Arsène’s Keen On Jack & Quadruples – He Believes, Should We?

Jack Wilshere‘s eyecatching performance against Barcelona has brought praise from all quarters. Even his manager who is normally reserved in praising his players forgot the usual provisos when talking about the youngster but not before he strayed dangerously close to Xavi territory,

He has Spanish technique certainly. But he has an English heart because he is an English boy. He just loves to win like all the other players in my team and he showed that on Wednesday night.

The emergence of Wilshere is a beacon of light for English football. Whilst the player’s prodigious talent is prime, his tuition at Arsenal from a young age is also key. Luton Town may not be happy now with the compensation received but Wilshere has been the biggest beneficiary of his move to Arsenal.

Moves are afoot to end the ludicrous geographic restrictions placed on Premier League clubs when it comes to scouting youngsters. If the end result is a player who is as technically excellent as Wilshere, there will not be many complaints.

What I like is that he takes everything with a cool head. When you are at his age, you want to play and to play again and show how good you are. He is not phased by the occasion and he is not inhibited. That is what is fantastic with him.

The question is whether the elimination of these restrictions on Premier League clubs is the best way to get the players to the top of the game. This will be weighing heavily in the minds of those lower division clubs who look set to lose out on inflated transfer fees as the cream of talent is nutured elsewhere.

Sadly the end result is not always a high flying career as The Sun highlights at the bottom of the piece on Ben Chorley. Mind you, Sebastian Svard might be surprised to learn that his Eredivisie employers, Roda JC Kerkrade, have moved lock, stock and barrel to Denmark without telling him.

Arsène was in bullish mood at his press conference, buoyed by the win on Wednesday evening as everyone was, is and shall forever more be. Four trophies are up for grabs, Arsenal want to win them all (even Paul Merson agreed to some extent) . A strong statement of intent in a period of ten days which will see progress made on all fronts or big dreams shattered into little pieces.

The first steps were taken in establishing a lead in the first of leg against Barcelona. Three wins in the next three games will see strides made in the other three competitions. And three wins are necessary. In the first instance, a draw in tomorrow’s match at Brisbane Road will mean a replay, an unwelcome distraction in an already crowded fixture list.

The Football Association has made the first change to next season’s FA Cup, the final will kick-off at 5.30pm at the behest of the broadcasting companies. Those supporters who live more than 2 hours away will be hoping every final ends in ninety minutes;  the prospect of getting out of Wembley in a decent timescale is poor enough, at 9pm after extra time and penalties does not really bear thinking about.

This weekend sees fourth round replays taking place at the same time as the fifth round kicks off. And all because the FA loves international football. Those replays were scheduled for the week England played in Denmark but instead of giving their blue riband event primacy, they elected to let the discredited international friendly take precedence.

If the FA do not value the FA Cup, is it’s reduced status in domestic football any surprise? The least that they could do to revitalise the competition is to end replays. The reduced financial rewards for smaller clubs can be alieviated by giving them a bigger share of gate receipts than the 25% they currently receive.

Arsène though only wants one change – ticket prices to be cheaper. He came out against the wholesale tinkering many of us favour, surprisingly sentimental in his approach. TV will win though and the competition is going to eventually end up as a midweek extension of the Carling Cup.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on February 19, 2011, in Arsenal, Champions League, FA Cup, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer. Bookmark the permalink. 151 Comments.

  1. Morning all

  2. Talkin of ticket prices cl final tickets are between £150 & £300. more then double the normal price. but it is wembley and you get to see a nice modern stadium have a nice english pie and sample the nice surrounding area.

  3. Wilshire’s development has been extraordinary and for me there’s little doubt a year out playing continuous first team football at Bolton has been instrumental in the successful nurturing of an outstanding talent.

    The greater success Jack enjoys makes me regret all the more Ramsey’s terribly injury. I felt Ramsey was the slightly better player than Jack at the time of his injury (I now wonder if I imagined that!) but of course Aaron’s missed a year of development at a critical time in his career. How good would those two be right now had the moronic Shawcross not got ‘in our faces’ that fateful day?

    I also wonder if Denilson would benefit from a year at somewhere like Bolton or Sunderland; there’s no doubting his talent but he’s getting precious little back up from his own supporters and even less playing time. When he does play these days he looks to be going inside a risk-averse shell and his cause isn’t helped by Jack’s stratospheric rise. Ramsey’s return could see him almost permanently eclipsed which would be a great pity; on top of his game he can play the ‘Arsenal Way’ as well as the rest of the squad.

    On the subject of internationals – can anyone truthfully say they sat down and watched the entire 90 minutes of the last game? Anyone …?

  4. and on stadiums, does anyone think that the olympic stadium is an eye sore, and eighties design piece of crap, £550m, someone has had their hand in that pie. we go from beijings space age to our old age.

  5. How young was Jack when he came from Luton?
    I thought he was at Arsenal since he was knee high to a grasshopper.

  6. Jamrock

    He was nine when he moved to Arsenal. Was at Luton for a few months:


  7. Duke

    I’m bloody glad I went to Barcelona v Sampdoria in 1992 at Wembley. Paid something like £32 for very good seats. The £150 is for neutrals though – the clubs involved get tickets that start at the reduced level of £80…


  8. So how old was jack when we shipped him over from spain?

  9. It’s annoying the way some people are trying to take credit away from Arsenal for Jack’s development. I would suggest that 10 years at Arsenal and regular games within our quality midfield has a lot more to do with his development than a few months at Luton as a child or a few months on loan at Bolton. Owen Coyle was not doing us any favours, he played Jack because he was good enough to play. The experience was good for Jack and showed Arsene that he was ready for Arsenal. That would have come even if he had not gone to Bolton, so lets not overplay that.

  10. “Luton Town may not be happy now with the compensation received”

    There was no compensation. Luton did not develop him. He spent 2 months there when he was 9 years old then moved straight to the Arsenal academy. He is 99% form the Arsenal ranks.

  11. Passenal, I completely agree with how annoying that is. Bolton didn’t make him; Arsenal did. Bolton was a good opportunity for Jack to get first team premier league experience. Coyle played him because that was the deal with Arsenal to get Jack, I am sure. Wenger would only let him go where he had a good chance to play regularly. Bolton were in the bottom half of the table and improved with Jack playing for them. The real important decision was including him in the squad this year rather than sending him out again.

    What is so clear is that he is an Arsenal player. You just have to watch him play to see how he embodies our style and principles. But that’s not so easy for some people, I suppose.

  12. Jack joined arsenal at age 9, he only spent 2 months at luton so I doubt arsenal had to pay much, if any compensation.

  13. On the topic of CL final ticket prices it’ll be interesting to see if they rise again next year. If not it just seems to me UEFA know they can charge a fortune in England and milk the golden tit but not so much in continental Europe.

