It’s the Time of the Season….

A man who is proud of his club has something to say. Step forward Mr Consolsbob.

….for Arsenal supporters to applaud the achievements of their team this season, to hail their manager whose vision is the best hope of a sport in crisis and to bask in the memories of some glorious football that fans of sides like Chelsea and Liverpool can only dream about….

….or, to deride their team as failing to win a trophy for five years, pour scorn on their manager’s ‘Project Youth’ and to wallow in the memory of gormless defeats at the hands of their closest rivals and, worse, Wigan and Blackburn.

Arsenal fans have seemingly never been more divided as to where Our Team stands in the pantheon of Arsenal teams of the last 20 years. On the brink of being our Greatest Side Ever or a Team that Never-Will-Be.

I know what I think but for now consider the wider view of Arsenal. The Club as a whole, the club as more than the team on the pitch. Here there can be no real argument as to what a successful season we have enjoyed. Debt reduced enormously, property deals turning profits, a strengthened management team in place, money in the bank and a Boardroom that if not as stable as we might like at least has not fallen into the hands of soulless corporations or playboys.

Throw in one of the best stadiums in the world, a scouting network second to none, a Youth Development Programme that is the model for sensible clubs, a commitment to building a strong and sustainable financial base and things look pretty good.

How many clubs in Britain and Europe would swap what they have for what we have? 90%? 99% Something like the latter I suspect. No real cause for complaint then. No really, we haven’t. A few gripes maybe but from any other seat in any other club, bar one or two, we nearly have it all. Look around the other clubs in the Premiership to realise how fortunate we are.

What about the performance and composition of the Team on the pitch this season? I thought we had a very good chance of winning the Premiership and maybe the Champions League. I didn’t expect us to win either mind, I just thought that we had a reasonable chance. That’s really all you ever have in sport. Winning is never guaranteed.

We started the season looking like we would sweep all before us. Breath taking football. That didn’t last but we kept fighting and winning in some style most of the time. Right up to the last few games, we were in with a good shout. Then it went wrong. Points dropped in games that prospective champions would expect to win. Defeats in strange and horrible places. The domestic Cups came and went without much to excite us. In the Champions league we faced “the best Team in the World”, well, that week anyway. It wasn’t the Arsenal that we hoped to see, the team only performing in brief interludes between Barca dominance and control.

The team were then subject, not for the first time, to the critical ‘analysis’ that it suffers whenever it loses. There is no heart in the side, men against boys, no leaders, too small, no strength in depth, our keepers are not good enough. Pick your preferred pundit, choose your preferred opinion and paste ad nauseum on any blog that will have you.

Not in my view. This team has more heart and courage than any it is called upon to emulate. How many times did it come back from disappointment and regain it’s place in the fight? How many times did we score in the dying minutes of games to gain the points. How many times, and here’s the rub, did players perform in unfamiliar roles as we tried to cope with the seemingly never ending injuries to senior players? Injuries are not an excuse but they do explain why we failed at the last. We didn’t really run out of players, we did run out of creative players, out of players that can change matches.

Increasingly we struggled to break down teams, to score the crucial goals that win trophies, to show the heart and belief that we had in spades earlier in the season. Towards the end a patched up central defence didn’t help. We missed the genius and leadership that great players like Cesc, RVP and Arshavin provide. Their replacements had good games, tried but couldn’t, ultimately, provide that piece of magic and strength of purpose that truly great players can.

Some of those players who couldn’t drag us over the line may go on to become great, Nasri springs to mind, maybe Walcott. Time will tell. Overall it meant that at times the side that turned out contained 5 or 6 players that would not have been starters with a fully fit squad. A few of those were replacements for replacements. One or two were found wanting.

Goalkeeping? We weren’t strong enough in this position. Inconsistency will always be punished in the long run and we were at key moments in games that left us with even more work to do if we were to prevail.

It wasn’t the ’keepers’ fault though that we conceded too many goals, that is down to the team as a whole. A lack of collective nous together with too many individual errors.

Let’s make a passing mention of the appalling level of officiating that almost certainly robbed us of a handful of points and players through persistent foul play. Nothing else to be expected there unfortunately. The FA are incompetent, perhaps worse.

So we finished third in the Premiership, quarter finalists in the Champions League and nowhere in the domestic cups. We have assembled one of the most outrageously talented squads the country has seen. We played some of the best football that I have ever witnessed. Other fans must shake their heads when they watch us play. Not too shabby.

It can’t be denied though that ultimately this was a season in which we failed to deliver on the pitch consistently enough to win a trophy. In the last analysis the team was not as good as many of us thought it was, pretty good but not the finished article. I wouldn’t swap this squad for any other in the Premiership nor in Europe. I’d pinch a couple of players if I could and I’m sure Wenger will.

There we go then, the end of a pretty good season if trophyless. We are the supporters of one of the best placed clubs in the world with a great squad and we know that there is more, much more to come.

So why all the acrimony and dissatisfaction? The problem for some seems to be that we haven’t got everything NOW. Where are the trophies?

Well, it’s true that we haven’t got any at this actual moment but is this really a time for the unfettered anger of many, for their bleakness and bile, the ridiculous calls for Arsene’s head and the clamour to sign ‘Galacticos’ and clear out the squad?

Why is there no joy in the hearts of so many after this season? Why can’t they see the wider picture? For me, it’s the ridiculous expectations and immaturity of too many fans of the game. Not just ours but all fans of the top sides, although we seem to suffer more than most because of the different approach to success that our club takes. They have forgotten that their primary purpose is to support. That football is a competition where nothing can be guaranteed.

A generation of fans have grown up in the era of the Premier League, their paymasters Sky and a pathetic, ignorant media. Everything is hyped. A few teams are expected to win every time. All losses are ‘disasters’. Any perceived weakness is ‘analysed’ by ex pros and pundits, whose lack of insight and intelligence is mind numbing. Any remedial action can only be achieved through the cheque book. Their shallow and self interested views are fed to ‘supporters’ who are critically unable to sift out the garbage, preferring to run with the pack.

There is no joy taken by these people in the building of a team over years. No pleasure in a great performance. No understanding or acceptance that sport isn’t, nor can it be, all about ‘winning’. No appreciation of the wider context in which football exists. Instead the game becomes something to be endured, a mere exercise in garnering points. Only success in that narrow way can bring them relief until the next game, the next opportunity to ‘fail’. Anticipation becomes dread. Sad.

Yes, we all get upset by defeat but it wasn’t always as miserable as this. All or nothing. Football is a game. We should enjoy it. We need the maturity to accept defeat without believing that the World has ended. Move on, look forward to the next time. Football fans have always done this. It’s time to regain the joy of the game. The winning will be all the sweeter.

A man who knew a bit about real crises, Winston Churchill, said:

Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts”.

Next year we will win the Premiership. Well, I think we have a good chance. I’m sure of one thing though, we’ll win it a damn sight more often than 95% of other clubs.

’til Tomorrow

Posted on May 11, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 493 Comments.

  1. Excellent post.

    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts”

  2. We definitely need to enjoy the ride…..even if it is a rocky one now and again. Nice post.

  3. Well done BB….you must be so proud!

  4. It was very much a House of Cards season. Every time we were making good progress, say up to an eighth floor house, a draught of wind or the cat or, more often this year than most, the school bully jumps on the house, wrecks the cards so you have to get a new pack, nicks your pocket money and tries to screw your sister on the way out. And finally, the headmaster takes you to task for not concentrating on the nitty gritty and gives you six across the arse. That pounding we got from Barca may well have finished our season as well as deflating the self belief. But equally is there another side in the Premier that could have achieved what we did with half the top squad absent for so many games? I think we performed miracles this year.

    And once the WC is out of the way with no gooners injured I hope and pray, we emabark on a season where a great deal of change is going to negatively affect our opposition. The 25 player rule. The money rule. We’re more than OK Jack. How say you MFU? Chel$ki? City? L’pool? Villa? We’ll have to wait for the “manager of the year” to look in one of his brown envelopes to see if he can give an answer.

    May all good gooners look forward to 2010-11-12-13.

  5. Pascal Stepanovs

    Nice, the glass is half full, but dont be so quick to put down Chelsea. they have played proper football all season, only conceding 32 goals in league, and scored 103. we could learn a lot,…. very painful saying that but true.

  6. I read this blog occasionally but i felt i had to comment on you post.

    I admire your positive perspective on the way things are and i accept that we have made forward strides with paying off debt and building business foundations.

    What we haven’t done however is move forward on the playing side. We haven’t addressed our issues and it’s groundhog day every season.

    To sit there and say that fans are immature because they are dissatisfied is frankly laughable.

    I respect your opinion if your happy with the way things have been going but there are many out there that aren’t.

    Nobody is asking for galactico’s that’s rubbish.

    What we are asking for is a spine in our team.

    We are asking that money not be spent on Denilson, Walcott, Almunia, Diaby, Nasri – let’s not forget that little lot cost probably £30/£35M

    The facts are that Wenger has been grossly negligent on the playing side and we have had the same issues year on year.

    Jan last year he could have done something about it but choose to wait until the summer to sign a player on a free.

    Personally i am tired of the way things have been going and i want change.

    You are right the fans are divided and at Arsenal it will get worse before it get’s better.

    Expect another season of the same and with other club’s strengthening it will be harder than ever to win the league.

  7. Cracking post, Bob. Not right of you to outshine the host, the previously inimitable Yogi’s Warrior, as this post is as good as any from him.

  8. Great post. Said it all.

  9. Excellent overall review.

    There’s a saying in Finnish sport business, that can maybe be translated as “counter fans”. They are people who are true fans, but turn against their team/manager/player easily in times of trouble. It has a lot to do with their own personal problems, or not having an outlet to burst upon otherwise. Like a bossy wife, problems at work etc.

    Because they are paying to watch the matches (and using your own free time to follow is one way of paying, in fact), they feel they have the right to abuse the ones they love.

    In time, hopefully they mature. And we are all guilty of those feelings – the wiser ones just don’t vent it out aloud, because they know it more often causes damage than good.

    Otherwise I think that the team failed on big games because of nerves, not skill and tactics. Surely something new can be achieved there (and don’t forget the goalkeepers…)

    Seeing Djorou play in the last game was for me one of the major “what if’s” of this season.

    Thank you Yogi and Darius for the best quality Arsenal blog. Will be reading tomorrow again.

  10. Oh one more thing about winning the Premier League title: does anyone really think we – or any other team – have had the resources to compete with Chelsea and ManU for the last six years? And who knows what the ManC owners are investing. It’s not fair (except for ManU and fair play to them), I know. But against unfair we just can’t cry our hearts out. Because it won’t help.

    So is the quick solution for unpatient fans to give up on the league title straight away and focus the best team in the two domestic cups?

    Hopefully not.

    (Also thanks to Bob.)

  11. Maybe that isn’t the single most sensible perspective of the club and the attitude of many of it’s supporters that I’ve ever read but I can’t think of another. It’s brilliant because of its simple rationality.

  12. The officiating really is terrible in the PL.

    I was watching a German Bundesliga game a few days back and the referee was really, really good. Every foul was called, and cards were given out appropriately.

    I think the only mistake that the ref made was giving only a yellow card to the GK for bringing down the last man on a clear goal scoring opportunity. A penalty kick was given, though. The amazing thing was that I heard the commentator say “The ref only gave a yellow card for that….let’s see what the German FA has to say about that act of leniency ”

    I think it goes to show that the German league has a way better standard of officiating and maintains a strict watch over the level and quality of refereeing. Seriously, why isn’t this implemented in the PL?

  13. IMHO its not a problem with the team, its a problem with the squad. The squad is just too thin to sustain a whole season of FA Cup, Champions League and Premiership. Once the keys plays start picking up injuries we always find it hard to replace them. This has been the story of arsenal for the past 5 years. We pick up confidence for a long stretch of games.. and when its seems like we can just win it. the team fall like a pack of cards. It happens again and again and it would be folly to pretend the reverse is the case. Something as got to change we have tried the Youth Approach. Its time we really bring in players. am not talking about big name players but unknown germs, we have the scotts let them get to work… The major problem we have been having has been thinness of the squad. This past season we were thin the most in defense and attack. we need to fix that or we would be here this time next season talking about what could have been. we tried we almost got it.. but almost doesn’t count.

  14. biggest load of bollocks i have read

  15. it could of been different if wenger done the correct things and stopped turning a blind eye the main parts of what is needed for a successful football team.

  16. Luke: if you continue to make the same mistakes over and over; if people point out your weaknesses and advise you to change them and improve but you ignore all criticisms both constructive and negative, you’ll end a failure!

    Its a competitive world, football is a competitive game where the principles of ‘survival of the fittest’ and ‘winner takes all’ is the reality of our world; Arsenal and Wenger cannot pretend to be ‘excluded’ from reality!
    henry14: welldone man, I couldn’t have put those words better…kudos to you!

    Yogi, separate the dross from the real: not all who criticise Wenger are calling for his head;I for one, believe that had he not been so obstinate and permissive of failures and excusing mediocrity, certain players would have been replaced with better and more experienced ones.

    Its utter lunacy for Wenger to assume he has a ‘way’ to win trophies that is so different from those of other cup-winning coaches that their views are irrelevant!?

    And it seems everyone of those top coaches have unanimously said the same things about Wenger’s team over the years yet he hasn’t listened! Sir Alex, Mourinho, Hiddink, Pep, Ancellotti and other respected voices have said similar things about this team;yet AW is so stubborn that he has never listened to them;not that he’s any better than most on that list in terms of man-management, coaching and tactics anyway?!

  17. bigbrovar and henry14

    You are both a perfect example of the Consolbob’s inpatient supporter.

    You can both agree that we have been severely affected by injuries over the past few years – major injuries, and major season ending injuries. You can then both agree that we have been held back by the repayment of our fine statement, you can then agree that Wenger is the finest manager around, and has exceeded your expectations this season where you thought this team would have finished out of the top 4.

    So you are sitting there watching your team, watch them fail on the last hurdle, after competiting for the title, after suffering all these injuries, after being subjecting to very very poor refereeing decisions, and you have the nerve to come onto a blog and try criticise a man who is working harder than ever, and bringing a very talented team to the top of the table.

    You should both be ashamed, Wenger has the right to buy and manage his players how he bloody well feels like it. You might not agree with him, I might not agree with him, but I think he has earned that right after bringing our top 10 table club into a new era of sensational and trophy rich football.

  18. Fuck off forza fuckwit.

    Great stuff cb.

  19. fine statement – was meant to be STADIUM* !!

  20. *Rises silently to applaud, as a vale of red and white acacias floods the stage*

  21. Steven

    If you wish for a Sir Alex, Mourinho, or Hiddink manager to come in and do a better job than Wenger has done with his resources over the past 5 years.

    You are seriously dreaming. NO other manager can do what he has done.

  22. Nicely put, Cb.
    It seems that some fans feel more pride in being 1st to comment about a blog (even though they hadn’t necessarilly read it) than in the fact that their team finishes 3rd in the EPL. The bog mindles!

  23. soggy biscuit time at ACLF

  24. Steven

    Who or what is dross and who or what is real; let me know and I’ll separate them.


  25. Steven

    Wenger is not better than Fergie at man management…?? is that because Man Utd have clouded themselves in debt to keep players like Giggs and Scholes playing into their mid 30s, or is it because he isn’t as stubborn as Fergie when it comes to contract negotiations… cough* Tevez.. or his even better man management when losing Stam or Beckham or many other various bust ups with his playing staff..

