Arsenal Debate: Can a team balance the books AND win a trophy?

Do Arsenal Care About Winning Trophies Or Are They Happy Being A Successfully Run Company?

Arsenal are rare amongst Premier League clubs, or indeed, most clubs at the top of world football, in being able to turn a profit every year. The North London club recently announced a £23.6 million operating profit for 2011-2012, with chief executive Ivan Gazidis pointing to their plans to stay in line with UEFA Financial Fair Play Rules for the next few years. In this way, while Arsenal have spent more on player wages than previous years, the club are targeting a sustainable model that depends on exploiting property on Queensland Road, and regularly qualifying for the Champions League. However, and while achieving a more stable financial footing than rivals Man City, Man Utd, and Chelsea, does this success offset the fact that Arsenal haven’t won a trophy since 2005?

Benefits

On the one hand, Arsene Wenger has managed to get a lot out of a squad that regularly lacks the depth found in other clubs. An investment in youth, and some canny transfers from overseas, have ensured that Arsenal have been able to maintain an attractive brand of football that has kept them in the top four. Fifteen years in the Champions League is nothing to be sniffed at, and this season Wenger has relaxed his usual conservatism in the transfer market to acquire Lukas Podolski, Oliver Giroud, and Santi Cazorla. These signings promise to boost the youthful potential of players like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere.

In terms of year to year performance, Arsenal can point to their regular Champions League qualification, and ability to overcome rivals like Chelsea and Spurs to secure a place in the elite of the Premier League. However, that success has seen the sale of top players like Fabregas, Nasri, Clichy, Song and Van Persie to rivals over the past few years. Will Arsenal’s success, then, continue to depend on selling their best players?

A Selling Club?

Arsenal fans are certainly right to be wary of a financial model that means that world class players are regularly tempted away from the Emirates to Manchester City. While Wenger can explain the sale of Van Persie as good business considering the player’s age and injury history, any short term success in the league or Europe could lead to further exists next year. The challenge, then, is for Arsenal to reward player loyalty with trophies, an approach that only worked for so long for players like Fabregas and Van Persie. There’s also been criticism that Arsenal’s reliance on youth backfired in a thin squad last year, and one that has been substantially strengthened in the past few months.

Future Prospects

For all of these problems, Arsenal are not in a bad position, but may have to be realistic and patient. If rivals are affected by the Financial Fair Play Rules, and forced to break up squads or lower wages, than Arsenal stand to be more competitive. At present, Arsenal have made a slow start to the season while Man City and Man Utd occupy the top 2 spots and seem to be getting stronger each week, this is especially true for the latter who are now 15 points better off than the gunners. The stable financial model might also make it possible for Arsenal to offer better wages if they do win trophies, albeit with less potential to make the kind of raids on top clubs routinely practiced by City and Chelsea. Before any of this can happen, though, Arsenal actually need to win some trophies and with Arsene fielding such a strong starting eleven away at Bradford in the League Cup quarter-final it seemed this was a trophy he actually desired. However they went on to lose on penalties meaning their most realistic chance of winning a medal lies with the FA Cup, a trophy they last won in 2005. Perhaps this will be what it takes to convince fans that the squad and club has a winning mentality.

But can they keep selling players and still win a trophy?

Liam Ohm writes and football and finance. With an in depth knowledge of the football business he believes Arsenal are a model club in terms of finances. In his spare time he scouts for local clubs, reviews matches and travels the country.

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53 thoughts on “Arsenal Debate: Can a team balance the books AND win a trophy?

  1. mikegooner

    Only reason they can make a profit every year is because they have a manager who keeps pulling rabbits out of hats but it will all come to a end sooner or later. The whole idea of a self sustaining model is so that the owner doesnt have to invest a single dime in the club and sits back and collect.

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  2. gooner

    BREAKING NEWS- THATS THE REASON GOOD PLAYERS DO NOT JOIN

    Jan Vertonghen turned down a move to Arsenal after hearing that Arsene Wenger wanted to deploy him in midfield, the Tottenham player has revealed.

    ‘(Arsenal’s interest) was concrete, but they wanted me to be a controller in the midfield, an Emmanuel Petit-type,’ Vertonghen told Dutch website NUsport.
    ‘I’m not afraid of competition, but the overall picture of Spurs appealed to me more.’

