Swanning Around, Defensive Decisions & More

The Swansea fixture is now firmly on the horizon, normality in the football world restored after the rude interruption of internationals. Early team news is positive, Theo Walcott‘s hamstring never developed full knack and he is apparently ready, raring to go.

Kieran Gibbs meanwhile is also in contention although no doubt the medical team are also on standby for one of the most ill-starred players ever as far as injuries go. An interesting choice for Wenger is whether to let Gibbs rest further, rehabilitating fully or simply to go with Santos anyway in view of his greater experience.

Deciding on the central defensive pairing is Arsène’s biggest decision. Whilst I understand that the choice is for this weekend, there is a larger aspect, namely the Champions League and beyond.

Mertesacker must surely play against Dortmund having experience of the stadium and players, their style and quirks, nuances that a scouting report may not pick up on. The decision is therefore whether or not to start the German in his first game there, using training sessions for he and Koscielny to gain understanding. Or, is it more profitable to use them as a pairing in the Swansea match?

Personally, I would go with the latter.

Per Mertesacker has been the target of disparaging remarks already. No sooner had the ink dried on his contract than he was labelled a poor man’s Gary Cahill which is simply bizarre given the vast difference in their experience. Unless, of course, those who think that are bamboozled by the run of results that has seen England rise to the top of their qualifying group for Euro2012.

A number of the complaints have come from the rampagingly incoherence of tabloid radio and journalism, reports that condemn him for having ‘the turning circle of a barge‘ whilst not knowing anything about the player. If they had an original thought, his critics would probably find themselves on a murder charge.

Long gone are the days where performances for the club decide whether or not a player is good enough, now the instant judgement of a packet mix media form the opinions of the masses.

It is always amusing when players are criticised for being part of a side that concedes a high number of goals, as if they are solely responsible for that attribute. When critics get it wrong, it is even funnier.

Mertesacker has been tainted by that accusation on the basis that Bremen conceded 61 goals last season. If that is the case, Cahill is nowhere near the solution since Bolton conceded only five fewer. No wait, they are Premier League goals which are worth more than their Bundesliga equivalent.

Aaron Ramsey believes that things will improve this weekend. No doubt the team meeting that Tomas Rosicky believes will happen, will contribute toward that, as well as the newbies wearing a name tag so that everyone knows who they are.

Quite simply, it has to get better. There are still over one hundred points up for grabs and a gap that is not in double digits is emminently retrievable at this stage of the season. And if Mikel Arteta believes the title is on, perhaps we should give the man the benefit of the doubt, especially since his jib is cut in the finest way.

’til Tomorrow.


Posted on September 8, 2011, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 352 Comments.

  1. Great post as always

  2. precious owo nigeria

    We are raring to go….up gunners

  3. and i guess cahill being over 6feet,has the turning circle of a rat

  4. Excellent article, Well said

  5. Mertersacker and Koscielny must play together against Swansea if only to avoid playing Djourou with the form he’s in. If we can’t beat Swansea even with a new Centre Back pairing then we are in real trouble and I can’t believe we are. Also didn’t Bremen concede a lot when PM spent a while out injured?

  6. Sedetganw Degafi

    Good post. Play Kos and Ignel in central defence. Djoru will make the usual mistake. Then, Met will have time to forge an understanding with Kos for the next game.

  7. Nice write up, YW. I’d rest both Walcott and Gibbs. It is a long season and they could each come off the bench. We need a good result and performance but I’d take no risks given how many long-term injuries we have currently.

  8. Cahill could have been our Adams. He is better then Jags n Lescott and Phil bloody (if you really beleive we bidded £15.6m for him) Jones and is quick which would suit our high line( no wait we have changed style this year and will be defending deep and hitting long balls) anyway i’m sure Metersacker is just as good but what he has is that German mentality which we are crying out for.

  9. Bringing it all back to reality and normality. Yogi you are a don.

  10. Got to agree with Billboy.

    If Cahill comes at Christmas or the end of the year it will show why we do not have another player lined up before Djourou – I would like to see two more before him. Kozzer and Per will be working together this season and the sooner they start the better.

    Resting players did for us last season as the squad was not up to it. Look this year, we are discussing should Santos or Gibbs start, there is more robustness in our options, but in the role of CD we still look decidedly thin.

  11. Yogi, Santos at left back please! Excellent chance at a successful debut. Djourou and Koscielny will be given the chance of ‘redemption’. Arteta will start with Frimpong and Ramsey. Theo on the right, VanPersie middle and Park on the left.


  12. SA,

    Cahill i dont think will come now coz Chelsea are now sniffing around and City have made their interset known, funny how two good performances for England have now got everyone interested when we were very interested before but our lack of investing knowhow has let the team down again.

  13. Looking forward to the Swansea game with great optimism.
    I have often wondered why Arsenal, with its clearly gifted players, fare so badly sometimes against lower league opposition. The answer could be that the opposition team have better team spirit and determination. Losing Cesc may not be a bad thing in hindsight – as depending on one person to lift the team up is fraught with its own dangers. The new signings – none of them in the ‘world class’ bracket – may be just what we need.

  14. The axe is raised over Mert even before he kicks a ball for the Arsenal. I saw the dumbest piece of journalism this year on goal.com. The writer totally crucified Per based on the game between Germany and Poland.

    This was his closing remark, “Every player, especially one with
    Mertesacker’s experience, deserves a chance
    to prove himself, and it would be unfair to
    write him off just yet. But Arsenal fans be
    warned: Mertesacker is more likely to be a
    Senderos, Stepanovs or Cygan than he is a
    Keown, Adams or Kolo Toure.”

    I guess this is one of those ‘I told you so articles’
    here’s the link if you are interested,


  15. Lets all click on the link and keep the hack in a job.

  16. Does any body think that Oxo should get a start?

    Personally I think he should because he was good enough to get thrown to the wolves at utd so I’m guessing that he wants to take it out on somebody and where better to exercise some demons than v Swansea?

    I’m also guessing that right now the media are shitting themselves regarding our new players because they have been doing their doomsday Wenger, crap years now and now it’s a case of “careful what you have wished for”. They know first hand what Wenger, is capable of and what the end result was the last time he got it right.

    No sooner had Wenger, made them happy by seeming to bow to their “buy buy buy” pressure he straight away pissed them off again by not signing Parker & Cahill.

    I noticed the other day Mr O Coil was telling “Sky Arry Sources” that nobody came in with a double figure for Cahill but, spuds made a last minute bid which was also rejected.

    Rejected it was but, it wasn’t classed as “derogatory” or “a joke” or “not even close”.
    As was the so say figure Arsenal put up. Neither was it shown every 10mins or on every link on NewsNow.

    Very strange? Not strange at all it’s just the way all things to do with Arsenal FC get handled by the so called media.

    Personally, I think that the media c**ts are crapping it and praying that Santos does not skin 4 Swansea players before he unleashes a left foot cannon shot into the top right corner.

    They are praying that Per and Kos don’t put a commanding performance capped off with Per scoring a bullet header from an in swinging Van Persie corner.

    And most of all they are praying to their god every night that Mikel doesn’t pull the strings all day and stroking the ball about the place to feet.

    I f-king hate the media so much.

    Up The Arsenal!

  17. greetings all.
    things looking much better than a fortnight ago.

    Swansea @ home’s as good a time to give our newbies the chance to strut their stuff.

    “Show us what u got Per Mertesacker”
    “Show us what u got Andre Santos”
    “Show us what u got Mikel Arteta”

    I’d start all 3, have Benayoun & Park on the bench.
    Good to have Gibbs back & Theo “uninjured”.

    vs SWANSEA (H) 10/09/11
    01 Szczesny
    02 Sagna
    03 Santos
    04 Koscielny
    05 Mertesacker
    06 Frimpong
    07 Walcott
    08 Ramsey
    09 RvP
    10 Arteta
    11 Arshavin

    SUBS:Fabianski, Gibbs, Djourou, Rosicky, Benayoun, Chamakh, Park, Chamberlain

    A single goal win is what i expect.
    Swansea won’t be easy. They’ve been together for a lot longer than us but hopefully our quality should shine through.

    Anyone know Squillaci’s return date from injury?..Yogi?

  18. Frankly the disparaging remarks concerning Merts are farcical. Only the English press could label the signing of a player with 76 German caps by the age of 26, Champs league experience and for 9 mil as a bad thing. It only confirms the bias of the English press when dealing with with comparisons with English players and the hype surrounding them. It’s the reason English players are so expensive and the reason why England are so rubbish at major tournaments…. just like the Germans….. oh hang on..

  19. Aman | September 8, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Please allow me to make one amendment to your proposal:

    01 Szczesny
    02 Sagna
    03 Santos
    04 Koscielny
    05 Mertesacker
    06 Frimpong
    07 Walcott
    08 Ramsey
    09 RvP
    10 Arteta
    11 Chamberlain for Arshavin

    SUBS:Fabianski, Gibbs, Djourou, Rosicky, Benayoun, Chamakh, Park, Chamberlain

    “Anyone know Squillaci’s return date from injury?..Yogi?”

    Not to be a doomer but, players like Squillachi are everything wrong at our club. He’s had his chances and to me he hasn’t shown anything to suggest that he will reach the standard required to not only play for The Arsenal but, to play in the Premiership. It’s just not there.

    Djouru, has lost the little bit of faith I had in him as has Song. I would like these players to move on and wish them the very best for the future. I just don’t trust them in our shirt any more. I would like to see back up for the both of them.

  20. vs SWANSEA (H) 10/09/11
    01 Szczesny
    02 Sagna
    03 Santos
    04 Koscielny
    05 Mertesacker
    06 Frimpong
    07 Walcott
    08 Ramsey
    09 RvP
    10 Arteta
    11 Arshavin

    I agree with that lineup and think thats what AW will go with. Give three of the new guys a runout atleast, because we’ll be needing heavily so soon.

    Really need to see this Oxo chap strut his stuff. I’m totally excited about him.

  21. Goonerton – Lost faith in Song? WTF?

  22. JimmyD,

    I do get a fair bit of slagging off for my views on Song but, I stand by them. Maybe now that he has somebody pushing him for his place he will get back to the seriousness of a Defensive Midfielder but, for too long he has been making stupid mistakes which normally cost us eg. Conceding silly free kicks just outside the box when he has lost the ball trying to hang on to it for too long and being nowhere to be seen when our attack breaks down leaving the back four totally exposed.

    Seen it too many times.

  23. good morning all,
    one game at a time. should never take any opponent lightly even the newly promoted. looking forward to the game. UP THE GUNS!!!
    ps. some great input from you limestone on yesterdays post. logical and informative. keep it up.

  24. “Djouru, has lost the little bit of faith I
    had in him as has Song. I would like
    these players to move on and wish
    them the very best for the future. I
    just don’t trust them in our shirt any
    more. I would like to see back up for
    the both of them.”

    Song? What has he done other than show he’s a top top player? I understand his usual foray forward, but he does his job admirably.

    Well, I guess we can’t all be satisfied with everybody.

  25. Werder Bremen conceded 61 goals, yet Mertesacker was injured for a lot of last season. You could even write it that they conceded 61 goals BECAUSE a class international with vast experience wasn’t playing. Or would that not fit with the media’s stories 🙂

  26. Yogi,

    A good piece again. The Swansea match is a great opportunity for us to get the show back on the road.

    Just one point about another growing trend among the fans. Johan is now being called a bad defender, accident prone, a risk etc, etc. If “a week’s along time in politics,” then it’s even longer in football. On his return from injury at the start of just one season ago, I seem to recall him being heralded as the second coming. Indeed, his early partnership with Kos kept a raft of clean sheets. No argument, he was immense. Yes: he does seem to be a confidence player and needs to supported and fit to give of his best but has already proven his ability. Fast forward to post-28/08 and all is forgotten. A similar phenomenon seems to impact with our memories concerning former players (Cesc a recent and obvious case in point) where their past and loyal service is forgotten in outbursts of uncontrolled bile. I’d like to put this down to the obvious youthfulness of many of the commentators but believe many are known to be grown adults. Maybe this is just a reflection of our consumerist present but it makes me sick. Anyway, onto matters more important.

    I hope PM4 gets the nod this weekend as there’s unlikely to be a better fixture to blood him and to begin to settle the new team. I’m cautious (but nevertheless) in my optimism.


  27. dukeGoonem | September 8, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Ignasi Miguel, is our new Tony Adams.

    I know he’s not English and most prob doesn’t sink a few pre match bevies but, this kid has got it all.

  28. Duke

    You are right about the untimely games for England, but even with those rumors you never know. It may be about the money, no PL footballers are desperate though and not everyone wants to be a prostitute working for pimps and gangsters. He may not want to leave that area and Shiite-y will suit him or he may want to get the hell out. Any move may be about football aspirations and that will depend on Arsenal for the next few months. Cahill’s future is a lot brighter than six months ago and he could now go anywhere, Arsenal had a big part to play in that, we will have to see how we go in the PL and the CL.

  29. Wow Goonerton…Song out eh?
    Don’t really see why..but to each his ow.

    As for Squilly, I expect a marked improvement from playing with more experienced defenders. First though he needs to be fit.

    As much pain as they’ve caused us in the past, we should always have options confident & available in case of injuries. You earn a salary, u should be ready to play.
    With greater all-inclusive team confidence everyone wins.
    I’d even make sure Almunia’s ready anytime to man the sticks.

  30. goonerton,

    Your views are not unfamiliar. Nor are they, IMO, worth considering. Song plays a role as part of a fluid system. Your criticisms are more a challenge of that system and an innate self belief that you can better determine his abilities and role than Song, his team mates or, indeed, the manager. You will excuse me if I question that confidence.

  31. Goonerton – I respectfully disagree but there is no point trying to convince someone who has already made their mind up.

    Tateezee – Whole heartedly agree on the Djorou point. the partnership with Kos was immense and his form only dropped badly when rushed back from injury after dislocating his shoulder against the red mancs in the FA cup. He will get back to where he was providing the crowd do their bit supporting him in his time of need.

