Revealed: Arsenal’s crazy summer business and how it all went down

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Stan Kroenke, Ivan Gazidis and Sir Chips Keswick

Via the BBC’s David Ornstein comes the story of Arsenal’s summer and how the transfer business in and out, and lot of other things, went down.

You can get it all from this Tweet, but for ease of reading we’ve got it all for you below.

Arsenal spent more than £100m in the summer of 2016 and I was told by several sources that even greater finance would be available for the transfer window just gone.

The club say a significant chunk of the budget went on Alexandre Lacazette’s transfer fee – in excess of £50m – and the salaries of Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac.

To make further major signings – Thomas Lemar was the key target – and fulfil Arsene Wenger’s pledge of keeping Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arsenal would have to bolster their transfer kitty and create space on a wage bill in need of careful management to avoid breaching the Premier League’s salary control rules. As such, clubs and agents were made aware that offers would be entertained for the likes of Wojciech Szczesny, Olivier Giroud, Jack Wilshere, Mohamed Elneny, Kieran Gibbs, Calum Chambers, Carl Jenkinson, Chuba Akpom and others.

Clearly this process did not go smoothly, for example: Giroud and Wilshere decided to stay; Wenger changed his mind on Chambers; Lucas Perez asked to leave, was told to stay as it seemed Giroud was leaving, only for Giroud to stay so Perez could leave, but he was priced out of a permanent move so ended up on loan; the departure of Gibbs took longer than expected; Gabriel was suddenly sold and Shkodran Mustafi asked to leave, which suited Arsenal because it gave them the chance to replace a player they were disappointed with last season, except they failed to land a replacement

Meanwhile, Arsenal encountered problems with some of those they did not want to lose, for example: Hector Bellerin returned from the U21 Euros to tell Wenger he wanted to leave amid interest from Barcelona; Oxlade-Chamberlain rejected a new deal and eventually told Wenger he wanted out; no contract talks took place with Ozil and have not since March; and Sanchez also made clear his desire to exit the Emirates.

Given Ozil generated little interest, Sanchez could only go if Arsenal got huge money plus a top-quality replacement, and it was inconceivable to lose three key players on free transfers next summer, Oxlade-Chamberlain was always the most realistic sale. Nonetheless, Wenger genuinely wanted and tried to keep the trio. He was stunned and bitterly disappointed when Oxlade-Chamberlain rejected the club’s final contract offer (an enormous pay rise that would have earned him close to £180,000 per week if Arsenal made it back into the Champions League) and I’m told Wenger did not hold back when Oxlade-Chamberlain told him face-to-face that he wanted to move on.

Oxlade-Chamberlain’s price was an initial £35m, while money also came in for Szczesny, Gabriel and Gibbs. On the face of it that left Arsenal in profit for the window, although it is unclear if or how much of Oxlade Chamberlain’s fee was owed to his former club Southampton via a sell-on clause.

Towards the end of the window, Arsenal made it clear that there was no money remaining for any more major signings. This was relayed to clubs and agents offering higher-end players to Arsenal and even journalists making regular enquiries. The explanation followed that while some money was obviously available, it was not at the level required to make top-class signings and cover their salaries.

Bidding £92m for Lemar when £55/60m was set to come in for Sanchez suggests they had at least £30m, excluding wages, to play with. Apparently the leftover funds will be used to safeguard Arsenal going forward – in other words, boost the budget for the next two windows.

Arsenal’s stated aim this season is to win the Premier League and, publicly at least, they are adamant they can defy expectations to do so. They know they cannot compete financially with the Manchester clubs and Chelsea, but point to Leicester as an example of success being achieved without exorbitant spending. Having filled the positions Wenger identified as a priority, retained Sanchez and Ozil, and shifted plenty of players out, Arsenal feel they are stronger than a year ago.

There is certainly internal concern that central midfield went unaddressed – and I understand that in the days leading up to the deadline Wenger did look at rectifying this, though it was too late – but generally the hierarchy claim they were happy with the window and optimistic for the campaign.

The noises from the top are that owner Stan Kroenke is desperate and hungrier than even to win trophies, but there is no hiding the fact that he will not be injecting a penny of his own wealth to assist the quest. Kroenke and the club are said to believe Arsenal can punch above their weight to triumph using their existing model.

Bearing in mind that model has shown little sign of leading Arsenal to the level of glory they profess to crave, and that some of their rivals are accelerating away on and off the pitch, it remains to be seen if the commitment to self-sustainability will be reconsidered in the future.

ENDS

So, plenty to get your teeth into there, or to gnash your teeth over. What’s your favourite bit that we made a mess of?

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210 Comments on "Revealed: Arsenal’s crazy summer business and how it all went down"

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Dan

Stan’s both desperate to win trophies and also refuses to spend any of his own money. Somehow, that both makes perfect sense and absolutely no sense at all.

Berlingoon

Stan Schrödinger

A J

Stan likes and dislikes this!

ELB0R

Bra…Vo..

Simon

Brilliant comment.

Thaigoon

“desperate to win trophies”
Not only none of his many sporting franchises are competing for their leagues but to be accurate 2 of them finnished bottom of their tables one on 11th another 9th and Arsenal 5th. While 5th may look the best of bunch Arsenal never came close to winning the competition in his 10 years as head of the board and its an absolute safe bet that they never will. No this businessman doesnt give any fuck if our favorite club win a trophy or not

Toure motors

I bet he thinks there’s an actual trophy for finishing 4th this year…

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner
Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

I am wondering who downvoted this post? It seems that some will support ANYTHING the club/Wenger does…

Drogheda gunner

Oter oter scumbag,everyone was giving out about the Glazers.He and Wenger have to go.

