To the Arsenal….

By on August 19, 2010

Arsenal's emirates stadium

Written by Guest Blog : armourysquare

You know, it just is not fair that a club with such a stature as Arsenal has not won a trophy since the FA Cup in 2005. Since 2006, Arsenal have managed a mere top 4 finish. Lets not take away the fact that a top 4 finish in the Barclays Premier League is something which is seriously difficult to do, and is indeed worth applauding, but seriously as an Arsenal Fan is that what I would want to see? A team which plays “Beautiful Football,” which a neutral would love to watch deserves a bit more , don’t you think?

Now lets see what Arsene Wenger has done for the club. Yes, he gave the green light to build the massive 60,000 seater Emirates Stadium, knowing fully that the club would be restricted in the finance department in years to come. And quite frankly it did :

Lets take a look at the transfers Wenger has done in 2006 :

PLAYER       FROM          FEE
Song         Bastia       £1,000,000
Denilson     Sao Paulo    £3,400,000

PLAYER       TO            FEE
Cygan       Villareal         £2,000,000
Stokes       Sunderland   £2,000,000
Lauren      Portsmouth   £500,000
Larsson     Birmingham   £1,000,000
Muamba   Birmingham   £4,000,000
Aliadiere   Middlesbrough.   £1,500,000
Henry        Barcelona    £16,100,000

Now just consider this year. He has brought in players worth 4.4 ml pounds and let go of players worth 27.1 ml pounds. Now that is a massive difference of 22.7 ml pounds. So eventually he saved, season per season, slowly working his way through the debts of Arsenal and brought it to this stage.

In the forthcoming years, he let go Hleb, Flamini e.t.c (although these 2 wanted to leave ) and he brought in players like Sagna, Nasri, Arshavin, Eduardo e.t.c. What did he sacrifice, he sacrificed that thing which all Arsenal Fans want and desire most : T-R-O-P-H-I-E-S. By seeing neighbours Chelsea, rivals Manchester United year-after- year take away the competition of the Premier League, we fans probably feel depressed. Now it is true that Wenger has really acted like a miser these past few years (well we can’t blame him can we ? ), and we can’t do much about it. But this summer, after Mr Gazidis has stated :

“When I spoke to you last year we had about £120million of debt on Highbury Square and I remember a lot of the questions revolved around that and our property development activity,” he said.

“We have put a lot of focus behind that and I am pleased to announce that Highbury Square is now debt-free. So now every sale of an apartment at Highbury Square is generating profits for the Club that come back in and are available for reinvestment.

“The other thing that has happened has been Queensland Road on the south side of the Stadium. The affordable housing part of that development has been sold to a developer so we are entirely debt-free on the property side.

“It means that sales on the remaining property developments that we have in and around the south side of the stadium will be pure profit to the Club that will come into the group and be available for use.”

More – over he has also stated, as it is in Arsenal.com :

“We’re now coming to a period, with Highbury Square coming to its completion and some of our other property developments bearing fruit, where the financial health of the Club is secure,” explained the Chief Executive.

“That does not mean we have unlimited resources, but it does mean we have sufficient funds to invest. As always we’ll only do this on our timescale, on the basis of our manager’s assessments and not those of the media.

“We have the youngest squad in the Premier League and we need to translate that potential into results. To the extent that the manager thinks it’s necessary, we will use our resources to supplement the squad intelligently so that we can take that vital step forward.

“For the most part we’re now in the healthy position that almost all of our young players are under long-term contracts and their futures are secure, as well as their possible transfer values being protected. One or two players are coming to the end of their contracts – William Gallas, for example.

“Whatever happens, Arsène has identified the fact that the defence has been an issue for us this year, so it’s not difficult to imagine that that’s an area we’re focused on in this transfer window.”

Now Mr. Gazidis, has actually stated that Arsene Wenger admits that the defence is an issue to be looked into. So my simple question to him is, why has he not strengthened the defence? It is really sad to see that we are just a few players away from a Treble-winning team. And no, I am not exaggerating! Lets face it, we have a superb attack, with the new addition of Chamakh, and the original quality of Robin Van Persie. Our midfield is of a high stature and quality – Cesc Fabregas, Andrey Arshavin, Alex Song e.t.c  And even our defense is strong, provided all our players are fit. But simple, they are not, they just can’t always be fit! They are human-beings also, so it is not exactly logical that each of them shall be fit for every single match of the season.

