it's people like you who are content with perpetual mediocrity, mismanagement, and downright lies from the club. Why don't you go to the lane, bridge, orient (delete as appropriate, I don't care) where your instincts for ordinariness and quiet compliance will be more appreciated? - Post No. 79894

Seven Kings Gooner  8:53am 9th Sep 2015

Gooner4life: It's called debate and opinion and some us, more than you realize, want Arsenal to compete, not win everything but just to compete would be a start. If you want a sanitized view of Arsenal without criticism then I am certain there are places for you. Surely the whole reason for the Gooner is to get away from the official club line. I will confess though I agree with 99% of what Ron, Jettplane, mbg and many others post on this site, I want Arsenal to change it's playing style, back to one that befits our tradition and standing in football. In truth I want to see us win the CL before I "pop my clogs" and under the present mismanaged set up we have no chance. Is it such a bad thing for me to ambitious for the club I have supported for over 50 years? - Post No. 79895

The Knowledge  9:33am 9th Sep 2015

@Gooner4life. It is a blog for expressing opinion. But if you express anything positive about the club or Arsene Wenger then your opinion is less valid than those of any others apparently. - Post No. 79896

chris dee  10:43am 9th Sep 2015

A dose of reality from Martin Keown on the radio yesterday. When we went to Old Trafford in 2002 and clinched the title 1-0,both Henry and Bergkamp were injured,their replacements?Wiltord and Kanu! Yes,once upon a time, we had four top class strikers in the squad,but now? - Post No. 79897

Gaz  10:49am 9th Sep 2015

@Gooner4life You ever tried the 'Untold Arsenal' site? Go take a look fella... - Post No. 79898

jjetplane  11:19am 9th Sep 2015

Won't be long before they are doing Gooner4life packages for the far east and North America. perfect brand name which tells you everything about where Arsenal are now competing. the Chans and the Chucks will get ticket discounts when Theo and Theo and the boys roll in to NYC and Beijing for a kickaround. We are talking serious Selfies. Big time boss. CHrIS DEE did i not love Wiltord and Kanu - 2 amazing aways with Kanu at Middlesborough and Chelsea. 2 of the best proper Gooner days i ever had. Did Pires, Wiltord, Freddie know how to knit a goal with the 3 of them in the penalty box taking the piss. The fact that Wenger has not replicated this habit in the last decade let's you know who was running the show - the team. - Post No. 79899

Mike Walsh  12:34pm 9th Sep 2015

An interesting article but it fails to examine other approaches to running a successful club. Arsenal now have the financial structure which will allow them to compete with the Chelski and Abu Dhabis of this world by operating a world class academy and holding onto the players. We have recently introduced Bellerin and Coquelin almost by default, how much would we have to spend in the present crazy market to sign players of this quality. Spending money "hand over fist" does not guarantee success, ask our "neighbours" down the road. Bringing the Russian on board and paying Benzema £300k a week does not mean a title is nailed on, what would his arrival do to the changing room. Arsenal will win the Premier League again and I honestly feel it will be before Wenger leaves the club, Chelsea and Citeh are not unbeatable and we can still attract great players to our club. One last point, just what have the mega spenders added to their sides in terms of world class talent in the last transfer window? I watched a headless chicken Sterling running around in an England shirt last night and I for one would have The Ox in my team before him, De Bruyne or Santi? I hope that the Arsenal can prove me right and that the transformation of my club brought about in recent years will continue to move forward. - Post No. 79901

Peter Wain  13:16pm 9th Sep 2015

So Mike Walsh you are certain that we will win the title with Wenger in charge. You base your certainty on the world class academy we have. Well I for one cannot see this. Coquellin is a good player but PV4 he is not. For one thing he is not over 6ft and for another he is one good player. We need two defensive midfield players not one who is liable to be sent off. As for Bellerin yes he is a good right back but tell which right back last won his team the premiership. Goals win you matches and at the moment own goals are our top scorer which is why we should have bought a striker and DM in the last window. Wenger win the title? no chance not if he stays until he is 100. - Post No. 79902

