The Run In…

Firstly, another massive high five for Debs who posted an excellent summary of the game yesterday! A game in which our win was so important and United’s loss after Chelsea’s loss last week, suddenly give us new impoteous that we can close in on the top two and I don’t think we should for a minute think we’re out of the title race!

Let’s take a look at the next 11 games for the top three and see where we think the title will end up.

Arsenal Chelsea Man United
55 points 61 points 57 points
Stoke (away) Manchester City (home) West Ham (home)
Burnley (home) West Ham (home) Wolves (away)
Hull (away) Blackburn (home) Fulham (home)
West Ham (home) Portsmouth (away) Liverpool (home)
Birmingham (away) Aston Villa (home) Bolton (away)
Wolves (home) Man United (away) Chelsea (home)
Sp*rs (away) Blackburn (home) Blackburn (away)
Wigan (away) Sp*rs (away) Man City (away)
Man City (home) Stoke (home) Sp*rs (home)
Blackburn (away) Liverpool (away) Sunderland (away)
Fulham (home) Wigan (home) Stoke (home)
Total: Total: Total:

I haven’t filled in the totals… yet but when you look at that list, it’s true to say we definitely have the easiest run in. But we do need to catch Chelsea by 6 points and the question will lie in whether we can see them dropping six points / goal difference more than we do. We won’t win all of our games, but we can drop less than the rest. Do you think Chelsea or United will win all their remaining games? Chelsea loss to Wigan and United’s loss to Burnley are proof of the pudding that it may not be against the likes of Sp*rs and City that the top two drop points. I didn’t think Everton would beat United, but they just did that.

Looking at the table above, I think we can win all of the games, but think we may just get a draw or two in the process. I don’t think we can afford a loss anywhere in the run in. Chelsea will most likely bulldose through, but against City, United and Liverpool they could easily drop points. I wouldn’t rule out Villa get a draw at the Bridge or Sp*rs doing them over at WHL… looking at United’s fixtures and the fact that they look the team with the most problems, home games against Liverpool, Chelsea and Sp*rs now look very tough for them as well as the away games at City and Sunderland.

As the comments suggested, it’s not over yet… let’s take a read of what Dampatti had to say on the matter:

An objective look at the remaining premiership fixtures shows that Arsenal have a favourable fixture list and with only 2 really tough games left, they are very much in the title race. What happened to United on saturday was exactly what i (and a lot of Arsenal fans) had predicted a while back, the top 2 are DEFINITELY going to drop points because their hardest matches are their last matches. Chelsea still have to travel to Man Utd, Liverpool and have Man City and Spurs at home. Man Utd still have to go to Man City and still have Spurs and Liverpool at home (some might say that those two have poor records in Old trafford but then again, Villa did and United only managed to get a single point from them this season). If the season continues to play out according to the laid down script (i.e Arsenal smashing the teams below them, Man Utd and Chelsea dropping points in midly tough fixtures) Arsenal have a fantastic chance of taking the title this season.

Theo believes too…

“People tend to write us off. We stay in the background and do our own thing. We’re just six points behind Chelsea. It’s looking good. It was frustrating in the early stages of the season with results not going our way, but it’s coming together now.”

So, do you still believe? We don’t have a fixture until the weekend, so we should be rested up in time for the Stoke game… isn’t it time we put one over them at their stadium… Bendtner and Eboue to start I’d say (more on that later – a proper preview on Thurs / Fri)….

Okie dokie, that’s a wrap, until next time my friends…

  • Nick

    I think we’ve got a great chance to take the league.

    IMO, the toughest games for Arsenal will be Away @ Hull, Away @ Sp*rs, & the two home games against Man City & Fulham.

    Chelsea have very tough home games with Man City & Aston Villa and tough away games @ Liverpool, Man U. & Sp*rs. I can easily see Man U, Villa and Sp*rs winning those game or at least a tie.

