Ticket Prices Are Not Transfer Fees & Injured Feelings

John Cross took up the cudgels this morning, criticising Arsenal for increasing the price of Club Level season tickets by 6.5% on last season. According to Cross and sections of the support who pay the price for this hospitality-devised seats, it is not fair. Arsenal did not help by employing dubious maths, a core rise of 4% does not increase to 6.5% when you add the increased VAT rate which applies. Unless of course, these seats are bearing the burden of the VAT rise for the whole ground.

It would be of little surprise to see this increase being the only one, or the most significant in terms of percentage. Arsenal may well be testing the water, seeing the response that is received. At the moment, outside of the indignation of these supporters, the best that can be said is that ‘cautious concern’ is in the air about ticket prices. Football as an industry has been relatively recession proof in the past. Attendances may fall in these times but the game still shows extravagance when it comes to wages and transfer prices thanks to the largesse of broadcasters and sponsors.

An ill-conceived notion is becoming more prevalent, namely that this season ticket increase is unacceptable because Arsenal are not making ‘big money’ signings. People need to be careful what they wish for; Jose Antonio Reyes was a big money signing and it is almost impossible to argue that Arsenal got full value. Or even much value. But the concept is understood. Big money equals big name.

The correlation between ticket prices and transfer spending is an utter red herring. There is, and never has been, any link between the two, save for the fact that ticket prices help to fund transfers. Even then that is a dubious and contentious theory, borrowings tend to fund player purchases but that is to leave the main argument at a tangent.

In Arsenal’s case, the link is of no surprise since complaints are regularly made about the lack of big name signings, Arsène’s parsimony and the question of what is happening to the money. The Arsenal shareholders are the main beneficiaries of the lack of money spent by the manager, funds diverted to clear debt instead. That is a logical business decision: if the manager does not require the funds, use them to the benefit of the club in other ways. The shareholders benefit as the value of their holdings increase. Where this becomes an issue is if the Board are deliberately utilising this policy, requiring the manager to take the blame for a lack of spend when the money is already earmarked elsewhere.

Realistically, I do not think that is entirely the case but my belief is that there is an element of truth in it.

Arsenal’s commercial deals need to be re-organised and we are told that they are being reviewed. It is a review that is not bringing in significant results. For a club in its position, commercial revenues are woeful by comparison to their peers. Chelsea in recent times have broken deals, making break payments to compensate but ensuring that subsequent revenues are much higher. Have Arsenal even contemplated this? It would not necessarily be the ‘Arsenal Way’, in keeping with club traditions. Does that matter any more? A beacon of light in some respects over transfer dealings does not necessarily make you commercially astute elsewhere.

The injury situation at Arsenal descended into a farce yesterday, at the same time highlighting a key issue between club and country, perhaps the biggest source of contention. Johan Djourou’s absence for the season derided by the Swiss FA, Arsenal swift to counter and point out surgery was likely within a week. The Swiss, seemingly led by Brian Rix these days, took this as their cue to skidoo, quickly withdrawing their comments.

It highlights a problem though. The Swiss would quite happily have played Djourou and in Fifa’s eyes, have the last say in whether or not a player is fit for international duty. The clubs understandably are not happy with this, Steven Gerrard a recent high profile ‘victim’ of the distrust. The Liverpool player was forced to sit ‘cramped’ in a car, travel to the England team hotel where doctors informed Capello, yes the player is unfit. It must have been a bitch for Gerrard to have to sit a Range Rover from Stamford Bridge to Burnham Beeches – all of thirty minutes. Hard life.

The clubs though, brought this upon themselves. Manchester United regularly withdrew players from international duty in the past. Mysterious injuries emerged at other clubs, ruling players out of midweek clashes but Lazarian recoveries enabled the injured party to perform to the peak of their abilities two or three days later. Fifa acted, as it only knows how, with draconian measures. The national FAs have the final say, the clubs can do nothing about it. Insurance might contribute to the wages but do nothing to help with the loss to the squad.

There is as ever a balance between the two sides. As ever, we wait for it to be struck.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on March 16, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 226 Comments.

  1. Without their trousers then presumably is how they skidooed?

  2. will you ever write a normal post without saying to be careful? Typical AKB site. WEnger to resign at the end of season, fact!!!

  3. disgusting
    arsenal fc no longer have fans
    they have customers…and they wonder why the emirates has the atmosphere of a cemetary….
    a rise in prices??? for what??? cos we dont win fuck all and the commercial revenue is shit so the fans are asked to fork the bill??
    bollox…
    who the fuck employed these ppl??
    the arsenal system is the blueprint for clubs to be run globally but the powers that be are abusing that system..and its taking the piss…

  4. Erm JJ, no ticket prices other than those have been announced. Watch your blood pressure…

  5. maybe if we sold some of the players we dont need instead of stockpiling them all and handing out 17 new contracts every year we would be able to lower the prices…
    trim the squad, cut that wage bill and a couple of tours of asia and the fans wont need to be bent over and shafted year after year

  6. A4E

    I did not say ‘to be careful’. A typically poor response grammatically.

    HTH

  7. There is recession going on.Nearly everyone has had to tighten their belts.Yet Arsenal are putting season tickets up.Bad Bad PR.When fans who are losing their jobs see squad players ie Bendtner taking home £50k a week no wonder they are angry.Arsenal should tighten their belts and stop paying average players sky high wages

  8. when does it end though yogi??
    they are all too high as it is and the fact they are making them higher, no matter what level just shows their intentions..

  9. JJ

    Behave. A couple of tours of Asia? Get real, that doesn’t raise enough revenue to cover season ticket prices. As for less squad players, we struggle to find 18 fit for some fixtures as it is. What do want, eleven on the pitch and three on the bench?

    YW

  10. Frankly I don’t give a stuff for the fat bastards who are ”Proud to Sponsor Arsenal’ and I certainly don’t care if we don’t treat them the ‘Arsenal Way’.

    If we can make more money from some twats by breaking an agreement with other twats then so be it.

    In the order of things twats don’t matter a jot.

  11. yogi
    you know as well as i do we have too many players…

  12. Kelvin

    Agreed about the PR angle, especially after recent defeats.

    Wages paid are supply and demand for the industry. It’s all about opinions when it comes to deciding who is ‘average’ and until a revolution takes place, the manager’s is the one that carries the most weight.

    YW

  13. Frank

    No trousers? That was Martin Edwards party piece…

    YW

  14. JJ

    No I don’t think we do.

    YW

  15. kelvin/yogi
    agree
    the clubs pr department need a kick in the nuts

  16. I agree with CBob, hope AFC commercial team are not paralyzed by some “old school” thinking , these times are gone i am afraid

  17. Yeah, couldn’t quite see why the Mirror was linking ticket price increases to big name signings either. The argument is idiotic. Plastic Chelsea fans may pay more to wank over seeing Torres being wheeled out at the bridge, but as an Arsenal fan I take more pride in a youngster breaking through from the youth team.

    Which is why if (when) we win the league this season I’d be a strong advocate of returning to our old policy of using the FA Cup and Carling Cup to blood the youngsters next season.

  18. weve had to send 16 players out on loan yogi
    it needs trimming
    even AW said its too big…he said that in january when he was asked if he was going to make any transfers and he said he too many players already..

  19. I thought that Brian Rix always lost his trousers in his farces, YW? So I hear anyway. Never seen one. Oh no. Not a chance. Don’t even know who he is!

  20. I thought the loan club paid the wages of players on loan?

  21. Alex Ice Cream

    Part of the job of the management of Arsenal is to increase revenue and so they come up with the idea of fleecing the customers even more, how original.
    Increased ticket prices will at least in part go to pay for the wages of a number of substandard players that should not be at Arsenal or better contracts for proven failures .This, during the worst economic downturn in many years. People should vote with their feet (as some have done) as money is the only thing that the board understand.
    Many years ago we were told that prices had gone up as we had a “premium product” (PHW) when we were watching true greats now we have much higher prices for a “substandard product” (AIC). The board can’t have it both ways, by their logic prices should be lower now but being disingenuous is nothing new to them.
    It’s a good point you make about getting out of the hopeless commercial deals – maybe we could pay our way out of them. We have done it before with the original loan for the new stadium

  22. I had to sit in Club Class for the Stoke game because Arsenal accidentally cancelled our tickets without letting me know. The Club Class season ticket holders should be offered no rise in ticket prices if they made any noise to support their team at any point during the game. For the others, they should double or treble the prices charged. Fortunately another displaced family of supporters joined us in Club Class before half time and we jointly made a lot of noise to the obvious discomfort of the regular Club Class visitors to the Emirates

  23. Yeah, second in the league, game in hand. Horribly substandard.

  24. Anyone who defends what is going on at the club is a moron.Too many average players on too much money.Too expensive for the supporters relative to other clubs.A money raising transfer policy.Too many people who think the club started in 1996 and the hundred years before that means nothing.
    If you support what’s going on you might as well touch your toes and let the Director’s have their wicked way with you ‘cos that’s what their doing already.

