Squad Evolution Not Revolution Is Required

A question of what have been surrounds Arsenal this morning. Following Sunday’s capitulation at Stoke, Arsène is once more under scrutiny, criticised around the blogosphere for indecision, inaction and being in situ

It is exacerbated to an extent by Sir Alex Ferguson’s ‘revelation’ that he was offered the Arsenal job back in 1986. The approach by the Board back then was widely known but his assertion that they wanted an answer straight away, rather than waiting until the World Cup campaign, highlights that impatience is not the sole preserve of the Football Association when it comes to appointing managers.

This snippet accentuates the incompetent way that the Board of the day handled managers then. The vacancy only arose because Don Howe caught wind of Terry Venables being approached to take over at the end of the season. Understandably, Howe was unhappy with the situation and resigned.

He was the architect of his own downfall though. A decent footballing side had descended into the mire of long ball football that pervaded the English game at the time. If you did not witness a game of football in England during the early 1980s, count your blessings.

Charles Hughes and another whose name escapes me but heavily influenced Graham Taylor, theorised about the minimum number of passes required to score. As they ran the National coaching courses, Howe and his assistant, John Cartwright, became misguidedly influenced by them. Nobody seemed to question that the dominant Liverpool and Everton teams of that era did not subscribe to this theory.

As it happened, Arsenal’s next choice was George Graham who did not do too badly until he hit the slippery slope. Similarly to Howe in fact, he descended into a mire of long ball football. Next time there’s an aimless punt downfield for Arshavin to battle in the air for…

Would Ferguson have been able to build consistency into the Arsenal psyche? Certainly his teams have the knack of being able to retain titles, something which has eluded Arsenal since the 1930s.

And it is hard to fathom why consistency is so elusive.Well, in fact it isn’t that difficult at all for the same warning signs are there now. Squad evolution. Or rather the lack of it.

Bertie Mee’s double side broke up too soon. George Graham evolved 1989 into 1991 seamlessly but after that? No strength was added and a title never looked like being won again during his tenure. A good cup side emerged in its stead.

As for Arsène, his teams have threatened and challenged until now. When the title slipped three seasons ago, it seemed that some judicious activity in the transfer market might make that step. It did not happen, this season seemed to suggest that the two backward steps had been taken and a giant leap forward had been made to win the Premier League title.

It did not happen. The squad does not need the wholesale surgery that is being suggested nor will that happen. The squad will evolve and some will move on. It is the nature of the beast. Crucially, there needs to be as much emphasis on changing the mentality. For whatever reason, Arsène’s recent signings have not brought the toughness that was required in February / March when the cup competitions fell by the wayside.

In terms of talent and ability, this squad is title winning. Mentally it is not. That will be Arsène’s toughest job this summer.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on May 11, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 298 Comments.

  1. Confidence

  2. no amount of new players will change the mentality, the problem is the manager, his ideas, tactics and lack of motivation is the real issue.

  3. Very insightful, Rob, thank you

  4. In terms of talent and ability, this squad is title winning. Mentally it is not.

    Never a truer word spoken in my opinion. How i would like to see it done is to offload some of our squad players (our ‘first 11’ are all keepers) and also some of those loanees too, we have way too many out on loan, its time to make a decision on them and live by it, even if some turn out to be mistakes.

    Then bring in a ‘new spine’ so to speak. The new players need to have a battler attitude. Chezzer, Vermaelen, Sagna, Wilshere, Ramsey, Cesc (but we might lose him) and RVP have that attitude. So we need to supplement these guys with others of the same ilk.

    Personally id get Cahill, Parker and Benzema. Cahill will be hungry to make the step up to European football and cement a place in the england team (which is there for the taking). Parker dragged West Ham through games this season and this would be his last contract, so what a way to go out, 2 good seasons still left in him at least. Benzema will be hurting from his time at Real, whilst not a disaster he surely would feel let down at not being the main man up front – play either RVP or AA23 just off Benzema and watch him rip it up.

    3 gettable targets surely? And 3 starters too.

    I think most gooners would agree on who would be shipped out.


    Those 5 have practically contributed nothing to our season and what good they have done has been offset by their mistakes, lack of application, unsuitability to current formation or injuries.

  5. Elaborate Rob, I am sure that there are a few of us who would like to discuss this further with you.

  6. your welcome Frank , i thought so too – the problems are rather obvious and have been ignored for too long

  7. I would also like to see a coach who would be a ‘barking dog’ on the side of the pitch when we need it. Im tired of seeing Wenger throw a wobbler in the technical area when things go wrong. Wenger should be able to sit there and let a younger man throw the wobblers. Look how Wenger has aged in this season alone. Hes not a young man any more. 🙂

  8. Rob, Wenger is the proven winner here, not the players. But they are getting there.

  9. really YW? there are hundreds of pages dedicated to these issues i refer to

  10. markus,
    i think you meant to write “WAS a proven winner” please remind me of what we have won recently – apart from the Emirates cup and the top four trophy. if there was a trophy for the most unused money in the bank, then lets all celebrate that together

  11. Id personally like to see the back of Eboue and the death of the cult of eboue. By all accounts we have that Carl Jenkinson from Charlton signed up, so he can deputise for Sagna

  12. The voice of sanity.

  13. I sort of agree YW.

    All our title winning sides since I started attending all home games in 1984 came about with the addition of just one or two players and they normally weren’t big name players e.g. Bould and Dixon arrived just before 88/89

    I think we need a bit more than the usual one or two first teamers this year though.

    I’d be happy to see the like of Jagielka and Baines come in at the back, Benzema up front and an industrious wide man such as Lee of Bolton.

    Departures will inevitably occur, but not as many as are being touted at the moment.

    The main thing though is that we need to reinject pace into our game. The only way to beat teams that pack their defences and midfield is with fast breaks on the rare occasions the opposition commits players forward such as corners and free kicks. Use our acknowledged weakness as means to attack. That rarely happened this season and I think we got too transfixed with possession stats. Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t the Invincibles used to have no more than 50% possession?

  14. Rob, I totally agree. I’ve been a huge fan of Wengers, he’s brought me some of my happiest footballing memories, but right now, that’s what I feel the are: memories. It’s whether he can adapt and rectify his mistakes/beliefs. I fear that he can’t. It feels like the experiment has become rudimentary in his psyche and that’s a big problem for him (and us). He’s failed but is he prepared to acknowledge that?

  15. Dazzer, no one is sadder than me at the demise of our once great manager. to see him on the sidelines acting in his ungracious manner is soul destroying and not befitting our club. he should of apologised for not shaking Dalglish’s hand – no excuses.

  16. The Dazzer and Rob show.


  17. good post, if only we could merge the ability of our players with the mentality typically installed in a fergurson team.

  18. Danish Gooner

    You sound very much like Wenger are you also subconsiously believing in the belief of the believer.

  19. Who is too blame for the lack of mental toughness?Its the manager of course.He is too soft with his players.How many times have you heard commentators say at half time if Utd are losing,The utd players wont be looking forward to half time as Fergie will give them the hair dryer treatment.Its been say by ex players that Wenger hardly says a word at half time

    One of the most damning statistics is under Fergie Utd have had a two goal lead 256 times and have won 250 times and drawn the other 6.Thats mentally toughness.We are shitting ourselves when we have a two goal lead(or even 4)
    We lack a winning mentality we have fear when the season reaches March and April.Where Utd trive on pressure we bottle it.
    Buying new players wont change a thing is what comes from the manager reflects on this team

  20. DeiseGooner Benzema’s style is roughly the same as what we have so i ont see him bringing anything new to the team. Then the 5 you want to sell ddnt play that much of a role this season so in my book they are not the problem. Most of the mistakes we have had this season have been committed by the regular starters

  21. Yeovil Gooner

    Is Man Ure’s success simply the ‘Fergie Factor’? As the pundits said on MotD 2 on Sunday evening (but what do they know?!?), he could have won the league this season with any of the top four or five clubs this season? It is a decidedly average Utd squad im sure most would agree, so why can we not match them with a squad that I consider to be stronger in almost every department??

  22. Danish

    That’s a bit of a matryoshka doll going on there, sunshine – unscrew one belief, to uncover another and another. You’re going to evoke some Freudian theory soon aren’t you.


  23. DeiseGooner, I agree that Wenger shouldn’t look so frustrated on the touch line. That has to affect the players, and not in a positive way. He always looks to have aged by 5 years at the end of a season. He’s had probably the toughest year in the job to date, so I hope he gets a nice long break over the summer and comes back refreshed.

    Sometimes I wish he wouldn’t get so worked up by the ‘haven’t won anything’ mob. Who gives a fuck. We’re building something special here. It takes time and we’re nearly there so fuck off and give him a break and some room to make this team great.

  24. martin, i agree with all of that apart from buying players…

    i think we need to buy leaders as wenger isn’t one. his title winning teams all had leaders and mentally & physically strong grown men.

    the more i think about our team the more i think he needs players to guide the team for him once they step onto the pitch because he cant do it from the sidelines

  25. Alzation

    You are onto something there. It has all become a bit predictable in the last few months. When it really mattered we couldn’t pull off the little triangles, it was just pass, pass, move and no end result. It should have been pass, move, shoot. We over complicate matters more often than not when we have possession.

    We seem to have lost our edge on the counter attack, where has the burst of pace gone, the sharpness of a quick pass and sprint into the opposition half or box? It is remarkable to think how poor we have been of late. All the qualities we are praised for went missing. This is with RvP, Cesc, Nasri and co all on the pitch! Its not like we were fielding our 2nd string attacking players.

    We need a bit of drive and purpose added this summer. Whether that be corrected through a few signings or on the training ground makes no difference to what any of us thinks.

  26. I think the mentality issue is only a partial answer [albeit a major issue]. Tactically, the team is focussed on narrow box to box play. This arises mainly because we dont have true wingers who can deliver the ball between the opposing CBs and their keeper. The technically talented players who are emplyed as “wingers”, like Nasri and Arshavin, are actually midfielders who almost always bring the ball in to the crowded midfield, with a plinth of defenders directly facing them. Walcott almost never delivers a ball from the byline and when Clichy and Sagna deliver the ball its again from the edge of the box line. Enough has been said about the ability to roll over and play dead for set pieces against us; again these seem to be tactical – why would you not play your best header of the ball [Chamakh] when you know Stoke are going to attack you in that manner from set pieces?
    A change in the wide positions and some tactical nous will make the difference!

  27. Theres some truth in that Martin. I dont remember what game it was but the players said that at half time Wenger went mental, the players were shocked as it was the first time he did that, BUT that it got the desired attitude change out of the players. Sometimes its good to shout 🙂

  28. I like this theory that the inability to win matches is simply the result of lacking “a winning mentality”. Is there any elaboration on this, or can this just go into print and one will make millions ?

  29. Mental weakness? Blame?

  30. Rob @10.49am

    I’d rather hear what you have to say. Your opinion rather than someone else’s.


  31. Raven

    If we pass as crisply as we have shown in the past, and if we move with more purpose and pace we can use narrow play to deadly effect. I do think though we need a left sided player to give us another option as well.

    Vela could come back and prove to be the solution. We haven’t seen much of him down that side which is a shame and we could of used him over the last few months where we lacked width.

  32. Splendid post YW,
    Interesting point about why AFC hasn’t been able to retain titles for as long as the mancs and scousers have. I hope you’ll write on this further as today’s blog has only just wetted my appetite.

    For instance why you you think we generally dont ‘evolve’ as well as the other two? How much of an impact has the relative wealth of the clubs been on the ability to sustain success (I believe united and ‘pool have always had bigger capacity stadiums)? Should the advantage now shift to us now that we have comparative revenue streams from match day attendance (and assuming our commercial stream catches up after current deals expire)?

    I hope you can write on some of these issues in the coming weeks. It certainly beats playing championship manager, in my opinion at least 😉

  33. It’s obvious that losing far fewer games than we have won this season is down to the lack of a losing mentality.

  34. Our tactics have been pretty poor I must say. Too many times the smaller teams got away with a point or the points in some cases down to our lack of game-plan during the game.

  35. Clay – How about 25 goals a season – Benzema would bring that. No one else apart from RVP can give us that currently.

    As for the 5 outgoings i suggest – thats exactly why they should be sold on. They bring nothing to the table and cannot offer the needed competition to keep those starters on their toes – what would you suggest? Keeping these 5 and changing the players who have been starting? Hardly the right way to go is it?

  36. yeovil… because our players aren’t motivated enough and we cant defend set peices

  37. DeiseGooner… was liverpool away mate when he went mad at half time

  38. markus – you are deluded !!

    what was so special about this team? were nearly there????
    what have you been watching this season??

    we’ve been getting worse and when Cesc is sold, what happens next? -the whole system was built around him and he doesnt believe in it

  39. Frank,
    Following your response to my post on the last blog thread:
    All I can say is that, for a well reknowned cyber-bully like yourself, its amazing how quickly you resort to acting all ‘sensitive’ when questioned.

  40. Muppet

    There’s a big misunderstanding here. Or everywhere.

    The squad has a mental weakness in that as a collection of characters, they were unable to respond quickly and decisively to losing the Carling Cup or exiting the other Cup competitions in relatively quick succession. It needed someone (or a couple) to provide the belief. Their confidence was shattered and proved to be brittle. This isn’t a winning mentality, it is how you approach any problem in life; standing up to adversity. Responding positively to setbacks – the squad did not do that.

    Fuck knows what a ‘winning mentality’ is. It seems to me that it’s an in vogue phrase to use – like ‘brainstorming’ although this is now ‘thoughtshower’ ( I kid you not) – and no bugger can tell you what it is but can show you what it isn’t. So the ‘quality’ sought is proven by a negative. Which is highly appropriate in this instance because the context the phrase is invariably used is, in negative.


