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It was a night oh oh what a night It was it really was such a night…

By Walter Broeckx

Sometimes you don’t believe what you see with your own eyes. That was after 36 minutes. Arsenal 4-0 down after what must have been the worst 36 minutes of an Arsenal team. The midfielders didn’t pressure the Reading players, the defenders didn’t attack the players or the ball. Reading went deservedly 1-0 up. And then Reading got a bit lucky. A cross deflected from the knee of Koscielny in to his own net. Those things happen. But this was not the right time for such a thing to happen.

And a bit later Arsenal let a Reading player wander in the penalty area without really attacking him and his shot was punched in his own goal by Martinez. I think he will have wanted to disappear under the ground the young Argentinean keeper. That didn’t look good at all.

And after that we slowly got our act together. But it was just playing the ball around with no real intent or threat. Arshavin was running his socks off and trying to bring some order in to our game. But he was preaching on an island at that moment. And when Reading made it 4-0 all seemed lost. One of my sons who was just leaving asked me: do you really keep watching to this? Of course I said: this is Arsenal. This is my team. In good or bad. I’m here (in a manner of speaking of course as I was at home watching on my computer) to support them.

And how I regret not adding what I was thinking at that time. I was thinking: one goal and we can still win this game. But even for me as a super optimist most of the time..that was one bridge too far at that moment.

And then when Arshavin sent Theo away seconds before the end of the first half I thought to myself: Come on Theo, score and we are back in to this game. And blimey ..he did. What a nice finish.

So in we went and out we came and the first minutes Reading was strong. But then we brought on Giroud and Eisfeld. And allow me to say that I really think that Giroud was the man that turned the game completely on his head. From the moment he came on he looked sharp and he was determined to get it right. He came close a few times and used his body and his power very well. And then a Theo corner and Giroud headed in superbly. 4-2 Still some 25 minutes to go. And Arsenal did all they could to pull another one back.

But chances were missed, the ref tried to stop us at all means by within seconds judging two similar situations completely differently and both against Arsenal. That was his clear pattern and the way he laughed and joked with the Reading players it looked as if he had a lot of friends over there on the field. But let us not waste our time on the ref; at least not now.

With almost normal time up we got another corner and lo and behold this time Koscielny headed home to make it 4-3. Can you believe that at that moment in the game I just felt proud. We were not winning this game but I felt proud for the way we had come back after that disaster of a first half.

Reading was wasting time (no card for them time wasting from the ref) but even he felt that enough was enough (and rightfully so) and after another substitution in injury time he gave us the deserved extra time.

And then came an extra ordinary moment…Giroud headed the ball to Walcott who took it with him and shot past the keeper. A Reading player stopped the ball on the goal line with his hand, the ball went further and went over the line but neither the assistant or the ref gave a goal or a penalty. Lucky Jenkinson put it over the line but that is what the reporters told me about who scored at that moment. I always look on mute but turn the sound on when something strange has happened. Later it looked as if the ref had given the goal from Walcott?

In extra time chances on both sides in the most crazy game of football you will ever see. And after 13 minutes the unexpected happened. A nice move involving Arshavin once again and Chamakh got the ball outside the penalty area and his low shot went in. 4-5 to the Arsenal.

But this game wasn’t over yet. Just, but only just onside Pogrebnyak headed home the 5-5 with 5 minutes to go.  This game was more than crazy. This was the ultimate and most open football game I have ever seen. Both teams almost running on their knees but both looking for the win.

And then Arshavin went past his man on the left and he could have pulled it back first time but the little Russian wanted to score himself and he would have but his shot was saved on the line. But the ball came out to Walcott who lashed it home. 5-6 in the last minute of extra time.

Reading again threw all they had forward but Martinez claimed the cross and then he made almost a big mistake and made Wenger angry by releasing the ball with a long punt up to Giroud but the ball ended up with the keeper and Reading could go forward again. But Arsenal cleared the ball and as Giroud came back from offside he cleverly didn’t make any attempt to go to the ball and so Chamakh could go on goal and with a nice lob put the ball over the keeper. 5-7  in the 122th minute.

WHAT A GAME!

