Stone Cold Friday: Downing Tools? Not An Option.

The Reverend Darius is in the pulpit. Get yourself comfortable for this week’s sermon…

So – the sound check is complete, and the fat lady is back in her dressing room seemingly waiting for the inevitable call to put Arsenal out of their misery and nail the title coffin shut for this campaign.

The obituaries are plastered all over town and the disgruntled have begun their post-mortem in earnest, even though the customer is still alive and has 15 points to play for. Enough is enough they say as they demand that Silent Stan dips into the KSE and Wal-Mart piggy bank and rescues Arsenal out of these dire straits.

“Bring me the head of Arséne Wenger” is the refrain from far and wide. That’s of course if you believe that those who are the loudest actually represent the views of all the Gooniverse.

But is the title race over? Hell no, is the emphatic answer. Whether Arsenal will win it is another question altogether. Not impossible, but more improbable. It won’t take a miracle; just a small matter of beating Bolton, United, Stoke, Villa and Fulham. Of course, this mad scenario would demand that United also draw 2 games including their tie with Chelsea, but crazier things have happened I tell you.

One Arsenal fan was complaining that the problem isn’t so much that we’re not likely to make the title. The problem was that each time United drop points, Arsenal conspires to shoot themselves in the foot by not taking advantage. The crazy “we’re in, we’re out” up and down was something he couldn’t cope with. I suppose it’s like a carrot dangled right in front of you just to be yanked off at every attempt to snatch at it.

The irony of this is that we’re the most consistent team this side of the season with a run of 15 unbeaten games. We also have the best away record in the league and those two combined, would ordinarily dictate that the title would come home. But we have also lost 13 points from winning positions, and conspired to drop at least 10 other points against teams we should have tonked. If you think of losing 23 points this way, it actually is criminal, and somewhat of a miracle that we’re still 6 points shy of the summit, still with a mathematical possibility to grab the bragging rights for the season.

Clearly, many have now given up hope and have embarked on the customary naval-gazing that helps us chew the fat over the summer months. The pessimistic ‘glass half empty’ dispositioned fans won’t even entertain the thought of Arsenal smuggling the EPL home by the skin of their teeth. In fact, most would rather we pack our bags and leave town now, heading straight for the reservation.

The more optimistic ‘glass half full’ type engage in all manner of mathematical configurations in their heads as to what would happen if United drop points here, and Chelsea drop points there and Arsenal blast through the remaining fixtures. They keep the hope alive amidst the doom and gloom in the Gooniverse, and they silently hope and pray for a miracle.

I prefer to be an opportunist, oblivious of whether the glass is half full or half empty. It’s a chance to quench my thirst and I’m going to enjoy every minute of it. This despite my wife’s concern about the impact Arsenal has had on my physical and mental health over the last couple of months. I know this because my doctor started a conversation on Tuesday by saying “I hear watching Arsenal has become a health hazard”.

I tried to figure out why I was pretty sanguine about Wednesday’s game against Spurs, and I realised that it was simply because I had watched a damn good game of football. Probably one of the best games in the Premier league this season. In isolation, few people would have complained about the result on account of the entertainment value; but these are not ordinary times.

If losing 13 points from winning positions is criminal, what would even be more criminal, negligent and unacceptable is if we down our tools now and start thinking about next season.

As legend will have it “it’s definitely all up for grabs now”. Imagine if Michael Thomas had given up 22 years ago. We wouldn’t have Alan Hansen and Ray Houghton still seething about Arsenal and spewing the faecal matter that they continue to do about us all this time.

The point here is that the fat lady ain’t getting out of the dressing room until we unjam her door and she literally pushes her weight about to force herself onto the stage. We can also run interference and ambush the sound system; but either way, there’s 15 points up for grabs.

It’s clear that a section of supporters won’t be able to stomach such a nail biting finish and would rather we give up and just wait until we’re capable of winning the damn thing in February when Stan has bitch slapped Wenger into ‘splashing his cash’. Perhaps the only joy they’ll derive from this season is that Tottenham may not make the Champions league next year and they’ll be back to their traditional mediocrity.

Wenger was wrong in my view to attach such significance to the game against Spurs on Wednesday, calling it the ultimate test of character for this team. If that was the case, then the team failed – but surely, won’t the ultimate test of character be if this team pulls the mother of all rabbits out of the hat and smuggles the title to the Emirates?

We won’t know that if we stop now and that is why the remaining 5 games have to be taken as what they collectively are – a true test of character for this team.

One thing is for sure, we’re having the first ‘Helicopter Sunday’ on the last day of the season. We still have a say as to whether that helicopter lands at Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge or the immaculate Emirates lawn with the EPL trophy.

’til Tomorrow

Posted on April 22, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 176 Comments.

  1. Fffffffffiiirsssttttt…Interesting post Darius..

  2. Apparently, United have lost 14 points from winning positions this season.

  3. Apparently United are also Cunts! Hadn’t noticed…

  4. Well said, Darius.

    One can’t help but be dissapointed at dropping so many points but, this is Arsenal.

    This is Our Team.

    Get behind them wherever you can, at matches, in the pub, at the water cooler. Turn back the illinformed and malicious diatribe against Our Team.

    Bloody keep fighting. I expect the Team to.

    Up The Arsenal!

  5. looking at the fixtures darious theres no reason to say we cant get 15 points
    the mancs will be difficult, but why not eh..
    do the players want it enough and can they keep their heads? thats another matter but yeah, why not…

    im not saying we will, my head says we are bound for 3rd…buy my heart says we can do it…

  6. Of course we can win all our remaining games, we can also draw them too!

    Going Bolton Sunday, hopefully Utd will have a few points by then, and those pesky chavs n all.

    Got to say, had a brief scan over the last couple of days posts and the Doomers have been out in force once again. Why is it that they bombard this place after disapointing results, yet are no where to be seen the rest of the time?

    Funny that.

    Anyway, its a glorious sunny day, no work to go to, who cares about football? Well, I dont till tomorrow at least!

  7. *United dropped a few points by then, I meant.

  8. dexter
    i think everton offer a nice little test for utd’s bottle
    i dont know what happens to them in the first half of the season but moyes always gets them going in the second…

    as for bolton, they have just been tonked by stoke in a semi..morale cany be good, so weve got a perfect opportunity go kick them while they are down

  9. just seen a snippet on sky that reckons liverpool are about to sign a 25mil a year kit deal..
    makes you feel sick
    come on ivan, buy out our current deals and triple our money with a new one…

  10. If we could match United’s home form, we’d have sewn the league up by now – that’s the crucial difference between the two sides.

  11. Yogi – I think the team are petrified of playing at home. the poisonous atmosphere from the negativity definitely oozes onto the pitch and instead of carrying the team through the tough time on the pitch, the crowd simply magnifies the difficulty with what is frankly speaking a lucklustre vocal support.

    Just look at how the crowd at WHL lifted their team on Wednesday – go to Anfield, God forbid even the Britannia. The presence of the crowd is palpable and the team thrive on it.

    At the end of the day, all those teams have issues, but once at the stadium, everyone else seems to leave their greivances at the turnstiles and supports their team to the hilt.

    Arsenal fans in the stadium just seem to want to sit there, arms folded with that “Go on – entertain me” attitude about them.

    The team feeds on what the crowd does. Just see the response they get from our away support which is magnificent and in turn, they more often than not deliver the goods. We’ve been at Ashburton Grove long enough now for the alliances in the stands to build and for the crowds to feel at home in a new place. As we point fingers at the team and criticise what is justified, we need to also look in the mirror and ask ourselves whether we have the character we demand from our players.

  12. Away fans are the true fans. Having to travel weeds out the plastics.

  13. Wenger needs to go. His behaviour towards Dalgleish, and coaches previously shows he has a nasty streak we can do without

  14. theres more to it than that darius..
    its not that simple..
    theres a recent issue about the stress that managers are under and wenger and houllier have been used as an example, he was even asked about it in his conference today
    now when you see our own manager throwing bottles, throwing his arms in the air, slumping in his chair and sat with his head in his hands due to the teams performances, how can we expect the crowd not to do the same..???
    its ok saying the crowd need to be positive every single minute of every single match, but when you are seeing leads being thrown away, goals being conceeded a minute after weve scored ourselves and pointless tippy tappy with no end product..your not going to feel like singing..your going to be sat there doing what the managers doing…

  15. Jon Jon said

    ” as for bolton, they have just been tonked by stoke in a semi..morale cany be good, so weve got a perfect opportunity go kick them while they are down ”

    You think? They will fight for dignity and will be good opposition

  16. Stop this dreaming.We are not going to win the title.We will be lucky to finish 2nd. Before Blackburn Liverpool and the Spuds the same things we being said. If Utd fuck up its Chelsea’s title. This is season is an exact replica of 2008 and last season.When the heat was turned on we bottled it.And dont anyone say we havent bottled it.4-0 at Newcastle 3-1 at Spurs we bottled it
    And this season Utd and Chelsea have been awful thats what makes this collapse even more hurtful

  17. @Amband.

    If his behaviour towards Dalglish and other coaches is the only reason you can think of why he should go, you’ll be very disappointed.

  18. Really?

  19. Darius

    I have sat all over the Emirates, lower upper clock end, north bank, etc. And there are a few pockets of great support regardless who we play (the ground can be a cauldron and has been several times) And Sunday I was in a section that was just so quiet it was scary! A guy INFRONT of me turned round and tried to tell me to sit down FFS! I was at the back, with no one behind me apart from a raised platform for wheelchairs, so wasnt blocking a soul. Yet this fella would rather spend his time berating me for standing up, rather han supporting the team?

    Strange times at the Grove, sad too.

