Kit Abomination, Careless Whispers In Cesc War & More Gossip

Samir Nasri not smiling? Little wonder with this design for next season. An away kit which neatly encapsulates all of the past 125 years. It is not going to help in the French midfielders contract talks: “I want £110k per week and there is no way I am wearing that blue kit“.

Yesterday afternoon provided an object lesson in how quickly an unsubstantiated story can gain legs. Within an hour of this phrase appearing on the BBC, every news outlet in the world appeared to have run with it as gospel truth,

A senior Arsenal official said: “The offer was made formally in writing to our chief executive (Ivan Gazidis), and we said no straight away.”

When asked if the club expected an improved offer this week, the source said: “Possibly yes, and if it’s enough then I expect we’ll have to sell.”

The unattributed source, key for investigative journalists, beloved of all others as it is the ultimate in plausible deniability. Nobody will name the individual which means his or her existence cannot be proven and their veracity tested. That is not important any more though. A good story is exactly that: a tall tale. An unattributed source is the basis of many fairy tales told by journalists to keep small children in order, a bogeyman.

Dismissing the words lightly in this instance could be the wrong choice. Whilst any unattributed quotes immediately bring an element of cynicism to the table, it would suit Arsenal’s purposes for them to be true in this instance. In the first place, it raises the prospect of Cesc being sold. Leaked quietly, it seems that the board are resigned to him leaving but only if the price is right, emphasising that it is a decision in the club’s hand. Arsenal remain in control of the situation, for the moment.

There is a marked difference between this season and last. The intensity of denials from Arsenal is missing this summer. Perhaps the interview given by Cesc in Madrid recently were deemed to close the matter by the board until Barcelona made a bid. Until now, media speculation had been undone by Barcelona’s woeful finances.

In the context of recent stories – this morning included – Cesc is on the back foot. Media pressure is intensifying to the levels of last season, determined to make the transfer happen as Arsène alluded to recently. The current scenario of the player striking is a fanciful notion, fostered firstly in the Catalan media, now pointed in Barcelona’s direction. To an unattributed source, of course.

What would the right price be? Some believe £35m will be enough to secure his release despite Arsenal’s valuation being anywhere between 1p and £50m. We do not know what the right price is. There have been many calculations done to show how the £5m foregone by Cesc will automatically make any fee higher than it is. Whatever it is, matters appear to be coming to a head in the media this week, almost as if they are bored with it.

With exquisite timing, Sport decided to try to move the deal along, focus Barcelona minds if you like, by claiming that Real Madrid were prepared to offer €50m for the player. All on the basis of unsubstantiated reports, you understand.

And so to other matters. Well, unsubstantiated transfer gossip. First to re-appear were claims that Gary Cahill is very much Arsenal’s first choice centre back signing this summer. He apparently does not rate the current incumbents in central defence, believing he will walk into the starting XI rather than fighting for a place at Manchester City. I thought £17m was too high but Arsenal are thought to be thinking that it is not. For thoughtless gossip, there is a hell of a lot of thinking going on.

Next up is the small Mata of Juan – ho, ho, ho indeed – who is going to cost £23m not the £18m that Arsenal were thought to be ready to offer. A lot of understanding is going on in this instance. Still, if that is a problem Arturo Vidal will keep the stories coming, £15m the price tag in Leverkusen’s shop. Ivan and Arsène are scouring the discount code websites as we speak to see if they can come up with a 10% reduction…

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on June 28, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 308 Comments.

  1. but yw samir said he liked the new kit “Tried on the new away kit today for next season tweeps, think you’ll like it!”

    http://twitter.com/#!/Nanas08/status/63313354592231424

  2. the kit kind of reminds me of our lightning blue kit

  3. Heh, I still have that tucked away somehere. Don’t think it will fit now though 🙂

    If we do sell Cesc I don’t think that will help our cause trying to get Nasri and Clichy to sign new deals.

  4. Haha some good stuff this morning YW. As for that kit, I will not waste any of my money on it.

  5. Anybody think that story on the BBC could have been leaked on purpose by Arsenal. Maybe it would let other clubs know we are willing to sell Cesc at the right price. The idea being to put a fair price on the sale forcing Barca’s hand.

  6. I thought the kit looked interesting in the player photos – certainly very “energetic”. I can’t see anybody buying it and walking down the street in it though, which I thought was the motive for moving away from yellow? Concerned with the dull keeper colour though, surely bright pink is the new sign of authority?

  7. I quite like the new away kit….. would have prefered the same design but half yellow, half blue. That would have been much more in line with past kits. But the two blues are OK.

    Transfer rumours are still going crazy…… only three days to go before, hopefully, some news will come out of the Emirates!

    And only 47 days to go before the first game of the season.

  8. Our away kit should be yellow.

  9. Jesus, is that right Northbank, 47 days.

    God, I hope you we get the wantaways sold and the new faces in asap.

  10. The key phrase in your article is ‘it seems….’.

    I really don’t know how you have the stomache to wade through all this shit, YW. You are a better man than I and that is a fact.

  11. don’t care for the away kit. prefer the yellow/burgundy . much more distinctive and oozing class.
    BARKAs offer is an insult to the player and club. hope this will make up superceses mind once and for all. hope he puts faith in the club that had faith in him when he was sixteen. he will be with us this coming year heart/body/& soul. he is that kind of man. same goes for SAMIR. stay and become legends. leave and be a rich greedy vagabond..

    UP THE GUNS OF ARSENAL!!!!
    Forward

  12. I would have thought there would be an outcry if Cesc was given to Barca for £35M. We all know that he is worth more than this in the current market. I’m still chalking it down to press speculation.

    If only they were required to be able to name their sources, as they do in the US, the press would not be able to get away with this bullshit.

    Most things make me proud to be English but our tabloid newspapers are a source of unremitting shame.

  13. on the subject of dd and usmanov. the sooner the ties are cut.the better for the club. have faith in stan, ivan and most of.all aw.. look forward not backwards..

  14. CESE valuation, considering current market conditions.. between 55 – 70 mil.. no shit. take it or leave it.. BARKA should be reported to the spineless FIFA… unsettling our players year after year ,has become a hobby to them. with no fear of repricution..

  15. all the signings to this point in the EPL by our rivals don’t concern me . none of them are stronger for it. some of it, just bad business, imo
    hanging on to key players and a couple of decent players in is all it will take. with true unshakable support behind the team , the sky is the limit…

  16. Kamram,

    I would have to disagree. United have strengthened the exact areas they needed strengthening. To refute that is foolish. It has also been completed in a very quick fashion, maximising the bedding in period.

    United got smashed by Barca, Fergie then said he needs to reinvigurate his title winning side to topple them, and he has done that in 3 weeks. Also cutting loose the chaff which isn’t up to standard – Obertan, Hargreaves, Bebe, O’Shea, Brown, Gibson.

    The above is exactly what some Arsenal fans were hoping to see happen at our club.

  17. I’m concerned that United are improving, Chelsea with the addition of Modric and god knows who else they chuck cash at, will be a better side, and City already posses a superior squad to us.

    The 3 teams better than us, are improving.

    I really hope Arsene has some magic up his sleeve.

  18. If Barca want to buy and Cesc wants to go, as Barca can’t afford the fee, will they offer cash and a player?

    If it’s Messi, then O.K. we should consider the deal.
    If it’s Alves, O.K. if he can switch to the left side.
    If it’s Affaleh or Thiaggo, O.K. with reservations.
    But please no Bojan.

  19. Bojan supposedly off to Roma.

    Amazing how quickly he became the forgotten man at Barca after keeping Titi at bay.

    Surely a perfect example of promise does not always deliver.

  20. Roma?

    O.K. then, s’pose Messi will have to do. 🙂

  21. We could say that about quite a few of our players too Luke.

    If Arsene sanctions Cesc leaving then i would like to say ‘go get em tiger’ to Ivan – both in the sense of sorting out Barca and their derisory offers and also in getting those shiney new players we need, ASAP…

    Utd have gone after their targets and got the deals done quickly – always the best way but not always how it pans out.

    If we have a couple of players (especially defensive players) in by the end of the week we will be on the right track. Most likely see one or two on the way out soon too.

  22. I think the new away kit is great! Different that’s for sure. On the transfer front I personally believe we will have some announcements by Friday. AFC has it’s first pre season game on 13th of July so they will sure fly out a couple of days prior. That’s why I think Friday will be good news day as it will allow the new players some time for personal arrangements before flying out.
    On a different note I see that LeGrove stooped to an all time low with its publicity stunt of putting Denilson on Ebay. Just confirms the fact that they are a rubbish site. No matter how strongly you may feel about an Arsenal player you do not disrespect him like that.

  23. Barcelona are really disgraceful. Resorting to some really really dirty bullshit, nothing new of course. They want Cesc to go on strike to force Arsenal to sell on the cheap. The fact that Arsenal told them to bugger off on many occasion, it has become an obsession for them now. They don’t really need him. He’ll come off the bench and do the odd job here there. So I don’t get this cowardly style of peusuit. It is simple pay the asking price and it will all be over in minutes.

  24. “Bojan supposedly off to Roma.

    Amazing how quickly he became the forgotten man at Barca after keeping Titi at bay.”

    Well the second part is just not true.

  25. its all a big efin joke to them. disrespect all around.. hahaha efin morons. i say again , our rivals aren’t stronger now with their new players. the only transfer concerning me is the chavs new manager.. i hope aw has some magic up the sleeves also. he has done super in the past fifteen years. he will come through… now that the debit is a bit more managible and we have the new stadium, we won’t operate with one hand tied behind the back. i know we will still be prudent.. we will do it the right way , mark my words….

  26. @Luke at 9.21am

    I really don’t believe that the other teams above us last season were better than us and are definately not improving. Man U have bought quickly but other than Young, it’s not been much of an improvement. City were definately not better than us last season and Chelsea only improved in the last quarter.

    Despite Man U buying early, the team hasn’t yet started training. Players are still on their hols so Arsenal being slightly behind in the transfer market makes no difference.

    I think Fergie has panicked, the CL loss affected him, despite winning the EPL his dream was CL. He saw how better Barca were and in his nightmares he sees Arsenal becoming the same next season.

  27. CESE WILL NOT STRIKE… HE IS PURE CLASS . HE HAS AS MUCH ARSENAL IN HIS BEING .AS HE HAS BARKA.. IF I WERE HIM, I WOULD BE TRULY HURT.. LEGROVE SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEIR PRACTICAL JOKES.. SUPER FUNNY SH**T MAN… BRAVO

  28. how does a team 800mil on the hook, come up with fees such as these for young, more or less unproven players as these they have bought. mind you, i would have taken young at around 8-12 mil.. him being a gooner, add bonus…

  29. Northbank69 – “I really don’t believe that the other teams above us last season were better than us”

    The lge table does not lie mate. All three teams that finished about us did so because they produced more effective football over the period of the season.

    And if you don’t think any of them will improve, you are deluding yourself.

  30. Northbank – well, to use an old fable, the league table never lies. The three teams finished above us, were better over the course of a season, regardless of our purple patch. I also don’t think Fergie has panicked bought at all. Once VDS announced his retirement, Gill came out and said United had already identified his replacement. Its amazing how some people think you can only line up potential targets during the window.

    Its in line with Franks assertions yesterday that we dont have a sharp football man on the board.

