Stop Bad Mouthing My Club…

Life is a tricky affair.

Sometimes you hit the dizzy heights that everyone wants to be at and sometimes you have the horrible lows that we all try our best to avoid… And in the process, you experience many emotions. Happiness, sadness, frustration, jubilation… you name it. Whatever happens at the Arsenal, I am glad we have the board and the manager we do. As much as I think I know a lot about football, and as much as you do too… in reality, how much do we really know? Managing a real life football club is not the same as managing a club in Championship Manager, that’s for sure.

The emotions that we experience, the highs and the lows, are directly related to our expectations. We expect more and therefore anything less good than more is not good. It’s a silly way of thinking to be honest and I’m afraid most if not every Arsenal fan is currently sitting in a place that doesn’t seem right. None of us are financial experts, or even if we are, we don’t have the financial facts and figures to second guess what has happened and / or is continuing to happen at the Arsenal.

One thing I am certain about – and only if we don’t break it – is that our business model is sound. In the days where you see football clubs going out of business left, right and centre, it’s refreshing to have a club who actually has a desire to manage itself. Other clubs have sugar daddies and whilst this serves a purpose, can you really criticize a business which spends within it’s means… The business model of self-sustainment means that you have to spend wisely – it doesn’t mean you have to spend less or not spend. We’ve spent a lot in recent times – Arshavin, Walcott, Gervinho, Oxlade, Podolski, Giroud etc are all £10m to £15m signings we’ve made in the last few years. We’re competing against clubs who can spend £50m on a bench warmer in Torres.

For me, if Wenger didn’t win anything, and then built the stadium, and then we started finishing 4th and 3rd etc, surely he would be knighted twice! But the problem is, he gave us a sniff of success. It was him who was at the helm when we went unbeaten, it was him at the helm when we won the league & FA Cup. Having a 60,000 seater stadium is all about the challenge that the board set themselves – without a sugar daddy.

Arsene Wenger as manager brought in Arteta when Fabregas left, he brought in Podolski and Giroud to replace Van Persie, Ade and Eduardo to fill in the void when Henry left. The point of the matter is that players have a life-cycle. We begrudge a player if he leaves, but don’t when we sell him. We’re fans of the Arsenal, so of course, we back the club when buying and selling. But in reality, what would you do if you were Van Persie. You have been with a club for 8 years and you’re about to turn 29. You’ve not won anything. You have 3 years to play at this level before you will probably decline. Arsenal aren’t going to splash £100m on players this summer. We don’t need to. We need to assemble a squad that we think is good enough to challenge. Sagna – best right back in the league – cost £7m. Money does not equal value. Sagna is a £20m right back, is he not? We didn’t pay that for him. Vermaelen £10.6m vs Lescott £26m. Yes money does buy you players, but you have to understand that challenging for a title is made up of players, fitness and a bit of luck.

Van Persie has given us a great season, that’s fair to say, but based on history, this is the exception, not the rule. Bringing someone like Giroud is exciting for us – he’s four years younger and very hungry – surely a bit of good business to get rid of your older players and get in younger models. Every guy’s dream.

Yes, not winning is frustrating. But outside of United & City, no one has won the league in a while. Chelsea spend £200m every season or at least every other season, and they finished below us. Sp*rs have a sugar daddy, but our  squad was still better than theirs. As I said earlier, winning the league is a mixture of skill, injuries and luck and had Wilshere not been injured last season, had Sagna, Gibbs, Santos and Vermaelen all been injury free, who knows where we’d have finished last season.

Finishing 3rd, having a great future in players like Szcznesy, Koscielny, Gibbs, Wilshere, Oxlade etc… and having signed players like Gervinho, Podolski and Giroud, why are Arsenal fans so upset? The manager wants to win just as much as we do, if not more, the decisions he takes will be based on the ability to compete both on the pitch and without bankrupting the club.