  25. our wage bills massive and it aint like we give our players 150k a week is it…
    not saying it doesnt deserve to be massive weve got a lot of good players and a good manager so its bound to be up there isnt it
    but it doesnt need to be as big as what it is…it could be lower..

  26. ………………………………………AIC IS AND WILL ALWAYS BE A PARASITE………………………………………………

  27. Question. Did anyone read anything into the absence of Bendtner on Saturday? I know the club said he had a virus, but I’m not so sure.

    I remember thinking that he would be really pissed at being replaced last minute by a half-fit Van Persie against Barca, now there are reports all over the place of bids from Blackburn being turned down as he wants a move to Germany (not that I put any faith in the rumour mill). I just think that players leaving this summer are unlikely but if you had to force me to put a bet on one I’d say he is the most likely.

  28. markus
    they club said he was ill
    but he was the only player spotted out partying after the barca loss so i think AW took action…thats my take anyway
    AW’s having a few problems with him this season i think he’ll go to germany in the summer
    nikiis ego wont allow him to be a blackburn player…

  29. Our wage bill is the same as Man Utd’s.But thats where the comparison ends.They deliver trophies what do our players deliver? If you ran a company that was not achieving the same results as a company down the road yet you pay the same wages as that company you are not running your company very well are you?

  30. Small difference of 20 million between our wage bill and manure’s, Kelvin. But don’t let that get in the way etc, etc.

  31. Kelvin

    The wages bill covers all staff and we employ more therefore it should be more, even allowing for Rooney getting £300k per week.

    AJ

    Not bad, first comment and into comment moderation for eternity.

    Great stuff.

    YW

  32. “Anyone who defends what is going on at the club is a moron.”

    AJ you fucking mug, I thought anyone that defends what’s going on at the club is called a ‘supporter’.

    To say we have too many players on x amout of wages is ridiculous. We’re close to going top of the league, we’re improving every year, despite how shakey (or selective) our fans’ memories are, and people need to get some bloody perspective. Someone said about the hundred years before Wenger came. Yup – that’s a hundred years with DECADES in between winning anything. I’ve said right from the start that trophies this year arent the be-all and end-all, as the time for dominance is coming. Wenger is paying our youngsters based on their progression, not based on a guess that they might turn out to be quite good. Theo would get into the chelsea and Manure team, Bendy would be the leading striker for many top teams, Denilson would hold down a place for many top teams etc etc etc. And the latter are our back ups.

    People just dont realise what we’ve got here.

    Hopefully the league will be ours this year and these fools calling for Wenger’s head will be suitably embarrassed. If not, they can fuck off.

  33. You’re right of course, Geo. We’ve seen steady improvement year-on-year since 05-06 with this policy (apart from 08-09 when Adebayor, Hleb, Gallas and Flamini all decided to screw us in their own ways). All in the face of out of control spending by our closest rivals; we all know the likes of Man City and Chelsea have never been seen before, but ManU have only started to curb things in the last 18 months.

    We need a big squad to create competition among the young pros. These lads have to fight it out to make the 20 yard walk to the first team. That’s how the winning mentality that so many feel has been lacking is forged. And if it creates just one or two new first team players each year it will have been worth it.

    In 07-08 Bendtner was able to return from loan and walk into the first team squad. No such luck for our current crop. They know they have a fight on their hands because there are a bunch of other talented youngsters vying for the same spots.

    Supplement the steady flow of young ‘uns with the odd senior siging, as we’ve been doing, and we’ll see this policy pay off, maybe even as early as this season.

  34. Every company prices its products and/or services according to the value their customers are willing and able to pay.

    I think that’s where a lot of anger is coming from. Arsenal is being run like a company and not ‘our’ club. But if we weren’t, we’d be in the same mess as Everton.

    I would rather see the club reduce prices for next season and show empathy with the fans. But it won’t happen.

  35. alzation

    When was Arsenal ‘our club’? Certainly not for the last 20 years, at the very least. Probably 30 or more. Football is a professional sport. Professional sport is business. Football is big business. If it wasn’t, the money that is in the top flight would not be there.

    Fans are customers. That’s how they are viewed. That’s how they’ve been viewed for 20 years, possibly more.

    We need to get away from the romantic notion of it being ‘our club’; it is for on the pitch matters. Off the pitch, the clue is in the letters ‘plc’.

    YW

  36. Following on from yesterday’s conversation or part of it, this morning has seen an announcement that Bryan Robson has been diagnosed with cancer.

  37. My renewal for Club Level is at £2,775.
    Away games to Barcelona and then Manchester cost me close £600 in one week. The total is hardly what Denilson earns in minutes.
    My support is not necessarily linked to the size of my bank account, but I do want to know where the club is heading with certain players. I’m sick of hearing how fantastic Almunia, Denilson and Diaby are with their “mental strength” and “professionalism”.
    I will renew my season ticket because I hardly have a choice due to my love for the club.
    I do however want to see deadwood players like Denilson, Almunia, Bendtner and Rosicky out.

    No one is calling for big transfer fee signings. We just want to see the right signings and in the case of last january, ANY signing to cover in the defence. It was an absolute farce that we got no cover when we had the opportunity and will now suffer for it.
    I do want to know that the increase in my ticket price is not going to aid rewarding those failures in the team.

  38. there has to be a balance alzation
    i make you right in what u say the club needs the money to survive but the anger is cos alot of people dont agree with how that money is spent…

    but as long as the club keep making the money they wont give a shit what the fans think…

  39. Good post Yogi but if the is “Arsenal testing the waters”, FFS could their timing have been much worse?? Most fans are understandably feeling a bit down having just been knocked out of 3 cups. Add to this the current economical climate (our jobless is at its highest for 17 years) and you just wonder what lunatic took the decision to leak this to the press if that is what indeed did happen!

  40. sad news about robson…

  41. Iceman

    >No one is calling for big transfer fee signings

    Take a look through the comments on here in recent days, a vocal minority are.

    In terms of players you mention it would be no surprise to see two of that list go or more this summer. You have to remember that deals can only be done in two windows which is limited time when the club is trying to work on other things.

    YW

  42. YW

    I get that we can only do deals in the transfer window but other than Almunia, I really cannot see any of the players I listed leaving because Wenger will sing the same tune of “[insert name] is a world class player and great professional” in the summer.

    and in terms of the club working on other things, I’m sorry but I for one do not believe for one second that Wenger couldnt pull his weight around to get a decent replacement.

    Dont get me wrong, I am a huge Wenger fan and thats clear from the blogs I have written to defend him. He is still the right man for the club but he needs to alter his policies sometimes. He pulls off some spectacular failures like letting go of 3 fantastic defensive midfielders in one season and his failure to sign a defender in the january will cost us.

  43. Iceman

    Of the three who left in one season, one was let go because he was kicking off, Wenger believed he made a mistake and acted whilst the other was let go because one of them said yes, your new contract is fine, I will sign. And then duly buggered off to sit on the Milanese bench.

    Like all managers, Wenger makes transfer mistakes. Wenger’s public words and private thoughts about players may not, and probably are not, the same. He cannot go around saying “X,Y, & Z are useless tossers” since he may require them to play for him. It’s all to do with man-management.

    YW

  44. I can see us letting Bendtner go in the summer. If we get a good fee for him it would be a good opportunity to bring in somebody in a different mould. Him and Chamakh are fairly similar; it would be good to see us get a player who is willing to play on the shoulder of the last defender to stretch the opposition back four. That said, we don’t really play a system that allows for that.

  45. i disagree with both iceman and yogi
    i dont think it will be one or two
    i think 4…could be 5 depending on what aa wants to do..

    andy
    weve got theo to do the stretching..
    the robin/theo combo could be dynamtie just depends who comes in for them when they have their annual 6 months out….

