Hector Bites Back While Arsene Digs In For The Long Haul

Since the dawn of the age of professionalism and before, abuse has rained in on players and officials from the touchlines. Clubs build new stadia, crowds become more gentrified but the air still rings blue with invective and insult. Fans are never short of an opinion, voicing it in industrial terms. Clubs want a family atmosphere but as hard as they try, every phobia you can think of is exploited by supporters in varying numbers.

The peculiarity is that neither footballer nor official can fight back. If they do, it’s a fine, suspension and humiliation in front of the world for their behaviour.

I’m not before you say it, claiming to be innocent of all charges. Every football fan who gets to a certain age is an angel with a dirty face.

Hector Bellerin receives abuse and criticism which if it were handed out to a labrador would see the RSPCA step in. At the end of the 3 – 0 debacle at Selhurst Park, he was the focal point of frustrations in much the same way Alex Song was at Fulham several years ago.

Yet when Bellerin makes his views known, a section of the support can’t handle it. This isn’t about how he dresses, what he does away from the pitch or how much he earns. This is about you, being a man. If you can hand it out, expect it back. Football creates a cosseted bubble for supporters; players can’t respond in as emotional away but if you’ve given him grief, take a step back and look at yourselves for moaning he is having a go back.

This is nothing to do with wages or footballers being distant. This is all about you being entitled, about you wanting your cake and eating it; it’s all about you.

Get over yourselves.

Confusion Hits Us Everytime

Which brings us to the match of the day. Wait, no it doesn’t. Had we not been dumped unceremoniously out of our own invitation competition, it’s likely we’d have been heading over to Stamford Bridge tonight for another meeting with Chelsea. But we’re not so what else is there going on.

Well, Arsène shocked the world by telling us he had turned down some of the biggest football clubs dans l’arbre. That’s right; he stayed at Arsenal out of loyalty and we should be grateful for it. The old gem about not breaking contracts came out as well but without the addendum of ‘but not through want of trying’.

Ultimately, it was Arsène calling Arsenal out. He’s not leaving the club before his contract is up unless he is sacked. Or cajoled into leaving for about £12m. Whether his resolve will be so great if PSG flutter their eyelashes is another matter.

However, as is his right, he asserted that the contract of employment he and the club signed is worth a damn. Unless it’s mutually convenient for it not to be worth a damn.

Why now? Ivan’s stock is rising at the club and as with any CEO, it’s off the back of the work of the new boys. Huss and Sven landed their January targets and with Raul, they are the moresome foursome. All Wenger has is results on the pitch going his way.

And let’s not kid ourselves here. Lasting twenty-odd years at Arsenal is the mark of a survivor. When Hull were 2 – 0 up, the last rites were administered to his reign. The same when Chelsea equalised in last season’s FA Cup final. Both wins left Stan content in the boardroom, looking at the cup with a happy “shiny, shiny” passing his lips.

Stepping in the Right Direction

It does raise one uneasy feeling. For so long, the manager portrayed the best interests of the club as all that mattered. In one interview, he shattered that illusion. Instead of noting he would do what he thought was best for the club, he has openly declared he is seeing out his contract no matter what. That’s a tricky negotiating corner to back himself into.

To be honest, it’s a sad place for him to find himself. We saw the damage the prolonged doubts about his future wrought across the club’s fortunes last time around. It’s why I thought a two-year deal was odd; it brings the same scenario around too soon.

Arsène admitted his own situation affected the squad. Is he seriously contemplating putting us in that same position again? I struggle to believe it yet am utterly unsurprised. All that’s left is for the club to tell him their view but the question is whether anyone has the cojones to stand up to Stan and tell him the truth.

’til Tomorrow.

63 thoughts on “Hector Bites Back While Arsene Digs In For The Long Haul

  1. HenryB says:

    Hector biting?? Surely not — that does not match his fashionable Olive Oyl hair bob!! 😀

    Good Morn, YW.

  2. TFG says:

    Complicated indeed.

    The general assumption seems to be that he will gladly walk at the end if his tenure. I remain unconvinced.

    Quite which prominent manager is expected to feel comfortable with him peering down from the Boardroom, I have no idea.

    Stan won’t sack his Accountant-Manager.