  31. they have as many mercenaries coming in as going out. no chemistry. no roots. their vision to throw money at any problem situation that comes up. people are commodities not flesh and blood. worthless trophies won(bought) at what cost.. their soul and identity? perhaps

  32. Kamram? Who? United?

  33. Kamran – All very true, they still finished above us though. I don’t want us to follow that route and we can take the moral high ground all we like, but we need to be finishing above these sides to vindicate our route.

  34. Don’t add 2 and 2 to make 5, Luke. I do think that we need a football man on the Board. But I do not think that the Mancs are inherently better than we are. I also do not think that it matters that they have purchased players first. I certainly do not think that the little Mancs have a better squad than we do.

    At this point in time I hope that Cesc and Samir are staying at the club. Personally I think they both will. As for other acquisitions. It would seem unlikely that we will not go for strengthening our defence. Up front it depends if NB or CV leave, but we may purchase a forward.

    However, I think that AW will surprise a few people in this transfer window and I would not dream of trying to second guess him. Haven’t a clue. One thing is for sure though I am not going to criticise him for not acquiring players before the big and little Mancs. Couldn’t give a fuck what they do.

  35. The only advantage of purchasing early in the window is that the players are all in place for the start of pre-season training. Which they can be if signed this week so at the moment United have no advantage. The only way AW can surprise people this transfer window is if he does not sign anyone.

    YW

  36. Arn’t United the most successful club ever? Prior to the Glazers conning them, the were the best run club too. A sustainable model which we are working towards. There is no shame in recognising the strengths of those that we challenge, it makes us better equipped for the fight.

    United have signed a very talented keeper, and very effective attacker (only Fabregas & Lampard have more assists than Young in his EPL career), and a player Wenger bid a club record fee for, this surely makes him great.

    The fact they have acted quickly is 100% a benefit. The strongest transfer activity at our great club is the potential departure of two of our best players. Hardly inspiring for our most important summer of Wenger’s reign.

  37. @Luke and @Goonerandy

    For me, just because Man U, Man City and Chelsea finished above us doesn’t neccessarily mean they were better. We beat two of them at home, one of them away and one of them came to the emirates to get a draw.

    We also beat Barca when Man U got turned over by them.

    Our problem was psychological, not football skill. And furthermore, it was not having verrsatilty in the way we play. That will change next season for sure.

  38. @luke
    yes and the rest too. all teams around us are put together with money and that is not the strongest glue out there. why is it that doing things the right way and being morals true to ones ideals count for so little these days..
    sorry to say, but the teams ahead of us in the table did so not by being better than us ,… we dropped the damn ball. i still remember chitty defending for dear life when they came to the emirates… how’s that better than us. for some reasons ,WE DROPPED THE BALL. AND THAT’S THE MOST EFED UP PART OF IT. hard to take.

  39. Northbank69 – “For me, just because Man U, Man City and Chelsea finished above us doesn’t neccessarily mean they were better. We beat two of them at home, one of them away and one of them came to the emirates to get a draw.

    We also beat Barca when Man U got turned over by them.

    Our problem was psychological, not football skill. And furthermore, it was not having verrsatilty in the way we play. That will change next season for sure.”

    That means nothing. W Brom beat us….can they claim to be better than us? The fact that Manure, City, and the Chavs finished about us over an average of 9 months does mean that they are better than us. End of really.

    Being the best team is not about foobtall skill only. The other factors you mention are part of the make up of any team, and are just as relevant as technical ability. Prizes are not given out to the team that can do the most keepy ups.

  40. spot on northbank.. the main reason you stated. the second, fickle, pampered, head up the Ar** supporters who not only deserted the team in the most crucial part of the campaign. some of the sobs out there where actually hoping for a collapse so they could say… i told you so… do me favor. don’t go to the games and start booing . nothing good will come of it. and don’t let them witness you fistfighting eachother while they are trying to play a game is not support..that .. unity at the fan level is order of the day. when the season opens up.

  41. Goonerandy & Luke….the league table does not lie and, based on our end of season form we deserved to be 4th and have noone to blame but ourselves. That being said, I font think that any of the top three are better than us. Our issues are mental (not fobbing them off as irrelevant or using any excuses) and while hopefully they will be addressed, and while I hope we see a few new faces and improve, as improving needs to be done, I do not think that we are worse than any of our rivals. Additionally, I don’t see the acquisition of young and jones as being a move that is going to make united a sudden behemoth, it’s not like they’ve just signed messi and ronaldo. Chill out, there’s loads of time left, chill out and wait til the end of august before you gnaw your fingers to the bone.

  42. I remember how we all laughed one year after we won the lge and Ferguson declared that Manure were still the better side. The lge does not lie we all mocked. And we were right.

  43. Oh dear oh dear oh dear

  44. young teams feed on fan energy, and that is a fact. however the o.ly energy they are sensing now is the negative kind… spoken from a players prespective.

  45. Serious Manc envy…and then trying to justify it. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves.

  46. Jabberwocky – Yup, I agree with all of that.

  47. Kamran – “young teams feed on fan energy, and that is a fact”

    Fact you say?

    Hmmmm, sounds more like your opinion to me.

  48. Slight tangent:

    Worth remembering that the ‘market rate’ was paid for players like Overmars, Wiltord (Ooo er missus. A pacy forward player played ‘out of position’ upon the far verge of the whinge. That goal against the cheatin’ Mancs was worth every little $hilling. And then some) and even Sunny Jim Reyes.

    The scrooge meme really is one for the numptards. Pardon my french and all that.
    As written above earlier and yesterday, there is little doubt who is responsible for keeping the good battleship afloat through the the boardroom storms.

  49. Strange kettle of fish when so-called Arsenal supporters come to an Arsenal blog to boast about the big and little Mancs. One or two of you people need to take a serious look at yourselves

  50. @luke
    i with you as far as having a good football man in the board to be the go between director. that said that person is no longer dd. he took the wrong turn a few years back. and one doesn’t hire someone they fired. at corporate level, it could be very dangerous.

  51. Frank – I don’t see anybody boasting about them. People are discussing the teams which finished abvove us which does not sound so strange. These are the teams we aim to overtake; discussing them is hardly a crime is it?

  52. Frank, an Arsenal blog isn’t just for the people who think Arsenal are the best team in the world and have no faults, its also for the Arsenal fans out there who can spot weaknesses and hope they get addressed. We finished 4th so we are not perfect, hence why you look up the table to see what you can do to improve. United have reached the Champs league final 3 times in last 5 years and won various trophies, they are obviously doing something right. We are not far off from repeating past success, but the point is we are not currently there and need to tweak either the squad or our methods.

  53. mancs envoy? get real frank, plz. wouldn’t change my ARSENAL FIR THE WORLD.
    i dont even have BARKA envy and they are the best on the pitch. it doesn’t really matter what the teams around us are about or what they do. it is all up to us..

  54. Frank @10.55am

    We should be looking at United’s run of success from 1992 onwards and be taking notes as to why it has happened. Since 1930s, Arsenal have never dominated English football in the same way. We’ve never retained a title since three in a row which is a continued failing. But to retain you have to win a title and that is the first step Arsenal need to focus on.

    As for City, why be envious of spending potloads of cash and having an FA Cup to show for it. Will they win league next season? Doubt it? Top two. Similarly doubtful? Top four? Probably.

    YW

  55. GoonerG – Exactly.

  56. Exactly GA. Competitive landscape all that….

    Kamran, I would be interested to know how many games you go to, and which ones in particular.

    Its interesting. We have never been a vocieferous support in my short tenure as an Arsenal fan (17 years), and now, when a few idiots boo after 2/3 games, the whole home fanbase not only gets called cunts for not singing, but it gets supported? That is a massive crime.

    Frank, where you calling everyone cunts at Higbury when only two sections of the ground had a knees up?

  57. YW – I take your point about city, but at the start of this season we didn’t think they would finish in the top 4. As it was they finished above us. Now with the offer of CL football they should attract better players. We should not write them off.

  58. give me a billion bucks and see if i can’t replicate their achievement in that period of time.. now the tots are at it too. . can’t wait for a level (financial) playing field.

  59. Kamran, your ignorance is hurting your debate, massively. Do not be fooled by what the Glazers have done to United. Prior to thier taekover, United where the best run club on the planet, and had streams of cash coming into the club from on field success. It’s business model is what we are striving for.

    You will also find that United’s net spend in the Glazer era is not too disimilar to ours (bar this summers splurge!). I’m sick of this financial morality being as a constant excuse.

  60. Luke.

    The home support is dreadful and it isnt one or 2 people booing, its the fucking stoney silences and te fact that people looked genuinely stunned when there’s someone (me and my cousin) daring to shout and sing!

    But this topic is dull as fuck, so lets move on.

  61. luke, I’m not calling anyone anything. the obvious fact is if the section of the fans can’t help ,at least don’t be destructive. fact is we chose a different route a while back and as opposed to the rivals around us we don’t and won’t throw s**t loads of money to achive short term albeit hollow success.. we need to put our own house in order to prove the right/moral way will prevail.. bravo to all true fans of the club, whether at home and specialy away…

  62. Eh? What?
    Maybe in the cheatin’ red half of the great North West conurbation they believed such things(As the kid from Stanley once said: “Liverpool? Who are they?”). But in the rest of the world $iteh were always favourites ahead of the Scum and the other teams. Perhaps ahead of the Chav$ki zombie as some expected. We shall see. The new manager hoping to rise with the eastern promises might need a little time to adjust before things improve for the better. Mayber they’ll even give McEachran a few games. Maybe not.

  63. Yogi

    I saw that Daily heil article about Nasri not being happy wearing the new away kit (dnt blame him!) but suggested it was because he wants out. Yet in the video on Arse.com, he’s there all smiles! But I wasnt suprised they chose that angle! Swine that they are!

    GoonerG

    Well done for spottin all Arsenal’s faults and weaknesses, can you run them all by me on an hourly basis please? Tht will be really fun nd interesting while I wait or the new easn to kick off, hanks!

    PS Can we also keep going on about how brilliant the ancs are too, seeing as this is a Manc blog n all.

  64. eh?

    We’ve never been a mental, raucous home crowd (well, not in my years), so why does the consistently silent mob get called cunts because of our consistent on field failure???

    Where was the abuse the silent mob in 2004?

    It is a sh*t topic Dexter, but its ridiculous and unfounded that some on here believe our boring home crowd (standard) deserves to bear the brunt for another season end implosion.

  65. GA You didnt think City would do anything? Not even after spending all that money? Thats the size of the task ahead of us, dealing ih all these artificially bloated cheating cubs mate. A few shrewd signings, some luck nd a few surprises in terms of young players coming through and we can cope with these fuckers.

  66. Sorry Dexter you’re right, I suppose by getting more of the fans in the Emirates signing we will automatically win trophies? After all it is the supporters fault for not motivating the players enough

  67. It gets brought up occasionally, usually when there are doomers around (funny that) The support wasnt as bad a few years ago, never mind your 17 years, or indeed my length of support, which is a few years longer.

    I dont give a shit wha you hink, the home support is an issue, well it is for me, as I will stop going for that reason alone. I dont want to go to the game and feel like I’m at the fucking ballet. I’ll still go to away games.

    You think its all good, I disagree, just leave it now.

  68. Dexter, I agree. We are doing incredibly well to stay in the picture despite the gross misconduct of Chelsea / City.

    To be honest, the only player I’m upset we missed out on (who subsequently joined one of the above) is Kompany. They are pumping ridiculous money all over the shop – Barry, Milner, Dzeko, Ballotelli etc, but Kompany is a player who I would love at Arsenal.

    Funny that thier best player turns out to be a bargain Wenger had been watching for 4 years.

