Arsenal FC Weekly Podcast 8: Cescy results, philosophical meanderings and celebrating Wenger

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The international break is upon as such there’s very little Arsenal stuff to talk about. Thank goodness for the Arsenal FC Weekly Podcast!

On this week’s pod Jamie Sanderson from Young Guns is back for Part 1 to discuss Olympiacos and get all philosophical while Pete from The Beautiful Groan makes his debut in Part 2 to marvel at Cesc Fabregas, laugh at Sam Allardyce and ponder just how much Arsenal fans will miss Arsene Wenger once he’s gone.

For the first time you can subscribe to the Arsenal FC Weekly Podcast via iTunes (click here) or alternatively you can just subscribe directly to the RSS feed (click here).


Enjoy – I’m off to have a beer!

Have your say on this week’s Arsenal FC Weekly Podcast by leaving a comment.


67 thoughts on “Arsenal FC Weekly Podcast 8: Cescy results, philosophical meanderings and celebrating Wenger

  1. The international week truly is a deprivation of our human rights. Only the sweet, sweet taste of Arsenal will sate the baying masses.

    Beer is but a measly alternative.

  2. What do you see as our strongest starting XI?

    We are a couple of months in almost now and had a decent chance to see the majority of players this season, and how we have adjusted to the new formation

    When everybody is fit, which seems it will be the next game unless anybody does themselves in on poxy international duty, which they always do, what would be your starting team?

    Here is mine






    ————————————Van Persie———————————–

    Look how strong that team is….and then add to that the likes of Walcott, Bendtner, Denilson, Diaby, Djourou, Ramsey, Eboue, Mannone its looking very, very good!

    As much as i like Bendtner and Denilson i think you have to go with Rosicky and Nasri if fit, as they offer more overall, but i would still be happy for either of them to go into that starting team

  3. Great work with the podcast Andy, cheers for having me on.

    Good points made by you and Jamie on the Champions League group, and the importance of getting through it quickly – with Chelsea and Liverpool following games five and six, we could do with qualifying before then. Liverpool don’t look like they’ll have that luxury.

    Arsenal without Arsene is a very daunting thought these days.

  4. Good morning Down-Under !!
    I’m a Brit, retired and living in Spain, and having found your blog-site, i enjoy the constructive “blogs” that are sent in
    The is a great little conclave of “wrinkley’s out here (Denia) and always meet for a match and give Le Boss the benefit of our vintage knowledge !!
    I have some good old yarns about the Gunners and the reason for my being a gooner….if anybody is interested !!

  5. @ george leaney – Hey mate, good to see you’re enjoying things. Whereabouts is Denia in Spain? I’d look it up but I reckon you could tell me more about it? What’s the local team there?

  6. Andy
    Denia is equal distance from Valancia and Alicante on the Med (cant spell the proper!) 80k’s
    Nearest top side is Valencia the Denia side is 3rd div
    I was bought up chasing the oval ball and play untill i was too old for the Vets, but i enjoy most sports now, but none has reached the dizzy heights of fanatiasm i have with the Gunners !!

  7. now it worked, I just click onto play, but I paused it before two three times, maybe that was the mistake 😀 😯 😉

  8. You went overboard with Wenger. He is paid handsomely to win trophies, not play nice football and nurture young players to become stars, enough of that, we need trophies.

    All the big clubs like Milan-Juventus-Madrid-United are not well known because they are patient, not because they play nice football, it is because they make themselves immortal by winning trophies all the time.

    You act as if there is no other manager who can win trophies, there are many, maybe not in England, but across the continent, Jesualdo Ferarra from Porto is winning, Felix Magath is always winning, Schuster was a winner, Le Guen is a serial winner, so these guys can easily come in and are prepared to win trophies immediately.

    Arsenal is not Arsene, Arsenal is arsenal, and Arsenal is not here for eye candy, it is here for trophies. Potential isn’t enough, we need trophies, I would have paid nearly £5000 since I have seen a trophy, fcuk that, we need them now, we needed them yesterday, since when did it become acceptable to allow mediocrity rule?

    The time for winning is now, with or without Wenger.

  9. I thought the dialogue was disappointing. A for effort though.

    Ambrosia in London,

    Interesting you mentioned Juventus & Milan. I’m disappointed to know that they have now ceased to exist since they last won trophies 6 years and 3 years respectively.

    You’re just a superficial gloryhunter. Take your £5k and go buy yourself a big trophy and wank on it.

  10. Nice podcast. Keep it up. Watching the game this weekend? I’m gonna have to say Nederland win, 2 – 1.

    @ravilal: Assuming everyone is fit my XI is:

    Van Persie

    With Bendy and Eboue available for a more muscular approach.

  11. Ole Gunner, how many times have Juventus won the Scudetto in the last 13 years? 5 if you include the revoked title, and to boot, they have won the Champions League and been in 3 other finals. The Juventus fans were able to tolerate one season after Serie B to find their feet, even finishing runners up last season was unacceptable, and they made changes.

    AC Milan have won 3 Scudettos, 2 Champions Leagues and another final.

    Arsene Wenger can’t match that, 3 league titles and 2 continental finals is not good enough, we need to be number 1. And there is room for no trophies if you win a CL crown like Milan has, we haven’t done that, fact.

