Swiss gamble as Elneny purchase barely dents cash reserves

Elneny explains Fabian Schar connection to his Arsenal move

Firstly, we know Mohamed Elneny is not Swiss, but he was bought from a Swiss club, and that allows us to segue beautifully into another wonderful deconstruction of the Arsenal finances from the brilliant Swiss Ramble.

Arsenal released financial results for the 6 months ending November 30th last week, and it showed that things are very healthy with significant cash reserves.

Some key points from the Swiss Ramble analysis, which you can read here, are below:

  • The current cash balance of £159m should increase to £225-250m by the time the annual accounts are presented in May.
  • Arsenal have more cash than any other club in world football.
  • At the end of the 2013/14 season, they actually held 40% of the entire Premier League cash balances.
  • Not all of the cash balance represents a transfer fund.
  • However … we can say with some conviction that Arsenal should have around £100 million to spend in the summer on improving the squad.
  • Arsenal have been spending more in the transfer market in the past few seasons … they have the third highest net spend in the Premier League over the past three seasons.
  • Arsenal have the seventh highest revenue in the world, based on 2014/15 annual accounts, having overtaken Chelsea last season … but still lie some £100m behind Real Madrid and Barcelona.
  • Arsenal are left behind on commercial revenue, but this is being addressed.
  • Arsenal enjoy the highest match day income in the world.
  • Arsenal’s debt has come down significantly from the £411 million peak in 2008, it is still a heavy burden, requiring an annual payment of around £19 million, covering interest and repayment of the principal.

All in all, fascinating reading, please read the full thing here and follow @SwissRamble on Twitter for the best football related financial analysis you’ll find anywhere.

Listen to this week’s Arsecast Extra, as we get angry at what happened at Old Trafford yesterday & more.


  1. Excellent stuff as ever, worth a read of the original if you have 15 minutes.

    We have lots of cash but no profits, so have a problem on FFP rules buying more players, as we have to cover their salaries and depreciation.

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  2. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  3. I don’t think 100m is near enough to address issues that can be rectified in the near future, especially if we take into consideration teams like Chelsea, United, City, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich etc who will probably be after the same level of players. Besides spending in both midfield and further up the pitch, we also need to make sure we present players with attractive wage packages to attract them, because our recent success is certainly not something that will make players choose us over others…

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    • Then again, this also depends on who we offload this summer. Which I’m hoping will be most of the old guard and/or injury prone players; Rosicky, Arteta, Flamini etc.

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        • Nowhere near…….

          Ramsey, Walcott, Debuchy (he’s on loan), Yaya Sanogo, and I would seriously consider the options of Mertesacker, the Ox and Wilshere. Szczęsny can stay at Roma as well, preferably sold.
          I know this sounds brutal and it goes against everything Arsenal, but we are either practical i.e. get rid of all the dead wood and injury prone players, or we are romantics, we can’t be both.

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          • We should be looking for young CB for Per but to replace him completely I think is a bit harsh. Wilshere and Ox need time to heal and regular playing time to improve their game. Completely disagree with Ramsey.

            Theo, I am on the fence but wouldn’t be sad to see him go if a great offer came in for him and he wanted to go.

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          • No one should be on the fence about Theo.

            Anyone can see that any paid winger with quarter the talent oughta contribute more than Walcott has given us.

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          • Sanogo costs us close to nothing, he’s a twig off a deadwood float, whatever. Debuchy is obviously on his way out already. Ramsey is a key player to this team and a perfectly good one, one of the brighter and consistent spots of our season, makes no sense to sell him. Mertesacker is likely to be club captain after Arteta retires, and he’s a perfectly good player and a great captain. Wilshere deserves a real chance, but maybe for one or two seasons more at most. Szczizzlekicks can do whatever he wants, prospect looks really bleak for him unless we offload Ospina, who knows, but his wages aren’t costing us much either.

            Basically, the tl;dr is that there’s a lot less dead wood than you think, and unless you want to firesale the core of our team for $25-30 MM middle table players that we are likely to see a plethora of…. yeah…

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          • If Ramsey is the “brighter and more consistent” as you’re saying then that there lies the problem.
            He is consistent at being average, and that I am afraid is what the club has reluctantly allowed itself to be. Not top, not bottom but where it can with every passing year flatter to deceive, ( f.a cup)

            Hmmh flatter to deceive – another perfect way to describe Ramsey and most players at this club.

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          • It’s all well and good selling all of these players but we DON’T BY ANY NEW ONES!
            So pissed off right now…..