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  3. Kemp hater

    finances is now the total focus of this club. Can anyone honestly say thats why they fell in love with the game and club

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  4. chunners

    Okay one question, would we have made these profits without the sale of Fabregas, Clichy and Nasri (60m)? How is it profit making if you are selling your assets? You have to sell products too Mr. Economist, and that is winning trophies to build a larger fan base who would buy merchandise and help TV deals.
    Don’t know what they mean by a sustainable system if it means selling players to get the profit they brag about!

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  5. bashman

    at arsenal fans players and manager want trophies the people in charge who own the club want money

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  6. georgegooner

    If we hadn’t sold our best 5 players, in the last 2 years, we’d have won the league hands down. We’d have been able to spend the money spent on gervinho, santos, giroud, podolski, cazorla, arteta, park chu young and wasted wages on chamakh, we’d have been able to add to a class squad, the likes of hazard, gotze and cahil would have been able to be signed.

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  7. QiwjeHdjfkfl

    Yes but not the way arsenal are doing it

    Look at Dortmund, the secret is two have world class or top players and one back up for each position filling remaining slots with high potential, low earning academy players.

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  8. jon

    Apparently we have 50 to 70 mil to spend on players but the club chose not the spend any of that in the summer.
    My question is why did we not spend at least some of it last summer??
    Did Wenger have it available but he chose not to spend it?
    I just don’t understand the way our club is being run.
    What happens if we don’t finish in the top 4 this year? How will the club explain that we have all this money available to spend yet they choose not to spend it?
    Few weeks ago this is what Gazidis said in an interview (it was video interview on Arsenal.com)

    “We didn’t spend all of our money we have available. We kept some powder dry on purpose”

    Are you kidding me??

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  9. Kayboy

    Had it been wenger had been winning just carlin cups in the past 7 yrs, i would still be pleased with him. but problem with wenger is he doesnt know when problems arrives. probably he pretends not to see them.

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  10. Arsene or arsenal

    Im tired of this bull…we all know arsenal won’t invest in January except maybe Henry . Fact!! Stop living in a fantasy land.. We must protest!!! Please stop buying tickets and merchandise.. The board wants to make money they don’t care about trophies !! And yes wringer is part of the problem… That game against Bradford pissed me off.. Ramsey and Gervinho are crap anyone can see that but winger can’t . And he took off coq for chamakh when le coq was one of the best players in the moment!!!! With out protest there won’t be change….!!!

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  11. jon

    As much as I hate RVP for leaving, it’s hard to disagree why he did it. His reason was that Arsenal lack the ambition to compete with the best teams. Man u gave him 200 k/week, if Arsenal offered him the same salary he would have still left because we don’t have the ambition to compete for titles like Man u does.
    Last year when RVP played with Gervinho on the left and Ramsey on the right? Im sure that’s not what he would consider quality players that could take the team to win titles.
    At the same time Wenger is the one who plays these players.
    I think he is as much to blame as the board.

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  12. Gooner 1

    The UEFA rules is the best scapegoat for Gazidisse to make millions for the club and earn a big bonuses.They fool the fans by saying that the club need to abide by the eufa rules,this is bullshit.Wait and see ,THEY WILLNOT BUY ANY PLAYER,HE WILL BRING HENRY,HE IS NOT THE SAME PLAYER AS FIVE YEARS AGO.ARSEN DOES NOT KNOW ANYMORE WHO IS THE BEST .

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  13. Hafiz Rahman

    @ gooner

    guess the real reason is hes afraid of competition…with Per, Kos and Verm…chances of him playing week in and out as a CB are slim..he wants regular footy which is why Tottenham is a better choice..

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  14. Hafiz Rahman

    Yes it can be done…in 2007 and 2008 Hleb Flamini ade and etc..almost did it…

    in 2009 and 2010 as well…came close but lack the fire power…

    keep the current team except for Ramsay…add one or two more players…next season onwards…they get stronger….

    the current squad is obviously new..in midfield and attack everyone do not know each other well….

    the defence do not know the midfield and attacking players well tooo…

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  15. mikegooner

    Looks like Wenger gonna be thrown under the bus again. You have to really look at what Gazidis says about transfers. There will be a substantial amount given to the manager in Jan. Followed by but the money has to be spent wisely (so pretty much you cant buy top players only cheaper players) followed by if players are only available….

