Sunday, 4 March 2018

Imagining The Post Wenger Landscape At Arsenal

It looks like the WengerOuters who were previously the lunatic fringe are now the mainstream and might soon get their wish.

The day Arsene Wenger believes his work is done was always going to come and if I had a magic wand, it will not come like this.

Wenger has to go when he wants to go. In my opinion he has earned the right and I say this because I am convinced Wenger will go if he realizes he is the problem or when he knows the club doesn’t want him or need him. Wenger is not there because he needs the money or the status, he can get the same money elsewhere and the status at a few clubs that are better than Arsenal.

A few months ago, Wenger gave this interview and said he was ready to sacrifice his job for the values of the club. If the values of the club are threatened, he will leave and he was ready to leave in the summer.

He is staying on to preserve those values, the same values we Arsenal fans admire about the club. Yes, the on field results are atrocious but there is more. What we are seeing on the pitch is a reflection of a bigger issue that obviously has nothing to do with poor coaching and by inference a lot to do with off the field issues.

I believe Wenger is the bulwark against the employee type at Arsenal. The ‘take take take’ type. When it is finished, it is off to the next gullible employer.

I worry about the future as it doesn’t take a lot to damage a club. Ozil’s new contract is a £52m one. It was negotiated by the might of the new guys and the Chief Executive. If not for the problems partly created by the anti Wenger element within the club, Ozil’s contract would have maybe cost £15m less.

Throw in a few more £200k per week contracts that don’t work and the club is left facing a bill of a few £31m per failed contract extension / signing.

Factor in a few pay offs for managerial sackings, maybe £5m a pop, generous sweetheart agents deal that doesn’t happen now and people start wondering where al the money has gone.

I pray it never happens but the handwriting is on the wall. Just look at all the transfer deals we hear about. Manchester United and City get absolutely dicked about on transfers but because there is an unlimited pot, they don’t care. The continentals appear to do good business and will turn away from financially awful deals. Nobody in Europe was willing to cough up the £40m they knew was going into Raiola’s pocket on the back of the Pogba deal. Only Manchester United did.

Look at the pigs head made of transfers in Everton under Koeman, Moshiri and Kenwright. At the moment, the only place where you think maybe they are getting the financial side of transfers right is Chelsea. Mr. Roman Abramovich keeps a mafia like eyes on the purse. They also do a few selling deals that tell you they are sleek operators and not ignorant willing victims.

Arsene is not a bad manager. As I have tweeted before, Ozil and Sanchez stats have improved significantly since they came under Wenger’s wings. Koscielny famously came from Ligue 2 in France. Iwobi was a boy the Academy wanted to let go at every review because of his height. Bellerin has come from nowhere, Monreal doing great stuff. All down to Wenger’s coaching.

When did Wenger become a poor coach / manager? People level allegations of staleness, stayed too long and whatever spurious things they want to allege but poor management? Absolutely no evidence of that bar the results. I agree you get judged by the results but the results are not a reflection of a manager’s ability.

I have looked at all of our Premier League loses this season and I cant see which one you can blame on a lack of coaching. 

Stoke – referee. Penalty denied. Equalizing goal denied.
Liverpool – dressing room bust up due to Oxlade Chamberlain departure
Watford – 2 goals against Arsenal that should have been disallowed
Manchester City – 2 dodgy goals against Arsenal. Offside and dubious penalty
United – gifting opponents 2 goals and failing to score 10 odd gilt edged chances
Bournemouth – goal keeping error
Swansea – defensive and goal keeping error
Tottenham – dubious goal. Harry Kane foul on Koscielny
City at Emirates – Ok, maybe we were poor
Brighton away – goal keeping errors

Please feel free so say what you like to the above assessment. Can’t be worse than what others have said.

Out of these losses, I want to blame Wenger for our defeat to City at the Emirates. Why? I think Arsenal should have called the match off. We don’t do enough skullduggery.  To be fair, it does appear the Premier League wanted the match to go on. Secondly I though Arsene should have been a bit more cautious / more defensive but my impression is that he went a bit more attacking because the collective decided that was the way to go.