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          • Ramsey is a good player. Come on. Who would we play instead of him? Sure good vs the world class wonder season seems bad; but it’s still good! He does the midfield job alright. He runs a lot, holds the ball, distributes, tackles, passes. He’s good.

            So is Wilshere. I mean come on, didn’t he get back-to-back goals of the season? He’s got outrageous talent; he just needs to stop getting injured; but I promise you. When he’s back he’ll be a great boost to our squad!

            Walcott on the other hand is absolutely atrocious! Arteta passed his best, Rosicky possibly injured for the last time, flamini passed his best.

            Mertesacker is wonderful.

            The problem isn’t really the squad, it’s the finishing department. I mean Koscielny and Monreal had Messi in their pockets!!! If we swapped strikers for the night it would’ve been a cataclysmic scoreline vs Barca. We need a world class striker. Just spend the 50m, Giroud needs him too – competition purposes will drive them further.

            It’s only been the finishing is why the team has had such poor results of late. Horrific finishing.

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      • We are freeing up a lot of salary there with those 3 players. Plus will have the extra TV money. So we will be able to spend the cash and stay in the FFP rules.

        Given that, it will be criminal if they don’t spend this summer.

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        • Yes but you have to also take into consideration that other big teams will be looking to offload some of their players also. We aren’t the only ones who will reshuffle, but we ARE the only ones who need a major reshuffle, so will need to be spending more than everyone else.

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    • £100m should do if wages are not factored in.
      A stiker in the region of 40m, a winger at the 25m range, a CB for 15 and a dm in the region of 20m will set this team nicely.
      The major question for is: would I want Arsene to do the buying? The answer is a resounding NO! I have lost confidence in this man’s abilitu to build a title winning squad. His (in)activity in the summer is why we are staring down an embarrassing 3rd or 4th place behind Leceister and Spurs! A new manager should come in – even if Arsene somehow wins the league (though I don’t see him doing it), he should just leave. We have tough away games against Spurs, Everton, West Ham and City. I can’t see us taking 3 points in any one of them. Sigh!
      Thanks for the good job but we need fresh ideas.
      Yesterday’s result has made his position untenable by my own reckoning.

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    • Agree. Especially when you consider a number of players are going to need replacing anyway. Flamini, Arteta, Rosicky and Ospina will almost certainly leave for little recompense. There may well be other possible out-going; Campbell, (please God) Walcott. I have a feeling that a number of the players on loan will be bumped up (Sanogo, Gnabry, Zalalem, Akpom. All of whom are yet to convince at the highest level. It’s not going to be pretty.

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  4. i hope this is the last season walcott plays in an arsenal shirt – how he’s getting £130k a week is beyond a joke, especially at a club like Arsenal – only thing he’s added to his game in the past decade is a shit looking beard.

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    • I’m wondering if Ozil is thinking “this guy’s making as much as me?!” while he’s gesticulating disgustedly out there.

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    • Just that he’s getting paid is disgusting. How can he request a salary for his dismal appearances; he’s a liability on the field. A financial and physical liability.

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    • To be fair, I don’t think his beard is that bad. Makes it look like he’s maturing. Unlike his footballing ability.

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  5. Very annoying knowing Arsenal has such large sum of cash yet they let it sit in bank accounts rather than investing in the squad. It is high time the club is treated as a footballing entity rather than a business entity

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  6. On a side note, but thanks for the 14 years, blogs. It’s been a shit weekend, but i’m glad i have a place to come to for venting and reading some top quality stuff. you were spot on with your blog this morning.

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  7. We would need every penny of that £100m in cash if we need to get a credible midfield. Lets remove the deadwood asap and create a side that can give it their all in each and every game.

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    • Unfortunately we’re in need of a revamp on the right wing, a striker, and possibly a back up RB as well depending on how Jenks recovers both fitness and form.

      100m doesn’t seem like much in that light.

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  8. Imo at the very least we need a world class striker who will guarantee us 20-30 goals a season
    a DM to compete with le coq who is good but needs competition and please someone with some fucking balls
    to them who will kick the team up the arse when they need it
    a CB because Kos and BFG are not getting any younger
    maybe a really fast winger who can play left and right ?
    but what they hell do I know

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  9. The question must also be do you give the 100 million to wenger to spend or to someone else.
    This is a manager that insists on playing at totally out of sorts wallcott and manager that can’t seem to motivate his players even when a premier league title is up for grabs.
    And when the world and his wife can clearly see we are lacking a world class striker and any sort of leader and have been for a number of years stubbornly refuses to buy either.

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  10. We are not talking about just buying more players but replacing players in the squad who either dont cut it at this level or is to unreliable and inconsistent with both form and/or injuries.