    If players are bought that he hasn’t countenanced, they can expect to have to absolutely earn their place. Normal practice ar some Clubs… different when some under-performers can walk into the side unperturbed on a (bi-)weekly basis.

    Hunch? Ivan Gazidis and Arsene Wenger will not both still be at The Arsenal ar the end of next season. Who will leave, I have no idea.

    The argument as to who is to blame – Kroenke or Wenger – is, for me, nebulous. Ask yourself this: if you owned a large corporation and your Operations Manager wasn’t performing… what would you do? It would clearly depend upon your aspirations.

    Kroenke is pretty unambiguous. The model of profitable mediocrity has been well established.

    Where Ivan and Arsene are concerned, this civil war is moving towards its climax.

    There will be casualties…

  3. Jonny says:

    Morning all – it’s all a bit early. YAAAAAWN.

  4. nicky says:

    Re the last two paragraphs of your post, Yogi,
    1. I thought there would be a review of Arsene Wenger’s position as manager at the end of this
    season.
    2. I think it would take more than cojones to alter the minds of the Kroenkes. As far as their investment is concerned, all is well. 😉

  5. Jonny says:

    As far as your concerned also, Nicky or is your faith undiminished?

  6. HenryB says:

    Morning, Nicky,

    Your thoughts/opinions on the last two paras of YW’s Post are linked, but I need to see your opinions or convictions on all the other paras of the Post to put them in context before I can comment! Are these brewing in the background? 😀

    In the meantime, did you like the game last Thursday – or was it a bore-fest? I always enjoy an Arsenal win myself, but it was not the most convincing performance defensively, even tho we did not concede a goal. Contradictory thoughts? Maybe – but them’s my thoughts! 🙂

  7. andy1886 says:

    nicky,

    1. That’s the perceived wisdom, I’ve not heard anything official to suggest that it’s fact though.

    2. We have invested somewhat to at least try and make the CL and the £40m that comes with it which seems to suggest that we have at least some limited ambition. If we had resigned ourselves to the EL places we probably wouldn’t have bought PEA. Maybe Stan does expect those revenues to be achieved?

    It looks live TV money may decline somewhat and sponsors are not going to pay top dollar for a team that doesn’t at least appear to challenge at the top table. Young (merchandise buying) fans will gravitate towards clubs that actually feature near the top of the table on a regular basis. All of this would impact the (financial) bottom line and may will give Stan pause for thought.

  8. Jonny says:

    What have you read that makes you think TV revenues will come down?

  9. nicky says:

    @Jonny,
    I merely take the pragmatic line that the Kroenkes, pro tem, have no incentive to change. It’s a cross we supporters have to bear because our Club has a sole de facto owner. 😉

  10. YW says:

    Domestic revenues are falling but the overseas element is supposedly going to make that up and more. The PL’s problem is the deal between Sky and BT for NowTV to carry BT channels so everyone who has one of those boxes can see every live game without subscribing to BT. It’s why there wasn’t a big auction this time.

    The future? Well, the big clubs are once again pushing for a larger share of the money and with Arsenal’s reduced status, expect them to push for that rather than siding with the ‘equitable’ way we currently have.

    Also expect some push for live coverage of home games by clubs for a subscription fee via YouTube/Amazon. Maybe for domestic cup competitions.

  11. Orson Kaert says:

    Well done to Bellerin for having the cojones to hit back at the critics, but I doubt his wisdom in doing so. It would perhaps have been better to listen to the criticism and answer it by improving his performance on the pitch. He’s paid a fortune, by anyone’s standards, to play football, his critics pay, by their standards, a fortune to watch him, surely that gives them the right to air their opinions.

  12. andy1886 says:

    Jonny,

    The latest packages bought by Sky and BT cost less than their previous deals. Two final packages at this point remain unsold. The only likelyhood of maintaining the current TV rights value (or increasing it) would be to increase revenues from foreign rights buyers. The potential interest from the likes of Amazon and Microsoft didn’t materialise.

  13. andy1886 says:

    YW,

    You beat me to it. IMO it certainly looks like we’re reaching the top of the curve when it comes to overall TV income. If we go down the road of clubs negotiating their own deals then it’s another nail in the coffin of the game in this country as far as I’m concerned.

