Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Fiszman Talks Arsenal

Morning all. Today we're going to be continuing our non-Samir Nasri coverage, so let's see what other news we've got.

A lot of the post today we're going to talk about Danny Fiszman's question and answer session he had last week. Fiszman is the Arsenal director and is at the center of most of what Arsenal Football Club does.

So here are some of the questions he was asked and how he answered:

Are you pleased with the progress the team has made this season?

"Yes, I am pleased. If we look back where we were last year and what the fans would have settled for we have taken great strides. The critics wrote us off and gave us no chance of qualifying for the Champions League but the team proved itself competitive. Four points is a lot but in the context of the season we came very close and we are disappointed we didn’t win it but we have made a constant improvement and that is what we seek always."

He makes a fair point here. Remember last summer we had the departure of Henry, which led everyone and their mother to predict that we wouldn't finish in the top four. Shite even Tottenham thought they would finish above us, and that never happens. The team really did do more than was expected of them. Topping the table for over half a season raised expectations to where it was such a horrible blow when we didn't win it, but would you have taken 83 points before the season started? I know I would have. I'm as disappointed as anyone that we didn't win anything, but I do think the team made a lot of progress this year.

There have been a number of matches where the team have played beautifully, is there a particular highlight for you this season?

The big highlight was beating Milan. It is one game that got our players to believe they were a team to be proud of, a team who could beat anybody and I was sure, having beaten Milan, that would see us through to beat Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool to win the Premier League. I think, very much in the way we beat Real Madrid, it reinforced the belief the youngsters had in themselves.

Again, I have to agree with him. The Milan match really looked like it could be a key turning point for the squad. Unfortunately the momentum didn't carry on from that match into the Premier League, but it still was a memorable night.

Are you confident for next season? What are your hopes?

To win four competitions, for the Ladies to win four and for the youth team to win too. We have great belief in our manager and his methods. There is great belief in the boys that we have. No doubt the manager will strengthen the team and we will improve again.

Now THAT is optimism. It's what you want to hear though from someone so heavily involved in the club. Wouldn't that be something to win four competitions in a single season? I think I would have to stop watching football after that, because it could never get any better. But really think about how close we were to winning the league, how close we were to advancing in the Champion's League, and think back to our Carling Cup run to the final the season before this past one. We've been doing well in the competitions and we're keeping that team together and adding to it. The future of the club is bright.

Does the manager have a specific budget available? Is there a set amount?

There is no set amount. But as I said we have always supported Arsène, we have never said no to him and have no intention of saying no to him.

So as it has been said, the manager does have money to spend. Remember though that Arsene is a realist. He's never going to go spend money that will put the club in financial difficulty. So just because there is no set limit doesn't mean that he's going to go out and spend Chelsea or ManUre money to keep everyone happy. It is good to know that money is available though.

Keith Edelman left the Club a few weeks ago. To clear something up, there have been suggestions his departure was linked with disagreements with the manager over players’ wages, transfer budgets and the like. Was this the case?

Absolutely not. Keith was not involved with Arsène in any way. As I have said before we supported Arsène with everything he wanted. Keith Edelman was in no way involved with the discussions with Flamini or Arsène. That was Ken Friar’s responsibility. So the speculation is absolutely incorrect.

So that whole rumor about Edelman not allowing Arsene to spend money is apparently bollocks. He wasn't fired for not giving Arsene money, he wasn't fired for not re-signing Flamini, they just decided to go in another direction.

You can read the rest of the article here but I think those are most of the main points.

So now on to some quick other news, Wrighty7 thinks Barcelona signing Keita could lead to Yaya Toure heading to Arsenal. You already know I love Yaya and would definitely want him at the club. We'll see what happens.

Johann Djourou says he could fill the gap left by Matt Flamini. I think it's a possibility too. He says he plays at his best in the holding role and that even Arsene Wenger tells him that too. I'd like to see him get a try there at least in the pre-season or something and see how it goes. Good luck to Johann.

Well that's all I've got today. Hopefully it didn't bore the shite out of you. Comments, forums, all that good stuff. Cheers.


PhatBastard said...

Very interesting stuff with Barca signing another holding midfielder. It certainly seems like that team is going in a new direction and Yaya would appear to be on the outside looking in. Any idea what the valuation on Yaya is? Cause I think we all know at his age if it's over a certain amount Arsene just won't do it. To me the answer of whether Yaya will ever play at the Emirates come down to a few key points. 1) How does Arsene rate the other Flamini replacements...I can't see Gilberto lasting much past next year, so specifically it's Diaby, Djourou (I'd love to see him get the chance), possibly Song (though Arsene really seems to view him as a central defender) and the young Frenchmen they just signed (Coquelin). And 2) is the money available. I wonder about the first question as Yaya has been on trial with us and Arsenal has had the opportunity to get him in the past and Arsene has passed...but maybe he's had a breakthrough season like Flamini had. And he's coming into the period of time that Arsene sees as the prime of a midfielders career. The second question, money, I think comes down to how much we get for Hleb, and whether the Hleb money is already earmarked for Nasri (if he signs).

I know player for player trades are fairly rare. But perhaps we could see Hleb go to Barcelona with us getting back Toure?

Anyway good stuff as always!

Mike said...

I thought Yaya Toure played really well against Man Utd in the first leg, would love to have him.

ArseNole said...

Yaya had his trial but was unable to get a work permit to come to England, that is the reason he didn't sign with us before. I think he's only 24 years old although he may be 25 now.

PhatBastard said...

Ah...okay, just the way I'd heard the story previously it sounded like Arsenal had had the chance to sign Yaya several times and passed...makes much more sense now. Funny how bringing in a 24 year old would make him one of the more senior footballers on the squad...but wow I would love to have him.