Look Beyond Rooney, AST Backs Wenger & Transfer Talk


Of course the Rooney comments were more eye-catching, designed to be populist in a vaguely supportive manner. Alisher Usmanov saw the opportunity and put the ball away from close range. Offering an alternative opinion might have been more interesting text for the morning’s papers but the England striker offers instant gratification for the domestic market, Higuain a more global appeal and in the clamour for someone, anyone will do. There is a sense that the floodgates might open; once you get one, you’ll get more indeed.

Flying under the radar were his observations on his shareholding. The benefits spoken of are not immediate. If Arsenal shares are priced highly, as much as the commercial performance a key driving force was Red & White’s insatiable desire to reach 30% of the total shareholding. In many respects, Premier League rule changes made it an academic exercise although any offer to buy KSE’s holding if it became available, requiring a lower cash outlay from that position.

The results of Arsenal Supporters Trust survey were published yesterday and made for interesting reading. Representing a cross-section of the club’s support, there was encouragement and contradiction for all. Two-thirds of the respondents do not rate Stan Kroenke’s majority ownership of the club, with 79% opposing dividend payments. The key failure of Kroenke is in not revealing his vision for the club; he has by not saying anything. It is the same as before, people might change but the self-sustaining model remains. Dialogue with the CEO is a better engagement than with a majority shareholder who has little more to offer in terms of details. If there is any discernible change to the path followed, yes, by all means engage and tell all (or as much as is commercially viable). Until then, does it really matter? Talk of broken promises is a smokescreen; what use is engagement if he is not willing to listen to fundamentals, e.g. fanshare, ticket pricing.

Red & White (R&W) have gained traction on the back of this, a majority of those surveyed asking that they be given a place on the board. That invitation is not forthcoming. The contradictory nature of football supporters is shown in the demand for a seat on the board whilst strongly opposing a key facet of the R&W manifesto, the payment of dividends. Usmanov denies having a dictatorial style; one man’s dictator is another’s influencer. At the root of this is a sentiment that seems to be ‘anyone but Kroenke‘. The ideal is a return plurality of ownership but it is not going to happen. Are R&W an alternative? I don’t think so; meet the new boss, the same as the old boss.

The AST survey offered back-handed support for the manager, three-quarters showing no desire for him to leave but happy for contract renewal to wait until next year. Beyond either extreme, that is a reasonable representation of the majority view. History indicates that negotiations, whilst probably started, will be protracted and unhurried. The board is eager but the manager has yet to reciprocate, mindful perhaps of the reaction four months ago to the apparently false story surrounding a new deal. Arsène makes a great play of his loyalty, always working out his full term; it would be astounding if the club terminated his tenure before next June. The status quo is maintained and for the most part everyone is happy. In the past he has made no bones of making the club wait until late in the day before committing his immediate future.

Ending last season on a relative high has clouded the issue. Despite claims to the contrary, it is hard to see the genuine evidence that the squad is able to make the step up to challengers for the title without significant additions. The run should be commended, playing and coaching staff deserve praise for the results and commitment to ensuring a top four berth was assured. Ten games is often cited as the key but the sequence began on the back of the consecutive defeats to Manchester City and Chelsea. Results dominated that run, not performances. Over the course of a season is difficult to maintain; poor performances as we saw pre-Christmas, are more often than not punished with dropped points.

Where is the problem in waiting until next season is well under way, before starting talks? There are many imponderables at this time which will influence decisions as reality emerges. Is a poor start to the season an indicator of deep-seated problems, a signal that managerial mojo has waned or will remaining unbeaten in the first three-month be its snarling re-emergence?

Amid all of this is one point that is frequently overlooked; does Arsène Wenger want to sign a new deal? Does he want to continue managing the club – any club – until well into his sixties? Public proclamations on the subject are like any other footballing quote; best view sceptically, rarely reflecting true feelings. To seem undecided might have an unsettling effect on his players with Ferguson’s aborted retirement evidence of that. If Wenger decides to leave, it is hard to see him doing anything other than replicating his nemesis’ path; a short, quick announcement near the season’s end.