Tanzanian Gooner

A while ago our role models were Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid. Now it’s fuckin Leicester? Someone should tell Kroenke that injecting money to the team is called investment. That’s what smart club owners do to win trophies. It’s 2017 FFS!

Xhaka Demus, no pliers
Xhaka Demus, no pliers

After Gazidis’s take on our “good” transfer window I’m looking forward to hearing how he tries to spin these revelations.

Rg21

These revelations are the spin

Clins

I really believe with better management we can compete very well with the likes of city and united . Look at Tottenham and Liverpool, last time I looked at wage table they spent Nearly 30-40 less than arsenal but still have Chelsea a good fight till the end . And we were only about 18 million or so less than city. So we are really not that far off them. With bit more smart management we can compete better than spurs and Liverpool and can even win it. We don’t need to spend more than city or united to win it.

But it definitely requires a better manager a good director and smart recruitment strategy. None of which we currently have. Dortmund Monaco and juvebtus have to our models here.

caligunner

Don’t you get it though? Out of the top 6 clubs currently you can break them down into 2 groups. The ManU&C plus Chelsea and Arsenal, Liverpool and tottenham. Top 3 can spend their way out of trouble while the bottom 3 won’t or can’t.

Tottenhams success has been recent and Liverpool has been inconsistent. We’ll see if the Spurs can sustain this success over the next 3 years as their players leave for more money because it doesn’t seem like Tottenham is going to be any different from Arsenal in terms of their wage structure. Liverpool is all over the place.

I don’t think you can look at it just with the wage bill. You have to look at what the transfers bring in and out. What is crazy is the transfers fees have correlation with wages given. You can pay 100M for a player and he’ll accept a wage lower then a person you pay 70M.

Cultured determination
Cultured determination

I was pretty desperate to get a state-of-the-art, cool attached-from-ceiling-and-retrectable-when-required-and-kept-out-of-sight-when-not-required device that cost $900 to hang my clothes in my belcony. I ended up getting a simple stand that cost $25.
To kronke: we all want the leicester model but it’s super highly unachievable, unless the rest of our rivals r unintelligent n believe they need to spend to remain competitive.

To gazidas: u remind me of the retrectable piece of crap.we all know you are going to be out of sight for a loong while until we win something, then you’ll pop back in and claim some glory. Sheesh.

Faisal Narrage

The thing is, I do believe the model CAN work. Not often, but can. As we’re seeing with the likes of Atletico, Dortmund and (sigh) almost with Spurs.

But what do all three have? A young, progressive Andy tactical manager who are able to provide a greater sum from all the parts of the team. Wenger is not that.

caligunner

The model of course can work. Not with us as fans in general. We accept to compete with top 3 spenders and other big spending clubs in the other leagues but obviously we won’t or can’t. If our expectations were lower like Dortmund, AM, or even the Spurs then we could make it work. Lets face it AW success in the first half of his first third of his career has distorted our perspective.

WWTC

I am beginning to wonder the point of moving to the Emirates? Such a sad state of affairs

T-Hairy

Actual footage of the Arsenal board meeting to discuss transfers:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoKwX5fLJ5E

Kampala gooner

First and foremost I have alot to say and can only be said in colorful language. So I hope blogs you let this slide. I have had to bury my head in the sand given all that shit that’s been happening especially transfer deadline day. Thanks for this post because atleast the WTF have been replaced by something else. What the explanation above do is try to make sense especially the part where we couldn’t buy anyone before moving on the others. But what the fuck has made sense this entire summer with one club signing just two 2 fucking players for a combined fee of more than 400 million euros. Wouldn’t we have atleast bought the very much needed midfielder that almost everyone agrees we Need before worrying about moving on the fuckin dead wood. And can someone tell me really with all the “stars” at manure that they are respecting the wage structure set forth by the FA. The platform seems to be shifting every summer and if we are still waiting for the system to correct itself and have all other clubs come down to earth then we are fucked so fucked there must be rats hanging themselves at emirates with all the shit that’s happening. Wooooo. That ought to do it for now. Later

Drogheda gunner

Your right all the other clubs seems to get around ffp.thats what enoys me about arsenal and arsene ,its always by the book and every other club will get there come up ins if they spend to much .but they never do .

Cbee

Arsenal do it by the book because they don’t want to spend money. It’s just another one of their excuses not to spend money. The club is run by a bunch of two faced C***s that make politicians look honest. That includes the manager

ididntpay

Well he really really wants it to happen. Forget money, all he needs to do is wish harder.

Dan Hunter

This Ornstein guy is simply a mouthpiece of Arsene Wenger. When Arsenal want some information leaked, he is their go to guy. The guy is a puppet.

Marcus

This is a joke 🙁

Gooniegoogoo

I like the bit where we win things by doing the opposite of the club’s that win things

David C

the 6th (I think) richest club in the world just turned a profit in a transfer window after finishing 5th place. Most expensive seats in the world.

So gutless, so heartless.

Arsenal, I wish I could quit you…but we all know I won’t.

kaius

You know who has the option of “quitting”? Players with contracts do. Honestly thought the Bellerin thing was just a rumour, but he seriously wanted out too? Wow.

This goes all the way back to Serge Gnabry – what we’re watching is a slow-motion mutiny. And the club leadership in it’s present form has no clue how to handle it.

