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Why Do Arsenal Fans Take Pride in the Financial Solvency of their Club?

3137237594 e420674512 Why Do Arsenal Fans Take Pride in the Financial Solvency of their Club?

When the Forbes list of the richest clubs in international soccer was released last week it was no shock to ?nd Arsenal third on the list. Coincidentally on the same day Arsenal’s manager Arsene Wenger came out with the not so surprising comment that despite the likely availability of transfer funds there would be no major changes at Arsenal this offseason. This of course was met with the understandable fan reaction of disgust that the current underperforming will again return next season for yet another encore performance. However there is another attitude amongst Arsenal fans, one that is spoonfed by the club that is lapped up by it’s more “loyal” fans.

The Arsenal hierarchy often point to the remaining debt from the move to the Emirates as the reason for the club’s frugality. However the truth of the matter is this is merely club propaganda. When you consider that even most successful businesses operate with some level of debt, Arsenal by most accounts is and should be the model for how to run a successful football club. That is of course unless you are a fan. You see the key to running a successful club as a business is to remain competitive while keeping operating costs down, mainly by not paying high salaries and transfer fees. Wenger and Arsenal are the best in the world at this when you consider they challenge every season for the Premier League title and qualify for the Champions League, an honor that brings even more income to the club. The actual winning of a championship would be an added bonus of course but it is not worth enough economically at the cost of raising payroll.

So why is it that Arsenal fans defend a philosophy that is all about maximizing pro?ts for the club while only providing a competitive product on the ?eld? This attitude would bother me less as a fan of a team I knew to be limited ?nancially, but this just isn’t the case at Arsenal. They are a global brand with a growing following here in the U.S.  Where the Premier League is enjoying a level of success that has not been seen for soccer in this country since the Cosmos. I will never understand the mentality of the Arsenal fan who points to the clubs ?nancial standing as a badge of honor. I don’t feel the fans should be content merely with being competitive when being elite is clearly within their grasp. This will only elevate this transfer period if Cesc Fabregas, a long rumored target of Barcelona, is sold to the Spanish giants. If this happens and the 30 to 40 million pounds is not reinvested in the club, maybe then people will realize what is really the long and short term goals at Arsenal.

Also making things even more complicated is the impending takeover by now majority shareholder Stan Kroenke. How will his philosophy and vision for the club mesh with Wenger’s? Hard to believe this wouldn?t be a match made in heaven. Wenger is any owner’s dream.

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65 Responses to Why Do Arsenal Fans Take Pride in the Financial Solvency of their Club?

  1. Jaime says:

    You must not know many Gooners. Dunno where youre coming from mate but as an Arsenal supporter I know thats not what I cling to and I dont know any fans who claim that as a “badge of honour”. Unless youre a fan majoring in business at Uni I doubt youd care about this. This philopsophy is not lapped up by the, as you say. “loyal” fans. Horrible article mate..

    • S J Little says:

      I cannot understand why the board or the PR “Stuff” don,t educate Mr Wenger into understanding that Arsenal fans have never gone into the “sack the Manager” business unless and until it was clear the Manager had failed after a reasonable run at the job
      Therefore they are not wanting Arsene out its first and foremost that they object to being insulted with the excuses and claims that he makes.
      Trying to persaude us that he has a forever promising team is insulting..
      Are we all wrong,are ex loyal players all wrong,are non Arsenal fans even wrong in regreting what they see is wrong,are all media sports journalists and commentators wrong?
      Leaving the getting of Alonzo from Lpool until it was too late to get an alternative, leaving it too late to gets Fulhams keeper, were we wrong to think that in letting Firmani go and relying on Almunia was a real error!

