Posts Tagged ‘Ivan Gazidis’

Football

‘Wayne Rooney is Arsenal’s priority’ – and five reasons why he might be tempted

By Stefano on June 7th, 2013

The Daily Mail has run a story this morning which may or may not shed a bit more light on the Wayne Rooney and his Arsenal possible transfer.

The paper says that

Arsenal hope a package of around £170,000-per-week and a multi-million pound signing on fee – plus the security of a five year contract – could persuade Rooney to take a pay cut from his current £250,000-per-week deal at Old Trafford, that has two years left to run.

It also says

But getting a sensational move for Rooney over the line remains Arsenal’s priority ahead of next season. And Gazidis insists the club, who have in excess of £70million to splash on transfer fees this summer, have the financial structure in place to land established stars like Rooney.

Many Arsenal fans seem very cynical about the move for Rooney and justifiably so. Arsenal haven’t bought a high profile player from United in the Premiership era. To join the club the player would almost certainly be taking a significant pay cut. Rooney is also settled in the north west where he has lived all his life.

In short there are lots of good reasons why Rooney won’t be leaving Manchester United and joining Arsenal, but as time goes by it does feel like Arsenal are serious in their pursuit of the England player.

Here then are a few reasons why Rooney might just be Arsenal bound.

1 It is not a bad financial offer - If The Mail is right then Rooney is taking an £80k per week pay cut. The again if he does stay there are no guarantees that United will offer him anything like that amount of money. Of course he could hang on another year – he has two year left on his contract – which would put him in a very good negotiating position. But another year of being eclipsed by Van Persie and whoever else United bring in could bring that value down further. He could possibly get more money from PSG, but who is to say they are going to bid for him and besides would he really rather live in Pairs than London? Wayne on The Champs-Elysees? Not sure…

2 He would be the star at Arsenal – I get the feeling that Wayne just wants to be loved. He isn’t feeling that at the moment at United. A move to Arsenal would trigger a huge wave of excitement in North London – just think how many Rooney shirts would be sold over the summer?

3 He could lead the line – Ferguson has been playing Rooney in a deeper position and it is one that suits some aspects of his game but not others. He wants to lead the line.  Who knows what Moyes will do with him? At Arsenal he would be the first choice striker.

4 He would be joining up with some pals – Arsenal has a good crop of English youngsters who, if their body language in recent friendlies is anything to go by, get on well with the United star. Playing alongside Wilshere, Walcott and Oxlade Chamberlain might be a pull in the way it was to Ashley Cole when he left Arsenal to join his England mates at Chelsea.

5 The fact that Gazidis is being bullish about the cash and about Rooney - At a press conference Ivan Gazidis was asked if the Gunners could afford a £20 million deal, plus £200,00-a-week wage.

He responded…

“Of course we could do that. We could do more than that.”

“We have a certain amount which we’ve held in reserve. We also have new revenue streams coming on board and all of these things mean we can do some things which would excite you.

“If Arsene thinks signing big names is the right thing to do, yes. The fact is this year we are beginning to see something we have been planning for some time, which is the escalation in our financial firepower.

“We can look at some options that weren’t really in our financial capability. It’s a progression over the next two seasons. It’s quite significant for the club.”

Arsenal would be a new start for the England striker. It seems that the ball is very much in his court.

Incidentally The Mail has the full transcript of what Ivan Gazidis said yesterday here.

 



Football

Five possible reasons why Arsenal haven’t signed any players in the window

By Stefano on January 30th, 2013

So with less than 48 hours to go Arsenal have signed exactly zero players in the window (I am not counting Walcott). Their rivals for Champions League places, Liverpool and Chelsea, have both significantly strengthened their squads by adding new players and in the case of The Reds it has already given them some very real momentum. Arsenal will find out exactly how much momentum later today.

Yet there remains the very strong chance that at the end of tomorrow night the Arsenal squad will be pretty much as it was a month ago.

