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Ian Herbert is English for "I Have No Clue What I'm Writing About"

Ian Herbert, step right on up and be the next contestant on "I Actually Get Paid to Write This!"

This is Ian Herbert's column, in picture form
This is Ian Herbert's column, in picture form
Alan Crowhurst

I'm short on time and full of hate after reading this brilliant piece of writing.

(***I'm linking this so you know that there actually is an article that exists in which I derive my material from, but please don't go and give this asshole more page views by clicking on it***)

Ian Herbert, as well as many other journalists like him, writes this kind of drivel because he knows he can create an extremely-polarizing story from which none previously existed. That's what the majority of British football writers do; if you disagree with my stance, would you like to discuss their transfer rumor sagas that almost-always fail to materialize, even though they guaranteed their proclamations? There appears to be a level of DERPitude that's permeated the brains of those who have the ability to project their laughable opinions on the masses, which is why we're here to break their writings down in order for you to see past their bullsh*t.

Yesterday, Aidan rightfully, and with laser-like precision, took Matt Law to task. Today, Ian Herbert's up for dissection.

The death of the once great Arsenal has been so slow and suffocating that it is easy to dismiss Saturday's chants of "Ivan Gazidis, what the f*** do you do?" as background noise rather than the signs that an insurrection by the club's long-suffering supporters could become one of this winter's big football narratives.

This has been repeated ad nauseum, about this time of the season, for season-after-season, that "Arsenal, as a club, is dead" after a particularly bad loss. And season-after-season, Arsene Wenger and the team heard that criticism and, with their performances on the pitch and eventual standing in the table come mid-May, basically told them to eat sh*t. Those chants are driven by supporters and outsiders alike who can't be bothered to understand how the club turns profits and why they must improve outside revenues in order to sustain the club as it is now, much less be able to spend the kind of money they're apparently demanding Gazidis to do.

Again, we didn't lose at home to Southampton. We lost away at United. We didn't look great in doing so, but gaining any point there is an achievement in its own right, much like how we celebrated when we took one from City. But a loss at Old Trafford isn't a sign for everyone to toll the Arsenal death knell. So my words to Herbert, to any other journalist who writes something along the lines of "Arsenal are done for" only 1/3rd into the season, is to cool that narrative until you can concretely say that we failed as a club for this season.

And to go get proper f*cked.

Even when an Arsenal pizza hit Sir Alex Ferguson smack in the face at Old Trafford, eight years ago, this era of austerity was under way, triggered by the club's decision to plough funds they didn't have into a new 60,000-seater stadium.

Name me one club now, or in the recent past, that had the funds available to build a goddamn stadium without some sort of financing. That inclusion "plough funds they didn't have into a new 60,000-seater stadium" is probably one of the dumbest goddamn things I've read in awhile. Herbert acts as if the club stepped over their responsible bounds and had the gall to FINANCE A STADIUM! HOW DARE THEY! I'm sure that had they spent that money on a new attacking midfielder, his tune "plough(ing) funds they didn't have" would have been completely different. But financing an asset that increased match day revenues by over 100 percent? Bad, apparently.

Also, that era of austerity must have really put the club at its lowest of lows, right? Well, let's take a look at the standings, shall we? Since they announced plans for the stadium bond issue in April 2003, they've finished:

2nd, 1st, 2nd, 4th, 4th, 3rd, 4th, 3rd, 4th, 3rd.

Merriam-Webster defines "austere" as "stern, cold in appearance" and "somber." Yes, qualifying for Champions League football each season, along with the odd trophy and league title, is pretty "stern", "cold in appearance," and "somber."

There is always that sense that Arsène Wenger, the finest practitioner of the art of managing men in the Premier League, will conjure something. Henry started very slowly, after all, and yet finished his first Arsenal season with 26 goals. But Henry was a £26.9m player, in today's money, when Wenger signed him, and if that kind of investment for an Arsenal player seems to belong in a different century then it is because it does.

