Why Arsenal may need Wayne Rooney and David Dein

Welcome to another week of “What’s the score?!” Firstly, thank you
for all the generous comments and retweets on last week’s column. It is certainly

Rumour wheels keep on turning…

With constant
reports of who Arsenal are going to buy in the forthcoming transfer window, Twitter
again has been awash with plenty of talk about both Wayne Rooney and Cesc
Fabregas, so a brief word about just those two.

We can
debate it all day long about the ‘Granny
but who on earth would want
a player at their club who has won at club level, five Premier League titles,
one UEFA Champions League, one FIFA Club World Cup, two Football League Cups
and three FA Community Shields? Duh!

As an
individual, Mr Shrek has won PFA
Player of the Year once, PFA Young Player of the Year twice, PFA Fans Player of
the Year twice, Football Writers Player of the Year once, PFA Premier League
Team of the Year three times, Goal of the Season three times, Goal of the Month
six times, Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year twice, BBC Young Sports
Personality of the Year once, Bravo Award once (whatever that is?), UEFA Euro 2004 Team of the Tournament once,
FIFPro World Young Player of the Year award once, Premier League Player of the
Month five times, Barclay’s Player of the Year once, Premier League 20 Seasons
Award for Best Goal, FIFA Club World Cup Golden Ball once, England Player of
the Year twice, Golden Boot Landmark Award 20, once, and FIFA/FIFPro World X1 once.

For those
who may wish to question the above statistics, I do have them available if you really
want to see them. Tweet me @jeremylebor and I will
gladly forward them on to you…

So, imagine
the following scenario: – Ring, ring…
Ring, ring…
“Hello Mr Wenger, Wayne
Rooney wants to join Arsenal, and just in case you didn’t know Le Professeur, here
are his achievements to date since 2002”
– What do you think Arsène would
say? “Nah, you’re alright!”

The other burning question is will Cesc come to Arsenal
or won’t he? That is the $95m question. I do have my own views on that, but I will
keep those to myself for the time being.

“There is nothing to
Fabregas when asked about recent transfer talk and a move back to Arsenal. This
was then supposedly then followed up with“I’m very happy at Barca, and I want to stay for many more years to

I do believe he did say “There is nothing to say,” but as for the rest, I decided to do a
little digging to see where this all emanated from (I am quite resourceful when I want to be!)

It transpires that the quote “I’m very happy at Barca, and I want to stay for many more years to
actually came from the 87.7 FM RAC1
radio station in Barcelona, and the comment was actually made
on April 17 2013, some two months ago, NOT this week! – Enough said!

Cesc is
known to have met with Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova to discuss the issues he
has of not being a regular starter in the team, however, according to David
Dein, whose son Darren is Fabregas’ agent; a move to Arsenal is not totally off
the cards.

“You can never say never in football,” said Dein when asked if the
Spaniard could return to the Emirates. “I
know Arsene Wenger will try to improve the squad if he can.”
He continued,
but that doesn’t mean it is definitive though… Does it?

That leads
on very nicely to this week’s piece on the former Arsenal vice-chairman, David
Dein… and his return!

Come back ‘Deino’

I was in
the Tollington Pub pre-match before the Everton game at the end of this last
season, standing outside with the not so fat London Taxi Driver,
and a few other pals, when David Dein was crossing the road on his way to the
Emirates. “Deino, Deino” came the
cries from a fair few within the pub as he walked past. David Dein raised his
arm in appreciation and waved back. To many, his departure from Arsenal and the
lack of silverware is by no means a coincidence. I do not personally believe
that his departure is fully responsible for the barren years, but I certainly
believe Arsene Wenger does miss him at the helm for a variety of reasons. Of
course, they remain great friends and in private circles, it is known that
Wenger has said on numerous occasions he would like him back at the club.

With talk
of a new or certainly, extended contract for Arsene Wenger in the last couple
of days, there has been outcry, although I am not sure why there is such short
sightedness by so many when in reality, although a factor, Arsene Wenger is not
really the problem is he?

At the
height of Wenger’s career at Arsenal, there were at least two things that
happened. The first thing was the utter arrogance that ensued in the board room
following our historic unbeaten ‘invincible’
season, leading to the majority of the board to believe we could win anything
with just kids and simply a few pennies in the bank. The second thing, in my
view, a major factor some three years later, was the board room rift resulting
in the ousting of David Dein.

