A Rich Man’s World & From The Vaults: 1932 – The Evolution Of Football

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It’s a marketing scam that Reggie would have been proud of but unlike his fictional namesake, Loic Perrin’s is doomed to fail unintentionally as Arsenal are looking elsewhere for a new centre back. It’s a bit of a comedown from Mats Hummels and the outright certainty of some claims he would sign in the summer but Gabriel Paulista, Villarreal’s ‘versatile’ defender is the new go-to guy.

Or perhaps not as some doubt is cast over whether he would qualify for a work permit. In an eerie echo of the past, Joel Campbell was being lined up as a makeweight in the deal. Elsewhere, Ilkay Gundogan’s back injury has moved him into prime position for the defensive midfield role whilst in a bizarre twist, Adrien Rabiot is once more linked with a move to Arsenal with Wenger looking to bring out the attacking midfielder’s previously well-hidden defensive qualities.

Whatever the case, FIFA’s largesse means there is no excuse for inactivity in the transfer window. The Federation have raided Sepp’s re-election budget and made payments to clubs for borrowing players for their summer jamboree, giving Arsenal just over $1m for the pleasure of all the players called up for the World Cup.

The daily rate is $2.3k, equivalent of an annual salary of just over $500k which suggest FIFA has very different views on players worth than the clubs and indeed the players themselves.

Arsène and the squad meanwhile are preparing for a mid-table clash with Stoke in the Sunday lunchtime kick-off. It’s a better time than the 5.30pm kick-off endured for the FA Cup tie against Hull but only marginally so. With the clubs gradually becoming less and less reliant upon matchday revenues, broadcasters are in the position of dictating matches at their convenience.

Football is the strangest of commodities. There is little argument that the sheen has dulled on the FA Cup, it’s no longer the shining beacon for the end of a season that it once was. The ascendency of the Premier League and Champions League with their financial riches has assured that the jewel in the FA’s crown needs taking to a specialist and given a tidy up.

Or so you would think. Disparaged as the elongated weekend might have been, crowds at this years third round are not likely to show that much of a drop on last year’s thirty-five year high. This even though Manchester United and Liverpool were away rather than being at home at the stage of last season’s competition. It’s staggering especially with just 9k watching the all-Premier League clash at Turf Moor.

Crowds are remarkably resilient in the modern game but increasingly irrelevant to broadcasters. They don’t want an empty stadia for their matches yet perversely they are not overly concerned with lower crowds. After all, their interest is in subscribers and advertising revenues, both of which benefit from stay-away fans.

From the outside, it seems there are two avenues left for the clubs to truly exploit; Saturday afternoon broadcasts and television season tickets. The former has always been a concern for the game, from the very outset. When the BBC floated the idea for Match of the Day, the clubs initially insisted that the televised game(s) were not announced until half-time such was their fear that attendances would suffer.

In a broadcast age with every game in every division receiving some sort of coverage, it is hard to explain the buzz of a child when you pitched up at a ground and saw the Outside Broadcast vans parked close by. In those low tech days, graphics were to say the least, basic. Half-time and full-time scores and scorers came courtesy of a chalkboard in front of a camera on the pitch. How you marvelled when the highlights rendered the background seemingly invisible.

It probably was a touch more hi-tech than that but not much.

Clubs are mulling over the relevance of the Saturday ban on transmissions but the final decision comes down to reaching an agreement with the Football League. With Friday night football, the number of Premier League games kicking off at the traditional time could be as low as four when the Champions and Europa Leagues are in full flow.

Will supporters of Football League clubs stop going if Aston Villa are playing Chelsea in the televised 3pm kick-off? A quick straw poll on the subject at work suggested it won’t influence matchday habits.

Equally, having failed to make club television channels work with satellite platforms, clubs engagement with supporters is mainly online. Exploiting pockets with a television season ticket for every match is a way of boosting revenues for themselves and the opponents on a game-by-game basis. It certainly recognises that Premier League clubs know no geographic boundaries in terms of support, either locally in the UK or globally.

Football has changed since the initial days of the 1960s when televised matches in one shape or form became a regular feature on the landscape. Not just in the studio but in the prominence the finances play. Every contract negotiated reflects the increasing popularity of Premier League clubs and their never-ending supply of ideas for exploiting supporters.