Everyone may have differing opinions on who we should and shouldn’t sign, but one thing I ask of all of you. Ian Wright, this is aimed at you, Samir Nasri, you too, Robin, you too and of course, Usmanov. Stop bad mouthing my club. The Arsenal have given all of you players a home, they’ve educated you, they’ve paid you bucket loads. Sums that only we can imagine to earn in a lifetime, you earn in a year. Be grateful that you have been given the platform, the opportunity and education that you have been given. Usmanov – the only reason you’re involved is because you see the potential of the manager and players and the ground = potentially massive future and status. Say what you want about whatever you want, but leave the Arsenal alone – all the club have done is try their best to build a team for both them and you to mutually succeed. If you haven’t been good enough, then surely it’s your fault that we haven’t won anything?

All this beating up the board and manager is silly. Only time will tell, but I sincerely hope we don’t do too much damage to our beloved club. Arsenal are taking a beating by the media at the moment, but in reality, there is no other club I’d rather support ever.

Victoria Concordia Crescit.

  • FlakeyStar

    Spot on. We are the Arsenal.
    Victory grows out of harmony!

  • http://www.yahoo.com Jeppa

    Thax 4 the artcle, its very nice and helpful.

  • SpeedDemon

    I have to say, we have all been very quick to turn on the club and the manager – but if we look at the bigger picture, you are very right. We should understand that the manager wants to win as much as all of us do. And support him too.

  • Fauz Khalid

    Sugar daddy or no sugar daddy,we are supporting a football club,not a business.There are companies that are run well,we would be supporting ‘Lipton’ if our main aim of being gunners was for us the fans hearing of ‘our books are in order’ season in,season out! We cant keep our star players because they have ambitions of lifting trophies and the board you are so in praise of values profits more than winning trophies.You sounded English in your article,it’s okay,but Arsenal needs and badly so,Alisher Usmanov because he will bring back David Dein on board and this means the glory days will be back at the emirates because the last time we won a major trophy,David Dein was a board member

  • karl

    Robin’s drawn his line in the sand, the gloves are off and he’s shown the club he’s willing to play dirty. For their part, Arsenal simply cannot allow him to move to Manchester City, for that would be the final admission that we can’t make that last jump to super club status, a leap we’ve been trying in vain to make for the last six years or so. What could have been a straightforward exit has become a battle of wills. Those battles tend to be long and bloody. Ultimately, whilst mummy and daddy fight, it is us, the children, who will cradle ourselves in our rooms, our hands cupping our ears

  • karl

    Podolski and Giroud look like good signings, I agree with that. A step forward, but so too a replacement for squad players who were under performing.

    But Podolski is only a replacement for Arshavin, and Giroud for Chamakh.

    If we wanted RvP to stay, we would have need to sign for example M’Vila, Vertonghen and one or two others by now.

  • CON-MAN

    this is why i love this blog. measured opinion, none of that prisoner of the moment shit.

  • patrick

    I was once told that ‘Blame’ served no purpose, other than being a means by which to focus a collectives anger in one direction, allowing all other guilty parties to escape said judgement and anger.

    Well, I think/hope that yesterday can serve as a watershed day in Arsenal’s recent history, with RVP announcing he no longer wanted to be at Arsenal, but also saying ‘why?’, and saying what so many Gooners have been thinking and feeling for quite some time, that the club are not moving in the right direction, which is another way of saying the club’s being mis-managed and the level of investment in players is wholly inadequate.

    So is it just me or do all these need to shoulder their portion of responsibility and accept the part they have played in a farce that has seen The Arsenal become a pale shadow of its former self.

    RVP – joined in 2004 and until last season (where he proved he is a World Class striker) he had – through injury – played an average of 20 games per season – unacceptable by anyone’s standards. Now he is off because the club won’t invest serious money in other World Class players.

    Arsene Wenger – Initially brought great success to the club, but has been ineffective in winning trophies these past 7 seasons, it is well known that not only does he ‘manage and coach’ the first team squad, but since the departure of David Dein, he (and Deins replacement Gazidis) also manage all the contract and transfer deals. He is given free reign by the board to does all this, why? well he doesn’t ‘rock the boat’ and season on season he ensures they turn a very healthy profit, no trophies, but the finances look very healthy, all smiles with regards the so called self-sustaining financial project.

