Is Arsene Having The Last Laugh On Fergie & Rafa?

As Arsenal sit in third place in the Premier League only three points behind leaders Chelsea, it’s strange how things have turned out. While Arsenal are in a good position you still have Arsenal fans who aren’t happy with the current situation – myself included admittedly. There’s nothing wrong with striving for perfection I say.

But it’s hard to take an objective view of the club and I’ve not been happy with the performances in recent weeks and wonder how we will cope with the injuries to Van Persie, Fabregas, Walcott, Denilson, Clichy, Bendtner… The list goes on, and we’re also missing Song to the African Cup of Nations. Fortunately though, Fabregas is back and others are slowly on the way back.

And then there’s the form of Manuel Almunia, which has been inconsistent to say the least.

But compare our situation to Liverpool and Manchester United.

Rafa Benitez has had a nightmare season, and Liverpool are suffering on the pitch and off it.

In the last 20 games, Liverpool have lost 10, won 6 and drawn 4. Pretty bad on reflection of a team of Liverpool’s stature, but spare a thought for the recently sacked Gary Megson from Bolton Wanderers. His record over Bolton’s last 20 games includes 7 defeats, 7 wins and 6 draws.

And Megson got the boot!

Liverpool are in big trouble because they offered Rafa a big new 5 year deal in March of 2009, which will cost a reported £22 million if the club want to buy out his contract. So effectively, Benitez can perform how he likes because they can’t afford to sack him, and Liverpool’s financial situation isn’t the greatest. Liverpool Football Club have only themselves to blame of course, offering the Spaniard a bumper contract for ‘almost’ winning the Premier League. Avram Grant almost won the league as well but he wasn’t rewarded for coming in second place.

Personally, I’ve never rated Rafa as a manager anyway.

He’s a control freak who needs to be in control of absolutely everything. His insistence of having 2 holding midfielders for a team that is supposed to try and win football matches is ridiculous. Creativity rests solely on Gerrard’s shoulders and without him or Torres in the side they are comparable to Blackburn Rovers. And the reason why creative players like Benayoun are constantly substituted time after time is because they have that air of unpredictability and could create something from nothing – and since Rafa can’t control that he doesn’t like it.

He persists with this stupid ‘zonal’ defending from set-pieces, and this is coming from an Arsenal fan who readily admits we ourselves can’t defend corners and freekicks, but we cope better than Liverpool. And his record in the transfer market is possibly the worst I’ve seen in the Premier League.

Dirk Kuyt, Ryan Babel, Craig Bellamy, Robbie Keane, Albert Riera, Andrea Dossena, Lucas Leiva, Andriy Voronin, Alberto Aquilani, Glen Johnson, Mohamed Sissoko Jermaine Pennant, Peter Crouch and Boudewijn Zenden are all players Rafa has signed at his time at the club. The total of these transfers has cost Liverpool in excess of £125 million.

And on top of that, the miserable git never celebrates a goal. I honestly can’t name another manager I haven’t seen celebrate when their teams scores. When Liverpool score, he just writes something in his little notebook! This is pretty cool though. [view video]

And Manchester United are in a financial crisis, depending on who you listen to of course.

A lot of Manchester United fans are ignorant of the kind of trouble their football club is in. But conversely, there are also a lot that know exactly what the Glazer’s have been doing. After all, the Manchester United supporters club managed to get an amazing 32,000 signatures on a petition to oppose the take over from the Americans.

From 2005 (from when the Glazer’s took over) to 2008, Manchester United were liable to pay a staggering £263 million in interest alone. [1]

The debts currently stand at £699 million, and in the last 3 financial years Manchester United have actually made a profit on transfers, and this sits at £7 million. This, along with signing Michael Owen and selling Ronaldo clearly shows they need to sell players every season and can’t afford to buy equivalent replacements. Alex Ferguson might nowadays publicly say that he is trying to find value for money in the transfer market but we all know he’s full of sh*t. This is the guy that recently spent £30 million on Berbatov and wasted £28 million on Veron!

Who knows what the long term effects of this will be. Some believe that they need to either sell a big star or win something every season to keep the problems at bay. At the end of the day, the Glazer’s are essentially asset strippers and even though the club is in massive debt, they still managed to pay themselves £22.9 million! [2]

The ironic thing for Alex Ferguson is that if it wasn’t for his preposterous claim for 50% of the stud fees for racehorse Rock of Gibraltar against John Magnier and JP McManus then they probably wouldn’t have been so open to selling their majority shareholding in Manchester United.

So with Wenger’s ‘cautious’ transfer policy and attitude to spending, along with his vision for the Emirates Stadium and the future of our club then it looks like things could be a lot worse for Arsenal Football Club.


14 thoughts on “Is Arsene Having The Last Laugh On Fergie & Rafa?

