If You Know Your History…

A guest post today on the AISA New Year reception. Just a reminder that another dose of the daily history of Arsenal can be found at Arsenal On This Day.

A couple of weeks back I was lucky enough to receive an invitation to AISAs New Year reception to celebrate the clubs 125th anniversary and hear more about the research being carried out by the Arsenal History Society. Thursday evenings aren’t the most convenient time to travel into London but the chance to get a little drunk at the House of Commons whilst discussing the history of Arsenal, is one that I couldn’t pass up.

I’ve been a member of AISA for 4 or 5 years now but only recently I realised that very few others were aware of them, even fewer still know what they’re about. Despite the fantastic work of people such as Tony Attwood in unravelling the seemingly cast iron history of the club, it was the Q&A meeting with Ivan Gazidis that really raised their profile beyond that of a small supporters group.

What does one wear to the House of Commons? Suggestions included a Wire, a red & white mankini, all with a smug grin. Ever one to please I decided to go with all three. Hiding a wire in a mankini is uncomfortable to say the least.

As I approached the designated entrance, I was greeted by two policeman, one of which felt the urge to cry ‘The Arsenal’ (albeit fairly softly) upon eyeing my Arsenal emblazoned bag. His ‘friend’ uttered an unimpressed ‘sigh’; I can only imagine that bobby 2 wasn’t an Arsenal fan. He was slightly uglier, unwashed and probably not as smart or funny as his colleague. I can’t be sure of this, so let’s just call it an educated guess.

Ushered through a turnstile, I turned the corner, ending up face-to-face with a heavily armed copper. It’s not the first time I’ve been pointed in the right direction by the snout of a rifle and it doesn’t get any more comfortable.

Once through security I entered the Jubilee Room which was incredibly small, packed from front to back and certainly not what I was expecting. I scoured the room for people I recognised some; Paul Matz and Tony Attwood gave a courteous welcome. As expected Maria (come on Arsenal) was there but apart from that, there were perhaps one or two others that I recognised from away days and previous AISA meetings.

The first real interesting moment was when Philippa made a clear b-line for me from across the room. I didn’t quite know what to make of her at first mainly due to the questions she asked; ‘So, why did you start supporting the club?’; ‘What are your links to the club?’; ‘Do you go home and away?’

Despite my initial concern, she was genuinely keen to hear what I had to say, learning more about the club from what she kept referring to as ‘true fans. It was at this point that I asked her to tell me a little about herself. She was Arsenal royalty: Philippa Dawson, the great granddaughter of Jack Humble, one of the five founding fathers of our great club. If you’re not familiar, Jack was in attendance for that famous meeting at the Royal Oak in Woolwich on Christmas Day 1886, one of the gentlemen that put a sixpence in the kitty, the first Chairman of the club and the only constant through each of our incarnations, starting with Dial Square through Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal, The Arsenal to simply ‘Arsenal’ as it is today.

I was genuinely gobsmacked and I guess slightly saddened to learn that Jack and Arsenal were never mentioned and that up until very recently, she was completely unaware of her illustrious heritage.

Philippa explained that Jack’s Daughter – her Dad’s Auntie – was the only one that had an interest in his past and when she disappeared to America, so did all trace of links with the club. Inspired by an episode of ‘Who do you think you are’ Philippa took it upon herself to look into her family’s past and found Jack. She made a remark suggesting that despite the fact that he’d obviously become a very wealthy man, Jack hadn’t left anything for her, to which I replied “don’t look at it like that, he left something for all of us”. This earned me a big kiss on the cheek. She looked close to a tear as she stepped back and said “thank you so much for saying that”.

I asked what more she’d learned about Jack and she explained that she’s been in contact with her family in the States and they apparently hold a rather large archive of info. She’s now working with the Arsenal History Society to bring anything of interest to light and help us understand more about the man and the club. I wished her the best of luck as she made her way to the back of the room for the start of the speeches.

Gavin Silvey (AISA Chairman) kicked off with a quick welcome, an overview of AISA and explained how proud he was of the endless campaigning work they’d done alongside Ken Friar in gaining permission for, the building of, eventual move to, and more recently the ‘Arsenalisation’ of Ashburton Grove. He explained that they’re working closely with the club to ensure that the supporters are heard and that our needs and wants were understood. He spoke of AISAs involvement with Arsenal in the community since their inception 12 years ago (during which time they’ve managed to raise in excess of £75,000 for charities supported by the club) and wished us all well before introducing the next speaker.

Jeremy Corbyn (MP for Islington North) was next up. It was immediately clear that he’s incredibly passionate about the club and his constituency which houses both Ashburton Grove and what’s now left of Highbury. He spoke of his frustration at people arriving late and leaving early on match days which seems to have become something of a running theme at AISA meets. It came up a few times during the Q&A with Gazidis last year and in the previous speech, Gavin had made a joke about it, comparing it with Man City’s so-called passionate fans all dressing up as sky blue seats against Liverpool.