Made Up Stat  13:21pm 9th Sep 2015

Mike Walsh: You 'hope' things will improve. Exactly what the rest of us have been doing for years now. Let me tell you what will 'transform': Arsenal will finish 2nd in their Champions League group (if we're lucky) and will go out of the competition in the first round of the knock out stage. We will finish 3rd in the league (again if we're lucky) and we will have a go at the lesser pots - IF the better teams get knocked out of the competition by other teams. - Post No. 79903

mbg  13:42pm 9th Sep 2015

Bard, going back to your head line, although real genuine fans have, i'd say Arsenal haven't been priced out of the game, it's our old fraud of a manager who has. - Post No. 79904

mbg  14:04pm 9th Sep 2015

Mike Walsh, you just keep on hoping, along with all the others, along has it been now? not long only ten years. You couldn't make it up. - Post No. 79905

Aaron  14:13pm 9th Sep 2015

£850m was spent by Premier League clubs this transfer window, Arsenal spent £10m of that. Did the Arsenal board miss the memo about the >£5bn new Premier League TV deal kicking in next year? Andre Gray went to Burnley in the Championship for £9m. No players available? At DCM Schneiderlein went for £28m, Kondogbia £25m, Vidal £26m, Krychowiak available for his £22m buy-out. All affordable, all passed on by Wenger. Douglas Costa went for £25m to Bayern - superb value. Mandzukic, whilst not world class, would surely have been an upgrade over Giroud/Walcott and went for a very reasonable £13.6m. Just because Man United are throwing around money and grossly overpaying, doesn’t mean you set your benchmark to them. We could have signed Cavani for £50m but passed because he has no re-sale value. We won’t sign young players like Sterling for £49m because they are “unproven” and over-priced. Our policy/mentality is coming top 4 and having a healthy bank balance, not challenging for the title. Chelsea identified early the two players they needed last summer (Fabregas/Costa) and closed the deals which were the driving factor to regaining the title. Man City have responded this summer and whilst not exclusive (Kompany/Toure returning to form is huge) the boost of their new signings and squad strength will go a long way to reclaiming the league. Does anyone within the club truly believe we can compete for the Premier League and/or Champions League? We have a huge cash balance, rich owner, loosening of FFP, a huge windfall from TV money impending and we spend £10 f’ing million. The 8th richest club in Europe and the only club in Europe’s top 5 leagues not to sign an outfield player - despite the obvious flaws in our playing squad. It is an outright dereliction of duty by those at the club responsible for transfers. - Post No. 79906

mbg  15:32pm 9th Sep 2015

Aaron, good post, although you should lay the blame firmly where it belongs. And your right we don't have to set our bench mark to man yoo and others and indeed none of us are/have been demanding we should, but that doesn't stop OGL's apologists for using them as exactly that. - Post No. 79908

Mark from Aylesbury  16:15pm 9th Sep 2015

Peter Wain - you have raised the terrifying prospect of Wenger reigning till he is a hundred. Like seven kings gooner I am starting to contemplate my death whilst Wenger is still in charge! Bloody hell what a horrible fate! - Post No. 79909

Ron  16:17pm 9th Sep 2015

Aaron - please be careful with the dollops of reality you've just handed down there on this site. Have a heart! There is a dwindling band of Wengerites who wont cope well at all with your hard truths. A few of them and certainly the obvious ones will be spluttering into their afternoon coffees as we speak when they read that. Top post. - Post No. 79910

mbg  16:40pm 9th Sep 2015

Mark from Aylesbury, the mere thought of it is nearly enough to make you want to end it all. We know his fans think he's a/the King and Royalty, so lets hope and pray he isn't after Her Majesty the Queens record, maybe he's after her job as there is a resemblance. - Post No. 79911

Mark from Aylesbury  18:19pm 9th Sep 2015

I vote for renaming AKB's as TINA'S (there is no alternative) borrowed fro Thatch but you get the idea. Let's buy a forward - there is no alternative Let's buy s defensive midfielder - there is no alternative Let's naively believe in FFP - there is no alternative Let's look at other management options - there is no alternative Let's hoard 200m - there is no alternative And so on it goes - Post No. 79912

Roy  18:26pm 9th Sep 2015

Yes, agreed Aaron, top post mate. Add to that list a certain busy bee of a player buzzing around for Switzerland last night who's ended up at Leicester. He'd have done a job too. - Post No. 79913

Carlos  21:02pm 9th Sep 2015

Mike Walsh. Very true what you say, especially regarding Benzema, who would have been a waste of time in my opinion, and an embarrassment if he replicated his driving antics in London. However, although there is the ability to attract talent to the club, do you think there is the will on the club's part to sign them? - Post No. 79914