And our seemingly bottomless wallets to pay for them. Just when you think they can’t find new tricks to screw us, they do. Executives call it engagement, making fans feel involved in the club even if the distance in the relationship is wider than ever. I know what I call it but it’s too early in the day for such language.

Ever feel like you’ve been cheated?

From The Vaults

Earlier in the week, I covered off the contrasting preparations of defending champions Arsenal and their opponents in the forthcoming FA Cup Third Round tie, non-league Darwen. Arsenal’s 11 – 1 victory remains their most comprehensive at this stage of the competition.

’til Tomorrow

Darwen

66 thoughts on “A Rich Man’s World & From The Vaults: 1932 – The Evolution Of Football

  1. jlsgooner says:

    Interesting read, not sure about smaller crowds bothering the TV companies as they have the technology to paste a crowd into the stands for the viewer, I wonder if they have not done so already .

  2. andy1886 says:

    Early post today YW. It’s sad that the traditional 3pm Saturday kick off time has been eroded to the point when these are a rarity for many clubs. I would prefer a TV season ticket and more traditional Saturday afternoon kick offs rather than the scattergun approach were TV dictates that we have matches taking place at all times and on all days.

  3. consolsbob says:

    We have been cheated. To the degree where some ‘fans’ feel able to claim that high ticket prices are sign of the club’s ‘health’.

    Football is the ultimate commodity. Ever growing demand resistant to price increases.

    That’s what big, fat capitalist bastards will do to you. Everytime.

    And I say this as an anti socialist before all you lefties come piling out of the woodwork!.

  4. andy1886 says:

    Lefties Bob? 😉 I’m more of the opinion that the whole system, left, right whatever is broken. They’re all the same and they’ve forgotten that we are all the same, elitist bastards!

  5. consolsbob says:

    Many grounds, including Highbury, improved on the chalkboard. Just.

    There was a series of letters in the corner of the picket fence with two hooks next to each one. These correlated to a section in your programme showing a list of matches. At half time a man would hook the scores onto the hooks. Always took a long time.

    After the game, one had to wait for 10 minutes or so to get the full time scores read out.

  6. consolsbob says:

    I’m with you there, andy. It’s never been much different. There was a sense of ‘noblesse oblige’ in earlier elites and there have been some truly well motivated and men and women. Duty stll mattered.

    All about power and how much money these days.

  7. Ian says:

    I gave up my ST six seasons ago when a Saturday 3pm KO started becoming less.

    Its even rare now, we have only played twice at the time this season (Hull and Burnley)

  8. Yogi's Warrior says:

    I could be wrong but I believe we only have 1 Saturday kick-off between now and the beginning of March.

  9. silvergunner says:

    Good read the YW imo the only way to get clubs taking the fa cup seriously is to give them the same incentive the EPL and champions league bring and that is unfortunately money, only then will it be given the same or equal attention.
    Not sure what to feel about Podolski leaving, Wenger probably guilty of mismanagement there imo.
    I just don’t want to see a load of square pegs in round holes again on the wings, with ozils return imminent I am fearful our team will be disjointed if he decides to play him on the wing and not centrally which for my money means santi must give way for him, as a substitute.

  10. andy1886 says:

    The best way to make them take it seriously is to give the last CL place to the cup winners. Then the old fourth place trophy will bite the dust and Arsene will be up shit creek without a paddle.

  11. C says:

    Good read Yogi, and it is one of those things where money and power seem to fuel futbol clubs more than anything else, well atleast with FIFA and Arsenal. Its sad to watch honestly, clubs exploiting their loyal fans for every penny they possibly can and in doing so, losing that “connection” that they had with the fans.

    Here in the States, NBC seems to be going the way of so many, exploiting you for every dollar and forcing you to get a bigger and bigger package. The most infuriating thing is when NBC decides not to show 1 game but go through all the games constantly checking in when their is a “scoring chance”. Fucking frustrating and I’m sure that they didn’t appreciate(if somebody actually read it) that I sent letting them know my frustration.