  20. Good post Darius and a clearly interesting take on things.

    My two pence worth of opinion is this… I really think that fans, players and everyone else are going to have to find a way to calm the f&*% down, forget about the title, if necessary, and all this other nonsense and just play our football and try and enjoy it. Sometimes a lie is repeated so often that it takes on the patina of truth and in our case the “6-years-no-trophy” bullshit that the idiots in the media parrot has been internalised by everyone, from manager to players to fans… and we now find ourselves, all of us, in a position where great achievements are thrashed by everybody and we are all in mourning though there’s literally nothing to mourn. Disappointment I can understand, regret I can relate to but all this mourning and stupid over reaction is something to be resisted by all sane Arsenal fans. it is crazy that Arsenal and Arsene Wenger are the ones being hauled over the hot coals when Liverpool and City get a pass from the media….

    Here’s the transfer list since 1992 of Net spend for each club…

    Chelsea ‘s net spend is over £48m per season since 2003. Man City’s net spend is just over 46m per season. Tottenham are next with just over 16m per season followed by Liverpool and Villa who are all over the 10m per season mark. ManU have a net spend of over 6m which isn’t all that impressive but given that they received a world record 80m for C Ronaldo you have say that they’ve done well…. now here’s the thing though Arsenal and Arsene Wenger are in 18th place with a negative nett spend (we have actually made a profit on transfers ) of over 350 thousand pounds. Imagine that for a second? This is a fact that you’d find mentioned literally nowhere in the media. Why is that?

    Now let me make it clear that headline transfer fees are not the only issue that drives a club’s success… wages are just as important and are actually more indicative of the quality a team possesses. Our wage bill is allegedly the 4th highest in the league behind Chelsea, City and ManU… so basically we spend less than a 20th of what Chelsea spends and 10th of what United spend and we have lower wage bill but we are expected as a matter of course to win trophies in circumstances where other clubs are not even mentioned… and some fool bloggers want Wenger sacked! For keeping us competitive!! Idiots.

    Furthermore we are still the 3rd most indebted club in the league behind Chelsea and United… yes, I know that our debt is tied to the stadium investment whilst Chelsea and ManU’s debt are all linked to things that are not necessarily as productive, but a debt is still a debt and it still has to be managed. So the club’s prudence is for a very good reason. So the question to ask is why all the angst amongst fans and all the bile and vitriol directed towards Wenger… if the facts are what they are and we are massively over achieving by any sane, rational and fair judgement, why are our fans buying into this media generated garbage about 6 -years- -without-a-trophy if there’s no real reason to expect us to get a trophy any way all things being equal… the same test is not being applied to Liverpool or Tottenham is it?

    The basic problem here is stupidity, IMHO, we have a lot of stupid fans and some pathetically retarded bloggers like the worms on Le Grove and we have allowed these twits and the xenophobic mugs in the media to set an Anti_Arsenal agenda that we unwittingly buy into lock, stock and barrel.

    Don’t get me wrong I have some real anger and some real regrets about how our season has gone and I fully understand that with our potential we should really be Champions now…I regret that we have thrown away so many leads, I hate that we couldn’t hold on to a 3-1 lead for a bit longer and beat the Spuds at home, I feel real pain when I look at the possibilities that have either been snatched away from this team or that we have lost through our own errors in all competitions but I simply refuse to join the mourning, the stupid navel gazing, the wish for Mourinho or whoever else to come and win us trophies (some of our fans are just morons) or for Usmanov to arrive and splash the cash.

    We haven’t done as well as we can or should have done… that much is clearly true… BUT WE HAVE OUTSTRIPPED OUR POTENTIAL IN A WAY THAT ONLY A GENIUS MANAGER CAN… without Wenger we wouldn’t even be in a position to be disappointed in the first place. we could easily be in mid table and celebrating a draw against Chelsea as if it was the highlight of our season. Whatever you read in the media remember the fact that the disappointment you feel at failing to properly nail down a result against Liverpool and Spurs isn’t the worst thing that can happen to a team like ours. none one in world football is doing what we are doing that should be a source of pride tom us all… and the success will surely come if we hold our nerve.

  21. @armband –>pathetic

  22. amband said

    Wenger needs to go. His behaviour towards Dalgleish, and coaches previously shows he has a nasty streak we can do without

    as far as i remember it was dagleish who told wenger to piss off and fuck off..

  23. I think armband’s got a slow puncture.

  24. JonJon – you could also credibly argue that Wenger is doing his job by being animated. Ergo the crowd should also do their job – and its not necessary to go into despair and justify it by following what the manager does. The complimentary response should be to lift the team and the manager if that’s what is needed. Watch Wenger on the touch line and its also obvious that he’s kicking every ball with the players and heading every ball himself.

    You can tell his reaction when we hit the cross bar or when a player has a moment of madness, and that’s all good. If Wenger was English, the same media would call his reaction “passion for the game”. When Zigic scored at Wembley – you could see Wenger and Pat Rice pointing at Djourou and Koscielny with that “you you you – how the fuck did that happen when we’ve addressed this issue” type of finger.

    Speaking of which – I wish Houllier a speedy recovery. It’s not his first medical scare possibly from the stress of management. EPL managers have a lot to deal with. One thing I don’t agree with is wheeling them out to the cameras immediately after a game especially after a bad defeat. Not even the world’s best paid CEOs have to endure the stress of having to face a camera under such duress.

  25. You’re fooling yourself here. We will not beat United because Ferguson has more than got the measure of Wenger when it comes to tactics. The best we can hope for is that the mancs don’t win it on our ground.
    Drawing parallels with 89 would be reasonable if we had anyone with the character of the likes of Adams and Rocky or the experience of actually winning things like Kevin Richardson had.

  26. Dalgleish reacted, did he not?

    Dexter. There is no “r” in “amband”. Careful before you have a go at someone

  27. @dexter –> we should make the stadium bigger and have a standing area too, the standing fans would sing their hearts out like i and the real fans do every week

  28. He’s messing – look at the URL.

    Nice one Joshua. It’s not all stupidity behind these blogs, though. Football’s an escape for many; it gives people a chance to be irrational, and never more so than when their team’s in a title race. Whatever happens in May, most people will tone it down a little once the season’s over.

    The sheer hatred and hysteria does look insane when you take a step back though – it’s like quibbling about the paint job of the new Rolls-Royce you never deserved.

  29. Sorry armband, do you want to borrow my puncture repair kit?

    JamesM I hate people who write off the team they are supposed to support, BEFORE the game has occurred. I can understand anger, frustration AFTER a result. But never before.

    As for the character of 89. Didnt we almost blow a huge lead that year?

  30. Also:

    “A Club Financial Control Panel has been set up to monitor and ensure that clubs adhere to the financial fair play requirements – and in May 2010, the UEFA Executive Committee approved the UEFA Club Licensing and Fair Play Regulations – which have the support of all stakeholders in European football. Financial fair play measures will be implemented over a three-year period, with the break-even assessment covering the financial years ending 2012 and 2013 assessed during 2013/14, and starting with the assessment by the Club Financial Control Panel of all transfer and employee payables in the summer of 2011.”

  31. Which might explain the £50 million for Torres in January. I wonder if Abramovich has buyer’s remorse now.

  32. joshua
    the point you make about transfers is a valid one and is proof that no other manager can do what wenger can do and stay in the top four..
    its a staggering achievement..
    but the counter side of that is that why dont we spend more..
    why do we feel the need to make a profit of 350k a year on transfers
    dont we make enough profit as it is?? im sure that 350k wont make much difference…
    i totally agree that we will never rival the likes of chelsea and citeh in the market but when we dont rival the likes of west brom and birmingham its just ridiculous in my opinion…
    we are a superclub with a little clubs mentality in the transfer window and when you havent won a trophy for 5 years you cant really defend it….

  33. amband
    dgaleish reacted to what??
    wenger having his arms out in the air??…come of it mate, we couldnt see wengers face but the camera picked up no audio
    it had no problems picking up dagleishes audio though did it..

  34. 1 loose cannon

    Darius I know whats the problem they keep dangling that carrot in front of us – and we don’t seem to like carrots. Maybe a beef steak would do. But I understand your point not once we have taking advantage of Uniteds repeated slip ups. It is probably the pressure for wanting badly to take advantage, we seem to lose focus, pressure breeds desperation with desperation you tend to over do things. defensively this has been the case. Whenever we are ahead we wants to hold on to that lead so badly , when the ball comes into our box we panic. Had we won the Tin cup, the players would have been just a little bit calmer because they would say to themselves ” we have ended the trophy draught so no pressure. I still believe the C.cup failure was a massive blow, self confidence was shattered that day. We have the quality no doubt about that maybe we need a cool and calm character to steady the ship at the back..A well good experinced leadership is infectious regardless wether you wear the armband or not. The Verminator will be back with a vengence. We missed him and his classy goals.A natural leader and I agree it is still up for grabs without a doubt.

  35. Jon Jon. Why would Dalgleish say “piss off” or whatever, without some sort of provocation?

    Something must have happened beforehand. My apologies to AW if I’m wrong, but his track record suggests otherwise

  36. yeah darious, hope houliier well..

    mate, the managers not the only one who loves the club
    there are many in the ground who kick and head every ball with him…its not just him…passion and love is a funny emotion, its normal not only to be supportive but to be frustrated…
    reactions are natrual…you cant expect everyone in the ground to be mother theresa or gandhi…

    theres also the point that alot of the people in the ground are customers, sightseers who take there camera..they aint there to watch football they are there to say to their mates theyve been to emirates..but weve covered this topic many times before

  37. amband i got no no problems with wenger having dingdongs with other managers on the touchline
    its not like any of them are angels is it..tensions are high its like seeing a punch up on the pitch…
    when we used to kick the shit out of manutd in all those brawls nobody gave a far as im aware we all rather enjoyed it..
    so why cant wenger have his moments…

  38. The reason for the atmosphere in the stadium is because of the lies that are out there spread by the media and reinforced by our own idiot bloggers.

