Arsenal on the verge of new Goal Keeper, finally a win and Stan Kroenke

Well they were yesterday, after the game Robin van Persie confirmed he would have been the man to step in had anything happened to Mad Jens.

On to Oliver’s match report, please bear with the long post this morning…

After the week we have just endured, an actual premier league fixture almost seemed a subplot to the ongoing intrigue.

From the Arsenal Supporters Trust (AST) public expression of dissatisfaction with specific, recent developments; to Arsene’s “come out swinging” riposte at our many media critics; to the chairman’s clumsy (yet – in my opinion – officially sanctioned) put-down of certain sections of support; all against the backdrop of continued name-calling and bickering amongst a deeply polarized fan base.

If this does not paint a picture of a club in crisis – everybody fighting with everybody – then I am not sure what constitutes on.  Yet I would not characterize us as a club in crisis at this moment.  Few seem happy – which is not the same as willing to settle for something – with how things went over the past month and where we currently stand, but we still have an opportunity to accomplish something here…

So it was against this backdrop that we took to the Bloomfield Road pitch looking for our first league win since February 23rd (midweek 1-0 versus Stoke) – a drought running nearly seven weeks.  While we have not lost a league fixture since mid December (0-1 at Old Trafford), we have recently been getting only one of every three points on offer – not championship winning form in any way or shape.  Man United, Chelsea and the Spuddies all won yesterday, so once again, we found ourselves staring at a “must win” situation.

Now that the league is the only competition we remain in, the grueling programme which saw a steady stream of weekend and midweek fixtures is a thing of the past.  My disappointment at elimination from three Cups in rapid succession remains acute, and the extra rest our players now have seems scant consolation.  Yet if we are going to actually win the league this season, then our players will need time to rest and hopefully return from injuries.

We received some good news in Arsene’s Friday press conference, he confirmed that Cesc and Diaby were back and Song still out, with Theo and Sagna facing late fitness tests, and Szczesny and Djourou both close to returning.

Our announced lineup was Almunia, Clichy, Squil, Kos, Eboue (in for Sagna, who was ruled out), Diaby (in for Song), Cesc, Jack, Arshavin, Robin, and Samir.

The bench was Jens, Gibbs, Ramsey, Rosicky, Theo, Nikki and Chamakh.

In an Aaron Lennon at the Bernabeu moment, Al was ruled out just a few minutes prior to kickoff, apparently injuring a knee during warm ups and the conspiracy theorists said “Hmmm…”

Whilst I personally believe that Arsene has used slight injuries as a cover for dropping players – including this particular goalkeeper – previously, I am not convinced that anything untoward was at play here.

There is always the possibility that he saw something he didn’t like during warm-ups, but I am struggling to see Arsene making a last-minute, unforced (i.e. not injury-induced) change in such circumstances.  Especially since nobody really knew what we would get from Jens in such a situation.

So I think this injury is legitimate and I can only shake my head as our fourth goalkeeper goes down this season.  Only at Arsenal?  Indeed. This meant, however, that we could only name six on our bench and if something should happen to Jens, then things would become quite interesting to say the least…

So at 8:30AM (Eastern Standard Time) sharp, I settled back with a fresh cup of coffee to see our latest attempt to claw ground back from the fast-disappearing Man United, and regain our four point cushion on Chelsea.

For a match with such high stakes, we started disappointingly slowly.  Blackpool went at us and forced a couple of early corners.  In one of them, Evatt sent a header over from point-blank range, where he really should have done better.

It took us about eight or so minutes to find our range, but we gradually started to put passes together and get attacks going.  Diaby and Jack played well in midfield, while Cesc looked subdued.  Fortunately, this was one game where our captain did not need to carry us.

We took control with about ten minutes in, and had already forced Kingson into a couple of saves before we opened the scoring on 17 minutes.  Diaby started and finished the move, intercepting in midfield and feeding Cesc, who picked Robin out.  The latter took the ball parallel with the Blackpool area and crossed for Diaby, who finished decisively past Kingson.

This is the sort of counterattacking goal we have not seen that much of recently; Diaby smartly ran into the area and made sure he was available for Robin’s cross, and finished well.  While not exactly known as prolific, Diaby has scored goals for us, and if he ever puts it all together and stays consistently fit, he can be a dominant player…

We kept the pressure on and added a second goal just three minutes later.  Eboue and Jack combined, with the former blasting a low shot into Kingson’s right hand corner.  22 minutes in and 2-0 up, with our scorers Diaby and Eboue.  This goal featured more good interplay and another fine finish.

At this point, we threatened to run riot, but the intensity may have dropped a bit as well.  Jack and Southern had earlier been involved in an accidental clash of heads which saw the former down for about a minute, and needing a brief spell of treatment.

Shortly after our second goal, Southern then barged Jack off the ball (not for the first or last time), making no attempt to play the ball; but instead of awarding a foul, Referee Mason bizarrely ordered a drop kick?  Blackpool forced a couple more corners, which we able to clear, and then Samir hit the post after combining with Cesc.

We had a couple of more chances before the interval, but couldn’t convert.

We started slowly in the first half, and did similar at the restart.  This time it cost us, as Blackpool built pressure and six minutes after the interval, Puncheon sent Campbell clean through.  As in the Champions League Final in Paris, Jens brought the attacker down – this time clearly inside the area – but Mason allowed Blackpool to play advantage, and Taylor-Fletcher bundled the loose ball home.  This may have been what saved Jens from a dismissal, as Blackpool were able to score a goal from the advantage.

The nerves were immediately apparent, and Blackpool cut us open just a minute later, with Kos bringing Taylor-Fletcher down inside our area.  I’ve been furious when Arsenal have been denied clear-cut penalties – think Vela at Braga and Arshavin vs. Sunderland – so I have every sympathy for Ollie and his players.

We got away with one there and Blackpool should have had the opportunity to level from the spot.

We attacked quickly and won a free kick.  Robin sent a nice delivery in but Kingson was equal to it, punching it away.  Jack tried his luck with the rebound, but shot wide.  Blackpool came again and Southern failed to get a head to the ball from point-blank range with the goal gaping.  That should have been 2-2.

Arsene made his first in-match change on the hour mark, with Theo replacing Arshavin, and this move proved inspired.  We started to regain control with him on, as he was able to get into good positions and stretch their defence.

