One Of Us Speaks: Increments of Aggravation

Hey guys. Woah, Big Al, huh? All right! Well, see ya later.

At the moment millions of Arsenal fans are going through something akin to the Clockwork Orange’s Ludovico Technique, only this experiment’s being conducted by the doctor from Human Centipede. Are your limbs restrained and eyeballs sitting moistly? Then we’ll begin.

It’s a tricky session today. Below are some items and images for you to assimilate. We’ll start with the most bearable:

1) Arsenal sits 15th in the table. Not a single away win this season. We’ve been without Vermaelen for most of the campaign so far; Jack Wilshere hasn’t played a minute of competitive football, and Sagna just broke his leg. We had to leave him there, prone by the touchline, coated in the spittle of the pasty-faced, malnourished drones that scrape out a putrid existence downwind from that bulging white and blue fungus.

And you know, that filth’s going to erupt if they’re above us come May.

2) The big decisions do not go our way in 2011-12, just like they didn’t last season. A table has been drawn up to show where we’d be if those incorruptible gents in black did their flipping jobs properly. Go on, take that table all the way to Soho Square; they’ll listen to what you’ve got to say I’m sure, and then we‘ll all be able to celebrate our conjectural second place.

3) We flopped with late bids to sign just about every mid-range European midfielder with a trace of imagination and craft, and were rushed into a raft of signings who probably wear their jerseys to bed and still gaze into the mirror with astonishment, thinking, “Blimey, I play for Arsenal, I do!”

OK, OK, that one’ a bit harsh.

4) We can’t afford to compete at the top any more and nobody cares. Manchester City have evolved from rich muggins, paying big for our scrap, to predatory loan sharks: “OK Arsenal you’re still a bit short this year? Never mind then, we’ll just take that RvP off your hands and call it even.” We’re just going to have to wait for these bastards to get bored of watching us jig for pennies.

Oh, you were holding out for Financial Fair Play, were you? You thought they’d make it watertight, eh? Forget it buster. By the time it actually kicks in Man City and Chelsea will have picked up enough momentum to break that tether – don’t think UEFA are going to do anything about the Etihad sponsorship deal.

5) But you’re not allowed to look away, damn it, keep watching. Because they can’t wait to heap the misery on, and you can’t get the hell away from it. Tune in to a match with zero Arsenal interest, like Scotland against Spain, and you get Gary Lineker moistening his new Clark Gable moustache and urging Mikel Arteta to talk him off by slandering his new teammates and manager.

6) Oh, and what’s this? It’s only the Manchester United match for you to enjoy again. Look, it’s Wayne Rooney’s celebrating yet another goal against his favourite opponent. Let’s have another close up of his jug ears, puffy cheeks and tiny little eyes contorted with ecstasy.

Right, that’s quite enough of that!

Off the pitch we seem to have the strange honour of epitomising both football’s past and its future, but not its present. In fact the here and now has us a bit befuddled. After all, this is a time in which Adebayor can claim the moral high ground over us without irony. We’re sort of scratching our heads, trying to take in the sheer craziness of everything around us – the ever-rising wages and transfer fees, the humungous sponsorship deals that we can only dream of.

And when you look at our glitzy shell of a stadium you have to admire the shabby elegance of our situation. Sitting in this magnificent, unchristened cruise-liner – a grand monument to an Arsenal that never actually happened, because the game had already “done changed” before we moved in, and might not change back in our favour any time soon.

Anyway, I’m no realist, so don’t know all, and am not sure what’s going to happen to us. But I do know this team will start to mesh. If the players that we’ve recruited aren’t world-beaters, then it shouldn’t be much to worry about. They all look competent if unspectacular, but didn’t exactly cost the earth, and our manager has a good record when it comes to coaxing latent talent to the surface.

In Coquelin, AOC and Frimpong we have youngsters who compare well to any that have broken into senior team under Wenger, but when they get there they find themselves in a group battling through a severe crisis of confidence. Still, it’s certainly a more experienced team than we’ve known in recent years, and it’s the older hands who are going to steady this ship.

And what do we get out of it? For the time being any joy you might derive probably won’t be from vicarious achievement, because there isn’t much to be had beyond the small victories.

Rather it’s in memories, friendship, togetherness and those shared moments of pain and joy. In the flesh it’s the heart-stopping roar of thousands of like-minded people joining in celebration and belting out songs. It’s in giving hell to the villains, who won’t be mentioned by name here. They think we’re doing it for them – wrong; it’s for us. It’s for our own unity.

There’s a lot of satisfaction these days in following the careers of the youngsters; watching them find their feet for the u18s, seeing them turn pro, vie for places in our first team squad and become stars.

And the rest of the time it’s the laughs, even if a lot of that’s been from gallows humour recently, and sharing the fun with people from all over the world.

’til Tomorrow

Posted on October 14, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 185 Comments.

  1. First!

    Nice one Big Al..

  2. Sounds good!

    But hope from the youth is gone. They are fragile. They had got chances in the last six years. And all they have been doing was crumbling when the slightest of challenges come to their mind. They are not developed to stand challenging times. You dont see Arsenal players doing what Cleverly or Fabio or Welbeck is doing for Man U.

    So, I would not say the problem was with the senior players. Except Wilshere, none of them has got the guts to stand up. Cesc was failing. Nasri failed. Denilson, Eboue, Bendtner, Djrou, Clichy, Walcott,…They have never been good enough to stand up.

  3. What utter boll*cks.

  4. Jeff @ 13 Oct,

    Diaby is only 10 days away from playing and TV5 on 14 days.

    Happy days, hopefully

    CPYG

  5. Pure rubbish! WTF exactly are you talking about?? Miserable attempt at a rant or blog.

  6. Steve,

    I assume you are talking to Dove?

  7. Youth has been given chance after chance and blown it. IT’s about time Wenger changes course and go for the established players. If not , the gunners will lag further behind.
    Pease don’t give the bull shit that not qualifying will not be a problem. It will become a very big problem if continual failure to get into the cl results in top players not opting to join the gunners. Then the gunners will drfit and become another AV or Everton.e
    If the gunners continue to underperform, Wenger will ultimately have to pay the price.

  8. OOU – Nice post.

    A comment of last nights debate; George (I think) stated that our 08 side played the best football hte PL has ever seen. Really? I suppose that depends on what your idea of “football” is. The best possesion football….maybe? But hte bets football I have seen was our invincable side. It had everything. Pace, power, creativity, fight and aggression, and experience. It would have destroyed our 08 side IMO.

  9. OOU – And your opening paragrgraph is golden.

  10. Diaby is back

  11. For the good times, Big Al.

  12. Steve,

    That is how your IQ can handle arguments.

  13. Lovely start to the day Big Al – I look forward to the warmth of your Friday prose.

    Sorry to be slightly off topic but wanted to share this startling expose of a piece in the Telegraph which was on F365’s Mediawatch pages. Of course we are aware of the media’s love of Redknapp senior but this is obsequious to stomach emptying levels. When compared to the treatment Wenger suffers it is truly amazing –

    “We confess we’re not entirely familiar with the work of Daily Telegraph scribbler Oliver Brown, but he seems determined to make his mark in the only language Fleet Street understands – fawning and faintly sickening praise of Harry Redknapp.

    Brown’s interview with Redknapp appears in the paper this morning and it’s basically the journalistic equivalent of a soothing massage, complete with happy ending.

    The intro sets the tone: ‘Under a pale autumn sun, Harry Redknapp seems at first glance a study in ebullience, crackling with Cockney charm and restless to start his round of golf.’

    Enduring image, isn’t it?

    Here are some other highlights, and we apologise if – like us – you are sick in your mouth at any stage.

    – ‘He joshes easily with staff at Berkshire’s De Vere Wokefield Park hotel, explaining how wife Sandra has converted him to yoga to help ward off sciatica. But for the first time in the career of this remarkable man, and quite prodigiously dedicated manager, there is a hint of fatigue; a rare reminder that he is 64 years old.’

