Captain’s Log: The Cross Of Changes

Club cap’n, Consolsbob, is here with his view on matters Arsenal…

This has been a bloody awful season so far for Arsenal fans. Defeat on the pitch, an intensifying civil war between fans, another injury crisis and the conviction amongst many that the team cannot deliver. Add in continued uncertainty about what is happening at Board level, a seemingly misfiring corporate team and dissatisfaction, in noisy quarters at least, with Arsène and we have the media’s beloved ‘perfect storm’.

Where did it all go wrong? From the ‘Invincibles’ to facing a tough scramble to claw our way up the league to maintain our place in the ‘Big Four’. A world in which Spurs and the ‘Pool are favourites to finish above us.

We have no idea how the season will turn out. The new squad will bed down, players will return from injury and others will recapture their form. Four trophies are still to be won; there is an awful long way to go. And don’t forget the ‘transfer kitty’, burning a hole in fans’ pockets, at the very least. We could yet have the last laugh come May.

The squad contains much that previous ones have been accused of lacking; Premier League experience, a socking great centre back and a dominant ‘keeper. But why we are struggling and why there is so much unhappiness around the club today? A proper answer seems worthy of a thesis rather than a post. Here’s a starter for 10 anyway.

The last few years have been very complex for Arsenal. Moving stadia brought issues with debt but also, less acknowledged let alone understood, Arsenal walked into the corporate world. Most see this as the ‘club level leaving early’ fans but, behind the scenes a new management body led by Gazidis and his team of financial and legal apparatchiks has changed the club for ever. Necessary perhaps but not the club of our youth any more.

This time has been one of takeover and boardroom ferment. A standoff remains with a major shareholder whilst there are rumours of argument between Arsène and the ‘Board’, which means Kroenke.

At the centre of any debate on Arsenal‘s woes, and haven’t there been a few, is Arsène. How could a man who won the double in his first season, built the Invincibles and the ‘Emirates’, who revolutionised training and dietary regimes in this country, established Colney and unearthed Vierra, Henry, Pires, and Ljungberg allowed the current state of affairs to come about? No club is more beholden to one man or has more power than he. Arsenal 2011 is Arsene’s club.

The first part of his tenure was glory all the way. Champagne football with an edge of steel. Only Europe remained stubbornly unconquered and we all knew that was just a matter of time. Then came the building of the ‘Emirates’ and the leaving of our much loved, but shabby, Highbury. We knew money was tight but Arsène kept pulling out plums. ‘Project Youth’ and Colney started to produce gifted players; performances promised another glittering era as key men left. We came close, oh so close, to achieving astonishing success. We didn’t quite do it; Abramovich, bad luck and a good dose of gratuitous violence foiled us.

Abramovich changed the nature of football. His bottomless pockets challenged the conventional thinking on club finances, casting into doubt the ability of the ‘Arsenal and Emirates’ model to succeed when the best players could be bought and cast aside to be replaced by even more expensive purchases. Later, an oil state with global ambition showed the chavs how it was really done. Players were, and are, collected like the cigarette cards of my youth.

It’s hard to separate out bad luck from the violence that was unleashed on our team by desperate and morally bankrupt managers. But the assaults on Reyes at Old Trafford stay in my mind amidst the cynical, rotational fouling that blighted many games.

Violence truncated the career of Eduardo and I count myself amongst those who believe that we would have won the league that year but for the assault on him. His injury and ‘that’ game perhaps mark a watershed from an Arsenal that was in its pomp to one that faltered and spluttered. Ramsey’s career and that of Diaby have suffered in similar ways. Momentum halted for them and the team.

Injury or ‘ambition’, occasionally stupidity, meant Cole, Reyes, Flamini, Diarra, Eduardo, Diaby, Rosicky, Nasri, and Fabregas were or have been transient figures in a constantly rebuilding Arsenal rather than pivotal mainstays in the making in a successful team.

Near, yet so far, but this period, when the debt was paid down and we stayed challenging for honours at home and in Europe was a triumph for Arsène. A battle clearly won. Supporters could still see the ambition, there was still a rising curve even if this reflected profit rather than team strength. Profit meant future strength in the market and an ability to compete financially.

And now? For me the team lacks the ‘X’ factor that we have had for as long as Arsène has been here. It is that lack that has perhaps derailed the Arsenal train on the pitch. Our football has been geared towards excellence with a strong presence of genius and guile on the pitch that has awed opponents and allowed us to steamroller most opposition. Well, we used to, that awe has faded as the stars in our firmament have blinked out to be replaced by dimmer, less brilliant lights.

The times feel ominously similar to past regime change, both at Arsenal and other clubs. Fan dissatisfaction is evident but really just noise. The modern equivalent of shouts from the terrace at Highbury in the 80’s of “Morrow, you’re rubbish!” Louder, cruder, more shallow and, of course everywhere, but just symptomatic of wider society. Ignore. Ditto the media. The corporate thing though just doesn’t seem right. No control or real confidence, glib statements and a lack of substance. That is worrying. It doesn’t take long for organisations to go into tailspin. Things fall apart.