As an MP it was no surprise that Jeremy’s entire ethos is built around bringing communities together, using football as something to lift the spirits and developing a sense of belonging for those living under the most difficult of circumstances. It was an impressive speech. As someone that grew up on a tough, poor estate in London, Arsenal was my escape and I found myself nodding along like a plastic dog throughout. He then introduced Philippa to the rest of the room and up she stood to loud applause.

She started her speech with a throwaway joke about becoming an Arsenal fan because the red shirts matched her shoes & lipstick but quickly grabbed her audience’s attention by speaking about how welcome she’d been made by the fans she’d met, her immeasurable pride at being related to Jack and the potential of more information in America. She looked towards a picture of the man himself, finishing with “God, all I can see is my Dad. He had the full beard and everything. Thank you all, so, so much” and went back to her seat to another large round of applause. A little later, she sought me out again to see how I thought it went, we chatted for another couple of minutes, exchanged emails and pleasantries before she set off early with her partner to start their long trip home to Somerset.

Then it was on to the last speaker and enter stage left, Tony Atwood (Arsenal History Society & Editor of Untold Arsenal) who was at his eccentric and theatrical best as he began to tell us a story. He set the scene racing through the traditional Arsenal story as we know it “Scene 1: a group of factory workers at Dial Square Armoury decide to start a football team. Scene 2: they donate sixpence each to get things started. Danskin adds another three to buy a ball. Scene 3: they move from a field on the Isle of Dogs to Plumstead Common etc, etc” before sharing some very interesting stories that I hadn’t previously heard. There were fights with landlords, competition for grounds with a local rival team, back handers, extortion, community splits and more but I’m not going to steal anybodies thunder as they’ll soon be publishing their findings. Visit http://www.blog.woolwicharsenal.co.uk/ to read many other stories that challenge the conventional beliefs about the foundations of our club.

With me finishing this piece in the 5th hour of my journey home from a defeat at Swansea, I am keen to talk about what Tony said of our away support. It’s widely accepted that the support we took to away grounds and consequent revenue generated by the hosts, played a huge part in Arsenals promotion into Division One after a vote in 1919 whilst I’m sure every set of fans believes their away support to be the best, it seems that we, once again have history (*cough Chelsea*) to back it up.

It’s common knowledge that due to our links with the Royal Arsenal, we were almost certainly the first to have people turning up at grounds nationwide to support us but what Tony explained was that him and his team now also believe that apart from the soldiers working in various areas of the country, Arsenal were in fact the first to have general members of the public follow the team in numbers to away grounds. New evidence shows that they brought instruments, singers and even fire crackers made within the walls of the Armoury itself.

He said that they’d also found that the sheer volume of away support we received resulted in the introduction of visitor sections and beyond that, away support ticket allocation. Apparently thousands would arrive hours early and fill stadia to the point that not only were home fans struggling to get through the door but the ones that did were actually outnumbered. Great eh?

It was a great night and I think the best way to finish is with something that Jeremy Corbyn said when talking about the gloomy faces of local residents even after a 3-0 win,

“When we win, try to be more cheerful and when we lose? Well, be optimistic”.

Cheers, Ricky

You can follow me on Twitter @geezypeas. Learn more about AISA and their work at www.aisa.org

Posted on January 17, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 357 Comments.

  1. 2nd……salud YW

  2. So, is that a permanent sub heading Yogi?

    It about sums up healthy football club support.

  3. “When we win, try to be more cheerful and when we lose? Well, be optimistic”.

    I prefer the age old…when we win be as happy as a pig in shit and when we lose be a miserable bastad and take it out on the wife!(or on poor bloggers on a blog as is the case in this day in age)

  4. Indeed Cbob, that’s what I thought when I read Mr Corbyn’s quote.

  5. Up early duke? I did say ‘healthy club support’.

  6. Healthy club support is in short supply at the moment.

  7. Victoria Con Concordia! Something many fans have no idea about.

  8. It depends what you mean by healthy support YW. I can only speak from a personal point of view, but I am more than happy to discuss the clubs cons must as much as pro’s. We all delight when we play well, but equally as valid are discussing flaws within the club. After all, it is our club as supporters and whilst rose tinted,I believe it is healthy to be objective.

    But one thing is for sure, my support for the club is one of 100% commitment and is unquestionable and unwaivering. Any concerns or critisisms of the club are not brought into the stadium when I go. I would never boo a player nor do anything but support the club and whatever players are representing it through every second of every game. For better or worse. And in my time as an Arsenal supporter I have seen plenty of both.

  9. Including my fingers it seems, Victoria Concordia Crescit is obvious;ly what I meant to type, leave me alone its early.

