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The socialist republic of Asburton Grove

I FACED a choice between watching Swansea on TV or Man City in person and chose the latter, so I’ve only seen the highlights. Nice goals from us, that’s for sure.

Equally, their equaliser was hardly one of those where you simply had to shrug your shoulders and put it down as one of those things that happen. The marking wasn’t great.

On a wider point, I must touch on Arsene’s comments on wages before the Swansea game. I try not to write about what he says because frankly I’d be here all night and I’d get quite angry. But this one I’m going to touch on. On our wage structure, he said: “We have a more socialist model.”

Now, no doubt some of you will argue that comment has been taken out of context. To that I say, frankly, balderdash.

Arsene Wenger is not a novice with no media experience. He’s been answering questions twice a week for 16 years at Arsenal and when he mentions wages and socialist in the same breath, he knows the score. More comments here.

What I’d like to say is that firstly, the use of that term is fairly appalling frankly when Premier League football wages are concerned. I once did work experience with a firm where you could argue there was a socialist wage structure: from what I could decipher it meant those at the top of the organisation were paid a little less than they might have been elsewhere and those at the bottom were paid a little more than they might have been elsewhere – with the crucial point being that little bit extra was intended to be the difference between being able to get by and not being able to get by. Nowadays you get the idea of a living wage – enough to live on.

To equate this with whether or not Carlos Vela (to pluck one name from thin air) is paid £2,000 a week or £20,000 a week is just delusional and for the fans who stump up for (or in many cases aren’t able to stump up for) what is most clearly not a socialist ticketing policy, kinda hard to swallow.

The other point, of course, is that plainly this policy has served us very, very, very badly. We persistently struggle to keep those we want to keep and offload those we want to offload. The best are not paid enough and the worst are paid way too much. One wonders how much we’ve spent subsidising the wages of players we’ve loaned out.

And lest we forget that even if a player is loaned out at no wage cost to us, with every season that passes their contract has a year less to run and what transfer value they have diminishes ever further. It’s not great.

29 Responses to “The socialist republic of Asburton Grove”

  1. Ozgunner says:

    Socialism breeds mediocracy.

  2. Sawsarge says:

    It did wonders for Nazi Germany.

  3. Elvis says:

    “Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” – Winston Churchill.

  4. GooneRed says:

    Arsenal Truth had an instresting write up on this subjec, you should check it out.

    I usually hate his site and see it as a site designed purely to cause unrest and assassinate AW’s character, but this article was a very good one.

    Good write up ‘playa.

  5. aj says:

    Maybe Wenger is trying to get sacked. The yanks hate socialism more than they hate the French.

  6. Orphal Mandy says:

    Arsenal seems to be in the league of New Castle, QPR, Sunderland, etc. Almost every player in AW’s radar is also in the interest pursuit of these lower clubs. Why can’t AW compete with ManU, Chelsea, etc for top players? Why can’t he be more ambitious in his pursuit of players? Almost every player is on his radar. Yet, he claims he hasn’t seen the so-called special player. As if he can afford to pay if he sees one. What a shame!

  7. Orphal Mandy says:

    One doesn’t blame AW? Even Alex Ferguson can’t have the gut to talk the way AW swaggers about players and wages as if the club is his private estate. An ambitious board would have asked him to put his mouth where his money is. He seems to be riding the club like a colossus. And the earlier he realised that there is a limit to the fans’ tolerance, the better for him. He should hide his face in shame for collecting a heavy salary for the past 7 seasons with nothing to show for it. Does AW think the fans are interested in stories? He should take his socialist management to a French club. Fans are tired of his excuses, year in year out.

  8. William says:

    Wenger has gone stale . His tactics are predictable and he can’t seem to close down games when only 5 minutes are left.Swansea scored their 2nd gaols even though some defenders were near the scorer.
    At other teams these guys will put their bodies in the way but not Arsene.
    I think he has outlived his usefulness.Defence win games and trophies.
    He doesn’t seem to give defence the attention it deserves. When Clichy said Arsene doesn’t have defence drills,I doubt him.Since last season when a record 49 goals wer conceded I have come to believe Clichy.
    Its2nd week in the tw. getting the cl slot could be very ough and I won’t be surprised the gunners miss out.If that were the case ,Aw shd pay for his incompetence.

  9. Wallace says:

    All i’m worried about – noted on other Arsenal blogs, too – is Diaby’s chronically/comically ill-timed return to fitness. I think about 30,00 Arsenal fans will spontaneously combust if Wenger decides not to reinforce the midfield as a result.

  10. Begeegs says:

    Getting sick of hearing about Comrade Wenger prattling on about finances and business models – you’d think that he was a manager of a FTSE 100 company!

    Maybe someone should remind Wenger that his job is to ensure that we have a winning squad on the pitch and not on making profits.

  11. robin banks says:

    Smash Wenger’s face with a claw hammer for 2 minutes then sack the two bob laughing stock!