  12. C says:

    If this is true, as a fan of Prince Poldi, it makes me sad to hear this. Prince Poldi on the way he was treated by Arsene:

    “He (Wenger) said nothing to me. He did not call me or say goodbye,” Podolski told The Sun.

    “I don’t need flowers or a kiss from him. But it is about respect, about saying goodbye.

    and then Arsene when asked about it said:

    “I deny completely. I had many conversations with him.

    “Without my agreement, he couldn’t go on loan.”

  13. C says:

    Ozil is available and I honestly think Arsene will start him.

  14. andy1886 says:

    @ C: Based on past experience this is another example of Wenger’s weasel words. “Having many conversations with him” and agreeing to his loan isn’t in any way the same as saying goodbye and wishing someone well. It’s a totally different thing. Yet he says this to refute Poldi’s remark. Just another example of how he makes claims and statements that are at best borderline with regards to the truth and expects us to swallow it without question.

  15. Damon says:

    Andy,

    I genuinely like that idea. Not sure how Platini and his chums would feel about it though? Who do you give the spot to if the cup winners make it through the league – runner up or 5th place?

    The past years would have yielded the following entrants, depending on to whom you favour should the winner already have qualified…

    13/14 RU: Hull 5th: Everton
    12/13 Wigan
    11/12 RU: Liverpool 5th: Newcastle
    10/11 RU: Stoke 5th: Spurs
    09/10 RU: Portsmouth 5th: Man City

    My point being that apart from Liverpool as RU and City (before they got it properly together) that doesn’t add a lot of gloss to UEFA’s crowning “product” and I imagine they’d conive some twist to “protect” their asset.

    Furthermore, I’d suggest looking at that lot, that the Premier League wouldn’t fancy it much either. I’d say that would be a sure fire way of killing our coefficient with that lot trying to qualify and we’d be down to three spots sharpish. then only two from the league go through and the cup with another? I think the Prem mob would take a similar line to “protecting their product” and making sure as many of their top tier teams were on the global scene.

    Don’t forget, it’s all about the moneee, moneeeee……..

    I won’t go on with that little ditty.

    It would certainly motivate all the mid table prem teams, even top Championship to go for it though. I’d imagine for the Chelsea’s and City’s that are assured top table without it, it will be the status quo, or possibly even devalue it slightly?

  16. C says:

    @andy

    I know and its just sad to see to be honest. I know they are grown professionals and its a job but at the same time its sad to see. Its like Arsene truly believes that the fans are blind and ignorant and everything he says we believe at all. Here is the full quote by Arsene:

    “I had many conversations with him, he had my agreement to go on loan. I deny that completely but I knew he did not get enough opportunities. We have many players, when a player of his quality doesn’t get enough games you can understand he is frustrated.

    “At some stage too many players is detrimental to the confidence. You need the right numbers. It had nothing to do with his quality. It is just a loan without an option to buy – that means he is back at the end of the season.”

  17. andy1886 says:

    Interesting quote C, so there is no option to buy, we lose his services and he will be six months older if we decide to sell him in the summer thus reducing his value. Personally I think that if Wenger doesn’t want him we should have sold him and had done with it. I can’t see the point of this loan if it doesn’t lead to a sale.

  18. C says:

    @andy

    I see the point of his loan, to get a frustrated fan favorite matches. The part that I don’t get is the no option to buy part. If he is a hit at Inter, then there should have been a buy back option especially when you think that heading into next season we will hopefully have a fully fit Sanchez, Theo, Ox, Yaya, Welbeck, Giroud, and potentially another one and I don’t see Arsene using Podolski especially since he couldn’t get a match in the first half of the season.

    Another TERRIBLY BAFFLING decision by Arsene and Arsenal.

  19. andy1886 says:

    I liked it too Damon because number one it makes the FA Cup interesting again, number two you would actually have to win something to be rewarded with the CL place, and as you say it gives other clubs outside the usual suspects the chance to progress if they do well and reap the financial rewards. I suspect that you’re right though, for FIFA, the PL and other interested parties it’s all about maintaining the status quo (just like in life actually). When anyone suggests an idea that might upset the apple cart and disadvantage the vested interests they all close ranks. For me having the fourth placed side play in a ‘Champions’ League is a nonsense. I preferred the old setup, European Cup, Cup Winners Cup and UEFA Cup.