I know people will moan about the first half hour. Yes that was bad. But a game is played over 90 minutes. And when you can get up from 4-0 down to even come close again you have done yourself proud I feel. And when you can equalise you have done a very remarkable thing and that without any help from the ref!

But when you can win such a game after having been 4-0 down, then you have produced a miracle. I have seen a miracle with my own eyes today.

After 89 minutes I felt proud of my team for having put up a fight after such a bad start and some silly mistakes and own goals.  I can’t really describe the pride feelings I feel for this moment. My English isn’t good enough for this.

Just say my oh my, oh what a night, late October 2012… well done boys. Very well done!

PS: But please next time think of our poor heart will you. Just score the goals without conceding. Thanks.

The books…

The sites…

83 comments to It was a night oh oh what a night It was it really was such a night…

  • avatar Silentstan.

    I was interested until you wrote, ” I was thinking one goal and we could win this game” what utter bollocks

  • avatar Johnspur

    Gooners are in heaven coz they made a come back against Reading in the Micky Mouse cup..conceding five goals on the way..extacy..!

  • avatar Olaotan

    Pls i nid an article on d player rating nd analysis

  • avatar Nakew

    What a match. I went through all emotions. SATISFIED.
    Who cares how many we concede. Score more Boys.

  • avatar deejay

    interesting piece but the grammar could be better

  • avatar Eddy

    any game where you are 4-0 down and come back to win 7-5 will get the pulse racing,even if it is in the 4th most important competition of the season(the only competition, which Iam sure Johnspur will know,that has offered our neighbours “glory” in the last 20 years)

  • It takes one goal for Arsenal to score and they transform themselves into an unstopable power. Hope they can do it again on Saturday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Amazing comeback, that will give confidence where needed. Great to see giroud leading the charge. Johnspur seems like all those years have made you on the bitter side?

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    Was Johnspur alive when they won the league?

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Probably not., maybe just a wee tot when they won the carling cup

  • avatar jayspur

    Have to say was really impressed with the Arsenal comeback, Walcott has got to play though the middle, I think if he leaves Arsenal the next club that has him will play him there.

    Elsfield looked great, nice first touch and footballing brain, Frimpong terrible again, I dont get the hype with this player!

    You know its written in the stars that AFC vs THFC next round

  • avatar Johnspur

    but I am sure such a BIG result will make wonders to your team next week end..cant wait..!!

  • avatar Steve

    @deejay – If you can write this piece in Dutch and make it grammatically correct, than you have the right to slag off Walter; you numpty.

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    Was I the only one who noticed that Wenger wanted to console the Reading manager after the final whistle? I think he felt his pain inside.

  • Johnspur, i’m sure you’d have been happier if we’d lost the match. Then you’d have had much worse to say, but you should concern yourself about your match today, we already have this in the bag. Remember, you’re playing Norwich, you know, 2-3 last season remember? at white fart lane.

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    Steve, and in the middle of the night (after midnight in fact) having been up from 6.30 and full of adrenaline… ;-)
    It just urges me on to do better next time, so not a real problem for me.

  • avatar nicky

    As a firm supporter of our great team since “before the Old King died”, I’ve always believed that the main requisite of a Gooner is “bottle”. How else can we accept drawing with Newcastle having been 4 nil up and beating Reading after being 4 nil down.
    And 2 nicely taken goals from Chamakh a reviled no-hoper from the past.
    If a book was written about these performances of ours over the years, it would be ridiculed as wild fiction.
    For those Gooners who doubt our ability to win against all odds and similarly to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, I warn them to expect the same at any time. It is the Arsenal way and you might as well accept it.

  • avatar Tumelo

    The first forty minutes were really poor. The team was disjointed, reading didn’t give us a chance to settle and find our rhythm. There after though, is something else. I was really impressed by Thomas Eisfeld, I thought he gave us edge in the transition.

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    Silentstan, then you have missed the best part. :-)
    Where you leaving early? Because I really felt something strange would happen yesterday evening. It could have been us losing 10-0 at the end or winning. But there was something magical in the air. Or was it just Halloween?

  • avatar Johnspur

    9jagunnerdoc..its 1-2 by the way but I don’t expect a gooner to ever tell the correct results…or maybe you became a gooner only a few months back when starting your English language course in London? and its White Hart Lane..where football started in NL.. the ground where you haven’t won for…grrr..ohh…cant remember that far back..

