From Zero’s to Hero’s.

‘It was the best of times; it was the worst of times’.

That sort of sums up the last week for me. Here’s the last week in Tottz size bites:

Bolton:

The rollercoaster continued it’s face numbing downward plunge on Wednesday with a poor 0-0 draw at Bolton. Arsenal had their chances in the first half from Theo, AOC and Ramsey. Keeping high levels of possession but creating very little Bolton slowly grew in confidence and took the game to Arsenal. In the second half Arsenal were devoid of any cutting edge or creativity, slowly but surely we sat deeper and Bolton through at us. In the end were lucky not to lose but the feeling afterwards was very much of another loss.

Bolton were there for the taking in the first half. We created chances we couldn’t convert but then reverted back into our shell as it became more apparent we weren’t going score. A lot of recent unfair stick has been thrown at Ramsey but the Bolton game was the tip of the iceberg for him. The guy is shattered and struggling to find any sort of form the team badly craves. Is that his fault? No. He’s been thrown in to the deep end ‘in his first full season’ with the impossible challenge of replacing Cesc. If you listen to enough people we need to buy a player in every position on the pitch however the biggest gap for me still remains behind RVP. You cannot replace a player like Cesc but at least try. In an contradictory way for typical thinking, we’re actually ‘killing’ Ramsey by not buying. It’s water under the bridge (pun kinda intended) but Mata is the one we missed out on. Who’s fault is that? Not Le boss. Wenger identifies the players he wants, it is the job of Dick Law, Gazidis or whoever to close the deal.

Blackburn:

With the Daily Mirror making up the notion of a bin bag protest, the fans weirdly united in to mock and defend the clubs integrity. I rarely go into a game with confidence these days but I was uber confident Blackburn would feel our wrath, I wasn’t wrong.

Within 2 mins it was one nil to the Arsenal. A friend of mine in the row behind hiliariously asked ‘who scored?’ Who else, RVP from great work from Theo. Frustratingly nothing happened after that of any note and Blackburn scored through an impressive free kick by Pedersen. I felt Blackburn had been heavy handed in their approach and Givet proved that through a stupid and reckless red card tackle on RVP. Fair play to Steve Kean who checked if RVP was ok after treatment and shook his hand in way of an apology.

Arsenal then kicked into gear themselves. Theo did fantastically again to give RVP a simple tap in and then RVP went all Bergkamp on us and released AOC for a great goal.

We motored on early in the 2nd half through strikes from Arteta, AOC and RVP crashed in his hat trick with another first time shot in the box. With 30mins to go and 6-1 up, Arsenal took their foot off the pedal. The final moment came with the last kick of the game. Henry picked up on a mistake exchanged passes with RVP and slotted in his 228th goal. A beautiful moment on a cold but exciting day. For all the people that left early, you may have missed Henry’s final goal at home. I hope you feel suitably stupid.

 

RVP may have got a hat trick but all the talk was about Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. My line post game was ‘the most exciting player since Henry’, some even dared to say more exciting. Praise indeed. He’s got it all; power, pace, shooting and the ability to beat a player with ease. Wenger’s got to use him wisely but he’s slowly making him a first choice player.

A quick word for Theo Walcott too. While he hasn’t been on top form recently he showed on Saturday what a player he can be with 3 great assists and a constant menance to Blackburn. With RVP, AOC, Theo upfront and Gervinho to come back, this team should be picking teams apart.

Theo voiced his opinion yesterday:

“There are so many world-class players in the dressing room, so it is disappointing when we come back from Bolton with a 0-0 draw where we had a lot of chances.

“It has just been one of those frustrating seasons.

“Hopefully a lot of those frustrations came out against Blackburn, where everybody stood up for themselves.”

 

On the subject of goals, Saturday’s game was the first time Arsenal scored more than one goal in a home league fixture is November 5th. Crazy.

Next up a tough tie against an inform Sunderland. Which Arsenal will turn up?

In other news:

Wenger has been teasing fans in the way he knows best with intriguing quotes about Eden Hazard:

“I like Eden Hazard a lot, and for many reasons,”

“His creative ability, his talent for unbalancing opponents, his vision of the game, and his consummate skill in making the final pass all make him an in-demand player.

“Hazard has what it takes to play for a top-level club, and Arsenal are a top-level club.”

He added: “You should know that each season, it is imperative to show a profit of between £15m-£20m.

“I would add that the purpose of a coach is to always buy at a price he sees fit.”

 

Which way should we read that?

  • I want to buy him but we’ll need to sell before we can buy him.
  • I want to buy him but the board have told they want to me to sell before they make funds available.
  • I want to buy him. Oh by the way, as a general business we should always makes a profit of 10-15m per season. It’s a good business model, non?

Which ever way it was meant to be taken, there’s little point speculating so we’ll need to wait and see. There are far greater matters that should be concerning us right now.

Have a great Wednesday Gooners.

 

Comments welcome – @Tottz82

  • southerngooner

    Depends on what he defines as profits. Profits of 15mil a year could mean the repaying of stadium loan, wages, maintenance costs, etc etc etc.

    But what he OBVIOUSLY does not mean is that he has to sell players every year and make 15million.

  • yemi

    The fact that Arsene mentioned Hazard cann be taken in 3 ways.
    1. It is never gonna happen cos its gonna eat into the profits
    2. It is a done deal. (pre-contract already agreed)
    3. Mind games.

    My pick is number 3. Maybe trying to play some mind games so his valued players such as RVP can sign their contract.

