Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Cesc is back, Wenger's cautious comments, and empty seats.

The second leg of our CL qualifier is tonight, and I think we've done enough in the tie to see ourselves through. I can't really see Twente scoring twice or more at the Grove, but then I don't want to tempt fate too much, given the perilous state of our defence in recent games.

If I was Arsene I'd be tempted to throw caution to the wind and let the youngsters have a run about. Even if they don't start, I'd like to See the likes of Ramsey, Wilshere, Vela, Song, Djourou, and maybe even Fabianski involved tonight. It's the closest to a safe, but meaningful game they're going to get at this stage of the season, and, in all honesty, most of them could hardly do worse than members of the first XI did at Fulham.

Cesc is back and I'll imagine he'll play, if not for the entire 90 minutes.

I'd like to think that he's being eased back into the team, but given our dearth of options in centre-mid, we need him to start playing now, and he'll definitely play against Newcastle on the Weekend.

Arsene was a bit cheeky yesterday in his press conference yesterday when he said:

If I can find one more player before the transfer deadline, I will take him. But one more player will not make that much difference. If we don’t get him, we’re still strong enough to deal with all the competitions.

Before we all start slitting our wrists, we need to realise that Arsene is just covering his back.

I've no doubt he's out looking for a central midfielder, and perhaps even in the process of wrapping up a deal, but there's always a fair chance that deals don't come off. He needs to keep confidence in the squad high, and say things that won't immediately come back to haunt him. If he had said - 'we're really short in centre-mid at the moment, my god we're gonna win nothing this year if i don't manage to get some new players' (or something more verbose to this effect) and then, for whatever reason, didn't manage to pull off any new signings...well, hopefully you can see my point.

Or maybe he really does think the squad is strong enough. In which case, it's going to be a long season.

It doesn't look like it's going to be a sell-out tonight, so a) get behind the team if you're going and b) ignore all the ARSENAL IN CRISIS ONLY 50,000 ATTEND headlines tomorrow. I can't attend but otherwise I would certainly have gone. In situations such as these, it might be an idea for the club to offer reduced tickets? Just a thought.

A nice big win would be nice tonight, but so would a signing. Let's hope both happen.


Anonymous said...

Actually empty seats is exactly what Danny Fiszman needs. A good kick up the back side.

We need Dein back and Arsene needs at least a transfer budget that can match a mid-table club.

Even the promoted clubs are out spending us at the moement. More Fulham type results will become common.

Anonymous said...

Even if they reduced tickets the stadium would have empty seats!

The problem is that people (corporate types) are buying up seats and not turning up. This is stopping genuine fans from being there.

Anonymous said...

I would love to go tonight but dont have a ticket!!

Anonymous said...

Game sold out according to

Anonymous said...

To the previous poster...

Fraid not pal. The game has been on general sale for almost two weeks. Check the stadium plan, there are tickets available in loads of blocks, plus loads on ticket exchange.

The reason? We have been sold a lie. we pay more as fans for our tickets than fans of ANY other club on the planet, but we no longer see players of the calibre of Henry, Bergkamp, Pires and Vieira. Instead we see Denilson and Eboue in central midfield! For 50 quid a game! It's a fucking outrage, pure and simple. And finally, fans are voting with their feet and their wallets. People don't want to spend half a ton watching children! They want to see a competitive team, stuffed with players that could arguably get into other top 4 sides. If we are honest, only Cesc would for definite.

I don't want the fat orange lot getting in, nor Dein back. I just want some honesty from Arsene (We can with the CL with this lot? Do me a favour! I wasn't born yesterday!) and the board. We are broke for the conceivable future and we are doing out best to stay competitive.

If, on the other hand, Wenger's got 30m to play with, to try and say we can't improve central midfield with that sum is a gross belittling of our collective intelligence. And I've had enough.

Anonymous said...

To the anonymous coward - if you won't put your name to it, STFU!

Wenger will try and bring in another player (CM), but he won't be held to ransom.

Villa want a ridiculous price for Barry and Liverpool want Wenger to pay the same price for Alonso, so that they can buy Barry. It doesn't make sense. Maybe he should buy Barry, but I actually think Alonso would suit us better.

Ignore what Wenger is saying - it's not for our benefit, it's aimed at the selling clubs.

This squad will surprise you and I'm sure that you will start posting under your real name saying "I knew it all along".

Anonymous said...

Whether the seats are empty or not is an irrelevance from the financial aspect as 40 odd thousand are season tickets in any case. From morale and belief perspectives however it will be an interesting test. Empty seats will in most cases reflect disenchantment. Much as it hurts, the guy who pointed out that 50 quid to watch a team which is a shadow of that 3 years ago, is pretty well spot on. Time for either some honesty from the board or a not-so-gentle nudge from upstairs for Arsene that the natives are getting restless with this experiment to turn us into an Auxerre-like paragon of youth development. Not dissatisfied yet, just restless....