    1. The first lie is that we have all this money that Wenger refuses to spend because he is obsessed with his so-called “project Youth” when the truth is the very opposite… he had strip down the Invincibles a lot quicker than he’d have liked because we literally couldn’t afford to keep the mature players on the high wages they deservedly earned. Just imagine what our wage bill would have been if we kept all of the Invincibles and added yet more players of the requisite quality to the team. It wasn’t financially possible.
    The fact of the matter is that David Dein saw the projections for earnings and transfer fees after the stadium was proposed and basically said that it wouldn’t work. He didn’t believe that we could be competitive if we built the stadium and he wasn’t talking about winning trophies either. Dein thought that our regression would a lot bigger than it has been…Yet most of the people who push the lie that we are awash with cash, that we refuse to spend because of wenger and Wenger alone are same folks who worship Dein… which is why those fans are total idiots. If Dein was right about his projection for earnings in the initial period after stadium was built then Wenger has done a brilliant job. If, on the other hand, Dein was so wrong with his projection and we are awash with all this cash , then he can’t be that smart any way to get something so important so wrong. But like I said the morons on Le Grove and elsewhere who push this lie are too stupid to see the basic contradiction in their own position.

    2. The second and related part of this stupidity that is leading to the discontent we see in the stadium is the fact that some of our fans compare us not with Liverpool or Tottenham which would be fairer and more reasonable but with United and Real and Barca. Anyone who knows anything about football will not need to be told why such comparisons are more than a tad delusional. We are on our way to catching up with those clubs thanks to what Wenger, Fiszman and the rest of our much maligned board have done in the last decade but it will take some more time yet. That’s why some fans sit on their when we play the likes of Spurs and Liverpool… they believe that we should be beating them anyway… but perk up when Barca are in town.

    3. The third stupid idea driving the discontent is that a lot of fans expected that moving to the stadium would immediately mean that we’d have vastly more amounts of money to spend. What folks forget is that when we committed to build the stadium the football landscape was very different. there was no Chelsea and there was no Man City. Our main worry was United. Unfortunately the world has changed… but some of our fans are not interested in the real world, they have the own universe where lies are true and up is down. Read a bit of Le Grove to get what I’m saying here (actually don’t read anything on that benighted sight)… their’s is a parallel universe comparable to the American news channel Fox News… where any stupid idea, no matter how loony, can gain traction.

    4. The fourth reason, IMHO, is the price of tickets. Our ticket prices are quite high and I suppose that some fans who pay high ticket prices also believe the first lie (Wenger has money but refuses to spend) which it is easy to imagine leads to a kind of resentment. My view is this… if you are that unhappy with what you are paying give up your ticket and watch at home. it may not be the best way to generate money for the club but there’s not worse than the poisonous atmosphere at the stadium now. We really do not need these people at the Grove.

    5. Finally there are some of our own fans who really hate Wenger and want him out with a burning passion. This hatred is quite palpable and is driven by many, many inchoate emotions and forces… not least xenophobia. If I had a penny for every time I have had a conversation with some fan who feels that the club has been taken away from him or her, that we have too many French players, who believe that Wenger has done nothing but add to GG’s achievements… I may not be a rich man but I’d definitely afford a good meal at a good restaurant. These ideas are far too commonly held and far too easily expressed. TBH it is one of the more shameful aspect of some of our fans. So these people are not unhappy with making the stadium uncomfortable for our team if it means that wenger can get the push… and any way they hate a lot of the foreign players too…

    My hope is that winning a trophy will silence some of the less stupid of our fans but I fear that there’s a hard core that are so far gone that even trophies won’t shut them up. Weird.

  39. Wenger should be courteous to a league which treats him like an outsider.

  40. Some good points Joshua. On point 4: It’s easier for me as a fan to get away tickets because the fat, lazy, rich, plastic fuckers with home season tickets can’t be arsed looking for them, or travelling to support the team.

  41. YW & Darius,

    Spot on. Our home record and the responses of the Emirates customers this season are no small coincidence.

  42. Joshua & Markus,

    I couldn’t agree more.

  43. Diaby’s out with a calf-strain, so he did come off injured the other night. Can’t believe that guy’s luck with injuries.

  44. 1 loose cannon

    amband- Wenger asked Dalglish if he still remembers 1989 🙂 Come off it mate Wenger said it was not a penalty and Dalglish too ofence to that and swore at him . what is the big deal. Move on.

    Joshua .I like your points but not the 2nd one . I hope we are not compared to Totenham we are Arsenal and we get stick for not winning trophies, yes it put pressure on us but its a compliment to the club. We are a big club and we should be winning trophies. But its up to the fans to not bow to the media pressure and stick with the team and not turn against the manager and players so it is up to us fans not media. the media are always up to their bullshit. we can’t stop that.

  45. JonJon…

    I think that you answered your own question… 350k is neither here nor there. The bottom line for me is this.. Wenger has said that he spends what he is given to spend and that he understands the club’s situation and won’t go and ask for more. I think that that is a very fair comment and also the way it ought to be… the board should set the transfer budget and the manager should within reason try to work with it… furthermore Wenger was wholly behind the stadium move. It was he who told the board to build the stadium and that he could cope when Dein was basically saying “hold on, these projections would make us seriously uncompetitive” So it would be hypocritical for Wenger to then turn around and ask the board for more transfer funds when he was one of the prime movers behind the stadium.

    The simple answer is that we don’t spend more because we really haven’t had it to spend. I know the myth that Wenger is working with youth because of his ego is more seductive but the truth is that a big project like our stadium really cramps the ability to spend. That’s why Spurs are desperately trying to cut costs… if they build their stadium and don’t get a sugar daddy or genius mnager they may well face relegation. A lot of us take the stadium project for granted when it is one of the most ambitious and daring things to have been done by any club in England for ages. And a large part of the thanks belongs to our manager.

  46. 1LC…

    Fair enough… the fact though is that Tottenham are 3rd in the transfer spending list with a net outlay of over 16m a season since 2003…. And they haven’t had as much as a sniff of the title. That’s my point really, as I don’t think that we and Spurs and at the same level now. Not at all… but one would expect the media to be as hard on them as they are on us but because ‘arry is good old English wheeler dealer he portrayed as this poor man working away with nothing.

  47. I wonder what the media will due when Harry is hauled in for tax evasion at his trial in July. I know there’s flexi working and telecommuting and stuff, but how the hell is he going to manage England, let alone Spurs from a prison cell….

  48. 1 loose cannon

    Joshua- I agree the English British thing plays a massive part in the Media. Harry was exposed of his dodgy dealing or tax evasion something like that but he gives them what they want interviews a column here and there , things to write so they let him of the hook. Wenger does not like talking to papers or give interviews apart from Arsenal’s press conferences. Another example Bale won player of the year. On what basis ? a hat trick he score against Inter Milan. he has done nothing since. Look at Teverz a fantastic player that carried Man city the entire season he gets nothing then Scott Parker wins Writer ‘s Player of the year you see what I’m trying to get at. The media bias is everywhere but it should not influnce us as fans we know who is good and who is not. They will never ever convince me that Wenger is a bad manager and Harry is a genius. I’m not stupid .

  49. 1LC…

    Totally agree especially about Tevez/ Parker. It is a sad fact of life that this sort prejudice exists (and it exists everywhere) and we have as a club and Wenger as a man and manager has deal with it.

    At White Hart Lane, Clive Allen deliberately barged into Wenger and some in the media thought of it as funny. Imagine the hoo ha in the press if Wenger does the same. And some of our so-called fans want to criticise Wenger’s behaviour… pathetic.

  50. I’m not sure if xenophobia is a reason for morons wanting Wenger out, they’re just too stupid to see the bigger picture of what he has achieved at the club. We have some extraordinarily ungrateful fans who piss me off intensely.

  51. 1 loose cannon, couldn’t agree more regarding Bale.

  52. joshua i think you make some good points but in dont agree with them all and if i explained why i fear we will be here all day 😉

    we’ll just have to agree to disagree..

    diabys injured…well thats a shock isnt it…

  53. If you watch the Wenger press conference how can you not admire the man?
    He is class personified.
    I think what he needs is a “minder”
    Someone who will distribute liberal sprinklings of mouth punching when some imbecile asks him a stupid question
    I offer my services.

  54. i disagree about parker
    i think hes an exceptional player and hes been outstanding this year…
    if it wasnt for him west ham would have been relegated already..
    when hammers fans were calling out for blood and guts to be shown, parker stood up and carried that team for months while the rest of them didnt give a shit…
    he deserves that award…sometimes the best players dont have to play in the best teams..and if west ham go down, parker will leave and i hope we get him cos he is class and hes got that experience, hes got the bottle, and hes one of those players that rolls his sleeves up and takes the initiative when the chips are down…the kind of player we could do with right now..
    the kind of leader we are calling out for…and he wont cost 30mil….
    hes got two years left in him at least

  55. george
    i must admit i enjoyed the conference
    especially the bit where the journo questioned the teams mentality and he replied weve gone 16 games its not a losing one..

  56. I enjoyed the contrast in that first half between ‘player of the year’ Bale and ‘He doesn’t have a football brain’ Walcott. Really, it was a good game, shame about the result. RVP’s disallowed goal would surely have been a contender for one of the best goals of the season? Stunning pass, ridiculous volley, I don’t think Gomes had a chance.

    On the subject of stupid ‘fans’, how many credible idiots were heckling Walcott last season, simply repeating the mantra they were being fed? A few.
    This season they’ve just been following slighlty altered songsheets.

  57. Random survey

    Lennon (According to some Arsenal ‘fans’ he was a better right orthodox whinger last season). – P:35 G:3 A:7

    Bale (According to some Arsenal ‘fans’ he was a better orthodox whinger this season)- P 38 G:11 A:5ish

    Walcott – P:33 G:12 A:11

  58. Or is it an orthodox right whinger?
    Too many whingers and trolls. It can be confusing.

  59. I always laugh when people with no brain of any description accuse Theo,an intelligent and articulate boy,of having no football brain.
    Its a bit like people who clearly know nothing about football acusing Arsene of being tactically inept,comedy gold really.

