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[PLAYER RATINGS] Man City vs Arsenal: Battling Gunners Deserved More

Arsenal were unlucky to lose 1-0 to Man City today in a thrilling end-to-end game at the Etihad Stadium. Here are my player ratings for the Gunners players.

Arsenal produced a fine display and should hold their heads high. Yes, in the end we lost the game 1-0, but we pushed City all the way and personally I feel we deserved a point.

There were several things that on another day could have gone our way. Gervinho’s first half shot that squirmed under Hart, hit his heel and just missed the wrong side of the post. Van Persie had a goal ruled out for offside in the second half. It was a very tight one, and could easily have been given in our favour. Of course there was the hand ball which the referee had a great view of and still failed to point to the spot. You got the feeling that had that been at the other end, Dowd wouldn’t have hesitated in giving City a penalty.

The referee was very poor all afternoon in my opinion. Too quick to throw his cards around and most of the time they were given to Arsenal players. What did Arteta get his card for? Throwing his arm in the air? Pathetic refereeing.

Anyway, whats done is done and any slim hopes of miraculously winning the title are surely out the window now. Combined with wins for Tottenham and Liverpool, it ended up being a very bad day for the Gunners. And to top it off, Djourou looks set to be sidelined for 3 weeks.

Looking at the game, I think it’s clear we need attacking reinforcements in January. We’re 1-0 down with 30 minutes to go, and we bring on Arshavin and Chamakh. That’s not good enough. We all know it. Although Arsene Wenger’s substitutions leave a lot to be desired as well.

Wenger persists in bringing on Arshavin and Chamakh in every game when neither have done enough to warrant inclusion. What does Benayoun have to do to get a game?! He offers far more than Arshavin in my opinion and should have been brought on for Ramsey in the advanced midfield role. Same goes for Chamberlain. If Walcott’s having a bad day, throw on the Oxe down the right. But no, Arsene does the obvious, takes off our pace (Walcott) and throws on two low-confidence players who do nothing.

But there were plenty of positives to take from the game itself and we pushed the ‘champions elect’ all the way in their own back yard. Here are my player ratings.

Player Ratings:

Szczesny – 8.5 – Some great saves in the first half kept Arsenal in it and the young Pole didn’t put a foot wrong all afternoon.

Djourou – 6 – Got caught out of position on a couple of occasions before being forced off through injury in the second half.

Mertesacker – 7 – Decent game from the big man. Dealt with the tricky Aguero reasonably well. Was taken off before the end as Arsenal looked for the equaliser.

Koscielny – 8 – Excellent display from the Frenchman until he was shifted to right back after Djourou was subbed. Kos was caught out of position when Balotelli raced clear down the left, and that lead to the goal. Overall very good though.

Vermaelen – 7.5 – Could perhaps have done better to challenge Aguero when he headed down for Silva to score, but otherwise very good. Almost scored twice late on as our defender turned out to be our most potent threat in front of goal as we tried to level things.

Song – 7 – Silly foul lead to an early booking and with the referee in ‘card-happy’ mode Song was forced to walk a tight-rope for most of the game. He’s now suspended for the midweek Villa game after reaching five yellows this season.

Arteta – 8 – Great display from the Spaniard. Controlled the midfield during the second half, just needed to make things happen more in the final third.

Ramsey – 6 – Below par again from Rambo. I thought he should have done better with a first half chance when his control let him down and he failed to get a shot away, and was generally off the pace throughout. Must step up his game.

Gervinho – 7 – So frustrating to watch. Was lively and gets in some great positions but final ball or decision making lets him down too often. Went close in the first half, but a few times in the second half he messed up the cross with players well positioned in the box.

Walcott – 5 – Anonymous. Never got in the game but to be fair to the young Englishman, his team-mates didn’t utilise him either. Too many times Walcott made a run and wanted the ball in to space behind the full back, only for the pass to be played behind him or to feet. Subbed for Arshavin.

Van Persie – 7 – Went close a couple of times and could have done better with a left-footed shot that Hart saved easily. Took his offside goal superbly though. Just not his, or Arsenal’s, day in the end.


Miquel – 5.5 – On at left back in the second half and should have got goal side of Silva for the opening goal. He was nowhere near his man and left Silva free to tap home.  Looked nervous throughout but it was a hard task to come on in such a high intensity game.

Arsahvin – 5 – Poor. Once again. On two occasions he had a chance to put a cross in with several players to pick out, and on two occasions he failed to deliver. Also fluffed a shot at goal when well positioned in the area.

Chamakh – 5.5 – Hardly touched the ball to be honest but as an impact sub striker i would expect more from him.