MaidenMatt

Pretty much in a nutshell there. Kroenke needs to leave. We can’t keep up with the teams ahead of us without spending serious cash, especially when out best players want out. Too late now though, so I think we need to give Wilshire a run and probably drop Ramsey and get those youngsters like Nelson into the team. We have to build for the future now. Offer Alexis a massive contract of a year or two and promise to sell him for big money next summer. Try get ozil to sign too…I know some think he is lazy etc but I want him to stay around. I’ve always regarded him as the best in his position for years.

Savage

So we can’t operate without a sugar daddy injecting superficial cash? Then the model is broken.

Drogheda gunner

No wenger is broken

Mpls

If they don’t give him money they don’t give him money.

The lineup against Liv on the other hand IS all on him..

caligunner

Why would he want to sign a contract extension? He doesn’t care if Arsenal makes any money off of him in the transfer window lol Whatever club that signs him can just use a portion of the money that could have been used for the transfer and give him some bonus for signing or added to his wage. It would be dumb for him to sign a contract or any of the last 12 months players unless they feel like they have no suitors for their services next summer.

Da Boss

Hard not to feel like Arsene’s hands are still slightly tied. First the stadium debt, then Kroenke. It is difficult for us to compete against clubs that are more freely spending when seemingly our balance sheet is what is the overriding factor in our transfer performance. I completely understand the need to shift players out, but we are really hamstrung by our wage structure. We need a complete shift in what we pay our players, the ‘harmony’ in wages so everyone feels level needs to change. Pay players what they are worth. Pure and simple.

Xhaka Demus, no pliers
Xhaka Demus, no pliers

Well the fact he doesn’t seem to give the players any instructions for games and lets the CM’s wander the pitch instead of defending our goal isn’t down to financial constraints so I wouldn’t be so quick to absolve Wenger from any blame beyond the financial restrictions.

Da Boss

I’m not talking about team selection. Don’t mistake my post as me saying I am happy with the playing side of things because yes, it does leave a lot to be desired. However, if he is unable to get in the players he wants due to constraints on the finances, then that is a big issue. People blame AW for not buying players, but is he really able to buy players or afford the players he truly wants…..after reading this article, it is hard to know exactly where the truth lays. I gave up my season ticket 3 years ago as I am an unhappy supporter, but you can’t put everything at AW’s door. The whole club needs an overhaul.

Bendtner\'s ego

Wenger won’t have a director of football. He won’t have players yelling at teammates and holding them accountable. It doesn’t look like our coaching staff has much input. Hell, Vic Akers seems to have more input on the game than Steve Bould (just what does he tell the players as they are subbing in??).

If you demand absolute control, you will be tasked with absolute accountability. So, yes, we can and will put everything at Wenger’s door

Mpls

So you are absolving Stan and Ivan of any transfer limitation responsibility? This article is, after all, about transfer business.

Nick

Any man with any pride and integrity would not let the constant lies about war chests go unchallenged if he wasn’t complicit he would have the balls to stand up to the board and owner and say ” either BACK me or SACK me ” or damm well resign and say why ! RVP said it wasn’t money ( though it surely helped ) but lack of ambition and how Wenger saw the future of the club going forwards that made him leave he isn’t the only one to hint at that and the events of past seasons along with this seem to add weight to their views ! The board say we have money they said no cl was not a problem they then say there’s no money left and then announce a 30 mill PROFIT on transfers so there was NO net investment in the team at all ! “THIS ” is the ” change” we were promised? No Wenger is complicit in the spin and lies or he has NO honour NO integrity NO pride and NO ambition and cares not at all for the supporters and the club only for his obscenely bloated bank account!

nimble foot

Of course you wouldn’t. But I don’t think he sends the players on without instructions. We see Kante push high up the pitch but he’s not pushing up to score pretty goals, he’s trying to defend from up there. His recovery is pretty good too and then again you have other WBs assisting in cutting off attacks. It’s not exactly the same out here. The players know the club won’t shell out money to replace them so there’s nothing the manager will do. If he puts them on the bench and plays youth and it backfires the world will be on the manager’s back pointing out he had more experienced players but decided to play youth so they keep strolling around waiting for a move to an ambitious club where they will play to the best of thier abilities which were honed at an unambitious Arsenal. It’s a losing game for Arsene a round. That said, he ballsed up the team selection at pool and though I felt it was odd, I do have to say I never expected such a terrible loss. Good times

Spectrum

Good to see someone on here has a clue.

Drogheda gunner

Wenger dosent do tactics.

Gooneron

But how tied are his hands when making team selections? Playing a right back at left wing back and a wantaway player as a right wing back while Sead and Laca on the bench?

emob

He tried to rectify the hole in CM but there was not time?! And he’s not at fault?!

beNZed

If a CM of the requisite standard costs e.g. 50million, and if the issues outlined above mean that 50million is not available to him for said CM, then yes for sure he is not fully culpable alone. OK?

Xhaka Demus, no pliers
Xhaka Demus, no pliers

Not ok to my mind. N’zonzi’s release clause was 28mil. Kondogbia available on loan. Krychowiak available on loan. So players were available within the financial threshold you outlined. He just didn’t sign them. For which he is fully culpable alone.

Glocken

Xhaka Demus, no pliers – 100% right, wish I could upvote a hundred times. The players were there, the will or desire wasn’t.

nodd

Renato Sanches on loan?

Cagooner

He and the club had the whole summer to get rid of the dead wood to find that CM. They didn’t do it. A director of football or anyone with the authority over transfers besides Wenger would surel of helped. He takes it all on himself and resists help. He is therefore 100% accountable. And it was a fuckup transfer summer. 100% down to Wenger. He needs to go and we need a proper structure in place.