  46. sorry to hear about the prices for those who struggle finding it in the first place, however thats the way of the world these days it seams.
    i strongly agree with everyone today

  47. Nice post.

    I have to say, I’ve never understood the clamour for big signings, particularly from Arsenal fans. Most of the ‘big signings’ over the years haven’t turned out as well as expected, and 90% of our success stories are players that have been developed from a young age, many after initially struggling.

    One of the misconceptions that winds me up the most is that transfer fee = performances. It doesn’t. Not even close.

    As far as ticket prices go, you could argue that from a PR point of view, their timing is poor, but then there are various rules around how much notice you have to give. I suspect they hoped the announcement would be on the crest of a wave, not our worst slump of the season. I do wonder how differently received this would have been.

  48. Iceman

    Wenger has consistently made changes to his squad every season. Look at our current squad: Wilshire, Szwezny, Koscielny, Squillaci, Chamakh.

    5 players, 2 of which were from our youths and reserves. 5 new signings is plenty in this current climate. Not to mention to players he got rid of.

  49. JonJon – Yeah, I did think about Theo. I suppose I meant as a main striker; if we persist with the 433/451 formation, none of our main strikers are ever going to run behind and away from the defenders. I don’t think Theo could play as a lone striker, as his touch is not good enough. If we were to play 442 I would agree 100% that he could parnter any of our strikers and perform that role.

  50. @ Geo, OOU, Pete
    Well said, good points

    @ Bernard
    ha ha – hope you deafened them!

  51. valid arguement pete

  52. @ Chrisgoona

    Incidentally, I was thinking the other day (before the CC Final) that there have been a lot of changes since the last time we were in the CC final four years ago, but it doesn’t seem like it because the new players have fitted in seamlessly and it has been done gradually. And of course there are about 10-12 perennials who have been there or thereabouts throughout that time.

  53. theo up top on his jack jones wont be any good…
    as long as hes in a two or a three it works..he can either run in behind the full back or cut through the fb and cb’s and they cant pick him up…
    but by himself he’ll just get marked out of the game…

  54. I THINK, INSTEAD OF MOANING ABOUT WHAT’S GOING ON AT THE
    EMERATES, LET’S DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT ,HIT THEM WERE IT
    HURT’S MOST,ARSENAL DOES NOTHING FOR US SUPPORTERS,SO
    LET’S,STOP SUPPORTING THEM,IF WE DID THIS FOR ABOUT THREE
    MONTHS AND GATES GO DOWN,IT MIGHT GET THROUGH TO THE
    IDIOTS,WHO RUN THE CLUB,THAT WE MEAN BUSINESS.

  55. Steve I agree you should stop supporting them.

  56. it wont do shit steve..
    although the numbers are dwindling, for every ‘fan’ who cant afford his ticket cos hes got kids to feed during a recession theres 2 ‘customers’ who are ready to flash their platinum card and buy 5…
    and i dont think anyones going to fork out the highest prices ever just to not turn up…its like shopping at sainsburys when u cant afford to in the first place and throwing half of it in the bin…
    wont happen…

    even if theres a drop in numbers for tickets and they dont make enough money they’ll just sell cesc…

    they dont give a fuck about the fans or the team, they care about the money and theres nothing we can do about it….

  57. SORRY WHAT WAS THAT STEVE? DIDN’T QUITE HEAR YOU MATE. Get your crayons out and we can have a joined-up writing lesson if you want?

  58. “they dont give a fuck about the fans or the team, they care about the money and theres nothing we can do about it….”

    JJ – This whole long-term strategy thingymajig really does illustrate a lack of care for the club and it’s fans. I would love it if we were in massive debts and would have to use underhanded tactics to get around the new laws, I’d love it if we’d spent 50mil on that oh-so prolific striker Torres. What the fuck are they doing to our club? Termoil, that’s what it is. Jesus.

  59. geo
    they are going to sell it mate
    their is no long term vision for the club..the vision is to clear the debt as quick as possible so they can start a bidding war between the americans and the russians and whoever else with billions who wants to join the party for the worlds richest club…
    AW’s vision is great but AW is the boards wet dream cos the boards vision is to sell us to whoever can afford us…and if we are totally debt free..it wont be for a fiver….

  60. I don’t know what you’re moaning about then, sounds like you’ll be looking forward to the apparent inevitable takeover? we can waste as much money as we like then, and might even challenge for the title.. or maybe challenge for 3 or more titles, who knows? Bring in the sugardaddy and Mourinho. They will really care about the Arsenal, the fans and our future. Wenger and our board are the most forward thinking and ethical leaders of a football club at the very top level – by a long way.

  61. This is good – if you’ve got a sky box you can watch the reserves tonight at 7 on Liverpool TV, 434 I think. It’s a free channel apparently.

  62. Nice, will check that out OOU. Cheers.

    Good post at 11.19am btw!

  63. Yogi, I agree. Arsenal isn’t ‘our club’ and never has been. I was just making the point that that is where the anger comes from.

    It’s not just Arsenal though. You can hardly breathe today without being charged or taxed for it.

    I just think that commercially speaking, you need to let your customers feel that you are giving them something for their hard earned cash and not just taking them for granted.

  64. The thing is the normal Gooner will be priced out and replaced by yuppies with a bit of money who wont stand up and sing.And the atomopshere at the Grove will be even worse than it is now.

  65. Absolutely hilarious that the same spackers insisting we spend more on transfers are now claiming that our wage bill is TOO HIGH. There is a proven, direct link between a high wage bill and success on the football pitch. There is no such link between success and money spent on transfers. This is why we’re good and Spurs, Newcastle, Villa etc. have always been a load of shit.

  66. I think when it comes down to it, a lot of our supporters are very nostalgic of their days growing up watching the Arsenal. As I’ve heard someone smarter than me say, “Football is not all about pies and tea anymore.”

    Implying that these were some of THE legitimate sources of revenue for clubs for many years. And honestly, when you mix some fans nostalgia for those saturday afternoons at the ground with their fathers, an economic recession, and a pinch of poor results, this is what you get.

    I just find it fascinating that some people cannot understand the nature of the situation. It’s not 1971 anymore. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Although it certainly would be nice if 2011 and 1971 shared a few of the same celebratory highs!

  67. Alzation
    “I just think that commercially speaking, you need to let your customers feel that you are giving them something for their hard earned cash and not just taking them for granted.”

    That’s a page right out of an oil state’s playbook. simply swap customers for citizens and your looking at the “civil rights policy” of places like Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Iran, etc.

  68. kelvin

    what’s a normal gooner? some blue collar romanticizing going on?

    and who says yuppies can’t sing? Poor yuppies, getting their vocal talents dragged through the gutter..

  69. YW

    I completely agree that at no point should he come out and slate his players to the media. Its what got Benitez screwed at merseyside.

    What I’m pointing to is him continuously sticking with these players and even altering tactics to fit them in!

    After Fabregas, Nasri is our most creative player and Wenger stuck him on the wing for key games against Sunderland and the final against Birmingham in order to play Denilson and Rosicky respectively.
    The game against sunderland definitely changed when Nasri was moved to the middle.

    Denilson has been around for a while now and I still believe Wenger has no plans to ship him out.

    And of the defensive midfielders, from certain sources, Flamini was not offered a new contract until VERY late in the day which made him feel devalued, especially after the work he put in, in the run to the paris final.

    @Chris Gooner

    You’re right that Wenger has made some valuable changes. The problem is he is implementing it wrong. There is no mixture of experience.

    WE have a better squad than any in the premierleague. Manure’s team man-to-man on quality is not even close. Yet, they are top and win trophies. They have the mentality and hunger which we have lacked.

    @Steve
    you need a reality check. regardless of what happens, we have to give our support to the team. We are only but a few players away. You’re acting as tho we are about to go into administration or something

  70. YW

    I completely agree that at no point should he come out and slate his players to the media. Its what got Benitez screwed at merseyside.

    What I’m pointing to is him continuously sticking with these players and even altering tactics to fit them in!

    After Fabregas, Nasri is our most creative player and Wenger stuck him on the wing for key games against Sunderland and the final against Birmingham in order to play Denilson and Rosicky respectively.
    The game against sunderland definitely changed when Nasri was moved to the middle.
    Denilson has been around for a while now and I still believe Wenger has no plans to ship him out.

