The Arsenal Civil War.

Beautiful football and no trophies have heightened a civil war amongst arsenal fans with prats like me raging all over the blogosphere. Instead of being a cultured person like YW, I turn into a demented caveman, holding no quarter. The most reasonable of people are demonised into traitors, even if they have been going to arsenal for 150 years, have the placidity of a monk, and have fossilised records of their ancestors in Finsbury Park and Islington. When you worship the club as a shrine, it is hard to hear any criticism whether it’s true or not.

I am bringing up my daughters now, and teaching them manners, politeness and good will to mankind. I’m not leading by example. Arsenal has somehow penetrated into the blood, and my behaviour resembles a hypnotised, crazed lunatic, snapping into consciousness to defend the faith and slay the doomers. I know that I need therapy.

The warfare is played out here on the blogosphere and in public. One night, coming back from a match on the train, a guy with his mates said loudly “Wenger is a c*nt”. Joy. They all smiled, as he trotted out the usual frustrations. He was in the minority, but his friends were remarkably restrained. I was sitting behind waiting to down the snotty nosed bast*ard.

The arguments have become polarized at both ends of the spectrum. One camp says that we play beautiful football, the other dismisses it as having no end product. One marvels at the peerless forays into the transfer market, the other accuses the club of being a bunch of cheapskates, specialising in child labour and procrastination. Our13 year Champions league qualification is celebrated,  or dismissed as being the bridesmaid and never the bride. Having a strong belief at either wing is going to make you angry, very angry. One set of anger directed at the club, the other at the lot who are directing anger at the club.

The answer possibly lies in anger management. The same skills that you need when some arse of a BMW driver has been tailgating you for 30 minutes, is going to be useful here. When you hear that Wenger has not signed Eden Hazard but a 13 year old kid from Costa Rica, you want to be keeping your cool. Or, the ball on the other foot, when you see someone tweeting “FFS Wenger, another rugrat”, you need to keep your cool too. I need this I think, the anger management. The problem comes when a BMW driver is tailgating you whilst Adrian Durham is being a knob on Talk Shite. It’s a double whammy.

There is no doubt that the near relegation form of our last 12 games poses questions. Despite finishing two places ahead of Liverpool, our campaign feels like a failure. In Liverpool, because of their strong finish, there is momentum and optimism. Here, our collapse has exacerbated the civil war. The significance of the last 12 games should not be downplayed. Even if one is happy with the really modest expectation of finishing 4th, given our resources, an examination of why we could not win vital games, when push came to shove, is not unreasonable. People want answers, and some are obviously not shy in coming forward with answers. Thanks guys.

Why did it all go wrong ? Was it the absence of key personnel, like Cesc ? Was it complacency ? Was it an imbalance in the squad – a lack of leaders and/or players lacking in mental fortitude and/or physical strength ? Was it an overestimation of the strengths of our key players, or real weaknesses in our fringe squad players ? Was it the manager ?

The venerable fans who turned up at the AST meeting, had a consensus of opinion that they did not want Wenger out, merely, they wanted him to change. Change Wenger, they believe, and we will be successful. Change in what way ? I didn’t hear what was said, so I can only surmise. Probably, change the beautiful football to some ugly football. Adopt a plan B and a plan C, sign some ugly players in defence, spend more on experienced players and less on the youth academy.

However, even neutrals say that we are not that far off. We just need to do one or two things to make that extra push required. This contrasts with the views at either end of the squabbling camps. What are those one or two things ? To stick my neck out, I discount the theory of englishness, and the theory of leadership, and the theory of transfer parsimony. My own view, and it has always been my view, is that this is an incredibly competitive league now, and an incredibly competitive champions league. To be successful, one needs sublime talent coupled with an outstanding manager who fosters teamwork and continuity, and an outstanding youth academy, and a bit of luck with fixtures and injuries.

Our resources in the last 5 years following the stadium move has meant that we have been eclipsed in some transfer deals by clubs with larger resources. If we are to bridge the gap, we must compete on a more equal footing in the transfer market. That doesn’t mean signing Messi or Ronaldo. Also, it doesn’ t mean that I concede we were parsimonious before, it is just that I suspect we have missed out on more potential targets than has been revealed by the club. There have been too many good players to go the likes of Barcelona, Chelsea, City and Manchester United.