    Man U. have Fulham & Sp*rs @ home and both will be tough. They’ll most likely tie Chelsea 1-1 @ Stamford Bridge. Their toughest test will likely be the Manchester Derby away @ City.

    Basically I’d like to see Arsenal win out and Man U & Chelsea each lose 2 games then tie the rest, lol.

    Any way you look at it our schedule is the most favorable of the 3 clubs. We can do it!!!!!!!!

  • Al

    We may win 9 and draw 2 that leaves us needing chelsea to drop 10 points. Its possible but will we c them lose another 3 n draw somewhere. Its still very tough for us but if we keep winning thats all we can do.

  • devday

    Definitely guys, there is no reason why we can’t win them all…

  • goonerman

    @nick- surely after man city and spurs the toughest game by far is stoke away on saturday! i like to be confident that the team will wwin but the one team i hate playing is stoke especially at home they love to play us and we hate to play them lol SIMPLE.
    looks like diaby and arshavin may be fit for saturday so thats a boost! if we can play bendtner campbell diaby and song it gives us a much bigger physical and height presence!

    and i was just watching the sunderland game again and when you watch ramsey he may not have done anything spectacular but every time he had the ball he kept it well and he always found a pass i think in 90 minutes he probably lost the ball a couple times, he doesnt look like a young player anymore and i would easily have faith in him in a big game!

  • Mehedi

    good news guys

    we offered Afobe more than barca

    so he will be our player next season

    can’t wait to see him

    heard he is great

  • Sam

    @ Devday – I had a post yesterday nearly identical to your post of today! My post didn’t show up though, and your has.

  • dampatti

    I’ve seen and heard rumours that Gael Clichy could be on his last legs at Arsenal.

    Now whether you believe that Arsene Wenger is ready to cash in on our number one left-back or not, I think that many Gooners are split on what Wenger should do.

    The fee that I’ve seen bandied about is £16m. Now don’t get me wrong, that is a lot of money, especially for a full-back but would that tempt you to let Clichy go?

    About 18 months ago I would have said jog on. These days I have to admit that I would be tempted, especially when you know that Kieron Gibbs seems pretty capable of filling Gael’s boots.

    Clichy seems to have had a rough time in the last 18 months. He has been injured a lot and that has affected his form. He almost seems to have at least one clanger a game and the days of saying that he is better than Ashley Cole appear long gone.

    To even compare him to Ashley Cole is a tribute to Gael Clichy. Without doubt (I have/hate to say it) Cole is the best left-back in the world. I still feel to this day he could have gone on to become an Arsenal legend and would probably even be our captain. As we all know he fucked that up.

    I, and many others, said that Clichy made it an easy decision for Wenger to let Cole go. Gael was that good. Having said that, it appears that Gael has gone backwards over the last 12-18 months. I think it was the mistake against Tottenham in the 4-4 draw that begun his ‘apparent’ decline.

    There is a saying; ‘Form is temporary, class is permanent’ and I would hope that this applied to Gael Clichy. We didn’t say that Clichy was better than Cole for nothing.

    Despite being tempted I wouldn’t sell Clichy. Not even for £16m. Somewhere inside Gael Clichy is still that player who I believed would overtake Cole and become the best left-back in the world.

    It could be a matter of belief. If Clichy regained that belief in himself I’m sure that he could become the player we wanted him to be.

    I would hate to see Gael at another club. We talk a lot about loyalty to a club in football and when I see Clichy I see a player who loves Arsenal and is extremely loyal to us. Look at his interviews, he always conducts himself well.

    In Kieron Gibbs we have a player for the future, Clichy is a player for now. I have no doubt that one day Gibbs will be Arsenal and England’s number one left-back but I’d still give Clichy a chance to fulfill that promise he showed and get back on track.

  • dada

    So with 11 games left the maximum points for the top three is 33. The table for the top three post Saturday’s fixtures is;

    * Chelsea 61points;
    * Manchester United 57points;
    * Arsenal 55 points.