  41. Wenger isn’t a leader? I have now officially heard it all.

  42. rob when cesc goes we pocket 40m promote ramsey and the cycle starts again mate

  43. It has been soul destroying to watch Wenger and the team lately. It must have hurt him so much though, as much if not more than us. Is he arrogant? Yes. Is Mourinho arrogant? Yes and Yes! Is Sir Alex arrogant? Sort of but it comes across differently when he is winning. He really throws his toys out of the pram when they lose (like 2 weeks ago against us).
    The thing is, if Barcelona had abandoned their policy then we wouldn’t have had this ‘greatest footballing team ever’ to enjoy (or not). Someone pointed out that Barcelona have a similar youth policy and academy but supplement this with great match-winning players. I agree totally. We should have done the same.
    But anyone who thinks this policy is not working to me is in danger of losing focus and being too impatient. It takes years to create a team from your academy and we have all but done this. IMO, just one Tony Adams type character would have clinched the title for us already. We do not need major surgery. Our defense has been shabby but not nearly as shabby as people try to make out. The players we have desperatley need a Lehman type character to tell them where to be and to give them a b0ll0cking when they are in the wrong place. I am desperately hoping that Wenger doesn’t capitulate and sticks to his guns. He has siad he will get these 1 or 2 players but keep the team largely as it is. Some people would say I am being blinkered and am a sore loser but don’t forget Phil Dowd in the Newcastle game and twat in the Barcelona away leg. Had those 2 refs been even remotely neutral then we would have probably got the title and might have well won the CL. But next year let us hope Wenger makes absolutely sure we have defensive discipline cos if we’d had that thisn year we would have been miles ahead of the competition in thsi country and much closer to Barca. One last thing, will Wenger remember that we won most of our titles with counter-attacking teams and with out-and-out wingers. This team is a different team that plays possession football but we really need to be able to counter properly and to be able to mix it up, which we actually showed signs of doing just before we fell apart.
    Lastly, we probably all agree that Wenger has annoyed us all to the point of total frustration becasue he gets us so close but is totally unwilling to go that tiny extra bit of a mile that would ensure this team gets the PL trophy that we should have won at least 3 times more in the last 10 years!!

  44. Muppet – LMAO, huh? Will you be doing that when Utd parade the premiership trophy (again)? I won’t. Nor when i renew my season ticket. Nor was it LMAO when Almunia made error after error that the whole world could see (apart from you and wenger). Wake up. Otherwise you’ll always stay a muppet.

  45. Some of today’s posts have got me losing my mentality, merlot.

  46. limpar… well if he is then he’s not showing himself as a very good one at the moment is he!?

  47. Unfortunately whatever is said on here or other websites Wenger will be the manger next year. The only hope is that he unloads the players that every fan knows are not up to standard and brings in the experienced top quality players that are sorely needed. I just hope that Fabregas is sold quickly for a realistic fee of £35/40 million so that we an get the transfers sorted out well before the deadline date. Fabregas is our top player and captain but he no longer has any heart in playing for Arsenal and wants to be at Barcelona so what is the point of keeping him. The trouble is that Wenger likes to play poker in the transfer market and my fear is that he will delay buying the quality players that are desperately required – hoping the prices will drop – for inferior French players or free transfer older players past their sell by date!

  48. Henristic @11.40

    United and Liverpool have not always had bigger stadia. In its pomp – indeed until the early 80s – Highbury was bigger than Anfield and relatively similar to Old Trafford.


  49. Call me ignorant, armchair or ‘FIFA Manager’ but trust me, if I took over Arsenal today like Stan has, I’ll do either of 2 things with Wenger: sack him or offer him a role as Developmental Coach. I think the problem is not primarily with the players; its with AW as Rob pointed out.

    His choice of players, tactics, substitutions and formations are, in most big, and defining games, abysmal. And its not even something that has happened once; its recurrent.How can a team continue to remain susceptible to high balls, defending and set pieces for 5 seasons without the coach, if we really have one, addressing it both by training, hiring the right coaches and finding the right players to handle these things?

    Sentimental attachment to mediocre players is also another ‘crime’ AW is guilty of; nothing wrong with choosing to develop rather than buy star players.The error of it is keeping them after they have clearly not performed; choosing to play the role of a ‘grandfather’ rather than a coach whose mandate is to motivate and drive your team to win matches and in the long run, trophies is another fault of AW’s. We all know this: Skills, talent and potentials have never been enough.

    Saying we mustnt pile ‘pressure’ on the players is nothing in the world more than an unspoken tolerance for failure and mediocrity; sorry but when you compete at the top level of any profession, especially football, a level of ‘stress’ is a part of the deal; hence you need the ‘Jack Attitude’, drive, passion, focus and a will to win to make it. Once you lack these, your failure is sealed, your talents/potentials notwithstanding. I am not even sure Arsenal can win the EPL if with 10 games to go, we were 10 points ahead; not unless we have a team made up of 5 or 6 ‘Jack-type players who can run, tackle and keeping fighting till the final whistle.

    Next season, I dont see anything changing; Arsene would make the right ‘noises’ over the summer, chase some players and then when the transfer window is 24 hours to close, he’ll tell you about some players we were ‘close’ to signing.

    Will Arsenal still concede senselessly from set pieces next season? You can bet we will ‘cos nothing will be done to teach the players painstaking defending! Will under-performing players like Denilson, Squilachi, Almunia, Rosicky leave? Not a chance! Will new players who can turn the fortunes of the team around be bought in the summer? Sorry, no! AW has a different definition for ‘success’ than the rest of the world so expect Diaby, Denilson and a couple of others to still be around for as long as AW is manager. This is why I maintain that if Arsenal want to win trophies again, do ONE THING: SACK Wenger NOW!


  51. CG
    Agreed there is no zip to our passing anymore.Also we lack pace up front so the option of a ball over the top(shock horror!!!) is never on.Cesc is a wonderful passer but none of our strikers have any pace to exploit it.When was the last time one of our players had a one on one like Hernandez did v Chelsea.

  52. Dan

    Surely Klopp is nothing without Klipp. As a duo would you line them up alphabetically? Klopp Klipp or Klipp Klopp? Neigh?


  53. Great post Yogi. I always look towards my daily dose of aclf. I think I was one of the few who didn’t go overboard after our loss to Stoke. We just need a few tweaks – as I’ve said before. My thoughts of a bastard midfielder like Felipe Melo weren’t very popular earlier in the season. Hope that most people now see where I was heading with that. As I’d said earlier, not necessarily Melo, but someone of his ilk. I mean real MEAN! Vieira and Keane had that mean streak. De Jong of Mancity has it. Also need a Lampard/Gerrard sort of fellow. A hard working guy who can hit the ball into goal from distance. In this case we already have Henri Lansbury. It’s just a question of whether he’s ready or not. Wholesome changes to the squad are not necessary and, happily for me, wouldn’t happen!

  54. Rob, I’ve been watching the youngest team in the league finish above 18 other teams who apparently have more of the experience and steel that people have been calling for in our team. This team is 23 years old. For me we’re well on course.

  55. DeiseGooner

    Its easy to write off a player. I remember when the likes of Flamini, Gilberto, Hleb and Song were highlighted as the weak links.

    The manager knows best, no matter how much some will dislike him right now.

  56. johnny…

    “The players we have desperatley need a Lehman type character to tell them where to be and to give them a b0ll0cking when they are in the wrong place.”

    surely that kind of thing should be ironed out and drilled into them on the training ground? it should be second nature as a player to get into your specified position when defending a set piece

  57. The character/mentality/application seems to be there when the players have a big four team / big european team coming to town.


    Theres something lacking when they feel they are the better team (better players yes but quite a few times this season we have been the second best team on the day)

    Theres an arrogance about some of the players during the game that seems them outfought. Then after the game they seem humbled and can see why they lost the game. But that seems to evaporate and the arrogance kicks in the next game if its a ‘small’ club they are playing.

  58. Jabba's delights


    I agree with the post in general, but by highlighting the meantla weakness amongst a large degree of the squad, i and many feel it is time for these guys to leave.

    We need 3-4 players of starting quality without a doubt, but its the squad positions that i feel need addressing the most. These players dont need to be of ”world class” quality but they need to show commitment at all times, its these players that can set the tone for the squad.

    Bartley, Lansbury, JET, Frimpong over Squilaci, Denilson, Diaby and Vela every day of the week. No they maybe arent as good yet but these guys bleed Arsenal and thats what we lack. Just reading Frimpong on twitter last night and the delight he was taking from Spurs demise shows where is loyalty is.

    We need a cb that adds to the 3 good ones we have, he MUST have height and fight about him.

    We need an experienced cm who has fight and influnece in the dressing room.

    We need a direct winger who cant get behind defences and keeps his width

    We need a top class striker of the level of RVP as every other big club can boast likewise.

    With those 4 additions coupled with us losing Squilaci, Denilson, Diaby, Rosicky, Arshavin (maybe), Vela & Bendtner added to an influx of proper gunner youth i think we would be in a fantastic postion.

    We need more than a tweak. The squad mentality is awful and it needs to change

  59. Arsenal Tom – is that good or bad ??
    £40m to sit in the bank unused and Wenger will say we will rebuild but i will need another 6 years
    as much as Ramsey will be the future, this is the problem. we cant keep replacing experienced 1st teamers with kids – havent we seen the results of this previously

  60. He is an exceptional leader, Arsenal Tom. One of the best football’s ever seen. How else do you instil in a team this young the qualities to compete at the highest level in the toughest league in the world. Consistent delivery on a shoe-string. That’s why he’s the Manager of the Decade. You clearly know nothing of leadership. Ask Adams and Viera and Henry if Wenger is a leader… they’d slap you sideways for asking.

  61. Martin

    Its a good point. Our CF’s are a bit too stationary, even Van Persie. How many times has Theo been so effective when playing on the last man and roaming into a central position.

    We need to either apply more sharpness through the middle, or better wide players who can beat their man and get to the byline IMO. Imagine Van Persie playing behind Theo. You will have the creativity of Cesc, Nasri, and Van Persie all supplying his lightning quick pace and deadly finishing. I believe his time on the wing is up.

  62. i have been dissapointed beacuse we have had most of our 1st 11 and they havent been great.
    Whats happened to them? i dont blame Wenger for being frustrated, he is not a robot. And he is frustrated as fuck at this team. what is soo wrong with him feeling the way the fans do?

    I am curious to see what will happen this summer.I can’t suggest what players he needs cos i’d be talking out my ass. What do i really know about these players and their various issues.

    I still believe in Wenger cos i know he really wants to win. Most managers want to win. do you see how testy Moyes gets when he is not winning. Fans need to stop thinking of these managers and players as robots and start thinking of them as human beings. Everyone fails in life, generally for most of you more than you will win. So lets get back to being human.

    Dissapointing year in the end but i cant wait for next season.

  63. For the first time during Wenger’s tenancy, I have to admit that IMO, “a little bit of tweaking during the Summer” will simply not do.
    The present squad has something lacking in either mental toughness, drive or just plain ability to create a Plan B when required. The pass too far in search of the perfect goal, the reluctance to shoot and the curse of the frequent injuries(due in part to the way we play) have all contributed to our sorry season.
    People will say that to finish in the top 4 of the toughest League in the world can’t be bad but it could be so much better. For instance, this season, we conceded more goals from setpieces than any other Club in the EPL. That is a shocking statistic.
    The answer must be to have a real hard look at the Club strategy at coaching and tactical level and make the necessary changes. Past mistakes must be admitted with no repercussions or criticism.
    Then a rebuilding exercise must begin and end in time for next season, with players being transferred and replaced. The fans know who should leave and who might be signed so surely the managerial staff know that as well.
    Time Flies.

  64. Oh i agree Chris, its all to easy to write off a player too soon. But it seems to me that le boss has lost faith with some of these players. Just look at how much time Denilson/Eboue/Rosicky/Almunia/Bendtner have spent benched or out of the squad in recent weeks/months.

    Sure some of this is due to injuries but some is also due to ‘injuries’ – you know where the boss says hes not quite match fit or whatever but you really know they have been dropped.

  65. rob… i agree absolutely no good at all mate, we’ve already got 40m in the bank (specific transfer budget) after all and its not doing us much good!

    we’ll probably sell cesc but only spend very close to what we get for him meaning we don’t operate at a loss again or if we do its minimal.

    i agree ramseys the future, him, jack and whoever else will be our midfield for 10 years at some point but next year should not be that point

  66. limpar… the thing is those players we all leaders (henry to a lesser extent). and lets not forget people like sol, gilberto and petit – again all leaders.

    look at the teams we had success with and they were all packed with leaders with the famous ‘mental strength’ we hear so much about.

    now look at the teams we’ve had since our last trophy… not many characters of the same type is there?

    maybe im putting 2+2 and getting 5, but theres a coincidence that since we stopped getting those players who were all potentially controversial for the team but winners none the less the success has tailed off. i know we’ve gone a different route with the youth but they simply don’t have the same mentality that the previous arsenal teams had, and that for me comes from not having a leader

  67. Don’t look now… but I think there are some Spurs amongst us…. heheheh! Fun while it lasted, boys?
    2010! Never Again!
    2010! Never Again!
    2010! Never Again!

  68. Who do you think is better-Invincibles or the current team?Place your valuable votes here:
    Place them as soon as possible!

  69. Markus – there are no trophies to be won for being the youngest team !! if this team had been supplemented with the signings we needed, we would have pissed the league this season.
    how on earth was Almunia no1 at the start of the season?
    wenger knew we needed a CH but signed one french muppet and another with one years experience of French football – do me a favour !! surely Silvestre was a lesson here

  70. Jabba

    >Bartley, Lansbury, JET, Frimpong

    What guarantees can you give that four untried youngsters will bring the necessary change? Will Bartley be any better than Squillaci (who will, in my opinion, be a good 4th choice CB)? JET divides opinion – some think he is going to be brilliant, others are less enchanted. Frimpong seems to have the right attitude but can hardly be classed as the DM that everyone is crying out for.

    And if those four don’t perform well enough, they won’t be given any respite. There is a vicious spiral being built.


  71. So when they killed bin laden they found a hit list on him which included……george bush
    ..tony blair
    ..hilary clinton..gordon brown…barak obama…denilson,almunia,diaby and bendtner.

  72. Leadership comes from the top down, Tom. And not all of it is shouting orders. There are a thousand different ways to inspire and motivate performance. Arsene has inspired and motivated some of the best there’s ever been. You’ve mentioned a few there.

  73. ChrisGoona, I’d be massively in favour of playing Theo ahead of Van Persie, especially if Cesc is not playing. Van Persie’s vision is second to none. It’d be similar to another number 10 and number 14 pairing we had. I think Theo is ready.