On the transfer front, Gonzalo Higuain didn’t arrive yesterday but Tin Jedvaj might. Fair play to The Sun for bringing a new name to the game. Even if they copied it from someone else. Vito Mannone meanwhile, is seen by Sunderland as a replacement for Simon Mignolet.

’til Tomorrow

189 thoughts on “Look Beyond Rooney, AST Backs Wenger & Transfer Talk

  1. Indeed. The big IF. Here’s hoping.

    Meanwhile, I’ve really enjoyed the confed cup matches I’ve watched. Brazil look decent but not world beaters (and I’ve already talked about how much I liked Paulinho!), Italy were better than Mexico but not that much better and were completely outclassed by Japan despite an underserved result. Really it was down to Balotelli and DiRossi, and one moment from Giovinco. The rest of the team was pretty poor and the Italian players seemed to acknowledge that Japan was absolutely dominating them, Chiellini and Buffon were pretty clear about that. Honda, Kagawa and several other attacking and midfield players were outstanding. Obviously the defending was loose. The Japan-Italy game was one of the best I watched since our first 5-2 v. Tottenham, I think. A couple CL matches were very fine, but honestly this game was of a high standard and very compelling.

    Even Uruguay-Nigeria had some interest though the quality wasn’t great. I thought Cavani was really off his usual standard but then I saw 7am link a video of all his goals last season to highlight a point about poor goalkeeping in Serie A and I had to agree that I was surprised how many easy tap-ins off mistakes and penalties he had.

  2. @C

    On the basis of form last season, I would give the nod to Ramsey over Wilshere.

  3. C, I wouldn’t star Arteta but rather Jack. I know we all love him but his fitness and inexperience make him less obvious a selection. Arteta has been absolutely superb–our leading tackler, leading interceptor, leading passer, most accurate passer, a leader on the pitch and captain while Vermaelen was benched, and a good penalty taker.

    He’s been one of the top 10 central midfielders this season in Europe in passes and passing accuracy. A rock. I don’t think he can keep up this grueling level of games and performance in the more physical defensive role, so he needs some help and some rotation, but I’d put a Capoue et. al beside him on occasion, Jack or Ramsey beside him and vary our central midfield combo according to tactics, fitness and best understandings among several players. And Arteta has the advantage over everyone but Santi in my book because of his leadership, experience, awareness, and versatility.

  4. We’d have a bench of Ox, Giroud, two of Ramsey/JW/Coquelin/Rosicky, GK, Jenks, Vermaelen

    Looks strong.

  5. Guys most of the gunner blogs are silent but the gtransfer buz is really exciting and it wont get any better the moment Fellaini adds to our contingent.We shall surely be a force to reckon with both Domesticlly and Europe and on that basis we can match Bayern pound for pound any day.Lets pray Wenger and the board do the unthinkable this time round.

  6. Gentlemen, if I may ask, what happened to Queen of Suburbia. I saw her on twiteer,very droll, then said she had had enough.

  7. Kelsey, she’s an old Le-Grove poster like yourself, as you know, but she dropped in here a couple of years ago a couple of times. I looked her up earlier this season but couldn’t find any recent tweets or posts–I enjoyed her witty combat with some of the others a few years ago when I would read and occasionally post over there. Obviously the space for folks who aren’t in the Wenger Out brigade is pretty narrow over there…

    You would know more about QoS than us–she had a great gravatar too…

  8. Kelsey, what I wonder is what happened to Rohan? He was out at Berkeley studying engineering. Perhaps the departure of pink boots Bendtner crushed him?

  9. Do I know you Limestone ? 🙂 Christ that was 4 years ago at least, that we left LG as it got into a children’s playground.

  10. We chatted some back then Kelsey, as I recall. Did you find another place to blog?

    It is hard to find spaces for balanced discussion that aren’t excessively clubby, which is great about ACLF. Though, ACLF’s comments have undergone some changes. Many of those who you mentioned told you to F-off have created a new space. I miss them for the conversation but it was getting to be a bit of a playground here too as the polarization that has happened everywhere (it seems) to Arsenal support manifested here.