      Has Wenger not checked out past Champions and noticed any pertinent facts to be “noted down”. Did they not all have WORLD CLASS keeprs,tough centre backs,at least one midfield “destroyer” , a few fearsome players,wingers ( usually one slow and tantalising the other fast and sharpshooting, both with ACCURATE centring qualities). Has Arsenal ever won anything without super wingmen? Kitchen,Hulme,Bastin,Roper,Compton,Milton,McPherson,Armstrong,Limpar,Rocastle,Marwood,Overmars,Parlour,Henry,Pires,Ljungberg,etc
      Look at Man Utd wingmen: Kanchelsus,Giggs,Ronaldo,Beckham,and so on.Does any of Arsenals current lot look like these match winners?
      When the going got tough recently Nasri suddenly looked like a schoolboy out of his depth. Walcott apart from speed has no compass and disappears completely after the first 20 minutes.
      Leadership, inspiration, Fabregas!!!!!!!! This weary, tired looking heart not in it CAPTAIN. Is any knowledgable Arsenal fan not entitled to consider this a distinct handicap to the team and a complete blackout as far as arousing the stadium! Then Clichy the most inefficient and non-entity full back I have ever seen at Arsenal since I started watching them in1938!
      He gives his winger acres of space, he tries to win balls when the team is winning and there is no reason to win the ball but every reason to win a throw in or boot it away, and with only minutes left, and as a result finishes up on the wrong side of his opponent therefore leaving the defence flat footed and drawn out of position. He is too small and as to his, yes I agree fabulous upfield sorties , but what harm do they ever do? He and Sagna are worse crossers of a ball than park players! Centre backs, well look at Mr Wengers selection, Stephenos(or such)Cygan,Senderos,etc, and now these nice polite little leg and arm danglers
      Djourou,Spilly and Rossy. Why Granny could push them over! Centre backs and this from a man who has the likes of O,leary,Keown,Bould,Adams to be thankful to for his first successes!
      Of course, he has been magnificent and that*s why it is baffling to understand his stubborn failure to give his young team the chance to be winners. Too many have had their chance and blown it. Yet Ramsey,Lansbury,Velo,Emmanual Thomas are apparently not good enough to be used the was Fergie can include ALL his new signing in no time at all and in the right moments and tactical astutnes according to the opposition!
      The fact remains also to wonder if some of these young hopefuls of Wengers might have learn a lot more had they had an ear bashing on the way up. Fergie does not seem to have to talk his players into staying everyyear, yet they know that Old Trafford is no home of rest.. Offend or let down and your OUT and it does not matter how big you think you are!

      It may be a Cup-final but if the keeper not good then he is out of the replay-ask Roxburgh,remember? Oh, and thats it really, Wengers refusal to see Arsenal would never win anything with this keeper, and does he not also remember that the excellant keepers moved out to go to another Club only to win Championship medals : Rimmer and Lukic. Did Mr Wenger not register that Fulhams keeper had kept Middlesboro in the Premier for years and when he went to Fulham, Middlesboro went down and Fulham became a top half Premier side!!
      There is none so blind as these who will not see.

  2. rananjay says:

    poor article

  3. RVPfan says:

    I have defended Wenger vehemently over the past couple of years, and still do. But now, enough is enough already.

    I don’t think his philosophy is wrong at all. I can’t understand why people keep saying, playing a proper, beautiful football is the wrong philosophy. It’s not and it can win. It’s just that the players he has at his disposal just does not have the necessary skill and talent to implement that philosophy. Arsenal have wide range of followers all over the world, because of the way they play and the last thing we would want to see happen is to go back to the “boring, boring, Arsenal” era. It would be simply disastrous.

    • Sean says:

      “I can’t understand why people keep saying, playing a proper, beautiful football is the wrong philosophy.”

      What I cannot understand is why people insist that Arsenal’s way is the proper way to play football. If it is the proper way why don’t clubs that can afford to do so play Arsenal’s way all the time?

      Moreover, you state, “It’s just that the players he has at his disposal just does not have the necessary skill and talent to implement that philosophy.” Part of being a manager is aligning your tactics with the players that you have at your disposal.

  4. goonerjohn says:

    not sure you know what being a fan is all about. Ridiculous article, narrow minded thinking.

  5. goonerjohn says:

    i’ve been an arsenal fan for 30 years, and proud to be part of this massive club with a massive history. Fact is, you know nothing about arsenal’s history mate.

  6. jdoe says:

    ask any leeds fan…I’m sure they can explain why financial solvency is something to be proud of.

  7. dlink09 says:

    I am an Asian living in USA for last 11 years, about 4 years ago i was attracted to EPL because of Arsenal Style of Play and watched most of the televised Arsenal Games. i was very excited for sat/sun’s Arsenal games and lately i have became a casual fan watching odd Arsenal games.. you have to win something to build on.. to me there is no team spirit.. same old issues season after season.. i feel for poor old original Arsenal fans.. something gotta change, this can’t continue like this.. i don’t know but i am losing it with Arsenal.. Fabregas get lost man..

  8. Bernard says:

    Have you actually heard “we all love our sustainable business model” echoing from the terraces at the Emirates?

