If Criticism Is A Joke, Why’s No-one Laughing?

You have no idea how strong the urge to title this post with a Dexy’s moment was, “Jackie Wilshere Says”. In my mind’s eye, the football lyrics are already forming and it would require deepest apologies to Kevin Rowland for destroying Dexy’s last decent moment. Another day perhaps.

On a day when Davor Suker took his first tentative steps into the Arsenal Hall of Infamy, sitting alongside such luminaries as David Hillier in an honour guard toward Peter Storey, The Sun took up FourFourTwo’s novel approach to assessing the wealth of the Premier League. Their methodology is bizarre in taking the purchase price plus spend on transfers and wages, dividing it by the number of points since the change in ownership. Arsenal’s works out at about £2.5m per point, a mere snippet against Liverpool’s £7.5m.

According to the table, Manchester City have spent £793m on transfers and wages since petrodollars arrived in the North West. Even with their prolific spending, that seems to be underestimating matters. It is hard to see what the table is trying to prove other than the depths to which the quality of some squads had dropped and the amount of money required to repair the damage. Oh…Stan Kroenke, meanwhile, is not ‘regarded as the biggest shareholder at the Emirates‘; he is. But he didn’t take his majority shareholding in 2007.

All this is a sideshow. The main attraction has been the focus on Jack Wilshere‘s comments about his future and the Arsenal manager. Wenger has no friends in the press, the club even fewer. Wilshere nailed the underlying theme behind this unrelenting and piercing criticism,

We do get a harder time from the critics than most teams but we haven’t won anything for six years and that’s not good enough for Arsenal

Which means failure is easy for the feeble-minded to prey upon, to create sales and attention for themselves. A shame that they do not like the same intensity applied to scrutiny of their words. Print media is not at its zenith and seems incapable of understanding its own part in the medium’s decline. With the prominence now given to their own websites and the columns therein, you would hope that the standards would improve. They have not. Analysis is being replaced by opinions, views devoid of intellectual merit and mistaking the need for vituperation in controvesy. There is no need for that or hypocrisy; provocative thought can be provided without sensationalism.

Wilshere’s intolerance of the critics is barely disguised by his contempt,

It is harsh, though, especially on the boss. He has been there for 15 years and been great for Arsenal. The criticism Arsene gets is just a joke.

There is an element of deja vu with this. Wind back several years and these are the words that could have been uttered by Cesc Fabregas, right down to the intensity. Even down to the loyalty. With Wilshere there is perhaps more emotion attached to the loyalty, barely leaving the doorstep to join Arsenal before the end of his first decade on this planet. The bonds he speaks of with the rest of the squad echo the friendships bound between Fabregas, Flamini and their circle, a group that slowly disintegrated,

I really am happy at Arsenal at the minute. Obviously I want to win things [but] I want to do it with Arsenal. I have been at Arsenal since I was nine and I have grown to love the club. There are players there who have been there as long as me and I think we are starting to build something special there with the likes of Emmanuel Frimpong and players I have seen in the youth teams coming through.

In a couple of years, they’ll be big players for us.

I hope that this generation delivers. There are echoes of the England national team in the Arsenal setup. The squad that has just broken up was the Golden Generation. It never materialised in its entirety, glimpses but never the full view. This time, with time, perhaps it will be different. Perhaps not, perhaps there is more turmoil to come. Perhaps, maybe’s. No guarantees and nothing certain. That is football and I find it barely credible that people believe nothing is happening to change matters.

It is inconceivable that the manager, players, coaching staff and everyone is not working their hardest to repair the damaging start to the season. We are at an early stage although in the next five to ten games, the season’s die will be firmly cast. The upcoming run of fixtures are, on paper, eminently winnable. It is the sort of run that can lead to confidence being built or destroyed. Whilst this is happening, we need to get back to supporting the team. Not following, not being fans, adhering to the dictionary definition of the word supporting,

To keep from weakening or failing; strengthen

til Tomorrow.

Posted on October 6, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 158 Comments.

  1. To keep from weakening, ignore the hack english media.

  2. Fiirrrsstt

  3. Morning YW as ever an avid and interesting read…Mr Rowland and I have frequented many a late night soiree in Bham back in the day..

  4. Going on fom yesterdays comments:

    When we played a 442 (or 4411, which ever way to look at it) we had the players to do so. We had a fast strong team. Now we have a small technical team. Not saying going back to 442 would not work as I think some sort of change is needed, but using our old 442 as a measuring stick is not accurate

  5. Nice post YW.

  6. Spot on YW. Pressure from the media might ease off if our mediocre performances continue this season and we miss out on Europe for next season. Whatever happens, those who want AW out will criticise the team’s achievements. Even if we won the league (unlikely I accept) those opposed to AW would blame it on the failure of the other teams.

    The support at the Emirates has been good, this season, bearing in mind the team’s performances. Let’s hope that this continues and support at the ground encourages the players to prove the doubters and the moaners wrong.

  7. Kia Joke-abian claims Cesc refused to travel and went on strike in the Sun today…sad. thoughts?

  8. I would be very suprised. He seems a pretty professional guy, and given his relationship with Wenger it seems unlikely.

  9. melcfromfinsburypark

    Yogi, Have you not listened to Don’t Stand Me Down?

  10. Gunner From Nigeria

    ” There is no past we can bring back by longing for it but, an eternally new now builts and creates itself out of the best as the past withdraws”

  11. Yes. All yes.

    My path to success:

    Ignore the press/doomers/spuds. (Except on sites like this and then stand up until they shut up)

    Concentrate on the players and what they say, effort, skills and dedication to the club. (That sets an example to so called fans that want change so bad that they gloat in our failure)

    Send the message to the club to focus our efforts on getting one trophy. (I like the CL myself, but then I always dreamed of marrying Melanie Sykes and having her talk me to sleep every night.)

    Keep playing beautiful football. (I want our MOJO back not Samba or Birmingham – sorry Brummies you may be great and I may be wrong, it is just easy and cheap)

  12. Gunner From Nigeria

    No matter how the fierce the wind blows, it cannot bring out the water inside the coconut. The whirlwind of the press will never change no matter what we achieve but, we have to do our talking on the pitch.