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  16. Hafiz Rahman

    @ mikegooner

    if the ceo or board doesnt approve the money or spending, the manager cant do much…..

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  17. Foolishgooner

    How did we get to this debacle? Board and management shifted focus from the team improvements. Forfeited results and trophies for money! Lower expect ions, selling best players and replacing them with inferior players. Mistakes, injuries, bad luck created more pressure. Instead of stoping the bleeding (whomever is in charge) sat and prayed for Diaby to stay on the pitch, Jack to come back and Squillachi to contribute! 1 out three (Jack is back)not bad if you have a fall back plan or had less pressure because you had it right recently (won a trophy). No, they inexplicably continued selling but not properly replacing… Now every little mistake is one more closer to middle grave. Disorienting, disappointing, ill prepared squad is what we have.. Collection of national team stars but not true game changers besides Theo. Wait he is also leaving us, I thought he was part of the young English core! It is a mess on and off the pitch. Bradford’s goal was unmarked, where I’d the leadership? None

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  18. JESUS CALDERON

    THE TRUTH IS NOTHIMG IS GOING TO CHANGE AT ARSENAL FC WE (THE FANS) WE MOAN AND CRY ALOT ON THE NET BUT NO ACTIONS…

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  19. Gary

    WE ARE NOT BALANCING THE BOOKS. We are making a huge profit. A club which balanced the books would be reinvesting transfer money from player sales and would have an end of year balance sheet showing regular small profits. We are hoardin money and making huge profit for no reason.

    We are not balancing the books, we are doing the opposite of CITY and we are keeping too much money so the board can get rich while their puppet Arsene Wenger continues to make excuses for poor performance.

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  20. Hafiz Rahman

    The whole Arsenal team should be investigated for match fixing…

    something is really wrong….

    Cash is king…money rules…Considering the odds if the lost the games….they are probably laughing all the way to the bank…

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  21. Al Bundy Weed

    I guarantee you that Mr Wenger will win the trophy soon,And As a Gunners fan who i loves gunners more than my aircraft wife house car more than anything
    I think mr wenger is right 100% when he says top four are better than the captal cup and fa cup
    if you look at when Losserpool when they won the Capital Cup
    last year not worth a shit,It’s the Champions League that everyone wants,And I know mr wenger will take Champions League home soonm
    Last year Robin van p + + + missed an open goal from 2 meters against milan f++k c++t the worst was the goalkeeper Abbiati low to the ground,Therefore I know that we had beaten barcelona ​​because we beat chelsea their home ,last year we were much stronger than chelsea and chelsea beat barca,
    though I have said now for almost 7 years the team that knocks out Barcelona in the champions league winner champions league
    This year we have a chance to knock them out
    Arsene we trust
    gunners 4 life

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  22. Hafiz Rahman

    @ Al Bundy Weed

    there are some truths in what you are saying…

    but as long as Ram dont play and Ger as a sub…things will be brighter….

    but Arsenal still need 100% committment from every player on the pitch…

    the way they are playing its as if the end of the world is coming…

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  23. Hafiz Rahman

    Biringham won the league cup but where are they now?

    Chelsea and Liverpool both won the champ league but finish 5th that season….

    Jinx maybe??

    LOL

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  24. Briano

    Wenger has done magic over the last few years to get us in the CL while other teams were spending money.He can only do that for so long.Now it has caught up with him.Maybe its his fault,maybe its not.But he can only do so much.Now he needs to spend.I know we get pissed off and some people want him out and I can see where their coming from.But now that we know that we need to spend I think we should leave him see out his contract as long as he spends to improve the team and see what he can do!!!Gunner 4life!!!

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  25. WC

    I suppose it depends on what you mean by “balance the books”. If you mean make nothing but profit and never in debt then it seems highly unlikely but that scenario is almost impossible. Even blue chip Fortune 500 companies have some debt running – business is just conducted on credit more often than not because you just don’t have millions in liquid form because that would just be ridiculous.

    This statement is probably going to be controversial and many people won’t like it but Man Utd can balance their books and keep on winning. Yes they have a 400M+ debt due to the Glazer takeover but they make absurd turnover every year and have been paying off the interest with ease along with some of the debt bit by bit. They realize that they are in no danger of going bankrupt because they built a huge global brand name so they’re not in a rush to pay off the debt and sacrifice their ability to compete on the pitch. They would rather take a long time to pay off the debt and keep winning. They know they will pay it off at some point so they are not worried.