Arsenal fans seem unsure of what to make of this. I read the always interesting Ashburton Grove this morning who talks of how he was not expecting any signings, but if one does land it would be nice surprise.

He says

I’m at peace with myself that we won’t make any signings. If we do, it will be a nice surprise. So that means putting my full support behind the players pulling on the Arsenal shirt until the end of the season, continuing against Liverpool tonight.

Other fans take a more aggressive view. They think that the club is going to struggle to reach fourth place and is in dire need of reinforcements. Wenger, Gazidis and their team have had a month to get new blood in, what has happened? The money is there, there are financially struggling clubs all over Europe and there are some great potential deals to be done. So why no new players?

No one knows exactly what has gone on at Arsenal this month part from Arsene and Ivan, but here are my pet theories as to why it is possible that Arsenal haven’t signed anyone.

1 Arsene is happy with the squad he has – The club’s recent results haven’t been bad, Walcott has signed a new contract and, although it is not a done deal, fourth place is still a very real possibility. Arsenal have the players,  they just need to gel together.

This all depends on expectation levels. If the limit of Arsenal’s ambition is fourth place then Wenger may have a point. Ultimately Arsenal fans are expecting a lot more. They want to be  challenging United and City for the title. If that is the case the team desperately needs new players. Even Wojciech Szczesny admitted to this yesterday when in The Guardian he said.

“Over a long time I’ve honestly had enough of people saying Arsenal’s defence is not good enough. People judge defence on the back of goals conceded but you have to have a look at the defending in general. If my back four are completely exposed against Chelsea – most of the time in the first half there it was four of my defenders against six Chelsea players – they were disadvantaged all the time. You have to look at the defending of the whole team, the shape of the whole team. People blame the Arsenal defenders way too much over the past couple of seasons.

That sounds like to me a cry for a reliable committed defensive midfielder.

Also look at Arsenal’s rivals. United might be many points clear but even they looked to  the future in the window in signing Wilfried Zaha – a player who realistically could have been an Arsenal signing.

2 Arsene can’t make his mind up -
The Frenchman knows that he needs to add players, but he can’t decide which ones. So Yann M’Vila is coming, and then he isn’t. Mohamed Diame is on his way but then Wenger goes cold on him.

I do think that indecision is playing a role. Arsene has consistently stated he only wants to sign exceptional players, but I am not sure in his head who he thinks is exceptional as it seems to change all the time.

3 Arsene can’t bear to spend the money – There are lots of players who Arsene would consider signing, but he isn’t going to splash the cash to get them. He has constantly alluded to the fact that you don’t apparently get good value in the winter window and this means that he is not bidding enough money for the players he wants.

Who knows if Arsenal made bids for Zaha, Villa etc. But I know Arsenal clearly bid for Gary Cahill and that piss takey sum incensed Bolton so much that it was inevitable that Cahill was on is way to Chelsea. I can also see Arsenal getting gazumped by City on a David Villa deal. I wonder if Wegner was so traumatised by criticism of his recent transfer policy (coughs, Park) and the way he seems to be paying mediocre players large wages that this means he deems it essential to be financially very, very prudent, and Arsenal end up with players who are 30% less talented than the ones they are replacing.

4 Wenger and Gazidis are just rubbish at transfers – This one gets trotted out a lot by Wenger’s critics. In the old days David Dein  spoke to Arsene, got a shopping list and off he went. Since Dein’s exit Arsenal’s transfer strategy seems to have been a lot more haphazard and there are those who think that Wenger doesn’t know what he is doing. They point to the fact that other clubs tied up players early while Wenger  has left it until last minute in search of a bargain.

For me this has a ring of truth. Arsenal’s transfer strategy seems flawed in that the longer you leave it to execute on your targets the more complex things become. Sure you pay more money earlier in the window, but then you get the pick of the players you want. I sometimes wonder if Wenger likes a deal more than he likes making great signings.

5 The money isn’t there – Maybe this £100 million war chest doesn’t exist. It is all a sham and Arsenal were never going to sign any players at all.