    And the remaining fixtures are as follows;

    Manchester United Chelsea Arsenal
    1.Everton A 1.Wolverhampton A 1. Sunderland H
    2. West Ham H 2. Manchester City H 2. Stoke A
    3.Wolverham A 3. Portsmouth A 3. Burnley H
    4.Fulham H 4. West Ham H 4. Hull A
    5. Liverpool H 5. Blackburn A 5. West Ham H
    6. Bolton A 6. Aston Villa H 6. Birmingham A
    7.Chels H 7. Man U A 7. Wolverhampton H
    8. Blackburn A 8. Bolton H 8. Tottenham A
    9. Man City A 9. Tottenham A 9.Wigan A
    10. Totts H 10. Stoke H 10. Manchester City H
    11. Sunderland A 11. Liverpool A 11. Blackburn A
    12. Stoke H 12. Wigan H 12. Fulham H

    I suspect the War-Room at the clubs will certainly look like the above. Each management team trying to figure out where can they win, draw, and lose.

    But, what is now becoming obvious is Arsenal have a distinct advantage in the remaining fixtures!

    Here are my predictions week to week. First, the Fixtures. Second, team result. Third the points. (Italics is difficult fixture.)

    Week Results;

    Manchester United 57 Chelsea 58 Arsenal 52
    1.Everton A (L) 57 1.Wolverhampton A (W) 61 1. Sunderland H (W) 55
    2. West Ham H (W) 60 2. Manchester City H (D) 62 2. Stoke A (W) 58
    3.Wolverhampton A (W) 63 3. Portsmouth A (W) 65 3. Burnley H (W) 61
    4.Fulham H (W) 66 4. West Ham H (W) 68 4. Hull A (W) 64
    5. Liverpool H (D) 67 5. Blackburn A (W) 71 5. West Ham H (W) 67
    6. Bolton A (W) 70 6. Aston Villa H (D) 72 6. Birmingham A (W) 70
    7.Chelsea H (W) 73 7. Man U A (L) 72 7. Wolverhampton H (W) 73
    8. Blackburn A (W) 76 8. Bolton H (W) 75 8. Tottenham A (D) 74
    9. Man City A (L) 76 9. Tottenham A (W) 78 9.Wigan A (W) 77
    10. Totts H (W) 79 10. Stoke H (W) 81 10. Manchester City H (W) 80
    11. Sunderland A (D) 80 11. Liverpool A (L) 81 11. Blackburn A (W) 83
    12. Stoke H (W) 83 12. Wigan H (W) 84 12. Fulham H (W) 86

    This year has shaped up to be a contentious one and here is how I see it moving forward.

    Manchester United have 6 fixtures in which at the very least they have extreme difficulty with opponents. Chelsea have five fixtures with the same level of difficulty. Arsenal have three maybe four at best.

    I see Arsenal winning the title by the slimmest of margins and on the last day. So that said, it seem that the Doom and Gllomers will have lost their voices and Arsene will have been completely correct in regards to many things including this team.

  • Yemi

    @dada: you have very optimistic predictions here. I am keeping a copy to update as the weeks go by.

  • grahm

    Glad Theo was not called up by the under 21 coach and I hope for now he stays out of the senior team too. I know he has potential but he is yet to develop it and should be given time to do this and eventually make the team. To do this, Theo just has to spend extra time every day learning how to go past players and add something special to his pace, may be learn to take a free kick. But whether he can forget his girl friend for now and really work hard and improve is something I do not know but there lies a bundle of crude potential on the verge of self destruct. Theo, you have so much to gain but then a whole lot to lose should you fail to work hard. Cheers

