Saturday 14 July 2012

The True Gunners' Debate

I belong to a Blackberry group of Nigerian Arsenal  fans. Some reside in the States, some in the UK but most of us live in different parts of Nigeria.

The debates in the group are usually very heated with pro and anti-Wenger, pro and Anti-Usmanov sentiments usually determining which side members take in whatever topic is up for discussion. No matter which side of the table the members seat, one thing you can't fault is their passion for Arsenal FC. 

I decided to publish the most current debate which started yesterday evening
and ran well into this afternoon. It's been cleaned up a bit to remove SMS speak and irrelevant chatter but only to make the dialogue readable for a web audience. What was said has not been tampered with and is the opinion as expressed by each participant. Names have however been changed to protect the identity of the members.

It makes for a good read and you'll find some of your own sentiments expressed in such a way that you will be thinking "I could have been the one that said that".

Read on

From Group: True Gunners
      ** Jul 13 Fri 19:25 **
  Lalah: If only you could BELIEVE, Kiddo
  ** Jul 13 Fri 19:27 **
  Kiddo: Oh I believe.....only not in the exact same issues you believe in.
  ** Jul 13 Fri 19:29 **
  Lalah: That's the issue of your lack of faith? lol
  ** Jul 13 Fri 19:34 **
  Kiddo: Let me ask what are your expectations for the coming season.
  ** Jul 13 Fri 19:36 **
  EdoBoy: We will win FA cup and get to the final of CL
  ** Jul 13 Fri 19:38 **
   Lalah: We will pursue four cups and win at least 2
  ** Jul 13 Fri 19:40 **
  Lalah: And yours?
  ** Jul 13 Fri 19:41 **
   Kiddo: Lalah you really wanna know what my expectations are? Promise it won't offend you?
  ** Jul 13 Fri 21:05 **
  Kiddo: Arsenal increase ticket prices for London derbies:
   ** Jul 13 Fri 22:46 **
  Lalah: Kiddo, you're implying the derbies is what we should focus on winning? Do explain. Am not the brightest bulb atimes
  ** Jul 13 Fri 23:03 **
  Ogidi: They are high profile matches Kiddo, they should cost more.
  ** Jul 13 Fri 23:04 **
  Ogidi: In London  bus and train fares go up every year, cigarettes and beer the same, so why are you particular about match tickets?
   ** Jul 14 Sat 00:47 **
  EdoBoy: Tweet from @piersmorgan
@piersmorgan: Come on #Arsenal - keep @Persie_Official and sign Ganso and mean business.
  ** Jul 14 Sat 00:48 **
  EdoBoy: Tweet from @northbanklower
@northbanklower: Also spoke to a senior figure at club recently and he feels RVP could yet sign an extension. Not so sure myself but he knows more than me.
     ** Jul 14 Sat 09:22 **
  Kiddo: Good Morning @Lalah. How are you today. I have been thinking of an appropriate response to your question about my expectations for the new season. I happen to agree with the following article and you can find my responses there
  ** Jul 14 Sat 09:22 **
  Kiddo: Giroud and Podolski not enough to paper over the cracks at Arsenal: As their rivals go busily about their prepar...
  ** Jul 14 Sat 09:23 **
  Kiddo: Pls tell me how that compares with your expectations and which is realistically feasible. Cheers bro
  ** Jul 14 Sat 09:46 **
  Ogidi: Spurs sign ... Adebayor( already a player there last season) and Vertonghen. Man United sign Kagawa, Liverpool sign Borini (who was on loan last season at Swansea) Chelsea sign Hazzard, and German fellow. .....
  ** Jul 14 Sat 09:47 **
  Kiddo: Sigurdson?
  ** Jul 14 Sat 09:47 **
  Ogidi: I am really struggling to see how these teams look more serious in the transfer window than Arsenal.
    ** Jul 14 Sat 09:54 **
  Ogidi: Kiddo, did your source ( about the increase in ticket prices for London Derby) also tell you that teams like sunderland, Swansea, West brom, Southampton etc can be watched for a lot less than last seasons?
  ** Jul 14 Sat 09:54 **
  Ogidi: There was increase in some matches and decrease in others.
  ** Jul 14 Sat 09:56 **
  Kiddo: Yeah, Grade A, B and C matches
  ** Jul 14 Sat 09:58 **
  Kiddo: But did your own sources tell you that it will amount to a net increase in gate takings as increase in grade A matches will far outweigh the reduction for grade C matches
  ** Jul 14 Sat 11:16 **
  OmoYoruba: To be fair I haven't seen any club doing much better than us in d transfer mkt dis time. May be d concern is dat we seem to have more holes to block but if dat be it, guess chelsea, spurs and pool have got much more HOLES as we topped dem all in d table last season, isn't it?
  ** Jul 14 Sat 12:43 **
  Ogidi: So, Kiddo how is that a bad thing that we have smart people running our club? More people can afford to watch games and we still make a profit?
  ** Jul 14 Sat 13:19 **
  Kiddo: Smart? Hmmmm.......
  ** Jul 14 Sat 13:21 **
  Kiddo: How would you have liked to pay premium price for a grade A match like vs United and watch us get 8-2 simply because the so called smart pple running our club didn't do enuf to avert it via investments
  ** Jul 14 Sat 13:23 **
  Kiddo: Anyway, its probably not a valid arguement coz we spanked the european champions and the prem champs too.
  ** Jul 14 Sat 13:24 **
  Kiddo: But my argument is that we spurn outside investment and lay the cost at the feet of the fans. The same long suffering fans that haven't had anything to cheer about for a very long time.
  ** Jul 14 Sat 13:26 **
  Kiddo: Whatever the cost of our adopting the FFP is laid squarely at the feet of the fans. No problems. But let them give us something to cheer about and feel good about being milked.
  ** Jul 14 Sat 13:30 **
  Lalah: Kiddo, Wigan fans pay to watch them too and havnt ever had a thing to cheer about except for when they beat any of the big 4, when they gain promotion, and when they survive relegation. Are they being milked?