    – ‘In the course of a fascinating hour’s conversation, spanning everything from David Beckham to his memories of school coaching sessions in Canning Town, Redknapp confesses to a creeping exhaustion.’

    – ‘For all his more fatalistic remarks, which encompass the avarice of agents and the disconnect between Premier League clubs and their communities, Redknapp remains smitten with the game’s simple pleasures.’

    – ‘The only danger in this mutual love affair is that Redknapp is still the favourite to succeed Fabio Capello when the Italian steps down as England head coach after Euro 2012. His position, though is unwavering: flattered in principle, sanguine in practice.’

    – ‘Just call him ‘Arry the Alchemist.’

    And the article closes with a plug for ‘Arry’s golf club. Truly Mr Brown, your name is appropriate.

    Eh?
    Incidentally, we were slightly baffled by one quote from Redknapp in that piece, squeezed in between Brown’s fawning:

    “I’ve found myself on some days leaving home at three in the morning. Then I’m outside the training ground at five, but they don’t open up until seven. I’m just sitting there, listening to the radio.”

    Erm, what?”

  14. Obviously I’m still finding out what works and what doesn’t with this blogging lark, but from my short time doing this, international breaks following a defeat aren’t a great time to think of ideas!

    I’m wondering, beyond the obvious, how do you define the good times, CB? I’d have thought stylish football, 14 years of CL and top four finishes count as good times – at least they might compared to what could be coming up for us.

    If people support clubs just for the good times then there might not be enough to sustain them – except at like two clubs in England. Maybe it’s just the hope.

    There’s a lot of different reasons why we’re always going to be bringing young players into the team. That’s not something that’s about to stop any time soon, but the way we do it might be tweaked.

  15. Call me strange but I like the bad times – they serve to make us yearn for the good times more keenly.

    The famous outpouring of guttural emotion from that black-haired guy when we scored against Man Utd – you’d NEVER have a feeling like that if you hadn’t been through the wringer for so many years.

    Personally I supported the team more passionately when we finished in 14th. Every win was savoured more and felt more keenly.

    Victory apathy does exist – you could see it in the Australian cricket team who came to yearn decent opposition.

    The rough times define us – it’s the heartbreak and anguish that remind us of how sweet victory and rare victory can taste and be tasted.

    Without that contrast even suns brightness is eventually dimmed.

  16. Nothing beats winning trophies its whats football is all about.Anyone who says they look thr bad times is just thick

    The thing that makes things so bad now is we are one of the top 5 richest clubs in the world with two(just count em) as major shareholders yet we are 15th in the table

    The truth is we havent stood still in the last 6 years we have good backwards.For every Wilshire there are 3 duds Denilson Diaby and Song.

  17. Excellent post OOU, don’t listen to those illiterate fools at the top of the comments. (I’m sure you aren’t anyway). What you said about the past present and future (head scratching etc) was spot on, unfortunately.

    Johnny at 9.27 – spot on mate. If only more people realised that. Has been said many times, but we really have been spoilt by the man Wenger, bringing in multiple trays of perfectly constructed pyramids of Ferrero Roche’s.

    Personally, i’m a bit too young to remember the 14th place finish, but I’m realistic enough to be able to look back at the record books and see that we aren’t automatically entitled to being at the top of the table, and that most teams go through ‘slumps’, normally coming out the other side with new-found re-enforcement and a siege mentality.

    I love watching Wenger trying to defy the odds, fighting against the grain and doing a damned good job at it. I love watching the young players that wouldn’t normally have these opportunities showing us what they can/will be able to do, I love Arsenal whether we’re 14th or 1st.

    Bill said the other day that he’s a self-confessed ‘trophy whore’, which i can fully accept and understand. Personally, I’m not too fussed about the size of our haul, as long as i get to see the things I love unfolding before my eyes. Trophies would be an amazing bonus, great for winding up fellow footie fans, great for the future of the club, but even without them, we are the arsenal, through thick and thin. Our days of domination will return, but in the meantime, I’m more than happy to wait and see this club evolve in a new world of football.

    Bring on Sunderland. Bring them all on.

  18. Ron Jeremy – what the fuck? Song a dud?! Can’t be arsed to go into the life-long debate about the other 2, but the fact that you think Song is a dud makes your opinion worth fuck all as far as i’m concerned. You obviously don’t have the judgement to assess who is quality player and who isn’t. It sounds like you’ve based your opinion on a 2007 repeat of MOTD.

  19. Ron Jeremy – it’s always nice to start a Friday being insulted by a man who names himself after a fat, ugly pornstar.

    If winning trophies is what ‘football is about’ then why do fans across the country continue to support teams that rarely, if ever, win any? Your view is so simplistic, myopic and reductionist it’s scarcely worth the effort of responding.

    Suffice to say all I stated was that I actually enjoy these periods and elucidated as to why. You feel differently, and that’s fine, but there is no need to insult my intelligence just because we don’t share the same view.

    I’m an Arsenal fan, the same as you, why the enmity brother?

  20. Geared me up for Sunday nicely, Big Al.

    Thankfully the spirit of our players is stronger than in some sections of our support. A month from now we’ll be looking back and wondering what all the panic was about.

    Arteta looked really uncomfortable sitting alongside the crisp gimp. Having his old gaffer there helped but the only real time his eyes lit up was when he mentioned how we were doing in the Champions League. I think he has a real desire to do well in it in particular. Maybe why he and Rosicky get the nod in Europe and Ramsey kept fresh for the league.

  21. OOU, a very good piece. Really enjoyed it.
    Arsenal have a great tradition at bringing through our own youngsters.
    I. for one, thoroughly enjoy seeing them do it.

    As for those making disparaging remarks about OOU’s post.
    Have a go yourself if your so smart and have something to say.

    Now, where’s my bowler hat and Ludwig Van cd.

  22. Thanks Geo – of course I love winning – of the two alternatives, Id’ go as far to say that it is definitely my favourite.

    If football was only W/L/D we would watch the results roll in on the billy-printer.

    Football is a myriad of things and, like all good sports, at times it echoes the torment and tumult of life itself.

    To say ‘winning is everything’ misses the point SO badly I don’t know where to begin. You might as well join yourself up with the stupid c*nts who say “It’s just a game” – you’re the same people to me.

    Lets put it this way I love having sex but sex after not having any for a while is far more enjoyable. Sex after a great, big, fucking fight is the best of all.

    Right now in football terms we are having ‘that argument’ – if we somehow win the CL this year and/or scrape 4th ahead of those prematurely gloating scum down the road the strength of feeling elicited will have been borne directly out the frustrations and anguish we are feeling now.

    Sex analagy over – sorry if you were eating your breakfast!

  23. A glass of the old milloko for you too allezkev?

  24. Look, Ron Jeremy. I know you used to post as “Peter Storey’s Budgie” – and if I remember correctly you’ve been an Arsenal fan for something like 50 years, if what you claimed previously was true you must have either not followed Arsenal or been completely miserable for much of the 70s and 80s.

    Great comments, Jonny and Geo.

  25. Interesting thoughts on what is a realistic expectation of the club. As has been mentioned we have been spoilt under Wenger with style of play at the very least (especially after our style of play through the 80’s). We are a funny club in that respect; even when we have been sucessful we never managed to win back to back titles to cement our place (something which I imagine would eat at the manager).

    For me, given the stature of the club we should at the very leat be challenging for the title. Of course only one club can win it, and of course we do not have hte resources of many of hte clubs in the top 4. I really don’t want us to slip into the “expected top 8” echelon of clubs which was our position before Arsene took over at Highbury. ever since he became manger it has become accepted that we will finish in the top 4. This is the 1st time in his reign where that is not longer a certainty.