Watch highlights from Man City 1-0 Arsenal here

So there are my player ratings. Remember, these are just my opinions. Feel free to leave your opinions or your own player ratings in the comments section below.



  1. Mike

    December 18, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    If Chelsea deserved three points against City then Arsenal deserve 6 points for today.

    Just back from the game and i have to say that i was very impressed with Arsenal. That was a cracking game of football and the result wasn’t decided or spoiled by the referee like on Monday night.

    ‘You got the feeling that had that been at the other end, Dowd wouldn’t have hesitated in giving City a penalty’.

    Behave, City get nothing from referees. We lost 0-3 last season after our centre half was sent off by Twattenburg after 5 minutes. It was never a goal scoring opportunity as Chamakh had almost passed it to Joe Hart but – RED CARD.

    Unlucky, but you cannot say City did not create more chances and were excellent in defence when we needed to be.

    • RVP10

      December 18, 2011 at 8:43 pm

      @ Mike.

      I was talking about this game in particular, where i felt City got the benefit for the big decisions. Not your general luck with refereeing decisions.

      And yes, of course City had their chances as well. No doubt. But you can’t say that Arsenal didn’t play their part in an exciting game either?!

      • Mike

        December 18, 2011 at 9:07 pm

        Arsenal are twice the team Chelsea are this season. Yes of course credit to Arsenal for attacking us 11 v 11, the first team to try it at the Etihad this season. A reminder of nail biting football and it honestly could have gone either way. I know you need to blame someone but it is not Dowd or anyones fault. Our sides just entertained the masses as it should be. I feel sorry for you because if Chelsea are deserving of claiming victory over us, then your team are much more worthy.

        • RVP10

          December 18, 2011 at 9:17 pm

          @ Mike.

          The problem Gooners have with Dowd goes back years. He has it in for Arsenal so any time a contentious decision goes against us when he’s reffing, he gets it in the neck. He was the ref during the 4-4 draw with Newcastle last year when he gave numerous decisions against us, including 2 crazy penalties.

          But, yeah, i’m glad todays game was a good advert for football and not a bore 0-0 draw like we had at the Emirates last season!

        • hutas

          December 18, 2011 at 10:48 pm

          Can’t realty take a loss I see Chelsea beat man city fair n square clichy for a red card n how is it Chelsea’s fault…u lost Chelsea won end of story…can’t take loss go cry to ur mama

          • Mike

            December 18, 2011 at 11:57 pm

            I’m a 29 year old City fan you muppet, i have forgotten more about losing in England’s top three divisions than you will ever know.

            Tidy your room!

  2. Rob c

    December 18, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    We can hold our heads high, our entire team including the subs cost the equivalent of 2 of Man City’s players and we pushed them all the way and that was without any recognised fullbacks, if we had Sagna and Gibbs we would have almost certainly done them in their own back yard. I hope the FFP sorts out clubs like City and the whole mercenary bunch and they end up going from whence they came with their tails between their legs.

    • Slacker

      December 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm

      Not this old chestnut again… if you think the FFP regs will do anything to harm City you haven’t done very much reading.

  3. Melon Man

    December 18, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    All the big talk about “see you at the Etihad on the 18th”, after we whupped you in your own back yard with our reserves, and you’re still whining like the spoilt brats you are.
    Playing the dignity in poverty card is pathetic, considering you pillage all your players from other clubs, and your inability to cover weak positions is your own undoing, no-one else’s.
    Chamakh and Arshavin were two of your subs, both cost more than the entire worth of the three promoted clubs squads put together, and you still couldn’t scrape a draw, nor break into the top four – how’s that for prudent financial dealing???
    F*cking hypocrites, you don’t like it up you do you?

    • RVP10

      December 18, 2011 at 8:48 pm

      @ Melon Man – LOL, your name says it all. You’re a Melon mate.

      “whupped you in your own back yard with our reserves”

      Yeah, your ‘reserves’ who cost a total of £197m of your Arab owners ‘hard-earned’ money, eh? You sad fool.

      “Chamakh and Arshavin were two of your subs, both cost more than the entire worth of the three promoted clubs squads put together”

      You mean the Chamakh who we got on a FREE TRANSFER?! Muppet.

      “nor break into the top four ”

      Haven’t finished outside the top four since for about 15 year mate. Can City say the same? Didn’t think so. Although chances are you didn’t support City until 2008. You’re an embarrassment to real City supporters mate who were there through the hard times when avoiding relegation was an achievement.