  13. YW,
    “support” also means to”to supply with necessaries, provide for” and that we do. You would find that hard to believe sometimes though reading the outpourings of our chairman etc. I suspect this element of “support” may dwindle if performances do not improve and this could lead to the double dip. A downward spiral that some of us are old enough to have seen more than once before. Worrying times as I believe it’s harder to recover from today than it was 15 years ago.

    BTW it’s Van Morrison you need to apologise to re “Jackie Wilshere Says” as he wrote it and Dexy’s version was merely a cover.

  14. “No matter how fierce the wind blows, it cannot bring out the water inside the coconut”.

    What a wonderful phrase. I’m stealing that

  15. Gadget

    Too late. I already have

  16. R.I.P. Steve Jobs.
    Thank you for showing us how to live before you die.

  17. I agree with Gunner From Nigeria

  18. Yogi,

    Glad to see Jack placing his loyalty behind Arsene and AFC: just as with Szczesney, Walcott, Gibbs, RvP and others.

    On the issue of players and our future, I was mightily impressed by Coquelin’s post match interview following the Spuds encounter. Having produced what is widely (and, IMO, correctly) viewed by many as a MOTM performance, his disappointment was almost tactile. His closing comments about all of them improving is given all the more worth when he concludes that: “I can do much better than I did out there!”

    This is the future. This is The Arsenal.

    (Apologies if this appears twice but it does not seem to have gone on first attempt.)

  19. I will never forget the look on this young man’s face when we equalized against the Spuds on Sunday.
    It brought a tear to my eyes
    The passion within…. CARL JENKINSON.

    I tip him to achieve great things at ARSENAL FC.
    I will be in full support of…
    Our #25.

    “Free AA!”

  20. If we win a trophy and in the top 4, this start will be the best start we ever had under AW in my opinion. He has sppoilt us with some very good performances only to fail at the last hurdle, so this has led people to take the teams efforts for granted and equate progress at around January to surity to win trophies.

    When times are hard, true supporters emerge and consolidate their efforts.

  21. “I do not know (what I will do), I cannot predict the future,” the 28-year-old said in The Times.

    “Everybody makes his own history and only afterwards can you see how that went.”

    Everything I want
    Manchester City have been linked with a move for Van Persie as they look to continue the progress they have made in recent years, and he has not ruled out moving to another English club.

    “I do not know,” he said. “For one thing, as an indication, when I came to Arsenal we immediately beat City.

    “But in recent years much has happened in England.”

    “Nevertheless, I think the Premiership is still the best league in the world, it gives me everything I want.”

    Van Persie also stressed that it was not up to him to judge Wenger’s transfer policy at Arsenal, following criticism of the Frenchman in some quarters.

    He said: “I’m not a technical director and coach., I have no input into it.”

  22. so thats what its all about coconuts ha ha ha

  23. I think Arsenal need a 4-1-2-1-2 (4-1-2-1-1-1)

    You have the keeper and a back four.
    One holding midfielder – just sits in midfield all day long mopping up everything, A.Song does not do this, M’vila can, when needed he’s pretty good at attacking too.
    Two wingers who play well and cross well, there is Gervinho but Walcott has to improve his crossing and link up play.
    Wilshere or ramsey in midfield creating the passes and responsible for all link up play upfront.
    The next part is where Wenger needs to notice what he did wrong. He should not have sold Adebayor or he should have found an equal or better replacement. V.Persie and Arshavin should be the strikers who play in the hole behind the main ST, VP is more a CF than ST. He is exceptionally technical as well as A.A they create great chances, when we had Ade and V.P upfront we were unstoppable until Eduardo broke his leg and we went on a slide. We need two upfront or we will create chances but with only 1 player with 3 defenders usually to go past, no way, 2 upfront great chance.

    What do you guys think.

  24. shakir1989, I think Barca and the Spanish national team have proven without doubt that the game has moved on. In short if you play VanPersie and Arshavin behind a big centre-forward you’re gonna get raped in midfield. Even Alex Song can’t boss on his own.

  25. Aman

    Sorry Jenkinson is a 2nd division player he was playing non league a year ago..Sprit and Passion cant compensate for skill.i dont blame carl i blame Wenger for putting him in the position he finds himself.He was found out badly at OT and the Lane

  26. Also, if you watch back Adebayor’s best season for us (think it was 2007/08) he rarely played with VanPersie. I think VP was out of the team for most of that season.

  27. Great to know Gunners are contributing in every way they can. Just hoping Wenger will try half as hard as we are….because then, we would surely be somewhere.

  28. John says:
    October 6, 2011 at 10:40 am

    We may finally know what Carl Jenkinson is made of with the run of games he’ll get now with Bacs out. Everybody agrees on his heart and determination, we’ll get to know if he has the required skills to make it in the top flight. One good thing though is, he can only get better. My fear for him is that he’ll be in the spotlight as the weakest link in the Arsenal defence and every of his move will be scrutinized. I have faith in him, it can’t get much harder than OT and WHL

  29. RVP was the heir apparent to Bergkamp a No10 not an out and out centre forward.He is the most creative player in the team but spends most of the game with his back to goal.Especially in away games he is isolated.

  30. the only way we can get the vulture like.media of our backs is by performing on the pitch. As things stand we are
    a) lacking in confidence to show all what quality we have
    b) lacking the quality we used to have in key areas of the pitch.

  31. “I really am happy at Arsenal at the minute. Obviously I want to win things [but] I want to do it with Arsenal”.

    Sounds very familiar to me, I suggest that Jack will be off when we fail to qualify for CL football next season!

  32. Amen, Yogi.

  33. behind jack is a golden era with british backbone..a few tweak these team can mount a challenge..yup the media is a joke,trying to sell paper lol..

  34. melc

    Nope, they lost me after “Looking for the young soul rebels”. Never forget an observation someone made around the time that DMR turned to steptoe-chic. Seen arriving for TOTP as soul boys, dressed for stage as if they were coal boys.


  35. Billboy

    Never been a big fan of Van (nor Dexy’s for that matter) so wouldn’t have known! Thanks for filling the gap in my knowledge though.


  36. I hope rvp is being misquoted can we not have some good news for a change.

  37. John @ 10:40,

    “Sorry Jenkinson is a 2nd division player he was playing non league a year ago..Sprit and Passion cant compensate for skill.i dont blame carl i blame Wenger for putting him in the position he finds himself.He was found out badly at OT and the Lane”

    Hold those words for about 2 years John,
    Bet he’ll make u eat them.