  14. Jim

    Luton did receive compensation – about £10k.


  15. Passenal

    No-one said that Luton developed him – the point I made is that they would have received considerably more compensation now than they did then.


  16. Duke

    Initially he was at Barcelona but his DNA didn’t meet their strict requirements of everyone loving the club. Look at the whole of their squad, they all love Barcelona and in no way signed for them because of the money or that the club would pay out for growth hormones…


  17. I didn’t mean you Yogi, your reference to Luton and Andrew Arsenal’s comment about Bolton just reminded me of comments I have seen in the media, trying to make more of the fact that he was at Luton before coming to Arsenal and the loan spell at Bolton as if they outweigh 10 years at Arsenal!

  18. The experience Lil Jack got at Bolton obviously did him a lot of good in strengthening him physically.

    I saw him play over a number of years in the Arsenal youth teams, and he always looked special, but was physically very slight.

    He is now as tough as anyone in the Gooners team as well as being a little genius. 🙂

  19. Oh Yogi,

    You are being really cruel to the Barcelona players and their love of money, you must know they have achieved their “DREAM”, just like all the other wannabees, including our own Diaby and Arshavin!! 🙂

  20. Finally, all this talk of who gets credit for Lil Jack’s development is pointless.

    So many players over the last 20 or more years have gone out on loan, including the likes of Beckham Scholes, but no one tries to say that Manure did not develop them to their full potential ……….. unfortunately,

  21. The media have just lost their minds.
    here is a comment from a Barca fan on untold. Just shows you we are not paranoid

    February 17th, 2011 at 2:49 pm
    @Simon: “the media in this country are absolutely unbelievable.listening to taksport this morning and i cant believe the lack of credit we are getting from the so called experts.”

    Simon, as a die-hard Barca fan, I’m with you 100% on this. In fact, that’s why I’m here in the first place. I’m hoping that somewhere, in the comments section of some obscure Arsenal blog, someone will enlighten me as to the truth and reasoning behind this political smear campaign against Arsenal.

    This concerns me personally as a Barca fan, because all of this incessant Barcelona-worship in the English media insults Barca just as much as it does Arsenal. Because there’s nothing sincere about it. There’s no honest critique of Barca’s football. I know enough about politics to recognize that they’re just building Barca up to beat Arsenal down. But WHY?!

    In contrast to recent published reports, I’ll give my honest assessment of what I saw in the match last night. Statistically, Arsenal and Barca are nearly even, with an edge to Arsenal on corners and shots on goal. While Barcelona may have dominated possession, the vast majority of that possession was spent piddling around in midfield while failing to create meaningful scoring opportunities.

    Arsenal, on the other hand, played a passing game that was precise, incisive, and deadly at crucial moments. When they got the ball, they took it where it needed to go with a precision that was frankly astonishing. Last night, Arsenal took “Barcelona’s” game to a different level, and exposed weaknesses in Barca that no team has ever exposed before. And however I might feel about that personally, it kills me that Arsenal isn’t getting any credit for it.

    And this is coming from a Barca fan!!! I’m prepared to argue that, despite all of the above, Barca would still be the better team on a different night. But how can I even get there when the rest of the world is still extolling Barca’s “brilliant” (aka crappy) performance, and claiming that Arsenal only won the match based on luck? Frankly, my sense of fairplay is forcing me to defend Arsenal over Barca at this point, and I’d really like to get that problem resolved before the 2nd leg!:) Any thoughts?
    All jokes aside, congrats on a brilliant win last night Gooners.

  22. more from Anne the Barca fan

    February 17th, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    So far, your Xenophobia argument is the only real explanation that anyone has been able to offer me as to why the English media might have it in for Arsenal. But I’m not sure that I buy it.

    First, I should explain that my personal background is in politics and criminal law, rather than football. From that perspective, what’s happening to Arsenal in the media appears to be nothing more than your garden-variety political smear campaign. I’ve never seen it in football before, but whoever’s behind it isn’t exactly re-inventing the wheel, tactically. And in politics, the only reason you’d see that kind of campaign is if someone stands to lose a lot of money and/or power. So, from that perspective, my first instinct would be to question what kind of financial threat Arsenal poses to other interested parties. Xenophobia might be a partial motivator, but based on what I’ve seen, I’d have to say that someone’s finances are in play as well. Don’t know how or why, but it’s just political “common sense”…

    @PaulC: I agree that media treatment of Arsenal in relation to Barca, etc. is extremely hypocritical. In fact, it’s too blatantly hypocrytical to occur without a reason. But what is that reason? That’s what I want to know. And btw, I think it’s extremely charitable of you to call the 4-4 draw at Newcastle a “freak result”

    @Everyone Else re the Barca Return Leg: I don’t want to take anything away from the beautiful, attacking football that Arsenal played last night, but the truth is that Barca really wasn’t in top form. They had a great run of form over the last few months, but they started to drop off against Atletico Madrid a couple of weeks ago, and now they’re in a real slump. I think that either Barca or Arsenal is capable of winning at the Camp Nou, but it all depends on form. If Barca gets back to where they were a month ago, Arsenal will have to perform better than they did last night to advance. Otherwise, last night’s performance should be just about enough to make it interesting, I think. We’ll see! Either way, I’ll look forward to celebrating a victory for good football. Cheers!

  23. Bring back Aaron Ramsey at the end of his month-long loan spell at Cardiff, please Arsene. I know it is his first club and they are desperate for promotion and thrilled to have Ramsey there to help. But his destiny is with Arsenal. He needs games but will get them in our run in. His destiny is to play a part in Arsenal’s great, historic season challenging for four trophies. He belongs with us now and is ready to begin again on his path to greatness.

    Last season he was on the cusp of having a bigger break out season than Jack is having this year. It’s hard to remember, since the tragedy dominates memory last year, but he had some fantastic games with us–he had a pass for Theo that rivalled Cesc’s pass to Nasri for the second goal. He strikes goals in the box and from distance. He made a joke of Darin Fletcher and put a Scottish defender on the ground with his trickery in a fantastic goal for Wales. He is quality. He belongs at the Home of Football.

  24. Agree LimestoneG – bring Ramsey back asap! Assume he’s only gone because a) we need him match fit and b) Arsene’s ‘having’ to take the League and FA Cup competitions more seriously this year and daren’t risk bringing Aaron up to speed in those games.

    My waking nightmare is that in the rufty-tufty world of the so-called ‘Championship’ he will pick up another serious injury. Best leave that league to those clubs ideally suited to it (the Geordie Bunch are one such that springs to mind). And in a world where the likes of Carroll and co are worth £35,000,000 plus, it’ll will be the equivalent of a mid-season mega-transfer in our favour.

    Do it, Arsene. Do it.