  • Richard

    Let me start by saying that I have supported The Arsenal since 1970 and have experienced many highs and lows during the ensuing 40 years. At the moment, I think it is fair to say, that a low has set in. Now as low periods go it is not too bad, we are not talking about the likes of Walford and Ceasar at the back, or a strikeforce of Hawley and Hankin (in fact at the moment it would appear that a proper striker is superfluous – but that is beside the point). Arsenal are not flirting with relegation as they were in the mid seventies, it is not 18 f-ing years, to quote Colin Firth’s character in Fever Pitch, since the last title win, and we have a manager that has previously given us arguably the greatest Arsenal sides ever. On the flip side however, we also now do not possess players of the calibre of Seaman, Adams, Vieira, Pires, Bergkamp and Henry to name just a few. Arsenal now exist in a kind of Limbo Land where serious (or any) silverware is very unlikely but spectacular failure is just as unlikely too.

    How long is this status quo going to last? Unfortunately, my guess is a long time if the team continues in the same manner. As long as a Champions League berth is secured and a half decent run in Europe in achieved I think we will be served up more of the same. Perhaps I have become greedy and some of you fellow Gooners will say that it is a great deal better than supporters of the likes of Spurs, Everton, City and Villa have endured for many years now. Of course that is true, but having seen Arsenal taken to the top of the tree by Wenger, and experienced being the best, with real expectation of winning the top trophies, it is now very difficult to adjust back to the current lack of ambition at Arsenal.

    A great puzzle to me is that it is the same manager at the helm that experienced great success. How has Wenger gone from producing the ‘Invincibles’ to morph into the current version of himself, tolerating so many performances, particularly against Chavski and Manure, that have plumbed the depths.

    Of course my ardent wish to see Arsenal back at the very top is not helped by the financial prudence the club is adhering to. If I was a businessman or a shareholder I would applaud the efforts to run the club on a sound financial footing, and would not like what is happening to football in general with many clubs in financial peril. But as a supporter can I really not look with envy at Citeh, Manure and Chavski and wish Arsenal would join them and compete for the top players in the game? Unless and until legislation is put in place to force clubs to operate within their turnover, which may never happen, Arsenal will face an uphill battle to even stay where they are. David Dein alluded to this not so long ago, before he was forced out.

    The thought of continuing to bump along in third or fourth spot with no genuine hope of winning the Premiership is very depressing. Equally depressing is the fruitless pursuit of Champions League glory and the throwing away of the FA Cup. The current team might just win the FA Cup one year (providing someone does us a favour and eliminates Manure and the Chavs) but the Champions League? I just don’t think so.

    The time has come for this team to either prove the doubters wrong and make the step up required to become winners, or fail badly and force the issue in this way. Of course I have no real wish to see Arsenal fail to qualify for the Champions League, as this may be a prelude to a disastrous freefall, but what else is going to shake the board and manager out of their apparent indifference to Arsenal languishing in Limbo Land?

  • kodjo

    Yes i agree with Graham …the problem with Theo i believe is football sense. You either have it or you dont no coach can teach you.

    Folks have claimed that injuries have played a part in his poor form but when you look at his decision making and the way he works the ball i have doubts.

    With the final ball you pick your spot and shoot. Placement of the ball depends on the goal keeper’s position and the decisions of the winger in a split nano second. Yet the best footbal brians seem to have all the time in the world and always no what to do in any given scenario. Check out Fabregas, Ramsey, Nasri not the quickest players but they do always know what to do or how to work the ball.

    Secondly, with regards to crossing the ball he has options of either pulling the ball back for the late arriving midfielder, or to the near post or to the far post. Admittedly the position of team mates is a factor, but then Theo never seems to use any of the options mentioned. I will cut him some slack in that in the last game his team mates couldnt keep up with 2 of his runs.

    Has Theo got potential? Undoubtedly, but it is what he makes of it. I have lingering doubts of Theo’s “street smartness” on the pitch. We all want to see an end product to his fine runs….until then the doubts will remain that he is probably a sprinter posing as a footballer.