    So when you add these players transfeer fees and freed up wages then that 100 mill is suddenly a 150mill.

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    • I again think the problem isn’t the players, but the application of their strengths and weaknesses here. Ramsey is talented, but I do not think he should play in a midfield base that does not have someone else who can distribute the ball. When he stays back to collect the ball, his outlet passes have been bad, and at other times he has totally disappeared upfield leaving Coq/Flamini without options (they are not dribblers nor are they long passers).

      That lack of cohesion has slowed our build ups that the only good offensive showings we have had recently have again been against teams that decided not to sit back and let us make quick counters. In the final 3rd, only Ozil, Sanchez, Giroud, and Monreal have been consistently willing to even attempt a pass the first time it is available rather than take an extra dribble and losing the moment – that’s a lack of TRUST. That leaves us unable to create the small spaces Wenger’s teams have been so good at. Watching Ozil’s movement has been annoying because he hasn’t received the ball when he shows for it. There were multiple times Ramsey/Bellerin took an extra dribble before passing it to Ozil or someone else and another time Monreal took 3 dribbles down the field with Ozil right next to him waiting for the ball. Not that no one else should take dribbles, but his role is to create, which means you want him on the ball in as open a space as possible.

      If we are going to keep the same formation, I would like to try:
      Our back 4
      Coquelin – Arteta
      Ramsey – Ozil – Sanchez

      With Ozil/Sanchez dropping back occasionally to bring the ball upfield. The Ramsey-Coz axis is better than any Flamini axis but unfortunately neither one can dribble upfield and Ramsey’s radar is seriously screwed right now. Having Arteta back in there kills mobility, but I think he can work the closest to the Coq-Cazorla combo we had before.

      To me, the problem is not the talent, it is the cohesion. Wenger should find a way to balance their talents together because that midfield base is really sussing it right now.

      Also, he should ban Walcott from participating in build up play so the only thing he can do is use those great running and finishing skills until we get a better alternative (or he… gets better at other stuff)

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  11. 15 million saving looks like Iwobi he can replace one midfield role then ELeny who can play 2 roles holding or attacking role, Flaminni & Arteta will leave the squad but Arteta may stay on the coaching role, chambers can play the holding role and cover at the back over all balance is good, but i would like to see money spent on a quality top top top midfielder and would deffo improve the squad they are out there its wether Wenger who thinks hes spending his own money on transfers bring us into modern times

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  12. The owner is a cunt has only money interests in the club The board are a bunch of cunts so set in there ways living on past glories The manager is a cunt his philosophy, tactics and motivation are like a candle burning and its just about burnt itself out, they all think he is God havent seen any holes in his hands or feet but dont expect any changes real soon same old nearly every time always a few players short of a good squad, if we had the same feel good factor and comradeship that Leicester have in abundance our average players would step up.

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  13. So how long has Wenger got left, I know they will never sack him but he can’t go on for ever.
    I was thinking we’d win the title this year (I know) and he’d go out in a blaze of glory, but now that’s unlikely to happen, and he’s getting on a bit, I wonder how long he’ll go on for??

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  14. My concern is this: living in the US I’m very familiar with Kroenke and the way he runs his teams–it’s profits first, second, and third. He is certainly not a passionate fan of any club/team and the only results he measures success on come from his accountant. Having said that, he is very knowledgeable as far as running a club and I think he sees parallels between the EPL and MLB (professional baseball) in that there is no salary cap and little revenue sharing outside of TV contracts. Therefore, the revenue differences between teams are stark and those at the bottom end of the scale have to rely on player development to compete. Over the last year, we have seemed to be more active acquiring youth players than 1st teamers and that makes me wonder if the owner wants to take Arsenal down that path rather than investing in players that can help us right away.

    There will not be a 20-30 goal striker on the market other than those older than 28 or 29 that will cost us most of the 100m so we have to look in other areas.

    If indeed we are going to spend the 100m then we should spend it on:
    -technically superior midfielder to replace/compete with Cazola (because he can’t play for us forever)
    -technically superior right winger Mahrez would cost north of $50m but he would be worth it

    To help compensate: drop Flamini; Arteta, Rosicky, and give Theo away to someone like Everton who wouldn’t spend much money on him, but can pay his wages.