David Dein
bought 16.6% of Arsenal in 1983, and slowly increased his portfolio to 42.2%
over the following eight years. From the early 90s onwards, he was our
middle-man, our transfer broker and our frankly our fixer. He was not only
instrumental in bringing Arsene Wenger to the club, (actually it was David Dein’s wife that convinced him) but he
also brokered the deals for Ian Wright, Dennis (hero) Bergkamp, Patrick Vieira,
Thierry Henry, Robert Pires… and so the list goes on.

Although it
achieves nothing to recount his departure, there were many he brought to the
club, to the boardroom, who simply turned on him when he needed their support
the most. That was the thanks he got, a large super-size broom handle in his
rear end sideways. Nice!

When David
Dein was effectively kicked out of Arsenal (as he was), we lost one of the most
important backroom staff members we ever had. Frankly, his departure was also
similar to our recent squad departures, in that no one was brought in as a
proper like-for-like replacement. David Dein’s club responsibilities were
delegated to others, who frankly haven’t got a clue. Sorry, but that is
reality! – David Dein was good at what he did for a reason.

understood the ethos of Arsene Wenger, had a respect within the football world
unrivalled by most (…as I believe he still does) – That is what Arsenal lost.
Arsenal Football Club lost ruthlessness not evident in the likes of Wenger, or
any other backroom staff member since. That ruthlessness that David Dein
possessed could have meant a huge difference in how Barcelona spent years
tapping up our best players. Indeed, it is doubtful Dein would have allowed such
blatant disrespect from the Catalans. It could also have meant the difference
in both the kind of quality we could attract, and also the amount of money we
could and would spend on that quality regardless of the new stadium, the debt
and so forth.

being disrespectful to Arsene Wenger, he is not the man to try and broker the
deals and make things happen, he leaves that to the Harvard graduate to deal
with (apparently). No, what Arsene needs now is his right hand man back, the
one person who is not afraid to get things done. David Dein is without question
that man.

When Dein
left the club in 2007, he teamed up with Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov and
Iranian investor Farhad Moshiri to form investment group Red &
White Holdings
. Peter Hill-Wood saw this as an aggressive form of
revenge from Dein, and started looking for an alternative conglomerate that
could compete with Dein and Usmanov for shares and keep Red & White
Holdings away from the club. That person was Stan Kroenke. Being brutal, the
only reason Stan Kroenke owns the majority shareholding of Arsenal Football
Club is because Peter Hill-Wood didn’t want David Dein to return to the club.
Harsh, but in truth probably a reality.

Alisher Usmanov owning almost 30% of the club (and still unable to get a seat
on the board or even a parking space) at some point, the board are going to
have to relent and allow some sort of Usmanov representation. Like it or not,
that is a reality. Ultimately, David Dein is the man that should and probably
would be that person, once Peter Hill-Wood leaves the club.

I know
nothing, but Peter Hill-Wood will be leaving the club in due course, no doubt,
so I would not rule out seeing David Dein back in the boardroom and ultimately
at the helm once again, where he belongs. The man is Mr Arsenal through and
through. He rarely, if ever misses a home game, and I know that as he sits
directly above me at the Emirates.

I have met
and spoken to David Dein on a number of occasions, albeit briefly, but the one
thing about him that is unquestionably evident is this that, he is like you and
me, A true fan, he wants the club to be successful, and he wants us to win
trophies and anyone who knows him will tell you exactly the same.

it’s not worth knowing… Jeremy knows it!

So, here is
yet more useless trivia about our beloved club!

Did you know? – Thierry Henry was the last player
to score a goal for Arsenal in the 1990’s. He scored the second goal in a 2-0
win over Leeds United at home on 28th December, 1999.

you also know?
– Since
1894, Arsenal have only had a total of 20 managers
(excluding the odd caretaker),
namely:  Sam Hollis (1894 –
1897), Thomas
Brown Mitchell(1897 – 1898), George Elcoat(1898 –
1899), Harry
Bradshaw (1899 – 1904), Phil Kelso (1904 –
1908), George
Morrell (1908 – 1915), Leslie
Knighton (1919 – 1925), Herbert
Chapman (1925 – 1934), George
Allison (1934 – 1947), Tom Whittaker (1947 –
1956), Jack
Crayston (1956 – 1958), George
Swindin (1958 – 1962), Billy Wright (1962 –
1966), Bertie
Mee (1966 – 1976), Terry Neill (1976 –
1983), Don
Howe (1984 – 1986), George Graham (1986 –
1995), Stewart
Houston (1995 and 1996), Bruce Rioch (1995 –
1996) and… Arsène
Wenger (1996 – present)

Thanks yet again
to my pal, the not so fat London Taxi Driver,
for the above stats!