The jury is very much out now. Ironic, in a way, as this is said to be the last big summer of spending before the FFP regulations coming in.  Yes, the big clubs will find ways to circumvent the rules by adding lots of so called related commercial income on their books, such as Hotel trade. But with our healthy financial position, we might be competing on a more level playing field in a couple of years time. Then perhaps, perversely, some fans will demand even more as a result and the anger management classes will have to continue.

As for the news, looks like reports are coming out of Argentina that we have signed Ricardo Alvarez. The Cesc saga rumbles on. We await the next derisory bid from Barca. Samba is still linked. The Mirror are reporting that we will be announcing the Alvarez, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gervinho signings next week. The Telegraph say we are interested in Gary Cahill and Christopher Samba, while Matthew Upson and Jonathan Woodgate, who are both free agents, will also be considered. They also say that fresh talks will resume with Nasri.

‘Til tomorrow.


Posted on June 25, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 103 Comments.

  1. Well said. I couldn’t have put it this well myself, and I consider myself to be a good writer. You’ve put this in a way that even if I were the c*nt that called Arsene Wenger a c*nt, I’d still be forced to concede some ground on my extreme views.

  2. Hahahahaha Muppet!! Brilliant but you never said if you actually downed the “snotty nosed bastard” 🙂 Ah well I could use the mystery. Have to admit I have avoided the blogosphere for the most part these last several weeks because of how depressing the end of the season turned out to be. It is usually bad enough when things are going well what with the Doomers and the WUM’s but with how our season ended I just envisioned a free-for-all of pessimism and told-you-so’s. Finally cracked yesterday and read ACLF. (YW on vacation again!!) Was nice to read a few of the Old Guard and a fair few of the New trying to stamp out any mini rebellion. A special shout out to FG 🙂 And what a nice surprise to read something by Muppet Great job mate!!! I think you summed it up properly when you said we had been eclipsed by some of those around us ever since the new stadium but that even the neutrals agree that we do not need a major overhaul but simply a tweak here and there. Personally I want Cesc to stay and same for Nasri. Clichy I think has been nothing but a professional both on and off the pitch and if he wants to leave for a new challenge then I wish him nothing but the best. Well that plus the fact that Theo will rip him a new one every time we play The Pool 🙂 Other than that I just want the season to start, well that and John Terry to lose a leg ( no preference which one) Once again nice read Muppet 🙂

  3. Steve of Chiang Mai

    Of course the problem lies in a complete lack of perspective…the yobbos (Australian term of endearment?) on the train have an emotional connection to the club, fed largely by a desire for the club to succeed for the sole purpose of having bragging rights over their equally intellectually challenged mates. The fact that some of those mates who might be Spuds or L’Pool fans who have won nothing or at least not for ages escapes them because they lack the capacity to apply their intellect to football.

    I would suggest they cannot spell most of the names in the Arsenal team including Jack Wilshere …even though he is an Englishman. Heck most of them are lucky that football is a relatively low scoring game as they probably become confused once the number reach five declaring “maths was never my thing”. They are products of the Playstation generation and may never have competed in real sport at all. So they believe every thing should be sorted in real time by the pushing of a button.

    Many of them are screaming because we have yet to sign anyone, regardless of the fact that most teams havent completed a signing yet – not even sure Phill Jones is signed on the dotted yet – and the European transfer window is not open. This affects Arsenal as we would rarely sign an English player cause they are not good enough and if they fall into the 0.05% that have the quality to play for Arsenal, they are worth more than we paid for the entire first team last year. Think through the ones who are really good enough to play for the Arsenal first team…….I bet there are still fingers left over by the time you are saying ummm……

  4. I can understand the anger. Sometimes against the team when they drift to defeat against a weaker team with only one or two players trying to do something about it. But often I’m furious when I read the negative, repetitive whining by some posters on this blog, and I’m sure on many other blogs.

    I’m 61, reasonably peaceful and sufficiently well educated not to need to tell people to fuck off or to call them cunts. Bill is simply boring in his repetitions but people like Luke and Jabbs’ delights cause me to swear at them on line and make me want to meet them somewhere and punch their lights out.

    I’m sure that the way our season ended makes things worse but I think that the lack of real news during the close season is amplifying my reaction to the silly little whiners. Therefore I think, until real news starts arising, I’ll read ACLF daily but not bother with the comments.

