Arsène Shoots And Misses The Target In TV Spat & More

Had the internet been around in my father’s day, this morning would have been a match preview. A simple enough affair, one that would have appeared every Saturday and in midweek, which in Arsenal’s case was always a Tuesday for home games. Times have changed and that straightforward pattern, sometimes for the good, others when the world is apparently against you all.

The rest of the time, well, he probably would have been little different from you or I now; a mix of tattle and gossip with interesting stories coming through every now and then. Certainly the manager’s media duties mean everything is seemingly more accessible, the club’s profile raised higher helps. One thing that has been interesting in researching Arsenal On This Day – this morning’s post is a 5-4 win over Manchester City in 1961 – is that transfer speculation has always been around, albeit to a lesser degree than the saturation of today. Which is where Wenger started, refuting rumours of trying to sign Salomon Kalou, whilst observing that Andrey Arshavin‘s inconsistency is not decaying his Arsenal career – he is indeed, efficient – and that the only place Marouane Chamakh is going this January is the African Cup of Nations. The manager indicated that Arshavin might be offered a new contract and that the Moroccan is indeed returning. Nobody has reportedly quipped that it is only to clear out his locker.

Having good-humouredly answered those points, he apparently became prickly on the subject of Tottenham pointing out that this was Arsenal Football Club. It was something quite easily spotted, for example Arsène was sitting behind a desk answering questions and talking to the media. Unlike others who lean out of their Ranger Rover windows, telling the waiting media that “Samba’s a t’rfic player who’d rather come to a war-torn borough in Norf Lahndan than QPR but he’s at Blackburn and I don’t disrespect other teams by talking about the players on their books“, before heading off to Dorest mansions.

The media were the real targets, specifically those who broadcast matches live. Arsène railed against the fixture list a claiming that the process was subject to undue influence from one or more outside sources or even from rival clubs.

It would be – and is – easy to look at Wenger’s words and find little sympathy with the game as a whole. Ever since the early 90s when the big clubs looked through the round and square aerials, their ability to control the fixture list has been eroded. At the centre of this is the archaic notion that televising a fixture at 3pm on Saturday will cause a drop in the actual attendances across the whole of the league. There is no evidence to support the theory but like racism and homophobia, it is deeply entrenched, ingrained into the sport.

And I find it impossible to have any sympathy with Wenger. Arsenal can refuse to have the FA Cup tie against Aston Villa; it is within their power to defy the broadcaster ESPN and choose to have the match played on Saturday or Sunday. Except they the Arsenal board lack the courage to stand up to television even though there are sound sporting reasons to do so. Instead, starting with Aston Villa, there are three games in six days. That is lunacy, even with the squad system and unnecessary considering the other free midweek dates in the rest of the season.

And all this for a measly £125k appearance fee. That is a drop in the ocean in the grand scheme of things. Whilst the club may argue that there are commerical and marketing reasons beyond the fee, ultimately they should not lose sight of the fact that this is a troubled season for the squad. The poor start has led to a significant margin being opened not just to the top but to even third place. Neither is yet insurmountable but in order to give themselves the best chance to recapture lost ground, surely someone in authority at the club looked at the unnecessary pressure that would be applied to the players? Arguments such as fielding a weakened team do not wash in this instance; Wenger will field a side to win the games knowing that Villa will view the FA Cup as a winnable trophy whilst Bolton and Blackburn will not take any risks with their Premier League survival at stake.

Wenger suggested that the list might be open to abuse. Well, that is the price of success. Or failure. The prime slots in the television schedule will go to the successful teams. Manchester United do not play on Monday nights because Sky know that the prime audience for them is Saturday or Sunday. Alex Ferguson’s silverware haul has arrived at the same time as Sky’s investment in the game. The broadcaster could not have chosen a better team to dominate the English game. Wenger threatened that dominance until the current trophyless run began in 2006. This era’s Leeds United to United’s Liverpool, if you like; the odd smattering of trophies which is successful by any other club’s standards except those of the club winning more.

Is that undue influence over the broadcaster or simply market forces at work? Wenger’s complaint is valid about the lunacy of the fixtures but looking a little closer to home provides him with the real culprits.

’til Tomorrow.

172 thoughts on “Arsène Shoots And Misses The Target In TV Spat & More

  1. Anirudh says:

    Well done wolves..Chelsea just about sneaked it, but definitely will drop points away from home, actually all 4 teams had good, relatively easy on paper home fixtures this weekend, and 2 draws is a very good result for us..

