1,2,3,4 – In Or Out?

Tottenham’s defeat yesterday indicates the impact of pressure on players. It is convenient how everyone keeps offering up the excuse of the England manager’s job for Redknapp and his crew to hang their hats on when purely and simply they are having a poor run of form with confidence dropping. For Arsenal the opposite is true with Robin van Persie (a truly incisive and in-depth interview, well done) and Thomas Vermaelen keen to increase that pressure by taking three points against Newcastle tomorrow.

The Arsenal vice-captain said,

We have got good results against Tottenham and ­Liverpool – and if we play like we did against Milan, I am not worried because we will be top four. We can beat any team. There are a few contenders – Newcastle, Liverpool, Chelsea. We will have to fight toe-to-toe for fourth, and maybe third. You never know.

We can have a lot of ­wins ­towards the end of the ­season.

The prize of Champions League qualification is seen as the basic requirement for a season’s toil. The next three Premier League matches might well be crucial in achieving that; Newcastle (H), Everton (A) and Aston Villa (H). Nine points is the expectation although it is not a forgone conclusion. Spurs meanwhile have Stoke (H) and Chelsea (A). Those final might be psychologically crucial; one goal separates the two sides’ goal difference and if a ten point gap also disappears, there has been enough of a collapse to suggest that Tottenham might struggle to finish in the top four.

Transfer rumour is grist to the footballing mill; this weekend has seen plenty emerging about Arsenal. And none of it is new in terms of the “targets”. Mostly it is surrounding Robin van Persie. Duncan Castles got the ball rolling by opining in The National that van Persie’s agent has agreed terms with Manchester City. Darren Dein is suspected of being the hand behind this and might be. Known to be the Dutchman’s commercial advisor, according to this month’s World Soccer his actual agent Kees Ploegsma is concerned that Dein is looking to takeover all of the captain’s affairs.

Any truth in Castles’s story? It would be of no surprise; in fact the only astonishment would be reserved for City being the only club his advisor(s) had agreed a contract with. That The National is an Abu Dhabi newspaper with undoubtedly closer links to City’s owners than is commonly known. It is, however, a world away from a deal with Arsenal being done and this type of story does little to abate the anger felt with the Mancunians over their handling of the Nasri sale. In a sense though, the welter of Arsenal-released stories and this a two sides of the same coin; negotiating stances are taken and if the moneys mentioned by Castles are correct then the club know the neighbourhood that City are in. At £210k per week, it’s a very nice neignbourhood.

Whether money is the defining factor remains to be seen. The Mirror has gone with the squad strengthening angle, enlisting the views of Marco van Basten that four players would be needed to get the captain to extend his stay. Very handily, they have listed the four: Podolski, Goetze, Vertonghen and in a belated attempt to recognise Manchester United’s conquerors, Javier Martinez of Athletic Bilbao. Woo and indeed, hoo.

Goetze is back as flavour of the month with The Heil reckoning that Arsène will ‘break the bank‘ to sign the German midfielder, helpfully telling him which players to sell to ensure that the funds are available to allow “World Exclusive” to be plastered over the signing story. It is not a hard position to suggest that Arsenal will look at strengthening with Benayoun probably returning to Chelsea and Tomas Rosicky more of a squad player. Yes, Wilshere will return but it gives the Arsenal midfield more quality and competition. In truth it seems more likely that the club would want a central midfielder than a wide player with Miyachi and (if true) Podolski enhancing the numbers at the club who can play there.

No goalkeepers mentioned which is surprising since Fabianski and Almunia are likely (or will) leave this Summer.

Anyway, the sun is shining over the dales so that’s your lot for today. ’til Tomorrow.

153 thoughts on “1,2,3,4 – In Or Out?

  1. Oh and btw the source for the story is Duncan castle. Go look at his twitter. Wonder who paid him to write this….

  2. good post Yogi.

    The longer RVP waits to negotiate with Arsenal the more leverage he has. Not only does the waiting make everyone nervous, he can use the other “offers” he has to put pressure on Arsenal. Its probably going to be a matter of how much money he is willing to give up to stay. If he can get 225/week somewhere else and the most we offer is 150/week then he will probably move. His value in the open market will never be higher then it will be this summer and this will be his last big contract so its hard to fault him for maximizing his income. Based on everything he has said he clearly wants to stay and probably will resign if our offer is at least in the neighborhood of what he can get elsewhere. Its just a matter of how big the neighborhood will be. Hopefully, whatever happens it will be resolved early in the summer.