  5. Nice, easy and honest that`s how I found your article Muppet, a pleasure to read.

    Must admit I haven`t followed `A Cultered Left foot` very much but that I`m sure will change.

    I see my name and e-mail address are in your reply section so I must have made comments in the past.

  6. Good post,
    To become a winning team is not an easy feat, as you rightly said, the Premier League and Champions leagues have become tougher. To stand a chance of winning, you must find your weaknesses early, and deal with them straight away.Llike the man with his finger in the dyke. Dennilson hasn’t had the best of seasons, game after game he never performed but Wenger persisted in playing him. Squillachi was also used the same way. Arshaven was awful at the start of the season unfit overweight and never once lasted a whole game Wenger also persevered with him, Rosiski i don’t remember one game he played in that was memorable,I could go on about many more of the players, who also was not at their best, but if you persevere with off form players you end the season empty handed as we did, To win competitions you have to change an off form player before as the saying goes a bad apple will ruin the whole Barrel, and that is our season to a tee

  7. Always remember that in a war, NO-ONE ever wins….except perhaps those who supply the weaponry and ammunition. In that case, everyone should hold fire and wait for those around the table to complete negotiating. It’s certain that we will have fresh troops by the end of August, ready for the battles to come.

  8. Steve Palmer,

    Henry couldn’t hit the side of a barn door when he first signed for AFC, “and still Wenger persisted in playing him”… But I suspect you believe YKB (you know better)!

  9. Muppet,

    Nice read. I know it’s silly season and so to contribute: what if we do get Alvarez and Miachi proves himself during preseason?

    A starting eleven including Nasri, Alvarez, Walcott, Miachi and RvP would surely be the fastest attacking line up on the planet. I’d think that would make us more dangerous than (potentially) ever!?

    Interesting times indeed.

  10. Good post Muppet. Also some good comments following.

  11. RIP Peter Falk. Loved him in Murder by Death.

  12. Potential 4-3-2-1 attacking selection:

    Sanga, Samba, TV5, Gibbs/Enrique
    Walcott, Wilshere, Miyachi
    Nasri, Alvarez

    Potential challenges would include the lack of a defensive/holding midfielder (such as Song, Frimpong etc). It also suggests that the likes of Arshavin, Chamakh, Vela, Djourou and Kos are used in cup games or as replacements.

  13. Dgob,

    I think myiachi is going out on loan. But I think Wellington will be looked at in pre season. Both seem too young to me. But Alvarez, Nasri, Walcott, Gervinho bolsters our options up front and on the flanks, that’s for sure.

  14. That should have read, “Szczesny” and assumes the LPool haven’t reallly signed Enrique of course

  15. Le Grave on tour

    So Muppet, as with a lot of people on here, thinks we only need tweaks. Enjoy the season lads, its Arsenes last.

  16. Muppet,

    I think Arsene said that he was taking Miyaichi on preseason to see how ready he is? I know Feyenoord have gone public about their desire to keep him for another season but I think it will be down to how he measures up with us during preseason.

    I know he’s young but I believe he is physically more able to cope with things than Wellington. His experience with Feyenoord suggesting he might be ready but, as I say, I think Arsene will decide during preseason.

    Have I missed some contrary development here?

  17. Very interesting and well balanced post.
    Dgob, to be fair to S.Palmer, i don’t think we had to wait too long for TH14 to come good.
    But there are some other players currantly at the club who after 2 or 3 seasons still haven’t, to me, improved… Btw, nice line-up, but i wouldn’t pick it for the Brittania…

  18. Excellent.

  19. this war of words has got to stop. season is right around the corner and we can’t afford not to be united behind the team. it might even effect borderline players into making a rash decision and opting to leave the club and the project. counterproductive and potantialy very damaging. you wonder about the run in and the way the team performed? your reasons are pertinant enough, add to them this wholely stupid division amongst fans of the same club.. let the frustrated have their say. inflaming the fire will cause results our rivals are having wet dreams about..


  20. Dgob,

    Ok. I thought he was going back to Feyenoord, but they were haggling over a loan fee. If Wenger is having a look at him pre season, then good.

  21. rip liutenant colombo…

  22. Muppet,
    i’m sure i read somewhere that Anderlecht are interested in taking Miyaichi [i could be wrong] and that Feyenoord are thinking of taking Wellington for a season….