  • avatar Tumelo

    Walter, at 1 nil down I wasn’t bothered. At two nil I thought we just need to find our rhythm, at three nil I was less optimistic but still believed we had a chance. At 4 nil I was ready to go and sleep and when Theo pulled one back I had that feeling that its not over yet and I stayed up and the rest is history. @silentstan if you did not see it coming just say so and leave it alone.

  • avatar Dewunmi

    Well done Walter.

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    Johnspur,
    Surely you will remember us winning the league over there?

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Johnspur,
    “and its White Hart Lane..where football started in NL.. the ground where you haven’t won for…grrr..ohh…cant remember that far back..”

    then you must have serious memory deficiency, it was actually just over 2 years ago.
    For your education:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/league_cup/9009940.stm

  • avatar marcus

    As a gooner, I am relieved we got the points. However, there are a lot of things I would like to discuss. First and foremost, Djourou should be on the ‘for sale’ list in January. It is obvious he will never be of the standard required to play for arsenal. Making him captain was an even worse decision. Our defense in general was non existent, but I think he was at the center of it. Secondly, Frimpong isn’t the player everyone thinks he is. His misplaced passes and ineptitude in general show that he still has a lot to learn. He could benefit from a loan elsewhere. Then there is Olivier Giroud. If there’s one thing his goal showed us, it is that the first team clearly do not know how to get the best out of him. His header was sublime, top quality. He clearly lacks the kind of aerial service that would see him on the score sheet more often. It is because in our starting 11, there aren’t any good crossers except cazorla who plays centrally so doesn’t really get into good crossing positions. Arsene should work with the team on that. Finally, there’s Theo Walcott. That boy is by far the best finisher we have (save for maybe poldi). I still don’t get why arsene denies him his opportunity up front when he is currently our top scorer. He is a much better striker than gervinho. He can, and given the chance, will be our 25+ goal a season striker. His pace, movement, composure and finishing are superb to say the least. He has greatly improved his first touch and ball control to the point where he doesn’t need two chances to score. All this compounded with the fact that he scores from all angles in front of goal leave me bewildered when Arsene would rather start Gervinho there and deny Walcott his chance. I hope his hat trick knocked some sense into arsene’s head and we will see him as our front man in games to come.

  • avatar simon bailey

    Nice piece Walter. Never mind the xenophobes or spuds. After we were four down, I always felt that if we could get one before half time, we had some chance. At 89, I thought it was all over, and that their time wasting had paid off for them. Their manager then lost the match for them by doing a substitution at 90+3. If he hasn’t tried to play games, and had let his team play, I am sure that reading would have prevailed.
    Anyway, all credit to a team that refused to lie down and take the beating.
    This match is now available to download. I’m keeping a copy because unlike the spuds, we don’t release DVDs of every match we win.

  • So mike dean furgus is the ref do we expect anything good! Like our friend friend the authorities that be might be questioning him now.

  • avatar nadjulius

    “…..And when you can get up from 4-0 down to even come close again you have done yourself proud I feel. And when you can equalize you have done a very remarkable thing and that without any help from the ref!

    But when you can win such a game after having been 4-0 down, then you have produced a miracle. I have seen a miracle with my own eyes today….”

  • avatar ARSENAL 13

    yesterday was a day when PSUEDO GOONERS barked “we are done with ARSENAL” at half time and returned to celebrate at full. Win did as much harm.

    The whole game I was like if they can….we can score +1. What a night…… rather morning?

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    Nicky, nice spot of the “old king” ;-)
    At least someone is paying attention :-)

  • avatar Eddy

    If you knew your history JohnSpur your would know that WHL was in Middlesex until the London Borders changed in 1960.Whereas Highbury,our home since the very early 1900′s,has always been in North london…so I think that makes us the true North London team…Enfield Boy.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Anyone who claims to support Arsenal, or neutral for that matter who could not enjoy that really needs to take a look at what they are actually getting out of football. Loads of misery out there, possible from some who had wasted a lot of time sharpening their knives against Wenger only for their hopes to be dashed….again….A strange conundrum having such irrational hatred for those they support, does not really indicated a balanced mindset.