  ** Jul 14 Sat 13:32 **
  Lalah: Anyway, I looked at ur link above and while I see sense in a lot of what the chap wrote, it isn't a news item. It is a blog. It is one man's opinion not gospel
  ** Jul 14 Sat 13:32 **
  Kiddo: First all teams have targets. For some its just to be in the premiership. For others its a mid table finish. We pretend that ours is to do the quadruple and go ahead to charge as such.
  ** Jul 14 Sat 13:33 **
  Lalah: That Giroud and Podolski aren't enough "to paper the cracks" is stating the obvious
  ** Jul 14 Sat 13:34 **
  Kiddo: Especially as they may turn out to be replacements for chamakh and rvp
  ** Jul 14 Sat 13:34 **
  Lalah: But the club has done a U-turn in recruitment policy in recent years so we must wait and see how it pans out
  ** Jul 14 Sat 13:37 **
  Kiddo: Hmmmm maybe so. But I just fail to see how the u turn will result in us keeping our best players now or in the future
  ** Jul 14 Sat 13:38 **
  Lalah: We've gone into every season for the past years with the intention of winning "the quadruple" within the club's resources and it hasn't worked. The club has changed policy so a little faith and patience should be extended
  ** Jul 14 Sat 13:46 **
  Kiddo: We have faith and patience.....that's why we are still arsenal fans. Half of those that are todays chelsea fans were formerly in our camp. But we are what has remained. We have been patient. But it won't preclude us from voicing what is increasingly becoming a popular opinion about us
  ** Jul 14 Sat 13:51 **
  Kiddo: To their credit though, our talent scouts have now been instructed to leave maternity hospitals and concentrate their search in top division clubs. Not one youngster has been linked with us all summer long
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:09 **
  Lalah: Those who have jumped ship were never true fans and will likely be at City next. We have a young french starlet on trials right now so we havnt given up on juveniles. The emphasis just isn't on them anymore. Its a key part of the football business. We just made the mistake of believing only youngsters can get us to the summit
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:11 **
  Lalah: Really, enough has changed at the club to believe we can do better than a 1st four finish. We've made the right kind of noise in the transfer market and everything suggests we'll get more people in b4 it closes
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:11 **
  EdoBoy: We didn't believe it was only the young ones. It was due to the financial capability. We built a stadium
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:12 **
  Kiddo: The young french starlet isn't in the first team plans. He is for the academy. Two years ago he may have been RVP’s replacement
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:12 **
  EdoBoy: And we didn't have Money to invest in players
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:12 **
  Lalah: True, EdoBoy but Arsene did believe he can do it with those youngsters
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:13 **
  EdoBoy: Wenger was told to do it with young players
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:13 **
  Lalah: lol@"Two years ago he may have been rvps replacement"
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:13 **
  Kiddo: But the stadium was built to increase our ability to compete. We were to rub shoulders with united after the stadium was built
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:14 **
  Lalah: @EdoBoy: yes but the thing is he beleieved he could do it. Time proved him wrong
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:15 **
  EdoBoy: But he did and kept us within the CL
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:15 **
  Lalah: But it was well worth a try because a great business has to be one that makes the most profit with minimum investment
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:16 **
  Kiddo: EdoBoy, wenger wasn't told to use youngsters. He was given a budget, limited yes, but still sizeable. But he chose to spend it on pricey younsters. Walcot and Oxo both cost more than podolski and giroud
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:18 **
  EdoBoy: 2 years ago podolski was worth more than what we bought him for now. Remember English players are more expensive
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:19 **
  Kiddo: Still it was wengers choice to spend his transfer budget on youth.
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:20 **
  EdoBoy: Kiddo,  we built to rub shoulders but not within a short period
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:22 **
  EdoBoy: Remember we have to feed english players into the squad as well
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:24 **
  Kiddo: And you are assuming of course that united will stand still and wait for us to start rubbing shoulders with them. They equally have proactive people at their helm that help to ensure that we don't rub shoulders with them, that ensure that they are competitive year in year out regardless of what chelsea and city are doing.
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:29 **
  Kiddo: Why is adequate investment in the playing staff a FFP issue and building a stadium isn't?
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:30 **
  Kiddo: Didn't we spend above our foreseeable means to erect the emirates?
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:33 **
  Obi: Kiddo!!!!
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:33 **