Arsene does not need to teach a senior professional not to give horrible back passes or hospital passes to teammates. If you think Petr Cech and David Ospina are not getting enough training, it is pointless you reading this or having an argument with you.

My view is our players’ confidence is shot. I could blame the Oxlade Chamberlain issue, the Sanchez issue, the referee’s gang up, the size of Ozil’s new contract, AFTV digging out Bellerin, arrival of Aubameyang making it look like Lacazette had been relegated. But I don’t know if that is true, it is all speculation. Only one man, his staff and the squad know what the issues are and I back that one man to solve the problem.

He has made it clear that job security is not the top of his priority. He has made it clear he does not plan to resign. If the board want him gone, they should STOP BRIEFING THE PRESS and make a case to the majority shareholder. If the majority shareholder refuses to pull the plug, the board should come out and make a statement backing the man and should back him wholeheartedly. The Board should stop worsening the situation.

When Wenger goes. Hector is out of the door. I believe Kosc will follow too. Ozil might wonder if he wants to stick around, Nacho maybe and who knows who else.

When Wenger leaves. The vultures will sink their teeth into what is left. The things Arsene didn’t allow them do.

Poor results from the new man will be blamed on Wenger. 

If it ever goes pop in a few years time, it will also be blamed on Wenger.

But I know the good man did a lot for the club. He dragged the club into the 21st century and birthed the most successful period of the club ever.

Until he decides to walk away, I remain in support of him and I am convinced he will walk away if he thinks he is the cause of rot we are in or if he loses the dressing room.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Arsenal Football Club – Don’t let the Bellerin Oxford Union Speech Go To Waste

I don’t like AFTV.

I wrote a blog about my dislike for what they do a year ago. You can find my article here

My views are unchanged. They have been reinforced by the publication of Hector Bellerin’s comments at his Oxford Union lecture.  There is a lot to like about Hector. Articulate young man. Following his passion in addition to his professional career as a footballer. Came to England at age 16, even speaks English with a cockney accent when he wants. What is there not to like.

I was looking forward to Mesut Ozil reeling the cannons out at his appearance in the same venue on Tuesday February 20, 2018. Sadly this has now been cancelled. The organizers claim this is due to reasons beyond their control. I suspect Ozil has decided to cancel due to the storm over Hector’s comments. I was quite looking forward to Ozil going harder at the so-called legends who in my opinion are worse than AFTV morons.

Anyway, I hope Hector’s comments are representative of the squad. We already know what Arsene Wenger thinks of idiots. We’ve seen the Club’s Chief photographer’s tweet too.

I am happy that Hector’s comments have riled the AFTV lot. To be fair to them and with the exception of the big moron DT and the laughable Leegunner, they have coordinated their replies and it is on message. ‘Hector has a right to his opinion but we disagree yada yada’.

What a joke AFTV. Thanks for giving Hector the right to his opinion.

None of the AFTV responses has however addressed the key issue Hector raised on AFTV amongst the over a dozen other subjects he talked about. The central issue is:


Robbie and AFTV believe it is their right to profit from Arsenal’s failure on the pitch. If this failure was natural, maybe you might excuse them but these guys actively try to create a negative vibe around the club, the players and amongst fans. They spearhead meaningless protests, wish the manager dead and then profit from the poor results brought about by their action and have the nerve to say that they don’t control which videos go viral. They know which videos have gone viral and do everything to replicate the conditions. 

Because Robbie, DT, Claude, Leegunner’s collective IQ is lower than that of a tuna sandwich, they assume they are talking to their fan club whose IQ is non existent.

While I am certain nobody begrudges the next fellow their daily bread and a little extra, we all object to that fellow making a mug of us and earning their crust at our expense.

The excuse that spending their money gives them the right to be dickheads is off & rotten. You want an example of passion & commitment and spending money; see what our fans in Belarus went through to attend the Osterstunds match. They don’t slag the club

The AFTV lot only profit when things are negative. So they make everything negative

We win games – NEGATIVE. The other team was shit

We draw games – NEGATIVE. We were shit

Referee shits on Arsenal – NEGATIVE. That’s an excuse.