  60. You know, I’d be reluctant to compare Walcott with Bale and Lennon. They’re very different players, with different roles in different systems.

    I will say that Walcott’s steady improvement over the last three years, despite the injuries, has been really satisfying. He’s absolutely vital to us now. So much that I think we need another player just like him in the squad more than anything else going into the summer!

    When it comes to Bale it’s amazing how it’s just a couple of moments that have influenced people’s view of his season. There is no f*cking way that he should have been anywhere near that shortlist, but those two great performances against a dysfunctional Benitez defence, and the stylish volley against Stoke just seem to have stuck in people’s minds.

    I’m sure being white and British has nothing to do with it…

  61. Borges Spinelli


    “Why would Dalgleish say “piss off” or whatever, without some sort of provocation?”

    Simple! For the same reasons, Rooney, profusely emits profanity on the pitch and on camera. I believe such temerity to be an atypical, ingrained characterization of those from the lower strands of society. Even when they get life-lines and re-emerge as nouveaux riches, I’m afraid, their propensity to retain mannerisms akin to their former milieus remains obstinate.

    Frankly, Wenger & Dalgleish are worlds apart in every way, outside of soccer.

  62. Dalgleish was entitled to tell Arsene to piss off.And Arsene was entitled to be not a bit bothered about it.
    I dont think that someones upbringing should work against them though.
    Kenny Dalgleish has achieved much as a player ,coach and person ,and conducted himself admirably under some horrendous circumstances.
    He should never ever be compared to the gutter snipe that is Rooney

  63. OOU, I agree.

    I thought that ‘inside forward’ was a gr*tty old football term.

    From the ever trustworthy Wiki:

    “…the position of inside forward was popularly used in the late nineteenth and first half of the 20th centuries. The inside forwards would support the centre forwards…In early 2-3-5 formations the inside-forwards would flank the centre forward on both sides. With the advent of the “WM” formation, the inside forwards were brought back to become attacking midfielders, supplying balls to the centre forward and the two attacking wingers – known as the outside right and outside left.
    In the modern game, inside forwards have either been pushed up front to become out-and-out attackers (in 4-3-3 formations) or one has been switched back into midfield and the other up front (in 4-4-2). Many teams, however, still employ one of their strikers in a withdrawn role as a support forward for the main striker, in a role broadly similar to the inside forward.”

    Why do so many Braindead experts forget such things.

  64. Not sure if that last paragraph describes Theo’s role completely, but it’s close enough for me.

  65. Inside forward it is then. Let’s call him that!

  66. David Villa’s been playing for Barcelona as an inside forward on the left this season. To great effect as well, until he forgot how to score.

  67. Or he could be an outside forward?
    Have I made that up?

  68. OneOfUs, We do have another Japanese Walcott in progress.

    finsbury, Theo hecklers last year are the same fans who were heckling Song two years ago. Idiots.

  69. Imagine if we had bought Villa and he had failed to score in his last 12 games.
    What would the “proven experienced world class” brigade have to say about that?

  70. Surely Guardiola needs to pick a big ‘un up front for Villa to play off.
    Like Heskey or Crouchy? Messi is too small.

  71. Yep Markus, if he gets that WP this summer then he could be the one.

  72. Clearly not .Outside forward is a position in association football which refers to a footballer who plays as an advanced forward on the right or left wing – as an outside right or outside left. Typically as part of a 2-3-5 formation or one of its variants. As football tactics have developed, and wingers have dropped back to become midfielders, the terminology has changed and “outside forward” has become a historical term. Many commentators and football analysts still refer to the wing positions as “outside right” and “outside left”

  73. Exactly, George. And at the most crucial point of the season as well. What a choker!

  74. I think a lot of the problems among our fans are caused by the perception that things can only be black or white, that we’ve had literally no money since the move or we’ve been sitting on the sort of sums that could’ve funded the Greek bailout.

    My main problem with last few years is that we could have spent within reason and strengthened the squad. I think most people believe that we didn’t sign Alonso for the sake of £500k. We lost Cole over 5 grand a week…

    As for my earlier comment about the Man Utd game I get the response about not pitching before anything’s even gone wrong but my frustration is borne out of turning up at Old Trafford for the past few years and seeing us fall into the same trap each time and not attempting to try anything different. That has to change or we’ll keep seeing the same result. Man Utd don’t need to beat us next weekend, they just have to keep us at arms length.

  75. OK, I’m talking too much especially with the garden beckoning…but you look at Walcott’s figures for the season and think – he’s 22 now, when players can be expected to go from strength to strength – just extrapolate that…provided the system stays the same and he stays fit, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him up that tally considerably in the next couple of years.

  76. My main problem with last few years is that we could have spent within reason and strengthened the squad. I think most people believe that we didn’t sign Alonso for the sake of £500k. We lost Cole over 5 grand a week…

    James .why do most people believe that?
    There is absolutely no evidence to support that theory.
    Only a idiot listens to the rantings of another idiot and then reiterates it as fact.
    Are you an idiot?

  77. Bale is a lot of hype. He might be a decent player but really, he didn’t get a sniff against Sagna in the match at the Emirates. (Bale only started to come in the game in the second half when he was played as a second striker to avoid Sagna) And at WHL, I think someone counted and basically, out of 7 duels, Sagna won 7. So if Bale is the world’s greatest player, what does that make Sagna? Especially when you look at players like Maicon, who couldn’t cope with Bale.

    A different question: does anyone know a right back that is better than Sagna?

  78. Well, if we lost Joe Cole over 5k a week … that’s 5k we did well on not spending.

  79. Eboue

  80. Evil .You can say that again

  81. Offensively, yes. But defensively I think that Eboue is just too much of a mixed-bag. Though on the other hand Eboue can play any position known to man and several that have not yet been invented and are waiting for their introduction into the modern game.

  82. and

  83. I really hope we dont lose Eboue,He would start for any other team in the EPL, but does he get enough games to keep him happy?
    Sagna is exceptional.

  84. Well, I think that Eboue loves the club. He was devasted after his mistake against Liverpool and I feel that he is one who is happy with his role at the club. I’ve never seen any interview with him where he said anything in the direction of leaving Arsenal.

  85. Eboue should come on as a sub on the right instead of Bendtner.

  86. well he does not score very often

  87. I think AA should be sub for Theo.But what do I know?

  88. I’m a fan of Arshavin but lately I swear I get deja-vu watching him. He tries to cut in from the left with two defenders to beat, loses it to the inside defender and we give away possession.

  89. Except when he scores a screamer and sets up another when 2 0 down?
    I take deja vu of that any time

  90. I agree about the negativity in the ground affecting the players, have been saying it for ages but people are entitled to ‘support’ the team however they want I suppose. Its a shame that the same supporters who breed negativity in the crowd seem to be the same ones moaning about our lack of spirit or whatever, and they can’t see the link between the two. Some fans claim to be the 12th man. Listening to some of the whingers at our place I wonder if we have the equivalent to 10 maybe 9 men at times. Thankfully there are those gooners who’s support is unconditional, like the ones who travelled to WHL the other night and sang their hearts out throughout. Keep up the good work guys!

  91. 1 loose cannon

    A bearded Henry is still banging them .

  92. Banging goals…

    Good to see he’s enjoying himself anyway.

  93. Darius:

    Another nice post. I understand you frustration with fans but their reaction is one of frustration. We are victims of our own hype since many believe we have such incredible talent in our squad. Nothing frustrates fans more then the impression that a team is chronically underperforming. Fans try to explain it and the first thought is always going to be that the team does not have the same level of desire as teams with lesser talent. Some of our performances this year have been tepid at best. Braga, Sunderland at home and the cup ties against lower division sides etc etc come to mind. Just as frustrating is seeing players make what on the surface seem to be stupid mistakes over and over again and the feeling that we continually try the same tactics with the same result over and over again. Perhaps not justified but those are the conclusions that fans will always make. One of the reason weblog is that many like to complain and you certainly have many reasons to criticize the fans but they are no different then fans all over the world in all sports. You have heard significant booing at Villa Park and Stamford Bridge this year. 5 years and counting without a trophy at Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge, San Siro, Nou Camp, etc etc. and you would see the same thing probably even worse. Dallas Cowboys here in the USA suffer the same fate. Perhaps if the team significantly dropped ticket prices and encouraged a different segment of the fan population to come to the stadium you might get a different response. In an ideal world all fans of every team would be like you but thats not reality. We are stuck with the fans we have and unfortunately it is only going to get worse the longer the trophy drought continues. The snow balls rolls on down the hill. We have discussed this many times this year, but I think its time for the club to try something different this summer, not just to appease the fans but to help re-energize the players.

  94. Great post from Darius and Joshua.

  95. Finsbury at 1:49 and George Rodgers at 2:03 made me laugh like hell.

  96. Delia--Block 112

    Great read today , thanks gentlemen, you keep me amused in my old age.
    Favorite Arsenal inside forward– Jimmy Bloomfield ! A player out of the Johnny Haynes song book . Those were the days, we hadn’t won anything for years and to make matters worse the Spuds reigned supreme with what was a wonderful side. The Doomers would have had a field day!
    Sadly , I don’t think the title will come our way this year but unlike the Doomers I will be back in 112 next season and every subsequent season until I can nolonger put one foot in front of the other. Real Gooners support their team in sickness and in health ( sorry wedding fever is taking over).
    Those who post in Le Grove don’t deserve Arsenal, Wenger and the beautiful game , let alone a seat in our wonderful stadium . The building of an Emirates would not happen today , the cost of the finance involved would make the project non viable, as the Spuds have found with their scheme to redevelop WHL. I for one am grateful for the foresight of our
    manager and directors notwithstanding the financial constraints put on the spending available to AW.
    As for the alleged tepid atmosphere in the stadium, I thought we gave the players great support on Sunday . Support is a two way business , the team also need to play their part.
    Onwards and upwards , Bolton will be tricky and a display like Wednesday’s first half will be required.
    As always COYRs

  97. Joshua:

    Appreciate all your efforts to enlighten us on the financials of the club. I have heard that Swiss Ramble which has been said by many on this and other blogs and several sources as being quite good, paints a different picture of what might have been or currently is potentially available to club for use in the transfer market. Limestone presented some data the other day that did not quite match the gloom of your financial analysis. Your analysis of the inner workings of the board room are helpful but I am not sure how you get that info. Probably even more frustrating is the fact that the board and Wenger have said in the past that the financial crisis is over and we now money to spend (paraphrased).