    Prove me wrong Theo

  • dada

    I love the Arsenal. No, I mean it, I really love the Arsenal. There are things I love more; my family, my home, and my dearly departed brindle lurcher to name a few. But apart from these, the Arsenal is my all consuming passion.

    All of my work buddies and friends support different teams, and of all my family only my eldest son and father-in-law are fellow gooners. My missus worships the ground that Torres walks on, and her brother is a spud.

    This past year I have had supporters of United, City, Villa, West Ham, the spuds, Liverpool and Pompey join me to watch games either in HD or via the internet. There is always plenty of banter and mirth making, but we are all bound together by our love for our respective teams.

    Not many of us actually get to see our teams play in the flesh, and indeed if I get to come over twice a year to see us play, then that’s a good year. But we are all dedicated footie supporters.

    I have often heard cries of anguish when their teams lose but not once have I heard any of them complain about off field issues. My wife never complains about Rafa or Hicks or Gillette or the Europa cup. My buddy Shocky doesn’t care that United are wallowing in debt. John, my brother-in-law doesn’t give a hoot that the spuds never amount to anything. And Arlo and Stan (Villa & WHU) are eternal optimists. I could go on but it’s the same story for all concerned.

    I am not saying that all fans of other teams love every aspect of how their team is run, let’s face it United and Liverpool fans have plenty to complain about. However Ferguson, Benitez, and Zola are not the targets. Sure the press may occasionally have a half hearted pop at them but it isn’t sustained and the next issue will generally have a different target or theme.

    So what’s up with Arsenal and Arsene? Why have the the press and the anti-Arsenal painted a great big bulls-eye on them?

    It can’t be silverware, because in the last 10 years only three EPL clubs have more than us.

    It can’t be league position because in the last 10 years we have never finished lower than fourth. We have been in the Top flight longer than any other English team, indeed it’s almost a century since we were promoted from the second division and we haven’t looked back.

    It can’t be lack of European football because for the last 10 years we have had it every year.

    It can’t be our financial situation, because ours is currently the best in the EPL. I know Chelsea and City have sugar daddies but they still can’t manage to post a profit in their respective end of year accounts, and we all know about the situation at OT and Anfield.

    It can’t be our lack of youth training and recruitment, because ours is the best in the EPL if not the world. For instance, the whole of the Ivory Coast national team were recruited and trained by one of our worldwide soccer schools. Our youth and reserves teams are playing exceptionally well and have been for a few years now.

    In fact we are doing so well on this front that it makes it almost impossible for Arsene to find better players in the transfer windows. Last year we signed two first team players, Arshavin and Vermaelen. Both of these deals went to the wire because Arsene will not pay over the odds for anyone.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    Anyone going to be watching Chamakh play tonight in the CL? I will be out so can’t watch it and would be interested to know if he is any good!!…has he actually signed any where yet?

  • Nick

    The last I read he was signed to a pre-contract with Arsenal and would be arriving in the summer.

  • JDD

    if we get the first goal then i itl be a routine win against bottom half opposition.

  • goonerman

    its looking more and more likely that pompy could go bust at the end of the week does anyone know what the table will look like if they went and we lost our 6 points! im just not sure what happens with chelsea as they havent played them twice yet and all that stuff anyone fancy doing some mathmatical stuff haha??

  • JDD

    the fa will not let them liquidize they will just go into administration=every keeps the points.

  • goonerman

    yer yer sorry for that i just saw on sky sports they have suspended the winding up order so i suppose it allows them to finish the season whatever happens!!

  • dada

    So Sol Campbell is a ‘cunt’ for trying to get back the £1.7m he is owed by Pompey in wages.

    Those are the words of a mate of mine who happens to be a Tottenham Hotspur supporter.

    “He is already loaded the greedy cunt” were the exact charming words.

    I agree that Sol Campbell is already loaded. He probably could survive without the £1.7m but that’s not the point. Why shouldn’t he get the money he is owed?

    Is it Sol’s fault that he hasn’t been paid?