  20. C says:

    Arsene confirms that Yaya is heading out on loan and that Hull and Steve Bruce have made contact over taking him out on loan.

  21. C says:

    Arsene on Ramsey, Ozil, Flamini, Welbeck, Giroud. Basically everybody is back but Welbeck:

    “The team news is that Ramsey (hamstring) is back in training, Ozil (knee) is back in training and Flamini (groin) is back in training. We’ve got three players back. Welbeck (thigh) is still not available for Sunday because he is a bit short. Maybe next week he will be available. Giroud is back from suspension. So we have a bigger squad than last week.”

    On Ozil playing:

    “He will have a training session on Friday with the squad. He will certainly be available for selection on Sunday. Will I start him or not? I haven’t decided yet.”

  22. dukey says:

    “so we have a bigger squad then last week”

    “but not as big as it will be in a few weeks when they all get injured again”

  23. dukey says:

    still no defenders in that returning mob though.

  24. C says:

    @Dukey

    No defenders returning and so far none on the way in. Lets hope and pray that Kos doesn’t aggravate his achilles more than it already is, Mert doesn’t get injured and Chambers doesn’t pick up another card.

  25. C says:

    MMMMMMM who to start against Stoke, maybe;

    Sczny
    Debuchy—-Mert—-Kos—-Nacho
    ——-Chambers—–Mozart—-
    ————-Santi————
    Theo——-Giroud——Sanchez

    Bench: Ospina, Gibbs, Flamini, Ox, Ozil, Ramsey, Campbell or Bellerin

  26. C says:

    @Yogi

    I was going back and forth with Chambers and Le Coq, I only went with Chambers to take advantage of his height and ability to win headers. My fear with Le Coq in a match like this is that Stoke are a physical side and if Le Coq gets frustrated, a rash challenge will come and it might really hurt us in the form of him getting sent out(he is a lucky boy not to have seen red last match) more than Chambers getting his customary yellow.

  27. andy1886 says:

    A couple of good results and I’d put money on Arsene doing a U-turn and stating that we don’t need anyone. Only City away should be a problem before the window closes, so don’t bet against it. Yes I know he said we were short defensively but he said that in the summer and look what happened then.

  28. C says:

    Though if you were to look at Arsene’s comments and the giddiness that he seems to have had with the return of Ozil, I wouldn’t be surprised to see one of Santi or Mozart dropped and Ozil get the nod.

    I must say though, I am excited to see Ozil playing with Theo and Sanchez!

  29. dukey says:

    we are a lot more stable without Chambers in the team, which is to be expected seing as he is a novice rookie. he really should be used sparingly and eased into his Arsenal career instead of being the sticky back tape in our defence.

  30. silvergunner says:

    Chambers whether we like it or not unless Wenger surprises us all and pull of a defender signing must continue to play out of necessity.
    It appeared when he was signed he would be right back cover for debuchy and dmc cover for arteta/flamini but he has played more games than any of us would have predicted and now I’m certain he is more comfortable at cb than rb.
    Bellerin should be backup in jenkinsons absence, the jury is still out about dmc for chambers but he is not a rb for me.

  31. Damon says:

    I’m with YW on the middle

    Think Le Coq will get the rub over Calum!!!!

  32. Jonny says:

    According to AW, Milan do NOT have an option to buy Podolski. Also…

    “He didn’t get enough opportunities to play – because I knew that, I gave him a chance to go,” the Arsenal manager said.
    “Why? Because we have many players who can play in these positions and at the end of the day only 11 can start. When a player of his quality doesn’t get enough games, at some stage too much competition is detrimental to the confidence of the players and their positivity.
    “You need the right number and we had too many players in this area. It’s nothing to do with his quality; it’s just down to the fact that we had too many players in the same area.”

  33. Jonny says:

    Sorry I missed – C’s post earlier just logging in and catching up.

    Afternoon all.

  34. C says:

    @silver

    I tend to agree with you, I prefer Chambers at either CB or DM, Bellerin IMHO would be RB2 and just go with that.