  26. Haha, good analogy Johnny! Looking forward to RvP smashing Sunderland’s back doors in on Sunday. He’s virile.

  27. Calling Diaby and Denilson duds is bad enough but, seriously, how can you slag off Alex Song? Idiot. Loved this bit of balanced commenatry from Lee Dixon after the Dortmund match. Us having a good run in the Champions League, despite our domestic form, doesn’t seem to be reported as much. Odd…

    “It’s a great point in the end for Arsenal, especially after the first 40 or so minutes when they looked so vulnerable. They tightened up well in the second half though, and Alex Song was absolutely outstanding. They will be disappointed to have conceded so late – but what can you do about Perisic’s strike?”

    Sometimes he gets forced to say shit by the MOTD wankers, but Lee still gets it I think.

  28. Goonerandy – I don’t think we’re going to slip into that echelon. We may have a season where we’re nearer to that than we’d like, but as you say, we are a club of high stature, so that will not become a trend. We will bounce back fairly swiftly I’m sure. No-one at board or management level will allow that to become the norm. Whether that’s through the love of the club and professional pride, or for financial/commercial reasons, is another debate for another day…

  29. Why do people feel the need to read a blog and then comment to say it is rubbish?

    Goon Mate – Why don’t you write one and let us have a read of your illuminating thoughts?

    And don’t even get me started on Dove… Jeez.

    Good Post OOU.

    Good to see a positive banner being produced by some friends of LadyArse as a response to the idiots planning the ‘protest’ banner.

    I can tell you one thing for sure, the protest banner better not be unfurled anywhere near Block 109 as I don’t want to lose my ST for throwing someone over the upper tier.

  30. Geo – You are probably right. The worrying thing for this season I suppose is that all of our rivals (for the top 4 places) strengthed pretty well, and have started the season fairly well. We really could not afford the start we have had, and even when we start to play better the team will not have the luxury of another run of bad results. We will be under pressure for the ret of he seaon due to this start.

  31. Song has essentially been one of the few excellent performers this season.

    Alongside Chezzer he has been arguably our most important player and shown a deftness of touch and creativity that we can but have suspected before.

    Slagging him off says very little for your understanding of the game.

    I imagine it is hard to see clearly when you are polluted by the desire for victory at any cost.

  32. Matt – Protest? Some people eh?

    Don’t get me wrong; we have had a crap start, there are the same flaws on show which have been for a while now, and our transfer window was sketchy to say the least. But what do they hope to achieve with a protest in the stadium? Some people seriously need to put things in perspective. The club as a whole is in a strong position.

  33. Excellent as usual Big Al. Can’t wait for Sunderland.

  34. That’s true GA, the pressure is massively on us now. But, as the last few seasons have suggested, there are some complacency issues in the squad, and maybe the pressure will eliminate some of that..? It might go the other way of course, but as always, I’m looking at the positives!

    I also think that Liverpool and Spuds particularly are going to have a bad run of form at some point in the near future… Nothing to back that feeling up, just a hunch…!

  35. I don’t actually mind the negative comments, tbh. Just glad to have time to chat for once this week.

    Here’s a question: Can we be a good cup team this season? I mean, we were a mess between 93 and 95, but we all know what we achieved then. In 2006 we were as poor domestically as we’ve ever been under Wenger, but got to the CL final. Even in 08-09 we reached to the CL and FA Cup semis.

    I’d say all those sides shared a kind of stubbornness. I’d like to think they acknowledged their limitations in attack and became a bit more miserly. If Vermaelen comes back and stays back we’ll at least have this kind of foundation.

  36. Geo – Quite possible. Normally we start pretty well and fade away. We definattly have not started well, so who knows?

    OOU – I was thinking about this the other day. As much as I wanted to console myself with that theory, I don’t honestly believe it will be the case. Simply because we are too easy to score against.

  37. I think it hinges on Vermaelen staying fit and forging a partnership with Per. With the best goalkeeper in the Prem behind them, and Song in front, we have a team that will prove hard to break down.

    For the bigger cup games we could throw in Coq or Frimp in midfield too and move back to the days where we had two ‘defensive’ midfielders.

    We need to prove stingy at the back over 90 and we will be VERY competitive in the cups.

  38. We have been pretty easy to score against, GA, but I think that’s been partly down to missing so many players. For instance, how many times has Alex Song actually played in midfield in the league this season. Two weeks ago we were without five of six CBs.

    And at the same time, I think we’re caught in a kind of tactical no man’s land at the moment – I reckon we still approach games as if we can outplay teams, which we can’t quite manage, and get picked off. I’d like to think we’ll adjust our game if we can just select a settled midfield and defence (excepeting Sagna of course) for a few weeks.

  39. The other day I was chatting to a non Arsenal supporting mate, and we were discussing our defensive issues. I was defedning the team pointing to the fact that we don’t conceed (up to this year) that many from open play, but and the goals we do conceed tend to be of our own making.

    It struck me that I was making our defence sound very competant which got me thinking. It cleary has problems, so why do we conceed relatively little, but yet seem so brittle at the same time?

    The realisation (I think) is that we have not been a very good defensive unit for some time now. This is masked with our goals against figures; and the reason why the figures is so low is that we control the ball for the majoirty of the games. When the opposition do get some control of the ball, we are far too easy to score against. Our goials against tally has flattered to deceive

    This season our poor defensive unit has been exposed badly, as for a number of reasons we are not controlling the game as we have done previously. The thing is, our defenders are good players. That is plain to see. The issue is that they do no perform well as a unit. I am hoping that the signing of Mertesacker coupled with the return of TV5 may go some way to remidy this.

    I may be way off the mark with all of that, but they are just my thoughts on the matter and (in my opinion) does ring true.

    Discuss 🙂

  40. OOU, I really think we have the tools and experience to do very well in the Champions League. But, more than any other competition, I feel there is a great deal of luck involved in the Champions League. But with a little luck we can do it, no doubt. I mean we nearly put Barca out last year and that was even with Cesc as a spectator in the match. We can do it.

    I could talk all day long about the admiration I have for Alex Song, but I’ll just say this. 4 assists already this season, and he looks like one of the few players on the pitch who is constantly looking to make something happen. All this whilst still being a beast in midfield, defence, up front, wherever he is needed. And a consumate professional. An example to players everywhere.

  41. Big Al –

    I’m NEVER disappointed reading your commentary.
    Great overview.

  42. Excuse my spelling in my 11:31 post. Typing fast at work 😉

  43. Johnny @ 9:27 am – top comment.

    I am cheering good 6 yard passes at the moment! Perspective is easily lost in football.

  44. Geo @ 10:08 am – great comment too.

  45. Definitely, Markus. Still think Song’s the one who looks most likely to fill the creative void in midfield. I think the CL group might be turning out to be a little softer than it first appeared. Not to say it’s easy, but Marseille are really struggling, and Dortmund have been a bit hit and miss. Get through that and anything can happen – obviously!

    While desperate for ideas I went and checked out the Tottenham game again. It wasn’t actually that bad – especially considering the players we had out, and that we lost Sagna at a crucial stage. Still, a defeat there is understandably never going to inspire anything other than misery. Few teams are going to get much there – OK, I said it! (OK, City did, but those were exceptional circumstances!)

    I want to see Coquelin in the side. At the same time, who leaves? I feel Ramsey’s just starting to find his feet.

  46. goonerandy,
    it’s not that we are a bad defensive team, it’s just that as we are pushing forward looking for the win, we are leaving ourselves vulnerable to counter attacks. If opponents do get through they are likely to find themselves in a good position to score. So our ratio of goals to possession is pretty low while our opponents is very high.
    But guess what, in Barcelona’s case, it is even higher.
    It certainly doesn’t mean that if the opponents had 60% of the ball instead, that we would allow 4 goals each game. We have seen that in games where we are pushed back we are perfectly capable of defending and grinding out results (like Dortmund).
    The simple fact of being a team that always needs to go for the win is that you always leave yourselves open to the sucker punch.