  38. Alright, ACLF?

    On the night of the derby loss I was reminded of a quote from 7th Century rogue Greek poet Archilocus, namely –

    “Heart, my heart, So battered with misfortune far beyond your strength,
    Up, and face the men who hate us.
    Bare your chest to the assault of the enemy, and fight them off.
    Stand fast among the beam-like spears.
    Give no ground and if you beat them, do not brag in open show,
    Nor, if they beat you, run home and lie down on your bed and cry.”

    I don´t suppose the yids showed any such good grace but that´s no reason why we shouldn´t.

    Hope you´re all well. This is just a gelling period. Inevitable really with so many new recruits. It´ll all come together.

    What´s this about 17 more years of Arsene?? Did I dream that??


  39. i love armchairs! how else would we all be PL coaches?
    1. is it possible that AW was counting on Nasri and Cesc as part of this campaign?
    1. could they have indicated that they would stay if X or Y changes were made?
    3. could the board have reneged on a promise, maybe to buy?
    4. Is AW trying to prove a point now that there is money?

    there is more than one thing wrong with this campaign, too often we have players in makeshift positions and they do give a good account (somewhat) save for the Man U game.

    It is possible that my armchair is better than AW’s hence I’m the better coach. you see he has only managed mediocre achievements at that level of football lower than mine (i’m coaching a top top side see).

    it is obvious something is wrong and i have figured it out, only i won’t tell any of you… it’s a secret see?

  40. I hate international breaks. No new Arsenal stuff to discuss.

  41. @goonerandy

    Maybe this one is a break we might actually benefit from *please no one get injured, please please*

    Cos if I am right song and Arteta are not on international duty, their partnership is vital,

    Also most of our backline Scz, Kos, Gibbs, coquelin/Jenkinson, are not on international duty

    So we have




    to stay back and work,work work in training for 2 weeks without the pressure of a game..this can only help foster understanding and the gelling process which this team needs to do on fast forward

    What better chance to do this than 2 weeks on the training ground without matches..

  42. is there any one who actualy understands football on here at the minute, im hearing that a confernece leauge player is going to good, that song and arteta have a partnership, its good to support your team, yes, but really guys. I admire your support but by backing that up with some rediculous comment made out of loyalty, . No one blames jenks but he will fail at the top level the same way ramsy and jouro will, they can only be as good as they are and we should support them but saying these things just to announce that your loyal only serves to build a wedge between anti fans and give them amo, just be realistic and supportive

  43. Welcome Back Limpar, were you in Europe weeping in your pint? 🙂

  44. Limestonegunner

    Isn’t chezzer suffering a back injury of some kind? He needs to rest and make sure he is fully recovered. Back problems can plague GK’s if not healed properly down the line. Buffon missed lots of time for this, for example. Let’s hope Chezzer takes it easy rather than training intensely so he can be fit for our next games as he has been one of the really bright spots this season.

  45. The call to arms isn’t been felt by those that stump up cash every single weekend.

    Our next three home games are all on general sale, and you can still get tickets in the North Bank (not Sunderland) & Clock End lower tier in all of them.

    Damming scenario indeed.

    We need bums on seats – if our matchday revenue drops, the huge profit made from selling our two best players this summer will be used to stabilise the balance sheet, and not on strengthening the squad.

    Will also reduce our power/clout in trying to convince RVP, Walcott, TV, Arshavin, Song to all sign new contracts.

    We need to hit form and now. Sadly, our mismanagment this summer doesnt allow us a bedding in period – we have a great set of games to accumiltae points and momemetun, the first terribly important mini league starts after the Int break.

  46. “No one blames jenks but he will fail at the top level the same way ramsy and jouro will” (Boomer)

    Right – well that’s them written off then. Next?

  47. Yogi:

    Thanks for the post. International breaks are really long and boring. Just my own bias but I must admit that as much as I love your writing style and posts, the daily negative obsession with the media has gotten a little old. The only good thing about it is that it makes me think of Darius. I guess when things are not going well there has to be something to talk other then troubles and hatred of the media gives the troops something to focus on. Hopefully the team can give us something good to write and talk about in the coming months.

  48. boomer

    Because, of course, there is no flaw in your logic. Such as, I don’t know, for example, Jenkinson proving people wrong? Or Djourou and Ramsey being good enough.

    You bemoan a wedge being built but do nothing to prevent it.


  49. Bill

    Try reading the English media, you’ll understand better how unrelentingly negative it is. A particular favourite at the moment is The Mirror, marvellous stuff from Darren Lewis and Annie Eaves.


  50. Yogi:

    I live in Dallas and the Dallas Cowboys (America’s team) are the subject of the media vitriol and their quarterbacks troubles are national news. The fact that he has had several famous girlfriends is a juicy tidbit that sells alot of copy. I guess intense positive and negative media attention comes with the territory for a “big” team. Our recent form is historically poor especially for a team with our talent and resources and the negativity is not surprising. We have done a lot to annoy the rest of the English football world in the last few years and blasting Arsenal makes a lot of people happy and sells advertising. Not sure what else to expect.

    All that said, you are the only English media outlet that I have any contact with so I don’t really have any idea how bad it is. As I said its just my own bias about what I like to read and has no importance for anyone else.

  51. Bill

    No do try The Mirror website. It’s reached the bottom of the barrel even by its own standards.


  52. Yogi, actively encouraging us to read the Mirror? I’m torn.

  53. Any thoughts on Coq or Jenks at RB for the next 3 months? I’m caught in two minds as Jenks needs match time to develop but I wonder whether a less pressurised environment than the current situation might be better, Coq is match practised from his recent loan spell so perhaps more mentally mature and prepared.

    The other option is Kos but we’re too light in the centre at present…

    I think some kind of consistency in team selection is key for a while to get some form and understanding.

  54. Give Jenks a time before writing him off as a failure.

    I think Frimpong can also do the job there, he is our new Lassana Diara

  55. Not writing him off, more wanting to be fair on him given his experience and the toxic press/fan situ

  56. Yogi:

    Is there a specific article or column to look at?