    Put yourself in Campbell’s shoes, would you do the same? I probably would. Not because I’m a greedy cunt but because that is what I am owed.

    It is not Campbell’s fault that Portsmouth Football Club are in danger of going bust (I must add, I hope they don’t because I like Pompey) but it is the fault of the management.

    The likes of Peter Storrie AND Harry Redknapp have fucked Pompey over. They created the mess at Portsmouth.

    Pompey “lived the dream” in recent times. Winning the FA Cup and having ‘fantastic assets on the pitch’. Good time for the Portsmouth faith full.

    Despite the good times we were on the verge of a credit-crunch. Did that stop Harry Redknapp spending over £60m on wages and transfers from the summer of 2007 until his departure?

    Of course it didn’t because good old Harry only cared about himself. He proved that by fucking off to Tottenham when the going got tough.

    Yes, Portsmouth received £5m compensation for his services but it was too late by then. Redknapp knew he had created a monster and jogged on out of Fratton Park quicker than he could fart.

    He spoke of Portsmouth as his ‘spiritual home’ so why did he leave them not once but twice? Not only that he also took charge of their most fierce rivals.

    Top Geezer that cheeky chappy Redknapp.

    When I hear what a great man Harry Redknapp is it frustrates me. He isn’t. He is disloyal and only cares about himself.

    I have no doubt that if a club bigger than Tottenham came in for him he would go. When at Portsmouth, he had an interview with Newcastle United. People say he was loyal to Pompey then. He wasn’t. Newcastle wanted Kevin Keegan more. That’s why he stayed.

    I think Arsene Wenger gets a raw deal from the media compared to Redknapp. Maybe it is xenophobia. As far as I’m aware Wenger never hides and I’m pretty sure that he never fucked over an entire club. Twice.

  • Jeffo

    @ dada, quite possibly the funniest start to a post on this site for a long time.

    And i completetly agree with all you’ve said.

    Harry’s charming cockney geezer persona has gone on to long, if he wasn’t english the media would have slaughtered him long ago.

    And as far as his dodgy dealings/tax issues, my feelings on this is thier’s no smoke without fire.

  • goonerman

    so stoke give man city a 3-1 battering in extra time! on one hand im glad becuase i just hate man city and they were pretty much hoping to win the fa cup this season and on the other hand it gives stoke added confidence which means we are in for an even tougher time on saturday! also another bonus although i dont know how much it will help us is that they had to play extra time and they must be tired after that game! i suppose we will see what the gooners are made of come saturday night!!

  • manoo

    looks like cech has got a long term injury for chelski, that could be quite helpful.

  • Yemi

    Stoke dumped city, they played extra time, They play us on saturday, we should be able to nick that one since we played last at the weekend. But stoke is never gonna be easy. I am following dada on this, we should be ablt to take a win at the brittania. Man u saw west ham off.
    On another note, chelsea lost by the same margin as us away in the champs but got an important away goal. Can they beat mourinho at the bridge? the special one is a master of keeping the back door shut after scoring a lone goal

  • dada

    18 English clubs owe 56% of the debt of the 732 European clubs licensed by UEFA

    Manchester U and Liverpool liable to be excluded from Europe under new regulations

    There is a secret UEFA report called “The European Club Footballing Landscape,” which reviews the finances of football. The latest available edition is that which trawls through 2007/8.

    It looks at the 732 clubs licensed by UEFA to play in its international competitions.

    Why it is secret, no one is saying. After all what could be more important in football today than to reveal the extent of the financial crisis which threatens the very existence of the game in its current form? But that’s UEFA for you – keep it under your hat as long as possible – especially when it turns out that your richest league has 56% of all the debt in European football.

    Anyway, the secrecy failed because the Guardian has got a copy. They say that the report shows the combined debts of 18 EPL clubs at around €4bn. They exclude Portsmouth and West Porno (or West Iceland as they were then) because they were not licenced, because they were both on other planets at the time.