  32. tateezee | September 8, 2011 at 10:31 am

    I’m not saying he’s a bad player us I just think that in some of his performances he struts around as if it wasn’t serious and commits really stupid and very voidable free kicks near our goal. A majority is when has lost the ball f-ing around and to make matters worse the player he fouled was running straight into one of our defenders.

    Immature things like that which I’m hoping he won’t do any more because he now knows that he can’t just turn up knowing that his name is definitely on the team sheet because now for the fist time in years he is being pushed for his place.

  33. “Ambition is the desire for personal achievement. It provides the motivation and determination necessary to achieve goals in life. Ambitious people seek to be the best at what they choose to do for attainment, power, or superiority.”

    Where does it say spend shit loads of money?

    (This is carrying on from last night,not just a random remark 🙂 )

  34. Dgob,

    He’s not a bad player when fully focused I have to give him that.

    The system we play still doesn’t account for the silly free kicks conceded or the immature stamping when you know how many cameras there are in the game these days.

    You can’t blame any sort of system for that.

  35. Aman | September 8, 2011 at 10:39 am

    I agree with you on the Almunia, aspect. And half agree that maybe with more experienced players eg. Per. Maybe we will see a totally different Squillachi but, I don’t want to become a on going experiment where we try it out for 3/4 seasons like we have done with bendtner.

  36. Nobody should be condemned for stamping on Joey Barton,The condemnation should be because he did not cripple him.

  37. I think both Diaby and Song suffer the wrath of fans because of their languid style of play i.e. long legged and their self-confidence in their own ability.

    Admittedly when gives away a silly free kick it frustrates me as much as the next man but all DM’s do this but with other team’s players it is seen as a tactical foul. It is our defense’s ability to deal with the free kick that is the issue (an No, I don’t mean just the defenders but the whole team)

  38. I agree with the person who says that Ignasi Miquel is our bright spark in defence.

    Especially with the option of Alex Song for 5th or 6th choice backup – I don’t see Wenger adding to a central defence of Vermaelen, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Djourou, Squillaci and Miquel. How many central defenders can you have in a team?

    I think in midfield, it will be a start for Frimpong, Rosicky and either Rambo or Arteta. Considering the likelihood of 2 new defensive players starting (Santos and Mertesacker), I don’t think Wenger will opt for 2 yoofs with arteta. That’s too many changes with new folks. Rosicky is more likely to start to be replaced with Arteta once the game is settled. With Jack’s absense, Rambo is likely to be given more pitch time to build momentum, especially after his performance on Tuesday at Wembley.

  39. JimmyD says:
    September 8, 2011 at 10:43 am

    I have heard that a lot, saying Djorou’s performances started derailing after the injury at old trafford. But that was since March. I think that excuse has been overused. Not saying Djorou’s not a good defender, I just wonder why it is taking him time to find his best form. He seems too calm to play central defence, he needs a little bit of aggression. I also thinks he waits for the ball rather than attack it. There’s nothing wrong with hoofball as a central defender.

    goonerton says:
    September 8, 2011 at 10:44 am

    I agree that Song dwells on the ball a little bit too long atimes (like Diaby), but most times he gets it right by wriggling out of tight situations. Yes, there’s the occasional lapse in concentration and needless fouling in around our penalty box, but I think he’s getting those out of his game gradually. Good thing to have competition between him and Frimmers, it can only bring out the best in him even if I think he’s still far ahead of Frimmers (like Gibbs and Clichy)

  40. This Song slagging better stop quick sharp I tell ya what.

    I’m all for giving Ignasi chances but he needs to be fully involved with the first team and training with them first. Hopefully he can form the basis of our Carling and FA Cup team this year. Along with others on the fringes of first team places, like Mannone ( + Fabianski even), Afobe, Aneke, Coquelin, Ox, Ryo, Eastmond, and with backup from experienced players in need of game time.

  41. Ok George, I’ll bite.
    Two questions:
    1)Are you one of those that agree that moving stadiums was a sign of our ‘ambition’?
    2)Was moving stadium not about raising revenue (money)?

  42. Tateezee – Thanks for the response, I kind of agree but a dislocated shoulder impacts on someones ability to run and also the willingness to go shoulder to shoulder with a player. I do agree he seems to get caught in two minds about attacking the first ball or mopping up (hangover from starting out as a DM??)

  43. LMFAO! Ok no more Song debate. Markus.

    After this one.


    That’s exactly what I’m saying. Now that Song will be pushed for a place we are likely to see him play on the level I know he can because I have seen it from him before.

    On the Frimpong thing, I believe that if he didn’t pick up that nasty unlucky injury before the start of last season he wouldn’t be that far from Song now.

  44. goonerton @ 10:54,
    Squilly leaves after this season. No experiment u say..what happens if we lose 3 CBs back to back?…u start blaming AW & our medics again?

    Miquel does look the (future) business doesn’t he?

    Can’t wait to see what Park, Ryo & AOC bring to the picture.

  45. Henristic

    I know you directed at George but:

    1) yes, it wasa sign of our ambition
    2) yes, they aren’t mutually exclusive conditions are they

    Apologies if I have mis-interpreted your question

  46. I hope walcott’s not feeling the pressure of competition for a place in the squad by trying to rush in early after his injury, but if declared fit would not mind him playing a role against swansea, I think per should start against swansea as the opposition may not be of the quality of chelsea, manu but would be a good way to step into the premier league & grow in confidence, bt dat is up to Wenger to decide, in general happy with the new set of players & confidence they are currently showing, the team looks more positive now.

  47. Goonerton,
    I find Iam exactly on your wavelength. All valid points. I’d add that Song is so often tackling from the wrong side. Can’t somebody explain this to him or does he just not take it in. He has good games but I think Frimpong will leave him miles behind in the next couple of years.
    Miquel looks calm and assured and you can’t say that about many of the centre backs that have (dis)graced our team in recent years.
    Good to see Pedantic George hasn’t lost his childishness and his double standards.

  48. JimmyD,

    I was trying to show that the argument that ambition (in football terms) isn’t about money is bollocks.

    Especially if we measure our clubs ambition by efforts to increase our spending power.

  49. *Especially if we measure our clubs ambition by (their) efforts to increase our spending power (i.e. stadium move).

  50. I really hope Djourou’s pissed that after 8 years at the club he could be relegated to 4th choice, takes the time to heal whatever body part’s been the problem, gets stronger psychologically and asserts himself this season with some SUPERB performances…or else?

    he could be gone after this season

  51. Song, arguably the best DM in the PL and one our most consistent performers.

    I think its easy for some of is to point out flaws, thats what we do but what about some of the positives?

  52. Double standards?
    example please?Billyboy.

  53. I’ve been thinking, a team requires two things to win the title, QUALITY and COMMITMENT.

    IMO, Arsenal have been lacking in both aspects in previous seasons. We haven’t been able to strike the required balance between both. In terms of quality, we lacked the required depth in many positions, as seen in the inability of our second string to perform well in the cup comps. Our first 11 can take on any team and win on their day,but our backup was usually disappointing. Many of the players lacked the right level of commitment (I mean aggression, never say die attitude), we seem to just want to stroll through games atimes. Even a 4 goal lead didn’t guarantee victory. It’s almost as if we fear to concede goals (this could be psychological though). There’s no problem with conceding goals, its how we respond that matters.

    In terms of quality, I don’t know if we have improved collectively, because of the torrid start we’ve had to the season. Individually, I believed we have improved considerably especially in terms of squad depth. I guarantee we have massively improved in commitment though as evident in many of the matches played already this season. Our loss at OT was due, more to lack of quality than commitment, even at 3-1, we were still going for it.

    I honestly hope we can find the right balance. Let the season begin on Saturday

  54. Darius – “I think in midfield, it will be a start for Frimpong, Rosicky and either Rambo or Arteta. Considering the likelihood of 2 new defensive players starting (Santos and Mertesacker), I don’t think Wenger will opt for 2 yoofs with arteta. That’s too many changes with new folks. Rosicky is more likely to start to be replaced with Arteta once the game is settled. With Jack’s absense, Rambo is likely to be given more pitch time to build momentum, especially after his performance on Tuesday at Wembley”

    I thought Artetea would start, but what you have said makes perfect sense.

  55. Bilboy,

    That’s one of my main moans regarding Song. He makes too many tackles from the side.
    Many defensive players commit this type of foul but, Song does it too may times of late and you have to wonder isn’t somebody speaking to him about it during training?

    Nobody shouldn’t need to speak to him because he’s a professional getting pain a shit load of £s and I’m sure he watches his re-runs of his performances from time to time and must know that it normally cost us.

    He’s still a top player but, for the amount of playing time he get’s I would like to see these things cut out of his game.

    But, end of the day I think that Frimpong, will make that position his own within the near future.

  56. tateezee, there were too many changes in the cup competitions. Hard to expect them to just click without playing together a lot. I Dont think it was due to a lack of quality.

  57. Miguel, is class.

  58. Ramey and Rosicky have both played two internationals. Arteta has been training with us and is raring to go. Would be very surprised if he didn’t make the line up on Saturday.

  59. Gosh, another exciting season in store! Noticeably, SAF, fount of all knowledge and all things quotable in football, refused to write off Arsenal as title contenders, alongside Chelsea, City and now Liverpool, as well as one other, Spuds? Can’t be surely. Can it?

    It’s as if the season is just starting isn’t it, only in our case with an 8 point forfeit, so we have make up 9 points to win it from here. Good. Bring it on.

    I doubt Arteta will start, but I am guessing Santos will, or not depending how training looked today or tomorrow, and Gibbs’ actual condition. All in all, better to start with the known team; who knows what goes on in that man’s mind, Le Boss, Wenger, the hawk nose and furrowed brow and look of such intensity it might just kill something?

  60. Goonerton,
    Couldn’t agree more.

  61. I like Song. Since he became a starter in our midfield he has not really had anybody challeneg him for his place. Hopefully the emergence of Frimpong will push him on to improve.

    I also like the idea in certain circumstances of both of them sitting deeper with a Wilshere or Arteta in front of them.

  62. goonerton, Look how many free kicks we gave away just outside the box (and coneeded from) against United when Song didn’t play.

  63. Naturally, the fans will be disappointed not to see Arteta and Mertz, as the two ‘big deal’ signings, on paper that is. I would start Arteta, I feel his attitude is spot on, and his versatility and solidity such that he could slot in fastest of all, and rest Rosicky. OK, so I’ve changed my mind. I think Djourou then will start, and Gibbs too.

    On second thoughts, I don’t have a clue. I depend on YW’s “hotline”.

  64. In my opinion Song was possibly one of our most improved players last season. To be honest I can’t remember any time where we suffered and conceded a goal directly because of Song’s attacks, but on the other hand he did score quite a few goals with that — especially important goals. We lacked goals from midfield and Song, just like Sagna, found a new side to his play which he used effectively. I also wonder if people that criticise Song for what he did never noticed that we rotate in midfield. When Song did one of his attacking runs, one of the other midfielders would usually stay a bit back. So it’s not like we went gung-ho with everyone just going forward.

  65. Paul-N says:
    September 8, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Well, that may explain the poor performances by the second string. I only hope we do not carry it on this season.

    Markus says:
    September 8, 2011 at 11:51 am

    “Ramey and Rosicky have both played
    two internationals…”

    Rosicky played only against Scotland but was left out in the friendly vs Ukraine

  66. Well from what I remember the team lost something when Song didnt play last season.

    He is a boss DM but could easily play further up the field. His dribbling, passing and shooting abilities are very good.

    Excellent player!

  67. Paul N – spot on.

    At the beginning of last season Song was getting forward and scoring. I don’t think it is a coincidence that when he started to stay back more we started to become toothless in attack.

  68. Mertz is too tall, too German,(hell that’s almost “European” and you know what that means; he eats funny, talks funny, has a funny name, and doesn’t know shit about real football), he has played in that joke Bundesliga conceding goals like a paper bag with holes in it, doesn’t know what oop North could possibly mean for his shins, knees, ankle and the odd poke in the eye, and has the turning circle of a lunar landing.

    I think he’ll shine.

  69. Frimpong will allow Song to get forward more.

  70. The Cahill love-in is a tiny bit sickening, because he is no way as good as some people make him out to be. However, I still think if we can get a pre-agreement with him in January that we should definitely sign him up (for decent wages, obviously), because he would certainly make a good number 4 or 5 in the team.

  71. Goonerton,
    Can’t believe anyone bit at your silliness. However, just look at the only people who supported you and measure that against the quality of the posters who tried to gently ease you back into your straight jacket.

  72. Gosh, people who think Song isn’t already rated by all teams and most top players as consistently one of the top three defensive-minded midfield players in the EPL are a bit dull aren’t they? Cement is also dull. Grey weather is dull. Most newspapers are the dullest of all. Maybe I meant dumb.

  73. Our second string or back up players are just that,
    Why would you expect them to be as good as first team players?If they were that good they would not be back up!

  74. songs alright but thats all he can have good games but those who say he holds onto the ball and loses it in the final third are right, end of, oh yes he does, if thats good enough for some Arsenal fans then ok, not for me though, i want better players at the club, i always want that, but hey i guess thats just stupid according to nsome who know more than me, which is probably everyone but hey. Chamberlin is going to be proper good and i see a future of him n Jack as midfield partners in the same vein as iniesta and xavi, frimpong in behind, course thats 4 years away, start again i say

  75. Duke,You must have a better TV set than me ,because Cahil look nothing better than ordinary to me in his only 2 competitive internationals (aged 26).

  76. Boomer ,I want Messi and Ronaldo,but guess what?

  77. Pass – from t’other night – you’ll have to lead that one yourself I’m afraid. I’m sure the Upper North Bank will oblige. I shan’t be at a game until November as I’m off round Europe for a couple of months leaving tonight.