    Hopefully Arsenal are on the up and the support will come back together.

  11. She still pops up on Twitter. She was talking to Payton this morning. At least I saw a reply from him to her hashtag.

  12. She was always very laconic and terse–perfect for twitter. I find twitter anathema, but clearly I am long-winded!

  13. True, Cbob, but if we’re winning and once AW retires, this phase of Arsenal’s history will be over and a new chapter will begin that isn’t tied to the same complaints, ideologies, and thus polarized loyalties. Hopefully all that survives is our love of Arsenal. Perhaps factions will find new rationales or new factions will form, who knows! But things will change in the near future. I hope the major change is that we get back to winning things and playing with a pleasing style.

  14. RE: poutine.
    Poutine is like fat girls. It’s tasty and fun only when you’re drunk.
    Not too appetizing when sober.

  15. Only one Limestone. he thought i was Sol Gooner or something like that.

    Yes you are right there is usually a hard core of faithfulls and as you say it can appear to be clubby to an outsider but in my opinion there are far too many Arsenal sites and many fold or don’t get updated, or just have headline posts to generate hits.

    I fully appreciate it is a labour of love to write a post each and every day.

  16. Looked her up again, Kelsey. She’s very active again on twitter–you could reach her there. Seems like so much conversation on that medium. But as I said–it is all rat a tat–no room for developing thoughts/going on and on about nothing (depending on one’s point of view!)

    I note that George has become something of a major combatant on twitter. Good medium for him as well–pithy and provocative.

  17. Kelsey, there are too many. And most have little to say. It is amazing that YW keeps up such quality on a daily basis, thankfully.

  18. @Phil

    So Poutine is like the English Kebab? If that is the comparison I have to say I refer the poutine. I remember many a night in London where myself and mates partook in a late night kebab, only to regret the decision later. I do miss Curry Lane.

  19. Clearly I’ll have to be in the right frame of mind for it. Perhaps the women you know in this capacity have been eating too much poutine, philmar?

  20. I definitely miss some of the old posters, but I don’t begrudge them finding their own niche to further their views. I am not a fan nor have I ever been a fan of shouting down or swearing at people because they don’t agree with me. Even Bill cannot bring me to that 🙂

  21. Goodness, that is a small turnout. Kelsey, YW should get you to write up one for the “favourite match” series.

  22. I’ve never got the hang of twitter or interest in it. I’m not quite old media but I do remember when I was one of only a handful of people I knew who had an email account through my university in the early 90’s. I’m a transition era person!

  23. Poutine is safe for casual use. Poutine is more likely to cause a block a colon than an aorta.
    Give’er a try Limestone. Just eat half of what you’re served (if you can stop!). Best share one with a friend (but not with the missus, unless you want to stare at it on her thighs later). The problem is finding a decent poutine outside of Quebec where they use decent gravy and proper cheesed curds.

  24. Harry, it is up there with haggis for local cuisines of European origin that sicken you!

    But I’m resolved now to try it once as a patriotic duty. A local restaurant offers a “gourmet” version that I might be able to stomach!

  25. @MA

    True but at both of their best Jack gets the nod.


    I agree about Jack and with a more physical presense beside him exciting things will happen not to mention with Santi and Jack with a better understanding of each other, simply put MOUTH WATERING!

    Arteta will brilliant to help integrate whoever comes in.

  26. I’ll find a proper place to try the real thing in Ottawa or Montreal on my next visit. There is a gooner pub (and they have a podcast in fact) in Montreal–maybe for the derby at the end of August! I’ll give a report if it isn’t too disturbing scatalogically!

  27. I am still quite well connected with the club but if I say anything it would get shot down as attention seeking but I really know a few facts about two recent transfers that didn’t take place.Schwarzer and Dempsey, but they were for different reasons, and neither had anything to do with money.

  28. Some of the oldtimers are missed from time to time but just as Arsenal do, you get rid of them because a few moments of brilliance doesnt make up for the majority of time bein the complete opposite.