    Seriously, some of you need to get your priorities straight! We have a very exciting team , a great manager, how on earth can any of you wake up and think to criticise your own club or manager. FUCKING PATHETIC bunch of spoilt twats

  26. Nothing to be proud of.For the 5th season running we finished without a trophy

    We played all season without a keeper which is a disgrace

    Silvestre played in the games at the business end of the season.Why????

    Walcott flattered to decieve again

    RVP plays his normal quarter of a season then we say how much we missed him.What did we expect him to stay fit!!!!!

    The top 2 are miles ahead of us even though they had poor seasons

    The Spuds finished one place below us

    Battered in Europe for the 2nd season running

  27. Throwing fucking trees onto the stage, LimparAssist?

  28. Anthony @ 10:36 am

    Was that game the Shalke v Bayern game on Saturday? I was watching that game, a bit drowsy, and it 2 things struck me;

    1. The refereeing was amazing (by EPL standards) and the ref called every foul, & every decision correctly. as you said.

    2. The players hardly disagreed with the ref’s decision. Once the whistle went each side accepted the decision & got on with the game.

    I told myself they probably had their best ref at the game because it was a title-deciding top of the table clash.

    Not that our best ref would be that good whichever way!

  29. when do i get a bloody post then????

  30. Marvellous stuff Cbob – and very concisely put too.

    Maturity is one of the big issues here – what is baffling is that I know that many of the D&G merchants are seasoned ‘supporters’. Even Geoff and Pedro are long time Arsenal fans – not the jumped up juveniles they seem to be.

    Immaturity is not confined to the young and thanks to the media and web 2.0 seems to be spreading like the pox.

  31. How is a team with aspirations of winning the title going to achieve it with Almunia and Fabianski as our No 1 and No 2 keepers.It just beggars belief

    Would either of them get a start as No 1 at OT or Stamford bridge

    Unless Wenger gets real and signs a world class keeper we will continue to concede comical goals and throw away the title

    Player of the season: Cesc


  32. @Ole

    It was Schalke vs Mainz actually.

    And you’re right, the players didn’t really argue with the ref, even though it was kind of a last minute penalty. Whether it was because the game was a ‘nothing’ game or not….I don’t know, but it was good to see that ref had everything under control.

  33. @DukeGoonem


  34. Speaking of the pox – Bigbrovar at 10.39 do you really want to bring in ‘unknown germs’?

    🙂 😉

  35. I demand a post, im sick and tired of reading everyone else’s whilst i get no glory!

    and is that longest post of the season?

  36. “a scouting network second to none” – are you joking – who is the last unearthed gem we have signed. the scouts havent found a player in years – TV5 was touted around europe so everybody knew about him
    also concerened that we have made £25m profit in transfers in the last 3 years – i would rather be flat at the bank and have a keeper

  37. Excellent blog post that shows that blogs can afterall inform the way the media can’t.

    Top class article

  38. We have a wage bill of £120 million a year and yet we are incapable of competing in all 4 competitions. This side isn’t good enough to win the EPL or CL and since we throw the League and F.A. cups we’ll continue to win nothing.

    Was AW’s ‘project youth’ borne out of necessity or his own ideological obsession?

    We’ll find out during the summer when he either signs the players we need to take the team foward or not

  39. Exactly, Frank. Uprooting whole rows of trees as a bold gesture of my appreciation.

    No – the Acacia blossoms with a rather lovely flower actually. For some reason my mind has chosen to associate it with the opera. Not sure why really. Never been to the opera.

  40. Antony,

    I was watching the Bayern Game…so it was a different game afterall.

    Could that be the overall level of officiating on the Bundesliga. If that’s the representative level, then they’re light years away.

  41. Thankfully you are not in any way involved in football management, donald…or have you just been laid off by Portsmouth?

  42. Acacia or Pseudoacacia?

  43. Jebus this blog used to have some valuable discussion – it’s now riven with miserablists here to vent spleen and spread their cancer.

    Why can’t you go and complain on the many other Arsenal whining sites with your brethren?

    Or at least come up with some original points – the needle is stuck in the Grove!

  44. Patience, donald.

    Martin Angha, Samuel Galindo, Wellington Silva.

    All scouted and secured this season.

    They have not yet been ‘unearthed’, to your eyes at least, because they are playing in the academy – you fucking prat.

  45. Whoops Gunflash – the wages bill covers all Arsenal employees, players and administrative staff. Try to use the proper facts in an argument dear boy.


  46. Thanks, OG, brilliant article…I think…isn’t it? Of course I understood it…all of it, I mean. Well not the financial bits but the rest definitely. Well when I say definitely I mean it was quite good English for a Swiss person…so I was able to read it if not und…Anyway fantastic article thanks.

  47. thats what we need Limpar Assist – more kids that may take 4 or 5 years to come through. we have loads of these, we need first teamers
    Frank – why should the club make 1p profit over the costs of running the club. any profit should be put into the team, its our money, soend it on players. what use is money in the bank. dont spend it then reduce season ticket prices

  48. Lol Yes I know Yogi. But the point still stands. All the money spent on playing and coaching staff and yet this team cannot win any silverware. Especially when they prioritise the two competitions their not good enough to win

  49. Our first team is the best in the EPL, donald. The problem is that we had 50% more injuries than any other club. That will not always happen. Stop fucking whining.

  50. Ray Groves: “Silvestre played in the games at the business end of the season.Why????”

    Your post was mainly nonsense or at least would fit in another blog.

    But to answer your confused question: Maybe because Vermaelen, Gallas, Song and Djourou were injured?

    And before someone rabbles about “why didn’t we get cover for them?”: Yes we did, Campbell. And Silvestre was definitely “cover”. He just had to play this time. Do you think we could have signed a top-rate defender to play for us, who would be told that otherwise he will be behind the first four in pecking order?

    Whining is a defence mechanism of an infantile individual. You’ll get over it when you do it enough, but please mind where you do it.

  51. Our wage bill for playing staff is about £84m.

    Wages are very well controlled at the club.

    It amazes me when people can’t look at the first teams of other sides and what some of their players are earning and not think that we do an outstanding job regarding wages.

  52. Brilliant – CB!

    I noticed how many posters have fell in love with the metaphor that Arsenal fell like a house of cards. Finishing third, yes THIRD, is now akin to falling now like a house of cards. Finishing with one of the youngest, talented squads in the EPL still intact is now like a house of cards. Finishing third while retaining our standing as the most profitable club in the EPL is now like a house of cards.

    One wonders what metaphor would be used for for Spurs, City, Villa and Pool (4th, 5th, 6th and 7th respectively) whose net spending over the past three years is almost the size of a Greek bailout.

    As for the spendthrifts, I present to you no better example than Man City who have spent over 200 million pound in transfers over this past two seasons on the likes of Robinho, Tevez, Adebayor, Toure, Roque Santa Cruz, Gareth Barry, Joleon Lescott and could finish no better than 5th. By the way they spent 8 million on Shay Given because it was believed a goal-keeper could earn them points. Talk about a load of tosh.

    …Apart from a few on this blog, it is the same old, same old with no perspective.

  53. The last two seasons Silvestre has had to play in big matches because of injury problems to others ahead of him in the squad.

    One year is bad luck, two years is really bad luck. If it happened a third year, you’d have to say we haven’t spotted a trend and reacted accordingly.

    I have every confidence that we will.

  54. What does a young pro on his first contract earn? 5K a week? Or is it more – I honestly don’t know.

    And I’m looking for someone who does actually know!

  55. frank, agreed that RVP & Cesc would get into any other first team – cant be so sure that any of the others would be at a top club. if we signed some experienced first teamers then the others would be good squad players

  56. And great post, CB.

  57. donald the duck, sorry I mean donald the twat

    How about Arshavin, Song, Clichy, Sagna, Vermaelen to name just a few…

    You dont think any of them are good enough for a top club.. why the hell are they at Arsenal then. You are full of shi* from what I read on your comments, are you even an Arsenal fan

  58. QoS

    Back again to whine I see

  59. Yes Shotta – you’re still a cunt.

    “Finishing with one of the youngest, talented squads in the EPL still intact”

    Not exactly sure what that even means. If it is injuries, then no, we got lumps kicked out of us and missed a ton of players. If it is transfers, then you are spouting shit again, as the summer has only just begun.

    “retaining our standing as the most profitable club in the EPL”

    This just is not how success at a club is measured, the board AND Wenger have made this quite clear: we play to win you cock.

    This is not actually true either. Gazzidis was talking just last night about needing to march the global merchandising and sponsorship revenue produced elsewhere.

    The aim is to have money to`put back into teh squad through investment, but i am sure there will be a lot of bullshit about Madrid spending, Pompey, Shitty and other guff to deflect from the fact that you are judging the club in a manner that not even they themselves do. Some bizarre shott-cunt logic by which spending sensibly on 4 good players and winning the league would seem to be failure.

  60. “All the money spent on playing and coaching staff and yet this team cannot win any silverware.” – Gun Flash

    Aaah, the magic of silverware. Remember Portsmouth.

    The wages of a Russian oligarch is certain Administration.

  61. Psuedo? Not at all. I am talking bona fide acacia flowers.

  62. ChrisGoona, AA has been crap this year, Song had a better season than previous but still average. both full backs are average and part of a very shaky defence. TV had a pretty good season but was not great v Chelsea, manure, barca, citeh, sunderland (along with others)
    so yes, why are they at Arsenal? -its a question that i have been asking all season

  63. Chelsea have won the league, they have a squad full of overpaid players, players who cheat on their wives, players who sleep with other players wives, and players who I would be ashamed to have at my club. Then they have a host of Internationally respected managers knocking at the door looking for jobs, looking for a big pay day to have a go at Abramovichs pet project.

    Chelsea deserve the Premiership crown, what they have failed to gain is any respect from any corner of the country – this mounts from their surrounding of the referee, their off-field behaviour from their players, as well as general off-field behaviour – think to every year they get knocked out of the Champions League.

    They are a small club, no culture, no morals, no respect. I am saying all this not to pick a fight on Chelsea, but to show how utterly stupid and spoilt Arsenal fans have come to be. The amount of twats posting today is unreal!

  64. Woke up this morning with a c*ck in your mouth, arsenehollis? I am going to take off my gloves you major league prick.

  65. Naaah. You are lying, donald. We know who you are….

  66. Right on que you mug, even if it wasn’t directed at me.

    Pompey, Madrid, Man Shitty are NOT and argument against sensible investment.

    Listen to WENGER and GAZIDIS.

    We need to strengthen in some areas within our existing structure. Wenger has said this. So has the cheif executive.

    Only morons argue for galactico signings…

    …but similarly, to argue against prudent investment and liken that to Pompey is fuckin retarded also.

  67. Thats the spirit shotta, have you got the gloves off yet you chump or can i look forward to that?

    How about responding to a few points whilst you are at it, instead of distracting from the issue?

  68. donald

    So you didn’t enjoy the season, was you not excited up until April watching a written off team with a GREAT amount of quality and promise, many of whom brought in as youngsters, almost go all the way for the title. You sitting at your computer typing on this blog means obviously you did sit through the whole season, my question to you is – why did you bother if you were only going to come online after and have a dig at YOUR OWN CLUB, if its your own club?

  69. Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia’…common in England. People call them acacias. Flowers about now normally although the current temperatures may delay flowering this year.

  70. Go f*ck off hollis. Those spanish boys aren’t good enough for you. I have no time for your anal bullshit.

  71. OLE – the swissramble was very detailed indeed. will keep tabs on that one.

    Largely I agree with frank (on the subject) but this bit certainly caught my eye:

    “If Spurs are beaten in their qualifying match, there would be a double whammy for Arsenal fans, as they would not only have another opportunity to laugh at their North London neighbours, but there would also be more money heading Arsenal’s way, as England’s TV pool would only have to be shared between three teams instead of the four usual suspects. That pot was worth €55.5m in season 2008/09, but is likely to increase to at least €70m for next season, so this would be very handy.”

  72. “TV5 was touted around Europe so everybody knew about him”….that’s not true, few of us had heard about him before we signed him

    Shotta stop being too harsh on the guy who used “the house of cards metaphor” i thought he made alot of sense, We did well considering all the odds thrown at us.

    Cbob great piece, if I can learn “We need the maturity to accept defeat without believing that the World has ended” then I’ll be ok.

  73. True acacia are usually white or yellow flowers … might mean Mimosa though?

  74. chrisgonna – I’m not sure that taking the high morale ground requires also being a cunt…

    Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate…. yada yada

  75. Thank You Shotta.

    When asked to respond to the points I made about your post you fall silent.

    No need to continue.

    Have a good one, you are as was always suspected: a jumped up fool who only gets away with that routine on here because no one else will call you out on it. Nothing but bluster and incoherent shit.

    Have at it dude, I wont trouble you again.

  76. Was a truly great post, a post which many posting idiotic supporters obviously have got a bit wound up by it.

    It must be hard for all you “We must spend big” supporters to listen to the rather narrow minded set of pundits that grace the Premiership. My advice to you is don’t go ill yourself yet, the hard work over the last 5 years will soon pay off. Arsenal will dominate, then you can all go blagg down the pub. Because thats all you supporters really want, bragging rights, none of you can deny that. 😉

  77. ChrisGoona sais: “Chelsea deserve the Premiership crown, what they have failed to gain is any respect from any corner of the country”

    Ant that, my fellow real and realistic Arsenal supporters, is the key. So far, I haven’t counted any of the Cheatsea titles as real titles. They might get their crown, but everyone knows the king is not wearing clothes.

    We just have to try to ignore the doping. No respect to them.

    Mind you, as much as I hate ManU, I can’t complain about their success. Yes, their balance sheet currently looks edgy and risky indeed, but it’s still fair enough. They’re just bigger for the time being. Just like we are currently bigger than most Premier League teams.

    And Leeds and Newcastle and Portsmouth.

    We are not a mess, and we are not dirty. Enjoy it.

  78. Thanks, Frank. I made them red for effect. Though I must say I hadn’t known them to be much frizzier than any other genus.

    I wonder why I’ve associated them with the Opera…

    Are you Donald Sutherland, donald? You great ham, you!

  79. Reading some of these comments, Arsene Wenger must be a genius to get to 3rd with the bunch of under-performing no hopers he has had to work with.

  80. some people on here seem to have a very low opinion of their common man

    I look forward to the day when people are wise enough to not fight with words but build with them.

  81. Frank – not sure what i am lying about – please explain?
    ChrisGoona, i enjoyed immensely us beating up on shit teams !!, cant say i enjoyed it when the same was being done to us. and the reason why were still in it this season was due to utd and chelsea’s poor form. so in a season where those 2 lost more games than ever we still finished way behind them. yes the games towards the end of the season were washouts but if we had of bought the players we needed (GK,CH,CM) at the end of the previous season we would probably had won the league

  82. I had a Mimosa pudica once…goes all floppy when you touch it. In the end it just stayed floppy.

  83. First Lady – If we are a “house of cards”, what metaphor should we use for City, Pool and Villa, i.e. the Champs League wannabes?

    We disappointed in not winning, more so to lose in 10 minutes at Wigan, but to suggest we collapsed over an entire season is to give-in to those who over-react and want to sell the half the 1st team and to embark on a policy of in Galacticos.

  84. shotta, c’mon give arsenehollis his debate and be done with this feud once and for all. FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT

  85. QOS, where did you get the 84m figure from?

  86. I agree with you completely however might I shed some light on why I feel there is so much anger and disapointment with many of the fans?

