Theo And A Sign Of The Times

Berry Gordy and Janie Bradford unwittingly wrote the Premier League theme tune. Were those in charge privvy to any sort of sense of humour, the Champions League ‘hymn’ would have a domestic rival, Barrett Strong belting out “Money, that’s what I want” before every game. Knowing the prediliction of football to ruin everything – or cock it up depending on your viewpoint – there would be some awful boy band version used instead on the basis that it was “hip with the kids“. It would suit everyone, not just players. Managers, directors, clubs; they all want it, almost to the exclusion of everything else. Fans would probably choose Joy Division’s “Heart and Soul” as a response.

And this morning money is all they want. Lots of it as well, earned and merited in some cases. Currently top of that list is Theo Walcott who is to be offered a new deal in the next couple of days that is worth anywhere between £85k and £115k per week depending on whose total you believe and which basis of calculation. Trying to work out the salaries of our heroes is a lot like attempting to fathom an APR; everyone will tell you there’s is the best but you just have to use their methodology to prove it. Something different and the result is turned on its head.

Theo will be hoping that his representatives are using the same as The Sun; the darlings of Wapping have come out with a figure which is about £1.5m higher than everyone else’s. Read the small print Theo, there’s always a catch in there somewhere. Of course you sit and read about £25m or whatever the total is and wonder does an additional 6% matter? I would hazard a guess that this is the case, updating Einstein’s calculation to E=Employer Over A Barrel. I was going to include MC to some sort of integer but quantifying the merits of the relative salaries of Marouane Chamakh and Theo Walcott is too complex a calculation for this hour of the day.

Whether it is enough to put ink in his pen is another matter. Walcott has not strayed from the line of wanting to stay at the club and must be credited with that PR line. Perhaps it is true, maybe he genuinely likes it but I will not be drawn into that with loyalty not a trait that one generally pins onto the modern footballer. He is however running out of options. And quickly. Wanting to be a centre forward was held as a primary aim, that has been met. Wanting to be well-paid? By any stretch of the imagination, this offer is that although in fairness, he may be able to earn more but shifting sands at this late stage will rapidly lose him support in this negotiation.

Arsenal are running out of options as well in that sense. Arsène is waiting in part for the outcome of negotiations before acting in the transfer window. Buying David Villa to augment the current squad makes more sense to me than as a replacement for Walcott. In that scenario, a different shopping list applies. And the money spent impacts on other areas of the squad which needs attention, presuming of course that Wenger believes it needs that much attention. Maybe they have applied the same medical technology that was available to Steve Austin in Abou Diaby’s case; he genuinely would be a new signing in that instance.

The club are probably mindful that Manchester City have returned 1,000 tickets for Sunday’s clash at The Emirates. In the great scheme of things, I am sure that will not materially deplete the coffers. It should please some though with no excuse being readily available should the club declare the attendance as any more than 59,034…

There is an irony in City being the club to publicly make this statement albeit via their supporters. The richest club in the land priced out from football. Not that this will appease supporters. Despite the inflated commercial deals in place, clubs continually drain supporters wallets at every opportunity. The pricing at Arsenal is a vexatious issue; home fans are overcharged for seats in Category A games; little wonder the club resorted to email marketing for ‘Family and Friends‘ ticketing for this match. Sky’s coverage is at the root of decisions not to attend – why bother when you can watch on television. Clubs cannot blame supporters for this choice when for an away game, the likelihood is that a day out will cost in excess of £150 for a fan to attend. It is bad enough when a run of the mill home game costs that for two, including travel.

In decades previous, there was regulation of ticket pricing with Arsenal resisted on a number of occasions when the club wanted to increases but the Football League resisted. In those years, a minimum ticket price was set but clubs rarely charged above it. This tied in with an era when Directors were forbidden from taking money out of clubs by Football Association rules. Those days are long gone and in tough economic times, the clubs are finding that the wallet is ruled by necessity rather than the heart.

