FTK: Welcome to the TGIF World Exclusive edition. Our Regular Insiders on this site will have been counting down the hours to see the Arsenal 2009/10 away shirt revealed in all it’s glory. I can assure you all that this is the most accurate artists impression available and I cannot state the source, so don’t bother asking. Arsenal Football Club will pass no comment, and the actual strip itself will be finally revealed at the end of June in the Pre-season. Until then you will have to make do with this. As for the rest of the week, who would have thought that this International week would have been so full of Arsenal stories…
PGL: So Insiders let us know what you think of the new shirt. Personally it’s not for me. Far far too white for PGL’s liking! I don’t even like eating white bread coming up to a derby game… Anyway well done FTK on the exclusive!
FTK: Cheers PGL, all I can say is that I am EXTREMELY confident that my artists impression will be the 2009/10 away strip which will be sold by Arsenal Football Club. It is described as white with redcurrant highlights. For me that means stripes!!!. On my artists impression the collar is narrower than upon the actual shirt itself and for me it resembles the cut of the collar on the 2002 away Gold strip. My first impression was, “What the fcuk am I gonna look like going to places like Anfield, dressed in bloody pyjamas!!!” But quickly it began to grow on me, and when placed against the green and blue kit, well no contest. My sources tell me that there will be in fact two away strips for the 2009/10 season.
The other strip is yet to be classified, so it could be a third strip or more likely, a European away strip. It is going to be BLUE! So there you have it! Hot from the “designers bench” and a WORLD EXCLUSIVE on Arsenalinsider! I am really not going to answer any further questions on how? and when? and who? as I have sworn to protect my sources. I usually like to corroborate my information based upon two independent sources, however on this occasion because of the risks to the source and the fact that I am confident that this is genuine that I have decided to take the risk and stick my neck out! The real truth of whether FTK is a fool will be revealed at the end of June, and you can bet they will be queueing up to tell me if I have got this wrong.
PGL: Danny Fizman took the American’s money and you can guarantee things are about to change. Despite all the ‘business as usual’ signs being hung up around the club, I think Kroenke’s purchase signals his intent to put himself in a position of strength and means we may be about to face a period of uncertainty at board level. I don’t pretend to understand the financial side of football but I do understand at a time when we’re trying to negotiate new deals with Theo and RVP unrest at the top level is not a good thing. Ivan Gazidis projects calm and seems like a good man but my concern is Usmanov and Kroenke may be operating under his radar. FTK tell me I’m wrong…please!?
FTK: Ok Vic Crescit covered one angle, which essentially seemed to suggest that Kronke’s increased shareholding provided more balance to the competing shareholders. Giving the club more stability. Well sorry to disappoint you PGL, I can see no future in this move other than to line Fiszman’s coffers. Usmanov does not need balance, if anything after the losses he has incurred during the credit crunch revealed by Vic, he is fast becoming an irrelevant shareholder, in fact, rather than LNBS(Lady Nina) being the risky shareholder, Usmanov is more likely to sell out now. Here is what Fiszman said on Arse com
“ I strongly believe that Stan Kroenke has an important role to play in the future of Arsenal Football Club. He has already brought considerable knowledge and experience to the Board, and I have no doubt that he will continue to be an asset to the Club. While I thought long and hard about selling any shares, I believe that Stan’s increased holding is a positive development for Arsenal Football Club.”
Now in my opinion the best thing Stan Kroenke could have done was to buy 5,000 of Lady Nina’s shares, and brought more of the outside shareholding under the board’s influence. This would have reduced the risk of a another outside party owning Arsenal shares such as an arab investor. Call me disloyal here Danny, but I just don’t believe you! If ever you wanted to rub in your superiority over Lady Nina in a smug way, well it has just backfired, because you have just given her 5,000 reasons why she should no longer remain loyal to the cause. So in my opinion, there is now the threat of increased instability ahead as Lady Nina may decide to off load her 15.9% to Usmanov, if he can still afford it, and then the brown smelly sticky stuff would really hit the fan. Our only saving grace is that Usmanov needs a takeover, but not as his expense! How else is he going to recoup the premium paid upon all of his shares? He will need the shareprice to rise to at least ten pounds a share to even make just a medium profit in my estimation.
So taking my analysis further, what are Stan Kroenke’s motives? Well as I have pointed out in past blogs, Stan Kroenke likes to be in control. He is not partnership material. He also plays the long game. So I predict that his sights are set upon eventually owning the club in a manner that will not only protect his investments, but also realise the wealth trapped within. Which will mean share dividends. Having said all of that, I like Stan Kroenke nevertheless, as I feel that he is the only director on the board that would be willing to put his hand into his own pocket and give Gazidis and Wenger the funds to buy which ever players were necessary to put Arsenal Football Club at the top of the pile! So in that sense Danny Fiszman is right, but for the wrong reasons.