  69. Dexter – I just meant general perception. It was similar when Ambamovitch took over at Chelsea. The general feel was that, yeah they might get some better players, but you can’t buy success. Which was obviously proved wrong.

    I agree with you though, we can still beat them and finish about them. They can’t buy all of the best players no matter how much cash they have.

  70. Call it mushy and a bit, er, I dunno, self-righteous? But Feyenoord and a bunch of other clubs have retired the number 12 shirt because they know how important it is to have noisy and positive fans.

    Apparently Helenio Herrera was one of the first to recognise the psychological benefit of partisan fans:

    “Using psychology at Barcelona, he continued this at Inter, but ramped up its use. The training ground was littered with his motivating slogans such as ‘Class + Preparation. Athleticism + Intelligence = Scudetto’ or more famously ‘Taca la bala’ – Attack the ball, which was about the use of spaces in football, a philosophy that was prevalent in his tactics and was later used by total football tacticians in the 70’s.
    Indirectly, he can claim credit to the invention of the ultra, as he called on the support of the ‘twelfth man’, which then led to the first supporter movements.
    Moving to Roma in 1968, he had little success, only a solitary Coppa Italia victory, then moved back to Inter in 1973 but the old guard did not take to his methods and out refused to bow to the managers will.”

    http://www.serieaweekly.com/2011/01/legend-of-calcio-helenio-herrera.html

  71. Woah woah woah Dexter. I just need to have something cleared up, please.

    I don’t think the home support is good (in terms of a quality day at the football! good in loyalty, average in atmosphere), buts the way its always been no?

    Minority who boo are cunts. The ones who dont sing, just dont sing.

    See you on some away games next year for a proper tear up!

  72. GoonerG

    Typical doomer answer, well done. Did you copy and paste that yourself from the arsenaldoomer.com website?

    You miss the point (what a fucking surprise) I am talkin from a completely selfish perspective. I dont want to go to games and be sat around a bunch of stoney silent statues, who occasionally make a few groaning noises at a misplaced pass, but other than sit and say fuck all. I want a good atmosphere for ME! I ant to enjoy the fucking experience. What is the point in going otherwise?

    Apart from going on blogs and using it as some sort of weight behind an argument. Well, how many games do you go to? Etc

  73. OOU – would I love the Emirates to resemble the Sudtribune? of course I would!!

    But it wasnt like that at Highbury and cant be used as an excuse to paper over the onfield mishaps.

  74. everything goes hand in hand. all pieces of the puzzle must fit. with a team this close to greatness and a good run of few years, fan support is of emance importance.. if that is ignorant, I’m truly sorry. but that is how i feel.
    suggestion…. reserve the ends for first come first served and specialy the away fans of the club. let the noise in FFS.
    you will see an improvement. mark my word..

  75. So how will Gooners react to Nasri if he doesnt sign a new contract and that he decides to run his contract down.Will Wenger sell now for £10m maybe and if he stays for one more year will he be booed next season

    As for Man Utd.They are the best team.The best team wins the title.Were Utd the best team in 98 02 and 04?of course not.What makes Utd stand out if if a position needs filling they will fill it.We dont.We have been crying out for a dominant CB since Sol left in 2006.Would Utd go 5 years without replacing either Rio or Vidic

  76. Luke

    Yeah, I think all big clubs/stadiums suffer from the same thing. There are pockets of good support, by hat I mean, consistent singin etc. And yeah there are areas of ,ore low key support (They are singing inside their heads!) That I int debating. BUT I have noticed it has got worse mate. And it is getting to me, obviously! Ha! I have sat all over the Grove mate (not the posh seats!) and that has given me a pretty good idea of how the different areas are during match days. There are certain areas I wouldnt sit in, given the choice, thats for sure.

    But yeah, away from home, is always a top day out man, see you at OT! I dont hink I can face St James Park again so soon!!

  77. Thomas, Republik of Mancunia is that away>>>>>

    By the way, I thought we were the better team in 99!

  78. I agree that being at a game and feeling like a fool for making noise is no fun. You are there to show your support and passion for the club and i am totally behind you there. But as Luke has pointed out, was the atmosphere ever that much better at Highbury? I remember the same silences and same sections that would never join in. It does seem that most fans only get up for the big games because they feel it means more, but all 19 home games are worth 3 points. Iv’e been to St James when its been deadly silent, all teams have it, we are not the only club

  79. Luke – it’s not the silence that really truly grates, it’s the sighs, moans and abuse that gets doled out which truly frustrates. I ended up calling a pensioner a c*** (not my proudest moment I’ll admit) as he spent all game slating our players, and, when arshavin came on stood up and shouted “try and pass to your own fucking teammate” before he’d even touched the ball, and at another game when Theo ran into a blind alley another lovely person stood up and shouted “Theo you are fucking shit!!! When are you ever going to fucking grow up?!?”. These are but two examples of the moaning and poisonous atmosphere that many twats at the emirates create. So it’s not just ‘highbury library’ jibes, it’s fucking idiots who don’t know that there is a time and a place for bitching and moaning and in the stadium is not it!

  80. Moving on….

    I know idle transfer rumours are usally well wide of the mark, but does anyine know much about this Arturo Vidal? I think we ought to sign him mainly because he has a cool name! His stats look really good too though, he is well versatile.

  81. best team. hum. with the ugliest product on the pitch.. as far as Nasri he just had a b-day. in a good mood. he will sign. if not. i huge letdown but onwards and FORWARD

  82. GoonerG

    Yea, think I kinda answered that point above dude.

    Jabberwocky has a really good point as well (Oh shit! I was trying o squash this topic wasnt I?)

  83. speaking of which – i dont really enjoy watching arsenal in the pub either, as the ‘fans’ there aren’t any better, just bitch and moan the whole match. obviously this is less destructive as the players cant hear them, however as dexter has pointed out, from a purely personal standpoint, i find it very hard to find an atmosphere in which i actually enjoy watching arsenal. i’ve watched games in which we’ve lost (against teams we should not have lost against) with a spud-supporting friend of mine and it was honestly a more pleasant experience than watching us draw against city, which i find is a sad indictment of the situation at the moment.

  84. GA @11.21

    I thought they would be top four but not win it. I still don’t think they are good enough to win it at the moment, depends whom they sign. They are, I think, 2 seasons from a realistic title challenge but that depends on other teams.

    YW

  85. Lads, of course the moaning is horrific, and I agree 100%. Nothing worse than being sat in ear shot of someone who only abuses. It is apparent at every club in the land though.

    I remember when I was teenager at Highbury, and vented disappointment at Wiltord being brought on, my uncle smacked me round the back of the head for being an idiot, and I got some stick from the regulars who he sat with. Soon stopped that behaviour!

    Perhaps it was Frank?! I’ll never know……….

  86. luke,,, counted to be smacked …LOL

  87. Can’t watch Arsenal games in the boozer….

    I need a decent view, liked minded souls, and easy access to a fresh one!

  88. I see Stoke city and Pulis are going to be changing their style of play; They have just bid on ^ ft 5 inch Scott Danns from Brum! We bettr sign Samba then! 😀

    And as for the new away kit? I’ve seen worse (tha one from the 80s; yellow with all the little arrowy things on it springs to mind, but that one’s an iconic retro number now and costs loads on ebay!)

    Got to go

  89. Dexter

    We were not the better team in 99,We were knocked out of the CL early in the season in the run in Utd had to play the QF and SF of the CL.We had them by the balls in the FA cup semi.They were down to 10 men and we missed a pen in injury time.With 2 games to go we were top but bottled it at Leeds.How can a team that wins nothing be better than a team who wins an unprecidented treble

  90. I think now City have CL football, we have to expect them to mount serious title bids in the short term.

    The only reason why I feel they will come up short, is that Mancini will never take the required gamble to win a game.

    When we were struggling at home v Sunderland/Blackburn, Wenger basically had 6 up front for the final quarter.

    Would risk a point to earn 3.

  91. 6’5″ even!

  92. You still here Thomas? Do you want me to post a link t that site you cant find?

    We were the better side in the league. WE didnt bottel it agains Leeds you doomer, we played the night before United, Wenger ent balls out to win that game thinking United would beat Blackburn, we got done by a breakaway goal after Winterburn got his nose flattened and the next night United could only manage a 0-0. Dont you fucking dare say we bottled it. How are United now the better team, when they get mullered by barca. Changing he goal posts like a true doomer, fuck off.

  93. Oh my God, it’s hideous! My eyes, my eyes! Aaaargh! What were they thinking?

  94. TRust you to bring up the Leeds game! That is ingrained in my memory banks. I fucking despised Sky for scheduling the fixtures like that; making us play before United, giving them a massive advantage with 2 games to go. Disgraceful and one of the little hings that makes a big difference.

    I was being a bit facetious suggesting we were the better team that year, but in terms of how we played, results, scoring and defensively, we were fucking excellent, should’ve won th double that year.

  95. Look away Fungunner! This is no sight for you to have to deal with! 😀

    Now I am off. Nthing personal FG!

  96. The BBC Sport website is funded by the license fee, they don’t really need to put out lazy half-stories like that to generate traffic.

    I agree with dupsffokcuf, that quote was given to the BBC on purpose. If the deal happens then fans know it happened on our terms. If it doesn’t then everyone knows it was Barca’s own fault. In any case we’d do well to buy before selling so the transfer fees don’t go up just because we have a little extra money. Would sooner see Cesc stay tho, as long as he wants to!

    That away kit is mingin’. Yellow one last season was the best we’ve had in ages.

  97. efin leeds and their australian wingers on the left.. what a day that was.. anyways, they are where they belong..

  98. is he hedious… lol

  99. Mancs nineties to noughties edition might well be the ‘best team ever’ (EPL), but that doesn’t make them better than Arsenal. The coming season starts to look interesting. Liverpool are unlikely to make as poor a start, and Citeh will be stronger too. Not sure about the others. Chelsea must fall away sometime, and Totts are Totts. ManU will again mount a serious challenge, but …

  100. Luke, My view of ’99 was that we didn’t score enough goals in the early part of the season. Which meant we ended up playing catch up. When Kanu signed he made a real difference. Had he been an Arsenal player from the start I think we would have won the league.

    However, every fan has plenty of ‘if only’ hard luck stories. End of the day they won the treble and we won nothing. So it’s hard to argue that we were better

  101. Thanks gunflash! But i havnt spoken about it……

    I try not to recall it. At all.

    Typical mancs, benefited from two once in a blue moon mistakes in that semi. Paddy losing possesion and the master not burying his spot kick.

  102. We need a competition to design the worst kit ever: here’s thought, dark green and orange diagonal stripes (original), luminous white electricity ‘bolt’ down the midriff, sleeveless Aussi rules style, Bermuda shorts with palm trees, purple socks, hair bleached white and manager in a Merlin the magician get-up, repleast with wand with silver star at the end. Pat Rice as one of the seven dwarves. Do I win? On the other hand, maybe with sleeves, long ones like the old days, brown?

  103. Luke, ooops that’ll teach me not to post and work at the same time!

    Rememeber being in the Gunners when DB10 missed the penalty and that cheating fucking gypo scored his ‘wonder’ goal. Not the best of moments but still it makes you appreciate the good times all the more.

  104. george rodger

    You tell him Dex.
    United ,best run club?WTF .
    Arsenal are the best run club right now.
    United have consistently spent more than any club for the last 30 years. Punctuated by Blackburn and Chelsea,when they out spent them and took the titles.Its not Fergy or the club ,its the fucking money that has bought success
    Arsenal are the only team to have won the prem.without outspending its rivals.
    Consider that you doomer knobs.And remember who the manager was.