  9. Steppa says:

    Really? You seriously took the time to pen this article and didn’t see that you contradict yourself several times over. Poor effort.

  10. [OPTI]Madschester United says:

    After 6 years of drought anything will wet their lips :P

    Football as a business: remain competitive while keeping operating costs down. Trophies are secondary.

    Football as a fan: Trophies, trophies, trophies! Everything else is secondary.

    20 years from now, no one will say: “Arsenal played beautiful football and was hugely profitable.” Only trophies matter…

  11. Sean says:

    Are some Arsenal supporters really stating that their fellow Arsenal supporters do not bring up the whole financial solvency issue when supporters from clubs with debt or potential debt issues poke fun at Arsenal?

    You must be having a laugh.

    If I had a nickel every time I heard an Arsenal supporter bring that subject up, I would have had enough money to purchase Arsenal (though I would not have since I am not an Arsenal supporter).

  12. S J Little says:

    You all seem to be saying not enough talent but there is- too much talent.
    But its not a talent show if it was ARSENAL would walk it! It a combatable Sportong CONTEST and that needs more than “talent” It needs courage and endeavour well beyond the reach of so many of Wengers dream team.. Its a nice dream we all admire the beauty of it but can,t get any kick out of it.

  13. stephen says:

    Eventually a lack of trophies will lead to a falling off of international fans. Less people want to watch Arsenal = less TV time outside of England = less merchandise bought abroad. Then no matter how ‘balanced’ the books are the books themselves will be smaller and smaller.

    Eventually a lack of on field success will pull the club down. As an Arsenal fan I won’t stop watching, but it kills me to see a lack of investment financially and mentally by the manager and club. Hopefully things will change but we’ve said that every summer. It’s just sad, because the opportunities for success are there, we just won’t do what needs to be done to guarantee them.

  14. Terry says:

    Right now it’s the only thing that Arsenal fans can take pride in. They obviously cannot take pride in how their team has performed on the field and how they have missed opportunity after opportunity in winning at least one trophy this season. That their season is almost over with no silverware again should be very troubling. I’m sure most Arsenal fans would rather have the debt of United and silverware rather than no debt and no silverware. Sign of the times.

  15. Jill says:

    In general, I think this is a poorly written article with contradiction all over the place. Yes, I’m upset about this season. However, to answer the question in the title of the article, all I can do is think of Leeds, and I’m glad Arsenal is run the way it is run. And just because I say that doesn’t mean I’m not frustrated with the way things have been this season, but I just don’t see it as the end of the world, or a good reason for the manager to go, especially since no one has anywhere near a good suggestion as to who should take his place.

  16. Dave (dlbags) says:

    If you listened to the insane fans that complain on blogs like this or what blogs like this seem to imply, Arsenal should clearly have gone 38-0-0. After every loss Arsenal is dissected and analysis is given as to why Arsenal didn’t win the game. because you know top teams lose games not get beat unless they are of course playing another top 4 team. Even the article written here then when Chelsea won the first one didn’t bother to emphasize Arsenal’s injuries. Even as Man City and Chelsea fell from grace and wasted money the Arsenal critiques keep rolling in, because really Wenger is French and unrelenting. Spurs get praise even though they are a +7 GD team.

    And now after exhausting all subject this tripe is posted. Are Arsenal fans proud of our financials? What a dumb question. Ask Pourtsmouth fans or Leeds fans what they feel about financials. If Man U wasn’t so far in hock and going deeper every season they would be too. If you juxtapose Arsenal will all the teams winning silverware the one things stands out which is Arsenal have built things to last. Chelsea would rather spend 50 mil on Torres than give their young talent a chance. Why don’t you write and article on that? if Chelsea fans are okay with not having ANY home grown players, or if they are okay with their robber baron owner’s blood money buying titles?

    Things are changing with FIFA’s fair play rules. Real Madrid and others can’t just spend money they don’t have to stack champion teams. And when they do only Arsenal are in place and already producing under those provisions.

    So the rest of you can enjoy the bubble while Arsenal get laughed at but when your teams are broke and teams like us, Aston Villa and Everton rise up past the Chelsea’s and Man U’s remember this and all the dumb Wenger bashing articles. Enjoy your money hemorrhaging teams because something tells em when you don’t have teams whose payroll for exceeds their actual finances team’s like Arsenal “who aren’t good enough win silverware” will be dominating.