  47. GA @ 11.31 – I think you’re right about the defence not being great for the last few years, and that it has been masked by our dominance of possession. However, i also think the defensive issues before were as a result of a constantly changing defence, coupled with incompatible personalities, coupled with a less-than-commanding GK.

    We now have a GK who is willing to throw himself through 2 players to get the ball, willing to shout and control his defenders, as well as having an amazing one on one ability. This is a huge boost to any defence. The problems at the moment are exacerbated by our team trying to work each other out, both in defence and further up the pitch, which means communication issues defensively, and less clickage in midfield/up front i.e. harder to maintain our quick passing possession football. I am confident that once we are clicking more, and the defence is settled and used to each other’s styles, we will be tight at the back while producing some scintillating football on the attack. It is an uphill struggle already this year, so unfortunately this transitional period has been put under more pressure to happen quickly. Hopefully it will….

  48. Poss team for Sunday

    Chez

    Jenks. Mert. Kos. Santos

    Song
    Ox. Arteta. Theo

    Rvp. Gerv

  49. “We have seen that in games where we are pushed back we are perfectly capable of defending and grinding out results (like Dortmund).
    The simple fact of being a team that always needs to go for the win is that you always leave yourselves open to the sucker punch.”

    Good point Waleed.

  50. Andy ,the Invincible’s were better because they had Dennis,
    People forget that that very team failed to win in 03 and 05.(well almost that very team)

  51. George – A good exercise to do; how many of the current side would gets into the invincibles 1st 11. 1 or 2 at best.

    Waleed – Good points

    Geo – I think you are rihgt about the goalkeeping position. No team ever won shit with a crap keeper, and if we are honest with ourselves Almunia was nowhere near good enough (to be No1) for a club of our side. Szchezney looks the real deal.

  52. Andy we were talking about 08 so what has the current side got to do with it?

  53. George – Ah yes, my bad. Ask yourself the same question, the answer will not be much different.

  54. Really? I am genuinelly interested.

    Who from the 08 side would get into the invincable side? And who in place of?

  55. Well lets try thinking who in the Invincables would have been able to play the possession football of 08?
    Clearly Dennis and Henry but even to imagine the team being invincable without these 2 is outrageous

    Imagine those 2 in the 08 side? who good would that team have been.

  56. Good post, Waleed. Especially the point about Barcelona.

    I know it’s unlikely, but I really hope Guardiola continues to play Alves as a right-sided defender in defensive three – it’s going to be a bloodbath if they set up against a strong team like that.

  57. I would love this but wenger has shown no sign of doing this

    ———–Chez
    Jenks, Mert, Kos, Santos
    ——-Song,Arteta.
    Ox——-Rvp ——- Gerv
    ———Theo

  58. are we talking about the 2008 side or the 1908 side

  59. Silver,nor should he 🙂

  60. i think its time theo moved up front, i strongly believe that he is going to be a top top striker, something rvp isnt acording to db

  61. “we” are not talking,Andy and I are.

  62. We are on the same wavelength Silver

  63. boomer.Dennis did not say that

  64. And here is the things George. Possesion football is not the ulitmate brand of football; sure the 08 side might make more passes against the invincibles side, but I would put my cash on an invncible win every time. They had the perfect mix almost, hence why I said that they were the better side (which they were).

    If a couple of the invicibles would have played in the 08 side, it is doubtful we would have played quite the same brand of football. And that would have been a good thing. As good as the 08 side were, ulitmately it was a flawed side. Hence it won sweet FA.

    You missed out Pires mate. He could have played in the 08 side easily and would have been the best player still.

  65. Andy why then did they not win in 03 &05?
    Yes Bobby could have played but the other two were the reason the 04 side was better .As i said ,imagine them in the 08 side?

  66. Possesion football is not the ulitmate brand of football;

    Try telling that to Barca and every drooling pundit, Journalist and ex player that is saying they are the best club side ever.

  67. Stop arguing with me Andy.You know I am always right and if you say different it means you are not a real fan.(I think that’s how it works)

  68. George – “Why did they not win in 03 & 05”

    What does that have to do with the 08 side (which is what we were comparing)? They won nothing.

    Barca play possesion football but have a huge end product. They also happen to have a load of match minning players in the side which can step up if things are not going well. Our recent versions of posession football have been good to watch at times, but we have needed to be 100% on our game for it to work.

  69. George @ 1:06 – Ha, you are right of course. Accept my humble apologies.

  70. 03 and 05- 2nd in the league(now we can only dream.
    Too many draws!

  71. George – “Yes Bobby could have played but the other two were the reason the 04 side was better”

    They were a huge part (at the time Henry was hte best forward on the planet), but not the sole reason for us being better than the 08 side. The style of play was more direct and had more pace. We were much more physical, and in PV4 a midfield general to grace any side. Our back 4 was fairly solid. We had the best left back in the world at the time (feels dirty saying that).

    Also we had goal threats from midfield as well. Fredddie and Pires were both players who would fetch 15+ goals per season.

  72. “Barca play possesion football but have a huge end product.”

    yes but you said

    “Possesion football is not the ulitmate brand of football;”

    did you in fact mean

    “Possesion football is not the ulitmate brand of football when you have no end product”?

    Which is rather stating the obvious ,is it not?

  73. George – ““Possesion football is not the ulitmate brand of football when you have no end product”?

    Which is rather stating the obvious ,is it not?”

    Obvisouly not. The 08 side ulitmatly had no end product, yet you stated that they were a better side than the invincibles.

  74. Andy the 08 side with Titi and Dennis would have knocked the 04 side (without them)into a cocked hat 🙂

  75. It’s all eyes on Diaby.

    This is perfect setting for him to kick on. Obviously he will take at least 5-6 games for him to get match fit but, It has to be now for him and I think he can do it.

    Oxo for starters too.

  76. George – They would have passed rings around them. And them gifted them a ridiculous goal to lose the match.

    Anyway, stop cheating. You said the 08 side were better than the 04 side. You can’t start swopping and changing players. Have a go at this; pick a side from a combined squad.

  77. “obviously not. The 08 side ulitmatly had no end product, yet you stated that they were a better side than the invincibles.”

    Lol,no i did not say that.You fibber 🙂
    I said they played the best football pre Birmingham.
    Obviously a team that goes unbeaten ,has Henrt ,Bergkamp,Pires and Viera in it is a better “team”

  78. Andy ,good game good game(said like Bruce Forsyth) 🙂

  79. George – Depends on what you mean by “good football” I suppose. 08 were great in possesion. But for me good football is scoring goals any beating sides with flair. And that is what the 04 side were all about.

  80. RVP is the classic number 10 imo, theo for his dimmunitive stature is the perfect number 9 I would love wenger to start playing him upfront.

    I believe that the current 4-3-3 was designed to get the best out of cesc now he has gone should we not go back to tried and tested 4-2-3-1?

  81. Personally, there is nothing to restrict our current roster from achieving any club, manager, and fan goals as long as we see our experienced players stay healthy and for select players to find their mojo.

    It’s unrealistic to expect the youngsters to carry the squad.

    For me the 07/08 Arsenal squad (Hleb, Rosicky, Cesc, and Flamini) played a more exciting (up tempo) style of football than even current Barcelona. I mentioned in a post months ago……that when these 4 players started OR ended a match together, the team record was
    17 (w) – 3 (d) – 0 (l).

    Arsene never found an immediate answer for Hleb or Flamini, not just technically and tactically, but in players that bonded personally, off the pitch friendships.

