Tag Archives: David Dein

Aaron Ramsey, David Dein, Sead Kolašinac & Alexis to Everton?

Aaron Ramsey

Against Swansea, Aaron Ramsey became the 50th Arsenal player to score 50 goals.

A man who has divided opinion over the years, we should be forever grateful of 2 of those goals, which won us 2 of the 3 FA Cups in recent years. In years gone past, he would be labelled a legend for winning us two FA Cups. I imagine this status will only come once he retires, in years too come.

He will always be remembered as that guy who scored the winning goals in the FA Cup finals.

It is easy to forget that he is still just 26 (27 in December). He still has a lot of years to go at the top level. As long as he remembers to keep it simple, and play to his strengths, there is no reason he can not go on to score 100 goals and play 500 game for The Arsenal.

Well done Aaron on your 50 Aaron.

David Dein

Once again, the name David Dein is being spoke about for a return to Arsenal. Like Aaron Ramsey, opinion is split on the former Arsenal director.

I am of the opinion that we won a lot under his stewardship, but these trophies covered up the discord he had between the fans at the time.

There is a clear split between fans on the matter of David Dein. Those under the age of 35, or who were not going to games regularly in the late 80s / early 90s, think he is a messiah. That he can walk on water. They see the league titles, the FA Cups, the world class players who joined. It was a successful period.

But then those who are of a certain age, going in the late 80s / 90s, will remember the North Bank Bond fiasco. They will point to the moment the club chased the money instead of protecting its long term fan base.

The Bond Scheme was fairly similar to the Club Level season tickets that came on the market when we moved to the new ground in 2006. By paying a big chunk of money (back then it was £1,000-£1,500), fans could secure themselves a season ticket for Arsenal for the next 150 years.

The following is an extract from the book Fanatics: Power, Identity and Fandom in Football:

There were protests, a Ban the Bond campaign involving the release of balloons. There was as much anger at David Dein at Highbury than there is at Stan Kroenke now.

Also under David Dein, ticket prices rose at incredible rates.

In the 10 years from 1990 – 2000, the average Arsenal ticket price rose 289%. From 2006 – 2016, under Stan Kroenke, prices rose 18%.

Whilst this is not to justify Stan Kroenke, it is too highlight that David Dein was certainly not a man of the people. He only cared for maximising profitability at the detriment of loyal working class fans.

On top of this, he also introduced Stan Kroenke to the club, before selling to Alisher Usmanov. He created the current ownership problems we have.

Dein profiteered from the club to the value of nearly £100m. He was in it for himself, for his own pocket.

All of this is forgotten about because we were successful under Dein’s stewardship.

It does make me wonder, would many of the current fan base who moan about ticket prices soon be quiet if we won a league title? Probably.

Dein did a lot of good for the club. But he was also the man who kicked off the current PLC mentality of maximising profitability at the detriment of match going fans. He we the catalyst for many of the problems we now face.

Sead Kolašinac

What a player this boy is turning out to be. He does have a bit of a poor injury record, so I hope the slight strain he picked up against Swansea does not turn into a season long thing.

He is a sharp reminder to us all that it is not what you spend on a player, but what player you buy.

It is laughable to remember some fans in the summer moaning that he was a typical Wenger signing. Cheap.

Manchester City spent nearly £150m on full back this summer, and Kolasinac is better than them all.

Alexis Sanchez to Everton

Bit of laughable transfer news this morning.

Everton are interested in signing Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal this January for £30m as former Arsenal shareholder Farhad Moshiri looks to splash his cash.

If Sanchez does go to Everton, it will be for huge wages and show that the Chilean is interested in money, not trophies. Hope he enjoys playing in the Championship next season.


Have a good week


Arsenal Need Evolution, Not Revolution

So, here I am. A 36-year old bloke who really should be revising for a couple of university exams in the next ten days, and instead I’m sat here wondering just why I think so differently to a great many other Arsenal fans, and on a great many things….

Thursday Night Paranoia

Ok, so we’ve now got to play in the Europa League, and that means Thursday night games and the resulting inevitable panic over a new schedule. But why? Thursdays are a day like any other, and it’s still 11 men against 11, and it’s still 90 minutes, so why all the fuss? I just don’t get it.

Every Thursday, followed by every Sunday. Unconventional, granted, but there’s no reason at all why supposedly professional players should suddenly find themselves unable to cope with it. If anything, the fixture schedule is actually better than any we’ve had while playing in the Champions League, when half the matches were on a Tuesday, half on a Wednesday, and the weekend league game getting shunted into any one of half-a-dozen different slots over three days, all at the whim of the TV people.

No more Napoli away on a Wednesday, then Liverpool away on a Saturday lunchtime, and people panic about Thursday-Sunday-Thursday? Behave.

Director of Football = Magical Solution / “Bring Back David Dein!”

Now this is one I really struggle with.

Sure, we’ve been an abject shambles in the transfer market ever since he left in 2007, but would bringing back a 73-year old man who hasn’t worked in club football for a decade really solve all of our transfer issues? (And that’s quite apart from the role his agent son, Darren, played in ripping the heart out of that team with the transfers of Fabregas, Clichy, Nasri and Van Persie).

The other, similar, call is that the club should appoint a Director of Football to oversee all transfers and contracts, but – apart from Wenger’s oft-stated refusal to work in such a model – what is the point of someone else getting it right off of the pitch only for Wenger’s outdated training methods getting them injured, tactical nativity failing to get the best from them, or, as with Lucas Perez this season, simply leaving a proven talent to rot in the reserves because Wenger’s ego was deemed to be more important than the interests of Arsenal Football Club.