COYG. #wengerout

Jedi

Have a feeling that Wenger doesn’t have that much control over transfers as we are led to believe. Although very analytical the majority of players he signs is through the use of statdna a database company Ivan n kroenke bought outright, it has obvious positives but also some major flaws, it’s heavy reliance has led us with the signings of chu Young park n Andre santos. While rejecting the likes of Antoine griezmann who arsene wanted only for statdna to tell him he hasn’t generated enough points for serious consideration only to become a world class talent two years later, the same with KDB at citeh he didn’t have the pre requisite to play in the premier league. I am of the belief that arsene gets a list of players to choose from and has to make do. I also believe there is a behind the door power struggle n that the pool team selection was his way of trying to force the hand. I also believe that arsene was an advocate of the system of self sustainability but as the years went on and the influx of tv money n more billionaire owners came in he realised although very late that this model can’t n will not last. I am an arsenal fan but I do not support the fraudsters out on that pitch.

Cbee

Absolutely right, and what makes it worse is that he is a ditherer. Wont delegate responsibility and then shits himself when having to make decisions over spending big money.

Nick

Bullshit !! He could look at the lower leagues to get an out and out midfield enforcer they just have to like doing it and not have delusions of grandeur and just do the simple things well ! We used to make excellent use of our scouting network in the lower leagues Holding being the only example of such plans in years ! Wenger runs EVERYTHING at the club so he IS responsible and if his hands are being tied then he has NO pride or integrity because if he had he would have told US and told the board and the yank to either back him or he’d resign!

Drogheda gunner

Its people like you that keep wenger in the job.

Barnsburyist

Oh God, where to start? If there was a championship medal in how not to run a football club and general fuckwittery we would run away with it. All that is left is hollow laughter; the rage has long gone….

Sam

not sure how much more inept and embarrassing this can get. Apparently Gazidis sent all players and staff an email on the morning after transfer deadline day, telling them what a successful transfer window it had been and how everything is hunky dory.

Spectrum

What do you expect ? Gazidis is the master of P.R. spin and lies. “Arsene can be the catalyst for change”. Remember this laughable statement ?

Since when has Wenger and change been synonymous with each other ? Do you see any sign of change ?

1886_gunner

To summarize the whole thing, we are in serious mess!

Spectrum

The wise among us could see this coming. In fact, we’ve been saying the same before the start of EVERY season for at least the last eight years, and we were ridiculed for it. Two contract extensions on, and look where we are.

Sean

Can’t believe Ornstein leaked that!
Surprised that Bellerin wanted out after signing a massive new contract, especially as Barca weren’t even sniffing round this summer…

Favourite bit though, and this was hard as there were some corkers, the revelation about the CM position. “LOL” doesn’t even cover it.

Gus Caesar

I thought it was pretty common knowledge that Bellerin asked to go to Barcelona because his family left London in May?

Weirdbowski

didn’t we tell Barca at the beginning of the window not to bid for him

Sean

Don’t remember reading that story…

Gus Caesar

Well I know and I’m no itk! Barcelona bid for him (no idea how much), he asked for a transfer, we declined and then wrote to Barcelona to tell them to let it drop. That was the end of it (for now).

Weirdbowski

yep, pretty much what I read, it was a few weeks after the season ended

beNZed

Not common knowledge around these parts? Not great for this to come out to be honest, if it is true (who knows really if it is) then he might find some supporters on his back if his performances aren’t up to scratch.

Stepovernov

Actually, I see a healthy dose of (attempted) PR in there – Kroenke is desperate to win, Arsene tried to sign a CM, all these unfortunate suprises (Hector) and apparently, there are PL salary controls to blame for our mess.
I honestly didn’t know about salary controls, no wonder other clubs are struggling to pay fees AND salaries with such tight restrictions (/s). Salaries, oy vey.

Gudang Bedil

The question is: why didn’t we offload the “unwanted” ones earlier?

ChrisGoona

I think the bigger question is why do our star players all want to leave? It is clear Bellerin and Ozil for example admire Wenger. The money on the table for Ozil, Sanchez and Ox was very competitive. Could it be that the players are demoralized and playing with fear in front of the preying support and media? The atmosphere is toxic – there is no denying that. We have given our team no hope and support when push comes to shove, that is the harsh truth. A large portion of Arsenal fans are a heard of sheep who jump on every single negative headline. These fans watch in fear, when they should be just enjoying the game and supporting. Then you got the WOB agenda driven idiots who continue to move the yardstick to slate the manager – all of them childish. We were in the thick of a title race 2-3 years ago in early Spring for our supporters to throw in the towel (Swansea h). There are countless other instances where the team needed the support. What turned Arsenal great was Wenger’s philosophy, the supporters, and our heritage. We are losing that identity and our greatness with every punch that is thrown at the club from our own support. It is time for all the real supporters to show some faith and stand together. ‘Victory through harmony’. If we can’t do that, the battle is already lost. Stop blaming the owner, stop blaming the manager. Do something constructive and cut out the childish and harmful acts. If Ozil’s words are not evidence of the self-harm being caused, I don’t know what it.

Handbraker

This guy gets it, it was the fans all along. 8-2, 6-0, 5-1, 4-0, 10-2 could all have been avoided if only the fans put up a real fight.

Zeughaus

Yeah. Fans throwing in the towel. No mental strength. Disgrace. At least we were organised and sat in the right seats.

ChrisGoona

Going back over 10 years to pick out some bad defeats. Epic. Until anyone comes up with a way that will constructively improve our clubs chances of success, try just supporting through the bad and good. It is pretty simple. If you want the manager changed go do something about it and stop sapping the enjoyment for the rest of us.