    Enjoy the football everyone – I have a feeling we are in for some absolutely sparkling stuff this year. Direct, fast, experienced new blood who are – more importantly than all else – head over feet about playing for The Arsenal. Coming into tight-knit squad of Arsenal players; friends who’ve seen it all, desperate to impress and succeed together after so many nearly days. Great combination I think. Intelligent footballers all. Piece of cake to get behind this team isn’t it?

    And at the head of it the greatest coach Arsenal ever had – on paper – and the greatest ever coach full stop on the football pitch IMO. Breathtakingly courageous, noble figure in a landscape increasingly full of useless dickheads. Get behind him, he gives his life to the club.

    If you see a Black cardigan shuffling down the Holloway road you might want to tell him that. After you give him a wedgie.

    Catch you in November, ACLF. Top of the league by Christmas.


  78. Darius has written an excellent article,again, over at Stone Cold Arsenal,people should drop in and support his site.
    Proper Gooners should support each other.There is surly room for two such sites.And simultaneous discussions.

  79. LimparAssist.Legend,absolute fucking class Gooner.I am doffing my hat as we speak.

  80. Have a good one Limpar.

  81. Have fun Limpar.

  82. Yogi – thanks for your endless energy and optimism……a true warrior!

    Limpar – excellent overview and I support your end of December prophecy.

    Despite being a newly promoted club, Swansea will be a good defensive test – fluid movement – understanding – player commitment. Reminds me of Birmingham City’s play two season’s ago.

    re: line up
    I agree with ZimPaul “On second thought, I don’t have a clue.”

    It’s fun picking a starting line up……we will have to wait to see our managers’ choices.

    It is both exciting and refreshing to have debate about who will start at CB, LB, midfield, and attack. What an Arsenal of talent!

    All teams experience road bumps in a season, we have exited ours and now start a long journey of scintillating play.

    Doomers and media…..Eat my Guns!

  83. Nice post yogi

    The game this weekend is sort of a lose/lose situation for us. If we win it’s only Swansea, however if we lose it’s truly crisis time. I hope we play our strongest team and not think about resting players. A loss or a draw would really be mentally devastating. Taking games like this lightly has been a bad habit of this teams for several years. Losing to the baggies and bar codes at home last year was certainly a prelude to what happened in the last 1/3 of the season. No repeats please.

    I think we only have ourselves to blame for the comments about per’s turning radius being like a barge I remember quite well being told the same thing in exactly those words many times by some very loyal gooners whenever I said we should get a stay at home CB and mentioned his name as a possible candidate. I guess the media does pick things up from our blog. Hopefully moving to London has improved his turning radius. (little winking smiley face)

  84. Mertesacker is “less mobile” than our other centre backs, of that, there is no doubt. But he is also very good at things which our center backs are not. Its all about the mix no?

  85. Bill,I cant see anyone taking this particular game lightly,It is huge.Huge is a much over used word these days so perhaps I should say its humongous.

  86. Looks like we got some of Geoff’s sheep here planting some Alex Song is shite seeds here I see. Goonerton is wrong about Song. On the one hand he talks about giving away silly fouls, then he says that Frimpong will be taking over that postion very soon. Have you watched Frimpong play yet? He’s by far the more reckless and inexperienced of the two if you haven’t noticed. Frimpong is nowhere near Song’s level yet.

  87. I never thought there’d be a silver lining to the propaganda and bullshit that the media spew out daily on the subject of our club. However a work colleague just bet me a fiver Arsene would be gone by christmas. Easiest money I ever made.
    When I said that I couldn’t see anyone touching us for the prem this year they all reacted with amusement and another offered me money that they wouldn’t finish above 6th.
    Now to to decide what to spend it on.

  88. Safe travels, LimparAssist. Tear Europe a new one man. We’re gonna miss your wit and positivity.

  89. “Mertesacker is “less mobile” than our other centre backs, of that, there is no doubt”
    Based on what? Of course there is doubt aboput such sweeping statements.

  90. Goonerton, sometimes I guess what you are getting at with Song, like the stamp that cost him 3 games but in seriousness he is by far our best current DM. I wonder what odds the bookmakers have an Arsenal sending off at?

  91. I agree, Evil. Dukey needs to stfu about Cahill already.

  92. Steww – Based on watching him fairly regularly. Is that enough?

  93. We missed the bus on Cahill, with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City now more in the picture. In fact given his homegrown status the obvious destination is Man City because besides struggling to get there financial ship on course for FFP they are also bottom of the barrel on homegrown players.

  94. I really hope above all things else that the Arsenal players brought through the system and given a chance to shine stay loyal to the team in the face of the barrage of money that will be thrown at them from the ‘money is no problem’ sides in the EPL. Imagine if Wilshere had a year left on his contract, the media would be jizzing all over themselves with the headlines.

  95. Limpar – I agree with you. Take care of yourself Bro, have fun and be safe!

    Well Boomer, Song gets it right much more often than gets it wrong. What Better DM is there than Song in the PL? I guess one could say Essien in his day but with his injuries of late he is not the same player.

    People used to talk a lot of rubbish about Gilberto, if I am not mistaken. He then became a rock for us and was his worth only noticed when he was out injured.

    Check out this blow wow (I saw that comment yesterday Limestone, lol).

  96. Unfortunately money speaks louder than loyalty more often than not. Before Cole did the dirty deed, I don’t think that there was an Arsenal supporter that did not think he would end his career with us.

  97. Do you know how fast Cahill can fall of the radar? Two matches against lesser opponents makes him a certified world class defender all of a sudden?

    Not saying he isnt good, but enough with this talk about how we missed out on him. Its obvious that Boltons price was too high, if not he would be with the Spurs.

  98. People seem to be struggling to understand hoe the emergence of super clubs(Chelsea and City) have completely ruined the game as a competitive sport.
    Prior to them appearing on the scene you had a first team of perhaps 14 or 15 players who played all the time when fit,with little rotation,Everyone was in the same boat .At the end of the season everyone was knackered.If a star player was out or injured then you waited for his recovery and dropped point along the way.Just look hoe the long suspension of Cantona let Blackburn win the league,for example.
    But when Chelsea came along and bought two top class players for every position ,all changed.To the extent that they even finished above our own beloved Invincible’s .Because no one is going to tell me their first 11 was better than our first 11 in the 04,05 season.
    It means though running at a massive loss every year to carry off this strategy.Because you have to pay huge wages if you want a really good player to give up as a starter, through his peek years ,and accept being a bench player or even worse.
    And don’t give me United as a counter argument because they invested hugely to catch up and did so only because Chelsea thought they had cracked it and Roman started to tread water

  99. Cahill is decent enough, but the important thing was that we simply signed a quality CB. Ideally one that was pretty dominant in the air (as that is where we seemed to struggle). We have done that.

  100. Randy, I agree which begs the question about players now a days and there demands. I hate to use the term immoral, but the truth is that wages paid now are beyond anything a rational business could maintain.

    I understand that the advent of FFP is in effect an introduction of a soft salary cap, or was suppose to be to stop the situations arising where clubs are being bankrupted at an alarming rate. The truth is of course that FFP has yet to demonstarte that it well curb the excesses of some and the frailties of others yet but I guess time shall demonstrate its effectiveness. I personally would have wanted the loop holes closed faster, but there was an article the other day where the head of FFP inforcement said that he has instructured his team to be creative in problem solving because he knows the clubs are going to be creative in problem hiding. This year is of course the first year in which finances are actually being monitored, though FFP does not become effective until 2013-14 season.

  101. George @ 2PM

    damn straight.

    Miami @ 2:30:

    I read somewhere that RVP has hired the same agent as Cesc and Nasri does which does not fill one with great confidence. Correct me if I am wrong but I think next year will be his last under contract and we will have to pay him even though he will be in his late 20’s if we want him to stay. How we handle that situation will probably be a big deal to players like Jack W and Theo. Loyalty is a 2 way street. Ultimately, we will have to get our wages somewhere near the other “big” teams or we will not be able to keep our best players.

  102. “Ultimately, we will have to get our wages somewhere near the other “big” teams or we will not be able to keep our best players.”

    We are fucked then ,because we can’t .end of.

  103. Bill

    Nasri had a different agent to Cesc.

  104. Brilliant comment George! Very insightful.

    Bill, the bigger teams are in dept or have a sugar daddy paying the wages, all of them and they are exceptions, not the norm in anyway. It seems you equate Arsenal not paying as much to playres as Arsenal being disloyal? strange comment. Ade was paid much more money at City, were they loyal to him or was Arsenal more loyal?

  105. Bill, the issue for players is what they preceive as their fair market value. Players are not concerned that fair market value is dictated by 2-3 clubs they want what they can get right now.

    I do believe that fans are right to question Arsenal about 6.5% increases in ticket prices where they cannot see an improvement in product (I am not starting a figth with this just pointing out the fact we are 1 point from 9 to date this year). The increases in ticket prices are an ever present, the club is looking to increase its revenue stream in all department not just from the fans, though the latter of course are the ones that are feeling the effects of the financial meltdown the most.

    Look, football is not immune to the current economic climate with the exception of player wages which like all sports at the moment do not seem to be supported in a rational sense. The recent NFL lockout attested to the fact that players and owners need to constructive open dialogue on many issues effecting the sport but perhaps players have to much power in a game where at the end of the day they are employees.

    Football, is headed to a crisis and that is why UEFA introduced FFP in the earnest hope that it would begin to curb the excesses… hope it happens and that all fans regardless of clubs they support are still given the opportunity to attend. After all, from my 9 years in Engalnd I know that football is tribal in nature, support passed down through families and when a player once kissed the badge it was what showed, not what 200k per week can buy!

    Rant over 🙂

  106. Miami @ 2:44:

    “Randy, I agree which begs the question about players now a days and there demands. I hate to use the term immoral, but the truth is that wages paid now are beyond anything a rational business could maintain.”

    The same thing happened in American sports, football, baseball, basketball etc etc. and the immorality of wage structures is even worse in those sports and has been for a long time. Somehow they have survived for several decades. If that history is any guide we are not going to see a cataclysmic implosion of European football anymore then the American sports. Salary caps have brought parity to American football and that is really the only realistic way to even the playing field. Do you really see that happening across Europe when you have multiple different leagues in different countries? I suspect we are stuck with the current system for a while.

  107. Bill, I mentioned about that FFP is in effect a soft salary cap without naming it as such. The idea that a club cannot run a loss means that salaries (the largest expenditure) would have to be negotiated in line with revenue. I totally agree that no hard and fast salary cap could be flatly introduced.

  108. Yo, Song is even better than I thought.

  109. Isn’t Baseball the only major US sport without a cap now? I know that the NFL, NHL and NBA have them. The Miami Heat 3 of Boss, Wade and Le Bron had to take cuts to accept to play together.

  110. Paul… nice vid love the music

  111. Bill, also remember the lockouts in US sports, its all about money. If the clubs continue to pay obscene wages they will not be able to keep up. The LA Dodgers are in deep trouble right now.

  112. Andy,I disagree.The numbers tell us that there is a problem.

  113. Yeh Miami, its a kool Vid.

    You are correct about Baseball the only sport not having a salary cap. I think what helps Baseball out a little more is that the wages vary a lot. Only the top top players get the crazy pay.

  114. Dupps:

    I thought it was Darren Dein who was the agent for both. Sorry if I’m wrong. Am I correct that RVP is now using DD?


    Not necessarily, We do have some very wealthy owners who could step in and help us at least until we got the the point where our other sources of income improved. As we discussed last night its going be much harder to improve those other sources of income if we are not winning at least a few trophies. Its all a matter of degree and a little financial input from our owners would not immediately shift us to the dark side. We tend to think in black and white, either the team is self sufficient or it is Man City. Just my opinion but why can’t there be some shades of grey.

  115. I have no issue with the colour of the manager as long as he performs.

  116. Morning, All,

    A welcomed return back to normality, YW. Fab post.

    Mertesacker and Koscielny to start for me. The sooner they begin playing together, the greater their understanding of each other’s game will be. Saturday is the ideal stage for the duo to hone their defensive partnership (in the absence of The Verminator), and show how cohesive they can play against the minnows of Swansea, ahead of the big mid-week Champions League match in Dortmund.

    André Santos gets an emphatic thumbs up over fragile Gibbs on the leftside of Defense.

    My newlook Midfield would comprise of: Frimpong, Ramsey, Arteta. With Benayoun, van Persie and Park spearheading the Offense.

    My reasons for playing Ramsey ahead of Rosicky is because, i suspect the Welsh captain might have a point to prove against his former club’s arch-rival. While Walcott needs further rest – given his knack of getting injured at the bat of an eyelid – thus presenting an oportunity for the in-form Ju-Young, to do what he does best. Arshavin, on the other hand, has done very little to justify a starting position over the past 13 months. It would be in his interest as well as the club’s, for him to get acquainted with the bench, a time or three.

  117. Stew@12:43, ‘….. quality of the posters who tried to gently ease you back into your straight jacket.’ You are a very dangerous wordsmith.

  118. PS: Have a safe trip, Limpar Assist.

  119. Paul, talking baseball, here in Miami there is a new stadium costing a fortune set to open in April 2012 for the Florida Marlins. The funny thing is that the Marlins cannot get 3000 people to a game and that is due to the flickle nature of the Spanish population here… waste of tax payers money for a team that is bound to be reloacted out of state!

  120. From the comments,it seems the consensus gibbs is a better player than santos. How come an experienced brazil international full back is rated less than an inexperienced england full back? This smacks of the press’ cahill-better-than-per nonsense

  121. George – How would you feel if you applied for a job that you were really well qualified for, only not to get an interview. Yet somebody who did get an interview, who was not as qualified or suitable for the job as you, got one? Due to the colour of his skin.

    How can we preach equality for all, and then give somebody a helping hand due purely on the colour of skin?

    The most suitable person for the job should get it, regardless of race, culture, gender and colour of skin. What next’ shuold we insist that a club also intveriew at least one female/one homosexual/one African?