  35. C says:

    @Jonny

    After thinking about those quotes for a good while this morning(have no desire to actually do work at work), my biggest question is, why not have an option to buy if we have more than enough numbers now and our numbers will only increase come next season with the likes of Theo, Welbeck and others both getting fully fit and getting more match time?

  36. Jonny says:

    Maybe Inter simply do not want an option to buy – just a loan?

    Or they prefer to negotiate that option after they have seen his contribution, rather than setting a fixed price now.

    I think we must hope that Poldi is a BIG hit in Italy so that, come the summer, he is coveted by several teams. The Inter might be kicking themselves…

  37. andy1886 says:

    Wenger on Bielik

    Football

    Posted at 17:22

    Arsenal have been linked with a move for Legia Warswa midfielder Krystian Bielik but Gunners boss Arsene Wenger does not believe any move is imminent.

    “He is a young boy that we follow, yes. We are not very close at the moment,” says Wenger.

    Code for: We will wait until February 2nd and try and get a few Euro’s off the price. Yawwwwwn.

  38. C says:

    @Jonny

    That makes sense and I think he is going to be a big hit in Serie A especially from the way that Mancini seems to want them to play.

  39. C says:

    Arsene on Campbell:

    “I want Joel Campbell for future to stay here.”

    Well having him sit on the bench I’m sure isn’t a good way to get him to want to stay.

  40. Jonny says:

    In theory, one imagines he would suit the more sedate pace of the Italian league – what with him now being officially consigned as, and condemned to, being the laziest player in the history of the game.

    I look forward to keeping tabs on his progress – he’s certainly an affable character and I am inclined to believe his comments regarding Wenger. If you are not in his good books, it does seem you are rather ‘dead to him’.

    Numerous players have mentioned it – I don’t much care about the supposed lack of common courtesy but, for me, it dovetails all too neatly with the oft-pronounced criticism of him being atrocious at the man-management side of the game.

  41. C says:

    @Jonny

    I like you will be keeping tabs on Prince Poldi and more than likely will be posting his going-ons! Isn’t it funny how he went from a hard working player his first 1.5 seasons here and then as he got injured, his workrate went the wrong way.

    I think the Wenger thing is interesting because he’s not the first player to say it about Arsene and probably won’t be the last. Its almost as though many have said, he has his favorites and everybody else is nothing more than an Arsenal kit with no name on the back of it. That does bother me especially when you consider that his success with players over the past couple of years has been at best “not very good at all”.

    Isn’t it funny how people crushed Arshavin, Gervinho, Song, and others for saying something negative about Arsene after they left but now that we continue to hear it, it makes you wonder if they were all justified in some of what they had to say?

  42. C says:

    Podolski statically has been our BEST LW not named Sanchez for the better part of 3-5 years. If you don’t think so, check the stats!

  43. Jonny says:

    What is even funnier is that the same people who bemoaned the lack of use of Arshavin (which is basically criticising AW) then defended AW when others criticised Gervinho and his inability to hit a mammoth’s arse with a bassoon. Then they attacked Podolski for being lazy whilst, as you note, he has been the best LW at the club in the last 5 years and has the one of the best goalscoring ratios in the history of the premiership. All three left and criticised AW.

    Over the tenure over there stay, and given the prices involved, we arguably got the best return from Poldi.

    But the rules are clear (kind of)…
    Others cannot criticise players whilst they are playing for Arsenal because that is bad for the club.
    Arshavin was a God like genius and one was allowed to bemoan his lack of playing time so long as you didn’t implicitly blame AW. The fact he was 100 times lazier than Poldi was completely overlooked.
    Gervinho was driven out of the club by others. It was certainly nothing to do with Arsene or that Arsene chose to stop playing him for being fucking awful. Oh no. The fact Gerv pointed the finger at Arsene is irrelevant. The fact he now plays well for Roma only proves AW was right to sign him.
    Podolski was too lazy to play the modern game and Arsene was right to never play him but still also right to sign him.
    Arsene is always right regardless.

  44. santori says:

    Don’t see what the fuss is with Podolski leaving.