  • avatar Eddy

    …quickly go check or I could send you the link that shows that you were a Middlesex team until 1960….very embarassing I know

  • avatar Stuart

    At half time, my mate stuck a fiver on Arsenal to win, he had a great night.

    WRT Frimpong, I get the idea that all the fuss sbout him is because he is more like great captain material as opposed to the most talented player on the field, an equally important role but often over looked.

  • avatar Stuart

    I did smile when the TV cameras showed an Arsenal fan walking out just before half time. One less plastic to worry about.

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    Stuart apparently that guy was going for a pint and after that he came back. He put up some pictures on twitter. of course some left. And one twittered that he was watching the extra time from a pub. Serves them right to have missed that come back live in the stadium.

    And some idiots twittered that they would eat their own sh*t if we would win or even if Chamakh would score. I wonder how it will taste?

  • avatar vince

    Thomas Eisfied real talent.

  • avatar neven

    s Was this the greatest match you have ever seen?

    <snip>

    Copy-n-pasters go on the black list, unlucky son.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Neven, poor form, you should always credit your source -in this case, Online Gooner

    http://onlinegooner.com/article.php?section=editorial&id=392

    See about the 8th paragraph

  • avatar Paul "the Gooner"

    Frimpong was not up to it,same as Gnarby.We allowed Reading to get at our defence far too much.Things changed with the double substitution.Conquelin then starting playing.Very impressed with Eisfeld.I do think Giroud was pure class, in attitude,team play and he can play.We MUST,MUST keep WALCOTT.

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    With Walcott getting his 3rd goal I now feel sorry for Jenkinson ;-)

  • avatar FunGunner

    I was thinking: one goal and we can still win this game.
    Oh, Walter, that is EXACTLY what I thought – one goal before half time. I knew Reading wouldn’t be confident deep down because of their results so far, and I also knew that we could play so much better. So when our first goal went in, I screamed and jumped up and down.

  • avatar FunGunner

    And I really felt for Reading – what a hard, hard loss to take.

  • avatar zuer

    @walter
    This article mirrors my experience too.. though i missed the bad part since i woke up at 3 in the morning to see us trailing 3 nil down.. I’m downloading the match now, so that I can watch the game again.. of course, i’m still going to skip the bad first half hour..

    ” this is Arsenal. This is my team. In good or bad. I’m here (in a manner of speaking of course as I was at home watching on my computer) to support them.” This my friend, is the exact same thing i had in my mind as reading lead 4 nil.. ;D

    @neven and likeminded
    With that kind of comeback and performance a supporter should be happy.. if a person see an arsenal game for the first time, they’ll probably became instant fan.. and if you are already an arsenal fan then you would just fall in love with this club all over again..

    That’s said, no matter how bad the first half hour is, this is a game one should rejoice in remembrance.. Should you still moan, groan, and complain then you must really hate football or don’t have the capacity to enjoy fine things in life such as an exciting football match or a retard who hates arsenal no matter what.. get a life.

  • avatar machine gunner

    Absolutely incredible game, words can’t describe how that felt after the final whistle for both sets of fans, gutted I couldn’t be there and had to settle for just making the kick off on TV, also gutted to hear Wenger’s mood when invited to praise Theo Walcott for yet ANOTHER clinical display in front of goal, instead in he chose to deflect the question, he’s surely off and won’t get a look in against United, himself and Giroud should be 2 of the first names on the team sheet in my opinion. We can almost guarantee that Aaron Ramsey will get his place and himself and Santos will do their very best to ruin whatever chance Arsenal have at Old Trafford.s

  • avatar Sam

    Deejay , check your own grammer first before commenting on others.

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    Zuer,
    they should make some possibility online to get your support known. So when we click for example on “chant” button a speaker system in the stadium would sing for the gooners who can’t make it to the stadium and are watching from their homes. I think there will never be a moment of silence in the Emirates any more.
    Or we sing in the mic from our computer and the stadium speakers pick it up. But then we all have to sing the same song of course… :-)

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    Machine gun, can you play left back then? If Gibbs is injured it has to be Santos. And Miquel was also injured last night. So our third choice is also out.

