Sunday, April 08, 2007

Suddenly a takeover doesn't feel like such a bad idea.

I wasn't able to attend yesterday's game, but did I really miss anything? An opposing team scoring the first goal with virtually their only shot? Check. Us peppering their goal with shots, despite the complete reluctance of some of our players to shoot? Check. Us equalising? no. And that, unfortunately, was the major difference between yesterday's game and about, at least, half our other home performances this season.

Arsene has come out after the game and said it was 'unbelievable' that we didn't score. Really? I find it eminently believable. I watched us dominant game after game this season without scoring. I've watched us been knocked out of the FA Cup and Champions League due to an inability to score, despite, basically, controlling both games.

And does Arsene really find it unbelievable that some of our players aren't scoring? I'm beginning to wonder if Alexander Hleb's family will be killed if he takes a shot on goal. I still rate him as a player, but without goalscorers playing next to him, he seems to exacerbate problems. All the potential difficulties I noted when we signed Rosicky have come to fruition: he is a great player, but Arsene is wasting him on the left and he, as well, hasn't got the goals Bobby got even last year, let alone in his pomp. Cesc is at least trying to score but he's not their yet.

And at the moment we have strikers who don't score goals, almost a philosohpical paradox. We can continue to posit the 'any team would struggle without their two best forwards' line and it is justifiable to an extent. But United and Chelsea have goals throughout their team in a way we simply don't.

Arsene is simply deluding himself if he thinks players such as Freddie, Aliadiere or Baptista will consistently get goals. They won't; they should leave in the summer and replacements from outside the club must be brought it, not just youngsters promoted to fill the void.

Through the failings of our squad we've blown the Champion's League race wide open. And, as Arseblogger has said, let's not underestimate what a disaster it would be if we didn't qualify. Top players don't want to play for UEFA Cup clubs. Finishing fifth could start a spiral of decline, or of at least mediocrity and empty seats at the Grove.

Amidst all our current woes is the still slightly shadowy figure of Stan Kroenke; a man with a clear interest in purchasing the club. It's clear that a man like Kroenke is going to stop at a 10% stake: he is a sports team owner, not investor. He has a mass of sports clubs in the US under his ownership already, and like any sensible businessman, he's seeking to diversify and extend his portfolio into the lucrative British football market.

We are prime for a takeover and, whilst I never thought I'd say it, maybe it would be for the best. The current board have done a magnificent job in building one of the finest stadiums in the world. But do they have the energy to push the club to the next level? Kroenke seems to be a sensible businessman. He's not going to treat the club like an Abramovich-esque plaything; he'll want to balance the books and make a profit, which can only, really, be done by the club being successful.

I expect Kroenke to launch a £500 million takeover bid within the year, which would fully value the club, given our debt, at around £750 million - a colossal figure, dwarfing Liverpool's recent takeover, and only just shy of the Glazer purchase of United. Only one of Fiszman, Dein and Bracewell needs to sell for a mandatory bid to become a reality, and Fiszman looks the likeliest to sell first given reports which continue to surface.

The logistics of any takeover can't be commented on until prospectuses are issued, and issues such as levels of debt financing are known. I'll say this know though: Arsenal fans aren't stupid and neither are the Arsenal board, and we'll know if an individual or business is trying to destroy the values of the club for mere profitability. Such a takover will be resisted, I would hope, by fans and shareholders alike. Any takeover which saddled the club with levels of debt financing seen in the Glazer deal is unacceptable.

But a takeover, and hopefully the cash that came with it, might be what we need to turn around the club's on-pitch fortunes at the moment. We need new ideas, and Arsene must realise sooner, rather than later, that a lot of our current bunch aren't good enough, and are not going to become the type of players we need to win trophies. The club may have reached a critical points in its development and the rest of the year might prove to be interesting, even if the current season is becoming increasingly tortuous.

Happy Easter.


hatta said...


Anonymous said...