However, this is Arsene’s team, his Arsenal. He has chosen the players to buy and not to buy. Now there is money, not ‘oil money’ but money all the same. I do not believe that the current team is anywhere near the level of those early Arsène sides or even that of a couple of years ago. If this has been brought about because of failure at Board level, a spluttering senior management team, or an unwinnable argument over the wage structure, then I expect him to see out his contract honourably and leave. If however, it is of his own making then no man will be more aware of that than he. In that circumstance I expect him to put it right. The Arsène who has done so much for our great club will lead us back to where we are now used to being. If he fails, if his mojo is gone as some claim, then I suspect the future will be taken out of his hands.

At the moment he controls that situation. Power remains with him. Only failure can change that. The Arsène we have known will not fail. An intelligent, decent, honourable man and a manager of genius.

’til Tomorrow

Posted on October 8, 2011, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 129 Comments.

  1. Just Another Luke

    First?

  2. Just Another Luke

    History is being made all the time. Whether the next 3 years will be times of glory or disintegration remains to be seen. Do we the fans have belief? Do the team have it? Does Arsene has it?

  3. Another excellent post. The points you have raised are cogent and well thought out. One way or the other only time will tell. I for one…..I’m on the side of Arsene and his Arsenal.
    COME ON YOU GUNNERS

  4. I did quite enjoy the post as I must confess myself an AKB of sorts. I am from California, and–confirming suspicions here–it was wenger and ultimately the players that made me choose arsenal. There is undoubtedly something more about the arsenal, maybe it’s the distinct non manure-ness that emanates from the emirates, or perhaps the unique underdog mentality even tho our attacking options reeked world class. I second the notion that the board may be pulling more strings (or tightening) than visible to the naked eye. Let’s get 1 thing straight people—fuck it it’s not worth it

  5. Anyone know how long Diaby’s contract runs?

  6. Sir Henry Afulukwe

    Good post, full of optimism.
    It’s depressing to support Arsenal at this period in time, I can’t look at my friends(Pink Devils and Stop-en-ham fans) in the face, but there’s always hope, however gloomy it may seem at the moment.
    Gooner ’til the end!

  7. Poogs, how exactly do we have an underdog mentality? As one of the most successful teams in English football history I just don’t see it. Try telling that to (with due respect) Wigan or Fulham or any of the 88 professional teams who regularly finish below us in the league.

  8. Nice post consols – agree with everything you say; Abramovich and injuries, however they came about, cost us. This ‘new’ team has the heart but I for one fear it lacks the skill to really make much of this season. The good news is, it can’t get any worse now – except ofcourse even more injuries.. RvP please stay fit!

  9. Makes a change from recent Arsenal teams then pb!

  10. If Arsene does not extend his contract I believe it will be mid table for years to come

    “leftpinky | October 8, 2011 at 8:08 am
    Anyone know how long Diaby’s contract runs?”

    Fear not he is a loyal lad he will renew.

  11. Great post Yogi. Love this most biased more pro-Wenger.

  12. Brilliant article, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it!!

  13. It’s in his hands George.

  14. George

    If Arsene does not extend his contract I believe it will be mid table for years to come

    That’s the funniest comment I’ve read so far. But to be quite honest with you I do think that wenger leaving is a step forward for this club.

  15. “An intelligent, decent, honourable man and a manager of genius.”

    Beautiful words Bob.
    This is the problem I have with the realists,domers,thick pricks,call them what you will.They can have their concerns,and moans and whinges.They can bemoan the loss of players,lack of signings,defensive frailties and general shortage of grit.But your words above hold true despite all.And to be ignore of that is indeed ignorance ,and that should never be allowed or tolerated.

  16. Nah george you just an abusive little cunt.

  17. Gooner2
    We know what you think.Well in your case its more don’t think
    .I agree with Dups,you are an idiot. Beneath contempt,as it goes.

  18. where did it all go wrong? seriously bob we all know the answer to that one don’t we.

  19. Go on duke, just to be sure, tell us.

  20. Everything in live is naturally subjected to a cyclical trend of boom, depression and stagnation. Lets just believe this is Arsenal’s time.

  21. “Nah george you just an abusive little cunt.”

    Is that like telling someone to “stop fucking swearing” ?

  22. :“An intelligent, decent, honourable man and a manager of genius.”

    Is that Tony Blair your talking about??

  23. I behave like an idiot to annoy fake acting intelligent people like you and dups.

  24. I have a very,very simple answer as to why we are struggling…..the other clubs have learnt their lessons well.
    Wenger led the way when it came to scouting.
    Yes,there have been high profile players go to England for decades,but which club,which man was the pioneer of turning the unknown foreigners into household names?
    Nowadays,as soon as Arsenal show the slightest bit of interest in someone,that player jumps on the radar of every big club in England.
    It may well be the players agent doing his job,raising his players profile,but more likely other clubs simply following the lead of Wenger.
    My son is only 5.y.o.,but in ten years time,wherever he is working,I hope Wenger finds him,because it doubles the value.
    Seriously though,those would thoughts of every player agent on earth.