    In my opinion it is down to Wenger’s obvious disregard for the domestic Cups. He has said that there are only 2 important “Trophies” in the UK, winning the leage and qualifying for the Champions League.
    Now while I don’t deny they ware both very important his attitude towards the FA Cup is infuriating. We are a Club who has always done well in this competition and until recently were the most successful in it. Now Wenger’s attitude to it means Man U have that honour and we are left pinning all our hopes on the 2 most difficult Trophies to win.

    I said at the end of last season when wveryone was talking about “4 years withoug a Trophy” that Wenger needed to make the FA Cup his priority so that he could at least silence the critics and take some pressure off the team and indeed himself.

    Every year he spits on the Domestic Cups and allows teams like Porstmouth to reach the final he piles more pressure on himself and the club. 5 years without a trphy sounds a lot worse than 4 and 6 years will sounds like a bloody crisis!

    He must learn that he can’t keep going on about top four places and always being in the Quarters of the Champions League.

    I could have told you in August that we wouldn’t win the Champions League. There are 4-5 teams in Europe who are just Stronger than us. More tactically astute, more experienced, more talented or just more determined to win.

    Wenger needs to really go for a Cup we have a more realistic chance of winning. Plus it would give the team a taste of winning. Cesc has grown up so much since Spain were crowned the European Chamipions. He has tasted winning and you has see he knows what is required to get it again. No-one else in our squad except Clichy & RvP has tasted that!

    If we really go for the FA Cup we could win it and then everyone would have to shut up about how long its been since we last won one and then Wenger can concentrate on the Premiership and Champions League!

    If Wenger has money but does not spend it on buying a squad that is capable of challenging on 3-4 fronts then quite frankly he is doing the fans a disservice.

    He is a great manager and I would not change him for anyone but I feel he is missing David Dein’s guidance. Dein would push Wenger, convince him to go for it. To buy players he wanted, to try in all the competitions. My feeling is that now the Board is only concerned with Money. Dein was the one true fan who cared about winning. The board miss him, Wenger misses him and the Club miss him.

  87. Italian Sky Sports News has said that Buffon is heading to Arsenal.

    Most likely shit, but exciting none-the-less.

    If we could get Buffon and a replacement for Gallas, then have everyone fit for the start of the year…

    ..just imagine.

  88. Yep, it would be good if we were serious about the cup.

    However, with so many injuries it makes it even more of a risk to play the big guns and gives you less other opportunities to rest them.

  89. Shotta, You seem unable or unwilling to grasp the point. I’m not suggesting that we run the club in to administration. I’m suggesting that given the fact that Arsenal are a big club and the wages they pay they should be able to compete in all four competitions.

  90. Geoff Strong,

    The critics always try to have it both ways. You’re right to point out that the players couldn’t possibly be close to being as bad as some of these people make out. If they were, then Wenger has to get credit for mounting 2 title challenges in 3 years with such a bad lot.

  91. Gazidis is keen to stress the club are in a healthy position and manager Arsene Wenger will have funds at his disposal to launch a summer spending spree that is expected to culminate in as many as three new arrivals.

    “I am often asked what our financial resources are. Arsene has done a terrific job in managing responsibly through a period of dramatic change for the club and the English game,” he said.

    “Arsenal have not had access to the deep pockets of a wealthy investor and we have focused on a path of independence underpinned by a sustainable business model for long-term success.

    “With Highbury Squarecoming to completion and some of our other property developments bearing fruit, we’re now coming to a period where the financial health of the club is secure. That does not mean we have unlimited resources but it does mean we have sufficient funds to invest.

    “One or two players are coming to the end of their contracts – William Gallas, for example. Whatever happens, Arsene has identified the fact the defence has been an issue for us this year so its not difficult to imagine that that’s an area we’re focused on in this transfer window.”

  92. are the anti Wenger brigade that actually stupid and naive enough to think that a manager who has won and achieved so much for us since he came he cant see the difference in our side now than what he needs for it to get over that line to be champions?? do these people know we simply havnt had the money because of our stadium,what were you expecting to happen that we would have the same amount of money we had when at Highbury to be able as Wenger said recently be able to get the players we really needed!!

    lets put it this way,if every manager had a gun put to their head at the start of every season and all told they had to spend 200million,Wenger and Arsenal would win the title every season!!

  93. I agree with GunFlash.

    The simple fact is, in years gone by we did compete in all 4 competitions.

    Wenger did it before, it can be done again in the future, now the stadium is paid off.

    Many people just refuse to see the burden of the stadium on the club.

    Good times ahead.

  94. buffon has back problems and wants a big final pay day so although a great idea on paper until our boys get the required experience I think its too much of a stretch.

    He has been prosituting himself for an england transfer for a while now hoping man city make everyones day but their own.

    am I the only one here that wants to talk transfers? guess I’ll have to find some other blog site for that… dear lord.

    yaya toure seems a earnest possiblity on all fronts…

  95. AFers – I apologize for the salty language used earlier. However if that certain person continues his unprovoked personal attacks I will fight fire with fire.
    Debate and disagreement is fine with me (e.g.Gun Flash et al) but this b.s. has gone on for too long.

  96. Arseneholis,

    Don’t tell me you’re also falling for this nonsense that we dont compete in 4 competitions?

  97. Gooner49, Good post

  98. arsenehollis

    Word – I like the transfer rumours.

    Yaya would be great I think. He can play defence or midfield and seems to fit what the conventional wisdom thinks we need.

    Maybe Buffon is creaking, but he played for Juve through their relegation and if fit is as good as anyone – he and Cassillas are in a league of their own.

    Shotta – you provoked this and debate clearly is not fine with you, because you wont do it. As I said above, that is fine with me but cut out the lies dude.

  99. Possibly, just possibly, we were gazumped in our attempts to buy class in the recent past by the nouveau-riche clubs – remember?
    Possibly, just possibly, we had therefore to try to grow our own.
    Possibly, just possibly, we needed the cups to blood our home-grown.
    That doesn’t mean that the cups are undervalued, simply used differently.
    I don’t want a mega-rich investor whose assets came from we-know-not-where.
    No thanks – I’ll keep supporting The Arsenal as it is, thank you.

  100. Good article YW, I think a lot of people (myself included) lose sight of what a great position we are in.

    It does upset me to see the chavs and in particular that idiot saying ‘I cam here to win things’ – No you went there because your a greedy arrogant selfish prat! It feels like the adulterous, arrogant players at the bridge are being rewarded but hey thats life.

    As you say defence and goal keepers is key but I know that Wenger will not buy the latter…

  101. arsenehollis

    Ole – I like the CC policy, we should stick with that.

    I think that we have not shown a great deal of desire to win teh FA cup, judging by team selection, over the last 3 years.

    I am open to being convinced, but if you look at our exits the last 3 years, we appear to be undone by not playing our best available players, that is all I was getting at.

  102. Consolsbob,

    great post.


    don’t bother with arsenehollis. He’s a serial offender. And not very bright. He can’t even realize that the club’s website is taking the piss out of the tranfer rumours.

  103. Gooner49…

    after the big tantrum you just had, I want to ask you something. Dis you just say you would have rather liked Wenger to have focussed the teams efforts in the Cup this year, leaving Spurs to finish above us?

    It is widely regarded that your league positions reflects your teams ability. Arsenal finishing 4th behind Spurs but with an FA Cup trophy in hand is a slap in the face to me. Id rather take 3rd spot and automatic qualification into the Champions League.

  104. I do not see winning an FA Cup or League Cup as a consolation or even a sacrifice worth making to bring a trophy to the Emirates.


    Is it me or does it sound like everyone is on their death bed demanding for a trophy to come NOW!! Sit back and enjoy the young gunners take over the world !

  105. arseneholis,

    I’m sick of all this revisionism. The old criticism of Arsene was that he went for all 4 competitions. Now it’s that he doesn’t go for all 4 competitions.

    Complete drivel.

    The notion that we must play our strongest team in every game doesn’t make sense. And argue all you want, if fitness and other considerations mandate prioritising between competitions, then that is the prudent thing to do.

  106. Anyone who believes that winning the FA Cup is more important than 3rd in prem and quarter final in CL is seriously deluded. The difference in financial gain is enormous.

    Great post CB.

  107. Ole Gunner, it pains me to say it but look at the example set by Man U in the League Cup.

    As they progressed through the competition they fielded stronger and stronger sides. When they drew Man City Ferguson knowing what it means to the club and the fans and put out his strongest side and went for it. They didn’t roll over and die like we did at WHL a couple of years ago by stubbornly adhering to a self defeating policy.

    Do you still think we compete in all four competitions?

  108. GunFlash,

    I don’t care about the Curling Cup. I couldn’t fucking care less.

    Man Utd fans are as depressed as we are this season because their team has not won any of the 3 trophies that have any sporting or financial value.

  109. arsenehollis

    Problem with the FA CUP is the harder games come at an important period of the season. It is AFTER we send our reserve players on loan for the second part of the season, and it is when Champions League gets interesting, as well as while the African Nations takes place.

    It’s either a choice between wearing down the 1st teamers (the ones that are not yet broken by the likes of Stoke and Blackburn), or stick on the 2nd team and give them experience.

    I don’t know about everyone else… but Cesc, Clichy, Cole, Gibbs, Ramsey, and all the rest have thrived on getting a chance in the Carling and FA Cup to earn a 1st team spot.

    It has worked well up untill now, and I think thats the correct path to take with the number of games we must play. Next season we could possibly see the likes of Wilshire, Gibbs, and co.. really having a good go at the tournament. I hope we don’t loan too many out.

  110. LOL! So in other words Ole we don’t compete in all four competitions

  111. Flint McCullough

    Excellent, excellent Cbob !!

    Chelsea from the football point of view may disagree about their entertainment value this year, though.

    Your points have been well illustrated by quite a few blinkered individuals here, who are simply unable to see a bigger picture.

    Do you think our players, at an average age of 22/23, might actually have proved they are quite good by finishing 3rd, especially as so many of them had to be used?

  112. GunFlash

    Our kids took on Chelsea in the Carling Cup and were quite unlucky.. I love watching the younger players take down big opposition in the CC every year!!

  113. GunFlash

    We get through to the quarter finals in every competition (minimum) every year… is that not competing…

    What do you want 3 FINALS and a title race every year you mug

  114. Indeed Chris, I’ve had some good nights out watching the kids in the League Cup but why don’t try and win the thing. This team needs to start winning. Why not start with the League Cup?

  115. GunFlash

    You sound like a spoilt little whiney bitc*

  116. Wenger has lost the plot just as Maggie Thatcher did! Absolute power has made him a legend in his own mind! I for one have gone through the Wenger years amazed at what he has achieved for Arsenal BUT now he should go! He is here as manager to win football matches, win trophies and put bums on seats, NOT manage our bank balance! Or pander to his favourites! He dumped Gilberto ages ago but he’s still good enough to captain Brazil but not good enough to be chosen ahead of Denilson for Arsenal. He gave Jens just a couple of mistakes before uncermoniously dumping him but the two twats we now have can fuck up all they like and he comes out with his usual propaganda in defence of the indefensible! Fuck me what a spin doctor Wenger is. It’s OUR club Wenger and it’s OUR money so respect that, best fuck off eh! And another thing, stop blaming your mediocrity on everything but yourself Wenger! It’s your fault we have so many injuries we can’t cover with quality, it’s your fault if the team aren’t strong enough out there against the so called bully boys, it’s your fault the boys are a bunch of lazy cissy’s cos YOU keep on and on about their mental strength and their quality. Listen Wenger, if I had kept telling my sons how fucking good they were, even if they were not! they would have grown up to be twats like most of your ‘kids’! You have your favourites and your methods and your beliefs but they are all badly flawed now! Manage the team not the bank or fuck off!

  117. Chris, Do you get abusive every time someone disagrees with you?

    And no I wouldn’t call going out every year to the first half decent team we play competing. Just another ‘groundhog day’ season

  118. GunFlash: “look at the example set by Man U in the League Cup. (…) When they drew Man City Ferguson knowing what it means to the club and the fans and put out his strongest side and went for it.”

    Of course you only mean with “what it means to the club” re: the rise and financial might of the oily Man City as a local rival and NOT the silly League Cup?

    BTW, I wish they would disqualify clubs taking part in the UCL ja Europa League and end the whether-or-not discussion like that. 🙂

  119. arsenehollis

    Ole – I am not sure what the ‘rivisionism’ is.

    I don’t think you can fairly criticise a personal point of view because it conflicts with a prior one that was held elsewhere. I never criticised Wenger for going for 4 pots, nor am I criticising him now.

    I simply think that if possible we should have made more of a go of the cup. That is in hindsite though, and only now does resting players at home in the league seem like a good idea.

    Of course, prioritising competitions is necessry, of course the two we go for most are the key ones.

    This is not about that, just as spending any money isnt about finacial ruin, they are both sensationalist positions.

    It is about balance. Could we have played a stronger team at Stoke? Would it have mattered? We looked the only winner in that game with 70 minutes gone, but threw it away on the break. As we did so many times last season, maybe that is where the problem lies?

    Still, limping out of the cup with kids adds to a sense fo frustration felt when you get so close and then fall away in the league. The original point was that, althoug not made by me first, that this added to fans frustration. This is probably true, although there may have been no alternative.

  120. Welll said! Remember the start of the season when we were battering everyone? If we’d kept key players fit we’d have walked the league. I can’t wait for next season – the cannon will roar!

  121. LimparAssist

    Well if you do lead your post with a Zombies song title, Cb, I guess you can’t be suprised when the walking dead show up.

  122. No GunFlash,

    We usually get to the semi-finals and finals of that competition. To say we don’t compete in it is silly.

    We haven’t won it. But again, that’s your real grouse.

    Instead of trying to revise reality, just write something along the lines of;

    “Waaa waaaa I want a trophy, I want a trophy, waaa, I am unhappy”.

    That’s more respectable.


    So, it’s academy league final at 2PM, should be live on ATVO.

    Oh, and a warm welcome to ACLF to Finnish Hit from resident ACLF Finn 😉

  124. England squad announced by the FA:

    Joe Hart, David James, Robert Green, Baines, Carragher, A Cole, Dawson, Ferdinand, G Johnson, Ledley King, John Terry, Matthew Upson, Stephen Warnock, Barry, Carrick, Cole, Gerrard, Huddlestone, Adam Johnson, Lampard, Lennon, Milner, Parker, Walcott, SWP, Darren Bent, Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe, Emile Heskey, Wayne Rooney

    Sol didn’t make the England squad! 😦

  125. arseneholis,

    Revisionism is saying we don’t go for 4 competitions when clearly we do. Last season we were in the semi finals of three competitions (4th in the league) and quarters of the 4th.

    How can that be interpreted as not going for all four competitions?

  126. LimparAssist

    Finnish Hit, we seem to have a good example of your “counter fan” on here now. His breathless tirade suggests to me a rather pent-up individual. Problems at home, Trotter?

  127. I think another wheel must have dropped off his van.

  128. Sol ahead of Upson and Dawson anyday of the week!

  129. YW, why am I going into moderation, been away too long?

  130. GunFlash

    Did you ever wonder why they field their 1st team for the CC. It is because they havn’t got the LUXURY or even the BALLS to field a promising team of quality youngsters in the competition.

    Wenger has given so many players a chance at 1st team action, and given so many players a career. He is by far the most respectable managers, yet he has fans like you who try their upmost to bring him down because you feel you deserve a trophy..

    You deserve JACK SHIT mate

  131. Ole, who’s unhappy? I’ve accepted the reality of the situation. You have not which is why your getting so upset.

    The way this Arsenal side is setup it won’t win anything. However, AW deserves our support to turn it around. The signings he makes or doesn’t make in the summer will go a long way to tell us whether he is the right man to take Arsenal forward or not.