  122. Please, goonerandy, could you expatiate your comment on positive discrimination.

  123. Yes, Bill, it is Darren Dein, son of David Dein ( that family had made a lot of money out of Arsenal!). He was Cesc’s, Thierry’s, Clichy’s and now RvP’s. Has he been the agent of any of our players who have renewed their contracts at reasonable terms and stayed at Arsenal. If not, that isn’t a good sign.

  124. I know Miami, I lived in Miami just a few years back and unless the Marlins are on a serious run towards the end of the season the stadium is empty. The sad thing is the team won the world seried twice and still no support.

    Yes, a big waste of money.

    GA, is it a problem that people of other races are not represented by the PL as far as managers are concerned?

  125. How many clubs are there altogether in the 4 tiers of English football?

  126. disappointing news about the injuries to TV5 and jack 😦

  127. Borges – I mean that somebody gets a “helping hand” if you will due to factors which have nothing to do with the role which is being applied for.

    When compling a list of interviewee’s, the most suitable selction of individuals for the job should be the ones shortlisted. If that means they are all of one gender, or skin colour, or religion, or culture; then so be it. These things should have no bearing whatsoever.

    Equally is somebody is intentionally not shortlisting a suitable indivdual due to one of the factors lised above, then that is also unacceptable.

  128. Again many’d love to see ox but nobody has mentioned ryo.is this another case of local boy is best?ryo featured prominently for feyernood and got a couple of motm awards.how is ox better than him?

  129. Borges… 92 teams from top doqwn

  130. No offence to people slugging off Song but i think he is the best DM in the premier league at the moment.

  131. Agreed Firstlady… but I still want to cuff him around the ear for that silly immature stamp that cost us 3 games without him 🙂

  132. Paul – I don’t think so. There are hardly any ethnic minorites represented as managers in the PL, but I don’t see it as a problem. Nor would it be a problem if every manager in the PL was from deepest darkest Africa. A manager is in place due to his ability to perform that job, and nothing more (although Steve McLaren still being in employment does put that theory to test).

  133. why are there no female managers? I think Hope Powell could do the job on managing a league club.

  134. Miami – Maybe so.

  135. I can say that when I lived in England I could see the much discussed ‘Old Boys Club’ exhibited at times in the hiring or promotion of people but I did not see any out and out racism. I think football is largely about results and whilst it would be nice to see a more diverse collection of managers.

  136. Miami, racism that is not out and out can even worse at times because its smile in your face and stab you in your back. No difference to be honest.

  137. Players of color make up over 30% of the 92 teams playing staff, and yet, only 2 people of color in managerial positions. That is truly SHOCKING. This has all the hallmark of quiet racism to me. Anyone who says otherwise, is in denial and clearly deluded.

    Goonerandy, speaking as someone of a multi-racial heritage, i’m astounded by what you offered as a response. Did Thierry Henry or the great Pélé and Eusébio receive this magical helping hand that you speak of, to reach the top, rather than the superior merit of their gamesmanship?

  138. Well GA, your last statement is like a bucket without a bottom. You suggest is that managers are their solely based on merit but these same managers get fired at the drop of a hat and also what you are suggesting is that in each instance a person of another race was automatically less qualified.

    It is a problem if people are not given a chance because if not what you are saying is that only people of this particular race can do the job. If a country and a sport is a melting pot then it should be seen througout all areas of life and the sport. I would detest it if every manager in the PL was black because I know that people of all races are qualified and have the ability to do the job. Live something and say something is two different things, mind you.

    I am all for the best persons getting the jobs but that isnt always so and the fact is that many times the better qualified person of another race gets the crap end of the stick in this world we live in.

  139. Borges – I think you may have misunderstood me mate. That is exactly my point. Henry, Pele, Eusabio, etc, etc; in fact all of the various cultures and races currently plying their trade ni the PL don’t need a “helping hand” due to their talent. Which is exactly how it should be.

    My point is why should that be any differnt for the role of manager? I don’t think an emploiyer should be forced to interview somebody of the base of anything other than their suitablity for the job. I am a very anti-racist indivdual, and to my mind positive discrimination is damaging.

    How can anybody say that everybody should be treated the same, and in the same sentance insist that individuals should be interviewd on account of their skin colour?

  140. Paul/Borges, look I am not in a position to omment on racisim in football and statistics while useful at times do not always paint a true picture. All I am trying to say is that from when I lived in London the issues of nepotism and the old boy club were far more of an issue. The latter may be the reason there are only 2 black managers, or it could indeed be a case of racism but the simple underlying fact remains none of us knows why.

    I remember being turned down for jobs due to my “lack of English experience” which to me struck me as a slap in the face because the legislation and rules were the same as the business environment I had come from.

    You simply cannot introduce a quota of ethnic people per league club.

  141. Paul – “You suggest is that managers are their solely based on merit but these same managers get fired at the drop of a hat and also what you are suggesting is that in each instance a person of another race was automatically less qualified.”

    That is not what I am saying at all. I have been saying the best person should get the job. Regardless of race, culture, religion, etc. I don’t see how you came to that last sentence?

  142. I still maintain that Hope Powell could do a better job than a lot of managers out there right now

  143. “That is not what I am saying at all. I have been saying the best person should get the job. Regardless of race, culture, religion, etc. I don’t see how you came to that last sentence?”


    I personally want more diversity across the board and that includes in the xenophobic media.

  144. Paul – “It is a problem if people are not given a chance”

    It depends of the reasons for them not being given a change though does it not? If an individual does not get a chance due to the colour of his skin, then I agree 100% with you. If he does not get a chance as there were other candidates which were more suitable, then that is fair enough.

  145. Miami, Trust me racism is alive and well.

    GA, maybe you should re read your own statement.

    “A manager is in place due to his ability to perform that job, and nothing more (although Steve McLaren still being in employment does put that theory to test).”

    Now you use McLaren to put a slight shift on your comment but overall what you are sying is that ALL managers that are in place are there based on merit. It stands to reason that you believe that other people of other races couldnt do the job as well or even better, if not they wouldve been given the job. Think about it.

  146. Paul – The McLaren comment was a bit of a joke mate.

    Nowhere in that statement do I even mention race. Managers are picked on merit. That has nothing to do with race. When I say that I don’t do so with any race in mind. Your comments really don’t make sense.

  147. Anyway, I am off now. Laters.

  148. Paul-N, mate I know it exists and I trully wish it were not the case but I guess what I am trying to say is that not all decisions are based purely on race. Look I am not naive enough to think that some are not but we cannot tar all 90 league clubs with a “racist” tag because they don’t have a black manager.

    I think if the Rooney rule were to come in to being then it should be amended to also include 1 Asian and 1 Woman, both of which make up large proportions of the population.

  149. @Firstlady – please my dear, feel free in offending those who think that Song is not the best defensively minded midfielder in the Premier league.

    On the issue about racism in football. Firstly, most of the worst cases of racism are not overt or fairly obvious. Rarely is racism a binary issue where you see it or you don’t. It’s usually subtle, implicit and may not be obvious especially to those who think that we live in a rainbow nation.

    There is racism in all parts of football – from the terraces to the board room.

  150. As is nepotism and sexism… lets not put all our eggs in one basket

  151. i think it is a very difficult situation with no clear black and white answer.

    for instance, goonerandy, I completely agree with you that candidates should be hired based only upon their qualities and merits, and that ‘forced’ employment of people due to their sexuality, race, religion etc in the form of quotas would be completely and utterly wrong.

    however, there is the flip-side where without some positive discrimination (this is just me theorising, not stating it as fact) in the form mentioned in that article, whereby someone from an ethnic minority has to be interviewed (rather than just given the job), then maybe due to racism/discrimination/xenophobia, whatever, then persons from whatever minority may never be given the opportunity to showcase their talent or prowess upon which an informed decision on their suitability could be judged.

    in an ideal world, there would be no need for positive discrimination (and again i’m not necessarily arguing for it, just that its a tricky subject with many perceived pitfalls & advantages), however, especially with the ‘old boys network’ in football (just look at the treatment of arsene wenger, or foreign players like henry/pires/eduardo with regards to cheating as opposed to rooney/gerrard/young) whereby discrimination/racism may be so inherent that it isnt even conscious, without some sort of system like this, an extremely talented young black or asian manager may not ever be given an interview with which to demonstrate their capability. at the same time, discrimination, positive or negative stinks, it’s just sad that maybe, in some instances, some positive needs to be injected to counteract the negative. again i’m not necessarily stating that there is widespread negative discrimination, but there is a good chance that there is.

  152. GA, RACISM is the whole problem bro. so what are you trying to say that people of other races are just not as qualified and that is why they are not given a chance. I am trying to understand you.

    Let me use the NFL (US Football) as an example of black coaches being given a chance. In the last 5 years 2 black managers have lead their clubs to wins in the Super Bowl. 4 different black coaches have lead their teams to the super bowl and 1 year it was two team coached by black individuals. So that would be 8 teams that have been to the super bowl in the last 5 years and 4 black coaches.

    I dont care what you colour is, people should be given a fair shake if not something needs to be done about it. Call it what you want to.

  153. GA, lacks perspective. You cannot have a sport with so many players and (many brilliant) of other races and then they have next to no represtation apart from playing. Something is obviously amiss but that doesnt bother him though.

  154. Paul what you say is fair but I also believe that given Spanish is the 2nd largest ethnic group in the US why are they excluded under the Rooney Rule? Why are there no Spanish head coaches in the NFL? Is that Racism?

  155. guilt

  156. In the journalist’s (Oliver Holt?) presentation of his work last night, he stated unequivacably that his research/work has nothing to do with positive discrimination.
    No one will get a job as a result of these proposals. They might get an interview, but that is not really the same thing.

    Those appaled by his suggestions should perhaps read the proposals first before they start whining and a d**ming.

    Oh and Paul Davies*? What dies he know? eh?

    *Yup. I confess I was listening to Talkspittle FM.

  157. Going back to the earlier comments on who will be starting on Sat, surely Arteta will play – he has had 10 days rest, whilst Rambo and Rosicky have played 2 games.

    Based on Rambo getting better game by game, I would like to see him start, with Arteta and Frimps.

  158. Mattt, I worry about Frims over eager tackling at times… do not want a 4th sending off in 4 games

  159. @Miami – naturally, all the isms are a fact of life.

    I was only commenting on racism because that is what is on the table here. My sense is that it’s idealistic to talk about equal opportunity, but we need to recognize that the doctrine of equal opportunity is flawed in the first place when you start from a place where there isn’t a level playing field.

    I would love to see hope Powell given an opportunity to manage a club for example, but unfortunately the culture of football will be brutal to her. This not withstanding that she is more experienced, qualified and successful than some of the people we see managing clubs.

    I would love to see Sian Massey referee a Premier League game because she is capable of doing the job and doing it well.

    Football is still in the stoneage when it comes to establishment issues like racism and sexism.

  160. Goonerandy/Miami Arsenal

    I am not calling for anyone to be given preferential treatment, solely because of their creed, gender or sexuality. Nor must there be an alloted quota intake for the various groups to fill. However to suggest that only 2 black managers are in a job in the 92 clubs that comprise the english leagues, ‘cos the rest aren’t good enough/can’t handle the pressure is stuck on stupid.

    Being black never stopped Obama across the border, nor Michaelle Jean from being the former Governor-General of Canada, neither did it stop Ken Chenault from running American Express for a decade. These roles are much more pressurized than that of any soccer managers’, still (miraculously) they coped as well as your supposed ‘more qualified’ WASP would have done.

    I’m merely asking for individuals to be judged by how suitable they are for jobs, based upon their qualification, experience, character and abilities, instead of the silent R that we all know widely exists.

    Anyhoo, back to discussing less divisive subject matters, Arsenal-related. 🙂

  161. Finsbury – shame on you for listening to Talk Spite…LOL

  162. The only was he is going to learn is by playing Miami.

    He will know himself better than anyone not to get sent off again…

  163. Miami Arsenal, yes that I believe racism is involved, it could partly be down to player representation. I would not expect a high number of black people coaching Ice Hockey. We hardly play the blasted game, if you get my drift.

    Now baseball should have a good represenatation of managers simply because of the number of hispanic players. No one is going to convince me that they are just not as qualified and thats why they dont get the job.

  164. Great comment Borges!

  165. On the bright side after this weekend we have Gerv back which is a huge boost for the whole club.

    I visited ‘Le Grove’ today for the first time since it has be mentioned many times by people in passing. The opening title was something like “Bleak next 3 years” so I tuned out. I get we are not competing on the same financial field as Man City, Chelsea or United at the moment but we should be competing with Liverpool.

    The conservative contracts set in place for the stadium construction are getting closer and closer to completion then we can negotiate for a position of strength to strengthen the bottom line.

  166. Borges/Paul, Im not arguing against the rule; just that if you open the door specifically to one ethnic club it should be opened to all ethnic and gender groups so qualified to apply.

  167. I totally agree with you Miami.

    I am so excited about our new season, we have a new attitude and new players who dont see to believe they are superior to the rest. They understand how much of a privilege it is to play for the Arsenal. We will add in Jan and be even stronger.
    I see success coming our way.

  168. finsbury, there are enough things to infuriate a person without subjecting yourself to TalkShite.

    LOL at our young James Shea. Had to score a penalty and save the decider to put Dagenham & Red through in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy:


  169. “Shay plays down penalty hero status”

    No shit, it only took him 14 attempts to save one… Only kidding.

  170. Miami : “I get we are not competing on the same financial field as Man City, Chelsea or United at the moment but we should be competing with Liverpool.”

    I don’t accept that. Competing financially should not be the same as competing. We need to prove it. Aim higher.