  57. At least in the united states, journalists are held accountable for their stories, so they can’t print lies, everything has to be fact. It seems that in the UK, journalists are allowed too much “creative freedom”
    I asked a journalist who writes for the mirror why he wasn’t being accountable. His response, “journalists are on twitter now and that amounts to accountability” (paraphrased). To which I replied, no it just makes you accessible. People are starting to realise what is going on.
    Take Darren Lewis for example, he can be a fairly reasonable journalist, but even he has succumbed to the sensationalist views of his peers. He was taken to task yesterday about his article on Woijciech Szczesny-(promptly denied by the Pole), and he shifted blame to his editor. Well excuse me, but if you are a journalist paid to report the truth, why would you want your name associated with untrue facts?

  58. R.I.P Steve Jobs, one of the greatest innovators of our time. He certainly made owning a computer cool again, in my opinion. Thank you.

  59. Limestonegunner

    There is no reason why the editors of the football sections of these newspapers shouldn’t also be accountable if they are responsible for distorting the news stories and assigning misleading headlines. We should start identifying these guys by name as well and addressing our correspondence to them too and not only the journalists.

  60. Bill,I forgot you were a Cowboys fan! How about Tony Romo eh? 2 pick sixes back to back? Magnificent for my Lions and Lord Megatron! What’s your view on Romo? Do you think you should discard him or persevere? I think the latter myself. He will come good but I’m not sure if Jones will have the patience.

    Sorry for the thread hijacking!

  61. Colney:

    The internet blogging culture is much less developed over here and a lot of crap flies through the internet. I guess the sports tabloid culture is also a lot more pervasive in England then in the US. There is very little tabloid coverage of sports over here. The national Enquirer and other similar rags don’t cover sports here in the US. I guess the English tabloids trip over themselves trying to come up the most sensationalistic stuff and they start embellishing and making things up hoping to top the headlines on front page of the paper that is sitting next to their’s on the newstand.

  62. Limestonegunner

    Very early passing–sad that his life has been cut so short. I went to the same high school in Cupertino, California as both Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, the founders of Apple. They were heros to us– kids that grew up in Silicon Valley learning to program in Basic on Apple II computers in the late 70’s and early 1980’s. Even then we all knew that Wozniak was a tech nerd but that Jobs was the intellectual visionary behind Apple. In my senior year English literature class, my textbook had been Steve Jobs’ fourteen years earlier. It was amazing even then in 1986 to contemplate that someone who had accomplished such extraordinary and inspiring things already before he was 30 had once sat in class as I was then reading essays about mass culture, kitsch and art by Jose Ortega y Gasset. Jobs would go on to transform mass culture even further in ways that the Spanish philosopher could never have dreamed possible. The man was a genius.

  63. Thanks Dgob…

  64. Gadget:

    Actually I have an intense dislike for the Cowboys mostly because of Jerry Jones. My Rangers are playing so well and hopefully will win the world series, yet the Cowboys still get most of the media attention. It makes me very happy to see the media making fun of Jerry Jones and I like nothing better then watching the whole organization get dragged thru the mud. Hopefully Tony Romo will continue his current form for the rest of his career. I know its vindictive and childish but I can’t help it.

  65. Bill-

    I live in milwaukee, I agree with your assessment of the internet blogs in the country, the likes of deadspin, etc. But I find most of the newspapers and beat writers to be honest in their reporting. Deadspin, likes to report gossip, but they’ve been mostly on the money eg Bret Favre, and because of the litigious nature of the american society it’s hard for people to get away with much.

  66. Colney:

    I agree that most of the mainstream writers and over here at least try to be realistic with the things they present as “facts”. I think you’re right, fear of lawsuits helps to minimize any temptation to make things up.

  67. Limestonegunner

    Good luck to your Rangers, Bill. Last year my Giants came out on top, but the field is yours and I’ll be rooting for a World Series return and victory this time.

  68. Bill

    Anne Eaves and Darren Lewis are at the barrel’s bottom, Mr Lewis being chivalrous and standing on her shoulders.


  69. Limestone:

    Thanks, I would have loved to see a rematch. Losing Buster Posey was a killer. Giants were a team of destiny last season and they were a great story. Never want to lose but can’t think of a better group of players to have won. You’ll be back in the mix next year.

    It is interesting how much more media emphasis is placed on the Cowboys troubles around here compared with the Rangers success. Same with the Mavericks who won the NBA title this season. Part of my dislike for the Cowboys is infantile jealousy in that regard, I guess.

  70. Yogi:

    Thanks. Don’t have the time to look at a lot but some of it is truly rubbish. I think I will continue to avoid it. Thanks again for your posts. It really is some of the best sports journalism around. I don’t enjoy this particular topic but many people do and I understand why. I am always amazed that you can write something everyday and keep it interesting. I have said before you should have been a journalist or a writer since it would greatly improve the quality of the profession.

  71. Paulie Walnuts


    Yeah, can`t stand Darren Lewis. He clearly knows nothing about football.

    Same as my knowledge of American sports.

    Can we get back to Arsenal please chaps ?

  72. Limestonegunner

    Watched the post-Spuds interview with Coquelin and boy did he look gutted to lose. But credit to him, he was still pretty defiant and looking determined. He didn’t accept any credit for his game and instead focused on the desire to play better and work on improving. Great attitude and that is three good games he has played. ManU away, Shrewsbury at home and, and Spuds away. I had wanted him picked for Olympiakos at home as well. I would be happy to see him getting some games at RB, since he has played there on occasion apparently for Lorient last season. I think the Marseille games should have his name on the team sheet for sure in midfield or RB and he could play RB vs. Chelsea.

    I wish he, Ramsey and Frimpong didn’t have to shoulder so much responsibility this season but because of injuries our midfield really only has three experienced players fit–Arteta, Song and Benayoun. Hopefully all three can step up. So far, I think, Coquelin has done the best with the chances he has had this season.

  73. Limestonegunner

    Paulie, I’d love to talk Arsenal too. So far it is dead quiet on here and there doesn’t seem to be much Arsenal news to discuss, unless we beat the dead horse of complaining about the media. Perhaps you should start a thread with a provocative opinion to which people might react, kinda like the English media does!

    Or we can just watch some inspiring Arsenal videos to pick up our mood. Still enjoy young Danny Graft’s Arsenal Anthem from August:

  74. General sale a??? fukin glory unters the style gurus and the floating foreigners have all decided to bugger off now we aren’t winning as much. no wonder the ground has a better atmosphere already. good riddance. might actually enjoy the experience again now.