  82. It’s unfair to compare the 2 teams. The invincibles had some of the best defenders in the world, the best midfielder in the world, the best winger in the world and 2 of the best strikers of all time…

    Any team is worse in comparison, apart from maybe this Barca team. They have the best forward in the world (possibly of all time), the 3 best creative midfielders in the world (!!!), and all their other first team players are in the top 5 in their positions.

    I know what George is saying, because we did play some very exciting, quick passing football in 08. But as an all round team, we are unlikely to ever see one that works as well as the invincibles. The fact that the invincible team was so well balanced, and had the luxury of having a wealth of truly world class players ready to produce that moment of magic, means it was a very very rare gem. One that only shone fully for one season, such was the fine balance that was present. as soon as it was slightly disrupted, we were unable to produce the same total domination.

  83. I liked the combination of Cesc/Flamini/Hleb/Rosicky. The only downside to it was that the two wide men did not have enough goals to their game. Shame, because if they had, then we would have won the lge at a canter.

  84. George and Andy just ‘get a room’ yeah?

  85. The 04 team was a bit of a freak of nature. It is not very often a group of players with that amount of talent, all hit the peak of their career’s in the same period and are at the same club at the same time.

  86. lol Johnny…

    I agree Andy, more goals from them would have won us things for sure. There’s only one Bobby though unfortunately. Little Freddy was a up there with the best in the world too, at his peak.

  87. Jonny – You can have sloppy seconds. I will be finished with him soon 😉

  88. Geo – Yeah, Freddie was effective. Not the most talented, but a real grafter with excellent running off the ball. Having Bergkamp in the side was perfect for a player like him. Strangely enough, I actually think Walcott is similar in that respect (running off the ball). If we were led to believe he was the next coming of Freddie and not Henry expectations would have been very different, and maybe he would not have come in for as much stick?

  89. They are similar actually GA, but i’d say Ljunberg had more fight and was harder to knock off the ball, and his finishing was sublime at times. He was a few years older than theo when he was producing that stuff though, so hopefully he’ll become as effective… His finishing’s getting there, and he is bulking up.

    But with Bergkamp in the team, anyone quick, with good off the ball movement would have an absolute field day. Still my favourite player of all time. I touched him once. I loved it.

  90. Dennis Bergkamp in any team since would have made the difference.

    I think the Invincible’s were are better team than the current Barca side.
    And I don’t give a fuck what anyone else says 🙂
    I think the Invincible’s were the best club side in history.In any league ,anywhere.
    But 08 were better yo watch when in full flow with a full compliment.
    17 (w) – 3 (d) – 0 (l). wow,just fucking wow.

  91. I touched him once. I loved it.

    You lucky lucky bastard.

  92. haha George! I touched Ian Wright too, hugged him in fact, he loved it.

  93. I’m sorry One of us, you have a good writing style but you are just using the blog to moan moan moan, and try push your minority views on the rest of us. Bring back Darius please.

  94. Can anyone better a hug?

  95. I once Teabagged Emma Byrne. Does that count?

  96. Freddy tried to seduce me once with his Calvin Kleins, but Bobby came strolling in, and that was it, Freddy was surpassed. Ah, those were the days…

  97. Geo,now it is Wright who is somewhat “touched”

    But Dennis is different gravey

  98. Bradys right foot

    “We had to leave him there, prone by the touchline, coated in the spittle of the pasty-faced, malnourished drones that scrape out a putrid existence downwind from that bulging white and blue fungus.”

    Big Al that nearly brought me to tears.

  99. haha, too true, George, too true.

  100. Matt

    Judging from our recent form we do have a need to protest. Also you know deep down how you feel about Arsenal right now.

  101. Oh good ,Bradys right foot has tipped up.There might be some good pickings for me to plagiarize on twitter.

  102. gooner2 Care to hazard a guess how I feel deep down about you, right now?

  103. It seems that you are still hopeful. how ludicrous and strange these diatribes of yours…………after the 8-2 thrashing, you still cannot see the reality………that Arsenal are now a mid-table club, that is if Arsenal win a few games.

    you still want to blame Citeh for striking it rich…….the referees…..the pitch….the weather….where are the next excuses coming from….eh?

    Arsenal are now like Everton…..like Sunderland….a win here, a draw there and routine losses……..football goes through cycles….eh….cannot you see that……now is the down cycle

    and the quality of players added on the last day……….it is like west ham players trying to play like Barcelona……how comical can this get!

    and the manager for life………for 15 years ………the quality the desire the skills……….oh that nonsense that the manager says after a win or loss……….yet no banners no dissent allowed in the emirates no talk of relegation when Sunderland win the match on sunday………..how inevitable it is the free kick that Larsson will score…..and yet in Arsene we trust……..or rust?

    and yet the bloggers write….for adverts for following……come on you gunners we know it we read zonal marking….4 4 2 is it or 4 3 3 i know a bit of football let me get some followers eh and then i show i know how to write eh……..

    time to face the truth. unless the manager goes, Arsenal will be lucky to stay in the EPL big names club.

  104. interesting post OOU always enjoy your prose

    I think every regular on this blog would be arsenal fans even if the club stays in 15th place for the next few years or even if we get relegated or never win another trophy. I dont expect that to happen but support for a club is not based on results, its part of who you are as a sports fan. All that said, its frustrating to see a club with our resources and talent struggling the way we have. It’s quite clear that it is important for a big club to win trophies if the goal is to stay a “big club”. We can talk about how wonderful it is to stay in the CL every year and finish 3rd or 4th but this club could and should have done a lot better then a run of 3rd and 4th place finishes. To be satisfied and make excuses for underperformance is the fastest way to make that underperformance a self fulfilling prophecy. The first 1/2 of the Wenger era spoiled us. Perhaps the best thing to do would be to go back to 6 – 10th for a few years and expectations would return to a manageable level.

  105. I couldn’t care less. But I know your looking for a fight. Also just back off or find someone else that you can play mind games with.

  106. I was actually thinking of some people I know from round that way, Brf.

    Oh, and this:

  107. Brown skinned Gooner But you are not a gooner now are you?
    I doubt if you are even an adult.

  108. Are…….you……Miles……..Palmer…….?

  109. BSG – what joy do you derive from having that attitude? if its all so depressing why do you support? personally I support with hope that it will be better, I don`t assume it will but at least i have hope.
    What makes you think that those of us who follow football for the joy it gives us not the occasional misery it brings, give a shit about your I`m so realistic, you should all listen to me and be depressed about your teams standing, point of view?

  110. Lol.not much chance of you playing mind games with anything more intelligent than a Billy Goat.Not and win in any case.

  111. Pedantic George: good point we shouldn`t have risen to the bait, how foolish of me to be draw in by a window licking 11 year old

  112. gooner2… this the censored version of my reply:

    You think the club need to see a protest before they realise that the performances haven’t been up to scratch? What are you hoping to acheive?

  113. What are you hoping to acheive?

    Markus,he hasn’t thought of that.You will confuse the poor love asking difficult questions like that.Have a heart man.

  114. Ah. ‘For the good times….’, Big Al

    A bittersweet reference taken from a Johny Cash song.

    Once you get past the winning is everything bollocks of the modern fan,supporting a club always has good times.

    It’s meant to be fun.

  115. Limestonegunner

    I still don’t understand how we didn’t win one or even two CL’s between 1998-2006. Especially 2003-5 we seemed to have under-performed in Europe. What great teams those were.