    He has not been able to sustain performances through a match on a persistent basis. He gets goals but he also doesn’t do enough over a full game for the rest of the team and he does not get as many goals as people think. The stats are slanted bc he has grabbed a number of goals as a sub which has translated to less time on pitch for him (which grates him understandably) and a better goal/per minute average.

    That he does not have an option to buy affects Inter more than us. He can still be sold in the summer if he does well and likely fetch a more competitive price. It also reflects on Inter’s doubts as to whether the player will come good for them.

    He is as good as gone this summer.

    Campbell has a scant chance to make an impact (with Gnabry also returning to fray shortly never mind Campbell) so he ha to make whatever opportunity count.

    Wenger will likely give Campbell till end of season. 23yrs is a delicate age where players either find the consistency and develop their full character in the game, or continue to stagnate. We have several players in this age group in Campbell but also Coquelin, Welbeck, Jack and Ox.

  45. santori says:

    As regard DM.

    If Flamini is passed fit, he starts. He is still more assured than Coquelin. As ‘dynamic’ as the young Frenchman is (and I like his improvement) he had 3 two footed lunged at Hull which could have seen him red carded. Had it been Flamini, there would be a big moan.

    Flamini is defensively more solid and has improved in passing rate. I think Coquelin will start if Flamini is unable to. Possibly a Flamini/Coq partnership against Stoke could add a bit of combative ability for us.

    I don’t think Chambers is the player to play against Stoke in midfield. Maybe at RB to add height but you’d want Debuchy’s experience.

    DM pecking order when fit – Arteta, Flamini and Coquelin. Chambers should also ease into the role but preferably in accompaniment of a more experience partner. Rosicky is OK with Coquelin but chambers needs either Arteta or Flamini in tandem for experience (Coq having a bit more experience in dept)

  46. santori says:

    Staying on the DM front, Bielik looks likely.

    I don’t think it will conclude end of window. Should wrap up shortly. Just haggling details IMO.

    It will be one for the future (next season or two) but likely bears on Diaby more than anything-else. I think if not already, he is gone this summer. Simply no show says it all.

  47. santori says:

    Squad is not thin :

    CF – Giroud, Welbeck (Both fit)
    RW – Walcott, Ox, (Both fit)
    LW – Alexis, Campbell (Both fit)

    AM – Santi, Ozil (Ozil returning shortly)
    CM – Ramsey, Jack, Rosicky (Ramsey returning, Rosicky and Ox able to cover)
    DM – Arteta, Flamini, Coquelin (Arteta is the only concer, Flamini back this weekend or next)

    RB – Debuchy, Bellerin (Both fit)
    LB – Gibbs, Monreal (Both fit)
    CB – Per, Koscielny, Chambers (Only Koscielny a doubt)

    That’s a pretty decent availability at the moment.

    Shortage is at Cback. The worry is a Per knock. Koscielny can be reasonably covered by Chambers (who has played a bit of games now with Per) but also fullbacks in Monreal and Debuchy. I think we will struggle if we lose Per. It will be another get to know you session for the back line.

    We cannot bring in someone who is a back up. It needs to be someone who has the qualities to play with either of Meterscielny.

  48. santori says:

    Both Arsharvin and Gervinho were afforded plenty of opportunity to make a consistent impact. Neither did.

    There maybe argument that Andrei was better played in the middle but you cannot fault the gaffer for moving them on (particularly Andrei with age counting against his fitness)

    Ditto Podolski at 29. Again the statistics do not show the entirety. Goals per minute are skewed because he played mainly from off the bench. Over a longer showing, he was unable to have as much impact in a game.

    It is also ridiculous to fault the gaffer for taking a chance on them in market. All 3 were clearly talented and well priced at sub 10-12m mark considering.

    That they did not quite make as much of an impact at the club is as much to do as the application of the player as it is of the manager.

    Move on.

  49. Jonny says:

    You’re entitled to your opinion Santori but stop disseminating it like it’s stone-cold fact.

    I was talking to C at the time and we’ll ‘move on’ if, and when, we feel like it.

    A bit rich coming from someone who posts ta practically-identical post day after day…and yet never responds to numerous voices that disagree and are bored to death of hearing it.