  74. limpar, yeah i agree he did but id be pretty sure those players wouldn’t have needed much motivation. their attitudes are worlds apart from some of the current crop (diaby denilson bendtner).

    i agree again henry was no shouter he led by example other than cesc, jack, robin sagna, not many in our team do that, they just seem to go with the flow of the team – if the games going well they’ll play up and get involved if its not they’ll hide away.

    basically we’ve lost that never say die attitude we used to have, when people feared us physically and because of our ability, we’re seen as a soft touch.

  75. Yes yes yes Yogi. Excellent.

  76. Dazzer,

    Your comments are so ludicrous that they are not worth commenting on.

  77. YW,

    Thoughtshower ? You are having a laugh.

  78. I can tell you that Tony Adams needed a helluva lot more than ‘motivation’ to keep him playing at the highest level for as long as Arsene had him playing there, Tom. He needed a leader.

    Physicality is a different argument alltogether. Interestingly we completely outmuscled Utd the other Sunday, and have held our own nicely against lots of big, physical sides this season. We didn’t lose against Stoke because we’re not big and scary enough. If only it were that simple.

    When we are physical (especially in Europe) we are punished very heavily for it. If we bought Gary Cahill for example – we needn’t bother registering him for the Champions League, because it would be like starting the game with 10 men. With the way the game is moving, we should think carefully about wanting teams to be ‘scared’ of us. Kicking people doesn’t get you as far as it used to I’m afraid.

  79. Steven,

    Yes. I’ll call you ignorant. You haven’t got a clue, sadly.

  80. Sensitive? Questioned?

  81. Jabba’s delights,

    Another laughable post.

  82. Yeovil goonner “a decidedly average Utd squad”
    A lot is being made by Utd’s weak squad and our superiority. But is this true? We may have more skillful players than Man Utd, but can you honestly say that we have a better back 5 or attackers than Man U?
    I don’t see it myself.

  83. I’m hoping that the london contingent of wilshere lansbury JET and frimpong start making the first team their home next year and begin influencing the new comers on what it means to be representing a dynamic north london. A tone must be set within the team and its not all to come from fatherly words of wisdom from arsene.

    Would love for us to go for 2 more london gooners in the form of ashley young (whose younger bro is here already and rather secretly a bit of a genius) and micah richards. Before we know it we have a clique (excuse my french…). with ramsey and walcott quickly towing the line, fingers crossed the pride and passion to put on a arsenal shirt becomes a real thing once more. For me that could make up a large part of difference we need to compete properly.

  84. Chris, our lineup would be very similar to the Invincibles:

    Sagna — Koscielny — Vermaelen — Clichy
    ————- Diaby — Song
    —————Van Persie

    Lauren — Campbell — Toure — Cole
    ————- Vieira — Gilberto

  85. DeiseGooner

    We will see in the summer who he has lost faith in. Its hard to tell if he really wants Bendtner out (as an example). He has publicly stated he wanted to keep a player before so he gets the maximum for him when a bid comes in. Wenger is too smart to show his cards.

    For sure there will be changes. I just hope we keep hold our 1st teamers. As negative as the last couple months has been, we need to keep the team and a large part of the squad together as there has been many positives over the season. No title winning team made mass changes. A couple smart signings in and out will do it. The problem isn’t as big as it has blown up to demonstrate over the run-in. Not personnel wise anyway. I believe its mentally and tactically where we suffer.

    I said it before, but just imagine what an influence Vermaelen would have had on the team had he been there.

  86. Markus,
    is this your idea of a joke ?!?!?!
    you really cant have been watching this season if you want Rosicky and Diaby in your starting line up next season.
    not convinced with the lumbering Song – just see him off the pace and fouls to cover his position
    Kos, not ready for the 1st team yet
    i truly hope this is not how we line up for the 1st game this season

  87. Jabba's delights


    Where is the post rubbish?

    I think i speak for many Arsenal fans when i say what has disgusted us the most this year is the lack of effort of some in our squad.

    Lansbury in one excellent perfromance away at Spurs showed more comitment than Diaby, Denilson and Rosicky have shown all year.

    Bartley is tall and utterly dominant in the air. Ask any Rangers fan what he excells at and they say he wins everything in the air. When has Squilaci shown this year that he can be a dominat cb for us. He is alright but not when you have Kozza and Djouou as your starters bedding themselves in. None of them fancies an aerial assualt and yet we have a youth player who likes nothing more than heading balls out of the box.

    I dont demand trophies, i demand effort from any arsenal team and despite wenger oppinion that the players fight……..they dont.

    Whats the difference between the way you described JET and someone like Vela. Why go with the lazy foreign lad over the lazy english lad. Jet is direct he takes people on he is also a physical presence.

    Would prefer the physical Frimpong deputising for Song every single day of the week over Denilson. These are the reason i would want these guys in the squad over some of the dross we have.

    That added to 3-4 starting quality players which are a must and i think we will given the squad the tweak you call for but also ramped up the mentality level no bound.

    Wilshere has won praise for his quality this year but also that he trys his arse off. Whilst the players mentioned dont have his quality yet they sure as hell love the club just as much as he does, thats what we lack.

  88. we hve very tallented players but we are too young to really dominate. In two or three years time we will have a great team that everyone including dazzer will have to accept. Its alays been on the cards. AW will probably not buy as he believes it stops the youth. So in time it will come together. Consistancy is the problem with youth, we have to accept that also. Our midfield is not strong enough or old enough to seriously expect to win the prem or CL, but keep everyone together and add gareth bail for left back and i think we will be unstopable, question is can we keep everyone together ???

  89. Markus – How on earth do you think that Theo “is ready” to play as our main striker. Aprt from being very fast, I don’t think he is anywhere near ready to play there. His control his not good enough, and his play is not intelligent enough.

  90. Jabba’s Delights,

    Where is the post rubbish ?

    Let me highlight the rubbish bits:

    “We need 3-4 players of starting quality without a doubt, but its the squad positions that i feel need addressing the most. These players dont need to be of ”world class” quality but they need to show commitment at all times, its these players that can set the tone for the squad.

    Bartley, Lansbury, JET, Frimpong over Squilaci, Denilson, Diaby and Vela every day of the week. No they maybe arent as good yet but these guys bleed Arsenal and thats what we lack. Just reading Frimpong on twitter last night and the delight he was taking from Spurs demise shows where is loyalty is.

    We need a cb that adds to the 3 good ones we have, he MUST have height and fight about him.

    We need an experienced cm who has fight and influnece in the dressing room.

    We need a direct winger who cant get behind defences and keeps his width

    We need a top class striker of the level of RVP as every other big club can boast likewise.

    With those 4 additions coupled with us losing Squilaci, Denilson, Diaby, Rosicky, Arshavin (maybe), Vela & Bendtner added to an influx of proper gunner youth i think we would be in a fantastic postion.

    We need more than a tweak. The squad mentality is awful and it needs to change”

  91. jabba > yogi

    Its not a matter of having higher quality than what already have… as you clearly expressed earlier its not just the ability of the squad but the mentality.

    Everyone looks up to wenger as the flag bearer. Next its cesc, at such a young age he has huge influence in the dressing room yet has spent plenty of his time this year looking at the ground and shaking his head. Beyond RVP (who i think should be wearing the armband) who in our squad is real captain material? Rosicky at best.

    Please excuse the platitude but ts all just a bit too ‘nice’ isn’t it.
    lets pop that collar up…

  92. All this bleating about how disgusted you are, Jabba, makes you sound like a fucking Chelsea fan. Wah wah wah we didn’t win, Grant out! Ancellotti in! No Ancelotti out! Van Gaal in! No wait, bring back Mourinho! Why aren’t we spending anymore?! Get a grip. Arsenal fans are better than that.

  93. Jabba’s Delights,

    I don’t even know where to begin with your post. It’s just utter utter clichéd bollocks. Please have a think about what you are going to say before you start banging the keys on your keyboard.

  94. Apparently, ‘brainstorming’ was deemed to be offensive to people with mental health problems.

  95. Muppet – in your last post you actually agree with what I’m essentially saying – without me naming specifically what positions needed replacing. So….don’t really understand why you say I’m ludicrous. Bit bizarre, really.

  96. Muppet – from reading your comments, it seems like you are happy with what is going on. of course you are entitled to your opinion but to rubbish jabbas post i find incredible as the points regarding what is required is very valid and is echoed by many people.
    blind loyalty is not what is required

  97. Dazzer,

    I don’t agree with your tone. We don’t have a right to the title. If Man U win it, good luck to them. With respect to Almunia, he is now history. You can complain about his initial selection – but Wenger tried to desperately sign Reina and Schwarzer at the start of the season.

    All the Wenger critics have yet to explain how we should expect to beat Man U and Chelsea, with their resources. The argument that we should have spent £40 million in the summer in my view is false, because the market has been artifically inflated and the money would have only have got us 2 to 3 players, all of which could have been speculative. If Wenger doesn’t sign it’s because the players that will strengthen the squad are simply not available.

  98. Rob,

    I’m sorry – but anybody can say we need a centre back, a midfielder, a winger and a striker. Simple. Now I’m a genius.

    Spurs did all these things in the close season and everybody said they had “the best squad in the country”. They signed experienced premiership players and internationals. Result – 6th in the premiership. Thrashed by RM in the CL. They also, apparently, have the tactical manager in Harry Rednapp, that we don’t have.

  99. Jabba's delights


    Look at ghe sides you just put out that you want us starting with. Where on earth you plucked Rosicky and Dinay from i have no idea. Have you watched arsenal play this season????

    If we finish 4th with 70 points this year which looks like an num to shabby bet…….what then, you crow on and on and on and on and on about wenger brilliance and the youth of our team, unfortunately for many of us that isnt good enough.

    You said nothing yesterday when i told you that its the away fans who are also now fed up. You gloss over everything you present no argument other than telling others that they are wrong.

    I ask you…….how do arsenal improve this summer. Here are your guidlines

    We lack leadership across the board coaching and players
    We lack toughness
    we lack 2 players of genuine starting quality up top
    We defend poorly as a team particualrly at set peices

    These are issues we have had for 3 years we have also had money for 3 years that isnt the only solution but it is one. Better us if you want to contribute to a debate.

    Also i say disgusted and i mean it. 4-0 up to draw 4-4 and we should have lost, disgusted me to my very bone.

    deservedly 3 down at home to wba disgusted me. Chels fans dont have these issues and boo their players for nothing. I have never booed my team and never will i vent my anger on blogs and its a genuine anger that many gooners feel right now so dont just gloss over it. Put forward an argument that makes me see the light, its a tough one

  100. Jabba’s Delights/Rob/Dazzer,

    There are a few facts to chew on, despite the poor defence and capitulations home and away against some mid table sides:

    – We have the best record against Man U/Chelsea/Manchester City in a round robin format. This is an improvement on previous years, where we were beaten out of sight by Man U and Chelsea.

    – We have the best away record in the country. That fact alone means that all this guff about “a winning mentality” is questionable.

    – We lost Vermaelen for the whole season. Vermaelen is our best centre half. If Terry or Vidic were missing for the whole season, there could be a different complexion on the league table.

  101. Jabba’s delights,

    I didn’t say anything about Rosicky or “Dinay”. You must be reading someone elses post.

  102. Muppet – you dont need to be a genius to know what we needed – the whole football world knew that these were the key positions that had to be addressed.
    as for spurs signing experienced players – its more than that as we have seen with them – you need to sign the right players.
    do you think Utd are upset with the inexperience of Hernandez and Smalling?

  103. Muppet – my tone? Jesus. Aren’t you a dainty one?

    Firstly, no-one is saying we have a right to win league. That would be ridiculous. All we’re asking is that we at least challenge and if it looks like we won’t, then necessary changes to be implemented. And that would be by using money that is there to be spent but so far hasn’t been.

    Secondly, we did beat Chelsea and Utd. We just capitulated in other games against weaker teams and due to errors by some of our average players who obviously haven’t the talent to be here. And also by a lack of defence training. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to ask why that isn’t being done.

    Almunia is history now but he should never have even been a footmark. That’s important. And it was obvious for all the world to see for so long. And if it had been sorted before the start of the season we would have had a much better chance. Ok, a bid was made for Reina but there are other keepers out there with talent. There was no chance that we’d win the league with Almunia and everybody and his wife could see it. This was a neglect of duties. And Wenger is culpable for this.

    Money is there (whether you choose to believe it or not). Wenger was pressurized to spend last year but didn’t. I hope he does now but we’ll see.

    And, personally, i’m not sure you’re so right when you talk about JET, Bartley, Lansbury or Frimpong being what’s needed. JET, certainly not. The jury is still out with them. But i’d certainly take them over the other suspects, yeah.

    Authority should always be questioned. It’s the only way we grow as a society. Especially the spin-led society that we live in now. And Wengers many mistakes over the last few years (not to mention his often dubious tactics and one-dimensional football) are now so glaringly obvious that they have to be rectified or we have to make changes as a club. Whether that fits in with your wet dream or not.

  104. Where are the goals from midfield?? thats is where we lost the league, there is not enough goals from that area in our team.

  105. My question is, since AW was able to motivate/inspire/lead Adams,Henry,Viera etc, why has he not been able to repeat that for this current squad as well? There has certainly been enough time and opportunity to do so.

  106. Muppet again –
    the facts you presented are true and pertinent but it leads to the question then “what went wrong?” how can a team that has achieved what you say then screw up the league. is it because we have the worst record against the bottom half of the league ? that to me shows complacency and a lack of a winning mentality.
    As for TV5, he was out for the season last September , Wenger knew this but didnt do anything about it. i know this as a fact as we heard from the horses (Wenger) mouth

  107. Rob,

    You said it – “you need to sign the right players”. But to say that the whole football world knows – really ? This is the statement that if “we had signed a goalkeeper and a centre back we would have won the league”. You do understand that this means that the goalkeeper and centre back would have been better than Szczesny/Koscienly/Djourou/Squillachi. It’s alright marvelling at how big Samba is, and how tough in the tackle.. but how is this guy going to perform when the football gets more technical, like in a champions league game ? The central defenders often called for are suited to the premiership and not the champions league, or so it seems to me.

    Ferguson has done well with Smalling and Hernandez – congratulations to him. I know we tried to intervene with Smalling. But Ferguson is not the only one who has signed good players – we have too – Vermaelen/Sagna/Arshavin. I think also that Koscienly will be a success story.