  EdoBoy: Yes we did and that investment will not depreciate. Kiddo, football is a business and I’ll rather have my arsenal the way it’s being ran than Man U looking for funds in NY stock exchange. They are owing £550M!!!!!!
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:33 **
  Obi:  We borrowed to build the Emirates
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:33 **
  Obi: A ten year mortgage
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:34 **
  EdoBoy: And what happens if the glazers die tomorrow. Man U turns to Portsmouth.
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:35 **
  Kiddo: Then we have some one that loves us so much, he buys a third of the club and he says come to me, I will ease your burden. But we say no thanks, just bcos he looks like baron greenback and is uzbek
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:35 **
  Ddude: EdoBoy are you 100% certain you know how Arsenal is run financially?
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:36 **
  EdoBoy: Ddude, No. At least figures show we are just owing £98M
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:36 **
  EdoBoy: And Manu u owes £550M
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:37 **
  EdoBoy: Barca owes £400M and with all their 2m trophies
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:37 **
  Lalah: Kiddo, will you willingly hand over your own business to someone else while it is profitable so that it MAY become more profitable? Honest answer
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:38 **
  Kiddo: He owns a third of the outfit. I'd say yes
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:38 **
  Ddude: So why are the clubs under huge financial burden winning trophies then?
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:40 **
  EdoBoy: They prefer that model of business which brings glory
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:40 **
  Kiddo: The whole of Europe is in debt.
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:41 **
  Lalah: And that makes debt a good thing?
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:44 **
  Lalah: Usmanov has aggressively been trying to take over the ownership of AFC for years and you say Stan should just hand it over to him? That's what you would do?
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:44 **
  Ddude: So no one should win Cups then?
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:45 **
  Lalah: Not saying Stan is doing the best job on earth but its human nature to protect your castle from invaders
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:45 **
  Kiddo: On the surface usmanov wants to revolutionise the place as opposed to silent stan’s all profit, no interest approch
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:46 **
  Lalah: You need to be a bit dispassionate and more objective. You will think different if you were a bit investor in Arsenal
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:47 **
  EdoBoy: When FFP comes to play we will see
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:48 **
  Lalah: Our only investments in the club are our hearts. For some their monies are invested and it’s a source of livelihood. Anyway, Usmanov is worth about 5 times more than Stan. You expect Stan to lose more of that ground by letting Stan bring in his wealth and eclipsing him further
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:51 **
  Kiddo: FFP......the alibi of choice for the AFC board. You'd think the FFP rule will apply to only us and not the rest of the soccer world
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:51 **
  Ogidi: Good debate guys, I just wanted to point something out about the youth Policy in Arsenal. The only reason it failed was that Wenger never anticipated the departures of Flamini, Fabregas and Nasri. Even Hleb to some extent and now Rvp. Had these guys stayed it would have been a different story
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:53 **
  Obi: Ogidi, I agree
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:54 **
  Ogidi: And Kiddo, how can you say Oxo and Walcott were expensive youngsters? What's the combined cost of those two players? Up to Andy Carrolls fees?
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:55 **
  Obi: Wenger is an old fashioned gentleman who thinks treat them right and they'll be loyal, doesn't know the world has changed, he learnt the hard way! He got young talents paid them well and they matured & left for even more money!
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:55 **
  Kiddo: Walcot cost 12m and Oxo 15m.
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:56 **
  Kiddo: Henry was 10.5 and wiltord was 13
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:58 **
  Obi: Kiddo, how much did ur dads 1st car cost and how much did urs cost?
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:58 **
  Ogidi: Now how much was your Lee jeans in 1995? And how much is a similar brand today?
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:58 **
  Obi: Henry & Wiltord?
  ** Jul 14 Sat 14:59 **
  Ogidi: Obi, leave the man.
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:00 **
  Kiddo: You started it.....Carroll’s price had no bearing on this debate and our choice to sign youngsters
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:01 **
  EdoBoy: In 1995 a bottle of Star beer was less than 50naira and its like 500 today depending on where you buy from
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:02 **
  EdoBoy: Kiddo I think you need to come to terms with the fact that you are just anti Wenger
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:03 **