  171. I would ask GA and others who take the same position to explain why there are so few black managers despite a wealth of black players who are interested in the game. Why is it that the few black managers that have worked in the football league get fired even more quickly that other managers and don’t seem to get the endless opportunities after being sacked that others get? If he thinks there might be some element of covert/latent/quiet racism going on, even if it is functioning unconsciously, what should be done about it to insure a level playing field? Just making it a question of abstract principle doesn’t get at the heart of the issue. Unless you think black folks or black players don’t have the skills to be football league managers, the low numbers are absolutely shocking. If they do have the skills and abilities to become managers, what are the barriers and what is being done to overcome them? Don’t tell me that they just don’t have enough experience yet–how are they going to get it? Don’t tell me they don’t want to manage–there are a number that clearly do but don’t get the same opportunities.

    It is all fine and well claiming not to be a racist, but the question is what measures are you willing to take to combat racism, if and when it can be identified as playing a role?

  172. I hope you are right, Paul-N, and that we do add in January to get even stronger.

  173. “It is all fine and well claiming not to be a racist, but the question is what measures are you willing to take to combat racism, if and when it can be identified as playing a role?”


    There a man I know, when the pastor would say something he liked. In a Jamaican accent he would say “TAWK TU MI SA” (talk to me sir).

    Top class comment mi bredrin, top class! the whole comment that is.

  174. Thanks, Paul-N–I like what you, Borges, and finsbury have been saying as well on this issue. I understand the position of GA and others at a philosophical and abstract level, but as a social problem it is more complex, so I don’t understand making an issue of it on the blog only when someone has proposed actually doing something about racism–though we could debate the merits of the specific proposal.

    It is obvious football doesn’t take the issue very seriously–look at the UEFA and FIFA campaigns. All publicity but never any self-examination or ruffling any feathers when it rears its ugly head. Barcelona FC, for example, have teamed up with UNESCO on a special campaign against racism in football, yet their own fans and players (e.g. Bousquets) have shown their ignorant bigotry to no sanction or even sustained public criticism during the same period this initiative was being launched!

  175. Just so things aren’t so cosy–I’ll take a different tack on the Ox article you linked on the .com.

    I look at that article as a bit more alarming with premature hyping and expectation around this young talent–why is he being asked about his England career when he has had just two great games at U21’s!? The whole interview starts with presumptions that are getting way ahead of the game. Why Arsenal.com is focusing on the national side and not on how his performances for U21’s may set him up for breaking into Arsenal first team action is strange to me! Saying ““I still realise now that I haven’t reached the pinnacles I plan to, so I wouldn’t say I’ve made it yet either.”, has got to be one of the understatements of the year. I don’t blame the lad, he seems grounded enough, but I am amazed at the hyping of a young player and the focus that the .com is giving to his terrific play at U21’s and the national team rather than on how it might inspire him to contribute to Arsenal. That would have given him the opportunity to express how much he is working in training and hoping to convince the manager that he is ready for action and how he wants to establish himself at Arsenal, a great big club, and that England will follow as a consequence of that, etc…

    He is obviously a great talent and I’d like to see him get time vs. Swansea, probably as a sub if the game is in hand, and that ought to be Arsenal.com’s focus, don’t you all think? Some of us don’t care about England at all. My only interest is how having England internationals will help Arsenal deal with the pro-English bias of English refs and English media who right now seem to target us unduly. I have to say, though, that his introduction into the second half v. Israel was absolutely electric. I’d like to see him crossing in like that after drawing the defense to him v. Swansea

  176. Limestone:

    I think the record speaks for itself with regards to racism with regard to managers in European football. How could anyone rationalize that what you say is not true given the evidence. Same thing happened with American baseball and football people came up with the same reasons that they are now using in European football to explain the inequities. It has slowly improved over time in baseball although there is still inequities. American football took an active stance with the Rooney rule but I think the changes are much more related to natural evolution and having the good old boy network evolve rather then due to that specific rule.

    What do you or Paul or Borges et al think should be done? Any rules or regulations you would like? What can actually be done other then just waiting for the situation to evolve naturally which is a painfully slow process

  177. Hat off to Wenger for unearthing this kid, Szczesny and putting so much faith in him against my layman judgement. He’s going to be remembered for decades to come as a truly world class goalkeper.

  178. This latest European Club Association congress in Geneva this week has been quite interesting. Who from Arsenal is representing our interests there, I wonder?

    ECA is proposing loss of European competition income and transfer bans as appropriate penalties for violating FFP rules. I don’t think that works well. Loss of participation is the most important sanction as it covers loss of revenue. Transfer bans don’t help since an overspending club may need to sell players to cover losses and so on to try to adhere to FFP rules. Obviously, the ECA is trying to prevent big clubs from being banned from Europe, CL and Europa.

    As I said yesterday evening, FFP looks to be a hoax ultimately. It will have some moderating effect but is written in such a way that it will not be the severe constraint on spending that is needed, at least from our perspective.


  179. Have a great trip LA – the rest of us will have to work overtime to keep the doomers at bay – hopefully Arsenal’s scintillating play will make it a lot easier to do!

    “GA, lacks perspective. You cannot have a sport with so many players and (many brilliant) of other races and then they have next to no represtation apart from playing. Something is obviously amiss but that doesnt bother him though.”

    Don’t be surprised Paul. GA is obviously white and male so he has never experienced an ‘ism’ in his life. He also lives in a fantasy land where there are no agendas, conscious or unconscious bias and everyone is straightforward and above board. It must be interesting living in his world. Meanwhile in the real world…

  180. GA, in the states we have affirmative action and the way you described it is completely wrong. Jobs don’t go to unqualified people due to the color of their skin. That is the argument most racists in this country use in order to discredit the law and have it done away with. Affirmative action is designed to give people of colour with equal qualifications a shot at getting a job in places that don’t usually hire people of colour. End of.

    Goonerton, you’re absolutely mad. Song is one of the best DMs in Europe at the moment. He’d waltz in to any top team he’s that good. The boy is big, good on the ball and almost impossible to dispossess. Oh, and he can also play at the back if the need arises.

    Cahill, can go anywhere he wants. I won’t miss him. He should thank his chairman for being stuck at Bolton for another six months. At twenty six I don’t think he’s got what it takes to be a top defender. If Terry gets crocked this season, England will find out how good he really isn’t. As far as comparing him to our players, I’d take Koscielny, Djourou and Mertesacker before I’d give Cahill a chance. I just don’t rate him that highly. Plus he’s never played anywhere but the Prem. He’s got no CL experience and has started twice for England. No thanks. I trust the defenders who kept Barcelona quiet at London last season more than I do a layer that conceded bags of goals at a lower mid table side.

  181. Limestonegunner | September 8, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    I think you are just choosing to be contrary. He has just come off the back of two really good performances for his national team – of course he is going to be proud of that and what is wrong with having the ambition to one day represent the senior side? If he didn’t have that ambition why bother? If you read the article all the way through you would have also noted his comments about hard work and how his father helps to keep his feet on the ground. I thought it was a very balanced piece show casing a talented and ambitious young man who has goals and understands that he needs to work hard to achieve them. That is exactly what I would hope to hear from any Arsenal player.

  182. Bill, good points and comparative lessons from US sports. 1) media needs to take up the issue and talk about it 2) FA could create a diversity program that would involve a) a mentorship program to connect former youth and pro-players with top managers, scouts, executives and b) promote getting coaching badges with special sessions during the close season for players over 30 to help them make the transition. I am sure a number of other small initiatives like these two I came up with offhand as part of a campaign to improve opportunities over the next decade could start to yield results at league one and two levels and at the level of championship and PL assistants, from which a larger qualified pool can then develop. Part of the problem is perception and part of the problem is getting experience. To overcome this a candidate needs to have the credentials (badges) and the network to get initial entry level opportunities in order to work their way up. I am just speculating from my own experience in other fields (but the best examples are other sports leagues, like you used), but the first step would be for the FA to recognize this as a problem about which they want to do something. Perhaps they could set up a high level task force to come up with a plan for some programs and a campaign and get it some positive attention in the media. Of course, we are talking about the FA, here, so we should’t hold our collective breath on that one!

    I think starting by granting interviews for the top job could backfire because you will get so many folks like GA, who genuinely don’t like racism, reacting against the “tokenism” that seems involved. What has to happen is that folks like GA (I am just using as example from the position he staked out here today–I don’t mean as a person) need to be asked what they would do to make sure barriers are not operating. They need to get practical about finding solutions as well, not just those who are always championing these issues, and not just discussing the issue in the abstract at the level of principles but of practices that could be improved.

    What do you think, Bill?

  183. “Goonerton, you’re absolutely mad. Song is one of the best DMs in Europe at the moment. He’d waltz in to any top team he’s that good. The boy is big, good on the ball and almost impossible to dispossess. Oh, and he can also play at the back if the need arises.”

    Totally agree Gains – Song’s problem is that he is one of those French/African devils, much maligned by the grovers and piles. Goonerton is probably one of those who wrote off 17 year old Alex Song and is still pissed that he has made him eat his words!

  184. Exactly what i expected from GA.

  185. With regards to football management and people of colour, I believe that the cream always rises to the top. Football is one of those endeavors where merit overrides the colour of someone’s skin. The lack of minority managers in England may have to do with racism from older generations, but that has changed dramatically in the last few decades. With managers like Tigana, Roberto Martinez, Gullit, Mourinho, Houghton, Di Matteo and Avram Grant the English league is not the good old boy network it was twenty years ago. Could it be better? Absolutely. But if managers of colour want to be more prominent they have to show it on the pitch. I mean, with all the brilliant players of colour that have graced football pitches all over the globe, it is a bit hard to pin racism on why they don’t have more managerial spots. It could simply be that a lot of them choose not to go into management.

  186. Pass, I don’t know where these people get their ideas to bash Koscielny, Djourou and now Song. Three of our best young players who fought hard last season to get us into the CL and they want to bash them for a few misplaced fouls and dodgy clearances? That’s absolutely crazy to me.

  187. Totally agree, Limestonegunner | September 8, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    And I second what G69 said about affirmative action and how it is misrepresented.
    What is being proposed that employers should be forced to actually interview people they might have dismissed, and assess people on their merits. It would be good if they were also required to explain the basis on which they hire whoever they end up hiring.

    @ Passenal and goonerwife
    ditto about AOC and GA

  188. I agree with Paul and Gains. Song is a wonderful player for us and one of the best DM’s in the PL. Who actually is better in our league? Essien was, don’t know right now. Ramires? No. Mikel Obi? No. Sandro? I’m laughing. Lucas? Come on. Parker? Let’s seem him do it for a season in a top 6 club. Barry? Not close. Anderson? Not yet. Fletcher? Not as skilled. I like Tiote but he’s not there yet. De Jong has some pedigree and their could be an argument if he plays well in the CL.

    Song is overall a real strength to us. You can always find faults in someone’s game but he has been a rock for us, quite good in traffic and with the odd goal, and skillful with a long pass or a cross in. Last year I think he got tired, so this year it is wonderful to have Frimpong challenging for starts. I was disappointed he let himself get caught stamping Barton and he has picked up the odd yellow that I thought he could have done better with but he’s also received a lot of yellows for things others seem to get away with routinely. He is always on the team sheet when available for a reason.

  189. You are a idiot passenal, As a white male I have been the subject of rascisim in Africa, the Caribbean and even here in the USA. It is not a White on black problem it is across all ethnicities and those of you that sit back an claim it is only black people that can be subject to this are the problem and not the solution. Racism is disgusting and needs to be stamped out. But with people like you around with comments like that only fuel the fire.

  190. Limestone:

    I think everything you said makes perfect sense. A piece of legislation even if it does not have real bite sends the message that the FA is aware of and acknowledges there is a problem. I think the Rooney rule in American football is a good example. Other then that I don’t know. It’s impossible to prove overt racism in any individual hiring decision so hard to put teeth in any specific idea. I don’t know that there is a concrete answer which is why I asked.

  191. @ G69

    Sport, music and the arts have always been areas where people who are gnerally discriminated against stand a better chance of progressing. For afficionados of the sport, or music the love of it eventually trumps everything else and talent is acknowledged.

    There is a difference between black players becoming accepted and black managers being accepted. Black players started to be used when their talent was so obvious it could not be ignored and when clubs belatedly woke up to the fact that they were missing out on a rich seam of talent. But the advent of black players has not seen the end of racism. Managers were happy to use the talent of black players while still thinking of them as inferior by reason of their blackness.
    A manager is in a position of authority – that is another hurdle for small minds to get over. It’s one thing to be happy to have a black man in their team, another to take orders from him.

  192. Limestone, I think a mentorship program would also cause a lot of unrest within the managerial community. You can’t give one set of guys a fast track into management, just to make the league look more diverse, while having other guys do all the tough work of getting through the lower divisions and what not. What we have at the moment are managers in their fifties, sixties and seventies who were brought up in an environment that was unfair. I totally get that. But in this day and age I’m sure any player of colour at a premiership club, and they’re many, many of them, can go to their academy or team another more experienced coach all on his own. I mean, the respect and admiration players of colour have today can make all of that possible. I just don’t see how young managers today should be given a leg up or handicapped because of what happened before they were eben born.

  193. Gunnerjones thanks for your assessment, but you are the idiot because you do not understand what racism is. Whatever you may have experienced is not racism. Racism is systemic and power based. Individual prejudice is a walk in the park in comparison. As a white male even in a predominately black country, you are more likely to receive preferential treatment because of the historical deep-seated nature of the inferiority complex engendered by generations of institutionalised racism.

  194. consolsbobc | September 8, 2011 at 7:23 am

    Eat more pasties, MD. I thought you knew all this!
    What a star CBob – the first thing you do in the morning is check ACLF, and then go and collect the chickens’ eggs! More supporters like you.

    Now, about that loan you were going to gived me

  195. G69, for a first I dont agree with you. You like GA are saying that black managers are not qualified and that is the main reason why they are not in any positions. The NFL just started giving black coaches jobs and they have done well. Is that because all of a sudden they were qualified? I dont think so, its because they were always good but never had a chance.

    Seriously, how many times does a manager have to fail? the amount of chances that some of the PL managers get is a joke. Are they the cream of the crop?