Arsenal wins three FA Cups and three Community Shields in four years – NEGATIVE. They are shit trophies nobody wants.

I remember when we drew with Middleborough last season to go back to the Top of the League. Guess what the imbecilic DT said – “STOP SINGING WE ARE TOP OF THE LEAGUE YOU FOOLS”

That is what it is all about. NEGATIVES. Fake rant to generate YouTube views. And how much does 100k of views get you? Apparently £60. That is what these collection of Judas sell out their club for.

They are making Arsenal laughing stocks for the sake of maybe £600 for a million YouTube views.  How much of a low life do you have to be? Attempt to destroy what millions enjoy because of £600 every week.

AFTV on the other hand makes extra especially with the advertising from Sun newspaper and Ladbrokes. And this is where the Arsenal commercial department should be targeting.

I understand Arsenal Football Club does not want to be seen as a Goliath trampling down on a mickey mouse fan group. However Arsenal should be looking beyond the reputation risk here.

These AFTV guys are making money using Arsenal’s name. I can bet the club has retained many intellectual property agents around the globe to ensure only duly licensed parties are allowed to use the Arsenal name for commercial purposes.

Why is it different with AFTV?

AFTV are making money using the Arsenal name / brand

AFTV are actively working to undermine the results Arsenal gets on the pitch

AFTV are creating a rowdy situation after matches and there have been a few bust ups

AFTV are actively encouraging abuse of players

Arsenal should ask them to either stop using the name of the club and its properties anywhere or ask them to open their book and take whatever percentage of the income the club normally takes with any commercial partner. This money should then be donated to The Arsenal Foundation / Arsenal in the Community to avoid any David / Goliath backlash.

AFTV as it is, is only benefitting Robbie, the collection of regular rubbish talking heads and opposing fans. Let The Arsenal Foundation and the projects the fans genuinely care about benefit too.   
I am glad fans are working them out. Poll results after poll results show that are useless to the fan base.  While not quite Nazi Germany & Hitler, anybody who continually toes the ‘AFTV is just fun and harmless’ is an enabler. All those in the ‘Robbie is such a nice guy’ club are enablers.

Nice guys don’t try to damage something they love. Nice guys don’t give platform to those wishing our manager dead. 

Saturday, 27 January 2018


The answer to which team got the better deal in the Sanchez Mkhitaryan exchange is simple.


It goes back to the Media’s ability to control the narratives and generate more eyeballs and social media engagements / clickbaits.

More Nonsense. More money for the Media people with many lazy sports journalists who crowd source almost all of their articles from social media postings of lemmings pretending to be in the know.

First off. How do you quantify better deal?

Money gained / saved? Player impact? Trophies won at the end of the player’s contract? How pleased the fans are with the transfer? The manager? What exactly are you measuring?

What are the facts and not some meaningless search for social media engagements?


Arsenal were reported to have valued Alexis at between £30m and £35m. They had accepted (subject to been able to sign a replacement) a £60m bid by Manchester City lodged almost 24 hours before the end of the Summer transfer period. As Arsenal couldn’t sign a replacement, a decision was made to keep him.

There are rumors potentially now supported by the reactions of Arsenal players to Sanchez departure that Alexis was not popular in the dressing room.

Overall for Arsenal and in his career, Alexis Sanchez’s goals stats are phenomenal. However he was part of an Arsenal Team that finished Fifth for the first time in Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal career.

Hi goals stats since he couldn’t join Manchester City in the summer and up until his last game for Arsenal was on a downward spiral. Seven goals, three assists and 38% shooting accuracy in 19 Premier League matches compared with 24 goals and 10 assists in 38 matches the previous season. Source         

His reputation for ball turnover / dispossession are legendary. While many passionately dislike him for this, others give him a pass because they believe he is trying to work some magic.

Since he joined Arsenal, his overall game stats have improved remarkably and shows that those who claim Arsene’s best days are behind him are misguided or just liars. Arsene Wenger improved Alexis Sanchez.