    (PS I wasn’t intending, earlier, to imply Bolton had seriously influenced Jack’s development, merely accelerated what was already there; as far as short cuts go, the value of having someone play every available game shouldn’t be underestimated which is why I’d love to see Denny given that chance and, hell, yes, Nik Bendtner, too).

  25. It is a phallacy and down right wrong to suggst Wenger is taking any competition more seriously this season. It is a media myth made up because we are doing well in the carling and Fa cups and the media need answers and the simpler most retarded answers the better as far as they are concerned!

    We have almost 20 players out on loan and the majority of those players would be getting game time in he domestic cups and/or sitting on the 1st team bench. Instead they are out on loan meaning WEnger has to choose from his 1sr team squad. The fact he has often made 10 changesfor these cup games obviously didnt register with the clueless mugs in the Murdoch press and media.

    BTW those comments from Anne the barca fan are really interesting. I am now convinced about the media smear campaign. I lovea good ol political thriller!

  26. Right on, AA. There have been articles with Davey Jones saying he isn’t ready for PL match fitness yet and should stay with Cardiff until the end of the season. Lots of talk celebrating Jack justly happened to remind me of our other fantastic young midfield talent. And as thoughts turn to Stoke coming to the Emirates next week, naturally, I have been wondering about Ramsey. It’s time for him to take his rightful place back in the squad. It will mean a lot to him, give us a boost in morale terms.

  27. I think Jack has come on massively this season, because he has played this season for Arsenal! Never mind last season at Bolton. I was at Anfield the 1st game this season and he looked half the player he is now and I wasnt sure he was ready for the Arsenal 1st team! Haha! How daft was I? He has developed fantastically due to his opportunities to play this season, with great players and all the credit should go to Wilshere and AFC.

    Ramsey was way ahead of Jack before his assault last season and hopefully we will soon have Aaron back with us playing. It is frightening tio think how good those 2 could be.

  28. I bloody knew the media would run with headlines screaming that Wenger says we’ll win all four trophies this season! Bloody typical. He never said it, he was asked IF we could do it and said some quite sensible things really. About how we will TRY and do our best etc. And if only to ram those lying headlines back down his throat at a later stage (thats obviously not going to happen thoug!!)

  29. Great game for Aaron today. I fancy Cardiff are the team to break Forest’s long unbeaten run at home… with Aaron pulling the strings… and JET providing the fireworks!

  30. good one again
    im not wasting anytime with the ticket prices thing theres no point…its a rip off but what u expect from the authorities…they dont give a shit about the game they just in it for the dosh…
    jacks the future..he’ll be the best player in an arsenal and english shirt very soon..i find it interesting the analogy ?? cesc used…spanish technique/english heart (grit) 😉 weve missed a player with his tenacity in our midfeild for a while..his skills are a great compliment..IMO hes the reason we are fighting on all for fronts and not just fighting for 4th.. comeon jacky boy take us all the way..future arsenal captian????

    cbob..i agree…rooneys goal was a joke..i laughed at your comparison of a fat lad falling off his chair and shinning his light shade…so so true..
    our AA’s goal was a thing of technical and team beauty and its like merse said (who was the writer of the peice) better than rooneys worthy of winning any footy match…including the world cup final..
    wonderful goal..i applauded it with a tear in my eye..

  31. Merse was just on SSN waxing lyrical about the AA team goal and sayin the rooney fluke was no comparison. Nice one Merse!

  32. Liam Brady – “It was one of the greatest nights in Arsenal’s history. It will inspire generations of young Arsenal players.”

    “It is a tribute to Arsène Wenger and his philosophy. You can spend £50 million on a player, but you can’t buy team spirit. He’s one of the most astute managers of all time.”

    “The youth team were at the game. What a privilege for Arsenal’s kids to see Messi, Xavi and Villa running their socks off for the team. It’s a phenomenal lesson and matches like these build their dreams.”

    “Jack wants to be one of the worlds best. Going head-to-head with Xavi and Iniesta was amazing. He has everything to reach that level. Wilshere mixed it with the worlds best and that shows how much Wenger trusts the Academy.”

  33. Sorry if that’s been posted already.

  34. Here is an answer to rooney’s goal last night in ligue 1. Jimmy Briant from Lyon against Nancy last night.

  35. I’d like to take the credit JonJon but it was Frank who first said that It looked like a fat bloke falling off a chair.

    It does! It really does!

  36. @YW
    It’s hard to imagine that the smaller clubs wouldn’t lose out if the geographical restrictions are lifted, but you have to put the development of the individual players and the interests of the national team first (if you’re the FA). Perhaps the smaller clubs could be compensated by a more generous redistribution of TV income?

    Anyway, back to us! Second half of February is a crunch fortnight.

    I hope we get Ramsey back ASAP as well. But I am a bit puzzled that he was not included in the CL squad list. Anyone have any idea why? I think ArsenalAndrew’s idea of a loan for Denilson is quite a good one – he needs to rebuild his confidence. The trouble is, where would he go?

  37. So proof that Phil Dowd can make good decisions and doesnt have to give a pemalty, unless its against Arsenal!

  38. FG, can the CL squad be amended after this round or at any stage in the knock-out rounds? Otherwise, yes that is a good question, but who would you drop to include Ramsey if we are at the upper limit of squad size. I don’t remember what the CL squad size is–30?

  39. @ Limestonegunner
    I can’t remember what the squad limit is, but there were a lot of youth players on the list in addition to the first team squad. And it includes Frimpong, who is only just training again. That was why Ramsey’s omission struck me as odd.

  40. Is it just me or does anybody else, when they watch other teams play (Everton and Chelsea now) think, “Well they aren’t very good are they”?

    Arsenal just seem light years ahead.

  41. Limestone, I think the squadlist is for the entire knock-out phase..

    I think Arsene has Ramsey for next season’s plans unless we become very lght in midfield.. I, personally, would like him to continue at Cardiff and gets back to his best for the new season…

  42. And I’m afraid I don’t know if the list can be amended.

  43. Funny you should say that, cbob, I was thinking, “Going by the commentary, this is a dull, poor quality game.” Still what do you expect – we aren’t involved in it.

  44. CBob,
    I’m finding it hard to concentrate on the Chel$ki-Everton game.. More so after watching Wednesday’s match few times…

  45. Cbob
    So true, Chelsea if playing like that will really struggle to get the last CL spot.

    Regarding the CL squad I think you can make some change between the end of the group phase and the knock-out phase but not after.

  46. Couple of good saves from Howard to keep the score at 0-0..

  47. Back after a lengthy layoff.To all aclfooters I kiss you!can anyone shed light on how jet is doing at cardiff? He played well first game but seems to have gone off the boil a bit

  48. JET has played 3 rimes, once as sub, but thats as much as I know!

  49. Indian, he’ll get games with us and we could use him with Diaby in and out of fitness. He’ll have a full preseason to get ready for next season.