  14. Orson Kaert says:

    The future of the club’s sponsorship income is due to be shaken up as both the Puma kit deal and the Emirates shirt sponsorship are due to expire at the end of next season.

    Arsenal are already looking to add a sleeve sponsor to add to the shirt deal. That and the renegotiations with Puma and Emirates will not be any easier or more profitable without Champions League football.

    If there is to be a reduction in income from both TV rights and sponsorship Silent Stan might be stung into action.

  15. YW says:

    Orse

    He did address the criticism of performances, arguing he’s listening to the coaches (which may not be the wisest thing).

    I believe everyone has a right to their opinions but the manner in which it is delivered is, in my view, completely wrong. And they’ve got to be able to take it when criticism is sent in their direction, instead of whining about being called out by a player. FWIW, I suspect Bellerin’s views of AFTV are shared by all the squad.

    People want accessible stars but if you look at any footballer’s social media and see the abuse they get from supporters of their own team, and it’s no surprise they don’t want to know.

  16. nicky says:

    @ Henry B,
    Morning Henry.
    Although Thursday’s game was not very exciting, an artificial pitch not that far from the Arctic Circle, against a lowly side, did not lend itself to a sparkling display. We did what was needed to win.
    I have no sensible comments on the rest of Yogi’s post other than to confirm my 100% loyalty to whoever sits in the Manager’s chair and whoever wears the shirt. 🙂

  17. YW says:

    Orse

    AFC will look to get a deal closer to Chelsea in value. Puma are likely to be given the elbow in favour of Adidas if public opinion is listened to. Read somewhere that Nike are moving to a policy of one team per city to limit commercial saturation so they are out of the running if that’s true, having hitched their wagon to Tottenham.

  18. Orson Kaert says:

    The blethering of the AKB’s and the sit down and shut up brigade are reliant on Stan’s contentment with the status quo. The first cracks are starting to appear in the fabric of AFC. Any more and the whole edifice will be in danger.

  19. Jonny says:

    There is no way I would have a social media account if I were a professional player.
    I have no idea why people feel the need, or that they have the right to attack their own players, it’s a vile, repugnant practice.
    AFTV is an execrable embarrassment – personally, I find it completely unwatchable.
    If I want to look at plankton, I’ll buy a microscope.

  20. Orson Kaert says:

    YW,

    So long as they don’t give the sleeve deal the elbow.

    Sleeve, elbow, geddit? 😁

  21. andy1886 says:

    It’s one of the perils of marketing ourselves as a ‘premium product’ at premium prices to ‘consumers’. Sure, fans have always bitched and moaned about the team and individual players, but when the close links between the club, players and fans becomes fractured as it has in the modern era these ‘consumers’ expect value for money and AFC are not providing it.

  22. nicky says:

    @Andy1886,
    I thought the info about a season’s end review came from Arsene himself. Perhaps he personally made the offer! 😉

  23. andy1886 says:

    I’ve been on AFTV, from what I’ve seen on posts and in the press it’s more of a platform for the people who appear regularly on it to raise their profile than any genuine effort to offer fans a voice.

  24. andy1886 says:

    nicky,

    I believe he clarified that an end of the season review is nothing unusual and as we know he certainly intends to see out his contract. But if Stan decides his asset would be better served with a new coach at the helm I expect that his support for AW would dissipate like early morning mist.

  25. HenryB says:

    nicky:
    @ Henry B,
    Morning Henry.
    Although Thursday’s game wasnot very exciting, an artificial pitch not that far from the Arctic Circle, against a lowly side, did not lend itself to a sparkling display. We did what was needed to win.
    I have no sensible comments on the rest of Yogi’s post other than to confirm my 100% loyalty to whoever sits in the Manager’s chair and whoever wears the shirt.

    That’s a fair comment, Nicky, my man, and it was one of those games where Arsenal were simply expected to win – and anything else would be like an albatross hanging around the neck.
    Oddly enough, I thought you might have argued with me about the defense being the problem, because the attack was not working all that well either. 😀

    As for Arsene, I cannot mentally compartmentalise which of the staff I like or dislike, including him, but neither can I turn a blind eye to the players who need replacing, and I have said so.
    In Arsene’s case he will always be special to me for what he brought us for some years — but equally, I cannot sit quietly as his star has declined, and with it the team’s too, and I genuinely think, with no wish to denigrate his achievements, that the time has come for the best manager Arsenal has ever had, to step aside and allow the club to enter a new era with younger men at the helm, including a new manager.