    @Chris Gooner
    You’re right that Wenger has made some valuable changes. The problem is he is implementing it wrong. There is no mixture of experience.

    WE have a better squad than any in the premierleague. Manure’s team man-to-man on quality is not even close. Yet, they are top and win trophies. They have the mentality and hunger which we have lacked.

    @Steve
    you need a reality check. regardless of what happens, we have to give our support to the team. We are only but a few players away. You’re acting as tho we are about to go into administration or something

  71. Just to be a complete bastard and re-open the nationalistic wounds, someone yesterday should have pointed to the British Home Championship football competition as an example of why the four countries could not play together. Especially the 76/77 season when the Scots took home most of the Wemberlee pitch with them and 81 when Northern Ireland played most of the ‘home’ games in Liverpool (well nuff said about that….). And Northern Ireland won the last championship in 83/84, thus causing England to cancel the competition.
    Kernow, now there’s a case for home rule – I have their flag as a bumper sticker. And maybe I should add Essex Clotted Cream to the Pasty range

  72. Everyone understands that football is a business and the first priority is to maintain financial stability. Fortune 500 companies are designed to make money for their shareholders and that is their mission, but that is not the mission of professional sports clubs. Success on the pitch and to make the fans happy, not to make profit or increase the AFC share price. Early in Wenger years we were a relatively big spending club and a very successful club on the pitch. DB10 our greatest player ever was a big name big money signing if what I read is correct. The fans were told that in order to maintain our position as a big club in Europe we needed to be able to compete for signing top notch players and we needed to build the stadium and the Highbury flats to generate more revenue which would be plowed back into the squad. Many average fans do not think that is happening so they get upset. No one in their right mind wants us to spend ourselves into oblivion and I realize that signing players in no way guarantees improved result, however, to deny the fact that spending money on an outside player or 2, big name, overpriced or not might improve the clubs chance to win a trophy is daft. We certainly can afford to do more then we have been doing without any danger to the long term financial stability of the club. If/when we do start winning trophies again then all the furor will die down and very few people will really care about a 6.5% ticket increase. Hopefully it will happen this year.

  73. Why do people compare United to Arsenal as far as winning things? Though I cant stand United, for the most part they are seasoned players, most of them are 27 and up with a little youth here and there. Arsenal on the other hand have a bunch of youth with a few seasoned players. Our players are still maturing, growing doesnt end because you may think its about time we win trophies now.

    Why do we make everything about that anyway?

    As far as ticket prices, If the rich have to pay a little more I am not worried. My problem is that the less fortunate are priced out and that seems to be across the board. Very sad, seeing that many great players were poor.

  74. Geo.I feel sorry for you ‘cos you just don’t get it.Your like the poor lads in World War One who blindly followed their leader into oblivion.
    There are lots of us who love Arsenal just as much as you do but choose to question those at the top rather than except their failings.

  75. Oh lord I absolutely fucking hate accounting. It dessicates everything it touches. Squeezes the juice out of everything.

  76. I do agree with Iceman that Nasri should play more centrally when Cesc is out. He was the driving force behind the team in pre season and thats where he played.

    United havent won anything this season so lets wait before we crown them king. Yes, they are at the top but lets not forget how many calls have gone their way.

  77. Yogi – I thought you’d put the cunt filter on..?

    AJ – Your pity is held very highly in my ranks, that’s for sure. Thank you so much. Here I was, thinking rationally, being a supporter of the club I love, blindly following my team through to the end of this massive crisis of a season, just accepting the ‘failings’ that this senile old twat Wenger keeps bringing us, watching with joy as our young players rise to world stardom, watching our team grow and improve towards greatness for the last 5 years, thinking that frugality and economic awareness is the way forward in such testing times….

    I could have gone on for the rest of my life like that, but you, AJ, have changed my whole way of thinking. Thank you again.

    I now understand how fucked up this club is. I now understand how corrupt and money grabbing our board is. I now know that Wenger and his poxy Masters in Economics means fuck all. I now know that this team is doomed to fail without wholesale changes at player and board level. I now know that I am supporting the wrong team.

    Shit. Wish I’d spoken to you years ago…

  78. How strange. SAF banned for 5 games. Starting just after our FA Cup game with them and ending just before our league game with them.

  79. No surprises with that one F.A were always balless when it comes to old red nose, blue and purple veins.

  80. Nice avatar dups.

    Strange indeed. Just a coincidence I’m sure… 😉

  81. we should as Gooners..shut up…do as told…never question anything at all,but be overly happy that we’re allowed by wenger to support such a great great team…in fact the best ever according to wenger…
    lets just pay…and there will be further ticket hikes…in may…well we follow like blind mice..we’re the proud Gooners remember …

  82. and Geo…how superb keep the c**t filter on..?.proves my point Yogi…the blog do attract alot of honorable Gooners(AKB’s)
    and Geo Sir well done you are quite a man ..oh dear ?

  83. longblackcloud

    Thanks Geo – I also now see the light and will be glued to the next Chelsea game in eager anticipation of their all conquering season, (Torres + Luiz = sucess) so long Arsenal and 35 years of support. With the benefit of hindsight and the many wise “supporters” on here I should have abandoned you for Ipswich in 78 or Nottingham Forest 79, then I would know glory and how a football club should be run. I flirted with Leeds around the turn of century but now my path is clear, show me the way to City of Manchester Stadium as only by getting a hard-on when they sign Robinho and Elano and Barry and Kompany and Lescott will I get true satisfaction from this sport!
    Support be damed bring me big signings

  84. Surely a large part of being a fan ,is what pleasure you get from the team.
    This must be more than simply what cups are won.
    I take great pleasure in our style of play,the intelligence of our manager and players,watching the team grow and overcome its deficiencies,seeing youth players come through.
    In life ,the greatest rewards come from what we as humans make for ourselves.Not from what we buy.
    If,and when,this team,the one we have nurtured and watched grow,start winning ,our pleasure will be immense,huge,gigantic,compared to that of fans from a “bought”team.
    But the most important thing is that we take pleasure from the development stage ,because the cups can never be guaranteed.

  85. george rodger Sir..
    how convinient….well i agree in sport its never about winning..all we remember and gives us pride is solely the fact that we participate…..Yes Sir You have pin pointed how a true Gooner should act…and think..
    Well done Sir…

  86. I agree with George.

  87. Arsene knows best

  88. Arsene knows best..

  89. Arsene knows best…

  90. Arsene knows best….

  91. tomstoned — your homepage, judging by the similarty between its posts and your comments on here, LeGrove is the most censured Arsenal blog there is. I’ve had a number of my posts removed from there.

    Soooooo yeaaaaaaaaaaa

  92. Yes Maria..thats true isnt it …great..and im sure that if wenger gets it like he wants…we should soon be able to play the game without those silly goals…its stupid really, the games shouldnt be won or lost…they should be entertainment only…
    viva las Arsenal

  93. NJGooner..
    you shouldnt be that sure…and not assuming this or that….not all Gooners are willing to just sit back and watch the downfall of The Arsenal under wenger’s dicatorship mate…you seem more than pleased in doing do,and well that is just up to you…fair enough…but be real and acccept the fact that not everyone agrees with you….and do respect that fact..in other words -..grow up ..
    please have a fantastic day..

  94. 4th is like a trophy anyways, so we are on track for silverware as it is.

  95. Busch…
    looking at the way we play at the moment…it will be a struggle for fourth mate….we have to stay at our toes and really dig in…and hopefully we will be among the top four…at least that would be more than pleasing for the AKB’s, after all that is what wenger hoped for this season…so mission acomplished..

  96. Thanks tomstoned, much appreciated!

    George – great post.

    Longblackcloud – I’m glad you’ve seen the light too! Who’s with us?? Man City seems like the kind of club that knows what they’re doing. Battling it out by parking the bus in an attempt to get the Holy Grail that is European qualification. Now that’s the shit.

    Seriously though tomstoned, you obviously are quite new to this whole football thing, and supporting Arsenal in general. If you had been around for the huge barren spells that this club has been through, you’d realise that this club is still achieving greatness, even if we finish this season without a trophy. This club is moving in the only sustainable way. This club is on the up. If we are saying the same things in 3-4 years’ time, I’ll eat my hat. But we ARE going to win something soon (not that it matters too much to me), but along the way we’ll be treated to some of the best football on the planet. I’ll take that over having to watch a bunch of over-priced, over-hyped egos parking the bus week after week in an attempt to nick a trophy – if they’re lucky. I’d take that any day.