    I admire Wenger, but of late, he has been a loser, poor tactics, no trophies, he must come under some serious heat, we are here to WIN. He isn’t winning at the moment for trophies, big problem if you ask me.

  12. I for one would rather watch us play the way we have for the past 4 seasons and come away with nothing than have to sit through….
    The crap chelscum fans have to watch and brag about buying a couple of premier cups.
    Would rather stick a fork in my eye than play like the spuds and have a carling fuck opps I mean cup.
    Not sure if I’m watching rugby union as a scrum forms around the ref when something doesn’t go the way of manure united and have a world club cup.
    Look at the stupid ‘I’m copying shearer with my 1 hand raised’ gerrard and ugly I’ve got $h1t around my mouth from kissing my american bosses arse who know nothing about football and have a cl.
    Or at the very least when was scoring 14 goals in 3 games at home mediocrity? I would not be whining at all ‘Ambrosia in London’ do you remember newcastle they won a title and look at them now. Things could be worse but in my eyes we do have it all in some sense as if you really have spent 5k you would notice where your money went….. in a new fking stadium.

  13. @Ambrosia, You are right in some part of what you are sayin but franckly, big part of it is totaly untrue.Arsenal buy cheap players which are seen with a bright future quality,mold them to become a total finished product, use them to get trophies and sell them at the end.Le Boss is one of the few coach who can do this and take the risk to do it while we still ended up 4th in the PL and CL semi last season.This is Arsenal’s business and there nothing you can do about this/ Im a Gooner cos im happy with that system/and I like to watch 21years old average team gunning down a 27years old average team like Chelski

  14. Ambrosia, consider this:

    In a league where increasing number of clubs have more money than us, what is an ‘acceptable’ level of success? It seems that trophies are your measurement, which seems fair enough, but do you not realise that any Arsenal manager will have less to spend that at least five of his rivals? What then creates the expectations of success over and above those clubs?

    To me, one measurement of success is finishing higher up the league table than the ‘money available’ table. You have Gillett criticising Benitez today after seeing no improvement after massive player investment, and here we are with a stronger squad than them, that also cost far less (Liverpool, incidentally, are only one year behind us in the ‘years without a trophy’ stakes)

    Personally, I’m not convinced anyone went overboard on Wenger – he isn’t bulletproof, and were we to get to a position where you couldn’t conceive us winning trophies, then questions would have to be asked.

    But in a week where he became the longest serving manager (sorry Ole Gunner, I know you’re sick of that), he deserves to be recognised.

  15. I’m sick of the money issue being brought up all the time. The more you win, the more money you have. Two examples of teams that have won, built stadiums and sold key players, Porto since Mourinho have sold close to €250m in player, built a new stadium and still won the title and made the 1/4 finals in the CL all the time. Lyon have sold nearly €200m in players, building anew stadium and have still won titles and reached 1/4 finals of the CL.

    Arsenal have sold big players on the cheap, built a stadium, not won anything, you see the difference? You can’t tell me Henry being sold for €19m was good business when other teams fork out big cash all the time? Chelsea got an old Shevchenko for €34m.

    We are told we have a good scouting network, yet we haven’t got any crown global jewels in, teams in Italy are constantly finding top talents for peanuts like Hamsik-Kjaer-Asamoah-Inler whilst we squandered money on Hleb-Reyes-Silvestre, is Silvestre the best we could find globally?

    I’m not happy the club taking my money and not giving me a team worthy of it, they told us they’d buy players. Wenger needs to forget about the finances of the club, if he wins, he won’t need to care, it is not like we are asking him to buy Ronaldo or Kaka or Buffon, but players that elevate us to being close to the elite teams in the league.

    What is acceptable? Well challenging every year and only being out the race with 3-4 games to go, we have only done that once in 5 years which sucks. Also i want us to be better tactically, why do we leak so may goals, why do we only play one way, why can’t we be flexible, why are we being thrashed 3-1 and 4-1 by Utd and Chelsea at home?

    Other managers will get sacked for losing at home like that, and rightly so. The only currency a manager has is trophies, no trophies and you will be in trouble.

  16. Ambrosia, it isn’t a good comparison to compare Arsenal with teams from other countries – the Premiership is the richest league in the world, but more importantly is the league with the most clubs that do not have to live within their means.

    Porto, for example, only have a couple of realistic rivals, and they are safe in the knowledge that if they earn more than every other club (via success, as you rightly say), then they will have more money than them too. Same with Lyon, who arguably have even less domestic rivals. Both have no owners in their leagues with bottomless pockets.

    That isn’t the case in the Premiership. You can be the most dominant side domestically and in Europe and still be financially trumped by a benefactor. Over and over again. Thus, you cannot rely on the ‘success bringing success’ mantra as success can be bought as well as earned.

    The point I tried to make on the podcast is that Wenger is the only manager I’m aware of that ensures his successor will have everything they need. Instead of spending all the money available on two players for the here and now (the model of 99% of managers), he accepted the financial restrictions imposed so the club could reap the benefits of a new stadium for the future.

    And he did that in the knowledge that it would only be his successors that had the money available from that stadium.