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  15. Watching us against Barca and Utd is probably the most frustrated I have been for ages. Wenger was renowned for bringing players in cheap and turning them into superstars, I think he suppresses them now. Ox, bellerin, Sanchez were all exciting to watch, when Ox game on the scene no one could stop him, bellerin used to be more attacking than he is now, he goes forward and stops to make a backward pass!! Hardly ever tries to beat the last man. And Sanchez has become very predictable. We are really missing Cazola..Ramsey is having is chance but no taking it by the balls. Defo time to get rid of deadwood and constantly injured players. If we don’t beat spurs at the weekend it’s Dec i over this season with only one man and a whole board to blame..

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  16. Omg..Good laugh at the comments… Wenger spending £100 m in the summer! Where have you lot been the last 10 years!??When has he ever come close to spending that cash!?? An Enemy type signing to placate fans and maybe a teenager or two.
    Even if he spent £150m, he isn’t the manager to lead this team to the title.
    I personally believe he’s lost the players and boards faith but they’ll stick with him for the guaranteed 4th place and champions league money. Beyond that they don’t give a fuck!
    A comment on another story really sticks with me ‘ why can they be motivated and win under pressure to get fourth but not first?’ Come close so many times only to bottle bottle bottle. Tactics? Wrong type of players? No motivation? No winning mentality etc etc.
    All boils down to one common denominator… Wenger.
    Thanks for the memories, I believed in you once..

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  17. Its all Flamini’s fault that we lost the match to the weakest United team in years.

    Oh and Per’s too. He lacks pace.

    Rather have Gabriel who doesn’t risk us penalties at the edge of the box because he gets turned by an 18 year old or maybe play Elneny to Flamini because Elneny never passes backwards or concedes to needless yellow cards or gets disspossessed or out muscled.

    For that matter Coquelin because when we play Rammini we have a dissconnect in midfield and cede too much space.

    Clearly Flamini and Per are the main problem with the team.

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  18. Let me start off by saying (at the cost of repeating myself) that I never trusted Wenher after the 2013 season.
    On the point of buying a leader in the mould of Vierra or Komapany as posted above, well that will NEVER happen in Wenger’s reign.
    The simple reason is he will not buy anyone who can talk back to him or stand up to him, i.e show him his faults or argue with him. Its well known that Vierra/Adams et all were seriously furious characters in their own right which translated to their performances on the field but also that they had many arguments with AW.
    I dont think AW being a proud character himself wont buy anyone like that again. The closest we have got to that is Alexis, he is a good player but definitely not a leader.
    Some might say why the management is not pushing him to do that, to that I say look at Kroenke’s record. He is all after bottomline.
    So if he is in green he is not keen.
    Dont be fooled by the big money signings of the past years. Most of it was not planned including Alexis.
    And also we needed the signing to keep the club marketable at a global level. I would not be surprised if there was pressure from the clubs marketing department on him to make some big signings as well.

    Thats my two cents on this topic.

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  19. All these facile calls for Elneny to replace Flamini when he is barely any better if not weaker.

    I could have done with some gesticulation and finger pointing against United because we were picking up no one (See Herrera’s goal)

    Elneny may turn out to be a good buy but anyone who thinks he is suddenly an upgrade to Flamini is simply delusional.

    The myth in their heads that Flamini is a poor player seems to permeate into the notion that just about anyone will be better than the Frenchman.

    Rammini ceded3 goals against Liverpool but also held firm to Stoke, Soton, Bournemouth and carried us through two high pressure matches with City and Olympiakos.

    Simply put, Elneny is not the solution at prsent to what we miss in midfield.

    Diaby’s muscular presence and feet have been a huge miss as an option to Santi when out. Also to some extent Jack as an alternate to Ramsey.

    Coqzorla seems to imply only Coquelin for many of the Flamini out brigade. In reality, the role of Santi in that partnership is equally if not more important. In absence of Santi, Rammini found a balance, maybe not the best but a functional one where our attack however dried up.

    As can be seen b y recent game, even Coquelin restored will not make any difference if the frontline refuses to fire and some players (Walcott) perform below par.

    Feel free to moan about Per’s pace and Flamini’s pointing but they are hardly the issue.

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    • “All these facile calls for Elneny to replace Flamini when he is barely any better if not weaker”
      How do you know so much about Elneny ? I am waiting for a Coq/Elneny partnership….

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      • He doesn’t. All he has seen is the youtube highlights posted on this site.
        The fact that he thinks flamini is a better player is just something else.
        Elneny may not have adapted to the team, but in terms of ability, he is a superior player to Flamini. Anyone who has watched both will agree.

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  20. Walcott to go, as someone on this page said Everton would pay a lower fee but could afford the wages.

    Rosicky and Arteta to go but hopefully to start their coaching qualifications with us. I believe Arteta has already not sure.

    Flamini to leave and hopefully make the world a greener place.