    FunGun, playing and leading is two different things however it always hasnt been easy for people of colour in sports, music or otherwise. All facets of life have faced their ills as far as racism, it maybe that we dont go back that far. Talent hasnt always trumped racism at all. Its actually very recent overall.

  196. FunGunner | September 8, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Someone I know tried to argue that the reason Arsenal have not won anything recently is because there are too many black players in the team! But of course racism doesn’t exist in the idealised world some of us live in.

  197. Thank you passenal but where did you grow up, because I did so in South Africa so dont think for one second you can lecture me about it, I have seen it first hand which is why I am so opposed to it. I voted for the ANC , Nelson Mandela actually more than the ANC and was one of the many white people that wanted change. What is your experience?

  198. I misread your comment FunGun, dismiss what I said.

  199. Gains, it isn’t a fast track, it is about players who aren’t thought of as “manager material” for the reasons FG notes above having a chance to see what it takes to be a manager, scout, or exec as that generation is still in charge of the FA, the club hierarchy and management. Why is it that almost all the young managers getting opportunities are white? Because league chairman, board members and senior managers who recommend players at the conference and lower league levels or give them opportunities as assistants or scouts are ALL of the generation you mention. I am not satisfied that we should just wait 20 more years for them to disappear. That is not fair to those who have been historically discriminated against and are being discriminated against now.

    Being a player vs. a manager is very different. People can admire the black player but not imagine them as a figure in charge of tactics, training, and in a position of authority. We still have a ways to go. How come none of those foreign managers you mentioned except for Gullit are black? We accept Spanish/Portuguese managers now because there are lots of South American managers in those domestic leagues and national teams who are successful at the highest levels. It isn’t the same thing at all.

  200. Gunnerjones | September 8, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    You are a idiot passenal, As a white male I have been the subject of rascisim in Africa, the Caribbean and even here in the USA. It is not a White on black problem it is across all ethnicities and those of you that sit back an claim it is only black people that can be subject to this are the problem and not the solution. Racism is disgusting and needs to be stamped out. But with people like you around with comments like that only fuel the fire.

    Yes racism on anyone is unacceptable. But you are being disingenuous and you know it. They are talking about tackling a specific problem and its not black on white racism this time dude.

  201. Fun, I totally get what you’re saying, but I think that there being few black managers in football is a remnant of racism from decades past. Look at Basketball in the states, for example. Black and minority managers are all over the place. Ex-players, assistant coaches, even assistants to the assistant, as is the case with the Miami Heta’s Eric Spoelstra, who is Filipino, are making the step up. Football will get there too. Putting a quota for managers of colour is counter productive because there are fewer managing jobs available overall. I mean, England has three divisions with about eighty teams altogether. I rather managers of colour step up through merit than to have a spot light shone on them because they’re a minority. It’s just not fair to pile all that pressure on them because people want to see a non-white face in the dug out. Put it this way, do you think if Thierry henry decided to be a manager he’d have a hard time stepping into any club in the world to ply his trade? I don’t think so. Ditto for any balck or minority player that has excelled in football for the past two decades.

  202. Even amongst players, how many black players are encouraged into the creative midfielder/number 10 role? Black players are most likely to be the DM, which is probably at the root of those who have a problem with Song stepping outside of the proper position of a DM. Song is actually very skillful and could do well if freed up from defensive responsibilities. Even Diaby is resented for having the temerity to step outside of the norm. The problem with racism is that it is so ingrained in the psyche that most people cannot, will not, or are too horrified to realise that it motivates their world view. The media represents the extreme version of it, but on a daily basis there are examples here as every where of casual racism embedded in certain attitudes and comments about certain players.

  203. Gunnerjones, I dont agree with racism but I sure can understand some of the anger. It cannot be nice for any person to be treated like a dog and even in their own country especially when the ills of it are still staring you in the face. It will take a lot of patience and understanding to get past some of the consequences of racism. Its quite sad to be honest.

  204. I worked in recruitment in london and i couldnt beleive the racism. it was crazy. they would slyly ask for certain types or not pick the names that were muslim or foreign no matter how qualified unless it was a hard to fill job or they’d interviewed all the suitable types and still werent happy. It was heart breaking.

  205. “Goonerton is probably one of those who wrote off 17 year old Alex Song and is still pissed that he has made him eat his words!”

    I concur.

    Racism in England?
    wtf do u mean?
    …is this true, Watson?”

    …oh come on, “the good old boys’ network’s alive & filtering (most obvious during economic downturns)
    …@ least its better than in Spain, Italy, the Balkans, Russia…probably the whole of Europe minus France. where the players are confronted with overt bigotry during games.maybe?

    …as much as numbers tell a poignant story, shouldn’t it all be about competence?
    eh Laurent Blanc et FFF?

    (just took a look at AW’s staff…hmm, not one non-caucasian…hmm?)

    I smell a rat!!
    He who started this conversation on RACISM is planting landmines on ACLF…and we’re falling for it.

    I smell doomer-bitch!

    “Arsene’s going nowhere!”
    “Arsene’s going nowhere!”
    “Arsene’s going nowhere!”

  206. @ G69
    I’m afraid I don’t think it is a remnant – it’s alive and well. We’re on the right track in the UK at least, but you have to confront it now and again or progress stalls.

    @ Paul-N | September 8, 2011 at 7:34 pm
    Phew, I was worried for a minute there.

    @ Passenal | September 8, 2011 at 7:33 pm
    and also re the no 10 and DM positions, it could be stereotyping dominating again. Reminds me of when there were no black quarterbacks in American football.

  207. Paul – “GA, RACISM is the whole problem bro. so what are you trying to say that people of other races are just not as qualified and that is why they are not given a chance”

    Again, that is not what I am saying.

    Whoever is the most qualified should get the job. End of. Forget race skin color and all the rest of it.

  208. (chant: to exorcise the demons of doom & gloom)

    “Arsene’s going nowhere!”
    “Arsene’s going nowhere!”
    “Arsene’s going nowhere!”
    “Arsene’s going nowhere!”
    “Arsene’s going nowhere!”
    “Arsene’s going nowhere!”
    (repeat till hoarse)

  209. @ goonerwife
    Sadly, you’re not wrong – and what enables it to carry on is that people act like there isn’t a problem or it’s not necessary to confront it. It’s as Paul_N was describing – sly.

  210. @ goonerandy

    “Whoever is the most qualified should get the job. End of. Forget race skin color and all the rest of it”

    Obviously they *should* but they *don’t* – that is the point. And they don’t because of prejudice.

    The distinction between Is and Ought – that’s what you need to learn about. David Hume is your man.

  211. GA, so what is the problem and solution then?

    G69, Henry is a superstar bro.

    Sports in the US changed only because players were given a chance. The players always had merit, they were always good but countless of good players never played in the Major League’s or college. I find your comment quite disturbing because at the end of the day it seems you are saying is that there isnt any qualified managers of colour. Am I wrong in saying this?


  212. Lime and Paul, how many managers in the EPL were not ex-players at the highest level? Wenger and Villas-Boas are the only two who come to mind. That makes it eighteen managers who at one time or an other plied their trades at the highest levels of football. Are you telling me that there are no black players who could’ve made the transition into management if they wanted to, including in the lower divisions given the fact that they were super stars while players? Do you believe that if Rijkaard or Henk ten Cate came to the premiership they wouldn’t be given jobs? What we have is a generational divide that favors whites overwhelmingly, but it won’t last. Not if the black managers in their late thirties and forties decide to persue a managerial career, that is. By the way, how many black former players can you think of who’ve decided to go into management? Other than Hughton I can’t name too many in England. I mean, Ian Wright is a pundit because he chose to. He could’ve very easily gone into management and received the best education at Arsenal. But he chose not to.

  213. G69,

    Paul Ince? gash manager tho!

  214. As much as I agree there is a problem I feel issues as big as RACISM, RELIGION & GENDER INEQUALITY are so divisive that unnecessary new divisions will inevitably appear here on ACLF.

    2 days before we begin to enjoy our season and someone’s brought a stinker topic here.
    We had all summer to enter a topic this big but no the bastards wait till today?

    Please do not think this is a topic I shy away from at all.
    I just beg to differ on the timing.
    So please…can we stick to ARSENAL FC?


  215. Pass, every African national team with the exception of some of the northern African countries has a black number ten. Brazil has the most famous number ten of all time. Ruud Gullit was the Dutch number ten. Ronaldinho Gaucho played as number ten at Barcelona. I’m sorry Pass, but Song is not a number ten. And as much as I love Diaby and hate his detractors, most of the complaints about him are due to his languid style and his injuries, not because he’s black. I’m not saying that there may be people who hate him because of his colour, but I don’t think those people would hold back on any black player.

    Fun, progress is being made all over the football world. Black coaches are popping up all over the place. You also have to consider that blacks are the minority in European countries and that they also have to compete against foreign coaches for very limited jobs. In predominantly black countries you hardly see white coaches. Is that down to racism too?

  216. You know who is going into management? Salif Diao. Last I heard he was taking his badges.

  217. there is a lack of black managers but and i dont think its anything to do with racism..
    our league is dominated by non english managers..
    everyones pretty much foreign there is no prejudice really..

  218. G69, the NFL is 70% black and black managers were just given a chance recently so numbers dont mean anything.
    You or I dont know how many people of colour try to go into managing jobs so we both cannot comment on that. What we can comment on though is that people who live in england, some of the player even, believe there is a problem. Surely they know more than both you and I.

  219. This is the last thing I’ll say about racism in management as I don’t like talking about this topic too much due to its inflamatory nature.

    First, blacks in Europe are a minority. On numbers alone black managers will be eclipsed by managers from the native population. Second, not all black managers have what it takes to manage at the top level. This means that their already low numbers will dwindle down even further based on ability. Third, black managers have to compete against the very best from all around the globe, which makes the possibility of black managers making it to the top even less unlikely. Take a look at the Premier league. Most of its managers aren’t even English. Redknapp, Pardew and possibly the managers of the newly promoted sides are English. The rest are either Scottish, French, Italian, Irish, Portuguese, Spanish, et cetera.

  220. @ G69
    Are there many white football players in the Ghanaian football community?

    Talking about the UK – I think that since black men are hugely over-represented in terms of their participation in football in proportion to their numbers in the general population, but hugely under-represented in managerial ranks, then it’s a brave man who dismisses racism as the cause of this disporportionality.

    @ firstlady
    I agree with you now – Mertesacker is cuuuute. However as I have my hands full with Kos and TV, I am graciously passing on Per.

  221. Gdnite all…till tomorrow

  222. Loan? Loan, MD?!?

    For someone who has the nerve to market ‘Essex Pasties’?

    The stocks would be more appropriate.

  223. He speaks very good English as well. Typical German!

  224. there are some places where the PC hysteria caused the people in charge to employ and promote individuals with little competence but of the right colour/religion/sex/orientation, not to be accused of being racist/homophobic/sexist/add as appropriate…

  225. Paul, I understand this, but the NFL is a different kettle of fish. To compare any American sport to football you’ll have to do it with basketball which has been the most open to exporting their game abroad and has been influenced accordingly. Black managers flourish there and are about on par percentage wise with the amount of blacks that make up the population of the states.

  226. G69, not all of any race has what it takes to manage at the top. Again, how many PL managers get recycled yearly?

    Simply put, if you have a high number of people of a certain race playing the game, I dont find it hard to question why we dont see that played out a little more in other areas. How you can argue with that is beyond me but that is your view.

    English isnt a race so that isnt part of the discussion.

  227. Suga3, shut the fuck up. P.C. hysteria is all in the minds of pricks like yourself. Keep out of the argument if you have nothing intelligent to add.

  228. P.C. hysteria is all in the minds of pricks like yourself.

    Pricks like me as well then Gains.

  229. G69,

    well, I can only tell you that I have witnessed it first hand, trust me, I know exactly what I am talking about…

    I respect people for what they are and I don’t give a fuck if they are black, white or green with pink spots, ffs…

    some of my best friends (men and women) are as gay as it gets…

    the problem is not with the likes of me, the problem is with these moderate racists, homophobes and the like: what do you think is going to happen when they are told that they have to make way for someone because of some bullshit quotas to be filled?

    they will turn hardcore, that’s what…

    in the communist Poland, people with the ‘right’ social background were getting preferential treatment when trying to get into the uni, do you want me to tell you about the effects of that approach?

    merit is the word…

  230. Paul, how many black players in England’s top level are native born? Even as late as nineteen ninety England’s NT had just one player who was black, John Barnes. And if you want to talk about recycled managers all I have to say is Alex McLeish. Don’t you think an English person, regardless of colour, would be better at Villa than him? Even Sam Allardyce, the prototypical, modern Englishman, is no longer managing in the league.

    Pauly, in the last twenty or so years, there has been a lot more black players at the highest level. I expect black managers to do a lot better in the coming years than they have in the past. Remember. for a hundred years there were few to no black players let alone managers in football. Change is not going to happen overnight, but it’s getting there. Slowly, but getting there nontheless.

  231. This is a horrible discussion .We should leave it for another forum .It will bring nothing but upset.
    So to try to get back to football and last nights discussion here is what I said earlier, Apologies if you have seen it already

    People seem to be struggling to understand hoe the emergence of super clubs(Chelsea and City) have completely ruined the game as a competitive sport.
    Prior to them appearing on the scene you had a first team of perhaps 14 or 15 players who played all the time when fit,with little rotation,Everyone was in the same boat .At the end of the season everyone was knackered.If a star player was out or injured then you waited for his recovery and dropped point along the way.Just look hoe the long suspension of Cantona let Blackburn win the league,for example.
    But when Chelsea came along and bought two top class players for every position ,all changed.To the extent that they even finished above our own beloved Invincible’s .Because no one is going to tell me their first 11 was better than our first 11 in the 04,05 season.
    It means though running at a massive loss every year to carry off this strategy.Because you have to pay huge wages if you want a really good player to give up as a starter, through his peek years ,and accept being a bench player or even worse.
    And don’t give me United as a counter argument because they invested hugely to catch up and did so only because Chelsea thought they had cracked it and Roman started to tread water
    What do you think?

