Welcome to TGIF, Thank Gooner it’s Friday, which was derailed by a major computer crash courtesy of Microsoft windows 7 Ultimate, which even they were unable to fix. But seeing as it Saturday, perhaps I should use Berg10’s suggestion of TGIS! TGIt’s Saturday? There is so with so much going on in the world at the moment, but I am going to concentrate yet again upon the plight of Arsenal Football Club and it’s beleaguered Board, as they retreat into the Laager. The most amazing thing about this Board is it’s inability to create confidence in the minds of anyone other than the fiercest Arsene Wenger supporter. I am going to present my understanding of the bigger picture, much of which I have already expressed in earlier blogs, but with the AGM looming, it is unlikely that we will get anything other than mutual back slapping and Nelsonian blinkered perspective from the people who run our club.
Stanley Kroenke became the majority owner of the NFL’s St. Louis Rams last summer. He also owns the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and MLS’s Colorado Rapids and a Colorado Mammoth Lacrosse team! I once said that Stanley Kroenke is a collector of Sport’s Franchises, and for someone who is a proud American, an ardent lover of American sports why has he chosen Arsenal? To understand this we need to go right back to his opening rare comments soon after his purchase of 9.9% of ITV’s shares in the club. He spoke of his interest in Arsenal as purely for business reasons. He bought at that time a 50% stake in the Arsenal Broadband. It cost him £65 million and over 4 years later he has spent over £300 million to become the largest shareholder. You note that I refrain from calling him the owner of Arsenal. Why? He is as much an owner as Arsenal as I am the owner of my house, which is part owned by the mortgage company. To be an absolute owner of anything, I argue that 100% is the measure by which true ownership is judged.
At the time of Kroenke’s entry to Arsenal in 2007 our glorious Chairman Peter Hill-Wood said
“We don’t need his money and don’t need his sort. He knows sweet FA about our football.”
Yet 4 years later, Ivan Gazidis before the Q&A of the Arsenal Supporters Trust could only concede that “Stan is growing to love Arsenal” I recall gasping at that admission. This opened my eyes. The reality was there from the beginning, it’s just that I had forgotten it. This is all purely and simply business. What do businessmen do? They generally make money from their acquisitions. So from that point on, I developed doubts about Stanley Kroenke. These doubts are not shared by Peter Hill-Wood who said upon Stanley Kroenke’s acquisition of 67% of Arsenal
“Mr Kroenke, although relatively new to Arsenal, has shown himself to be a man who values and respects the history and traditions of this very special club that we cherish. We are confident that he will be a safe custodian of its future.”
I find it incomprehensible that the owner of Arsenal Football Club has failed to visit the club during this recent turmoil. Just to be seen in the Directors Box at a game after the Manchester United would have registered a public relations victory, by showing concern. The first thing that leaders of state do when there is a catastrophe within their domiciles, is visit the site of the Catastrophe quickly in order to show sympathy and express solidarity with the suffering of its people. Stan Kroenke instead chose to harang his coach of the St Louis Rams who suffered another defeat in the NFL. In fact his ambassador in chief Ivan Gazidis has led the fightback. Stan we hear is going to make a visit close to the AGM, where of course he is obliged to appear or at least send a representative. His speech if he decides to make one will be one of the most eagerly anticipated statements by more people outside of Arsenal than within. We Arsenal fans know to our cost that Ivan Gazidis has delivered the message from his master loud and clear. “T.I.N.A” as conviction politician Margaret Thatcher of the Conservative Party said during her reign. There Is NO Alternative. However as I mentioned in a reply to a comment during the week’s blogs. Conviction can sometimes be a sign of weakness or indeed as the 16th century writer Michel de Montaigny was quoted as saying “Stubborn and ardent clinging to one’s opinion is a true sign of stupidity”
So there will be no change anytime soon, pity really, because all around us there is evidence that change is urgently needed, but I firmly believe that Stan’s silence during one of Arsenal’s worst periods of performance in many seasons has been a public relations gaffe, and he has by his absence damaged his reputation. He will be losing the hearts and minds of the middle ground. The only benefactor will be Red and White Holdings, who will now not need to become more acceptable to Arsenal fans. Alisher Usmanov is now the only alternative to the status quo, and I am certain that he will milk this silence for all his worth. Stan’s cold war with his Russian counterpart has only strengthened the hand of the Usbek Billionaire, who is many more times richer than Stan Kroenke and his Walmart heiress wife put together. Whether it is in all our interests that Usmanov’s image is enhanced by disallusioned Gooners, is immaterial, he continues to buy shares and remains a problem for the Board. I doubt that even if Alisher Usmanov offered a position on the Board, that he, Usmanov, would now accept it. He has much more to gain from staying outside of the camp as Arsenal flounder. He can make an entry upon his terms, and those terms may be less generous than those previously offered. The huge financial crisis that Arsene Wenger spoke of, is much more likely to affect Stan Kroenke than Alisher Usmanov. Therein lies the problem for the Arsenal Board.
Arsenalinsider came under attack from The Sport, following my article on Cesc Fabregas’s legal victory over the magazine that published an “Exclusive interview with Cesc” which happened in their own words a compilation of two press conferences, rather than a sit down cosy chat with our ex-skipper. Having being threatened with consequences yet to appear, the show goes on.
Eldo went to Club level and experienced the best sight lines in the Emirates stadium and enjoyed a feast of football from Coquelin and Oxlade-chamberlain.