  25. ok Bob.

    Preparation.

  26. Well its not you Duke ,that’s for sure

  27. I can’t help but feel that some of the resentment towards Wenger is that the FA wanted him to manage England and he declined.

    The astonishing thing about that is the FA patently know so little about football that they think he would somehow perform miracles with the poor material they regularly Hoover up from their owners and plunk into a hotel somewhere in the misguided belief that these poorly behaved yobs are going to win anything.

    I have always been fairly astounded at the amount of unnecessary bile directed at Wenger over the years, but it’s been stepped up.

    It’s all become clear recently with one or two articles appearing recently once again suggesting Wenger could manage England. The agenda begins to emerge when you see the responses to a few polls that suggest that he would be welcomed by the “fans”.

    I think the FA and the media are trying very hard to drive this wedge in to achieve two goals, firstly to tear Wenger away from Arsenal like some besotted, angst-ridden teenager who desperately hankers after someone they can’t, and shouldn’t, have, and secondly because they desperately want one of their “pals” to get to manage a well run and top club, hence rubbish suggesting idiots like mark Hughes are an option to replace Wenger.

    Yes, we’re having a tough time right now. Yes, Wenger needs to provide answers. Yes, some pointed questions should be asked, but we must fall for the crap being vomited out by the media.

  28. Fucking iPad correction shit!!!

    Musn’t, as in must not, not “must”

  29. Mike SA Its simpler than that .

    “.An intelligent, decent, honourable man”
    If someone is not any of those things and none to bright or articulate to boot.Then a person like Arsene reminds them of their shortcomings as a human being.
    In the main is is jealousy of a superior man in every way.

  30. I’m just beginning to wonder whether Arsene Wenger, flushed with the success he achieved so soon after arriving at Arsenal, has “overcooked” the Youth policy he has introduced. I question (respectfully) whether the time and money has justified the relatively few youngsters who have made the grade since his arrival. Young would-be stars seem to be signed on a regular basis, only to be loaned out and later released on a “free”.
    Wenger has always shown an extremely loyal face towards his players, particularly the young and I wonder whether this has held back the
    signing of more experienced players who, at various times over the last few years, the Club badly needed.
    Am I badly adrift in my thinking or is there a grain of sense in it?

  31. nicky,of course there is an argument to be had.
    Recent failures add weight to your thinking.

  32. Look at the experienced players that have moved on or been kicked out of the team Nicky. Wenger never relied on youth solely.

    Some things might have been different but for the violence that Arsenal in particular have suffered.

    Plus a few players have been stupid. Diarra springs to mind…and Adebayor…and Flamini.

    Others selfish, Fabregas, Nasri, Cole.

  33. In terms of what is happening with respect to the recruiting agenda, I recall a few years back George Graham being asked what he had against “spending big” in the transfer market.

    His reply was something along the lines that he would love to make a few “big” purchases, but every time he proposed one, the board would resist it on the basis that he was, in their words, “doing fine” with his budget as it was, so why did he want to change.

    I suspect that Wenger faces pretty much the same scenario.

    Maybe Wenger also under feels under some pressure from the point of view that he was instrumental in persuading the board to move to the new stadium, and feels obliged to curb his spending because of that?

    So yes, the board claims that they would back him in a big purchase probably aren’t a lie, but they probably do make it extremely difficult and resist it very strongly nonetheless.

    The media and the fans seem to completely ignore that many clubs who build new stadiums suffer massively in the years following those moves, that’s something very few give Wenger and the club credit for. They also ignore that our current commercial deals were necessary because we needed the money up front.

    I’ve made the point in the past that the board will see things very differently to the perceived wisdom on the “shop floor” (read: fans).

    I have no doubt that the board see 4th as a successful target reached. Despite anything they say, they will have a far more realistic view on the club’s and Wenger’s achievements in that regard. Sure, trophies are nice, but I suspect that in their eyes trophies are pleasant baubles, not the all encompassing necessity that fans feel they are.

    It was interesting to see on the projections YW provided yesterday, they planned for up to 3 seasons of relegation.

    So who are the genuine “realists”?

    Maybe, just maybe, the board are really quite pleased with how things have panned out under Wenger these last few years? Maybe it has exceeded their expectations quite markedly?

    So maybe all those who claim the board will have to sack Wenger if results continue as they currently are are just trying to project their own wishes and reasoning onto a body of people who don’t even vaguely see it in the same light as they do?

    All of which brings me to the questions around this season’s late activity in the market.

    How often have we heard that a player says there was interest from Arsenal, but it never went anywhere?

    I suspect that every window Wenger prepares a list of targets, and every season a combination of poaching and our own reticence intervenes to leave us where we are.

    I have a theory that this last window was different to some degree.