  108. YW,
    Thanks for your response, but it begs the question; if we had comparable financial resources, why were they so much more succesful than us, in your opinion? How have they been able to manage their transition from one squad to another better than we have?

  109. Dazzer,

    Again, you are reading someone elses post – I didn’t say Frimpong, Bartley etc were needed. Whose post are you reading ?

  110. Rob,

    We’ve heard what Wenger said about Vermaelen. He expected him back in January. There are rumours that we tried to sign Samba in January, but it didn’t happen. Again – I think your comments are an example of someone throwing accusations around when you are not in possession of the full facts.

  111. Muppet – your post at 12:54pm. Or did i get it wrong?

  112. rob, I have no interest in debating with someone who thinks Song and Koscielny aren’t good enough.

  113. Dazzer,

    Yes money is there. But what do you want ? Do you want us to sign players to make up the numbers and please the pundits who will say “I recommended a centre back and Arsene Wenger has done the right thing”.

    The market is ridiculously inflated, with ludicrous prices. Lescott – £20 million. Cahill – £15 million – 1 or 2 england caps. Squillachi – 20 caps – on a free. Before you laugh at Squillachi, I listed to Phillipe Auclair, the french journalist, who said that he was a better defender, in his view, than Koscienly. The problem we have here is bandwagons. Somebody says Squillachi is crap – everybody gets on the bandwagon. They don’t assess the player throughout the season, and see his good points.

    Again, the idea that we are just sitting on a pot of money for it’s own sake is laughable. Even Wenger said that we are not a bank.

  114. Muppet – well, not again (i think that was the first time!) – but i misread your post, yeah, you were quoting somebody who was saying that. So, on that i apologize. It was the post at 12:54.

  115. Dazzer,

    Yes. But those are not my comments. I was quoting “Jabba’s delights” post. And I disagree with all of his comments.

  116. Also, I was only including players based on their similarity to the Invincibles. I do think Rosicky should be a regular, yes. Pires was 30 in the 03/04 season. And like it or not a fully fit Diaby is a first teamer for us.

  117. Stop looking to compare us to teams that haven’t done well because they brought in players and still ended up in shit. That’s their business.

    I’m talking about our Arsenal and where they should be after 6 fucking years of fuck all. Those teams haven’t done what we did with the Untouchables. If we brought in the players already seasoned in the EPL at the start of the season I honestly don’t think we would be on here so depressed. I also think that Wenger is too trusting by putting faith in certain players because they have totally screwed him.

    It’s like certain players are on cruise control and I want to see the back of them as soon as the season is over. Too many shit performances and no heart whatsoever. The 5 players mentioned earlier should use the exit door as they have done fuck all not just this season but for the last 3 at least.

    Papering over the cracks is what a fellow Gooner told me at the gym after the utd win. I told him to go suck and asked him what type of supporter is he? How many times and how many Gooners can I fall out with when they come with the shit because It’s getting very hard as they all have fact based points.

    Wenger, surely has made up his mind to ditch the policy crap and clear out certain players and bring in certain players. He’s a great man and knows how to win and his CV shows that he came here and won things and broke a shit load of records on the way too. But, something is missing and I’m sure he knows what.
    Winning Mentality is a bskyutdb term which wouldn’t be used on us even if we were winning.

  118. Squillaci wasn’t free and even if he had been that would’ve been waaaaayyy too expensive.

  119. LimparAssist

    Henry, Viera and Adams all had seasons where they didn’t win anything.

    A number of our current players are developing into great leaders. Others are works in progress with time on their hands.

  120. Dazzer,

    Just to comment on the last point about what you see as “Wenger’s mistakes – so glaringly obvious”. I just don’t see this. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I bet you could highlight a lot of managers who had made mistakes. Ferguson has made mistakes, and signed some howlers.

    The point about Wenger is that it is unfair to accuse him of not winning the premiership, when in my view, we are up against stronger hands. Yes, we can all argue about the “weak” Manchester United team this year, and our lost opportunity, but that doesn’t detract from the resources of Manchester United and Chelsea. We simply do not have the muscle in the transfer market to enable us to be able to dominate. It seems to me that you either fall into one or two camps. You can argue that with 2 or more judicious signings we could have won the league. Or you can argue, as I do, that in the current climate, where the FFP regulations have not yet implemented, that it is not a level playing field, and it would take an injection of at least £100 million of spare cash to compete.

    On the 1st argument, I just simply do not believe that we should expect to win the premiership by hoping that Wenger will be capable of making these extra signings. On the other hand, this is a complex argument, as one cannot necessarily expect to win if one spends a huge amount of money – look at RM and Chelsea. To castigate Wenger when it is not a level playing field is not cricket in my view. He is overachieved in any case. We shouldn’t be third based on our transfer expenditure. We should be mid table.

  121. As for Walcott leading the line. He has 12 goals and 11 assists in 36 APPEARANCES. And that’s from a wide right position. Henry in the invincibles season had 39 goals from 51 STARTS in a central position. It’s not a massive stretch to imagine Theo managing something similar.

  122. Errr….no. Why would anybody want us to sign players to make up the numbers? That doesn’t make sense. We’re merely asking for the wide gaping holes and inadequacies within our squad to be rectified. The money’s there. Is the willingness to concede it’s need there also?

    But as you’re using Squillaci as an example of something good about Wenger then i’ll call it a day here. You and I never find anything to agree on. Let’s just hope that we’re all happier this time next year and we’re not having these conversations again. It really is becoming like groundhog day.

  123. EPL and CL Team (understudy in brackets)

    Jagielka Samba Vertonghen Vermaelen
    (Sagna Djourou Koscielny Gibbs)

    Inler or Parker

    Wilshire Fabregas Nasri
    (Lansbury Ramsey Young)

    RVP Benzema
    (Walcott Falcao)

    FA/Carling Cup
    Jenkinson Bartley Miquel Traore
    Oxlade-Chamberlain JET Botelho
    Afobe Vela
    subs: Martinez, Angha, Coquelin, Henderson, Aneke, Watt, Freeman

    Sell or release Almunia, Lehmann, Eboue, Eastmond, Squillaci, Hoyte, Cruise, Denilson, Diaby, Ozyakup, Randall, Deacon, Rosicky, Arshavin, Bendtner, Chamakh, Murphy, Sunu

  124. Ok, last post. I agree with you, Muppet. Your points all make sense. On his expenditure he’s done incredibly well to finish third. On money spent he’s punching we’re punching well above our weight. He’s a very talented manager (with failings) and he’s doen remarkeably well to see us through the stadium move. I don’t think another manager in the world could’ve done that. But…
    We have money there to push us to 1st and he won’t spend it. We should’ve won it this season, 2 or 3 (i would’ve loved 4) buys would’ve done it. It’s become an ego thing with him and i’m just not sure that he can change his mentality to do it. I hope so. I want him to win the league here again and it would be a travesty if he doesn’t win the champions league. But i don’t think he will. Tactically, he gets found out in Europe.
    We’ll see. Let’s just hope that he sorts out what’s needed and we have a great season next year.
    I’m off. I wish you the best. Been good talking to you.

  125. Dazzer,

    Errr…Who is we ? You don’t speak for me.

    I’ve spoken about money. I’ve made my position very clear. You haven’t. You’ve just re-iterated the usual clichéd bollocks. It’s pretty clear that you are out of your depth.

    On the 2nd point. I am talking about scapegoats. You want to make Squillachi one. Good look to you.

  126. LimparAssist

    Nice work, bc! Did you do that cheat where you start as Man City and buy a load of our reserves for £60 million? Kaman, you did didn’cha?

  127. Dazzer,

    Sorry. Good luck to you.

    Ok.. apologies. You agree with some of my post.

    But.. I’m sorry.. but the statement “We have money there to push us to 1st and he won’t spend it.” is total and utter bollocks and straight out of Le-Grove. Get a grip.

  128. LimparAssist

    Everything after ‘But…’ is made up.

  129. Lol Dazzer, you could have had the same conversation anytime in the last 5 years! We just better pray that Cesc stays. But it’s looking increasing unlikely

  130. Limpar – it isn’t.

  131. GunFlash – i know! Drives you mental sometimes.

  132. Henristic @1.37

    There’s a difference between having a bigger ground and selling it out. Highbury rarely sold out from the mid-70s onwards, even for the big clashes.


  133. The trick is Dazzer to accept that this is a good Arsenal side by it’s not a winning Arsenal side. Enjoy the high points throughout the season but don’t be surprised or too despondent when it predicably falls apart

  134. Jabba

    >Whats the difference between the way you described JET and someone like Vela. Why go with the lazy foreign lad over the lazy english lad.

    Personally I don’t give a rats arse where the come from, you do. Like you, I want maximum effort every time they put on an Arsenal shirt. It’s no good being brilliant in training if you don’t turn up at the matches.

    Onto specifics:

    Personally, I don’t think Vela will make it at Arsenal, whether he goes permanently or loan this summer – either would be of no surprise. Bartley – He may have done well in a couple of months at Rangers but it’s a long way from being able to step up to the Arsenal grade now.

    My point was – and remains – that everyone is demanding new signings. By the same token, they want ‘young English’ lads. The two are not mutually exclusive but with players like Walcott now counting as squad members, Arsene is going to have to shift players to make the numbers. At the same time – and none has denied this – within 12 months, if a youngster hasn’t made enough first team appearances, they are going to be written off, irrespective of the talent keeping them out of the team.

    I notice you didn’t mention Sanchez Watt is your list?


  135. One more thing and it’s only vaguely related.

    So far this week, with 15 comings and 9 goings, Arsene’s net spend this summer is £85m.


  136. Gunflash – yep, you’re right, watching Arsenal these days is a bit like a porn film – there’s gonna be good bits and boring bits that you’d like to fast forward and you know it’ll all be a bit messy in the end.

  137. Rob

    It is very simple to suggest replacing a technically gifted player with a stronger more physical player will help us leak less goals from set-pieces. What if you do that, take out Rosicky, Denilson, Theo, Cesc and Arshavin from our squad, what if you lose that fluency in our play? What if you leak more goals on the ground which amount to conceding even more over a whole season. What if these more physical players cant perform in the Arsenal system?

    It is a massive risk sticking square pegs in round holes. It is why we have players like Vermaelen, Diaby and Djourou who are big but technically good. It is very evident when a player of less class takes to the field in an Arsenal shirt, think back to Adebayor? His touch was laughed at yet hes doing a good job at Real Madrid.

    It isn’t as simple as it seems. We need players who offer everything. It amazes me when I hear people suggesting Scott Parker as the ideal answer when we have 2 complete midfielders in Wilshire and Ramsey. They have just as much bite, class, skill and will achieve more in their careers.

    Lets get real Arsenal fans. Snap out of depression and don’t let the recent shite form distort how good our players are.

  138. Lol very good Dazzer an analogy I’ve not heard before

  139. 1 loose cannon

    Dazzer 3 4 players. Which players are you talking about? The question is where are these top class players? Arsenal wanted to buy Smalling but he opted for united. There aren’t many bargains out there. Wenger made it clear he will not buy until he can see the player will make a difference. Buying a top top established player cost huge sums that we can’t afford. I hear people saying we should’ve signed Cahill this is the same guy who let in 5 goals against Stoke. all the names that we have been linked with don’t convince me that they are better than the one we have. Would Wenger like a Messi ? certainly. can we buy him? no

  140. Yogi,

    Ok, so you don’t seem that keen on this conversation, seeing as you’ve somehow managed to avoid answering my main question (i.e. why have they managed squad transitions better?).
    Fair enough if thats the case, and thanks for the info you have offered. It certainly is an interesting fact that we had bigger capacity stadium than United at some point but couldn’t fill it up! Probably something to do with the sort of football we played I suppose. It kinda also highlights Wengers accomplishments in that regards.

  141. ‘replacing a technically gifted player with a stronger more physical player’

    Like Senderos?

    Hey, he played and Fulham won 3-0. Replaced by superman Hangerland, and Fulham concede five of the best. A spurious comparison. My apologies. He was rubbish eh? I was impressed by those fans who spent three years heckling that player.

    These ginormous football brains amongst the Arsenal ‘support’must really know the difference between a brain storm and a thought drizzle.
    (At least a brainstorm has some kind of electrical refererence!)

  142. Henristic

    Hold on, you asked if there would be a blog post on it. TBH I hadn’t thought about it and it needs looking at in depth. That’s hardly avoiding it, especially as the b’stards that I work for seem to want me to work for them, not spend hours on the interweb!


  143. My last post should have read;
    “… It certainly is an interesting fact that we had a similar sized stadium than United at some point but couldn’t fill it up! “

  144. markus – good, i dont want to debate with you either. you are part of the problem as you are happy with average players in our team

  145. Yogi,
    And who could blame them those bastards, that is)?

    Sorry if I came accross as a little presumptious. I can imagine its no easy task to keep a blog like this running as you have and here am I asking for even more…
    Still hope you find time to write on the subject though 😉


  146. Darn!
    *And who could blame them (those bastards, that is)?

  147. Markus – you seem to doubt my info on Vermaelen. well i can tell you as a fact that Wenger told my colleague and i that , and these are Wengers words “that we are very worried about Vermaelen and he is likely to be out for the season” i posted this on other sites way back in September. maybe you should question Wenger or the club than me

  148. Markus – “As for Walcott leading the line. He has 12 goals and 11 assists in 36 APPEARANCES. And that’s from a wide right position. Henry in the invincibles season had 39 goals from 51 STARTS in a central position. It’s not a massive stretch to imagine Theo managing something similar.”

    It is not that black and white though is it? A different formation for a start. Walcott is not strong enough to play as a lone stiker. I would argue if he had played there he would not have scored as many goals as he has from his wide berth.

  149. finsbury

    It was very sad to see Senderos leave in the manner he did. He looked like the CB many Arsenal fans cried out for. Now they are all crying once again for someone just like him. Hilarious.

    Whats even more hilarious is the blame that is constantly put on the manager when the actual fans have a big say in who stays. Adebayor? Senderos? who else.. Bendtner, Denilson..

  150. LimparAssist | May 11, 2011 at 1:53 pm |

    “A number of our current players are developing into great leaders. Others are works in progress with time on their hands.”