    It is part of the cycle of life Nicky, no matter how great, or lowly, the man or woman concerned that they shoot for the stars and some achieve greatness and most don’t, but eventually all come down to earth to the inevitability of retirement — and AW is no exception.

    The only unknown is the timing of the retirement, and if it was put on a graph, the two key factors would be – the time elapsed until retirement; and the rate of decline of the team during that period – I think those paths have already crossed.

    You never know – reading the above, if you could be bothered, you might agree with me – or not – but be aware, the view that we are all entitled to our opinions is well known, but some ‘opinions’ are simply hiding the fact that they are bollix behind that mantra — and mine are no exception !! 😀

  26. HenryB says:

    Andy @ 10:48

    Living away from the egocentric footballing area of London, I can tell you that nothing that has happened betwixt the fans and the manager is particularly special to Arsenal or Arsene.

    Some of the stuff in local papers and blogs oop here, when clubs are ‘not performing’ to the standards the fans demand is acerbic in the extreme, and the equivalent of anything heard in North London. For example, Klopp has been hammered for ‘losing the plot’ – having no meaningful tactics etc, etc. Then they play well and all is forgotten – until the next time.
    Mourhino has been pilloried for producing boring, non-manure football, and to have lost the dressing room, and to be worlds away from the ‘brilliance’ of Pep and his tactical nous producing a team light years ahead of Manure.

    We are not alone in our frustration — and even with all the humongous money swilling around the PL — there is only one team that can win the title each year, and second is nowhere so fans’ anger is never going to go away for the other 18. 😀

  27. Wavey says:

    andy1886,

    Its always the same guys appearing on it, although the post match views after a poor performance are fairly valid. If you take out some of the ‘performers’ who love to put on their little shows, there are some guys who have useful comments to make.
    Whilst Bellerin is right in that he won’t learn anything from comments on AFTV, doesn’t it say something about how poor the team is doing that a YouTube channel ranting about it has developed such a high profile? AFTV hasn’t always been about post-match rants, but the team’s performances have meant that the channel’s notoriety as a platform for criticism has grown dramatically.

  28. HenryB says:

    Yeah, yeah, I know — I’m going — mais, après moi le déluge — peut être !! 😀

  29. YW says:

    Andy

    AFTV is a great idea but (and it’s a big but) the wrong people are needed to make it commercially successful. If you’re opinionated, you’ll get the attention they need to get views, etc. It’s the same with any tv station. As much as they may hold lofty ideals about artistic value, it’s tabloid tv which sells.

  30. jw1 says:

    andy1886,

    The Amazon flirtation seemed a trial balloon from what I can glean. Amazon live streaming would require retooling of their provision structure. (Microsoft OTOH has NBCSN in place and is subsidizing SKY’s current package). One might view Amazon’s effort as a foray into the negotiating process. More so, Amazon wanting in on the massive market for resale of merchandise.

    For contrast? NFL broadcast right for a single season exceeds $7B (£5B)– for what is essentially a 20-game season. Too, the NFL’s regular season ends around New Year’s, and the start times of PL matches means an early- to late-morning viewing time slots– with virtually no competition.

    Ten years ago– there was little access to live football coverage here in the states. Now available in most cable packages; some on a PPV basis. The ‘overseas element’ is buying the product now ‘in degrees’. When the next rights renegotiation occurs (2021)– seems when US markets will have been matured to the product. When the US market starts buying– is when the game changes for good IMHO.

    jw1

  31. consolsbob says:

    YW, could you please explain your point about Sky and Now tv? I subscribe to both sky and Bt but you imply that I now don’t need to.

    Can I save some money?

  32. andy1886 says:

    YW,

    Absolutely it’s a good idea in principle but as you correctly point out it all boils down to firstly making money to fund it, and then someone decides they can make a few more quid by being just a little bit more extreme than everyone else and off you go. It’s not difficult to find a few egotists more than willing to behave like complete knobs after all.