    You said in one of your comments to JJ ” Wenger has said that he spends what he is given to spend and that he understands the club’s situation and won’t go and ask for more. “. That is opposite of what I have heard him say, he has always said that he has money to spend if he desires. PHW is quoted at every transfer window saying that Wenger has lots of money to spend if he wants it. (paraphrased).

    The bottom line is that most fans believe (correctly or not) that the club has a money that it could use but has not. Making a profit in the transfer market is not something to be proud of when your results on the pitch are falling short of management and fans expectation. If we were winning trophies then a transfer profit would be an interesting feather in our cap but nothing more.

    Another huge part of the fan frustration and anger is that we are confused about what is really happening with our club regarding profits and transfer budgets etc etc.

  98. skywatchingmug

    Kenyan gunner what was funny about George Rodgers post @ 2:03. I don’t get it.

  99. Some excellent stuff today.

    At the end of the say berating a bunch of young players will not work for the good of the team nor the supporters. These people have been miserable from day 1, I remember how so many of our current players were all but hung by their own supporters. This is no current frustration, these people seem unhappy and must have nothing going but Arsenal in their lives.

    It kinda bothers me when people mention Chelsea in these discussions because they just started winning things by way of billions so they should win every year.

  100. Bill you said

    “You said in one of your comments to JJ ” Wenger has said that he spends what he is given to spend and that he understands the club’s situation and won’t go and ask for more. “. That is opposite of what I have heard him say, he has always said that he has money to spend if he desires. PHW is quoted at every transfer window saying that Wenger has lots of money to spend if he wants it. (paraphrased).”

    These two coments are not necessarly opposed to eachother if you ask me. What I read is that there is money to spend but Arsene will be responsible with that same money and will only spend what he can or what he believes is right knowing the clubs financial situation.

    Arsene is a man that does what he believes is right and for that I comnend him.

  101. Skywatchingmug,I am hurt,

  102. Skywatchingmug, the analysis and then asking James if he’s an idiot!

  103. This comment cracked me up today.

    Evil | April 22, 2011 at 2:08 pm |

    Offensively, yes. But defensively I think that Eboue is just too much of a mixed-bag. Though on the other hand Eboue can play any position known to man and several that have not yet been invented and are waiting for their introduction into the modern game.

  104. Delia, I like to think you represent the majority of supporters.

    Good on you.

  105. Paul:

    I don’t think anyone who is reasonable or realistic wants Wenger sacked. He has done some incredible stuff before the stadium was built and by kept us competitive against the odds after the financial burden of the stadium. Everything is much clearer in retrospect and although debatable, the evidence suggests that there are things that we could have done/could be doing differently both on and off the pitch that might give us a better chance to finally start winning the trophies and end the negative snowball going down the hill for both the fans and players. The fact that the boss realized we could not really compete with Barca at the ball possession game especially at the Nou Camp suggests that he is not as inflexible/stubborn as many suggest. Hopefully we will see a few changes this summer and beyond.

  106. Paul N ,It was always going to be thus.
    And rightly so

  107. Comparing ourselves to Barca it’s hard to see where to buy. Valdes to Szcesny, Alvez to Sagna, Abidal to Clichy, Pique to Djourou/Koscielny, Puyol to Vermaelen, Busquets to Song, Xavi to Wilshere, Iniesta to Fabregas, Pedro to Walcott, Messi to Nasri and Silva to Van Man Van Persie!

  108. We have the team. All we were missing was the experience. We are almost there!

  109. Kenyan .That my friend is a top post.Take a bow.

  110. Thanks George. Forgot to add that we don’t have Barca’s debt!

  111. In hindsight everything is easy and simple bill but it doesnt have to work out – step forward Torres. Wenger believes in his players and who he brings in the team and I would have it no other way.

    I think what we will find what has worked is buying quite a lot of expensive players and then see who works out for you. This is what we have with Barca, RM, Chelsea and City, what is good and different about United is that they have a very mature set of players througout the squad but they have had their time of overspending also.

    The funny thing though is that we did buy players. It hasnt worked out in trophies as yet but they sure do look like they can get us there, I will wait.

  112. Kenyan gunner | April 22, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    We have the team. All we were missing was the experience. We are almost there!

    A man after my own heart with such a comment, that is exactly what I believe.

  113. I posted this article but I wanted to make sure that we all understand how the team feels about the importance of our support.

    “What I would like from our fans is to be behind the team until the last day, the last minute, of the season,” said Wenger.

    “This club has massive values. This club has been built on solidarity and it is important we show this kind of solidarity until the last second of the season.

    “Then I will accept what people think but until the last second of the season I believe it’s very important that everybody who loves this club fights together.

    “The Arsenal supporters can be very proud of their team.”

    This is what many of us have been saying, it is the only sensible thing to do.

  114. Borges Spinelli


    To me, as of the last 16 months: Dani Alves, Sagna and Maicon are the best 3 right-backs in the world.

    Bendtner HARDLY ever impacts the game from the right flank. I wish Le Gérant would play him where he’s most effective in.
    Wilshere is starting to look jaded – a game or two on the bench would see him re-energized. Why is Ramsey still not getting game time?

  115. Borges Spinelli

    Van Persie Walcott

    Nasri Fabregas
    Clichy Sagna
    Koscielny Djourou


    This 4-1-2-3 or 4-1-2-2-1 line-up without the need for conventional wingers, but wing-backs, could evolve into a 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 if need be.

  116. UnbiasedTobias

    I just came back from le grove… Man! Are those guys cunts. I could stomach reading up to about 10:14
    But this is the kind of bullshit these guys spew

    We’ve lacked some serious pace in our starting 11 for some years now

    and I’d be surprised if Benzema doesn’t find himself on the market this summer. With the sort of money we’ll have available,

    I’d add that spunknugget song to our out list. Simply not good enough on the ball or dynamic enough, never will be.


  117. Borges Spinelli

    Paul N at 5:13pm:

    Wenger is right. Irrespective of how we feel about the season, we owe it as fans, to root for our team wholeheartedly ’til the very end. Nothing can be gained from half-heartedness.

  118. UnbiasedTobias

    Apparently we are a slow squad…
    I’ve heard of lack of physicality and mental strength but not speed. Apparently djourou, kos, clichy, sagna, diaby, walccott, nasri, arshavin and vela are slow… Wow.

  119. Borges Spinelli

    My darn phone screwed up, my carefully layed out formation. Damn you smartphones!

  120. Bill…

    I find it funny that you think that living within our means represents some kind of “Gloom”. I honestly haven’t the faintest idea where you get your quotes from…. as far as I’m aware the most recycled quote relates to something Danny Fiszman is supposed to have said to PHW who then reportedly said it to his newspaper of choice the Daily Star… this quote was then picked up by Sky. I speak of course of the famous quote where Fiszman is reported to have asked Wenger what he’d do if he was given 90 or so million and Wenger supposedly said .. “I’d give it back”.

    The thing about this quote is that it is actually never attributed to Fiszman directly. The second thing is that no ever says that Wenger was told that he had 90m to spend… in fact Dein has said on the record that the board has never, ever made really serious money available to the manager. And Dein ought to know, he was after all the director responsible for Team affairs which includes player acquisitions and remuneration. That’s one thing.

    The other thing is to look at what happened during the period in question… we lost Ashley Cole over a wages dispute effectively. The rights and wrongs of that particular issue can be debated but the bottom line is that we lost a world class LB because we could or wouldn’t pay him what he felt he was worth. And then we lost Flamini and Hleb too. Flamini’s case was again down to wages. At the same time the one director who was most plugged into the football world was going around trying to get some billionaires to buy into the club.

    Here’s Dein in his own words…
    David Dein has warned the Arsenal hierarchy they risk being overtaken in the Premier League pecking order unless they allow Alisher Usmanov to seize control.
    The Uzbekistani billionaire currently owns a quarter of the club’s shares but would like to launch a full takeover through his company Red and White Holdings – which is fronted by Dein, the former Gunners chairman who has a frosty relationship with the board at Emirates Stadium.
    The north Londoners’ financial clout has been called into question this summer following the departure of Mathieu Flamini to AC Milan – with wages allegedly a major factor in his exit – while key players Alexander Hleb and Emmanuel Adebayor also look odds-on to leave.
    Dein claims the recent upheaval could be a sign of things to come unless the Gunners board entertain a takeover from a super-rich investor, and insists it is the only way manager Arsene Wenger can be given the opportunity to succeed.
    ‘Luckily, they have Arsene but you have to give the man a chance,’ Dein said. ‘I don’t want to see Arsenal as the second or even third team in London.

    Read more:

    …. those are Dein’s own words. The bottom line is that as recently as 3 years ago the money wasn’t there while the fans were, even then, asking for Wenger to spend… it was all we could do to hold on the the players we did have… Now things are better, much better but even that is in part due to Wenger’s own good management. We are supposed to have 40m to spend inclusive of wages, meanwhile people like you are demanding top class, experienced players capable of lifting the the team as well as other things… all for 40m! some of the stuff one reads is just bizarre.