Cbee

“If you want the manager changed go do something about it and stop sapping the enjoyment for the rest of us.” Contradiction in there because the best way to get the manager changed is to boo him in the stadium. When the majority start doing that his position becomes untenable

John C

The delusion is strong in this one

Spectrum

There is no hope for you. There really isn’t. A true cult follower, you are. I’m constantly amazed that there are still some around that er…”think” like you. No wonder we deserve what we get.

ChrisGoona

By condemning poor support is being a cult follower? I am open to any suggestions for how we can realistically improve our billionaire run club… Until then, support the fu**ing team.

Glocken

What a load of nonsense. The players don’t want to sign up as they know the club is going nowhere and lacks any ambition to compete.

They may well respect Wenger but they know he’s a diminished force, that’s why they won’t sign.

What this idiot ChrisGoona doesn’t realise is that we have been lied to and duped since the day we left Highbury. Highest priced seats in the world, rinsed for every penny they can get out of us and still they cry poverty and say we can’t compete.

It’s been clear for years now that Wenger is not the manager he was, admittedly he has won FA Cups and they are an achievement but the real trophies are a league and a champions league and we are nowhere near challenging for either.

Lemmings like this tell you to ‘support the team’, well we’ve done that and watched ever year since 2006 as our title challenge spectacularly fails with defeats to Stoke and the like until we are then thrashed by one of our rivals.

Every year we don’t sign the requisite number of players needed to frequent the squad properly and challenge.

As for Ozil, if he really cares why hasn’t he signed a new deal?….Exactly.

Maybe, just maybe Chris, look at the last ten years or whenever you started supporting the club, see how we’ve been underachieving and instead of slagging off fans like me who pay well over a grand plus each year to go home and away, stop blindly following the people in charge and demand more for your club.

kaius

Interesting that he mentions the Swansea defeat from two years ago as evidence that “supporters threw in the towel”.

By 2/3 I think he means the Swansea home game on March 2nd 2016. Let’s look at the games preceding that.

We were still top at the start of the year despite Cazorla’s injury a few months earlier (but we were not playing great football and Flamini was starting a lot of games in a season where all our rivals had fallen off and left us to battle Leicester for the title).

Jan 24th we lose 1-0 at home to Chelsea in the season where they almost got relegated. Then the 0-0 draw with Southampton in the next game.

Feb 7th we beat Bournemouth 2-0, then Valentine’s Day was the Danny Welbeck Leicester game. We needed that win because it cut streaking Leicester’s lead to 2 points and I think we had a game in hand.

Feb 23rd was Barca at home. Played good stuff, got confident and went for it, got countered by Neymar for 1-0, then we brought on Flamini, probably the most comical Champions League substitution of all time. Messi pen, 2-0, tie all but dead.

Feb 28 2016 was the Rashford 3-2 loss at United. We were abject.

March 2nd was the Swansea game. We took the lead through Joel Campbell then Routledge equalised and Ashley Williams scored the winner late on.

If only the fans had cheered louder, none of this would happened right? Don’t make me laugh.

ChrisGoona

Hold up, where did I solely say the fans were responsible? The atmosphere has been toxic when the team have needed a bit of support. Criticize me all you want, call me an idiot, but that is the truth. You are using previous seasons as an excuse to NOT support. That is not good enough. That is what YOU control. If you feel the club can be run better (as I and millions others do) lets do something productive. Protesting at games, slagging players off in front of cameras, flying planes… are all completely childish, embarrassing and are things which damage the greatness and credibility of our club.

ChrisGoona

So anyone who chooses to support is a lemming? Taking my comments personally means I have obviously offended you. Sorry the 3 FA Cups in last 4 years wasn’t up to your expectation bud. Not great value for your money eh? If you can only be bothered to support during the best of times what use are we? When I look objectively at our squad, we are stronger than last year. I like our players. I have no agenda against our manager – he is aging and not as great as he once was but the club are paying him. So, if we want that to change we go to the club, get a petition and say its time for a change. Be my guest. We have all been embarrassed enough already from these publicly WOB displays. It is tiring and hopeless. I pay to actually enjoy the spectacle when I get a chance to go to watch Arsenal. I don’t have the luxury of getting a season ticket (as you say you have). If you are so strongly against the manager, a player, the club, go do something constructive about it instead of coming onto a ‘fan blog’ and criticizing ‘fans’. 😉

Cbee

That defeat at Liverpool and the 8-2 and 6-0 etc are far more embarrassing to the history of this great club than any WOB display. What the hell is wrong with you??

caligunner

I’m not in this Wenger out or in. I’ll support the club.

I’m not trying to defend AW but we will never spend like the “elite” clubs in our own league and Europe. So we are next tier down but we as fans expect to compete with the “elite”.

For example, if we use BM is our “benchmark”. They don’t spend alot on transfers and their wage structure is similar to ours. Biggest difference is that they are the biggest club in Germany. There is no competition for that throne. All the other clubs are tier 2 compared to them. They are able to recruit some of the best German players to their club and not spend as much because they are the biggest and best in Germany. Arsenal doesn’t have that option. There is so much competition for the best English players and on top of the fact that England isn’t producing top quality players. Then you have to constantly recruit outside your homebase.

Drogheda gunner

Arsene was great at the start and brought in great ideas.but arsenal were always great and were in the top three teams in the country for over a century.just cause he was good at the start dosent mean he has a job for life?