  29. Y. Sanogo watching him now at the FIFA under 20 world cup.Sanogo scored the second goal for France.The guy is good.

  30. Are we supposed to be “in” for Huntelaar then?

    I thought he was Liverpool bound, or summat. I should start me own blog.

  31. Miami, yes, poutine is like the English Kebab. It’s something you best eat late at night stumbling out of a bar, preferably in Montreal. A few hilarious late night poutine joints there run by crazed ex-wrestlers. greasy dirty places with old 1960 and 70’s era wrestling posters from local wrestling federations. Across the road through the window you’ll be amused by the latenight free street entertainment courtesy of sex workers, drunk nightclubbers, drug addicts, bikers and homeless street people.
    Good times….at least they were 30 years ago!

  32. “…sex workers, drunk nightclubbers, drug addicts, bikers and homeless street people.”

    Blimey. Rock n Roll. I’ll have you know Michael bloody Bublé is currently the poster boy for Canada here in Blighty. And you can have him back if you like..

  33. Hell no. We’ve offloaded Celine Dion to Vegas and Buble to Britain for a reason. Like Chamakh, you’re stuck with him.
    Sorry…Caveat emptor.

  34. ‘I wonder why it is a given that, because someone can score a goal every 2 games in the Spanish league, when there are, effectvely only 2 teams, one of which he plays for, is likely to do the same in the EPL, when the quality of defences all the way down the league is pretty good and where parking the bus is the norm.

    Considering how many goals Pod and Gir managed last season, coming from other leagues where their scoring rate may have been just as impressive, are we likely to be able to expect any more from Hig?’….

    missing the point..its not the fact he plays in a top 2 dominated league, for one of the top two.. its the fact he plays for a club whos like in the top what?? 1 in the world
    its a high pressure cooker over at madrid..trophies are demanded performances are demanded and his scoring rate says he handled it..
    mentality we cant go wrong with this bloke, id argue he will step up and score more goals than anyone else..

    four of our players got into double figures but nobody scored more than 15 so we need that again from them and add a 20 goal man

    face it, when rvp was here we still werent scoring enough goals..he needed help and when it arrived we went and sold him..they replaced his goals but we needed to add to his goals..

    now i think higuain fills that void and we should be aiming to bang in 85-90 goals next season and win the league easily

    i hope we sign him on this basis..in my humbliest, honestest, opinion..

  35. Fantastic post Yogi. You’re are still the best.

    Fingers crossed that we can somehow work out the Higuain transfer. It is strange that sometimes we can make things happen so quickly. We were able to move the Nacho transfer through in a couple of days after Gibbs got injured. I understand that we may have already had the ground work in preparation for a summer transfer in his case, however if we are really making a legitimate effort to get Higuain and not just throwing out low ball offers that we know won’t work then we should be able to get this done. The key factor is always our level of desire.

    I basically agree with all of Jonny’s post at 10:51. I am convinced we will bring in a couple of players but I am not convinced they will be the sort of players that most of us are hoping for. I also think Arsene will sign another 2 year contract. I suspect the number of zero’s in the wage line and the number of years are already known but they will not announce the deal until we are on a good run of form sometime next season.

  36. im good thanks kelsey..

    i remember the mass lg walkout well.. 🙂

    but bergkamp only stuck around for a bit and then vanished..which was a shame..

    is london still about?

  37. bill,
    we need to be quick with higuian before manicty move on from being priced out of cavani..

  38. Just a helpful hint.

    When putting YouTube vids in, use the embed link for each one under the share menu on YouTube. Copy the link, including HTML code. Fits the comments section here that way…

  39. Bill’s got his crystal ball out again I see. Put it away man.

    He’s not bad is he, Higuain. Not bad at all. I don’t want to get my hopes up though, not until it’s OFFICIAL.

  40. I didn’t mean to put that in CAPITALS by the way.

    My hand must have slipped (as the priest said to the choir boy).

  41. You think, YW?

    I always associate the phrase with drinking.

    Especially after a hot day or a good days work.

    What’s a ‘whistle’ in this context?

