Friday 12 August 2011

Is AW taking the Michael? Yes

I am sure many of you listening or reading about the AW press conference that happened at 9am today will be very frustrated and angry. Personally I am still anxious about the state our squad is in, but the press conference was quite clearly used to give absolutely nothing away to the media. AW's smiling and laughing gave the game away today, he was quite determined not to give the media any ammunition at all and this is precisely what he did.

Why do I say this? Take the centre back situation, Arsene has spoken of our need for a tall commanding PL ready stopper and is in the market for one, as our bid for Jagielka confirms. Therefore his recent comments about not needing a centre back and the squad being big enough are not the honest truth, they are designed to keep his cards close to his chest and keep his bargaining position strong.

At the press conference today he talked of no one leaving the club this month, he talked of the squad being big enough, he talked of Cesc and Nasri being professional and gave absolutely nothing away. This is AW poker, he will say one thing but clearly this is not what he thinks. His comments on from yesterday make this very clear. He spoke of the Cesc situation being sorted out quickly and the Nasri situation being ongoing:

"Ideally you want it sorted out before the season starts"

Arsene has made it obvious that Cesc and Nasri are both in the process of leaving the club, it would be utterly foolish of him to comment further on these deals at a press conference before they are done and dusted. I am amazed that some people out there expect him to do otherwise, it is utterly naive of them in my opinion.

I am not defending Arsene's transfer strategy by the way, leaving all this until the last minute has been a bit of disaster for us. However it is utterly naive of people to think that he is going to talk openly about transfer deals that have not yet been completed, Arsene has never done this and never will. He is playing his typical game of transfer poker and taking the Michael out of the media in the process, I would not be surprised by this if I were you.

Arsene knows we need reinforcements and that certain players need shipping out, he is quite clearly working on the case. He has some big decisions to make though as now is not the time for penny pinching, he must go out decisively into the market place or risk leaving us woefully short of strength for the season ahead. I hope he can do this, the problem is that there are so many people out there looking for any old excuse to vent their vitriolic spleens at AW and this is making his job harder than it should be.


Rich said...

Cesc has wanted to leave for two years and now Arsene talks about wanting to sort this out quickly!

Its a joke and frankly a sad indictment on how the club is being run.

1979gooner said...


Utter nonsense mate.

Arsenal cannot be blamed at all for the Cesc saga, this has been down to one club's pathetic behaviour and attitude, and that club is Barcelona.

Anonymous said...

The sad thing is it feels like the club lacks direction. A club of this stature should have foreseen all this back in may or earlier especially with all those big names in our management team. It all seems like we have zero pro activeness.
It's like they are living in a bubble so ditached from the general consensus of the supporters.
Never have I been one to urge wenger to spend for the sake of spending but I think this time around regardless of nasri, cesc leaving we should at least try to land a big name to show ambition, direction and feel goodness for the team and supporters.

Rich said...

1979 - absolute rubbish. We all knew Cesc wanted to leave and at the beginning of last season it was practically a given amongst fans that we were watching Cesc for his last season.

All this summer has been about is posturing by the club to get as much money as possible.

Unfortunately the flip side of that is that our pre-season has been disrupted, the fans have got on the club's back before the season has started and we haven't bedded in any of the new players.

I've absolutely no problem with the club saying we have to sell to buy. But I do have a problem with the club saying it would be unambitious if we were to sell Cesc and Nasri and then proceed to let things drag on until the day before the season starts and promptly sell them.

1979gooner said...

Absolute rubbish Rich.

Barca have been unwilling to pay a half decent fee.

What would you have suggested? Accept their paltry 20million offer?

The club have had no choice I'm afraid and blaming them for this dragging on is unfair and naive.

Rich said...

1979 - Its not about taking a paltry fee, its about the club taking a position and sticking to it.

We have disrupted our entire plans for the season on the basis that we didn't negotiate properly (either with Barca or with Cesc) and sort this out earlier on.