    As for the BMW driver, just gradually slow your speed and watch them gently come to the boil…

  23. None of silva miyaichi botelho galindo will be getting work permits this season.

    Woodgate and upson in their prime and injury free both have achieved levels above samba and cahill. but samba and cahill are just approachong the right age for centre halves. i really hope we get both and rely on vermaelen gibbs koscielny traore to cover left back unless of course we can sign baines enrique or izaguirre. Remember kos djourou and jenkinson could provide cover at right back too.

  24. Fact is at the end of the day neither you nor the other fans are completely correct. Step back a few seasons to 2007/2008 season having assembled a potential league winning first team,we failed to provide support when it was needed in january. The season fell apart,flamini and hleb left combined with rosicky’s injury this decimated our midfield the main strength of that team. The next season knowing we needed to strenghten at the back and the weakened midfield, Wenger chose to spend on a french youngster(nasri) silvestre and bring through the unprovend denilson. The result was a poor season where we almost lost our champs league spot to aston villa. It is this lack of urgency in addressing obvious problems within the squad that has caused frustration amongst fans and led to our failures.

  25. Typical stupid akb blog; clueless, banal, full of moronic replies from other deluded, equally clueless AKB sychophants – no wonder my beloved club is in so much trouble with idiots like you are your idiot readers.

    A word from the wise: learn about football before you make such idiotic comments. As for that snot nosed person you refer to, you’re just jealous that he has a mind of his own and not a sheep like you. Baaaaaaaa

  26. Great read Muppet. As always!

    Fuck off Julian’s ‘mind’. You’re doing a horrible job in keeping Julian sane.

  27. Great blog again, Muppet! By the way, is what julian says true? Do you have a sheep?

  28. balanced post – addresses major issues.

  29. Well said muppet.great read. I understand the reactions from both sides. The Internet expotentially magnifies the whole thing. The truth is that arsenal fans are no different then fans anywhere. Fans of any “big” club would be upset with what’s happened on the pitch the last few years. It will all end when we will a trophy or 2 so let’s hope it happens this year so we can actually spend most of our time talking about football rather fighting.

  30. Muppet – excellent perspective!

    3-4 seasons ago, MOST questioned Song in an Arsenal jersey. Two seasons ago, many wondered why Theo was still on the club.

    When the ’10-’11 season started, few of us knew what to expect from Djourou, Wilshere, Chamakh, Koscielny, Fabianski, and Szczesny. Most of the eight would make most Arsenal fans starting line up.

    Just as you watch your child grow up, there is a required patience to accept miss-takes, keep faith, and show open support.

    As supporters, lets allow the club to resolve player issues and rely on the manager to address the team needs.

    This time last year many fans were wanting the club to sign Joe Cole. Hummmmmm.

  31. Cheers to Muppet. An excellent read especially your attempt to draw the line between reasoned debate vs our mutual disappointment and frustration at the team’s implosion at the crucial back-end of last season. On this very board this dynamic is still at work. Immediate post season, there was palpable gloom, plenty of recrimination and call for changes. To some extent, the traditional optimists (veterans of the blog-wars of 2008-10) withdrew from posting as if they were grieving. Into the vacuum stepped the usual harbingers of negativity and doom such as AIC and young turks like jibby-Jabba.

    In my opinion they once again proved to be extremists, as reflected in their total denial of all the positive achievements by Wenger and the team over the past five years despite their recurrent failure to complete the fabled “last mile”, From my perspective, they attack our good sense and our support for Arsenal Football Club by consistently and repeatedly advocating the tearing down of the very foundations of the current team . How else can one interpret their desire to have a fire-sale of as much as 7 squad players and that the club spend willy-nilly in the transfer market on their replacements. Wasn’t this a club competing in 4 competitions as late as March? Didn’t this team finish atop the proverbial big-4 mini-league? Isn’t this the same team that beat Barcelona, eventual champions, in the home leg of the CL quarter finals? Any of us with the slightest comprehension of the evolution of modern football knows the depraved lusting for big defensive cloggers who do nothing to retain possession is a retrograde step. It is as if the Barcelona’s total domination of Man Utd in last May’s champion’s League final was a non-event rather than a clarion call to English football to put more emphasis on technical qualities rather than robust physical play.

