Morning folks. TGIF is back in the AM after it was struck with by the Friday 13th hex last week. Word of Eddie’s injury has slightly dampened a very heart warming week to be a Gooner. I’m man enough to admit there was a tear shed when Eddie’s header flew into the net. Those sorts of nights are the ones that should make our stadium feel more like home, these are the nights will talk about in years to come. Be warned Insiders, Arsenehollis has rode into this weeks article on his high horse, lets saddle up!
PGL: The return of Dudu also heralded the return of Wengerball. Great movement, deliberate passing, good decision making, good finishing (Bendy’s miss aside)… But I guess perspective is needed. We beat a decent Championship side and progressed to the next round, nothing more nothing less. Off the field the worrying news that Usmanov has bought more shares leaves me with the sickening expectation that a takeover is inevitable.
I know we’ve all heard the stories that Usmanov’s not in a position to buy and we’ve reported on the Insider that instructions are coming from the top down that its not to happen but with football clubs reporting huge profits and wealth at a time of economic down turn, surely its only a matter of time before investing money into a successful club is actually seen as a safe and secure option?
AH: A great performance Monday, opposition acknowledged, that saw a return to the inventive, creative forward play that had left us for a while. Allied with some very good defensive displays of late this bodes well.
Now we need the same against Sunderland and of course Roma. The Champions League is the big target now and Tuesday is a massive game. Monday was the perfect preparation: goals, flowing attacks, and Eddy back. Nothing more than preparation for bigger matters, but we can still enjoy some quality footy without people feeling the need to nit-pick and shit all over that.
FTK: Without a doubt the return of our Eddy was the big issue of the week. His attitude has put others to shame. I wonder what Rosicky must be thinking in particular. Perhaps the reception given to Eddy might make Rosicky feel positive about returning. At least there have been no more negative murmurs coming from inside the Club about him. Coming to the Usmanov declaration about his shares, and the subsequent statement. The statement was helpful in that it indicated that
“Red and White are pleased to have now secured over a quarter of the shares at Arsenal, we are committed long-term investors and supporters of the club and are comfortable that we are now in a protected position. We also welcome the strengthening of the squad and look forward to a successful conclusion to the season.”
It ended by stating that they had no intention of launching a takeover for the club before June.
This is how “Plus Markets” listed the transaction
Registered Owners Red and White Securities Limited – 10,591 shares
Brewin Nominees (Channel Islands) Limited JPAL Acct – 3,610 shares.
NB – A further 29 shares are currently being registered in the name of
Brewin Nominees (channel Islands) Limited JPAL Acct.
Lynchwood Nomineed Limited 2006420 Acct – 1,325 shares.
Mr Alisher Burkhanovich Usmanov and Mr Ardavan Farhad Moshiri are each
beneficially interested in 50% of the entire issued share capital of each parent company.
The Arsenal Supporters Trust Responded with their own statement indicating that the RWS announcement was merely restating it’s position and asking for dialogue with all major shareholders in the Club. It extended an opportunity for dialogue with Red and White Securities under a qualified conditions…
“If Red and White have constructive proposals that fit with our rigorous demands for on-going custodianship at Arsenal, and the need to work with the current Board, we will give them a hearing.”
The challenge now is to see how the competing large shareholders exercise their influence over the Board in general and the playing side of the club in particular. Shares continue to be traded and let us not forget the 15% held externally by Lady Nina. I don’t envy Ivan Gazidis. He has to manage the Club’s business affairs and not be seen to be in any particular camp. I predict that we will see the pressure for the payment of share dividends increasing which is currently the only way that Investors can see a positive return on their holdings other than the increase in share values. This would be a great shame as it would suck money of the club at a time that we can least afford it.
AH: I was amazed and rather deflated to see Bendtner coming in for stick on the site Tuesday morning. Personally I was euphoric at Monday’s cathartic display of attacking verve. Nick Bendtner may not wind up being an Arsenal starter, but a goal and assist for a forward is not a shambles in any fair judgement. As for the miss, he isn’t the first – Henry had the habit when he first arrived FFS – but to magnify this and ignore RVP’s at the end smacks of double standards. That I think is the spite in the wave of scapegoating that surrounds certain players, it is clearly principles not universally applied.
I used to feel the same way about Kevin Campbell, hated the guy. My cousin still laughs about it, partly because it was so disproportionate, but also because it was so selective. There were many cloggers at Arsenal when I was about 11 or 12 who were combining to turn league games in the late Graham era into a turgid affair full of bore draws. I barely even remember Campbell playing for the Arsenal. My memories of him are later as a hardworking journey-man who forged a career as much on determination as talent. In stature and mentality he rather resembled an old pro in boxing who had fought at the top for so long precisely because he fought hard. As a kid to see him bungle about next to Wrighty missing chances I never would have thought or appreciated that; I just assumed he was either shit or didn´t care and either way he deserved some abuse. I outgrew that mentality as a teenager and now with retrospect and age Campbell is exactly the sort of player I like, even in spite of the lack of talent. Personally rather a team of that sort: Winterburn players in my mind, than mercenary degenerates.