  97. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Yesterdays thread was hilarious. That Borges Spinelli put himself right on the hypocrite list and did himself no favors with that well off target nationalist yob comment. Just a day or two before that he posted a fucking armchair managing epic going on about which of his fellow Brazilians Wenger should sign and how
    his countryman Botelho is better than Gibbs. What a two faced little prick.

  98. longblackcloud

    tomstoned – you think we are more likely to be overhauled by a team 9 points below us, and drop out of the top 4, than overhaul the team 3 points in front of us with them having played a game more (that 3 possible points BTW) ?

  99. Arsene knows best…..

  100. Arsene knows best……

  101. dupsffokcuf, It appears that his ban starts on 22nd March, so our game will be included.

  102. Arsene knows best…….

  103. Arsene knows best…………

  104. Maria knows Arsene knows best….

  105. Well if winning trophies is the only reason and the most important reason for supporting a team, I think evey team in La Liga apart from Barca and RM, for the most part should just pack it it. Whats the point.

    Also, it surely means that if a team doesnt win a trophy in a particular year the whole season was a waste of time, no mattter how much enjoyment you got.

  106. Maria:

    I hope you are right.
    I hope you are right.
    I hope you are right.
    I hope you are right.

    George @ 3:18:

    Historically and today success in sport for a “big club” like Arsenal is defined by trophies. If you really believe what you say then you have every reason to be happy. However, right or wrong a huge majority of sports fans do not think that way. Call them plastic fans or bad fans but the club will not be considered “successful” by the non-ACLF world until it starts winning trophies again. Thus we debate.

  107. Yep you’ve nailed it Paul N. What’s the point in following football if your club doesn’t win everything all the time? Waste of time, money and effort if you ask me. In fact, I can’t be arsed to support Citeh, they’re gonna take years to win something, Barcelona on the other hand… That’s me sorted.

  108. With all these silly gooses crying Nani tears, I wonder what the fans of the rest of the footballing league think of these ‘fans’?

  109. Shaking my head.

  110. On the whole scale of things though Bill, we are one of the most successful English teams of all time. Patience and perspective is what the huge majority of fans are missing.

  111. Geo mate..Thanks for keeping it clean..well i have been a Gooner since my Father dragged;) me along in -71..and there have never been a better Arsenal player than Charlie George…well maybe except John Radford…and i had a strange pro Pat Jennings too…and in my humble opinon..wenger edges out Bertie Mee as our best ever manager…and i did hate the years we couldnt go anywhere without the boring boring Arsenal stamp…
    however i honestly think that wenger has lost the plot…and i think the final straw for me wasnt that we didnt win anything…it has been the lies…i was gutted when Dein was let go…(one thing wenger and me agree upon)…but horrified when wenger bought silvestre…that somehow did show what kind of hunger we had…
    there are too much deadwood at the moment….to many players how doesnt put in their shift..and i think that wenger has lost the dressing room…give the old man a break…dont do like Ali did…look at manure’s rednose…the only difference im sad to say is that he is succesfull……
    i differ in opinion Geo…but the truth is that im as Gooner are horrified by the aqctions of gazidis..wenger and the board…
    i could be happy about us being a financial institution though…but that isnt what i think The Arsenal is was or should be about..

  112. longblackcloud..
    well if you look at out run in…and if the injuries keep piling up like they tend to do…it isnt that a big leap to worry..i do..and dont think for one second that a top four finish is secured….
    looking back this season…seing how we have struggled against ipswich orient leeds..and a few more when we have had to depend on our second string..well…you shouldnt be to sure either…
    and we have almunia back which usually does cost us some points every season…denilson..squilacci…bendtner…rosicky…oh dear…it looks quite grim if you’ll ask me..

  113. tomstoned,

    Be careful and don’t try to explain why you have misgivings or any critiques, because just by having them means you can’t be a real fan.

  114. OK, a number of newcomers are heading towards the moderation bin at a rapid rate of knots because to be blunt, you are getting on my nerves.

    If you want to chat, persuade people that their view is wrong, do so. Resort to namecalling and expect (a) no sympathy from me, (b) to be abused by others and lastly, to be moderated. I’m having a real sense of humour failure today.

    YW

  115. Busch…
    never worry …a true Gooner will always have opinions and voice them..if not he/she wouldnt be much of a Gooner….Gooners should always be proud and honest…but then again Keown was shifted out voicing his opinions..so maybe times have changed Busch mate

  116. longblackcloud

    I apologise if my request for clarification on tomstoned`s position on our fragile league postion offended anyone. i guess it depends on your faith in the team really.
    Still not as if i give a shit, I`m off to have wank over the rumour Ashley Young is signing for Man U for £25million – now that how to enjoy a sport

  117. tom

    For the first time, I’ve actually agreed with something you’ve written. well, except for the Keown bit which had nothing to do with his opinions but to do with his coaching contract being up and his desire not to pursue that as a career at this moment in time.

    See, it’s not hard to have a discussion.

    YW

  118. Tomstoned
    “Gooners should always be proud”

    annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd boom goes the dynamite

  119. Actually LBC, you weren’t one of the ones being referred to but its interesting that you think that the Daily Mail is a left handed website…

  120. “…will not be considered “successful” by the non-ACLF world…”
    Ah, the self-appointed spokesman for the rest of the world… talking complete bollocks.

  121. No one’s saying that Busch. What annoys me is the lack of respect and lack of recognition of what has and is being done at this club. You in the Arsene Out crew all just look at the negatives, with little or no acknowledgement of the positives and achievments that Wenger has brought. You will counter this with the rose tinted argument – and that’s fine, as I’m totally aware of my rose tinted, optimistic, biaised views when it comes to Arsenal. Life is much more enjoyable if you look at things in the glass half full way – from my experience anyway. And I’m always right, like Arsene, so….. 😉

    tom – He definitely has not lost the plot. He has been outstanding, but all managers will make mistakes. They are only human. Sylvestre was one of those I agree. All I’m saying is, if (as you say) you have been through the years and years without us bringing home a shiny bit of metal, then surely you can wait a little while longer for the lads to turn into seasoned professionals and to come into their prime (which will be in a couple of years remember)? These players have been around so long now that they are thought of and criticised as if they were 27-30 (in their prime). The fact is, they are all getting closer to this age when physically and mentally they will be at their strongest, and that is the time to see what our team is all about. I am massively confident that we will be winning many trophies by that time. And you never know, we may even buy a couple of players to augment this amazing squad, if necessary of course. I love watching them progress and personally could happily wait for another 6 years if needed. That’s where we differ I guess.

  122. Agreed tom.

    The internet seems to gravitate people of the same mind to certain places and then it becomes even more polarizing.
    I miss the days of having sometimes fun, sometimes heated, but almost always ‘in family’ debates and arguments about managers, players, and matches with some drinks at a bar or 2.

  123. I apologise for resorting to that stuff too YW. Was a bit tetchy this morning…

  124. Busch mate
    O’neills wasnt such a bad place ;

  125. Technically, I’ve never once said “Arsene out.”
    I like the man as our manager and what he has done for the club. I like the business management of the club.
    However, I do have some misgivings about his continued “belief” in some players. For me it is part of being a fan to get it wrong about some players and watch, over decades, the manager actually get it wrong about players.
    I tend to think he dropped the ball in letting so many of our ‘over 30’ loyal players go due to a policy. Do I know we’d be doing better now if say Pires had stayed a few more years? No, but I think we would have. My opinion and that doesn’t mean it is an automatic slag on Wenger.

  126. Geo @ 4:15:

    You may be right about our clubs history. I really hope that Arsene knows best and that you guys are right about whats going to happen with this team in the next few years. If you are right or wrong there is nothing either of us can do about it anyway. We can debate and argue all we want but I think a lot of fans believe that there are some things (short of mortgaging the clubs future) that we could be doing differently to break the current trophy duck. Many are not as confident or patient as you are.

  127. longblackcloud

    YW – thanks for that, made me laugh, but took some time to register what you were refering to!

  128. Busch

    But wouldn’t you agree that if some people in the conversation just plug their ears and start screaming “Fire Wenger, sell Denilson” that makes it hard.

    I would also agree, anticipating your response, that a bunch of people plugging their ears and screaming “Wenger forever, he does no wrong” in some cultish way would make it equally as hard.