      • thegoon

        December 19, 2011 at 3:34 pm

        lolest!the name says it all!”melon man????”lol

        • Melon Man

          December 19, 2011 at 4:16 pm

          It’s a reference to a famous line from a Manc indie pop band, probably before your time I expect Lol the Goon

    • Tim

      December 19, 2011 at 3:56 pm

      Ha, you’re really going to endear the general public to the Sheikh’s project with comments like that. If those were your reserves that beat Arsenal in the Carling Cup then what would you call the side Arsenal fielded. Guaranteed you’d never heard of half of the Arsenal players on the pitch.

      As has been mentioned, Chamakh came on a free.

      And you’d think you’d give us just a little credit for coming up there and giving the most expensive side football has ever seen a run for its money like that.

      • Melon Man

        December 19, 2011 at 4:19 pm

        Real Madrid cost more, so probably do Barca, not got the exact figures for them ‘tho, soz, and it’s your own fault your reserves are shit, tight wads.

        Kudos for a good game of footy, at least you didn’t try to park your dusty old, rundown omnibus at the Etihad, so well done you.

  4. Don Cee

    December 18, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Very strange scoring – Arteta was average at best and put the team at risk for stupid fouls and should have been sent off. How did you pick on Song who was Awesome and not on Arteta….strange. City deserved the win and they could have had a lot more than one. It shows the gulf in not only players but in tactics. We went there once again to go toe to toe with the best team in the country and were expose many times. We need to learn different ways to play. Our missing full backs were clearly missed. Again, Wenger should be held accountable that a team such as Arsenal only has one high quality right back and two average left backs. We played well but you don’t get points or trophies for performance in football. Disappointing!

    • Mike

      December 18, 2011 at 9:14 pm

      Don’t be down mate. You should be proud of your side. The best team we have played in the league at home this season.

  5. Gerg

    December 18, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Very frustrating game for Arsenal fans. Wenger remains stubborn in his team selection and substitutions. Here is a game we could have at least drawn with a more creative manager. Walcott should be started on with teams below eighth position while Benayoun or Rosicky should be first choice against our competition. The substitutions just made me sad today.

    Can someone check Phil Dowd’s record against Arsenal? This guy does not like us for some reason. When I see that he is officiating a match, I fear for the worse; he is the opponent’s twelfth man.

    • RVP10

      December 18, 2011 at 8:54 pm

      Dowd was the ref during the ridiculous 4-4 draw with Newcastle last season.

      Greg, check this article out. It’s about Dowd and how he compares to other ref’s when officiating an Arsenal match. Amazing results:

      It was done back in Feb 2011 though, so would be interested to see an updated version!

      • Gerg

        December 18, 2011 at 9:06 pm

        Wow! So my feelings have statistical evidence. I just wonder where the bias came from? Did Arsene call him a c*nt in 1997? Are Dowd’s family Spuds supporters?

        It just spoils my enjoyment when an Arsenal game begins and Dowd is the ref.

        Thanks for the link.

        • RVP10

          December 18, 2011 at 9:14 pm

          Honestly Greg, it’s clear Dowd has it in for Arsenal. I also put my head in my hands when i hear he’s the ref for an Arsenal game.

          He gets enjoyment giving decisions against us. The Newcastle game was the best example of this, he was holding back the smiles when pointing to the spot for the two penalties!

          We need to remember that these blokes are human and therefore HAVE to have personal opinions that can cloud their judgements. in Dowds case, he obviously dislikes Arsenal for whatever reason and it shows in his performances when he ref’s our games. Shouldn’t be allowed to take our games really.

          • Mike

            December 18, 2011 at 9:17 pm

            Who won the foul count?

          • mike cooke

            December 18, 2011 at 11:21 pm

            As a City supporter i can sympathise with your doubts about dowds integrity as we have the same problem with clattenburg (boyata last year ??).Unfortunately until football wakes up to the 21st century and we get video technology we will have to put up with the inconsistencies and bias. My own pesonal feeling (if no video) would be to see a pool of elite refereees from europe not just england so you would have the same referee at most once a year.
            On another topic ,i think you will find the ‘abu dhabi project’ will last at least 10 years as unlike most owners the sheik is using ownership as a vehicle to promote his country, hence the reason we have offices in london.

      • SimpleSimon

        December 19, 2011 at 8:01 am

        It was a great game of football, without any malice from either side. We all blame referees when we lose and forget about their performance when we win but your link also shows that whilst Dowd seems biased against you, Wiley, Bennett, Foy, Probert, Walton and Marriner are more pro Arsenal than Dowd is anti Arsenal!!!! You must be rubbing your hands when they are reffing! Now what did Mark Twain say????