And here is where Ian Herbert completely makes sh*t up, probably because he has discarded, used hamburger wrappers for brain cells^.

First off, Thierry Henry was an £11 million purchase in 1999. As stated above, Herbert is attempting to state that in today's money, his fee is £26.9 million. Anyone who knows simple math would see this claim represents a 245% rate of inflation over the past 13 years (edit: not me, apparently). Part of those years, remember, saw some of our worst economic conditions in decades. You are all smart enough to know that doesn't even pass the eye test, let alone putting those numbers to the test in order to ground that claim. Thankfully that's where we come in to remind you, the reader, that he might as well be trying to convince you that if you draw a simple black dot on your elbow, you can pass that off to everyone else that it's your second asshole.

Here is the rate of inflation of the British Pound from 1999 to 2012. It's a whopping 2.78%. And here is the purchasing power of what £11 million in 1999 would be in 2012. If you don't want to click on the link, it comes out to £14.9 million, or EXACTLY the sort of price Arsene Wenger would deem to be within his, and the club's, standards. Again, it stands to reason that you should be highly-skeptical of anything else this guy writes going forward.

Examine the Premier League table of the net transfer market over the past five years and you will find Arsenal rock bottom, with a profit of £45m.


Consider the 35 per cent pay rise taken by Gazidis, the chief executive, pushing his annual salary to £1.36m, when the club are running an operating loss of £31m before transfers...

False, yet again, asshole.

Also, if you want to bring his salary into figures we, as fans, might better understand, his weekly wage is £26,269. For being the brains behind the operations of the club, he gets paid less than such players as Emmanuel Frimpong, Francis Coquelin, our third-string keeper and Carl Jenkinson Further, his salary compared to other CEO's in the UK is far below average.


...and you begin to see why the chants of "We want our Arsenal back" are far more significant, if less visible, than United's green and gold campaign.

So the supporters who chant this, who are basically saying "I want to see Arsenal operate at a loss" is more significant than Manchester United's green and gold campaign. The campaign that doesn't want to see their club saddled with more and more debt, heaped on them by a family who is floating f*cking stock to help drive down their debt totals that accumulated instantaneously when they put their purchase of the club - a debt - against the club's books, while also profiting from the IPO? Got it.

On second thought, no I don't. I do understand, though, that you are completely lacking of an understanding of Arsenal's philosophies and that you follow Piers Morgan on Twitter.

There are questions to be asked of him, like how he apparently allowed his own pique over Theo Walcott's contractual dispute to keep back his one player of pace, who had scored a hat-trick in midweek.

Repeat after me: Theo Walcott played 120 minutes just three-and-a-half days prior to the United match.

Also, you must be in a wonderful position within the club to see that Wenger is so taken aback with Theo Walcott's contract situation. It's a surprise they even let you write a column detailing the inner-workings of their operations.

But Arsenal's lack of quality personnel was spelt out when it was pointed out to Wenger that Ferguson had removed Tom Cleverley from the fray whilst he had persisted with Wilshere, after the two players, both on yellows, were given a final warning.

Was it a lack of quality that Wilshere was still on, or was it the fact that the two managers were operating from two vastly different perspectives. Namely, Ferguson's team was afforded the opportunity to take off an attacking player on a yellow because they had a two goal lead, while Wenger risked Wilshere being sent off because he needed his presence on the pitch. That's what being a manager is all about: taking risks. Had Wilshere set up or scored a goal, there wouldn't be this sort of second-guessing going on. But the risk failed. Again, there are only two attainable outcomes when taking on a risk. This is what we call "management."

Wilshere being subbed off had nothing to do with the quality of the backups and had everything to do with Wenger attempting to claw back from a deficit with a player he felt, by leaving him on the pitch, gave him the best chance at doing so. Why this is difficult to process and accept is beyond me.

But yeah, austerity and transfers and net profits and other generic talking points that reflect doom and gloom in November the sun rises in the east water makes things wet chicken wings are great to eat when drinking beer.

^This may or may not be true.