    I agree that this year we may have a chance to go deep in the cups and in Europe. As Markus mentioned, Arteta is super-motivated for the CL. I think Mertesacker and Benayoun are really eager to get back into that competition. Park has never played in it, and Santos has had a very brief experience of it, I believe with Fenerbahce. However, our group is trickier than it looks. Olympiakos away won’t be easy–they played us very very tough at the Emirates. Marseille are doing nothing in Ligue 1 but we aren’t doing anything in the PL either, plus they got a great result at home versus Dortmund. If we get out of the group in top position, I think we should make it to the quarter finals and from there, depending on the draw, we could progress. The basis of progression will be stingy defense, just like in 06. Vermaelen and Mertesacker with Chezzer in goal, Song shielding is potentially a very strong defensive foundation. If we can get better and keeping possession or absorbing pressure, as we did in Dortmund, we could be hard to beat. Then it is up to Theo, Gervinho and RvP to produce a moment of magic to get a goal or two. The main problem is feeding them good through balls in the final third or starting the counter attack from deep midfield. Arteta has to step up and take responsibility here. Song is solid and contributes an all around game but unless Arteta can do more consistently through the game from a creative perspective, I see our front players, especially RvP a bit isolated.

    I am still in favor of a 4231, especially if Arteta doesn’t take on these duties more aggressively, that would put RvP or Arshavin in the hole. But in Europe, I expect Arteta to try to step up and show his quality on the big stage he wants to play on.

  116. George

    I told you that I Ain’t here to cause any Fight. And I think if you are that smart then you should understand. Also I did fully understood what Markus said. So your hate for me should stop at some point. But now your love and obsession of me is blocking you from doing that.

  117. When we pick, say for instance ,our favorite Snooker player we don’t pick him because he is a winner,we pick him because we like his style of play.
    I just cant understand this need to win.It good to win ,but for me that is just a bonus that comes along .Its about aligning yourself with friends and like minded people and enjoying life through your team.
    If you don’t get pleasure out of something then why do it?

  118. Well George I know you will quickly find a response for that. But Always think before saying something.

  119. What?
    Can someone tell me in English what he just tried to say?

  120. Nah George I was referring this to your other post. So anyways sorry for confusing you. But you know I am a very passionate Fan. I have supported Arsenal through Bad and Good Times. So I think you and me and you we look at things differently. And that’s why we tend to disagree with each other.

  121. Cbob

    >It’s meant to be fun.

    The Premier League ended that.

    YW

  122. All too true Yogi, all too true.

  123. Bill – “To be satisfied and make excuses for underperformance is the fastest way to make that underperformance a self fulfilling prophecy. ”

    I dont think anyone’s satisfied with under-performance, that would be ludicrous. To under-perform is to play at a lower standard than the standard you, as an individual, has set. So to be satisfied with something less than that would be quite strange.

    My point, along with others, is that there is no need to start abusing, throwing toys out of prams, putting up banners, protesting etc when things haven’t gone quite as well as normal after a few games. Of course trophies are important (or at least challenging for them) to remain a big club with a big reputation, but we are a club that will have this, even if we fall well short of our normal season finish. Our reputation doesn’t disintegrate after one season. There will still be many players eager to join our club, even if we finish 8th this year. Most intelligent players know that we are one or 2 ingredients away from winning again.

    Sorry Bill, it seems like i’m having a go at you a lot of the time, it’s not that. It’s just that you often reply to points I make… I love you really!

  124. CB & Yogi – are you not enjoying this?!

  125. Limestonegunner

    Lyrically written, OoU. I do think Bill is right though that being a big club means challenging for the title and picking up some honors every once in a while. If the club is going to go through a down cycle that may not include CL football every year as we are accustomed to, it will be another step down as the last 5 or 6 years has already been from the previous early Wenger years. In this era, the nature of football competition has changed. Bringing up the 70’s and 80’s fallow period isn’t that relevant because the distribution of resources is much more stratified now with CL money, with our matchday revenues, and tv money for the PL and so on. If we have the 5th highest revenues in the world, even if there are 4 or 5 clubs in Europe that outspend us despite their lower revenues (Inter, PSG, ManCity, Chelsea, Liverpool) we should still be finishing way ahead of Tottenham, Everton, Aston Villa, Newcastle, Sunderland in the league in 3rd-5th spots and getting out of our CL group or getting to the Europa league final and trying to win it. We aren’t the little engine that could even if there are some huge overspenders who are skewing things importantly at the top end. This season will be interesting. It could be a turning point in the fortunes of the club for a multi-year period. Will we swing back up, tread water around 4-5th spots, or slide down? It certainly is an exciting time–also an anxious and possibly very fulfilling one as well. But it is different from the last two or three years. It is more like 08-09 where we had to fight to stay in 4th, maybe like 05-06 where we had similar difficulties getting to top 4 but went to the CL final. The difference is our poor start has put enormous pressure on the club. We’ll see how we deal with that. I don’t think, though, that we should just get used to slipping out of the top 4 and resign ourselves to second tier status, something OoU wrote about a few weeks ago.

    To my mind the supporters have in the stadium been very strong and supportive. This protest will be drowned out by positive backing by the fans, I predict. Outside in the blogs, on call-in shows, and in discussions with Gooners, of course we are going to see lots of concerns, angst, and disappointment along with a rabid set of militantly anti-Wenger types, but that isn’t somehow a failing of the support in the way some suggest. We are more aware of it and it does get into the media and create an atmosphere of negativity and criticism. But that is what a big club has to face when it is seriously underperforming. Comparing our support to championship, league 1 and lower table PL sides is just nonsensical. We’ve never been in the championship, we have won trophies in almost every decade and far more regularly since the Graham era, and in the PL era we have been a top team in the highest echelons of Europe, despite never winning the CL (alas!). It is natural that it is part of the culture of Arsenal support to expect more than most other football fans. And thank God, GG and especially AW for that! I am disappointed that the frustrations are showing in an often ugly fashion and that so many gooners are losing patience. But the way some talk on here, it is as if our biggest problem as a club is our support and that is just exaggeration.

  126. George @ 3:16:

    It’s not really about winning as much as it is playing up to the level that you are capable and the level of expectation. If we were a fulham or everton fans and somehow made a run of top 4 finishes we would be cheering in the streets. In the next few years fighting for 4th may become the norm in which case fan expectations will adjust, but that will take time.

  127. Gooner2 – You don’t know anything about me or anything about how I feel about my team, so please don’t suggest you do.

    There is absolutely no, let me repeat that, no reason to protest with a banner at the stadium.

    The idea of having supporters at the ground is to support the team, through good times and bad, and anyone who thinks ‘protesting’ against the manager, board, tea lady, whoever is going to have any positive impact iin any way is indeed a moron, in fact, worse than a moron.

    If anyone tries to uncurl a ‘protest’ banner near Block 109 of the Upper Tier I feel very sorry for them, as I and the majority who sit round them will not take kindly to it, and will take the appropriate action.

    And as for Brown Skinned Gooner, the only thing brown about your post is the sh*t that is coming out of your mouth.

  128. Matt .throw one off the top tier for me will ya?

  129. GRRRR…

    I can’t tell you how much that banner has irritated me today George… F**king idiot’s….

    I wonder if all clubs have the same element of f**tard’s supporting their team as we do?

  130. There is always hope!!!!!!

  131. All Abusive
    Comments
    End In Moderation

  132. Limestonegunner

    Is that why it is so quiet on here?

  133. Limestone @ 3:58:

    Wonderfully written and accurate as always. Wish I could do that.

    Geo @ 3:38:

    I think the whole idea of a protest is ridiculous.

    I do think we have underperformed for the last several years based on the talent in the squad, the level of our resources, our infrastructure and the quality of our on the field management. No way we should have been a 3rd or 4th place team the last 3 years. This year is a different story.

    We have become used to arsenal being big club with big expectations mostly due to Wenger. Over the last 6 years our reputation has slowly eroded and this season our expectations are at as low a point as they have been for 15 years. You can’t expect the fans to be happy. That’s not how fans work. I think our management wants the same thing as most fans, however after seeing what happened this summer it feels like the ship has lost control of the rudder and it’s hard to avoid the feeling that this is more then just a temporary blip. Time will tell what happens.

  134. Im really sorry but i do hope someome inside that stadium tomorrow can make their way to that poster and set fire to it.
    That would show the entire world what REAL arsenal supportes REALLY feel about the club.