    • sacto blues says:

      Ken Bates was hardly a robber baron when Chelsea went to the ’94 FA Cup final or when Chelsea won the ’97 or 2000 FA Cups or when the Chelsea won in Europe in ’98 in the Cup-Winners-Cup over Stuttgart or qualified for Champions League in 99-2000 or when Arsenal fielded the first non-english side in the late 90′s so learn a little footie before you expose your ignorance.

      • Dave (dlbags) says:

        Obviously I’m speaking of the last few years as the entire argument about Arsenal is the last 6 years not winning trophies etc etc…

        But this is the typical knee jerk reaction of obtuse Chelsea fans. Google your owner and how he came to all of his wealth like most of the “Russian billionaires”.

        The same could be said of Man City and their owners owning like 70% of the wealth of their country. Or we can talk about the Glazers and their layers and layers of debt and loans with huge balloon interest payments or Liverpool being so far in debt they essentially allowed another owner to practically steal the team from the previous owners.

        These are the teams that “go out and buy players to win now” that people are criticizing Arsenal for not besting. Arsenal stand alone in Europe among the elite teams while most of them loose 40-60 mil a year. The best team in Europe Barca lost like 68 million fielding a super team that they essentially can’t truly afford. And they will win La Liga, and Champions League and be heralded by all of Europe but what does it all mean if you can’t do it within the means of your business?

        These are the elite teams of the BPL: Liverpool, Man U, Chelsea and Arsenal- with Spurs and City moving into the top. Now objectively look at those teams holistically and tell me Arsenal isn’t the best of the lot? Tell me you don’t think they will be in a better position to dominate when “fair play rules” go into play.

        It’s like having the nicest house on the block and bragging about it to your neighbors meanwhile you can’t make the mortgage payments or afford the interest on your credit cards for all the crap you bought for it.

        This is a huge problem in football and FIFA knows it which is why they are making rules to change it. And we can get back to how football used to be when the best teams and organizations won Europe from hard work, scouting, training etc instead of just whipping out the checkbook.

        Sure Arsenal could splash cash in one last hurrah like Man City and Chelsea are doing, but they’d rather spend their money extending Wilshere or guys like Nasri which every team in Europe wants.

        And yes Wenger will make changes in the summer he’s just not going to say it now while players that will obviously be sold are still on the team, what coach does that?

        • Andrei says:

          “But this is the typical knee jerk reaction of obtuse Chelsea fans. Google your owner and how he came to all of his wealth like most of the “Russian billionaires”.”

          Hmm… And how did Alisher Usmanov or Stan Kroenke make their billions?

          • Dave (dlbags) says:

            Kroenke earned his money in real estate then running sports franchises and obviously there’s a reason they wouldn’t sell majority or let Usmanov run the team. So that answers your question.

            Obviously fans of teams can’t control who owns them etc but there’s no denying the rotten method that Chelsea have been successful recently or Man City’s for that manner that their fans are forced to rationalize. I feel more pity for Chelsea and City fans than contempt.

    • Sean says:

      “So the rest of you can enjoy the bubble while Arsenal get laughed at but when your teams are broke and teams like us, Aston Villa and Everton rise up past the Chelsea’s and Man U’s remember this and all the dumb Wenger bashing articles.”

      You act as if the clubs that spend money are run by idiots and they will not figure out a way to field good sides. The reason why clubs spend a lot of money now is not due to incompetence. It is due to the fact that they can. Arsenal seems to enjoy living in a world where they have to be frugal when there is currently absolutely no reason to be.

      You bring up Manchester United which is laughable. Before this season over the last decade Manchester United spent £402.6 million in the transfer market while recouping £252 million in player sales. In other words they would just have needed £15 million a season for the past ten years to finance their endeavours money that could easily come from a number of avenues (e.g Champions League, match day receipts, television money, etc.).

      Even a side like Liverpool before this season spent an average of £10 million pounds more on player acquisitions than the money they received on player sales. While Chelsea and Manchester City might have problems living under FFP the rest of the Premier League will be fine.

      I also found it amusing that you brought up Everton. In Everton’s last financials their income was £80 million. Their staff wages were £54 million and their other operating costs were £21 million . Do you really think Premier League sides are going to have trouble competing with that?

      • Sean says:

        Sorry, I realize I was not too clear with my last point.