  • avatar Sam

    Mandy Dodd. I understand your sentiments and I feel the same when I am watching arsenal at Emirates. But I will not call these fans as plastic, because they did invest their money and time, went all the way to support the team away from home. It’s just that first 40 mins were so bad and different people react differently. I still solute them. Media will pick up anything to criticise Arsenal and its fans.

  • avatar Sam

    Sorry Mandy, my previous comment was for Stuart and not you.

  • avatar Wooby

    Walter, love the piece esp. your last line! :)

    Since I live in Canada, I only caught the highlights via the Internet and despite the win, I am concerned about the combination of CJ – JD – Kos in the back with Coq as DM. This was the combination we were forced to start at OT last season and both occasions resulted in a significant number of goals against. It looked like the Reading player shrugged off Coq rather easily in the build up to goal #1 and with Kos not fully paying attention, Roberts was able to slip in behind to get his foot on the ball — maybe Miguel was guilty of watching as well?

    Walter and others who saw the game, is there something missing in the back when neither Per nor TV5 are playing and directing/organizing the defense? I would have thought either JD or Kos would be taking charge but it appeared neither did last night.

    Also, did Coq and Frimpong work effectively together when they were on the pitch? Seems to me both are more suited to play as DMs. Although I understand both needed game action, it did seem strange that Wenger would play them together.

  • avatar bob

    Mandy Dodd,
    On the strength of what your eyes tell you: Are you in on “gambling” AFC money on Theo’s further development toward excellence? Or do we stay silent so as not to pressure management in the current standoff? Or do we bet on a substitute: the rapid development/deployment plan of the bargain known as Gnabry? Cheers :)

  • avatar bjtgooner

    Nice article Walter, reading it tonight brought the match back to life again. There were many positives for us once the team found their rhythm and some have been commented on. One I would like to further emphasize was the influence of Giroud – he made a massive difference up front. Also having two tall strikers up front made a big difference at set pieces – something for AW to think about?

    Overall the spirit of the team was fantastic and they had to overcome not just Reading but the officials.

    Well done guys.

  • avatar Stuart

    Sam,
    I call them plastics because they only have interest for trophies as opposed to the game, team and club. They masquerade their support of trophies using Arsenal.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    no worries Sam.
    Bob, personally I would like to negotiate towards some middle ground with the aim of signing him up…if that is indeed possible, but I have a horrible feeling a deal is all but done, with one of our rivals again.
    I do not think Ox or certainly Gnabry are yet ready to fill Theos boots, if we do replace him, we need someone ready made…and we know Wenger is highly unlikely to raid the EPL in Jan, so more than likely a player from abroad will not be completely ready.
    Losing Theo to a rival would not send out a great signal, unless we went out and bought say a Ben Arfa. Our critics are right on one thing, we have got to stop losing our top players as soon as they peak, this affects fans, and puts huge pressure on the team and manager. I know it is not always the clubs fault they lose these players….but I get the feeling they are still more relaxed than some clubs would be at their exits.
    What is your take on the Theo situation?

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    Is Johnspur still with us? LOL ;-)

  • Hahaha, Mr. Johnsplat. Told you you shoulda worried about your game, you didn’t listen did you? Tottenscum

    I know you’ll be too embarrassed to get back here.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Interesting result, like us, the spuds lost at Norwich, yet some arsenal fans told us that makes its really shite, these same arsenal fans have spent the last year saying how fantastic spurs are. Will leave it to them to explain that one. From other games this eve, looks like we are not the only team with erm….defensive difficulties….after all, the aaa darlings uTd have let five in, yet we are constantly told fergie would never allow that sort of thing.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Bradford away, no disrespect or grounds for complacency, but will take that!

  • avatar Pat

    Great article Walter. I felt just as you said; when we were 4 – 0 down I thought, I am giving this match my full attention to support the team. Strange thought when you are only watching it on TV.
    Anyway, we all got our reward. What a fantastic match! What an exciting event! And some great goals.

  • avatar Prasanna Veeraraghavan

    It was really worthy that I decided to continue watching after we were 4 goals down. Late pretty in to the night I somehow had the flicker of hope.

    Finally it was worth the wait and the sleep that was missed.