    Contrary to what most boo boys belive, Arsenal FC is not a democracy. ITs not run on elections. ITs a buisness and a club first and foremost.

    The boo boys have just started a civil war and taken it to the next level. Their filthy and abusive rethorics are the core of this mess. Their ability to be brainwashed by the media and then spew the hate, cos that is what it has turned into, their hate for AW, has made our players afraid to play at their own homegstadium.
    who are they to tell the players what manager is best for them? non of them have EVER been top athleets, let alone football players. Non of them have ever spoken to anybody inside arsenal.
    Jack wilshre sais the only way forward for him and arsenal is for AW to stay.
    WHo the hell are they to tell him hes wrong! who the hell are they to claim to know better than the players??
    They got no expertise what so ever to be able to draw any conclusions. Hell they dont even know what players are vocal in the dressingroom or not except from what they read in the paper.

    This sucks monkeyballs and really pisses me off. And again i really hope some true Arsenal fans can set fire to that banner tomorrow.
    After all with that banner the boo boys just started a civil war. Hope they are happy…

  135. I hope my comment was not to abusive, that was not the intention anyway, just the boo boys with their banner just pused about all the wwrong buttons that exsists in my entie body…

  136. besides, if the ref at liverpool-united pulls up an imaginary card or two pluss Carra doing one of his normal blunt and badly timed tackles. nobody will care about that banner anyway…

  137. the banner is banned.

  138. Poodle.sometimes you are my hero.

  139. Limestonegunner

    Bill, let’s hope it isn’t a real slip down. We went in for major midfield players over the summer by all reports: Gourcuff, Gotze, Hazard, M’Vila, Martin. We need to go back in for them in January and next summer. Meanwhile, this team has to fight hard and learn to play more effectively on attack and more stingily in defense.

    I already mentioned my thinking that Arteta has to step forward and also play more forward. Song has been very strong, but his immaturity by getting the three game ban was a huge blow when the team was facing the turmoil of the end of the transfer window and beginning of the season. Similarly, Gervinho looked very bright and dangerous in pre-season and in the CL qualifiers, but his three game ban really delayed the integration of our attack and he hasn’t been in the sort of groove we were expecting from the flashes of invention he showed at the outset. Ramsey is a very key player now that Jack is injured. He has been a bit up and down, but especially in the league, I think he will find his form. But I would play him alongside Song and not put him in the most forward position just yet–it is too much responsibility. He deals with that well for Wales, but in the PL it is a different ball game. By December, though, with a good run of games, we could see him becoming an important provider of through balls and even goals. The main thing is the mentality. I expect Vermaelen’s return will be a big lift. We need leadership between our GK and our striker on the extreme ends of the pitch where more of the game is played.

    Sorry about last night. If not for a third base bag you might be back to the World Series, but I am sure the Rangers will get one of the next two at home to clinch it and at least you can go to another playoff game. Enjoy!

  140. Duke ,is it really or are you kidding?

  141. no the club have written to the “fans” and issued a statment saying any banner will be taken down by the stewards.

  142. I don’t understand this repetitious thinking that we’ll finish mid-table. We are not like Everton or Villa. We have a great manager and a roster of talented players, plus some coins in our pockets to fill gaps if needed.

    Sitting in 17th, there are 31 more matches to play. THIRTY-ONE. WE ARE DEFINITELY THE UNDERDOGS. This makes it easy to motivate and overachieve.

    These players have an opportunity to create their own image apart from other Arsenal teams under Arsene.

    The integration of young players is a long-term effort. All of us have pained over the past seasons with the inconsistent development of Theo, Song, Djourou, and Diaby. Does anyone doubt their abilities to compete at this level?

    Yes, some will bring up their history of injuries (lack of availability), but we whined about RvP for so many seasons. (knock on wood) Other clubs will suffer injuries to key players, hit slumps, have locker room melt downs, that distract.

    It is too early to speculate the downside. Allow the team to settle and gain familiarity.

    Gibbs, Wilshere, Ramsey, Szczesny, are the next wave that look promising. Then Ox, Coquelin, Ryo, Miquel, Frimpong, and CJ follow.

    This team will find its own identity, winning in a style that sets them apart from other Arsenal teams and players. Regardless of the matches, they need to hear our support every match day.

  143. but dont worry george they will release their banner in an away game.

  144. I am sending out a search party for Darius and Dexter.
    Volunteers take one step forward

  145. Will the stewards kick the shit out of them?
    And how do you get a job as a steward?

  146. well they might(on strict orders) blindfold them and drive them round for 30 mins then bring them back to a room and torture them and hypnotize them untill they except that this current regime is in control and to never step out of line again.

  147. Limestonegunner

    Just started a civil war? Have you been asleep for the last few seasons, Poodle? Last year there were fist fights in the stands! I am just jibing you, man, but the idea that the civil war between Arsenal supporters has just been touched off is a bit amnesiac at the very least. This blog has many commenters whose main contribution to discussing the Arsenal is attacking other gooners as not real supporters. This has been going on for a while. There was a protest last Spring as well. It is pretty predictable that some fools will agitate, especially after the derby loss to the Spuds.

    This year the support at the stadium has actually appeared to be much stronger. The best response is not to show the world that Arsenal supporters are a bunch of wild thugs who can’t take criticism coming from within its own ranks but rather to drown out the protest with great banners of support, loud chanting and singing about how great our club, manager and players are. The club shouldn’t be banning banners, I think. It should encourage supporters to bring banners as long as they fit into whatever the safety criteria are. It looks weak and it can backfire.

    The talk of violent fantasies from several commenters suggests to me that some pine for the glory days of supporters squaring off on the terraces. Except for one thing, it was against the opponents’ supporters not your own club’s fans! To me it is part of the same phenomenon we often decry. Internet warriors polarizing the support with abusive and/or violent language. How does this help anything?

    At least all this talk about the protest has livened things up on here though!

  148. Limestonegunner

    George, I missed the beginning of the Fans Forum–did you call in and set everyone straight?

  149. Duke,I am glad to see you have started thinking clearly.Because that is exactly what is required.If a good kicking is out of the question.

  150. Not this week LG I would have been out of control .These banner pricks have got my goat.

  151. @duke, i dont think the boo boys go to that many away games, the away fans are real fans usually. the away fans even did sing for our team after they lost 8-2 to united. I just cannot imagin any of the boo bosy ever wanting to do something that humiliating… i mean signing and cheering for the team?? who does that? a team with AW as a manager??
    They will probably set up the banner outside Emirates, and get the mirror to shoot pictures of them, while they give interviews about the usual drivel they come out with.

    If we are lucky maybe some of the real fans will go and buy some 50p asda eggs and egg both them and their poster…..

  152. this is our friend Akhil from twitter
    10akhil Akhil Vyas
    Wish this Frank guy on talksport would not say ‘what the fans feel’ I am a fan and he knows nothing about me. Stick to what he feels.

    Typical .they actually think they represent the fans.
    Fucking wankers they are.

  153. poodle, im affraid even some of the away fans have fallen into the darkside. the actual fan with the banner was on talksport earlier saying he now has no choice but to release the banner at an away game coz he has been banned from putting it up at the emirates, this guy said he goes to alot of away games and says the fans are divided.

  154. As long as they don’t throw “Happy Eggs” that would be like throwing puppies.
    (if you are not from England Happy Chickens drive tractors and own their own farm.In an advert that is .Its not real 🙂 )

  155. Yes Duke they are divided.The debate is about what fractions they are divided into.
    They just ran an on line poll on Ladyarse,and less than 10% wanted a change of manager.