  1. “Is Arsene Having The Last Laugh On Fergie & Rafa?”

    Not really, Benitez have won the Champions League and so has Red Nose, along with the Premier League in recent seasons.

    Arsenal on the other hand play pretty football, but have won nothing.

  2. Wenger realised English clubs were in trouble as soon as the economy started its downturn. I’m sure in a way he was happy as Arsenal have a manageable debt and decent operating profit. A lot of Arsenal fans complain about the tentative transfer policy, but actually now it’s proving he was entirely right (albeit accidentally) – however the fact he has a masters in economics means he probably has so much more insight into this that 99.9% of football fans.

  3. The thing about Rafa is getting rid of him would cost far more than the £20-25mil often quoted as there is also his backroom staff to think about and i have it from an insider in hubcap land that getting rid of them as well would add another £20mil ish to the bill.

  4. Dont you feel Wenger is as adamant as Benitez? Things like always saying that my players are good enough, not hiring a defensive coach, zonal marking, etc. Every season especially after arriving at Emirates, we have a few players with long term injuries, but we still dont buy or loan some players! thats adamant as well by Wenger, dont u think?

    Hope we do win something. Gooners all the way…

  5. Right! English clubs are spending like Chelsea and Man City which have money making mechines. We don’t have that mechines. We need to follow Wenger’s way. This is the best for the long term.

  6. LONG-TERM arsenal injuries this season..
    Nasri,Rosicky,Van-p,Clichy,Bentner,Djourou,Gibbs,Walcott,Song,Eboue, think there r other but SO MANY!!!

    Even buying 1-player and having MORE injureis than most,Wenger has done a great job.


  7. Nice theory, but Liverpool and Manchester United’s situation isn’t as bad as you make out.

    Yes, United are in massive debt but as long as they sustain their success then they won’t have a problem. Re-financing the debt is just how things work in the world of big business and the Glazers are successful business men. It’s in their best interests for United to be successful so don’t think that they’re going to turn into a Leeds just yet.

    And who are going to stop United winning the league? The only real threat they have is Chelsea, because Liverpool are in free-fall and Arsenal don’t have the squad to do it. If Arsenal just stepped it up a gear and added 2 quality players then they’d have a chance. But Arsenal have always been 2 or 3 players away.

    Can’t really argue with your assessment of Liverpool though, they’re just a shambles.

  8. Liverpool, man u and cheski all of them will be like leeds and newcastle soon. the only way for them to survive for some years to come is, if some of rich arabs will buy them. But who cares about them, we are going to rool in england in the next decade.

  9. Last laugh?, probably. Longest?, not in this case. Over Rafa, who has won the champions league, but woefully underperformed in the league the fans so eagerly desire yes. Over Fergie, who some would say 10 years of domestic dominance should have returned more than two champions league cups and 3 finals?, definitely not. I would agree that our (Man uniteds) season may not just be a ‘transitional’ season as we all hope, but that we may be on the wane. If that is the case then so be it, these things always have to come to an end eventually, just look at liverpools great history! I do feel if we’d managed to keep the club away from the Glazers that we could have had another couple of seasons, but nevermind, I for one will contine to support my local team through it. I would say regarding Arsenal that they almost need to win the league this season, to prevent them from being seen as the perennial also rans (despite previous league wins), but I really think they may have the. Squad and confidence to do it, rather them than Chelski anyhow 😉 just my 2c (approx 1.2p)

  10. re-leg end-never thought i’d write this-but a v.fair & honest blog from a man u fan who i think has got the assesment just about right.shame i can’t say the same for the rest of the arrogant b****trds!!!

  11. Good post:

    I just heard from a wholly unreliable insider that Benitez is on the take – hence the volume of business going into and out of Liverpool. Don’t know if the tale has credence, but certainly stacks up with his record – who benefits from Keane going to and from spurs? Agents….

    I think the general suspicion is that many prem. managers get sweeteners from third parties when they spend big on players, but from what I hear Benitez is the footballing equivalent of Stephan Edberg (a truly great backhander).

    Interesting to see if it pans out…

  12. respect to leg end, nice to see a football fan, not coming out with blind deluded support.
    I think you are right about Arsenal needing to win or pushing it to the wire.
    I think United, Liverpool, and to a lesser extent chelski and man u, are all in the hands of individuals who could walk and dump them so far in the crap they will be close to administration. The money as it stands would soon dissapear for players if the current ones don’t perform, they are built on weak foundations right now, I don’t want them to dissapear, doubt they will, but don’t assume that the current owners care, and i know arsenal could be a few shares away from being in same boat. heres hoping kroenke has morals. dont assume because players get high wages the teams are solvent or indestructible. man city and chelsea arent real madrid, the state wont fund them if the owners get bored. but premier league is best in world right now, lets enjoy it while it lasts.

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