Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

To Arsene Wenger: Five actions needed to get Arsenal back on track

By 1970’s Gooner

1. Buy at least a high class goal scorer.

It is increasingly obvious that we lack the player who will stick the ball in the back of the net. We create enough chances as was evident in many of our games this season.

Giroud may become that player but I doubt it. And even if he does we will need another striker to share the load. We are in real danger of not making the top four this season and action is needed now.

You also need higher than average understudies in the goalkeeper, left back and centre back positions.

2. Get Walcott to sign a new contract.

He is much more important to the team than you may think. He gives it drive and speed. Without him the team is slow and predictable.

Please note that with Walcott in the starting line up Arsenal have won many more than they lost. Give him the money he wants and promise him that he will be tried in the forward position.

3. Play Rosicky in the starting eleven now he is fit.

He is as vital as Walcott is and for the same reasons. Rosicky does two things that the other midfielders do not do.

He turns with the ball and goes forward straight at the opposition rather than passing it sideways. This gives the whole team an attacking and penetrating thrust and quickens the game for Arsenal thus unsettling the opposition midfielders and defenders who have much less time to regroup and keep their lines.

He also is a tenacious player who hunts the ball down and defends as well as attacking.

4. Get rid of the dead wood that you have created

Getting rid of inadequate players means you have to accept that uncharacteristically you recently made some mistakes in the transfer market, but we all make mistakes. The biggest mistake one can make is to refuse to accept it and not learn from it.

By letting these players go you will be releasing the resources (from saving their salaries plus the transfer fees that may be collected) to bring the much needed reinforcements.

Fabianski: He will not make it at Arsenal. Sell him or let him go on a free. Use the money raised to bring in an experienced goalkeeper who will challenge Szczeny.

Santos: This was a 6 million signing. He is not a left back. He is more a left sided midfielder. Get in a new left back who can challenge Gibbs. Alternatively get in another high quality centre back which will then allow Vermaelen to deputise for Gibbs when needed.

Djourou: His time is nearing the end at Arsenal. He is not a premiership centre back.

Squillaci. This was a 5 million signing! Get him out and save his wages at least.

Arshavin: His time is up at Arsenal. He was sensational when he first arrived. He is not up to it now. He is on a huge salary near to the amount of money Walcott is demanding (90,000 a week). Get rid of him and use the money for Walcott’s new contract.

Gervinho: This was an 11 million signing. The guy tries but he fails to reach Premier league standards. He can’t score from 2 yards! His control is letting him down and he can’t defend when needed.

Chamakh: He is on 60,000 a week! But he can’t control or pass straight. Please get him out.

Ju Young: he is a 5 million buy!!!!!! He is out on loan in Spain at the moment but apparently Arsenal have written off this investment in the accounts! He is unlikely to play for Arsenal. WHY DID WE BUY HIM ARSENE?

5. Do not resign

Friday, December 07, 2012

Arsenal’s football model bound for failure?

By 1970’s Gooner

What is failure really?

The ascertainment of failure can only be made when the comparison is made of the performance achieved against the ‘required’ level.

Is failing to win a major title for seven years considered as a failure? Is it enough to sack the coach for example?

The decision on whether Arsenal are failing is, these days, made when comparisons are made against those teams that have finished higher than Arsenal (or won titles). It also has to do with what the supporters’ expectations are.

I remember when Arsenal went 17 years without winning anything until 1970 when the then Fairs Cup (now called Europa League) was added to Arsenal’s trophy board. We didn’t complain much before because our expectations were influenced by those barren years and hence anything won was a real bonus.

The opposite is happening these days. Wenger walked into Arsenal all those years ago and started winning one title after another. The fans expectations were raised to another level. And anything less than that has been and is considered as a failure.

Then however two significant changes occurred which altered the balance of power in the Premier League and made Arsenal take a back seat in the race for titles and glory.

Firstly Roman Abramovic and his roubles changed the rules of the game. It no longer was and is enough to rely on your own generated funds along with the genius of your coach to win titles. Money talks and this trend has now been accentuated with the new owners of Manchester City and is also taking place outside England with the investment in PSG in France.

Manchester United have been relatively less affected by this as they can generate funds from revenues earned world wide as they cash in on their global brand name. Something which no other club in England can emulate.

The second change that has occurred almost at the same time with the inflow of the oligarchs is the strain on Arsenal’s finances placed by the borrowings needed to facilitate the move to the new stadium, The Emirates.

This has starved Wenger of the funds to invest in the team and is the major reason why the football model adopted at Arsenal switched with significant emphasis placed on youth development, astute buys in the transfer market and becoming a selling club in order to fund the instalments for the stadium loans.

The result is that Arsenal has not won anything during this period. Are you really surprised? I am not.

In fact it is a major, major achievement that Asrenal Football Club finished in the top 4 every season, so far….

If Arsene Wenger were to leave the club then the financial and football model he will leave behind will collapse. This is because it is his managerial, coaching and astute buys in the transfer market that can make this model workable. No other manager could make this model work.

Will financial fair play rules change all that?  No not really. The only thing that can change favourably is Arsenal’s finances through better deals with sponsors and more revenues from the football league.

Then anything that Arsenal can make over the 20m that is needed to pay the annual payment to the bond holders can go towards the transfer fund. The bond issue was in 2006 and is for a 25 year period!

Note on Arsenal’s debt

Interest on the £260 million debt was set at a commercial fixed rate over a 14-year period.To refinance the cost, the club planned to convert the money into a 30-year bond financed by banks.The proposed bond issue went ahead on 13 July 2006. Arsenal issued £210 million worth of 13.5-year bonds with a spread of 52 basis points over government bonds and £50 million of 7.1-year bonds with a spread of 22 basis points over LIBOR. It was the first publicly marketed, asset-backed bond issue by a European football club.The effective interest rate on these bonds is 5.14% and 5.97%, respectively, and are due to be paid back over a 25-year period; the move to bonds has reduced the club's annual debt service cost to approximately £20 million a year (from Wikipedia).