With 15 minutes remaining, we restored our two-goal cushion and Theo was, predictably involved.  Blackpool pressed on the edge of our box, when Squil made a great tackle to rob Campbell.  He quickly fed Cesc, who made a great pass to spring Theo down the right.  He crossed for Robin, who had a simple task of converting from a couple of yards out.   This was another instance we counterattacked with speed of thought and movement, and didn’t try to bog the move down with extra passes.

Blackpool, as expected and to their full credit, came back at us.  Two minutes later, a dawdling Clichy was robbed, and Campbell was put through again – this time Jens made a fine, one-on-one save.  Blackpool had another chance later, with Evatt getting in a header which forced Jens into another save.

As the match wound down, Arsene replaced Samir with Gibbs and Cesc with Ramsey.  Blackpool could not muster any further clear chances and Theo drove a free-kick narrowly wide.  The final whistle went and we could breathe a huge sigh of relief.

Blackpool are now 17th in the table, just a point ahead of West Ham.  If they should go down, they are going to do it their way, attacking and trying to score goals.  As we are now quits for the season, good luck to them in their survival efforts.  It has not been a great Premiership season, but they have certainly been one of the bright spots.

Ollie was understandably fuming over the non-penalty award, but seemed measured in his comments…He did not make a big fuss over the non-red card to Jens, but if Mason had sent our keeper off, Robin confirmed that he would have gone in goal.  After seeing his five-year old son score on him recently, I shudder to think of what Blackpool might have done.

That comment is, of course, jocular.  But what would not be funny is a straight red for Jens – that comes with a ban (two matches?).  With Al’s apparent knee injury, would James Shea have to start against Liverpool?  Thankfully we won’t need to consider that, not yet, anyway…

So the winning feeling is back, and hopefully it is not temporary this time.  While we looked extremely shaky during and for several minutes after Blackpool’s goal, there were many positives.  For one, we were far more direct and incisive than in recent matches, and it paid off with three goals.  We counter-attacked quickly and instinctively and shot on goal.

Our first two goals came from largely unexpected sources.  Diaby had an excellent first half, and even if he was largely anonymous after the restart, he still contributed a lot early on.  Robin showed his poachers side, tapping home our clincher after Squil, Cesc and Theo did the heavy lifting.

There were a few negatives, notably the slow starts in both halves, the shaky nervous defending following their goal, and the over-elaboration late in the first half, when we have several great chances to add a third goal.  But few wins are perfect, and after a prolonged winless run and difficult week, three points are most welcome.  As the saying goes, win this now and look good the next time.

We still have an awful lot to do to win the title, and we have put ourselves in a huge deficit.  The odds are firmly against us; regardless of how it ends up, I think we will make it interesting and get ourselves into a position where we have a reasonable chance of winning it.

What we do from there will be down to the players.  I offer the modest suggestion that they – as a group – keep the chatter down.

Liverpool is up next, just focus on business.

No need to talk about how we need to show the “DNA of champions” – that should be fairly evident by now.  Just focus, take it a game at a time, and cut back the comments.

Arsene can help there as well – he praised the team’s “mental strength” after the win this afternoon.  That is fair enough – they dug in and showed grit to hold Blackpool off and come away with the win.  But now that he has done that, perhaps he can shelve the lavish praise and let the results speak for themselves.

Other than Arsene’s (Governor) Palin-esque attack-mode press conference, there was minimal yapping out of London Colney this past week and we got a result.  I do not necessarily think that is a coincidence.

Our players are already under-fire for the poor run of results; by keeping quiet for a change they avoided heaping extra (self-induced) pressure on themselves.  There is plenty of time to talk once the season has ended…

Shortly after the final whistle, speculation mounted that Mr. Kroenke will launch his long-speculated takeover attempt in the very near future.  We’ll have to see how this shakes out.

If he does take the club over, perhaps he can involve himself in player acquisition.  I say this because, as Denver Nuggets owner, he reportedly negotiated directly with New York Knicks owner James Dolan over the Carmelo Anthony trade.

I cannot confirm what was said during the negotiations, but I do know that the Knicks were absolutely fleeced in the deal, giving up way more than necessary in a negotiation where they held most of the leverage.  I have my own suspicions that much of that was down to Dolan’s desperation to land Carmelo, regardless of cost, but few can argue that Denver got several good players for one (and a past-his-prime point guard) who could dictate where he would go by either signing/refusing to sign an extension, and possibly walking for free in the off-season…

Seriously, if he does take control of the club, the best thing will be for him to put/retain good people in place and allow them to do their jobs…

Not much of the season left but we are still there and still have a chance…

One goal at a time, one match at a time, three points at a time.

Let’s see where that gets us…

Written by Oliver

126 thoughts on “Arsenal on the verge of new Goal Keeper, finally a win and Stan Kroenke

  1. rico

    April 11, 2011 at 9:15am

    Morning all,

    Good write up Oliver, thre great goals, three much needed points and we are still in with a shout, albeit it feels more like a whisper right now..

    Lehmann worries me, as does our whole goal keeping situation, and that is down to one man…

    Still, we have Robin van Persie 😆

  2. Will

    April 11, 2011 at 9:32am

    Let’s hope the new guy is like DD and reminds Wenger that there is cash there to spend and that it is not Wenger’s.

  3. rico

    April 11, 2011 at 9:52am

    Nigel Winterburn reckons he’s not ever had much to spend Will…

  4. W.A.T.H

    April 11, 2011 at 10:07am

    Same shit another day………. keeping the same old tossers on the board merely to now take all the profits for himself to pay off what he’s paying for the club….! Nothing will change me thinks….!

    Morning all, not a good day although we all knew it was coming and the board has fattened the club up lied to us through their arses only to line their pockets…!

  5. Will

    April 11, 2011 at 10:12am

    I am not sure how he is doing it. Stan is worth Net Worth: $1.8 billion but Arsenal is costing $1.3b to buy.

  6. W.A.T.H

    April 11, 2011 at 10:41am

    He says he’s not getting the club into debt to purchase his shares BUT even if thats true he’ll use the club profits to pay off what he’s spent for the shares one way or another….!

