Merse Ingests, Vieira Digests As The Media Suggests

A bizarre morning with Paul Merson claiming that he was popping pills and liquids at Arsène’s behest. He didn’t have a clue what he was doing or what he was ingesting. Which is no surprise since he freely admits that at times he did not know what day of the week it was.

It hardly bears comparison to the various pharmacies at Italian clubs, comparable to small NHS hospitals according to reports. Wenger’s preference for Creatine is well-known, the manager admitting to its use before Fifa outlawed it. Whether he would still be using it now is open to debate, especially with the side-effects.

As for the liquid, well, maybe someone was taking the…out of Merse?

Talking of old players, Patrick Vieira seems to be on the verge of retiring but not before he had harsh words for the current squad,

When they are in trouble, they always concede a goal. A big team when it’s under pressure, it pulls together, it makes the trouble go away. Sometimes you know you have difficult periods, even the best teams. You accept the opponent is stronger, you defend, you stay strong, more compact. You accept you have to suffer.

We did it in the [2005] FA Cup final against Manchester United. I’ve no idea how we won – United were all over us for 90 minutes. We knew the only way to win was penalties. Some days are like this. It’s not your day. Accept it and find a different way to win. Fight for each other. It’s not the way you want, but what’s important is to win.

Those words encapsulate neatly the mental strength required. Call it a winning mentality, call it what you want. Whatever it is, this is how it should be typified. That is the ‘missing link’ which Arsène needs to find this summer.

It is interesting to hear what Vieira’s thoughts are, no matter how unpalatable. This is how opponents view Arsenal. It is not that he believes they cannot handle the rough stuff, as the media would like to perpetuate. Quite simply, they cannot deal with a match going wrong on a consistent basis.

Against United, they showed the determination required. Dominate, score, defend. That now needs to be transferred into the fixtures against the lesser lights or as Vieira highlights, when things are not going your way.

So to the rumour mill, by way of light relief. Cesc is wanted by Manchester City, a club who seem to desire everyone and everything. If there was a footballing equivalent of penicillin, they would be in for it.

Hardly surprising that Mancini is looking to sign the Spaniard. Not because of a belief that he is the missing link in the City side to make them Champions but simply as a statement of the owner’s intent. If they are willing to back him in a £50m transfer, then he is not likely to be sacked this summer. City are still some way off being Champions so this may be merely putting off the inevitable, staying execution for a year or less.

Bacary Sagna is wanted by Bayern Munich and a trawl through this month’s news stories about whom we are signing and selling sees eighteen players joining with nine departing as well as a net £120m out of the Arsenal bank account. And this is without Hugo Rodallega telling everyone that he wants to sign for Arsenal, an almost Annual event now which signals that the silly season is well and truly underway.

Anyhoo, that’s it for today. ’til Tomorrow.

Posted on May 12, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 138 Comments.

  1. There is a very clever analysis of what might happen if Arsene left by ArsenalArsenal entitled “Wenger in the Shadow of Black Scarves”. It is also very amusing. All Doomers should read it and grind their teeth because it is unanswerable.

  2. Morning YW always truly amazed at your ability to write with such continued consistency..

  3. dis anyone see the bbc 2 documentary ‘Lord sugar tackles football’. its ob BBc iplayer now. Good watch. and might straighten out a few things for those that are confused about football finances.

    The one shinning light? arsenal of course. There are reasons to be proud.

  4. great post Yogi. Me thinks that Patrick Vieira insults the light blue fans when he speaks too much about his former club! I don’t think they take it nicely. Looks like he made a mistake going there. Must have been the money on offer that twisted his mind.
    On the rumours – well they are really wonderful. Cesc to Barca then Mancity. Well Mancity isn’t a rumour as Mancini says he wants him. Sagna to Bayern. Clichy to Madrid and Liverpool. Bendtner to Hamburg and Bayern. I could continue. Denilson to Barcelona and Inter Milan. Just goes to show that we have a quality squad. We shouldn’t get over excited when we lose one match. COYG!

  5. Wise words by the great Patrick Vieira.But do you think Wenger would agree with him? The 2005 cup final we were battered but won no pitty patty football but grit and fight.It is very apt that the last trophy Wenger ever won was won in that manner.

  6. but yesterday you shouted us all down when we criticised the lack of “mental strength” but now Vieira says it you agree with him?

    bernard – what might happen? just as easy to say the opposite !! all conjecture

  7. No dead ball specialist, Jabbas?

    Are you sure?

  8. No dead ball specialist, Jabbas?

    Are you sure?

  9. Excellent post today YW.

    Paddy is bang on as well.

  10. Jabba's delights


    What are your thoughts on Veira comments?

    You would have us believe that having the best away record (its good not great) means we have incredible mental strength.

    I agree Yogi this is the main aspect in the squad that needs to be sorted but i still feel we have 2 glaring weakneses. An in ability to defend set peices whether this can be sorted by personel changes or internally i have no idea. Secondly we need to be much more clinical and diverse up front, i feel this can only be sorted by signings

  11. Yeovil Gooner

    Yes Goonerwife I agree the ‘Lord Sugar Tackles Football’ documentry’ was very interesting and illuminating.

    In it he interviewed Harry ‘The Twitch’ Rednapp, he stated that he didn’t have any idea what the Spuds players were paid, he went on to say that he doubted any manager would know what his players were paid. I’m sure AW would beg to differ on that one and look at how it turned out for Rednapps previous club Pompey and where that got them. Surely a manager has to have some sort of a handle on the clubs financial situation, another area in which the Arsenal lead the way it would seem?!?

  12. Hello?

  13. Paddy’s interview is in the Times and well worth a read. Clearly his comment concerning our failure to stand up when the going gets tough is correct as we have cracked so many times at the wrong moment where teams earlier in Arsene reign managed to cling on to get a result.

    Even Paddy’s comments raises another question however as to how – for example against Barcelona at the Grove twice in two seasons – we certainly did overcome adversity and grab back games that we had no right to get anything out off – and there have been others

  14. Unhand me, YW!

  15. Redknapp does not have a good record with finance does he? I have no idea why they thouhgt he was the man to interview. Pretty much all of his previous clubs have gone bust in some shape or form. Lets hope he keeps that run going.

  16. viera is 110% correct we can handle the pressure!!! get him in the changing rooms barking orders at these useless wankers!!!

    n’zogbia could be a great signing for us – what do you think?

  17. Jabba’s Delights,

    What are my thoughts on Viera’s comments ? Well… pot kettle black. How does a team with half a squad full of warrior defensive midfielders worth £400 million, and know how to win ugly, manage to get knocked out by Braga in the Europa cup. He should practise what he preaches.

    However much you moan, however much you analysis, it comes down to a simple comparison – we are being compared to the 3 best teams in Europe – Manchester United/Chelsea and Barcelona. Despite having beaten them this year, we are still behind them. You can attribute all the reasons under the sun, but the one that I go with is resources. That is the difference.

    Also – the fact that expectations mean that we are being compared to those 3 clubs is a testament to the genius of Arsene Wenger. No Arsenal team up to 1996 was ever compared to the european elite teams – they got nowhere near. We were thrashed out of sight and technically outclassed by all of them. Yes – we had one cup winners cup and a fairs cup, but Arsenal were never in the league of AC Milan, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Juventus etc etc.

