Championship Manager Fans – Part 2

Since the last post on our finances – there have been many comments saying that I’m both right and wrong in my judgements. The available £70 million cash balances figure that has been passed around needs to be clarified as it may not mean we have £70 million to spend on transfer fees.  Firstly, Arsene Wenger will not suddenly abandon everything he has based his team on. What I call his “youthful kaizen model”. Let me break that phrase down:

Youthful: This obviously means he aims to bring in youth instead of old veterans especially over the age of 28-30. He likes to mould them into players that he needs to fit his team not the other way round.

Kaizen: This is a Japanese term used to describe “continuous incremental improvement” often used in business or economics. He does not want to drop 15 players and bring in another 16, his priority is to keep these players together.

As I said in the last article, it seems like many delusional  fans think building a football team is like playing a game of Championship Manager. These players in the games are just binary numbers in a database. In real life – a manager is managing a group of men – not a set of values such as “finishing, positioning, off the ball and heading”.

Men or human beings, have emotions, wants of self fulfillment (money or otherwise), desires and other needs apart from getting the highest player rating on a game. They have families, problems and friends that all contribute to wanting to work in a specific place just like anybody else. Thierry Henry’s transfer to Barcelona apparently was a lot more down to personal issues as his marriage broke down than what was first thought out. He seemed to want a new start, away from Arsenal where his life was running so smoothly for many years. Obviously there were other issues perhaps including Wenger feeling the time was right to cash in on his prized asset but I’m sure there were many variables that contributed to such a massive decision.

Flamini, Hleb, Cesc and Rosicky are apparently all great friends so for Flamini to want to leave will mean he is leaving the players and friends he has been close to in recent years. Even though in recent times money seems to be driving most transfers as with most things in life, we have to step back and realise that it isn’t just simple values on a players profile that make them good players.

Players have to be compatible with a country, with a culture, with a particular French speaking team and not all great players do well in England let alone at Arsenal.

The original piece written by Nigel Phillips of the Arsenal’s Supporters Trust on ANR, summarised at the end:

“Of the near £70m of cash balances, £25m is unavailable as it is used to partially secure future repayments of the debt facilities and one also assumes some is set aside to meet the probable £20m of additional transfer fees payable on existing squad members.

This does however leave maybe £25m for the squad building (transfer plus wages) that appears all too necessary to sustain a season long challenge for honours on several fronts.”

Somebody made a comment saying I was wrong in my interpretation of these last sentences on the original article. This apparently meant we have £70mil – £25mil = £45mil.

However it’s really £70 million – £25million – £20 million = £25 million

The extra £20 million that is estimated to be “set aside to meet additional transfer fees payable on existing members” is in reference to the additional fees that are also present in Championship manager, things like appearance fees for players. Any football club or business would need to be secure, especially in our case and leave this money aside so that when the transfer fees are due to pay then we have the available cash.

People need to calm down if they think our squad is totally dire. We were at the top of the table for a long time with a much smaller squad, assembled with pennies in comparison to our rivals. Yes we through it away, but it wasn’t because we weren’t good enough. We all agree we need a few players but to say get rid of half the team, including our top goalscorer Adebayor is crazy. The guy is 23 years old, has played up front on his own for most of the season, works his ass off every game and that is what he gets? Yes he misses some chances but what striker doesn’t. He is still young, tall, strong, very quick for his size and good in the air. Yes he isn’t perfect and he isn’t Thierry Henry but he  scored 27 goals this season, more than double any other player has in our team? Torres who is a top class player has only scored 3 more goals than Adebayor.

He will improve, he will learn with time what the offside rule is and he will also finish better consistently. He has been an absolute revelation this season, scoring some amazing goals and being an integral part of the team. Some people can only think of the last part of the season where to be honest, Fabregas and Hleb have not exactly been as they were in the first half of the season either.

  • Anonymous

    The last time I was at school in the 60’s, 25+20+25=70.

    My how times have changed


    Is that not what I said FRIEND?

  • Anonymous

    this is the most reasonable article i’ve read in a while. at last someone with a brain between their ears not air.

  • Anonymous

    no, you said 75-25-20=£25M which is wrong


    Oops sorry was a typo…If you see above I did write

    70 million – 25 = 45

    Typo and a bit of groggyness..not a good combination.

  • Anonymous

    75 million – £25million – £20 million= 30 million and not 25 million.

    5million is a big diff


    yep as I saif before I made a typing mistake…it was supposed to be 70 not 75…good thing I’m not an accountant


    just corrected it in the article, thanks for pointing it out.

  • Anonymous

    I knew what you meant anyway. Well, said on Adebayor. I remember being at the Emirates when he played alongside Henry and a long high pass came from deep. Adebayor pursued it with Henry in his wake waiting for the big man to bring it under control and square it or nod it into his path. Instead Ade played a sublime backheel volleyed pass while running at pace which took out two defenderss and set Henry up perfectly 20 yds from goal. No-one was more surprised than Thierry himself and he missed the chance. But people who say Ade has not got a good first touch are ‘avin a larff!

  • Anonymous

    fuck the numbers.25 mil is enuff for benzema or diego.
    it is correct to say adebayor has alot to learn. vast improvement for previous seasons but ‘retarded touch’ still persists.

  • Anonymous

    Adebayor has been fantastic this season, well done for supporting him in the article. 27 goals is a remarkable total, other players should have weighed in with more goals, Ade’s misses wouldn’t have been noticed had we been 3-0 up at the time.
    Can we instead divert our attention away from Adebayor and towards Eboue who should never play for us again? I’ve never disliked a player who was is still with the club so much in my life. (PS this is a different anonymous from the one above!)