    Additionally Fergie has been somewhat tied as he hasn’t been as active in the market as he used to be but when he spends, he spends big and spend for positions he knows needs world class quality. His record speaks for itself and he is still able to mix in academy players like Welbeck and Cleverley.

    Fergie also changes his assistant every few years and hires very hands-on assistants who can share the managing load. He recognizes that complacency is a curse so having a new voice every so often is needed to keep him grounded.

    Wenger is a control freak and it’s his way or no way and when that doesn’t work Arsenal are in it deep because Arsene will not allow another voice to oppose him.

    In short, yes it’s possible to balance the books and win but not with Arsene.

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  26. jibber

    someone talked about Dortmund model up here but i would like to clarify 1 thing. That model is impossible in the current system of english football. As much as Arsenal has been churning out several young talents, many of these r bought over from other clubs right before ripe. The only 2 players completely from arsenal is gibbs and wilshere right now.
    the reason for that is because we don’t have a B team competitive structure like Germany or spain, where it allows he reserve to compete just like another club.
    The competition that structure creates gives younger players and out of form players to get constant matches against other teams, play with other players in the 1st team in the mix, and most importantly, develop to the point where they could take a spot in the 1st team.

    english football is relying heavily on loans, and the result is that match fitness in 1 club doesn’t translate back as often because of a lack of understanding with other existing players.

    People should understand that good football isn’t just about 11 very good players playing together on the pitch. There has to be a coherent play style, and more importantly, teamwork between players.

    As much as we say that there is a LOT of deadwood in arsenal, most of these are due to a lack of match practice.

    players like Santos, chamakh, although not good on the pitch for arsenal, doesn’t necessarily mean they would fail all over the world.

    same goes for players coming in. Podolski played well in his favorite role in Koln, but now as a LW he isn’t doing much. It’s not because he’s bad/lazy, it’s because he’s not a player that fits the role.

    Girvinho is, if anything a winger. Although he really is all over the place and often confuse our own side on the pitch, he really isn’t that bad of a player. Heck he did pretty well at France before coming. And he was playing as a striker! The problem again is players on the pitch not playing the same game.

    Look at Barcelona, the reason Barca is so strong now isn’t just because of messi, xavi, iniesta. put those players into liverpool, mancity, manu, the more direct clubs. U’ll definitely get a much different result.
    The recently acquired Kagawa in Manu tells u alot. He isn’t playing bad football even at manu, but u can’t expect 1 player to switch the other 10’s mentality completely.
    There is a difference between class of players, and the play style.

    The self sustaining model isn’t impossible in English football, but if it had to be done, spending a bit more $ to guarantee that the player being bought has more than a few qualities would make things easier to start with.

    Selling Van persie, Cesc, etc isn’t a problem, as long as there is a replacement. Even inexperienced, if playing the right style, it will click with the team.

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  27. Blind Love

    We can see past the illusions now. Arsenal is about making money. We’re always waiting for players to reach their full potential so they can take the club places, but when they do they are sold off for the profits.

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  28. Hafiz Rahman

    @ Jibber

    totally agree…lacking of a Arsenal B playing in the championship slows down the development and progression…especially for Arsenal model…

    one problem is the players left before their replacement are ready…..

    for example RVP, if he stayed for another season at least, Giroud and Pod would have been much settled to Arsenal and its style…

    the same can be said for Fab and Nazri….Gervinho, Ram, Wilshere or even Arteta…are not even ready before they both left….they are all in their first season apart from injured Wilshere…

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  29. Marley magic

    Where waiting to earn and win a trophy and Ivan thinks its easier to just go out and buy one.
    Hurting Aussie gunner for life

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  30. Hafiz Rahman

    Arsenal currently the third best defensive record

    and

    2nd Highest number of clean sheet…

    but cant score goals….even with 5 forwards…

    something is very wrong….somethings fishy here

    they need to be investigated for ………..