  2. Dexter says:

    PaulN

    Have you not twigged? Ive been moaning since January 1st. (Thats a clue BTW)

    Come on man, think outside the box.

  3. Dexter says:

    Well well, as soon as the spuds start chatting about the league they choke. More of that please.

    Nice one Frimpong.

  4. Dexter says:

    Wenger is bang on about the fixtures being cooked up by the TV companies. How many times do we get a “Super Sunday” of 2 massive derbies conveniently scheduled to occur the same week? Just lopk at the fixtures next weekend; spuds play city and we play United. Stinks and has done ever since we had to play Leeds back in 99 a day before manu and they were the penultimate games of the season and we lost the title by a point.

  5. Dexter says:

    George

    Who is it that you miss who doesnt post here anymore? Is it JD by any chance?

  6. Dexter says:

    “Saad is fast and strong and he likes to train hard and learn. Hopefully he will do well. I told him Arsenal are a top team and not many get this kind of chance. I wish him all the luck and said, ‘do your best, show what you can do and the rest is with Allah’. He’s a young talent and this is a great chance for him.”
    ________________________

    Ali Al Habsi on our LB trialist

  7. mattgoonerknight says:

    Red Arse,

    I noted the smiley but didn’t think it equated with the preceding statement, which I read it as rather condescending – hey ho : )

    Ok, so it was a general statement – perhaps you should either state it’s generality or direct your diatribe to those concerned accordingly. Seems a bit odd to not state that you are referring to the contributions of those on other blogs when posting a rant which could be easily misinterpreted as a response to posters above.

    You’re right though, it did touch a nerve as the lambasting of those who have anything other than, as jonny referred to it a couple of days ago, the “ultra-left” view , is a recurring theme on ACLF – one which I relish challenging!

    If you’ve taken offence to being questioned and feel that I have been unnecessarily hostile, then I apologise.

    Friends is good with me although I’ve a feeling we’ll have to agree to disagree : )

    Good day on the results front hey!!!!!

  8. pedantic george says:

    Frank,Muppet, limps,ole.Maria,Northbank69.To name but a few Dexter.
    Frank most of all.He was made of the right stuff.No splinters in his backside.

    And Darius has disappeared from the face of the earth.People keep telling me not to worry.But I do.Really.

  9. Dexter says:

    George

    Maria and LimparAssist still post. Darius has disapeared you’re right man while Northbank69 is around, just about, although he wasnt all there to begin with 🙂

    I’m sure frank posted the other day, Muppet doesnt bother though, which is a shame.

  10. Bill says:

    Spurs and Liverpool drop points today. Hopefully we can hold serve tomorrow.

  11. Dexter says:

    George

    LA does man. People move on though, you have to learn to accept that.

  12. pedantic george says:

    But what if someday you and JJ “move on”?
    What will I do then?
    No, I could not cope with the loss.

  13. Tim says:

    Why the switch from ‘Arsene’ to ‘Wenger.’ Please don’t follow Myles Palmer down THAT route!

  14. Spy says:

    ‘Wenger’ for Doomers
    ‘Arsene’ for Sycophants

  15. Bill says:

    George @ 6:23

    Been a tough year for the club. End of last season and the summer and this season have been rugged.. I think most will be back at some point when things get better. Transfer windows always the most frustrating time

  16. Dexter says:

    Tharts Mr Wenger to you, you doomer!

    Tim; that is a fucking well low blow man. Can’t see Yogi going that route, the scrapin the bottom of the barrell route.

  17. Gainsbourg69 says:

    Happy to see those around us drop points. Chelsea should’ve lost were it not for B52 and that horiible Gardner. What a shit player he is. Dirty and shit is no way to go through a career. B52, is also shit and apparently a vandal now. Fuck him.

    The boys need to stay among the third or fourth spot until we get our injured players back. Because once they come back the team will be a whole lot better.

    I don’t know when it’s going to happen but the Spuds will do a Spuds. Today they didn’t get the rub of the green and drew. All of their games up to now have been incredibly close. They’re going to get found out sooner rather than later. I hope.

  18. Gainsbourg69 says:

    Bill, our summer buys weren’t a disaster. How can you say they’re a disaster when all of them took to team in less than a month? Some of them only took two games to get up to speed. How you can doubt Wenger and his transfer dealings is beyond me. You’re a gentle doomer.

  19. dupsffokcuf says:

    Bendtner (alias the best striker in the world) missed an easy chance at the end of the game, the knob.