    As for football style, would you rather spend every week watching the Arsenal-Blackburn level of excitement, or the Chelsea-Liverpool level that immediately followed it on Sunday. If the former, you can’t really complain about the tactics. If the latter, then we’ll have to agree to disagree I guess.

    I have to take issue with this sentence though: “We are told we have a good scouting network, yet we haven’t got any crown global jewels in, teams in Italy are constantly finding top talents for peanuts”.

    You actually counter you own argument by saying that. Pointing out the failed purchases like Hleb and Reyes only backs up the policy of not spending big on two players, who may not succeed. You’ve lost the money you’ve saved up, and you’re none the better for it. And as for not scouting and finding top young talent, how do you think we got Cesc? Clichy? Toure? In fact, half our squad?

  17. I don’t want to sound negative, but i am a realist, we spent a combined £20m on Hleb and Reyes, one was a playmaker who we pushed onto the wing, the other we got wrong in that he could not adapt. Instead, other gems we missed such as Ben Arfa for £8m, or Toulalan who moved to Lyon for £4m, two players of potential who had already shown they could become winners. When you spend big, buy established stars who improve the team, with our scouting network, why can’t we find a good goalkeeper, a good defender which we needed for the past 3 years and instead got Silvestre, find a winger, we have holes in the team, players being asked to play in places where they are not proficient.

    Ferguson has spent heavily in his tim at United, but he has never made them bankrupt, yet he keeps winning, so why can’t Wenger? Wenger shouldn’t be concerned about who comes after him, he needs to win so that any new coach and player that comes in wants to win. At the moment, we are a club known for nice football, and no trophies.

    It is not about the nice football, we know we can blast Rovers-Derby-Wolves away, but in crunch games, we are shown up, why? Poor tactics, and players not capable of defeating elite teams at crunch time. Constantly, we keep losing the crunch games, it is not luck, it is bad tactics and preparation, you don’t treat United and Chelsea like they are cannon fodder, you need to counter them as well, something we never do.

    As for comparing other countries, I was showing you can win anywhere by still spending big and winning. We earn more than Porto and Lyon, yet don’t push onwards and upwards. Why are some players earning massive wages and not giving massive performances? is Djourou a player for a Champions League winning team? Is Walcott full value for £60k/week? Why give Adebayor big cash after 1 big season? The board and trainer sometimes baffle me, they sometimes don’t show a mean streak where they want to be ruthless, you don’t win without being ruthless.

  18. Ambrosia,

    I don’t care how many times Juventus have won the league in the last 13 or 130 years. My point which you’re trying to dodge is that they have won Zero titoli (to quote Moaninho) in the last 6 years.

    You used them as an example of how big clubs must win in the here and now.

    They have won nothing in 6 years. So you’re clearly deluded to say unless you’re winning trophies there is no other consideration.

    That makes no sense.

  19. They had one Serie B season, stripped off the others, what were they supposed to win then Ole Gunnar? The fans allowed them 1 season to adjust back in Serie A, then last season, being runners up wasn’t enough and they bolstered the squad to challenge and win this year. Arsenal have had the same core of players failing, and we expected to go forward with them to win trophies without buying better players.

    We are being told to accept years of development for trophies,but we know Fabregas may want to leave soon and enjoy his peak condition in Spain, what is the point?

  20. Wenger does seem to have certain criteria when it comes to players, and if I’m totally honest I still haven’t figured out what half of them are. But for some reason, the players you list (and the players I list, other bloggers list and the media lists) don’t get signed.

    With the fact that our transfer business is done quietly (unless the other side are less discreet), we’ll never know the reason, but all we can assume is that Wenger doesn’t want those players. Maybe he sees something he doesn’t like, I don’t know.

    I think it’s easier said than done when it comes to signing players. One thing Wenger always refuses to do is get ripped off for players. You mention Ferguson, and while he does spend the money, he has paid over the odds for players in recent seasons (Berbatov, Hargreaves for example). As we’ve seen with Alonso and possibly Chamakh, once Wenger believes he’s getting ripped off, he gets out.

    It is a policy that divides – for example I back the approach, as clubs don’t think they can rip us off, and while we may have to wait for the signings we ultimately get value for money (example, we spend a long time without defenders, but you can’t argue with the signings of Sagna and Vermaelen in the last few years. Fair point on Silvestre though).

    On the other hand, I can see the view that if he spends the extra few million and it pays off, we’ll get more back. Risk and reward.

    But for me, the risk is getting higher in this league. There are more clubs splashing obscene money around than there are trophies, or Champions League spots. Some will succeed, some will become the next Leeds or Newcastle.

    I just think if we tried to compete with the ‘buy ready made players’ market, we’d lose, because other clubs take that approach and have more money to throw around. We tried it briefly when Chelsea first got rich, but they trounced our offers. So all we have left is the youth approach, putting our faith in the Denilsons, and Walcotts of the world.

    Incidentally, apart from the end of last season, our problem hasn’t been the Big Four head to head games, it has been the bottom half of the league taking too many points from us. To me, that’s actually where you win the league (United last season were poor in the top four games, but dropped only two points in the 20 games against the bottom half of the league – an incredible record).