  7. JonJon

    April 11, 2011 at 10:45am

    morning y’all
    nice write up oliver
    i dont think anyones bothered about the match though 😉

    i know we went over this last night but i think this is a good move..
    stan knows what hes doing he wont invest heavily into the club but he wont take anything out of us..
    him and his american team will monopolise america with us and he’ll make his money that way..
    i read last night that stan owns all the rights to his companies over in the states..including telly..
    now if he creates an arsenal tv channel over in the states and sells the brand like season tickets imagine the money it would make??

    the baord have fucked us and needed to go years ago..
    at least its now over and we can see what minerals this guy has got..

  8. W.A.T.H

    April 11, 2011 at 10:49am

    JJ, hows it over when he’s keeping the same old geriatrics on the board and the same pompous ignorant old tosser of a chariman…? synatics my friend nothing gonna change one bit….!

  9. rico

    April 11, 2011 at 10:50am

    Hi all, internet problems today :(

    Somethings are changing but evrything remains the same… !

    How can AFC Football Club, OUR club benefit from this takeover??

    They can’t, come on Big Russian, play your trump card…

  10. Will

    April 11, 2011 at 10:51am

    My question exactly Watch and, how the hell is he buying the club.

  11. W.A.T.H

    April 11, 2011 at 10:56am

    JJ, if you bought shares in a biz for ten grand you’d want a return if you borrowed ten grand to buy those shares ur return would maybe linked to paying off your ten grand, either way your not gonna invest in anyway without wanting a return so how does SK take his return and surely that then means we lose out on footballing profits and nothing changes as no investment in the team…!

  12. W.A.T.H

    April 11, 2011 at 10:57am

    The only kicker in this whole deal is if he uses the yank market to make money with PPV games over there or through AFCTV…. He also needs to grow the brand big time to catch up with the others on the worldwide stage as we are lagging far behind, to do that we also need to be successful, I wonder if SK appreciated wengers 2nd is fine comments…? Yanks like winners…!

  13. JonJon

    April 11, 2011 at 10:59am

    he wont be keeping PHW
    he just saying that to smooth over the deals as soon as he gets the shares they are all gone…

    gasidis and tom fox and whoever else will go on the board and we will go american and take their cash..

    it’ll be me you know it makes semse. 😉

  14. JonJon

    April 11, 2011 at 11:01am

    he does want a return wath
    but hes already said that american sports are not easy to market globally..only one off events like superbowl and such generate international cash the rest of the time nobody outside the us really gives a shit

    footballs a global sport..he wants arsenal so he can globalise us he’ll do it and rake his money in that way we will be fine this wont be no glaziers this man has got the minerals to take us forward.

  15. JonJon

    April 11, 2011 at 11:05am

    hes got the money will..

  16. Will

    April 11, 2011 at 11:15am

    His net worth is $1.8b yes?

  17. JonJon

    April 11, 2011 at 11:19am

    he already owns 30% of the club

  18. JonJon

    April 11, 2011 at 11:25am

    buying the other 32% will cost him 240mil

    if hes sold the rams hes got 350mil to play with..

    the rest is upto usmanov but if the fat man stays stan cant plough us into debt..its illegal…
    not that he will anyway he doesnt need to

  19. rico

    April 11, 2011 at 11:28am

    I’m not happy :(

  20. Will

    April 11, 2011 at 11:31am

    Maybe you are right, time will tell.

  21. JonJon

    April 11, 2011 at 11:34am

    he the biggest most reputable sports franchiser in the US..hes got 6 clubs and none of them are in the red..
    this aint no glaziers or gillete or hicks or jon henry even..
    this guys the daddy of them all…
    hes not as rich as usmanov but that means shit..
    and if the fatman refuses to sell and he invites usmanov on the board then we set to go in all areas..

  22. Will

    April 11, 2011 at 11:38am

    Looks like Danny is about to die.

  23. rico

    April 11, 2011 at 11:42am

    Just read that too Will….

  24. Will

    April 11, 2011 at 11:45am

    Maybe that is why this has happened now. Sad day at The Arsenal.

  25. allezkev

    April 11, 2011 at 11:49am

    Good day Gooners. Hi Wath/JJ/Will/Rico.
    We are living thru historic times re:AFC.
    Interesting article JJ, makes me a little less concerned about SK’s long-term aims.
    did anyone notice that all SK’s business re:AFC shares will cost £30million in proffessional fees. Wow, to be a lawyer is certainly a money-spinner…

    Will/Rico, that’s sad news on Fiszman, that cancer is an evil disease.

  26. rico

    April 11, 2011 at 11:50am

    I wondered the same, maybe it’s a dying wish of his to make sure his shares go to who he wants them to and he see’s it go through – i’m just guessing of course…

    It is a sad day for Arsenal Football Club, sadly we knew that both would happen one day but I just didn’t think it would be this soon.

    As for the takeove, i’d hoped it would be by someone other than both Stan and The Russian… But, I still think the latter would have been a better option for Arsenal purely on the basis he has far more money and borrowing would never really be in his thoughts…

    I worry Stan will do just what the american duo did at liverpool…

  27. rico

    April 11, 2011 at 11:51am

    morning kev, it is indeed, bloody evil….

  28. rico

    April 11, 2011 at 12:01pm

    The Russian Camp are due to speak on Sky Sports in a short while…

  29. rico

    April 11, 2011 at 12:06pm

    Sources close to Usamanov suggest he will show his hand in the next 24 hours, he doesn’t need the money for his shares – he is said to be dissapointed that Arsenal look as if they will just stay the same under Stan – no success, no trophies….

    mme…. i don’t think he is far wrong…

  30. allezkev

    April 11, 2011 at 12:10pm

    Seems, from that Guardian piece, that it’s a ‘Done deal’.
    I got the feeling, that on the surface, we’re not gonna see a lot of changes. And if any fans are expecting a ‘Big Splurg’ in the transfer market, i suspect that they’ll be a little disappointed.

  31. allezkev

    April 11, 2011 at 12:11pm

    Rico, how long do you think that Hill-Wood will remain on the Board?

  32. rico

    April 11, 2011 at 12:21pm

    It’s said that Sten will keep the board as it is kev, so where will be the change, stan also says he is aware of our history etc etc and the cynic in me thinks it will all just stay as it is right now…..

  33. allezkev

    April 11, 2011 at 12:26pm

    Rico, what can Ursmanov do? If DF & LN have agreed to sell, he’s buggered.

  34. SD-London

    April 11, 2011 at 12:28pm

    I favour the Russian,
    1. He is European
    2. HE knows about the beautiful game
    3. HE loves the beautiful game.