  • avatar jbh

    Re Walcott, late in pre season AW mentioned in response to a press question that the situation was still ongoing – BUT THAT HE WAS NOT INVOLVED – SO FAR. This was very revealing and unusual for AW to mention such a thing. My take on it is that the Walcott negotiations have been solely run by Gazidis and AW is distancing himself from the complete horlocks that it has been. Gazidis HAD TO either give him his demands or really offload him last summer, otherwise it is Flamini all over again (promising to sign, but sloping off at the end of his last season for a signing on bonus elsewhere). Walcott’s carefully worded statements of enthusiasm, etc have been no different. The last card is to bench Walcott in the hope that he will sign (as opposed to playing Flamini every week which also didn’t work). So does Walcott wait until next summer and a sign on bonus and the wage he wants, or take the lower wages on offer and no guarantee of being the striker. I think he’s going for the former.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Interesting view on wenger from quite a well known spurs fan

    https://mobile.twitter.com/Lord_Sugar/tweets

    As I have always said, there are some discerning spurs fans who appreciate wengers qualities more than some of our lot

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Above, just realised that link leads to all his tweets, was referring to the one that starts ” spurs lost we don’t have the fighting spirit. We should take wenger as coach”

  • avatar bob

    Mandy Dodd,
    I agree with you that selling our top talents as soon as they start to peak and never replacing like with like is a (to me) huge emotional burden to place on fans; because what fans do is bond with players of real talent, especially one whom we have seen grow up before our eyes, and this one is on the cusp of becoming a world class player. Was that not the point all along of having nurtured those very talents? I say pay him as Exhibit A in what being a young player who develops under AW can achieve. What message does this send to every young talent if AFC does this when AFC by its own admission can afford to keep its best. Repeat, AFC can afford what he is asking. Instead AFC devours its young once it actually threatens to finally fulfil the promise.

    Imo, there is an X-factor at work which repeats this pattern as you well know. And it vexes me greatly (to put it politely) when mouthpiece Gazidis FINALLY acknowledges – but a few weeks ago – that Arsene has the money. Ffs, when is the last time a player had a hat trick and AW had barely [thismuch to say in his praise? AW usually waxes when someone turns in that good a game winning MOTM performance. I think jbh is right to call it horlocks and to notice AW’s distance (with a touch of a cynic’s smile at it all). Imo, keeping Theo is well-placed ambition. For me, dumping Theo and bringing in Falcao is the only solace I can imagine; but then again, that would be splashing the cash, wouldn’t it – a big no-no amongst tribalists of a certain non-analytical stripe, if you catch my drift.

    Mandy, there is money to play with and Theo is deemed a euro too far. Fleeting words like at the end of my tether do cross by. I detest discount hamburger served up when affordable sirloin is in hand and appetites for something both nutritious and delicious have been whet.

  • avatar rupert cook

    @Mandy, selling our best players and reaping the financial rewards, isn’t that self-sustainability? I’m not sure paying Gazidis a nice fat bonus and a significant pay rise which I think makes him the highest paid football executive of a club who have won nothing with him around is so self-sustainable. This constant draining of our best players affects players as well as fans, the latter are wondering why watching Arsenal costs more than any other club in the land, and yet investment in the team is niggardly, the former are hungry for success and wonder when it’ll come.

    It’s all very well calling people plastics because they want to win trophies but isn’t that what a club the size of Arsenal are meant to be doing? We have a rich history because we have won trophies or would we rather swap that history for Stoke’s and have one League Cup to our name?

    I’m sure Wenger would rather win a trophy than forever finishing as also rans. Although a man of Wenger’s intelligence must surely see that the team is not good enough to win the league or CL.

    Arsenal are in a quandary, they don’t know whether to stick or twist.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Agree withthe fast that we have to stop the constant drain of our bestplayers, as now we can afford to. I know all the valid points on wage caps, putting theo on say 90gpw might lead to increases for other players but so be it, still cheaper than losing him for peanuts and going out and getting even a mid priced replacement….assuming that is actually what we do. Having said that, there are some very tasty wide playing contract rebels out there.
    But Ivan says we now have money, a youth policy supplemented by exciting experienced quality is what is needed…and in fairness, I thought this summer and players like Mert and Arteta alongside Ox have gone some way towards this.
    Falcao….I wish, but the likes of Ben Afra, Kiku or Lopez would be good starts!Cannot see us forking out £20m for the palace player.
    As for the quandry,Gazidis is stating very strongly that the days of patience arecoming to an end…they may surprise us, still, if I had my way, we would keep Theo….if we possibly can. 90-100g may not seem so much when new deals start coming in and a player Messi rates as dangerous reaches his peak years.