  21. i agree the league is predominately won beating the minnows, but in the business end, how many times have we lost to Liverpool-United-Chelsea, the last barriers before success. 2 years ago, we lost to Liverpool in the CL, threw away the league with consecutive losses to United and Chelsea. Last season, lost to United in the CL and Chelsea in the FA Cup. We have to overcome such opponents if we want trophies.

    I don’t think youth is the only approach left to us, how can other teams unearth talents prime for the big time, and we keep buying younger and younger players. We apparently passed up on Dzeko and Hamsik, two player more complete than Bendtner and Denilson/Diaby right now.

    If other teams can unearth players who perform at low prices, why can’t Arsenal? Fiorentina got Melo for £6m, sold him for nearly 3 times as much, Genoa have a Spanish holding player called Zapater who is supreme, bought for less than £5m, watch him be sold for 3 times as much this summer.

    Arsenal may be a business, but they are sporting institution, not Prudential Corp, players cost money, and a sporting club needs to win, not watch pennies. How could Gazidis fly to Florence and offer only £12m for Melo, is he crazy? He made us a laughing stock with that ridiculous bid. Same for Chamakh, if a club says they want £10m,and you only want £5m and make a fuss that Bordeaux are being difficult, that is crazy, if you don’t pay, you don’t get the goods.

  22. With Chamakh, we would’ve been the laughing stock if we’d spent millions on him. His contract is up next summer and he seems to have no intention of renewing.

    It is surely foolish to sign a player for millions when you can get him for free a year later.

  23. You’re not being honest Ambrosia. You should admit your point has no value.

    You say that winning trophies in the here and now is all that counts. Then you mention big clubs who have won nothing for 6 years. Even when they were in Serie B, Juve could have won the Italian Cup.

    It is one of the most ridiculous concepts this one that clubs only exists to win trophies.

    In Italy in the last 4 years there has been only one team strong enough to win the league; Inter. In Spain, there have been 2. In England there are 4.

    Furthermore, the likes of Tottenham, Villa and Man City are spending more money than the top clubs in most countries.

    Ferguson went 3 years without winning the league.

    Liverpool have not won a trophy in 3 years nor have they ever won the Premier League.

    Chelsea have spent £400M on their current squad, and 2 FA Cups in recent years does not by any means justify that outlay. If you’re counting trophies you’ll say they’re doing well. To me they are not. If you spend that kind of money you have to win the league or Champions League.

    The only team really winning titles is Manchester United.

    If you think all other clubs should stop trying to build their teams because Manchester United is winnning titles then you have absolutely no clue.

  24. Maybe I have no clue, but I will maintain this stance, we are here to win, not do property deals, not nurture young players, not to mind the books, we are here to WIN. If we had ambition, we would match United in how they are winning, devise a plan to beat them, we have gone 5 years since winning the league, and only come close once in that time, that for me is not acceptable.

    Juventus won Serie B, but even Juventus fans disregard it.

    If you are happy not winning, or want to nail me for saying Juventus and Milan are winning, which they have done more than Arsenal in the time span Wenger has been around, fine, make yourself happy.

    It doesn’t deflect that under Wenger, we are not winning, and are not improving the capacity to win, a formation change is not going to win us the league, we still lack the resources to compete on the pitch, Vermaelen/Gallas gets injured, we rely on Silvestre/Senderos, Fabregas gets injured, we may rely on Diaby to carry the torch or Ramsey who has no track record at this elite level, Van Persie gets injured, we are in serious trouble.

    Some think Wenger is beyond criticism, no trainer is beyond it if they do not win.

  25. Finally we agree. But only on the narrow point encapsulated in the first sentence of your last comment.

    Here’s a question I always ask: In 2005, we came second in the league, a good number of points behind Chelsea. It was clear that team had reached the end of its cycle. It had mostly to do with their ages. We had to build again.

    Arsenal was building a stadium. To build a new squad to compete with Chelsea (who had spent £400M to buy their squad) we would have needed at least £200M to buy a new squad of sufficient quality.

    We did not have that money.

    So now tell me sir, how you would have gone about building a title winning squad without £200M.

    I’m really looking forward to your considered response!

  26. The only area I will agree with Ambrosia is where Arsen says he may not spend the 60m the Board has placed on his desk for buying players. For sure we need more than two players for our squad to be strong and competitive.

    Also the other thing that may be Ambrosia forgot to mention is departure of Mathew due to Arsen’s policies.

    By far I would love to agree with Ambrosia. Let’s not be a laughing stalk a very season.

  27. Well Well,
    What a load of crap that dear Ambrosia is this name the rice pudding ??? Has had to say goes on about Juventus won Serie B yes but was this the side that was giveing back handers to everybody so that could win .If you not happy just go down to whitehart lane as there is a load of rice puds down there so you will be ok then

  28. ambrosia there is alot of truth in what you are saying and despite what others have said i think you,ll find alot of arsenal fans agree with you,wenger should have been replacing players gradually rather than trying to replace the whole team at once that was poor management. no manager is beyond criticism not even wenger who still has not bought the dm we needed last season and still need now.last season we got our asses kicked at home against manure 1-3 in cl and 1-4 against chelski in the league and were tactically naive losing those games still hurts,the point is its all well and good beating wigan,pompey,b/burn the real test is against maure who have already beaten us,chelski and liverfool. one final point with a fully fit squad my starting 11 would be almunia,sagna,gallas,verm,clichy,song,cesc,nasri,rosicky,rvp,arshavin…433 formation.