  232. Suga3, racist quotas already exist. Whites are overwhelmingly favored by it. Your point is?

    I guess, George. I find that people who talk about p.c. hysteria are either blind or want to play down real abuses.

  233. G69, THE NBA had its ills, no? The change takes place becuase someone was given a chance. No opportunites, no change.


    In this Lenny Wilkens says that black coaches were just not given a chance.

  234. Ok G69, I know you are coming from a sincere place, I just dont agree.

    One Love same way mi bredrin!

    I am actually ok with this discussion George and I am glad it came up as it causes us to think about more than players, goals and trophies.

    Im gone for a minute!

  235. george,

    returning to the subject of spending to make us ‘favourites’:

    I don’t think we would need to do a Chelsea/Shitty, I reckon we could to with the kind of three stage kind of team, IMO, every position should have a three-stage cover,a top player -> a decent player – > a kid


    RvP -> Podolski -> Vela

    of course, it’s hard to still consider Carlos to be a kid, but he is definitely not as ‘senior’ as the other two…

    Podolski would not cost a bomb and would probably not command some ridiculous wages either…

  236. G69,

    my point is that I have seen scores of ‘politically correct’ individuals ‘parachuted’ into positions of authority who could not tell their arses from their elbows, UK civil service is an obvious example…

    racist quotas for whites? do me a favour…

    but yeah, I have to agree with george, it’s a load of bollocks, let’s talk Arsenal!

  237. @SUGA
    Podolski would probaby cost at least 10 million and he has been incredibly ineffective ever since he moved from Cologne. His performances in the German national team were erratic and the prime reason he was kept in the team is because Löw has got some masterplan that makes certain players, no matter how bad they play, undroppable (Badstuber is a prime example. With Höwedes and Hummels Germany have got two top CB who are definitely not used to the extent they should be) Besides, we got the decent player, he’s called Park Chu Young if you missed it. Signed him up just a couple of weeks ago, too.

  238. consolsbobc | September 8, 2011 at 8:35 pm
    Loan? Loan, MD?!?
    For someone who has the nerve to market ‘Essex Pasties’?
    The stocks would be more appropriate.
    I take it back, CBob is a shitty supporter

  239. Evil ,I agree with you ,we do have Park,or Chamakh
    My point is that if you want that player to be Benzema you have to accept £200 million a year loss.

  240. this was just an example, PCY will just fine do as the second choice…

    we could probably do with signing a few of top bracket players for other positions…

  241. FG is talking serious sense. Either we try to do something about the problem or we don’t. We can console ourselves by saying that over time it will inevitably improve but how long is it okay to tolerate such injustice? And penalty and other refereeing decisions all even out in the end, right? If there is bias, it isn’t fair and we should think about what can be done fairly to redress the injustice.

    This is an Arsenal blog but we are talking about a social issue in the game of football. That is a great use of this forum. One reason I love Arsenal is because I think the club culture is among the most progressive and forward looking in both football and other aspects because the Arsenal fan base in London is among the most diverse anywhere. I wouldn’t be surprised if we were the first top 4 club to have a black manager. Looking at you Thierry Henry, in 2022, after you spend a couple years with Arsenal and then go out and manage a club in Ligue 1 for a few years and back at Arsenal as an Assistant, you’ll be ready.

  242. agree with the theory george.
    wengers been racing his mini against the porches..
    an amazing job has been done i reckon..

    chelsea have changed the game..

    i still feel weve held back though..

  243. But onto new topics…. What about the FFP sanctions the ECA has proposed that I posted on above?

  244. Limestonegunner OK, I consider myself well and truly put in my place then. 😉

  245. Aman’s 8:06pm comment is the funniest stuff I’ve read all week. *Take a bow, Sir*

  246. GK:

    Szczesny -> Fabianski -> Mannone


    Santos -> Gibbs -> ??? (would still sign Baines)


    Sagna -> ??? -> Jenkinson (not yet ready to be 2nd choice, IMO)


    Vermaelen -> Koscielny -> Miquel
    Mertesacker -> Djourou -> Bartley


    Song -> Frimpong -> Coquelin (although I would love a top player signed)

    AM (widely understood):

    Wilshere -> Ramsey -> the best of the current crop of kids
    Arteta -> Benayoun -> Rosicky


    Gervinho -> Shava -> Ryo


    ??? -> Theo -> AOC (I think we could do with a better player than Theo)


    RvP -> Park -> Chamakh

    OUT: Almunia, Squillaci, Diaby (I know some people rate him, but if he does not get through the full season, he should be let go)

    4 players in and only the DM and RWF positions are worth breaking the bank…

  247. Baines would probably be ahead of Gibbs in the above setup…

  248. JJ,I know you do .Just as you know I disagree with you.
    I just feel that not enough people realise the enormity of Arsene’s achievements,And he gets far to little respect from what I can only describe as dipshits.

  249. Better player than Theo? Now you are having a laugh, right? He can sometimes be inconsistent, but he is clearly improving game after game after game. He knows how to score, his finishing is already top notch, and he can create, too. The only reason why Theo should be moved from his guaranteed starting place on the right wing is when Wenger decides to give him the chance to play through the middle.
    And rating Benayoun higher than Rosicky, well, that one goes without words to be honest.

  250. Dont see much of an improvement to the first 11,so how will we start favorite’s to win stuff.?remember the question?

  251. Stop lying, you fucking moron. The shit you saw in Poland was nepotism, classism and favoritism. You haven’t seen anything.

    The racist quotas is exactly what you were talking about with your example of nepotism. Affirmative action is designed to give those not of the majority a fair shake. Just shut the fuck up. Don’t stick your nose in this argument.

  252. Evil,

    consistency is required to win stuff and since you are so adamant that Theo should play through the middle, a top notch wide right player should be signed for AOC to learn from instead of falling into the same ‘too much, too soon, too easy’ trap…

  253. G69,

    what the fuck do you know about Poland, especially about Poland in the ’60s and ’70s?

    shut your fucking gob, you clueless twit…

  254. i dont think one should be to suprised with the manager situation in UK. Look at the employers. who are they? these chairmen of the clubs up and down the country? the majority are eton scooled, old money, rich and wealthy 60 somethings. When they were born UK were still a colonial power for god sake. They were born and bread in a different time, when they were in their 20s there was no black players, being gay was a sin and girls did not work.

    I dont think these gentlemen are racists, and i dont think they belive that “the white man are supreme to others” neither. Im simply suggesting that even though the world has evolved its hard to shake off the system and habbits you are brought up in. Its not only race, its gays and women to. I would for example be very suprised if any of these old men appoint a women as manager for a PL team in the next 20 years. But that does not mean they deliberatly are sexist . Its just they are brought up in a system whre women are in the kitchen and deffinently does not coach male footy. And lets not kid ourselves, equality is relativley new. If you are 30 you will probably always have lived in a world where equality is a natural thing. if you are 60 you will remember when it was still legitimet to use the N word.

    But this will change. The kids today are used to diversity. The colored stars of yesterday are about to enter the age where management becomes a potential career. They may not become managers, but they can become powerful employees in big clubs(like Viera) and when they hit 60 and are on the board to employ new managers, they will view things differently. By the time the OX and Walcott are 45 the world will look vastly different from today. And colored managers will probably be just as normal as non colored managers. Just as colored presidents are as usuall as non colored presidents.

    Its just now that the real big batch of colored supermega rich stars are about to enter their “pensioners time” The players of the late 90s and eary 2000s(yes yes i know there were brazilians back in Peles days too, but there are more Coles, Walcotts and Gibbses today than there were Paul Inces 15 years ago). These and the guys that comes after them are the ones that will force equality through the game. When these guys get powerful poistions things will change, and they are so many now that some of them are bound toend up in powerful positions. Also the managers and charimen of tomorrow will have been born in a globalized world where you choose the best man regardless of the skin color because they will generate best results that again will generate most cash.

    You have to remember human society is a dynamic thing that is in constant change, that never stands still. 60 years ago may sound long but alot and i mean ALOT has happend in the world since then. Especially on the equality front. Tomorrows chairmen will see things differently, having been young men and women in a culturally diversed society where the stars have come in all colours(bleh i dont even know how to spell the word), unlike their preceedors.

    Question is does one wait for it to happen naturally or does one force it through. I dont think we have to wait more than 10-15 years. That maybe to long though….

  255. George, your place is at the head of the class, man! I can’t put you there or take you away.

    Great vid, Paul-N. But you are making me feel sad to think of what we are missing in this difficult time for the club. Jack is one of our leaders, amazing to say about a lad who is yet to turn 20. What is amazing is his composure and maturity in that game. He only gave the ball away a couple of times but wasn’t playing conservatively to simply hold onto possession. So many of his passes and dribbles were forward with three Barca players around him. Magnificent play. I thought Guardiola was a bit cheap in his comments about Wilshere after that game. He used it to take a shot at Arsenal rather than simply acknowledge a good young player’s performance. Poor from him.

  256. We should not disagree with someone simply because of who they are.
    That said I do look for fight’s with people I don’t like .So fuck it, dig in 🙂

  257. Paul, the black coaches in the NBA weren’t given the chances. Fair enough. Now that they have they are all over college and NBA basketball. Who do you see today as a plausible manager in England out of the pool of black players who are retiring or just retired from football?

  258. @SUGA3
    So you are accusing Theo of becoming complacent when he has improved season after season? And he has already become more consistent, it is evident that Theo is now developing into that ominous “top notch” player you are talking about. Without a change of formation that allows us to use both Theo and Robin at the same time there is no use in dropping one of our best players.

  259. george,

    – Baines would be a massive improvement over Gibbs, experience and fitness wise,

    – a top notch DM would stop us leaking stupid goals (and think of the additional motivation for Song),

    – RB position needs that second choice player, why have we sold Ebowie is beyond me

    – top wide right man to challenge/take over from Theo

    all of the above brings depth and competition for places, without costing hundreds of millions…

  260. top 4 mr R??

    settle for that..

  261. And i do agree with George, race, religion and politics discussions usually are bad for football blogs. They are topics that are hard to agree on and when one disagree they tend to become very personal.Unless you write clinically academic or are very good at phrasing yourself you are bound to step on toes.

  262. I don’t know shit about Poland. But when you say that the communist only give their own a chance to succeed, then you know what blacks feel like when they see less qualified whites getting jobs just bgecause they have the right skin color.

    Go take a flea bath, you piece of shit.

  263. Even amongst players, how many black players are encouraged into the creative midfielder/number 10 role? Black players are most likely to be the DM, which is probably at the root of those who have a problem with Song stepping outside of the proper position of a DM.

    Rocastle, Davis, Thomas, Wright…

  264. Not DMs admittedly, but far from being pigeonholed into the ‘physical run-all-day’ category.

  265. oh we over it? then nvm have not refreshed for aaages, have been eating donut 😀

    Suga you think you will ever be happy with the Arsenal setup?

  266. G69,

    and oh, one more thing, I can also be considered as coming from a ‘minority’ background, but I have not once played the PC card in my life, simply because I believe in merit above everything…

    guess what? there is only four people (including me) on the whole UK doing the job I am doing, all achieved through hard work…

  267. just watched that vid of chessers saves..
    what a keeper..
    this season will be a new battle we will need a top top keeper and i think weve got one that could potentially be an arsenal legend..
    most appearances anyone?? 😉

    hes going to earn us some valuable points this year..

  268. What we were talking about has fuck all to do with P.C. hysteria or any of that.

  269. *in the whole UK

    and since you don’t know shit about Poland, don’t you fucking accuse me of lying…

  270. wilsher does look good in that video Paul-N and Song looks like an Ewook from the forest moon of Endor with that crazy hair and tash color.

  271. what job is that suga? Master of whining? 😛

  272. Suga3 that would make you a cornerstone of your profession !!! Do you get it ?

    People see where this discussion is going???????? Not good 😦

  273. Congratulations, Suga3. You’re a stand up guy. Now take you p.c. hysteria stuff and shove it up your ass. By the way, being sperm taster is not a job most people want to do. I’m not surprised you’re one of only four people in the UK who want to do that job.

  274. @jj i cant help feeling a tad sorry for Fabianski, even though im sure it all worked out best for the greater good of the club with the real emergence og chesney.

  275. and it was not about being communist, it was about coming from the working class background per se: additional points on the uni application, pipping these who were simply more predestined to be getting the best out of the education…

  276. Not only are you lying you’re also uninformed and nosy. You’re lying about seeing loads of unqualified people get jobs because of some p.c. hyysteria, you’re uninformed about the difference between affirmative action and how the communists favored their own and your nosy for sticking your nose where no one asked you to. Now fuck off.

  277. So you butted in to a conversation and had no fucking clue what you were talking about like always.

  278. G69,

    clap, clap, clap…

    now fuck off back to the dole queue – or do they call it ‘welfare’ in your quarters?

    I am officially done with you, fucking halfwit…


    yep, not going anywhere good, but I wanted to finish it…

  279. poodle to be honest ive rated ches over fabianski for a while..
    but as a 1 and 2 combo i think we are more than ok in that position..

  280. look dude, my first job when I came to the UK was in the public sector, so you will have to believe me that I know what I am talking about here…

  281. Paul this is what I’ve meant to say to you all afternoon.

    Poodle: “But this will change. The kids today are used to diversity. The colored stars of yesterday are about to enter the age where management becomes a potential career. They may not become managers, but they can become powerful employees in big clubs(like Viera) and when they hit 60 and are on the board to employ new managers, they will view things differently. By the time the OX and Walcott are 45 the world will look vastly different from today. And colored managers will probably be just as normal as non colored managers. Just as colored presidents are as usuall as non colored presidents.”