AH: WHO IS THE BEST TEAM IN ENGLAND ???
Anyone who hasn’t said Arsenal yet has probably stumbled onto the wrong team’s site. Having been away for a while I assume that all gooners worth their soul are in pretty belligerent mood right now. With the annoying international break over we can look forward to an April containing both legs of the CL QF, a Wembley date with the new money scum, and possibly the first installment of a CL semi with Manure (I would love to get them back for that Giggs goal after Bergkamp’s miss). May, if we take care of our business, could be just about the best month of footy you could rightly expect to live through in your lifetime as it reads from here.
Whatever else, for anyone who thought there might be more than one answer to that question, or needed time to get it, we will soon see. The league is beyond us, but possibly 4 games against utd, 2 with the chavs, and at least 1 with Liverpool will give us a chance to end this season as the countries and Europe ’s best side. With this in mind, FTK’s ludicrous demand for an apology from Arsene Wenger last week seems particularly stupid. Set aside that it would never happen, nor should it, but we might still produce one of this famous clubs greatest seasons ever. It says so much for our club that coming out of the fire you almost expect more from us, backs to the wall we have always been at our best: now is the time for this you ng team to assume that mantle, not wallow in recriminations for last season’s hangover. Whoever the press officer is, he might remind the fans of all that, rather than whimper about hard times.
FTK: Ouch, I can’t sidestep that rant from AH… Listen AH, the world according to Wenger is all very well, but I have witnessed the amount of division and ill feelings that have been generated within the Gooner family. Even heard of Gooners fighting among each other, as pro Wenger and anti Wenger factions. This is so painful to experience as I want Gooners to be one big family. I believe that this division and the poor results were the consequences of Arsene Wenger ignoring his own good advice. He was the one who came out and predicted our weakness to long high balls over the top. Remember the goal scored by Robbie Keane to draw the game with Liverpool? So AH, despite being mates on this blog and members of the same Gooner family, I happen to firmly disagree with you… Some of these highly paid young players had better get a reality check and put in some passionate performances and take responsibility for our poor results, instead of displaying arrogance. The likes of Adebayor, Song and Eboue please note! Arsene Wenger has made the worse start to a season since he came to the Arsenal. We are getting out of it because of new players being introduced like Nasri and Arshavin, with also a lot of good luck with other results outside the Arsenal going our way. To suggest that my demand was ludicrous and that Arsene Wenger should not be held accountable in any way is frankly b***ocks!
AH: I am a bit out of the loop here boys, although I can offer my perspective on the Cesc reports as seen from a tapas bar in Spain .
AS and Marca are completely Madrid focused. For example Madrid and Barca play the same day, Madrid get the first 13 pages as analysis, I am not exaggerating, whilst Barca get 1
maybe 2 on page 14. So when Cesc turns up in Spain, with all and sundry from club big-wigs to media manipulators offering to suck his dick, beyond some sort of breakdown, or resorting to scandalous abuse, there is little hope that he can get out of the country without some quote that appears courteous, even just basic polite, that cannot be mangled by some clown who intended to do that anyway whatever was said.
The fact is that before Christmas my Madrid mate was going nuts about some rumour that Wenger and Cesc would both
arrive in the summer, utter garbage of course. We should just be flattered that the biggest names in world football come sniffing at our door, it is just part of having one of the best squads in the whole of Europe . It happens to everyone with enough talent worth poaching. For us though we can kick back and enjoy the CL QF for a second consecutive year, whilst my Madrid mate can only hope that Liverpool draw Barcelona and somehow foist the same humiliation on them as he experienced.
PGL: The Cesc situation is a worry. I don’t think he’ll leave but I fu*king hate when our players talk about other clubs being ‘massive clubs’ or ‘footballs biggest names’. It belittles our club in my opinion. I’m sure Cesc didn’t see it that way but that how I
feel when I hear things like that. As I write, Sky Sports is reporting Fab 4 is back in the squad for the City game. Lets hope he does his talking on the pitch for the rest of the season. Ade and Theo also in the squad.
RVP is a worry too. He’s banging the same drum as Viera and Henry when they were angling for a move ‘I want the club to match my ambition’ blah blah blah. Is this the same Robin Van Persie who last week admitted at one point he wanted to join Rangers? Come on Robin, sign the papers and let’s move forward, you are part of the club ambition, you are one of our stars. Our player’s love the youth policy when it means they get a game, then complain about it when it means progress is slower than it would be if we paid out huge sums for ready made stars. Where’s the love fellas?