        The reason why Everton does not spend much money is not because of some grand master plan. It’s because they are too broke to spend any. If it was not for their manager they would be in an even worse position and even David Moyes is getting fed up with it.

      • Dave (dlbags) says:

        I don’t want to give you a lesson in economics, but keep it simple, it doesn’t matter what Man U are currently spending on transfers as that is not the only cost of operating. Look at their loans and balloon payments on interest coming up. The Glazers are using their own money to make the difference. This is how most teams without billionaire owners go into administration. Under the new rules they won’t be able to use their money to cover these high interest loans the Glazers have saddled man U. They will have to come from club profits. Teams will have to be self contained which no top club except Arsenal have because they in fact wanted to avoid the loans and interest payment Liverpool and Man U are or in the case of Liverpool were saddled with.

        And Arsenal have the state of the art new stadium Liverpool can’t seem to get done and yet Liverpool a bigger club, worth more etc. Arsenal are saddled with debt and cross that bridge type loans to pay off. All while being competitive and finishing top 4 the last 5 years and they are a failure? Or Wenger needs to go? You people are crazy.

        • Dave (dlbags) says:

          Arsenal *aren’t saddled with “cross that bridge type loans sorry for the typos.

        • Sean says:

          In the case of Manchester United, those interest payments will magically go away once the Glazers sell Manchester United (which is what they always planned on doing).

          Also, can you please show me where I stated that finishing in the top four was a failure and that Wenger needed to go?

          • Sean says:

            Also, with respect to Liverpool, the inability to go forward with stadium plans has more to do with the incompetence of the previous regime than anything else. I am fairly confident Liverpool will come up with firm plans to either expand Anfield or build a new stadium later on this year.

          • Dave (dlbags) says:

            I’m sure they will too the red Sox owners are smart and will right Liverpool. but they operate the red Sox very similar to Arsenal. They don’t win at the cost of money they don’t have.

  17. MG says:

    A poor, borderline slanderous article.

  18. Norfolk Enchants says:

    I for one take a lot of pride in it. I can’t STAND teams that buy trophies. If Arsenal started playing that game it might push me away. I love Wenger’s approach and I support him completely.

    To all you clowns who want to buy a trophy, go support Chelsea.

  19. mark7402 says:

    I’ve been an Arsenal fan for 30+ years and until this season I have never really felt let down. The past 5 or so years I have understood what the club have been doing financially and have been happy to enjoy the football without any trophies. I am very proud of the “Business Model” and I do take pride in the club and its values but………

    The time has come for Arsenal to push forward and we cannot do this without a little cash in the right areas of the pitch.
    A couple of big name players to add to a good squad would give us that extra bit we are looking for.

    I think Arshavin,Clichy,Diaby,Bendtner have to go and that will give us roughly 60m to spend.
    Add another 40m we have 100m.

    Now we can go shopping and buy some big players to take the team forward at little cost to our “business model”

    If there is 1 player I would like to see in an Arsenal shirt it would be Carlos Tevez but looks like his days in England may be finished.

  20. frank says:

    wenger is any owners dream but mourinho is every fans dream

  21. Andrei says:

    @Dave (dlbags) Stan Kroenke was a small time real estate dealer until he married Walmart money and Walmart is not that far away from the “robber baron” business model. Anyway, you bring some valid points about how football clubs are supposed to be run but to claim that there are some nobler ways of making billions of dollars is to me a bit of a stretch. Or to imply that having owners with “nobler money” somehow makes a football club morally superior.

    • Dave (dlbags) says:

      I’m not naive most rich people didn’t get their money with hard work etc but the Russian billionaires that “sprouted” after the fall of communism are particularly a lot more scummy than your average “screw someone over to get rich” that most billionaires are.

      But you are right it is a silly premise. And like I said I genuinely feel for Chelsea and City fans.

      I think Wenger will take the summer and first sign Nasri and then get more defense and a keeper perhaps another striker while selling a few players. He earned the right to try and win his way with his young team but now he will have to mix it us like most teams have to, but without making bonehead deals like 50 mil for Torres etc.

      • Andrei says:

        The Torres deal is not that boneheaded except for the price tag. And even that is relative it all depends on what you can or cannot afford. Some people of more modest means may think that spending $100 at the restaurant or $150 to see Arsenal play at Emirates is one boneheaded thing to do. Chelsea are in the need to freshen their front line and Torres may just fit right in if they are patient enough with him. What is boneheaded though was for them to expect that Torres would quickly fix their current problems and to overspend in January.