    You are just a product of the expectations set by Arsene Wenger Jabba.. nothing more.

  18. Steve of Chiang Mai

    Me thinks Arsene has formed a team in his own image….not “mentally strong”, but rather “mentally inflexible” and when things dont go their way they display the footballing equivalent of tossing the water bottle…..

  19. Steve of Chiang Mai

    Stu….if useless wankers still manage third place in the toughest league in Europe I feel sorry for all the other fans who support the other teams filled with players playing at a level less than that of “useless wanker”… I am not sure how you would describe them tho….

  20. Jabba's delights


    For someone who talks of resources so much you showed little understanding of ours last night. Maybe you should go read our financial statements for the last 2 years or the 8 blog entries by the Swiss Rambler on us before talking of resources.

    We are the 3rd most valuable football team in the world a rpoduct of brilliant management and fantstic awareness by the bored, never make the mistake of putting everything on Wenger’s back you will be doing a diservice to some brilliant people in the background at arsenal.

    The issue is we are now a huge club and at what point to we start acting like one……a resonsible one may i add.

  21. Jabba old boy, I hear you don’t think we have a ‘dead ball’ specialist…

    Look again.

    Are you sure?

  22. Rob

    I never shouted anyone down about that. Plenty of other stuff, but not that.


  23. Jabba’s Delights,

    You lurch from one histrionic comment to the other. 3rd most valuable club ? Of course we are.. we don’t have £400 million + debt on our books. The likes of Barca – community funded, and Real Madrid (funded by the Bank of Spain), and Chelsea (funded by Abramovich) – all have deep pockets. We do not have £200 to £300 million pounds worth of spare transfer funds in the kitty – we have a stadium debt to pay off, and beyond that, we have a sustainable model, where we will not be breaking the bank.

    Brilliant board ? My arsehole. I don’t see this. We’ve got a chairman who seems to put his foot in it Prince Phillips style. We had Edelman who was fired for securing poor commercial deals. We’ve got 2 billionaires, of which one, and Uzbek wants control of the club because he doesn’t see the vision of the self-sustainable model and wants to invest. Before 1996 we were nowhere in european football, and now we’ve got admirers all over the world – down to the vision and long term strategy of Arsene Wenger. You can argue that he was appointed by the board (David Dein)… but don’t come out with some pseudo love in for the board because you hate Wenger so much – that is completely false.

    Your last statement is straight of Le-Grove. Please.

  24. YW,

    My post is in moderation.

  25. A winning mentally is something all sportsmen posses, it is no simpler than playing against inferior opponants, if you put our current squad in the Scottish PL then all our players would ‘atain’ a winning mentally simply because they are superior to the opposition,it is the same in every sport,drop down a division/grade and tennis player,golf rugby,hockey or cricket they will all discover it.
    Years ago the Australians were dominant at cricket,we were told they had the winning DNA bred into them by the competiveness of the game but the truth was they simply had the best players of that era, now the side is not so successfull that ‘winning DNA’ has deserted them. (somehow there parents being unable to transfer it).
    Our players will win when they are superior and at the moment are getting the rewards their tallent deserves.
    Reality is rarely as intersting as a tabloid headline.

  26. Jabba's delights


    Cant see the link

  27. Arsenal and Arsene Wenger’s investment in youth development at all levels will see us in great stead for many, many years to come. The young team he’s assembled here has shown the world what they are capable of with some fantastic, memorable victories over the best the rest of the world has to offer this season. With ever-growing experience in all facets of the game – this team will become better and better. It’s only a matter of time before they hit a truly dominant run of form. I’m loving the ride as always and had a bloody great time following Arsenal this season.

  28. I really can’t stand the impatient sense of entitlement from some of these fans. Sickeningly, it makes them look like Chelsea fans. I can’t stand that. Arsenal are better than that. As Muppet said, it’s purely a product of Arsene’s own achievements. And it also says a lot about the individual – I would say. Projecting their disatisfaction with life in general onto Arsenal. A young, inexpensive Arsenal team mixing it up with the best in the world. Have a little patience.

  29. Jabba's delights

    Actually im perfectly happy in my real life, nor di i demand trothies.
    I to love the the fact we have young talented squad but the issue being we have regressed this year and there are 2-3 major faults that need sorting. What is wrong with asking that the club does all it can in a self sustainable way to to reach its limits.

    There is nothign wrong with having some ambition in life.

    The league will only bet stronger next year and i can assure you that meddling around in the 70-75 point bracket that we have for 6 years bar 1 will leave us 4th or 5th next year.

    This is indisbutable and until you or Muppet start presenting a good case of how wenger will addrsss our glaring weaknness you will forever be in the minority now. Every year you same say the same so did i until this season, but the facts dont lie we have less points than last year

  30. You, put you finger on an issue there Limpar that’s worth noting.

    “I’m loving the ride as always and had a bloody great time following Arsenal this season.”

    That’s it. That’s why we are supporters and fans of this great club. As Muppet has right royally reminded a few, we have no right to win anything. The ride is enough for most. Rough at times but bloody brilliant.

    That doesn’t mean that we don’t need to improve if we are to win something.

    All or nothing?

    Not for me. I love the club and supporting it will always be enough. I’d like to see us win, I’d like to see us dominate. I believe that time will come, I think it should have come already. I can’t share your bottomless belief in this team becoming better and better but I can see Arsene making the changes to make it so.

  31. I agree with LimparAssist. If it takes another a couple of years or so to get right…so what. It’s a hell of an entertaining ride along the way. This whole “x number of years without a trophy” was always just a media construct with which to beat Arsene with anyway. We’ve been “punching above our weight” for some time as it is. Often gloriously so. We’ve beaten the best in the world this year. And we also beat the Mancs with relative ease. It’s frustrating to fall short this time, because I seriously believed we should have won the League this year. Inconsistency and a few dodgy decisions along the way have cost us. It’ll come though. Patience is still needed. I believe Arsene will strengthen in the summer, players will mature and we’ll be back even stronger.

    Maybe I suffer from chronic “rose-tinted spectacles-itis” or summat. Better that than joining the chorus of whining gloom merchants, who’ve been spoilt rotten by the achievements of the very man they constantly denigrate. As Arsenal supporters we have very little, if anything, to moan about these days.

    Keep up the good work YW.


  32. Jabba's delights

    Its so annoying that anyone who believes we should flex some muscle this summer is put in the bracket of wanting us do go bankrupt.

    Lets clear this up, i love the fact that we are sustainable. I love our manager.

    I however am well aware of the state of our finances, i hugely enjoy reading our balance sheets and even more so the swiss ramble who is a massive gooner.

    Last night muppet was taken to the cleaners with regards to resources. One cant keep harping on about being poor and how unfair it all is when the facts betray the statement to be rubbish.

    No we arent citeeh or chels and nor would i want to be, we are however the 3rd most valubale club in the world with revenue including property of 33om last year which would place us second to madrid.

    We have 110m in cash reserves that 25-30m of which has to be there for the banks. There is nothign wrong with wanting the club to spend a bit of that cash in order to iron out 2-3 weakneses that we have had for 3 years.