    But some “fire wenger” people on here, thats all they say. followed by 6 years no trophy, ticket prices blah blah blah. No suggestions, No statements like “I think Arsenal would be more successful trophy wise with a manager like…” just grass is always greener based opinions.

  129. well off 🙂
    and Yogi mate..agreed and a debate should always be founded on opinions and accepting otheres withouh harsh words…deep down every Gooner wants one simple thing the best for Our Beloved Arsenal…
    Busch Geo Yogi Bill NJGooner Limpar and Arsene’s lovevird Maria..have a superb evening..
    and one thing we garee onlets keep these Guns Blazing for the rest of the season…..up The Gunners..

  130. and for the record busch, I dont think your one of those plug the ears people. you were just sticking up for one!

  131. excuse the rather poor spelling..darn..

  132. Saying that our ambition is to finish 4th is a slag on Wenger isn’t it Busch? I think one of Wenger’s main skills is knowing when to let a player go. Vieira was constantly injured after he left, Hleb – pff, Flamini – pfff, Henry – not too bad , but was half the player he was when with us, Pires – injured most of the time, Ljunberg the same, etc etc etc. He used the over 30 thing as an excuse to get rid of the older players who were becoming more and more injury prone – imo. Great stuff if you ask me.

    Bill – I appreciate that people aren’t as patient or optimistic, but I can only try and push my views on all these misguided fools eh?! Joking btw…

  133. Hey hey! alright Tom!

    It’s all to play for! I think that’s why a lot of people, myself included, were confused about your posts. You are clearly pessimistic about this group’s chances, but hey, if you can’t hope than, honestly, whats the fucking point? eh?

    as you say up the Gunners baby we’re in this together

  134. That is one thing more than any other that I am sure of Geo.

    Arsene knows best, and with that I just enjoy the good times and mourn the bad. Always believing that the path to greatness is paved in the red and white of The Arsenal.

  135. NJ,

    True, however I put people who do that in the category of just trying to cause problems (each side can do it, it just depends on what site they choose to do it on… on one they are ‘joining in the crowd’, the opposite they are trolling for responses).

    It’s kind of hard for me to consider people who might have bandwagon jumped in the ‘good years’ still being around now. Of course, someone who as a youth became an Arsenal fan in the late ’90s might both stick around and grumble about what has happened to our winning ways, but if someone was just about trophies, they’d have bailed a couple seasons ago.
    It doesn’t bother me that people want us to win. The club itself says that those are it’s goals. There is a difference between being a fan of certain clubs and this one (and those at the top) because there is a ‘promise’/stated goal of fighting for the top.

    Now here I will happily slip to the side of: While it is frustrating to not win anything, I am happy to follow a club that is ‘in the fight’ season after season. The reason the lows are so low, is because the highs can be so high, and vice versa. However, I think I have the right to not be happy at times and, in the understanding that my wants/desires/opinion matters not a mote with how the Club is run, voice my displeasure/opinion with some aspects (player, managerial decision, etc), and not get called a “not real fan”.

  136. “Geo – Saying that our ambition is to finish 4th is a slag on Wenger isn’t it Busch?”

    It’s more of a slag on what i feel is a lowering of our expectations, which may or may not have been justified with pulling off a major move of venues in the unexpected economic downturn.

  137. longblackcloud

    Busch – Fair enough, but some of us are optomists and prefer to look ahead with hope and enjoy the (rollercoaster) ride. When we get there we might be disappointed, maybe even more bitterly than a pessimist who gets there and is pleasantly surprised occasionally. But the journey lasts longer than any joy lasts when you win and surely it makes more sense to try and enjoy it and be positve and happy for as long as possible?
    my wife by the way is a complete pessimist – between us we almost make a rational person! – apologies for spelling and dodgy grammer

  138. I can accept that Geo.
    However, with (about to commit another major sin here) how guys like Scholes, Giggs and until he retired Rat Face helped in the transition for United and still contribute, I think there might have been a benefit.
    We’ll never know.

  139. longblackcloud

    Busch – so why do people want to get rid of Rosicky and moan about bringing back Lehman. Sylvester (who admittly was shite) was brought in for his experience winning things (& he had won a lot) and to help bring through the younger players – don`t think Wenger ever envisaged he would have to play as often as he did.

  140. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    What a fucking glory hunter Bill is. This club has success written all over it. My goodness. We nearly (should have) beat Barca over two legs and are pretty much tied for top of the league. Perspective sure is in short supply nowadays. We’ve got too many spoiled fuckin plastics amongst our ranks. At least on the internet that is. These people would be pointed at and laughed at in public by anyone with a brain and the slightest knowledge of football.

  141. Fergie got a five match ban. I’m actually surprised.

  142. Nasir Jones-Nasri – well said. Every fucking word. Good on you.

  143. There’s not an app on this blog ofr spellcheck is there?

  144. Or one for an excess 0f ….. ….. …..

  145. Is it me or is that the last time many people enjoyed being an Arsenal supporter is 05 when we won the FA Cup? just trying to figure out how one enjoy’s supporting a team.

    I am figuring it is much more fun to be a Birmingham supporter rather than Arsenal.

    It seems we are more worried about having bragging rights than we are being fully behind the club.

  146. Steww , Nasir , why not try join in and be rational as opposed to sitting on the side lines throwing sly comments about people that are on here to do what it was designed for. Talk football.!
    Believe it or not these people are what makes it interesting on here, not the aggressive and insulting comments that you guys like to throw around randomly?
    Just a thought!

  147. Hang on, Arsenal never vary their tactics, and AW does not know how to coach D-Fence! The 2005 FA Cup doesn’t count. It didn’t happen.

  148. Learn how to count (CB’s) and then we can ‘talk’ balls.

    He’s back.
    Or it’s back.
    Or they’re back.

  149. *curses*

  150. Captain FunGunner of the AKB reporting for duty.

    I am bitterly disappointed about eventually being knocked out of three of the four competitions we were in, but I am satisfied that AW knows what he is doing, that the team has improved year on year since 2005, and that we as a club are doing the right things and moving in the right direction. Because the club is doing the right things, we will eventually get our reward. Just as if a striker is getting into good positions and making the right runs, he will score. Some days, the ball will not run for him, but that does not mean he is not doing the right things. That is all you can ask of him – to do the right things. The rest depends on luck and the opposition.

    Arsenal for ever. Arsene knows.

  151. exactly FunGun!

  152. Yogi, Never mind all these tossers on here moaning about Arsene what are you going to do about that wind up merchant MDGooner?

    Bloody Essex Pasties, Essex clotted cream and Kernow bumper stickers! I mean some things are really important, football is only football.

    He’ll be marketing Colchester Chav Cider next.

    You mark my words.

  153. Nice goal by Freeman there.

  154. http://myp2p.eu/broadcast.php?matchid=109675&part=sports here are some links to the reserves playing against milverpool. i turn on a channel and within 10 seconds one of ours rips a shot into the top corner!1

  155. Anyone else just seen that Luke Freeman strike for the reserves on the box?

    Bloody brilliant. Put him in the team for saturday.

  156. Thanks for the tip Big Al.

  157. No probs, CB. Have to say LFC TV’s commentary beats Chelsea’s hands down. Commentary’s biased, but not obnoxiously so.

  158. ahhh just sat down with my jalfrezi and a badger first gold to tune in and admire luke freeman dribble neatly and smash it in top corner… yummy.

    you can guarantee wenger will look back at this club in 5-10 years and be supremely proud of his legacy. he will live forever.

    chelsea and real madrid are gonna have to wait for the Arsenal reserves to finish I’m afriad.

    COYG

  159. “Perspective sure is in short supply nowadays. We’ve got too many spoiled fuckin plastics amongst our ranks.”

    Well if it isn’t nasty little Nasir playing toy soldiers. I seem to remember you describing in detail on this blog how when you were last over in London you took the “tour of the Emirates” with your girl. God knows, you probably got a T-shirt while you were at it and that now qualifies you to pass judgement on others eh? Quite the nadir of knowledge eh nasty Nasri Nasir..!

    FG:

    “I am bitterly disappointed about eventually being knocked out of three of the four competitions we were in, but I am satisfied that AW knows what he is doing”

    Deary me FG! Have your dreams of a “quadruple” exploded? Sleeping ok? Y’know the polar opposite to the extreme of those fools who think AW has done nothing for the club are the idiots who actually thought we were going to win the “quadruple”. Both extremes are militant, unrealistic and harmful in their own right.