  Lalah: He's never hidden that fact @EdoBoy. To be fair to him
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:04 **
  Ddude: Usamanov is pro-Wenger to my knowledge
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:04 **
  Kiddo: Tell them, Ddude
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:05 **
  Ddude: I haven't heard a single statement from that Kroenke dude since he took over
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:05 **
  EdoBoy: Yes usmanov is pro wenger
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:06 **
  EdoBoy: Stan is well known to be a quiet man and he said it that he is fully behind wenger
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:07 **
  Lalah: Ddude, I guess that's why he's called "Silent Stan"
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:07 **
  Lalah: Usmanov may be pro Wenger but his vision for the club suggests he will buy players for Wenger and if he doesnt like it he can fuck off and believe me he will
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:08 **
  EdoBoy: Usmanov has seen the quality in wenger that Kiddo has refused to see
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:08 **
  Ddude: Well he needs to speak up! No more shying away from problems facing the club
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:08 **
  EdoBoy: And as such has backed wenger from day one
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:09 **
  Ddude: @ Lalah: Well, the players Wenger are buying are ditching him left right and centre
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:10 **
   Ddude: Betting companies are already putting odds on the next player to leave Arsenal next summer. Lol
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:13 **
  EdoBoy: That's their business. they just want to make Money
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:16 **
  Kiddo: Just like our board. lol
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:16 **
  Ddude: Fact of the matter is Wenger has been more miss than hit recently in buying players with stable mindframes and who are dedicated to the Arsenal project him and his employers envision
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:17 **
  Lalah: And I say there's nothing wrong with wanting to make money but then I am an Ibo man. lol
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:18 **
  Ddude: I don't give a shit. Stan needs to speak up
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:19 **
  Tino: I believe things are changing in the right direction. There are reason why players play the game -to win laurels. AFC has to understand that, and there is a reason why business men invest money –to make profit. So it is this harmony that the board need to achieve otherwise we will keep losing players and might not attract serious minded ones. And if this keep happening then the profit making will drop. But I believe this off season is becoming a turning point.
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:20 **
  Ddude: Nice one, Tino
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:21 **
  Tino: We have secured two major signings and will add more soon. Let's focus on the positive changes and what it can bring to the team than dealing with the past. I say the future is bright
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:21 **
  Lalah: Tweet from @ESPNSoccernet
@ESPNSoccernet: Didier Drogba has insisted his move to Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua was not motivated by money -
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:21 **
  Tino: Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:21 **
  Ddude: Hahahaha
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:22 **
  Obi: Ddude, if U agree with Tino then u contradict ur self.
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:22 **
  Kiddo: Nice one Tino
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:22 **
  Ddude: Maybe he wants to convert to Bhuddism
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:22 **
  Obi: Kiddo, U too
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:22 **
  Ddude: Nope @ Obi. Read that statement again carefully
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:22 **
  Kiddo: I didn't say I agree, I appreciate his point of view
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:24 **
  Lalah: I think Tino has the bottomline. That balance has to be found
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:24 **
  Obi: Cos if the club spends like U (Usmanov) guys want then the club won't make profit, then it doesn't make sense to any businessman who wants to make profit!
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:25 **
  Tino: They were messing up Drogba’s chinese food orders in london hence he moved to Shanghai Shenhua
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:30 **
  Ddude: He's gonna make approx £20 milli over 2 yrs there and he says its not for money. Lol
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:34 **
  Tino: You won't blame him.. He has won all he can win... Only tea cup remaining for him to win and believe me they have a lot in china
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:45 **
  Kiddo: Lol
  ** Jul 14 Sat 15:55 **
  Ddude: Lol
  ** Jul 14 Sat 16:09 **
  Ziza: Who's watching the PSG vs CSKA match now
  ** Jul 14 Sat 16:09 **
  Ziza: PSG look a force man
  ** Jul 14 Sat 16:19 **
  Lalah: They will be. With all that money. And Ibra and Thiago Silva are not there yet
  ** Jul 14 Sat 16:27 **
  Kiddo: Every one is embracing money.......
This is not the end

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