  121. Some interesting things from the Arsenal website today that are attributed to Arsene.

    “The only thing I can say is that the Club is in a healthy financial situation and, if needed, we can make a big transfer.”

    But while the figures could be large, the number of incoming players will be few.

    “No I don’t [expect a busy summer] at all,” he said. “The team is 23 years-old [on average] so why should we expect to have a huge turnover at the end of the season?”

    Sounds like business as usual. The boss has to know this is exactly the sort of thing that makes lots of fans unhappy. I realize it is shallow and plastic for fans to get upset about this stuff with 5 games to go. However, throwing a middle finger up at the plastic crowd while it might feel good seems counterproductive if you hope to get the fans re-enegized at the stadium. Why not say we will re-evaluate the situation at the end of this year rather then say we will not have a busy summer? I do not understand.

  122. Press conference, Bill. Watch the press conference.

  123. Because Bill,he is telling the players he still believes in them.Its not rocket science .How do you think they would feel ,confidence wise ,if he came out and said he was having a garage sale?

  124. By the time Arsene is through appeasing these plastic supporters, it will not make sense for him to be the manager, they will be.

  125. Joshua:

    An endless circle of debate. Past is gone and hopefully we can learn some lessons from what has occured. We are better off now so I say we use the funds we have now to help the club. Last summer Van der Vaart and Ozil would have cost about $23 M total. We don’t need to spend $50 M on one player to get quality. We clearly do have the resources to improve the club and improve the mood of the fans and players. However, as I mentioned above, I suspect this summer will be business as usual so you probably will get your wish and more of our plastic fans and probably the senior players will get frustrated.

  126. bill
    i thought wenger was very clever today
    hes not exactly going to come out and say im selling x y and z when theres 5 games to go of a title charge but if you watch the conference and read between the lines there are plenty of clues in there,,

  127. Unbiased Tobias…

    The article you speak about is written by an idiot for other idiots. Their nonsense follows the same formula every time… they basically lay out a list of players they want get rid of and then they give them some crazy value that has nothing to do. For instance Denilson is supposedly shit but the writer of the article expects to get 8m for him despite the fact that Denilson’s valuation would depend ultimately on both who wants him and where he wants to go. The very best you can hope for, if you are selling a player for whatever reason when no one has made a bid, is to get a decent sell-on clause. The other thing to remember is that a player is due a certain amount of significant compensation if he doesn’t ask for a transfer. None of that is figured into their calculations.

    On the other side… if you want to buy a player from a club that is either unwilling or reluctant to sell you cannot realistically set a price as the club could ask for anything. Eden Hazard could go for 25m or he could go for 40m because the simple truth is that what he is worth depends on how much his club wants the money and how much someone is willing to pay. In other words in football what you get when you are desperate to sell and what you pay when you are very keen to buy are totally different as the market is very distorted that way. None of that figures in their rubbish. The truth as you said is that 40m just for transfers isn’t very much at very top end of the market so 4om inclusive of wages is not a lot of money in the hands of an ordinary top level manager… for Mourinho it’s chicken scratch. Wenger is different though and therein lies our best hope

    Le Grove is a low IQ site run by morons for Arsenal supporting buffoons. They are mostly deluded as well as ill informed.

  128. Bill, hindsight is a wonderful thing.
    Milner and Barry would have cost less than 40 million,so would that have been the same?
    No we would have two Turkeys

  129. George:

    I copied and pasted from the website. If this does not accurately convey what his meaning then the website is crap. He could have expressed full confidence in the squad without saying something he knows will PO fans. Its not his job to appease supporters but I would think he would want to avoid getting more of them upset in the current climate.

  130. Bill…

    I’m sorry but the facts speak for themselves. It isn’t an endless cycle of debate as some things actually happened and some things were said by people in the know especially David Dein who was the director most directly linked with player acquisitions and pay. The money wasn’t there in the past… so there can be no real lessons to learn on what to do with money that wasn’t there.

    Now we have some money but the money reported to be available isn’t all that great given what people like you are demanding. So as someone said.. all we have is same s$£t in a different toilet with some of our fans… because except Wenger buys a so-called “big name” they will most likely continue with their crap.

  131. What’s more important in all this is people to understand that every big club has a time(s) when they’re up and time(s) when they’re down in their history. Even small clubs go through the same cycle.

    Having not won a trophy in 7 or 10 years is not new in our history and it will happen again, hopefully not in my life time since I’m not sure my heart will be strong enough to suffer another period like this one. Other clubs suffered worse periods and some of them disappeared from the football universe all together.

    The likes of Chelsea & Man City embarked on sugar daddies which was not the norm in football, but before that, they suffered decades without trophies. Some will say Arsenal is bigger than Chelsea & Man City, that’s true, but also big clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona go through the same cycles.

    Eventually we will come out of this trophy drought and we will dominate for hopefully a long time, but believe me, it’s not going to be forever…..Nothing lasts forever.

    You can be mad your team didn’t win, you can be upset, but you have to be reasonable too. How would you feel if your club was mismanaged and ran to the ground, possibly fighting for survival instead of having a slight chance to win the league?

    People are on Wenger’s back like monkeys because he’s going nuts on the touchline wanting his team to win, but also on his back because he’s not splashing his club’s cash everywhere to win? What will they do if he splashes the cash and win nothing? Most likely and my guess is they’ll still be on his back.

    In the End, you support the club but you don’t own it. You support a club, you belong to it. It’s something bigger than you, not the other way around. Some fans can threaten not to buy season tickets or merchandise, boycott games, do whatever, but in reality it will have no effect on Arsenal because it’s bigger than some fans, and will have more die-hard fans to replace the weak ones.

    I’m very disappointed we may end up with nothing this season, but still proud of what Arsenal offers me not just in the way of football but also sticking to sound principals which a pretty hard thing to do these days.

    ^ A R S E N A L^

  132. bill
    if the inside info is correct..wenger met with lille in december to discuss the sale of hazard..
    wenger then came out and said hazard was a player he was interested in but he didnt want to disrupt lilles season, seeing as though they were running away, or hazard was running away, with the french ligue…
    apparantly wengers got 1st option on him and lille have recently said they are prepared to let him leave..

    check your quote again..wenger says there is money for a big transfer..not just a transfer, but a big one…

    also check the comments what paul n posted earlier at 5.13 about the fans

    in there wenger says he wants us behind the team until the last whistle and then when its over he will accept what people think….

    and what do ppl think?? what does cesc think??

    like i said plenty of clues…i hope that little scenario makes you feel better 😉

  133. JonJon…

    It must odd that the ‘inside info’ says that Wenger has spoken to Lille and Hazard when the guy recently signed a contract extension to 2015. The internet and ‘inside info’… probably some guy in his Y-fronts sitting at his computer and making things up. Ho hum.

    Seems to that players who are eager to leave do not sign contract extensions.

    “Arsenal and Liverpool target Eden Hazard has committed his future to French club Lille by signing a contract that will extend his stay at the Ligue 1 side until 2015.”

  134. Limestonegunner

    Interesting choice from ATVO to have an interview with Eboue. Everyone is rightly critical of his penchant for simulation on the pitch, and when he plays in midfield he can give the ball away. But otherwise, I really don’t understand the venom towards him. He has wonderful pace and uses it well; he gives huge effort when he gets to play and is supportive of his teammates although he hasn’t had so many opportunities. Gainsbourg suggested after Blackburn that Eboue needed some games and he got his chance v. Blackpool, during which he was terrific and scored a thunderous goal. Against Liverpool he had a fine game. We can question his approach that led to a penalty but it was clear he was going for the ball and making sure to defend against Leiva, who exploited the moment craftily to draw a foul by cutting into Eboue’s path rather than pursuing the ball and stopping. Maybe Eboue should have been wiser and more in control of the situation, but it was a soft penalty regardless. What I didn’t see, and think is a shame, is any other players showing solidarity and leadership to pick up Eboue. It was down to Arsene Wenger to defend him in the press conference. Honestly, I’d rather Eboue replace Walcott or Sagna on the right later in games instead of Bendtner in the remaining games (in agreement with Markus). He brings more pace, guile and effort.

  135. Totally agree with what you said there Limestone and I too would prefer him instead of NB. I dont remember the last time NB has made an impact as a sub on the right. I know its not because he isnt a good player but can we really expect him to blow past someone on the wing and cause havoc? I cant see that at all but Eboue does it for fun. If he could work on his final ball (not that his passing is poor) he would be tremendous.

  136. Bill…

    Leave the Van der Vaart thing alone. We don’t and didn’t need Van der Vaart. Ozil was either going to stay in Bremen or go to a really big club. The idea that just because he went to Real meant that he was available to come to Arsenal is garbage and frankly more than a tad delusional… a player has a right to say no to a transfer he doesn’t fancy, you know. And there’s no way we would have got van der Vaart for the 8m quid that Spurs paid unless you are suggesting that Wenger wait till the very last minute to make his signings… Bayern was willing to pay double. And again, at the risk of repeating myself WAGES matter.

  137. Where would getting VdV left Jack?

  138. George:

    There is no shortage of stupidity in those who make player personnel decisions for teams like the Blue Manc’s. Hopefully the boss and the world’s best scouting staff are good enough that more often then not they will avoid the Milner and Barry’s and find the VDV and Ozil’s. Both would have improved our squad and given everyone involved a lift I suspect. Our staff are the best at finding diamonds in the rough but we have an overstock of those. I suspect they could also very good at finding polished diamonds. Not to say that mistakes can be completely avoided. Just my opinion but better to give it a try at this point rather then sit on our hands and do nothing different.

  139. The VdV thing is frankly more than a little insane TBH. We already have Walcott, Nasri, Cesc and Arshavin… all of whom can do what Vdv does, and in some cases do it bette,r and we also have Diaby, Rosicky and Ramsey as back up… but some folks seriously expect us to go out and spend 8m plus wages on a player we don’t need…. and then they turn around and talk about Wenger’s naivety blah de blah.. you can’t really make this stuff up.