Fast forward to the January transfer window. The player still wants to leave. The numbers he wants cannot be matched by Arsenal. PSG and Bayern couldn’t make the numbers work and so eventually too Man City couldn’t cough up the dosh.


At the start of the January transfer window, Manchester City knew clearly that Arsenal wanted £30m to £35m. Just like in the summer, some smart arse in Man City thought they could low ball Arsenal and wait till the last day of the transfer window. They wanted to pay £20m. How utterly ridiculous and disrespectful?
They thought he was worth £60m the last window, why were they offering a third of his value in the next window?

It was either they didn’t really want him or they thought Arsenal were desperate. I suspect the latter and Man City’s dithering allowed Manchester United come in.   Had Man City coughed up the extra £10m to £15m, Alexis might be their man now since they reportedly already had a player contract agreed with his agent.

Now he is a Manchester United player with rumors that his total package can be something like £600k per week if you include bonus payments. Staggering.

Arsenal effectively got their £35m valuation although not in cash but definitely in a player like Mkhitaryan. If you don’t think he is worth £30m to £35m in today’s market despite all the issues he had with Jose, there is no helping you. Yes he is coming on possibly bigger wages than average squad players but just realize that Arsenal don’t get dicked about in the transfer market.

Arsenal have made a name for not paying over the odds. Whatever they are paying Mkhitaryan he is worth it.

In addition, they get a player very much in the mold of all of Arsene’s successful projects. A Dennis Bergkamp losing his way in Inter Milan, A Thierry Henry who had lost his confidence in Juventus, A Patrick Vieira who was out of sorts at AC Milan, a Mesut Ozil disillusioned with life at Real Madrid.

Arsenal get a player who is urbane, a citizen of the world and a gentleman who speaks six languages. No wonder he couldn’t get along with Jose Mourinho. A player who can start on a clean slate, bond with our growing German contingent and with the rest of his colleagues.

What does Manchester United get in return? A player who has publicly showed his disdain for his teammates. Sulking and throwing tantrums in front of the whole world both when things are going great and when the team is having a bad patch.

It is not as if Alexis Sanchez is going into a Manchester City who are winning absolutely everything except when they play Shaktar Donetsk and pesky Liverpool. He is going to a team who have struggled to win many matches this season. A team well known for their preparedness to win and lose ugly and throw silly tantrums unbefitting of a two year old because their opponents are playing music.

I honestly can’t wait for the looming confrontation between Jose Mourinho and Alexis Sanchez. And it will come. Mark my word.

If Alexis has no respect for Giroud, no way he is going to think highly of Romelu ‘Touch of a Bricklayer’ Lukaku or the midgets in the Manchester United dressing room.

In addition, Manchester United get a player who has already torn up their wage structure. Forget all the protestations about bonus payments etc. The top line figure is what other players like Pogba et al will be aiming for and they already are. 

Manchester United protesting that the overall deal is what justifies them paying him £600k per week doesn’t wash with me and shouldn’t wash with any right thinking person.

Paying a 29-year-old £600k on a 234 weeks contract till he is 33 or 34 on top of the £35m for Mkhitaryan makes it a total shell out of £175m for Alexis Sanchez if all the bonuses and image rates milestones are met. Plus rumored payments of £15m to Alexis’ agent and a pay off to Mkhitaryan and his agent and it is conceivable that the cost of the transfer can easily top £200m all in.

If United had waited till May, they could have saved £35m straightaway and the payments to Mkhitaryan and his agent. There is no guarantee anybody could have matched them on the wages anyway.

All of that is now spilled milk. However who got the better deal will be determined ultimately by the end result. Will both United & Arsenal play better because of Sanchez’ departure? I will say yes.

Will Manchester United win the big trophies they crave because of Alexis Sanchez? I will stick my neck out and say not a single chance. As long as the ‘money no object’ guys in blue are in the Emptyhad and the referees remain in their pockets, Mourinho is not winning the Premier League. Similarly in Europe, I expect them to go out in the next round or to be massacred if they get to the quarterfinals. It won change next season either.