  282. Dole queu, you fucking fascist? What gives you the impression that I’m on the dole, prick? Go fuck off to an EDL meeting while they’ll still have you, motherfucker.

  283. Suga3, I sincerely do not give a fuck what you do, what you did or what you will do in the future.

  284. yep, EDL are likely to welcome a Polish immigrant with open arms 😆

    and what gave me the impression that you are on the dole? just guess, touched a nerve there, did I?

  285. George

    Agree completely with your hypothesis. No one would argue with the point that Wenger has done a great job to keep us in the top 4. The man has been brilliant in some respects. Chelsea clearly changed the game. However, I agree with JJ that we held back our resources and were overly conservative when we had a realistic chance to beat Chelsea and united. No way to prove that but I think we had enough talent in the squad especially last year. Had we spent money to improve our depth and add a few experienced heads then we could have had a couple of recent PL trophies in our case.

  286. Personal abuse stifles debate,
    I know because I was that soldier.

  287. @Suga
    Nowadays being anti-muslim and not of Asian or African heritage is enough to get accepted. They have to diversify, you know ..

  288. Evil,

    actually, Eastern Europeans are everyone’s whipping boys these days, simply because slagging us off does not constitute racism because we are white 😉

  289. well if you ever spent 14 days on a luxury hotel with a buch of newly rich russians you would slagg them off too, trust me….

  290. I know G69, but the changes that we see now are a result of blood, sweat and tears. To say just wait and things will change is to minimize the lives that were given in the name of justice and equality, I cannot do that. This mindset change didnt just happen and people must continue to speak and act against it.

    There simply is no justification for there not being a better representive of people of a darker hue In various positions.

    I dont know who would be a good manager because being a good player doesnt necessarily mean you can coach, however Sol Campbell seems to be very interested.

    Question for you, did all of the other top managers have to work themsleves up from totally obscure leagues?

  291. but I guess you’re right to an extent, BNP used a photo of a Polish Spitfire in their ‘BoB’ campaign…


  292. Limestonegooner made a very good point the other day.
    People started following Arsenal from all around the world because of the Wenger teams style and panache .But perhaps,as LG pointed out,this style and panache might have gone unnoticed if it had not also been winning stuff.
    So I might be very difficult to increase our global awareness without further trophies.
    Its a problem because I can see new fans of the EPL flocking to the two Manc clubs.

  293. but then again, i probably just encoutnered some particularly nasty individuals.
    I have partied with rather charming ones too…

  294. @Suga
    Ah well, that might’ve been true 5 years ago but now with the economic failures of Greece etc. there are a lot more targets for the common man’s racism. “Damn Polish imigrants that are stealing our cars” have gone waaay down in the rankings.

  295. I hate every ethnic group ,including,no, especially my own.
    Can we move on now?

  296. poodle,

    people are just people, there is only one division: wise and stupid (both widely understood)…

  297. what you gonna do if we sell Arshy this January George? who will you change your avatar to ? 🙂

  298. Back to my poor old pussy cat, Poodle.

    Now I am worried,why will we sell the little chap?He is my favorite you know.

  299. @oh and George Chelsea has won stuff but a recent reseach showed that their global brand have not grown that much. City is a major PR project and will be run as one. they already lured the british press into it though they were a bit reluctant to start with. Next is the british people with that “footballers next star” program being done for City this time around.
    City football is just a tool to get the people to the real goal. I feel sorry for their fans that are cheering for a gigantic comercial project desigened to promote is it Abu Dahbi as a holliday destination? You ofc only get there by flying Eithatd.

  300. maybe you have to change the cat with the meerkat then, to honor your hero when he leaves.

  301. Well that is good then Poodle.
    Did it increase significantly when they were winning leagues back to back?
    If it did not then things might not be as bleak for the chances of increasing our new fan base as I feared

  302. Ok Alexander Orlov it will be then,come the sad day 😦

  303. George, there is something special about Arsenal. We may not have won anything lately but our way of doing things seem to be appealing to many people. People seem to respect that we play good football without overspending.

    I have seen quite a few Arsenal Jerseys in Houston and people have stopped me a few times. We will be just fine.

  304. Went to Costa Rica a few years back and a couple of the guys that worked in the Hotel almost went mental when they saw my Arsenal Jersey.
    That was pretty Kool.

  305. Paul, I get you, but the change is here for everyone to see. You have coaches like Rijkaard at the very top level of the game. People accepted him while at Barcelona because of his skill. No one really cared whether he was black, white or green. Like I said before, there are only a handful of white English managers plying their trade in England’s premier league. It’s really not a matter of color it’s a matter of talent at this level. I’m sure that with the greater proliferation of black players around Europe recently, it’s only a matter of time before we see black coaches in many more dug outs than before. Also, I think it’s important to spot and call out racism when you see it. I’m not under the impression that there’s no racism in football management, but you have to admit that things are getting better.

  306. Poodle

    Chelsea had about the same world wide brand as everton or Aston villa before they started to win trophies. Winning is clearly the single biggest factor in how the world looks at a club and how much commercial revenue they can generate. If united stopped winning trophies all those ManU jerseys and lunch boxes would not be replaced when they wore out.

  307. “George, there is something special about Arsenal.”

    I am with you there my friend

  308. Bill,I think you are right .That gives us a headache ,does it not?
    And to be honest ,I can’t see an answer

  309. @ Paul_N
    “George, there is something special about Arsenal.”

    I am with you there my friend”

    So am I! We are special – we stand on our own two feet, we stand for innovation, strong progressive values, yet we have rooted in tradition, diversity in staff and fanbase etc etc. Trophies would help us because that is what we are currently missing, but our values plus Wengerball set us apart. That is a worthwhile ambition, by the way – to play wonderful football, develop young players from all over the world into world class talent and be self-financing. It’s a massive challenge. So who’s up for it? Me!!!!

  310. Paul n ,

    ever heard the station Kool fm? great drum and bass staion back in the day with great mc’ing, pirate radio staion. sorry just how you spelt Kool brought back memories of it.

    Fukin bit deep on ere agian, i fukin hate the racist debate, were all fukin xenophobic though aint we, we all hate our bloody neighbours!!

  311. Paul @ 10:43

    You may think we are just fine now but i doubt even you could argue against the idea that we would be a lot better off if we had a few recent trophies in our case

  312. LOL @ George’s pic.

  313. Suga, you’re obviously on the stupid side.

    List of possible careers where a highly specialized Suga3 is employable.

    1) Waste management: Suga3 is small enough to fit inside sewage pipes and scrape shit off the side of them.

    2) Animal husbandry: No Suga3 is not the guy who enceminates a uterus. He’s the guy that extracts the semen. He has a temperament for that.

    3) Fixes wind generators: No one is stupid enough to climb that high for such little money. Except Suga3, of course.

  314. @ george
    love the meerkat, it’s so you!

  315. No, Ihave never heard of that station Duke.

    Surely winning helps Bill. I stated that yesterday that there were not many Chicago Bulls supporters prior to Michael Jordan. What I am saying is that our brand and style is very attractive even inspite of not winning, that in and of itself speaks volumes.

  316. Why we will probabaly end up selling Arshavin in the January window:

    1.) He is in the final year of his contract with Arsenal.

    2.) He no longer is a first teamer.

    3.) On high wages and entering into the 30+ age bracket.

    4.) Has done very little to justify a starting position over the past 13 months. (A point I made earlier) It would be in his interest as well as the club’s, for him to get acquainted with the bench, a time or three.

  317. Ofc you are right Bill, but their general increase was alot lower than expeected compared to their general success. If we had the same success as Chelsea has had for the last 10 years over the next 10 years or if Liverpol had the same success as chealse had for the last 10 years over the next 10 years. Our and liverpools brands and our and liverpools numbers of supporers would rise alot more than Chelseas. Or so the experts think. I like to think the experts are right when it comes to us and wrong when it comes to liverpool 🙂

    But Chelseas global support did not rise asmuch as expected due to success, they are simply not sexeh enough.

  318. @borger also if that chakalala team comes in for him they will pay a heftey sum. They deffo have more money than brain….

  319. and maybe if we are about to sign a new and coming star that is non english we have to offload a non english to fit him?(i maybe wrong on that though).

  320. George @ 10:54

    All we can do is everything we possibly can to win those trophies. No time for a debate tonight but i will never understand why we left all that money on the table the last few years. No guarantees but had we used that money to strengthen the squad we would have improved our chances. giving us the best possible chance to succeed is all we can ask for from management.

  321. Here are some statistics for y’all to chew on:

    André Santos – 22 games for Brasil in 2yrs, compared to Clichy’s (I’m a fan of his) 11 games for France in 5 yrs.

    Marcelo (at Real Madrid) and Adriano (at Barcelona) have just 7 and 10 international games respectively to their credit. Belletti who used to be at Chelsea managed 23 games in 4 yrs for Brasil.

    Per Mertesacker – 76 games for Germany at 26yrs old; juxtapose that to Frank Lampard’s 88 games for England at 33yrs of age. The great Oliver Kahn managed 86 games throughout his international career spanning 12yrs for Germany.

    Bendntner 41 games, 16 goals (international)
    110 games, 33 goals (senior club stats)

    Ju-Young (55 games, 21 goals)
    160, 48 goals. Ju and Bendtner are virtually identical in goal scoring ratios for club and country.

    Nasri 208 games, 29 goals (club stats)
    21 games, 2 goals (for France)

    Gervinho 188 games, 51 goals (club stats)
    28 games, 7 goals (international)

    Yossi Benayoun
    457 games, 129 goals (club stats… Of which 212 premiership games, 38 goals over 6 seasons…which works out 35+ games a season)
    85 games, 24 goals for the Israeli national team.

    Mikel Arteta
    361 – 52 goals (career club stats)

    213 games- 36 goal (of which 212 games and 35 goals over 8 seasons in the EPL)
    60 games, 8 goals for Spain

    In short, folks, the new senior players added to our squad are of similar or better quality to those replaced. Don’t let the insidious media tell you otherwise.

    UP THE ARSENAL!!!!!!

  322. Is he in his final year?I thought it was “long term”undisclosed.But I stand to be corrected.
    His stats.justify his starting position,
    He played more than any other player last year so how can he not be a first teamer?

    Other than that I agree.

  323. i know im being a pain in the ass now borger. but do you got any stats on their assists? Especially Mikel and Yossi as they are both creative midfielders.

  324. Bradys right foot

    SUGA3 | September 8, 2011 at 10:06 pm


    actually, Eastern Europeans are everyone’s whipping boys these days, simply because slagging us off does not constitute racism because we are white 😉

    There is without doubt discrimination xenophobia and racism in Britain, it has sadly not been eradicated but progress has been made.

    Eastern European societies however have a huge journey to take. I make no apologies for saying that I detest the fans of Legia Warsaw and Zenit St Petersburg they are a disgrace and openly revel in a level of racial intolerance that is staggering in the 21st Century. as you well know Shoogs if you want to see tension between whites fill a room with Russians and Poles, I’ve been lucky enough to work with people from all over the world and we all carry cultural baggage, I would strongly argue that Eastern europeans are not discriminated any more widely in this country than any other group, apart from Romanian Romanys and their you’ll find that some of the worst culprits in this are other Eastern Europeans and this again is a result of cultural baggage. Unfortunately discrimination is a universal problem.

  325. e are Paul N. old skool d&b.

  326. george that meerkat does suit you, i mean they are fiesty little things that love to go on the attack!

  327. I will take that in the spirit it was meant Dukey.Us being big pals and all ,now 🙂

  328. Arshavin is not automatic first choice any more. His numbers are still good, though, I am told.

    @ bill
    You say you don’t understand about our finances, so why not educate yourself?
    Start here:

  329. I’m in moderation so will post links one at a time.

    @ bill
    You say you don’t understand about our finances, so why not educate yourself?
    Start here:

  330. http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/12328

    And JonJon should have a read of both as well.

  331. Smiley face giving a wink and flipping the bird!!!!

  332. @brady good written post and very true. Though it takes a good writer to put delicate issues like than in a way so to not step on toes.. god job brady…

  333. oh and very nice meerkat George 🙂 you know its so you.

  334. they are a bit mad to Duke, meerkats that is.

  335. I think it is me ,yes ,thanks Poodle.Good shout on your part

  336. Thanks Poodle.I think it is me 🙂 good shout on your part

  337. Wow.how did that happen,?

  338. lol its getting late i guess, poor george is all crosseyed and multiposting(though he makes mee look like a very popular and cool character so who am i to complain), anyway enjoy your evning guys and try not to strangle eachother. god knows certain individuals were close earlier tonite…

  339. I think the second one has better grammer george!

  340. May have even had better grammar.

  341. G69 @8.50pm

    Whilst John Barnes was indeed an England international in 1990, he was not the only black player with Des Walker playing in as many as did Paul Parker. David Rocastle also played for the national team that year. If you are talking of there only being one ethnic minority player in the national team, you need to rewind probably 5 years to 1985 when there was a gap as Viv Anderson retired and Barnes came onto the scene.


  342. G69,

    being unemployed, you must have plenty of time to come up with all this ‘hilarious’ shit, however little imagination you may have, the fact that it took you an hour to figure this out says it all…

    I will not comment on the no.1 and no.2, I will just have you know that a mate of mine is setting up and fixing the wind generators all over the world and earns more than you will ever get from these state handouts you are on 😆

    nightie night, sunshine, I will allow you some more time to come up with yet better pearler of a post, just don’t think too hard, I have heard that it may prove harmful to people not accustomed to it…

  343. Bradys right foot

    Yogi I think we will all agree that football in this country from being an avenue for racist expression in the past has had a huge and positive effect in combating racism well beyond the terraces. I think we all owe not just Anderson and Barnes but players like Laurie Cunningham, Cyril Regis, Ricky Hill a debt, they players who played up and down the country in the 70’s and 80’s took the abuse but moved the game and society on. Spare a thought for the great Jack Leslie sadly he came from a time were it was ok to discriminate on race thankfully will never see those days again.

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