  • avatar Stuart

    Rupert,

    There are so many possibilities. Wenger could be acting under orders or he could be making these decisions, we could be churning out player after player and selling them on at such a rate because we are waiting for that lucky moment when it all clicks and we get a Scholes, Beckham, P & G Neville etc moment from our academy. All plausible explanations, the list is endless and what we are told should not be taken at face value as it is usually a diversion from the real truth. (This applies to every aspect of life so why not in football?)

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    very true Stuart – who knows what goes on for real. Stans record suggests he is not the worst, but nor is he maybe the most transparent, like a lot of owners these days.
    My own pet theory , for what its worth is that the board, worried over Usmanov offered Stan a few more sweetners to take over than they let on… – possible resulting in a degree…and only a degree of reduced spending potential over what was planned resulting from the move. Then there is our adhering to FFP – a genuine policy..or an excuse not to spend to much? Does Stan want a bit of a cash mountain behind the club , not especially to asset strip…but as a source of security? Do the board have more say than they make out on wages these days…and have we lost signings over that? Has Wenger been told to cut the overall wage bill – with hard to move on players delaying more fruitful investment? Maybe Wenger is more adept…possibly even more content than most operating in such an environment, is there the unity between him and the board over current spending that Ivan talks about…my guess, there may well be.

  • avatar bob

    Mandy Dodd,
    And when AW says today that the away fans should NOT boo RvP at Old Trafford, no why would that be? They travel that far and should then not express feelings on van Pursey? Perhaps because it would also indict the AFC policy that sold him; rather than say no (like Mancini said no to wantaway Tevez), and keep his goal-scoring machinery on our side (rather than give Don Fergus last season’s top two scorers)?!

  • avatar Shard

    hi bob

    I’m glad to see that you are ok despite the hurricane. Good to see you here..

    As regards your last post..AW has always said the same about his ex players. Whether they be Gallas or Flamini or Adebayor. I think you read too much into it. If I were at the game, i would give RVP all the hell I could. Regardless of what Wenger says

  • avatar bob

    Shard,
    Amen to your message! Good to cross paths with you.
    It’s been so tough here, but afloat.

  • avatar Shard

    bob,

    Not literally I hope :)

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    who knows Bob, and who knows what Wenger really thinks. Is he fully behind our transfer/wager policy, or is he a loyal employee doing his best but slightly miffed that he is not allowed to use his full resources and taking the blame for board restrictions rather than his own. Are we responsible/ sustainable, or do we take it too far to our detrement?
    An interesting read on A Cultured Left Foot today on this very topic…pure speculation of course, but still ..interesting…

  • avatar bob

    Mandy Dodd,
    Parish, the co-owner of Crystal Palace (who controls Wilfrid Zaha, the newest next greatest player on earth they say) has just said this about TV rights: “All the teams have got to understand that you get £60m in TV money if you get into the Premier League.” If he is right, then that plus the CL qualification (supposedly worth 25M Euro), plus the real estate sale this year and the zero transfer balance via unloading Song and RvP, etc., means that money is no object. As well as Gazidis basically saying so. So, no more obstacles, unless people are so keen on defending parsimony because it makes them feel on the side of the angels. Imo, not to spend and meet our needs and to gamble on the absurdity known as injury-free competition is not simply a matter of being foolish. There is policy at work, whatever it is. And that policy is defeating the purchase of quality insurance at many positions, as well as springing for like-for-like talent (when we [allegedly] can’t say no to the wantaway rebels) when we chronically give up our best – and fan favorites. As long as tribal instinct defends this pattern we who love this team too much to boo them are left to gnash our teeth, hope we get more from less, and being played for our sincere loyalties. Mandy, I hate to see it this way and feel that the current standoff – getting Theo to settle for less (unless both sides, with AW a possible 3rd side) or dumping him for a mega deal to feather the nests of our management betters – is to do real damage to our attainable championship prospects on the pitch and turn the heralded self-sustaining model into a cash cow that perhaps will turn into a record-beating mega-sale. I don’t predict this, but that it is at all thinkable does sadden me.