  29. I personally not against any ones thought on our club(arsenal).But look at this team when every player we have is not injured.We have good players the likes of Fabregas,nasri,edwardo,theo,arshivin the machine,rosick, and many others.We are just unlucky.I hope to see all of them on pitch or on the bench.I dont think we need to spend where no need, pliz understand.

  30. Ole Gunner, who says we need to have £200m to win a trophy or the league? Wenger always says he has money, yet says he has the players to win, why lie, simply say he hasn’t got the money and then find a way to win without it, lets not forget Bordeaux won Ligue 1 by spending peanuts and get classy players where they needed them. Why did we waste cash on Hleb (a number 10 who we tried to make Overmars), why did we buy Eduardo and not play him all the time, why did we buy Silvestre? Why did we renew contracts of young unproven players like Ramsey-Walcott-Djourou and not buy, that money could have been wages for a star player the team really needs.

    As I will say again, I admire Wenger and his football, but we need to win trophies, and this method of developing kids on fat salaries really sucks, if we had bought 1 top player every summer, we would have been a complete side by now, we have Rosicky-Eduardo-Sagna-Arshavin-Vermaelen, we wasted two transfer windows by not adding QUALITY to help us now, and help us tomorrow by pushing the youngsters.

  31. @ Ambrosia – I’m fairly sure I made the comment that if you’re the type of person who bases enjoyment on winning (which you appear to be) then Wenger might not be your cup of tea. But for someone like me (as I said) who values good football, good values and someone who can run a club in sustainable way, it’s hard to argue that Wenger has not been brilliant for Arsenal.

    It’s all a matter of subjective perspective and personally I’m not the type of person who values winning above all else, you are and that’s fine. Nice comments though.

  32. @Ole gunner, i completely agree with you mate.This is a new team that AW has just built, how would you build a title winning team and a new stadium at the same time with such a small budget and most importantly in the midst of a global economic disaster.Real madrid will be in a big trouble very soon beleive me guys!! and look at Chelski now with the worth less Ballack @ 190K Eur/week.
    One of the example that we all have to look at is how AW did choose his signing with Verma and Arshavin/ Of course, he might have been wrong when he said that his squad is strong enough for the title challenge while they negotiated on Arsha with Zenith but we must remember that he is also an human who can make mistakes sometimes but To me,most of the decisions he has taken has been always and mostly good for the club so far.
    Look at last year AMBROSIA,despite of the injuries we had which really cost us many points during the starting of the season (OCt-Nov 2008), the average aging of our squad with Their immaturity and their quality which was far far more mediocre than we currently have now, we still got 4th and semi on the CL.Arent you still convinced abt the quality that we have now based on those beautiful game tactics(which you presume to be wrong!! I totaly disagree as Ive just watched the most beautifull arsenal game of the last 4 years agst Blackburn two days ago)and the number of goals we have scored:14 so far/The best scoring team in the PL right now.
    Of course, there are still some few things to fix on our team now to compete agst the big clubs but I think that IF AW could take us here from the very mediocre and ugly team that we had last year,he could take us much further than this by the end of the season.

  33. @ ambrosia would you really be scared if we draw lyon, juve or porto in the next round of the cl? I know I won’t no matter how many trophies they have we will beat them. Also hasn’t the top 4 been in the latter stages of the cl for the last couple os seasons? When did we see 4 spanish or italian teams in the last 8? When did we see 2 teams from the same country in the final that wasn’t english?
    We are in the hardest league in the world and to finish 4th while not spending huge sums of money is a acheivement in itself but the main point is most arsenal fans enjoy the way we play and the board loves what arsne does so your whining will not change that.

  34. @Andy, i dont really see ambrosia’s comment as nice mate.To me, he appears like my spoiled daughter who wants party packs every day.
    i totaly agree with ole gunner saying that the 2003-04 “Invincible” team has been rotten, and now we would have to rebuild another “Invincible” again.
    and thats not an easy task to do.
    And this time, AW wants to rebuild it from a teenagers squad.Reason being are not only they are cheaper as investiment and could bring back big amount of profit for the club once fully matured but also he can shape and train them individually from scratch according to the job that he sees them best at on the pitch, which is a very brilliant idea to me cos he is now targetting to build a new and much better Invincible team as exactly he wants.
    The club and AW are looking long term, good profit would serve the club to regain its initial financial status after the building of the New stadium and also to maintain its financial foundation stable and strong for the next 4 and 5 years.
    Many clubs will follow us with this philosophy very soon.4 or 5 years from now, many big clubs will fall down by drawning themselves into heavy debts on buying stars while we will still stand up.
    BTW:I quote your stupid comments abt walcott,ramsey and djourou as unpoven youngsters.You shoud know that,I would never swap Walcott agst any wingers of the other top3, as well as Ramsey.

  35. Well, I have been reading all your comments and interesting that Ambosia kept his cool even if he has been slammed a few time. You have to admire that he stuck to his argument about winning. By the way, Silvestre cost was only 1mil. In a big skim of things that is not really a huge outlay. Also, I don’t think anyone here is really arguing against winning, just explaining the circumstances of why we did not so far. As Ambrosia mentioned on one of his posts, I have always been intrigued about Wenger’s comment about his ability to buy (available fund), but choose not to. I wondered that he kept setting himself up for criticism later in the season. I’m sure he believes in the ability of the players, but sometimes the shortcomings are obvious.