    IS there really any fan there that is concerned whether we are making profit or not but rather concerned whether we are winning trophies or not?

    Kroenk is just going to keep the board and make more profit that he will use to service his debts , therefore Wenger’s transfer budget will remain the same.

    Has anyone ever thought about what Wenger could do with a team of talents like that of Man city or Chelsea if he could get us to second in the league with relatively average players at Arsenal

  35. allezkev

    April 11, 2011 at 12:29pm

    From What i read in the Guardian, it’s a ‘fait accompli’, Ursmanov has no where to go it seems to me.

  36. Will

    April 11, 2011 at 12:32pm

    Does anything think the Fat Russian would saddle us with debt?

  37. rico

    April 11, 2011 at 12:33pm

    I don’t think he can do anything kev – other than not sell his own shares….

    Hi SD…

  38. rico

    April 11, 2011 at 12:34pm

    No I don’t Will, Stan might….

    Off for a bit guys….

  39. W.A.T.H

    April 11, 2011 at 12:43pm

    The russian doesnt have to sell long as Stan doesnt get enough shares to force a compulsory take over !! With 30 % Usmanov could force his way onto the board maybe and do a deal with Stan…?

    You seem sold on the idea JJ……….. I’m fucked off and I think your falling for the media bullshit mate..!.

  40. allezkev

    April 11, 2011 at 12:50pm

    Wath, all we can do is watch from the sidelines. Suppose it’s the feeling of impotence that effects us. We, as fans, invest a lot of ourselves into our football team, but in the end it’s the plaything of Billionaires, and we have no say.

  41. W.A.T.H

    April 11, 2011 at 12:52pm

    AK, we have a say if we turn up and line their pockets from now on…..!

  42. allezkev

    April 11, 2011 at 1:06pm

    Theoretically[!] your spot on mate, but we know that all the season tickets will be sold out again this summer. And ‘they’ know it.
    There’s plenty of ‘Tourists’ every home game, to buy all their ‘Made in China’ tat from the shops.
    It’s gonna take a lot for the present support to drop off.
    One big signing and the blogs will be humming again.

  43. Will

    April 11, 2011 at 1:07pm

    12.27pm: Matt “Digger” Scott asks: “Will Stan Kroenke burden Arsenal like Malcolm Glazer has United? – As with Malcolm Glazer’s acquisition of Manchester United, only time will tell whether Stan Kroenke’s takeover is good for Arsenal.”

    As the landlord of most Wal-Mart stores in the US, Kroenke is a very rich man indeed, but his wealth appears tied up in assets. His Arsenal takeover, valuing the club at £731m, means he will have to stump up £500m in cash if all the major shareholders take him up on his offer (and there is every reason to believe they will). No one can yet tell, however, if Kroneke, whose business affairs are enshrouded in the corporate darkness of Delaware, has that kind of money sitting in a bank account.

    In Arsenal’s board statement recommending that shareholders take up Kroenke’s £11,750-a-share offer, it stressed the following: “Kroenke Sports Enterprises [the purchasing vehicle] has stated that the offer will not be funded by debt finance secured against the club.” Fine. But that could be a little misleading: it doesn’t matter where any debt finance might be secured, once he owns Arsenal outright there will be nothing to stop Kroenke taking £25m a year and more in dividends to pay for KSE’s leveraged buyout. That might very well rouse the red army, for Arsenal cannot afford that kind of burden.

  44. W.A.T.H

    April 11, 2011 at 1:16pm

    Ak, I think you maybe underestimating the ill feeling out there at the moment…..! A lot of ppl are very very pissed off and we not talking about 5% here, its a lot of ppl….!

    Will, I read that a little while ago…. Interesting and not good, As we said whats gonna change…? Be interesting to see what the response is from Usmanov in the next day or so…!

  45. allezkev

    April 11, 2011 at 1:29pm

    Wath mate, i’m not underestimating the feeling at all, but why are people so pissed off? Why is all this a suprise to anyone? This was always going to happen mate, as soon as Kroenke and Ursmanov bought their shares. As i said yesterday, i don’t know enough about the ins & outs of this kind of business to have an educated view.
    If Wenger was threatening to walk away, then i would really begin to worry. As it is, all i can do is wait and see…
    But i do share your concerns mate, i really do…

  46. JonJon

    April 11, 2011 at 1:31pm

    we dont want usmanov
    that guy can buy us out right but the guy will kill us..
    he’ll turn us into chelsea and we’ll spend millions upon millions on anybody who scores a goal and the academy will go down the toilet..
    all for the sake of what?? a couple of trophies??
    then what when he decides enough is enough?? and he takes all his money away..
    chelsea are fucked if roman leaves and citeh are fucked if the sheiks leave id rather the club be around for the rest of time than risk our long term future for the sake of a trophy..
    we need to stay self follow this club if we go into the coca cola league rather than follow them if we turn into chelsea..
    theres nothing wrong with the way we are run and stan wont change that
    we just needed a new board with fresh ideas and stan will change that..

    the big thing is how will he pay for us and the general consensus from many is that he has the cash so im not worried until theres something to worry about.
    the baords been rudderless for years no body has been running this club and now we have someone so lets see what happens..

  47. allezkev

    April 11, 2011 at 1:31pm

    Righto, off to the supermarket, see you Gooners later.

  48. Will

    April 11, 2011 at 1:32pm

    JJ for president, viva el presidente’

  49. JonJon

    April 11, 2011 at 1:33pm

    i dont think fismann or nina would have sanctioned this if stan was going to fuck us..

  50. Will

    April 11, 2011 at 1:46pm

    Nor do I.

  51. oliver

    April 11, 2011 at 1:49pm

    morning all…it seems the takeover is in motion, so we’ll soon see what we get.

    i am with jj, i don’t want the uzbek taking control of our club. will kroenke be perfect? almost certainly not, but hopefully we will be able to move forward under him. we won’t know for a little while yet.

  52. Will

    April 11, 2011 at 1:50pm

    A workaholic fitness fanatic, he does not touch bread and pasta and was described by a friend as having a lower body fat level than many professional basketballers. His interests include hunting, fishing and wine – he bought the Screaming Eagle vineyard in California’s Napa Valley in 2006, and poured thousands of bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon down the drain because it was not good enough.