  105. @ Jonny | June 28, 2011 at 8:58 am
    Agree with that.

    @ Luke
    The season hasn’t started. PRE-season hasn’t even started. Why don’t you give Wenger a chance to NOT do what you want before you get wound up about it?

    @ Frogman
    Agree. It’s like that Arseblog Adebayor stunt. Arsenal is supposed to be a classy club.

    @ Northbank
    Agree – ONE OF the best teams wins the league, the most consistent team wins the league and they deserve it for that

    ***
    @ goonerandy
    goonerandy said:
    “The fact that Manure, City, and the Chavs finished about us over an average of 9 months does mean that they are better than us. End of really.”

    Jabberwocky said
    “Goonerandy & Luke….the league table does not lie and, based on our end of season form we deserved to be 4th and have noone to blame but ourselves. That being said, I font think that any of the top three are better than us.”

    goonerandy said:
    “Jabberwocky – Yup, I agree with all of that.”

    Did you mean to say that?

    ****
    @ Jabberwocky and Dexter
    You are so right about the support. I agree with all the points you are making and I cannot understand why fans are so shortsighted about this.

  106. Dexter, Vidal looks to be more like a replacement for Denilson to me. Looks decent anyway.

  107. Just read on a blog a letter Wenger wrote to a disgruntled fan about to jump off a bridge because he wont sign a big star. Embarrassingly to them both, Wenger explained that Arsenal simply don’t have the money, soz mate.

  108. Going back to the Fabracas thing, did you not see the announcement on Arsenal.com that Barca had made their offer, it has been rejected and that is that.

    This nonsense about him going on strike is just that, nonsense.

    The day the Arsenal supporters really start believing the rubbish in the press will be a bad day indeed.

    The best thing to do is simply not to read it and wait untul we hear something from the club.

  109. Fans will always react negatively when they think that their team is playing below it’s potential and worse yet they are viewed as complacent. You can complain all you want but that will not change. If Barca or ManU real inter or any big club had a run similar to ours in the last 6 years you would see the exact same thing. Old trafford or the nou camp would be filled with boos just like stamford bridge was this year You can be as self righteous as you want but waiting for fans to change a behavior that has been the norm for fans of teams like arsenal forever is about as useful as hoping we buy messi. Fan behavior mimics the teams play. That’s never going to change no matter how much we complain about it

    Cesc is probably nor going anywhere bit we will hear it all summer. Hope the boss has miracles up sleeve. So far this summer not very encouraging and it’s looks very similar to the last several summers. Hope things change but not very optimistic. Can’t believe that we are still wondering about nasri and clichy. I thought at least those situations would ha e been resolved quickly.

  110. Johnny earlier toda; Yep, our tabloid hacks are pretty scummy, but apparantly they are just an extension of society mate!

    Dupsff; “Anybody think that story on the BBC could have been leaked on purpose by Arsenal. Maybe it would let other clubs know we are willing to sell Cesc at the right price. The idea being to put a fair price on the sale forcing Barca’s hand.”
    Funny that, REal have alegedly offered %0m Euros for Cesc!

    Luke;

    You said that United have strengthened in the exact areas tha needed. Nope, dont agree. They didnt need a CB, probably tapped him up early seeing as the scousers and us were in for him! They needed need another wnger either and they have signed a completely unproven keeper. Who has potential (hmmm, sounds familiar) They need 2 central midfieldersin my opinion, one creative, one more defensive. IF they get toe players in, then they would have strengthened. But fuck them, we’ll be stronger this season.

  111. Agreed Dexter, the signings are a punt, for sure (when are they guarenteed!)

    To be honest, I have not seen enough of Jones, but he got big interest from the best managers in the league, there must be something about the kid.

  112. Markus

    RE: Vidal, just by his stats (never seen him play) he looks really useful. He can play DM, RB and across the midfield. He has mainly played as a DM though and from that position he has still got a lot of goals and assists. (10 & 11) But I doubt we are even in for him.

  113. The Hazard rumours have died down massively…..quite before the storm perhaps?!?!

    Problem is, we no longer benefit from first mover advantage. When Wenger arrived, and he revolutionised EPL scouting system’s, it took clubs YEARS to catch up.

    Now you see the likes of Bolton who have copied our model, and can track the players we look at yet, or even track our scouts!! Impossible to view a player without opening up opportunities for less aclimatised clubs.

    Kompany plays for City – guarentee it was Arsenal’s interest in him that brought him to the shop window of other EPL clubs.

  114. Arsenal are the better team for the simple reason that they have my support.

    Besides I didn’t see a single game where we were beat last seaons, although I did see a few we lost.

  115. Luke; Yea, no doubt he is decent and very promising. Young English players are the go-to players this summer! But what I mean is, signing him hasnt made United any stronger, or better. He is probably an improvemnt on Johny Evans though! In 5 years time, he might be exceptional, or he might not. It would have been nice to get him, but we still would have probably needed to sign another CB after him anyway. Maybe Wenger would have put him in midfield, but he doesnt look very technically gifted when I have seen him. He is your typical bread and butter premier league work horse, perhaps thats why we were in for him?! Thats why I like the idea of us singing a Samba; stick him in with the cloggers of Stoke and fuck them up! And then we have got Koscielny for the more adept and skillful opponents, although I think Koscielny is a very intelligent player and he will have learned a shit load from his baptism of fire last eason and be all the better prepared for this upcoming one.

  116. Yeah fair point regarding Jones – would be a lot to expect a significant impact from him this season. But certainly a move for the future. Guess the difference with him signing for United is that he will have a relatively pressure free baptisim, unlike our Jack. Similar to the exposure Ramsey was getting before he was assaulted.

    Also agree with your assessment of Kolscieny, he had a great debut season, and was excellent post Christmas. There was just so much pressure on him in TV’s absence. Wish we bagged Samba in January (who, as you point out, will improve our war against the rugby chanting inbreds!)

  117. others have always copied what our scouts were doing in the wenger era. i don’t know how many players we lost out on after following them for months, in the last stage when they swooped in and offered more money. hats off to players like RAMSEY and chamak for not falling for that and signing for us after we showed interest in them and approached them. its all about, follow and do what aw is doing. either that or scouting players on football manager the game. pathetic that.

  118. Just read your bit on here from the other week, OOU. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

    “…the better the players know each other, the quicker the combinations and sharper the instinct for positioning.”

    Absolutely. I think a dynamic passing game is completely informed by good player relationships. Especially the weighting of a pass. Also, understanding the area around a player which they can bring the ball under control out of. How they are likely to control it, which foot, which way they are likely to turn. All these fractions of seconds and centrimetres are what adds up to make the difference and break a defence.

    Fabregas assisting Van Persie on the volley so many times is no accident.

    One combination I think will catch light this season is Wilshere/Ramsey. Ever since their league cup pairing a couple of years ago they’ve threatened something special. They haven’t played too often together since, and when they have sometimes the link-up has been either too fast or too cute. Two fantastically clever players looking to test and out-do eachother – looking to create special openings. That bodes well I think. Will be magical when it clicks.

    Can’t wait for pre-season now.

  119. Damien

    Said letter was a dupe, a cobbled together set of quotes from press conferences. And the media swallowed it hook line and sinker.

    YW

  120. Love watching the link-up between Walcott and Van Persie too. That is a partnership that will be truly devastating in years to come.

  121. Dexter – I don’t buy into that necessarily. Yes, to an extent, we get the media we deserve but a change in the laws would bring us into line with the press in the US and would do away with the scurrilous lying hacks, many of whom have agendas of their own, who simply invent news stories without fear of reprisal. The lies, which they invent at will, can have a destabilising effect on clubs, players and especially the fan base. Much of the rift in Arsenal’s support is deeply exacerbated by the media and yet we are powerless to prevent it.

    I simply think you should have to be able to provide a named source when you write something. Yesterday’s non-story regarding Fabregas is a case in point and it’s especially annoying as the BBC ran with it as fact so it has been re-printed everywhere this morning.

    “An Arsenal source said” is not good enough for me.

    Out in the real world there are many more pernicious lies perpetuated in the press – reputations are ruined, even lives lost. And all because we allow people to dress facts up in the clothes of truth – accountability is important when you have so much power at your fingertips.

    Not that politicians care much for accountability themselves…

    why would they?

    In a similar vein this is good/interesting

    http://www.football365.com/f365-says/7008317/News-Gets-Us-Going-More-Than-News-

  122. I doubt they were fooled at all YG – the amount of traffic will have made it worthwhile to print even in the full knowledge the letter was a clearly 90% likely to be a fake.

  123. Two words for you Jonny: Fox News!

    On the other hand I think US Sportswriters do seem to act with a higher level of integrity than the ones we have over here, but they also have some who are liable to talk bullshit and act like petulant children

  124. “For thoughtless gossip, there is a hell of a lot of thinking going on.”

    Priceless, YW.

    Lets not make the fans the scapegoats for our performances.

    Nor the media whores.

    Unlike past seasons, injuries were not our achilles heel.

    As fans must accept the end result, close the chapter for the 10/11 season, and move on.

    Over the next month we will witness the results of all the behind the scene negotiations.

    Certainly everyone’s commentary will be digested, dissected, or both.

    Agree with LA and OOU: the player chemistry is not there with this group of players.

    When compared to the 07/08 season when the team was playing at a beautifully flowing playing style of understanding, the past 3 seasons have been sub par.

  125. Dexter @ 1227 – “We were the better side in the league. WE didnt bottel it agains Leeds you doomer, we played the night before United, Wenger ent balls out to win that game thinking United would beat Blackburn, we got done by a breakaway goal after Winterburn got his nose flattened and the next night United could only manage a 0-0. Dont you fucking dare say we bottled it. How are United now the better team, when they get mullered by barca. Changing he goal posts like a true doomer, fuck off”

    Wow, just wow.

    I am reading the “God Delsuion” at the moment, and posts like the one above remind a little bit of the religious stance that Dawkins so brilliantly picks apart.

    Dexter, if Manure finished above us in the lge, they were the better team over the season. It is not brain science to see that, and nothing to do with “dooming” or whatever you want to call it. That is how football tends to work.

  126. Fun @ 13:04 – Ha, I did not notice that last sentence until you just posted it. I agree with him up to the last sentence in that case. Cheers.

  127. LA what did you think of Glastonbury? Did you get a chance to see my favorite band Radiohead?

  128. I am off to Rock Werchter in Belgium tomorrow. Queens of the Stone Age, The Hives, Seasick Steve, and Linkin Park all on the 1st day.

  129. Radiohead pissed me off a bit I’m afraid, william. It was pissing down with rain, the Park was about four times fuller than it ever has been, most people couldn’t see a thing – and rather than cheer us all up with some hits, they proceeded with their usual set policy of obscure and new stuff only. I like them but, seriously, wankers.

    Primal Scream absolutely smashed it, Chemical Brothers smashed it, Wu-tang Clan smashed it, BB King was wicked, Pulp were great fun. Man of the Match though goes to the eels. Unexpected cool brilliance on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

  130. Goonerandy. Say we are playing a match against the mancs. Rooney’s shot takes two deflections then hits the back of the net. Are the manc’s better than us because they scored a goal off of two deflections? I would say no. Judging by your table doesn’t lie attitude, your opinion will probably differ. I believe there is a substance behind the scorelines. A methodology. The game is not decided upon the zeroth minute and the 90th minute. The game is decided upon every interaction that takes place within the allotted time period.