“I am responsible for choosing my coaching staff” and “No comment”
So? T.I.N.A rules…
Press Conference highlights
A tense looking Arsene Wenger faced the press and clearly he was in no mood about the speculation about Dennis Bergkamp as a coach, or Joey Barton’s tweeted boast that Arsenal had an interest.
Benayoun out for three games with a thigh strain, Djourou out with a hamstring, Sagna and Ramsey passed their tests positively. Rosicky returns to the squad.
We can still challenge for the title. The start of the season was disturbed by the transfer activity.
He hopes that Manchester United will slip up. As yet only one team has achieved a perfect season… Arsenal Football Club.
Took issue with the 16 games 16 points from last season and this.
Champions league needs 11 points to qualify and if we do well at home, we will do well.
The Weekend Game
Bolton were beaten 4-1 last season and surely Gary Cahill will hope to prove Arsene Wenger wrong for his failure to clinch a deal. Reports that Chelsea and Milan are after his signature might mean that Arsenal’s ambitions will revert to Phil Jagielka, which is again the second best option. If we lose or drop points at home we will sit in the relegation zone and very possibly bottom of the Premier league which would be an unthinkable position.WLLLL is the Bolton form with only one win in the Premier League, they have 3 points with 2 additional victories in the Carling Cup. DLLWL is the form of Arsenal who have one point more.
Want to feel good? then for an offside goal, and two own goals against Blackburn, our 4 points is far from a true reflection of our potential form which is why talk of relegation is so stupid. I have no problems in stating that we will easily finish in the top six, but top four? That will depend on our run after the impact of the African Cup of Nations upon our squad. My prediction? Arsenal 5 Bolton 1, a springboard for the Sunday game against Tottenham after the midweek Champions League fixture against Olympiakos. A return to confident form could see us getting around 20 points by the start of your Advent calendar.
Want to feel bad?, even if we beat Bolton, should we lose to Tottenham, we then have the tricky run of Sunderland, Stoke and Chelsea prior to our traditional unlucky month of November. This November may prove lucky as we face West Brom, Norwich which should gain 6 points, but if we draw to Sunderland and Fulham, and lose to Stoke and Chelsea, then we could face the run in to December with only 15 points from 15 games. I think that talk of winning the Premier League this year is stupid, we have to concentrate upon getting 70 points to be in the top four.
Coquelin and Alex Oxo Chamberlain vie for joint first place. Coquelin has shown himself as a worthy future heir to Alex Song, whereas Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s utility performance may edge Theo Walcott out of contention, locally and Internationally.
“Well me old muckers, what an absolute shite start to the season eh? I remember a similar season but I’m stuffed if I can tell you which one, we wore some silly puff away strip similar to our present one, I think it was green or sumfing and we finished 10th that year. Gor blimey, my memory is not what it used to be. Anyway, what about this yank who couldn’t give a monkeys about E.i.E being right pissed off with our form at the moment? I rang the Arse and asked to speak with the Gaffer, and they told me that he was not yet transferred to the club, and when he becomes an official player then the website will tell us all… But RTK told me that TINA decides what happens next. Who is this bird TINA that Rocky is gettin all arsed about anyway? Must be one ‘ell of a looker eh?
Talking of playing away from ‘ome if you get my drift, what the flippin ‘ell is going onwith Arsenal Player? Now listen up, Friday night’s is my night at ‘ome. The missus is out down her mates, drinking Barcardi Breezers, and I have real fish and chips in paper and real vinegar, non of that balsamic yuppie rubbish. I settle down and watch the real Arsenal videos on the Arse website, watching the likes of O’Leary, Liam Brady and good old Frank Mclintock. But now, every bleedin Friday, I have to put up with that muppet from The Queen Vic in East Enders. Lofty Holloway was is name, now he goes under the alias of Tom Watt? Well between 7 and 8 if you log in onto Arsenal player, you cannot see anything else than him? Now he is Arsenal thru and thru, but his glasses must be more than rose tinted, they must be made of perspex, cos he is the only one that can see positives from our present situation.
Talk about brainwashing, he needs his brain soaking in Vanish first before doing a hot wash at 60 degrees…hahahahaha
Ok tomorrow we get a real Saturday, A three o clock kick off. We shall stuff the Trotters and make that Coyle eat his words. I just hope that Kevin Davies doesn’t injure any of our players as he is a real psycho that guy. So that means bacon butties at 9am then Beers before and after the game, and I will be well kebabed up by 9pm and taking a leak outside the Dog and Goose by 11.30. Watch out for me on the CCTV. Tara Gooners!
This has again got to be Sky and The Sport owned by UTV media who also own Talkshite radio. Sky querying of 56,000 fans at Arsenal’s Carling Cup match was put into context by Arsenal as they pointed out that this attendance was larger than all of the Premier League clubs bar Liverpool, Manchester United. The Sport muscled in on our blog, but proved as toothless as the false exclusive they put out. I can only hope that UTV media and News International suffer the consequences of their disdain for ordinary people.
Video of the week
More of that guy Oxo!
Oxo goals and skills
So that’s it for this week. Next week we have the Tottenham game, and there is not much too look forward to before then, perhaps a kebab or two before the Olympiacos game I suppose. what am I saying? Arteta, Miyaishi, Gervinho, Oxo… ENJOY!