        • Melon Man

          December 19, 2011 at 9:43 am

          I think this goes some way to proving referees are overly influenced by the atmosphere at big clubs in favour of the home team, in this case, the Arsenal.

          Why anyone would be surprised at this is mystifying – forty thousand odd fans screaming at you has to have a significant subconscious effect on any normal human being, but it evens out over the course of a season, like everything else.

          The moral of this tale?

          As a fan, it is your duty to berate the ref as loudly and as intimidatingly as possible at every possible opportunity to become that much vaunted “twelfth man, access to a PA system and a couple of bottles of plonk in the director’s box ala Delia Smith may or may not reap any rewards 🙂

          • Melon Man

            December 19, 2011 at 9:46 am

            when I say in this case the Arsenal, I mean the article the stats are gleaned from, clearly City can no doubt produce similar figures suggesting pro ref bias when playing at home, as could ManU and Liverpool for instance.

  6. the don

    December 18, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    first of all the team played really well
    even though we lost
    we can still be proud of our team.
    unlike man united and spuds when they played city.

    Djourou was poor never once help out walcott in attacking as we are used to seeing with walcott and sagna.
    unlike the other side
    where vermilen was sold and pushed up to give support to gervinhio.

    andd miquel done well when he come on
    made a great chalange on silva…rated round 6.5

    arshaving..rather we played with 10 men

    chamak …we was playing with 10 men when he come on

    i cant belive we bring on arshain and chamaka to change a game for us.

    wenger needs to wake up
    how many more games we going to wait for them
    arshain his 30 his not going to get any better

    am sick and tired of our players
    we have moneyyyyyyyyyy

    sell what we dont need and bring players that work for the team atlest

  7. dam

    December 18, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Szczesny was outstanding…better than Hart today…Good luck to him

  8. Tai Obasi, Lagos

    December 18, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    Yeah, we lost. But I’m not mourning. I’m absolutely certain Arsenal will be in top 4 by May. Playing a very quality side like Man City without any real full back was always going to be a problem and Djourou provided plenty of it. I saw an Arsenal side that didn’t know they were down. I don’t see this team losing any more matches in EPL this season. Never mind their loss at Stamford Bridge, this was by far Man City’s biggest test this season. On a lucky day, we would have gone home with something. But be proud, Gunners. Lift urselves up. Don’t mind referee Dowd for ignoring Richard’s penalty. Arsenal never gets a penalty if our player’s leg is not broken while committing it. We now have to beat Aston Villa on Wednesday as well as win our following games with Wolves and QPR at the Emirates. I’m certain we’ll be in top 4 by New Year.

    On Theo’s seemingly poor game…it’s not Theo. Djourou was awful all evening and walcott had to track back…a few occasions Djourou had the ball to let Theo loose, the Swiss never seemed to know what to do. It’s amazing that when koscielny took over and Walcott started seeingb the ball, Le Prof removed him for Arshavin!

  9. Lewis

    December 18, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    Bit harsh on Ramsey – forced a top save from Hart in the first half, and provided the great pass for RVP’s (wrongly) disallowed goal. City have destroyed teams at home all season, but we stood toe to toe with them and were unfortunate not to come away with a draw.

  10. Melon Man

    December 18, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Been a city fan for forty years RVP, so yes, I was there when we were shit, along with all the other true City fans.

    I apologise for not realising Chamakh was a free transfer, I had him down for a ten million pound signing, suppose I was confused with all those players who actually did cost several millions of pounds from a “smaller” club.

    How much was Arshavin, the Russian national team captain, and established European silverware winner, just so I can get my facts right?

    RVP, if it helps you to endure the imminent barren years, keep on concentrating on the lack of investment your foreign owners put into your once boring club, just don’t pretend you are any different to every other club who wins trophies through investment, you will just demonstrate to the whole world how hypocritical you are, how double standards rule in North London.

    Every time you whinge about City investing in their squad, including the reserves, you lay yourself wide open to criticism.
    Your team consists in the vast majority of players you have bought from other clubs who are unable to match the wages you pay, unable to resist the transfer fee you tempt them with, and unable to offer the players you poach the chance of silverware and CL football.
    RVP, your Captain, came from Feyenoord for all the above reasons, and will most likely come to City in the summer for all the same reasons – yet you have the brass neck to howl about the injustice of it all?? Unbelievable Jeff.

    Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlaide Chamberlain might well have got Southampton back up to the Prem if your team hadn’t thrown the cash at them – didn’t hear you demanding you send them back for moral reasons, and I suppose I never will, because you’re not bright enough to know when your club is behaving like Evil City.

