Today is Tuesday the 19th May and we've had more stories about our manager and players already than this time last year. We've got until September the 1st to enjoy rumour after rumour and gossip after gossip. So... let's get straight into the news.
Our chairman, Peter Hill Wood has been in the news today talking about last week's shareholders meeting, last Thursday the 14th of May, where of course, there were a lot of digs at Arsene. Well it's not the first time that there had been such a vocal response to such a meeting. For those of you who remember, back in 1996, when Bruce Rioch was removed and Arsene Wenger first joined, there were some serious words said... here's a blast from the past:
”The old boys in blazers and ties, die-hard Arsenal supporters who have been following the club for donkey’s years, were visibly wincing at what was going on. They had certainly never been to an Arsenal shareholders meeting like this one before. There was a lot of shouting and bawling. And you could see David Dein was close to losing his temper a few times. As for dear old Peter Hill Wood, you could tell he was thinking to himself he wouldn’t want to face many more meetings like this. There were security people by the stage where the board sat and people kept hissing and jeering at the replies Hill Wood and Dein gave to questions. That was because they stonewalled almost everything including a question about George Graham’s sacking last year over the bungs affair. Their excuse then was that it was sub judice but now they still won’t say anything about it. He just kept answering questions about changing the club’s deteriorating image by saying ‘We are trying our best… we are trying.”‘
Sounds a bit like last Thursday doesn’t it? Of course with a whole new agenda… I’ve had a few emails come in asking me to highlight what the main issues raised at the meeting were and here is a little summary – of course, the actual questions were raised in a slightly more critical way.
- Questions raised to why Flamini, Gilberto and Diarra were allowed to leave without any replacements.
- Questions were raised by the signing of Mikael Silvestre (one shareholder called him a geriatric)
- Questions were raised about the squad depth and not having enough cover for injured players
- Questions were raised as to why Vieira has still not been replaced
- Questions were raised about the real amount of money available and why there were misleading figures
- Applause was given at the suggestion that Emmanuel Adebayor should leave this season
Of course, that’s not it – there were more, but those were some of the ones which has little or no response, apart from Arsene “how can you say that” response.
Let’s hear what Peter Hiill Wood had to say today:
“Frankly, some of the questions were quite disgraceful. We, and he, kindly agreed to have this meeting and whether we have another one is a moot point.”
“There you have the most successful manager in our history and two or three of the shareholders made the most negative and somewhat hostile and sarcastic comments, which I think were completely out of order. I was very upset by the questions, I have to say. Arsene was very diplomatic and honest in his answers and deserves great credit for that but I wouldn’t have been anything like as polite if they had asked me.”
The chairman also spoke about Arsene’s future, despite the recent disputes, and was confident that the French supremo wouldn’t be leaving this summer.
“Arsene is here and under contract and I am sure that is how it is going to remain. I think he is a big enough man to accept that a few people are not prepared to be reasonable. I think we all have to accept criticism but you expect it to be reasonably constructive, rather than destructive.”
Almunia has been in the press today and he’s also dismissed the current transfer speculation. He’s also praised Arsene Wenger for the style of play and capture of the Spanish player all those years ago. Meanwhile back in the World of Arsenal, Armand Traore scored his first premiership goal yesterday as Portsmouth beat Sunderland 3-1. Wohoo!
I’ll be back later with more as usual, but for the meantime… Adios mes amigos…]]>