    You say you love enjoying the ride well let me tell you this, the ride 6 years in 3 of which we have been driving around in a skoda when we could have had a limo and all due to our own fricking brilliance. How about we enjoy abit of our brilliance, how about we go out and actually address our weakneses with some real quality.

    If we did can you imagine the ride then. Our own self sustainable model spending the money we created through hard work topping the chavs and citeeh, that would make me wet myself.

    thats all i and many ask,

  33. Jabba’s Delights,

    You lurch from one histrionic comment to the other. 3rd most valuable club ? Of course we are.. we don’t have £400 million + debt on our books. The likes of Barca – community funded, and Real Madrid (funded by the Bank of Spain), and Chelsea (funded by Abramovich) – all have deep pockets. We do not have £200 to £300 million pounds worth of spare transfer funds in the kitty – we have a stadium debt to pay off, and beyond that, we have a sustainable model, where we will not be breaking the bank.

    Brilliant board ? I don’t see this. We’ve got a chairman who seems to put his foot in it Prince Phillips style. We had Edelman who was fired for securing poor commercial deals. We’ve got 2 billionaires, of which one, and Uzbek wants control of the club because he doesn’t see the vision of the self-sustainable model and wants to invest. Before 1996 we were nowhere in european football, and now we’ve got admirers all over the world – down to the vision and long term strategy of Arsene Wenger. You can argue that he was appointed by the board (David Dein)… but don’t come out with some pseudo love in for the board because you hate Wenger so much – that is completely false.

    Your last statement is straight of Le Grove. Please.

  34. Jabba's delights

    You also all assume that all young players just get better. Is that how it happens in real life does everyone realise their potentil. We regressed this year none of you answer that. We have less points than last year but are a year older why did this happen

  35. Whatever Merson had it surley wasn’t smart drugs?

  36. Jabba’s Delights,

    I was not taken to the cleaners regarding resources. Utter rot ! Are you serious ? I have a post in moderation where I explain that we do not compare with Barcelona, Chelsea or Real Madrid, despite being the 3rd wealthiest club, because they have £400 million + debt on their books. We do not have deep pockets. We have no benefactor and as your saw, our wage bill is significantly less that Chelsea, and less than Manchester United and Manchester City.

    These are facts. I don’t know how you can continue to ignore them.

  37. Paul Merson, is allowed to comment on The Arsenal in any way he sees fit because he has the right to no matter what any jumped up Arsenal fan wants to say about him. He has the right because he shed blood and guts when he played for us scored some fantastic goals and his team never went out as powder puff as the current team has on many occasions this season and the 2 prior to that.

    Ok, he has pissed alot of us off but, you can’t argue with him when he states that Arsenal have no plan B or a different tactic to employ when things are not working.

    I seen it myself with my own two eyes time and time again and also during the game v Stoke. The same wave of attack over and over and over and over and over again it like its “this isn’t working but, just keep doing it and see what happens” No quick long ball over the top, no pacey wing play “we will just keep trying to pass it through the middle until the whistle goes”
    It’s nuts watching it and sat there thinking a cave man like Tony fucking Pulis has somehow outwitted a man who’s won x3 EPLs?!

    My only thought is that Wenger put his trust in these players to produced and they have shit on him from a great height. I see players strolling around when we should of been at it because we were still it even though some thought it’s already over for us but, I like to dream on even now as I still believe some crazy shit will happen just like it’s happened to us many times and it’s my right dream on.

    The only excuse I can find for it is that Wenger has gone as far as he can with these players when they cross the white line and he needs somebody out there to carry his instructions out and make sure the likes of Djouru, Clichy, Arshavin don’t fall a fucking sleep. Could you honestly imagine our players defending like that if Patrick or Tony was out there with them and get away with it?

    A big mistake by Wenger was not having Patrick back because I believe he would of brought the mental steel that would of dealt with Birmingham at Wembley, the fuck up v Toon and the rest. Even if he didn’t play just having him around to have a word in certain players ears would have been priceless. Patrick wanted to come back from what I seen and heard so it could only of been Wenger’s choice.

    Is it because Wenger thought Patrick might of upset the egg shell mentality that is widespread throughout our current team why he didn’t take him back?

    I think it’s a serious understatement to think that City will not be challenging for the League next season as they right up our arse and have fighters in the mist who won’t be chucking games away and also know how to close it out.
    City are coming for Cesc because they want him so we should be talking about who we wish to see come in.

    We should all stop telling ourselves it’s ok for us to finish like this because there are others who spent triple what we have and are not even in the top 4. Why does this make where we finish ok? We need to move on and up and stop this shit mental state.

    I could imagine that’s the same way certain players think “Oh well look what they spent and we are above them so don’t worry”
    fuck that defeatist talk. Come Out Fighting every match.

    Denilson, Rosickly, Bendtner and Clichy Wake Up, should all be shown the exit and make room.

    Some laughed at the Chris Samba but, at least we would of had a battle hardened lion at the CB who wins headers at corners, marks players properly at corners, vocally organises before set plays, scores goals and in every game I seen him he is always up for battle. And again I couldn’t see him doing some of the school boy fuck ups at the back which have cost us badly this season.

    Wenger is the smartest out there and knows what type of players we need and they are out there. Please bring them in and lets do what we should of done this season next season. Ryo, needs to be blooded. He could be part of what we been missing.

  38. Jabba's delights


    Your struggling here, nobody is asking to be in 400m debt.

    Let me explain a few facts to you.

    Its our choice to have a wages to turnover ratio of 50% when Uefa say it should be around 70%. That is our choice there is 20% room for improvement there , even if we went up to 60% that would be an increase of 11m in wages thats 2 quality players.

    Its our choice to have a cash reserve of 110m. The bank only needs 25m of it. Lets say we are being hugely prudent and budget to not make the cl one year that is still 50-60m we have sitting as a cash reserve…..our choice.

    Its our choice that we didnt spend our 40m kitty from Adebayor and Toure sales….our choice.

    Its our choice that we have chosen to pay off our stadium debt at a record pace rather than invest it even when we have a fixed rate interest rate of 5% for 25 years, that is our choice. A more ambitious club would still pay off the debt but also invest…….our choice.

    Its our choice to pay Bendtner, eboue, almunia, denilson, Diaby, vela, rosicky, squalici, all palyesr who have done little for 2-3 years nearlly 20m a year in wages ……that is our choice.

    Understand the facts before you preach rubbish. For someone who loves the club you no very very little about how well we are run

  39. Well Jabba, I’ve never assumed that young players will get better and I am on record as saying that this team is not the finished article and signings are needed.

    The true difference between you and I is that I am still enjoying watching my club. I may believe that this side isn’t the sum of it’s parts and has let itself down and has pissed me off but that doesn’t make me want to scream and shout.

    Supporting a club is a lifetime event. I’ve seen some pisspoor Arsenal sides in my time and some average ones as well. Someone said the other day, Frank I think, that as Arsenal fans we are privileged to know that good times are always just around the corner.

    That’s fine by me. You just seem angry and unhappy. What’s the point in that? Football is meant to be fun.

  40. LimparAssist

    Ello Cb. I believe that players the age of Koscielny, Szcesney, Ramsey, Wilshere, Nasri, Song, Diaby, Walcott and Djourou do get better and better in all sorts of ways each year. I see them get stronger every season, make clearer decisions, take up better positions, make better runs, grow up and grow in confidence.