FTK: I am an unashamed Cesc supporter but ashamed of what his interview conveyed, and if he goes to Barcelona I shall support him there in the same way that I support Thierry Henry. But I am convinced that he will only leave the club when Arsene Wenger decides that it is the right time, or if Wenger himself decides to leave. Both of these possibilities seem likely the season after next. I am in agreement with PGL. He should not keep referring to being flattered of the interest of Barcelona and Real Madrid, this was ill advised and basically says, “You know the only reason I am staying at the second best club in Europe is because of Arsene Wenger, if not, now I would be in Spain!” Well Fabregas, you have given me so much pleasure, and I will always support you where ever you end up, bar one reflection. NO PLAYER IS BIGGER THAN ARSENAL FOOTBALL CLUB, and that includes you. So if you are going to go for god’s sake go… if you are staying, then shut the F*ck up and be a great Arsenal captain and serve out your career with us as we scale the heights back to number one!
Little word from the great man this international week, so here is an offering from our new and more prominent executive Ivan Gazidis:
“You never relax about any situation but we are very confident that this team will stay together, progress together and achieve success together. The young players that we have and the manager we have believe we are doing something very special here…Arsenal offers good money, it offers a great development programme, a superb environment so it is difficult for me to imagine why players would want to leave. I can’t guarantee success because success depends on those very players but am I confident that I can keep those players and we can make progress. Absolutely, very confident.”
AH: It speaks for itself mainly, a smart man that Gazidis it seems. As he says, success depends on these players; it is there for them to win. If Cesc comes back and is at his best, or RVP can be the best striker around during the run in, then we will have our trophies, the players will be happy, and the fans will make them heroes. Nipping off to Inter or Barca for a few bob might at some stage get them the first of those things, but never the last.
PGL: As I said, I’m worried that the uncertainty surrounding the board will effect our contract dealings with the players and undermine what AW is trying to achieve. I do like Gazidis though and think he’s one of the few at board level who can be trusted.
FTK: I don’t think that the players are affected by the Board’s dealings, rather they may see the opportunity to play silly buggers during contract negotiations. I like the noises coming from Gazidis, and the fact that he is slowly going about his business in a very professional way. He has said precisely what I alluded to in an earlier answer. The players need to look at themselves in the mirror and realise how fortunate they are to be at a club like Arsenal. As he said, success depends upon their performances, so they have only themselves to blame!
FTK: My performance of the week goes to the anony mous interviewer of Danny Fiszman on Arse com who far from ignoring the controversy and asking some anodine question, took the bull by the horns and asked:
Arsenal.com: Going back to the reason for selling your shares, do you feel that Arsenal is going to be significantly impacted by the credit crunch and this is the reason that you are selling your shares now to pre-empt the price plummeting?Danny Fiszman: No, not at all. Although the current economic environment is proving difficult for many organisations, the Club still managed to report healthy half-year financial figures in February. We have a sound, successful business model. We have long-term sponsorships, an improved TV deal and a healthy demand for tickets.
Ouch! Wonder if the guy is still in a job… fair play to you my man, you can work for Arsenalinsider any time!
PGL: My performance of the week goes to the Croatia forward line. Klasnic has had both his kidneys replaced over the last two years and we all know about Eddies year, both scored against Andorra in their tie midweek. Modern medicine rocks!
AH: Sorry lads don’t really give a damn about internationals, beyond our players coming back fit.
FTK: To the English FA for the second week running, that Wembley pitch on Wednesday was an absolute disgrace, it was more like a ploughed field than the best playing surface in the country! I only hope that it doesn’t spoil our beautiful game come the Semi-final. All because the FA want concerts, American Football and Rally car circuits there. This should be a mecca for English Football, instead it’s an advert for Perfect Turf .co.uk. Can someone get rid of the stupid fools in charge of our association?
PGL: I’m giving the finger to Danny Fizman. His constant proclamations of love for the club sound so hollow now. He’s still got a sizable stake in AFC but this has proved he’ll sell at the right price. I hope your enjoy counting your ‘pieces of silver’ Mr. Fizman.
AH: International football disrupting our season again, I pray for a clean bill of health. The run in this season, it should be an epic one way or the other. If we can beat City that might put 4th spot within touching distance, a bonus of we get manure in Europe. Then it is all down to the cups, we have the chance to beat the best and in so doing to be the best. I cannot wait.
From Arsenal Insider: Everyone on the Insider Team would like to take this opportunity to thank Karen Rocastle for granting us an interview on David’s Anniversary.
Rocky will never be forgotten!
Don’t forget to make noise in our Rocky tribute at the Man City game.
“Oooh Rocky Rocky! Rocky, Rocky, Rocky, Rocky Rocastle!”