Arsenal made a play of the cheaper ticketing available in Category C games. This is a small step but nowhere near enough when you consider the price of Category A games. Football is at a crossroads, unwilling to admit that it is a luxury item no matter how we like to kid ourselves it is a necessity. Whether the reality is ever acknowledged by the club is another matter. The toughest economic times may be over but many of the harshest decisions come when the road to recovery is travelled.

’til Tomorrow.

287 thoughts on “Theo And A Sign Of The Times

  1. Park is getting the start tonight for Celta against Madrid in the Copa Del Rey. Will keep posted on how he does as it is on live here in the States.

  2. Oh my! How can a top team concede a goal against Swansea? How is it even possible they are being outplayed by such a lowish side. If this was Arsenal, we’d have the pitchforks out and ready to burn all the players at the stake for bringing such shame to our good name.

  3. Fell. You can get your tickets at cost price then from It’s where I get mine.

    Otherwise you might get one cheaper on ticket exchange.

    Unless you know a season ticket holder whose not going. You might get a cheap one that way.

    Ask on Twitter.

  4. Cheers Bob, I’ll give it a go when i get home anf get my details. Do you think they’re still available or sold out by now?

  5. That filled in the half time with the greatest Arsenal performance I ever saw – and like Brian Brian Brian Moore said the most dramatic finish to a Football League Championship ever

  6. Not for sale yet for us Reds, Fell.

    A bit cagey, I think.

    Try dups suggestion first?

    You live Liskeard way, don’t you?

  7. Arsenal’s Cheapest season ticket is about a grand, ManSour’s is 300 quid. It’s in Gorton for fuck sake, the cheapest place in the ‘developed’ world. The richest club in the world has the poorest supporters.

  8. No Mel – to my everlasting regret

    Watched it on a TV in Lewisham – lovely warm evening – windows open – top floor

    You could hear me in Peckham when the second went in

  9. Nice to see you Diaby back playing again, Santos too if only so Gibbs can have some cover. But when will Frimpong learn man, sent off again for two bookable offenses. I appreciate his passion and tenacity but he needs to know when to curb it, especially if he has already been booked.

  10. You and me both, anicoll. I was in Plymouth and I bet they could hear me in Peckham when it went in!

  11. Bob & Anicoll5 – What makes you think Peckham would be interested in listening to either one of you? Self-important so-and-so’s!

  12. Watching the Madrid-Celta match and sometimes I wonder about refs. There was a little tussle that could have gotten really ugly and the ref didn’t step in at all to separate the players at all instead let them all just have a go at each other. With that type of reffing I swear any of us could be a ref.

  13. Man I can’t wait for Lawro’s Premier League Predictions this week! I mean, will he pick us to beat Citeh? Maybe a draw? Does he even think we have a chance!?

    And if we do beat the defending champions, will any of our players make Garth Crooks’ Team of the Week?

    And who will we buy in the transfer window? Or will we buy anybody?

    I’m soooooooooooo excited! And in just under 3 hours, the BBC Gossip column will switch over to Thursday’s gossip!!

  14. Bob – She does Bob 🙂 There really is no accounting for taste!

    Ani – LOL If it was anything like the neighborhood beside mine in Dublin growing up, then the sirens were about the only things that did not get (regularly) stolen.

    Swansea holding on.

  15. Michu scores again but is offside. Demba Ba coming on for the Chavs as apparently Torres cannot score to save his life. Who knew?

  16. Anicoll5 – “Watched it on a TV in Lewisham – lovely warm evening – windows open – top floor” – I notice you don’t say ‘my’ TV, sounds suspiciously like a burglary to me! Fair play to you for pausing long enough to watch the game though, as I imagine time would generally be of the essence in such a situation. It is refreshing to hear of someone appreciating such a momentous occasion as it happens and recognising it for what it is. Well played sir, well played!

