GBP 1.00 #Suarez #Rodgers

Arsenal, ek chutki sindoor

Arsenal, ek chutki sindoor

This one takes the biscuit! Courtesy Arsenal India Forum on facebook.


F365: The Arsenal Ticketing Myth– Putting an old jibe to rest

Quite shocked that F365 put this mail up. They often don’t do. — But the tides are turning, Wenger is not interesting news any more, now that there are Moyes and Mourinho and Martinez to bite into. But anyway, here’s the mail, from a certain Jon (Season Ticket holder since 1982) Clapham, London

In reply to TJ (Another Dig at Arsenal), Arsenal Season Ticket renewals were sent out on Monday 20 May, the day after Newcastle were vanquished and Champions League qualification was secured. Obvious reason being the club wouldn’t have been able to charge as much for a Europa League campaign. 

I’m pretty sure that with a waiting list to get on the season ticket waiting list, the club don’t need to make up rumours of player transfers, but hey, why let the truth get in the way of a good story hey TJ ??!

I have renewed my season ticket, at the same price as last season and for £989 I get to watch every home league game and receive 8 cup vouchers for the first 8 Champions League and/or FA Cup games next season. I also received a refund of £37 on last season’s as I didn’t use all 8 cup vouchers. Carling Cup tickets can be purchased on top of this for £10 per game.

So, for £989, I get 27 matches at the Emirates, which works out at £36.62 per game to sit bang on the halfway line, lower tier. Seems fairly reasonable for a season of Champions League football……

The constant abuse Arsenal get for high prices is, in my opinion somewhat unfair and a bit of a bugbear of mine. Yes, you can pay £5,000 for a season ticket, for the razzle dazzle of Club Level, with its marbled toilets, free booze and food, but there are a lot more reasonably priced options and £36 a match as an average is very reasonable. Most clubs season tickets only offer league games, with cup games extra on top, which the media very rarely point out. This is why the season ticket prices comparison tables always look distorted with Arsenal coming out top. Taken on average as to the number of games you get to see, it’s not too bad at all….. Just sayin’

From 7amKickOff: Mikel Arteta, Arsenal Player of the Season

This is from the 7amKickOff blog, one of the best Arsenal blogs around. Says exactly what I think about the ’12-’13 season, and Arteta. Read it here. Excerpt:

But what makes Arteta even more special than just the numbers he posted is that he voluntarily took on the deeper role in midfield this season with the departure of Alex Song to Barcelona. We tend to forget that last year Arteta was second on Arsenal for key passes (shots created for others) with 60 and he scored six goals for the club from open play, whereas this year he has just the one (v. QPR all his other goals come from penalties). Arteta gave up that role to Aaron Ramsey and in so doing helped to transform the young Welshman’s Arsenal career.

That selflessness is the hallmark of a great leader which is the other reason why I think Arteta has to be player of the year. In the depths of Arsenal’s season, when all seemed to be falling apart around the club, Arteta became the clew by which Arsene Wenger led Arsenal out of the labyrinth.

Bravo, Mikel. He was the glue that held our season together. On to ’13-’14 then.


Premier League Playoff


(a) Arsenal win 2-1 at St James’ Park;

(b) Chelsea draw 0-0 at the Bridge against the Toffees on the final day,

Both teams will be identical on (a) points (b) GD (c) goals scored (d) goals conceded. 

and there could be a playoff to decide on third place.

Would not happen, surely. But in the realms of possibility. Interesting.

Stat courtesy F365.

Guardian: England is rushing in young players to the first XI

Read this article, superbly well said.

Guardian: Rushing young players into the England team does them few favours (England should follow the lead of France and Germany, who let their young players develop in youth teams)

Also, there is this superb comment by MirandaC, which needs re-posting. So here goes.

If England are threadbare at higher level it isn’t the fault of the top Premiership clubs whose academies are providing a footballing education second to none, as shown by the fact that three of the semi-finalists in this year’s NextGen, the under-19s CL, are English: Chelsea, Arsenal and Villa – the first two of which are all to often unthinkingly blamed for depriving young British talent of its rightful chance.

In fact almost a hundred percent of the intake into those clubs’ academies at age 9-10 is local. The question to ask, therefore, is why so many of those local kids who get to enjoy coaching and facilities that are the envy of the world from their earliest years fail to make it. What’s missing, the talent or the ambition and graft?

Don’t know about other clubs, but at Arsenal in recent years two English kids, Wilshere and Gibbs, who entered the academy at age 9 have made it into the first team; the others, many of whom were considered just as talented initially – e.g. Henri Lansbury and Jay Emmanuel Thomas – did not, reportedly because they fooled about and failed to put in the grind. Of Arsenal’s current Next-Gen first-choice team only three (Chuba Akpom, Isaac Hayden and Nico Yennaris) are English; the remainder are Bulgarian, German, Dutch, Catalan, Swiss … i.e. kids who entered the academy in their mid- teens but who in a couple of years have risen to the top, leaving their English counterparts lagging behind.

It seems unlikely that these foreigners are innately more talented, especially in the case of the Catalans and Germans who, had they clearly been embryo Iniestas and Messis, would surely have been snapped up by Barca and Bayern’s academies rather than exiled to cold, rainy London? It must, then, be the other factor that makes for success: application. Foreign kids are putting in the effort and making better use of the coaching and facilities than the locals who’ve enjoyed them from their earliest years.

Since being lousy at football isn’t built into the English gene pool, and since there’s no lack of opportunities provided by top Premiership clubs, that leaves us with the culture at large. More precisely it leaves us with the football media.

Instead of giving NextGen the coverage it deserves, the Guardian has treated us to a series of space-fillers – e.g. that one about England’s Rio hotel. This epitomizes the problem. Youth development, kids’ stuff, who gives a fuck about that? Which clubs are doing an excellent job and deserve applause for their success – that’s Arsenal, Villa and Chelsea – and which clubs are not and deserve to be shamed – that’s City who failed to make it through their NextGen group – does the Guardian give a toss? No, it does not. What it cares about, or imagines its readers care about, is the waterbeds and shopping and security at England’s Rio hotel. Why are we surprised that 13-14-year-old English kids have absorbed our interests and values? We’ve taught them that their little competitions where they get to pit their skills and graft against their contemporaries at Europe’s top clubs are of no importance or interest; still less important was the work that produced their success. What’s important in England is shopping and waterbeds in a luxury hotel already booked for a tournament that England haven’t yet qualified for. English football doesn’t do football, not as such; it just does footballing bling.

The Guardian is quasi-left-lib, and sometimes does not remain my cup of tea; but the comments are often amazing! Here’s one.