    It’s that simple so why throw your toys out of your cot?

  132. Nice article CB, congratulations for writing so eloquently and logically as usual.

    Finnish Hit @ 10.18 makes a very appropriate point given some of the comments which appear on here on a daily basis, I would like to know what the exact phrase is in Finnish please.

  133. Chris, I like you your funny

  134. Gunflash is J*mes.

  135. Anyone else looking forward to having the Clock in the stadium and the colour quadrants being re-named North, East, South and West. I feel a song coming on.

    When i first read that the clock was returning to Arsenal i thought we were about to re-sign David Bentley.

  136. GunFlash

    Your points are crap and lack any real backing to any or you arguments..

    You say we don’t get compete in all 4 competitions! NO TEAM DOES – in Fact Arsenal are probably TOP in this area!

    Then you say we ain’t setup to win… after appearing in a Champions League Final, Carling Cup Final, and a couple title races?

    Please back up your argument or get lost.

  137. Finsbury

    I should have know, I smelt something funny

  138. What did this James character do? All I’ve done is put forward my view of where Arsenal are right now. I can’t help it if a few other posters can’t handle that

  139. GunFlash,

    We’ll invite you to the trophy parade WHEN we win. But you’ll have to kiss Gary Neville as punishment.

  140. Chris how old are you? I’ve already backed up all my comments. I’m not going to dumb them down just so you can understand them.

    “Then you say we ain’t setup to win… after appearing in a Champions League Final, Carling Cup Final, and a couple title races?”

    How many did we win?

  141. LimparAssist

    We’re the North Bank
    We’re the North Bank
    We’re the North Bank Em-i-raats!!

    Hold on… it’s lost some of it’s charm in transition.

  142. LimparAssist

    I’m really looking forward to the game now, dups. Moved my lunch break to catch it.

    You watching today, Oofus?

  143. Thankyou Consols. I appreciated everything you had to say. There’s a lot of oddities on ACLF today. DelBoyEssex appears for all the world like a cardboard cut-out, but alas he is real, and without realising it, tells a story eloquently of how sordid some fans are. He is a good illustration of your point about ‘pathetic, ignorant media’.

  144. Ole mate, that a deal. I genuinely hope your right but I can only call it as I see it.

    If we win the CL I’ll give GN a blow job!

  145. Unfortunate I can’t hold you to that vow since I don’t know you, and however much Gary Neville would welcome your blow job.

    This team will win at some point. It’s sure as day.

  146. @ Gunflash – That’s something i never thought i would ever read. It’s feel like i have read David Beckham’s diary entry for 26th May 1999.

  147. MattyBoy: “Finnish Hit @ 10.18 makes a very appropriate point given some of the comments which appear on here on a daily basis, I would like to know what the exact phrase is in Finnish please.”

    Is that what you would like to start your Finnish lessons with? 😉 It’s difficult already, but here goes:


    with “vasta” meaning “against/other side” and “jännäri” as someone who is excited in a nervous kind of way.

    Mind you, an average Finn wouldn’t know about the word: it’s mostly used by managers, coaches and observers in professional sports.

  148. 4 mins in, Arsenal U-18s already 1-nil down in the U-i8s final

  149. …but U-18s have got JET on the bench…

  150. LimparAssist

    Colin Blunstone went to my old secondary school, Consolsbob. Though about 50 years earlier than I did.

    The Zombies cover of You Really Got A Hold On Me is maybe my favourite thing they did – it barely holds itself together, just perfect.

  151. What a suprise!

    TW14 makes Capello’s 30.
    Tony ‘Chav’ Gale and Christ ‘I still have a mullet’ Waddle, must be tearing their eyes out.

    No spot for Sol.

  152. I understand all the frustrations of losing to Manu, Chelsea and some of the weaker sides.

    I still prefer a club that balances its books, develops the team and continues to improve year on year. Arsenal for me is that team.

    It is easy enough to seek to buy a trophy but remember that success is not a short-term thing. It is a long term thing and financial power and sound management is what makes that happen.

    So I wish we won something. I am disappointed but I’ll get over it and be there supporting Arsenal through victories and defeats.

  153. Matt Boy, LOL it’s a moot point. Would you give GN a blow job if you could guarantee Arsenal winning the treble?

    It’s probably the only way they’ll win anything (Sorry Ole)

  154. Cbob

    Cheers for the vid – favourite Zombies album.


  155. Whoops, Gale’s is a tired old Spammer.
    I wonder how he feels about Zola’s treatment.

    I’ve already found the Wet Spams’ new owners ‘good value’. Fun times ahead in bogland.

  156. Bet Walcott doesnt go.Now Lennon is fit and Adam Johnson has been picked.If judged on form this season they are in front of Theo

    Sol was never going to go that was just a red herring.

    Come on Cesc and Spain

  157. 1-1!

  158. U-18s have equalised. Benik Afobe

  159. You went to school, La?

    Great voice. They sound like nice boys don’t they? Even more so on ‘She’s Not There’.

    Yes, mine too Yogi. It seems amazing that that particular song wasn’t a hit. I reckon it stands up well to anything put out by contemporary bands.

  160. Finnish Hit – my Finnish is now 100% better than it was yesterday, paljon kiitoksia.

    For me vastajännäri sums up exactly how i feel about fans who should be getting behind our team. With the we have had, finishing 3rd and getting to the Champions League QF is a relative success and should be commended. How many seasons is it now we have qualified for the CL? I don’t take that for granted year after year.

  161. LimparAssist

    1-1. What an extraordinary set of players. Aneke, Ozyakup – so entertaining to watch. The touch is pure silk, right through the side. And the crowd are trainee size too! Hook em while they’re young!

  162. 1-1

  163. with the *season* we have had….

  164. Harry Flowers

    Fantastic post Consolbob.

    You’ve summed up how this particular Arsenal supporter feels at the end of the season with a great deal of eloquence. And a neat Zombies reference as well. Take a bow sir.

  165. Get in! Thanks for the update guys, where are you watching this?

  166. ChrisGoona

    I wasn’t talking about just this season, though it still applies, i was talking about the past 3 seasons.

    My problem isn’t that Wenger prioritises the league over the FA Cup, it’s that he says he is satisfied with his squad KNOWING that its not deep enough to seriously challenge on 3 fronts.

    My problem is that we have had a number of serious injuries to key players every year for the past 4 years yet every July Wneger says he has too many players and doesn’t need to buy more.

    Look what happened this season! We were all begging he buys 3-4 players so we had a squad that could seriously challenge. He says NO he’s got too many players already. He mentions Rosicky, Eduardo and Vela as being like new signings yet none of them played a real part in the season!

    At the end of the season you are supposed to be able to hold your hands up and say “I was wrong, the manager knows better”. We are not supposed to be able to say “I told you we needed another striker / Defensive midfielder / Central defender, Wenger was wrong and I was right”.

    Why do you think there are so few people still rolling out the old “Arsene Knows” line?

    Too many fans think he DOESN’T KNOW anymore. Or that he still does but is too stubborn to do anything about the weak players because he’s invested too much time in them.

    This is the other problem with buying so much youth, you’re waiting and waiting and waiting fro them to come good.

    D you REALLY think Wenger is going to give up on Fabianski after this season? No way. He’ll be there on the bench or between the sticks because Wenger has backed him and rater him and is not going to turn around now and look like a mug and say “I got it wrong”.

    When you buy a proven player you know what to expect and if they don’t deliver its their fault not yours.

    Wenger has put the pressure all on himself. If his young players don’t deliver its his fault. His bad judgement or his bad management. And because of this he is will to give them far more chances than he would a player already proven.

    That said I’m not objecting to project youth. I beleive in it. What I have a problem with is Wenger coupling Project Youth with Project Kick out all the Experience!

    If you have a squad age of 24 years old and you refuse to give conracts to your players aged 30+ you are effectively removing any chance of your team being experienced!

    Wenger gets rid of a top defender like Gallas only to then buy a Silvestre who is 2-3 years OLDER because his team needs experience!!!

    It’s stupid.

    We need old heads to show the team how to kill games off, how to run down the clock, how to stop teams from playing their game, how to adapt to different situations.

    You look at the roles Giggs, Scholes & Neville have played in United’s season, Lampard, Ballack & Anelka at Chelsea, these guys are all over 30 and still do a job. Maybe not week in week out but at least when they do come in you know what you’re gona get. An experienced football brain ready to do whatever the game requires.

    As long as Wenger keeps letting the Gilberto’s, Gallas’ and Vieira’s leave we will never have an experienced side!

  167. 2nd highest wage bill in the league.£120m.What have our players actually done to deserve such rewards?How much do you think Useless Almunia is on???????
    Highest season ticket prices

    We should be dancing in the streets at our lack of success

    Who says you cant fool all the people all of the time?

  168. It’s always good to see that RVP agrees with me:

    “Van Persie – I like the look of Chamakh”


    This also stood out:

    “…that manager Arsène Wenger had told him (Djourou)the reason he allowed Kolo Toure to join Manchester City was because it was time for Djourou to become a first-team regular….”

  169. LimparAssist

    From time to time, Cb.

    I think the Santana version of ‘She’s Not There’ is one of the most pleasing cover versions of a song I know. Although the original is still best.


    ArsenalTVOnline, Matty B.

  170. U-18s now lead. Afobe’s second goal.

  171. > *Ahem* from…

  172. I’ve forgotten how pleasing “The Arsenal Way” of playing is to the eye on all levels. Good to see the same style from the U18’s! Actually they look relatively a lot better than the Senior team with the same level of opposition…

    Matty Boy et al, it’s live from the Emirates on ATVO, Arsenal TV Online, at the official site, 3,99 GBP per month. Recommended if only for the player and manager interviews plus loads of extra. Classic goals etc.

  173. CBob:

    Nice post. For as long as there have been professional sports and sports fans the goal has been to win titles and every team for ther rest of all time will be judged on their success on the playing field. That is reality.

    Most of us accept that the last 5 years of relative down time has been necessary. We had to build the new stadium and we had to build the youth system so provide a sustainable pipeline of players. The club said it would not affect transfer budgets or performance on the pitch but they knew that was impossible. I have no problems with “benevolent white lies”. In my view criticizing what has happened is useless. Painful as it has been it was important for the long term future of AFC. It is now time to move forward.

    The club promised that the reason for the stadium was to give us the financial muscle to compete with the “big boys” in the transfer markets and ultimately to WIN TROPHIES. No one can guarantee that we will win trophies but the club guaranteed it would do whatever it could to bring those trophies and spending money on new players is part of that.

    No one calls for Galacticos. However only someone with very thick rose colored glasses does not see that this squad needs improvement. Adding some new players will not guarantee trophies but will clearly improve our chances. Its time for the club to come good on its promises and start to flex our financial muscles and give us the best chance to start winning some trophies again. If that does not happen then I think the fans have every right to be angry.

  174. @Wayne, if you bother to read the previous comments you might get some useful information about our wage structure.

  175. akb brothers and sisters

    wow what a privilege to be an arsenal fan

    wenger is the best manager there ever was

    we are lucky to have him

    just want to say hello to my akb brthers and sisters

    fight the power

  176. Why didnt some of the blame fall on Wengers shoulders at any point in todays post? I agree that injuries and awful refereeing decisions played a part in this season but not strengthening the team over last summer was perhaps the most influential aspect of us not winning a trophy this season.

    We always get injuries to key players, always. Is it not Wengers job to make sure that we have adequate back up for when the inevitable happens. Granted we got more injuries than usual this season and noone could have predicted it but defence has cost us a trophy this season. We have dropped 15 points from a winning position this season and most of those points are down to defensive naiivity (spelling?). Gallas always misses a chunk of the season for us. Effectively releasing Senderos and bringing in Campbell, who depite suprising everyone including Wenger with his performances, shouldnt be expected to play 2 games a week. JD missed the whole season through injury and i think everyone realises how poor Silvestre is.

    Anyway, im hoping Wenger buys appropriately this summer and fills in the gaps at the back. Conceding 40 is far too many. Perhaps more defensive training is the answer..train like you play. Judging by our poor defensive record there must be a high number conceded in training too.

  177. Aneke is so ridiculously talented. I just hope he stays focused over the next couple of years.

  178. Bill,

    Actually, many many call for galacticos. I know that’s the new official line to say nobody calls for galacticos but it’s false.

    Many many want Arsenal to spend big, including many on here today.

  179. Thanks LimparAssist and Finish Hit. And Ole for the update. It’s so pleasing to see our young guns doing well.

  180. LimparAssist

    The way Afobe and Aneke link and overlap with one another is pulling their centreback pairing apart at the seams. Brilliant awareness of each other’s movement.

  181. Also, just want to add that Wenger said last summer that we would win a trophy this season. Im sure he meant it otherwise wouldnt have said it.
    Why then, has he been saying for the last few days that we have exceeded expectations by finishing 3rd? Im pretty sure finishing 3rd and not winning any cup competitions (be they FA, Carling or european cup).

    To say finishing in the CL spot is better than winning a trophy is ridiculous and the fans shouldnt take the CL for granted is also stupid. Wenger himself se the standards so high with his winning teams.

  182. “To say finishing in the CL spot is better than winning a trophy is ridiculous and the fans shouldnt take the CL for granted is also stupid. Wenger himself se the standards so high with his winning teams.”

    So winning the Carling Cup is more important than a CL place?

    What utter bollox.

  183. LimparAssist

    Stfu, stu.

  184. I pay for my season ticket with the hope to see my club succeed and play entertaining football.
    Not to hear about how arsenal are one of the most profitable clubs in the world!
    If Arsene isn’t going to spend some of this £25 million recooperated in recent years from player sales, then how about passing some of the savings onto us, the fans!
    Why should I continue to pay the ever increasing ticket prices if Arsene won’t buy some much needed reinforcements to keep Arsenal at the top? I don’t sit in the stands to watch our stocks rise, or Mr Gazidis’ hip pocket grow fat! Lower the ticket prices or start spending money where we need it!

    Secretly I think we have had a quiet, yet educational season for our ever talented young guns. I love watching our young talent grow. However, any pundit or any fan from any other club, will always swiftly point out the fact that we are trophyless in 5 seasons. This is ALL that matters.

  185. Im not saying that the CC is more important than the CL.

    Limpar, why stfu? Im not being rude, just giving an opinion.

  186. Re: all this talk about signing new players. Maybe a little, here and there.

    BUT, I would start with defensive and goalkeeping coaching as an issue. There is something wrong on the mental side – nervousness and concentration problems in big games.

    Some of the defensive side could be bettered with repetitive defensive drills in training. But would that be away from our attacking practice and play? You can’t do everything in training.

    I also personally feel that Wenger could do with a bit more help beside him during games: tactical tweaking and spurring (sorry!) on the players could be helpful. Maybe some of the senior staff should be moved into less executive roles. Not that I’ve seen them executing much for some years…

  187. It’s obvious Dupps.

    Must be why the Sp*ds were sprouting for joy this last week.
    J*mes hasn’t ‘startchified’ yet, but he is getting very stale.

    £XXXX Millions and they finally scraped through.

    Obviously, they have a better squad then AFC.

  188. Careful with all that ‘drilling’.

    You might hit a methane bubble.

  189. Finnish Hit, i agree about the defensive coaches. There doesnt seem to be a big enough emphasis but on defensive solidity imo.

    Re: shouting from the touchline. I think when he was at Grampus 8 Wenger noticed the calming attitide over there and adopted it. Apparently he was pretty vocal when managing in france.