    One story will warm the hearts of trophy-deprived Arsenal fans. At a meeting with Nuggets club officials, the name of a top star came up as a possible target. Kroenke is said to have simply muttered: “Go get him.”

  53. oliver

    April 11, 2011 at 2:02pm

    will, do you know who that nba player kroenke supposedly said “go get him” was? i ask because the nugs are not known for making big signings. they drafted carmelo out of syracuse in 2003, after he led the orange to the national championship. they wanted to lock carmelo up long term, but he declined to sign, so they had to either move him this season, or see him walk this summer. they did great business in fleecing the knicks – most likely the only (home town) team carmelo really wanted to go to. knicks had all the leverage here, but dolan had no problem gutting the roster to land him. good piece of business by the nugs, and it’s widely understood that kroenke was involved in the latter stages of the negotiations…

    mind you, this is nothing to do with arsenal…

  54. oliver

    April 11, 2011 at 2:03pm

    maybe kroenke will bring george karl is as arsene’s replacement?

  55. JonJon

    April 11, 2011 at 2:11pm

    alan iverson

  56. SD-London

    April 11, 2011 at 2:12pm

    i understand that the Russin-Uzbek is not a looker but he is clearly a football fan and i think that is all that matters here, if we fans wants any of our emotions represented in the aftermatt of AFC being taken over.

  57. oliver

    April 11, 2011 at 2:25pm

    ok, that was a few years ago when iverson shot his way out of philly…that didn’t work out so well for the nuggets. however – in the 08-9 season, they moved ai to detroit for chauncey billups, and he and carmelo got the nuggets to the western conference finals where they gave the lakers all they could handle…

  58. JonJon

    April 11, 2011 at 2:25pm

    wheres the proof he is a football fan..
    we know stan has a vast sports background due to all his businesses but usmanov is just a gangster whos money pays for lawyers to keep him out of jail..

  59. K-TR7

    April 11, 2011 at 2:28pm

    Morning all.good read with jj on this one.something just seems off with Usmanov…

  60. JonJon

    April 11, 2011 at 2:28pm

    never been interested really in this stuff..
    had kinda a mini flirt with the 49ners way back in the day when montana and then steve young were pulling the strings but other than that its never appealed to me
    but now i am.. 😉
    so tell me..what do you know..
    i know the rams are shit but stan’s looking to sell those as its a joint venture i believe, but as far as the nuggets and the avalanche and the likes are concerned how do they do??

  61. oliver

    April 11, 2011 at 2:30pm

    i thought usmanov is a man united fan? or is that just urban legend? i do know he owns part of one of the moscow clubs (dinamo?)…regardless, what i read of him gives me the impression of a distinctly unpleasant individual…i would rather we had nothing to do with him.

  62. SD-London

    April 11, 2011 at 2:33pm

    Oliver !

    Kroenke doesn’t know anything really about Arsenal and i dont think he cares much.
    He is a god business man and i am sure he will not put us into any debt but that is were it ends.

    I vote for the Russian dude. he will give Wenger £100Mill i am sure.

  63. oliver

    April 11, 2011 at 2:43pm

    jj, rams are back on the up, actually. georgia frotiere was owner when kurt warner led them to their (2001) superbowl win. they should have won it again in 2003, but belichik badly outcoached martz in the big game and the legend of tom brady was born. since then, it has been steadily downhill. two seasons ago, they hired former giants defensive coordinator steve spagnuoulo as head coach, and this past offseason drafted university of okloahoma quarterback sam bradford. with a franchise qb and young engegetic head coach in spags, they went 8-8 this season and should have won the nfc west, but for a final day loss at seattle. but the rams are improving and should be better this year – if there is a “this year” in the nfl, that is…

    nuggets are doing good. probably not good enough to beat the lakers, but they made out far better in the carmelo trade and with a record of 49-31, they are fourth in the Western Conference and playing very well right now.

    Avs are not doing too good. their season ended yesterday with a home win over edmonton, the final game for captain adam foote, who retires after 19 seasons in the nhl. foote was the last link to the sakic/forsberg/roy teams who won two stanley cups in denver. they won only 30 games this season, lowest win total since the franchise was still in quebec city (nordiques)…they are in rebuilding mode.

  64. oliver

    April 11, 2011 at 2:48pm

    sd, kroenke has been on the board since…2008, right? i would not say that he does not know anything about arsenal…and who is to say usmanov does?

    i think the hankering for usmanov is the widespread assumption that he will write a blank check for player purchases. perhaps he would take a hands-on approach with the running of the club, perhaps even interfere with arsene…i understand that this is an attractive proposition to those who feel arsene is not challenged enough within the club, however…if he does end up owning the club, and does end up dictating things, it will come at a price…once he gets his fingers in, does anyone expect him to remove them? no usmanov for me…

  65. JonJon

    April 11, 2011 at 2:49pm

    usmanov goes to chelsea games and sits with abramovich…

    kreonkes been sat on the arsenal board for 3 years..

    and if wenger got 100mil to spend
    A..would he spend it
    B..what happens when the fair play rules come into effect..

    whats the point in having all that money when you cant spend it???

    whats basically been happening at arsenal is that wenger has been racing his mini metro against ferraris and porshes for the last few years and although hes been coming behind the ferraris hes still been beating the porshes

    in 3 years time everyone will be forced to drive mini metros and then lets see where we come

    we dont need a sugar daddy we need stability and someone who actually knows how to run it…

  66. JonJon

    April 11, 2011 at 2:55pm

    you know your stuff..thanks for that
    are any of them in the shit financially??

  67. JonJon

    April 11, 2011 at 3:01pm

    hi ktr..

  68. oliver

    April 11, 2011 at 3:04pm

    jj, as far as i am aware, all his franchises are financially stable. the denver-based ones (nuggets and avs) draw well as i understand…nfl is such a hot ticket here, that even the franchises that put a crappy product on the field (buffalo, carolina, to name a couple) still make money. that league is built for parity – not like the epl, or mlb, where the big market teams (as long as they are well managed) have a massive advantage…st louis can win six games one season, and be super bowl champions the next…

  69. oliver

    April 11, 2011 at 3:08pm

    if red arse were still around, we would be talking baseball this morning, no doubt…he would bemoan the yanks losing 2 of 3 in boston this weekend, and i would piss and moan about the mets’ lousy bullpen and non-clutch hitting…

  70. JonJon

    April 11, 2011 at 3:14pm

    well stan could have two intentions
    he could be wanting the club so he can maximise his revenues out of the UK with a football brand..its the biggest marketing sport so revenues are high when commercial side is done right
    or he could be buying up the club and waiting for the share price to reach sky high and then sell the club for profit..

    either way he wont plough us into debt..hes out to make money not lose it..
    if hes out to market us and we are riddled with debt then the task will be harder..the debt could fuck us on the field like it did liverpool and we wont be as sought after commercially..
    and if hes out to sell us then being riddled with debt will lower the share price so he wont make a profit..