    I respect your opinion, but saying that Man City is better than us because they scored more points seems a little fundamentalist for me.

  131. Why is there a debate whether ManU are ‘better’ than us, and what is this criteria for ‘better’. It’s total rubbish either way. The fact is they won the EPL with a sustained challenge to the end, well done, and that’s what that is, it is not ‘better’. Just as ‘better’ has a shitload of factors and criteria outside ‘winning the EPL’, so ‘winning EPL’ contains a load of factors and criteria, including luck, injury and financial resources. It is perfectly plausible to be ‘better’ and not win. I do not accept ManU are ‘better’ than us; I think we are close, very close, and all things considered too close to call, although I concede one thing, we did not sustain a challenge, they did. Be careful with words and meanings. Be exact.

  132. Queens of the Stoneage were good too.

  133. Goonerandy that sounds like a wicked show! I love The Hives.

    LA tis a shame about Radiohead. I saw them here at Lollapalooza once. As they were playing Fake Plastic Trees, fireworks starting shooting off a mile or two behind them in our NFL stadium. Magical fucking night.

    I’ve never heard of the eels but it sounds like i should download their CD!

  134. Man City? Better than us? Who said that? Can’t have watched the games between the two sides in any case.

    “The table never lies” crowd are the thickest type of cunt, I find.

  135. ZimPaul knows.

  136. I agree Limpar. It seems these people don’t care about style or substance. They want the end product. Maybe next season we should spend 70 millions on two players and not win any trophies!

  137. Don’t get me wrong, william, that sounds wicked. I love em. I saw them at Earls Court 2003 and they pretty much played all my favourite tunes… and actually finished with my favourite one Everything in It’s Right Place. I find playing a set of just new stuff to a sardine packed soaking wet crowd like that a bit churlish… putting it lightly. (although I think the one old track they did play was Fake Plastic Trees!)

    Yeah check out the Eels – they’ve become really a rather brilliant little band!

  138. george rodger

    Thank god Glastonbury is over.

    “The table never lies” crowd are the thickest type of cunt, I find.”

    🙂 love it

  139. The God Delusion was one of the most hypocritical rants I’ve ever read! While I can appreciate Dawkin’s motivations, they are quite worthy and noble indeed, it fails on 2-counts:

    1) it cannot provide any arguments strong against agnosticism (which in my opinion is the more reasonable stance – perhaps/probably because I am one), and
    2) he flits anger between religion and god never actually realising that for the purposes of his argument, God, is the ultimate of all strawmen. HIs gripe is not with God, it’s with the men who apparently tellling people what God said.

    If he had just focused upon religion, his arguments would have been far more concise and found more purchase with moi.

    Anyway, what better religion is there that that of tribal footballing association?

  140. Limpar, when Johnny Greenwood starts going nutz on that little pad thing during Everything In It’s Right Place and Thom’s voice suddenly starts echoing and getting chopped into pieces, I get the chilly willys every time.

  141. Limpar – I agree about Radiohead, they are a bit up their own arse despite being excellent at what they do. I also agree about the Eels, they really are a good band. I saw them at a fest a few weeks ago and they put on a great set. Queens of The Stone Age are the best live band going at the moment (in my humble opinion).

    On the table never lying, I will fall into your think cunt bracket I am afraid. It does not lie, hence the team that finishes at the top of it is considered the best team in the country.

  142. Gadget – It seems that (so far) he really is railing against the idea of God being a supernatural being. Which I think is fair enough to be honest. I have not disagreed with anything I have read so far anyway.

  143. William – The Hives always put on a good show. Their front man really does own the crowd and pretty funny. I saw them a few weeks ago and it was absolutely hammering it down; he came on and said:

    “Glad to see your are all wearing rubber, as your about to get fucked”. I don’t think many of the Germany got it to be honest.

  144. I think that Richard Dawkins position is to only believe that that can be proved. As an agnostic presumably you believe that ultimately nothing can be proved? You are a long way apart and that is why he is not an agnostic.

  145. Are we kidding?

    If the table isnt the be all and end – what the fuck do we do each August to May!?!?!?!?

    In August we set out to win the league. Simple objective. If we do, best team in the country, if we don’t someone else is. Address why, try again the following season.

    Nothing to do with completed passses, ice creams consumed in the ground, who played most on Sundays etc etc

    To say we were better than the team who won the league, who outscored us, conceded less and had 12 more points is verging on deranged.

    We were beaten. Lets figure out why. And give our all in trying to stop it happening from next year.

  146. george rodger

    Luke ,Can you guess what I am thinking?

    Hey William

  147. Frank – Yup. Atheist myself, which I suppose is why I think Dawkins makes so much sense.

  148. Should we turn this blog into a philosophy debate for a day? I’m all for it. I don’t know how
    Mr. Yogi’s Warrior feels about it though.

  149. Luke – Exactly right. It seems to be “The Arsenal Delusion” for some.

  150. Hmmm. I’ll have a punt.

    “Yes, Frank, I agree. Yes, Frank, I agree”

    Close?

  151. William – Heh, lets not. Debates on Religion are never constructive as neither side is going to change their minds.

  152. Luke i’m not going to try and debate “the table doesn’t lie” argument with you. It seems you are set on caring only about the end results.

    Some of us find pleasure in the pathway taken to reach those end results.

  153. But Andy, I am right and you are wrong!!

  154. William – Quite.

  155. William, and so do I. I really do.

    But, I wont sit on my high horse and point the finger at other teams who outperformed us, and use it as an excuse to discredit thier achivements, regardless of how tainted the approach may have been.

    If a team is better than us, I will look at it from a footballing objective. I won’t turn around and say, aaah well, they spent 10 times more on backroom staff….

  156. If the whole 2010/11 season was played again and no team was allowed to change any of their playing staff, would the final table be the same?

  157. @ William
    “Some of us find pleasure in the pathway taken to reach those end results.”

    You are being facetious aren’t you??????

  158. Frank – I really don’t get what your point is? It is no different to saying to all the goalkeepers had to wear blindfolds, would the table be the same.

    a. Nobody knows.
    b. That is not how things work, so who cares?

    Or maybe the lge format should be set up just to suit us?

  159. Frank, rather than living in a fantasy world, why don’t you look forward to this thing called next season.

    Better.

    Also, instead of playing a game, just look what happened last year, in real life.

  160. Gooner Andy

    Sorry to disaoint you but I was respondin more to Thomas’ assertion that we bottled it against Leeds. Dont fucking lump m in with religious fundamentalists you twit!

  161. And dont try and psycho analyse a post on football blog just because you are reading a fucking book.

  162. Every team which wins the league deserves to win the league. It is certainly true that the mental and psychological aspect is a part of what makes a side good or not so good, but it is still the case that although you have to be one of the best sides to win the league you don’t necessarily have to be THE best side. If the teams are quite close, the other factors which go into winning a title have a greater influence – eg injuries, scheduling of matches, “luck” with officiating, etc. They do not affect each team equally. If you are a lot better than other sides, those non-football factors have less of an effect.
    When we won the title unbeaten, we actually were the best side in England, no question. That’s why we laughed at Slur Alex’s curmudgeonly complaint.

    I do agree with those who say that the fact that we haven’t defended a title points to a weakness – I think we had a problem with squad depth and we needed more things to go for us. That was why we would win and then fall back.

    @ Luke
    What we are doing from august to May is trying to win the title.
    ****
    @ goonerandy
    That sentence reflected his entire post! But I can see that you didn’t mean to agree with him

  163. JD Gooner-Nope.

  164. FG – I’m sorry. That’s just a bag of excuses. You can never ever suggest we have worse decisions/luck etc than anyone else, because you dont watch every team equally. We should just accept that injuries, bad decisions effect everyone. Problem is, we can never recover from them.

    Remember Pires diving to win the penalty against Portsmouth? That terrible decision would have ruined our perfect season in a heartbeat.

    We are in the history books for a feat that will never ever be repeated. We had some luch that year too. It just happens.

    Only Arsenal fans spend so much time dwell in myths, consipracies, bad luck, scheduling etc etc.

  165. Dexter – What on earth are you on about?

    Fun – I was agreeing with him that we finished 4th, and deserve to finish 4th (mainly of our own doing). The teams above us performed better over the season. Therefore were better than us.

  166. Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

  167. William.

    At some point there has got to be an end product for this squad. No way to know for sure but I suspect we would not be wondering about nasri and clichy if we has a few trophies in our case. Unfortunately Standing on the moral high ground of playing the best football loses it’s appeal after a while for the players and the fans. The sqaud will only splinter more and the fans become even more disillusioned of this keeps up.

  168. GA;

    What am I on about? Sorry did I missunderstand your wow, comment?

    I was being a little facetious with my remark to Thomas about us being the better team in 99 (which I stated earlier) but I do think given the fact we had to play the penultimate game beforetemancs had a huge bearing on the title. If United had played their game first, we could hve gone to Elland Rd and got the draw that would have won us the league. But thats all spilt milk.

  169. Dexter – Ah yes, sorry I remember that now.

    If that is what you believe you really are deluded. You are saying that our team could not handle the pressure of playing 1st? If so that does not say much about that group of players.

    We got beat by Leeds, who were a decent side at the time. Nothing to do with schedules or the like. Also you can’t simply say that we would have won if Manure had played first as if that were fact. Because it is not.

    Manure won the treble in 1999, something never done before. We won nothing. And you think we were the better side? Really?

    And before you have a benny fit at your keyboard and no doubt accuse me of being a Manure supporter, let me assure you that I absolutely can’t stand the club. I am just stating fact.

  170. It is a tried and tested method of figuring out where your strengths and weaknesses are. Rerun the process (in this case the season) and work out if it could have gone differently and why. The advantage of looking at the last season is that you have evidence, information, data etc etc. One important question is…could we have won it? If the answer to that is yes, then your actions may differ enormously from those taken if the answer is no.

    As for the method being a fantasy..you a bit thick?

  171. I used to love Dawkins but he has become rather sad and bitter with his obsession with the church.

    A far, FAR better book for deconstructing the multifarious hypocrisies and problems with religion is ‘God is Not Great’ by Christopher Hitchens – it’s a staggeringly well-argued, vigorous and thorough polemic which would make most ‘religious apologists’ run for the hills.

    It makes the God Delusion look puny in comparison.

    I stopped believing in God when DB10 retired.

  172. Frank – tried and tested by who? And how do you work out if you could have won if things had been different? By your logic every club could com,e up with a resounding “yes, of course we could”.

    It sounds like guessing the pools.

  173. Jonny – I have that very book. Will give it a whirl next, cheers.

  174. It is the method of evaluating responses to major incidents such as aeroplane crashes, tsunamis. It is also the essence of science, goonerandy.

  175. Bill I am not standing on a moral high ground. It is clear for all to see that the Arsenal play better football than Man City.

  176. @ Luke
    “FG – I’m sorry. That’s just a bag of excuses. You can never ever suggest we have worse decisions/luck etc than anyone else, because you dont watch every team equally. We should just accept that injuries, bad decisions effect everyone. Problem is, we can never recover from them.

    Remember Pires diving to win the penalty against Portsmouth? That terrible decision would have ruined our perfect season in a heartbeat.”

    I’m not making excuses. I said that those factors do not affect all teams equally – all teams don’t have the same number of injuries, wrongly called offsides, gaps between matches, etc. My point would be equally valid if WE had had all the luck, none of the injuries etc.

    And thank you for proving my point. – if the ref had spotted Pires’ dive than we would not have been the Invincibles. but we would still have been just as good, wouldn’t we?