  190. Ole:

    Anyone who calls for Galacticos is not grounded in reality. Galacticos can work. Chelsea proves the concept does win trophies. However you and I both know that it is not financially realistic.

    We have built the youth academy and should have a sustainable pool of young talent coming through the ranks. That is the brilliance of Wenger. However, even with that talent adding new outside players to strengthen the squad clearly helps and is almost certainly a necessary part of a sustainable winning team. No other team in the world wins without adding new players. Why make it harder for ourselves when we do not have too? We have the financial muscle we were promised 6 years ago, why not use it to our advantage?

  191. Pop!

  192. Speaking of Spuds, They have been seeded so will avoid the harder teams in qualifing. Makes absolutely no sense considering its their first time ever in the competition.

  193. akb brothers and sisters

    we would probably not win anything again with wenger in charge but he is our lord

    all hail king wenger

  194. LimparAssist

    Sorry, Stu. There are lot’s of morons on here today, I get confused.

    But you shouldn’t take the CL for granted.

    And of course we have defensive training. Our coaches are all defenders.

    We surrendered our position in the title race with Campbell and Silvestre as a centreback pairing. While they are still good defenders, no amount of training in the world is going to bring their legs back to the point where they’re not susceptible to quick counter attacks.

    Your bemusement at Wenger not getting any blame might be vaguely more stomachable if we had not come so close to winning the league and European Cup with a squad decimated with injuries.

    But then it’s his fault for raising the bar so high isn’t it? What a bastard.

  195. akb brothers and sisters

    its all about rich young players, shiny stadium and nice balance sheet

    that is the new big club characteristics. trophies are a distraction

  196. Just got in, and haven’t got time to read all of the posts – but brilliant article Bob – very good.

    A great reminder to myself to not over react at every defeat, which i am admit i have done in the past!

  197. 2-2 now, good goal from Forest, although against the run of play.

  198. @LA That last paragraph says it all 🙂

  199. Penalty for Gunners!

  200. Oh yes, The Arsenal Way! U18’s 2-2, lapse of concentration in defense. 🙂

    But now a penalty for us… 3-2. Hat trick for Afobe…

  201. It’s interesting that people slag off so many players, and say AW is not up to it.

    Surely that is a contradiction.

    If the players are as bad as some people say, then surely AW has done an amazing job to get us into 3rd?

  202. Afobe for hattrick, and does it. Brilliant finish, sent the keeper the wrong way.

  203. Of course they are AKB B&S – because big clubs never win trophies do they….

  204. LimparAssist,

    I dont take the CL for granted as such. But there comes a time when just being in it every year shouldnt be seen as all we can achieve. We are a big club, one of the biggest, thanks to Wenger. We should be pushing on and winning it.

    I dont deny our injuries have once again ruined any chances of winning a trophy and agree that trying to win major trophies with Silvestre and Campbell would be a massive ask. But it comes back to the back up issue. Every single Arsenal fan, no matter how much the adore Wenger can honestly think Silvestre is good enough for this club.

    In August we knew Toure had been sold and that Djourou would miss the majority of the season. Not to mention that since joining Gallas has suffered a long term injury every season. Senderos isnt wanted anymore, JD out, Gallas due to be out and Vermaelen was an unknown quantity.

    Im not suggesting everything that goes wrong is Wengers fault because that would be idiotic but he is responsible for making sure the squad is good enough to win a trohpy, he should be prepared for the injuries that we always suffer.

  205. akb brothers and sisters

    stu wenger doesnt care about trophies. he is more intersted in how the great young team develops

  206. Jaguar, of course he cares about trohpies. To suggest otherwise is nonsense.

  207. *sorry, i meant akb b&s, not Jaguar. 😉

  208. Another penalty, 4-2. And just after few minutes it’s 4-3. Exciting last twenty minutes coming.

  209. Stu, the comments on this blog have been over that CB ground for the past week. You should go back and read Ole’s comments on the Silvestre issue.

    You are also forgetting that Song can play CB.

  210. Dropped a bollock there Stu?

  211. 4-2

  212. akb brothers and sisters

    Arsenal are officially also ran. we should move into organic whole milk production. we are led by mugabe our voices mean nothing. wenger knows best lord willing befor he is fergie’s age he wld have won the champs league

  213. 4-3

  214. Go back to LeGrove AKB B&S.

    Silvestre was 4th choice at best, No club has anything other than a reserve or youth team player as their 4th in line CH.

    What top class CH would want to join a club to be 4th in the pecking order?

  215. I know Song can play CB. Wenger said a few years ago that he sees him there in the long term. But given his emergence in DM i dont think thats a possibility anymore. At least i hope not. I would make the last few years of watching Song struggle and develope just pointless.

    No bollock dropping dupsddokcuf, why do you ask.

  216. Oh do fuck off.

  217. akb brothers and sisters

    is this how you choose to treat a fellow akb Matt?

    trophies are not the all and all

  218. He may be 4th choice Matt, and i agree no club has a great 4th choice (apart from chavski maybe in Ivanovic) but with the injuries we usually get 4th choice is used more than it should be.

  219. With the Jaguar comment Stu. We all know of the many id’s used.

  220. Yeah i assumed you all knew it was him anyway.

  221. akb brothers and sisters

    this is not jaguar its the blogger fromerly known as franchise i became an akb convert on a recent pilgrimage trip to the holy land. i sat with tony attwood

  222. 5-3, great goal from Freeman, very well made by Afobe.

  223. LimparAssist

    That’s just it, we don’t always suffer them.

    How do you prepare for something that’s unprecedented?

    By the time Djourou went under the knife, how many quality centrebacks do you think there were available to just ‘go out and get’?

    …hold on. I’m not talking about bloody centrebacks again. You can have it out with someone else.

  224. Ole; Actually, many many call for galacticos.

    You’re right. I remember Frank saying during the January window that we should sign David Villa

  225. 5-3

  226. Well JD suffered his injury at the start of december when away with Switzerland so there was time to find a last minute purchace.

    In any case, Silvestre shouldnt even be at our club, let alone as someone who is counted on to fill in when the first teamers get injured.

    I agree you cant prepare for something thats unprecedented, but preparing for the inevitable is possible.

    Gallas has a history (with us) or getting a serious injury. It happened this season as usual. I think it was mostly because of over playing. If we had a 3rd choice that Wenger had more faith in (than he does Silvestre and Senderos) then we could have rotated and avoided some of these injuries.

  227. Maybe all you complainers should just go and watch the Academy next year!

    5-3 now, colourful stuff to put it mildly. And that kid Afobe is on fire: a hat trick, getting a penalty that Luke Freeman converted and assist to Freeman for an empty goal. He just may pip MotM if he goes on like that.

  228. Why don’t you go just back to LeGrove Franchise?

  229. Thierrythelegend

    Afternoon,folks,Hopefully,Silvestre wont be offered a new deal. Any one rates,Diakhate?

  230. Thierrythelegend

    Is the site under moderation now,YW?

  231. dup; “That’s just it, we don’t always suffer them.”

    We don’t always suffer injuries? what planet are you from?

  232. Or as I put it Matt. Just fuck off.

  233. Well written, positive article today. Of course the same quality and style of prose seems to be de rigeur on here, from YW through to the regular posters.

    Some fans follow the heart, some follow the head. I would put most here in the latter category – not to demean their love for the Arsenal by any means, I should add. The heart brigade are probably younger, more vociferous, more passionate. I don’t think they should be rounded on quite so readily by the ‘head’ fans. It takes time to appreciate all the nuances of creating a successful club. Some only see the incidents in a game or games that end up defining our season, and react accordingly. Others are big picture people; they accept incremental progress, even if only off the pitch, as just that – progress.

    But all are fans – all want Arsenal to succeed – and in fact all of us create a dynamic that will end up making us succeed. Protest does force the hand that feeds us, just as much as unwavering support creates an atmosphere in which players can flourish. Both are part of the game. No business can be run effectively when everyone is a Yes-man; there needs to be some dissent and friction to create the dynamic of forward movement.

    If one thing is true this close season, it’s that no Arsenal fan is indifferent. We all have something to speak out about, and the perceived disunity only serves as an indicator of tweaks that may have to be made. The coverage of the AST gives me personally a lot of hope, and if the club takes on board a little of everyone’s perspective – the head with its firm loyalty to one of our greatest ever managers, and the heart with its insistence on the very best players and performances – I think it’s a recipe for glory.

  234. Pardon Henristc?

  235. This season Wenger has used more players than any other season in his entire reign as boss. That proves how bad the injuries have been.

    The club should focus on that this summer, getting to the bottom of the inury curse on the club.

  236. Arsenal U-18s win the Academy league. Afobe MOTM, Freeman, Aneke & Henderson were outstanding. Most importantly they’re all good players

  237. are we all happy that Wenger has dropped his tactics. and is just playing total football all the time against who ever. while pleasing on the eye, Wenger has lost his tactical awearness this season.

    Take Barca. who goes there and trys to slug it out with them with them???? you need to go and park a bus and hit on the break, what did Wenger do.he went and parked a fiat bloody cincequento in front of goal. Wenger this year has been great for our style of football and has been undone by luck with injuries but tactics wise he doesnt really get involved does he.

  238. Inter only won thanks to one or two (very) dodgy pen calls in the first leg.

    There’s a very funny skit on the Italian league on this weeks FootballWeekly podcast.

  239. Skit = a sketch / debate with two sane but opposing views.

  240. Do the Sp*ds even have an Under 18’s…???

  241. Well that was enjoyable!

  242. LimparAssist

    Henristic, I said that, not dups.

    We don’t always suffer the quantity of injuries we have this season. We never have. Nobody has.

  243. Chelsea & Man utd parked the bus against Barca last season and still lost. Arsenal didn’t and still lost.

    Somehow, DukeGoonem, you’ve forgotten that.

    Most teams that play Barca park the bus. Yet they still win.

    In football quality is supreme. Barcelona are the best team in the world & could finish the season with 99 points

  244. Dup
    No matter, can’t be arsed explaining

  245. Sorry Dup, my bad.

    Limpar, we said the same thing at the end of last two seasons. The injuries only seem to increase!

    Wanna bet that next year we’ll also be saying the same thing? The world cup (and the fatigue on our players that will follow) takes away the little confidence i had that next season might be better injury-wise.

    Someone asked me what my hopes were for next season. I said a Lampard type injury record for all our players will suit me just fine. Forget new signings. hope the god of football is listening

  246. Well if we have too many injuries and they derail our season again, then we’d have had too many injuries and we’d just have to deal with it.

  247. If you tried to plan for the kind of injuries we have had this season, then you would have a squad of about 50 players…

    Be interesting to see how all of the armchair managers would suggest keeping a squad like that happy.

  248. I dont know about armchair managers but United and chelsea keep their good fringe players happy with medals.

    You need a big and quality squad to compete for the whole season. but you need medals to keep those players happy. Catch 22 really.

  249. Interesting how you never hear many amchair managers moan about FOOTballers with Broken LEGS or Bruised BONES.

    That must be why they are known as ARMchair managers.

  250. Yup, all those medals kept CR7 and Tevez very happy indeed.

  251. tonyadamsisgod

    Gallas – Injured every year.
    RvP – Injured every year.
    Rosicky – Injured every year.
    Diaby – Injured every year.
    Djourou – Injured every year.

    I’m not looking to start an argument here but Wenger should know that the usual suspects like Gallas & RvP cannot be relied upon to stay fit. These are key players from the spine of our team and neither had adequate back ups.

    Peace to all.

  252. What is the solution tonyadamisgod?


    Picture No.4 shows a clear ‘Stamp’.

    But I guess, RVP must be made of glass.

  254. Well Finsbury, you never hear anyone complain about players with broken legs. Its hardly their fault some prick broke it.

    Tevez left united because Fergie didnt wanna pay for him. Simple as that. And you know what not what i means. O Shea is usually a reliable back up, Brown in defence. Park Ji sung is happy to sit on their bench and only start the odd few games. Alex is largely considered a back up at chelsea yet would walk into our defence. Zhirkov is back uo for Cole.

  255. tonyadamsisgod

    Ole – bringing in replacements of course. unfortunately we now find ourselves in a situation where, for me, we need to sign 4 or 5 players. £ of these need to be good enough to start and a couple of back ups. Had we made a couple of signings each year and methodically strengthened and maintained our squad we wouldn’t have to buy in bulk as it were. But last season, rightly or wrongly, we sold 2 first team starters and only brought in 1. We were light before, let alone now.

    Also, I wouldn’t spend so much money on the kids. Some a have futures and some do not. Wenger/Arsenal has extended the contracts of 17 players since May 2009. Who honestly has deserved such extensions? Not many. JET certainly didn’t need to be given so much money that he could afford to go out and buy a £100k Merc and drive it without a license!

  256. I’m not implying it was a purposeful foul, RVP went in ‘Full Welly’…but maybe, like Giggs, he shouldn’t play in meaningless friendlies.

  257. Did VP miss game time because of the stamp? No. So why bother mentioning it. Its not a secret than VP has only come through 1 season injury free with us. He gets injured a lot, which is a cunt because he is such a fantastic player and so influential for us.

    But Bendtner more than covered. Really its just defence than we are short on cover with. Gallas got injured and we had noone to fill in.

  258. Stu

    YW wrote about injruies some weeks back. Can’t remember the details now, but it was interesting stuff. There were a few threads. It’s in the archives, maybe it should be made into a perma-link.

  259. Finsbury, i apologise, i wrongly assumed you were showing a different picture.

    Agree though that VP shouldnt play in pointless friendlies. Honestly i would rather he just retire from international football…doubt it will happen though.

  260. “Did VP miss game time becasue of the stamp? No”

    OK, you’ve lost me there.

  261. Wonder if the club could sue Chiellini for being so shit at tackling that he injured VP, effectively ending/severly damagine any chances we had at winning a trophy.

  262. Stu @ 4:47

    Cool, the injuries thread has been covered more then the CB’s on this site by YW and others.

  263. Emperor Gooner

    fantastic post!!

  264. Yeah Finsbury, i think every blog out there has discussed the injuries at some point and probably in great dept. Doesnt make the problem go away though. Same thing every year.

  265. “Same thing every year”

    That is incorrect.

  266. I refer you to the archive.

  267. Wait a minute tonyadamsisgod,You are saying we should sell RVP, Rosicky, Gallas, Diaby & Djourou, and buy 5 new players. Is that correct?

  268. Stu,

    I actually have to concentrate on some work for a while, although watching the game earlier was a good distraction.
    I’d recommend a bit of reasearch if you are curious about AFC’s injury record.

  269. >research

  270. “JET certainly didn’t need to be given so much money that he could afford to go out and buy a £100k Merc and drive it without a license!”

    Comments like that make me wonder if people are just jealous. JET is probably on a young pro contract – I don’t know how much, but it’s probably between 5 and 10k a week – and how he spends his money is up to him. Nobody knows what his situation is, whether he lives by himself or with parents and what kind of plan he bought the car on.

    Getting these guys tied up to contracts is vital. Imagine, all that effort developing a player from the age of nine to see him win the Academy Double and then get picked off by another club!

    If he turns out not to make the grade in the future then we can offer him to other teams, and would be able to negotiate a small fee as well as the usual sell-on clause. That worked out perfectly with Muamba and Bentley.

    That’s how I understand the youth system we have. It’s an investment; we’re not throwing money away on these lads as a lot fans claim. The guys who make it to JET’s level have value, whether they become stars at Arsenal or not.

    For instance, if someone goes in for Seb Larsson at Birmingham any time soon, then we stand to receive a percentage of the transfer fee.