    Like you I thought this squad had it in them this season and in a number of games they’ve failed to lift themselves, or crumbled when they should’ve held fast. (In a number of other games ‘we wuz robbed’ – but I’ll leave that out.) I think that’s something they’ll be ravenous to put right. Like you I think there’ll be additions to the squad and outgoings to make room for them. That will all be part of the annual summer freshen up.

    A couple of exciting buys always go down well. Koscielny, for me, is up there as buy of the season. A couple more as classy as him and I’ll be dead pleased going into next campaign.

    I’m not sure on the idea of buying in a certain type of ‘winning mentality’. I think a team, and players, have to develop that themselves – not have it injected in by buying Scott Parker. Maybe that way can work – I don’t know. I do worry about the ‘baggage’ you have talked about, but I can also see a group of hungry young players – well managed – using that very well to their advantage – why not? Maybe I’m putting too much faith in the perspective of summer.

    It boils down to this – I think we have 4 or 5 players who are either very close or will soon go on to be the best in the world in their positions. If they are to achieve that they will need to win week in and week out consistently – long enough for them to claim some honours. They have teammates around them who are good, hungry players ready to do it with them – but it’s up to them to raise the team. Reinforcements ready for a fight – great. Prospective world-class reinforcements – bloody fantastic… but the real leap has to come from within – I think.

    Jabba – you don’t make the Arsenal first team without ambition. You don’t compete how we compete without ambition.

  41. Jabba's delights


    Kosicellny signing of the season ive never heard something so crazy in my life.

    He has enormous potential dont get me wrong but like wenger said he would take time to adapt and he has.

    For every great performance there has been a complete nightmare.

    Our defence is still piss poor vermalan led a piss porr defence last year. Something has got to give you rave about all our defensive players but we concede more than a goal a game when the opposition only has it for 35-40% of the time…….what gives?

  42. LimparAssist

    Our financial strategy was always going to be a long-game, Jabs, and it looks well set to bear fruit for many years to come. Prudence over the Emirates transition years has safe-guarded our club to fight at the highest level for decades to come – for many new generations of Arsenal fans to come, and way on into the future. We WILL buy players this summer but yelling and screaming for a £100 million overhaul makes you sound like a teenager trying to get the keys to the trust fund a year before their eighteenth birthday.

  43. LimparAssist

    This is where you lose credibility, Jabs. You patently don’t have a clue. You wouldn’t know a great footballer if he volleyed a grapefruit into your face from 8 yards.

    Anyway, got to do some work now.

  44. Bollocks. What’s happened to embeding these days?

  45. Ex players often have selective memories. PV4 is no different.

  46. Celebrating Arsenal’s victory over Manchester United, it was perhaps a little unwise of Bin Laden to rush out into his yard shouting ‘Come on you Gunners!’

  47. Jabba’s delights,

    Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

    >> Your struggling here, nobody is asking to be in 400m debt.

    You didn’t even read my post. It’s a simple point. There is a finite pool of players, and we have a finite pool of money. There are big sharks circulating, who will be able to get those players. They come from Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Chelsea and Manchester United. I don’t know why don’t you understand this point. That is why they these clubs have debts of £400 million. That’s why they are not necessarily ahead of us in the rich list, because their debts are considered. Now – I don’t know why you consistently deny this point. It is not difficult to understand. It does not involve bias. I am not sticking up for Arsenal. I am merely stating the facts. There are other clubs out there who pay more in transfer fees and wages than we are prepared to pay. Again – I do not understand why you do not understand this point – my 3 year old could understand it.

    >> Let me explain a few facts to you.

    >> Its our choice to have a wages to turnover ratio of 50% when Uefa say it >> should be around 70%. That is our choice there is 20% room for
    >> improvement there , even if we went up to 60% that would be an
    >> increase of 11m in wages thats 2 quality players.

    Err.. this is complete baloney. You know nothing about high finance. You are suggesting the club should commit more of it’s turnover to players wages… where does the money come from. If our wage bill was 60% of turnover, that means that somewhere, the extra 10% would have to be accounted for. We would be in the red. You must be completely delusional if you think that we are sitting on huge reserves of case each year and this money could be spent on players. We may have some cash reserves at the moment, but that is simply the state of play at the moment, as we haven’t seen the players that we wanted.

    >> Its our choice to have a cash reserve of 110m. The bank only needs 25m >> of it. Lets say we are being hugely prudent and budget to not make the cl >> one year that is still 50-60m we have sitting as a cash reserve…..our
    >> choice.

    I’m sorry, but that’s car crash finances. Spend our cash reserves. What if there is a rainy day ? Ok – even if we do throw caution to the wind – the argument again is that the right players have not materialised at the right time. You and others on a certain well known blog believe that quality players grow on trees and are readily available when we need them.

    >> Its our choice that we didnt spend our 40m kitty from Adebayor and >> Toure sales….our choice.

    Yes. It was our choice. For reasons stated before.

    >> Its our choice that we have chosen to pay off our stadium debt at a
    >> record pace rather than invest it even when we have a fixed rate interest
    >> rate of 5% for 25 years, that is our choice. A more ambitious club would >> still pay off the debt but also invest…….our choice.

    Rubbish. Have you ever had debt. It’s much more efficient to pay it down as soon as possible. Then you will have more money in the long run to invest. That is the strategy.

    >> Its our choice to pay Bendtner, eboue, almunia, denilson, Diaby, vela, >> rosicky, squalici, all palyesr who have done little for 2-3 years nearlly >> 20m a year in wages ……that is our choice.

    What garbage. There are some good players. Rosicky is the Czech captain. Diaby has unfortunately been injured. Vela needs more experience. We have a squad of 25 players – you can go through a lot of clubs and highlight weaker players. If you want 24 top class internationals in every position, go and support Chelsea.

    >> Understand the facts before you preach rubbish. For someone who
    >> loves the club you no very very little about how well we are run

    What are you talking about ? I know we are well run. That’s not the point. The point is that we up against opposition who have very deep pockets. If you don’t believe that, then it seems you have no awareness of what goes on in the wider world, and you live in a bubble.


    Not a bad disection of the squad in all fairness. A few I don’t agree with, but not many.

  49. That is about the poorest description of RvP that I have ever seen, goonerandy. Makes me wonder whether the fellow watches our games at all.

  50. Still works CB – you just have to paste the URL as it appears at the top.

  51. No, not that one.

  52. Ah, that one!

    Thanks Big Al.

  53. Muppet and Jabba you just made my day…..Muppet you winning the argument so far :-0

  54. Jabba's delights


    The money comes from the reserves you fool for the increase in wages or its comes from the 50m profit we announced 2 years running.

    Paying off debt quick is great but we are still a football club first and foremost. Our debt is completey manageable .

    Everything with you is about being prudent, are you the ultimate non risk taker?

    i am well aware that much of what we do safe guards our future but there comes a time when someone needs to look at the present , as that golbal fanbase is beaing eaten up by other clubs. Fans in continents such as asia an america are picking other clubs not ours to support. all good and well now but long term that will bite us in the arse.

    rosicky……good player……….not for 3 years!!!!!!!!!

    Diaby……when is he not injured?????????

    They need to go plain and simple

  55. 1 loose cannon

    Phil Parkinson to replace Pat rice. He doesn’t seem to have a good track record but I guess Wenger sees something else in this guy.