Now many Arsenal fans shall say that there is nobody available in the market, who can improve the quality of our defence. But let me point out 2 things to you. Firstly, the reason nobody is there in the market is that Arsenal are too slow to react to transfer situations. I mean, take our own Koscielny for example. His transfer was known to us well before it was completed, yet it took the club over a month to sign him. Consider if Koscielny got injured after Joe Cole tackled him, then we would be back to square 1, wouldn’t we? Secondly, the defence as a whole includes the goalkeeper, are you telling me that there is nobody in the world who can improve the quality of the current stock of ‘keepers’ we have?

You know, I ask you readers to consider something. Why am I writing this article? I could be better off playing some video-game, watching sportscentre, improving my knowledge about other stuff. But why am I writing this article? Simply, because I am sad that a club with so much potential, quality, sound financial planning and ethics does not win a single – damn trophy because of some simple, basic decisions.

I had read in an article that Mesut Ozil is linked with Arsenal, before the World Cup. Why couldn’t Wenger sign him? Today as of now, Samir Nasri is injured, he is out for a month with a knee-problem. Honestly would Ozil not be a good-option? After reports and reports coming everyday that Werder Bremen are ready to sell Ozil, could the club not bid £17 ml pounds, even though they were asking for £15 to assure us this deal! We signed Arshavin for £17 ml, and that took over a month. By this time, he would be an Arsenal player, and we would not have a hole in the midfield. Also, he could persuade Mertersacker to come over to North-London. Frankly, I will never know this answer, and that will make me even more pissed off at the club.

So, basically what I want to propose is that the club should come out and answer to the fans, what is its target. Every year you will hear either Gazidis or Wenger say that we want to win Trophies. But they never do, that is their target, but they never achieve it. On the other hand, to reduce the debt is also a target, and that is achieved. The latter is in no way a bad -thing. But for 5 years we have been reducing our debt, at least now let us spend on some quality players, especially in the goalie zone, and then again ‘start the curtailing our finance process.’ This way, all of us are happy. Its not that the club by spending £10-22 ml pounds more shall take a step backwards.

I got this article from uk.reuters.com, look at what it stated about our club debt, on February 26th, 2010 :

The club said on Friday pretax profit rose to 35.2 million pounds ($54 million) in the six months to November 30 from 24.5 million a year ago, boosted by proceeds from apartment sales at its Highbury Square development, where the club’s previous stadium was situated.

The club said the sale of 261 apartments during the period generated revenue of 96.6 million. 524 of the 655 apartments on the site have now been sold and the proceeds from the sales has been used to pay down debt, it added.

Arsenal said it cut its total net debt from 332.8 million pounds a year ago to 203.6 million pounds.

Arsenal said revenues in its football business also rose to 100.2 million pounds from 98.4 million on higher UEFA Champions League broadcasting payments.

The club said it would consider investing future surplus cash in club projects and infrastructure both in and around the Emirates Stadium.

Everything is in order, but then it isn’t. Every thing seems right, but they are not . Why ? If life was so simple, we would be leagues ahead of our rivals, but Wenger should understand that life is not that simple. Winning the league, he says is his priority, but honestly, you tell me has he taken any “great step” towards this so called objective. I completely respect that man, and sometimes out of pity, that he does not win anything I feel sorry and think he should resign. But he deserves something, at least 1 trophy. Sadly the limiting factor is “Arsene Wengers ego”, and until he takes care of it, it shall affect Gooners all around the globe….how much we beg, how much we shout , that man calls the cards, we can just talk…….just talk.

I shall end my article with  “In Arsene we Trust”, but I ask you, do you think I mean it…do I actually mean it ?

***Thanks to armourysquare for submitting this article. Please be aware these are the views of the guest contributor and not those of Football-talk.co.uk***

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12 Comments

  1. JollyMike

    August 19, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Are you kiddin me?