  156. Limestonegunner

    Ha, Duke! Arsenal does extraordinary rendition and Gitmo Emirates style! Trapped in a cell below the pitch dressed in nothing but an extra-large Squillaci, Denilson or Diaby shirt, forced to listen to repeats of the press conference after the Spud defeat on high volume and snippets from previous ones, “like a new signing”, “handbrake”, and so on, while screens on every wall show mesmerizing and hypnotizing spells of tippy tappy possession going in a ceaseless sideways and around the corner outside of the penalty box pattern in the final third, leading the poor ingrate to scream “shoot!” until he collapses into a catatonic state.

    Physical pain is overrated. The real interrogators, brain washers use psychological measures!

  157. george, i think most fans just want us to invest some more money and there isn’t anyone better at investing then Wenger is there whether it be players or your life savings.

  158. Limestonegunner

    Lady Arse readers are probably very pro-Wenger. If you did that on Le-Grove you’d get a different result, while here it would probably be 10% or even less, maybe 2%, at least among commenters. The silent ones are harder to gauge.

    It is obvious that there is a growing discontented group that would contemplate or sanction changing the manager. I don’t think it is anywhere near a majority, probably a third but growing. How many people would actually express that or condone an anti-Wenger banner at a game. I bet less than 5%. There isn’t a good way to know given the fractionalizing along blog/media lines.

    That’s why the best way to deal with it is to drown it out with support. That is intimidating enough. If 10 or 20 raise an anti Wenger chant, it will stop very quickly if they are surrounded by a wall of support singing “One Arsene Wenger” in the thousands around them. In fact they’ll not only be cowed, they’ll be embarrassed.

  159. Duke,well I have invested emotionally in him so he owes me.That young German kid ,Gotes or whatever his name is,will do for starters

  160. Good point about results on various sites being different.LG

  161. Limestone:

    Hopefully I am wrong and this year is a temporary blip.

    Rather then making me feel more confident hearing about all the players we were trying to get but “just missed” makes hold onto the curmudgeon hat even tighter. We seem to consistently miss players we target when we have a big war chest full of 5 and 10 pound notes gathering dust. It’s makes you wonder if everyone is on the same page in London colney.

  162. “There’s a lot of satisfaction these days in following the careers of the youngsters; watching them find their feet for the u18s, seeing them turn pro, vie for places in our first team squad and become stars.

    And the rest of the time it’s the laughs, even if a lot of that’s been from gallows humour recently, and sharing the fun with people from all over the world.”

    If only it could be like that! Unfortunately the internet has another face that is threatening to suck the fun out of the highs and destroy the perspective that enables people to accept the lows as part of what happens in the real world. Too many fantasy football managers out there who think that because it works on a computer simulation it’s easy to replicate on a football pitch.

    I’m with Matt and Poodle, absolutely seething that there are people who think that their stupid banner is going to help the situation we find ourselves in when it’s just adding another angle to the negativity threatening to drown the club.

  163. @limestone you are ofc correct in your assumption that the best way to drive the abusers away is to drown them in support. Which is what the fans has done admirabley latley. You have to give it to them, the majority of our fans are really really good.
    thats why its such a shame that a minority should be allowed to give our fans such a bad reputation.
    And that is why it pisses me off that one dick with his stupid poster gets all the attention while the other 60 000 are just seen as not having a voice.

  164. Poodle.What worries me is that the said dick manages to get on to Talksport.
    Now I can be as big a dick as anyone but I am fucked if they will have me on National radio.
    So it tell us that the minority are getting more exposure than the majority.That is undemocratic at very least.

  165. Poodle, I agree – the silent majority is slowly finding it’s voice. The doomers and the media are feeding each other at the moment and trying to set the agenda. It’s time for the rest of us to stand up for our club.

  166. Wouldn’t it be amazing if this is the year that the team finally end the season in terrific form and shoot up the table to that fourth spot, perhaps even third? Vermaelen will return to fitness and the defense should be a lot tighter.

    We will get Wilshere back as well. I think we may all be surprised at the immediate impact he will have on the midfield once he is back to full game fitness. A midfield with Wislhere, Arteta and Song is pretty solid. Even replacing Arteta with Ramsey looks a solid midfield three. Add a fully fit Diaby to the mix and things look entirely different.

    There is still a ton of season left, and we have the unique position of being able to shock the footballing world if we come out from the depths to haul in a trophy and a top four finish. Hang in there Gunners, all is not lost.

  167. On a side note…this has felt like the longest interlull in history…man I hate international football distractions.

  168. THERE IS ACTUALLY another poll running for a month, so you can vote on that one. the one ladyarse posted was just an instant one.

    of course i have voted for AW to stay as long as he likes!

  169. TS why have you not been tweeting?

  170. Ts what site is the other poll on?

  171. “Off the pitch we seem to have the strange honour of epitomising both football’s past and its future, but not its present.” – fantastic line Big Al, two thumbs up

    I can’t help but feel that this down side has brought the fans slightly together, singing louder, and enjoying the good things in games rather that sweating on small mistakes. I still think we can turn the season around and end well, I just hope that the turning point comes soon enough to yield something, even if it is 4th spot and nothing else.

    But, what do I know, I live in Australia and pretty much only read this blog and Arseblog, so I am pretty isolated from the drivel

  172. Limestonegunner

    Poodle, it is frustrating, but if you feel like your voice isn’t getting heard call 606, Talksport, and the Fans Forum. George calls the fans forum and lets the ” Arsenal speaking world” know that there is unyielding support for the manager out there. Bernard challenged the Le-Grove blogger on 5live. If there is persistent counterviews it will be hard to ignore. This protest is going to fall flat on its collective face, you watch. I am pretty sure of that.

  173. Limstone,

    A great point and strategic suggestion. To be honest, I find those forums so unpleasant as to tar every participant with the same brush and simply avoid listening/reading. However, I agree that a better way is to counter the negative comment wherever we are allowed to speak.

    I suppose this is simply another way for gooners to do their job and offer support to the club and all of its representatives.

    With Diaby and TV5 now back in training, I have a sneaking suspicion that it wont be too long before there are even more grounds for more would-be supporters to get on board!

    COYG

  174. Poodle,

    I just thought I’d let another gooner have his voice. He is actually older than me and posted this a few days back:

    ” Edward Curtling | October 12, 2011 at 6:06 am

    as gunners fan for the last 66years i have seen the demise of some great teams that were almost unbeatable in thier day[Forrest,Leeds,liverpool,Derby,Spurs ,eintrach,AJAX ETC, ETC-ARSENAL HAVE NEVER BEEN relegated,have never finiished lower than 18th in the very highest league in Europe-give the players,management some credit over the years for keeping our club in the forefront of football!Sure we had some bad years during these years but i am sure that NO club when approaching a game against the Gunners ever said’this is goingto be easy’!!get out thier,get behind the team and management and ENJOY football at the highest level-we can’t always WIN [ask Man.u.about relegation!!!]WE SHALL RETURN!!!!!”

    Protests my arse

    COYG

  175. Regarding Poodle’s call to arms,

    My view of those who feel it necessary to boo during games and/or take every opportunity to undermine the club and its representatives was already expressed by the legate Arnaud Amalric when asked about distinguishing those that kept the faith from the opposing masses who didn’t: “Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.”

    That translates as: “Kill them all. For the Lord knoweth them that are His.”

    Metaphorically speaking, of course

    COYG

  176. http://wp.me/p1aPg-1SM

    Today’s view on anything and everything

  177. Dgob

    Arsenal are one of the top 10 clubs in Europe but have failed to win the CL.Wengers keeps banging on about qualifying for 15 years but in that time Dortmund Porto and a poor Liverpool team have won it.Wengers biggest failing was not winning the CL with the 2002-04 squad

    Wenger can never be called an all time great manager until he conquers Europe

  178. Dgob

    Dont know how old you are.But under Neill and Howe the fans regularly booed at home game.And rightly so.We were shit and all our best players were leaving.Brady and Stapleton

    The club charges the highest tickets in the world.We are not Barcelona are we?

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