  56. Jabba if i may ask which 3 players do u thingk will come ointo the team and improve the team?

  57. I have this strange felling of Déjà vu. I wonder why that is?

  58. Thanks LA

    Thats the best joke i have heard in years.Koscielny buy of the season.Ever heard of striker called Hernadez?Sometimes Gooners are so blinkered you fear for their well-being

  59. Frank – But he was spot on with many of them.

  60. I’d heard that old Jabba met a delightful end at the hands of Carrie Fisher.

    Before being gunned down (by his own gun no less!) into the Great Pit of Carkoon. His remains to be digested by the mighty Sarlacc over the course of a few thousand years.

  61. jabba its so easy to take risks with other peoples money is it not? and you are WRONG! all top 4 clubs in England are first and foremsot a BUISNESS ENTERPRISE. You think the owners invest in the clubs because they “love” arsenal or chelsea or Liverpool or United?? No they invest because they KNOW that if they do and if they keep withink top 4 they will earn money. Even the Sheik up in City invested in city to create more buisness for his own country. get more tourists etc.

    You say our debt is managable, you seem to know alot about the arsenal finances. Yes the numbers are available for everyone to see, and yes it all seems waterproof. But hey so did Lehman Brothers…..

    just remember this, and this is important. Football today is 100% industry, you may be passionate and love your club. but all top English clubs are run to make money. Hell the PL was invented to squeese more money out of the fans. Sky is in it to make money. Most of the players are in it to make money. Its all about money. The fact you have sold your soule to the moneygrabbing whore of footy and are no upset emotionally over a buisness decision is a shame. But yes ultimaltey it is about money.
    The owners will ,to put it blunt, “invest in the team when the fans stop coming.” And they will stop coming if we continiue too loose. So from a economical and buisness point of view , to keep as many fans as possible, it will be favourable to add some players this summer to gain more customers.

    Trophies equals customers who equals money. Cos that is what it is all about. Making money….

    I love footy and i know about this buisnes thing, its like a hollywood film. But i still enjoy it. So should you withoth getting to upset.

  62. its easier to succed as a good young striker than as a good young defender no?

  63. As I digest the season and expel my expectations of winning everything except the Stanley Cup for Arsenal, one thing remains and that is a team that has captured my heart with its play. This team teases us with wins over the very best of the Premier League and we think, well then! At the moment this very young team cannot follow that up with wins on a consistent basis. However, this team will do the winning and probabley next season.

    I have seen the development of the Arsenal Mojo this season by wins over Barcelona, Manchester United, Chelsea, and Manchester City. Frankly, this was a feat that no ordinary team would be able to replicate. They are champions but do not, at this point in time, quite believe that possibility. These very young lads will be there next season without bringing in a Royal Pain In The Ass who will solve all our problems and then complain that he is not happy because he is not the highest paid player in the universe. Fuck that nonsense! I love Wenger and the lads so lets have a good summer and our boys will be a year older next year and then watch out!

  64. LimparAssist

    Well, Martin. Whores will have their trinkets I guess. Empty heads are easily turned by a goal poacher.

  65. Koscielny would walk into most major European teams, if not as a first choice then a close second. This is a quality player with a seriously bright future. Djourou has been criticized, another quality player, but should not have started more than about 12-15 games. He’s not quite ready. Vermaelen is excellent of course. There are very few highly rated (ie international level) younger defenders. Defenders tend to make the grade 3 years later. Sure we had defensive issues, but not of the kind most think. We will replace Skilly.

    I like Vieira’s comments though. There’s a gutsy aspect of truth in there.

    The core issue anyway is this ‘winning mentality’ thing, and the kind of individual and collective character in that. I would think this is and should be the sole concern of Wenger; he’s put together a superb group of players, a couple of balance issues but those can be ironed out quite quickly.

    At least some part of ‘winning mentality’ arises from a captain. Arsenal has struggled with who might or should be the captain of this extraordinary group, and there’s no clear answer. Cesc has not quite grabbed that mantle, and the ‘collective responsibility’ malarkey does not ring true.

    Captaincy in football is not the same as cricket, but there are lessons. Steve Waugh was not the best Australian player of his day, but he was might have been the best captain of any era. The same goes might apply to Dhoni now, who may yet eclipse Waugh. All Vieira is saying that success is also built on some critical moments, when character is more important than quality. It is a captain’s role to understand the difference and act accordingly.

  66. This 110 million includes season ticket money for the whole season and is not a cash reserve

    unfortunately we are now in the hands of SKE who dont have a decent champion in any of their American teams and we are in danger of not being in the top four if changes are not made. Our scouting system thet brought us Koz and Sqillachi is pitiful,,and despite all the claims of our youth program how many of the 17 players out on loann will make it to the first team, despite earning 10 to 20k a week

    Usmanov would have been a far better bet as hes really got money and he offered 100 million pounds for a rights issue to be used as a transfer back up fund which the board rejected

  67. Part of me doesn’t think that even if Wenger had 100mil to spend, the best players in the world were lining up at the door to sign, and he had the freedom to pay players as much as they wanted (without putting us in the red), he’d start signing willy nilly.
    He has a fairly rigid belief system and will stick to it no matter what.
    At least that’s my opinion and the impression I get.
    So the size of the transfer budget really doesn’t matter all that much.

  68. Good post Zimpaul@3.04

  69. clockendrider

    Whatever Wenger gave Merson to ingest, it couldn’t provide a one footed chancer with no engine, teamplay nor ability to tackle or head the ball any great boost to his performances. Wenger clearly couldn’t wait to get rid of the halfwit and Mersons bitterness shines through every week on Skys Soccer Saturday as Stelling uses him as his trusty lapdog, setting him up and watching him run with whatever tired old line he wants.
    It seems that Merson is quite happy to trade off his reflected glory of being an ex Arsenal player yet his need to make up for the fact he blew most of his money on gambling or into handkerchiefs Is so great he will happily stab the club in the back. At the end of the day he’s just another Chelsea mug.

  70. I agree with clockendrider. Well said.

  71. So now our scouting system’s “pitiful”, eh Sol.? Look no further than LA’s post earlier for a defence of Koscielny, while Squillaci’s about as good as it gets for a fourth choice defender in the PL.

    But what’s really amazing is how we’ve cobbled together a consistent top four side – with a starting XI that for the price of one Berbatov – with this useless scouting network. Maybe they’ve just been getting lucky for the past eight years.

  72. So dumbfounded I lost the ability to type!

  73. solgooner, absolute rubbish. It is hard to know where to start. What is a “decent champion?” I would have thought that a champion, by definition, is beyond decent. SKE does own a champion in the Colorado Rapids. It’s only MLS you say? So what! You can only beat the teams in front of you and they did beat them all when it counted. As for the other teams associated with SKE two were in the playoffs last year (Avalanche and Nuggets and Nuggets this year) while the grid iron team has been pretty poor for a few years…but you are comparing apples and carrots.
    As for Ushmanov, you must be taking the piss!!!

  74. OneOfUs, one tiny little point is that we have scouted players that mentally cave in after being 4,3,2-0 up while Berba will be lifting some big silver jar.

    I’m dumbfounded too as to how some of us actually rate our current defence compared to what we had in the past.