    @Henry.

    True, we are not the only ones, but we do have the biggest proportion of income direct from fan pockets of any major club in the world, everyone knows our ticket prices are highest. Like anything in life people expect the highest ticket price to equate with the highest quality product which means to justify it we should be genuinely challenging in both the PL and CL. It’s not as if the club hasn’t driven expectation when it suits them either (up with Bayern my arse!).

  33. andy1886 says:

    jw1,

    Thanks for that input, I guess the key is as you say if the market matures in the US and enough fans can be tempted to dip into their pockets and subscribe to pay for view ‘soccer’ games. Although the NFL winds up first week of February the NBA and college basketball is still in full swing under sometime in June. I work in the UK for a US based company and I would say that interest in ‘soccer’ is still a long way behind the NFL, NBA, MLB and even the NHL.

    I’m not sure what the rights to China are worth but with their recent investment in the game maybe there is still significant growth there (assuming that it really is a free market and politics do not make it difficult to focus on the PL as opposed to the game locally).

  34. Bill says:

    Great post Yogi

    Arsene is not going to go voluntarily and I think its very unlikely that the club will sack him after this season. Hopefully they will not offer him a new contract. I think the events of the January transfer window indicate that Arsene still has more control then we like. We are certainly geared up for another 3 years of Wengerball and that makes me think that Arsene is planning for at least 1 more contract after this one.

  35. Bill says:

    The only thing I care about Hector is how he plays. I don’t rate him as highly as some of us. That said, I think he has improved a bit from the early part of the season and has settled into a plateau. I don’t think he will ever be close to the world class RB we had hoped for but we don’t need that. We just need him to be steady and not hurt us.

  36. Orson Kaert says:

    If Wenger does not leave of his own accord in the summer, Arsenal will have no alternative but to offer him another two year deal. To do nothing will leave the club, once more, in Limbo as Wenger will be seen as a lame duck.

  37. C says:

    Good stuff Yogi.

    I don’t defend Silent Stan nor do I think we are in the best position but I do wonder if Stan is turning any sort of corner having fired his NFL coach last summer and hiring a young and promising coach and reaping the rewards of success and more money. Maybe, just maybe the 2 year contract for Arsene was with the same though in mind with the last year being a ‘goodbye and thank you Arsene’ even if Arsene doesn’t want that and would fight tooth and nails to get a new contract.

  38. HenryB says:

    Bill:
    The only thing I care about Hector is how he plays. I don’t rate him as highly as some of us. That said, I think he has improved a bit from the early part of the season and has settled into a plateau. I don’t think he will ever be close to the world class RB we had hoped for but we don’t need that. We just need him to be steady and not hurt us.

    I totally agree with you, Bill. There that surprised you, didn’t it? 😀

  39. HenryB says:

    Hi Andy,

    I am not sure that Arsenal fans do pay significantly more than other PL clubs in London, because it is not easy to work out a comparison as the season ticket packages for each club vary as to what is or is not included.

    But that does not matter – you are correct.

    However it is constructed, Arsenal fans do pay thru the nose to support their team at the Emirates, and many also pay a lot to watch them on TV.

    Of course there are only a relative few who go to watch them as season ticket holders, while others are only occasional visitors or ‘tourists’, and like myself I suspect that relatively few here on ACLF go to games regularly – home or away, if match day blogging is any guide, maybe thru cost or living abroad.

    Again tho, I agree you are correct – the club should be making a better fist of challenging for PL titles or at least getting into the CL, whatever the cost to the 60,000 fans attending the Emirates, as the revenue from TV deals or sponsorship makes us among the wealthiest clubs in the footballing world.

    The financial craziness of football tho means players salaries and transfer fees are skewing things irrationally, as can be seen from kids in youth teams earning in excess of £1m a year in some cases – and as revenue has increased so have these outgoings to players and managers — and the increased cost to the fans continues.

    Fans just have to lie back and think of Arsenal, as everyone in the game f**** them over!

  40. YW says:

    Bob,

    BT and Sky reached a deal whereby Now TV will be fully available on the BT platform (think only movies is available at present) and BT sport will be available on Now TV. No idea on costs.