    Not really the point though is it?
    Besides, the danger is they are not all the same age and hence do not all have the same amount of ‘time left on the hands’. There is a very real possibility that the ones who are almost there, or there already, might not want to wait around for the ones who are still work in progress.

  151. Chris G
    Whats even more hilarious is the blame that is constantly put on the manager when the actual fans have a big say in who stays. Adebayor? Senderos? who else.. Bendtner, Denilson..

    You suggesting that Wenger got rid of Senderos and Adebayor because fans wanted them out? Where is your evidence? Why is Denilson, Almunia and Ebuoe still with us? I don’t believe that for a second. What sort of manager would it make him?

  152. LimparAssist

    What is the point, H? I’ve lost track…

    We have lots of strong characters in this team who don’t like losing at all. Senior and junior. Expect a reaction against Villa, and expect a sustained reaction next season. Vermaelen in particular will be looking to make up for lost time at the back. Cesc too, I’d imagine.

  153. The fans have no say who stays and who goes. That is just plain stupid. If the manager rates the player, and the players wants to stay he stays.

    Eboue has come in for plenty of stick off the fans. He is still here though.

  154. Good read again YW.

    As for the rest, boring armchair management.

  155. Limpar – I have expected a reaction in plenty of games this season. And been disapointed far too often. Who are the strong characters you speak of?

    When we lose I can only think of Cesc/RvP/Nasri who look genuinely pissed. Of course nobody likes losing, but a “winner” takes losing as a personal insult almost. We don’t have too much of that.

  156. Lord above

  157. Is there anything some of you people won’t find to fucking moan about? Over and over again, probe, tease, find a little crack, pick at it until it bleeds and it is all bloody bullshit.

  158. Why thank you Frank. But I am just a mere mortal really. 🙂

  159. rob, ummmm where am I supposed to have commented on anything you said about Vermaelen…?

  160. “and it is all bloody bullshit”

    That’s the troof.

  161. LimparAssist

    Gael Clichy and Bac Sagna, andy. For example. For me they were the difference in the game against Utd the other Sunday. With them on the pitch we were never going to lose that game. They’d been on the better side and lost too many times against that Utd side and they weren’t going to let it happen again.

    Personally I think we can stand around looking insulted with the best of them but there’s more to defending than that.

  162. Don’t discount the obvious. Losses to Birmingham and Barcelona hammered confidence, the youth were not quite able to take it on the chin and go out and slaughter the EPL. An outbreak of mediocrity took hold in terms of churning out results. Before this and in between a rash of trashy referee decisions eroded confidence. Never mind though. If it doesn’t kill you, it only makes you stronger. I would bet on this as the overall result. In any event, the story of this team will be told in generations to come. Epic.

  163. Hey, Yogi,

    I have written an article on what Wenger can do to build a world class team without spending too much…

    Check out

    I think there will be a lot of players going out this summer and hopefully Wenger is ready to spend..

  164. YW:

    Nice post. Not sure what you mean by squad evolution. You have said before that you do not like change just for the sake of change but in reality I think some significant changes in personnel need to be made. We have said for 3 years now that this squad is ultra talented but just needs to mature. Now that many have reached an age where most great players mature yet they still underperform, you have to start to wonder what the reality is. It makes us feel better to say how talented these players are but how does one take the technical skill they must be showing on the training pitch and the in short bursts during the season and turn it into something that can be consistently effective over the course of a season? No one including the boss has figured it out yet. My own feeling is that we need to upgrade our squad. The 2nd half of the season saw very little effective contribution from anyone upfront other then RVP. Nasri and Walcott both fell away in the last 1/2 of the season. Theo has never been an effective player against a parked bus. Arshavin was hit and miss/mostly miss. Jack was industrious but we need goals out of his position. Cesc had a disaster of a season. Song was not as good in the last 3 months. Not one single forward player outside the first 11 contributed anything meaningful after Christmas. The squad depth that we all banged on about last summer did not materialize. we need to bring 2 -3 players who can compete for first 11 spots up front and we need a physically dominant CB.

    I think everyone agrees with your idea that we need a real change in mentality but how do you do that? History shows that once a team goes down the slippery slope of having mental issues the best way to fix it is to change management. I am not in favor of that approach nor is it a realistic option but dealing with that is going to be a very very difficult. I am certain that the cultural/mentality issues that have been so obvious this year did not start this season. We have had hints of problems for several years. We have come up with some excuse in the past but in reality I think the problems have probably been growing for some time now. The boss is the unquestioned captain of this ship and as such he has to take blame for letting things devolve to this point. However, its easy to criticize in retrospect and many of the problems were probably not easily seen prospectively. The bottom line is the boss has not been able to stop the growth of whatever locker room issues have evolved. He can not change his personality but some changes in the way he handles the squad probably needed and if there are specific players who seem to contribute to the locker room mentality issues they need to move on ASAP. Lots to think about this summer.

  165. Jabba's delights


    Your still not explaining how we sort out the weakneses we have had for years. You talk of winning the ”big 4 league” who gives a flying f^ck if you have the worst record against the weakest sides. i dont care where we get our points from just as long as we get them

    We will fininsh with less points than last year in a year where there has been a noticable drop off in 2 of our traditional 4 biggest rivals for cl spaces. Our defence has been nothing short of woeful agggggain, when are we going to stop fannying around and sort it out. Idont care if its done internally nor externally but i care that its done and i can say for sure that it hasnt for 4 fricking years.

    The market it was it is no use crying about expensive prices. We are rich we have 100m in cash reserves it was our choice to pay off debt at hugely a quick rate. We didnt have to, some could have been spent.

    Lucio went to Inter 2 years ago for 6m…….look how that turned out. We got Kozza who may well be a good player but mattered most was he wasnt ready straight away which is unacceptable from our manager when he clearly stated last summer our defence was poor.

    Squilaci might be a good player on the continent but he isnt what we needed we need a beast, who communicates and relishes physical tussles everyone knows it.

    We pay the highest prices in world football for once maybe we should shop in harrods to address our weaknesses. We need to get better at the back and up top its as plain and simple as that, we MUST get tougher the fans wont tolerate an inactive summer.

    Certain players need to be sold immediately genuine quality needs to be brought in and by that i mean players ready to play in our first eleven. You hugely underestimate the ill feeling at the club at the moment

  166. Jabba's delights


    Werent our players meant have learnt over the last 3 years how to deal with set backs? Why were we in the position to lose like we did against brum. We played awfully in the final conceded a set peice goal again.

    How many times do we make excuses for people. Why didnt they come out and play great in the final, why does one defeat kill them its happened the same for 3 f^cking years . Their soft as shite .

    Also what happens if cesc as many belive to be true is off in the summer, what then……..start again???

  167. Jabba’s delights,

    To use Frank’s line – Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

  168. Bill,

    The problems that we have had for several years is in my mind just increased competition. Chelsea and Manchester United have win 75% of all domestic trophies in the last 6 years. They have also pumped in over a billion pounds. Coincidence ? We can talk till the cows come home about our shortcomings, but ultimately our squad is not as richely assembled as that of Chelsea and Manchested United. Yes – we could, and sould have won the odd trophy over the last 6 years – we have been close. But how one expects to win the PL/CL when so many top players are going elsewhere is beyond me.

  169. Jabba

    To weigh against your Carling Cup comment, the League Cup final of 1988 was lost due to defensive errors and shoddy performances. 12 months later…


  170. Jabba

    >You hugely underestimate the ill feeling at the club at the moment

    It’s curious but there is more ill-feeling online than there is away from the internet, in my experience.


  171. I agree with YW, and Moopay, of course.

  172. Muppet:

    No doubt about what you say regarding expensively assembled squads. However, the frustrating thing is that we have had resources for at least 2 – 3 years that we have not been using. That is very frustrating. Its easy to criticize in retrospect but hopefully some of the issues are now more apparant and we use the summer to add some players. The team is not that far away and I know it sounds cliche but a few new players could make a real difference. We have the resources to upgrade the squad, improve the real depth, add some competition for some of the first 11 spots and hopefully provide a focus to re-energize the players. The latter may be the most important thing we can do.

    The mental issues are another thing entirely and I have no realistic idea of how to combat what has happened. It seems to me to be a strange lack of confidence along with complacency. In theory those should be mutually exclusive. If you lack confidence you should make up for it by playing your heart out. IMO moving out some of the current squad and adding a few new players is the first step toward towards helping to start the change.

  173. Jabba's delights


    1988 is a different kettle of fish to now. 1998 is a different kettle of fish to now. We have had the same problems for 3 years the managerial mistake our manager made with goalkeepers last summer should have seen him brought before the board. Again i see muppet gloss over that, but its a managers job to identify weaknesses and solve them and he has failed to do that for 3 years.

    Is it curious that the ill feeling is online more than at the ground, is it that curious? Ive seen punch ups at recent home games which is pretty bad, there is a demonstration happening this sunday and god forbid there is a woeful performance on sunday as i cant bare to think of what happens during the lap of honor.

    Wenger was booed off at stoke on sunday by a small but not insignicant section of the away support. Things are coming to a head.

    This was his year, he said judge me in may but it got worse in may im afraid to say. We are 9 points of the league title at the moment and i here Markus and Muppet scream how close we are……..are we are we that close?

    Utd will strengthen this summer , chels, citeeh, pool will all do so we are better than some currently if we stagnmate we may well still get 4th but thats all and a cup………i want to challenge i want to be in the cl and have a genuine belief that we can win it and lets be clear one final and one other semi in 15 years is a pretty awful record.

    i’m bored of the lies as are a huge section of the support

  174. ‘Bored’ is an interesting word for you to use, Jabba’s Delight. You clearly have no idea what it means. And you clearly don’t believe that ‘we’ can win the UCL. You seem a little confused.

  175. Enough with the United/Fergie love in. It’s been demonsrated, on this very blog and elsewhere, that had various contentious decision not gone in United’s favour they’d be in 3rd place right now. Christ even Alan Hansen admitted that much. Hansen!! But we have our own fans on here saying they are a better team than us.

  176. Jabba's delights

    Frank, im bored of the same old sh^t. I dont think our football is that majestic, i think we are one dimensional in the same way GG side were towards the end. We are easy to stop and i dont find keeping possession endlessly exciting .

    Im bored of us haveing no pride in defending. We concede what a midtable team should concede and have done for 5 years .

    Im bored of not being ruthless in attack we have socred 69 goals this season Messi and Ronald have over 35 league goals alone adebayor socred 30 for us 3 years ago, we arent getting better.

    Im bored of the manager constantly regurgitate the same quote over again. We quite clearly dont have mental strength and there are a tone of example this year going all the way back to 2007-8 where this has been shown………..its been worse this year mind.
    Im bored of the manager failing to address any of the above weakneses. It been 3-4 years we have had money and he has failed to address any of them………the stat nor the footage doesnt lie, our defence is still awful, our attack is still one dimensional and our team still lack mental minerals and our manager still uses the same excuses to back it up.

    Our captain is on the verge of leaving he called out the club the quote are for all to see ……….what is to be done about it?

    We either address these weakneses this summer or the manager will be booted out and nobody wants that.

    He must toughen the team up
    he must address set peice flaws
    he must address mental weakneses
    he must make us more varied going forward

    he is paid 6.5 million a year those are our weakneses andf have been for 3 years, do something

  177. Hey BC,
    You want a complete overhaul of the team, tell me though how do you account for the 25-man rule and how do you move players who in your eyes are not good enough. If they are not good enough, what makes you think other clubs will take them?

  178. I am bored with your same old shit, Jabba’s Delight, son. Get a hobby. Take up sport. Turn to drink. Go and read a Charles Buchan Annual. Anything but please, please change the fucking record.

  179. Alex Ice Cream


    I am as bored as you and we are not alone. I am not convinced by Yogi saying that disaffection is worse online – even if it is there is plenty of it in offline.

    Most supporters, at least those with any sense, gave up on these losers agres ago. 3 seasons ago when we lost Hleb and Flamini it was obvious to some, although not the manager, that we needed to replace these players with established quality. This was made even more apparent by Rosicky’s injury.

    Its gone past that stage now and there is no easy fix. I agree with you we are not “near” at all. We will never win anything with the current set-up and your suggestions of what we need to do are correct IMO but its very difficult to solve all of these problems. We have had these weaknesses for years, AW has obviously tried to remedy them and has failed utterly.

  180. Silly season is the male version of “sex in the city”. its full of gossip, champagne and glam. ooh how exciting!

  181. Alex Ice Cream


    Why don’t you change the record. Every year you say that Arsenal will triumph and every year they fail.

    You must be bored of being wrong all the time.

  182. LimparAssist

    In mine too, YW. Far, far more. I meet lots of Arsenal fans, yet strangely I’ve never once met one of these deranged, shouty, CAPslock wenger-out arseholes. Why is that I wonder?

  183. LimparAssist

    Why were the Black Cardigan brigade so adamant and so quick to deny they were marching against Wenger? The Cardies are about as disaffected as real Arsenal fans get, yet they denounce any anti-Wenger sentiment – why is that? The online misery brigade make the Cardies look calm and measured.

    Whinging like Chelsea fans. Fucking embarrassment really…

  184. back with a bang yogi..

    a bit harsh on your comment about early 80’s football in england
    it was poor but we had a few teams in the early eighties that conquered europe…
    the other leagues in europe werent much cop either….

  185. i wouldnt argue with evolution…
    something, somekind of change is needed this summer..this is a big one for wenger..

  186. Djourou would be on my: Go learn something else list, he is crap and older than most of them so no excuses. Go back to the Alps.

    I like Diaby though. If he played more he would sharpen his game, but I don’t mind him on the bench.

    A decent keeper and a leader in central defense and we have a top team.

  187. Maybe Zlatan is the answear?

    001-02 Ajax – league winner
    2002-03 Ajax – 2nd in the league
    2003-04 Ajax – league winner
    2004-05 Juventus – league winner
    2005-06 Juventus – league winner
    2006-07 Inter – league winner
    2007-08 Inter – league winner
    2008-09 Inter – league winner
    2009-10 Barcelona – league winner
    2010-11 Milan – league winner

    He is what people would call a proven winner no matter environment. He seems to change clubs singelhandedly with his attitude and keeps winnings stuff.