  50. Just picking up on the conversation about the media bias against Arsenal – and in particular Anne’s excerpts from Untold Arsenal.

    I am convinced that xenophobia plays a part in the way Arsenal is treated in the media, but it is not the primary reason.

    Those who understand change management in particular will recognize the classic characteristics of an establishment in self preservation mode. For such a powerful establishment, the last kicks of this dying horse are violent and ruthless.

    Arsenal’s inevitable success represents a very powerful and tangible alternative to a neolithic way of life engrained into the way the establishment works. Our success threatens the very reality of the establishment’s way of life as it undisputably illustrates that there is a sustainable and responsible way to run football and all without losing a philosophy that promotes total football.

    Our success questions the decay within the footballing establishment that has seen English football deteriorate and become a farce on the international stage because they don’t want to get out of the stone-age into the 21st century.

    Arsenal’s success will prove that the establishment has been full of bullshit and everyone around the world will see it for what it is.

    My sense is that – there’s too much for the establishment to lose if Arsenal’s success vindicates the courageous and audacious vision and direction the club has taken.

    The doctrine of self preservation dictates that we’re going to suffer as the establishment bites back for its dear life. And of course, the sports media is a fundamental part of this establishment.

  51. These I only watch arsenal games all other games are just not worth the effort.

  52. Dexter. You spoke too soon. Daud just denied Everton a clear goal.

  53. Ha! True Darius. It must’ve been an anomaly before!

  54. @Consols – I’m actually struggling to take the game seriously – the quality is just not good enough – is it?

  55. The game, like ESPN itself is lacking in any quality

  56. Chelsea are really crap…kind of concerns me for their upcoming game against ManU

  57. Agree, Darius.. Arsenal winning the league would be a big blow for the league bosses and Sky…

  58. How on earth will they allow us to win anything? Every article in the press and media has to start with this;

    Arsenal FC, who havent won a thing since…

  59. Chavs – one up…

  60. “wonderful goal..i applauded it with a tear in my eye.”

    I agree with jonjon.


    Arshavin goal, again.

    Mean Lean’s Kobra seems to like playing against the likes of Tevez and Messi.Not bad, not bad at all.
    My kind of ‘stay at home’ defender. Could not have asked for a better present at the beginning of this season.

    Tis disingenious to declare that xenophobia plays no part in the AA & AAA agenda’s. Perhaps, not the biggest factor. Perhaps the North-South divide, the history, is the source here. Perhaps the source is Slurgus’ ego, and wallet. But you can’t dismiss it.

  62. LOL! Days like this you do smile – what a freekick! Shame it wasn’t Wayne Rooney.

    ll done Everton.

  63. The biggest problem with the English journalist scene as i see it is that everybody is related or have relations to everybody and no clue about the world outside. Has any new blood from outside football entered the pundit scene in the lat 10 years? Any new fresh faces that are not previouse England/wales/scotland stars or stars of the last centuries leading PL team got important jobs within the punditery?

    There is no view from outside, the players/pundits have all been under the same managers and the same system and their teams has always won with that system and that philosophy in the English league.
    Why would these guys not think this is the right way forward? Remember these guys have been paied shit loads of money to do their job and always been told they are the best and probably felt like the best. What man in the world would admit that what made him the best and what mad him feel like a star is no longer the best way to create future stars, (you may not need not go longer than to your own dad to see that really). How can he? He has the proofe it brought success and money and girls and more money. Its the best system, and most pundits are living proof of it.
    I think if there is anything political and economical in it, the siuation in the English press has done the job so much easier. All you need to do is pay them more and tell them to express their views a bit more often, most are to up their own ass to realize they are being used after all.(if they are).

  64. What a strike from Baines!

  65. I dare you Everton, go on go on go on.

  66. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bloke.

  67. Fuck you Ashley….!!!

  68. Scores anyone?tell me everton are kicking ass.

  69. And A. Hole lost it for Chelsea. Very nice.

  70. Cashley, hahaha!

  71. Ashley Hole misses the final penalty for Chel$ki allowing Everton to go through.. Couldn’t have asked for a better start to the weekend…

  72. Barca would smack them.

    “My sense is that – there’s too much for the establishment to lose if Arsenal’s success vindicates the courageous and audacious vision and direction the club has taken”

    A tad worrying that Darius. It suggests that they will go to any length to stop us.

  73. Firstlady.

    Everton have beaten Chelsea. Good riddance.

  74. For all those stoney faced silent so and so’s at the Grove;

    “good victory yesterday but the fans were absolutly amazing i loved
    it” – Samir Nasri

    “Thanks for creating an unbelivable atmosphere at Emirates.” – Wojciech Szczesny

    “Just want to congratulate the amazing fans tonight! Best iv seen by
    far” – Jack Wilshere

  75. 53Szczesny53 Tweeps what do you think Ashley was aiming for when he took his penalty?

    What a legend that boy already is!

  76. Hahahahahahahahahahahaa! The chavs season just gets better and better. The fact it was cashley who missedthe decisive penalty makes it even sweeter.

    Pint of schardenfrueder anyone?

  77. Darius – I also found Anne’s comments very interesting, full of valid questions, sharing in our puzzlement of the media treatment of our club.

    Personally, although it LOOKS like xenophobia I don’t think that’s it – we would see much more of it applied to the likes of Chelsea (foreign owner, foreign manager(s), M City (ditto), even Manure and Liverpool who have non-English managers and, frankly, highly controversial foreign owners. The xenophobic sounding headlines are just lazy journalists looking for a quick and cheap headline.

    And I think ‘quick and cheap’ is possibly at the heart of media behaviour. For their own credibility, they (the media) hunt as a pack and adhere to a common theme; the binding script is currently “Manure or Chelsea are the reigning champions of the era, everyone else are the pretenders to their crown” and until someone actually takes that crown, the script demands that they denigrate and run down all other contenders.

    The problem with the script is what happens when it needs to change?

    At the moment Arsenal are guilty of making them all look, collectively, utterly uninformed by highlighting, on a weekly – sometimes twice-weekly basis – their woeful lack of judgement which combines with the vision of your average Luddite.

    The ‘proof’ of what I’m saying? Well, nobody in the media is waxing lyrical about City, Spuds or Liverpool. They might WANT to stop licking Sirralex Ferguson’s arse but they don’t know yet when or even if. Chelsea’s slump this season is seen as aberrational and temporary. Only once they are sure the script has changed will their rusty old tunes be abandoned and a new song taken up.

    To a certain extent you do see this collective behaviour in other sports – in tennis for example, if you didn’t follow it quite closely you could be forgiven for thinking there are only two players in the world (Federer, Nadal) with the rest (including Murray) merely contenders lacking genuine potential or pedigree. Even in cricket, for the last 20 years it’s been all Australia; it took for THE MIGHTY ENGLAND to go into their backyard this winter to win the Ashes for the THIRD time in five years to finally bury that one.

