A second guest post in a week on ‘1nildown2oneup’ Am I getting lazy? No I have written 2 articles this week myself, but I am always delighted to support and give the voice to those who have supported my writing and this blog. That is why I am delighted to welcome back Ronan Kilduff, better known to most of you on twitter as @Bradyesque7. Ronan has encouraged my writing from before I launched this blog and his musings are always welcome here. Today’s piece is emotive writing straight from the heart. I could have edited but it would have detracted from the passion….
Arsenal Football Club is my great love in life and if you’re reading this, I’m fairly sure it’s yours. It is for this reason that I believe in, and support the philosophy and strategy of our great club. We will not spend money we don’t have on players we can’t afford and I, for one, take great pride from this. We have a manager with a scouting network who can find players that represent value and we compete with the biggest spenders on the planet because of them.
We all remember, and long for, the great days of league titles, cup glory and even an unbeaten league campaign but the landscape has changed since then. We have seemingly unlimited budgets to contend with in Chelsea and Manchester City and attempting to compete pound for pound with these serial spenders would only lead to ruin. When Chelsea owner, Roman Aramaic came on the scene in the Summer of 2003, he set about authorising a net spend of £153m in his first season, bringing in players like Arjen Robben, Claude Makelele, Damien Duff and Adrian Mutu, to name but a few. Although Chelsea have never quite spent this much in a single season since, they have by no means become shrinking violets of the transfer market having notched up a total net spend of £447.5m since the Russian bought the club. Then, of course, there is Manchester City. Taken over by the Abu Dhabi United Group in August 2008, they’ve overseen net spends of £117m, £99m, £117m and £48m. Crazy money, I’m sure you will agree but I feel it’s worth mentioning than Vincent Company (their best player) was acquired for just £6.7m. So what is a self-sustaining club like ours to do? Well, in a year when Jordan Henderson and Stuart Downing were bought for £36m, we spent less on Mike Arteta, Gervinho and The Ox at £10m, £10.6 and £12m respectively. Of these three, Arteta is the only one to have settled fully and made a consistent impact this season but the quality of the other two is there and will, hopefully be proven. We have an excellent first choice back four that has cost under £30m with Alex Song sitting in front of them. Alex Song came to Arsenal for £1m. Compare the Song price tag to that of Gareth Barry for a chuckle. A Barry Chuckle, if you will.
In the absence of a (for me, unwanted) sugar-daddy, intelligence is key. We must aim to be astute in every transaction. Of course we will sign players that don’t work out but then so do the bigger spenders. See Adebayor at City. Bought for £25m (thank you very much) and now seen peddling his wares for any smaller club who’ll have him. Roque Santa Cruz set them back a few quid too.
We will not enter into the world of the £30m and beyond player and I’m glad. A club like ours cannot afford to pay £50m for a striker may or may not rack up eight or ten goals in a season. Nor can was afford to run out and spend £35m on a horse named Andy. I believe that it is the primary role of a manager and board is to safeguard the future of their club for the generations of fans after they’ve gone and as we are about to enter another transfer window, with players needed, I feel confident that this responsibility is taken seriously by those in charge. One of the many reasons I’m proud to support Arsenal Football Club.
Andy Carroll – £35 million ????
As my esteemed host has already suggested on this very blog, we won’t sign Yann M’Vila unless he is coming for a fair price that we can afford. The asking price being touted for the Frenchman does not represent the value we look for. We won’t cripple the club in unserviceable debt in order to appease the baying crowds. We’ll simply look for an alternative that suits us on the pitch and on the books. History suggests that we’re more than capable of this. When I consider the great Robin Van Persie came for the paltry sum of £2.75m., Thierry for a little over £10m and bargain of a lifetime Bacary Sagna at £6m I can only have confidence that the people at the top, know a thing or two about what they’re doing. Having already announced the signing of German international Lukas Podolski, the transfer window already looks like an exciting prospect. We’ve had our predictable signing early and as all the speculation over which £20m or £30m superstar we will break the bank for, Arsenal will go about their business, bringing in the player that you did not guess, at a price for which great players are usually not sold. With a lot resting on who will, and won’t, be sold on in the Summer, and the uncertainty over Champions League qualification, we will need a steady hand to guide us through another window of huge importance. I trust that we have exactly that.
I’m not saying that cheaper players are better footballers, but I am saying it is not the price that is relevant but the value it represents. The signing of Lukas Podolski for a fee of around £10 million will I know prove my point further in 2012/13
Thanks to @goonerdave66 and I look forward to reading your comments or catch me on twitter @Bradyesque7