    He is not better than what we got you say? well now thta is not the point, the point is he wins. He is a winner that always works.
    He is also an arrogant cock but he can allow himself to be, he can allow himself to excpect the best of his fellow player cos he is so experienced and has won so much.

    that must be the “solutiuon” Jabba is looking for. the “missing link” of arsenal.

  188. Jabba's Delights


    Why is this one of the only blogs who writer sticks with your oppinion. Is every other arsenal blog no matter where they are on the disalusioned spectrum just wrong. Are the majority of arsenal fans idiots to be pissed off that our manager said he would address weaknesses for 3 years but hasent?

    Why have we finished up with less points this year and probably a worse defence. None of you including yogi present a an analysis as to why its gone wrong and how it will get better under the current manager.

    Facts point to it getting worse and the manager has had 6 years to improve things. Present a plan. Like I said up at stoke on sunday the fans were an awfully unhappy bunch and there will 40,000 pretty unhappy gooners there no matter the result on sunday which will be 98% of people there

  189. Jabba

    No, the point is that they are templates of what might happen. In both cases, the managers took what they had, bought 2 or 3 players in – not wholesale change – altered the tactics and trophies were won. If Wenger ships out 8 players as some are demanding, he might as well start from scratch because not even Chelsea won a title with that many new signings. That is the fine balance to be struck.


  190. YW ~~ you sure have a lot of patience.

  191. Jabba's Delights


    I don’t advocate signing 50m players. I question wenger signing chamack as our 2nd striker when a) we don’t cross the ball and b) he doesn’t trust him in the 2nd half of the season…..whoes fault is that?

    I want a centre back and forgive me if I want someone like samba, a player like we haven’t got. A shouter as primative as it sounds, someone who doesent look sad and glum when we concede a 90th min goal from a corner at bolton to a small lad.

    I want a leader/ organizer in central midfield, I want him to be able to set an example to our younger players in training and on the pitch he must not wet himself under pressure.

    I want a genuine winger who enjoys hugging the touch line and looks to either cross or beat his man as a first option. I don’t want another attacking centre mid on the wing, as shhhh but don’t tell anyone its the main reason why we can’t break down organized deep teams.

    I want a striker who contends to be the leading scorer in the league who wants to be in the box at all times.

    I want the effortless couldn’t give a fuck squad players out and replaced with arsenal youth players who are now 19-20 and ready for some air time as these guys care

  192. its not just about signings this time

  193. In the last game of the Invincibles season. Leicester City at Highbury, Arsenal fans were moaning. The atmosphere was flat. Typical comments were along the lines of ‘I would not put it past this team to screw it up in the last game’..and of course they nearly did screw it up and many fans moaned and whinged their way through the game. AW and this squad are irrelevant, Jabba’s Delight, Arsenal fans always feel hard done by and always moan. Don’t read too much into it, old son.

    AIC….hey AIC..yeah you. We will win the EPL and UCL next season by a country mile. I genuinely believe that. I always do.

  194. Championship Manager 2011

    Players out:

    Cesc: 50m
    Nasri: 20m
    RVP: 25m
    Wilshere: 20m
    Arshavin: 10m
    Theo: 15m
    Ramsey: 10m
    Song: 5m
    Diaby: 5m
    Denilson: -10m
    Rosicky: 0m
    Sagna: 15m
    Clichy: 15m
    Djourou: 10m
    Squillaci: Plane ticket.

    That’s roughly a total of 200m. So next few days we can all discuss players that we can buy for 200m. We need to assemble a new team of winners only. The primary need is not talent, but mental toughness. No softies as AIC points out.

    Please leave your suggestions for every position.

    Rules of the game:
    Only 1 player above 40m
    Only 1 player above 30m
    Only 3 players for around 20m.
    Rest 80m, for all the remaining positions.

  195. Jabba

    >Is it curious that the ill feeling is online more than at the ground, is it that curious? Ive seen punch ups at recent home games which is pretty bad

    One incident – I can show you a hundred thousand comments that are as bad as any punch up in the ground

    >there is a demonstration happening this sunday

    Now you are a bad boy. We’re talking about the squad and there you go, bringing up the demonstration which supposedly has nothing to do with Wenger. Now either the organisers are lying and it is an anti-Wenger march or you’re a bad boy whose planning to hijack it. Which one is it, Jabba, which one?


  196. Jabba's Delights


    I’m sorry have I missed the part of this season and previous seasons where denilson, rosicky, bendtner, vela, diaby contributed enough for them to merit a place in the side. Have any put their hands up and demonstrated starting potential?

    We carry far to many in the squad and what’s worse they are happy to do nothing. Some complain in the press but who seizes the day on gameday……none!

    Its these guys who put zero pressure on our starters that are the cancer in the squad, that’s what I’m saying. We need the 3-4 players of starting potential and that needs to be augmented with the bartley, fimpong, lansbury of this world who are players who given any game anywhere in this country will give the effort or a wilshere

  197. LA @6.16pm

    Because all of the deranged, shouty, CAPslock wenger-out arseholes have to be in bed by 6.15pm and/or aren’t allowed to speak in the presence of adults unless they are spoken to. Plus mummy and daddy won’t buy them any sweeties if they are rude.


  198. LA at 6.29

    Curiously enough, at the same time the march by the Black Scarfs were announced, an anti-Wenger March Facebook page sprang up…Following exactly the same route…starting at the same time…


  199. Yogi:

    I agree that a fine balance needs to be struck. We can not afford to totally make over the squad nor should we. Don’t you think we do have to do something significantly more aggressive this summer? Quality depth and some realistic competition for the existing first 11 are needed. I am sure that Cesc is not the only player who focuses on our transfer policies as the reason we fell short again this year. Players are not different then the fans in that regard. If we do the same thing again this summer we risk accelerating rather then reversing the mental meltdown we have seen this year.

  200. Jabba

    You don’t watch Arsenal much do you? You’ve never seen any of those players contribute to an Arsenal side. So you weren’t one of those drooling over Vela as he scored for fun in the Carling Cup. Like everyone else you thought he was good enough. Yet now you hate him. You’ve never rated Diaby – you’re in a Gang of One because everyone liked him before he had his ankle broken. Denilson? You raved about him to begin with. Now you hate him as well.

    You obviously missed players like Gus Caesar, Gilles Grimandi, Remi Garde, Christophe Wreh. They were in the same boat as the ones you mentioned yet played a part for a short time. None were good enough to start, some made mistakes that cost matches, all had their chance and were moved on in form or another.

  201. Dups

    It’s running out…


  202. Some fans would view Denilson, Diaby, Rosicky, Almunia, etc as victims of an ‘off with their heads revolution’ if they are part of this ‘evolution’ that only needs 2 or 3 players to put us over the top.

  203. Jabba's Delights


    Its not one incident of fighting, after liverpool there were numerous reported by fans and blackburn was even worse, its can’t be glossed over its appaling.

    Arseblog said he has never seen such ill feeling before. He as a blogger I would say is right bang smack in the middle of aclf and le grove.

    The demonstration is about more than just the price hike. Its about the lack of communication from board down its about lack of spending it is 100% not a wenger out march, as the majority of gooner’s still want him as our coach. What they don’t want is another summer of lies.

    The weakneses mentioned earlier are real and and the vast majority of gooners won’t tolerate inaction this summer.

    No excuses real fans just like you, muppet, frank but with different oppions are completely fed up. They want to be excited about it again. This season was the tipping point for many the failure to even better last years points total and lack of defence has made wenger go form revered to very much on the hot seat…..no more bullshit sort out the glaring weakneses

  204. Jabba

    I tolerate who I want on this blog. Boundaries are known.

    But what makes your opinion right? What makes you the expert? Have you any football experience at the highest level? No, don’t even bother lying about it.

    The point is football is about opinions – if you want to debate yours, debate it. But don’t try and tell me you’re right and everyone else here is wrong because frankly if you’re right, this football club is fucked.

    Bloody Hell, Samba. Cahill. Both play for teams that concede shitloads of goals but they are going to make us Champions.


  205. Jabba's Delights


    Look at your examples. Vela hatrick was in septembre 2009 diabt broke his ankle 3 years ago. None have been good for a while. Diaby is the most injury prone player around. Denilson hasn’t gotten better physically in 3 years. These are our next in line players none putting pressure on the starters. It can’t be done at what other big club do squad players get rewarded for having a good game 3 years ago

  206. What a complete and utter cunt!

  207. There are actually three demonstrations on Sunday. Several of us are demonstrating against Arsenal’s shit fans. By coincidence we are taking the very same route as the other ‘demonstrations’. Oh except that we are stopping by the stall which sells a certain T-shirt design.


  208. Still have those Cox cables if you need them Frank…

  209. Jabba

    You cannot see the difference can you? I’ll tell you – vitriol. I can see people’s point of view when it is rationally put but when I look around now, I see bitterness, strife and hatred.

    That’s not the manager’s fault. It’s not the players fault.

    It’s the fault of the people consumed by their own bile. People who lack the intellect to channel their frustrations positively. People who cannot handle life and as soon as good times come – even for a week – are not seen or heard. People who don’t actually believe what they write.

    To be honest, if people are so thick that the only way they can articulate their views is by having a ruck in a football ground, I don’t care what they think. And that applies to those who admire them.


  210. Well on Sunday I for one will be armed with wit, repartee, a seriies of very good anecdotes and some folk songs. All delivered with grace, bonhomie and impeccable manners.

    (Send the Cox cables to the usual address, G4E)

  211. Jabba's Delights


    Didn’t even play football at school.

    What’s right is that wenger has got it wrong. Maybe not 2 previous years but last summer for sure, I am 100% right in saying that, many would say I’m being nice in only saying last year, but that’s when I think he got it wrong.

    For 3 years many like you me included have preached that wenger knows best and the players will mature and grow.

    That is over now. We regressed this year that is a cast iron fact any way you dice it. No action is hurting if it happens again I will be on here glum as you like saying told you so, I know that as I seen a thousand gooners do the same to me this year

  212. I have a suspicion that you won’t be on here next time, Jabba’s Delight.

  213. Jabba’s Delights,

    You are a complete car crash.

    Words like “glaring weaknesses”, “complacency”, “failures in communication” – all complete bollocks.

    We have one of the best football web sites stuffed full of news and info. We have regular bulletins from Gazidis, Wenger, Bandfield and Bould. We have players who go on AVTO and speak candidly about the games. We have regular communication between the club and supporters bodies. We have Wenger, who makes himself available to the media then any other manager in the premiership – except probably that Rednapp, who will appear on any shite media outlet for an interview.

    Complacency – well.. I read arseblog’s post the other day. I was not impressed. The facts are that we are 3rd – we have the best away record in the country, and the best results in the round robin between the top 4 clubs. We lose against Stoke and Bolton – so the new accusation is – “Complacency”. Well – FFS. Last year, we lose against Manchester United and win at Stoke – and the accusation was – “we are weak against the top sides”. You want to throw muck – you can probably do it. Manchester United are supposedly “weak” this season as well.

    “Glaring Weaknesses” – Yes – we are not good on set pieces. This needs to be addressed. But when Vermaelen is injured the whole season – we can excuse that a little bit.

    What the fuck do you want ? We are outspent by 5 to 1 in the transfer market by City, Man U and Chelsea. The squad and the manager need a little bit of support, not a bunch of whinny glory hunters blowing smoke out of their arse.

  214. I agree with Moopay

  215. How do you blow smoke out of your arse. I smoked for many years, couldn’t manage to get it out of my arse though?

  216. Jabba

    OK, let’s try this one again.

    And there you have it.

    >For 3 years many like you me included have preached that wenger knows best and the players will mature and grow.

    Correct. It’s not worked but there is a difference between me and many others and you,

    >We regressed this year that is a cast iron fact any way you dice it.

    No, we didn’t. Reached a Cup Final for the first time since 2007. Progress. Beat Manchester United and Chelsea at home for the first time in a couple of seasons. Progress. Managed to sustain a title challenge until three games ago. Progress.

    We did regress though in our lack of progress in defence, no arguments as you will know if you’ve read the main post of the day. You have, haven’t you.

    >No action is hurting if it happens again I will be on here glum as you like saying told you so, I know that as I seen a thousand gooners do the same to me this year

    Not on this site you haven’t. The first whiff of “In Arsene We Rust” and the wankers are out of here.

    Which is interesting because when they get banned, the first thing that happens is that the Spam bin gets filled with posts from them, complaining that only Arsene Arse Lickers get to post on this site.

    Which is news to several people on here.


  217. “What the fuck do you want ? We are outspent by 5 to 1 in the transfer market by City, Man U and Chelsea.”

    I just want to get this clear… We are supposed to expect to be worse than/below those 3 teams and any position higher than any of them is a positive enough result to not be disappointed?

  218. the first thing we need to adress is the business model..the overall idea is fine, spending what you earn is fine….stashing what you earn isnt..

    we also need to adress the culture of the dressin room..finishing 4th isnt winning anything the pampering needs to stop….the players who are too big for their boots need to go because they have been too spoiled to change…

    the tactics need looking into also.. flexibility with formations and learning and using the the dead ball side of the game would be a start….

    then we do what weve got to do in the transfer market..

    something just doesnt go..and then next season it will be alright just doing the same old thing….
    you dont go years of doing the same thing over and over with the same mistakes over and over and say ‘its getting there’..no it isnt, somethings wrong and just making a load of signings here and there wont fix it alone..

  219. Flint McCullough

    That’s because you lack the natural leaky sphincter of your average “whinny glory hunter”, YW.

    Keep up the good work!

  220. In theory if one swallows tobacco smoke rather than inhale it, it is possible that if could get to the arse via peristalsis. In practice though I think it would absorbed by the lining of the stomach and upper and lower intestines. I am afraid I would have to conclude that the only way to ‘blow’, which I presume refers to flatulence, smoke out of your arse is to ‘blow’ it up there first.

  221. Busch,

    More or less.. yes. But I’m not talking about disappointment. I’m talking about expectation. When other clubs can spend with impunity.. and I mean here, not just shell out the £20 million + transfer fee, but also then afford the £150k week in wages.. how the hell should we expect to finish above them ?

  222. Jabba's Delights


    Vermalan played all last year and we conceded 42, stop making excuses.

    We are outspent 5-1 as our manager refuses to spend.

    Watch what citeeh, chels and utd do this summer they will spend and spend big. Now considering 2 of those teams are already better than us this year that worries me.