  271. And RvP played 40+ matches last season.

  272. OOU,

    It’s irksome isn’t it to have to explain such obvious things again and again.

    All excellent points you’ve made.

  273. The injuries to our defenders was less then normally expected. Of the 8 first choice CBs of the top 4 teams only JT did not have a significant long term injury. We were remarkably lucky for TV5 durability. United got 34 games total out of there 2 CB. Sagna had less games missed then any other RB in the top 4. WG missed lots of games in each of the last 3 seasons but he is alot closer to average then JT. We can blame the defensive collapse at Wigan to the injuries bunching together but that in no way explains the problem for the whole year. Squad planning has to include the high probability that there will be significant injury time.

    The number and injuries to our offensive players was clearly far above expected and took out our best players for long periods of time. We can hope that will not happen again.

  274. OneOfUs. Rvp Played 40+games last season.

    Last season was his only season without an injury. The only season he has played the majority of our matches. Noone is suggesting we sell him because e is obviously one o four best players, but the point is he is injured too often.

    So saying “we didnt expect VP to get injured” would show carelessness imo.

  275. Cheers OG,

    I’m buzzing about the youngsters after seeing that performance today…

    I’m still very interested to find out how much a guy like Afobe actually earns. Even though it’s not really our business.

  276. To my mind RvP’s injury problems go back only three years to the match against ManU. We’re talking about a metatarsal, then a medial on international duty and finally the ankle ligament problem.

    This is just me, but I’d say he’s been unlucky.

  277. Aneke is class. The guy’s not even 17 yet.

  278. It’s like how AIC complains that we let Hleb & Flamini goes but moans that we extend contracts of highly-valued existing players.

  279. Brilliant post. Forward with the Arsenal!

  280. Gutted for Johan Djourou who’s missed the entire season and not made the cut for the World Cup

  281. We should never have let Flaminis contract run down. He was one of my favourite players. FOr all the renewing of players contracts last summer we still have Senderos, Gallas and Merida all leaving on a free this summer. Why werent their contracts renewed too?

  282. How about Senderos OG? Did he make the cut?

  283. Senderos made the list of 30.

    You can offer to extend a player’s contract and he doesn’t have to accept.

    That’s another matter altogether.

    Senderos asked to leave the club 2 summers ago.

  284. Djourou didn’t make it? Strike Switzerland of my support list.

  285. Flamini was a player underperforming to the extent that we were going to let him go. He was given one season to prove himself but having done so, he greedily prioritised getting paid over his career and it’s been a big setback for him as a player.

    Wenger managed it quite well IMO

  286. Nice one Cbob. I remain fully optimistic. It was a progressive season. AW should fill in the loopholes over the summer. looking forward to a greater 2010/11.
    Gunners for the living!
    To each his own

    Great season of analysis Yogi, well done

  287. Ronaldinho wasn’t selected for Brazil’s final 23. Van Nistelrooy was left out by Holland, & Totti won’t feature for Italy.

  288. And having proved himself vital to the team should he not have been given a contract to reflect that. He didnt think the offer was good enough and chose to go to Milan where he thought he was valued.

    As you say it was the wrong move in the end, but for the club to let a starter leave, having been an important member of the team was just silly. It left the team short the following season having to play Denilson when he wasnt good enough.

  289. Stu,

    He was offered a contract in Autumn. He left the following Spring after having told the club he was going to sign.

    Denilson, by the way has played much better than Flamini in every measurable way.

  290. Have you got proof of when Flamini was offered the extension. What Flamini said and what Wenger claimed Flamini said are two different things.

    Also, completely disagree about Denilson being better in every measurable way. Flamini had an amazing workrate, was a leader on the pitch and was very athletic. Denilson is a very good reader of the game but in the premiership this counts for very little unfortunately. Denilson may be a more polished passer and might score more goals but thats not what a DM is supposed to be in the team for.

  291. Excellent points, well written. Thanks consolsbob.

  292. LimparAssist


    “JD suffered his injury at the start of december when away with Switzerland so there was time to find a last minute purchace.”

    No, he was injured before Switzerland’s friendly versus Italy on August 12th.

    Furthermore the on-going diagnoses only deemed an operation to be necessary at an even later date than that. He went under the knife on September 3rd, 3 days after the transfer window had closed.

    So Arsene Wenger had very little time to just “Find a last minute purchase”.

  293. LimparAssist


    “Silvestre shouldnt even be at our club, let alone as someone who is counted on to fill in when the first teamers get injured.”

    That is exactly what he is here for. Why did you think he was here, morale?

    We ended up having to rely on him too often in his less preferred centreback position at the business end of the season. But only because the 4 players ahead of him in that position were out injured.

  294. Sorry, meant august, Could have sworn i wrote August. Anyway, he got injured at the start of august and i dont believe it took the club almost a month to realise he needed surgery that would keep him out for 6months. We could have gotten someone in on loan imo. Liverpool bought the Greek for next to nothing as a 4th choice defender, so its not fo far fetched to have a decent 4th choice.

  295. Well Silvestre certainly cant be here to add to the quality of the team because he doesnt do that. I dont know why he is at the club. He adds nothing imo.

    We have had to rely on him because of injuries to our other CBs. JD was missing for the whole season. If not in the summer then why couldnt Wenger have gotten in a defender so we wouldnt have to use Silvestre. He signed Sol but got rid of Senderos. What was the point of that?

  296. Re: the Denilson Thread

    Trolls and layabouts are exposed easily.

    He was scouted for AFC whilst marking Stevie GBH when playing for Sao Paolo in the 05/06 World Club Cup, or something like that according to another blogger.

    Trolls with a Cunning Plan usually just try to change the subject when exposed.

    e.g. From injuries > The D**Mers position

  297. Sorry I should clarify that above:

    He was scouted playing as a 17 year old D**Mer.

    And Flamini has family from Northan Italy, he himself said it was a major reason for his move to Milan. That probably explains why he’s happy to sit on their bench.

  298. What does Denilson playing for Soa Paolo have to do with anything Arsenal related.

  299. He’s played in the D**M position in a World Club Cup.

    Which is more then Huddlestone will ever manage.

  300. Well actually Denilson was an unused sub when Sao Paolo beat Liverpool 1-0 thanks to a Mineiro goal in the 27th minute. Josue, now captain of Wolfsburg played DM that day.

  301. The World Club Cup is a tournament.

  302. But you said he was scouted when Marking Stevie GBH. He didnt even play in that game.

  303. Startling good post. Couldn’t agree more. The new squad composition rules and the UEFA financial directives which are already beginning to bite could have been written by Arsene, they suit us so well. Turning these advantages into trophies still won’t be easy – the short term effect of them can be easily exaggerated – but from a starting point of third in the league, achieved with the youngest squad in the Premiership, we are in a very enviable position. Arsene really does know best.

  304. “or something like that according to another blogger.”

    Can’t count, and you can’t read.

    You need some serious work over the transfer window J*mes.

    Good luck in the CL.

    We’ll be able to compare the older Huddlestone to Denny then.

  305. I think people are unfair to Sylvestre because of his former associations. For a 4th choice emergency back up defender he is not that bad. He made 1 mistake on Sunday, Sol made 4 mistakes, one, which could have led to a goal but he was bailed out by Diaby and 1 that another referee could have called a penalty and a sending off. I counted, because the former is constantly blamed and the latter as a gunners legend can do no wrong. I’m not criticising Sol by any means, but I’m pointing out how individual prejudice (pre-judgement) is based on how we see people and situations. Everything is filtered through our own world-view.

  306. shaotta-gunna

    Weren’t the catastrophists supposed to lead a march round the Emirates last Sunday, calling for AW’s head?
    How did that go Muppet?
    Didn’t they all turn in their season tickets? How is that waiting list at the Emirates?
    Why haven’t they all flee to become supporters of Aston Villa who competed on all four fronts; Europa League busts in the play-off round, Carling Cup finalists, FA Cup semi-finalists and 6th in the League. Europa league next year. Since they competed on all four fronts, didn’t Aston Villa do better than Arsenal this year?
    Just wondering.

  307. shotta-gunna

    Weren’t the catastrophists supposed to lead a march round the Emirates last Sunday, calling for AW’s head?
    How did that go Muppet?
    Didn’t they all turn in their season tickets? How is that waiting list at the Emirates?
    Why haven’t they all flee to become supporters of Aston Villa who competed on all four fronts; Europa League busts in the play-off round, Carling Cup finalists, FA Cup semi-finalists and 6th in the League. Europa league next year. Since they competed on all four fronts, didn’t Aston Villa do better than Arsenal this year?
    Just wondering.

  308. That’s it in a nutshell Passenal. It’s all filtered through our own world view.

    That is what makes the difference between those who can see Arsenal in a wider context and in an historical context from those who can only see it through the eyes of an adolescent or Richard Keyes, which is really the same thing.

    Let’s face it I have read nothing here today, including my own piece, which is new to readers here. We know what we know.

    In an attempt to change that if I could emphasis a few words of my post it would be..

    “…the game becomes something to be endured, a mere exercise in garnering points. Only success in that narrow way can bring them relief until the next game, the next opportunity to ‘fail’. Anticipation becomes dread.”

    Too much angst, too much misery from a game that can give so much fun. Arsene can give us even more than we could ever expect.

  309. Stu,

    Have you got any proof whatsoever that Flamini wasn’t offered a new contract or are you just farting out your mouth?

  310. If Flamini wasn’t offered a contract, why was his friend Cesc trying to persuade him to stay, or is he a liar too?

  311. Passenal, Flamini publically said he was talking with the club and was going to stay.

  312. Say cheers for Switzerland for not picking DJ.

    Now he won’t get more damage to an injury that’s possibly still recovering – just for playing in a team that is not one I’d put the house on to win this upcoming competition. AFC bless them.

  313. I didnt say he wasnt offered a contract Ole Gunner. I just suggested what was offered didnt match his importance in the team.

    I just think its odd how they waited until Flamini had “proven himself” before offering him an extension, when a lot of our other players who arent starters still get contracts.

  314. I know that Ole, I was actually supporting your point. He was offered a contract and told everyone he was going to sign it, but he must have lost his pen. Arsene unusually for him accused Flamini of going for the money. I would suggest he knows Flamini better than some random poster on a blog, especially as Flamini had previous in this respect.

  315. Gooneraside, given his long lay off, the opportunity to play a few games in the World Cup could have been good for his rehabilitation. I’m surprised that Senderos has been selected as he has barely played this season either due to injury.

  316. Ole I love the way you can cheer me up in one sentance “denilsons better than Flamini in everyway” that’s comic genius, Oh and if you think Chelsea parked the bus at home to barca last season your deluded they absolutley battered them at Stamford bridge and should have had a least 2 certain penalties United I’d agree with you on they couldn’t get near barca in the final just like we didn’t get near them in the semis last season,

  317. Queen of Suburbia

    I really don’t know what chrisgoonas problem with me is, but it seems to me that he is what happens when you give an American a concept to get behind.

  318. Chippy,

    Nice to be of service. Nice that simple fact makes you laugh.

    Yes, Chelsea should have had 1 penalty. Only one of them was a penalty, but they spent most of the game camped in their own 3rd of the pitch.

    Do you watch football?

  319. QOS,
    you over here causing havoc now 😉

    Typicaly I’ve only gone and got myself in a debate about Denson lol

  320. a joke..

    Q. Two Chelsea fans jump off a cliff. Which one hits the ground first?.

    A. Who gives a F**K!

  321. In every single measure, Denilson has played better than Flamini. He even matches Flamini’s stamina. The only thing Flamini edges is the unmeasurable headlesschickenness


    You’re just trying to wind people up. Flamini was offered a contract. He was made a good offer as ALL Arsenal players are.

    We are told he left because he was offered a fat sign on fee.

    There was NO way whatsoever Arsenal was ever going to be able to match that.

  322. DO you believe everything Arsenal tell you Ole Gunner?

    Im not trying to wind people up. Flamini was better suited to what we need in a DM than Denilson is. We need athleticism, aggression in the middle to help out the more technical flair players imo. Denilson is a good footballer but not physical enough to play DM without someone projecting him. Just because i dont agree with you doesnt mean im disagreeing to annoy people.

  323. If you’re not on a wind-up why then would you first deny what everyone knows as fact then later say you didn’t deny it?

    Flamini deceived manager, club, team mates, media, saying he was going to stay and then he didnt. Disgraceful.

    Denilson tackles more and wins the ball more than Denilson. Not just more but far more.

  324. As can be seen above the 5’9″ Makelele, who played as a Volante and not in an ‘anchor’ D**M role, as say a donkey like Huddelstone would,
    is clearly a man mountain compared to Alex.

    MAkele was more or less unknown outside of the Frnach acadamy set up/National team till he moved to OM, older then Denny is now.

    I am not saying he’ll be as good.
    Just trying to use my brain…

  325. MAkele >Makelele

    Frnach >French

  326. shotta-gunna

    Revisionist history and Flamini.
    How about the missionaries came to civilize the Indians?

  327. What Fact did i deny, then later deny denying?

    Who knows, maybe Flamini did plan on signing an extension but the offer wasnt good enough. Thats what i think happened.

    Finsbury, Zidane didnt leave France until he was about 23. Like Makelele they just got noticed outside their homecountry late. They cant be compared to Denilson imo because now if a young player is going to be top class later on in their career most top managers will have a good idea.

    Denilson may go on to be a top class player too. But we shouldnt have to wait for that to happen. Arsenal deserve ready made players. If Denilson didnt start so many matches I wouldnt have an issue with him.

  328. Stu,

    Admit it. You and your fellow Le Groaners haven’t got a fucking clue. If even a tenth of the suggestions suggested by the totally bereft Geoff and Pedro were taken up by Arsenal, we would sink like a fucking stone.

    Le Groan is whingefest, inhabited by a bunch of schoolboy bloggers, who have nothing better to do all day but slag off the team, the manager, the club and the directors.

    You lot make a silverback gorilla sound like einstein. A blog that allows racist hate to go unchecked, that allows abuse of bloggers who defend the club, but strangely enough, doesn’t accept abuse against those slagging off the club.

    Geoff freely manipulates people’s posts, is a liar, and frequently comes up with lead post that is so bad that it defies classification, let alone imagination.

    So go back to your fellow groaners. Tell them how nasty we are on here, but most importantly, continue to spout inane drivel, because it’s really important that you do it over there and don’t come over here.

  329. Misquoteing again J*mes?
    Nice try.

    I said he didn’t come to notice till he moved TO OM.

    That’s within France, not outside.

  330. Great post Bob.

    Will we have Tuesday’s with Consols Bob now?

  331. That must also be the reason why Drogba was playing in League 2 in France at the same age that NB52 found himself scoring goals in the Nou Camp.

    Something Droggy failed to do last year.

  332. Pft, thats a bit rude considering i haven’t been rude to anyone else, nor towards anyone from here that may come onto Le Grove. Is it so horrible that i try come on here to see what its like and form an opinion about this blog for myself.

  333. Ole,
    Yes and played to a half decent standard thanks

    I’d suggest a trip to specsavers if you seriously think barca were the better side that night, Heres just one link for you from the following morning happy reading

    Denilson has neither the tenacity,workrate, or positional sense of Flamini and to say he has is madness this is a player that converted to left back as needs meant he had to,and played that position in our rum to a champions league final !! can you possibly imagine denilson doing the same?

