October 11, 2012
Ivan ‘extremely tasty looking bonus deal this year considering our flatlining commercial revenues’ Gazidis has been talking for the umpteenth time about Arsenal Football Club’s commitment to self-sustainability and blah blah finances blah doing things the proper way blah.
Sorry. It’s not that I disagree with any of it, I’ve just heard him say this stuff so many times that I’m considering taking a position against it just to make life a bit more interesting. Speaking to Radio Five Live last night Gazidis was keen to stress that as a club we’ll be seen as increasingly forward thinking as the rest of the Premier League are now starting to accept that they need tighter financial controls for their own good and recent rumblings suggest that the league may voluntarily bring in some form of FFP of their own in the not too distant future.
All extremely good news for Arsenal if that comes to pass as by that point we should be enjoying all the benefits of our years of frugality as the old commercial deals are renegotiated in 2014 and certain of our rivals start to understand how much harder it is to challenge for silverware when you don’t have £300 million worth of signings sitting idly on the subs bench.
Never one to miss an opportunity to talk up the qualities of Le Professeur in a public forum, Ivan also spoke gushingly about Arsene Wenger, this time focussing on his bravery as a manager:
I don’t think Arsene is conservative, I think he is extraordinarily brave. I think he does things others don’t do and sees things others don’t see.
Arsene is not fixed on the price of a player in assessing a player’s value, he will look with equal weight at a young player who is coming through the Arsenal academy and a player that might be available with a very hefty price tag from overseas.
He is not afraid to spend money when he believes in a player and sees a player he thinks can kick us forward but he is not obsessed with the security that a big transfer fee might give him.
Ah, brave knight Sir Wenger. When faced with the task of slaying the evil dragon Abramovich he could have spent the riches of the land on fancy new weaponry but instead placed his faith in his trusty young steed… Denilson. Obviously he failed to slay the dragon but, y’know, it was pretty brave nonetheless.
It’s interesting that Gazidis seems to believe that it would have been a safer option for Arsene to make the odd bigger signing here and there. Sure, he would have been giving the fans (and critics) what they wanted, what they were screaming for in fact, but in some ways I suspect that spending £30 million plus on one player would have required even more courage from Wenger. Because if you spend that sort of money and end up with a Fernando Torres on your hands, not only is that your entire transfer budget splurged but the pressure on your shoulders to actually deliver some silverware just increased tenfold.
So I’m not sure that Wenger’s stance is brave exactly. I think on the whole it’s just fairly smart. And we always knew he was playing the long game.
And with the squad really looking like it’s taking shape this season and money still left in reserve from the summer’s dealings we finally have the opportunity to reap some rewards. The Telegraph reports today that Le Boss has instructed his scouts to look out for a new striker for the January window. They claim that the club sees a chance to really push our rivals for the title this season and a great goalscoring addition in the middle of winter could be just the thing to jolt things along.
Possible names put forward won’t surprise any seasoned window-watchers: Adrian Lopez, Robert Lewandowski, Fernando Llorente etc etc, and while the truly big names – the Radamel Falcaos of this world may still be beyond our budgetary limits, you’d have to assume that if we really want to push on for the title now might finally be the time to splash a fair wedge on a proven name goalscorer. Brave move or otherwise.
Not much else to report this morning. A couple of injury worries on amongst the internationals. Lukas Podolski was being left out of the more intense Germany training sessions with this ankle knock that has apparently been bothering him for a few weeks. It may be only minor but I wish someone would see sense and give him a couple of weeks off before it becomes more serious. And Laurent Koscielny gave everyone a scare when he limped out of training following a clash with France teammate Ribery. Rumours circulated that it could be anything from a broken leg to a smashed kneecap but the latest seems to be that it’s just a knock and he could even start for France on Friday. Which makes it virtually a non-story.
But then in international weeks non-stories are probably good stories.
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