  3. Looks like the City championship liner has sprung a Leek!

    Go on the Boyos of Swansea, there’s loverlee and other racist clices…

  4. “will resign if our offer is at least in the neighborhood of what he can get elsewhere. ”

    It wont be ,cant be and shouldn’t be.
    I don’t think it will be more than £120k PW.
    That should be enough for anyone.
    We should not allow an oil rich Arab Nation to set the wages in our club.It is the road to ruin.And if that means we lose RVP ,then so be it,Much as we all love him.
    Having said all that .I believe he will stay until he hangs his boots up.

  5. pedantic george

    that is the thing, although I am not sure whether it should be 120 or 150 or something else. But it definitely should not be dictated by what he might get at City.

  6. Well said Evil. I really admired Swansea and the way they played us and am not in the least bit surprised by today’s result. In fact I hate losing and usually hate anyone for daring to beat us but that’s one game where I just took my hat off to a team that played better on the day.

  7. Darius Stone (@DStoneArsenal) | March 11, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Durham made a comment about payments to Le Boss, they were talking some shit about Harry and stuff but Durham made an off the cuff and ill advised comment relating to dodgy payments from transfers. It wasn’t that long ago end of January start of February. I remember thinking to myself he’s really fucked there.

  8. George:

    OK. As the amount of money has increased in football for both clubs and players it has become much more of a business for both sides. Expecting the club to make its decisions based on business principles and the players to think in only terms of loyalty and love of club is not fair expectation for the players. No matter how much we dislike it, the business thing goes both ways and how can you blame the players for wanting to maximize their incomes for as long as they can. Arsenal can not insulate itself for whats happening in world football, My hope is that we do what is needed to keep RVP and I don’t believe that it will lead us down the road to ruin. If necessary, we need to adjust the way the wages are distributed to the rest of the squad.

  9. Bill,You mean if necessary to allow City to set the standards?
    I say No.
    What if they offer him £300k? or £400k if they don’t win the league this year and want to make a statement,as they say.

  10. George:

    At some point we have to throw up our hands and accept that we can’t keep up with City. No idea what the that number should be. I just hope we don’t go down the path of righteous indignation about the state of world football and draw a line in the sand at $110 – 120.

  11. Well, another weekend of pretty good results for Arsenal. Couldn’t have hoped for any better really, I dont think.

    Now we have to make sure we don’t take our foot off the gas tomorow; no sluggish apathetic start, expecting to roll over the Toon. We owe them and pardew massively and we have done pretty well in terms of revenge this season, time to add Newcastle to that list.

    BTW Duncan Castle sounds like a northern working men’s club comedian. George has probably seen him in the flesh a few times.

  12. Bill

    Not every club pays their stars £200k a week man. If that were the case, then clubs would be going out of business every other week. We have a ceiling and while I think there is room for it to be raised, I would be gutted and disgusted if we were held to ransom like United were over the fat brillo pad syrup wearing scouse granny shagger last season.

    £120k a week with a pretty sizeable loyalty bonus should be more than good enough. If not, then money is the prime motivator and we do not need players like that at our club. And I really do not think Robin is driven by greed a la nasri and Adebayor.

  13. i think RVP would be truly a great man if he says: ok give me 100k. the rest, use it to bring in another player!

  14. you know, i am now reconsidering my stance. maybe i would prefer united winning the league.

    then we can all say: city spent this much, we spent this much, and we won the same number of trophies this season: NOTHING!

  15. Wishful thinking there mate! But would be nice.
    What if we gave RVP $200 k a week and next season goes back into crock mode? What would people say then ? Wenger fucked up?
    Probably , the man can’t win either way.

  16. Korihikage

    United winning the title makes all kinds of sense to me man.


    I know english isnt your mother tongue, but ‘goes back to crock mode’??? Have you any idea how disresctful that comment is?