    We must address our problems and that means for once spending a little money. Bargains are always to be had but we seem to miss them…..ozil 13m anyone? Hernandez 7m anyone.

    What is for sure the usual action will lead to 4th place next year and that is a certainty.

    We have 100m in the bank and 30 odd million of players and there wages to rid ourselves of……and 3-4 holes to fill. The mental wekaness is only something arsene can sort out god let’s hope its finally smacked him in the head that there is a weakness there.

    67 points with e games left puts us in a simialr position in terms of our own performance of 5 years ago

  223. I once went to a strip club called The Red Garter in a seedy part of East St. Louis.

    I saw a ‘dancer’ blow smoke from a cigar out of her ___, so it might be possible.

  224. Interesting example, Busch. I suppose the organ in question could act as a bellows.

  225. “Muppet – .. and I mean here, not just shell out the £20 million + transfer fee, but also then afford the £150k week in wages.. how the hell should we expect to finish above them ?”

    I agree, to an extent. And I think Arsenal and Wenger have the right plan, ie. talent found at an age when they are affordable and hopefully grow into a competitive squad before they can be lured away with riches.

    I guess my disappointment the last few seasons is that we have done a great job of that but failed to integrate some (not a lot of super expensive ones) proven players that might have done a better job of ‘putting us over the top’. I know Wenger has made moves, but I also know he talks about stunting the progress of younger players and I think that is sometimes at the cost of the success (sorry… current success) of the club.

  226. Are most Arsenal fans managers/accountants and talent evaluators at the same time? Do your duty as a fan and show the team support, how hard can that be?

  227. Jabba’s Delights,

    >> Vermalan played all last year and we conceded 42, stop making excuses.

    Vermaelen was the PFA player in his position FFS. Don’t tell me he was not missed.

    >> We are outspent 5-1 as our manager refuses to spend.

    That is complete cobblers. We don’t have billionaires who are willing to spend tens/hundreds of millions, paying no attention to conventional balance sheets. We have to balance the books. Other clubs ignore this.

    >> Watch what citeeh, chels and utd do this summer they will spend and
    >> spend big. Now considering 2 of those teams are already better than us >> this year that worries me.

    FFP regulations will kick in soon. This summer, and possibly January will be their last chance to go on a big spending spree.

    >> We must address our problems and that means for once spending a little >> money. Bargains are always to be had but we seem to miss them…..ozil >> 3m anyone? Hernandez 7m anyone.

    This is complete bollocks. Arsene Wenger is unparalleled in unearthing gems in the transfer market. Toure/Sagna/Eduardo (until he was injured)/Clichy/Anelka/Henry !/Vieira. What about youth players.. Wilshere/Ramsey – don’t see a better midfield pairing in the country.

    >> What is for sure the usual action will lead to 4th place next year and that >> is a certainty.

    If other clubs have bigger resources, then it is about what they do. Not our usual action. If we can’t spend £250 million, it’s because nobody will stump up the money. You can see their reasoning – what will be their return on investment ?

    >> We have 100m in the bank and 30 odd million of players and there
    >> wages to rid ourselves of……and 3-4 holes to fill. The mental wekaness is >> only something arsene can sort out god let’s hope its finally smacked him >> in the head that there is a weakness there.

    Do we have 100m in the bank. News to me.
    Mental weakness ? Complete bollocks. Do you know anything about sport ? So when Ferguson won nothing for 5 years… was it because of mental weakness. Ditto Barcelona who won nothing for 5 years between 2000 and 2005.

    >> 67 points with e games left puts us in a simialr position in terms of our
    >> own performance of 5 years ago

    Comparing our points total with what we did in any other year is a completely wasted exercise. Looking at the distrbution of points in the league this year, you can see it’s a much narrower spread. This means the competition is harder. Therefore any comparison you make is spurious.

  228. A heated discussion on the direction of Arsenal and the workings of the average moaners rectum….the wonder of tangents eh

  229. I hate to say this, but some of you fans are spoilt brats, support the bloody team and stop moaning!

  230. Busch

    It’s more impressive with Table Tennis balls…


  231. FIFA’s days are numbered. Shame, isn’t it?

  232. Busch,

    Well, a lot of people say that we need more experience, rather than youth. So your criticism is the opposite. I don’t know – I kind of see your point. If the youth players had more exposure then we would be in a better position. But remember Wenger’s quote “You pay for the kids education with points”. To be honest, I think the main problem is that we’ve never had the available personnel to rotate, or we’ve been in too many situations where we’ve so badly needed to field our strongest team that we’ve been unable to rotate, and as a result, have compounded problems such as injuries, and the energy levels of the available pool of players.

    Putting youth players in makes sense when we are coasting in a game. But I haven’t seen too many examples, post February, where we have been coasting in any games. To be fair, we’ve blooded Wilshere all season – as he is that good, and Ramsey is back in the frame. Gibbs has not had enough exposure this year – nor has Vela. But there again – Szczesny has.

  233. Colney,

    Maybe there is something different about fanhood in regards to the States and sports (in particular baseball) and elsewhere.

    I have been a fan of the Cleveland Indians, one of the most snake bit, down trodden teams in all of sports anywhere since I was a little kid. I worked for the Indians and went to nearly every home game (81 a year) for about 6 years straight, through high school and university when they were horrible… beyond horrible. And I loved it, but I think it would be unfathomable for fans of baseball *not* to moan and groan, to play junior team manager and whatnot.
    Even Yankee fans, the most successful team in the history of the sport, bitch and moan about players and day to day performances. Ugh, go to a Yankees game when they are losing. Those 27 championships mean squat.

    So that is something that strikes me as different when I see the verbal pile drivers dropped on Arsenal fans complaining. But that’s just me, I guess… or from the perspective of an American baseball fan. So I don’t get that upset by it.

  234. Paulie Walnuts


    Pretty much agree with all your comments today but Gus Caesar ?

    A line has to be drawn somewhere when making a point, mate

  235. Jabba's Delights


    Go check the accounts we have 100m in cash reserves 25m of which has to be there to satify the banks…..this is a fact.

    Have utd gone and spent 250m is that why they might do the double this year…..is it?

    They spent money on hernandez and smalling last summer and still haven’t invested the ronaldo money.

    Over the last 8 years they have spent 110m more net than us granted that’s ronaldo included but that’s what 25m more a summer and look what they have won.

    Wenger eye for talent is good but he has a huge amount of misses especially when he spends big.

    Vermalan scores goals it always makes voters happy. Yogi was nailing smaba and cahill earlier for being part of teams that concede loads. Well vermalan was the leader of a defence that conceded 42 when the oppostion only have the ball for 40-35percent of a game

  236. LimparAssist

    I thought it should’ve been drawn before Christopher Wreh myself, Paulie. For Christopher every year is ’98. The Wrehgun. Thank you, Chris.

  237. Thank goodness I am not a baseball fan. Sounds fucking horrible.

  238. LimparAssist

    YW at 8.12pm – could not agree more sir.

  239. Not at all, Frank.

    I haven’t lived in Cleveland in nearly 20 years, but I still talk with my brothers and friends weekly about how the team is doing, what we need to do in the off season, who sucks, who doesn’t, how big an ass one of us is for liking or not liking a certain player, shoving their nose in it if they go one way or the other…
    They would be boring as sheet phone calls and emails if they all just went:
    “Go Tribe”
    “Yep, Go Tribe.”

  240. Jabba’s Delights,

    I will check how much we have. But for now, I will accept your statement.

    So – even if we do have £100 million, how do we dice that up, to use your term ? How many players will that get us ?

    In the pundits world, we need a centre back and a goalkeeper, possibly a striker. This means that for £100 million, we need to find 3 players, who are available, within that budget – and crucially – better than what we have.

    Assuming that each cost £15 million, and they sign a 4 year contract worth £100k a week, that means each costs £35 million – so the total comes to £105 million. That gives us 3 new players.

    Now . Let’s propose Reina, Samba and Benzema. All names that have been touted. If these three were signed, then these 3 would be a good fit.

    All good in theory. But what happens next year – we fall short again, and we need more players – we need a further £100 million. Where does the money come from ?

    The problem with your argument is twofold. Firstly, the players that will strengthen the squad are just not necessarily available at the time. Case in point – Reina, Schwarzer and Samba – all players that we failed to get.

    Second problem with your argument is the idea that spending the money will definitely win us trophies. This is an argument that Adrian Durham on Talk Shite was coming out – one that I think is complete bollocks.

    With respect to Manchester United – they didn’t spend big this year – no. But then, they didn’t need to. Because they have spent big before. Rooney, Berbatov, Ferdinand, Valencia, Anderson etc etc.. all players that have beaten our transfer record. Not only that.. they pay more in wages.

    “Wenger has a huge amount of misses” – this is not a serious criticism. You cannot be serious ? Ferguson I would imagine, has a huge amount of misses, so do other clubs and managers. Ferguson tried to sign Ramsey – they even put a story up on their web site saying he was their player ! Yes – we missed out of Messi ! FFS

  241. LimparAssist

    What a stoic you are, Muppet.

  242. Busch,
    Except in baseball, the team that spends most doesn’t always win. Smaller teams have a fair chance of winning the world series. Same with the Bundesliga model, teams are not allowed to carry debt so every team has a fair shake and a chance to win the league.

    Contrast that model with the premier league where teams spend enormous sums of money. Arsenal cannot compete with that kind of spending so the best way is to complete sensible signings with youth academy graduates. But the system is so skewed that the rich clubs have a higher probability of winning the league than the have-nots.

    We have a team that is close, a team that needs the support of the fans and not moans and groans. Mind you i am not not against constructive criticism, i just can’t stand constant moaning and groaning.

  243. Frank@ 8:42 pm,

    Laughed so hard, I probably did blow smoke out of my own you know what!

  244. colney, spot on. The moaners on here are abso-fucking-lutely spoiled brats. Makes me so happy knowing that winning isn’t everything and that I’m comfortable with that. Really, from my perspective being a gooner is great. There were some sublime moments of football from THE Arsenal this year, that’s what I remember and what I look forward to. All this bollocks these moaners get so worked up over just makes no sense to me.

  245. Jabba's Delights


    In no way am I saying we need to spend 100m, I am not some fan who thinks spending silly money is the answer

    Your fgures are inccorect. You amortise the transfer fee and wages over the duration of the contract not over 1 year.

    I don’t think we need a keeper but some do we haggled over 2m over shwarzer 2m over alonso when we have a huge reserve of money.

    Let’s stop haggling over petty money and go out and buy what is needed.

    Almunia, eboue, squilaci, denilson, diaby, rosicky, bendtner, vela lets say between them they account for 15m in wages and we could get 25m for the lot, that’s 40m and none have played an important part this year an fact there lack of performance has been crucial.

    If we get samba, parker, hazard, benzema for a combined 50-60m in fee and extra 15 in wages per year we have neither increased our wages put our long term future in jepardy.

    I completely agree with being self sustainable, so let’s be so.

    With a summer like that we would be in a much stronger position to challenge on every front or do you not agree

  246. Muppet,
    Agree with your overall sentiment but couldn’t help but notice the following contradiction (yeah you guessed, I’m a bit bored…)

    “All good in theory. But what happens next year – we fall short again, and we need more players – we need a further £100 million. Where does the money come from ? “

    Then you say…

    “With respect to Manchester United – they didn’t spend big this year – no. But then, they didn’t need to. Because they have spent big before. Rooney, Berbatov, Ferdinand, Valencia, Anderson etc etc.. all players that have beaten our transfer record. Not only that.. they pay more in wages. “

    If United don’t need to spend big every year, why should we?
    That is assuming the signings don’t help, and even then surely they or some other players can be sold to recoup costs?

  247. All very true Colney, plus I’m probably insulated from much of the moaning and groaning because I don’t frequent a bunch of sites and only get the Fox soccer and what little ESPN news there is, so other than the straight up “Wenger out” poster that comes on here, most don’t seem too negative in their criticism. But I’m also the father of 3 kids and no amount of web site complaining can upset me compared to 2 girls complaining about what their brother is getting into.

  248. You are an all round good egg, Colney. A star in fact. As for Moopay, champion, I reckon. Btw I have had seven missuses.

  249. Muppet:

    It is crazy to say that spending money will guarantee trophies. However, its just as crazy to deny that it would improve our chances. Even if we don’t win any trophies at least we should give ourselves the best possible chance. Leaving that money sitting in the bank where it does no one in the world any good and then complaining because other teams outspend us seems rather lame.

  250. Henristic,

    I don’t think there is a contradiction. Manchester United, has an established base of players that were purchased for a lot of money. Whilst we have very good players, we do not have such a base. I do not see 5 £20 + million players forming the core of our team.

    Likewise Chelsea – need I list all their expensive acquisitions.

    In any case, there have been calls, most notably from Rooney himself, for Manchester United to spend £100 million to improve their squad.

  251. Do you broadcast your misery over the internet and on phone-ins, Busch? Do you try to rope other people in to hating the manager and players? Naaaah, surely not? You’ve got guns over there haven’t you?

  252. Muppet,

    Jabba isn’t lying when he notes the £100m, it was £110m in February’s interim statements. Except about £30m of that is ringfenced by the bank and everyone knows that companies inflate their cash balances at full and half year end – it’s the oldest accounting trick in the book.


  253. I thought we beat the Mancs last game? We are better then them.

  254. ‘Then them’ is how the Queen says ‘than them’.

  255. Muppet,
    We also have an established base of good players, only they were not purchased for as much money as United. The difference in points between us for the last few seasons certainly supports that. Its not like we were at Man City levels (pre the Arabs).
    So spending that 100m or thereabouts should all things being equal theoretically make us better than them, surely?

  256. We beat the Chavs in our last game with them. We are better than them too. Sorry, then them too.

  257. Well, there was some heated debate about our manager in the ’90s, Mike Hargrove, who got us to 2 World Series but never won it.
    This after not being to a WS in 40 years.
    The intraweb wasn’t such a big deal back then, though.

    We ended up getting rid of him, almost made another WS a few years later, but still haven’t won one since 1948.

  258. Also can’t believe you brought up Rooney. The same Rooney who apologized for saying all those things and has admitted he is wrong? And he is wrong of course. Because they’ve basically won the league and are in the CL final without spending 100m. How is that not an improvement?