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  31. AFCF

    Its not entirely wenger’fault.If players like fabregas,rvp,song,nasri,clichy,adebayor didnt leave,along with new player such as cazorla,arteta,podolski and giroud and the amazing JACK and with our defence more solid den before we could easier be the strongest in the EPL by far and perhaps we could have won it last year and top of the epl by now!Even barcelona will fear

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  32. S.H

    I’m currently on holidays, and it hasn’t been an enjoyable one. I’d rather still be at work but see my beloved gunners do better. As I said in an earliier post, our team is in a position where if we improve, the Board won’t spend, but we have to do terrible for them to consider buying to save that Champs League spot, which most fans agree has become more important than winning trophies.

    I know it sounds terrible, but sometimes I think we need to lose such games against Bradford to give the Board a wake up call that our team is not the same anymore. We are no longer competitive with the top 3. A draw or defeat to Reading this week would apply extra pressure. It’s sad to see that it has to take such extremities until someone does something about it. I’ve always learnt that prevention is the best measure to take against disease. The Board have allowed the malignant effect to spread throughout the squad, using the purchases of Giroud, Podolski and Cazorla as a bandaid solution. The disease of “disbelief” has woven itself in the marro of our player’s bones. You cannot blame the frustrations quality players in the squad have over mediocre ones. Cazorla looks like he tries to do too much because the belief isn’t there to trust others to do something right. Gervinho and Ramsey are easily our weakest players in terms of possession, Walcott too. This is where we are suffering as a team. Wenger has to get over his stubborness and look towards trying new things. I’ve always liked Wenger but of late he has made some frustrating decisions. The perfect example is why he keeps playing Ramsey when clearly the boy is just “damaged goods”. Podolski is a more reliable finisher and should be at CF rather than Gervinho. The Ivorian has more pace and should be on the left instead.

    Thierry Henry isn’t the answer to our problems. He’s more a 6 week hope and that’s it. Love to see the King back, but he is not a long term solution. We need strikers, a DM, another CAM, LB and another winger. That’s 4-5 players we need, but i’ll be happy if we get 3. Wenger stated that he has been very busy with calls from agents, scouts etc for the last few weeks. He also mentioned that the winter transfer negotiations start in December. So right now as we speak, hopefully some top quality players are in the making to join us. Wenger is usually quiet about such details, but the pressure is mounting quickly, so i highly believe we will spend in Jan. Why would Wenger make such comments and not buy? That will douse him with more fuel for the fire.

    Gazidis made apologies to the AST, even touching on the fact we shouldn’t be losing to teams like Bradford – That something will be done to fix the problems. Now that Wenger and Gazidis have publicly made it obvious that transfers will take place, it almost feels like this is the last straw for millions of fans for them to get it right. We await, but now no longer with patience…..

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  33. Hafiz Rahman

    @ AFCF

    Yeah agree

    Song Diaby

    carzola Fab Nazri

    RVP

    and with subs like Giroud, Pod, Arteta, Wilshere, Ox, Rosicky

    Formidable….!!!

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  34. Jego

    I came to realize, that Arsenal at the moment has got not 1 but several problems and they’re all fundamental. As fans, the only thing we can do – is not attend the matches, not buy merchandise… the only measure we can take.
    Guys, I’ve got a question: Kroenke owns 66.64% of shares, Usmanov owns 29.11%, then who owns the other 4.25%?

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  35. Hafiz Rahman

    @ S.H

    Agreed..

    good to have you back..too many sales agents, media bots and Fifa 2013 fans in here

    Genuine fans should have patience..Wenger is trying to sort out some signings…which he canot reveal till they are put pen to paper..this has to be done in order to prevent money bags from snatching his targets and players….

    Therefore signings have to be either very early or till the last minute dateline…

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  36. jibber

    @ Hafiz Rahman:
    yeah we do have a great defensive record this season, infact iirc probably the best in the last 4 years.
    We are no longer making silly defensive mistakes, but we’re not creating in the final 3rd. This all has to do with cazorla and wilshere help defend more than atk.

    The core of Arsenal is the midfield. If they can pass well, we’ll create chances. But without the wings to support and collect passes, we’re stuck with creating in the middle.
    This leads to us being absolutely predictable, as all opponents have to do is to close down cazorla and wilshere before they can do anything.

    In several games, cazorla tries to dart around between opponent defense but with very little success because opponents kno he’s 1 of 2 men they have to track. Since wilshere is often tied down with defensive duties, that leaves marking for opposition very easy.