    So my guess is that this combination of lazy, formulaic, nervous journalism which lacks the confidence to independently report what is in front of it, is at the heart of what I’m currently finding the utterly obnoxious media coverage of one of the finest England club sides of all time. And it’ll only change when we’ve won a few things, and we keep winning.

    But as I say, it is just a guess. Watching the dubious behaviour of O’Dowd and Mason in recent weeks along with the ludicrous media coverage makes one WANT to think there is something more sinister at work.

    But you know what? I just don’t think they are actually clever enough to do that. Dinosaurs like Gray and Keys represent the backward nature of the media and self-serving individuals such as Blatter and his cronies represent the stranglehold the forces of the past have on the governance and organisation of the game.

    Football is, somewhat bizarrely and surprisingly, the most backward and conservative sport on the planet, so don’t expect too much to change too soon.

    However, should Arsenal become the dominant force in England then watch out for the very things Anne observes in her writings, start to apply to Arsenal: –

    “This concerns me personally as a Barca fan, because all of this incessant Barcelona-worship in the English media insults Barca just as much as it does Arsenal. Because there’s nothing sincere about it. There’s no honest critique of Barca’s football. I know enough about politics to recognize that they’re just building Barca up to beat Arsenal down”

  78. Lansbury just scored against Leeds

  79. Why do we need a football media apart from showing games? Why do we need football press at all when we have our own opinions? All a load of bollocks. Couldn’t give a tinkers what the fuckers think or say.

  80. TRue FRank. I am sure football matches used to have reporters attached to them who would report the facts of a particular game; goals, assists, cards etc.

    Now we have selfimportant, ignorant fools trying to peddle half baked cliche ridden twaddle.

  81. Copenhagen away doesnt look so easy peasy for the chavs now does it?

  82. Yes I agree Dexter. How to get rid of them without resorting to violence? Having said that they are sitting ducks in those press and media positions. We could pretend they are in the stocks. Rotten eggs, fruit and veg, stink bombs, excrement grenades, bags of piss…..

  83. I think in this instance Frank, we should just stick with the violence!

  84. JET’s on for Cardiff now.

  85. According to UEFA laws, if a player is under the age of 21 before the Group Stages of the UEFA Champions League, He’s eligible to play for the club side so long as he is not cup-tied.

    Ramsey’s available should we need him.

  86. Good post Yogi and a very enjoyable read… the quote about Jack having “Spanish” technique may well be a red rag to some in the media who may well interpret it as having a dig at English technique, but who cares?…

    It is interesting that talk of the “quadruple” is starting now. I think that it is in part an accident, Nasri talked about it to the media and they then took the opportunity to ask Wenger the question, which he answered more or less as he always does – to paraphrase… “we’ll go for every competition and see how far we can get”… is what he’s said all season. I also think that it is in part Wenger taking advantage of a particular situation. After the Barcelona win there’s a real danger of the players taking their eyes of the bigger picture given the nonsense that the press have been pushing prior to the Barca game, the players wouldn’t be human otherwise… this talk of the quadruple ought to refocus a lot minds in my opinion.

    This team can be a paradigm changing team, a team that can redefine what good players and good management look like… a team that can set out an almost revolutionary path to success in this age of hype and big money… this team and Wenger in particular can do what Barcelona are reputed to do but with knobs on… Barcelona, lest we forget, have spent huge… on Henry and Hleb but even more so on the like of Ibrahimovic. They also let Eto’o go. Our biggest outlay to date has been on Arshavin and he cost less than Villa spent on Bent, about the same as Spurs paid for Palacios and is worth less than Fergie paid for Anderson as a teenager. It pays to remind ourselves of what Wenger is ACTUALLY achieving here and now. Darius is right when he talks of the comical Alis in the media… we shouldn’t let them define the terms by which we judge what is going on at our club… what we are seeing right now is unprecedented and, at the risk of lapsing into hyperbole, quite miraculous if we actually think about it. No team in Europe that has spent what we have is doing anything remotely like what we are doing!

    I feel sorry for those who are basically moaning and groaning through this epic adventure of ours… they are living through something extraordinary but are either too self absorbed or just too plain silly to see it for what it is and that is a shame IMHO. Perez and Real Madrid inaugurated the Galatico era by splashing out on the biggest names in the game and, let’s be fair, winning in some style too. Now it has been taken to even more obscene levels by the likes of Chelsea and ManCity… we, however, are what you might call the anti-Galacticos. We are about actual ability and real quality not media inspired reputations often built on more hype than substance. We are about organic growth not debt fuelled excess. I rather like us TBH 🙂

  87. Finsbury – thanks very much for the Brian Clough clip.

    Still a giant after all these years and much missed; he must be spinning in his grave at the antics of Messrs Lineker, Hansen, Gray, Keys et al.

    But he was right, wasn’t he – the media ARE too big for their boots, far to self-important, puffed up on their assumed ‘authority’. The finest England manager we never had, another genius willfully misunderstood by the media of his day and shunned by the footballing establishment …

    Remind you of anyone?

  88. Hmmm, its a pity manU are playing a conference club as the team fergie’s put out would get done by a better team a bit higher up the football ladder.

  89. Arsenal Andrew

    I hear what you are saying and there some valid points in your posts, especially regarding lazy and formulaic journalism but Xenophobia is at the heart of the treatment Arsenal get in this country IMHO… so I guess I’m agreeing with Darius. The people who look at Foreign owners, etc, miss the essential point entirely… the issue with Arsenal is that the team and the manager are seen as outsiders in more than one sense. Chelsea may have a foreign owner but that owner has been profligate in spending money on a lot of English players… the Chelsea identity rests, in the main, on Lampard, Terry, Ashley Cole and Drogba. Only one of those is a foreigner. Ancelotti’s philosophy, if he has one, doesn’t in any way threaten or question the fundamental precepts that underpin the English game neither does he imply that a vast majority of English players are over rated overpriced and overhyped with his actions. Wenger’s actions do imply that a lot of our players are over rated and overhyped and spectacularly overpriced too, rightly in my view . Wenger clearly loves aspects of the English game but he also is not shy about condemning the more Neanderthal bits and for that he is seen as an uppity foreigner with too much to say for himself… remember O’Neill’s rant last season when Wenger called his direct style “English”?