    Can’t wait till he’s dead, I’ll be the first to be dancing on his grave.

    And I ain’t joking.

  12. GooneRed says:

    @Robin Banks

    You are a complete c*** then aren’t you!!

    Yeah sure, it’s now the time for AW to leave but no true Arsenal FAN will ever forget all the great things he did for our club.

    You
    a) Are an ungrateful little prick
    b) Are a cretin of a human being wishing death upon another.
    c) Clearly have no life whatsoever to wish death on anyone that isn’t inhereintly evil, let alone someone involved in football…. a sport!
    If football has THAT much of an effect on you then your just a sad loser in life.

  13. Danish Gooner says:

    Wenger is losing more and more ground by the minute.If a manager of his magnitude cant defend 150 grand a week for Van Persie something is completely wrong,look at how he is banging in goals at United,he have saved their skin a several times this season already,instead he goes and spunk the 100 grand on wage hikes for young unproven and actually very average players and remember he is supposed to have a degree of economics from the university of Strasbourg.

  14. Phranc says:

    Wenger is a complete failure to Arsenal… Hope dey wudnt qualify 4 d champs league nxt season so he can go

  15. The BearMan says:

    Wenger did loose his way at Arsenal a very long time ago but it is only now fans and those around him excepting the board have woken up to it.

  16. Uncle Mike says:

    What a bunch of nitwits you are. First of all, look at the countries in Europe that are doing well, such as Germany, the Netherlands, and the Scandinavian countries. All far closer to being genuinely socialist than Britain or America.

    Second of all, I’m calling you out, Sawsarge: Nazi Germany was NOT socialist. “National Socialism” was about as close to being socialist as Howard Webb is to having Marouane Fellaini’s hair (or his honesty, for that matter). Fascism was, quite literally, violently opposed to political and economic movements of the left, particularly the Weimar government that had been in place since the end of World War I. And I don’t want to hear “Hitler disarmed people by taking their guns away.” That was the Weimar government that did that. Besides, Piers Morgan may be full of crap on many issues, but he’s right on guns.

    Third of all, Churchill was a great war leader, a great writer and a great historian — but as an observer of domestic issues he was lousy. As soon as the war was over, he got dumped and replaced by a Labour government that instituted national health care. If America had let Truman do the same thing at the same time, we’d be a lot better off.

    Finally, I don’t want to hear another word about “tactics.” Would you rather have the George Graham tactics that led to finishes of 10th and 12th?

  17. Sawsarge says:

    But hang on a minute Mike, Hitler disarmed people by taking their guns away

  18. slc gunner says:

    Interesting debate. I don’t consider myself a socialist, but Uncle Mike makes some good points nonetheless. That said, ultimately, I don’t think footballers fall into the same universe as many of those that benefit from socialism in its purist form. Wages are astronomical and out of control.
    I have to agree that the wage structure is impacting our ability to compete. Not that RVP would have stayed, but if you took 20k a week away from the likes of Djourou, Squillaci, Chamakh and a few more, that soon adds up to the salary for a very good player, and possibly keeps a player that has left. I would be interested to see more transparency on player salaries, but that’s unlikely to happen. I would also like to know if Sao Paolo, West Ham and Hannover are paying the full salaries of our loanees.
    When you look at some of the stats, we’re not actually that far behind Man Utd in how much we pay our players and staff. And we’re well ahead of Spurs, who are ahead of us right now in the league. Overall, I don’t want our club to become Chelsea or Man City, but I think the wage structure needs to be addressed for us to become more competitive.
    I’m also not convinced that Wenger himself is socialist in the purist sense. yes, he may advocate greater equality in salaries, but his degree in economics and his business dealings over the years suggest that there is more to it than a simple socialistic/capitalistic divide.

  19. Comrade says:

    Nicely put uncle mike. I nearly burst with anger when that fuckwit called hitlers germany socialist.

    But on topic, our socialist model could only work if it was implemented across the board in football. This is unlikely, and as this is the case we really need to abandon it. I honestly do not know why we persevere with this model as it is quite clearly and unfortunately not working.

  20. PD says:

    Wallace – I absolutely guarantee if Diaby plays just one hour of one game over the next two weeks, we will not strengthen our midfield. And if that happens, 4th is gone. Arsene is sadly just incapable these days of doing what needs to be done. Starting the season asking Arteta to do a job he’s wholly unsuited to was horrendous, ending it with him still there would be surely the final straw.
    To be honest, if the Board are not at this moment sounding out Guardiola – to try to get him to take over preferably right now but if not, then at least at the end of the season – then they can all go too for all I care. The time for sentiment is gone. Start looking & aim high. Why ever would we not ?

    (& there’s plenty of sentiment, let’s be honest – 99% of us will always love him. GooneRed – why you bother responding to that earlier rubbish is beyond me. Any response just encourages idiots like that. Ignore them & they move on)

  21. PD says:

    So Fellaini has a buyout clause in his contract ? What on earth are we waiting for ???