    It’s also no surprise podolski would play almost like a left back to hopefully connect from the left. But his individual skills don’t match what is required, really better off as a striker.
    walcott is the closest we have as a winger, but 1) he doesn’t like to play as a winger 2)he is definitely more lethal infront of goal than all other players. 3) his style is ultimately a pass and run, more than a pass and 1 2 dribble. I used to not think he can play as a lone striker, but given his off and on the ball movement has been much better, i think he deserves a chance.

    Other options on the wing such as the Ox Ramsey Gnabry are better off as super subs right now. OX and Gnabry is still too young, lacking a little experience. Ramsey is actually not bad but just doesn’t fit in Arsenal’s style as well as we thought he should. He’s also a box to box type of player, and not so much a winger. And since we have a better one in Wilshere, it’s no wonder Ramsey looks bad when playing.
    And then we also hav Girvinho who i just can’t wrap my head around. His passing is sloppy, and his dribbling are as confusing as a mouse in the maze. It even looks confusing to his teammates i believe, which is y he often runs into other teammates.I don’t know how he can fit into Arsenal’s plan, but striker is definitely not the option.
    In the current scheme of things, the 2 most important positions we need to reinforce are the wings and the defensive mid.Even the left back position is better covered with vermaelen.

    once we do have DM who could boss the midfield, it frees arteta and wilshere and would allow more offensive support. Couple that with wingers who plays a pass and dribble kind of game, then our midfield will no longer look like 3 stuck in the mud. the extra 4th or 5th man on the wings will give the opposition much more problems and we’ll actually have a proper 3 pronged atk.
    If you’re having problems visualizing this, think 2 years ago when we have nasri, fabregas, wilshere, walcott, van persie as the 5 attacking. Most importantly the connection between nasri Fabregas and Van Persie who plays LW CAM and pseudo false 9 respectively.
    if the same roles were fit by cazorla, arteta, and giroud respectively, it will at least be 60-70% of that combo’s power. but to truly make this work, we’ll need a better striker and CAM. Maybe Rosicky can fill in but i doubt.

    so whatever we do January, as long as we have a proper DM and winger bought, then there’s a possibility.

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  37. Hafiz Rahman

    @ jibber

    i agreee.. i wonder why Wenger doesnt want to play Coquelin…he plays well..with consecutive and more games he will be like Jenkinson..keep improving and get better….

    Loaning Essien would be ideal…he has the aggressiion physical and experience

    but what a pity..was hijacked by Mourinho…

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  38. Hafiz Rahman

    Arsenal do not have many right wingers

    Gervinho better on left…the same can be said to Gnabry, Ryo

    probably Campebell..he plays right and cf too..scoring sick long range goals….

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  39. ERG

    We have some really average players in our squad to many and its as simple as that you cant win trophys with average players.
    No manager in the world could turn this current side into a top side.
    Football is a business has bin for years now!
    Everything about the club is brilliant apart from the the most important cog in the wheel the team!!
    Iv said before fill the the starting 11 with world class players the bench with kids who learn from the best.
    The wage structure kills us aswell even if we agreed a 35 million transfer fee we couldant be able to afford the wages off who ever we buy.
    LLorente prime example free transfer next season we wont compete with the wages offerd by other clubs even tho we dont have to spend a penny on him.

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  40. Hafiz Rahman

    @ ERG

    Agreed but every club has a wage structure apart from the oil barons backed clubs…like chelsea and city…

    Man Utd has enormous Merchandising to back up…extremely huge fan base in Asia….

    There are only 3 clubs in England ahead than Arsenal in terms of financial… 8-10 in Europe

    Barca
    Real
    RVP UTD

    These 3 are finance through Enormous fan base in Asia, South America etc..

    City
    Chelsea
    PSG
    Anzhi
    Zenit

    Funded by Oil Barons….

    even clubs like Milan Inter Juventus arent that rich anymore..they are not spending big like they use to be….

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  41. jon

    I really want to know if the club doesn’t give Wenger funds or if they do and Wenger doesn’t spend it?

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  42. Banga11

    You have a loyal fan base. A scapegoat in Wegner. You’re making good money while being competitive. As a business man why make any drastic changes that will hurt your pocket. Hence why we got the whole wage structure bs this summer. It’s a slow plan which will help the owners keep raking in their dough and slowly build a competitive team because they realize fans aren’t happy. If they really cared they would have kept RVP and spent some serious money this summer. Walcott has shown quality this year.. He should already be signed.