    I don’t believe he is ruthless enough either. When a player is not performing to his ability, he seem to have hard time to sub him. Not to knock his confidence, but to create some competition. If you feel safe in your position, I don’t think you work harder at it. Luzenie (I don’t know if I spelled his name right), Cygan, Senderos,and Ade in the past and Daiby this year are examples. As Obama says that you can’t do the same thing again and again and expect a different result.

  36. You will see next year some clubs who will come up with 30M Pd(at least) for Walcott as an offer.Walcott is far away better inveistiment than Bellamy.

  37. @ GetGunMN – Well said and good to see some good respect shown to Ambrosia. I will always respect and admire peoples opinions as long as they are presented in a controlled and thought-out way and Ambrosia has done that all the way through. Great discussion today.

  38. We all remember all the complains here abt our performance last year, i just dont think that its the right time to complain like this anymore.Complains on Diaby is understandable as he s the only one who hasnt improved his game.But i think that our performance after 7 PL games has been outstanding so far.If our performance were still average then i would accept any complains but our team is now considered as the most feared and one of the best (if not the best in EU)in the Championship so far with the most goal scored.And we all know that we ve started with a very uggly team last year to be at this level now, how could you still complain like Ambrosia does?? saying that we should have never extended walcott,ramsey or djourou’ contract, to me this totally Nonsense.
    And i dont really think that many gooners would agree with him.
    By December this year, he would shut his mouth.
    All of those(Including myself) who has complained about Song last year are now all ashamed of themesleves.I beleive that all of has had our lessons by now.Even now with Diaby, I dont wanna talk too much abt him anymore.Lets just stop the Complains and especially the stupid ones.

  39. Its good time now to give comfort to the team instead of giving complains.To me its des-respctfull to critic someone while they are giving their best for improvement.And we are talking abt a very good improvemnt here not average.Its just not fair as a reward for such a good effort!!!

  40. Ambrosia,

    I don’t want to be rude. Honestly.

    But can you fucking address my question: Chelsea spent £400M to compete. That’s how much it cost them to build a squad. So let’s assume that’s how much a title-winning squad costs.

    Of the squad we have now, only Clichy, RVP & Fabregas were around when we last won a trophy.

    So I want you to give us a winning strategy for buying a squad without £200 Million to spend (that’s only half of what Chelsea spent).

    Don’t dodge the question. Please take it on directly. Tell me how it was to be done.

    Some fans are like children. It’s like my niece who thinks you just have to get to the ATM to get endless money.

    There are no choices to be made. No recognition of the fact that we had absolutely no choice to take on a youth strategy, and no recognition of the fact that it could have meant not winning trophies for a while.

    And what absolutelyy exposes the shallowness of this approach is that Arsenal have reached the Champions League final and semis twice in these barren years where we had never gone that far in history. We’ve played finals. We’ve been a victory at Old Trafford away from winning the league.

    But some people are easily deceived by shiny objects.

    But I won’t forget that Liverpool are the most successful club in England, and they’ve never won the Premier League. If you ever feel the need for perspective. Start there.

  41. Ole Gunner, if you want to bring Chelsea into the equation, in 2004, we had a team full of established champions of the highest quality, of those, how many have actually retired from the starting line up? Bergkamp is the only one, Lauren-Campbell-Ljungberg have definately seen better deals, we should still have had Cole if the management never messed him around, Pires was released prematurely, Gilberto Silva was also allowed to leave so easily, Vieira still had presence in the league and his name alone would make opponents fear Arsenal even if his quality had waned, Henry was let loose a full 12 months after a new contract and hefty signing on bonus, he should still be with us. Lehmann and Toure are the only ones who time has gone for Arsenal.

    We dismantled a winning team, and winning culture very badly, once you lose the winning mentality, it is hard to get it back, and we have seen that we haven’t had the winning mentality, it will take something special to get it back.

    Why did that team get disbanded so quickly? Instead of getting youngsters in droves to replace them, we should have got stars to replace stars, we have money for giving Henry a £3m one off payment for a new contract that he only saw off for a year, but no money to buy quality players? Give me a break.

    I have told you, many teams have won titles in the face of bigger giants, Stuttgart did it, Bordeaux did it, why can’t Arsenal?

    I like my nice football as much as the next man, but i won’t be brainwashed by the media gurus at our club, we used to be winners, and i hate the fact we are hoping rather than expecting us to win stuff and be a big force on all fronts. Since when did it become cool to accept underachievement?

    I won’t criticise individual players like Diaby etc like some do, but the management, from the board to the coaches take us for a ride sometimes, imagine what will happen to other coaches who have barren spells as long as ours, and get battered at home twice in the space of a week, instead people shrugged it off.

    I was also against giving Walcott £60k/week, Ozil is twice the player and is only on £7k/week, Hazard is a better player and is on £5k/week, if we are so prudent with money, why do we pay players over the odds? What has Walcott done to get such a big contract, Ramsey barely plays and he is on £35k/week, what the hell for? Busquets is on less money, and he is a player in the Spanish squad, baffles me sometimes.