  71. SD-London

    April 11, 2011 at 3:24pm

    I understand you Oliver , the attraction of an American owning Arsenal is too much for you to ignore which i understand.
    But the Kroenke doesn’t deep enough pocket to do the things we have being craving for .

    This are the list of players we missed over the years because the Wenger- AFC board could not match their competitors in transfer fee:

    3-Petre Chech
    4-David Villa
    Just to mention a few ,
    Imagine this lot playing for us instead of Alumna , Bendtner,Charmarkh and Vella.

  72. oliver

    April 11, 2011 at 3:45pm

    sd, i personally resent your comment about my supporting kroenke’s takeover simply because he and i are both american. your comment implies an element of jingoism on my part – that is simply not the case. i couldn’t possibly care less where mr. kroenke is from – nor does where i was born have a shred of relevance in this issue. i think kroenke is a better choice than usmanov.

    i don’t think our club does things perfectly, and i am disappointed with some of the players in our squad. but i don’t want to see us go the route of man city either…i see usmanov as a deeply unsavoury character who i do not want to have any part of our club. the usa has nothing to do with it…

  73. JonJon

    April 11, 2011 at 3:50pm

    usmanov wouldnt pass the fit a proper persons test anyway..

    after roman the fa installed rules that every potential new owner has to be tested and background checked to stop the PL from turning into a gangsters playground..

  74. Will

    April 11, 2011 at 4:41pm

    SD, how long have you been following Arsenal?

  75. allezkev

    April 11, 2011 at 4:59pm

    Afternoon Gooners.
    According to the BBC, Ursmanov, in his words, is “hopping mad” and feels he’s been “stitched up”, he also said he has absolutely no intention of selling his shares and is thinking about a counter-offer..

  76. rico

    April 11, 2011 at 5:05pm

    Kev, good, i hope he doesn’t change his mind either…

    afternoon peeeps….

  77. rico

    April 11, 2011 at 5:08pm

    Thanks for the match report oliver, another great write up, it’s a shame that all the takeover news is the main topic today, inevitable though…

    Why on earth AFC couldn’t leave this until the end of the season though i don’t know…..

  78. allezkev

    April 11, 2011 at 5:12pm

    Rico, maybe that’s what Ursmanov thought as well… He’s been caught with his pants down on this one.
    But likewise Rico, i hope he keeps his shares, ‘checks & balances’…

  79. Will

    April 11, 2011 at 5:21pm

    I think too many have been seduced by the shineys Chelsea have bought.

  80. W.A.T.H

    April 11, 2011 at 5:27pm

    Oliver, whats your gut feeling on SK borrowing the funds and will he invest at all into the club without then using profits to pay off his debts that he’ll incur to buy the shares as it currently stands…!

  81. rico

    April 11, 2011 at 5:31pm

    He’s certainly not a happy russian kev…

  82. W.A.T.H

    April 11, 2011 at 5:31pm

    AK, DF would never sell to the uzbek shrek…… the only question was who’s side was lady Nina going to back, seems she’s been brought back into the fold a little and persuaded handsomely of course to sell to the yank….! For me I see evil in both and there is not light at the tunnel if either of them bought us out !. the usbek has the dosh the yank dont, the uzbek will plough in dosh but then we no better than the chavs, would the uzbek invest unconditionally…? will the yank invest at all or is he merely there to milk the profits…? Far to many questions and no answers at the moment.

  83. rico

    April 11, 2011 at 5:32pm

    Will, i’m not sure that is the case, i would just prefer who ever takes us over had a lot more money than SK…

  84. rico

    April 11, 2011 at 5:35pm

    Hi WATH, out the two i would prefer the russian, and that is based purely on the fact there would be little chance he would ever need to borrow against the club..

    I know i said this before but i always hoped that someone different had come in, someone who actually supports our club yet has the money to invest….

  85. Will

    April 11, 2011 at 5:35pm

    Why Rico, if you are not interested in buying shineys, what does the cash have to do with anything?

  86. W.A.T.H

    April 11, 2011 at 5:35pm

    Rico, think the timing may have something to do with DF not having much longer…………..!! very sad, awful fuckin disease.

  87. oliver

    April 11, 2011 at 5:37pm

    wath, my understanding is that kse will be able to pay for this out of their own assets, that they will not need to load debt onto the club.

    what they invest into the club is another matter. we will have to see…that said, i still prefer him to usmanov.

  88. rico

    April 11, 2011 at 5:40pm

    I have never supported buying the so called shineys as you call them – all i have ever hoped we buy is 3/4 players who will show some commitment and attitude and respect the club and shirt they play for…

    Of course it would be lovely to buy a David Villa kind of signing every once in a while but it’s not the be all and end all in my book…

    In fact, if Wenger sold off all our crap and used it to finance those needed signings i’d be happy enough….

    Like Winterburn said today ‘ no major changes needed, just ‘the right’ players bought in the summer – from that i take it he means no almunias, squlli’s or some other cheap second rate player

  89. rico

    April 11, 2011 at 5:42pm

    WATH – i thought that might be the case, the worst, evil cruel and painful…. I hope he goes in peace….

  90. W.A.T.H

    April 11, 2011 at 5:50pm

    Oliver, if you read whats on dotcom SK states no debt on the club and will not be secured against any loans, my problem is that doesnt mean that he won’t take all the profits out to repay what his investment is….? does he have a record of taking profits from his franchises or does he invest in them to make them successful….? As said mate the uzbek is a rapist and the yank could well turn out to be like the Glazers and then we fucked either way. We’re now not going to know until it happens and yet its all about the fans yet again carrying the can…! As a mate of mine said earlier, the money men win again…!