    Djouru and Koscienly have a fantastic supersonic game then a fucking M4 pile up the next but, I do see good in Djouru, and think he’s the man to partner TV next season.

    It will piss a lot of people off but, I don’t rate Kos better than any of the choices that were available right here at the time but, don’t tell me……..he will be amazing next season (and i hope so too).

    A favourite term this one as if other players put themselves on hold and don’t go on to improve the season because Arsenal players are.

  75. 1LC @2.24pm

    Incredible that Goal think that’s the case. Especially as he’s been recently approached by Arsenal to run their northern scouting network already. And been told he can leave if a suitable managerial opening arises.


  76. All of these extreme reactions and suggestions on how Arsenal should be run are quite hilarious to me. Wenger put his faith in a lot of players that he believed could make the grade this year. Many of those players did not repay Wenger’s belief in them and it resulted in the frustration displayed by Wenger on the touchline this season.

    The result of this will be that Wenger will no longer have the patience with certain players and will either seek to move them on or they will get much less playing time. Expect a more ruthless Wenger this summer. He will make the changes that he feels will improve the squad and we will genuinely challenge again next year.

    The media/pundits, and lilly-livered support will no doubt sound the alarms that Arsenal will not even make the top four next season. They will be proven wrrong, again, and we will be challenging on all fronts once more. This is all that any fan can ask. No one has a god given right to win anything. The Arsenal is still in prime position to build a legacy, but a true legacy is not built in a day. It takes time to nurture something that will last.

  77. clockendrider | May 12, 2011 at 3:36 pm |

    What else do you have to back your claim that Merson, was a one footed chancer with no engine, teamplay nor ability?!

    I put it to you that that is utter and complete bollocks. We use to call him the Magic Man because he was shit did we? The guy had the most sweet as a nut volley you would ever see and scored fantastic goals with left and right foot. Goals of the season set up by Rocky so the shit you posted makes no sense to me whatsoever except that your on a media bandwagon.

    Merson, is angry and upset at what he see’s from a club he loves doesn’t understand it so comes out with this shit. He may have gone about it the wrong way but, there is a difference between bitterness and love albeit a very fine line.

    Never disrespect our one time heroes. Ignore them but no disrespect and don’t forget what they did. He ain’t the only one with selective memory.

  78. Jabba @2.23pm

    OK, increased wages are paid out of Reserves? That means that you are using previous years profits to cover current and future years losses. In other words, you are planning for the company to be loss-making for the foreseeable future and go bust as a result.

    Yea Gods, if you are in charge, God help us all.

  79. viceologist, fine post.

    He put all his trust in certain players and they let him down.
    I think this had to happen the way it did because now I think the axe will be swinging. I do feel it when we lose but, sometimes you just have to say we got done by the better team on the day but, when you can see certain players not putting in a shift that doesn’t sit well.

  80. I do have a feeling that this may be the summer that cesc leaves. i hope i am wrong, but if he doesnt want to be here wenger will not force him this time. He will try to get as much for him as he can. Interesting off season on the horizon…

  81. Get Charlie Sheen to appear at training sessions and have him inject the players with tiger blood and viola we have a winning mentality! duh!

  82. Gainsbourg69

    Isn’t it ironic that this Hernandez fellow got his ass handed to him by Koscielny but made side show Bob look like a sunday league player with no idea how to play the osffside trap?

    Hernandez is a very young player who moved from perhaps one of the weakest leagues in the world to the premiership and has been an unmitigated success. The fact that he hardly played for Mexico during the world cup, and was virtually unknown to anyone outside CONCACAF, means that the Mancs took a chance on an unproven player and it payed off. He may be the signing of the season for many, but I think Koscielny deserves a shout for having come from lower league football in France just a couple of seasons ago and performing the way he has this season. To me, Arsenal partisanship aside, I haven’t seen too many defenders mark Messi out of a game the way he has. If anyone doubts this just watch Messi against Vidic in the CL final. For all the smoke Vidic gets blown up his arse I have no doubt that Messi will score a few in that final and will make Vidic look like the cheating, bumbling bastard that he is.

  83. G69
    A lot of fans can’t assess talent properly. hernandez is a good player but he’s being hyped as the next michael owen. Perhaps people should wait till he’s played more than one season in the premier league.

    He plays in a system that allows him to accentuate his positives, yet when he came up against Koscielny and the Arsenal defence he was constantly being called offsides.

  84. Paulie Walnuts

    For me the impatience & frustration of some of our better players is far more concerning than fans with the same feelings.

    We have to try to keep the likes of Fab, Nasri & Sagna, who may all be getting itchy feet. Lose the likes of those three & it won`t matter how mentally tough their replacements are.

  85. LimparAssist

    Interestingly, making only a handful more appearances, Koscielny racked up almost three times as many successful passes as Hernandez. He even almost matched him in successful passes in the opposition half – the Arsenal centreback (!) was about 10 passes shy of the Manc poacher. Hernandez scored 13 times, while Koscielny stewarded 9 cleansheets. Considering that a goal takes half a second to score (especially Hernandez’s goals), and that a cleansheet takes 90 minutes of graft – that’s not a bad comparison either.

    For me, Koscielny demonstrated more skill, technique and composure than Hernandez did over the course of the season. While Hernandez’s moments of composure and skill resulted in goals and headlines, Koscielny’s rarely resulted in more than a sigh of relief as we lived to fight another day.

    A fantastic debut season.

  86. Gainsbourg69

    Goonerton: “Djouru and Koscienly have a fantastic supersonic game then a fucking M4 pile up the next but, I do see good in Djouru, and think he’s the man to partner TV next season.

    It will piss a lot of people off but, I don’t rate Kos better than any of the choices that were available right here at the time but, don’t tell me……..he will be amazing next season (and i hope so too). ”

    You won’t make me, Limpar or any other Koscielny backer pissed at all. How can I be pissed when we have such an embarresment of riches at central defender? Vermaelen, Djourou and Koscielny are three of the best central defenders in the world. What’s even sweeter is that Wenger got them all for half what Ferdinand cost United and two thirds what David Luiz cost Chelsea. Don’t mind the fact that United, Chelsea and any other big club in Europe would kill to have three defenders anywhere near as good as what we have.

  87. Next season our CB pairing should be Koscielny and Vermaelen.

  88. “Don’t mind the fact that United, Chelsea and any other big club in Europe would kill to have three defenders anywhere near as good as what we have.”

    I don’t mind the support of our players, but don’t say stuff that could never be proven as if it is a fact that bolsters your argument. It tends to lessen the impact of the other parts of your arguments.

  89. colney,
    I think Vermaelen and Koscielny would be too much like Gallas-Vermaelen. We saw some issues with both pushing up and leaving FB’s exposed last season.
    Obviously, they haven’t played together enough, so there might be great communication between the 2, but that is one worry I have about that combo.

    I’d like to see DJ and Vermaelen first.

  90. Malaysiangunner

    YW good one.


    Lets leave money and resources aside. We are empty handed this season and the last few is because we do not do the supposedly simple things well. Dead ball situations we are consistently woeful for the last few years both in attack and defense. Valuable points have been drop and winning situations has been converted to draws and draws to losses.
    Teams who have much lower budget and much less skillful players than ours does it much better.