    Cesc Fabregas off to Barca, WHERE HE CAME FROM IN THE FIRST PLACE – you all squeeled like stuck pigs, why should he stick around? he’s not even English, never mind from North London!

    Samir Nasri, last time I checked, is French, and you paid millions for his services, has no reason to remain loyal to Arsenal, yet you fans act like stalker psycho jilted lovers – get a grip, he doesn’t love you anymore, and probably never did.

    You can’t have it both ways, either money is bad, or it isn’t, stop doing the things you complain about other clubs like City and Barca doing, and you might have a leg to stand on.
    Like I said, hypocrites.

    • RVP10

      December 18, 2011 at 11:24 pm

      FYI – Arshavin was circa £15m – one of our record signings. What’s City’s nett spend in the last 3 years? About minus £500m isn’t it?

      You are so off the mark its hilarious. I can’t be bothered to sit here and explain to you the HUGE differences in how a club like Arsenal operates on a financial level compared to City. The fact i have to shows just how out of touch you are.

      If it makes you sleep at night, go ahead and think Arsenal buying a player like RVP for £2.5m and turning him into one of the worlds best strikers, paying him £50,000 a week for 7 years, is the same as an Arab coming along and buying whoever he likes, spending circa £500m on new ‘talent’ like £30m on Dzeko, paying them all £150,000 a week just so they will come to your pathetic club, is the same thing. We buy players at reasonable prices, pay them reasonable wages, develop them in to better players and yes, many times end up losing them to the ‘financial powers’ like Barca or City.

      Enjoy these years Melon Man, because within 5 years your owner will be bored of his toy and ditch you leaving you 1 billion in debt and a wage bill you cant afford to pay off. It’s sad that City will probably not exist in 10 years and short sighted ‘fans’ like you will have no one to blame but yourself. If you’ve been a City fan for 40 years as you claim, you should know better.

      I’m proud of Arsenals self sustaining model and glad we cant ‘compete’ with the likes of City in terms of transfer fees and wages. Because in the long run, no matter what, i know my club will be around tomorrow, next year and in 30 years. Can you say the same relying on the musings of some Arab? Don’t think so.

      Would i want my team to pay £20m for Milner? No. £30m for Dzeko? No. £18m for Barry? No. £18m on K. Toure?! No. £30m on Adebayor?! No. (Thanks for that one, great piece of business) I could go on.

      You’re club is everything that’s wrong with modern day football mate. You’ll realise that one day, hopefully s

      • Peter

        December 18, 2011 at 11:48 pm

        Too funny, rvp totally delusional. Wenger could have had or kept most of citeh’s players if he knew what he was doing. Yaya(and the other Yaya), Nasri, Hart, Kompany, Clichy, and if you care to consider it wenger could have spent some good money on dzeko, aguero, and others before they became big names if he truly has an ‘eye for talent’ but he’s lost out on many of them and bought some duds instead.

        Not spending any money because the gunners no longer want to win anything is what’s wrong with your club and begruding the success of others who are going all out to win is not very sporting is it.

        Keep quiet, pay down your debt and hope FFP will solve your problems, you’ve got plenty of your own. And the CL spaces? not going to happen for you this year, you’re squad is too weak and frail and won’t last until season’s end. Face it, your club just isn’t competing for trophies by choice, top players no longer interested.

  11. Melon Man

    December 18, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    I love the little exaggerations you throw into your financial analysis, such as overpricing all the players you quote – for example, we all know Adebayor cost £25 million, not 30, but what’s £5 million quid to an Arsenal fan eh?
    City’s spending on players is roughly £400 millions, not 500, but again, what’s £100 millions to an Arsenal fan eh?
    I’m a graduate from a “proper” university, when degrees were an actual indication of intelligence, so your personal, unsubstantiated attacks on my ability to philosophise and reason is water off a duck’s back young man, a smokescreen to deflect from the fact both our clubs operate using and within the same financial frameworks, as of course do all professional football clubs.
    You confuse capital investment with moral inferiority, and further taint the business model employed by ambitious owners with pseudo racist innuendo’s which do you no favours when attempting to take the high moral ground.
    Amusingly, you appear to be completely ignorant of the long term business plans of the Sheikh for Manchester City football club, and you appear to hang your hopes on the unlikely event the whole project will implode on a “whim”!!

    I suggest you do some googling to discover the truth of the matter, I’m sure you will be forced to revise your current position based on speculation and ignorance.