    Arsenal still has some lows to hit before we go back up. Get ready for a long ride… I see atleast 5+ years of no trophies under the current management’s plan.

    Think about it… Shed all the bad contracts. Then attempt to beat out big clubs for big name players. Maybe one world class star a year if we’re lucky. And we’re atleast 5-6 world class players away from being a competitive team.

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  43. Dan Parkin

    Of course we can, all we have to do is spend the money we get from selling players on new players that are around the same price!

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  44. Big Gun

    Winnging trophies and having marquee signings can only increase revenue. Imagine if Falcao had to join Arsenal or even Fellaini. Shirt sales would increase triple fold and so would our fan base. The board have made a bad mistake in that with our decline into mediocrity and selling all our best players, Arsenal are losing serious support and therefore less income. Marquee signings would not only generate more revenue on its own, we might actually win something – bringing in even more revenue. Imagine how much money United have made just from RvP merchandise alone. Look at them now in the league, 6 points ahead of City and RvP has had a lot to contribute towards that.

    Our club is run by a bunch of monkeys who think they have a good and effective long term plan, but in actual fact they are setting this club up for disaster. Their whole idea is based on FFP which to me is very naive. Do they really think a club as big and wealthy as Man City or Chelsea will fall away once these rules come into play? Why have they been spending so much with little regard to the FFP? Simply because they have a loop hole to get around it. I really have no idea what the board’s real intention is…because sooner or later selling players will be a difficult feat once Arsenal loses it elite status. We managed to sell a whole host of players in the last few years, because 1.) They came from the Invincibles era. 2.)They were good players. In two years time, if they continue in this vain, the only good players we will have to sell is Wilshere and the Ox. The rest will be too old. Who would want to buy someone like Ramsey for 24m from a team struggling mid table in Europa?

    Things have to change while they still can. January is absolutely crucial for the board to allocate at least 50m for 3 WORLD CLASS players. And Wenger for the love of all things good, buy some decent players. No frenchmen this time please and at least two of them must have BPL experience.

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  45. Johnno

    The people in charge are greedy f*cking idiots. Arsenal are being murdered from the inside.

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  46. Kjacko

    Dortmund are already making a profit, Winning the leauge and look like the strongest team in the Champs league so far.

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  47. WC

    @Kjacko

    Dortmund did magnificently to win back to back titles and not lose to Bayern any at all during those two season but as Bayern shows, if you’re in a rut and spend big money on quality players you’re back in the game. They’re reasonably comfortable on top of the Bundesliga, Dortmund is a good 11 points back on third. Bayern spend a good 40M on players in the summer and they pay their players very well which is why they can keep the likes of Schweini and Ribery at the club despite interest from other big clubs.

    Moral of the story: if you’ve been losing, you have to spend money to make up the gap.

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  48. FG

    I wish all this nonsense about having £70Mil to spend in January would stop. Can you really see that happening!?

    Arsene has already come out and said that a player of £30Mil is not going to happen because it’s too expensive. How do you spend £70Mil without buying expensive players? Unless you expect 7 new players in jan there is nowhere near that much toggling to be spent. I expect 40Mil-Ish BUT that will include player wages (so 20 for transfer fee, 20 for wages) expect a disappointing 15Mil signing + Henry on loan for 6 weeks. If we are lucky some 5Mil player on top of that, but probably not and certainly no more. Enough to calm people down for a bit while we wait to see how youth/new players develop.

    After Jan If Gervinho is still a first team regular I will kill myself. If Walcott leaves I will kill myself. If he goes to Man-U/Liverpool I will Cry for a month- then kill myself.

    FG

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  49. ERGS

    @ Hafiz Rahman
    You have made some good points above your not completley pro Wenger or agaisnt which is good.
    My issue with some comments on here are people are way to anti Wenger.
    Your right overall we arnt miles off on the finacial scale but actually we miles behind 6 clubs!
    Our wage structure is staggering to me!
    We’r putting all our hpoe onthe wages off the biger clubs beng cut by FFP which is a good thingbut im still strugging to see how it can be enforced.
    I dont expect us to go on a spending splurge at all the usuall £5-£15 million pound players. from 50k-100k a week wages.

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