    I think the board probably did the usual, and I suspect Wenger was expecting a bad result at OT, just not quite that bad.

    I think that result triggered a wake up call for both the board and Wenger, hence the response, and the information that the late targets had been on the radar for at least 2 weeks before the deadline.

    PHW said a while back that Wenger had been the best deal the club had ever done.

    Despite all the claims of their support of Wenger, I have an idea that the board know they have pushed a little too hard against Wenger’s targets over the years, and this year they realized they had gone too far, but it was too late for targets like Gotze and one or two others.

    The next window could be interesting, but for now the club as a whole needs to pull together to get out of this whole.

    Moaning and throwing a strop isn’t going to help at this stage.

  34. Nah george you just an abusive little cunt.”

    Is that like telling someone to “stop fucking swearing” ?

    Yeah you know exactly what I mean so don’t
    be such an ass.

  35. gooner2.I am sorry but I have no sympathy from people who are dim.I know you were born that way but that is no excuse for you not accepting your lot in life.

  36. The main problem with arsenal is having a bunch of yanks running a football club someone should translate the word football to them. Soccer

  37. “Others selfish, Fabregas, Nasri, Cole.”

    Disagree with this. Fabregas is too good to play in the current side and Ashley Cole left when the board reneged on a salary agreement.

    If the same situations were replicated in your place of work you’d leave. If any of us stop enjoying our work and don’t have a very strong reason to stay then we look elsewhere.

  38. Would apply ‘selfish’ to Nasri and Adebayor though.

    Wenger should have insisted Diarra stayed longer instead of selling him after 6 months and we should have coughed up the wages to keep Flamini.

  39. JamesM, I’m no fan of Dein’s, but the reports were that he clearly communicated to cashley that the board would have to ratify the proposal, and that very definitely means no-one other than cashley “reneged” on anything.

    Cashley reneged on the terms of his contract, Dein and the board did not renege on any offer because it was a proposal made in a negotiation, not an offer.

    Yes, you might argue that the counter offer made was petty and foolish, and that cashley was entitled to feel undervalued and get pissed off, but “reneged” on their offer? No, that is incorrect.

  40. nd we should have coughed up the wages to keep Flamini.

    Yeah because he has proven he is a world class player since he left.
    Pay them all what they want.Fuck it its not my money.

  41. Fantastic post, CB. Loved it!

  42. Oh look ,the skiver is here 🙂

  43. Damn – should have changed my username!

  44. Good on you skippper. How can anyone forget the calculated hacking of Reyes, Eduardo and Diaby? Tells us the football reactionaries won many a battle. I am steadfast that Wenger can win the war.

  45. Great post Consolsbob. Thanks. I especially love the last paragraph. Whatever your opinions on our current predicament, it’s about time a basic level of respect was shown to a man who has clearly earned it (and then some). Whenever I have the misfortune to read any of the online abuse that is routinely directed toward the man who has done so much for our club, and football in general, by alleged Arsenal supporters, well it almost makes me ashamed to be a Gooner. How quickly people forget. One of the good guys is Arsene.

    And kudos for highlighting again the violence that was unleashed against our players in seasons past. Violence that often went unpunished, and thereby encouraged the “get in their faces” tactics of the least managers.

    This team is beginning to gel and will turn it around soon enough. I do believe that. Let’s hope the naysayers are made to eat their own words. Keep the faith.

  46. Park vs. Fabianski:

  47. Park vs. Fabianski, Round 2:

  48. Final score was 2-2.

  49. Very balanced view CB. Still work to do then.
    I know it’s only the Daily Heil but Gazidis was quoted in there yesterday as saying we won’t spend in January. If that is an accurate reflection of what he said, and I said “IF”, then you may need to ammend your penultimate paragraph.

  50. Love the way the lies about wage caps are carried on even after Ivan Gazidis clearly states the policy of the club. If it doesnt fit in with trying to blame anything but Arsene it seems it is just ignored. The exact same thing happened the day that Gazidis spelled out that Arsene was going into the season without the last minute transfers, which again were confirmed to be knee jerk reactions to us getting our ass handed to us, or “abberation” as some wanted to label it.

    Refs/Injuries/the media – this post is one long rose tint.

    We are averaging a point a game for half a season mostly against teams that have annual budgets a third of ours and teams that on paper are not as good as ours, injuries or not. The problem people have is that if you dont put a tin foil hat on and blame refs/the media/luck your left with the only other conclusions that are either tactically we are lacking or the players are not being motivated.

  51. Legrave on tour .
    Your well constructed argument has won me over.You got me with” put a tin foil hat on”

  52. Oh ffs, spare me the “violence” and “football reactionaries” bollocks. The only reason teams kick us is because we can’t stand up for ourselves. If Man Utd or Chelsea couldn’t stand up to it then the other teams would do exactly the same to them. This didn’t happen to us pre-2006 because Adams, Vieira, Keown, Bergkamp, Ljungberg etc. would have handed dished it back in spades. This is what happens when you go down the route of callow, small, nimble players, they get intimidated. As plenty of people said, when van Persie was surrounded by Bolton players the other week, where were his mates?