  10. What did you think of the security teams at westminster????

  11. ..you will know where you’re coming from.

    Thanks YW.
    Jeremy Corbyn, a shame there aren’t more like him.

  12. Very well said,Yogi.We dont have any divine rights to finish above Spurs.Before I took over, Arsenal were a midtable club.You guys have to live with that.I will keep supporting the manager, as long as here.If not for him, Arsenal would be playing in the championship

    To dare is to do.COYS

  13. Where was J*ames after Tottenham lost to Stoke?
    Fortune favours the brave I guess.

  14. Ajmal munching his way through the England batting line up.
    With two top quickies in the slammer for some crazy reason this wicket twas always going to be a spinning top.

  15. Who is the author? Ricky?

  16. Our club was built on the foundations of a passion and pride, and its about time the small band of supporters who want to boo there own club remember ” victory through harmony”. If the team is not doing to well they need to know that they have our support and we are behind them with every kick of the ball.

  17. Markus

    Yes, it was RICKAAAAY!

  18. Great stuff, all really interesting. It will be fascinating to see what comes out of the American family archive of the Humbles. Have a look at my blog entry on angryofislington.com about the name of ‘The Arsenal’ though – it hasn’t changed!

  19. Well,what did we learn from yesterday?

  20. Well, we know that there are some right twats out there.

  21. We already knew that CB

  22. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 2 premier league games – 2 defeats the kid is obviously costing us points we should get rid of him now before he ruins our entire season.

  23. bigbrovar | January 17, 2012 at 6:32 am


    Great!!!!!! contribution.

  24. drew10, that’s brilliant.

    Fascinating guest post today.

  25. how does it feel to have your head in the sand, good?

    it’s all fun and games, but witnessing the manager’s negligence is cringeworthy!

    someone at the end of yesterday’s thread said something about world with no budgets, what?

    we have enough money to make the moves, it’s just there is the lack of will, Wenger has no one to force his hand the way Dein used to, hence he will do nothing…

  26. Suga explain who you would bring in that is available and would improve on what we already have? Its not about bringing in any player its the right player.

  27. Also, I think there’s a bit of a contingency plan in place. That money is sat in the bank possibly because we might not make the CL places?

  28. I don’t get the Arsenal ‘fans’ who constantly want us to get rid of players. Last year it was Vela, Bendtner and Denilson (all three of which would improve our current squad) Now its Arsharvin, Chamakh, Gibbs, Diaby and Walcott.

    I am sure these are the same people who were complaining about Kos not being good enough last season. Having one good season on football manager does not a Premier League manager make.

  29. Dein? Seriously?

    He went behind the boards back and tried to insigate an aggressive takeover of the club. I have no doubt the guy is a fan and was good for the club whilst he was here, but that really was unacceptable.

    And I very much doubt that Wenger ever had his hand forced when it comes to transfers. Dein didn’t oncover the players, the manager did. Don’t let a romantic notion of the guy cloud your vision of him. He was out for himself.

  30. Suga 3.If you are ill .Be ill,but there is no need to make us all feel sick.

  31. I learned how important an Arteta type player is to our midfield and that we don’t really have a replacement for him right now. Coquelin and Jack are injured and for whatever reason Rosicky wasn’t fit to start.

    I understand Sao Paulo are in their off-season at the moment…

  32. Drew10
    You aint seen nothing yet.Now Arseblog has jumped on that bandwagon.
    He is as bad as Suga3 ,but hides it better.

  33. Drew10 – “I don’t get the Arsenal ‘fans’ who constantly want us to get rid of players. Last year it was Vela, Bendtner and Denilson (all three of which would improve our current squad)

    Hmmm, I don’t 100% agree with that mate. We should support our players when they are playing, of that there is no doubt, but in all honestly I want players of the correct calibre of player at this great club. And the 3 you mentioned were not; decent enough players. gbut good enough for The Arsenal? Not for me. Vela and Denilson would not improve the current squad, and whilst bendtner would, that is really a damning indictment on our forward options, not because he is such a great striker.

  34. Denilson was exactly what we needed on Sunday in Arteta’s absence

  35. andy,

    Dein did all the talking in the transfer market and was able to deal with Wenger’s lack of decisiveness, surely, that counts for a lot?

    it’s not about going and telling OGL what to do, it’s the little influence that makes him think it’s his decision…


    Vela is one player I rate and think his career was ruined at Arsenal, we could do with that sheer joy of playing in this side!

    D******n? Bendtner? please, neither can get into the bang average teams they have been loaned out to, you think these two mugs would IMPROVE us? even I don’t think we are that crap!

    and who would I bring? well, off the top of my head, I would bring in Podolski, Vertonghen or Cissokho, plus a creative midfielder…

    then again, who am I, a scout? the club is paying them enough money and they suggest players to Wenger, he just does not want them for some reason…

  36. pedantic george | January 17, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Denilson was exactly what we needed on Sunday in Arteta’s absence

    I’m sorry, but that’s bollocks george, he is absolutely shite and has bad attitude, even the fans in Brazil want him out and that league is bang average!