Mathew  7:30am 10th Sep 2015

Thanks Aaron for the bitter truth, but who is listening to you ! I wish someone could make this heard to the Club on Saturday when we will be tired from our international duties (I just prepared Wenger's excuses in advance). Wake me up when we win 8-2 against ManU and 6-0 against Chelsea. - Post No. 79915

Westlower  8:05am 10th Sep 2015

Extracts from new book by John Cross -The Inside Story Of Arsenal Under Wenger. Arsenal's Invincibles were within days of financial meltdown caused by the club's move to the Emirates. Players faced not being paid out after their record breaking season in 2004.The club pulled off a property deal that allowed them to complete the move to the £390m stadium. One bank pulled the plug on a loan for the new stadium, building work was halted & the club missed out on a deal for the then-teenager Cristiano Ronaldo. Despite the financial restrictions, Wenger has steered the Gunners into the Champions League for 18 consecutive years. - Post No. 79916

Arseneknewbest  8:30am 10th Sep 2015

Westlower - sorry mate but you sound increasingly like an apologist toady. Either that, or you really are on the payroll/gravy train of spin. Do you want to offer even a mild criticism of the club for allowing the non-payment of players to arise in the first place, or do you think wenger, PHW and his cohort deserve full immunity? Someone with a modicum of objectivity would recognise that the club was seriously at fault, but you've tried to turn it into one of OGL's virtues. Pravda tovarisch! Time to come clean... - Post No. 79917

Nick  9:15am 10th Sep 2015

Oh dear, here we go again, back to the pre Ozil type buy once more, we havnt competed in the transfer market but NOT because we were priced out but because Wenger and the board want to shop in Harrods but are only prepared to pay pound shop prices and because Wenger is overestimating the quality of the players we have and gambling once again on keeping the core of the squad fit, willing to wait until January to take any cosmetic surgery that's needed to guarantee fourth place, while telling all that would listen that he is happy with what he has and that they are good enough to win the league. How many times have we been fed these same old LIES before ? His supporters ( as opposed to ARSENAL supporters) eagerly lap up the lies about financial inequality, or that there was simply NO one of sufficient quality out there at an affordable price to boost our squad , others have listed the many names who would indeed have improved our team and our title chances, so i shall list simply the factors preventing us from such improvement, no 1 WENGER no 2 Kronke , and the board plus Gazidis, who supply the spin to the aforementioneds deliberate bloody lies ! I hope with all my heart that I'm proven wrong and the Frenchman who flies in the face of acknowledged wisdom from all quarters proves right and brings home the title or CL, with our current squad, but i shall not be holding my breath , nor will i keep my own counsel when the foretold failure occurs !! - Post No. 79918

Fishpie  9:43am 10th Sep 2015

Bard, you paint a depressing scenario. I had grown increasingly critical of the club and the manager prior to 2013-14 because I didn't believe their FFP/self-sustainably plan would work but for a year or two it did. FFP was , to some extent at least, implemented, we increased our commercial income significantly (not as much as we might have but not bad) and we spent big on top top players, and two FA Cups followed. Good progress. Credit to everyone at the club for sticking to their plan and making it work. And then reality hits. FFP is relaxed and City immediately increase spending and we, whilst getting a top top keeper, decrease ours. Just when we might have been on the cusp of challenging again. Personally I believe, with the right manager using the right formation with the right players and the right match tactics, Arsenal will have enough money to have a squad capable of winning the League again despite City's mega millions. But we may have to give up on the Utopian football we've pursued under Mr Wenger. We may have to find a more pragmatic coach who believes in a more organised, collective and off the ball football philosophy rather than the individualistic, expressive, and on the ball football we currently play. - Post No. 79919

Westlower  9:55am 10th Sep 2015

@rseneknewbest, Calling me an apologist toady is bang out of order as the words are not mine but belong to John Cross of the Mirror. Obviously they are not words you are comfortable with as it undermines your anti Wenger agenda. Maybe you cannot grasp that AFC were struggling financially in the early days of the stadium move? - Post No. 79920

Exeter Gunner  10:40am 10th Sep 2015

Westlower - whether they were or not, they're not struggling now, are they? How does this justify the failure to strengthen the squad now? What a strange quote to bring into the current discussion. By the way, if you're not being paid, you're exactly the kind of poster AFC Corp love to see on social media. As an opportunist in the racing world, you should also look to see if you can make a few quid out of all this time and effort spent backing and excusing the status quo at AFC. - Post No. 79922