  • avatar bob

    sorry, CL qualification has been said to be worth 35M (euro, I thin), not 25M (as I incorrectly understated above).

  • avatar bob

    Mandy Dodd,
    The Nov. 1st Cultured Left Foot piece you recommend is very good, and that writer (Yogi) does love AFC. For anyone interested, here’s the gist of that analysis:

    “It is one thing for the club to be unable to buy the very best players on the market but quite another to be unable to retain the best players, as this opens us up a whole new front of vulnerability to the activities of predator competitors.

    If the club is now unable to retain its key players – and the loss of those key players cannot be explained by Spanish DNA or exceptional Dutch greed – then the lack of will power or perception of our financial weakness by others, could conceivably threaten the longer term security of the club.

    Many of us, with good reason, refuse to welcome the long-term risks inherent in getting into bed with a Sheik or Oligarch in favour of short-term glory. Equally, if Stan’s rigid position is such that we are now too nervous to freely sign players on longer-term contracts, then that is as risky to our interests as anything else.”

    I think he’s right, and that devotees of blind tribalism would pooh-pooh this at our collective (fans) peril.

  • avatar rupert cook

    @Stuart, I agree there are so many imponderables. We, as fans, can only guess at what goes on behind the scenes. Gazidis though has come out and said that Wenger has 35 million to spend, which isn’t much in comparison to some clubs, but surely enough to bolster the club sufficiently to ensure the Holy Grail of fourth place. I never trust businessmen like Kroenke, after all they’re businessmen first, supporters second, and exactly when did Kroenke become an Arsenal fan? I’ve heard his teams in the US are hardly models of success.

    The amusing thing, and frustrating too, is that Arsenal’s biggest shareholders together dwarf Abramovich’s wealth and if they decided to spend like he does we’d blow Chelsea out of the water. And if Usmanov was a true supporter why doesn’t he just give 100 million to the club to spend on players? He says he wants us to be winners.

    And there’s that taboo word “winners”, at least for some fans. I maintain that a trophy, even of the lowly stature of the League Cup (whatever it’s called this week) will give the players some self-belief which I think we’ve sorely lacked in recent years, and the fans a great day out. We’ve got a chance as only the mighty Chelsea are a real threat (conveniently forgets what happened in the 2011 final). It all depends whether Wenger wants to take it seriously.

    Success breeds success. In my view failure has been rewarded at Arsenal by paying huge wages to mediocre players and if failure continues to be rewarded then success will not be forthcoming.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    I would certainly take the league cup for starters Rupert, might get a few off our backs….as long as we get in the top 4 at least as well.
    Completely agree Bob, we should not now be letting fiscal over-caution ruin our future.The signs this summer were good, what happens when we lose Theo remains to be seen….but the whole Song issue worried me. Ivan has talked of Wenger keeping powder dry…..are we saving up for a rainy day,is there a fear of spending…is this cash marked for a new manager…or are we just missing the point and worrying about nothing? That article does make you think though.
    We just do not know…fertile breeding ground for supporter civil war. We may get a clue in whether Wenger signs a new contract or not…and if he does not, who we get in and what Wenger does nest…should he leave.

  • avatar Stuart

    Rupert Cook
    Yes, £35 Million is peanuts really considering when he has that to spend that means it also has to cover a players wages for the duration of their contract as Arsenal never make a commitment they cannot cover (stadium excepted of course). Of course, that is if £35 Million is there.

  • avatar bob

    Stuart,
    The payments are annualized, as we know. So the duration of a contract is not a one time calculation, but spread over the duration of the contract. I’m saying the obvious here, but unless I read you wrong (which is highly possible, and I’m not clear on your exact meaning) you seem to be deducting the entirety of a player’s contract from a single year’s budget. Anyway, please clarify for me. Cheers :)

  • avatar bob

    Mandy Dodd,
    Is it fiscal over-caution or is that smoke behind which a cash register goes kerching? I’d like it to be the former, but I suspect the latter, and I don’t feel that serves us on the pitch.