    As usual such extremism, like a viral attack on the human body, will stir a strong response from the anti-bodies. A new season beckons and like spring, once they are not dead or incapacitated, supporters will rise in defense of what is best for their club. As much as I reject the extremists, look forward to the necessary improvements, whether from within (organic growth) or from the acquisition of new players who can enhance what currently exists, so we can once again be a trophy winning club. Patience all.

  32. What is this obsession with Samba? I think shaw Ross is better.

  33. Shawcross I mean.

  34. george rodger

    Muppet.Top work.

  35. Dupssf a 8.59;

    RIP Peter Falk indeed mate and Murder by Death is one of my fave fillums! 😀

    Muppet; Good piece mate. I have plenty of Gooners slating Wenger and certain players, usually after defeat an d to be honest, in the heat of the moment, when I am gutted/angry etc, I have thrown a few insults at the players and manager.

    Yet, that is the heat of the moment, fresh after a bad result. Then, even after a few days I come onto a blog and some people are STILL goingon nd on with themselves! I just do not understand that attitude? Whereby, unless you are in a constant state of despair, anger, or are prepared to hammer the players, manager then you are obviously an AKB!

    I hae no problem with Arsenal fans feeling angry and frustrated, jeeez, that as easy the way theseason pannedout. Wha I dnt understand is the need to infect blogs with anti-Arsenal bile all the time, weeks after the eason has ended, repeating adnauseum the same shite. Of course LAST seaon was a disaster in terms of what I hoped we would achieve, but for crying out loud! Let’s have some bloody perspective and occasionally look at erm, posities and the potential of a new upcoming season! 😀

    Thanks again Muppet.

  36. I see Poodle has not changed one bit huh!! Once a WUM always a WUM.

    @ Shotta – Well said as always mate and that was exactly why I did not post for some time. Although in saying that I feel I should apologize to those who came on hear daily and tried to keep things sane. No need to state any names as you will know who I am talking about.

    @ Dupsffokcuf – “YW ~~ thanks for the post while your on holiday it is much appreciated.

    Could you look into a way of only opening comments you want to read (keeping the dross closed). I think that would save me wasting half my day reading rubbish.” CLASSIC 🙂

  37. julian

    What beloved club of yours would that be? Using terms like AKB? Tut tut, shows how fucking thick you are.

  38. Its hilarious how the mindless sheep are the ones telling others to get an opinion of their own! Really cracks me up that shit. These are the deluded ones, the media fed brain dead sheep, sucking up all the Sky Sports bullshit and tabloid hype.

    The fact that there isnt any Wenger is a c*nt lobbyists on here is the REAL issue with twats like Julian. You see thats when you can truly be safe from being called an AKB.

  39. @ Dexter – Is Julian the old A-hole himself “James” cos he sure as hell sounds like him. Smells like him too 🙂

  40. Look at our record pre and post Abramovich and you will understand 95% of what there is to understand. Sheik Mansour has just made things worse.
    Hopefully FFP will move things back in our direction.

  41. Could be Irishgrey! 😀

    As for the transfer rumours, I realy can’t see us signing that Alverez dude, certainly not for £11m. His stats are really poor, plus his inury problems would make him a big risk.

  42. Hi all. Muppet you gave us a great perspective in your write up. I enjoyed reading all the comments today as well. Except for Julian and his sh33p.

  43. Muppet …… that was mindblowing stuff……. keep gunning

  44. good to see you back, Irishgray!!

  45. Various reports saying we are going to announce the signings of Gervinho, Alvarez and Oxlade-Chamberlain on July 1st. BBC’s Dan Roan also says we are close to signing Jagielka.

    Crazy, innit? =P

  46. Cracking and remarkably insightful post Muppet. Good job!

  47. george rodger

    What has happened to Darius?

  48. he is probably stoned somewhere.

  49. I don’t know about civil wars connected to football teams but I have sure heard about dumb cowboys!!!!

    An old prospector shuffled into town one day with his old mule that was loaded down with gear. The old man headed straight for the only saloon in town to clear his parched throat. He tied his mule to a hitching pole and stood for a moment just gazing around at the town and enjoying the sights. He had been in the mountains for the better part of six months and had never talked to another human being in all that time. As he stood there brushing the dust from his clothes, a young cowboy came stubbling out of the saloon. The young cowboy stood there swaying in the gentle summer breeze with a bottle of whiskey in one hand and a Colt revolver in the other hand. He looked at the old man dusting himself off and laughed a drunken laugh as though there was no place in the garden for creatures of his ilk.