Ron  11:24am 10th Sep 2015

Cross is an unashamed apologist for Wenger Westie and always will be. The stuff hes on about is now 11 yrs old (if its true of course)and no longer relevant. The Club has been the 5th richest Club in the World for some yrs. It sounds like a book thats yet another homage to Wenger. Nobody doubts his earlier years success or the Clubs achievement under him pre 2004. The problem now is that the Club lives in a tiresome, self imposed vortex of sentiment and forlorn hope that it can resurrect those long gone days under him. Its not happening and it wont. - Post No. 79924

mbg  11:49am 10th Sep 2015

Mathew, not just wengers excuses. - Post No. 79926

Made Up Stat  12:04pm 10th Sep 2015

Westlower: Don't you think instead of praising handling the move to the Emirates, it should instead be a damning endictment of the decision to move in the first place considering the financial situation. Is your view that Dunkirk was a great victory and not an unmitigated disaster? - Post No. 79928

mbg  12:08pm 10th Sep 2015

John Cross king of the AKB's, wait for a month or so and we'll pick up his apologist clap trap book in a book store bargin bin for £1.99. - Post No. 79929

jjetplane  12:34pm 10th Sep 2015

As you are delivering the message that the messenger has written for your master you are indeed a meta-apologist. You could also be described as the Pony Express Messenger for Arsene Railroading Inc. Ponies you well aware of as we are having to put up with Olly and Per ..... Wenger is now the disrespectful by slagging off players at other clubs and in the case of Martial he must be still peed that such an 'unproven talent' could put him out of the CL. He has more in common with Mourinho than he realises. Give JM his due - he does praise good opposition (and respects them) unlike Wenger, who according to this article is off-topic. Anyone heard from Gooner4life? or have they sent the shipment to Asia. This Cross bloke - are we supposed to be impressed or something? Yawnnnnnnnnn ........ Newsflash Hook Norton are 6th tier which if we do them one would be akin to the Daggers tearing holes in the mighty Arsene project - could imagine that. Wenger 'I did not lie' ..... Danny Diaby anyone? - Post No. 79931

Westlower  12:42pm 10th Sep 2015

Message to John Cross. You've wasted your time writing a book updating the history of AFC. It's apparently full of half truths & fabricated lies? The misleading words of a Wenger apologist. Only Ron & his bunch of merry WOB's know the real story of AFC. We now have a new definition of arrogance- WOB style! - Post No. 79932

Exeter Gunner  13:01pm 10th Sep 2015

Weslower - that's a deliberate misinterpretation of what's been said following your pasting of Cross's quote. You know it is. And Cross's book is a simple 'updating of the history of AFC' is it? Who do you think you're kidding with these comments? Don't you ever tire of the constant disingenuousness and spin - a free service rendered for an ungrateful idol? Let's hear something relevant from you - how about a counter to Aaron's comment? - Post No. 79933

Ron  13:07pm 10th Sep 2015

Never been a 'history' book written by anybody yet Westie thats ever been a recount of absolute truths though a few authors will always claim that they've done it. I wdt expect anything other than that to be the case from Cross whos blind bias to the status quo at Arsenal makes yours seem rational. The book will be a pop history at best. Strange how the news of the Club being on its uppers 11 yrs ago has only just emerged? A bit convenient, though it might sell him a few extra copies i suppose. He s certainly hooked you unquestioningly hasnt he. Trust Cross to reveal it. His columns over many years have been nauseating in my view and the oddity is why hes never mentioned this before. You seem to think his unproven assertions now some how re inforces yr take on all things Wenger and Arsenal? I think you ll need to do far better to get that one home to be honest and so will Cross. Arrogance you say? I d say you display that in the way that you always refuse to look at things with a critical eye, yet seize on the slightest bit of dubious sketchy information (Cross) if you think it ll help you score a point or two. Youre not morphing into Badarse are you? - Post No. 79936

mbg  13:21pm 10th Sep 2015

Lets hope he gets the message, we've enough apologists already. - Post No. 79938

David  13:44pm 10th Sep 2015

I'm sure Ron and MBG have covered the ground already, but this is just making excuses for le boss. As all the speculation was over a new striker, it would appear that AW was blind to the need for DM and CD cover, which were just as important. - Post No. 79941