    Secondly our inability to make simple decisions when holding a lead be it one or 4 goals.
    I am certain it is not the skill levels of the players , it is organization, coaching and management.

    That is on AW’s head when it is symptomatic and characteristic of our team of the last few years vintage and we fail to correct this very obvious and simple flaws.
    I am not confident if AW can push us over the line next season. You only get so many chances in life.

    No fear we are the Arsenal!

  91. There is a thin line between the feeling “Me against the world” and feeling “Victimized”. I think PV4 was referring to the former, and I think the current team is doing the latter.

    It is the responsibility of every one now (including me) to stop whining about referees, excessive physical approaches, injuries, etc. We know all these things are there, they are real, but harping on them gives the team the excuse and the sense of victimization, plus it actually increases the abuse towards the team.

    It’s not about Denilson or Diaby, it’s about the mentality of the whole team. We are strong when things are going our way, but then we fold when they’re not. They need to learn to do it both ways.

    I remember that 2005 final Vieira is talking about, to be honest I don’t know how did we won that game either. We were on the racks for 90 minutes, yet we ended up with a trophy. We were 15 minutes away from clinching the CL trophy in 2006 in the same way, we all remember what happened that day, the usual sending off for guess who’s benefit? Barca of course.

    Nothing wrong with the players, maybe we need a couple more in certain areas…But what we really need is that “me against the world” Invincibles mentality, it is crucial and I don’t know if you can teach it….

    It has to come from you.

  92. Gainsbourg69

    Busch, name a defense as stacked as our own. I mean, since you’re the one that said Chelsea’s defense is miles better than ours, you should be able to name names, right?

  93. No,

    You said: ” Don’t mind the fact that United, Chelsea and any other big club in Europe would kill to have three defenders anywhere near as good as what we have.”

    Let’s see some articles and/or affidavit’s of another top teams manager/front office saying they would kill for our CB’s.
    The burden of proof is on you for such a statement of fact.

  94. Defend our players, talk about how much you believe in them and why you believe in them. That is awesome and I applaud your efforts.

    But don’t gild them with statements like that. It doesn’t help.

  95. Gainsbourg69

    Vieira should zip it until he retires. Talking shit about our players for the sake of gamesmanship is not cool.

  96. I think GB69 was trying to say we have more players in defense than other teams…right?

    Djourou- Seq

  97. Gainsbourg69

    You’re right, Busch. It helps loads to remind our defenders that they are miles worse than Chelsea’s lot, right?

    They don’t have to write it down or sign an affidavit declaring how much they’d kill to have a defense as good as ours, Busch. You can see it in their eyes. And the eyes don’t lie.

  98. ok.

    At least I know you aren’t serious about making valid points now.

    So, “rah rah”, No players are as good as ours, we only lose due to bent refs and bad luck.
    I’m 100% with you.

  99. changes will be made..
    wengers not a fool

    problem is wengers built a technical side cos he wants CL…but we cant beat barca..
    our domestic games gone to shit cos we dont mix it..we are more built for europe..

    he knows whats needed to be done he tried for all 4 trophies this year so the intent was there but he was let down in certain areas and i think he will rectify those areas and go for all four again next year..

    hes still the right man we just need him to fill the cracks this year and not just paper over them..

  100. Delia--Block 112

    The biggest disappointment this past season IMO has been too few matches producing true Wengerball. Apart from early season games against Blackpool and Bolton ( both sides reduced to 10 men), we have endured some pretty dire stuff at the Ems, remember WBA, Newcastle, Stoke, Blackburn, Sunderland not to mention Huddersfield and Leeds. Journeys home on the train to Norfolk have on the whole been tedious, the games producing little to warm the heart or encourage me to think it might just be our year.
    I can forgive AW and the players not winning the PL but I can’t forgive them serving up mundane football , we deserve better.
    I will of course be there on Sunday, so please Arsenal put on a show to keep us all going during the Summer.
    As always COYRs

  101. Gainsbourg69

    Arsenal: Djourou, Koscielny, Vermaelen and Squillaci.

    Chelsea: Alex, Terry and David Luiz.

    Manchester United: Ferdinand, Vidic, Evans and Smalling.

    Barcelona: Puyol, Pique and Abidal.

    Real Madrid: Pepe, Carvalho, Albiol.

    Inter: Lucio, Samuel, Materazzi, Cordoba.

    A.C. Milan: Nesta, Silva and new acquisition Mexes.

    Who would you choose, Busch?

  102. It certainly is interesting that PV4 plays for the only side with a real interest in the outcome of Arsenal’s next two games.

  103. oh and vieira was a legend and we should have hung on to him for longer..
    as well as a few others from that era…we made the switch from invincible to potential too quick and we lost the aura of champions…we lost the mentality..
    hes talking sense and we know it….what hes says there just explains why he was the captain of one of the greatest club sides of its time and a man who won a world cup and european cup with his national side..
    total matchwinner…weve missed him…

  104. I think the victory over Man United and defeat to Stoke within the space of a week really sums our season.

    I still have a huge amount of faith in Wenger and the team. I think the Stoke defeat was perhaps more important than the victory over Man United so to speak. I think Wenger recognises that some changes are needed to really push on and get that PL trophy and I think the Stoke game realy stuck the knife home. I don’t agree with the doomers that everything is so fatal but I think some hard work needs to be done during the summer in certain areas and fortunately we have Arsene Wenger there to do this. If any man can, then its that man.

  105. Any one know who will replace Rice?

  106. Why would you ask me?

    You said Any big team would *kill* for our 3. Ask their managers and then get back to me.

    Oh and I’d take a couple of those teams at this stage in their careers, though some are obviously way older and might be entering their decline and wouldn’t have the future potential of ours.

    But since you are throwing out hypothetical questions… if Wenger sold Kozzer, Squillacci, and we had Verm, Cahill , DJ and Samba as our CBs next season, would you hate Wenger? Would you not root for them? Would you want them to fail? I doubt it.
    Just like I don’t want our current or future players to fail. But I don’t have such an emotional investment in them that I have to state that I know what Ferguson, Maureen, Pep, Ancelotti, etc want and would do if given the choice of a grouping of CB’s.

  107. Does any one fancy doing the Everest Base Camp trek next year for a small charity that raise money for former child labourers?

    Hope Yogi doesn’t mind me shamelessly promoting my charity on this blog!

  108. Gunner4Ever -I don’t think any one knows who will replace Pat Rice?

    How about Mad Jens?

  109. vieira should replace pat rice..if pat rice is to leave..
    i think that keown should be asked to return in a coaching role and the club should ask bouldie to partner him in drilling the first team defence…

    i think a more diverse coaching schedule would impact on our performances on the pitch positively..

  110. As supporters we live in a small world, Jonjon.

  111. i dont know if thats a good thing or a bad thing frank..

  112. Our lack of information and knowledge constrains our ideas, Jonjon.

  113. i wouldnt disagree with that comment frank
    but id say an upside of that is it allows us to stretch our thoughts…

  114. Really?

  115. Gainsbourg69,

    I’m just giving an honest opinion about both of our current CBs. I seen way too many mistakes to show me that the two of them together are not ready when it gets tough. With TV, they can learn from him but, our defending has been a joke at times which wasn’t funny.