    So the EPL debt is four times the debt of La Liga, the second most indebted league, and La Liga is considered by some to be a basket case in its own right, with Real Mad spending money in a way that is unrelated to any known system of economics, and paying for Da do Ron Ron on the basis of shirt sales.

    Simultaneously the EPL made loads more money from TV etc than anyone else. The average club took away €122m in rights and royalty fees compared with €79m in Germany.

    Anyway UEFA are now going to publish this report in full, and come out with a new set of Financial Fair Play rules, which it says are agreed in principle by the big clubs and their leagues.

    These require clubs to break even financially from 2012-13. There are suggestions that the loophole of putting money into shares so it doesn’t show as debt is being closed in the new regs.

    What’s more the report specifically (and yes it is specific on this) identifies Manchester IOU and Liverpool Insolvency as catastrophic in its own right, and there is implied criticism of the way the EPL and the FA have simply closed their eyes and said and done nothing about the disaster.

    According to the Guardian the report says, “Just over half of [the Premier League's] commercial debt has been placed into the [relevant] clubs [or at a holding company level] recently as a result of leveraged buyouts, so far acting principally as a burden rather than to support investment or spending”.

    Amazingly (and this is really taking us into fairy land), the EPL has responded to the news of the report by defending the EPL club debt saying that as they earn more they can borrow more. In other words the EPL is resisting the reforms (tiny though they are) at UEFA.

    According to the report 47% of the licensed clubs made a loss in 2008. Now let us compare that with the EPL, where as far as I can see only about 15% made a profit, and some of that is dubious as the accounts are hidden in the Virgin Islands.

    So the EPL and FA have now cobbled together a new plan, which is to accept UEFAs new rules but to seek an amendment so that “benefactors” can put in money without being accounted for in the new rules. This would allow not only the KGB in Fulham and Manchester Arab to continue as before, but also to allow Aston Hold Your Head Villa, Bolton, Everton and others to continue using their system in which the owner lends more and more money to the club each year.

    This is not to suggest that the head holders, for example, spend all the owner’s money on wages – they have built new training facilities and new facilities for supporters – which is what UEFA wants. But as the UEFA model stands that would make no difference unless there were to be a fixed repayment plan (as in a conventional mortgage), and I am not sure that is in place.

    AV could find a way out of this if they could fill their ground for each game and get into Europe, without spending any more money (and then avoiding the idea of deliberately getting kicked out of Europe by fielding a weakened team), especially if they schedule the debt repayment over a very long period of time, but that depends on getting an amendment to the rules – which UEFA seem unwilling to give, not least because of the intransigence of the EPL and FA overall.

    Arsenal will continue to be safe because the debt on the stadium is being paid off on monthly repayments of the mortgage, and the club is far more profitable as a result of the development of the ground than it was at Highbury. Tottenham will be safe because their accounts are in part hidden off-shore.

    Quite what Manchester U and Liverpool can do is unclear. Chelsea and Man City can hope for a rule fudge to allow them to hide the money from the owner, but the condition of Man U and Liverpool is so awful, and they are so flagrantly bust, there is, under the present rules, no way in which they can get a licence to compete in Europe.

  • dada

    If I’m a Chelsea fan, first I’d kill myself, but then I’d be shitting my pants right about now. How, exactly, are they going to break even much less turn a profit when they have the second highest payroll, no academy, no prospects coming up, and are bankrolled entirely by a Russian Oligarch? And Liverpool? And Man U?

    Hmmm… looks like Arsene Wenger’s fiscally prudent approach to football is going to pay dividends sooner that I thought.

    Oh and one more thing, you should fully expect Arsenal’s name to be lumped in with the other financial dopers in all the papers. Despite the fact that Arsenal are one of only a few clubs who are managing their debt, used the debt for improvements rather than leveraged buyouts, and are turning a profit every year.