  140. Funny thing is though Bill that our team has looked much better against Barcelona than RM has and there is no way that RM wouldve done to Arsenal what they did to Spurs, I cant see it. Given we didnt lack confidence that is.

  141. One of the main reason we suffered against Barca at their place, it seems, is because Cesc was injured. When he plays he is vital to how our teams works the ball but he was not up to it.

  142. joshua..
    contract extentions mean shit mate..
    remember henry??

    contract extentions serve to increase the players value..and seeing as though lille have developed him and he owes a lot to them it would be fair to suggest that they want a fair price for him and not some knockdown last year of contract price..

    just cos he signed a contract til 2015 dont mean he’ll stay there it just means hes worth 20mil and not 10…

    now im not saying it will happen, but im not ruling it out either

  143. JonJon…

    How do you know he’s worth 20 million not 30 or 40? And the Henry situation is entirely different. A 20 year old player with a contract extension is not the same as a mature player who had won a lot with his team and asks his manager to release him as he’s getting older and would like the chance to win the Champions’ league.

    The Hazard situation is more akin to Cesc’s situation than Henry’s. And if we get in any kind of bidding war with likes of Real or Chelsea then the guy will most likely not be coming to us… shouldn’t stop anyone dreaming though… I just prefer to deal with reality of our position in the real world.

  144. the only reason arry got vdv is cos real wanted rid of him so bad they didnt even give the guy a squad number..

    bayern munich had a deal in place for around 15mil but pulled the plug about 5mins before deadline..

    but real still wanted rid and vdv agent knows levy or arry or some bollox like that and phoned them and asked if they wanted vdv for knockdown
    arry, being arry said yeah and they wrapped it up with about 10 seconds to spare..

    i think wenger was once asked why he didnt get him and wenger said nobody knew about it apart from spurs..or some shit like that

  145. a contract is a contract mate no matter what the players circumstance..

    if youve got a player whos in the last year of his contract hes worth less than what he would be with 5 years to spare..whether hes 19 or 29 it means the same..

    and i dont know hes 20mil..he could be 30 but if his contract is running low its not going to be nowhere near that is it…which was my point regardless of numbers..

    and like i said before
    if weve got first option there wont be a bidding war…so it dont matter what chelsea and madrid do…

  146. and the reality of the situation if you look at the clubs official finances is that weve got 100mil sitting in a cash reserve mostly accumulated thru the sales of ade and kolo and the completion of highbury…

    now gazidis says that money is being kept for operating costs like wages and stuff and seeing as though nasri and clichy are nearing renewal time we will need it but you cant tell me its going to cost 100mill to keep clichy and nasri for another 4 years..

    so its like wenger says mate..theres money for a big transfer if we want…

  147. @George Rodger “I think what he needs is a “minder”
    “Someone who will distribute liberal sprinklings of mouth punching when some imbecile asks him a stupid question.”
    Hilarious, top post of the day. Can only read soundbites today, I’m sure Joshua’s posts have been excellent but to chilled out to attempt…

  148. JonJon…

    The guy signed a recent contract that runs to 2015. Fact. So his contract is not running low. One minute you say that contracts aren’t worth sh*t the next you say that a contract that is running out puts the onus on the club to sell… so which is it?

    And your first option thingy is meaningless… Lille will sell the player for the most money they can get… they are not Arsenal’s feeder club and their directors can’t be so stupid as to agree to a situation when their biggest asset is sold for less than market is willing to pay.
    The First option nonsense was being spouted by sites like “The Goon Blog”.. a site with all the credibility and believability of a 9 pound note. The internet thrives on gullibility it seems. All we know is that Wenger has said that he rates Hazard, that’s all he said in answer to a question in French from the French press.. from there some people have jumped to the conclusion that we’re definitely going to sign him… we’ll see.

  149. Our only hope in getting Hazard is that he demands to come to Arsenal, if it becomes a thing of who pays the most we may have to pay most of the 40 mil to get him. This is what it has come to in football, whether or not he will pan out is irrelevant.

  150. People seem to forget that contract lengths and transfer fees are somewhat linked. Ronaldo had signed a new contract till 2012 and in 2009 he went to Real Madrid. It’s a common practice to sign new contracts with players because it allows you to ask a higher transfer fee in return. A player that has a contract until say 2012 is obviously going to cost less than one who has a contract running until 2015. It’s one of the reasons why we make sure that our players are tied up with long term contracts whenever possible. So we can put an asking price tag on our most-prized assets.

  151. josh
    i know his contract aint running low anymore but his contract extention serves so they can get a better price for him like i explained at 8.35

    and a first option thing isnt meaningless..if two clubs have an agreement on a first option then all it takes is for one club to say ‘right he wants to leave will you meet the asking price we arranged in the first option??’ and then the other club says yes and the deals done.. and it doesnt matter if another club comes in with the same valution they aint allowed to be accepted due to the first option agreement..
    i dont know how you think the first option works but you buy your first option they dont have to be a feeder club…wenger could have gone over in december and said we’ll give you 5 mil now for first option and lille say yes and its done..then when lille decide to sell they ring us and say lets go..all we need to do is meet the arranged asking price, then if we dont another team can nip in..

    and i know there 100’s of arsenal blogs but if i had time to read them all i wouldnt have a life so ive never read the goon blog or whatever it is…
    the rumour is something thats been circulating a while and it wasnt started on the blogs..
    ive read it on the blogs since but it was doing the rounds before it got on here…

    but we’ll just see how it pans out..a rumours a rumour..actions speak louder than words…but we wont know until summer..

  152. top comment evil

  153. joshua
    why do you put your fingers in your ears so much.???
    ‘The internet thrives on gullibility it seems. All we know is that Wenger has said that he rates Hazard, that’s all he said in answer to a question in French from the French press.. from there some people have jumped to the conclusion that we’re definitely going to sign him’

    wenger didnt say he rated hazard in french to the french press and ppl jumped on it…
    read the fucking link i posted to you earlier from the arsenal official website..
    he said it on there mate..he told the arsenal fans on the clubs official site that there would be no january bid for hazard and if there was going to be a bid it would be decided at the end of the season…

    putting two and two together and coming up with 5 like i maybe doing is one thing but dismissing every shred of evidence like it didnt exist and making up your own is living in lala land mate..

    you’d make a crap lawyer….

  154. “and a first option thing isnt meaningless..if two clubs have an agreement on a first option then all it takes is for one club to say ‘right he wants to leave will you meet the asking price we arranged in the first option??’

    JonJon… what you are saying doesn’t make sense. What is the advantage to Lille of the scenario you just outlined. You are basically suggesting that a figure has already been agreed for a player who is still developing, what kind of moronic businessman agrees to that kind of deal?Would you be happy if struck that kind of deal for any of our players? If not, why do you imagine that Lille would do such a stupid deal? It is one thing to suggest that Arsenal would be offered the opportunity to meet whatever the highest bid for the player happens to be and another thing entirely to go with your scenario if Lille decide to sell. The “First option” thingy of yours, as you explained it, is nonsensical.

    In any event how do you know any of this; is there an internet link to this deal that Arsenal supposedly struck with Lille? And can you give me an example of when this kind of deal has been done before?

  155. I should not have brought specific names into the discussion because it clouds the real issue. If the rest of the year plays out the way it looks like it will then my hope is that we make a splash or 2 or 3 in the transfer window this summer and bring a little excitement for the fans and re-energize the players. Its not a guarantee of success but it can’t hurt and it might really help. I am 100% confident the boss is smart enough to spend the money he has available and not get caught on the slippery slope to the dark side so I see no real long term risk by using the money we have available to freshen up the squad. Move a few incumbent players out and bring in a few new ones who can compete for a spot in the first 11 and complete the squad with a couple of academy players.

  156. Limestonegunner

    Joshua, that is what is frustrating people. Why does Ozil not consider Arsenal a really big club? (And it is clear he doesn’t judging from his omission of Arsenal from his comments last summer on clubs he was interested to play for in England). Why didn’t he list us among the clubs in England he would consider playing for? I think it is because we are no longer associated with winning the PL or challenging for the CL. We are in danger of gaining a reputation for being a developer of youth rather than a top challenging club. You don’t even seem to believe we are a really big club yourself when you consistently represent us as an overachieving and better run Tottenham, Aston Villa, Everton, or Newcastle (much fairer to compare us favorably to Liverpool). I am not saying we should have got Ozil. What I am concerned about is that he didn’t even mention Arsenal among the top clubs in England. Do you want the status of Arsenal to be seen to be declining, as it might the longer we go without winning the league or seeming to try to enhance the squad to do better. If it goes in this direction, we will be seen as a stepping stone club for talented players between 18-22 who want to establish themselves and gain first team CL experience early on because they believe they will get playing time at Arsenal where they won’t at Barcelona, AC Milan, Inter, Real Madrid, and so on to whom they can make big money moves when they want to win something later in their career. Do we want to be an English version of Ajax–look what is going on over there. They haven’t won the league recently and couldn’t get out of the group stages of the CL but have a wonderful academy that just sold Suarez for 25 million pounds?

    What hurts me the most is that our urbane, dignified manager once hailed as the game’s genius is being routinely disrespected by his peers now, see Clive Allen’s behavior Wednesday night and Redknapp calling him a “nutter”, and not just by the hyenas of the media and punditocracy. It seems he is doing the job of three people and his players are not demonstrating the quality and character that he believes they should be by this point. It is a desperate, vicious circle. At the end of the season there will be an opportunity for reflection and self-critical examination that could/should lead to some judicious decisions to achieve further improvement. In the meantime, he and these players who have been battling deserve our full support and I think he is right to say to the supporters that the team needs your support to the bitter end of this season, as we all who love this club fight together.