    The young cowboy commented to the old man, “Heh, old man, have you ever danced?”

    The old man looked up at the young cowboy and said, “No, I never did get around to dancing in my life. I have always been too busy.”

    A crowd began to gather as the younger man grinned and said, “Well, oldtimer your’re gonna dance now!” and began shooting at the old man’s feet.

    The old prospector began jumping around like a flea on a hot frying pan.

    The crowd was laughing at this apparently humerous situation and seemingly enjoying the moment at the old man’s expense. When the last bullet had been fired from the six shooter, the cowboy holstered his pistol and turned to walk back into the saloon.

    The old sourdough turned to his pack mule and pulled out a Buffalo rifle that when discharged had a kick worse than the old pack mule when he was riled. He cocked the rifle and the sound of that old blunderbuss getting ready for action rang through the prairie air as clear as anything.

    The crowd stopped laughing realizing that the old man was beginning to turn the tide of events in the opposite direction. The young cowboy heard the cocking of the rifle as well and he stopped dead in his tracks and turned around slowly. The silence was absolutely deafening as the younger man stared down the barrel of that howitzer that could carry an accurate shot half a mile without dropping an inch.

    “Son, have you ever kissed a mule’s ass?”

    The would be gunslinger swallowed hard realizing that he was now facing a situation that may not be negotiated easily without someone being blown half way to kingdom come. The young cowboy stuttered, “No sir, but but I would gladly give it a try if it would make you happy.”

    Now there are a few lessons that can be learned from this situation:

    Never be too arrogant.

    Don’t waste ammunition.

    Whiskey makes you think you’re a lot smarter than you really are.

    Always make sure that you know who holds the advantage.

    Don’t fuck with oldtimers! They did not get old by being stupid!

  50. @ mj_gunner – why thank you it is good to be back.

    @ Dexter – The Alvarez rumor is everywhere, for once I have the feeling that it is true but then again rumors by their very definition are false. So I guess what I am really saying is I have not got a clue whether or not he will/has signed or not. Just wanted to set the record straight on that 🙂

    As for the clubs budget and the amount we have to spend I think we should all remember that we have built a new stadium whilst remaining in contention for most if not all trophies each of the last 6 years. OK. OK. That is a bit rose-tinted but you get the idea. However if we are to win say the CL I think that is when we will really take off as that would inject a massive amount of cash into the club which would (going by past actions here people) be put at Arsene’s disposal. That does by no means say that he will spend it all on players but it would allow him to buy one or two big name stars and not break the budget. Winning the CL alone could be worth as much as $50 million extra and that’s a decent player or two right there.

  51. @ Two Owls – So did you kiss the donkey’s ass or what?

  52. Irishgray

    Yeah, that rumour has been about since May, when we were apprantly getting him on a free as he was out of contract. I read up on him and his games/goals/assists records werent too clever, especially given his age. However, he is fast, direct and over 6ft so there are some attributes that would suit the Premier league.

    But I still don’t think we are in for him! 🙂

  53. Brilliant stuff Muppet!

    Great comments too!

    Shotta very well said.

  54. Glad you are back Irishgray, your input is appreciated!

  55. @ Irishgray. Actually, Irish, I have kissed more than one ass in my life time. Can’t say that I have actually kissed a MULE’S ass though. It’s not a Donkey its a Mule which is a cross between a Donkey and Horse and they cannot reproduce.

  56. @ Two Owls – In as much as I already knew what a mule was, I guess it’s what I deserve for being a wise-ass 🙂 Pardon the pun!!

    @ Paul N. – Thanks buddy 🙂

  57. Thanks for all kind comments guys – irishgray, Dexter, Aussie Jack, Bill, Paul N – and others.

    Looking forward to the pre-season. Tremendously excited.

    Don’t let the negativity get you down.

  58. And some great comments by Shotta and others.

  59. Welcome back Irish, you wise-ass. 😉 Thanks Two Owls for that metaphor. It is good to see the old cowboys dusting-off their shotguns. Pre-season is truly in the air.

  60. @ Muppet – keep that flag flying high mate 🙂

    @ Shotta – LOL Hope your recovery is going well. This time last year at least we had the World Cup to keep us occupied, have to admit to being sooooooooooo bored on the weekends now. At least I have the Yankees to keep me going for the next few weeks 🙂 Well that and spending LOTS of quality time with The Girlfriend……..Ooooh how I miss my Gunners!!!!!!!!!!!