  22. Dave (dlbags) says:

    Gaffer I will be more proactive instead of complaining about the non stop Arsenal posts I will tell you what I as a reader would like to read about:

    -Dirk Kuyt’s resurgence and whether Liverpool has been misusing him all this time and if he should play more forward going, well forward.

    -Stoke’s chances to win the FA Cup.

    -Chelsea’s chances on winning the league now.

    -If the BPL will be as interesting without Ian Holloway and his rants.

    -The amazing job Hodgeson is doing at WBA.

    -Who will be the next Jack Wilshere (Young player to “blow up” as the kids say)

    That’s all off the top of my head. Thoughts?

    • Dave (dlbags) says:

      Ooh another idea:

      How to fix West Ham United? They’re getting a new stadium and look to be relegated.

      Can QPR stay up or compete as they look to be the first team confirmed up.

      • Sean says:

        It’s interesting that you bring QPR up.

        If QPR really wanted to they could easily stay up.

        Granted, their owners have invested relatively nothing in their squad, relative to their wealth that is, thus far but, theoretically they could pour a hero’s ransom into the club (as long as they have no ambitions to play in Europe for a few seasons since Financial Fair Play rules only apply to clubs that play in European competitions).

    • The Gaffer says:

      Thanks Dave for the positivity and excellent suggestions. Let me see what I can do over the next few days.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

    • Stoke’s FA Cup chances: 25%
      Chelsea’s EPL chances: 10%
      :D

  23. Stacy Richardson6 says:

    “Success is survival.”

    –Michael Murphey

    A lot of people who have responded to this topic seem not to understand that we are in the middle of a worldwide financial collapse. It’s been coming on for a long time. The ONLY way for Arsenal to build a new stadium and persevere has been to rein in spending. That’s what they are doing. And Arsenal will be there a few years from now when some of the teams now in the Premiership have been relegated or liquidated. Make a note on your calendar, for, say, May 2016, and tell me at that time if Arsenal’s approach was incorrect.

  24. jasem (KUWAIT) says:

    About time you leave this club Arsene Wenger.
    2 years ago the management offered 70 million euros to secure the team, but Arsene said (do not need one now).
    It is a strange thing!! Which coach in the world put pressure on management of the club in order to save money, so he can contract with the players work to achieve their tournaments but this Wenger!.

    (Bad defense) and (worse keeper) then he deserves the loss because he did not bring a great keeper and a strong defense!.

    Why not come up with top defenders carrying the team on their shoulders and make Fabregas, Van Persie and Nasri continue their creativity and they know that the background in their areas are safe, but no matter how many goals we score, the defence fails to secure.
    If you Wenger glad that you discover talent and to be a successful coach, go to one (sporting academies) in order to become a better coach, but when you want to fight in the Premier League, your tactical abilities should be high.
    The most prominent evidence of the tactical weakness he did not know how to keep the results. Look at Newcastle match leading 4 goasl, and than ended up in tie, Also Tottenham matches the first and last, liverpool, sunderland etc..
    Even the Carling Cup Championship tournaments which is the easiest tournament yet he lost too McLeish. Birmingham boss knew how to beat Wenger (tacticaly) and all the experts and analysts acknowledged that in that game.
    Now after the billionaire Kronke got the most share in the club will have the first word in the team I think he (intends to something?) I hope so.

    Leave us Arsene, im tired watching Arsenal like this.

    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

    REMEMBER, GREAT GOALKEEPER IS SO IMPORTANT MR. ARSENE W.

  25. sean says:

    great article,its spot on.know many arsenal supporters that boast about their financial status and ignore the 5 year trophy drought.

    • MG says:

      The majority of Arsenal fans don’t ‘ignore’ the 5 year drought. Some may boast about the club’s financial status, but the majority do not ignore the 5 year drought.

  26. Guy says:

    I love to watch Arsenal play. I admire their financial diligence, but I fail to see why they can’t build a sound defense without breaking the bank. Aside from stubbornness, in certain quarters, it doesn’t make any sense.