    Come on you Gunners! Let’s have a winning streak, beat ManU and put pressure on them to the very end. Who knows how it might end? Whatever happens, we need to uphold the status and dignity of this great club. That means putting everything behind the team for the next five games and, to me, also not lowering our expectations by imagining Arsenal are not a really big club.

  157. JonJon…

    Sorry mate but you crack me up. Wenger’s first comments regarding Hazard was made to a French speaking journalist who asked him about hazard in French. Your quote is nothing special and is just Wenger doing what he normally does which give a non answer. Nothing in that quote indicates that he plans to bid for Hazard in the Summer… as he said… “if I give out Jay Emmanuel Thomas and Carlos Vela it is because we have what is needed”… If anything the implication in that quote is that Hazard isn’t needed, at least for now. My guess bis that we’d most probably get Ryo and Oxlade-Chamberlain next season. Hazard is an extreme outside bet.

  158. Limestonegunner

    Joshua, following up on a previous post yesterday, I am glad you agree that we should be walking this league. This is a very important realization. It is baffling to everyone why we aren’t. You have decided to emphasize the home support and atmosphere of negativity as a factor. I am with you in wishing that supporters would not abuse players and the manager (I think the abuse of other supporters helps polarize the situation further and push them further to extremes, so I hope you would join me in decrying that as well) and so try instead to encourage us all to be constructive and supportive. It is something we have more control over. However, I think you would have to agree that the lion’s share of responsibility for giving up two goal leads has to do with the manager and the players ultimately. And even if we win the league, this is an aspect of our play and performance that needs to be addressed somehow.

    Btw, I do enjoy discussing with you as well and appreciate the thoughtfulness of your remarks. I do think you enjoy polemic even more than me. Hopefully we can take up the discussion we left of the other day soon. Cheers!

  159. i dont know ,its a rumour joshua, there could be a first option there may not be or we could have an agreement paid in principle or we could have bought him at xmas and loaned him back for the rest of the year…its all specualtive..who knows..
    like i said it may not happen but theres enough evidence to suggest it could…
    just like there was rumour and enough evidence in the build up to the nasri, chamakh and AA deals for example..
    he doesnt like to talk about targets incase the likes of chelsea come in like they did with wright phillips…but hes talked about hazard just like he talked about nasri, AA and chamakh so yeah i think the deals done…

    but thats just my opinion mate..i could be putting 2 and 2 together and getting not disputing that but im not ruling out getting 4 either..

    like wenger said if a decisions to be made it will be made at the end of the season..

  160. Cheers to everyone for a nice Easter weekend. I get to drive 4 1/2 hours after work to visit my mother in law. It makes my wife happy and they have a nice golf course so overall a highly positive weekend for me, along with the meaning of the holiday. Hope yours is good too.

  161. Limestonegunner

    Have a good one, Bill!

  162. i answered you joshua but the comments in moderation..

  163. Arsene to the media: “I understand that your job is to create crisis after crisis” Classic.

  164. and yeah i hope ryo is with us next season and i thought oxo was a good bet too but southampton were pissed off the way we went about that one so i dunno if we’ll still get him..and to be honest im not that bothered cos i dont think a 10mil quid 17 year old from a league 2 team is what we really need at the minute..

  165. Limestone…

    Once again I see the point you are making very clearly as you have explained your point succinctly and with great clarity. My answer to your Ozil question is that we are just whwere we are in our development following the stadium move and there’s a perception about the club that is not entirely fair or accurate. I don’t think that we are declining as a footballing force or even in the quality of our players and overall squad, we lack experience at the moment but I honestly don’t see decline at all. In fact I see real and measurable improvement all across the team. Ozil, if he had all the facts, would consider us, of that I’m sure but he was in Germany playing for Werder Bremen and to him a move to Arsenal would at best seem like a move sideways not a move upwards, Bremen are not a small club after all. In part it’s down to the media, big transfers are sexy and most players would like to win in glamorous setting… we are just not perceived that way and TBH haven’t been perceived that way since the 1930s. even when we were winning the league we had players turn us down and go to united for more money… C. Ronaldo and Van Nisterooy spring to mind.

    But none of this is new nor is it something that relates to us alone… remember when Beckham turned down Barcelona? It wasn’t that long ago you know… do you think that if that transfer was happening today that Beckham would be quite so dismissive of Barca? Things change and they often change quite quickly and very rapidly…

    We haven’t won in 6 years and we are not biggest payers amongst the top clubs so we are perceived as not as big as Real and Barca or ManU or even Chelsea. But it will change… we just need to be patient as we are really on the cusp. I actually think that we are bigger than we are perceived to be but not as big as some of our fans imagine us to be… which is a bit too nuanced a position to hold on an internet forum :-).
    My view (which is my point about Villa, Tottenham and Liverpool) is that the criticism we get is unfair and contributes to the nervousness which leads to the annoying results and the whinging home fans… but I also believe that our quality, irrespective of how much we’ve spent, should have seen us win the league at a canter.. and the CC too. So I don’t think that we are at the same level as Spurs, Liverpool or Villa… in fact just looking at our matches against those teams this season ought tell anyone who the superior side is… We are better than Spurs and villa and Liverpool.

    So, all in all… I understand the frustration and aggravation but we are where we are and, for me, our current evolution is the best way except we want Usmanov and all that might entail.

  166. Bill:
    “I should not have brought specific names into the discussion because it clouds the real issue. If the rest of the year plays out the way it looks like it will then my hope is that we make a splash or 2 or 3 in the transfer window this summer and bring a little excitement for the fans and re-energize the players. Its not a guarantee of success but it can’t hurt and it might really help. ”

    You’re so sneaky, Bill. You got caught out with the Van derVaart thing and want to move the goal posts a bit so you can go around your defeated argument. By the way, did you know that Van der Vaart has only one meniscus? That’s right, Rafa has no meniscus in one knee.

    If you want to omit names in order to make a point about how a few transfers will spice up the side, then don’t make a comment at all. If you think that a few transfers will help keep the plastics happy, think again. Koscielny and Chamakh were purchased last summer and look at the ire thrown at them. They were calling Koscielny a French Amateur for fucks sake. Now he’s an international and played Messi off the park not two months ago, but they still talk shit about him. Go figure. You and your plastics can not be pleased and I’d hate it if Wenger gave into your stupid demands. What’s worse is that when Koscielny gets back next season and displaces Vermaelen, people like you will forget all about it.

    “enough to spend the money he has available and not get caught on the slippery slope to the dark side so I see no real long term risk by using the money we have available to freshen up the squad. Move a few incumbent players out and bring in a few new ones who can compete for a spot in the first 11 and complete the squad with a couple of academy players.”

    You always make this idiotic and lazy comment. Why is that?

    Like I’ve told you many times before. A few million doesn’t matter to whom? To you it may not matter because you’re not putting it in, obviously, but it matters to whoever is shelling it out. Besides, you can count Wenger out of buying big name players just to get vaginas wet at the Emirates. Wenger will buy a cheaper version of the name on everyone’s lips and he’ll end up being better.

    And you want to get rid of incumbent players? What the fuck for? So they can become superstars somewhere else? Our squad is very young. It would be stupid to go through all the trouble of developing those players just to get rid of them because some plastic pussy wants to see a big name in the summer? Seriously. Stop making such idiotic comments.

  167. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Bill hasn’t got a clue when it comes to football let al0ne Arsenal. The guy is as simple and shallow as they come. Remember when all we needed to do was fix our defense to win the league and make the fans happy. How did that one turn out? Exactly. Now it’s 2-3 signings to make the whole of the Arsenal fans (who he seems to so gladly represent so frequently) feel happy and bring a bit of “feel good” to the side.

  168. @Joshua,
    Firstly I have to say that I love your comments, I normally find myself nodding away at what you say.

    So much so that I had to copy and paste your 10.44am comment on my blog.

    Great stuff.

  169. I too love Joshua’s comments and also find myself nodding, although I’m not entirely sure if I’m nodding in agreement or from fatigue. Either way I think he should consider starting a blog of his own. Anyone who does not agree with every word he writes is seriously deluded or pathetically ill informed.

  170. Mean Lean…

    I can only say thank you for compliments and that I am honoured that you considered my musings worthy of your own blog. I am very grateful for your kind words. Have a happy Easter Mean Lean and pleas continue the good work on your site. There are too many incurious and closed minds out there blogging about Arsenal… when you add in the bias in the Press then voices like yours and Yogi’s are crucial. Some of our fans, in their frustration, are very much in danger of destroying the thing they claim to love that’s why we need sane voices that acknowledge the mistakes made but also point out the incredible work being done. So once again Thank you very much.


    I’d like to thank you too. It is actually quite a good thing to have criticism, albeit mild(ish) 🙂 criticism follow a compliment… it has to help keep a bloke on an even keel and stop him getting ideas above his station. A blog of my own won’t work… for one thing I really haven’t got the time or the ability. Secondly, I doubt very much that I can have something worthwhile to say about Arsenal every day… which is why I bow to Yogi W’s dedication, good humour, maturity and balance. To do what he and a very few others like him do, week in and week out, takes a huge amount of discipline and commitment. As Dirty Harry said… “a man has to know his limitations” and I like to think that I’m fairly aware of mine.

    It does need to be said though that to have a blog where an individual(s) basically lies, writes ill informed nonsense, panders to the lowest common denominator and offers nothing but a closed mind and stupid prejudice then blogging is very easy to do and ultimately such blogs add nothing to Arsenal in particular or football more generally .. all they do is spread ignorance and stupidity. Such places are cesspits and Le Grove is a stinking example of what I’m talking about… doing what Yogi does here is very difficult indeed. If my saying all that is what annoys you… tough.

    Have a happy Easter


    In all the excitment, I lost count. Whilst I’m starting again, you can read today’s post.

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