    ManCity have splurged obscene amounts of money on the likes of Lescott, Barry, Milner, etc and that basically makes them immune from the media attacks that we face. Liverpool even now are seen as Gerrard’s team, with Carragher seen as the representative of the “virtues” of Liverpool… with Arsenal we are identified with Fabregas and Van Persie and may be Vermaelen! One is a bolshie Spanish lad who call it as he sees it and won’t take anyone’s rubbish… the other is a mercurial Dutchman who according to legend cannot stay fit. Our English poster boy is Theo Walcott who is more derided than praised because it is a way puncturing Wenger’s reputation with young players hence the great hilarity that accompanied Walcott’s dumping from the England team. Nevermind that Walcott’s troubles starting with Pearce choosing him for the U20 tournament against Wenger’s wishes.

    Wenger and Arsenal’s problem is that philosophy Wenger is pushing with his management of Arsenal is against the zeitgeist of the premiership at the moment… Wenger won’t spend on over rated players, he won’t pretend that English is best, he won’t give an inch on only playing the best players wherever they may come from, he won’t give in and do what the media expect of him like buy a goalkeeper and a big name CB when he believes in the players he has… in fact everything about the way Wenger runs Arsenal football club is at odds with what the English media see as the right way to run a football club of our size and add to that the fact that he is a foreigner and you begin to appreciate what is going on here.

    The point in all this is that Arsenal are seen as ‘OTHER’ by the media and by other I mean FOREIGN. Other fans, the referees and a lot of other managers see us that way too, if you doubt me read a blog like the one at the Guardian. Every thing we do seems to be at odds with the prevailing mood and the entrenched hidebound attitudes in the EPL and because of that the media would love nothing better than for Arsenal and Arsene to fall flat on our faces… that is the only way that the utter hypocrisy of the Barcelona coverage can begin to make sense. The media want us to lose to Barcelona because such a loss can they be presented as a failure of not only our style of play, which they’ve dubbed Barcelona lite, but also of the very philosophy that underpins what we do… that is their wish. You cannot have a situation where referees, the media and a lot of other clubs have a basic antipathy to what we do just because the media hunt in a pack? And why would they hunt in a pack against us… what have Arsenal actually done?

  90. Crawley Town must be like a local derby for most ManU fans.

  91. That very funny man Chiles is enjoying himself making fun of Crawley and telling us in as many ways as possible that they are doomed.

    Hardle worth watching then. Actually with Crawley’s manager giving Ferguson a bottle of wine costing £250 before the game I’m surprised they’ve bothered turning up.

    He’s a God, that Ferguson.

  92. What a waste of £245 quid!

  93. Well said, Joshua…

  94. CBob,
    I thought something wasn’t right when Red Nose was praising Crawley in the pre-match conference. Giving the wine bottle clears it even more..

  95. The way I see it, even if the Arsenal win everything this year, the media will still not give in and recognize the achievement. I think they will say Chelsea and Manure bottled it, or Barcelona didn’t show up or were “unlucky’…the Carling Cup is the Mickey Mouse cup…etc.

    I do not beleive the Arsenal will get their due credit until they dominate the league for a a few years in a row to eliminate any possibility that we are somehow lucky to win it…I can’t see these hacks letting go that easily…

  96. I personally love the position Arsenal are in. There is a sense of fighting for more than just trophies that makes Arsenal’s quest so much more meaningful than just filling a trophy case.

  97. Messi saying Cesc wants Barca move again…how original!

  98. A day late:

    Arshavin kicked it!

  99. I like the fact that they hate us, and certainly do not crave their indulgence or compliments. Pirates we have always been and pirates we will stay.

  100. I never understand these names that some players get away with having on their shirt.

    I mean, ‘CHICARITO’. Pathetic, embarrasing and patronising.

    They don’t they put ‘ FATTY’ on Rooney’s, do they?

  101. Unfortunately, consols.

  102. ‘Lardarse’ has a nice ring to it, Cb. But if there has to be a Latin tone then perhaps ‘Lardito’. Just plain ‘Fatito’ would do though.

  103. About the peculiar anti-arsenal bias of the English press.
    Incompetence not malice is to blame here. Hardly surprising when one considers that bandwaggon and herding behaviour in media reporting of anything are actually the norm rather than the exception.
    The media require an easily accessible shorthand for getting popular stories into the public consciousness. It’s easier to talk about how great the champions are – they are champions after all – than it is to serve up a deep analysis of how Arsenal have grown (you need real insight for that).
    Finally, let’s not be naive – journalists seldom report the truth. They create stories (using the truth as one of their tools), to serve a commercial interest.
    To wrap up, Arsenal used to be the beneficiary (to a small degree) of this same sort media bias (in and around the invincibles era).
    The media simply sing the praises of the champions until new champions emerge. This is the way it has always been…. and perhaps the way it will always be… perhaps the way it should be.
    In the end the vanguard – the fans – will always be more aware than the popular press…. and this too is as it should be.

  104. I need some help here please.
    Am I right in thinking that Arsenal were the first and only english club side to play an international team, namely Austria in the 1930’s.

  105. ‘Nonechio’ might do, or ‘Fuckov’.

  106. I mean, it’s not as if ‘Chicarito’, which means, apparently, ‘Little Pea’ actually desribes him.

    I suggest ‘Sobredadobombopublicitario’, to be more helpful to the general viewer who can’t abide the crap that surrounds any manu player.

  107. So that Bebe fellow cost 7.5 mil quid, eh? What a waste of money.

  108. goonerwife @ 11:30 am,

    About Anne’s proposition: if I were to think of those with most to gain I would list Abramovic, Murdoch, Ferguson and his network and Red & White holdings – in no particular order. That Murdoch has some impact I cannot doubt but I cannot trace the reasoning.

  109. Tubbs is playing for Cawley – is he local? 🙂

  110. Is `Dirtyb&stard` on the back of Scholes` shirt ?

  111. To be fair Paulie that would have to be ‘Bastardosucio’, if we are to stick to the Latin flavour which seems ‘de rigeur’.

  112. arsenalandrew @

    I see your point but I believe it is far more orchestrated and deliberate than you suggest. Case in point: today Jeff Stelling (a man I formerly liked) argued the case for Twitcher to be a great manager and the next shepherd of the national side. In doing so, he suggested that if they ultimately win against an old Milan side “surely that places him among the great managers of Ferguson, Hiddink, Mourinho and Guardiola”. No mention of Wenger.

    Now Merse (who I must admit seems to have sobered up recently!) was the only pundit of Gillette Saturday to note that Milan are not a very good team when compared to the other teams still in the CL. Yet even he found no place to insert Arsene among (and I would strongly argue) above those esteemed names.

    It seems no accident

  113. Go on Crawley, I dare you.

  114. Cbob even ‘Exaggarito or crappio’ might be apt. Crawley playing well. Shrek not justifying his 200k fee.

  115. To be fair to merse, he was quite vociferous in his argumet that Arshavin’s goal beat the crap out of el gordo’s flukey shinner.

  116. it definitely should be. maybe throw a dunce cap on him as well

  117. Of course!

    ‘SHREK’, you’ve nailed in G4L.