  53. They were not two off side goals that Liverpool scored
    Blackburn did not have an off side goal and Theo was not up ended at the death
    VDV did not handle to score
    Gervioho was not brought down in the area and was not sent of after being throttled.

    Things are much clearer now I have removed my tin foil scull cap.
    We are crap.!!!!

  54. top post..wise words from an experienced head..

    i beg to differ though on the eduardo thingy..i think our season derailed coz we lost rosicky mainly..
    sure, the eduardo injury cast a damaging aura around the club, but as far as the footy was concerned the quartet of cesc, rosicky , helb and flamini was unstoppable and once we lost him the other cogs lost their way and ades goals dried up..

    that and gallas was a shit captain…

  55. Block4 .
    I suppose to just love kick and rush egh?
    I think Eduardo,Diaby and Ramsey should have just gotten up and played on .Soft bastards that they are.That’s what happens when you go for skillful girly types instead of proper men .
    Good old fashioned English true bloods.Ones that drink ,fight and spit in the fire.

  56. also..totally agree that the team has lost the x factor..we are no longer feared like we once was..we play with the fear now, panicky and on edge, and although in wenger we have a manager who is capable of producing something from nothing, we have also seen the other side of the coin of a manager that refuses to address issues to the point where we have that many we cant cope..

    trophies are not guaranteed but we should be doing and playing alot better than we are..the downward spiral is a result of mismanagement over the years both at baord level and within the coaching staff and id like to think wenger can put it right but nothing ive seen over the last few seasons suggests otherwise

    the defence for a start is the worst ive ever witnessed and when youve got wenger going on record every summer for the passed 4-5 saying we need to work on defending and saying stuff like its easily fixed it doesnt make him look too clever watching the shite we are watching now..

    the man who made miracles happen now needs a miracle….

  57. No George, there is more than one facet to playing football. You need skill, flair, vision and fitness. But allied to that, especially at the top level, you need toughness, unbreakable will to win and unshakeable team spirit. The latter three is what’s been lacking in general since the invincibles were broken up. You can slate me all you like for pointing out the obvious and try to take the debate down to talksport levels if you wish, but that’s why I normally just ignore everything you say.

  58. George –

    Liverpool came for a point and left with all three because our midfield was, and to a great extent still is, shit. We were forced to play a guy with limited experience and it told.

    Transfer policy.

    Blackburn were bottom of the league, do we really need luck to turn them over? They banged in 4 against us.

    Motivation.

    VDV goal or no VDV goal they were good for their win, watch the game again and you can see times where Brad actually strolls off to make a cuppa. Another game where we have possesion of the ball and yet the other team looks far more potent simply by parking the bus.

    Tactics.

    Gervinho got involved with a player who the last time we saw him caused the turning point in a game that we were winning 4-0. Do you think someone had a word before the game about avoiding confrontational situations with the guy? Other managers, ones that have been very succesful in recent history make dossiers for the players about the opposition, from what we hear from our own players this doesnt happen at Arsenal.

    Preperation.

    Transfer policy/motivation/tactics/preperation. Our as you like to look at it Refs/luck/media conspiracy/bad pitches/financial doping.

    I could argue the toss with you all day but your tinting wont relent and your excuses are making me feel sorry for you.

    Have a great day.

  59. Block4.
    They kicked us not because we were soft but because they had no alternative.
    That you don’t see that makes me wonder if you understand anything about the game at all.
    Even Gary Nevile admits that United could not beat us at football ,yet you ,a fan,refuse to accept as much.

  60. The latter three is what’s been lacking in general since the invincibles were broken up.

    So do you think Arsene has forgotten you need those things,or has he decided to say fuck it and ignore it?And just build a team without them.
    Or do you think you see things re doesn’t?

  61. Is it me or does possession football mean you are less effective on the counter?

    And is it therefore reasonable to think its really one or the other,And if its possession you will be more susceptible to counters when teams sit back.That is just the price you pay.

  62. Been out. Legrave? Who gave referees as an excuse? Not me.

    The media? Not me.

    Try reading the post before posting your prejudicial nonsense.

    I believe that the side has not been tough enough.

    Block 4? See George.

    I’ve watched tough Arsenal sides and I loved them. What happened to Reyes, Eduardo, Diaby and Ramsey was assault. Bremner, Smith and Storey don’t play any more.

  63. george its not just you..
    that analysis is correct..thats what possession football does..

    so why do we over emphasise on something thats proving to be more of a weakness than a strength..

    you ask a question does wenger see it?? i dont think he does anymore..

    weve seen what wengers winning sides contained..pace, power, skill, intimidation, organisation..

    since he moved away from all that and relied soley on skill weve been a team in decline..lots of possession but not much else

  64. forgotten how to defend..blame it on officials
    forgotten how to shoot..blame it on parking the bus
    forgotten how to get stuck in and fight..blame it on the bullies..

    the truth is, our style is easy to play against and it relies us and the officials to be 100% to make it work..

    nothings ever perfect though, so we should stop looking for it and go back to what we know works and this aint it..hasnt been for years..