  160. Nice to watch an Arsenal side wearing number 1 to 11 with no names on the back. Squint a bit and it could be my first loved Arsenal side of 70/71.

    That Murphy even moves and looks a little like Big John from the back. They just need black hoops on their socks.

    Mind you Big John would never have been that slack with a penalty but then he wouldn’t have taken it either.

  161. Nasty is as nasty does Joe.

    Can’t remember too many people saying that we were going to win the quad. on here.

    I do remember your venom though whenever we lose.

  162. Cbob

    Don’t worry, the first mention of Colchester Cider and he’s gone. Everyone knows cider was invented in Clacton…

    YW

  163. Thanks for your comments Joe. They’ll be your last.

  164. My, my Yogi.

    You are in an assertive mood. Now, if only AIC would post again…

    Clacton Cider, eh? I’ll watch out for it the next time I’m in Asda.

  165. Don’t give it to ConsolsEl though. She’ll have a white handbag and stilettos before you can say, “Scruttocks Old Original”, you’ll have Level 42 blaring out of a white Escort RS2000.

  166. Amazing, Word, you’re into road kill too.

  167. Hey Joe…where you gone?

  168. Way down to Mexico way?

  169. …I heard he shot his…naaah he ain’t got the cojones

  170. old Jamaican proverb “everday bucket goes to the well, one day the bottom must drop out”.

    (I am sure they were not using plastic buckets at the time)

    It had to be a matter of time before Joe got the boot, he offers nothing worth while to the blog.

  171. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Never seen you talking football around these parts before Timmy. I fully understand the concept of a blog and talking football. What I don’t understand is this sky is falling mentality that’s recently resurfaced after we were robbed in broad daylight and then played United off the pitch and lost. Its coming from the same type of people who said we didn’t deserve to win first leg vs Barca too. These people want to have the cake and eat it too and it doesn’t work that way.

    As for Joe, all I’ve got to say to you is very good memory. I’m glad to have been able to bring you out of the deep dark depths of your lair to comment. You should post more often, maybe even after victories. You can’t always be this dim and gloomy. We know you like to find the negatives in everything, but at least give it a shot.

  172. What a star you are, Nasir

  173. @ Joe
    Nobody ever said we were going to win the quadruple. What I said, while we were in four competitions, was that the quadruple was on. While you are in a competition, you have a chance of winning it. As we are second in the league, only three points behind with a game in hand, the league title is on. Do you understand now?

    I don’t sleep well after a loss, since you’re kind enough to ask. But I expect you’re familiar with insomnia, fretting as you no doubt still are over our inability to close that 5-point gap from Chelsea from last October.

  174. >at least give it a shot.

    I refer the right honourable gentlemen to the answer given by my right honourable friend at 8.15pm

  175. I think FG just told you to fuck off, Joe

  176. Actually, I’ve never been to Asda.

  177. shea smoothered that striker like a hawk on a doormouse.

    doesn’t need much squinting to see number 7 do a rather fine rosicky impression either… josh rees i think? newly promoted??
    freeman is looking better than the entire yeovil team put together…
    henderson has a sterdy left foot…
    miquel is very tidy and as assertive as YW today…

    and yet 15 of our best reserves dont even bother to turn up training anymore… honestly.

  178. “Nasir Jones-Nasri – What I don’t understand is this sky is falling mentality that’s recently resurfaced after we were robbed in broad daylight and then played United off the pitch and lost.”

    Can you be a fan and not agree with those two opinions?
    And can you ask and want to discuss the reasons why those things have happened enough times the last few seasons to see if it isn’t always down to bad luck with refs, injuries, or whatnot and still be considered a fan?
    Or more to the point, can you come to a conclusion that doesn’t fit with the prevailing sentiment on this blog without being called names?

    Just curious.

  179. consols
    i said we would be know as the quadruples several times..
    i think that counts as saying we would win the quad..me and my big mouth eh??

    yogi..
    does your not so humerous mood have anything to do with the club hiking up your ticket?? 😉

    seriously though..do you think theres any chance of the club backtracking on this??
    i suppose if we win the league it would be easier to swallow, but still, discontent in the ranks is growing, people just cant afford it anymore..alot of gooners i know ( and thats not on just on the net) have already stopped going to the games….gooners of many many years that have supported the club and gone to watch even in the bad times are effectively finding themselves being forced out of the ground…surely the club must see this??

  180. a good badger should not be wasted frank, as long as you avoid the blandford flys…

  181. seriously tho

  182. So, it’s true what they all say about you then JonJon…

  183. it depends what they say but if its nice then yes its true..
    if its not its a blatent lie..

    fergies 5 game ban comes at an interesting time dont it??
    i think his presence on the touchline will be sorely missed, its just up to us to take advantage if/when utd slip up..

  184. Jon,
    He can still glare and yell at refs and players from the stands, just not in their ears.
    heh

  185. cracking reserve game, sign him up Arsene, Luke Freeman the real deal haha

  186. CBob – you little snitch, running to Yogi behind my back!
    They have two types of cider here in the US – ‘hard’ cider (the alcoholic stuff) and something else (probably made with peanut butter or something).
    But I was already thinking of Essex Boxted Cider (big orchards near Colchester) as Yogi would have censored me for using Colchester in the name, rather than that London-by-the sea town he mentioned. Instead I’m going to call it Ian Ure Cider.
    I don’t retail through Asda’s parent though, Wal-Mart is like Joe, nasty piece of work.
    COYG

  187. thing is busch
    way i see it is that fergie is manutds 12th man..
    he influences their games from the dugout massively, they havent been great this season theyve been very workmanlike and hes been the one cracking the whip and influencing the refs..everyone within a 50yard radious is shit scared of him..
    now hes not there…he cant influence the game he cant crack the whip so it will be interesting to see what manutd are like for the next 5 games…

  188. On an entirely different subject, below is a link to free Primal Scream track on Amazon.

  189. Cbob

    Not too sure what your problem with Essex boys is:

    >But I was already thinking of Essex Boxted Cider

    He can’t even spell properly.

    YW

  190. Busch, I think one should be able to come to their own conclusion in any discussion.

    Just asking, but do you think that United have benefited for favourable calls in the PL

  191. It should be a sensible conclusion with substance though.

  192. “Boxted is a village and civil parish in Essex, England. It is located approximately 5 miles (8.0 km) north of Colchester. The village is in the borough of Colchester and in the parliamentary constituency of North Essex. There is a Parish council.[1] The village was the site of a series of skirmishes between Parliamentary and Royalist troops in July 1648, known as the Battle of Boxted Heath”

  193. Paul N,

    United? My overall opinion is I think, especially at home, they get more dubious calls than other teams. I think a lot of that comes from their being the (current) quintissential (sp?) English team and so are benefiting from a bias and being on a pedestal. I don’t really believe in bought or straightup crooked refs.
    In light of that, I actually agree with SAF in that I think it went against them v Chelsea.
    They kind of got jobbed.

  194. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    So basically you just want immediate answers in mid March as to why we havent won anything when were essentially tied for top of the league, Busch? We lost the CC via a colossal blunder and that hurt, but those same two that made that mistake were also key to our victory against Farca. I won’t go over years past, we’ve been there and done that many times. It doesnt take a rocket scientist to see that we are vastly improved in a few different areas this season. We’ve shown we can grind out results away, and have shown we are much more lethal with RvP up top. If you want to dismiss injuries and refs and act like those aren’t obstacles we have faced then you’re not being rational. If you can’t notice how close we are then that’s your own fault. You need to step away from the newspapers and the whole Arsenal haven’t won anything for 6 years bs. Stop buying into the politics, youre doing the Mancs work for them.

  195. Fergie said that was nothing in Rooneys deliberate elbow so based on that I dont see what he on about as far as the Chelsea match. Scholes has gotten away with much worse, even last saturday.

    I asked the question because if one team gets the majority calls then other teams are not, or not as much. This must have a direct effect on winning the PL, no?

  196. MD

    When does a Skirmish become a Battle?

    YW

  197. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Well fuck it’s about time United got jobbed, I think everyone outside of your typlical United fan would agree with that.

  198. >When does a Skirmish become a Battle?

    When the name calling stops.

