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Imagine the following scenario

Jul 31st, 2009 | Source: | Category: Your view

During all the hussle and bussle of the transfer window a lot of gooner fans have, rightly or wrongly, complained about a list or problems as they see them. Why did we sell our striker for £25 million, why did we sell an invincible for £16 million and why did both go to a club who want to challenge us for our place in the top 4. Others claim it was good business but now lets go out and spend the £41 million on 2/3 players and solve all our problems. Then of course there are the fans who claim that everything is the fault of the board who are tight fisted, trying to get our club on a steady footing and competing at the top while our competitors rack up debts of hundreds of millions with little enough return to show for it.

Before we jump on the high horse and slam Wenger, Ade, Toure, Fiszman or Gazidis imagine the following scenario. Every second week you go to your teams home ground and pay your hard earned money to passionately support your football team. Mostly you win but sometimes you lose. Sound familiar, good keep with me. A few years back a manager from a foreign land takes over your club and promises great times. He gets a chairman and revolutionises the league as we know it. The cups begin to arrive and all seems right, your glad that your manager chose your club and not someone else. Then however the silverware doesn’t flow as free as it used to and things get a little anxious. The fans start to climb on the managers back demanding to be put back on top straight away. The manager decides he would be appreciated more in a different league and along with his chairman washes his hands of your club and leaves. The new owners have problems keeping their knuckles off the ground and before you know it your club is in massive debt, players start to leave to bigger clubs with more money and you wonder why did you ever demand so much so quick. New owners promise a new dawn but fall just as quick, your club is now in serious debt and the Inland revenue are knocking on the door demanding to be paid.

Now the days of continual competition at the top doesn’t look so bad. In fact knowing that your club will keep its very existence is a very welcome prospect, regardless of its league ranking or what league you are in. This might all seem a little far fetched but today at 12p.m. in an Irish High Court a company which owns the rights to a long standing and reputable professional soccer club were told to wind up and cease trading. Cork City F.C. are to be no more. They might seem like small fry to the big boys in the premiership but to people in Cork they are the be all and end all. Your club is your club and that’s what makes them special. The sum total of their bill to the revenue is €440,000 or approx. £375,000GBP. That’s less than we pay one of our top players for 6 weeks of football yet it is too much for a very proud team in a very proud sporting city. At the start of the coming season Cork City will have 12 former players playing professional soccer in Britain. Amongst them Kevin Doyle at Wolves, Shane Long and Dave Mooney at Reading, Roy O’ Donovan with Sunderland, Colin Healy with Ipswich and John O’ Flynn with Barnet. For John O’ Flynn read Thierry Henry, for Colin Healy read Patrick Vieira for O’ Donovan read Ljungberg etc etc. To put this into perspective imagine Wenger and Gazidis going to Spain because we wouldn’t give them support and then we sell 12 of our best players also to Spain. If that’s not enough the new owners run us into big debt and the following owners are no better all of which results in a chairman reading a statement on the steps of some court about how he is very sad to see the end of Arsenal F.C. and this isn’t how he wanted things to go.

The next time you go to Emirates take a minute and look at the magnificent stadium you now call home. Go inside and look at the talent playing in your clubs colours, and when you have done all that take a moment to thank your lucky stars that we have a manager who can not only get us to the top and keep us there but can do so turning heads and with one financial hand tied behind his back. When that is completed I suggest you show unwavering support for your club, your team, your manager and everyone who is contributing to get it into the healthy state it is in today. I dare say our neighbours down seven sisters road would swap places now if they could. For those of you who are doubters I suggest you click on either of the following links. One is to Cork City F.C., the other to Leeds United F.C., remember them. The moral of the story is things are never as bad as they seem.