    Ivan Gazidis – Took up the post of Chief Executive on 1st January 2009, again it was Arsene Wenger who had the final say on his appointment, taking over from an ousted David Dein, many see his arrival as the beginning of the end of Arsenal’s more successful years, he is regarded by many Arsenal fans as the face of the board, a politician in the private sector. It is strongly rumoured that a number of possible decent signings failed to materialise allegedly due to his incompetence.

    David Dein – Like him or not, when he was on the board the buying and selling of players was very successful, he was ousted from his position at Arsenal, for daring to propose investment from outside – something that eventually happened in the form of Kroenke – of whom Peter Hill-Wood (The Chairman) once inferred that his sort was not welcome at Arsenal FC. Dein regardless of his flaws wore his Arsenal Cannon on his sleeve, taking a genuine interest in new/young players and all things at every level of the club, which is why he and Wenger got on so well both as colleagues and friends. Some would argue that since Dein’s departure the club has gone backwards.

    Kroenke (aka: Silent Stan) – Owner of a number of sports franchises in the USofA, he didn’t buy the majority of shares in Arsenal out of the goodness of his heart and to invest money, but for one reason and one reason only to make a profit, nothing wrong with making profit, but again I don’t think it is any coincidence that since his arrival, Arsene Wenger’s position as manager has become even more secure, even though the club has nothing to show in terms of trophies, only ‘Profit’

    Arsenal Fans – We now pay the highest prices in the Prem for tickets, whilst having to endure sub-standard players being brought in (Squillaci,Fabianski, Almunia, Vela, Santos et al) AND then endure further insult when the likes of Denilson, Djourou, Diaby, Bendtner, Eboue etc are offered long term deals on very high wages, we then cannot move them on, because no one else will match the lavel of money they are being paid at Arsenal, all while our best players are being sold Fabregas, Nasri and now RVP (sold because they want out!) due to incompetent management (any player worth their salt should never be allowed to have a contract that dwindles to one year) , minimal investment in players of quality (the only exception being Arshavin – who arrived in a blaze of publicity and glory, only to prove a bad buy, some believing his poor form and (subsequent) lack of interest due to continually being played out of position.

    The line between board and manager seems to have become so blurred, it is hard to tell exactly what Wenger’s real position is, he spends days mulling over the finer details of transfer and loan deals even on reserve squad players, when surely he should be ‘managing the team’, focusing on what happens on the pitch, and let someone else sort through all the business aspects relating to players.
    Then there is the continual poor level of recovery of players from injury, how often has it been announced that a player will be unavailable for between 4 and 8 weeks, then 6 months later the problem is still unresolved, the prime example being Jack Wilshere, a young player of huge potential who has already missed a whole season due to an injury we were told would only keep him out of action for 2 – 3 months, and this seems to be the norm, many suggesting the medical team at Arsenal – regardless of the state of the art facilities – are not up to scratch.

    Wenger, the Board, Gazidis and Kreonke must shoulder the responsibility for what has now become an Embarrassment. Due to gross incompetence our club, “The Arsenal” has become a laughing stock, thanks to mis-management at all levels.

    Any respect and affection that Arsene Wenger once had is gone, gradually eroded by his continual failures as a manager, he often speaks about ‘honouring’ his contract, being a man of his word, well if he is a man of honour and has any respect for Arsenal and the fans – he should walk, Gazidis should be sacked, bring David Dein back to oversee transfer and contracts, Peter Hill-Wood should retire, Kroenke needs to get off his derriere and invest in world class players and Usmanov should be given a place on the board and the opportunity to invest in players.

    Apologies for the length of this, but I have had enough.

  • edison

    finished 4th 2010/11 season

    finished 3rd 2011/12 season

    Progression.

    enough said

  • tom G

    Devday, great article, thanks.

  • Fauz Khalid

    Patrick U agree with you totally