  20. Bill says:

    G69

    You know what I mean. The players we bought are excellent, it was what happened before they came on board that was so problematic.

  21. pedantic george says:

    Bill,It was only problematic because we had and have no clue as to how things went.None,not a scooby.
    (Even Dexter and JJ hardly knew much)

  22. Dexter says:

    Oh I know George, I know everything.

  23. Dexter says:

    Look, cant we all just move on from what happened last year!?!? 🙂 God some of you lot really need to move on.

  24. Dexter says:

    I tell you, you can plot my posts alongside whether I have a hangover, or whether I am getting ready to go out and have taken some mood altering substances. This moaning I was morning, now I am as happy as the proverbial pig in shite. Strange that.

  25. Dexter says:

    Follows on from Big Al’s piece yesterday. Which BTW was a real departure from the usual football related stuff. Great read, didnt get a chance to post yesterday, so belated thanks dude.

  26. Dexter says:

    Seeya Dups, George, Gains, Bill et Big al…

    Off to get my groove on.

    COYG!!!

  27. Gainsbourg69 says:

    What happened, Bill? Gervinho and Alex Song were both suspended and we lost a few games.

  28. Sriram says:

    “Gervinho and Alex Song were both suspended and we lost a few games.”

    Exactly, Gains. I was just thinking while watching Loserpool game today, what could have been if we had those two!

    Two points dropped by the Spuds, it’s our chance to close in. COYG!

  29. Yogi's Warrior says:

    Irish / Paul / George

    AW is complaining but the ‘scheduling’ was within Arsenal’s control. Quite simply, they could have declined the live appearance and the match would have been on the Saturday / Sunday. When the choice was theirs to make, complaining about it is just making a fool of yourself.

  30. Sriram says:

    George

    You should be thrilled about what Wenger had to say on Arshavin. Hope he starts getting games under his belt and turns up with goals and assists.

    Come on Arsh!

  31. Yogi's Warrior says:

    Passenal @1.28pm & Flint earlier

    It is within Arsenal’s remit for the FA Cup contract, not within the PL contract. In that one clubs cannot decline the Sky deal.

  32. Sriram says:

    YW

    Very well written post as usual. And we can’t have two things at the same time. We had to man up and control the fixture or just put our heads down and play those games as they come.

    Just hoping our injury situation doesn’t worsen during that period. We really need to kick on this season and really can’t afford the implosion of recent years. Squad rotation and Fatigue management is key.

  33. Sriram says:

    Jonny

    What do you think about India’s chances to salvage the 3rd test at Perth? Is the Oz pace attack too good?

    And India has to really stop hiding behind the veil of fatigue. It is an absolute disgrace that they skipped net practice for a day of hunting before this test. Where is the regret for losing 2 tests?

  34. Yogi's Warrior says:

    As far as I can see – and it is only a cursory glance – the club has never been required to play two games in 48 hours because of TV.

  35. Sriram says:

    JJ-
    “i think we can..no problems at all..but its only if the club chooses and at the minute it seems they are waiting but when you consider where we are in the league and all the problems weve had in the passed with players contracts and our poor second half to the season im not entirely sure why and i dont beleive for one minute its cos there aint players out there..”

    I am sure it can be done too, I think Arsene is waiting to look at how the players who are out return from their respective injuries. We might have a busy last week again to fill in our requirements. Since, the PL is out of hand and we are taking 4th place as a trophy by itself. We could actually go for the FA Cup, that is a very realistic challenge and one that we are capable of achieving. CL is a very different equation and I wouldn’t try guessing what will happen against Milan.

  36. Team spirit says:

    I too worry about Darius… hope all is well and he has actually gone gone to visit a really hinder part with no internet access for the last few weeks… Looking forward to seeing him on back to celebrate when we win things at the end of the season.

    Note that we will win things!

  37. Sriram says:

    YW

    Yes, shocking to see the way we have performed. It really shows how we got to No.1 spot in Test cricket before the England series. Apparently we had 26 tests played in the subcontinent.

  38. pedantic george says:

    Yogi,I take it you read my post so I will not repeat myself.
    Other than to say he may just have used this moment to make his point.Which is a good and valid one.
    He does not look stupid to me ,ever.

  39. Sriram says:

    Passenal,

    Reading through the article, Wenger was pointing out more about the fixtures in the Premier league and the lack of control of the clubs on them.

    I think YW’s point revolved around the club’s power to postpone the FA cup match to the weekend and releasing the congestion in our fixtures, rather than complaining about them.