    *****
    @ goonerandy
    No, you are not agreeing with him. The part you are agreeing with is an objective fact – that we finished fourth – that is not his or your or anyone’s opinion. His expressed opinion was that the other teams are NOT better than us and that you cannot treat the fact that we came fourth as incontrovertible proof that we were the fourth best team.

  177. Don’t be silly, goonerandy, you are better than that.

  178. I can see that Frank, but to a football season? There are too many variables of human making for that to work effectively. I am sure the clubs run through the “what could we have done differently” scenario as you quite rightly pointed out.

    In truth, they really only need to pick the bones out of Feb onwards. We was sitting pretty until then.

    Although I hope you see the irony in suggesting we use a system that is used to investigate disasters 😉

  179. Fun – You have chosen to omit the bit where he said we have “nobody to blame ourselves” for finishing 4th. That is the bit I was agreeing with you little scamp, and for me that was the essence of the post. Please don’t be as patronizing to tell me who I do or do not agree with, just because you don’t read a post properly (or choose to ignore some of the content).

  180. “I stopped believing in God when DB10 retired.”

    ha ha!

  181. That ‘system’ is called science, goonerandy. What is the alternative?

    As the author of the sentence the irony was not lost on me.

  182. It was you who didn’t read his post properly which is something we all do now and again, but for some reason you cannot admit that and you have painted yourself into a corner.

  183. Frank – I do wonder how the staff pick apart our season once it has finished. It would no doubt be an interesting process.

  184. That was to goonerandy.

  185. Gooner Andy

    Ah short term memory issues?.

    No we didnt bottle it, we went all out for the win, had 4 strikers on and got done on the break. IF we had have had the luxury of knowig the Mancs result, we would have been set up completely different. Thegmes should have happened at the same time. I doubt that would happen today; 2 teams neck and neck and one gets the advantage.

    You are being a twit because you would rather tell us how great United are. Than admit that outside influences could in actual fact affect sporting outcomes.

  186. Fun – If you say so. Only I did admit that I did not see that final sentence, so I don’t really get your point (I actually thanked you for pointing it out). I agreed with his point that we deservedly finished 4th, mainly of our own doing.

    Where I differ from him is that the other club performed slightly better than us over the season, therefore are better. Do they play better football? Not really, but even then you could argue what defines that.

  187. george rodger

    I am to annoyed to write.
    Manc.loving twats

  188. Dexter – We will leave it there I think, as we are not going to agree. You blame others for our results, whilst I prefer to look inwards. Tis all good.

  189. Dexter – And I do agree we didn’t bottle it, on the night we were beat by a pretty good side. The the lge title is won of the course of a season, not just on one night.

  190. And before you have a benny fit at your keyboard and no doubt accuse me of being a Manure supporter, let me assure you that I absolutely can’t stand the club. I am just stating fact.
    ______________________________
    I think the lady doth protest too much! 😀

  191. oh, fuck off George. You’ve offered nothing bar abuse today.

    Just got sit at Franks feet like a good dog.

  192. Ha, I really can’t. They have so many hateable players.

  193. george rodger

    there are rarely simple answers to complex questions.Only simpletons with simplistic answers

  194. FunGunner ois right mate, you just refuse to back down.

    We played like we had to win that game, because United wereexpected to beat Blackburn, that had a massive affect on our game plan that night. Its fucking pathetic how you cannot accept that. I would say almos tevery time, the winner of the league is the better, or ost consisntent team.

    Yet it is fucking obvious that we were given extra pressure thanks to Sky. I aint saying we’d havewon if we played second, I am saying it had abearing on the outcome and not a favourableone.

    Jesus (can I still say that name?) you are hard work.

  195. And since we’re into philosophical debate, if the table never lies, what happens when it changes? At which precise moment is it telling the truth?

    Is the team with the best result after the first round of games of the season the best team in the country?

    Or is it only at the end of the season that it tells the truth? If so, the claim that it never lies falls immediately.

    Just asking.

  196. OK GA, lets drop it, you just aint on my level man! Smoke some more shit, that migh help ya! 🙂

  197. @ Jonny
    Great points. And thanks for the book recommendation.

    ****
    @ goonerandy
    This will be my last comment on this issue. I am re-posting the original comments because I am fed up of being accused of making things up (not for the first time) by somebody who is himself not being entirely straight.

    Jabberwocky | June 28, 2011 at 10:48 am
    Goonerandy & Luke….the league table does not lie and, based on our end of season form we deserved to be 4th and have noone to blame but ourselves. That being said, I font think that any of the top three are better than us. Our issues are mental (not fobbing them off as irrelevant or using any excuses) and while hopefully they will be addressed, and while I hope we see a few new faces and improve, as improving needs to be done, I do not think that we are worse than any of our rivals. Additionally, I don’t see the acquisition of young and jones as being a move that is going to make united a sudden behemoth, it’s not like they’ve just signed messi and ronaldo. Chill out, there’s loads of time left, chill out and wait til the end of august before you gnaw your fingers to the bone.

    goonerandy | June 28, 2011 at 10:57 am
    Jabberwocky – Yup, I agree with all of that.

    Whereas you actually disagree with the main thrust of his post, which was that the other three teams are not better. That is what confused me and so I asked for confirmation. But you couldn’t just say you’d misread or not fully read the comment, you had to start pretending that I was misrepresenting you or Jabberwocky.

  198. Good usage of italics merlot! How did you do that?

    Luke why do you keep calling George a lap dog for agreeing with Frank?

  199. george rodger

    Luke
    “The table never lies” crowd are the thickest type of cunt, I find.”
    Thank god Glastonbury is over.

    “The table never lies” crowd are the thickest type of cunt, I find.”
    love it

    You tell him Dex.
    United ,best run club?WTF .
    Arsenal are the best run club right now.
    United have consistently spent more than any club for the last 30 years. Punctuated by Blackburn and Chelsea,when they out spent them and took the titles.Its not Fergy or the club ,its the fucking money that has bought success
    Arsenal are the only team to have won the prem.without outspending its rivals.
    Consider that you doomer knobs.And remember who the manager was

    .Luke | June 28, 2011 at 6:09 pm
    oh, fuck off George. You’ve offered nothing bar abuse today.

    Just got sit at Franks feet like a good dog.

    Todays posts Luke, which one did you deem abuse?

  200. Yet it is fucking obvious that we were given extra pressure thanks to Sky

    ————

    Come on mate!!!!! The televised games were announced months before – how could they possibly know the league would end up that way?

    Again, it boils down to apologists or not.

    If we won our game, we would be champions. Simple.

    We didn’t. Current analysis – everything other the match itself has been blamed. How do you not see how flawed that is?

    Also, one of Wenger’s alltime favourite complaints is playing second in crunch games. He HATES it. So by Wengers assessment, we actually had the better deal in this particular scenario.

    Why is it always an excuse? Not just acceptance that we werent good enough?

  201. george rodger

    Luke,you are one miserable twat.

    Sorry Yogi.

  202. Dawkins is just as bad as the zealots he criticises. Two extreme ends of the ballbag spectrum.

  203. As Man City won 5 of their last 6 home games, Arsenal drew 3 and lost 1.
    Therefore, Man City are a better team than Arsenal.
    —–
    As ice cream sales increase, the rate of drowning deaths increases sharply.
    Therefore, ice cream causes drowning.

  204. Fun – I have already said that I did not see the first sentence about the other 3 been better than us. Why do you keep ignoring this?

    I agree with his point about where we finished.
    I agree with his points about where we are weak (mentally).
    I agree with his points about Manure’s signings.

    I agree with his post (as originally stated) bar his opinion that the other were not better than us last season. Is that so hard to grasp?

  205. george rodger

    LA I am taking flak for your posts.What is that all about?

  206. Markus – Just because there are two extreme ends, does not mean that one is wrong. The truth is not always in the middle.

    Limpar – No, that is not right. Last season M City were better than Arsenal as they accumulated more points of the course of the season. If we had not imploded I am confident we would have finished above them, but we did implode.

  207. Luke

    Thanks for jumping in just as me and Andy had decided to drop the matter!

    No, I am not making excuses, I remember at the time being fucking pissed off that we didnt play that game, at least on the same night. It would not happen today, no chance. (penultmate game of he season, 2 teams going for the title, level on points) What it did was completely change our game plan, perhaps not the result, but it had an impact. We had 4 strikers on the pitch going all out for the win.

    If we had played the following night, knowing United’s score of 0-0 and also knowing we only needed a draw, would Wenger have put out 4 strikers, gone all cavalier trying to win a game we didnt need to?

    Thats all I am saying, Luke, your doomerish tendancies have taken over again mate. You’ve held em in check all day dude, dont let me down at the last dude! 😀

  208. An ACLF pint before Liverpool would be a rowdy affair! Get the juices flowing nicely!

  209. Damm you Dexter and your cunning way with words! Of course Wenger’s tactics would have been HUGELY different, I fully accept that.

    Apologies for keeping that session going – not cool. EIther way, shit night.

    Interesting day – some decent points put across.

    Right, gym then nandos. BOSH.

  210. If we are still going to talk about 1999 (Thanks Luke!)

    Was that the year Anelka and Kanu were partnered together and had a blinding run of form and goals, culminating in that 6-1 away demolision job on Middlesborough? I am pretty sure that was our 1st game after that semi replay, no taking weeks to get over a massive disapointment for that team. Oh and they conceded a record low number of goals that season too.

    Best team in England that year by miles! 😀

  211. andy there is no truth when debating religion. Accept the mystery.

    zealot:
    noun /ˈzel.ət/ n [C] Definition
    a person who has very strong opinions about something, and tries to make other people have them too.

    Dawkins is a zealot, and zealots are bellends.

    Peace out.

  212. No probs Luke, I dont usually make excuses for the team (although I dont think its all black and white) and fully admit we havent been up to scratch, but THAT YEAR? And that game, sticks in my throat big time. Can you tell or what? 😀

  213. Markus

    I m not familiar with this Dawkins dude, so forgive my ignorance. But is it fair to suggest that an atheist reading his work is like a Christian reading the bible to confirm their beliefs?

  214. silver gunner

    wow its been a day of bitching just finished reading the article and then the comments wow some regurgitated material here today.

    Nice article btw YW…

  215. George said – “Arsenal are the only team to have won the prem.without outspending its rivals.
    Consider that you doomer knobs.And remember who the manager was”

    To me football wise this is the best statement of the day. It speaks more louldy than how much United, Chelsea and the likes have won. Lets see them spend less than us and see what happens. Chelsea and City were not much until the big money came in. What Arsene has done should be appreciated much more than it currently is. There is no reason for clowns to be booing a team that should be seen as perrenial over achievers if spending is taken into the equation.

    I still believe that Arsenal had the best team this season. In seasons past I dont believe we did.

    GA Said – “William – Heh, lets not. Debates on Religion are never constructive as neither side is going to change their minds.”

    Thats not a true statement, people do actually change their minds.

    Listened to a few hicthens debates and hawkins and I have never been overly impressed. Many arguements fall on psuedo science and the problem of evil. Dawkins seems afraid to debate with William Lane Craig.

  216. William @ 5:50:

    We do play better football then man city but in the end you have to get results or it does not matter. How many big teams ever have 3 of their key players unsettled at the same time? Athletes play for money or the glory or winning titles. It seems we can’t realistically keep up with some of the other teams with wages so we are currently giving our players neither of the above.