To squeeze an extra couple of million out of Barca (and that is all it is) for the sake of writing off pre-season is ridiculous.

And you know what, if this was a one-off I would absolutely agree with you that Barca are to blame. But then there are the situations relating to Nasri, Adebayor, Flamini, Clichy, Toure, Henry which all seem to suggest that the problem is closer to home.

Anonymous said...


"We have disrupted our entire plans for the season on the basis that we didn't negotiate properly (either with Barca or with Cesc) and sort this out earlier on. "

We have not.

We have negiotated properly and hard.

Barca have been the obstacle here in pissing around trying to buy him on the cheap for ages.

This is not comparable to previous deals for players like Henry/Ade etc. It's been a completely different situation.

The club simply had to do what they have done with Cesc and are in no way to blame.

On the other hand the fact that we have not brought enough new players in is the club's fault.


Anonymous said...

I am quiet upset by everything that is going on at the moment at our club, the club seem to lack ambition and have accepted the fact that the fans are pretty much on the brink with the whole thing and do not care. The press conference today was typical wenger he is making himself look somewhat foolish. Lets just say for one second both players stay we would be paying them wages for not really having them there they wouldnt play for us whether Wenger thinks it or not. the fans want them to leave and i think the time is due when Arsenal FC grow some and come and say they are leaving and looking for replacements to appease the fans rather than, no one is leaving, we dont need defenders and that the squad is too big. If we go out and lose tomorrow the pressure will be so much that action against the management of the club will have to be taken. If Fab and Nas leave today ans we do not replace them i think that will be it for Wenger his position will not be tennable and he will have no excuses for how things have been handeld.

Rich said...

"We have negiotated properly and hard."

June 2010 - offer received for £30mn plus performance related extras
August 2011 - offer rumoured to be £30mn plus £5mn performance related extras

Without going into the time value of money (or indeed exchange rates changes) its clear we haven't negotiated that well.

As for the point about not buying, well, if we understand that the club has to sell to buy then ultimately they are at fault for not getting one of the Nasri/Cesc deals resolved early on, as that has had a knock on effect.

Ted said...

I don't think anyone comes out of the Cesc transfer with any grace.

Everything you say about Arsenal applies equally to Barca, who have also negotiated properly and hard. Why should they pay £40m if they know they can get the player for less. Indeed, they are going to do so.

Plus we do exactly the same to everyone else. Go and ask Bolton is we matched their valuation for Cahill, or Everton for Jagielka. That would be no and no.

From Arsenal's perspective, its been absolutely stupid not to have got this tranfer done and dusted months ago.

Even Cesc looks a moron. Who the hell takes a pay cut in this day and age?

Anonymous said...

Rich and Ted

the offer from last summer was nowhere near 30million from what I gather, it was a piss take of just over 20million (pounds that is)

on nasri, yes the club have clearly buggered up and should have sold earlier this summer

On Cesc, AFC have simply done what they had to in order to get a decent fee

There are many things to blame the club for, justifiably, but the Cesc saga is NOT one of them.


Anonymous said...

Agreed. Hey, check out

for a squad assessment.

ctc said...

This is wenger poker? Even Stevie Wonder can see what's going on, what the club needs.... Maintaining his bargaining position. What a load of crap

At least we now have clarification. And we'll see whether Wenger is up to the task. He's left it late, took Kroenke to put a boot up his ass, and i don't expect much this year. The most important thing is we'll see whether wenger is still up to it or the world has passed him by.

Anonymous said...

There are 2 sorts of Arsenal supporters: those who know that AW is managing the affairs as best as they can be managed- and those who do not know that. Wengerites are happy to let him manage and the Mitherites, who I feel sorry for, must live in a state of ignorant anxiety. Trying to be helpful let me repeat some great advice. Change what you are responsible for and leave others alone to do the same. Enjoy the tingling suspense and let the pontificating muts (Sky Sports might have a few of these) worry about what is not in their control. Be patient in other words!