    Oh, and please don’t think Fifa’s financial fair play regulations will do anything other than entrench City in the European Elite, we got in just in time, thanks very much Platini 🙂

    I forgive you for your vitriol, it must be really difficult trying to adjust to the fact your cosy position in the Sky Four is a thing of the past, and the new pretenders like City and Spurs are now deemed to be playing better football, and are now the media darlings you once were.

    • RVP10

      December 18, 2011 at 11:28 pm

      Melon Man,

      I notice you failed to point out the fact that i under-valued the Milner deal? What happened there? Did you miss that one? Just in the interest of fairness, Milner was actually bought for £26m, not the £20m i claimed. But thanks for putting me straight on the other deals. My bad, Adebayor was £25m, not £30m. That’s much better. Phew, imagine spending £30m on Adebayor? Ha, doesn’t bare thinking about does it?

      You seem to have fallen for the age old trick of making assumptions over the internet. You know nothing about me, let alone my age, so lets refrain from using the term ‘young man’ shall we.

      “the fact both our clubs operate using and within the same financial frameworks”

      Yes. Arsenal and City operate in exactly the same financial framework. You’re able to run up record losses of £197 million without a worry in the world. Just like Arsenal can, correct? Have a wage bill of £174m, with turnover of just £153m. Solid financial position. if you’re half as intelligent as you claim to be, you wouldn’t be throwing around BS on the net trying to justify City’s ludicrous attempt at becoming a world footballing super-power. You need a dose of reality and of course the FFP will do nothing to clubs like City, but one day the pack of cards will fall around you and i will be watching on p*ssing myself. Mainly because of ‘fans’ like yourself.

      Melon Man, if you’re happy with city’s financial position, good for you. I’m happy for you. Go and enjoy your new found status within the footballing world and the success you have coming your way. You’ve earned it. All those years of developing your team and your club are now paying off.

      I’ll just sit here and complain about Arsenal’s lack of spending and how i wish we bought players like Gareth Barry and Jo. How i support a ‘boring’ club who is self reliant and works within its financial means. How we have almost paid off one of the best stadiums on the planet, and have continued to compete whilst doing so. It’s tough being an Arsenal fan.

      Thanks for your time, enjoy the rest of the season.

      • Melon Man

        December 19, 2011 at 7:45 am

        Let me break City’s business plan down into small, bite-sized chunks for you to better understand.

        Stage one – invest in the squad first and foremost to attain success on the pitch, ultimate aim to become “one of the best teams in world” – job in progress but almost complete – FA cup winners 2011 and attained CL place by finishing 3rd in Prem, current league leaders etc.- on target.

        Stage two – develop and invest in the clubs infrastructure to match status of “one of the best clubs in the world” – this requires transforming the academy. training facilities, the ground etc. from the cleaners up to the the CEO – in particular develop 80 acre site around the ground – job only just started.

        Stage 3 – consolidate position, become financially self sufficient to comply with FFFP regulations, like any other business aims to do following aggressive growth in their market place.

        To sum up, to achieve the aims of the owners, and the fans of course, requires massive initial capital investment, which would naturally post as losses in the first few years of the “project”.
        However, once the key stages have been met in the business plan, the need for investment on these levels will recede, and the investment will begin to pay dividends, down to growth in the market place.
        Fortunately for City, they do not need to go to a bank or similar to find funds for investment, the owner has plenty and so the club are not saddled with huge debts, unlike other clubs attempting similar expansion.
        As any business person, or person familiar with the economics of business will recognise, this model is about as safe as they come, indeed, it is probably the only way to break into the higher echelons of European football, bearing in mind the existing barriers to competition which are the Champions League payments made to encumbents of the top four, and the FFFP regulations designed to protect the existing European order.
        If of course you still don’t understand this model, it’s like using your retirement money to buy a taxi – costs you say twenty grand, which you would probably post as a loss in your first couple of years in business, but then in year three, say, you start to break even, and maybe even post a profit sooner if you work hard, and the market conditions are favourable.
        If you borrowed money to pay for your taxi, then of course it would be more risky, and take you longer to pay off your loan, but still normal business practice.
        If of course you can’t bear the thought of mixing football with simple economics, then fair enough, I can’t do anything to change your opinions, and I can’t respect them either.
        City aren’t ruining football with their investments, Uefa and Fifa struck the first blows in the nineties when they started throwing money at participants of their European super leagues, especially the so-called Champions League (which you don’t need to be a Champion to win ironically), which created the monster which was the Sky 4.
        Only City’s money disrupting the buying power of the aforementioned four has meant the partial dismantling of the established order, which would still be in place today. Just think, we’d still have the yawn fest of Grand Slam Sunday when United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool play each other if not for City buying players like Gareth Barry from under Liverpool’s noses.
        All those players City bought would have gone to the Sky 4 otherwise, and City taking Arsenal’s players has weakened them significantly, instead of the other way round as was the norm.
        Without the Sheikh’s money, all City’s best young players would now be plying their trade elsewhere – Micah Richards and Joe Hart would be long gone I’m sure, probably to the Emirates.
        United wanted David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko etc.. tough titties, life’s not fair, football definitely isn’t, man up and deal with it like us City fans have for thirty-odd years, learn to enjoy the little details.