  217. @Dexter
    Your comparison is kind of right. Dawkins stuff is simply too agressively written as that any religious person could read it, because he usually doesn’t even last a few pages without a snide remark or a hidden insult or two.
    Though you are wrong on the belief thing because, at least in his most recent works (not talking about his more scientific stuff like “The Selfish Gene” etc.) he just presents scientific arguments why the existence of an omnipotent creator (or evolution through intelligent design) is highly improbable. Not much to do with belief.

  218. Paul N,

    George is just wrong though.

    http://www.transferleague.co.uk/transfer-fees-v-league-positions/premier-league-1992-1997.html

    Looks to me in the first 5 years of the EPL, we were big big spenders. Not as much as Newcastle of course.

    We also spent more than Blackburn did buying thier title the following year. Yes, I know these figures arn’t a 100% accurate, but surely there is no conspiracy here against Arsenal? Everyone is being measured by the same stick.

    We spent roughly £30 mill nett from 92 to 97. United (who won 4 of the 5 leagues) spent £3 million nett (roughly).

    So what Georges silly comment does, is further highlight his inability to accept football before Wenger, make brash agressive statements about any other opinion, despite him being, 100%, completley and utterly incorrect.

    But, I get the point………………………..

  219. Bill

    I don’t know how many big teams have ever had 3 of their key players unsettled at the same time.

    Talking with you is incredibly dull Bill. I’ll try and debate regardless.

    You say “Athletes play for money or the glory or winning titles.It seems we can’t realistically keep up with some of the other teams with wages so we are currently giving our players neither of the above.”

    From your perspective it seems that you believe the Club is doing these things for the players.

  220. It is actually in the next 5 years where Uniteds spending gets much much more agressive….

    If they had the money – which their self sustaining model presented them with – you can hardly blame them for spending it.

    Its one of my main gripes – that nothing outside of Wengers Arsenal is pure and the sole purpose for success elsewhere in the EPL era is financial power and nothing else.

  221. Thanks Evil!

  222. How do you define the “better team” by its potential if it could somehow play at the top of its game on a consistent basis for a whole season or by what actually happens on the pitch. The final results are not debatable and are the only thing that really matters in the end.

    I don’t think anyone would argue that the table always reflects the true potential of the teams. What good does having more potential then the teams above us if we can’t convert that advantage to results? Having a team that is technically superior to ManU means nothing if the mental issues keep us from finishing ahead of them.

  223. Overall, we were definitely better than Man City, who looked toothless in most games I watched. They got lucky with our bad form.
    While I enjoy the transfer gossip, I don’t see the need for conductiong transfers ASAP for the sake of showing intent. It would make sense to have the new players ready for pre-season.

  224. @ goonerandy
    I know I said I’d had my last word, but out of interest, why are you still arguing? You’ve agreed that you must have misread/not fully read his post and that you in fact disagree with the main point of it. That’s cleared that up. Thanks.

    ****
    @ Luke
    In those early years, we didn’t have the cost of the stadium to deal with, so we could spend more in relation to other teams. United, Chelsea and Man City and a lot of teams that regularly finish below us have outspent us in net terms since the stadium started to have an impact on our finances.
    Assuming I have misunderstood your last para – follwing sound business principles is not primarily a moral high ground decision. We have to stick to a budget because no-one else will pick up the tab if we get into trouble.

    And did you see my reply to you from earlier?

  225. Yes I did, apologies for not replying, we were going at loggerheads, and thought any response of mine would have antagonised you.

    I see your point on the recent post – but what I was challenging was Georges incorrect assertion that only the highest spenders have won the league, bar Arsenal.

    I fully agree that we compete against outrageous spending at present (Sunderland dropping £50 mill in a window etc) – but looking at the full EPL history, we were big spenders in its inception.

    Its just put laid to rest Georges notion. As I have said many times before, its incredible that we have maintained parity in an environment of reckless spending. Wenger will always command huge respect for that achievment.

    Let’s just see if he can make the next step up, do the unthinkable, and bring these billionaire behemoths down. As we all know, we are not far.

  226. “Overall, we were definitely better than Man City, who looked toothless in most games I watched. They got lucky with our bad form.”

    Sounds like somebody actually watched the games here. Well done, peacefrog.

  227. AFC Wonderland

    Sickening kit, a disgrace to be honest, looks like a half baked idea based on a championship club, fucking awful! Certainly not fit for the Arsenal, can’t we do anything right these days.

  228. I’m not really sure why is it so hard to understand? If you spend more than what you have you get in debt, and if you default on paying the debt and no one bails you out, you get in deep chit and no one will lend you any more money.

    If you pay your credit card debts and you are able to pay cash for what you want to buy, you don’t pay interest, then you have more money to buy more stuff and so on.

    So it is clear, one way of reckless spending that will take you downhill fast unless mommy or daddy bail you. The other way leads you to debt free and more money in your pocket to buy all the “Super” stuff you want.

    Two bad things are driving this world into chaos, credit card debt and impatience. If you lose the former and gain the later in the next decade, you’ll survive.

    Otherwise, God be with you….

  229. G4E,

    You typed too much today. Everything alright? Are they getting to you?

  230. Markus – the zealots at the religious end of the spectrum are in no way comparable to Dawkins.

    Dawkins writes books tackling the rise of creationism and championing evolution (a science as opposed to the hokey mysticism and lies of montheistic religion).

    He has become a sanctimonious twat in recent times but HOW does this even remotely compare to the subjugation of women, demonisation of homosexuals, flying planes into buildings etc such things have been excused, and committed, by extreme religious zealots.

    Dawkins wrote a book.

    He is a bit of a bellend but that does not make either your polar comparisons or criticisms valid or remotely commensurate to one another.

  231. Nelson bloody Vivas.

    the reason we lost the title in 99. fukin nowhere to be seen and lost haselbaink completely when he scored. i used to hate seing him come off the bench as i knew he always lost his markers… a poor defender.

  232. @ G4E
    Yup.

    @ Luke
    I am never antagonised by a sensible and considered response. I don’t think many people are.

    @ Bill | June 28, 2011 at 7:13 pm
    That is a fair point. As I said earlier, the under-performing, the immaturity (as I see it), is definitely part of how you judge the overall quality of a side. It is one area in which I would mark the team down, and one of the reasons why we are not head and shoulders above the others.
    9 times out of 10, Champions = Best Team. But not always. There are other factors which are marginal, but when the league is tight and competitive, the effect of these factors is greater. If two teams are pretty much on a par, a little slice of luck can turn the league. Refs’ mistakes, unhelpful scheduling etc, many of these non-football factors are not random events so they don’t even out over time. (Not that random events would necessarily do so over one season, but I hope you get my point.) So they do affect teams to a different extent each season – in the Invincibles season, as illustrated by Luke, we had our fair share of luck.

    I think it matters to look at the inherent quality of a team (taking all the football factors into account, including the mental aspect) as well as the consistency, because it has a bearing on what can/should be done to improve the team’s performance.
    I don’t take anything away from United. They deserved to win because they were more consistent than us. But I don’t think they are better team than than us, and I wouldn’t have said that two seasons ago.

    I don’t know if you follow tennis, but – Caroline Wozniacki is probably going to finish the year at number 1. She is not even the fourth best player in the world, but she is a very good player and definitely the most consistent and has had no significant injury layoffs. One out of Federer,Nadal or Djokovic will probably end the year as number one. But that in itself will not fully answer the question of who is THE best. They are all superb players. Although the lovely Roger is my personal favourite. It is not a perfect analogy, but it sort of explains what we mean.

  233. and yes the away kit is a poor, how we ok’d that design by nike i will never know. colours are awful why not blue and yellow?

  234. Richard Dawkins is OK. He is a good thinker. One of many. Not terribly likeable. I doubt if he would have trouble explaining away ‘evil’ (sorry Evil) as an apparent phenomenon without recourse to the devil, spirits or gods. Even Sepp Blatter is probably just a victim of bad parenting or being picked on at school.

  235. Fun – “I think it matters to look at the inherent quality of a team (taking all the football factors into account, including the mental aspect) as well as the consistency, because it has a bearing on what can/should be done to improve the team’s performance.
    I don’t take anything away from United. They deserved to win because they were more consistent than us. But I don’t think they are better team than than us, and I wouldn’t have said that two seasons ago.”

    I agree with that.

    But do you not think consistency is one of the main assets to the better sides? It is certainly essential to win the lge.

  236. People will look fat in that new kit.

  237. Arshavin will.

  238. Borges Spinelli

    Afternoon, Gooners!

    Just passing through your midst, momentarily, as i have nothing illuminating to share. Hope all is well with one and all.

    Keep hope alive, Troopers. Any day soon, much jubilation is there to be had with positive news from the transfer front. This much I’m sure of.

    ‘Til then, have a fab summer, pessoal.

    FORÇA ARSENAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  239. @ goonerandy
    Yes, it is essential. We had streaks, but not enough of them. That is why I would mark us down in that area. But for me, the story of the league last year was of a 7/10 team which maximised its potential and an 8.5/10 team which didn’t. (I am leaving out any mention of the reasons why, for the sake of not restarting an old argument.)

  240. Luke, United have not strengthened their team. They’ve lost a huge player in Van Der Sar and they have lost a big influence in the dressing room in Scholes. Young, De Gea and Jones are not improvements, they are additions. An improvement would be if they got players better than the ones who’ve left or are retiring. They haven’t. Young, as good a player as he is (debatable), is not exactly setting the footballing world on fire.

  241. Fun – That sounds fair enough to me. Potentially we are a much better side than Manure. For me that is the main frustration, especially seeing the way we caved in during the run in.

    Potentially we are the best side in the lge by some distance, but way too inconsistent. Look at some of our crazy results. great for the neutral mind, but I could not give a flying one about the neutrals. I just want us to play to our potential. As you pointed out though, it is our mentality (or maturity) that lets us down.

  242. DukeyG

    Lay off Vivas! he was alright! Haha! 😀

    Yeah he had to come on as Winterburn got smashed in the face. BUT, as I said we were playing a 4-2-4 by that time trying to win the game

  243. when comparing clubs its always prudent to compare apples to apples,, oranges to oranges.. imo blackpool layed out the better product on the pitch than the high senders. shame they lost out on playing primer league nxt year. would rather watch that than mancini football…

  244. I hope that when the new marketing deals are up or grabs and the club renegotiates with exisitin sponsors, or new ones, they consider swapping kit manufacturers. Yeah, let’s get rid of Nike and get Adidas back I say! Not sure I find the new away kit as disgusting as others, but I still aint going anywhere near it and Nike’s track record with our kits is bloody rubbish, talk about inconsistent! 😀

  245. george rodger

    Luke you disproved nothing you fucking half wit.
    United out spent us in wages and transfers to keep up after wenger arrived just to keep up .
    Are you suggesting that Chelsea ,Blackburn and City have just coincidentally found success when the are outspending their competitors.

    What happened pre Wenger is of no interest to me.

    Money spent has equated to success apart from the genius of Arsene.
    When United started to generate more money then Vernons Pools (i think it was them)could give Liverpool,the balance of power shifted,

    How you can not see this is staggering.

  246. Lol….Ateeb….Nah, I don’t care about them or the media any longer. I hardly read any of the articles, I only read headlines and laugh

  247. City better than Arsenal… Silly season it is

  248. George – “What happened pre Wenger is of no interest to me”

    Explains a lot.