  75. Paulie Walnuts


    Fair point – been a dull week. How about Rooney family values being up for discussion ?


    Yep, they can all foo-cough to Spurs

  76. Paulie:

    Sounds like Wayne Rooney and his dad are perfectly matched.

  77. Jenks has played better more often than not. I am not sure how people can judged him on the United match plus a few minutes against the Spurs while forgetting all of the good performances he put in. People are quite strange.

  78. yeah first time ive seen GS on ticket sales, fuck i can sit where i like now
    half way line, see you against Sunderland

  79. With regards to Jenkinson, I only have one word to say: Maicon. That’s right, Brazil international, Serie A and CL winner Maicon got taken to the cleaners by Garreth Bale. The only difference is that Jenks didn’t look as bad as he did.

  80. at last..the plastics, jcl’s and the jeremys and jemimas are all fucking off….

    the customers and sight see-ers are abandoning ship..

    now all the baord need to do is lower the ticket prices and the hardcore can get back into the stadium and raise the roof..

    but they wont..the only thing that will be raised is the ticket prices again next year to make up for the lack of demand..or sell rvp..

    the last bit of the post is stand out..support the team..team being the key word..its all we can do and to be honest i think its all we have been doing..the question is do those who sit round the table making the decisions want to support the team too..or are they still interested in supporting the balance sheet and making it top heavy at the expense of the team and the fans who still care about the club..which is all theyve been doing..

  81. Limestonegunner

    Gains, I still think Coquelin should get games at RB v. Marseille and Chelsea.

    Paul N, I wasn’t that thrilled actually with Jenks’ performance at home v. Shrewsbury, to be honest. I think he got caught playing too far forward a couple times and that his crossing wasn’t that dangerous. He played well in some earlier games and but since ManU his confidence might have been, understandably shaken. The best way to support him is to insure that he isn’t forced to shoulder that position all alone but gets opportunities to prove himself and build up more confidence. I’d start him at home and against lower table opposition and give European and other games to Coquelin, who, to be fair, is also having to step up but at least has a year of Ligue 1 football behind him.

  82. Limestone, the guy has barely played post United. Surely he is not expected to come out flying? When he had a run in the side he looked good. The team on a whole took some time to get it together against Shrewsbury it seems.
    People were saying that Gibbs wasnt playing well earlier and now he is. Many are just too quick to put players down after a not too good showing even though they have put in some good shifts earlier.

  83. i actually think jenks is a better defender than attacker and therefore is exposed on the flank as his youth induced nievity leaves him too far up the pitch at the wrong time..i prefer him at lb as he tends to get forward less on his wrong foot and concentrate on his defensive game more..he looks solid defending when hes already in position, its getting in position thats his weakness..
    if i were wenger id be tempted to play 442 and protect jenks with coquelin…
    we’d lose the attacking threat on the right flank but we play thru the middle anyway and we still got gibbs on the left so its win win in my opinion..

  84. Yogi:

    “The squad that has just broken up was the Golden Generation. It never materialised in its entirety, glimpses but never the full view. This time, with time, perhaps it will be different. Perhaps not, perhaps there is more turmoil to come.”

    That was an interesting quote from today’s post. What do you think went wrong for last golden generation? They should be dominating the PL right now. What do you think can be done differently for the new golden generation we are building? I hope someone at London Colney is thinking about this and identifying any possible mistake we made so they won’t be repeated.

  85. Bill,

    let me answer this question for you: the sole reason is lack of continuity…

  86. JJ stop feeling sorry for yourself.Its sad.
    Cheer up ffs

  87. or we could play a 352

    play jenks as a defender with two other cbs

    play gibbs and theo as out and out wingers

    two holders and a creative player in the middle and arshavin or gervinho with rvp..

    we’d still have numbers in the middle, which is what we like so we can do the tippy tap..but rvp isnt carrying the load by himself uptop and the three cbs and two holders offer enough cover when the wingers bomb forward..

    so we got

    —–jenks–??–?? (basically whoever the fucks fit)

  88. No lets play coq o van at left back and use jenks sparingley to get his confidence back.

  89. sorry thats right back obviously.

  90. Limestonegunner

    Paul-N, where did I say Jenks was expected to come out flying after ManU? I said it was understandable that his confidence would be a bit shaky, in fact. Where did I write him off? I suggested that he get some games in particular circumstances that would help him build back some confidence while Coquelin should get other games where a slightly more experience and knowledge of the French league (i.e. Marseille games) would be beneficial.

    You must be arguing with some phantom commenter.

  91. No lets play coq o van at RB because at the moment he is a better player.

  92. Limestonegunner

    Duke, that is what I suggested above, as it only seems sensible not to pile up the pressure on Jenks but to let a couple players try to fill the huge gap that Sagna’s injury leaves.

  93. “You must be arguing with some phantom commenter.”

    That must be the same one who made me look completely stupid last week

  94. Limestonegunner

    George, I certainly think Coquelin is a decent player and has the right attitude. Unfortunately, he isn’t an experienced veteran either, but compared to Jenks he is real professional since he has played a year of top flight football!

  95. I am not arguing with you at all Limestone, sorry if it came off that way. I am just making my point, not trying to put words in your mouth at all. My beef is people being too hard on the young man.

  96. george this is where you get confused although your on the right track..
    just to clear up..i dont feel sorry for myself…i feel sorry for the arsenal..

  97. i can understand the calls for le coq in defence but has anyone seen him play there??

  98. I like the idea of Le Coq at RB. Jenks will prob be a good RB some day but, the poor guy is thrown into the pressure cooker after coming straight up from League 1. No player could reasonably be expected to do well in that situation. Coq played RB a lot in the reserves and some in France and should hold his own very well there as long as Song can move back to Mid field.

  99. Given we’re allowing people to bypass our midfield at will in every game at the moment, playing 3 at the back would be total fucking suicide,

    Doesn’t matter how many people you’ve got in any area on the pitch if they don’t track throw-ins, don’t attack the ball, don’t try to block shots. These are basics and they don’t require confidence.