  27. somervillain says:

    “Underperforming”? By what metric? Supporter expectations? Certainly not in terms of talent. Wenger’s squad is no better than fourth-best in the Prem this season, especially in key areas. They’re the only club in the top six that don’t have an above-average goalkeeper. With Vermaelen injured, Sagna’s the only member of the Arsenal defense that is Champions League-caliber and while Song has improved this season, he’s not on the same level as Fletcher/Essien/de Jong as a defensive mid, so it’s no surprise Arsenal have allowed more goals than any of their Top Four counterparts. The strike force also pales in comparison to the competition. Robin van Persie is the only Champions League-caliber striker in the squad, but his awful injury track record has limited him to appearances in just 54 percent of Arsenal’s Premier League matches in the past five season. Beyond him, neither Chamakh nor Bendtner would get a game at United, Chelsea or City (and probably not even at Spurs or Liverpool). Add in the fact Walcott appears to be a sprinter with nominal footballing abilities, Arshavin’s shocking regression this season, and Captain Fàbregas’s inability to stay healthy that rivals van Persie’s and you’ve got a squad that’s more comparable to Spurs than to the top four. It’s a testament to Wenger that he’s gotten this group to play such attractive football and won so many games with them, but there are limits to his wizardry. The leaky defense can’t protect leads and the lack of powerful players in the attack makes it tough to push for goals in crucial situations. It’s too bad for Arsenal that Liverpool got bailed out by Fenway Sports Group, because Reina, Skrtel, and Torres are exactly what Wenger could use to make this group of perennial also-rans into a true title contender.

    • MG says:

      Yes, underperforming. And yes, in terms of talent. If you’ve been watching Arsenal for the past two months, underachieving is exactly what the squad is doing, whether the squad itself isn’t ideal or strong enough defensively. There IS enough talent on the team to not squander the very very good opportunity to claim 1st on the table, time and time again, but that’s exactly what they’ve done. There isn’t an Arsenal fan alive that is not disappointed and doesn’t feel let down by the mettle of the squad since that horrific Newcastle collapse in early February. This squad may not be the ideal Arsenal squad to win the league this year, but God knows they were given every possible chance and they’ve blown it. Not to mention the final minutes of the Carling Cup final..

      Of course, it could have been worse. They could have lost 8 of the last 11 matches, but as far as the title race goes, the past two months have been a miserable 8 weeks.

    • Dave (dlbags) says:

      The Walcott is a fast with no footballing skills is getting old. Every game he doesn’t score or assist it gets rolled out by fans. The problem isn’t him but how he’s being used. He has a good touch and crossing abilities when used. He showed it in the Blackpool game with the cross to RvP. Then against Liverpool the anti Walcott crown came out again. And then his goal against Spurs was sublime and nothing. Now he has another game where he didn’t score and it’s back. And not just you or here.

      He’s been in 24 games and has 8 goals and 7 assists and numerous near misses that bring out the “he’s just fast” crowd.

      BTW the greatest player int he world (Gareth Bale) Has 7 goals in 28 games and ONE, ONE assist from the guy that screams down the line outrunning defenders with his sublime crosses. On 58 shots by the way compare to Walcott having 3 more.

      Gareth is just as fast too, I wonder why he is never compared to a sprinter or just being fast? Any thoughts anyone?

      • somervillain says:

        Every once in a while Walcott will display some skill to remind you he isn’t just a guy with pace, but for the most part he just plays the speed game. Bale with the ball running at my club’s fullback makes me very nervous. Walcott with the ball taking on my club’s fullback does nothing of the sort. They’re simply not on the same level and you’re deluding yourself if you think they are.

    • Sean says:

      I think one win in nine matches qualifies as underperforming for pretty much any club.

      Also, “It’s too bad for Arsenal that Liverpool got bailed out by Fenway Sports Group, because Reina, Skrtel, and Torres are exactly what Wenger could use to make this group of perennial also-rans into a true title contender”?

      What makes you think Arsenal would be willing to spend the money necessary to purchase them?

      Fernando Torres was available in the last transfer window and Arsenal was nowhere to be seen.

      • somervillain says:

        Right, I’m saying it’s too bad Liverpool aren’t still facing a financial crisis with the former owners still in charge this summer, as Arsenal could take those three off their hands for about £70m and instantly have a squad capable of truly contending for the title for once.

  28. dan says:

    americans dont know football. f*ck off

    • Sean says:

      You know what?

      I was under the impression that Americans did but, your argument was so cogent, insightful and thought provoking that I have now completely changed my opinion.

      Forget that the United States of America has more Nobel Prize winners than any other state by a country mile. This is football and football is WAY more complicated than something as silly as physics. I mean, a child can master physics. Only a proper adult foreigner can understand something as complicated as the offside law.