  22. slc gunner says:

    PD: just looked up the buyout clause you refer to. 22 million quid. I can’t see that money being spent, especially on a midfielder. More likely that we’ll get in some lesser known player for less than 10m. Don’t get me wrong, Fellaini would be a great buy. Have we ever spent more than 20m on a player, I can’t think of one.
    If you look at the value for money that players like Ferdinand and Rooney have proven to be over almost 10 years, their transfer fees were more than worth the money. Arsenal do not seem to have that mindset.

  23. Wallace says:

    I agree with slc gunner w/r/t Fellaini. he’d be a fascinating addition but we’ve never really been linked with him, and i don’t think he’s the kind of player Wenger would break the bank for. there’s an article in today’s Bild linking us with the Mainz forward, Adam Szalai. used to be on Madrid’s books, but never made it there. sounds more like a Wenger buy.

  24. FCArsenal says:

    It’s surely a counterproductive model.

    Wellbeck until recently was paid £15K a week at United compared with Rooney £200K+.

    Pkayers have to earn their way.

    A part of the problem might be that Wenger thinks by being good to players they in later life, will serve and be more loyal, however this evidently doesn’t work.

  25. PD says:

    To be honest, I don’t see it happening either but put it this way : if we don’t sign a big, aggressive midfielder = we finish outside top 4. We do = top 4 finish. One season’s CL money means he pays for himself. The other rumour is that the clause only applies if the bid is from a team in the CL. In other words, this transfer window means no competition for him for Chelsea or City. Almost certainly the only time that will be the case.
    If we’re serious about halting this downward spiral we’re on it’s a deal that we should be pushing for relentlessly until the end of the month.

    Players have to earn their way indeed FCArsenal…..if you look at our squads over the last number of years we’ve become almost like the Civil Service. You hang around long enough, someone will leave & you’ll be promoted regardless of whether you’ve earned it…..

  26. PD says:

    Anyway, all irrelevant because Diaby played 65 minutes for u-21s today so we all know what that means : no midfield signing. Thoroughly depressing.

  27. West Upper says:

    Goodplaya – spot on. Wenger’s comments usually irritate me – but this one really pissed me off.

    I’m staggered that the other Arsenal blogs have not picked up on the Socialism comment.

    A number of us who have long suspected that the cause of the whole raft of drongoes in the squad who can’t be offloaded – is that they are grossly overpaid have confirmation with this statement.

    As you say justifying this as a socialist approach is complete bollocks – Wenger himself is on £7 mill and presumably this is why he stays around – rather than some faux altruistic loyalty to the club.

    It also has disastrous consequences for success on the field – players like RVP (to take one example) deserve to be paid quadruple (say) the wages of someone like Diaby who has contributed almost nothing on the pitch.

    Given these comments the Diaby situation now makes sense – he is given a new contract and paid a lot because he’s a crock not because of his value to the club.

    We could clearly be much more successful NOT by spending more money on transfers and wages, but by maintaining our spend level and using it more effectively.

  28. melcfromfinsburypark says:

    The comments that Arsene made about Socialism are illjudged to say the least. Nobody wants to hear that kind of nonsense when everything about football in this country these days is so far removed from any socialist ideal. I used to love listening to his interviews because he was the voice of reason amongst the baa-ing masses. Not these days. Far too often the needle gets stuck and we hear that irritating click click clicking noise that drives one to despair. I used to love that track and now has been damaged, nothing more than an irritating repatative tick. Sad but oh too true. The worst thing is that when your favourite album gets scratched you can save your pennies and go out and buy a replacement (or these days scab the tracks of youtube). But not in this case. No. Now we are locked in a small windowless room forced to listen to the same old rhetoric over and over again, a Chinese water torture that isnt going to stop any time soon because Arsene is too proud to admit failure and resign and because the board only care about money and are therefor happy with the status quo. So, so frustrating.

  29. PD says:

    I know people might think is a small thing but yet again this morning (for the umpteenth time in the last month or so) Arsene is on arsenal.com talking up our away form.
    I can’t express quite how much this absolute nonsense annoys me. 4 wins in 11 away league games is nothing to shout about. (and when he first started talking about it, it was worse – 2 wins in 8 !!!)
    We’re 6th in the league. If we win our game in hand we’ll be 5th, one point ahead of Everton. If the table was on away form only, we’d be 5th, ahead of Everton on goal difference only. So what are you talking about Arsene ??
    The only logical explanation I can see for going on about this is that he’s trying – in a very subtle away – to blame the fans. i.e. we’re not producing at home, if you get behind us all will be fine.
    It’s just absolute fcuking rubbish & to be honest, fairly typical of Arsene at the minute. He used to be such a pleasure to listen to it but he is now (more often than not) simply quite embarrassing.

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