Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wenger will splash the cash next season but not for the reasons you think

By 1970's Gooner

Wenger's reluctance to buy big in the last windows has come back to haunt him and us of course. Maybe he thought that with the addition of Cech it would prove enough to win the League. He was deluded of course.

But imo the major reason he did not buy was a financial one. And the major reason he will splash the cash next season big time will be for financial reasons again.

Let me explain.

The major reason he did not buy big this season is because Arsenal's profit and loss is at break even point. This means that all the revenue that the stadium earns (about 3m per game, the biggest of all stadiums in England) and all the revenue that commercial and other sales bring in just about cover the players wages and all the other expenses.

In fact Arsenal's revenues are quite high up the European League (around seventh). But for all that revenue NO PROFITS (or losses) are made. This is because no profits were made from the sale of players as was happening in previous years. as we all know. And this is because Wenger no longer sells star players. He has been buying them instead which bloats the wages bill and eats away at the revenue earned.

But this season, with the wages bill so high and no profits made, Wenger could not add any major stars on the wages bill as the club would have started making losses. Especially when there is a lot of dead wood around earning quite high wages whilst not playing. And losses are anathema to the shareholders like Stan Kroenke who are not in it to win trophies necessarily but to make profits.

Next season however the situation will change and Wenger will splash the cash.

One reason as explained above is that a substantial amount of wages will be saved from not renewing Rosicky's , Arteta's and Flamini's contracts.

The other reason is that next season there will be an even more competitive scramble for the top 4 places. This is of course because Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea as well as Spurs and West Ham will get stronger. Simply standing still may mean you go backwards.

But another equally significant reason is that if Arsenal is to make significant profits (and satisfy the shareholders) it has to substantially increase commercial, rather than stadium revenues which are anyway at their maximum. This is what the top German teams are doing and the Manchester clubs are achieving which are all quite above Arsenal when their commercial revenues are compared (some are twice as much as Arsenal's).

But in order to increase commercial revenues Arsenal have to become successful on the pitch. They have to win trophies both domestically but more so in Europe so as to tap in to the huge world wide commercial market that is there to be exploited.

Wenger and Arsenal can no longer buy enough quality players just to finish in the CL places. With the finances being at near break even point that is just not enough. It will also not be enough with the increased revenue teams will be getting next season from the sale of the Premier League rights.

Arsenal will get about 45m a year plus another 10m that will be saved from the release of Flamini, Arteta and Rosicky. But out of that a lot will have to be paid out for increases in players salaries (eg Ozil's and Sanchez's, if they agree to renew and for others) as well for the salaries of any new signings.

And more importantly the shareholders will be demanding that the club shows a profit. They are not in it to break even every year are they? The 3m paid out to Kroenke's company every year for services rendered without  going to tender may indeed be a way of appeasing him for the lack of significant profits and dividends.

The more profitable but of course more risky solution is for Arsenal to buy enough big players, win the Premier League and compete at the top of Europe. Only then will Arsenal upgrade its international profile, boost commercial revenues and make the business model profitable earning a high enough return on the shareholders' initial investment.

In other words taking into account Arsenal's cost base structure it will pay to think and act big. 

And this is why the Arsenal Board will be pushing and have been pushing Wenger to spend big next season.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Gilberto Silva back at Arsenal?

By 1970's Gooner

The Greek sports press is reporting that Gilberto Silva is considering two offers for his return to Europe.  Both offers are for a management post.

His former club in Greece, Panathinaikos, has put in a firm offer for Gilberto to take up the post of Technical Director. Five years after he left Greece he is still very well liked among both the management of Panathinaikos as well as the fans having played for them for a number of years after departing Arsenal.  

The press is however reporting that Arsenal are also considering making a move to bring him back to the Emirates in a management capacity.

Gilberto is currently considering his options. Apparently he has to consider his family having previously spent a combined nine years away from Brazil.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

I don't sleep when I score but Ramsey's absence unbalances the team

By 1970's Gooner

Maybe Wenger should have a good look at himself. One of the worst things in life is not when we make mistakes but when we repeat them.

And Wenger certainly did repeat the same mistake he made when he summoned Theo Walcott to come on as a sub in the League Cup against Sheffield Wed. I was watching that game and I when I saw Theo getting stripped to come on it was obvious to me that he had not warmed up.

From my own experiences when playing football lack of a proper warm up was a very dangerous way to go. I was worried for Theo and then of course a few minutes later he was off, out for a couple of months or so.

Funnily enough I had the same thoughts when I saw Ramsey getting stripped to come on against Hull. It was obvious he had not had a proper warm up. And of course he was subed 16 minutes later.

His absence is much more important than you think.

This is because his contribution in central midfield had began to waver recently especially in the crunch games where Arsenal had to keep it tight and be resilient. This was especially true against Man Utd and even Swansea, games which we lost.

Wenger then made a tactical switch for the game against Spurs by deploying Ramsey on the right side of midfield just as he had deployed him when Cazorla was fit and playing.

This move had two beneficial outcomes for the tactical set up of the team.

Firstly Ramsey's position in central midfield was taken by a more defensively minded midfielder in Elneny (who greatly impressed). Playing Elneny and Coquelin together at Spurs was stunningly effective blunting their forwards and attacking midfielders and provided the platform to control the game. Where it not for the red card, Arsenal would have run out winners and back in the title race, big time.

It was not a surprise therefore that Wenger chose to play the same formation in central midfield at Hull by choosing Elneny and Flamini to start. This imo means that this is the way Wenger will go for the rest of the remaining games and so it should be. And this is why I have still hope that we will go undefeated for the rest of the season.

Secondly Ramsey's contribution from the wide midfield position proved very beneficial against Spurs. This is because he usually dropped into the midfield areas to help the more central players in keeping possession and also provided a goal threat, something which he is very capable of doing as we were so delighted to see.

This impact now will be sadly missed for the next few weeks at least (the prognosis is still not out yet). If Cazorla was fit he could have taken over duties in this position but he is not back yet till the 2nd of April.

So Wenger will now have to choose who to play in the wide right midfield position. It will be one of Welbeck, Campbell and Walcott. He could of course play Giroud at centre forward and Welbeck on the right which I would prefer.

Whatever he chooses to do it seems that we have missed a great chance to deploy a formation which would have given the team the perfect balance between attack, midfield dominance and defensive protection.

I am glad Sanchez cannot sleep when he doesn't score. It means that he is deeply troubled when he is not helping the team win games.

For my part when I score I don't sleep at all.....if you see what I mean. But Ramsey's absence does unbalance the team which may keep me awake.