      • :D Nice first paragraph :) Had me laughing :lol:

        However, in general, Americans claim to be experts on football despite an often short exposure and Nobel Prizes, Harvard University, MIT, Yale all put together have NOTHING to do with “America’s football brain.”

        It is very difficult to have a good conversation about EPL with American’s because they either think british football started in 1992 or later or that Beckham was one of the most complete football (I’m a long-time United fan).

        However, thanks to EPLTalk and other sources (such as ESPN), this trend is coming to a slow but sure end, as soccer gains popularity at across all levels and is being well sustained throughout high school and college now.

        • Sean says:

          Granted, percentage wise Americans know less about football than many other countries but, to simply state that someone does not know anything about football because they are American is shockingly asinine.

          More than a few people did not agree with Rob’s posting, but at least they gave actual reasons beyond a blanket stereotype for not agreeing with him.

          Come to think of it, I do not even know if Rob is American. For all I know, he has lived in Italy for his whole life.

  29. Phenoum says:

    Let me guess Rob – you have one or two car payments, paying on a 30 year mortgage, and have ~$8000 in Credit card debt. You’d be considered “normal” in the US – but you’re throwing so much money away and you dont have a CLUE.

    Take the average american car payment – now imagine you skip that, buy a $3000 car, and invest your typical car payment from age 30 to 70, you end up with $5.6 MILLION. Sure is nice driving that car huh? giving up millions at retirement because you enjoy showing off to ppl on the road who you dont care about and will never meet again… and 30 yr mortgage? pay 30% more on the house payment (essentially make it a 15 yr fixed) and you’ll save 1/2 the value of your house in interest…

    Clearly I’m not going to take any financial advice from you – that’d be just ludicrous :)

    And yes I’m an Arsenal fan – and I’m proud that they’ve got their heads on their shoulders financially – but it’s not something I mention hardly at all.

    So go on believing that “debt” is normal, and I’ll enjoy my retirement at age 55 with millions more than you. I’m sacrificing now so I can reach my goals later.

    Dave Ramsey ftw

    • Tuttle says:

      “A $1000 car ain’t even gonna roll,
      til you throw at least another thousand in the hole.
      Sink your money in it, and there you are
      the owner of a 2,000 dollar 1,000 dollar car.”

      • Phenoum says:

        Hence the reason i shot for a $3k car :) long enough to last as you get rid of your debt while being inexpensive enough not to slow you down.

        Keep in mind that cars only ever LOSE value – a car is not ever an investment (unless you enjoy taking a guaranteed loss… )

        • Laurence says:

          One of the best sets of comments in a while.

          What kind of car is Arsenal?

          • Phenoum says:

            Hehe – interesting perspective…

            at the moment I’m afraid we might still be driving the cheap $3000 car that has allowed us to tackle the debt at the pace we’ve been doing so (must’ve been a Accord / Corolla). I’m not sure but I understand we’re close to being done with the stadium debt so hopefully we can move up in “car” in the next year or so :D

  30. abusaud says:

    Arsenal fans, in their futile attempts to justify their non-trophy winning ways, always say, “well at least we didn’t BUY our trophies like Manchester United or Chelsea!”. In other words, they like to act like Arsenal is a small time club (which is bullsh*t). So their logic is, if Club A spends money and wins a trophy, they bought the trophy, forget the fact that you need to have a squad with great chemistry, and a great manager to keep that chemistry going, to win a trophy. Arse fans like to say that they are “real” football fans, when they know full well there were a ton of bandwagoners during the first half of the 2000′s, when THEY were winning trophies. Bunch of hypocrites who NEED to have that badge of honor to justify why they haven’t won sh*t for the past 6 years, and why they have stuck to a manager who refuses to put together a winning team. Same Old Arsenal, Always Whining.

  31. Dave says:

    Can a team be unlucky? Looking at Arsenal’s season; hitting the wood 21 times (unreal) more injuries than any other team in the EPL the odd ref decisions like giving time or the RvP ejection Vermaelen not playing all year. We’ve blocked more shots than any other team int he league.

    For me the biggest hole in Arsenal’s game is set piece defense. 59% of the goals against have have been from set pieces, not the weak central defense or bad goal keepers or lack of leaders. So for me maybe Arsenal does need better luck and set piece defense and Arsenal’s season is totally different.

    Thoughts?

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