    Wilshere to prove his fitness or sell him for good money to Man City or Utd.

    Chambo to go on loan but preferably not to a West Ham or Everton which can hurt us.

    A good right winger to offer competition for Campbell (done well for us. Signs is he will be a good backup but still could develop into much better. The guy has plenty of la liga, CL and international experience). Either that or instead of a first teamer take a punt on Iwobi-Iwobi Okocha.

    A new RB to offer cover for Bellerin.

    Chambers to get some more on the job training as a ball playing central defender. Dont see him at RB or DM.

    A good CB to offer competition for Koscielny.Preferably with some leadership abilities and fire.

    Juries still out on Gabriel i hope some of the issues are just language related. If we sell Gabriel then we need another CB, so 2 Centerbacks.

    A long tern replacement for Cazorla.Heard Zelalem is doing well in Scotland. Would be interested to hear peoples thoughts on if they think hes ready. I’d be inclined to think hes a little too skinny and frail atm.

    Ive heard Elneny is quite the passer so perhaps good cover for Ramsey instead of for Coq in which case we need a balls to the wall DM as cover for Coq.

    A mobile striker as cover for Giroud. Obviously its alot of cash for the 10 or so established goal machine Strikers but I wouldnt mind a punt on Lukaku or Lacazette. Although given the likes of Rashford and Martial doing so well putting faith in a youngun wouldnt be the worst.

    Who knows maybe Sanogo will become a beast. Giroud, Sanogo and another young lad.

    Just my 2 cents

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  21. And if spending some money is the problem, well, Leicester don’t have that issue then nor Spurs.

    How much have they spent last summer?

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    • Maybe Leicester have a coach who knows how to utilize his player’s strengths better??
      Didn’t spuds spend 22m on Son who was needed and look how well they’ve done.
      Raneiri wasn’t deluded enough to think his midfield didn’t need an upgrade because the good run of form at the end of the season unlike wenger who felt there was no striker better than giroud on the market and how Walcott, welbeck are “world class” strikers.
      You have holes in your team, you try and fill it up. Spuds and Leicester did that, Wenger didn’t.

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      • Ranieri became their manager in the middle of July.
        I’m not sue he had much to do with their transfers (maybe he did with one or two of them?)?

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  22. I think, and it’s for the first time ever that I have thought this since the professor joined us, that he needs to retire for himself and the club. Thanks Arsene x

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    • …actually he should retire for the fans, not the club unfortunately! I heard Bloggs on the excellent Arsecast say “but who will take over? It could end up shit like Fergie leaving Man U?
      BUT, how shit can it be??
      Maybe we won’t have half a chance in the Prem and bottle it?
      Maybe we won’t qualify for the CL and get knocked out when the crap teams have left?
      Nothing to lose, time for change IMHO for the first time ever!

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  23. It definitely is time for change. Even all the calls for Elneny to play or new strikers etc are really just a reflection of the fact that no-one is happy with how the team is playing and that probably goes back to when Cesc left or before. There have been too many glaring issues with all our teams for years that having some top performers has masked to a degree. I havn,t particularily enjoyed watching Aresnal play for a long time and our transfer windows are just an exercise in disappointment. I for one wish Ancelotti was still available

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  24. Some of you stress too much.
    Sure it will suck to finish behind Spurs or Leicester, BUT we will finish above City, Manure and the Chelski. Surely, its not all doom and gloom. Every now and then, roughly 20 years or so, its expected a team from outside the big clubs may get on a run and cause an upset.

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  25. Can’t wait for tomorrow. Too much brooding right now. Need a good smashing of Swansea and if we don’t win… well fuck us really.

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  26. I can’t believe people still go on about spending money (Football Manager Fans?).

    The two clubs above us, on paper have spent little money. It’s not about money but ambition, tactics and squad cohesion.

    Also if Wenger’s target from board level is a cup run, top 4, and round 16 of CL then how can he be sacked? He meets that target every year. I’m not saying its right just how it is.

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    • Agreed, don’t know why people are going on about buying this or that player, it is the way they set up, their movement, and tactics that are lacking. We don’t need to replace all our players (although Wenger should have been more ruthless with some, and should have bought this summer), we need a new manager.

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  27. I really hope we do spend in the summer. It’s strange that Arsene has spent a lot recently, but will he still have the ambition this summer?

    Another reason why I really hope we rescue this season is if we do win the EPL, then it basically allows us to make one more big name purchase in the summer.

    For our squad to really improve we need 3-4 players (maybe 5 depending on who leaves). And I think at least one, if not two players we buy have to Superstar level.

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