  17. No disrespect in that unless you looking for there to be.
    It’s not like I called him a permacrock or waste of space. Fact is before this season the poor guy was always injured.
    Dont know why I’d disrespect my favorite player on the planet right now. ?

  18. George:

    I signed up with gravatar.com yesterday but have not had a chance to change my avatar. I hope to do it tonight.

    George @ 7:13: To each their own. I hope we figure out what the max we can really afford and pay him that much. Drawing mythical lines in the sand anywhere below that number just because we don’t want to be held hostage is terrible for the club and its fan IMO.


    If $120/week is the most we can afford then so be it. If so then we are not ever going to be able to keep our best players and I hope thats not the case

  19. YW – LOL

    Blame George for the Mrs Horses mouth moniker.

    There’s a rumour going around that Man City and their money couldn’t beat a lowly Welsh team. Is that so?

    With the Manure leading the table with 10 days to go and a Manchester derby to come, I really don’t see how City will win any trophy this year.

    I’m convinced we’ll finish 3rd and you have to ask whether all that money City spent was really worth it.

    And did folks see Appy Arry twitching like fuck and losing the plot on MOTD last night? Priceless.

  20. korihikage | March 11, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    I started dancing with the devil months ago hoping Utd win the title at Citys expense. When it comes to Arsenal I can be small minded, petty even and the thought of bit part player extrodinaire and financially compensated bench warmer, Samir “here to win trophies” Nasri doing fuck all at Man City fills me with an enormous sense of well being. A man who put his development as a footballer second to his already incredibly healthy bank balance.

  21. gunnerjones

    Just an unfortunate turn of phrase then. I am a bit sensitive about people refferring to our players as crocks, with balsa wood limbs etc.


    The wage ceiling might not be close to the chavs, mancs and manc chavs, but that should not mean we cannot keep our best players. Sol could have earnt more money elsewhere, but signed for us, while we are not averse to giving players a 7 figure signing on payment to sweeten things.

    If we ever have to go down the obscene chav city route, football will be dead to me.

  22. If Sir Ferg defeats the Blue Mancs in the derby and wins this year’s league, will he retire?

    Who will the Glazers take on in his stead – José or Josep? Or is Ferg Jnr going to step up? Keane? Hughes? Bruce? Paul Ince? ‘Arry, when he fails to get the Eng-er-land job?

    And what is happening to the Red Manc midfield? Are Giggs and Scholes signed up for next season? I see the team going into a long, slow slide unless they revamp extensively there. They are papering over the cracks at the moment. Are they really too broke to buy anyone decent? Is Snijeder ever likely to be tempted?

    It’s a measure of how nuts things have been this year that they are at the top of the table tonight. I look forward to Bilbao dispatching them from Europe shortly to make up for it.

  23. @bradys right foot

    never dance with the devil. you always pay back double. i backed barca against chelsea in that fateful tie. (hey i was naive at that time!) and see what happened to us?


    big win indeed. wednesday champs league tie coming up.

  24. @bradysrightfoot whenever I hear the phrase ‘enormous sense of well being’ I get Blur’s Parklife stuck in my head.

  25. if we keep rvp then we will win the league next year i will bet on it but if rvp goes…well , i wouldnt give a fuck anyway coz i’ll be watching the west sussex clippers in the curling championships.

  26. @dukegoonem
    I share your sentiment. If we keep RVP, we’ll be challenging next season (Podolski is a done deal).
    I think ManU will be hammered at City. But with their easy run in, they may win it in the end. A terribly overrated and dull side.

  27. I want United to win the league if only to deny the Arsenal alumni at Money City the satisfaction of winning trophies after quitting Arsenal for more money, and then trophies, in that order. Guess this goes for many of our supporters as well.

  28. I love Everton’s hectic schedule ahead of our game against them at Goodison Park – Merseyside Derby tomorrow, then FA Cup Q/F against Sunderland on Saturday and then us on Wednesday. Whereas we play tonight and then have 9 days to prepare for Everton. It is not so bad to get knocked out of FAC afterall.

  29. another fantastic weekend, Spurs lost, Liverpool lost and Miyaichi was once again impressive. We win tonight and we are a point off spurs who look like they will crumble under pressure.

    Anyone know how Campbell is doing in France????

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