  42. What’s especially good about that best goals compilation is that there are so many goals from which to choose! Not as silky in his skills as RvP but very talented and prolific.

    Sign him up!

  43. To wet my whistle.

    To consume a beverage of some sort.

    Technically it should only be used in reference to drinking beer because of the history of the phrase:

    Back in the middle ages when beer was sold in ceramic cups they would be fitted with a small whistle which could be blown upon finishing ones beverage in order to alert the bar staff that you require another beer. Therefore to get a beer would literally be “wetting ones whistle”

    Martin – oh look, I finished my lovely pint of ale. Best wet my whistle with another Broadside or London Pride.

  44. Exactly right, MGK. Someone has his Eats, Shoots and Leaves or his Strunk and White open on the desk…

  45. Those pubs must have been too loud to use one’s voice. Probably the stereo systems were always turned up very high playing troubadour ballads…

  46. LG, what a cynic you are!!

    No, no A-Z of grammar book at hand; albeit, the answer is and was only ever a google entry away (not that I needed it).

    Some things you know, some you things you don’t.

    Ain’t that right, Bob! 😉

  47. Red letter day.


    In earlier times a church festival or saint’s day; more recently, any special day.


    This comes from the practise of marking the dates of church festivals on calendars in red.

    The first explicit reference to the term in print that we have comes from America. This is a simple use of the term “Red letter day” in the diary of Sarah Knight – The journals of Madam Knight, and Rev. Mr. Buckingham … written in 1704 & 1710, which was published in American Speech in 1940.

    The practice is much earlier than that though. William Caxton, referred to it in The boke of Eneydos, translated and printed in 1490:

    “We wryte yet in oure kalenders the hyghe festes wyth rede lettres of coloure of purpre.”

    The term came into wider use in 1549 when the first Book of Common Prayer included a calendar with holy days marked in red ink; for example, Annunciation (Lady Day), 25th March, was designated in the book as a red-letter day.

    The term is sometimes written without the hyphen – ‘red letter day’.

  48. Watched part of the video Jonny posted. Lets get him The review of him that was printed in 7AM kickoff implied that Higuain didn’t have a great left foot but the video suggests the opposite.

  49. Heh – I stand by my usage.

    Wetting one’s whistle, amongst people I know, is to have the first alcoholic drink of many.

    It’s “a taste of good things to come” and so it is – to my mind, unless you’re feeling particularly pedantic – not only an acceptable analogy but a rather decent one.


  50. Hi there Consols – am really pleased you went for a TENS machine. The GF even uses it for period pains. Watch out though when putting the patches on – at full power the shock will make you jump. Similar to the old (?) farmers´electric fences.
    One of my students here in Gran Canaria is a RM fan, and he feels Gonzalo (as he calls him) is a luxury and wants Shrek… hardly a great source, but an insight into the Marca reading Spanish fan.
    If we get gazzumped – especially by the Chavs, a la Juan Mata – it will be ugly. As someone posted earlier, Poldi, Gonzalo and Theo bombing forward should scare the pants off defences.

  51. MGK – phew – thank fuck for that – if anyone would get me!

    I think we are all thirsty men – in the transfer desert.

    We’ll be signing Hejoosta Mirage next. Mark my words. 😀

  52. It arrived yesterday, Pb. Had her plugged in all day. Seems to do the trick until she sat on the control and turned it up to max. I didn’t know she could scream that loudly, couldn’t hear the cricket.

    Thanks for the tip.

    Don’t be so, so… whatever, Jonny! Of course we knew what you meant. Tch. Touchy these chefs.

  53. Morning duke.

    As well as I can. A man’s work is never done though.

    Hows the baby? Mrs doing well?

  54. The Haka.

    A sight to behold.

    An outpouring of physicality; a visceral emblem of a nation.

    The New Zealand All Blacks, without question one of the most dominant sporting units in the history of sport, are the ultimate test in Rugby, and such the haka has emerged as one of the most powerful spectacles in world sport.

    These, on the other hand, are spectacles for entirely different reasons:


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