How can you tell the difference though? Do you think Bentner missed that chance on purpose? Of course not. Do you think it is lack of effort that causes that? I doubt it. The kid was clearly upset, then unlucky with the rebound. He obviously wants to forge a career at Arsenal, is eager to play, and when things are going for him looks very good. That may not be always, but that may be age also. However he is a scapegoat, as evidenced by the newspaper distortions that were attributed to him in the build up to the game.
A young foreign kid who wears colourful boots and talks a good game, but doesn’t always play one; if he knew the English mentality and media then perhaps he asked for it. Sad though that his own fans can’t see through that, wont show him any support, and are even part of the witch-hunt. That’s it though isn’t it, they are not his fans. That isn’t the modern way, to support the shirt. Now it is success and results that get affection and we can demand new when that isn’t delivered. No results? No loyalty. Good result, a goal and 90 minutes application: not enough for some, others we make exceptions for.
FTK: Not for the first time on this blog, AH and FTK came to polite blows over this one, and this what we are about at Arsenalinsider, passion, firm views, and vigorous debate… I got a lot of stick from the Insiders for my harsh criticism of Bendtner. I doubted all along that he had made the claims attributed to him in the media, and stated that in my blog, but that obviously got lost in translation! However in the same way that I pointed out the deficiencies of Adebayor months before the rest of the Gooner world decided to agree with me, I am clear in my view that world class players have an innate quality of first touch and skill that sets them apart from the other players. We can see that in the likes of Jack Wilshere at the moment. Carlos Vela also possesses those attributes. These are truly great players in the making. Niklas Bendtner on the other hand tends to panic in front of goal, his first touch is inconsistent and I have seen nothing to convince me that he will ever be more than a good striker, world class? Never! in my opinion, so deal with it….lol
PGL: AH! How could you not like Kevin Campbell?! He got us 8 in 10 in our run in to the Title in 91… I’m shocked! “FTK’s Point for debate” was the article that caught my eye most this week (aside from the sites flip flopping style!) I have to agree with our manager and just hold my hand up and say United look awesome this season. My brother-in-law is a United fan and he really wanted us to go unbeaten towards the end of that incredible season, I wouldn’t say it was support just respect for a great side playing great football. I took that praise of our side from him, and must offer the same back to United now. The table doesn’t lie, we are 15 points behind them and deserve to be. All that said I still believe in the potential of our team, if we can get our heads right we’ll be a hell of a lot closer next season!
“I have shown a lot of faith in many special circumstances to the club. I enjoy it and I appreciate the confidence I have from this club. I believe it has to go both ways and you must give the club the feeling that you won’t jump out at the first difficulty and you will not change club at the first opportunity.”
FTK: Reading between the lines, I think that this is Arsene Wenger not just saying that he will not jump ship for Real Madrid, or take early retirement. The special circumstances that he refers to I think appears to be a coded indication for admitting that we are under financial pressures that do not enable him to expand the playing staff in the way that he would like to. He is pledging his effort and future to our club, which is great news.
PGL: “it has to go both ways and you must give the club the feeling that you won’t jump out at the first difficulty” now I’m not suggesting AW was having a back handed pop at some of the supporters that have been calling for his head… errr actually I am. I do’t think AW was talking about management at all, he was addressing us. He has given us so much and now at ‘the first difficulty’ we aren’t giving back. It’s a fu*king two way street folks. And that goes for the players too, he gives them his faith and trust and this season hasn’t got it back. This season, for us and for them, needs to be filed under “MUST DO BETTER”.
AH: How glad we all must be that Arsene Wenger never jumped ship. You could have forgiven him if he had, I think. A hyper competitive man and a genius at what he does. If he had walked out after the unbeaten season could you have blamed him? He must have seen the trend of English football selling out to whoever had the cash and known that he wouldn’t have it because of the stadium. He could have gone to any European great who already had a cathedral stadium, productive youth set-up, and bundles of cash to lavish on his wildest purist fantasies. Having had to compete against crooked refs in France previously you can see why another chunk of his career trying to excel in the face of financial doping would have been too much to ask. On an even playing field he would be the best, so why should he settle for less?