ChrisGoona

Wrong. Go look at our league positions before his arrival. I am not saying he should have got an extension, or even the previous extension! I am saying us fans are not helping the situation. If we want to do something about it we need to create avenues of applying pressure on the board and the people above Wenger. Instead of this circus of embarrassment which is downgrading our reputation as a great club. We need to act better than that.

Florin

My favourite bit is Bellerin: he wants to leave, he’s crap for a long time now and and somehow everybody ignores that.

Gargoyle

Maybe he wants to leave because he doesn’t feel that he’s progressing as much as he should be under this management? I’m not saying that’s the case, just throwing it out there.

Lord Bendnter

Imagine you’re the future of RB and being played at LB so someone who doesn’t even want to play can play RB. And that person is being thrown cash at too, and you’re watching all this from the side

Loose_Cannon

I find it funny people keep saying this when I have it pegged that Ox should have been our first choice RWB at the time, provided he was willing to play there. Chelsea apparently promised him their first choice RWB position too. So really it’s Bellerin that’s been shoehorned in, in favour of Kolasinic

Loose_Cannon

Saying that, Ox was shoehorned at LWB for the FA cup final game against Chelsea when Gibbs should have been playing, which apparently lead directly to Gibbs’ exit. Rumour is he wasn’t actually ill but understandably very angry at being left out for Ox and called time on his Arsenal career then and there

GoonerN16

Don;t blame Gibbo, one bit

nimble foot

Surely he didn’t ask to leave coz he was asked to play LWB? Him being in that position I think was not to keep him on the bench so he can stay focused on the team as opposed to continue pushing for a move. For the first time I think I see a reason regardless of how questionable it appears. I doubt we’d see him at LWB again

Cultured determination
Cultured determination

Now he can watch and learn from kolasinac

ChrisGoona

Maybe the abuse he got at the tail end of last season really affected him? Imagine YOUR OWN supporters abusing you? To your face. Imagine.

Gargoyle

Barcelona fans are even more vile in that respect. Not buying the ‘fans abuse’ argument.

pedro

He’s still young, he’s playing a huge amount of football, he’s had injuries, his family have moved to Barcelona, he plays in a team with no defensive structure at all, he is now being played out of position… I’m not particularly surprised he is going through a tough period.

Loose_Cannon

Really puts the whole competing with Bayern Munich nonsense in perspective, as well as the annual rumours of a “war-chest” right before season tickets are up for renewal. The time for talk is over, if we want to restore this club to where it belongs, challenging for major honours, there’s simply only one solution; boycott.

Xhaka Demus, no pliers
Xhaka Demus, no pliers

Yep it’s the only thing that will get attention. Empty seats. Protesting outside. Not going to games and spending money to increase revenues that will not be matched by someone who’s wealth dwarfs most fans. The level of delusion in the club beggars belief

Albs

Geoffrey Boycott?

Crash Fistfight

He could’ve kept out the Liverpool attackers with a stick of rhubarb.

Kevin bacon sandwich

Clearly it isn’t simple to manage the whole process as those damn players seem to think that they can decide how to run their own lives and who to play for. Add in the billionaire and TV money factors that have hiked up prices to unsustainable levels.

UEFA has to do something about capping prices and wages before it goes pop. They won’t though.

Oberon

I agree 200 mil for one player and 30 mil wages when you only make ~ 400 mil is ridiculous. Financial fair play is pointless as that deal doesn’t even come into PSG’s revenue budget. Even billionaires are going to struggle with that kind of inflation so how our self-sustaining one is supposed to work when we aren’t bringing enough youth talent through or having market leading commercial agreements in place is anyones guess.

Gargoyle

Wait, Bellerin wanted to leave?

Timsh

Didn’t know that either.
There were offers/interest and he was flattered but a genuine wish to leave I didn’t know about.
This is very worrying indeed.
He’ll likely be off next year and we’ll need a replacement.
We’ll have a hard time replacing him.
9 contracts run down next year,8 in 2019 and players on long-term deals who would like to leave sooner than later.

This looks bad.

kaius

Yeah didn’t expect to read that part at all. It really shocked me. Hector! Still can’t believe it.

Mikey

My favourite bit is our business plan being a 1500:1 (Leicester) punt. Is that what we are now? Leicester?

robin kent

Ivan Gazidis says we had a successful window and it’s not all about money as we kept Sanchez and Ozil. He couldn’t elaborate as he had to dash to a meeting with the Tooth Fairy and Father Christmas.

ronaldo

lol, they haven’t got a fucking clue

NCGunner

Seriously is there a single player in the entire squad that doesn’t want to leave at this stage? What a complete shitshow, with clowns to the left and jokers to the right attempting to “manage” it.

*wipes tear*

ShadyGunner

Ramsey doesn’t want to, not that anyone is willing to take him either

gunner-bore-us

I’m pretty sure he does: his reactions to both Ox and Gibbs’ departures were pretty barbed. And when he can….I suspect many clubs will be interested and he’ll play very well elsewhere. I may be in the minority but I think he’s a very good player who needs strong, disciplined coaching

GoonerN16

Who?

GoonerN16

Ramsey is part of the problem, imo…btw he can f$$k right off

Lari03

I agree with you. The cases of AOC & Bellerin should give the manager the true state of his squad, even the players the young players he wishes to nurture, do not believe he is managing the club, in the best interest of their personal playing ambition.

RedBaron

Debuchy!

Weirdbowski

We don’t really need, or expect Stan to pump his money into the club.
Planning what we actually want and executing a plan, should be enough.