  • Richard

    dada – Nice posts on Harry. I think Arry’s just a long line of Spud Schysters that have been involved in the club, barrow boys that belong on a market stall not a dugout. Ol’ Twitchy is still considered a top manager despite being one for 3 decades and having won practically FA (see what I did there). Then there’s the other great – Terry Vegetables, another schyster who’s credentials are shambolic but somehow construed as legendary.

    Wenger won more in his first full season at Arsenal and these planks have done in their entire career in the English game.

  • Richard

    on top of it I still cannot believe the media havent noticed that every club Harry has managed have gone to shit.. If thats not proof of the sort of guy he is, I dont know what is.

    It would be a shame if it happened to the spuds thou..;-)

    Wenger (for all his faults) has turned Arsenal from a middle-of-the-road-with-rich-history-and-occasionally-sucessfull club into the No.1 rival to Man U’s domination, won 3 PL titles, Runners up more times than Chelsea managed even after spending billions, 4 FA Cups, EUFA Cup League Cup & Champions League finalists, now a club that has a stadium and crowds that rival MU’s and the world’s biggest and best, trainig and academy facilities that are the envy of world football, and a club that is much, much bigger, both in terms of International Recognition, pride and respect. Arsenal, now a club top talent wants to come to, a club that is always considered a challenger to glory, one of the top 10 clubs in the world, both in terms of footballing and financial status, now a global organisation worth around £1 Billion (or thereabouts) – that my friends is the achievments of one Mr Arsene Wenger. True he didn’t do it alone, but it’s doubtful whether it would have happened so easily without him. So salutes to Mr Wenger, Mr Car-crash manager of tiny club Spuds, you are just not worthy of even being mentioned alongside the great man.

    Peter Storrie still colects his million pound salary doesn’t he? so why should Sol give up what he’s owed? who cares whether he’s rich, go and ask Simon Cowell whther he will just give you 1.7 Million because you need it and he is rich so he doesn’t, he’ll tell you to politely F*** Off.

    Redknapp has managed:-

    Bournemouth-put into administration following his departure
    West Ham-saved from bankrupsy by Sullivan And Gold
    Southampton-Administration
    Portsmouth-approaching Administration
    He might not have been directly responsible for later financial difficulties but he certainly seems to have helped these clubs live beyond their means in the first place.He’s now spent a lot of money at Spurs in an attempt to get into the “Top Four” and is soon to be seen in Court answering charges of Defrauding the Tax Authorities-??????

  • Richard

    the thing that makes me laugh about the “arsene out” brigade is that they can’t see what wenger is doing right now. it’s pretty clear to me.

    has anyone ever noticed how arsene always goes on about ‘the long term stability of the club.”, or am i the only one?

    let me explain what i think his plan is:

    keep the team competitive (i.e top 4) with the occasional flirt with a real championship run (like the season that was ended at st.andrews. maybe even this season too). instead of buying £20 million+ range, buy youngsters who have resale value, in order to…..

    …….pay off the debt QUICKER than we have to (25 year loan). i’m not sure how near we are to paying it off right now. however, my guess is we are WAY ahead of schedule, simply because arsene refuses to spend. maybe someone could tell me for sure.

    this way, when the debt is finally clear, we will basically be the london equivalent of manchester united, if not bigger. we will be able to outbid pretty much any team in the world other than city. you can see that from all the ‘top 20 teams’ financial reports that are published year on year, we are nearly there already.

    now tell me this……

    how are spurs going to be able to do the same (stay competitive, rely on youth, aim for top 4, clear debt) when the man in charge who cannot help but spend, spend, spend all the time? in late december, he stated how he didn’t need any players. then he goes and gets gudjohnsen on loan, buys kaboul, then tried a last minute attempt to buy begovic. the latter two players happen to play for the club he’s virtually bankrupted by doing the same impulse spending. he’s like a prostitute with a stolen credit card.

    in summary, arsene out brigade, be careful what you wish for.