  100. whats to say playing le coq at rb will be any better than jenks..hes got no PL experience there at all and in france he played cm..the reserves isnt even the quality of the lower league so techinically jenks is the experienced RB
    if le coqs bombing forward all the time too then his defensive games going to go to shit as well, especially against bale, nani etc..

    might as well stick with jenks, let the lad play, he can defend just give him protection..

  101. james
    given were allowing people to bypass our midfield at will, playing two at the back is, not would be, total suicide, isnt it

    our fbs play as wingers do they not?? the two at the back get dragged apart covering the width, isolated and left looking gormless.. 3 at the back would be an extra man..like playing with a sweeper..the cb’s could get dragged to the wing but we’d always have the man in the middle wouldnt we..?? whereas at the moment we are leaving a gap big enough to drive a jumbo jet thru..

    three at the back theres no tracking back involved.. the players are already there aint they…two can stand there ground whilest the other one does the scrambling, depending what flank its on..

  102. JJ @8:50:

    I don’t agree but certainly no definite right answer at this time. Lots and lots of games and no clear cut right answer so I think we try both and see which one works out the best. I think Le Coq will turn out to be the best option. Djourou or Kos (after TV returns) are other options.


    Not sure what you mean by continuity.

  103. ive seen JD at RB, bill and thats a definate no..
    kozzer?? maybe..
    but why square pegs?
    we bought jenks to cover for sagna and although the timing is totally royally fucked theres no reason why we shouldnt play him..
    ok fair enough he got ripped apart at OT and the swamp but i can name numerous players who were much worse than him in both games..dunno why hes getting a hard time..
    its not like RB is our biggest problem is it??
    weve got holes all over the pitch…

  104. Bill,

    dismantling teams at alarming rate, let’s assume 06/07 season as the one to begin the ‘project youth’ with a few star players of old still around…

    it’s 5 years down the line and quess what? we are back to square one, it’s just that the quality of the team is nowhere near what it was back then…

  105. JJ @ 9:06:

    Fair enough, still don’t agree with you. I think Jenks will certainly get his chances but unless he can stake an immediate claim to the position then I think we need to experiment and see who works out the best. No one would have thought Smalling would be an effective RB and I really think Kos could move into the position and do very well once TV5 is back. I also think Le Coq could do a good job.


    Losing Hleb, Flamini, TR7 and Adebyor’s fall from grace after 07/08 was a huge blow. However, the core of “project youth” Cesc, RVP, Song, Nasri, NB52, TW Denilson, clichy, etc etc had been with us until this season. I don’t think continuity is the only answer.

  106. Hat-trick for AOC vs Iceland U21s.

  107. I actually agree with Suga althoough I wouldnt say the team was dismantled. Bill, If those players you mentioned had stuck around we wouldve won the PL by now in my opinion.

    Another thing to me is that I believe some of the players were a bit soft. They have left to win things when they shouldve been the players ensuring that we win in the first place, especially last season. They simply were not strong enough to lead the club.

  108. Paul:

    Perhaps you and Sug are right. Losing those players was a huge blow. Perhaps if those players had stayed, the group would have recovered from the disappointment of 07/08 and won a trophy or 3 the next year and developed a swagger and a group confidence that they were never able to find. We basically had to rebuild after that season. I really believe that if the last generation had been able to break thru and win some things together it would have lead to a lot more success. I think there are a lot of other reasons but may be that is the single biggest factor.

  109. JonJon

    Fans are just picking any old name to play RB because Jenkinson is like a fish out of water.Personally i would play Chamakh there

  110. Bill,

    in 06/07 we still had Gilberto and Henry, this season it’s Song and RvP, both with question marks over their heads next summer…

    see the parallel?

    Paul N,

    it’s not about them being soft, it’s about taking the wrong turn in the middle of 07/08 and in the summer afterwards, IMO…

    keeping Hleb and Flamini was worth whatever they wanted to be paid, being the core of the potentially all-conquering team…

    supplementing them with some more quality would allow for rotation and breed another generation in organic way, but we severed too many ‘links’ back then…

  111. re-investment is the word we are looking for chaps..
    if you lose a bunch of quality players you replace them with other quality players..
    and once you have the quality players you add to them with more quality players until you have a squad capable of challenging for the honours you say you want to challenge for..

    there has been no re investment..well there has but its been minimal..
    even when we spent 50mil this summer we still made 60mil in outgoings so once again the actual kitty was never touched..

    but this arguements been done and dusted..mistakes have been made end of..and its going to take a whole heap of hard work to put it right..

    oxos been really impressive so far this season in the handfull of games hes had..shades of vela though..young player playing really well scoring goals full of confidence, still no real game time though in first team, even though theres players who are out of form and not showing much to warrant a first team spot.. just hope by the time wenger decides its time to give oxo his proper chance the confidence hasnt gone and the chance is missed..
    as soon as poss please mr wenger..cos the kids full of it at the minute..dont do what you did to vela..

  112. Suga, the players that left recently were a bit soft to me.

    Flamini and Hleb wanted out, I dont believe that money was the issue and I dare say regret that they left, I believe Hleb has admitted it. Ade is so full of himself that It seems he doesnt even realize that he has made a mess of his career, or he is too proud to admit it.

  113. Flamini wanted out because he was treated like shit the summer before when he was offered a move to Brum and Hleb could not cope with playing so many games…

    now, call me crazy, but neither Milan needed Flam nor Barca needed Hleb, IMO, this was deliberately aimed at knocking the stuffing out of the us and look how well that worked!

    Ade is on the record saying that he did not want to leave Arsenal in the end, by the way…

    newsflash off Tw*tter: apparently, we are considering renegotiating or terminating the shirt sponsorship deal with Emirates and the top brass is working on the ‘doomsday scenario’ plan on how to cope with no European football AT ALL…

    I am off for now, have a good one!

  114. jj:

    I would like to see OX go on loan to a Championship or PL side where he could grow his cajones in a situation that was not so pressure packed. It worked wonders for JW. Look at whats happened with Sturredge, Cleverly, Welbeck. If we throw him into this side and he struggles it could ruin his confidence and hurt him a lot more then help him IMO.

  115. “I really believe that if the last generation had been able to break thru and win some things together it would have lead to a lot more success. I think there are a lot of other reasons but may be that is the single biggest factor.”

    I agree Bill.No squad since 04 has stayed together long enough to fulfill its promise.
    And I believe that there was nothing more the manager could have done to prevent it.