I had a super weird dream yesterday. The whole arsenal squad was at my house, Mr Wenger included. The players were sitting on the floor and sofas, and Wenger said, "Next season some of you will not be playing for Arsenal anymore, because you are not good enough. Now I will call out names and those called will come up and stand next to me here, and these people will form the core of the squad next season." He was in a ruthless mood. So he called out names: Toure, Eboue, Ljungberg... Until only 5 are left on the sofas. Ok now I think this is where something goes wrong, cos the 5 on the sofa are: BERGKAMP, CYGAN, BAPTISTA, HLEB and HENRY. Henry's face was shocked while Bergy was crying. But Henry then stood up and joined those standing without being called, to which Wenger smiled and exclaimed, "I didn't call u yet u decide to join us." The dream ended with me comforting a terribly sad Bergkamp. What a weird dream. I am not making this up. Swear to God.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I can't really remember if it was Hleb and Baptista. But there was one dark skinned guy other then Henry and a blonde haired guy. Cygan Bergkamp and Henry were confirmed on the sofas. If you ignore the "Hleb" and the "Baptista", it could be what happened last season. Wenger was prepared to lose Henry only for Henry to stand up and join the rest of the squad. haha..ok im weird. but its reli interesting.

Anonymous said...

A takeover would make funds available to AW who has to sieve the raw diamond from the pebble. We have to give him credit for challenging MU on a shoelace not shoe string budget consistentley this decade until Chelsea came into the picture which is good for the epl unlike Scotland where the fans I believe are getting bored.
However depending on the circumstances AW shd buy tried and tested players in the cauldron of the epl fire. What happens if a potential turns into a disaster which will be back to square one.

arsetech said...

anonymous dreamer - dude you need help. that's too weird.

I don't really have any thing to add to this.

I have a question though: why do we Gooners expect Hleb to score goals? When we bought him from Stuttgart, he wasn't a goal scorer. He had 13 goals in 137 games! I seriously doubt Wenger bought him to contribute goals. He's supposed to be a playmaker. Which begs the question, do we have too many playmakers? Can a team have too many playmakers?

Rosicky is also a playmaker. So is Cesc.

Anonymous said...

Would kind of make AW's comments about Chelski and their spending power redundant. He'd look a fool if they started borrowing to finance players.

Anonymous said...

Nonsense. Think about it... What do we need?

A goal scorer, finish. Any midfielder from any team will struggle to get into the first team, which includes Lampard and Gerard.

Arsenal need Eboue and Hleb to be fit and begin to form that partnership that was to evident at the beginning of the season.

Remember, Henry is injured; he is our best player period. Don't try to over analysis. He isn't fit and he has scored some breath taking goals this season already. Then RVP our most skillful player and a deadly striker. Two of them will walk into most team in the premiership, Henry all.

Don't get things twisted. At the long run, we will benefit from this. Arsene has at player worth more than £100million pound already which will increase every year for at least 10 years. I am talking of Theo, Cesc, Denilson, Diaby, Tomas, Hleb, Giberto, Merinda, Song, Maumba. Do you get the idea. Most of them are young. Cesc is worth £30million now and he hasn't started scoring. Not that Arsene will let him go that cheap, then Deni and Diaby.

Arsene will have £20million to spend and I think that is okay. I don't like Baptista; he has had enough opportunity for me.

£20million will buy at good stiker and winger who will compete for the first team.

I feel your pain, but think hard and ask yourself what this team really needs. Peak a team in the premiership that is better than a fully fit Arsenal. The problem this season has being that we have being unable to take their chances and lets face it they aren't difficult chances. Let's hope they have missed all their poor chances for the rest of the career and they finish it at Arsenal.

A win against Newcastle will be nice and let's face it, a lose and some people will start answering some serious questions like which players will be kicked out. There are some exceptions though.

Anonymous said...

Serious trouble is around the corner if we dont get out of this rut. Everton AND Bolton could theoretically overtake us in the coming weeks. That leaves us in 6th and, worse case scenario, battling it out with Spurs for the final Euro place. Bare in mind we also have to travel to Sh!te Hart Lane before the season's conclusion and on current form its not a journey I would welcome with potentially Europe being a factor. All those years of bragging about winning the league at their place could come back and bite us in the arse!

Gooner Chris said...

Hello mate,

You're very difficult to get hold of so i'll post a comment which you'll hopefully read.

Would you like to Link exchange?

Cheers Mate.

Get in contact with these 2 emails

Anonymous said...

i red that post twice, when new post is comming?

kenny said...

well i am also after a link exchange but before that i just want to reply to the post by saying i am totally opposed to a takeover at arsenal for many reasons , i think we have done the hard in building a new stadium etc the benifits should prove them selves in a couple of seasons without having to sell-out to foreginers

i have created a new forum for all true and loyal arsenal fans simply called The Arsenal Forum here is the address

check it out and also if you are interested in a link exchange could you please let me know