    We could of got much better than that and possibly had something to show for it too when you look at all the stupid mistakes that cost us.

  116. its why we blog..
    we wouldnt be here if we didnt have thoughts on the issue

  117. ArsenalForever

    Firstly, why do people still say we are the most entertaining team? I don’t find our football any more attractive than Manure, the spud, or Chelski. I think a lot of people are still living off the reputation of the invincibles. We are nowhere near as good to watch, unless you like to watch sideways passing around the opponents’ box. For me, entertainment is goals or lots of shots on goal and activity in the box, as well as full-blooded commitment and passion from the players. This is what makes the premier league the best in the world – not a passing game.

    When Martin Keown came on board the backroom staff as a defensive coach, he gave us the solidity we needed to get to the Champions League final. He taught the team to work well defensively as a unit and Jens Lehmann kept a record number of clean sheets in the CL, whilst we still retained our attractive football. For whatever reason, AW decided to get rid of him – IMO because Keown was starting to get more credit than AW. I think Keown could instil the same discipline into this Arsenal squad, and had he been around this year I am confident we would not have dropped as many points as we have from winning positions.

    After the defeat at Stoke, AW said: “We have conceded, I think, 21 from set-pieces and only 17 in open play. That is something we have to correct. It is the easiest thing to correct in the game…” Eh? The easiest thing to correct in the game? Then why has it been this team’s achilles heel for the past few seasons? It is comments like these that leave the club open to ridicule, especially after we see the same criticisms by pundits, ex-players, and managers every other week. Even Big Sam openly highlighted it as a weakness last season after a 2-1 win for his Blackburn team, which was recently mirrored in a 2-1 defeat by Bolton a few weeks ago. It is criminal that the team is allowed to make the same mistakes year after year, which means their undoubted talent is not being rewarded with trophies their efforts deserve. This is why Fabregas has lifted the lid on his true feelings this year.

    But far worse than this, is the attitude towards our opponents displayed by the manager. Against Barcelona, we were completely outclassed by a far superior team over two legs and we deserved credit for being able to keep the scoreline respectable. Whilst Van Persie’s sending off was completely incomprehensible, it was very disrespectful of AW to turn round and say that sending off was the sole reason why we lost. Ignoring the numerous saves by Almunia, what AW neglected to mention was that Jack Wilshere provided Bendtner with an opportunity to put us through right near the end of the game, and he couldn’t even control the ball! In the Liverpool game at home, Eboue gives away a needless penalty in the very last minute and AW takes it out on Daglish… Why? Was it Daglish’s fault that Eboue was incapable of defending properly in that situation? When Stoke beat us on Sunday, would anyone say they used the rugby tactics that AW accused them of earlier in the season? Opposition fans have been highlighting this hypocrisy for years, and we never noticed it because we were always winning things – but now we are consistently trophyless it is becoming more apparent.

    The bottom line is this – AW must stop pretending to be a champion of football and focus on getting things right in-house. If we are to win things then he MUST swallow his pride and put an emphasis on going back to basics, perhaps by recalling Keown or bringing in Adams/Dixon to help him. He must show more respect for other teams and not try to approach every game in the same way with the same formation just because he thinks our football is ‘purer’ and is the right way to play. The only right way to play is to win, within the rules. He must also set expectations appropriately – don’t come out and say that second place is good enough… this inevitably breeds a culture of complacency as we have seen, and are in danger of losing 3rd place. We are a big club, and we must not be afraid to show it by dropping underperforming players or not renewing contracts of players who have not delivered.

    Finally, whilst we are on this trophyless run, some fans need to learn to respect the opinions of other disgruntled fans. There’s no point slagging us off for criticising the manager if he keeps allowing players to make the same mistakes over again. We all want AW to be successful, but he is not bigger than the club. Whilst the club is a business, and needs to be managed properly, there has also been a clear need for investment in the team. What is inexcusable is that in recent seasons the same failings have not been addressed – this should be the very minimum expectation of a club charging the highest prices for season tickets in Europe, and is what distinguishes SAF and Mourinho! We are not all glory hunters, but it is difficult to understand why we go out on a limb to support the club yet the club is not willing to express the same degree of ambition to achieve success, and in turn accrue higher revenues from increasing global fanbases. Even the Invincibles team went 3 years without a trophy, but the fans were still supportive because they had a team who took pride in wearing the shirt and were committed – that was all we could ask for, and we all knew they would come good eventually. Without significant change in mentality and some personnel, the same cannot be said for the current side.

  118. Limpar Assist nailed it for me: “Loving the ride..” ~ The bad times make the good times better, as grey days enable us to more fully enjoy the sunny ones.
    Straight after the Stoke game it would have been hard to think this way (to further the analogy, some theme-park rides make you physically sick), so nice one, LA. Wouldn’t find such insights on many other blogs. Also a general thumbs-up Yogi for putting up with Jabba..

  119. Gainsbourg69

    Busch, Koscielny and Vermaelen have at least six good seasons left in them. Djourou at least ten. If you need a written affidavit from managers saying that they’d like to be in the same position as Wenger, when it comes to assured defensive stability for the coming years, then you’re being disingenuos. It’s obvious for anyone to see that Arsenal is in a really good position when you compare our young defenders to the likes of Puyol, Carvalho, Nesta, Ferdinand, Terry, Lucio, Samuel, Cordoba and Abidal.

  120. How many of you were feeling like this guy during the NUFC game? I know I was 🙂

  121. I don’t even know why I’ve let myself get dragged into this argument when the point I was trying to make was:

    Defend our players. Make your points about their age, improvement, potential, point out reasons for their sometime failings (all players have them), but you don’t need to resort to such hyperbole as stating it is a *fact* that every top club wants our 3 main CBs over their own.

    My own opinion on who I think is better or not is moot.

  122. i agree with Ponyboy (and by transitive property, LimparAssist)

  123. haha Dups that is a great clip. reminds me of Drogba’s “It’s a fucking disgrace!!”

  124. Well. I am going on the march on Sunday.

  125. Got your black cardigan frank?

  126. Dupps @ 10.01…remember being exactly the same for1988 final…Hayes and smith giving me heart attacks and a brand new double tape deck ending up in 22 pieces…good memories all…even the bad ones

  127. Beware the black cardigan’s

  128. well, up until 1:03… couldn’t find a shorter version.

  129. Arsene Baggins | May 12, 2011 at 7:06 pm |

    Ya, that’s all we need 🙂

  130. ClockEndRider

    Apologies for delay. To your comment about “how we used to call Merson the magic man”, I put it to you that I never heard anyone on the clockend call him that , ever. It was a wholly press constructed term. As ever, you can choose yto go along with what they tell you, or you can believe your eyes. The evidence of Watching Merson every season he played leads me to believe that he had a poor engine, was one footed, couldn’t tackle, didn’t track back. He undoubtedly sciored some great goals for which I give him thanks as we all do. But lets not start pretending he was Messi or Maradona. In fact, he was one footed like Maradona. It’s just that Maradona’s was far better. Although they may have been able to be mentioned in the same breath when talking about their abilities to ingest marching powder and otherwsie squander lots of money.
    Merson is simply trying to garner press for his latest poorly ghost written attempt to make back some of the money he lost through self indulgence and stupidity. When you grow up, you might be able to see through these things as well.

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