        Finally, here’a poser for you, how would you take a club like Sunderland to the top of the Prem, and within a stone’s throw of winning the CL within the current Fifa/Uefa regs? (or Nottingham Forest whho have been there before – should be possible right?).
        I think the only answer is stunningly depressing for a fan of a worthy club like that.

        • desiyabooboo

          December 19, 2011 at 1:25 pm

          that sounds exactly like the chelsea idea of years past ,look what is happening there now , to continue working they need constant new investment . your teams plan falls in exactly the same mode. so in a few years in which you will have picked up trophies and will be up there batting with the big boys,then it will all start crumbling down, and you will need all the new investment all over again. enjoy it while you can cos you will soon be back where you belong ……… and every football fan knows where that is !

          • Melon Man

            December 19, 2011 at 2:59 pm

            I believe the City business model has a greater chance of being executed correctly, due to it’s scope, and the top class people involved.
            Abramovich is too involved, and seems unable to stop tinkering with the most important person at the club, the manager.
            Also, Mourinho’s boring legacy still remains with the older players, and so the football will never reach the dizzy heights City and Barca, and in the olden days, the Arsenal, were capable of, until they’ve all been moved on, and their culture has changed.
            City’s off-field expansion plans dwarfs anything Chelsea have done, or could hope to do with the land available to them, and Abramovich has not displayed the clear business plan to maintain his ambitions long term, unlike City.
            Chelsea could still get back on track business-wise, but it would take an upheaval of monumental proportions.

            the Abu Dhabi investment group have a long and successful track record of delivering major, world class projects to completion, unlike Abramovich – the difference in the two clubs basic business model is in the execution in my opinion, not the basic premiss, and success or failure in the long term will hinge on how well both projects are handled.
            I’d love to see a level playing field in football, but that can’t happen in the professional game, and certainly not when the TV revenues are distributed unequally around the globe, so everything other than cold, hard business is wishful thinking.

            • Tim

              December 19, 2011 at 4:08 pm

              City business model, haha shut the f*ck up. Seriously, you can write as many books as you want in comments sections trying to defend it but you know deep down how despicable it is what you’re doing.

              Everything isn’t rosy at Arsenal and yes our board and especcially Kroenke are greedy scum and are part of the reason we don’t spend, but at least we’re run like a business and balance our books, the way it’s supposed to be done.

              Your attempt to paint City as a legitimate business and a legitimate club is laughable. Your club is nothing more than a pawn for camel jockeys and you damn well know it. It’s just that you went so long without achieving success the real way (just like Chelsea) that you’re content to accept it. By all means, if that’s enjoyable to you, then enjoy it, but don’t expect anyone to respect you for it when you as a club did nothing whatsoever to earn it.

              • Melon Man

                December 19, 2011 at 4:13 pm

                Tim, you’re a racist c*@t, “camel jockey’s” is not nice at all.

                I’m loving these ever-decreasing lines we’re getting, soon we’ll disappear up our own arses I’m sure, looks like you already have 🙂

  12. Marcus

    December 18, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    It’s scary to think that with a 500 million, or 300 million, (whatever it is) headstart, and a free billion pound stadium donated them,(or whatever it is), that City are pound for pound the same as us.

    If the FA have have a clearout, purge, there will be singing from the rooftops…

    were it not for muppets like Dowd we would have many more titles.

    Roll on the clearout….

    • Slacker

      December 19, 2011 at 6:34 pm

      You’re hardly ‘the same as us’, we’ve beaten you twice already this season FFS.

      And as for Mr Dowd costing you multiple trophies… you need to put down the crack pipe now.

  13. RVP10

    December 19, 2011 at 12:02 am


    wow, 2 city fans out there?! Doubled your fan base I see.

    City fans ignorance towards their path to success is so amusing isn’t it.

    • Slacker

      December 19, 2011 at 6:28 pm

      Arguing your ‘case’ didn’t work, neither will ill-informed cheap shots like this. We know how loyal our support is in the bad times, first sign of a bottom half finish and most of your lot would be off to watch Spuds.