Everyone I think is glad Wenger didn’t leave. Whatever they may say now, we all would have been heartbroken then, even the most fickle misanthrope. I am sure we can all appreciate the fact therefore that Wenger was loyal to the club even though in purely academic or capitalistic considerations – trophies, glory, and cash – it would have benefited him. This is the same sort of emotional attachment that Adebayor apparently violated in the summer and was slaughtered for. The principle is: you stay loyal, irrespective of whether that is necessarily what is best for you.
I find it strange though that people can pillory players they do not like at the club now, then justify this ridicule with a rallying cry that we are the Arsenal and we may, no, MUST demand the best so be damned those young kids who we scorn for their troubles…But…Arsene, stay loyal irrespective…Whilst we may demand the best…Hypocrisy?
If you are good for us we want you, if not then not, but demand the players ignore this maxim and our double standards. Is it any wonder Hleb and Flamini bolted ship as soon as money in Barcelona and the perceived reputation in Milan caught their eye: it is just the way now, selfishness, greed, and no principles worth anything more and we are no better than that in the stands. When the next hero defects just consider if we deserved any better is all I ask.
PGL: It’s got to be Eddie this week but closely run by Gibbs and Vela. At home, against a Championship outfit you’d expect many of our ‘senior’ pros to dominate but Eddie had just come back from a 51 week absence and Gibbs and Vela are still trying to make their way at the club, their performance we’re the ones that pleased me most.
AH: Eduardo is the feel good story, but the whole team was excellent against Cardiff . As we have seen lately, without the midfield creating there is nothing for the strikers to finish.
My personal favorite moment was Denilson winning a challenge late on in the opposition half, long after the game was won, to send Bendtner surging through the middle to release RVP for one last moment of joy after so many weeks of waiting.
FTK: Have to agree with you guys… Its Eduardo all the way!
AH: The HATERS. We know they were lower league. We know it is just one game and we know there is much more to do, but for god sakes let people enjoy the victory and acknowledge that after a 4 nil we can leave the petty sniping and player degradation alone for just a single day. That would have been nice, just one day to bask in the satisfaction before people started in on how we, or so-and-so, isn’t up to it long term. Does 4 nil not earn the joyous one day without loyal ‘criticism’? For some it is desperately depressing.
“This is not a first amendment issue Walter”…”Don’t leave dude, this affects all of us. This is about our basic freedoms”  ;
PGL: Carlo Cudicini is getting the finger from me this week “Arsenal are not the same as last year it’s true, there are behind in the Premier League and a number of there players such as Cesc Fabregas are missing. However, they still have strong players like Robin van Persie and they are always unpredictable. Arsenal are capable of playing a beautiful game, but also a really bad one.”
No sh*t Carlo, your insights into the game and the state of our club are truly insightful NOT! You fu*king dirt spud w*nker.
FTK: My Friday finger goes to the copy Journalists at the Daily Mirror who twisted the words of Niklas Bendtner!
But Ouch!, I see that the fans who disagree with the gospel according to ArseneHollis have come in for some invective. Arsenalinsider is an all inclusive blog. We have passion, vigorous debate but most of all views are aired and respected. I think that AH has to realise that fans who disagree with him actually do care as passionately about the club as he does. Caring so strongly gives rise to very strong emotions, and it is important that these emotions do not divide the Gooner family.
However whether AH likes it or not (and he probably won’t…lol) I will continue to say it as it is. Gooners have been badly let down this season after the throwing away of the opportunity in 2007/8. The Arsenal brand has been badly tarnished, and in some quarters we have been written off. This HURTS, and I shall protect the rights of fans to express their frustrations on this blog. It doesn’t make them any less loyal and we need to understand this. Add to that the very real risk that Corporate members of the Diamond Section and some of those in Club level will probably vote with their feet if we fall out of the top four, then financially one can see that the consequences of failure this season will be far reaching.
Arsenal has to deal with increasingly negative financial pressures with respect to the exchange rate whammy with the Euro and the world wide recession, and that’s before we realise the losses from the building estate division of the Club. So Arsene Wenger and the team HAVE to deliver something this season. My bet is that it will be the FA Cup. We have a perfect draw that will see us hopefully through to the semi finals.
AH: Champions League, I can’t wait already, these are the games you live for. Bring on the Romans.
FTK: The return of the Beautiful game. Now lets kick on and put five past Sunderland, and three past Roma and get the feel good feeling back at the Club. ONWARD ARSENAL! For ever!
PGL: This week I’m thankful to see Eddie back and thankful that we are going to get to see the Russian (the player not the c*nt billionaire) against Sunderland. I’m also thankful that Vela got a decent chance to show what he can do. Surely, he’s made a case to start Saturday too! I’m also thankful that I managed to get TGIF done on time this week!