  334. Nasri is on vacation, not in the list for France…
    Diaby, Sagna and Clichy are in…

  335. Dont know why your’re calling me J*mes, whoever that is. But im just pointing out, apparently wrongly, that different players peak at different ages. But i just dont think Denilson is good enough now, nor that he has been better than Flamini.

    Denilsons problems imo are physical ones. Reaching his peak wouldnt suddenly make him faster and stronger.

  336. *you’re

  337. Stu,

    Flamini is the ultimate ‘unproven’ player, whatever unproven means. 26 years old now, 1 good season in all his life, and maybe 2 caps.

  338. Song is Flamini’s replacement.
    Not Denny.

    Denilson and Song were promoted to the first team, at the same time, Denny as a total Rookie, not because they play in the same position.

    I reckon they’d have struggled in that 21 game unbeaten run last season together if they were trying to play in the same position all the time together.

  339. Stu

    Misquoting people is a habit of J*mes’, sorry. ’bout that.

  340. That’s the killer – Flamini should be seen as the biggest villain in our recent history; he strung us along for months before taking the money. He screwed us far more than Adebayor. But a section of our support sees Flamini as some kind of martyr.

  341. Shall I just repeat that.

    Song is Flamini’s replacement.

    Not Denilson.

    They play in different positions.

  342. 1 stand out season OG. He couldnt have had other good seasons with us because he wasnt a starter. He had Gilberto and Vieira ahead of him for a lot of his time here, not to forget Cesc for the CM slot too.

    I’ve always liked Flamini, maybe thats clouding my judgement in the argument of him vs Denilson. Also, 2 caps for one of the biggest national teams. Denilson cant even get 1 for Brazil, desite having played more than 150 games for his club. Neither mean anything.

  343. Queen of Suburbia

    If Denilson had no positional sense Chippy, it seems unlikely that he’d be able to consistently top the most interceptions charts wouldn’t you agree?

  344. If Song is Denilsons replacement then Why did Denilson play 50 games during the 08-09 season at defensive midfield. Why wasnt Song, Flaminis replacement, played there? Correct me if im wrong but i dont recall him having any major injuries.

    I agree that Song has now taken over the DM role and i do rate Song but before this past season Denilson was the clubs starting defensive midfielder.

  345. Wenger didn’t do him any favours either.. he was part of the defence that went through the incredible CL run, but was dropped during the finals!

    He was going to be transferred to Brum but he vowed to stay back and fight for his place…

    All he wanted was 5k or so more!

  346. LimparAssist

    Denilson is a brilliant player. Those who slag him off now for being ‘weak’ said the exact same things about the master Gilberto.

    The reason the D**M position (thanks, Finsbury) is genuine grist for the mill is that we did let Gilberto, Lasagne Diarra and Flamini go – all in the space of 6 months. This was too much for some to take!

    The only one of those departures regrettable in my eyes was Gilberto, who despite losing almost all his recovery pace was still pure quality, and a lovely guy to boot. He had to go though ultimately, as the Premiership was too much strain for him, and had he continued, I doubt very much if he’d have made this World Cup. So hats off to him.

    The other two I couldn’t care less about. Part of the reason Diarra went was because he was a mouthy little…er …disruptive influence.

    I appreciated Flamini’s workrate. You had to really didn’t you? That’s literally all there was to him.

    If you can’t see that Denilson and Song are by far the superior players, then you’re behind the pace of modern football I’m afraid. And it’s precisely those departures that have enabled their progression.

  347. Meant to add in my previous post Denilson would be much much more suited to the style of play in Italy or Spain as he’s not to bad a player it’s just he’s not suited to premier league football, His best displays have mainly come in European games just as cygans did didn’t make them bad players,

  348. lol QoS, the Denilson argument just follows you everywhere you go.

  349. Cbob congrats on amazing post. you lived up to the standard set by Yogi, which, as OG said earlier, I thought was impossible.

    i will be copying this post into a document and saving it. thank you bob

  350. Petit played ‘anchor’ D**M, Viera CM…

    Petit could cover in defence, like Flamini.
    Like Song.

    Song is Flamini’s replacement.

    It’s not hard to work out Stu.

  351. Queen of Suburbia

    I’ve noticed that too, Stu.

    To be honest there is revisionism on both sides of the Flamini debate. On one hand there are those that award him Chuck Norris like abilities and on the other phrases like headless chicken don’t tell the whole story. I was there for example the day we went to Middlesborough and he played like Pele.

    He had ability, he left. The end.

  352. Denilson may be better technically.

    But again its not about being technical.. its a lot about desire too.

    Did you see him being overtaken by the Ref when Rooney scored at the Emirates?

  353. Ooooh, I get it. It’s summer again, which can only mean it’s time for blog wars.

  354. Well if Song was Flaminis replacement then that means we played the majority of 08-09 without any defensive midfielder. That makes the manager look thick.

    So which is it? Thick manager or Song as the replacement.

  355. Hey look Grover guys, there’s no point discussing the merits of Denilson, and if he’s good enough.

    He’s picked by Wenger. Wenger decides. Not a bunch of acne playstation lager sipping hoodies.

    Wenger decides.

    Now go away. (with the exception of QoS… who is probably very hot.)

  356. Flamini was a battler in midfield. We need that/ It spreads to the other players imo and makes then fight that bit harder for the win.

    Denilson isnt a bad player, he just isnt suited to the hussle of the premierleague.

  357. Well Flamini has done jack in his career except pocket £5M from AC Milan and have 75% of a good season for Arsenal.

  358. 2 caps that’s massive, isn’t it? What did we win with him to make him on par with our best paid players (Cesc and Gallas at that time) who earned their salaries through years of consistent performance? Where is Flamini now Stu? I didn’t spot the best dm in the world playing lately in the CL or in fact any other league.

    In a team full of aging and past footballers he’s managed to warm their fucking bench. That’s all you need to know.

    Just let it GO.

  359. SO because Wenger makes a decision it makes it right and everything else is wrong? What kind of a way of thinking is that. Whats wrong with questioning a decision that he makes. Is it forbidden that we disagree with Wenger?

  360. No Notlager, 2 caps is nothing. But 0, as you might know, is even less. Saying Flamini isnt good because of only 2 caps is stupid when Denilson, who is apparently a thousand times better than Flamini, has no caps.

  361. Limpar, Ole or Finsbury:

    Do you think it is a complete coincidence that Flamini happened to be in the line up during the 2 periods of our recent history when we actually played really good defense. The CL finals run and the first part of the 07/08 season? The 2 players are very different and after listening to you guys throughout this year I have come to believe in Denilson. Maybe not as much as you. However, IMO Flamini did seem to bring something to this team that it lacks.

  362. By the way everybody – Stu is Jam*s, H*ward, W*lliam, Arse*21… etc etc…

    The resident ACLF troll.

  363. QOS,
    My point is can you see Denilson if needed have the nous and positional sense to play as a left back if required, this is not a debate on which ones better I’m just pointing out that Oles statement that Denilson is better than Flamini in every sense is completly and utterly wrong on many levels and is not as he states a Fact ! For everyones info i think Flamini was a class A c””” for what he did, And to be honest I wasn’t to fussed when he left,

  364. Muppet, i have actually never been on here before…well maybe once about 2 years ago. If you dont believe me get YW, or whoever does the moderation to check my IP address.

  365. shotta-gunna

    My god, it isn’t summer and the moaning and groaning for Flamini has re-started.

    Of course, it is not about Flamini really. Rather its about mercenary players, to be retained/signed at any cost, no matter how dishonest and two-faced. Why don’t these guys just say it out loud; Arsenal must do a Manchester City, just splash the cash …. and come fifth!

  366. Chippy,

    It’s a fact. Every single measured stat backs my statement.


    We were in the title race this season without Flamini.

  367. Very irrelevent to all the post here but can i say having spent circa £200 quid to get to the game Sunday that those “home”fans who jeered Fabianski disgust me.Its hardly surprising that quality players such as Nic and Eboue play better away from home as the away support tends to understand the game rather than make their mind up from what they read in “The sun”! Ps Flamini had one good year,and now cant get get off a very mediocre AC Milans bench,dreadful loss!!

  368. Does anybody know why the £**M Mikel was dropped from playing as a D**mer for the Chavs?

  369. Want me to pass the sword, Muppet?

  370. Good thing he has a gun to his head when he signed that contract.

  371. Yes please Ateeb.

  372. Flamini bollocks. He’s Jesus Christ & Banana man but he’s completely shite for AC Milan.

    He did quite well for us. He was outstanding in 07/08. He hadn’t been before then. he hasn’t been since then.

    The idea that he’s this super-important player we should have accomodated at all cost is a missed sitter.

  373. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Nice post, Consolsbob. Reading that made me proud to be a Gunner. Fuck the rest. Arsenal

  374. Ole:

    We will never get Flamini back and he may have slagged us with his contract. However, don’t you think the headlesschicken thing added a different dimension to the team and may have been more beneficial then the stats might show. I seem to remember Cesc saying something about how great it was to have someone who covered every square cm of the pitch and how much easier that made his job.

  375. I didn’t say he’s a headless chicken. I just said he has a higher degree of headlesschickenness, a trait you can call anything you want….commitment, bossiness, grit….call it what you want.

  376. Read that match report ole? Or had that proffesional football correspondant never watched a game before 😉
    Every stat backs it up does it so where are all these stats and how do you measure tenacity heart and leadership qualities?You shouldn’t put fact against statements unless your 100% certain they are in fact Facts !!! I’ll happily wager with you that if you asked a 100 Arsenal fans that attend home and away games who they would rather have out the 2 it would come out in Flaminis favour where as by your assumption Denilson is Better in everway all would go for him would not happen, Maybe if you asked between paddy and flamini but not denilson and that is my point

  377. “….the long and the short and the tall, for we are the Arsenal and we are the best, we are the Arsenal and….”

    I liked Flamini. He left.

  378. Chippy,

    what is the point of discussing a player who chose to leave for money on this blog?

  379. Diaby’s going to the World Cup. Flamini will be in Milan hugging his piggy bank

    Fuck Flamini

  380. Playing alongside Cesc, Rosicky and Hleb made him look a lot better than he is. Flamini, was a useful, but ultimately limited player. He played himself into a position where he was first choice in his position in midfield, which is what he claimed he wanted when he refused to continue playing left back. Instead, he chose a nice comfy spot on the Milan bench, and when he does play, he has on several occasions played as a right back. That does not seem like progress for a player as good as some are claiming.

  381. Chippy,

    Which match report? I watched the game, liveblogged here on ACLF.

    Flamini-Denilson: Denilson saved our season in 08/09 together with Arshavin, Almunia & RVP. The only stand-out players that season. I have never seen a young player be that outstanding and get so much grief.

    That was when my faith in the Arsenal mob was exhausted. So I don’t care about your opinions.

    And the stats confirm everything my eyes saw about Denilson.

  382. Queen of Suburbia

    Flamini was so fast he could head his own corners

  383. Queen of Suburbia

    Flamini is so fast he can run all the way round the world and punch himself in the back of the head.

  384. Flamini is gone. End of story. Get over it.

  385. Notlager,
    yeah sorry I’ll cut it of there I just dong like it when people say Fact when it is anything but a fact, As I said earlier I wasn’t even that fussed when he left,
    Moving on it Seemed promising what Gazidis Had to say and the Clock being back inside the ground Is a massive plus it does seem he’s slot more friendly than that prat Edelman 🙂 Notlager if we are to only strenthhen in one or two position what would your preference be mind would certainly by a keeper and it looks as tho a centrehalf will be needed, if I was being greedy and we were being treated I’d love an out and out wideman too !

  386. “I didn’t say he’s a headless chicken. I just said he has a higher degree of headlesschickenness, a trait you can call anything you want….commitment, bossiness, grit….call it what you want.”

    That quality seems to appeal to a lot of supporters. I think it’s because when they fantasise that they could be a professional footballer too they can identify with the worker rather than the technician, whose skills they could never match.

  387. Queen of Suburbia

    Flamini is the only man to ever defeat a brick wall in a game of tennis.

  388. Queen of Suburbia

    It is true that Usain Bolt does not use steroids, he just has Flamini breathe on him instead.

  389. Sounds like everyone is tired of talking about Flamini. Fair enough.

    I was not blogging back when he was around so seemed like a new topic to me.

  390. Queen of Suburbia

    To be fair, when Flamini ran half the length of the pitch to put a ball juggling Nani in Row Z, if i;d got any virtue left, he could have taken it there and then.

  391. “And the stats confirm everything my eyes saw about Denilson.”

    You weren’t the only one, there was an article in one of the broadsheets at the start of the season just gone suggesting that based on his stats for 08/09 he was the perfect midfielder. He started to add some spectacular goals to his all round play, but unfortunately his form dipped a little because of injuries, hopefully he will be back to his best for 10/11. The Song/Denilson/Cesc combo would be my first choice midfield.

  392. I loved Flamini and was happy he got & took his chance. His betrayal is one of the worst…..Adebayor several times over.

    He’s a good player but he’s not Banana man.

  393. Fucking hell flamini’s shit..and he dosnt play for arsenal anymore he made the biggest mistake of his life,, What A Moron.

  394. Passenal:

    Your right. I think that a similar thing is why everyone seems to love American Idol or the English version where they discovered Susan Boyle. How many of us have not had the fantasy of being a rock star or a footballer.

  395. Ole,
    Lasagne Diarra is going to the World Cup, Samir is going on vacation…. life’s complicated

  396. 1 year ago. The official position on Eboue was that he was crap, he wasn’t even a thid the player Walcott was, and was a blight to the shirt.

    The Arsenal mob can be very full of shite.

  397. HOWEVER i would take him back.

  398. I dont even know why ac milan don’t play him, hes far better than any of the clowns, or should i say veterans on the field. What the average age of their team 50? Fuck sake milan are shit, they shud play him much, much more often.

  399. I remember some prominent Arsenal people even last season said Song is not good enough to play in the Premier League. Not even in the Premier League. Randall, Lansbury & Wilshere were better than him.

  400. Zap,

    Easy: because he just went there for the cash, the lifestyle. He doesn’t care.

  401. Tokala,

    Well you have a point. I won’t let Lasagna Diarrhea near my subbutteo team. Great tackler, battler, can’t pass his way out of a desert. Horrible mentality.

    No surprise he’s now a rarely used sub at Real Madrid.

  402. Ole so a respected journalist from one of about ten papers I could have choose was wrong in his and there match summarys but you were right do you realise how that makes you sound?

    Ole your so delusional I’m glad my opinions mean nothing to you because if they did I’d be slightly worried I’ve never in my years blogging on any site read anyone that thatrusts to defend the in defensable as much as you it’s funny in a kind of masochistic kind of way 😉 if in doubt just state it’s a Fact but with no Facts truly brilliant,

    For your info Flaminis so good he introduced christiananity to the world 😉

  403. Oh dear oh dear oh dear

  404. Chippy,

    I don’t respect any football journalist. I have some regard for Paddy Barclay, Martin Samuel, Marcotti…..the rest talk and write endless rot.

    If you want to know how seriously we should take them, go read their verdict on Chelsea after they lost to inter, then read their verdict last Monday.

    I watched the Chelsea game. they were completely dominated by Barca. They did have more chances which Drogba frittered. They should have had a peno. But on the other hand their goal was a fluke, and they eventually conceded a goal and were eliminated. Simple.

    About Denilson: He won the ball more than ANY other player in the EPL last season. He scored goals, he got assists. His distance run stats match Flamini (Flamini outstanding in this area). He had the most completed passes in the league.

    QoS did a comparision of the two players’ stats. Flamini did not do as well as Denilson.

    Not even in fouls conceded.