    I get BT Sport free with boradband so it’s going to be convenience for me.

  41. YW says:

    The only thing with Amazon is they are producing a ‘fly on the wall’ documentary on Manchester City this season as a way into the football industry. I wouldn’t rule out their emergence in the PPV/subscription market. Facebook is a bit too left-field for football, I think.

  42. consolsbob says:

    Thank you, YW. I too get it free with broadband but pay £5 a month on top for some reason that escapes me.

  43. Orson Kaert says:

    consolsbob,

    I had that problem too, a call to the accounts dept elicited an apology and refund. Be careful as they will attempt to sign you up to a new 18 month contract. It will start immediately, not when your existing contract expires.

  44. Orson Kaert says:

    Watching the Huddersfield/United game the VAR has ruled out a Mata Goal for offside. In the studio Graham Poll said if any part of the player’s body, with which he can play the ball, is ahead of the defender then it’s offside. Mata’s arm was ahead so as you can’t legally play the ball with an arm he was not offside.

  45. consolsbob says:

    I think Sky has decided that his knee was offside. Absolute bollocks.

    Which, by the way, I assume that you can score with. Therefore , strikers need small tackle in this VAR age.

  46. consolsbob says:

    Orson Kaert,

    Thank you Orson. I shall make that call.

    Mind you, YW has now put the cat amongst the pigeons with that Sky/Now business. I shall have to study it in more depth. Seems very confusing. Why not dump Sky for Now?

  47. Orson Kaert says:

    Orson Kaert,

    Now don’t get me going on Sky or any of the other broadcasting shysters, they just stuff their programs full of betting adverts, know nothing pundits and charge the earth for their garbage.

    But if you want to watch live football you just have to put up with it.

  48. YW says:

    We did, Bob. Turn off Sports during summer and films frequently.

  49. consolsbob says:

    Ah, yes, YW, but you are not a cricket fan.

    As for Sky, Orson, I abhor the wall to wall betting adverts. It seems to be the sign of a very sick society.

  50. nicky says:

    It’s about time those who constantly denigrate broadcasters like Sky and BT, spared a thought for the global sick and infirm who cannot attend matches and who rely on television (however costly and of poor quality commentary) in order to watch their heroes perform. 😉

  51. Orson Kaert says:

    Here we go again, don’t complain just pay your money and put up with whatever is bunged in front of you.

  52. consolsbob says:

    You really do get on my nerves these days, Nicky.

    Who are you, the patron saint of Arsène and Rupert Murdoch?

    We do actually have a choice who we purchase things from . For that matter, who we think might be doing a crap job as manager of our club.

  53. consolsbob says:

    Nicky is a fraud. He was one when he used to drop hints at how old he is and today stands exposed as a complete wind up merchant. Just another internet troll who, I suspect, has another identity.

  54. nicky says:

    @consolsbob,
    Please explain the point you are making, otherwise cannot respond.
    All I was pointing out is that it should not be forgotten that the two broadcasters, with all their faults, provide the only means of watching football for so many, here and in distant lands. 😉

  55. Dukey says:

    wtf Nicky the wum icymi dnftt imho tbh idgaf lol.

  56. Wavey says:

    consolsbob,

    I realised that a long time ago and stopped responding to his comments.

    Orson Kaert,

    Only watched the VAR clip from the United match on the BBC website. It looks offside from that clip as his body is ahead of the Huddersfield player. Clear daylight no longer applies, so Mata being ahead is enough. Definitely further offside than Lacazette was earlier in the season when it was decided that his toe was offside. The lino managed to call that one without VAR, so he must have amazing vision.

  57. Orson Kaert says:

    Wavey,

    According to the so called VAR protocols the system should only be used if there is a “clear and obvious error”. From all the replays that I have seen the only thing clear and obvious is that the call was so close as not to be a clear and obvious wrong call. If that is the case the call should not have been referred to the VAR in the first place.

    So far there seems to be a great deal of work still to be done before VAR can be more widely introduced.

  58. lari03 says:

    The VAR might do more ruin than good, but like the sudden death rule, let’s watch and see. Does anyone know if VAR will be used at the World cup in Russia ?

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