  17. I was a lucky boy (18), a mate who worked for another newspaper couldn’t make the game because it got rescheduled for Friday night so he sold me his ticket for £12 including coach up there, most of us missed the start of the game thanks to the m6 and I remember after MT missed that chance this Greek bloke standing next to me said “we’ll get one more chance you watch” and we did didn’t we? The drinking on the way up there was fierce but on the way back there was a stunned silence and quiet drinking/reflection and blokes just grinning at each other then someone shouted “so many miles to London” and the singing and party started, quite a night.

  18. Must be lovely with al those pissed up school ‘ graduates’, these days,, Fell!

    Mind you it was a hunting ground for me when I was , well, younger.

  19. Uuuuh, Chelsea losing 2-0 at home to Swansea. I wonder if their fans will have a similar witch hunt to ours.

  20. Obviously I closed the windows as I left Irish

    And a stunned silence at the Bridge – other than the Swans fans

  21. So the Swans beat the reigning champions of Europe but when we draw 2-2 we are laughed at? Should be interesting to see over the next 2-3 weeks just how strong the Swansea team is. There are a lot of fixtures coming and a lot of teams are not prepared for how exhausting it can be. Hell, we are still not properly prepared if you ask me and we have been doing this for quite some time!

  22. Bob – A truly formidable yet hideous car that. I can never make my mind up when friends/family members pull up to me in their Beetle’s, some old and some new ones. I feel I should be appalled but I find it endlessly intriguing that people still drive them, let alone pay money for them. Please tell me you did not meet Consolsel in a Beetle?

    Anicoll5 – Well obviously, I mean it’s not like you were raised in a barn?

  23. And Park for all his being isolated and work ethic gets taken off. Not sure why, the 1 chance he got beat 3 RM players to a header that went just wide and the other the ball was hit way to hard across the 6 yard box and he did well to even get a toe on it.

  24. No. lel was much later! My Dad bought it new in 1960, when he was leaving the Marines. Cost £ 990. Got the receipt somewhere. Only sold it when he stopped driving in his late 70’s.

    It was like driving a tank! Steel, not aluminium.

  25. Well done Swansea though, always nice to see the Chavs being put in their place. Which if you ask me, is under a rock!

  26. I missed the ‘hunting ground’ bit Bob, came down here with my daughters mother 22 years ago. Originally from sunny Skeggy and couldn’t believe that there was a blue sea off the coast of England after growing up with the Brown Windsor Soup that is the North Sea.
    And when I eventually separated from her mother I was a bit too long in the tooth and short of the hair to be chasing drunken ‘graduates’
    That’s not to say a walk along Fistral Beach at the height of the summer doesn’t make me smile appreciatively

  27. Bob – I remember ‘borrowing’ my cousins years ago, like you said it is like driving a tank. Uses the same amount of gas too! I think I managed to get it past 60 mph after about 10 minutes but that was about it. Took almost just as long to stop it too as the breaks were shite. I had a go at driving one of the new ones 2 years ago and if anything, outside of starting and stopping quicker than the old, it was even worse to drive.

  28. Michael – I have live almost half my life in NYC, so yea a bit different I suppose from the rest of the Dubs.

  29. Well done, Swansea. Hope they can hold their advantage and make it to the final.

    Irish, lol! Yeah, prawn sandwich brigade’s worst nightmare, a loudmouth from across the pond! (Eh, Bob!) it was frustrating, though, truth be told, because you get to attend one match every few years and would love to get the most out of the experience.

    YW, I was stunned I understood him; in my shock all I could muster was thanks!

  30. LSG – I hear you. I have often gone to a Yankee game and received dirty looks from people when myself and my mates are roaring our heads off. The funniest I ever saw though was back in Dublin, years ago at an All-Ireland game, Dublin v Meath. A woman, obviously at her first game of the year as we had not seen her all season and had gone to every game, became more and more offended at my friend’s liberal and creative use of the ‘F’ word (he is quite talented). Inevitably at half-time, she whipped around and gave him such a tongue lashing that he was stunned into momentary silence, a silence that lasted just long enough for her to disappear (probably went to get Dublin’s equivalent of a prawn sandwich) before he could think of a reply. Naturally we went off and got some beers before returning to our seats for the second half. As we were taking our seats, she turned partially around and fixed him with a look that left him in no doubt what she would do if he used the ‘F’ word one more time.