  405. ok ok

    you peaked at “that is what happens when you give an American a concept to get behind.”

    simple enough but an actual lol from me! the man seems to be unashamedly sexist as well as being an a complete an utter cunt

  406. re qos and CG

  407. In the battle for who will only slightly surprisingly come back from 2 goals behind against arsenal at some point next season, blackpool have reached the final..

  408. Forest v Blackpool was a good game.

  409. Ole, I’ll give you credit on the fact you named 2 of the top 3 journos regards football writing in Samuel and barclay and here is the link to what martin Samuel watched that night at Stamford bridge,

    that’s all for me tonight but I’ll leave you another question for another day If Denilson is such a great midfielder how comes he’s not in Arsenals best 11?

  410. The fact that Domenech has not selected Nasri, is hardly a slight on the latter. Domenech is an over-cautious manager who always goes for the safe/solid option. France will pay for it when they find they do not have the creativity to win games and try to bore their way through and fail spectacularly.

  411. Comparing the BBC’s coverage of Football to it’s coverage of F1 is tragic.

    I thought Football was meant to be the national sport…

  412. But Denilson is in our best 11, isn’t he? When we have everybody fit, he starts in midfield.

  413. Passenal, you’re absolutely right about that prediction for France.
    They are overloaded with D**Mers, and need more sparkle in the squad. Any injuries, and they’re paddling….

    Domenech must be someone’s idea of a joke.

  414. You’re brilliant, Consolsbob. I must admit, I never expected the phrase “finished article” to come from your pen – but otherwise, brilliant.

  415. EvilFiek,
    Not in my view Song Diaby And Cesc are his favoured 3 and I think Ramsey had moved ahead of denilson before his terrible injury now that is one centre midfielder that has a massive future in 5 years time we could in be talking about one of the greats in the premier league era the boys got it all just hope to high heaven that the thug from Stoke hasn’t finished his Carear! In the same way taylor fucked Eduardos

  416. I also think Diaby Song & Cesc are currently the best 3. But that’s no slight on Denilson, Ramsey, Nasri or Rosicky

  417. Unfortunately both Ramsey and Diaby are not balanced midfielders. They tend to attack more and still lack the defensive ability Denilson has. Our brazilian on the other hand is capable of both attacking as well as defensive play on a very high level, which in the end is the reason why I think (and it looks like Wenger shares this notion, as Denilson has been a starter for 2 years now) he is the right one to occupy our third midfield spot next to Song and Cesc.

  418. In the end I think that every one of our CMs offers us something different. Denilson is very balanced with, Rosicky is experienced with great passing and delivery, Diaby is very physical who can easily take on several opponents and actually get past him, Nasri is quick, agile and an overall great dribbler and Ramsey has almost Cesc-like vision at times and he obviously the youngest of our bunch, so he still has the most time to develop.

  419. Evil,
    cannot argue on Ramsey and diabys postioning as they are both in need of learning the defensive side of the game but as I said previous I think Ramsey will become a truly special centre midfielder and I’ll whisper it quietly I think in time he will become a better all round midfielder than cesc even, just a shame his injury came at a stage when he was finding his feet in the first team with a run of games.He seems a quick leaner and defensive discipline will come with match time, That is defo my lot for the night

    Up The Arse,

  420. EvilFiek,

    I have no fear with any 3 of them featuring so long as it includes Cesc.

  421. Evil Fiek, I would pick Denilson for the link midfielder role too. Diaby may be physically bigger, but he is not as consistent and does not always make the best use of his size. In fact one of our best ever midfield performances against chelski in the CC final a few years ago involved Cesc, Denilson and Diaby.

  422. What in tarnation is Chippy drinking?
    Ramsey is a very talented, promising boy. But to say he is preferred over Denilson is delusional. Injuries to Nieves gave Aaron his chances which he gladly took but his positional awareness especially on the defensive side of the ball is way inferior to Denilson. But then much of the xenophobic mob see Nieves as standing in the way of more games for Ramsey hence some of their unreasoned hostility to the Brazillian.
    Nieves is not the prototype D**mer midfield whose role is to hack and chop away at opponents. Instead his role is to retain position and make simple but effective passes to the more offensive minded players. Unfortunately players like him are not given enough protection by English refs who think it is fair game for more physical players with inferior technique to push, shove and barge into the Denilson-types with impunity. Yes Denilson can improve his game – I was dissappointed in his slowness to trackback last season, some of which I put down to injury.

    PS: There will be a rude awakening for many an English fan in ths upcoming World Cup as refs worldwide penalize D**Mer midfield brand of anti-football. Felipe Melo I am looking at you.

  423. 1 loose cannon

    I’m surprised Nasri did not make it to the world cup, I thought he has done better than when he was at Marseille. England is the Spuds in disguise and Nick Clegg is a deputy minister. These are the days of mediocrity

  424. Well,

    I’m just going to repat.

    Song is Flamini’s replacement.

    Not Denilson.

    e.g. When at loan as a teenager at Charlton, Song was playing, yup, you guessed it, ‘the holding role’ as the fans like to sing these days.

    As Evil Fiek said all the midfielders add something different to the squad, probably by design.
    Surely, all big clubs need big squads?

    So, what’s the ‘debate’ again?

    Sorry, I must have missed it.

    Ramsey was a big loss, especially as he would’ve covered for Fabregas.
    So, why don’t people spend their time moaning about the broken LEGS, and Bruised Bones, rather then moaning at Denilson?


  425. > repeat

  426. Denilson has no pace to track back and will never be a great player here. His pace and short passes will suit Italy and Spain and not here.

    I know it’ll be the same next season because AW will continue to keep his crock players of Eduardo and Rosicky as well as the never-do-wells Denilson, Almunia, Fabianski, Diaby etc. What a load of foreign shits? who get paid over 50+ apiece and has no bottle to fight. Mercenaries? may be.

  427. Arsenal is not a French club so I don’t see why Nasri’s exclusion in the French team hurts you. Its the Frenchies that are hurting Arsenal. There are too many French players with no bottle to fight. Is it not the same France that were overran by the Nazis?

  428. Fuck off Howard

  429. I agree about Denilsons lack of pace Adam.

    However i dont think the french players are hurting us as such. Clichy and Sagna are 2 of the best fullbacks in the premiership (even if they dont contribute much going forward). Diaby has really pushed on this season, so much so he earned a call up to the world cup premiminary squad.

    Nasri has disappointed this season unfortunately and if not for his customary injury Gallas would be in with a shout for defender of the season imo such was his form in the first hal of the season,

    All thats left if Silvestre, and he’s the only one not contributing positively to Arsenal imo. But his contract is up so good riddence.

  430. FOrgot about Traore. He did well when playing in the absence of Clichy and Gibbs. Not so impressive towards the end of the season but he is young and to be fair the whole team kind of dropped their levels after we got knocked out of the CL.

    So all in all the french cliq at Arsenal have been pretty good.

  431. Sadly I think you have hit the nail on the head Shotta. A lot of the hostility towards Eboue was based on the fact that some thought he stood in the way of Walcott until they recognised that he was in the team on merit. Eventually they will realise the same thing about Denilson.

  432. I think Eboue being booed against Wigan was more to do with the situation rather than the player himself.

    Eboue had played pretty poorly that day, he was just back from injury and playing left wing, an unfimiliar position.

    However, because he was just back from injury and we had more suited players on the bench Eboue shouldnt have been brought on imo. The booing was more to do with the fans not being happy that a right back was brought on into midfield early in the match when we were winning against a poor side.

    Its unaccebtable that a defender is seen as the best option to bring on into midfield.

  433. nasri not getting in the french team speaks volumes for me! poor season from him, was expecting better maybe what gallas said about him was true…

  434. What did Gallas say about Nasri? Vaguely remember something about not showing respect.

    Honestly, its probably a good thing Nasri didnt get selected. Its one less player that will come back late for pre season and less chance of him getting an injury.

  435. thierrythelegend

    Evening folks

  436. BarneyStinson

    I was surprised that no one in that meeting with Ivan Gazidis mentioned the very genuine issue of some people leaving 5 mins before the end of each half. The club needs to do something about this issue.

    Thanks Ole for the links. I don’t like Mathieu ‘the super man’ Flamini. Tw*nt.

  437. Nasri 13m, Milner 8m. My choice would go to Milner but AW chose Nasri because he’s French. Why did he buy Sylvestre? Speaks volumes. Frenchie.

    Policy. Buy French first. If no French player good enough, don’t buy.

    Gallas and Sylvestre will leave but he will replace them with two French players to keep the balance.

    Well, once Almunia reappears as No.1 next season, the title will be gone before the season starts.

  438. “Denilson tackles more and wins the ball more than Denilson. Not just more but far more.”

    Now there’s a player who surpasses himself on the field.

  439. off topic…..but hasn’t that landon donovan got a WEDGE head?

    I mean….it is inconcievably big.


  440. Gainsbourg69

    All of those moaning about Denilson tend to overlook how he turned the home leg against Barcelona on its head. He came in, stopped everything and made us more fluid.

  441. and domenech is a fucking twok for not picking nasri.

    The man is a prize tool of the highest order.

    Does he watch football??

    I could swear he was bourne of a turkey drummer.

  442. Gainsbourg69!

    I agree 100%

    AND i think he was having a great game 2nd leg….untill buiscuits dunked himself in the tea of dishonesty and got him booked. He was lest commited then.

  443. deano

    If you’re concerned about Domenech not picking Nasri then go support Lyon. Aresenal is not a French club so we don’t care about what happens in France.

  444. Fuck off Howard you racist cunt

  445. Shotta-Gunna,
    What a crock of shit, I hate the Welsh far more than i could ever hate Brazillians 🙂 Why does it come down to race,If you read what i wrote last night it will tell you exactly why i think Ramsey will become a better centre midfielder??

    But then much of the xenophobic mob see Nieves as standing in the way of more games for Ramsey hence some of their unreasoned hostility to the Brazillian.

  446. Denilson coming here was a mistake. He hasn’t got what is required to be a great player for the Arsenal let alone the EPL.

    He doesn’t track back because he lacks the pace to do so

    He’s a poor tackler because he lacks strength and gets pushed to the ground on a slight touch.

    His passing is poor and often within 5 yards and mostly sideways

    I can see Ramsey and Lansbury making him surplus to requirement in a year. However, Arsene will keep one of his love children at any cost same way he kept Senderos for 6 years, Aliadiere for 8 years and will keep Almunia and Fabianski for many years.

  447. Like a broken record you are Howard.

  448. Worse. Like a broken record that nobody wanted in the first place.

    He’s the blogging equivalent of the “Hits of Cliff Richard as sung by The Smurfs.”.

  449. Or Kenny G and the Starlight Vocal Band – together at last.

  450. Or “Rick Astley Goes Reggae”

  451. i’d go on record saying i’d happily have flamini back. Adding him to song, cesc, diaby, deni, ramsey and Nasri would be fantastic.

  452. How about Taylor Dayne plays Vivaldi. On the spoons.

  453. Adam

    “He doesn’t track back because he lacks the pace to do so

    He’s a poor tackler because he lacks strength and gets pushed to the ground on a slight touch.

    His passing is poor and often within 5 yards and mostly sideways”

    have you even seen him play? are you sure your watching the right team even?

  454. My favourite would be Eminem’s Great Hammond Organ Classics.

  455. Adam=Howard=Barbados and many more coming to a blog near you soon.

  456. Those are appalling – How about a Chris de Burgh concept album just titled, “Life”?

  457. I’d recommend some posters read the post again.

    “A generation of fans have grown up in the era of the Premier League, their paymasters Sky and a pathetic, ignorant media. Everything is hyped. A few teams are expected to win every time. All losses are ‘disasters’.”

    “…the game becomes something to be endured, a mere exercise in garnering points.”

    “Move on, look forward to the next time. Football fans have always done this. It’s time to regain the joy of the game. The winning will be all the sweeter.”

    Quite inspirational stuff, Cb. Thanks again.

  458. I am of the opinion we do not need to buy big as some people are stating. One or two additions yes but a big money signing does not mean instant success, the key is finding a player that fits into the Arsenal system and not how much he costs. What’s more important is that our injured players return and we maintain a fully fit squad of players. With that said I think a GK and a CB should be our priority. Add that to the return of all the players that were missing for long periods of this season and we will have a fantastic squad to compete for all competitions.

  459. Springbok130978

    I fully agree with almost all the sentiments expressed here. We have a great club, a GREAT club. On and off the field and we should all be so proud.
    Of course Wenger needs to do some tweaking here and there, what manager doesn’t?
    Thanks for this post, hopefully it will cool the blood of a lot of disillusioned gooners.
    On a slightly less rational note…….FUCK THE SPURS!!!!

  460. Wneger should take his cue form Gordon Brown and quit.

  461. A lot of paper gossip about Buffon coming to Arsenal. While he is a great keeper I am not convinced he would be the right choice. I think he is 32 years old so he is coming to the end of his career plus he has had a lot of back and neck problems and missed out on a lot of games. I really think that Green from WHU could be the answer for us. He is an established confident keeper and he will require no break in time for the EPL. I am interested to hear other posters views on what positions need strengthening and who they would like to see brought in.

  462. How about Chris de Burgh singing The Lady in Red?

  463. Wayne: Why would he do that? I am sure he has a better success rate than Mr. Brown!

  464. Lady in red is one of my favorite songs.

  465. Ha ha. Good one, DFG!

  466. Silver Gunner

    Well said YW but things in january could have been done to ease the strain on the squad because even at that time we were having to manage with just arshavin upfront.

    Would it have hurt to aquire one or two short term loans till the end of the season to recall young wilshire

  467. Silver Gunner

    I guess i am just upset that we let a great opportunity pass us by not becuse we aren’t good enough but because we did not have the squad strength to mount a sustained challenge….

    Oh well all the noise coming from various media sources are that is going to rectified before the world cup.

    Lets hope that is the case because we are not far away from having a team that will mount a sustained challenge.

  468. Azerbaifuckingjan….gracious me, Tony!

  469. Frank: I was shocked when I read about big Tone going to FC Gabala in Azerbaijan. I hope he is not back on the booze again! Surely, even a conference club would be better than bloody Azerbaijan, has he fallen that low?

  470. Having said that,DFG, Qabala is an interesting place historically. Almost a democracy after the Nagorno-Karabach massacre and very well placed for Tony to pop over to Tehran to do some shopping.

  471. Actually Adam is Jaguar, I am 99% sure.

  472. I think he’s too polite to be Jaguar.

    If it was, almost immediately his post would be followed by Pedro saying: “pack it in Jaguar, your posts are boring”.

  473. Yeovil Gooner

    An absolutely brilliant piece CB.

    A rallying cry and a reminder of what we really do have to look forwards to and be thankful for.


  474. QoS but Pedro aint here to tell him that.Jaguar is the only one i know who goes on and on about the french like this “Adam”

  475. It was always a favourite of Howard’s, he eventually moved to Paris, i heard.

  476. Thank God the awful leg-breaker didn’t make the world cup list.

  477. Frank: Something tells me that the historical factor will be way beyond big Tone’s comprehension.

  478. No Pato in the Brazil, is he by any chance injured?

  479. I think Dunga has left him out rather than he is injured firstlady.

  480. I don’t expect Brazil to do well in this World Cup. Dunga will probably not last as their manager till the end of the summer.

  481. Silver Gunner

    some crazy ommisions and addition for world cup squads on a whole i mean for france no benzema, argentina no cambiasso or zanetti?
    and for us no right back cover please dont say carra as his legs went 2 seasons ago.

  482. Test posting

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