Chris  14:39pm 10th Sep 2015

Aaron - DM: With the Coq as first choice, none of those options would have been sensible back-ups (or indeed would ave been likely to have come as such). So the argument should be - was Wenger right to install Coq as first choice (and stick with Arteta / Flamini and back-ups)? I'd say the jury is very much out. Striker: Were Mandzukic & Cavani available to us? I'm not so sure. Is Manzukic a clear step up over Giroud? Again, debatable I'd say. - Post No. 79942

Arsenekenwbest  15:00pm 10th Sep 2015

Westlower - Your line these days seems akin to "never mind the quality, feel the width". Or, we're mediocre, but at least we're not as bad as the spuds. Why quote someone if you don't agree with what they say? Cross, like the so-called newspaper for which he writes, sounds about as worthwhile a read as badarse's favourite literary duo Mills and Boon. - Post No. 79943

Mark from Aylesbury  15:13pm 10th Sep 2015

So 11 years ago we were hard up so blinking what. That is a whole career for a footballer. Plenty of opportunities spurned. Cups lost due to project youth. Humiliations courtesy of le prof. You know what when I was a kid and would look through our records I remember seeing our record defeat by Leicester Fosse. Never in my wildest days did I think I'd see a worse hammering in my lifetime. I decided to have a pint for each goal and finished on a brandy whilst watching that disaster. Wife didn't think I was drunk. Reason is severe shock can have that effect. Total cobblers. - Post No. 79944

Seven Kings Gooner  15:59pm 10th Sep 2015

As hard up as we were, thankfully a few years later we had organized our finances sufficiently to be able to pay Nicholas Bendtner 50K per week - just think where would have been otherwise. - Post No. 79945

jjetplane  16:00pm 10th Sep 2015

Not content with denigrating players at other clubs (they come back to bite you) poor old Le Prof is having to defend himself from charges of misleading Arsenal and the public re the injury of Danny the Ineffective. That his absence will have absolutely zilch effect on Arsene's season is one thing, but to be in the public eye in such a Blairite fashion re 'why go into battle without the requisite soldiers' narrative is plain humiliation. It's today's biggest sports story and could be the start of a very long meltdown for a past it leader. It happens .... ps see Cross is already up on ebay ha ha! - Post No. 79946

Mark from Aylesbury  17:03pm 10th Sep 2015

jjetplane - beautiful isn't to see him squirm I think we have reached a point now where the mainstream media will start prodding more and less of the Patrick Barclay easy ride he normally gets. As most internet traffic and now mainstream tend to focus around why he isn't buying players, why don't you add steel, why do you expose yourself against pressing teams etc. it means the agenda is with us. It's been a long journey but I doubt now any pundit would denigrate, call someone mad for calling for his removal. - Post No. 79947

mbg  20:30pm 10th Sep 2015

jj, Mark from Aylesbury, yes squirming and defending himself, I didn't tell lies, he'll not have liked having to do that, the great arsene wenger I bet some of the spin department and PRO's have been sacked already. I believe we're witnessing the last season of wengers rein with some sort of a melt down, unfortunately it's the club who are going to suffer, as if they haven't suffered enough already. - Post No. 79952

Joe S.  21:28pm 10th Sep 2015

Don't let Wegner off the hook so easily Bard. as others have commented he didn't have to break the bank to stay in touch with the big clubs, however outside of him being party to Stan's moneyball nomics there also appears to be a loss of nerve and judgment. in terms of ripping off fans and tourists Arsenal are up there with the big guns, ha ha. For example my eldest has just returned from London, proud participant of a packaged summer tour of the Emirates where they visited the dressing room and sat in Wegner's seat doing a mock post game interview. At the end they were given a glossy booklet with the club's history superstars etc, This is the world that le boss is now a willing participant in, complete with super nova salary. Why should he participate in the dirty business of putting together a winning team? - Post No. 79953

Slinky  7:54am 12th Sep 2015

Absolutely right we are not playing with the big boys! And in many ways I don't blame Wenger et al I wouldn't run my business like Manu it is crazy only for mega monied corporations and oligarchs - Post No. 79988

Issue #269 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

16th February 2018

Frozen North Provides Relief For Arsenal

Rare comfortable away win for Gunners v Ostersunds