ANR readers feedback on Messi scoop

From Rory Collins:  Messi to Arsenal

Really enjoyed this article, Myles!

Thanks so much

From Michael Marten : Messi

That was by far and away the most interesting article you have written in a long time.

If correct, it was a terrific story.

Many thanks.

From Trevor Gilham : premier journalism

Excellent, excellent piece, Myles.

It’s great to finally get such an insightful article as yours on the influences at play in the movement of the world’s top footballers.

Love it.

From PezYoung : brilliant!

Dear Myles,

Dreamer here…. It’s not often i read one of your articles and love it….but today it was truly magnificent and the ending was fabulous….

Once Ozil comes off the stage………(Loved it)

I also think once Theo is back Sanchez will be even better.

Big season for Jack and Ox as well.

From Pat Gillett : good article

This is what I read ANR for – the occasional inside story (qualified of course) and your insight on observable events in the game.

Not strident opinions stretched a long way from gossip and a steadfastly ignorant view of football finance.

The Sanchez and Ozil signings are big – they signal a trend change in the data.

Both in Arsenal’s appetite and the affordability of quality players.

And, yes, they do support AW’s version of recent history vis-a-vis the club’s finances and the long game even if there’s reasonable suspicion that he’s masking a sour face.

Your point about their moving from Top 4 to Top 16 is important in highlighting concerns about their appetite, but until this article ignored the corollary that they are taking a step down to become team stars. That’s also ambition.

French Tax isn’t 75%.

It’s really not that much more than UK tax at 45-50% top rate.

They pay 23% first in social security, 8% of which is pension. Income tax after that gets up to the mid 40% range, but the income is split across the family, even the kids, so it’s harder to hit the top band – the of course a footballer would.

The employer pays another 40% of the salary in social security though – that must be tough for football clubs.

Like anywhere though, they structure it to avoid as much as possible.

From Daymee : Messi story

Hi Myles,

It was like reading a secret intelligence file.

It felt like a story that’s “classified”.

Not for public consumption.

It tells me a few things:

(1) Messi will never go to a bigger club than Barca. No one on this planet will pay him whatever he is on now

(2) Barca and the Qatari group have dug the club into a big hole.

Not because they don’t have the financial muscle but FFP. They’ll have to sell to buy more often. They can’t just spend without any care anymore.

(3) The outlay on Messi will be a hard lesson about what not to do with a football club. It will break the dressing room, if it hasn’t already.

(4) Arsenal have turned the corner, in terms of their financial muscle and viability. Arsenal will become stronger and will be a direct threat to Bayern

(5) There will be a burst to all this bubble and will start in Spain.

Many players will be looking to leave – of course to play in England. I believe this story. It all makes sense. If it wasn’t for the Qataris maybe Ivan would have made the Messi deal possible but I’m glad it didn’t happen. It’s a double-edged sword!

I don’t know what to say about Alexis.

I say the picture of him stretching during training and his muscles were like an exaggeration. I don’t think it has sunk in yet but this guy is the real deal.

It feels really strange from only a year ago when Arsenal would be mauling over whether to bring in a phrench ballet dancer like Gervinho, injured misfits like Bischoff and the injured Swedish midfielder we brought in during January and now to Khedira or Carvalho!

If there’s anything I want, it is getting the best striker in the world to play with Alexis. That is what will really bring everything to the boil. I can see Arsenal are slowly upgrading and thinking about life after Rosicky, Arteta, etc I can’t wait to see Alexis, Ozil, Ramsey & Walcott play together.

Myles says:

Sanchez has been playing against adult professionals since he was 16.

At Open Day yesterday about 7,000 fans, including many children, saw players training on the Emirates pitch, and had a Q&A with seven players, including Ramsey , who was wonderful, and Sanchez, who doesn’t speak English.

When it emerged that it was one little lad’s birthday, his seventh, supporters started singing Happy Birthday to him and Sanchez cottoned on and called down the other six from the podium for pictures of the birthday boy with the players

Threre is a lot of talk this week about spinal players being needed, in midfield, at centreback, and also up front.

I think Giroud is a big, good-looking guy who gets up in the morning and looks in the mirror and says, “Wow! I like what I see!”

He’s quite  a solid target man, maybe a 21st century Alan Smith.

But Robert Lewandowski is a far superior to Benzema or Giroud and Arsenal need someone on that level :big and nimble and mobile and super-strong,able to score with both feet and play in runners as well.

Lewandowski is a centre forward’s No.9, if I can put in it that way.

He’s joined Bayern on a free from Dortmund


I’ll tell you something classified: Ivan Gazidis fights your battles.

Last summer Stan Kroenke wanted to put season ticket prices up by 8% and Ivan had an almighty battle with him and beat him down to 3%. .

I heard about that soon after it happened.

Story confirmed independently to me last night.

A friend heard about that argument at the Open Day.

Thank God that Ivan won that fight against Stan.