    It’s been good to see the likes of Brown, O’Shea and Carrick find their level.

  118. I tell you, ManU have got a couple of fliers in Pepe and Obertan.

    That Ravel Morrison’s a dangerous prospect as well.

  119. @ Deisegooner
    ha ha
    Local clubs for local footballers.

  120. Their Torres is better than the real Torres at the mo.

  121. Arsenal were slated for only beating Huddersfield at home 2-1 with 10 men. What will fergie’s lap dogs in the media make of that shower of shite?

  122. Italian football in general seems to be in decline.

    Shakhtar put 3 past Roma away, the spudlings stifled Milan and Inter got turned over by Werder Bremen. Juventus spanked by Fulham last season.

    But let the Spuds have there little party. Let the media herald droopy the master detective hound, the wheeler dealer.

    While we do this. With a squad that cost less to assemble in its entireity than a Cristiano Ronaldo transfer. Playing the football of the future, under the most intelligent and dignified manager the game has known.

  123. It’s a tribute to ManU’s strength in depth that their second string playing at home can cling on to a one goal lead against a bombardment by Crawley Town. Easy to see why the media venerate them.

  124. I didn’t watch the match but the commentators on the bbc seemed to be willing Crawley a goal. A giant killing is always what they want.

    It will be interesting to see if the post match criticism is half as venomous as that directed at us after Huddersfield. Wouldn’t hold your breath though.

    It matters not a fuck as long as we best all before us as we know we can. They will soon look even sillier than they already do. We all know this.

  125. Joshua – I don’t think either you or Darius are saying that xenophobia is the entire factor here, you are both saying, between you, there are commercial interests at play also as well as resentment of Arsenal’s “otherness”.

    But I think xenophobia full stop is a red herring because, apart from providing the odd lazy headline/article, it would have to be consistent. Yet we all know the media LOVED Mourinho and, despite his distance, they’ve adored Abramovich – or at least the self-writing headlines his billions have delivered. A genuinely xenophobic media would simply have turned on them both.

    So, back to the ‘otherness’ – again, if you look at the goings on at Middle Eastlands, surely the very definition of ‘other’ – other ownership, other management, a lot of other players and yet a FRACTION of the antipathy Arsenal routinely attract. Yet by your logic, the only reason Man City don’t draw media fire is because they’ve ‘sensibly’ bought a number of English players alongside the foreign contingent also imported. This would therefore suggest that all Wenger has to do is go out and buy half a dozen English players and all will be well in the world. Yet we all know that isn’t likely to be true, don’t we?

    Newspapers exist to sell newspapers and rarely let minor considerations such as accuracy, impartiality or objectivity – let alone any mission to inform – get in the way of aggressive circulation targets. All Murdoch is worried about is maintaining and improving Sky subscription levels (as well as his newspaper sales). Arsenal being successful isn’t going to threaten that.

    As far as I can see, the only people we threaten by our success are OTHER clubs. So I think LagosGunner hits the nail on the head with his summary at 5.48, above.

    Media laziness, a certain herd mentality and a headline to write – these, combined with a commercial imperative to drive circulation – are the ‘dark’ forces behind the vitriol and bias against our club that we see on a daily basis in the press, on the airwaves and on our screens.

    And so what?

    Well I think there’s some merit in ignoring the whole darn lot of them; certainly better for the old blood pressure. I still smile at a recent contributor to this site who proposed burning down Phil O’Dowd (or was it his car?) after the Newcastle debacle.

    But actually, if you are really bothered, you could take two minutes to email Scott Taunton, TalkSports Managing Director to explain why you no longer listen to the station. You could even email their major advertisers (and tell Scott that’s what you are doing) – they’ll be delighted to hear from you.

    You could let Sky know you will cancel your subscription during the summer months and abandon your unused film subscription permanently.

    Similar messages to ITV, The Sun, you name it – would have more impact than you might imagine as everybody knows most people don’t bother to voice their complaints. Therefore, most reasonably expressed complaints are taken extremely seriously.

    Tempting though it is to blame media bias, ‘dark forces’, the ‘establishment’ etc – and God knows I have often wondered myself – it is surely far better to ‘know your enemy’ and counter them effectively by hitting them where it hurts.

    And as I finish this I see Manure glide into the next round of the FA Cup with all the grace of a shire horse on ice; if that lot win anything this year something really will have gone wrong …

  126. @ joshua and arsenalandrew The media are always going to castigate and slaughter Arsenal because of the no tropgies in 5 years scenario. Until then Arsenal remain an easy target. The only way to silence the critics is to fill the trophy cabinet, beat the best and shove the crap back down their throats.

    Manure have been ruthless in the manner in which they have stamped their authority on the EPL,and they have the trophies to boot aided and abetted by the Man Utd referees , old boys and pundits appreciation society. It is the sense of entitlement and lack of any balanced perspective from the press that irks me.Arsenal re write the script every game and are castigated for tippy tappy football with no end product. Barca do the same and get beaten and the press highlight the excellence of their passing.

    I think as fans we must just enjoy the media self destruct and continue to try and embarass themselves and justify their wages with gutter analysis. After all opinions are like @rseholes and god knows the media is full of plenty of those. The establishment needs a shake up and Arsenal is shaking it to the core one game at a time

  127. No good having 53% possession of you can’t convert it into goals. How are Crawley ever going to win trophies if they can’t see off inferior opposition?

  128. I don’t fancy Man U’s chances against Marsaille.

  129. I think the chavs could come a cropper against Copenhagen too. Now they are out of the FA Cup thanks to Cashley! They will have even more incentive to do well aginst the mancs.

  130. “I don’t have the inclination to go anywhere. This is the best team for me to be in. The bottom line is that I want to win trophies with Arsenal, not with anybody else. I know you can win trophies in many countries and in many ways, but I want to do that in our way and in an Arsenal shirt.

    “I’m sure I could win things at another team in another country, but would it feel like our trophy, my trophy? I’m not sure it would. Anything we win here will come from the heart and that’s what I want. It’s my dream and I see no point in speaking about other teams when I have these dreams. I think other people know that about me; I’m just hungry to win with Arsenal and that’s it.

    “It’s a massive game against Birmingham in the Carling Cup final, just massive. Going to Wembley in front of 90,000 fans, lifting that trophy, just imagine it!

    “I know what everyone’s feeling having not won anything for a few years — how I’m feeling, the fans, everybody connected with this place.

    “Making other people happy by winning the competition our way would make me so proud. We can make such a great number of people happy.”

    ….Robin Van Persie in the next Arsenal magazine.

  131. I have to say that if that had been an Arsenal performance, I would be ashamed of the players. There were 74k people there watching them serve up that dross from players who think they should be in United’s first team. What a sorry state to have your club in.

