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Frank Arnesen

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Well, as there's proof on this board somewhere that I found the Chelsea tapping up Ashley Cole stuff rather amusing, I can't get too settled on my high horse, but I was absolutely furious Saturday when I heard the news about Frank Arnesen.


Unfortunately though, I don't know if there's a punishment harsh enough to prevent Chelsea continuing to do this, and if there is, I'm not sure the FA are strong enough to enforce it.


A £200,000 fine over the Ashley Cole thing may be a record fine dished out in English football, but it's a drop in the ocean to Chelsea, and merely a slap on the wrists of a team who wouldn't struggle if they were fined ten times that amount.


Chelsea are in a position now to not only buy every player they want in their squad, but also any player they don't want too, preventing other clubs owning these players, thus having a blanket monopoly over the rest of the Premiership.


I have to admit I'm very disappointed in Frank Arnesen. I thought he and Martin Jol had done sterling work at Spurs last season, practically turning the club around in less than 12 months, and I had high hopes for the forthcoming season.


As it is, I think Martin Jol has forged himself a fantastic reputation in very little time over here, and hopefully we won't notice Frank's loss too greatly, particularly in the transfer market.


I await how the FA deal with Chelsea with interest.

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Taken from a spurs fans site


Perspective and the School of Impunity


For Spurs fans, this has been a typical close-season so far.







Ahhhhh yes, just what we've come to know and love!


Whether it's been Sol Campbell, Glenn Hoddle or the odd few Sugars and Levys in between, the patient Spurs supporters have become too used to these shenanigans.


The initial reaction of almost every Spurs supporter to the Frank Arnesen defection was of shock and fright. Arnesen has, after all, placed himself firmly at the forefront of everything positive at Spurs this season, and has not been shy to speak for the club to media or go a step further and give interviews. I'd wager that Arnesen got more press than Jol last season, despite the latter's twice Manager of The Month award. So initially fear was an appropriate response.


Now, take a five minute breather from the initial news and check the reality.


Here goes.


Spurs narrowly missed European qualification via the league table last season.


We fielded three England internationals in the same match for the first time in close to 20 years last season.


We developed a squad with an average age of 23.


We finished in a higher league position than for at least a few seasons. There's a few to start with.


I didn't even mention the plethora of international under-21 stars.


Incidentally, Ledley King, Jermain Defoe and Paul Robinson (our England trio and recognized crown jewels) were all at the club when Frank Arnesen arrived. Fancy that.


We needed some youth and Arnesen's contribution has been bountiful. Ziegler, Atouba (though some say this was a Santini demand), Mido on loan, Carrick, Davenport, Huddlestone, Edman, Hamdaoui, Reid, Dawson...a few others I'm sure but you get the picture.


We really needed a strong central midfielder with experience, but never found one. Van Bommel was much-touted but never arrived. Numerous Real Madrid stars were coming our way but never did. Not that we cared, though the consensus remains that a fit Van Bommel in January might have been the player to get us those extra 3-4 points for Europe. Instead we got an injury-prone Sean Davis in the close-season soon after Arnesen arrived.


I could pick holes in over half of Arnesen's signings, but that would be churlish as the jury's out for many of them and, to be fair, some of them will turn out to be fine players in my humble opinion.


The point is that Frank, for all his fanfare, didn't do any more than David Pleat (Defoe, Davies, Robinson, Keane) and he certainly did not galvanize the team, that was Martin Jol. Doubtless he was busy spotting some fine foreign talent, and again it would be churlish to deny that he is a superb talent spotter.


But the fact remains that he leaves a club who are in a strong position both on and off the field, the seeds for which were sewn before he arrived.


That Arnesen has succumbed to the charms of that lovely human being Peter Kenyon is surprising to say the least. Kenyon is at the fore-front of guerilla warfare on the rest of the Premiership (and indeed British, perhaps even world) football, acting with the impunity of a cheap, nasty little man who has been given a billionaire's swag bag to go and pinch, poach and purge from whatever is deemed the opposition. Arnesen on the other hand was a loyal servant to PSV Eindhoven, and once at Spurs waxed lyrical about how much he loved the club. He even convinced Jol to turn down the Ajax managers job, citing 'the work to be finished' as a prime reason for staying. Jol agreed.


Thus there is no real logic beyond the following cliche; every man has his price. Kenyon, the bag-man for the equally despicable Abramovich, offered Arnesen triple his salary, and Arnesen suddenly felt the job which was so attractive and appealing was worth walking out on. No rocket science. Chelsea simply found his price. And even loyal Frank Arnesen proved to have one.


The disgrace beyond Arnesen's greed lies in Chelsea's repugnant behavior. Without a shred of regard for the standards and morals which have shaped our game, Chelsea simply go around disturbing, and displacing, their rivals. Ask Arsenal. Ask Manchester United. Ask Spurs, considered a serious rival by those in the footballing world who understand youth vs maturity vs squad. And before anyone starts bandying about phrases such as 'freedom of employment' or 'it's always happened', let us establish that whatever one's personal opinions, rules are rules and Chelsea keep on breaking them with shocking impudence.


Does the FA or Premier League have the courage to punish Chelsea? I doubt it. Do the media have the courage to punish Chelsea beyond a few cursory headlines? The same media who have said what a 'good thing' Abramovich has been for the game? That'lll be a 'no'.


Of course, what should be done in this case (providing Tottenham press charges which one can reasonably expect they will) is a 6-9 point deduction should levied and a 12 month ban on all personnel trading of any description starting July 01 2005 enforced. This is, after all, arrogance of the most unique kind, and as such it should be punished with equal uniqueness if not simply to set a precedent and standard by which everyone can behave.


And what of Tottenham Hotspur? The perpetual stars of close season theatre?


Don't worry.


For too many years they've been a club of one step forward, two steps back.


This time it's been three steps forward and maybe one small step back with Arnesen's departure.


Providing Martin Jol and his squad come together quickly, this could end up not only netting Spurs a tasty 10 million, but also being the catalyst for kicking Chelsea off their perch of impunity and into the same playing field as everyone else.

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Maybe. Arnesen is going anyway, and I doubt we'll get a lot of compensation, not enough to sign any top quality players. My only reservation is that I'm not entirely sure that either Forsell or Parker will automatically make the starting line-up, and if that's the case then why bother signing them?

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I guess it depends on how far relations have deteriorated between Robbie Keane and Martin Jol. Forsell will make a decent enough back-up for strikers, especially with the jury still being largely out on Mido. Parker, I think, made a leap too far in leaving Charlton so young. He's got plenty of potential, and if Arnesen's going anyway there are plenty of worse ways that they could spend £6m.

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