    So we sat there waiting for the game to start, all the while watching him as he had a huge grin on his face, which the rest of us knew meant he was not just up to no good but had decided to fully commit to what ever it was. When the Meath players came out I swear they heard him, half the stadium must have heard him! I will honestly say to this day I have never heard the ‘C’ word yelled so loud and so vehemently and with such obvious pride. There was silence for at least 30 seats in every direction. His slew of invectives in the second half left me in awe, as not once did he slip and use the ‘F’ word. The game ended in a draw and when it did my mate nonchalantly tapped the woman on her shoulder and asked if she would be coming to the replay? With not a hint of hypocrisy she looked him right in the eye and told him in a loud, high-pitched scream to “FUCK OFF!!” With a tip of his hat, he turned and walked away. She never showed for the replay. Or the one after. Or the one after that. Dublin finally lost after 3 replays. To this day Owen blames ‘that c**t’. I think that 35+ minute period is the longest he has ever gone without using the ‘F’ word, as she quaintly put it.

  31. Well well well
    If this was over one leg VILLAINS AND CHElsKI would now be out of LC competition. Just like US alas they they another chance to redeem themselves and set it right.
    should give some of US a chance to pause and put the results from our games into perspective. But it won’t.
    Playing in VALLEY PRIDE no small feat and SWANSEA is a good team under LUDARP.
    as I said before the season started TWO teams were going to improve by leaps this season due to their new coaches. One was the SWANSEA team. Can you guess which was the other club.??
    Clue…. They currently are in the top half of epl

  32. More like “Love Will Tear Us Apart”.

    Good to see Swans win but, not that good as watching the Swans make 15+ passes between their keeper and back four before attacking us.

    Not nearly as good as seeing a young strong gutsy Centre Back playing for the Swans because he so say wasn’t good enough for Arsenal and squillachi and per were better.

    fuck me what joke.

  33. Kam – I presume you mean the Spuds? 🙂

    Saturday fixtures we should keep an eye on –

    QPR v Tottenham
    Everton v Swansea
    Stoke v Chelsea

    Sundays fixtures –

    Man Utd v Liverpool
    Arsenal v Man City

    Chavs v Orc Army – After losing to Swansea, it would be excellent if the Chavs would repeat that result against The Orc Army. I would much rather play the Chavs after a few defeats and the fans screaming at Benitez, than when he has just won a game and silenced (however temporarily) his critics at the Bridge. 2-1 to the Orc Army

    Everton v Swansea – I cannot see them losing or winning this game. A definite draw, which should be good for us. 1-1

    Spuds v QPR – I hate to see QPR win anything but I can see them nicking this. ‘Arry is the one guy who knows the Spuds better than AVB, he has also motivated the QPR players. I think they will win this in a scrappy 2-1. Bale booked for diving.

    ‘Pool v Utd – I have watched them a few times this season, either awesome or absolute shite. Sound familiar? This is the one game they will want to win more than any other having lost the previous encounter between the two. This game has goals written all over it and you can be dam sure I will be watching it. 3-2 Liverpool. Suarez booked for diving but Stevie G. (cos he is English and therefore does not dive) wins a late PK by diving. Rooney sent off for being so fucking ugly!

    The Arsenal v Citeh – They have not scored a goal at the Emirates in almost 5 years apparently, so I think you will agree this mean there will be goals aplenty! Nasri can’t play as he is banned for headbutting an opponent. Who knew he was that tall? Rosicky to destroy them in midfield but only when he comes on in the 72 minute as we are losing 2-1. Final score 5-3 to The Arsenal. Vermaelen gets the winner with a 30 yard screamer 🙂

    The Arsenal moves up to 5th. Bring on the Chavs!!

  34. Yes IRISH. you get an Stella artoise from me when we get together for a game at the pub mate.
    I’m afraid these fuckers are a completely different proposition under VILLA BOAS.
    still,its one game at a time for us starting with the bloody blue mancs this weekend , you are well I hope….