    As for Poldi, if the stats are slanted because he is scoring so many goals per minute played in short bursts – why then were we not using him as a supersub whilst we had him? Why did we let him rot on the bench, when almost every time we did use him he scored?

    I must have missed the memo where we decided goals were a luxury we could do without.

  50. Yogi's Warrior says:

    Well, if the squads not thin, the problem is elsewhere. So either the players don’t know what they are doing (requirements not explained properly) or the manager doesn’t know what it is doing. Which one?

  51. Wavey says:

    OMG I haven’t ever heard someone go on and on more about a player than he goes on about Flamini. It’s like a reverse rant. Flamini isn’t anywhere near good enough and if you want to continue to delude yourself that’s fine, but you are not converting anyone. The rest of us think Flamini is a waste of space.
    It frustrates me when I hear noise about certain players after they have left the club as it seems that the club is spreading the rumours. I don’t think we are that petty, but then I read Wenger’s comments about Poldi and maybe we are. So Poldi doesn’t track back? Neither does Walcott, but it’s ok for him. As our third highest scorer last season wouldn’t you want to keep him around even though he doesn’t cover his FB? There are plenty of wingers in the Prem who do a job going forward, but are shit at covering. If they score goals does their manager drop them? Highly unlikely. Poldi wasn’t perfect, but he knew where the goal was and even as an impact sub for the last 30 mins he could add something. To not even use him as an option demonstrates the continued arrogance of the man in charge. His comments post Poldi embarrass him more than the player. To react that way to the comments of a departing player just shows the insecurity of a conceited coach.

  52. Birdkamp says:

    Did Arshavin have a big lobby? Round here I can only remember one bore who thought he shat Fabergé eggs. AA drove me round the bend from around 2011 onwards.

    Arshavin was more talented than Podolski, and even he didn’t deserve to have the team reshaped to suit his needs, so Podolski had no chance. It’s been said by people who can express it better than me, but LP’s stats are misleading, in the sense that what’s good for him isn’t good for the team. You know what – that tactics bloke in the Guardian called it back when we signed him. Better stop or it will sound like I’ve got an axe to grind!

    Now Özil, that’s a different story. The team does need to make up for his laid-back approach to defending, which is why I think I’d like Welbeck and Sanchez either side of him. But his movement and vision put him on a different level AA and LP. Even on a quiet day he can influence a match.

  53. arse110 says:

    I am increasingly convinced that Santori is indeed Matthieu Flamini in disguise. Start me. I mean him! I mean me. I mean him!

  54. Birdkamp says:

    Yikes, I’m like Merzbow to a wedding dance floor!

    Anyway, here’s hoping that nasty piece of work Charlie Adam gets nowhere near the pitch on Sunday. He’s the only player around these days that makes me fear for our players.

  55. C says:

    My thing with Podolski will always be whether he was used as a regular starter or as a supersub, he could do the one thing that our club struggles to do and thats score goals. As Jonny points out, his goal to mins ratio is one of the best and his ability to not just score goals but work the GK was something only Sanchez could do presently. Sure he might not have the best workrate but he could whip a cross and he can score goals so to just cast him aside was baffling.

    Im not saying build a side around him but he is also not as shit a player or as lazy as some have said.

    Maybe Ill stop before people take my backing Podolski as somebody who thinks we shoulf have built a team around one.

  56. andy1886 says:

    Precisely YW, the manger either signs poor players or the wrong mix of players in which case he’s responsible, or he has good players and a good squad and isn’t able to a) use them effectively or b) motivate them. Either way the buck stops with the manager – just as it always has done.

    As for Flamini he had a good six months before he left the first time, and a good six months when he came back. Sadly that’s about as good as it has got.

  57. consolsbob says:

    So. Santori is bonkers. Jonny is paranoid and Al is blinkered.

    Move along. Nothing to see.

  58. poodle says:

    wow! Van Persie has gone really gray! that happened quick…

  59. Jonny says:

    Am I paranoid or is Bob talking about me?

  60. Moe says:

    Santori comes, dumps his load and leaves before he has to smell how bad his shit stinks.

  61. Wavey says:

    Moe

    Almost like a koala – eats, shoots, and leaves

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