  91. oliver

    April 11, 2011 at 6:09pm

    wath, to the best of my knowledge his franchises are in pretty good shape. if he gets control, who knows what he will actually do – is it possible that he will use the profits to repay what he shelled out for those shares? possible, but i’ve seen nothing to suggest that is what he will do…

    at the same time, i don’t expect him to dig deep into his own pockets to fund transfers…i expect he will let the operation continue in a self-sufficient manner.

    usmanov had previously pledged 100 million for transfers…fine – just tell me what strings will come with that? and he had publicly stated he is in favor of dividends, where a percentage of profits go directly into individual pockets…

    of the two, my choice is for mr. kroenke…

  92. rico

    April 11, 2011 at 6:14pm

    oliver – my choice is neither…..

  93. oliver

    April 11, 2011 at 6:19pm

    i understand rico, but this is finally coming to a head, and we are going to get one or the other…and of the two, i prefer mr. kroenke…

  94. allezkev

    April 11, 2011 at 6:19pm

    Hi Wath [sorry i didn’t reply earlier mate].
    Yes, there’s no doubt in my mind that Fiszman’s condition has accelerated this process and that he’ll have no truck with Ursmanov, thus the deal with Silent Stan…
    The thing is, Lady Nina’s shares have been ‘up for grabs’ {happy memories] for ages, so why didn’t he move for them?
    I’ve got to say that previously i favoured the Uzbek, but mainly because i wanted Dein back in the Boardroom and thought the best chance of that happening was with the ‘Man from the East’…
    But the information i’ve gleaned recently, plus the persuasive arguments of JJ and Olivers info from across the lake has changed my mind a tad.

  95. rico

    April 11, 2011 at 6:38pm

    I think my problem is that i don’t really know enough about either and what it could all lead too….

  96. oliver

    April 11, 2011 at 6:45pm

    thanks for the heads up, kev…i am washington dc, and there is no way i will be able to make it over to dfw for this. if the arsenal team ever comes over here for a summer tour, i will go see them at rfk and/or the meadowlands…

  97. oliver

    April 11, 2011 at 6:46pm

    plus, the hicks/gillette disaster is still fresh in everyone’s minds. it’s unfair to mr. kroenke to lump him in with those two, particularly hicks, who nearly destroyed the texas rangers when he owned them…

  98. allezkev

    April 11, 2011 at 6:49pm

    The fellow at Aston Villa has done quite well Oliver, can’t you grab a Greyhound down towards the Lone Star?

  99. oliver

    April 11, 2011 at 6:56pm

    lerner? i think his record is mixed at villa…he was probably right not to write a blank cheque for o’neill, but bringing houllier in was a huge mistake, in my opinion…wrong man, wrong place, wrong time.

    cost isn’t a problem – i can catch a plane at reagan national and be down in the metroplex in a few hours…i have to prioritize when i take off from work, and this youth cup does not represent a smart investment for me, when viewed in those terms.

  100. Will

    April 11, 2011 at 6:59pm

    Guys, if Stan comes in and says: A, B, C, D, E and F are not good enough, get rid, the youth plan, it is a little expensive, can we streamline it and make it even better.

    Now we have done that, let’s get the players we need to make us a world force so we can market ourselves across the globe, would you still want the Fat Russian?

  101. W.A.T.H

    April 11, 2011 at 7:11pm

    My problem is the same as stated before Will, where does the return on the investment come from and if from club profits then we are not better off than what we are now and nothing will change in the slightest just a new name as owner and thats it. Oliver i think the usbek said all shareholders to put up a share issue to raise funds and they all declined, at the time there was nothing wrong with that idea they just dont like him or want to deal with him. Dividends are fine Oliver IF they are ringfenced that the club must make a certain amount first that goes back into the club for investment in the team anything over said amount can go to shareholders as a dividend, this would surely make the owners want the club as successful as possible and to make sure the commercial and marketting depts do very well indeed across the globe…! All if’s and but’s at the moment though.

  102. Will

    April 11, 2011 at 7:15pm

    Watch, and if the Russian spends shits loads and then leaves with us in stupid amounts of debt?

  103. JonJon

    April 11, 2011 at 7:17pm

    usmanov was never in the race so it was never an issue who nina (id give her one) wanted to sell her shares to
    kroenke was hand picked from the start ..the lockdown deal all the shareholders made a few years back was a contract that none of them could sell their shares to usmanov
    there was only one player in this and that was kreonke and seeing as though he bought his shares from itv to get his foot in the door it makes you wonder what david dien was actually kicked out for in the first place..
    usmanov can do what he likes but kroenke has control of the club and nothing usmanov can do about it..he can be as mad as he wants but the fact they didnt allow him on the baord and the fact they all signed the lockdown pretty much meant he knew he was never going to get the club so whats he moaning about…
    he either sells up or he trys to buy kroenke out or he sits on what hes got… but hes wanted control of the club all along so i cant see him staying when hes playing second fiddle and got no say in how the club is run..

  104. JonJon

    April 11, 2011 at 7:29pm

    i think the fact that weve been sold and the traditions have gone as saddened us a tad…
    its when youve been with that partner for 20years and its gone stale and it doesnt work but you cant let go cos you know nothing else and your scared of the next relationship..

    i honestly think we’ll be ok..all the yank akbs are going mad cos they think weve got a sugar daddy in stan 😉 and all us lot are going mad cos we think hes going to do a glazier..

    truth is none of us are sure but i think we need to give him a chance…his record with managing sports ventures is pristene hes got a huge portfolio of clubs as well as real estate proprties none of which are in the red so i dont see the problem..


  105. JonJon

    April 11, 2011 at 7:39pm

    and theres an AGM tonight so i guess all our questions will be asked and answered..we’ll know more later

  106. oliver

    April 11, 2011 at 7:43pm

    sooner or later, somebody had to make a move. now that is happening all we can do is wait to see how it turns out…

    you can argue both pros and cons for kroenke and usmanov…based on what i know, i weigh the former’s pros higher, and consider the latter to have more cons…some people will be happy by this news, others unhappy – this is natural…

    until we see just what he does as owner, we will have to hope for the best.

  107. JonJon

    April 11, 2011 at 7:56pm

    nina rejected a bid from usmanov last night he offered 13k per share..

  108. rico

    April 11, 2011 at 7:59pm

    I think you are right oliver – they both have good points yet both have not so good – as said, we just have to sit back and see what unfolds..