  65. Where did it all go wrong?

    The moment the club ceased being a football club and became a business

    We were sold the story that the Emirates would help us compete with the big teams in Europe.Since we moved into the Emirates our average position has been 4th!!!

    Wengers gets paid £6m a year the board from Fisman Dein and Lady Nina have lined their pockets.

    But on the pitch we have gone backwards.We now have a CEO who says finishing outside the top 4 would not be a diaster

    Every summer one or two of our best players leave

    The lack of ambition at the club is frightening.But not as frightening as the apathy of the fans.Who while all around them things are falling apart,biggest defeat in 115 years worst start in over 50 years the form of a rlegation side in the last 20 games(less than a point a game) just sit back and think by magic things will just get better

    They wont

    Kroenke bought Arsenal for a reason.To make money.5 years ago he had never heard of the club.Since he joined the board he has been to two games.He bought Arsenal to make money.He dont care if we win nothing,he cares about the balance sheet.Finshing outside the top 4 will be offloaded by selling RVP for £30m before his contract goes into its final year.

  66. I think we should all tell everyone willing to listen how crap we are. As gooner 2 and legrave sais. Ones Qenger is gone the players will get 150K a week and we will buy players for over 25m! and we will play 4-4-2 and we will sell Diaby and rosicky and Djorou and kos. And. We will buy Cahill and Scotty Parker and we will win!!
    And if anybody doubts that they are deluded! Whatever happens it cannot get worse than now. Ofc a new manager will give United salaries straight away. And he will bring in players like Hazard and Goetez and even Kaka! when players realise th stingy cow AW is out we will again be a popular destination for th best. I can see players begging to come here with ancelotti as manager.

  67. Oh the joy but honestly what’s the fun of one cannot moan eh?

  68. Hey JJ. Still as melodramatic as ever I see mate! 😀

  69. bit of melodrama never hurt anyone dex 😉

    hows it going mate..

    jack the cat, rvp will be sold wether we make top 4 or not..
    weve made top 4 for ages never stopped us selling our best guys before did it..

  70. All good JJ thanks dude. Busy as fuck which is good, doesnt leave much time to think about how fecking shite the season has been so far! RvP and Theo need to sign up or they will be sold it seems.

    Things are pretty grim in Arsenaland right now but things can change very quickly. I am still hopeful the team will get it right sooner rather than later.

    Up the Arse!

  71. Block4— when I first watched English footie around 07-08 all of the commentators slagged arsenal off, I thought it was because they were French or foreign or something, but I could instantly sense the underlying venom in the commentators voices when referring to the arsenal. That might’ve been why I like them so much…I’m also a bit of a francophile lol don’t hate =p

  72. Poodle | October 8, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Now be careful because some posters will think you are serious.

  73. JJ If Robin does not sign he will be sold.And rightly so.
    What do you suggest.What Poodle advocated @ 3.06 🙂

  74. Still fighting the good fight George, good lad.

    Hope you’re OK mate?

  75. I am fine Dexter.

    Some people don’t seem capable of enjoying life,and football,for what it is.
    Miserable bastards 🙂

  76. Hey Yogi’s Warrior, please how do add a box when writing a quote in your blog? I’m having challenges doing that in mine. Thanks.

    Gooner Daily

  77. pedantic george
    “Block4.
    They kicked us not because we were soft but because they had no alternative.
    That you don’t see that makes me wonder if you understand anything about the game at all.
    Even Gary Nevile admits that United could not beat us at football ,yet you ,a fan,refuse to accept as much.”

    Indeed, they thought that was the only way they could beat us, agreed. And it worked only too well. Do you think it would have worked against Arsenal circa 1997-2004? Imagine someone putting the boot into Overmars, the other three in the midfield (Petit, Vieira and Parlour FYI) would have sorted them out right quickWe need the ability that the players have, no doubt. We also need to be able to stand up to the physical stuff which is where we’ve been lacking in the last few years. And you think I don’t understand?? Your only argument is that we’re not real supporters if we question anything.

  78. george is deeply rooted into that trench and not giving an inch..
    wouldnt expect anything else 🙂
    would be worried about him otherwise

    mate if rvp doesnt re sign it will be down to the clubs lack of ambition and selling him would be the only option left, yes..
    but if he is sold does he become another one of those players we say good riddance to and we dont need him?? and we just brush it off??
    cos the number of those players is increasing at an alarming rate isnt it?? and it dont take a rocket scientist to make the correlation between that and our decline as a top club thats feared amongst its peers..
    where does it stop?? ches?? jack?? cos it wont be long before we’re in this situation with them..

  79. Wasnt Reyes kicked halfway back to Spain vs United in 2004? Vieira was still around. It was the fact it was Mike “OT season ticket holder” Riley reffing who let em get away with murders as per usual.