  249. Duke looking at that one hurts my eyes.

  250. Duke – I have that one my collection. Proud as punch I was wearing that one, cutting around town.

  251. I had a Spurs fan saying to me Arsenal were lucky as they were so so close to us this season and next season we will again drop out of the champs league spots and below spurs! I find it funny because what i saw is a talented team massively underachieving, that is the only reason why City finished JUST above us and Spurs got anywhere near us. Why we are underestimated every season is amazing, you can probably get slimmer odds on Liverpool taking the title next season!

    Can’t wait til next season to show all these cunts up. I am predicting us to come out flying in august and swiftly shut a few people up while making the excusist pundits come out with a whole load of shit.

  252. Pah, we finished above them simply because we are a better team than them. And that, despite our problems.

  253. george rodger

    Andy ,It was intended to explain a lot.
    .

  254. This is another wrong statement.

    “Dawkins writes books tackling the rise of creationism and championing evolution (a science as opposed to the hokey mysticism and lies of montheistic religion).”

    What do you mean by the lies of monotheistic religion Jonny? You surely dont have to believe in God but in order to call something a lie you would first have to prove it wrong. NO matter how much you may love Dawkins, at his best he is only trying to prove monotheism to be a lie but the psuedo science that is evolution, in that I mean to the point where on tries to say that species change. Most of evalution is a mere interpretation.

    Dawkins calls believers lazy as if we should all become scientists while discounting the fact that many scientists dont even believe in whathe does, more brilliant men than himself.

  255. Well Daily Mail has an agenda of unsetteling arsenal fans atleast, now they are plastering Bracewell-smith all over their sports page with “sack the board” in bold as headline. No wonder everyone thinks Arsenal is a sinking ship. “mad french stingy professor” as a manager, angry ex directors wanting to sack the board. The best players want to leave. Fans are fighting eachother. Am i missing anything?

    Liverpool on the other hand, the club that bought a 20 year old u 21 player for 20M they are lauded as heroes and Dagnlish as a very brave and clever manager who gives young english stars a chance to shine.
    My god the press just pisses me off…

  256. DookG

    That was the shirt I was on about earlier today man! Fucking orrible, but now its a retro classic!

  257. Paul – “What do you mean by the lies of monotheistic religion Jonny? You surely dont have to believe in God but in order to call something a lie you would first have to prove it wrong.”

    Even if there is no evidence of it existing in the first place?

    You can’t prove fairies don’t exist, but I am fairly sure that they don’t.

  258. YW, you are a beacon in the morass that is the close season! Thanks for the consistent good work.

    Reading the comments today is like being on a carousel, the same things keep flashing in front of my eyes as I go round and round. Oh well, I suppose it passes the time until there are signings or something else to talk about.

    Paul N, would you mind expanding on your statement that “evolution is a mere interpretation?”

  259. dG….my eyes, my eyes!!!!!

  260. Fungunner @ 7:44

    I agree with all your points. The best players does not always end up as number 1 in any sport. Last years inter was not a better team then Barca. However at some point the better team has to start coming out a head in the table or that argument that we are the better team becomes less and less reasonable. It provides solace for a short time but that is wearing thin for players and most fans. Both physical and mental ability equal a good team and after a certain point if you lack one it doesn’t matter how good the other because you are not the best team without both

  261. Paul N – oh I dunno how about we were created in the image of God, that God is benevolent and kind, that women are inferior to men, that man is separate from the animal kingdom, that heaven and hell exist, that homosexuals go to hell, and nuns and priests to heaven, that non-believers go to hell.

    Any of those lies would do for a start.

    Granted many believers are blind enough to believe without question but most accept these untruths and are instead selective about belief. That’s just fucking lying in my book.

    I do not have great love of all of Dawkins work but to suggest evolution is a pseudo-science shows you have fundamentally misunderstood the subject. It is not something that is open for debate (at least amongst the scientific community). In spite of what the creationists might have us believe, evolution is as tangible and real a science as quantum physics or chemistry.

  262. Gooner Andy Are you fairy sure man?

  263. Quantum physics. Now there is something you will never understand.

  264. Well said goonerandy as someone wiser than me once said – “The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike”

    Oh and…
    “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours”

  265. ZING!

  266. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    (vomits in the direction of Luke and goonerandy)

    OMG! Only 47 days left and of course Wenger is just sitting around on his boney arse while the Mancs are turning into the new Invincibles! Wenger OUT! Mourinho and Usmanov IN!

  267. Andy,

    All the finger pointing and laughing would not stop me wearing this kit with pride , i loved this strip.

  268. sorry but is anyone really affriad of Young and Jones??? and this De gea, well he is replacing a great keeper anyway so hard to be an improvement so whats the big deal.

  269. Willian i dont understand it but the other me does!

  270. Probably true William, as Bohr himself said –

    “Those who are not shocked when they first come across quantum theory cannot possibly have understood it.”

    :0)

    So how bout them Gunner’s eh?

  271. Johnny we haven’t got much to talk about in terms of the Gunners. Unless transfer speculation is your cup of tea. It certainly isn’t mine. If any of the tabloid reports were true, we would have signed Gervinho about 15 times, Cahill at least 20, Samba somewhere near 20 as well. You catch my drift.

    This “God Delusion” debate has sparked a little of my interest. Me thinks I may have to read it!

  272. @Jonny

    Its lying in “YOUR” book. As long as you make that disclaimer, it is all good. All you have said it that you dont believe which is your right and I fully respect your right to say it.

    Evolution is in fact psuedo science in the way it is presented as ultimate truth and an ultimate fact of how things came to be. I fully understand it and its implications, I have read enough and talked to enough people to come to the conclusion that without faith you cannot fully embrace it.

  273. Please stop with the religion argument. It will only cause more argument which then leads to abuse.

  274. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Good to hear you’re back and in one piece, LimparAssist. The Eels fucking rule. They are way too underrated, IMO. I need some Novacaine for my soul after reading that apalling Manc love in earlier. I agree with your views on the table never lie crowd, too. It’s funny how everything has to be so black and white with some of these pricks.

  275. Paul N – Evolution is presented as a science: conclusion supported by evidence, by hard facts. You don’t need ‘faith’ to understand evolution – that’s the departure point between religion and science.

    Scientists are only interested in proof and evidence and evolution does explain how all animals and organisms are interconnected – it just doesn’t tell us why.

  276. nothing clears the room more then a deep conversation about god.

  277. William – Delusion is worth reading but, as I said earlier, ‘God is Not Great’ by Christopher Hitchens is the real daddy.

    And yeah this transfer rubbish has left me real cold for a long while now.

  278. Not even manc worship, dukeg. :0)

  279. Duke I would much rather debate this stuff than argue with Bill about the credentials of the Arsenal. Jonny I’ll do myself some research on that book. Thanks

  280. I’m off for the night everyone. See ya tomorro

  281. Paul Merson’s autobiography is a good read too. The fact that he is still alive and kicking proves there must be a god somewhere! 😀

  282. This should upset a few fans

    “Denílson’s agent Gerardo Santiago says if no deal happens in the next few days, he’ll focus on joining Arsenal for pre-season.”

  283. Duke you waiting for the debate to turn ugly before you jump in?

    Any Scientologists around? I might be interested in picking up on a few.

  284. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Lmfao. Look for a spike in suicides over at Le Groan, fuckoffspud

  285. Dups,

    No players bought so far. And on top of this, you give us this news.

    I personally believe now, that Arsene is just fucking with the doomers now. No signings so far and keeping Denilson. Best news I have heard all summers. I expect mass suicides tomorrow in the Doomer Kingdom.

    In Arsene we trust!!!

  286. John Cross (the tosser) reckons we will sell Nasri to the mancs and Cesc to Barca next week. Will they ever stop this shit.

  287. An Open Letter to Ray Parlour;

    Dear Ray

    You were a great servant to the Arsenal. I loved your battling never say die attitude coupled with your gret footballing qualities. Sure you werent as technically gifted as some of your team mates, but you added fight, bite and an eye for the spectacular goal too. Who can forget our strike vs the Chavs in the FA Cup final? The now infamous “Its only Ray Parlour” wonder strike! And since hanging up your boots, you have been true to your Arsenal roots, always backing the club, team and manager whenever you are on Sky Sports news.

    But I just have one smal issue I would like to raise with you Ray.

    Please, for the love of (Paul N’s) God. STOP FUCKING GOING ON TALKSHITE FUCKING RADIO TELLING ANYONE WHO’LL LISTEN THAT WENGER SHOULD SIGN EVERY FUCKING ENGLISH PLAYER GOING! JERMAINE DEFOE WILL NEVER EVER BE ANYTHING LIKE IAN WRIGHT MATE. NEXT YOU’LL BE TELLING US WE SHOULD SIGN MATTHEW FLAMING UPSON AS HE IS THE NEW TONY ADAMS MARK 2!

    All the best

    Dexter

  288. John Cross is an amoral classless tabloid hack, just like the left wing hacks in the 80s who wrote for the Sun. Sold his fucking soul that cunt.

  289. Never liked the tosser (John Cross not Ray Parlour) myself Dex.

  290. If the papers had to reproduce all the “exclusives” these football hacks come out with, in a big list, they would show how much shite they completely make up and how many times they are just plain wrong. Its pathetic that there is no come back and no quality control with regard to their output. Scum bags the lot of them

  291. Last seasons Mirror exclusive

    “Joe-Cole-will-sign-for-Arsenal-after-the-World-Cup”

  292. Some absolutely wretched comments on Twitter tonight – from people who should know better.

  293. People like Tim the AST man perhaps.

  294. The trouble with the Mirror rumours is all the idiot fans will be clicking on the site at 1am giving them unwarranted hits.

  295. After we crushed Blackpool in the beginning of the season, John Cross warned that promoted teams who played it on the ground and didn’t play to their strengths, like hoofball sides do, would get relegated. The only promoted team that did get relegated was Blackpool, but that was more because they lacked resources and not because they played proper football. They actually did quite well for themselves until the last few months where they imploded. West Brom and Newcastle, however, stayed up. The hoofball teams were worse off this season as they finished 13th (Stoke), 14th (Bolton), 15th (Blackburn), 17th (Wolves) and one of them got relegated (Birmingham) after having finished 9th (Birmingham), 10th (Blackburn), 11th (Stoke), 13th (Bolton) and 14th (Wolves) in 09/10. Conclusion? John Cross is a hack who follows common football cliches and doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about.

  296. Yeah, for starters, dups. Wall-to-wall gloom and sneering, smartarse comments.

    That Tim Stillman guy looks like he knows what he’s on about though.

  297. LOL,, i bet the jerk who put him up for sale on eBay is having fuses popin in his head.

  298. Even if that article’s true then there are still lots of options for Denilson – if he doesn’t want to stay, and we don’t want to keep him, then a season-long loan would be a good idea. If he can find some form in La Liga or Serie A then the whole thing could work out quite nicely for everyone next summer.

  299. good point,, or we can maybe use him in a position that s more natural for him. a position he has played most of his professional life. further up field.

  300. Suppose it was a bad idea having that Espresso!

    Gains

    No surprises that John Cross follows the hack herd in his cliche ridden ‘prose’ mate. Its like a boys club, they all go to the games together nd decide amongst themselves the angle and agena they will take, probbly before the match has even happened! During the off season thats when they are allowed to let their imaginations run riot; with the same old tired bullshite!

  301. wish it was stoke and wolves that had joined birmi down the tube instead of wh and blackpool. would have made for much better quality of football in the coming season.
    of the teams promoted this year, which are footballing clubs and which play butcherball.?? anyone up??

  302. Excellent looks like Denilson Perreira Neves is staying. You show them, son.

  303. Sorry, young man, ‘Pereira’ it is.

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