Sadly this club couldn’t plan a teddy bears picnic without;
one teddy bear tearing a hamstring and needing to go home,
some teddy bears sitting in completely the wrong place,
other teddy bears wanting to try another picnic
and finally unhappy teddy bears who were told to go elsewhere,
now being berated for not attending.

Charles Charlie Charles
Charles Charlie Charles

Referring to the Leicester fluke again. Might as well say we are banking on a Euromillions win to fund next summer’s transfer activity.

caligunner

Not a defense for IG but I think he was using Leicester because they actually won the title with a low budget. Look at all the winners since Arsenal last won. All of them Chelsea, Man City and United spend much more on transfers & wages then Arsenal. I think he was just trying to say you don’t have to be big spenders like them to win but obviously you have to spend more then Leicester to compete year after year lol

Mick.V

It’s all down to Wenger’s team selections now, playing players in their correct positions and knowing what is expected of them.

just numb

“…cannot compete financially with the Manchester clubs and Chelsea…” and “… punch above their weight to triumph…” probably summed up the reality we as a club are operating in

Arimnestos

If there was ‘internal concern’ over central midfield why did Arsene leave it too late to rectify this?

nimble foot

Funds I believe and uncertainty regarding sales. Clearly the club planned to sell Ox and Ozil not Sanchez. Possibly if that happened he’d have got in a CM but not necessarily a replacement for Ozil coz he may consider Ramsey (Iwobi possibly) and then Santi? For that position. It’s hard not to think that this was his thinking
But I’m just a footy fan and I may be clutching at straws

Terry McCant

They can’t seriously be using Leicester as an example. It was a freak occurrence. It’s not happened before in over 100 years, and probs won’t happen again. So which model to aspire to? Invest : chelski, Citeh, utd. Or, wait for your numbers to come up on the Leicester lotto. Fucking idiocy.

Sebinho9

So much to unpick here. My favourite bit is the idea that because Leicester won the league, Arsenal’s frugality is vindicated.

The other bit between the lines that baffles me is that we had no more than £30m to spend (inc. sales revenue). Where the hell did all the money go? If they are using it to absorb the shock of being outside the CL, then they have cut off their nose to spite their face because that money should have been spent in the Cech summer (or before) to ensure we didn’t drop out in the first place. Clowns.

Danny

Any good news you can report? It’s awfully gloomy around here these days…

Damo Dinkum

Yeah mate! I had chicken for dinner just now and it was delicious.

Danny

Good news for you. Not so good for the chicken.

Tapps

or me.

Gus Caesar

“it remains to be seen if the commitment to self-sustainability will be reconsidered in the future.”

I think we know the reality. The only person making such decisions is Kroenke and if he has only taken money out of the club so far why would he start opening his wallet now? There would be big ticket process increases long before old Enos puts his hand in his own pocket.

Gooner49

For me the scariest thing about this isn’t the lack of players been brought in or how we failed to move players on, or even the lack of strategy (obviously these aren’t great). It’s the number of players that want to leave, in particular Bellerin. Big stars not being happy is one thing and is probably pretty common at most clubs. Arguably our best young prospect clearly wants out (explains his performances of late) and adds to the idea that were not seen as somewhere young players can fully develop following on from the Ox’s departure. Tbh who can blame Bellerin when you’re been played out of position to accommodate a guy who wants to leave and doesn’t want to play at RB anyway. All this suggests atmosphere inside the club is clearly as toxic as around the ground on match days.
On a side note, dreamt we sold Walcott last night….my dreams are clearly getting more farfetched.

Dr Richard Kible

The soundtrack for this shambles should be the Benny Hill theme.

Gio

“There is certainly internal concern that central midfield went unaddressed – and I understand that in the days leading up to the deadline Wenger did look at rectifying this, though it was too late.”

It’s crazy how obvious it is to all of us how desperate we are for a CM, yet Wenger only started looking for one towards the end.

Arthur from Chicago

i dont believe any of this shit.

rogerbij

Whats the point of having an owner who injects zero of his own wealth?
I might as well be the owner, or you.

Crash Fistfight

Imagine someone buying shares in an organisation and not investing their own money into that organisation!

Michael Maxwell

Wenger losing his shit at Ox when he said he wanted to leave

Jon

Imagine being a player, being told we don’t want you. Only to then be told actually we’re going to keep you. Oh yes and please run through walls for us to achieve a seemingly impossible dream of winning the premier league!

caligunner

It’s part of the game. lol Thats how it works. It allows players reps to seek out places to transfer to.

Prime example would be last year it happened to Yaya toure at Man C.

bendtnerschristmastree
bendtnerschristmastree

They’re fully comparing themselves with Leicester now? So there’s like a one in a million chance we’ll ever win the league again? Nice.

John C

So there is a chance?

Rich

My favourite but has to be that “we’re confident of a title challenge’.
Pure banter.

Wengerballz

I have no problem spending with our means but our inability to sign good players for cheap is astounding. Just poach the scouts from Monaco and Sp*rs ffs

Pedro

Which options do we have to kick this Stan Leech out of Arsenal? To quote Amy Farrah Fowler, “Say the word, I’ve got a lab full of cocaine-addicted monkeys with nothing to lose.”

aberinkula

“I’m told Wenger did not hold back when Oxlade-Chamberlain told him face-to-face that he wanted to move on”

I’d rather he started bollocking the players that are here and under contract.

Lord Bendnter

So pretty much the players want to leave. And supposedly the club didn’t have that much money. What bollocks.
What a crappy way to handle a transfer market

High gunner

hector wants out? THAT was the biggest surprise for me..