  61. Perry Groves ” If Wenger does not get serious in the transfer market this summer he will be under pressure”

    All his so called “Expertise” and this is the statement he comes up with? Forgive me for being so harsh here but you could replace Wenger’s name with that of ANY coach and the statement would be just as accurate and redundant as any I have ever heard.

  62. Irishgray,

    My blood pressure is under control at the moment and Perry Groves needs to put his sock in it. What a load of f*cking bullshit. Total disrespect for Wenger’s record in the transfer market.

  63. Muppet,

    I fully agree. Just felt I had to post that as a lot of people I know seem to think he is a reasonable voice when it comes to matters Arsenal. Have to admit I would prefer to be a sheep in Arene’s flock then a sheep in his 🙂

  64. Bored? Check out this goal by one of our “yutes”, Kyle Ebecilio, in a losing efort by Holland vs Mexico in th U-17 World Cup:
    Saw the tape of Holland v Congo when he played a central midfield role but I was not overly impressed but apparently he is highly rated.

  65. Nice goal there Shotta. This Ebicilio is very highly rated, I know that counts for little at this stage in his development, but this boy is definitely one to watch.

    I usually like Perry Groves and I never listen to Talkshite, but when I saw his comments on the net I thought they looked abit strong for him. Then again, all he really said was we could have done with a CBin January. Given we almost signed Samba then, tat’s hardly rocket science! I think hindsight is a wonderful thing for these pundits!

  66. I don’t think the Dutch team had a great time in the heat out there, but I saw the NK and Mexico matches and Ebecilio looked very good. The team dominated every match, but their strikers couldn’t finish and their defenders made ridiculous mistakes.

    He was also probably their best player in the Euros back in May as well, which they won quite convincingly. I must say he didn’t stand out last season at Arsenal, so it was a real eye-opener to see him running games and scoring so many goals from effectively a DM position. He’s quite strong, but what really stands out is the way he times his runs. He does play in a have a slightly different role in the Netherlands 4-3-3 though. I think Bunjaku and Angha are also in that age group.

  67. Aaron Ramsey’s at Glastonbury, hope he’s brought his own supply with him and doesnt have to resort to buying some dodgy low grade gear off some skanky dealer type dude!

  68. Muppet

    You are just taking the piss out of supporters who have supported the team over many years. I wonder where your judgements have come from?

  69. OOU

    Yeah, I’m watching England vs Uruguay and its 110 degrees! Hasn’t Bunjaku chosen to play for Rwanda over England for the U17s? I know wehave one player in that team.

  70. Northbank1969,

    Where have I taken the piss ? Which comments ? Show me.

  71. Northbank1969,

    And which specific judgements are you upset about ?

  72. Not a bad goal Shotta, but still these next few weeks are just going to drag. Did enjoy watching Robbie Keane knocking 2 past Italy though 🙂 It’s funny as he could not score for Liverpool to save his life and yet he does that!! Ah well…..I think I will just watch reruns of M.Thomas’s title winning goal against The Pool, that always puts a stupid grin on my face for some reason.

    “Thomas, charging through the midfield… it’s up for grabs now… Thomas, right at the end!”

    Still gives me goosebumps!!!!!!!!!

  73. Oh damn, that’s on now, Dexter. May have to watch. I think Mugabo’s even younger than that, you know.

    Bunjaku’s born and raised in London, but not sure whether he’ll play for England or Albania.

  74. Sorry, meant to say that I think Mugabo’s the one who’s chosen to represent Rwanda. Don’t know anything about him though.

  75. Northbank,What post have you read to say that?
    Muppet is a piss taker of the first order,that is for sure,but not out of longstanding fans,
    I am lost on this,

  76. Looks like Northbank has been at the grog again.

  77. I have to say I agree with Northbank. I mean how DARE Muppet express an opinion when asked to fill in for YW (who I might add is on vacation again) and write a blog piece. I mean the nerve of this guy!! What does he think he is an Arsenal fan? MEH I say!!! MEH!!!

    Now pass that grog Northbank, no need to be greedy…..