Wonderkids or Wonder Why Kids

Jul 23rd, 2009 | Source: | Category: Your view

During a discussion earlier today with a football loving workmate we were trying to distinguish between Arsenals many great nights in the Carling Cup. Did Carlos Vela chip Paddy Kenny first or Chris Kirkland and which was better. Who was up front with Baptista when we beat Liverpool 6-3 at Anfield and where are they now. When did that happen and how many of that nights starting team are now on the clubs first 11. Was it a false dawn or are we still on the brink of greatness waiting to take the final step. All this lead me to think at what point do you stop being a wonder kid and become a wonder. When does someone like Wenger sell you off and buy a ready made replacement and why is it because someone signs for Arsenal they are expected to blossom overnight but leave the club for the bright lights. Lights that have often dimmed pretty quickly leaving the player in question wondering why he ever left. If Wenger is to bring us back to the promised land of Premier League glory and to Champions League glory for the first time do we have to wait until last seasons Carling Cup kids catch up with the remains of the ‘07 class before we have more than 11 footballers capable of playing at the very top level. That’s not even allowing for a moneybags club like Chelsea, Barca, Man City or Madrid to take a finished article. I have high hopes for Aaron Ramsey and Carlos Vela next season and like all gooners can’t wait to see Jack Wilshere weave his magic, but if we are to wait for the rest of our current kids to progress as rapid as their predecessors (and that is a tall task) then one has to wonder why would the senior team do any better in the intervening time. Another 4 trophy less years is just too much.

For the record Almunia, Toure, Walcott, Fabregas, Song and Denilson all started that night in Liverpool. Baptista is plying his trade with Roma but sadly Jermaine Aliadiere is in the championship with Middlesbrough. The starting 11 in our last carling cup match were: Fabianski, Hoyte, Silvestre, Rodgers, Gibbs, Wilshere, Randall, Merida, Ramsey, Bendtner, Vela.

By now the debate as to whether or not Arsenal should have sold Adebayor has subsided and the topic of conversation amongst the press has moved to whom, if anyone, Wenger will choose to fill the strikers shoes. Marouane Chamakh still appears favourite however he has stated that he is progressing talks with Sunderland. This appears to be a ‘come and get me’ plea to Wenger before his hand is forced and he has to move to Wearside. One would think that were Wenger going to sign him he wouldn’t let Sunderland come so close to wiping his eye. Also consider the fact that Chamakh will miss an entire month after Christmas playing with Morocco in the ANC and the chances of him signing start to appear a lot slimmer. Also in the running is Andre-Pierre Gignac who was top scorer in last years Ligue 1 campaign. Having just got his first full international cap he should have designs on making the French squad for the 2010 World Cup. Proving himself in the Champions League and playing for a high profile team in the mean time would give his hopes of inclusion a real shot in the arm and of course playing with an array of French internationals at club level would only help to enhance his reputation should Raymond Domenech ask around for some informed opinion. The final candidate, and m personal favourite, to take over from Ade as the big man up front is of course Nicklas Bendtner. He has shown a lot of progression over the last 2 seasons and should continue that rise given more games to play and nobody’s shadow to live in. When you consider how little in comparison Theo Walcott or Abou Diaby appear to have progressed in the same time and also the fact that Adebayor only scored 2 more goals than Bendtner last season along with Wengers history for promoting from within then it’s a distinct possibility he will be the man come September and the next player to graduate from the Carling Cup to Premier League regular.

Ade bye

Jul 18th, 2009 | Source: | Category: Your view

And so with Ade bye or about to live up to his name another Arsenal career is coming to a close. One more person trades what he has for something else when all of us would trade everything we have for his lot. However, we still need to look at this with a bit of reason. If you came from Togo, which with all due respect isn’t Bel Air, then you too would want to increase your take home pay from £70k to £170k per week. Hell even the good folk of Bel Air would consider that a damn fine days work, especially when you still have time to live the millionaire lifestyle they are accustomed to. For my money Wenger wanted to keep the squad together but was then propositioned by a striker who said I’m off and a moneybags chairman who said name your price. What was he to do. Footballing wise it’s a bad move for Ade as he now has to contend with Robinho, Tevez and Santa Cruz for a starting spot. If he stayed he would be no.1 in a better all round squad with a better coach and he has traded guaranteed Champions League football for a possible shot at it.

