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Arshavin's instant hero status gets ever bigger + Shareholders meeting and thoughts pre-United

In Arsenal FC, Premier League on May 16, 2009 by Highbury N5 Editor

When asked where he could play at Barcelona he replied in no uncertain terms:

At least at Arsenal I am playing. At Barcelona I think I would be sitting on the bench, like Aleksandr Hleb.

Alex you really got bantered off there mate, how is that cottage in the rural spot of countryside that is Barcelona?

One thing that strikes you about Andrey Arshavin is his humility, mixed with self-confidence and then that mixed with him not mincing his words when he wants to get a point across. The thing is he does it in such a way he demands respect and his opinion demands respect, he is not a yes man but at the same time he is anything but a trouble maker. The man is brilliant and is already one of my favourite players. This interview is well worth a read.

Now by now I am sure you have heard of the happenings at the shareholders meeting with Arsene Wenger the other day, and the manager rightly defended himself in the face of some quite harsh criticism of his team. I thought some of the things said were disrespectful.

I do not like Silvestre one bit but calling him ‘geriatric’ is well over the top. The guy is 32, old in footballing terms maybe but I bet he is younger than the man that insulted him. There is no reason to get personal.

Earlier on today I read this article, and I tell you what, its all true. I will highlight a couple of points made because I could not put them any better myself:

  • Arsenal, I believe, are paying around £20m per year in interest (forgive me for not checking the exact numbers. Mancs are paying 60m +), and are well on the way to financial stability. In five years’ time, their annual income will be a match for anyone and should be generating significant surpluses for investing in players.
  • I acknowledge some experienced signings will help. A stopper centre-back, a defensive midfielder (although Song is very close now – the problem is that the remainder of the midfield, particularly Walcott, are extremely poor defensively, therefore whoever fills that role needs to be outstanding). And a centre-forward to replace Adebayor.
  • But we will still not win the league! Consider: why pay £25m for a 27 year old who is at the level one of the youngsters will be in 12-24 months? Then the 29 year old is worth £10m and/or the youngster has left because he didn’t get the opportunity to complete his development.

At the end of the day Wenger is in a lose lose situation. He spends big money and he puts the future of the club as risk. He doesn’t spend much money and he gets it in the neck for not winning anything and putting faith in players that are not ready.

Yes, he has cocked a few things up and that is something I accept and believe he should he questioned for.

Wenger said at the meeting I mentioned at the start of the post:

“When you look now at people assessing the situations of the clubs, it has become ridiculous in fairness, You sit here, you are in the last four in Europe, and every day, you feel you have killed someone. It is unbelievable. If you do not take a distance with it, you think ‘what kind of world do we live in?’

“We lose against Man United who have 10 times more resources, it’s not a shame, they are the best in the world, congratulations to them. If you play tennis tomorrow, you lose against Nadal, you can still say you are a good player.”

I do think that changes have to be made but with the resources available to Arsene Wenger I am of the firm opinion that very few other managers would be able to finish in the top four, get to the semi-finals of the champions league and the FA Cup. He should be praised for that.

Here is a fantastic summary of the shareholders meeting.

Right, onto the game this weekend and we need to shake off this feeling of negativity. I think its a good thing we are playing United away from home because it gives a chance to get out of the cauldron of pressure that is the Emirates, the players do feel under a hell of a lot of pressure there and after the last two displays they could do with a little break from that the poor, precious daisies that they are.

We are underdogs, massive, massive underdogs. Lets not get that wrong. Im hoping that the lads go out there are give everything they possibly have to start to make up to our most loyal supporters, the away fans, for the shambolic last few performances.

Remember this after we got tonked in the FA Cup last season?

We need that kind of support today. Lets just hope the boys step up to the plate and we can piss on United’s parade, for today at least.

thanks for reading. ’til tomorrow.

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3 Responses to “Arshavin's instant hero status gets ever bigger + Shareholders meeting and thoughts pre-United”

  1. Although not the basis of your article, the comment that we other midfielders dont defend well is 100% true. While, Song has improved(I think Denilson is and will be better – even than Gilberto), other midfielders are poor defenders. This puts pressure on our defenders – Kolo and Gallas, have to make too many goal saving tackles and blocks, at least much more than Vidic and Ferdinand.

  2. Finally a blog that speaks sense. I agree wholeheartedly with everything said. Alex Song is perhaps the most improved player this year (perhaps even more than Walcott), but I have to admit that his positional play is pretty bad. But, still, that’s nothing that won’t be fixed through playing more games. You have to keep in mind that the youngsters haven’t played many games, Song has played about 50-60 Arsenal first team games spread over a couple of years, and Denilson about as much. And young players develop quickly, you usually see a positive difference about every 3 months, so when you think about it, the potential of the squad is insane.

    Just a quick reminder: United pay _ £81 _ million in interest. That is staggering.

  3. Good blog and I agree with the main points in there. Following the particular criticism of Adebayor and Silvestre it was no suprise to see them left out today. Adebayor groin injury? Bollocks.

    Also the 20min singing was after being effectively ruled out the title race last season when we lost 2-1 because-

    1)I was there.

    2)The FA Cup was a night game in February.

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