    I’m sad that Arsenal will never be the same again ….

  109. rico

    April 11, 2011 at 8:02pm

    The Russian tycoon Alisher Usmanov has made two counter-offers to buy out one of Arsenal’s biggest shareholders in an effort to prevent a rival businessman gaining control of the Premier League club, I can reveal.

    Red & White Holdings, the investment vehicle of Alisher Usmanov, offered Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith £13,000-a-share for her 16 per cent stake in the club late last night.

    I’m told that the offer, which valued the stake at just under £130m, was rebuffed. That was partly on the basis that Bracewell-Smith had already given an irrevocable undertaking to Stan Kroenke, the American who this morning effectively took control of Arsenal Holdings by taking his shareholding to 62 per cent.

    “It’s difficult to get these things sorted on a Sunday night,” a person close to Usmanov tells me.

    In fact, the oil magnate found sufficient time after I revealed yesterday afternoon that Kroenke was poised to take control of Arsenal to make two bids for Bracewell-Smith’s 15.9 per cent stake.

    The first, I’m told, was at £12,500-per-share, and the second was lodged at £13,000-per-share.

    Red & White’s offers were also rejected on the basis that while Kroenke has made significant efforts to forge close ties with the hierarchy at the Emirates Stadium, Usmanov has had a distinctly cooler relationship with the club’s board.

    Bracewell-Smith said in a statement today:

    “This marks the end of an era for our family’s association with Arsenal FC and we are proud to have had such a long history with one of the world’s greatest clubs. I am confident of Arsenal’s continued success both on and off the pitch and believe that Stan Kroenke will continue to develop the club in a manner true to its heritage for the players and the fans.”

    Usmanov owns just over 27 per cent of Arsenal, so acquiring Bracewell-Smith’s stake would have taken him to 43 per cent, while Kroenke would have been stuck on

    Under City takeover rules, both would have been obliged to make offers for the rest of Arsenal’s shares. As it stands, Kroenke’s vehicle KSE has agreed an offer with the board to pay £11,750 for each of the outstanding Arsenal shares.

    So what will Usmanov do now?

    Well, it seems unlikely that he can now mount a credible counter-offer that would not involve paying what you and I would call silly money for Arsenal (even if you’re a die-hard fan).

    So he can either sell his 27 per cent shareholding for what I’m told would be a modest profit, or he can sit tight and cause a headache for Arsenal’s new owner.

    I’m told that the latter option looks much more likely.

  110. oliver

    April 11, 2011 at 8:04pm

    jj, i just saw that…i initially thought it was a new development, but seems that the offer was made and rebuffed last night…no surprise…the uzbek’s path has long since been blocked.

  111. oliver

    April 11, 2011 at 8:16pm

    carroll just scored for liverpool…

  112. rico

    April 11, 2011 at 8:20pm

    Guess we all just read it then….. 😉

    Good oliver, we need the dippers to win this one…

  113. rico

    April 11, 2011 at 8:34pm

    Oh well, i’m heading off out for the night….

    be good all, catch up tomorrow..

    nighty night….

  114. allezkev

    April 11, 2011 at 8:34pm

    Well if Lady Nina turned down an 11th hour improved bid from Ursmanov, then the Bracewell-Smith’s are putting Arsenal before their own financial gain. That seems quite amazing in these money-grabbing days…

  115. JonJon

    April 11, 2011 at 8:42pm

    night ricolicious..

    yeah kev i think we are in safe hands..i think it may have had something to do with the lockdown aggreement as well

    so far so good i just waiting for news from the AGM

  116. allezkev

    April 11, 2011 at 8:47pm

    ‘Ere JJ, i hope your not gonna upset Joshua tonight.

  117. allezkev

    April 11, 2011 at 8:49pm

    JJ, where do you access news from the AGM?

  118. allezkev

    April 11, 2011 at 9:07pm

    Some interesting audio and video on the BBC website. Good interview with Martin Keown.
    Any news from AGM yet JJ?

  119. Merlin96

    April 12, 2011 at 5:17am

    Kroenke’s deal values Arsenal at £731m, which means he has to find around £500m in cash if he is to buy up all the remaining shares

    Do not be deluded over the altruism of Silent Stan.

    He needs to find “£500m in cash” in a hurry to close the deal; and this means borrowing as he will not come out his own cash for such a huge amount.

    And he can’t leveraged on Arsenal asset like Glazer Family did for ManU to borrow monies.

    Emirates will cost him about £26m per annum for the next 20 years or less.

    And Arsenal Holdings is a cashcow where he can drain out cash by “offering a loan” to Arsenal Holding with a fixed payment period of say, 20 years at £30m per annum.

    That is, from next FY2012, Kroenke can easily load Arsenal Holding with £26m + £30m = £56m of debt which Arsenal must generate revenues of £250m to £300m per annum to payoff Emirates’ Debt plus Kroenke’s £500m Debt.

    Any of you want to believe that Kroenke is happy to pay £500m cash for Arsenal, and then will not collect a penny every year out of Arsenal revenues generated?

    Going on past trend of Glazer Family and Niall Quinn & Co purchase of Sunderland, the fundamental question we should ask ourself is:
    “How is Kroenke going to finance that £500m cash purchase, and how much is he going to take out of Arsenal Holdings per annum to payoff that £500m debt?

    Which lead to the next question:
    Is he just another American corporate predator, sensing that he is buying Arsenal Holdings on cheap, undervalued due to its embryonic global commercial development (unlike ManU), knowing that within 5 years, he can sell off Arsenal Holdings to another oil sheikh or RUsski billionaire for double its value at £1,500m?

    Sorry, too sickened to post on football matter and wouldn’t surprise moi that we maybe battling “S*CUMS vs Arsenal” for CL Cup pre-pre-qualifying roudn at the shameful way that the team is imploding.

    Arsenal vs Liverpool is the decider that will truly indicate whether we had turned the corner. Losing and drawing is not an option.

  120. rico

    April 12, 2011 at 8:49am


    Not looking forward to Liverpool coming to The Emirates…

  121. rico

    April 12, 2011 at 9:03am

    New Post up…

  122. allezkev

    April 12, 2011 at 9:04am

    Morning Rico, yes the Scousers are looking a good side again, it’s going to be an interesting afternoon with SS/LK up against Carroll/Suarez…

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