    You have forgotten a lot of players that have been bought in to the club. Get some facts right before you use your time to blog about it.

    • armourysquare

      August 19, 2010 at 10:33 am

      MY FRIEND, IF I WRITE ABOUT EVERY SINGLE GUY THEN, the article may have taken me a few weeks to finish, I have just given a general view, …..is it that difficult to understand ?

  2. Trennon

    August 19, 2010 at 10:15 am

    A good article and no doubt the thoughts and concerns of every Arsenal fan out there. It’s incredibly frustrating that if we look back we could clearly have won the league twice in the past three years if we just had that little extra. I love Wenger for what he did for this club and I don’t think there is another manager out there at this moment to continue with this project, but like everyone else I’ve become incredibly disillusioned with our activity in the transfer market. We’ve lost so many defensive players and brought in just 1. As always I will remain optimistic, but I’m slowly getting the feeling that very soon this naivety at the club is going to cost us big time when we find ourselves out the title race by January. Perhaps the best way for fans to voice their feelings is to hit Arsenal where it hurts and to stop attending a few games?

    • arsenalbenelux

      August 19, 2010 at 11:00 am

      what a joke! you really think the team will win something if the fans lose faith in them and not attend games?

  3. arsenalbenelux

    August 19, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Wenger said he will buy, if you’re a real fan you know wenger buys only at the beginning of the transfer window and at the end when clubs drop their prices.

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  5. Stu van persie

    August 19, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Surely you can all see that in a few years when all the debt is paid and our average 23 year old squad has matured . Where going to win everything all again and again . I’ll be happy to finish in the top 4 and above the spuds also a pop at the chps league for a fews years to achieve this

  6. dontKnowAgoodNameSoIwroteThis

    August 19, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    I feel you man. I have the exact same anger and pain you’re feeling. I really love this article by the way. You are absolutely right, it is “Wenger’s ego” that keeps the club short from any signings and his constant policy of playing young and inexperienced players. We want action of course and I also feel that sometimes he should just leave the club. But he’s got us where we are. You do not know or understand how I feel when we don’t win anything. Sometimes I shout to let the anger out. I would really like to see where the money is going to now. I hope we get Given although I’d prefer Hart but that’s not going to happen

  7. Stu van persie

    August 19, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    The moneys paying debt back , do you really won’t to see arsenal’s finaces looking like Liverpool , man utd and chavski ,the trophies will arrive in a few years when this group of lads have matured. Look at shity spend spend spend and a bet we finish higher than them and the spuds . But I do wish we put our first team out for the league and F.A cup

  8. VINOD

    August 19, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    It is the same feeling almost every fan might have.But few good things happened recently.We always have some negatives in our game.One thing is defensive blunders.Some what corrected by the exit of Gallas and of course by the presence of Vemealen(for me he is the most valuable player).We want one more Vermealen.Second most thing we need a goal keeper of Reina/Ceckh mould.We also need one more Nasri in mid field and a natural striker.With average players like Diaby,s and Denilsons we can not dream of trophies.

  9. The BearMan

    August 28, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Man I feel your pain, but I not a supporter of your view, because you have excluded a very important factor in your nicely scripted piece. Who must we get rid off apart from the keepers to achieve your objective – winning a piece of metal? Also a question all narrow thinking fans must ask themselves is this: Must we adopt the Barca, R Madrid, Chelsea and now ManCity blue print, by spending BIG- buying players for a season and the following season park them on a bench? Then who do we get rid off tomorrow in order to give us bragging rights in the pub? Wiltshire, Gibbs, Walcott? Nah! I am in support of the Arsene model – the decision to build the squad like we did the new stadium. Starting with a firm foundation. We have a long queue of upcoming talent soon to burst unto the scene. Who knows? Perhaps this season the current squad will bear fruit. Stay faithful!

  10. The BearMan

    August 28, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Thank you for the warm welcome: I must add open your eyes Arsenal fans, The game is evolving, now let us not stay a Chris Waddle or Hansen by sitting on the sidelines moaning. What they have not told you is this come the weekend the only team they really want to watch is Arsenal.

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