  116. Limestonegunner

    Good discussion, Paul-N, Bill and Suga. I certainly subscribe to the notion that winning a couple cups or the league even once between 2007 and 2010 would have made a world of difference to this team. If we could have maintained momentum after the 07-08 season and either kept a couple midfield players or brought in Alonso, we might have seen this project bear some wonderful fruit. Unfortunately, we are facing a similar rebuild and this season will be a fight all the way to get into the top 4 because it isn’t just Liverpool, Chelsea and ManU at the top but Man City and Spuds too that we are competing with.

    The sooner we can put a run of results together, the sooner we can realistically target the top 4 places which will be crucial to confidence and motivation this season. I really think the CL is important this year as well. Doing well in the group can sustain the team’s confidence and belief even when league is a long and slow climb up the table. Hopefully we can do a number on Marseille away, but that is probably going to be a tough game. A draw would be ok but a victory would do wonders for us.

  117. of course he could, george, paying top players top wages (not Chelsea kind of top wages, but we could easily afford to pay Flam 90K, the chemistry between him and Cesc was priceless) and paying kids the kids wages would be a start, no?

  118. I dont agree at all, Flamini wanted out and he said it. Milan was the team of his youth, and he couldnt pass it up. Hleb was plain foolish and went out like a punk. Ade doesnt even know what he said, he is so full of himself that he believes that he can talk over people’s head. We all heard his silly conflicting interviews.

    The 3 of them have made a right mess of themselves. Arsenal will be around (and we will get back to where we need to be) when they are done with football but they all couldve gone as some really special players if they had stayed put.

    3 silly men if you ask me. You could see that another great Arsenal team was around the corner but they messed it up, as has those who have just left. We will come again though, but this time with more committed players.

  119. You see 90k for someone who 12 months before he left you would have driven him to the airport.
    He also said he was going to re sign and jibbed.
    He has done fuck all since he left and was average,like Nasri,in his last half season.

  120. bill
    well not playing him when hes banging in the goals at every other level and leaving him to rot on the bench wont do anything for him either..

    why should he go on loan when theres players in the 1st team who cant hit a cows arse with a banjo..

    and i wouldnt like to see us pay 15mil for a player just to send him on loan..waste of money..would ruffle a few feathers that one if that happened..
    its already bothering me that we cant break our wage ceiling for our best players but we can go spend 15mil on a div 2 17 year old only for him to not play at all..him going on loan isnt an option..

    we paid very good money for him he needs to play for us..

  121. Flamini and Ade are pricks and we are well shut of them,
    Hleb at least has admitted his mistake and I can forgive him.

  122. George:

    “I believe that there was nothing more the manager could have done to prevent it.”

    George, I don’t agree with that but its a long convoluted discussion and no time or interest in starting. Besides its worthless to argue now since there is nothing we can do. Whats happened in the past is the past. The bigger concern is, will we learn from the previous mistakes?

  123. george,

    I don’t agree, Flamini was a very good player, able to cover a few positions if need be…

    I certainly would not allow him to run down his contract like that, and put an offer on the table right after that CL campaign…

    by the way, you know what is funny? Flam went through the entire CL run playing LB (out of position) and Wenger decided to play Cole who was barely fit…

    – Lehmann sending off followed Giuly’s run on Cole’s side
    – one of the goals Barca scored came from his side as well
    – Cole fucked off to Chavs the same summer

    that certainly worked out well, eh?

  124. I dont accept it is a mistake if it is beyond your control.
    If Arsene has made mistakes it has been because he has expected the same loyalty and honour from players as he has shown.He has been badly let down by lesser men.

  125. *decided to play Cole in the final

    really off now…

  126. Flamini was deadwood until the first half of his last season.He has proved that since he left.

  127. whatever ppl think of flamini losing him was a massive mistake and it was the clubs fault we lost him..
    mis management

    he wanted to stay but we tried to flog him to brum and that was that, relationship destroyed, milan came calling then we made our move he said fuck you after the way you treat me im off..

    bottom line is, we should have offered him a contract in 06 when he played at LB and was shit hot for most of season..not in 08 after trying to sell him to a shit team and then realising he was good enough for milan..

    instead we lost a very good player worth 15-18mil over the sake of a few grand and we replaced him with denilson..

    we fucked up…not the first time not the last..

  128. JJ @ 10:13:

    Understand your point but again I disagree. There is probably no right or wrong answer but even as good as he has looked so far i doubt that a 17 year old kid can save us or make a huge difference for us this season. However, the success of returning loan players in the last couple of years is indisputable. Ox could be the superstar we crave for many years to come and potentially hurting him now is extremely short sighted IMO. Same with Frimpong and Miquel. Look what happened when we threw the last generation of youth into the fire.

  129. he cant save us by himslef bill
    all im saying is if you have someone in the squad scoring goals and full of confidence and one of your problems in the 1st team is lack of confidence and lack of goals then wheres the logic in not playing him??

  130. George is correct, Flamini just started playing well, Ade is the same as well. They expect to put in half a years work and want a huge pay increase, nonsense!

  131. instead we lost a very good player worth 15-18mil

    Never in a million years is he worth that .Not then and certainly not now

  132. JJ:

    I agree to disagree with you. Fun to discuss, but obviously no one who makes those decisions cares what we think. Time will tell what happens.

  133. you just wont accept it will you george
    that trench is well and trully dug isnt it buddy..

    wengers a great man and a legend in all our eyes but mistakes have been made..wengers no excpetion..look at the situation we are in..hes the manager…

    i detest the board more than anything and il slag them bastards til im blue in the face..one thing il never do is slag wenger and i dont detest him but he has cocked up..repetitively..and its now biting us on the arse..

  134. bill its always fun to discuss

    george, flamini was worth an awful lot to this club..
    name me another midfielder who could play at LB and help the defence not conceed a cl goal for ten games??

    he was massive for us mate..accept it or not but he was..
    that midfield of 08 was one of the best ive ever seen and he was part of it..

  135. He was part of it JJ I will give you that.
    I would have looked good surrounded by those 3.
    Flamini was just a work horse and had a golden period of about 3 months.

  136. JJ you are right about my trench though 🙂

  137. Flamini, the club did more for Flamini than he did for the club. If that is not the case then how comes he isnt replicating that form? forget Flamini, he will not go down in history as anything special when he couldve. Is he playing for the French national team? NOPE!