  42. Has it ever occurred to you that the team that went invincible in 2004 finished well off the pace in 2005 and 2006? Given their ages it was clear they had reached the end of their cycle. In 2006 it took the Spud players getting the shits for us to just nick a Champions League qualification.

    I keep asking; Where was the money to come from?

    How do you know how much Busquets earns? Don’t just make things up.

    I think we’re clearly overachieving. No manager would come close to keeping Arsenal competitive against teams that have spent close to £1 Billion on players.

    Sack the manager and we’d be even further away from winning the league.

    You can come up with all kinds of silly scenarios (like Hazard is on £5K a week when you have no clue how much he earns or even how good he really is) but struggle to deal with the hard practical stuff.

    We have remained competitive. Arsene has bought spectacularly well. He has developed a squad competing in the smi-finals of the Champions League on how much Chelsea pay 5 of their players in a year.

    But that shouldn’t count, right? It’s not a trophy.

    Bring in a new manager every year. When they dont win, fire them. That works, that’s why Chelsea have won the league & Champions League every year since 2006 isn’t it?

  43. The revisionism of it all.

    We disbanded the team too quickly my dog’s arse. As if it wasn’t the old team that fell behind badly in 2005 and 2006.

    When we finally completely disbanded the invincibles by selling Henry, Ljungberg and Lauren, we went and almost won the league.

    Arsene was supposed to believe that they would somehow reverse the ageing process and start winning again.

  44. I am not calling for his head, I don’t think I ever said Wenger should be sent packing, what I am alluding to is he should not be given an easy ride, why shouldn’t he put under pressure, fans pay very good money every year, and the team doesn’t get close to winning a trophy, to tell the truth, we have played awesome football for 5 years since we last won the league, I would instantly take a league triumph on 1-0 wins all the way, we have shown enough times we can beat anyone, but not win trophies.

    If you read any French publications, or follow the French league, he only signed his first pro contract earlier this year, and £5k/week was the figure issued, in any case, it is waaaaaaaaay below Walcotts £60k, and he is already a more complete player than Walcott. I may/may not watch Hazard, you may believe me or not, no worries for me.

    Same applies to Busquets, he is on around €25k/week, way below the figure of Ramsey, and he has already shown his quality on the grand stage.

    I won’t say Wenger has bought ‘spectacularly well’, some haven’t shown they are able to elevate us to compete for titles.

    Money is not a bigger issue for me, if we had a good tactical system, and found a solution to win, then we won’t need the money.

    I am sorry, I haven’t bought into the spin from the club, the fact is we haven’t won anything in ages, and between 2005-2009, we have only challenged for the league once, this cannot be acceptable. If the board allow Wenger not to spend money and instead focus on property deals, and say it is fine, just finish 4th, they need to ask themselves if they are still focussing on sporting ambitions or another motive, i really hate not winning, or looking like we can really win, it really sucks big time. It sucks because we choose not to improve, but chase a vanity project.

  45. @ Ambrosia – Just replying to your last couple of statements.

    Walcott is on a high salary because he brings a level of marketability to Arsenal that players like Hazard or even Busquets just can’t. Walcott has the potential to be England’s best player and everybody wants a piece of him, he is paid more because he has the potential to bring in a lot of interest from all around the world into Arsenal. While I can’t really comment on Ramsey I would say that the reasoning behind his salary situation is that by paying him more as well as having him on my books we were able to stop him from joining United. It seems like a contradiction to criticise our unwillingness to spend but then overlook the fact that, in a different way, we have spent and brought in players like Ramsey and Walcott who have massive, massive potential and British marketability. Additionally, those players will help rid the club of the media’s “Arsene is anti-England” bias which can provide a positive effect for the club in a different way.

  46. Finally, our comments in the podcast had nothing to do with giving Wenger an easy ride. We just wanted to take some time to look at the big picture of what Wenger has done during his time at this club and I think it would be very hard to argue that he’s not done a spectacularly successful job.

  47. SpanishFry, we are told we look for the best players, regardless of passport, but to be honest, I don’t think Walcott should be on such a lofty contract, he has done nothing in the game yet, Kaka didn’t start seeing big money until he was 23, and by then he was already destroying teams on a regular for Milan.

    On the pitch, Walcott hasn’t yet arrived for Arsenal, but he is on big money. Imagine we saved some of those lofty wages for a bigger player? It just puzzles me incredibly that we say there is no money, yet we pay over the odds on wages.

    Eden Hazard may not be well known, but he has the complete package on the pitch, at 18 he is a leader, already L’equipe bemoaning him playing so well as he will have to leave the league because of them, he is on peanuts, and a player older than him doesn’t have the same skills is on way more, really baffles.

    Just shows, the spin machine at arsenal can make folk think differently.

  48. @ Ambrosia – Sorry about the “SpanishFry” tag, those comments came from me.

    Re: Walcott, I think I already explained that he is extremely marketable. That’s all I said.

    When you say it baffles you why Hazard doesn’t make as much money but is more skillful a lot of it comes down to marketability. That’s the way of the football world a lot of the time.