      Try a bit harder or (preferably) STFU.

    • Peter

      December 19, 2011 at 7:27 pm

      Wow, impressive argument.

      Businesses require constant reinvestment, have you never had your own? Ignorance of any business model seems to be another issue with your club. The arsenal of the future? – no debts, mid-table, dwindling fan base and top players laughing at you and wenger. Becoming accustomed to losing is probably your best option at this point.

  14. Zaki

    December 19, 2011 at 5:20 am

    Silly ratings…
    FA need to change Epl aint fair anymore i hate that refferee hez luck am not near him …
    What was wenger thinking to put on arshavin better AOC …
    Money City got luck to win…

  15. Demy

    December 19, 2011 at 6:38 am

    Mr Dowd was a big disgrace to the referee’s association, no wonder he has never been considered for top assignment from neither FIFA nor UEFA. He was so biased to the extent of waving a glaring penalty under his watchful eyes. What a mess to the FA of english football.

  16. hopefulgunner

    December 19, 2011 at 9:37 am

    All i want to say is Miquel is not at fault for the goal, kos should have been in position meaning balla wouldnt have recieived the ball and when silva ran into the box Arteta was tight to him then he just left his man unmarked right infront of goal so no way you can blaim Miquel, he thought “oh good Artetas got him, i can get someone else”

  17. Michael Gregory

    December 19, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Wenger better note getting a fourth spot aint as easy before.A revitalised Spurs plus Liverpool will make it the toughest in years.I had a feeling
    RVP was going to be tightly marked.
    Silva was not marked tightly and allowed to roam unhindered.Company stuck to RVP like a leech and that’s the difference.
    I hope Wenger doesn’t rely on RVP exclusively for goals otherwise it will be sto Henry and you stop Arsenal winning.

  18. Zaki

    December 19, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Can wenger take this man Tevez he is best with Rvp

  19. Darma

    December 19, 2011 at 11:55 am

    I recently saw a comment that made my insides burst out.
    ‘Buy Arshavin and get Chamakh for free

  20. Arsenal Norway

    December 19, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Great game by both team. Arsenal deserved 1 point but should have had 3 points if dowd made the right decisions. As we all saw on Motd last night v.persie’s goal was ONSIDE and richards handball was a clear penalty. But we just have to move on from this and take all the positives with us. I hold the statistics of how many points we have lost from refs and how many we have gained from refs this season and we should have had 7 more points. It will be interesting to see how many it will be at the end of the season.

  21. Rufus

    December 19, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    For the City fans: it’s not easy for your ‘sugar daddy model’ to buy class. Arsenal’s fanbase is far big and well established. Chances of the Sheikhs pulling out at some point are over 99%. For our Arsenal fans: yesterday’s game clearly showed how stubborn the prof has grown, how many times should he be told that the OX has proven far better than any of the so called wingers (remember the city match during the carling cup) the boy gave Zabaleta some footballing tactics and AW did not read anything here (I wish it were SAF). Secondly why bring on Arshavin and Chamakh only to kill off your offensive in all matches you are down and fighting back. It’s ironical that he has failed to see it. In my view he was to introduce Rosicky and pull out the less creative Ramsey and that could have put Kompany and Toure on more danger because of his quick feet and eye for killer pass. I am therefore convinced that Wenger made us lose right from his planning on who to field, bench and remain out of the travelling squad. In particular the omission of Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain.

    • Slacker

      December 19, 2011 at 6:31 pm

      What is this class you speak of? We’ve got plenty of class players thanks. Our fans? We’ve got the most loyal fans in the Premiership, tempered by years of underachievement.

      Next you’ll be playing the ‘history’ card… well, like you, we’ve got plenty of that too. Unlike you, though, we’ve also got a future.

  22. ne

    December 19, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    happy with the result even though we lost. We gave a fight and show determination, hope we maintain the spirit..happy to be a gunner

  23. Michael Gregory

    December 19, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    I just hope MC go on to win the epl . The red faced makes me sick with his comment to make MU at the top by the new year.He thinks he has a divine right to win and win trophies ie the epl but not the cl.
    Btw he has gone undefeated in away games. He has won 4 games in a row.This run has to end and I expect Fulham to beat him if not draw.Even MC had a 4 game winning streak ended bye chelsea beating them.
    I just hope Fulham make my day by taking points off the annoying rf.

  24. spurs4life

    December 19, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Only one team in north london now and it sure aint arsenal,Oh and just to preempt your responses gooners,when was the last time you beat SUPERSPURS!!.

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