    I am assuming, the PL game would be postponed to a free midweek.

  40. Sriram says:

    YW,

    Earlier during our CC match against Bolton, there was no telecast and we were talking about ways in which the club can televise through their network and tap it as a source of revenue. Do you think there is a reason, the club did not try to postpone the FA cup game for loss of live telecast? Is there a revenue stream in there that the club don’t want to lose?

  41. shotta says:

    Blimey! Bill (and others) has no objection to the tv companies running the football schedules and taking care of their most favored. The corporations know best. What a surprise!

  42. Sriram says:

    Ok guys,

    I’m off now. Good night!

    We are organising a small football tournament in our locality as a tribute to our Indian footballing legend Baichung Bhutia. Hoping to have a great game of football and a great result for us against the Swans.

    Let’s kick start the second half of our season tomoro! COYG!

  43. Yogi's Warrior says:

    Pass

    He specifically pointed to the three upcoming games – my point is that he is wrong to point fingers at the TV companies when the club has sat twiddling it’s thumbs when they could have forced the match to take place 24-48 hours earlier. And to be honest, complaining about outside influences struck me as an strange outburst, as if there is some cabal pointedly against Arsenal. It’s just madness.

    Oh and those who moaned earlier about surname / first name – I’ve been doing it for years!

  44. Yogi's Warrior says:

    George

    I never said he looked / was stupid. I said I have no sympathy with his arguments. Now if he’d gone off on one about loan players…

  45. Yogi's Warrior says:

    Sririam – They get £125k for the match. Can’t see that is a major loss, especially since there will be a consequent loss of other revenue due to the game being on a Monday night rather than Saturday afternoon.

  46. Billy’s Boots says:

    @ Bill at 7:46 pm

    I must be an optimist – I usually enjoy the transfer window, it reminds me of the excitement children have imagining what they might get for Christmas. I try to focus on that, rather than what has happened too often of late: not ending up with what/who we wanted! Very happy with 3Gs, the Ox, Arteta, and Mertesacker; pretty happy with Benayoun (probably we should use him more). Let’s hope Park proves to be the album you come to love once you’ve played it a few times, rather than the dodgy socks your Aunt gives you that you never wear. 😉

    @Sriram at 9:03 pm

    Dexter’s tumbleweed video? Maybe a subtle reference to how few posts there were/are…

    Jonny, I hope it goes as well as it can with your father. That’s an interesting history. Mrs Boots’ father probably knew your father (fellow esteemed gastroenterologist). As others have said, you’re doing a good thing, and I don’t think you will regret it.

    I’m quite optimistic about tomorrow. Not sure why, as Swansea looked very good at the Emirates, and I don’t think they have conceded many at home (maybe not more than one in any game? too lazy to check). Let’s hope it’s the next step on our path towards overtaking our London nemeses.

  47. Irishgray says:

    Dups – You cheeky little batard!! 😀 That had me laughing so hard I almost pissed my pants!!! It has been years since I have seen this particular beauty, the man was a genius it must be said. One of the funniest ever, if not the funniest. I remember he called Prince Charles a “little grovelling bastard” live on TV in the 90’s, it caused massive uproar obviously. He then faxed him wondering if a knighthood was now out of the question? it wasn’t as he was given one several years later, albeit an honorary one due to his Irish citizenship. The guys from Monty Python say he was the funniest man ever and indeed he laid the groundwork for their own fame. Legend!!

  48. goonerkam says:

    @duppofkuff
    Funniest. Video. Tnx. Two of my favorite comedians. Are Johnathan winters. &. Diana. Carvy.
    @Irish
    So now it’s the. Oman league we are shopping. At. :|.
    Well ,if. Saad is as good as al habsee then all right. Next. Year the Iranian. League. don’t. Laugh. I here. There. Are someo nice players down there. long live the revolution. :-/

  49. GoonerTerry says:

    Wow Jonny your father sounds like he lived a complete life: well almost. He made great achievements and made his mark on the professions he chose and on his world. With high achievers like that most times their family-life suffers. They simply could not find enough time to be good parents or spouses. But whatever you feel for him you must forgive him and let him know that you do not harbor any ill-feelings towards him. Let him go in peace. You will be free and will be happy you did when he is gone..

  50. Dgob says:

    Dups @11:15pm,

    Too true. Smith owes Abou, gooners and football an unpayable debt. Regarding the former, this fact seems to be overlooked all too often!

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