  259. Muppet

    >> In no way am I saying we need to spend 100m, I am not some fan who >> >> thinks spending silly money is the answer


    >> Your fgures are inccorect. You amortise the transfer fee and wages over >> the duration of the contract not over 1 year.

    Yes. You do amortise over the duration of the contract. I concede this. But if we do make expensive signings, then wage turnover will have to go up. I am not saying don’t spend, but this is a fact.

    >> I don’t think we need a keeper but some do we haggled over 2m over
    >> shwarzer 2m over alonso when we have a huge reserve of money.

    I am not sure we did haggle. This is hearsay. Mark Hughes came in, he hates arsenal anyway – didn’t want to release Schwarzer and they had no replacement. But I agree – we have Szczesny and Fabianski now, they are looking good.

    .>> Let’s stop haggling over petty money and go out and buy what is needed.

    Agree. But I think again, that we budget our books. People misinterpret haggling for budgeting. We have to survive as a club. Liverpool, Leeds and Portsmouth nearly went to the wall.

    >> Almunia, eboue, squilaci, denilson, diaby, rosicky, bendtner, vela lets
    >> say between them they account for 15m in wages and we could get 25m >> for the lot, that’s 40m and none have played an important part this year >> an fact there lack of performance has been crucial.

    If all these players go, new players will have to be found, and their wages will have to be paid. The economics makes no difference. Sure – if we bring in better players, then that will make a difference.

    >> If we get samba, parker, hazard, benzema for a combined 50-60m in fee >> and extra 15 in wages per year we have neither increased our wages put >> our long term future in jepardy.

    The idea that these players will definitely improve us is questionable. If Wenger signs them, then so be it. But I personally have no clue that any of these will improve us. Hazard is young – I know he is good. Parker is part of a team that is about to be relegated. Benzema is not 1st choice for Real Madrid – what does that tell you ?

    >> I completely agree with being self sustainable, so let’s be so.

    I am not being sanctimonious here. I am just saying that the club has reasons for it’s meagre expenditure. If we did have a billionaire spending £250 million and boosting the quality of our squad, I should imagine a lot of people wouldn’t be complaining. But unfortunately we don’t.

    >> With a summer like that we would be in a much stronger position to
    >> challenge on every front or do you not agree

    We would all like to be much stronger. But you can’t make arguments that fly in the face of logic. We have a finite pool of money, and there is a finite pool of players. That finite pool of players is shrinking ever more rapidly as the vultures from Citeh, Real Madrid and Chelsea circulate. If all the best players go to clubs paying the best money, we are left with the 2nd tier of good players. At the end of the day, you can’t make a silk purse out of a Sow’s ear.

  260. Rooney is a plank who knew he had to strike while the pan was hot to get a big pay raise and just used that whole deal as a way to it.

    How many players do we even have that earn what his raise was?

  261. and Stoke are better then us then frank.

  262. Oooohhhh , DG, you were too slow there. Of course Stoke are not better than us. Do you understand nothing?

  263. Henristic,

    It is difficult to quantify how much we would need to spend to achieve parity with Manchester United. It’s a good debate. One could argue that we are not far off, but there again, they have won the league.. what .. 3 times in the last 4 years, and the champions league as well. So in the sense, we are pretty far off.

    Some would argue, as you have been hearing, that it’s not just money, but it’s a change of manager, emphasis, mental attitude as well. Alan Hansen argues that if Ferguson was in charge of any top 4 club.. they would win the premiership. These arguments can’t be disproven, or neccesarily proven.

    Chelsea follow the model of trying to keep up by outspend everyone. We are 3 points off them, and have spent no where near what they have. So in that sense, perhaps an extra £100 million would tip the balance. I think it’s not the expenditure in any case that tips the balance – it’s whether the money you spend improves the squad i.e. you sign the right players, and perhaps crucially – if you manage to poach those players sought after by the opposition, that would have strengthened their squads.

  264. The current system is just messed up, it’s now a “what have you done for me lately” environment and a majority of fans just lap it up. References to Mourinho, Pep, Klopp are grossly misguided.

    In my opinion, Mourinho is nothing but a checkbook manager, yes he is a good manager but he’s no miracle worker. Pep is the beneficiary of a nucleus of players assembled by Frank Rijkaard. Even he knows all good things can’t last forever, one of the reasons why he signs rolling 1 year contracts.

  265. I think we should do a city and spend £200m to get in the top 4.

  266. Jabba's Delights


    There in lies our major difference in oppinion. I firmly believe that the club does have money and budgets on a level that is so conservative its almost scary. We have turnover of 225m we have made 20-30m in profit from property and 40m in player sales. Our wages to turnover is 50%. Why then do we get out spent than sunderland, surely we can increase.

    Granted signing any player is a risk but some more so than others. Benzema has 2 to 1 goal to game ratio over his career. Hazard is a pulsating winger with the ambition to become the best.

    Parker and samba aren’t technically better than what we have they are there to drive up and improve the attitude of the squad. Both put in 200% effort everytime they walk on the pitch and are the onfield leaders I feel we lack

  267. Muppet:

    You complain about us being outspent and then argue endlessly against spending money that should be earmarked for squad improvement. The amount that we have available to use is significant. No guarantees but the players we could bring in might help push us over the hump. Spending money helps the other teams but we shouldn’t do it???? No logic in that.

  268. Busch describes fan attitudes in America. As someone living in Brooklyn, I can confirm that they suck. Booing your team is *ALWAYS* counterproductive – you don’t boo if you want your team to win, because it saps their confidence.

    But the people on this site (Ateeb, Jabba’s delight, Alex Ice Cream, Martin, Rob) who complain about the team, it’s really sad to read their comments. Arsenal are a great team. They challenge for the EPL and the CL every year. They play games that are great fun to watch, even when they lose. They have a fiscal strategy that sh1ts on the heads of the Yankees-style teams (whether funded by massive debts or rich jerks) who buy their players. And wouldn’t you rather cheer on players you’ve watched develop? Who wouldn’t want to support a team of Maldinis rather than a team of mercenary punks like Figo or Ibra?

    More than that, what kind of self-important, unobservant person takes the attitude, “well who cares that only one team can win a given competition each year, or that Arsenal have done better than many other teams? Since we didn’t win, the manager should be fired!” Have you people not noticed how in general managerial stability is beneficial for team performance (Ferguson, Ancelotti in Milan, Jerry Sloan in Utah, Phil Jackson in Chicago or LA, etc) while the teams that change managers every year wind up underperfoming every year (even Chelsea and Madrid, who almost certainly would have won the CL given their spending if they had retained Mourinho and Del Bosque, respectively).

    Finally, going back to the beginning: as a fan, yo support. You don’t whine, or complain, or threaten to not show up, or boo, or insult your players. You cheer. If you can’t cheer for Arsenal any more, go find another team.

  269. “Spending money helps the other teams but we shouldn’t do it???? No logic in that.”

    And that’s where UEFA’s Financial Fairplay comes in. We may have been forced to play it safe by the stadium move, but our model is the one that the competition is going to have to follow eventually. Just because they’ve been splurging up to now, it doesn’t mean we should.

    We’ll just have to see how it all pans out, but UEFA are going to be watching this summer’s business.

  270. george rodger

    DG,get your figures right.£350 m

  271. Jabba’s Delights,

    We use our turnover to pay for players wages. I am not sure what the wage bill is, I think it is currently around £110 million.

    That is no where near the turnover of £172.5 million for Chelsea and is less than Manchester City – £133.3 million, and Manchester United – £131.7 million.

    But I was talking about player transfers. Chelsea and Manchester City have spend hundreds of millions. We do not have hundreds of millions.

    On the last point – I don’t agree with this stuff about Parker and Samba. It’s a fallacy. If we have a bad attitude.. how do we have the best away record in the premiership ? How is that possible ? The fist pumping bulldog argument is pure xenophobia. I saw plenty of attitude from Arshavin against Manchester United – who worked his socks off in defence.

    But if these players were signed – then it brings in competition, and shakes up the squad a little – so that would be good.

  272. Bill,

    No. You are twisting my words. I am making a wider point. I am arguing that it is a weak argument to say that the £40 million we have in cash reserves will supposedly fix all our problems. It won’t. We are up against clubs who are spending £300 to £400 million. Yes, spend our cash reserves, by all means – but it won’t achieve dominance.

  273. Josef,

    Ateeb doesn’t complain about the team. He shouldn’t be in that list !

  274. Jabba’s delights,

    Sorry – I mean wage bill, or wage turnover – not turnover, when quoting the sums of money for Chelsea/Manchester City and Manchester United. In actual fact, City’s wage bill is less than their actual turnover !

  275. Chel$ki needs a facelift or a tummy tuck.

  276. Or maybe an A$$ nip

  277. Muppet:

    Yes, spend our cash reserves, by all means – but it won’t achieve dominance.

    Agree completely with the former.

    Agree with the latter although it will at least improve our chances.

  278. Jabba's Delights


    Let’s get one thing clear. I don’t and never will boo at the grove. I sing my heart out.

    I blog so I can debate with fans of the club I love.

    You talk of this excitment at watching arsenal but I’m sorry I don’t see it. We have scored 69 goals drawn or lost at home to most of the bottom 10 of the prem. Keeping possesion for ages but getting no shots isn’t exciting in my eyes. And even if it did, seeing piss poor defence compltely mitagates it for me.

    I feel the club can do more to challenege, that’s all I and the majority attending on sunday ask for. We have gained less points this year than last. Once in the last 6 years have we gained a points total that could make us trully contenders league wise this is a fact. You must be up around the 82 point mark to challenge…..must and we haven’t, how do we get there?


    Arshavin tried his arse off against utd and then gave his most lazy performance of the year against stoke.

    Winning titles is about consistancy not one off performances. We have won 1 cl away game in 3 years. Our effort and attitude is appaling in some games and its those dropped points which have cost us for 3 years. Whatever arsene is doing isn’t getting through to them. We need natural leaders and we need them now

  279. Seems we play the same line up and tactics no matter who the oposition, wenger wants to play his way no matter what, we are naive as a team, thats what does us. what has happened to Wengers tactical nouse. Stoke was a joke, i actually thought the players were trying but the tactics played into stokes hands and Wenger didnt sort out the situation. if new players come in and we carry on just trying to play every cunt to death it will be the same out come.

  280. Bill,

    Well.. yes. I do hope we see some expenditure, and we do strengthen.

    We do normally make signings in the summer anyway, but there is a clamour now for a radical overhaul. I agree with YW – we need evolution – not revolution. I can see Wenger making about 4 or 5 changes. Some players have reached the end of the line. Although I support them, I think I know who they are. We can improve a lot by replacing them with better players, or promoting a couple through the reserves/youth system.

  281. Jabba’s Delights,

    Ok. So Arshavin was lazy against Stoke. But your arguments still fly in the face of facts – if we were so lazy and complacent, we wouldn’t be 3rd in the table, would we, and we wouldn’t have the best away record in the premiership ? I didn’t see any laziness and complacency when I watched Wolves at the weekend, in their 3-1 win against West Brom – but they are fighting relegation. I think you have to accept that running around at 100 m.p.h making challenges, fist pumping and showing leadership is not necessarily our style.

  282. george rodger

    I am with Duke,When will we ever stop trying to play better than the opposition?
    Its pathetic,really.
    We must learn to be second best,otherwise we will never win.
    Fuck me ,now I am confused.

  283. Jabba's Delights


    We are 3rd and there are many clubs worse off than us, but there are many clubs with less expectations. Every clubs fans pay less than us. Its useless having a good but not incredible away record when our home form is so poor.

    We need a balance running around like a headless chicken isn’t what we need but some organization is. Blackburn, sunderland, liverpool and stoke were 3 incredibly flat performances at the business end of the year with everthing on the line, where was the drive?

    Add that to the shambolic play in some games, newcastle (home and away), wba (home and away) sunderland (away), bolton (away), wigan (away), spurs (home and away) leads me to believe we have soooooo much room for improvement.

    Problem being its been the same room for improvement for 3 years……when and how do we get that improvement that’s what I ask.

  284. called tactics george, the only plan b wenger knows is the singer.

  285. all young teams are inconsistent, period. fact of life.
    but i think we were very consistent up until the CC final. then we were demoralized and became inconsistent.

  286. Interesting debate/argument from yesterday.

    I do think that people are getting a it too excited in the big scheme of things. This season has disapointing without question, again we have collapsed at the business end of the season. But with a longer title challenge and a cup final, I do think that we have actually progressed.

    What (I think) frustrates so many is that is obisouly a team who is so close to being a winning team. But this seems seems to gbe the case for a few years now. We are not takoing that “final step”, and as the manager Arsene really foots the blame here. But to say he should be sacked is ridiculous really.

    I thnik this season will see a slight change in tact when it comes to signings. Arsene (in recent interveiws) seems to have lost a little bit of faith with his project. And rightly so, as some of the players have let him despite the amouth of faith he has shown in them. Not all, but some have.

    I am hopeful (as always) for next season.

  287. Outrageous idea, trying to beat the opposition in EVERY game. What must AW be thinking of?

  288. ‘plan B’ then must be to not beat the opposition in EVERY game? Well that is very cunning. Very cunning indeed.

  289. I see the Islington Gazette is continuing the ‘Cesc is going’ bun fight. Fucking splitters. Never ever really supported the club. Maybe we should have moved to Wembley.

  290. I doubt Cesc will be sold. He is under contract, his best years ahead of him, and our best player. Why would we sell him?

  291. I hope Cesc stays but being realistic he clearly wants to leave

  292. Jabba's delights


    Plan B could also be developing an attacking system which isnt entirely reliant on the opposition giving us space and our attack scoring the perfect goal , wait i shuld probably say the perfect 2 goals as we nearlly always concede 1.

    We signed allegedly the best aerial attacker in europe who scored 80% of his goals from headers and yet we are awful at offensive set peices with no dead ball speciallist and not one good consistant crosser of a ball at the club.

    Teams sit deep crowd the centre of the pitch and allow us the wide areas , and this is all they have to do to cause our side horrfic probelms ……….this has been an issue for 3 years

    plan b please arsene

  293. Jabba’s Delights,

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  294. Jabba's delights

    Morning Muppet

    Was any what i just said not completely true?

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