  80. Your only argument is that we’re not real supporters if we question anything.

    I have never said anything of the kind .Ever.Which makes you either stupid or a liar.Which is it?

    Dexter,Yes ,they were all around in 04. And in 05 when we went to OT and they just kicked the fuck out of us and dived over imaginary tackles in order to get penalties.
    This however does not fit the the picture that some people want to paint.
    In other words they are chatting pure shit.

  81. George, I know its your job to be pedantic and everything, but the unbeaten run ended Oct 24th 2004! 😀

  82. “lack of ambition ”
    That is greedy cunts talk for I want to be paid more and be surrounded but 24 other £30 million players with equal ambition.
    Pffft. I remember Freddy saying he would extend if we matched his ambitions.Then low and behold West fucking Ham somehow matched his ambitions.

  83. Yes I realised after I posted that you were right it was beginning of 04 ,05 season.
    I was meaning to say it was not the Invincible season.
    Smart Arse 🙂

  84. JJ we have to accept that unless FFP works we are not top tier.

  85. True george, footballers not only want obscene wages, they want gauranteed trophies anmd so do some fans I suppose. Well, £150k a week wouldnt be too bad now would it!

  86. I would not be sorry to lose Van Persie in January to Man City for around £30million. He is 28years of age and towards the end of his contract (whatever that means, these days). Despite his great goals for our Club,IMO he is much too left-sided to be a lone striker and in the wrong position to be a good Captain.
    Having said all that, there is something fundamentally wrong in professional football when a lowly Club like Man City can be taken over by mega-rich shareholders, prepared to spend millions on players in order to further their Club’s success.
    Experienced new blood is bought (not made) by means of fabulous offers to rival Clubs, coupled with obscene wage packets to the target players.
    The fact that these shareholders are invariably foreign suggests that
    one day the bubble of their oil or industry-based wealth may well burst bringing a welcome return to football sanity.
    Until that happens, though, we will have to endure this unfortunate blot on our national game which bestows little credit on those concerned with its governance.

  87. Nicky.I agree ,apart from the bit about not being sorry to lose RVP.He is the age Dennis was in 98 and he was good for another 8 years.
    Now I know Robin is not as good as Dennis ,but that is not to say he cant drop deeper as he ages as the master did.
    Have I ever mentioned that I love Bergkamp with an unhealthy passion

  88. Sad day as both Kenya and Nigeria fail to qualify for the Africa cup. Sob!

  89. Alex Song’s Cameroon also failed to qualify.

  90. Imagine a European cup without Germany, Spain and Italy!

  91. On the up side, Song won’t be missing for Arsenal in January!

  92. id be gutted to see robin leave
    look at how many goals he scores…
    and the fact that you know he wont be replaced..only by chamakh..
    oh the joys…

  93. Melodramarama!!! 😀

  94. george its got naff all to do with the FFP

    i hate the way that excuse is over used..

    its like we have to play citeh and chavski every week or something..

  95. I dont think its an excuse man, but we need to do all we can as well though. Spending the money we have earnt, not had foisted on us by a benevolent sugar daddy!

  96. JJ you are wrong
    It has to do with the fact that football now bares little resemblance to even 2004.You just don’t seem to want to accept it.
    Up till yet we have not finished below a team that has not massively outspent us in the market.

  97. thats exactly how i feel dex
    what the chavs have done doesnt make it easy to win the league anymore..
    think we all accept that..

    but that dont explain why we dont spend anything we earn, which on the whole is quite a bit..enough to keep us competitive, enough to sign top players and enough to keep our best ones.. and it also dont explain why we get stuffed by the likes of stoke newcastle blackburn and brum in finals..

    and we should be doing all we can with the resources we have..but we dont..were quite happy to let all our best walk away and were quite happy to turn our noses up when a good player is available..becuase that would mean the balance sheet would only look excellent instead of fucking excellent..

  98. Very nice write up C’bob. But a real pity with all the negtivity on here today. So to cheer (most of) you guys up, take a look at this. I am sure some of you will have seen it before but is still worth a second look 🙂

  99. @Pedantic George,
    Point taken, but I would like to see Van Persie alongside a partner perhaps in a 4-4-2- formation. I get fed-up seeing him on his own, particularly when not getting proper service. It reminds me of Adebayor in his ghastly last season for us (and also Henry’s last, as well).

  100. im not wrong george..

    the ffp has nothing to do with the fact we have a cash reserve of over 100mil and we still refuse to pay our players more than what we did at highbury..

    we just tight..obessed by profits
    and then look for excuses to keep the fans onside..

    not falling for it anymore..

  101. nicky

    RvP himself has said he’d prefer to play behind a striker. There’s no reason why he couldnt do that in our current system. Chamakh needs a run of games IMO. Would be good to see Robin in a deeper role with Song and Arteta behind him.

  102. Cbob.

    Great post well thought out and well written.