Anonymous said...

Arsenal need Orange, but without the Fat.

Anonymous said...

At the end of the day the seats have all been paid for, regardless of whether people attend or not. I paid for my ticket when it came out and have no intention of exchanging it - Im going to see my club and although financially it is tough supporting Arsenal, at the end of the day the money is going to the club.

To be honest, Im astonished that some people think they deserve to be treated better. We are football fans, not aristocrats, we are there to be shat on and ripped off. If you dont like it dont come to the games but dont moan and bitch about other clubs' pricing. To me that is irrelevent. I support The Arsenal, I pay my money to watch The Arsenal and that is the bottom line

Anonymous said...

According to the official website tonights game is sold out

Anonymous said...

Spot on to the £50 a match bloke. And the guy slagging him off, get a grip. The vast majority of fans are completely pissed off with what's going on, and that includes the absolute die-hard Wenger supporters who have been defending him from our fellow fans and media alike for years. There is only so much we can take, and no-one deserves to be slagged off for voicing a negative opinion. It is without question, the way the vast majority of decent Arsenal supporters are feeling. It's all well and good for Arsene to be playing a game with the media, but the comments that Arsene comes out with leave the fan's eyes on storks. Right now, season ticket holders are feeling completely conned. This isn't what they paid for. Infact, they weren't even told what they were going to get for their money, you just have to take a chance that the club will do the honourable thing and put on a good-value offering. The fans put their hands in their pockets, and they feel the club is acting with a complete disregard for the money paid. If the club offered a refund at this point, I think you'd have many thousand taking that up. And don't tell me how many people are on the waiting list, that waiting list will evaporate before your very eyes. Yes there's 30/40,000 additional people that want to go and watch great football, but there's 80,000 that don't want to go and watch us have two shots on goal against West Brom.

Anonymous said...

I am to the 50 quid comment man. Not afraid to leave my name, just couldn't be arsed working this system out. But I've done it now; feel better?

To be honest, I have been supporting Arsenal since I was six hours old (had my first shirt then) which was in 1981. So I know about the lean years, the end days of Graham (Milwall, Wrexham and Botlon to name a few) so I know we have been spoilt. But we weren't paying through the nose to see our team at that point.

Like I said previously, I have no problem paying top dollar to watch top players. That's how it works. What I take exception to is paying top dollar to see a centra midfield pairing of Denilson and Eboue. That is outrageous. No two ways about it. It cannot be argued.

I have been a Wenger apologist for the last three lean years, steadfastly believing we would soon see the benefits of Wenger's development programme. However, we have sold half our first choice midfield from last season, and replaced the permanetly broken Rosicky with Nasri. That ISN'T good enough, not for top dollar ticket pricing.

It boils down to one of two things.

a) we are broke. If so, fair enough, the stadium was still the right idea but be honest with the fans... I suspect this is the case, and if they did own up, thousands of fans would not renew their season ticket, not at the current prices anyway.

b) we aren't broke, but Wenger has become too powerful at the club, running unchallenged by anyone. If this is the case, then I am afraid his time is up. No matter what he has achieved, you are only as good as your last game. And I am afraid we will not challenge again under Wenger unless his policy changes - which, with every day passing, looks increasingly less likely.

So, to summarise. I love Arsene, and everything he has done for the club. That can never be taken away. But if he is letting his pride get in the way of our progress, then it simply time to cut the cord.

Wrighty said...

I'd be there at the drop of a hat if there wasn't all of this membership bollocks to contend with.

Anonymous said...

cesc can save us,he should hand in a transfer request! the cheque book would fly open to keep our general happy!

Anonymous said...

"Right now, season ticket holders are feeling completely conned. This isn't what they paid for. Infact, they weren't even told what they were going to get for their money, you just have to take a chance that the club will do the honourable thing and put on a good-value offering."

Umm. It's exactly what they paid for. They paid for the right to go and support their team no matter what. If people are feeling conned, then they can get fucked. The sooner all of the people who would sooner whine when the team aren't doing well instead of rallying and getting the team leave, the better. I find it horrible watching a stadium where only one section is making noise, be it due to people in other sections not being willing to make noise, or people in these sections are pressure people into not making noise.

I've almost been hoping for a sub-par season, just to scare off all of the cunts who aren't willing to put their heart and soul into the club - just their wallets.

Anonymous said...

how can i gaurantee a ticket before travelling to a game? I live in the US and can't wait to see the gunners play!

Anonymous said...

Here's a idea if Hillwood and wenger say we have money to spend but refuse to use it because the squad's fine, then why not use that money and lower ticket prices.

Anonymous said...


Wilshere's not in the team tonight.
Just asked him n he said he isn't so.. oh well.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1.01: good idea.

If we're making so much money from the stadium, why don't they actually lower ticket prices, esp when the debt is paid off?