  138. could someone explain why Alex was not even on the bench against the Tots?

  139. Yes because he is NOT ready for a game like that.

  140. Paul and George:

    I always say that you can’t judge someone by a short run of form and so Flamini has to go down as a flash in the pan based on whats happened since he left. Hleb the same to some degree. However, in this situation it sure would have been nice to see if they could have continued their form with us. That side had a great chemistry it would have been worth a lot to keep it together. All we know now is that breaking it up certainly did not help us as a team and may have been the single biggest thing that damaged the previous “golden generation”.

    No way to know what would have happened and we can argue forever about who if anyone was at fault. However, I hope we learn a lesson and perhaps make some adjustments to the way we do business to avoid a similar thing happening to this coming generation.

  141. paul
    everything in football is about players complimenting eachother..we can go out and buy all the best midfielders in the world but if they dont comliment eachother it dont work..

    flamini and cesc where fucking awesome together, add the trickery of hleb and the artistry of a fully working rosicky and you have the leagues most potent midfield

    flamini was the workhorse yes, but every team needs a workhorse or it dont click..hleb was the dribbler, cesc and tomas were the vision and art and flamini just filled the gaps, did all the running and covered all the ground..it all clicked and we were on fire..even without van persie we were tearing teams apart they were putting chances for ade on a plate and clichy and sagna were able to get forward cos flamini was just a duracell bunny who filled the gaps..we had both fb’s in the team of the year that season it was no coincidence..
    flamini was massive..
    doesnt matter how he plays for milan or france he complemented our attack with his defensive qualities perfectly and we never replaced that..

    we can slag flamini now all we want but we cant undervalue what affect he had on the 08 team cos he was key..

  142. pedantic,

    was Alex also not ready to play against ManU, coming as as substitute from min. 62?

  143. id argue that danny rose and kyle whatever his face werent ready for games like that either but history suggests otherwise

    for me..if a players scoring goals hes ready and he plays..no matter what age..

    maybe if oxo was on the pitch we would have had more than a grand total of zero shots in the last half hour

  144. Bill, Sure it wouldve been nice if they had stayed but the problem with your comment is that you think money (“business”) had something to do with it or it seems that you are proposing that the club must bow to the player, even if they dont agree with the players valuation of themselves. If no player is bigger than the club, then the club must behave in that manner.

    The players are at fault, they were being paid well and jumped ship.

  145. JJ @ 10:54:

    I agree completely with you on that one.

  146. JJ, I know the team played well together but dont tell me that players drop off so badly. The concept of the team brought out the best in them, hence they have been full of crap since they left. Tell him that it doesnt matter how well he played for France or Milan.

    Who undervalued Flamini? they guy punked out and that is it, the fact that we havent won anything doesnt mean that we shouldve bent over backwards to keep a player whose head was obviously turned. Good riddance.

  147. The way how the team played that year is not even in question, we were a great team.

  148. Paul N:

    I understand your point but can’t continue to deny the reality of where football is today. Players make that sort of money and it may seem unreasonable to you and me but thats the way life is. You can make up all the doomsday scenarios you want had we manipulated the salary structure by paying a little over the odds for Flamini, but all of that is just speculation. At this point we know for certain what happened by not keeping him and IMO that hurt us a lot more then any damage that we could have done to the salary structure by keeping him.

    I know that your 1 – 10th instinct is to defend Wenger and thats fine but I think he did go overboard with the frugality and it hurt the club. At this point all we can do is learn a lesson from what happened before.

  149. The way how the team played that year is not even in question, we were a great team.

    We were and still are .

    Everyone is throwing their hand in.I want to see the turn and river before I fold in a pot that I have hugely invested in
    PS. I don’t mean you Paul.No one could ever call you a jibber.

  150. paul i understand that side of the arguement
    but i can name 10 players at least over the years weve used the no player is bigger than theory on and good riddance and it hasnt really been good riddance has it cos we havent moved forwards..

    successful clubs tend to keep there best players together for a period of time..
    we havent kept any team together for nearly a decade..and now we are struggling..we cant keep saying bye bye to players as soon as the team starts to look special..or we end up rebuilding, or in this seasons case, imploding..

    all these players are juming ship for a reason..what is that reason?? is it that we tend to attract the mercenary?? or is it that we are a club that has become so obsessed by maximising profits with minimum input that we dont show enough ambition in either A.transfers and B.wages..we undervalue players that much that we either dont attract them or we drive them away..in other words. a feeder club…

  151. Well as there is no football, I figured we could take this opportunity to learn about rugby 🙂
    A little video should do the trick.

  152. Strange how player only started to jump ship when we stopped paying as much as others.

  153. What is with supporters always bigging up ex players? Guess what they don’t play for us anymore, move on!

  154. Well I am off to the bar to watch the Yankees beat up on Detroit in a do-or-die Game 5. At least one of my teams is playing well!! (so far) Ah Jesus!! Did I just jinx myself? Bollox!! Well there is only one way to find out, Let’s Go Yankees!! Oh and COYG!! laters peeps 🙂

  155. I doubt Tottenham deserved to win, although they had plenty more chances than us to do so, and we did not deserve to win. We played badly on the whole didn’t we, maybe terribly in the second half, but dominated for long periods. It was a 45/45 game, with 10% down to luck, and Spuds got that with a good goal. Folks who imagine the season is over are crazy. We must fight and get that 4th spot, and I think we can and will. It will be a great achievement under the circumstances. We must, as usual, finish above Spurs; we can and we will. Cheer up folks. It’s a tough period, but have the means to achieve what is needed.

  156. SUGA3

    It’s better than Martin Samuel’s efforts to discredit Beane but wide of the mark in Wenger’s,

    effort to rebuild Arsenal almost entirely through youth development has failed, because he has produced neither a sound defensive core nor another Dennis Bergkamp

    Which avoids the fact that he has bought considerably more players than have come through the youth ranks. Samuel tried to use the fact that each baseball division has four teams his axis of destruction, failing to point out the expanded fixture list.

    There is merit in their arguments but I suspect that the stubborness that is attributed to Wenger winning the “right way” is no more or less than when he first came to Arsenal. His basic footballing philosophy has not changed; just the personnel.


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