    Wenger has been a visionary and done some great things. Like any manager he has also made some mistakes and our results would argue that the mistakes have been mounting as time has gone on and some of the stuff especially regarding our team defending over the last several years are unexplainable for a man of wengers intelligence and managing ability. The collective naive play we often see is also unexplainable. I think it was a mistake to give total control of our club to one person no matter how great he was. Wenger has more control of our club then any manager of any club in the world and he and his staff were completely secure in their positions with no one looking over their shoulder. History tells us that having that sort of control for long periods of time usually does not work in football, business, government. Etc etc.

    Hopefully things will get sorted out but looking at our results and the complacency and schoolboy errors we have seen on the pitch for the last few years its hard to not believe that things have gone stale. It can be rescued but the boss needs to make some significant changes to the way things are done both on and off the pitch. Hopefully he is willing to step back and look at the whole situation or bring in some new blood to his inner circle . Unfortunately learning lessons and adapting has not been our strong suit in the last several years

  103. The year is 2021. Arsenal have just lost the big local derby to Dulwich Hamlet in the Rymans Isthmian League despite dominating possession. The following day the blog on ACLF says Arsene is a genius and we must stick with him.
    By the way, from what I hear we are currently paying Almunia more than we offered Ashley Cole and Nasri didn’t ask for more money but told Wenger that he didn’t believe him when Wenger said that he was going to sign “super, super quality players” and that Fabregas was told the same lie some years before. The confrontation between Wenger and Nasri on the plane back from Lisbon was pretty hot apparently.
    Wenger’s power at Arsenal is greater than any manager anywhere ever, with the possible exception of Clough at Nottingham Forest and they have never recovered from his final years.

  104. Ramgun.How on earth do you find you mouth with your food?

  105. Wow,, you are full of bile man.

  106. JJ £100 million will not now guarantee you a 4th spot let alone the league,

    Stop moaning and enjoy life FFS 🙂

  107. ramgun

    Are you a spud? You sound like one.

  108. would love to see robin with a partner
    you would have thought with playing a 433 he would have two but hes still isolated far too much..

  109. He scores a fair amount considering he is all alone on the pitch JJ!

  110. @ragman. sure. it was not at all about money. thats why he ended up in Man City! Really!!!

  111. @ consols… enjoyed the post. well said. i did feel that game marred Reyes for life!

  112. TS

    You dare to doubt the integrity of ramgun’s inside sources? They have never let him down before.

  113. There’s a reason why we have over 50 red cards during Arsene’s reign and that’s why he changed things: less aggression and more awareness. We don’t get the benefit of the doubt from the referees and that’s why RVP was not supported by his team mates.

  114. yes and they were on the plane and sat between Arsene and Samri.Thankfully ,otherwise it could have gotten ugly.

  115. nope it wont george
    but it goes a long way to keep your best players together for a long enough period to try and go for one or two of the 4 trophies on offer every year..

    at some point you will get one..but it makes it extremely difficult if you are having to rebuild every year..using youth players and players with little pl experience and letting your best walk away..

    now ive heard lots of fans say over the years they would swap finishing top four for a trophy..any trophy..
    that wish could come true this year but not on this form..whatever happens in the board room, wengers got to get these lads playing

  116. @dester. LOL i dare with all my heart!
    those players should take responsibility as part of the team that didn’t win and stop looking for an out!

  117. dester = dexter!

  118. I am more saddenned by the assault on Reyes that day at OT than by much else that has aken place on ‘football’ pitches in the last 10 years. It was a disgrace.

  119. @Dexter,
    I agree with you about Chamakh. He doesn’t become a bad player overnight and playing alongside Van Persie could resurrect his career. On a slightly different matter, I’m impatient for the return of Diaby who, if he remains fit, could turn our season around.

  120. TS ,Did you see my “Le Grove “tweet ?
    Nobody is laughing 😦

  121. Standing ovation for the post. The best I’ve read in a while.

    Every time I think about that game in February 2008, I still want to cry. We were so good and so close.

    Please unleash Alex. He is ready.

  122. @ george, not sure i did…

  123. yeah dex he scores loads playing as a lone man
    which is why i would go all out to keep him at the club and keep him up top..although i can understand the calls for him to drop deeper it wouldnt be at the expense for chamakh… he plays with his back to goal too much i think a rvp/chamakh would offer very little goal threat with rvp as the deeper option..

    id rather it be theo..

  124. I remember the heady days when Manure went down to the old 2nd Div and were getting 25000 a week, its a cautionary Tale about what happens when you become second best,
    im talking about how fickle some so called fans are.

  125. Spy

    Utds average gates in 74/75 were 58,000 in div 2.There has not been a season in the last 40 years where Utd have not had the higgest average crowds in the country

  126. Wenger pls hlp our season.Dis ridicule is 2 much

  127. Jack,
    Man Utd have always been certain to attract the highest support in the land. One of only two Clubs in the second largest city in the land!
    They have it on a plate.

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