  78. He would need a rather LARGE barrel of grog if he was going to share it with us Irish.

  79. Northbank1969,

    Lighten up. I understand the culture. I personally don’t think much of the england team, the whole structure, the lack of technique etc etc. So as much as the next man, I’d be slagging them off, a bit like people slag off Arsenal. So I understand where it comes from. I happen to disagree with those slagging off Arsenal as I think people’s expectations are unrealistic, and we’re a hell of a lot better than england, and we have played some fantastic football. Sure, we can do better, but if you’ve noticed, there are people who slag off Arsenal 24×7, about anything. It gets a but tiring. I don’t class you in that bracket, nor most people on here. I don’t even complain about AIC, or Bill, or other people who tend to be negative. I don’t like Le Grove, and I don’t like Talk Shite, and I don’t like some of the tabloid journos. I also don’t like some columnists on Arsenal Insider, Myles Palmer (traitor), Boris Mellor and Online Gooner. That’s it.

  80. That is true Dups 🙂 but then again I never said share I simply said pass it over lol

  81. @ Muppet – “It gets a but tiring” huh, never quite heard it put that way 🙂

  82. Good thing Russia got the World Cup

    What a joke FUFA are.

  83. Irishgray, !

  84. Haha Irish I’d need to get in there fast to get a few measures before you.

  85. I think everyone is overreacting to the banana thingy as they do it all the time during the Tour de France. They are always slinging bananas and what not at the riders as they go by, maybe he just looked hungry?

  86. At least they have the decency to throw drinks as well in the Tour de France.

  87. That is true Dups, here have some of Northbank’s grog……..

  88. Two Swiss u-21 players I wouldn’t mind having at Arsenal are Klose and Shaqiri. Klose is a tall CB who can dribble and distribute quite well. At 6′ 4″ he’s as tall as Samba but way more skilled. The Swiss only conceded one goal from open play all tournament. Shaqiri looks like a more rugged Van der Vaart. Great left peg and can dribble his way out of anything. He plays out on the right but also plays in the middle. If Nasri decides to leave I wouldn’t mind seeing him take his place.

  89. Feckin hell Irish you’ve dribbled in it init.

  90. Thanks OOU, I got mixed up with our young lads of dual heritage there! That Bunjaku is some player too!

  91. Mirror football

    “Exclusive: Arsenal set to hand Wilshere a new long-term contract ”

    No shit Sherlock.

  92. Muppet; “I don’t like Le Grove, and I don’t like Talk Shite, and I don’t like some of the tabloid journos. I also don’t like some columnists on Arsenal Insider, Myles Palmer (traitor), Boris Mellor and Online Gooner. Thats it.”
    I concur with that little list, and if I thought about it, I’d probably be able to add a few more to it!

  93. I could be wrong but Myles Palmer is not even an arsenal fan, right? So he’s not so much a traitor, as a hack who’s trying to feed off the popularity of AFC by fooling some fans into thinking he knows stuff

  94. I doubt those two twats on Le Grove are Arsenal fans.

  95. DANGER magician at work

  96. Henristic

    I am not even sure Palmer is is into football!

  97. @ Dups – It’s all good mate as it just adds tot he flavor 🙂 you sound drunk by the way, good stuff huh?

  98. Irish ~~ just a wee drop of 12 year old Black Label. Can taste the cask in this one 🙂

  99. An AKB love fest is all I see in today’s comment section. Even northbanks war mongering was half hearted. What a day, eh? Cherish it. Tomorrow they all return. Hear them march to the tune of the f5. They want new signings! And they want them right now!! Because Ferguson is already another two steps ahead of you, and Liverpool is catching up. And they can’t stand Denilson and the Crocks still on our payroll. Angry and frustrated, with their own solutions in their minds they march towards the club. New signings, Pat Rice’s departure, Arsene’s head, Keown’s comeback, importing players from abroad, buying local English grit, Selling a world class player to fund millions of tiny little players to make up the depth in the squad, to grabbing by the neck the likes of JET, Riyo, and others and pushing them to the first team to perform. Just a handful of solutions to an abstract problem. On Sunday the comment section will roar past the 100 mark, with the hopes and suggestions for signings for Monday. And on Monday, it will peak to the 300 levels, with frustrations, curses of not signing any player. And the rest of the week, analyzing the failures again, leading to the same old solutions. A long summer ahead.

  100. Stop dooming Ateeb.

  101. Seems none (not noone) of my comments are getting through

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