  132. Thanks for that Frank.

    I love Robin van Persie. He has everything you want as a supporter from a player on and of the field. He embodies everything that we love about Arsenal for a new age. A special, special player. Captain material all the way and then some if you ask me.

  133. Thanks Frank… RvP bleeds Red and White of Arsenal….

  134. Nice one Frank – really heart warming to read.

  135. To Chel*ki I say:
    ……………….­­­­ .,/­­­­­ ¯../
    …………./´¯/’..­ ­ ­ ­ ­­­­­ .’/´¯¯`·¸
    ………./’/…/…./……./¨¯\­ ­ ­ ­ ­
    ……..(‘(…´…´….­­­­­ ¯~/’…’)
    ………\……………..’.­ ­ ­ ­ ­­ …./
    ……….”…\……….­­­­­ _.·´

  136. A thing of singular beauty, Gooner.

  137. wouldn’t it be something if we gathered up a large contingent of arsenal bretheren, boycott’ed all that bullshit media and sat back and watched while Sky took a hit in the realm of 10’s or even hundreds of thousands. that will be the day..

  138. If some new european laws comes into place and people just happen to find sky to be holding a monopoly in the uk then things could get interesting.

    Would be a dream come true to be able to watch all our games in HD through ATVO alone.

  139. @Word
    Truly a fantastic thing if that would happen. And yeah, if we could watch everything through ATVO in HD (and with the possibility to pick if you want to have commentators or not over the sounds of the match and stadium) that would be the dream. That would be worth more than 100 quid a year for me.

  140. Frank, thanks so much. RvP is legend; my favorite player. The second goal last night was terrific, fantastic. But we shouldn’t forget how tremendously skillful, gutsy and intelligent RvP’s goal was. Like high speed chess, seeing the conventional move (crossing in to Bendtner) and the sucker Valdes anticipating too eagerly that play by shifting his weight and motion away from the line, and in that split second recognizing the space and taking a bold and incredibly accurate strike past him before he could even move.

    Genius player and a great leader on our team. If he stays fit, he will lead us to several trophies this season and in some fine style.

  141. Hey guys a bit late to the debate as to why the media and FA in general are so anti-Arsenal. I think for the most part people are on the same page, in that there seems to be some real reason missing. Xenophobia does explain some of the crap thrown our way but nowhere near all of it. In all honestly I have come to the conclusion that it is something very simple but intrinsic, yet at the same time something only the Arsenal are actually doing and that is why we are in the firing line.

    That reason is we simply do not spend big money on big name players. Let me explain. Not too long ago the EPL did not exist and England did not attract anywhere near as many top name players as it does now. But then the league format was revamped, with the introduction of the “Premiership”. BSkyB came in and pumped millions into promoting this new format. “Foreign” managers were tempted by big money deals, as where foreign players. Remember how much money Blackburn, Newcastle and Manure spent in the 90’s? It may seem pittance now but back then it was huge. Liverpool soon tried following but did not really ever have the cash. Enter Chelsea and Morhino. Man City next. Yet no problem with any of these clubs.

    But The Arsenal. They refused to follow suit. They did not spend. They instead piut their money in an academy, a new stadiun, a world-wide scouting network. And this is what scares the shit out of the FA and BSkyB and their ilk. Could you imagine if other clubs followed our lead and stopped spending the big bucks? Instead putting the money back into youth development, rebuilding stadiums long since left to fall apart. I believe it is this that makes them hate us. A self-made club with no need to spend $60 million plus on 1 player. A club that can budget to NOT qualify every year for CL. A club were players of the calibre of RVP admit they coild win trophies else where but would rather stay and try and bleed red to win one with Arsenal. A manager who has more class in his little finger than every other manager combined.

    In short they are afraid of losing the ability of buying in the world’s most expensive players and managers and therefore there “Marketability” i.e. the brand name that is the EPL. Is it any wonder with all the money they have brought in with TV rights and what not they have not pumped too much into an English youth system of worth? They have their pie and they will eat it for as long as they can, with no regard for the end result for English football.

    Well done Platini for at least trying to change things up. Only time will tell if it works.

  142. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    RvP….a true Gunner through and through. What an influence. If he had his proper shooting boots on against Barca he would have bagged a hat trick. We need him fit and firing for our march to the quadruple, we’re a different team with him on the pitch. He’s just a different class.

  143. Wenger:
    “The interesting comparison is that the average age of Barcelona was 27.4 and our average age was 23.2. That means there are four years difference between the two teams on the maturity side and four years at that level is absolutely huge. We are where we want to be and we hope we can deliver trophies this season.”

  144. IrishG – I think you may have nailed it.

    What you suggest makes complete sense and provides the commercial ‘imperative’ behind the media approach to Arsenal as well as going some way to explaining the ‘attitude’ we get from them/it. And just to take a recent example – how few headlines did they get out of Arsenal during the last transfer window? Zilch – and with zilch came nothing for the press to write about, nothing for the establishment to help market the league. And the media with nothing positive to say – and a page of content to fill … In short, we’re not doing our bit to help them sell themselves and if anything, the Arsenal Way, for them, is very much the non-sexy, less saleable/marketable Wrong Way

    So, to summarise:

    1. Other clubs hate us because we threaten their success.

    2. Referees appear to hate us because with our athleticism and pace (I’m talking about the players rather than we bloggers) – they are frequently made to look ‘right Charlies’ with their muddled, confused thinking (probably caused by oxygen starvation to the brain). And then our players have the temerity to complain about them, draw attention to their shortcomings and embarrass them even further.

    3. The newspapers have a headline to write in two hours and it’s easier to write bullshit and sell THAT than anything more reasoned or accurate.

    4. Media empires such as Murdoch’s hate us because we are threatening their ability to market the EPL in the UK and all around the world and that intrinsically compromises Sky’s prospects and interests. And anything threatening Sky’s income will by definition threaten the income streams of the other football clubs …

    5. The rest of the media follow blindly and unquestioningly in the slipstream as it’s less risky for the likes of Lineker, Hanson, Durham, Stelling et al to stand out from the crowd and take an objective view on things.

    It makes sense to me and as a ‘theory’ stands up in as far as:

    a) there’s no single dark force at work but several

    b) it’s not xenophobia per se (although that won’t stop all manner of xenophobic headlines from appearing from time to time)

    c) it seems to ‘fit’ with everything everyone’s written above!

    Well I’m glad we got that sorted.

    Agree with Bill above, we should mobilise ‘the Arsenal brethren’ to encourage more balance in Sky’s coverage.

    And as IrishG also says, the Platini revolution is all but upon us and will prove interesting and very significant in the coming seasons.

    For what it’s worth, I think only the introduction of a 4th official with access to video technology (as per the rugby, cricket and tennis) will improve matters on the pitch itself – maybe that’s also something to campaign about, too …

    Interesting times, interesting times.

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