  35. Lol, interesting picks mate , glad to see you are still in a festive mood.
    by the way I really liked the way SWANSEA changed their game tactics against the Chavs, it paid off for them. Maybe the final will be BRADFORD & SWANSEA.
    Rafa out. Torres out. Lol
    Lamp out. Terry out and while you’re at it Branislov. And BA out.

  36. I like STELLAS, it’s. Very stellar beer.
    You can have a guineas or whatever you like. Nothing like a ice cold wifebeater. LOL

  37. Kam – Yea that would be a hell of a final, I would like to see that happen. And yes I like how Laudrup is willing to change his tactics to suit the opposition, something I don’t think we do well enough, if at all some times.

  38. We should be able to get passed the SWANS at home to advance in the FA CUP. I see us getting a result there.

  39. HA! Guinness tastes like sour piss in the States mate, We should hit The Fox and Hounds over in Studio City and knock back a few ciders 🙂

  40. Actually now that I think of it, make that 3-2 to The Arsenal as I think Laudrup will rest some of his starters against Everton and focus on the Cups. That means we will most likely be playing a full strength and well rested Swansea. Meh!

  41. Yes IRISH, we don’t change strategically very often ,
    AW AH,
    Its my way or the highway lol, it better yet,
    Best defense is a very good offense.
    Although I think he has improved over the last couple of years. don’t you think so.?

  42. fine brother , I’ll drink ciders with you even though it makes me stomach sore a bit. My favorite poison is tequila shots followed by STELLA or SAPPOROs beer,
    Oh yah.

  43. One may be forgiven for thinking that most Gooners would take at least a small dose of satisfaction in seeing Chelsea get turned over by the Swans. While our spending was restrained, Chelsea spent squillions on the best young midfielders in the world last summer plus another huge wedge on two forwards (Moses and Ba), yet we both struggle against the same team. At least Gooners would be comforted in the knowledge that Swansea is now a decent team. But it seems that even that small crumb is too much to expect when some folks have already made up their minds to crap on their own team. Pfftt.

  44. Rosell came out today saying VILLA was not going anywhere , I think we should forget him and make an seven million offer for MOUSSA SISSOKO. good proper footballer with no off field issues. Solid DM.

  45. Kam – Sapporo is an excellent beer, I think we can reach an accommodation with each other and just agree to knock those back. As for the Tequila? Blehhhhhh! Not exactly a fan of shots per se (tends to hold up the cider drinking!) but find Tequila specifically nauseating. How do you feel about Jager? 🙂

  46. Shotta – Well said mate. Fact is the entire Premiership were warned last year about Swansea, who set the championship on fire with their fast-paced passing and desire to keep the ball on the ground and attack teams head on. Hell, Liverpool were so impressed they hired Rogers and are quite willing to give him 2 and a half years to get ‘Pool playing that way and winning shit.

  47. Give ARTTETA a breather SHOTTAGOONER ,many changed their minds years ago and can’t wait for ARSENAL to turn into another trophy buying club just so. They get their bragging rights back. They can’t see or be proud of what this. Club stands for.

  48. Jagers mister. Hah. The devil you say. I like but remember we got to drive afterwards and the cops don’t need a court order to draw our blood and they’re taking our guns away too. Next it will be a world without B:-):-)S
    what with we do.

  49. When are the African players leaving for the ACN??
    which club will be the most effected??
    my guess. Chelsea and the blue mancs.

  50. My LAKERS as up against the SPURS tonight. All three centers out with injuries . Hope we don’t get slaughtered.

  51. Kam – I was kind of thinking that considering how early it will be when the game finishes and even if we have a few afterwards, I would just crash in the car for a few hours…….or even get The Girlfriend to pick me up! Brilliant idea that! I also have a friend who’s brother is a detective out there, so I will have his name to drop if anything untoward were to happen. Not that it ever does you understand. Never, no sir, nothing to see here, keep it movin’!

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