  199. I find it hard that people can blame the team for going out of the CL. Yes, it was our fault in the CC but what are you going to do about such a blunder. They are more than just losses, they are like something out of the twilight zone. I am still puzzled!

  200. RM put a hurting on Lyon!

  201. As in “Oi Oliver, thoust going to get thou f**kin heads kicked in”

  202. I find it amusing that some are saying we are tied for the top of the league, like the game in hand has already been won or some thing! We have no grounds to believe those 3 points are in the bag!

  203. Well, as far as the CL goes, I agree the RvP debacle (at the time and score) was a horrific call and seriously affected our chance of going through. But by calling out that one event, Barca fans can easily point out the penalty on Messi in the first half not called or feel injustice at Song not getting a second yellow in the first leg. It is fairly selective of us to pick that one ref decision and not others that benefited us.

    and as far as your question about United, I think it has an affect, but less than the points we have (to avoid using verbs that will upset people) not gotten on our own this season.
    I can’t imagine any of my coaches, in any sport I played, from youth through university having let us, as players, say it was anything less than our effort and our playing that cost us a game or a season.
    Bad things happen, whether they be injury or calls, but it was for us to make sure those things are as limited as possible so they didn’t have an affect on the outcome.

  204. Busch, why should song have gotten a second yellow? however should he have gotten a first? that is subjective. In the run of the match you are not going to have all calls correct, we know that all too much. The call the ref made was absurd while we cannot say these other blown calls were.

    However, lets give Messi the penalty and have 3 Barca players red carded for choking Arsenal players. What do think the outcome would be.

    You see I am not at all being selective.

  205. Good evening guys and girls,

    I don’t know if this article has been spoken about on here but if you haven’t read it yet then I suggest you get on your bike and do so.

    http://www.arsenalreport.com/2011/03/the-mighty-transition-why- arsenal-havent-won-anything-in-6-years/

    Fantastic stuff and is a great way of explaining what Arsene Wenger has been doing at our great club for the last few years.

  206. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    These have got to be a couple spud trolls.

    Who you lot hoping sends you out of the CL?

  207. 1 loose cannon

    Busch- A sending off is a sending off. You are down to 10 and you are hadicapped for the rest of the game. If the refree fails to award a free kick or a penalty you still have a chance to make up for that decision but with 10 men it is harder and the player sent off will certainly not come back on the field to help his team.
    I remember 2006 final most neutrals thought Lehman should not have been sent off but the goal should’ve stood, that way the teams can fight it out 11 V 11. and we lost that game right at the end because the players defended for almost the entire game and were really nackered in the end. To this day I belive if it was 11 V11 we would’ve won that game. One more thing In fact it should’ve been Milan in the final that year. They had a perfectly good goal disallwed in the Nou camp to put them through to the final and don’t forget what has happened at Stamford bridge when they played Chelsea. Barcelona despite their brilliant football , they have been the luckiest team so far. We can dig out all the unfair decisions but they have been well looked after by eufa, that is for sure.

  208. Thanks for the link Mean Lean, that was an excellent article

  209. Paul N, 1 losse cannon,

    You are right about those calls, and probably others that went on in many different competitions in different seasons.
    I just am not in the camp that feels the ref solely lost the tie for us. (this season) Maybe that is a camp of one.

    I don’t think it makes me a bad fan that I think our play was as much, if not more , at fault for how that tie went or how we went out in the FA to United or the CC to Bham. Though obviously some think otherwise.

    I want us to play better, to be better, so that we don’t have to rely on the decisions of refs or the lucky bounce of the ball or hoping we face only “cold” goalies. Hopefully, the squad we have can do that the rest of the season to bring home the league championship.

  210. agreed Busch. i think a lot of us would love for our team to start playing at the level we know they are capable of. For me the problem is a lack of penetration. too many teams have realized that sitting back, soaking up pressure, then trying to nab a goal on the break is an effective strategy. I think others have mentioned that our build up is too slow. The reason teams score goals on us is because they cover about 70% of the pitch with one ball, which leaves us with two defenders and one striker. When our team attacks there are about 7 attackers and 11 defenders.

  211. i guess i meant to say two defenders AGAINST one striker. same for that last sentence but you lot probably catch my drift.
    on a more musical note, anybody here a radiohead fan? I got the new cd a few weeks ago and kinda brushed it off after one listen. I put it on again and i’ve listened to it multiple times a day for since monday. that band is magical.
    i wonder if people are willing to criticise hardcore Radiohead fans like they do with the In Arsene we Trust crew. “Radiohead hasn’t won a best album award in 6 years!!! THOM YORKE OUT!!!” (sarcasm)

  212. Busch, so inspite of being down a man we shouldve beaten Barcelona?

    I dont get your arguement as no one is depending on the ref apart from him to do his job properly and if he did Barca would be down to 8 players and I doubt RVP wouldve got frustrated in getting the 1st yellow.

    Now you can say that the ref didnt change the outcome of the match but what was the score until the sending off. Again, its is subjective what wouldve taken place if RVP didnt get sent off but what is fact is that we are going through until that point and Barcelona couldnet break down of defense but for the Cesc mistake.

    So we may not want to depend on the ref but its impossible to overlook the advantage that the ref gave the other team. In that I am appalled that people would blame us for that loss.

    If you can come up with anything else as far as Barcelona gaining the advantage, I am all ears. What else took place.

    I also want Arsenal to play better also, however If I had a dollar for everytime I have heard someone say we need to win ugly I would be a rich man. So, what exactly do we really want but a perfection that we ourselves cannot accomplish in life.

    Its unfair and unrealistic.

  213. Busch, the players are at fault for both the CC and FA Cup losses, who said otherwise?

    The thing about Sports is that each game is not in a vacuum. Confidence is a huge part of sports (ANY).

    The birmigham match is just one of those things however I sense that many believed that the match would be a walkover. So we shouldve scored atleast 5 goals and the mistake wouldnt even of mattered, surely we shouldnt have been tied at the end.

  214. “So, what exactly do we really want but a perfection that we ourselves cannot accomplish in life.

    Its unfair and unrealistic.”

    This is the crux of the doomer problem. Perfection doesn’t exist, yet that is what they expect from Arsenal.

  215. Judging by the comments and articles about the rise in club level prices, I would say that a fair few doomers reside in that fucking noose around the stadium. A ring of empty seats.

  216. People who have worked hard to build their own plumbing empires. Now they get treated like this. Poor things. Polo shirts, chinos and peronis, all gone. Lord above.

  217. Club level support are the non-fans who should pay more anyway IMO

  218. I agree with Louis

  219. A bit slow this morning eh?

  220. I beg your pardon?

  221. Never ceases to amaze me how much club level people whine about prices. I really do regret the club having to prostitute itself to these people. They sit there in their glass fronted heaven, eating three types of meat at once and gazing down on us before each game. Then they don’t bother going to their fucking seats. Of course because they have created their own plumbing and double glazing empires they know how to run a football club and team much better than Arsenal can. After all whats the difference between plumbing, doubleglazing and football. Cunts the lot of them.

  222. O’Shea out for five weeks, Rafael for three weeks, Rio might miss the rest of season. vidic still struggling.

    gonna be a photo finish this year, hope some fans can take some time off moaning to enjoy it. we have the right to question certain aspects but there is plenty of time at the end of the season to objectively anaylse the 38 games.

  223. Isn’t it ironic that those who sold their soul to sit in Club Level to enjoy their free glass of wine at half time are now whinging about it being expensive?

    It wasn’t so long ago certain elements where stating that by paying more for their tickets it made them more of a ‘fan’.

  224. I thought I read somewhere that our prices were among the highest of the highest already? When these things come up I think of the dead wood that has been purchased in the past and are still on the payroll ie, Bendtner, Denilson, Vela, Sqillachi. . With all the these we could of brought in a fully developed Premiership player but, thats another argument.

    This coming out after recent performances v Brum and Utd sums the last 3yrs up and the reason why some fans are fed up of the whole thing at the moment.

    People keep going on about when we won nothing in the 90s etc etc but, we are supposed to be moving on as a club like others have around us.

    For instance chels fans wouldn’t be happy with if they won nothing for the next 6yrs based on that fact that they won fuckall before Jose came there so I think that excuse not to be angry is bollocks no matter how many times we tell ourselves that.

    2nd in the league yes but, one does get shaky by the fact we got fuckall leaders when teams try a different tactic against us. A leader that could of possibly been brought in with the £s used to buy up dead wood.

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