  • jeff -fulham

    We have the best stadium in the P/L, we have two multi billionaires on the board, we have a manager that used to bable to make magic happen and win trophies on a regular basis. I look at the current squad and get really frustrated that we are only 3-4 world class players away from being able to compete for everything but when Wenger has “Failed” to manage the transfer & wage funds, has extended and improved contracts for players like Denilson, Bentner etc and failed to get them off our books because of his incompetence, i have every right to ask why he is still manager. I have supported the Gooners since i was old enough to understand football and i will continue to follow them passionatly until my last breath and i revel in every victory or great performance as i hurt with every defeat or poor performance but i am realistic enough to recognise that Wenger has taken us a s far as he can, and on that opinion i will not be moved!

  • jeff -fulham

    O.K, lets dream for a minute that our manager who has apparently come out and claimed he has his hands tied on transfers, could find the £30 million and his wages, why would Hazard want to come to a club who will not be playing C/L football next season and if things dont change, possibly a few seasons?

  • arsefan101

    @ southerngooner:
    You’re wrong – he HAS to sell every year!

  • jeff -fulham

    Theres been a lot of comment recently regarding the lack of pitch time being offered to Park. The real insult to the lad is that he is constantly ignored by Wenger when we are chasing a game and need a goal or like against Blacburn when we are crusing 6-1 and he gives Henry a run out! They showed the bench when Henry came on and Park looked bemused. this can not do anything for the lads confidence and it does remind me of how he cast aside Chamacka last year once VP was back although the lad had been outstanding in VP`s absence. Just look what it has done to his game!

  • Leroy

    This would be the same club that 30 years or so ago, made 4 Cup finals in 3 years, and were 1 or 2 players short of a sustained title challenge ( sound familiar?)….then sold Brady and Stapleton, and replaced them with Hawley, Hankin, Chapman and P. Nicholas. To that extent history repeats itself. The significant difference is that the average punter back then wasn’t having their wallet spring cleaned along the way. -

  • Leroy

    Been doing a bit of digging regarding the arsenal’s profits per season: if you look at the below then you will see some stark revelations. Here are the official numbers for “profit after taxation retained for the financial year” as reported in Arsenal’s Statement of Accounts and Annual Reports for the years 2004-2011:

    2004: £8m
    2005: £8m
    2006: £8m
    2007: £3m
    2008: £26m
    2009: £35m
    2010: £61m
    2011: £13m

    And it’s looking like 2012 will be another bumper year at Arsenal with the club selling off two of the most valuable assets in Cesc and Nasri, going on a tour of Asia, television revenues rising, ticket prices up, and planning another tour of Asia and Africa this Summer.

    The cold truth is that for all businessmen, and this includes Abramovich and Sheik Mansour, they are in business to make money. You and I might not be able to see how they are profiting off the venture, but then that’s why they are billionaires, because they see ways to make profit where we do not. And there’s always a tension between the owner making that profit and the fans feeling like they are part of the team, respected, and not overly commoditized.

    As for why Wenger would “reveal” this now we can only make informed speculation.

    Maybe he’s trying to keep Hazard’s price low by saying that Arsenal can only pay X amount after profit? Perhaps. Though, frankly I think Hazard is out of Arsenal’s league in terms of transfer fees even if you were to ignore Wenger’s profit imperative. Every team in the world knows about Eden Hazard. He will fetch a mighty premium on the open market especially once Man City wise up and dump chaff like Nasri.

    He could also be sending a message to the Arsenal supporters, like “hey guys, I really wish I could buy players like Eden Hazard, I mean look at how good he is, but this board is forcing me to make them a profit every year.” Perhaps. Though if that’s the case then I’m sure we will see a retraction and/or clarification on the dot com soon because I’m certain that the board won’t like their manager going around to the Belgian press complaining about the how the club is run.

    Or maybe he just didn’t think about the comment. Maybe it’s become so ingrained in him to make the £15m every year that it’s natural to say. And maybe, just maybe, he doesn’t see anything wrong with that. In that case, the problem isn’t the statement itself but the folks in the public and the press who like to fantasize about sports as somehow operating above or outside of capitalism.

    Maybe what Wenger’s statement really reveals is the magical thinking of sports fans? After all, wasn’t your first reaction when you heard that Arsenal make a profit to ask, “Why?”

  • afc4life

    Wow, looks at those figures:

    2008: £26m (£+11m)
    2009: £35m (£+20m)
    2010: £61m (£+46m)
    2011: £13m (£-2m)
    2012: £35m (£+20m)

    You would think that after many years of making profit (and way in surplus of the £15m to £20m that Arsene says we need), that there will be funds available now…???

  • bergChamp

    Excellent article, but what does this work:

    “On the subject of goals, Saturday’s game was the first time Arsenal scored more than one goal in a home league fixture is November 5th. Crazy.”

  • KTbird

    *aarrrrghs at the greengrocers’ apostrophe*

  • Leroy

    I really wish that Wenger would shut up about spirit and strength, those commodities win nothing, ability combined with them wins plenty. Arsenal have potentially a first 11 that could take on anyone and give them a good run and most a good beating, Szczesny, Gibbs, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Sagna, Song, Wilshere, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott/Gervinho and van Persie, that team is a frightening proposition for ANYONE…..But, they have never all played together and the way Arsenal are with injuries, they probably never will. Buy a squad Wenger, then you wouldn’t have to put all the eggs in the spirit and strength basket. With Djourou signing a contract extension until 2015 I am very worried about Wengers state of mind, this is the sort of player that Arsenal need to get rid of.

  • Leroy

    Maybe what England were missing was that something special. The Twitch Factor, I think they call it. No doubt a man who has won one FA Cup in his entire career knows more about winning than somebody who has won countless league titles, cups and the Champions League. And if the England players need someone like Redknapp to inject them with the necessary ‘passion and spirit’ to play for their country it says far more about them than Capello.