  • theArsenal

    with two articles you have elevated yourself to one of the top five arsenal bloggers

  • Anonymous


    this means that

    1. cesc prefers away matches

    2. arsenal lose important games as the home advantage is not as big as it should be (compare liverpool and most european clubs)

    3. Players dont wanna come or stay at arsenal when they can go to anfield or turin for a real football atmosphere (babel/flamini)

    4. losing flamini for free = replacing him = money out of kitty = no players brought in to fill in the gaps needed to win a trophy


    When you go to the game, even tho you have paid for a ticket you become a member of the arsenal staff a job that doesnt pay(infact the opposite) but jus as important as the managers job, physios job and almost the players job. you are the 12th man NOT a paying observer – DO YOUR JOB !!

    I watched the 2 semifinals of the champs league and listen to the noise at anfield and the nou camp. If I was a footballer why would I go to arsernal – cos the stadium looks lovely? or cos when I walk thru the tunnel I get a shiver down my spine from the gooner roar ?

    a big part of our failures this season along with small squad, crap refs and the usual injury prone team members (+eduardo)is the crap home support, and if there is no improvement then you can continue to expect players leaving (flamini/hleb) and no one wanting to join us and prefer to go anfield or even newcastle (modric)

    sort it out gooners, dont blame wenger, remeber 10 years ago we were a midtable club, with 30,000 stadium and v.little money. dont expect us to compete with chelsea and manc in terms of buy any1 and every1 so as to guarantee success but we must rely on each other to do their bit for the team esp considering we cant afford to buy huge players, its up2 us to make them huge and keep them at the club.

  • Anonymous

    surely people who pay to watch a football match are paying observers. thats what it means.

  • Richard Eccles

    I tend to find Adebayor is a bit like Marmite you either love him or hate him. I am of the belief that should an offer be made for him, we should let him go. There are much better goalscorers with a killer instinct in front of goal. Also ever since we lost Eduardo, Adebayor has not been the same player. Thank God, Carlos vela will be a new addition to the wings come the beginning of next season. Rosicky and Van Persie are both injury prone. The loss of rosicky, I believe was more of a loss than eduardo, as we just did not have enough creative contributions coming from the wings. Van Persie should be put up for sale, as its ridiculous having a talented striker who spends half the season in the treatment room. Also Galas is a world class defender, Toure has shown since coming back from the African Nations that he was not as good as we thought he was. We need buy a big strong impact player to be next to gallas.

  • Anonymous

    david villa said that he wants to be a gunner ans i think AW will do a massive mistake not to sign him!!!

  • Anonymous

    i agree with the majority of your article, We as Arsenal do need to calm down a bit but it has been a particularly frustrating season again.
    However to say Adebayor has a “FOOTBALL BRAIN” IS IMO RIDICULOUS. Players with football brains see moves before they occur like DB10 or Hleb. can you actually tell me ade plays with vision and cunning. Ade’s stong points are his atheletism, stamina and workrate. His first touch is not consistent and constantly takes away our impetous going forward. Adebayor is not a shit player he just isn’t good enough week in week out to spearhead a trophy winning season.

  • Anonymous

    Anon at 1:15, I remember the same thing in the Villa game last season, but Henry curled it in beautifully. Maybe you’re remembering wrong?

  • Anonymous


    How about the cash we get for selling flamini and hleb. Its obvious the shareholders are blood sucking vultures.

    sucking the life out of the club by taking all the cash!

    dirty… all of them! we need a take over and at least £40m worth of new players.

    we need:
    BEN ARFA (winger) to replace Hleb
    VILLA (Striker)
    ZAPATA (Defender)
    and G.BARRY/ L.PERRIN (Defensive midfielder) to replace Flamini

    they make me sick.

    im sick to death of this.

    i think arsenal fans should gettogether and have a whip round to show our club how much fecking appreciation we have for them.

  • Mr Starks

    Bilal this you, I love your article, love arsenal and the way they break my balls ummh, but i hold steadfast. Nice writing man. nice one

  • Anonymous

    The post about the fans attitude in the stadium is bang on in my view. i remember my first time at the emirates with ten minutes to go, I was like, what’s that noise? it was the machine gun sound of hundreds/thousands of seats slamming back as people walked OUT of the stadium. And the lads are still chasing the game! Someone really has to do something about it. Take the springs out the seats! Or maybe just stay to the end and support the team. Whichever is easier.

    Actually, you might be right, maybe Henry did score! I just remember the backheel, and Henry looking a bit surprised then a having a shot. Wierd. I’ll have to see if the video is still online.


    cool brother…indeed this is BILAL…nice picture mr starks lol…thank you for your kind words

  • Anonymous

    there is no doubt that increased support may prove to be beneficial to the team, i love to scream at shout at games and i too envy the atmosphere we see at some away games. what we have to remember is that Arsenal have a different demograhic when it comes to fans. weve become more of a family club and a more fans than ever before are middle class and corporate, thats football now, its a business. when you compare us to 40k odd rowdy scousers its not surprising they generate a better atmoshpere. in regards to fans leaving early what can be done? the transport away from the emirates is not equipped to handle the volume of people attending the games efficiently and some people arnt willing to queue at the station for 40 minutes to get home.

    with regards to flamini, im a huge fan, but if he wants to go let him, wenger isnt going to be bullied and is he is a juve fan then it makes sense, if i played for juve and arsenal came in for me id be off in a flash. if hleb met with inter the day before the milan game then he can go too, that puts him up there with ashley cole for me and im sure wenger would be willing to let him go if thats the case.

    robin van persie is an excellent player, he has been injured and below par since his return but when he gets some games hell get back to his old self. its not as bad as everyones making out, if flam and hleb go we willl replace and also bring in a forward, wnger knows what hes doing, hes done it before and will do it again. less we forget flmaini has only had one really solid season and hleb is an winger/support striker who hasnt scored for 30 odd games