I personally believe that the one man in sole charge is still the best model for a successful football blub. For example, Liverpool’s insistence on everything going through their own ‘transfer committee’ is partially to blame for their recent struggles under Klopp and his predecessors of the last few years.

If everything was going right, would people still be calling for a total restructuring of the way the club operates? Of course not. What we actually need is a CEO to take the financial and paperwork jobs off of the manager, so all they have to do is give a list of players he wants to sign/keep, and then everything happens without them, leaving them to concentrate on getting things right on the training ground and pitch. What we need is Ivan to step up and start doing his job.

Blame the Board!

Stan Kroenke is not a bad chairman. There, I’ve said it.

The only thing that you can criticise him for is the £3million he has laundered out of the club in each of the last two seasons, but considering the money that the previous board, under Sir Peter Hill-Wood, Danny Fiszman, Dein and Ken Friar paid themselves in wages, “expenses”, 5-star travel and accommodation to away and European games and even in using the club’s facilities for their own business deals, Stan’s “consultation fee” is probably less of a percentage of the club’s income than that lost to anyone else ten or twenty years ago.

In fact, the only thing which you can blame him for is his hands-off approach and lack of pressure he puts on those he employs. Although he certainly lives up to his ‘Silent’ nickname with his hands-off approach, is that also in itself a bad thing? Would we rather instead have an egotistical chairmen treating the club like his own toy and constantly meddling in everything? Not only would none of this be a problem if we were top of the league and everything else was fine, but there’s plenty of fans from other clubs out there who would love to have him at theirs.

Both the lack of a Director of Football and the owner’s hands-off approach would not be a problem if the team was playing well, being run well, competing in Europe and winning league titles at home. As with everything else at the club, its failures belong to one man and one man alone. The man with “complete control of the football side of the business”. Arsene Wenger.


Marty McWenger & his refusal to go Back to the Future

It was an interesting day yesterday, not much concrete news on the transfer front which won’t exactly come as a surprise however there were more revelations, debate and discussion about Arsenals transfer strategy or lack of it.
The team flew to Turkey last night for tonight’s game and Arsene gave a press conference which to me was quite revealing.
Wenger said: “You don’t know what we have done, you don’t know if we did bid. It’s quite amazing that all of the people don’t know and yet they always have opinions about things they don’t know.

“It’s not down to me to explain to you everything I do. It’s impossible. If we do a transfer we will announce it. We don’t want to hurt anybody, not Newcastle, not anybody. You can’t reproach us on one side for not buying and yet on the other side when we try to buy to reproach us as well. That is a bit contradictory.”
History tells us we do know what’s gone on, that being not a lot apart from dithering and indecision and that is exactly why Arsene finds himself under intense pressure. Pressure he has created himself yet refuses to accept any blame or responsibility.
To say “It’s not down to me to explain to you everything I do”  displays breath taking arrogance, fans part with their hard earnt cash every season, so yes you do have to explain to us Arsene. Match day revenue in just 3 games pays for Arsene’s yearly salary of £7.6m so the fans are very much entitled to an explanation.
Football is a product, in no other industry do you buy a product and are told “like it or lump it, don’t dare question me” Trading standards would be all over you.
In Arsene Wenger we have a man who is known to be stubborn, who is known to dither, who has dated and inaccurate beliefs on a players value and refuses to budge from these beliefs. A man who, despite having a degree in economics, cannot or refuses to believe in the basic economic principle of supply & demand.

 Time has moved on, Wenger hasn’t. He thinks he doesn’t need to because he knows or at least he thinks he is untouchable at Arsenal. For now I expect he is, however that cloak of invincibility is fading day by day along with the value of Stan’s investment.
What Arsenal need is whole sale change, at board level, at first team level & youth level. At board level we have a CEO who seems to answer to the person he is supposed to be in charge of, Dick Law being laughed out of boardrooms, the latest being Valencia, an owner who has no interest in the clubs affairs and an ageing board with little or no football experience. The problems at first team level can be summarised in 2 words. Arsene & Wenger.

At youth level, the conveyer belt of talent feeding the 1st team ground to a halt a long time ago.

The AST, lead by Tim Payton have now changed tact from “patience” to echoing what most of the fans are now saying,  that the current situation is unacceptable and unforgivable. For me this is a positive as they are the only fans group who have genuine power to try and change things. Other fan groups it seems are regarded by the club as an inconvenience.
The Arsenal way is do as I say not as I do.

On radio 5 last night there was an in depth discussion about Arsenal & the transfer market, most of what was said we have heard before, however one of the guests was the former sporting director of Monaco who spoke well and gave an interesting insight into doing football transfers in today’s climate.

It is clear Arsenal miss David Dein, they need a director of football urgently, someone with experience in football transfers who can also manage Arsene Wenger. He spoke highly of Manchester City, a club who had an Arsenal-esque summer in 2012, but learnt from their mistakes and improved the structure of the club over the course of 12 months which has enabled them to identify and sign their transfer targets early then have the new players integrated into the squad in plenty of time. Exactly the way it should be. You could argue money is a factor and it is but Arsenal as we know can now compete, it’s just a shame they have no desire to do so.
So where do we go from here? Well for me, if you sack Arsene Wenger you solve a lot of the issues quickly; board changes take time but need to happen.  Make no mistake, Arsene Wenger wont change. He is old and set in his ways; he refuses to be held responsible for the team’s failings, and sets his own targets which he then tries to sell to the fans as success. Fourth place as good as a trophy being the latest.

Add in blind loyalty to his players and a fear of upsetting them or “killing” by signing better players, (Alonso & Denilson) and you have a man who despite what he says, is not acting in the best interests of Arsenal FC but in his own beliefs. In any other job that’s gross misconduct.  The sooner he goes the better.

Thanks for the memories Arsene.PG