So what do you think? Any other reasons?



Football

Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis tells the fans – Arsene has plenty of money to spend

By Stefano on December 12th, 2012

Some interesting news courtesy of Arsenal expert Tim Payton, who has been sharing on Twitter and BBC Five Live what exactly went on at the Arsenal Supporters Trust meeting tonight.

Over 100 fans turned up to quiz Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis about the club’s finances, future and more and, credit to the guy, he apparently spent over two hours answering their questions. Gazidis even kicked off with an apology saying that the Capital One Cup defeat at Bradford simply wasn’t good enough. He also thanked the travelling fans last night and said that he was working to put things right.

The most interesting snippet though is that Gazidis said in no uncertain terms that Arsene Wenger has a sizeable war chest of cash to spend on the players he wants. There are no financial restrictions and that significant funds are available.

Tim Payton was clearly impressed by the  CEO’s openness and honesty. He tweeted.

Ivan brief tonight and best I’ve heard him. No spin. Just apologies & says knows has to be better. Asks fans to give views to his colleagues

Payton was also interviewed by Sky News and told them

“This is the most difficult time in Arsene’s 16 years and both the club and himself need to change direction quickly if his wonderful era is not to end on a sad note.

“The Arsenal Supporters’ Trust cannot fathom why £70m was left untouched this summer.

“Arsene needs to get over his distaste for spending and use the resources that, after all, are provided by the hard-pressed fans who watch the team.

“The AST believe a shake-up is needed. We would like to see new, younger blood added to the board, and they also need to exercise more control and direction over Arsene’s football strategy.

“One man cannot direct all transfer targets, wages, coaching methods and manage the team at games. It’s too much for one man.”

Pic PA
 

 



Football

Why defeat to Swansea might be the catalyst that kick starts Arsenal’s season.

By Stefano on December 1st, 2012

On the way home from the Arsenal game today I heard the following exchange between a pair of middle age Gooners. One said ‘that’s it now we can only expect Arsenal to be like they were in the 80s under Don Howe.’ The other fella responded ‘What no league wins, just the odd cup?’

It then struck me that Arsenal had actually been in this position for seven trophy-less years. It is just that the fans are only beginning to realise it… However in spite of the boo boys and the general pessimism in and around the Emirates today I actually think we might remember the Swansea defeat as being the catalyst that kick started Arsenal’s season.

The logic is this. Wenger had gambled on winning today and the next home game against West Brom which he hoped would propel Arsenal into the top four. They would then put a run together and maybe even press the Mancunians towards the end of the season.

What happened to day was that an exhausted looking team – especially Carzola, Arteta, Podolski – failed to get into gear in the first half and then didn’t take their chances in the second. Swansea were the better team for much of the game and ironically had more possession than Arsenal and played in a way that you’d expect the Gunners to play.

We have of course been here several times already this season and it is clear the Arsenal team, although full of good players, is failing to gel in a way that previous Arsenal teams have.

Ultimately what today did though was ensure that come the Winter transfer window Arsenal will have to spend and spend big. Without an investment in a new creative midfielder, one, possibly two strikers and even another defensive midfielder Arsenal will finish nowhere near fourth. Ivan Gazidis must know this now and any arguments between Wenger and Gazidis about whether there is money to spend are surely redundant given the investment from the new Emirates deal. Maybe there will be the odd high profile loan deal too – Fabregas back? You heard it here first!

Quite frankly the one thing that can save Arsenal season is the arrival of some big marquee signings that can add bite to the team and instill confidence in some excellent, but under performing players. Wenger can talk all he likes about the return of Thierry Henry. What he really ought to be focusing on is signing the next Henry.

So, as depressing a result as today is for Arsenal fans it should ensure at the very least some big deals are on the cards. Had the team won today and beaten West Brom the situation would have been less clear. Wenger, not the most flexible of men, would at least have a case foe carrying on with Plan A. Now for Wenger and Gazidis it is crystal clear. That Champions League place really is in the balance.




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