If you have
any ‘trivia’ about either the team or
the club, then please let me know and I will gladly post them in this section…
The wackier the better! – Tweet me @jeremylebor.


I think it
is clear that there are definitely exciting times ahead for Arsenal and the
supporters, despite the doubters, despite the moaners and regardless of any of
our opinions, the club will continue, no matter what any of us may say or do.

We can only
hope that the powers to be have the vision and foresight that we, ‘the fans’
hope they have to ensure that Arsenal Football Club get back to the very top…
where we truly belong!

We all want
world class stars at our club, no doubt, but bring back David Dein and that
wish will become a reality a lot quicker.

I have said
it for a while that Arsène Wenger has a point to prove, to so many, but most of
all… to himself! Love him or hate him, it is a very foolish person indeed who
will write the man off completely; well not just yet anyway!

So, now you
know the score, until next week – Jeremy!

Jeremy Lebor 

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9 Responses to Why Arsenal may need Wayne Rooney and David Dein

  1. June 8, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    Great post.

    Regarding Rooney, of course there’s a lot of bad blood between him and Arsenal fans, but I think it’s fair to say that Rooney would run his socks off for us too, just like he did for the Mancs. And once he starts doing his talking on the field, I’m sure he’ll shut all the doubters up.

    And yes, we miss David Dein! Everything seemed very clear in terms of direction with Dein at the helm, and also he was always quite candid. Not to mention his fantastic relationship with Le Boss.

    • June 9, 2013 at 9:55 am #

      Appreciate the comments. Thank you. You also make valid points too!

  2. max stirner June 8, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

    Listen, the rooney saga is set up, we are being mocked, the media are getting ready for the punchline and the joke will be at our expense.

    • June 9, 2013 at 9:54 am #

      Only time will tell Max!

  3. Walter Broeckx June 8, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

    Unless I am mistaken it was Dein who brought Kroenke to the club first. It was also Dein who wanted us to relocate to Wembley. Those two things are things I think has to be mentioned in an article. he done lots of good but he also made some mistakes.
    Also worth mentioning that the players who left us were a lot where his son was doing the transfers away from Arsenal.

    • June 9, 2013 at 9:54 am #

      Thanks for your comment… Actually, it was PHW who brought in Kronke. You are right about the Wembley thing, but I don’t think it was ever a realistic scenario. As for DD Jnr. I tend to agree, although in fairness to DD Snr, he has always tried to distance himself from his son’s dealings.

  4. OCGOONER June 10, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

    David Dein is no friend of Arsenal. He was at the club to promote one thing – David Dein. He may have bought AW in but at the time nobody had heard of him and let’s be honest, AW was hardly a hot commodity. Luckily for us, he went on to become our greatest manager. That was down to the players he bought in, again a lot of whom were hardly being chased by every club in Europe. I tend to think things just fell into place at the right time for Arsenal and AW. Dein is not the messiah people think he was. He wanted a European Super League many years ago and wanted the rich clubs to break away from their leagues and go it alone. He has always professed to love Arsenal but in reality he is driven by money. Let’s not forget he made 75m selling his shares to the Russian in the hopes of getting in the back door, hardly the act of a true fan. I always remember his attitude when they opened the new North Bank and fans found out their view was restricted. He literally ran out of the stadium when they confronted him.

    Rooney – yes please.

    • June 11, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

      Appreciate your comments, and you do make valid points! – Interesting that he ‘ran’ out of the stadium… haha

  5. August 27, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    Hi Jeremy, I know this is an old post but I was just wondering if you could clear a couple of things up for me. It’s hard to find reliable sources regarding what goes on in the boardroom.

    Re. Dein – At the time of his departure there were reports that he supported a Kroeneke takeover and that was part of the reason he fell out with the rest of the board. As we know he ended up siding with Usmanov and eventually selling his shares to him. What was the rationale (other than money) behind selling them to Usmanov, and surely as someone who has red AND white running through their veins he just should have held on to them? It seems like he turned his back on Arsenal.

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