    I don’t know where this “spin machine” comment is coming from. I don’t feel affected by it – I form my own opinions. We’ve had a good discussion and I think saying that at the end is a little bit unfair.

  49. Now that our team has confidence and a bit of nastiness- I think it is safe and would be a great move to bring in Vieira in January. You saw what the simple appearance of Henry did to them. Vieira will bring us back to the promised land and cover for Song when he is in Africa

  50. @Ambrosia – you sound like you maybe started supporting Arsenal when they were winning loads of trophies and are now bit disenchanted to discover it’s not as easy as it looked. NO – Arsene Wenger is not here just to win trophies. Arsenal as a club is NOT just about winning trophies. Some clubs go for decades without winning a thing. Some for centuries. Some never. Generally you won’t hear their fans bitching about it like spoilt brats.
    Last weekend I sat and watched Arsenal beat Blackburn 6-2. It was a brilliant match. Easily the best game in the Prem that weekend. I’d rather sit and watch that than stare at a tin cup for 2 hours going – “Oohh, goody, look what we won.”
    Arsene is not above criticism – but you cant have been reading this or any other Arsenal blog if you think he’s getting an easy ride.
    Might I politely suggest you go and support one of these Spanish, French, Italian, Portugese etc. clubs you admire so much? You can have trophies coming out of your ass – and be happy.

  51. Saying Arsene is above criticism is a red herring.

    As far as I can tell, there is nobody here saying; “How dare you criticise Arsene”.

    What Ambrosia (and so many others) get taken to task for is that their evaluation of the state of things is misguided and not useful.

    An example is the failure to accept the notion that clubs exist to win trophies,a nd if you’re not winning trophies you’re doomed. And that’s just wrong.

    Then there’s the I-Know-Brigade who know everything the manager should be doing. Eden Hazard should be playing for Arsenal and not Theo Walcott. This person shouldn’t be on this sum of money. All having no real knowledge of the situation. It’s silly and it’s destructive.

    Then there are those who just want money spent as if spending money guarantees anything.

    Then there are those just distorting what has happened in the last 4 years. That’s the one that gets to me. They blame Wenger for not keeping the invincibles, whereas it was clear after 2 years of poor performance in 2006 that Arsenal had to rebuild or fall out of contention altogether.

    They gloss over relative success and want us to believe that if we’d for example won the Carling Cup in 07 and 09 it was, in terms of success, of more weight than reaching the CL semi-final and final, and being one victory away from winning the league. All that is glossed over as if even relative success is no success at all.

    Sure, it’s not enough to reach finals, but it is still an achievement. Now we’re a seeded team in Europe, one of the top 6 rated. Someone wants me to think that’s a disaster.

    Then there is the lie that football is winner-take-all scenario in which you either win trebles or die. And it’s so untrue. Manchester United won a double 2 seasons ago, and made a huge loss. And even in that year, their revenue from that footballing success amounted to something like £20M more than Arsenal got from winning no trophy.

    Then there is the crude idea that the manager shouldn’t think of the health of the club. The idea that the manager should be like the child who thinks you just have to get to the ATM to get endless cash, and should hold no concept of where the money he spends comes from.

    This one idea is madness. Arsene’s job is not to balance the books they say. Well, his job is to succeed as best he can with the resources the club has.

    And the club being £300M in debt should not like Liverpool or Man City be getting into ever increasing debt to buy players, especally if success only nets you £20M more.

    We need a reasonable, comprehensive discussion of the situation at Arsenal with everybody accepting the underlying realities.

  52. What’s with this Ambrosia dude? Reminds me of several of my pals last season, btn Oct-Dec who were so angry that Arsenal kept drawing matches they started calling for wenger’s head. Don’t we have alot to be optimistic about this season so far? We seem to be doing fairly good.If we keep our current form and keep scoring alot of goals we are going to be unstoppable…..a brace in trophies wont be too far fetched.

  53. in many ways your points are valid ambrosia but alot of these players you hav mentioned in the italian/french leagues may not be able to adapt to the english game which is way harsher than continental football,also when you speak of their wages do you not think that once these guys you say earn 5k and 8k start negotiating at arsenal that they would want 50/60k a week????thats part of being a big club and add this to how much power the agents and players hav and the wages will rarely reflect value…look at ballack.
    also would you rather the manager goe for the star players like ibrahimovic who cost 35m WITH samuel etoo???that deal just reflects how inflated and proposterous things hav become.players like gary cahill now for 20mil…are you kidding.also it seems whenever it is leaked about us havin an interest in a player we are being followed by smaller english clubs most recently west ham,sunderland and bolton with players such as cana,chamakh and veloso…this may bolster ambrosias statement that we operate poorly in the transfer market now and that even these teams now feel they can do business better than us.
    while i do feel you raised some fair points i also feel you are fast becoming like the utd/chelski fans of this world which is a world away from being an arsenal fan…its sounds like you just want the trophies so you can wind up ur mates of different clubs down in your local…your are not taking reality into perspective,our club has a philosophy,integrity and steadfast belief in doing things a certain way,a way they feel is apt to our club and when trophies do arrive it will make it all the sweeter knowing how hard and honestly wed worked for it and not hav that hypocritcal,deluded and condescending viewpoint of a chelsea/utd fan who hav on many occasions brought the game into disrepute with vulgar spending

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