Whether or not Huntelaar, or anyone else for that matter, comes in wouldn’t be my biggest worry. We all know Wenger will find decent players and improve them thus making the loss of Ade pretty negligible in the not too distant future. For me the biggest worry would be what Fabregas, RVP, Arshavin etc make of the switch. Did they think Ade was egotistical, overrated and overpaid or was he a friend and one of the world class players who was going to help them realise a lifetime ambition. Is his departure an ease to them and everyone in the dressing room or is it planting seeds of doubt in their minds as to why they are staying or who will be next on the selling lot. Do they look to him when they are sitting in the bowels of Old Trafford or Anfield with a deafening fanatical crowd and world class football team awaiting them or do they ask him to keep quiet because they have a job to do.

Questions, so many questions, but when will we know the answers. Monsieur Wenger, after yet another turn in the tale of your grand plan, your fans await with abated breath.

Wenger signings

Jul 14th, 2009 | Source: | Category: Your view

arsenal_fansWhat have Eduardo, Fabregas and Sagna all got in common. They were shrewd Wenger signings, acquired on a shoestring budget and announced before anyone in cyber space got much wind of it. Also, crucially, they weren’t rated as world beaters and were unheard of by most gooners when they signed. Fast forward to the present day and we have got ourselves top end footballers who have at least achieved the respect and recognition their talent deserves if not the silverware.

The moral of this story is lets wait and see who Wenger picks up this summer before we panic about our finances, chances of winning silverware or selling Fabregas to Spain etc. Were we to get 1 or 2 more classic wenger esque signings all our perceived troubles would fade into the distant background. A major trophy would take the pressure off Wenger, ease Fabregas into thinking he is at the right club and copper fasten gooner belief that we are on the brink of another golden era. If not then all is not lost. With the seasons opening game against the might of Barnet now only days away my overriding wish for the coming season is that we stay injury free and instead of signing a few more potential wonder kids for the future lets get to see the current bunch blossom.

With Sky Sports giving regular updates on the Adebayor to the Middle Eastland’s one wonders who or if we should get a replacement. Having spent 2 seasons in his shadow is it now time for Bendtner to step up to the plate. In the past we were at our most potent with Adebayor and Eduardo up front. It’s a little ironic but The Brazilian born, Croatian national seems to prosper most on quick knock downs from a traditional type English centre forward but has joined a club who are looking to play with Brazilian flare and eye for goal.

Don’t Be Hasty

Jul 8th, 2009 | Source: | Category: Your view

In light of United’s recent behemoth sale of CR7 a couple of things struck me. Firstly its not just Arsenal players that get their head turned by big money clubs on foreign shores. We may have sold Henry, Vera, and Anelka in the relatively recent past but United have lost Beckham, Stam, Van Nistleroy and now Ronaldo in the same time. Secondly, when Perez won the Real Madrid presidential elections alarm bells should have started ringing at football clubs all over the world. Were we now trying to sign Arshavin instead of last January I would imagine we would have a lot more competition on our hands and as a consequence most likely lose out on the player.

United have fallen into the trap we narrowly avoided. Were we to sell Fabregas in the hope of getting a similar player one would hope that Wenger would first get the replacement and then sell the original. Having signed Vermaelen we have already plugged one of our major weak spots from the season gone by. We also have a young midfield who were thought the tough way last season and as a consequence should be all the better for it next season. Allied to that a certain little Russian, little Mexican and little Mozart and we’re not looking so shabby.

Having said that I wouldn’t object to seeing someone with a mentally tough attitude joining the dressing room to help iron out the defeatist attitude that seemed to inhabit our players at vital times last season.
Going down to United at Old Trafford is no disgrace, failing to throw everything at them until the final whistle is. Considering Wenger is quite obviously a brilliant judge of talent and has pulled off a small
miracle keeping us close to the big boys on a budget similar to a midtable team I am willing to let him judge what we should do next and keep my energy for getting to the Emirates to watch a grand master plan unfold and allow one of the great managers and footballing philosophies of our time get the recognition they truly deserve.