Jonah

So the most talented midfielder at the club has an ongoing injury that could jeapordize his career, AW wanted to sell Jack and Elneny, and still hadn’t thought that addressing central midfield was a priority? It’s beyond belief and after listening to the Billionaires podcast, I can’t see anything changing. Oh, from using Bayern Munich as a template to using Leicester’s model is final nail on top of the other 40 nails in the coffin.

Original Crackfox

“Arsenal’s stated aim this season is to win the Premier League and, publicly at least, they are adamant they can defy expectations to do so. They know they cannot compete financially with the Manchester clubs and Chelsea,”.

Remind me, what was/is/will ever be the point of moving to the Emirates??

Kevinm8128

I’m not going to argue against any criticism of the club over finances and transfers, most of it is pretty valid. But, the above really does emphasise just how far the reality is from the championship manager style world that the media and pundits often portray.

beNZed

I really am most fascinated by the Mustafi parts. He wanted to leave after one season? We were happy for him to leave after one season? How many players have we tolerated performing in a substandard manner for years, and now we are happy to ship a 35m player out after one? There’s more meat to be had on this bone, and I for one am moderately hungry to taste it.

Godfrey Twatsloch

I know it’s only a rumour but him tearing everyone a new arsehole, Wenger included, after Stoke feels realistic. I imagine Wenger trying to slap him down to no avail and then the situation escalated. A mutual “fuck you then” but no sale due to whatever reason. Probably gross incompetence in the Dick Law department.

Shambles!

OdalGooner

I sincerely hope Mustafi did just that. Tell the lot of them that they’ve got to grow a pair. What’s horrific is that it was one of our newest players who had to do it. And quite frankly, I don’t see who, in the current squad, would be the one to stand up and throw stuff around, screaming his head off. Someone clearly needs to do it. It sounds to me like the dressing room is just a bunch of people staring at their own feet. Those with the minerals to actually say something lose their spark quickly if everyone just goes through the motions. We need Jens in there.
I’m sure our lads aren’t just a bunch of spoiled brats with no backbone – but it’s not really showing.

Godfrey Twatsloch

I’d like to think Per is one to do that. I’m guessing he’d stop short of laying into Wenger which is the difference between being pimped out or not. But like you say, good on Mustafi if that’s what he did. By the way we’ve played only 3 games into the season someone needed to put a foot up some arses. Wengers included!

A P

Yea right. As if Mustafi put in a MoM performance there. He was shit in that match.

caligunner

I agree. I remember last season the mistakes he would make personally then start yelling at teammates lol

LEFT08

A lot of the rationale makes sense. The bit about the midfield gap going unaddressed is an understatement. An imposing DM has been a must for some time now.

Godfrey Twatsloch

“I’m told Wenger did not hold back when Oxlade-Chamberlain told him face-to-face that he wanted to move on.”

Good!

beNZed

Words Arsene may have used in said coversation?

“Snake”
“Not top top quality anyway”
“Ninja turtle lookin’ judas mofo”
“I got hurt feelings”

Godfrey Twatsloch

“Ninja turtle lookin’ judas mofo”

Seems the most realistic one. That’s the one I’d choose anyway.

Pradeep

Very interesting- Mustafi asked to leave and so did Bellerin – they wanted to get rid of Giroud and Wilshere and Chambers

Points to the next 2 years being riddled with instability and change given the number of players we have asked to leave, that want to leave and those who are out of contract. In short a hell of a lot of player turnover expected and we don’t really have the capability of replacing these players efficiently during a transfer window – the last 10 years have clearly indicated this.

Being a cynic it makes me think that with the club then in a constant state of flux it gives Wenger the excuse to stay for even longer to “finish the job”

California Gooner

So I’m clear. Our summer transfer budget was tied up in the current players salaries? Ok. But since we didn’t really offload the bloated salaries. Won’t we have the same problem next summer? And losing Alexis and Özil for free can’t help. But Wenger is going to rebid for Lemar? How and WITH WHAT MONEY?!! Oh and Bellerin wants to leave. But we’re going to win the league?
#Wengerout #Gazidisout

Bai Blagoi

I try to be positive. I take as a positive the fact that we did in fact offered a lot of money to Ox when trying to keep him. Maybe this will happen also with Sanchez (and Özil). In fact it might be cheaper to give him the 400k he wants than giving 70m for someone new.

David Hillier\'s luggage
David Hillier\'s luggage

So much to unpick,a couple things stick out though:

“Apparently the leftover funds will be used to safeguard Arsenal going forward – in other words, boost the budget for the next two windows.” – surely that sounds more like to cover the loss of Champions League revenue?

“no contract talks took place with Ozil and have not since March” – this is madness, even if there aren’t any suitors at the mo, we’re basically writing off our best player. Why would he stay if the we don’t show any impetus keep him – particularly when we’re offering someone like Ox more cash than Mesut’s currently on? Puts that comment in his Instagram post about not knowing about his future in context.

Bellerin asking to leave – I’m not sure if I’m more surprised by him asking or that the club didn’t cash in, that’s at least £50m pure profit to the board. I’m guessing his long deal means he retains value for at least another two season though.

“point to Leicester as an example of success being achieved without exorbitant spending”. – aside from it not being the business model to follow in the first place, they actually spent more than we did the year they won the league. They even spent more and recouped less than us this season. Think about that, then think about the fact we generate 3 times more revenue than Leicester. Leicester aren’t some magical successful self sustaining club – they just spent the money they hadn’t got yet by banking on being in the Premier League for 5 year the season they got promoted. It’s a bit like us relying on Champions League to run our club…

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