  37. Especially offensive today given the excellent post.

  38. george – Cesc is what we needed against Swansea in Artetas absence. Or a creator in the Cesc mode anyways. Benny did feck all and if im honest i didnt expect him to…

  39. George – We will have to disagree on the Denilson issue. To me he was a good exmaple with everything that has been wrong at this club in the last 5 or so years, to others he was some great misundertood footballer.

    Not misunderstood enough to any other team though, as I didn’t see a line of manager waiting to take him on once it was known he was available on loan, but I digress. And before somebody spouts about “going home”, being homesick was never an issue; we said he wanted to leave to further his chances of winning things (or words to that effect).

  40. yes, a ‘winner’ who would only go to a club playing in the CL, PMSL…

    this is what is wrong with Wenger’s approach, he allows D******ns and Bendtners of this world to become big headed before they even learn to kick the ball properly!

  41. SUGA3 – “Dein did all the talking in the transfer market and was able to deal with Wenger’s lack of decisiveness, surely, that counts for a lot

    But that supposes that Wenger is indecisive. He could be, but we really have no idea. None of us have any idea of what really goes on when it comes to transfers, so it is safe to assume that we shouldn’t assume. Since Dein left our transfers outlays on players have hovered around the same price tag though, so there are no real big changes there.

  42. Marvellous stuff Ricky and well said Al.

    Suga I can just about tolerate your anti-Wenger chunterings because you’re not as dumb as some of your counterparts and you seem to absorb the abuse with reasonably good nature.
    However, if you don’t have the decency to – at least – acknowledge a fascinating post, so you can pursue your ‘wind-up merchant’ agenda then you can fuck off.

    To the rest of you good morning, stop giving the troll oxygen.

    P.S. Cricket – ouch.

  43. There is only one team in North London

    Come on you Spurs

    In Arsene We Trust

  44. Denilson was a very tidy player and I agree, he would have been a nice replacement to Arteta on Sunday. You need players who can hold the ball, we couldn’t do that at Swansea. When you lose Arteta and Song isn’t having the best of games we are going to struggle.

    Jack’s absence has been costly this season. More so than all our full backs!

    I’m a tad disappointed that the Ox hasn’t started more games already. Its time to get him more involved and not wait til the last 20 mins of a vital game which we are losing so we can hope he saves the day.

    He is by far one of our most dangerous players. This is not based on media hype, we have all seen what he is capable of. Wilshire was chucked in the deep end and look at him now. Great players will swim, i think its time.

    Having him in the starting 11 will be a major boost. Arshavin is the obvious candidate even though he provided an assist. He is just not bringing enough to the team.

    What does everyone else think… Bring in the OX ??

  45. ok I will qualify my statement
    We needed someone to simply retain the ball,to be available and lay off.We were losing possession and were being put under pressure because we failed to make simple passes an use space.We were creating enough chances without needing a more creative midfielder(Cesc, as Deise says.Although he would do under any circumstances)

    So yes Denilson was that player.
    But I am not an internationally renown manager like Suga3.So I suppose I should defer.

  46. SUGA3

    Wenger installs confidence in his players through nurturing them and testing them at a high level from a young age. It worked with many great players our club has seen under his reign and it will continue to work. It is a strategy that has got us through some hard times, not made times harder. You would have thought our supporters understood this by now!

    We wouldn’t be seeing the Szcezhnys and Wilshires right now if he hadn’t. We would be relying on the left over mercenaries who City fail to buy for the next 20 years …

  47. You mean like this, PG?

  48. Great post

  49. Chris – Yup, I agree with you. From what I have seen of AOC he brings an impact to the game every chance he has had. I would be more than happy for him to play instead of either AA or Theo at the moment. Despite a moment each on Sunday, they provided little else. This has been the stroy for the past few weeks as well. If they are not bringing much (at the moment) to the party, we have nothing to lose.

    Like you, I suspect he may make the same type impact of Wilshere did when he first came to the team. Who knows, it may energise the side?

    Wenger Fan – Are your own boards so dull that you need to go onto anther club’s boards?

    Still, I suppose it is a bit strange finding yourselves above us at the moment. A bit like when Hayley’s commet comes around; it does not happen very often, so you may as well make the best of it.

  50. hahah @ pedantic george

    Don’t worry, your point makes perfect sense. No need to explain to the twits.

    Every team needs a scapegoat, as Ramsey has been made out to be lately. The CAPTAIN of Wales…. oh dear, i’m glad i didn’t read the comments yesterday!!

  51. Jonny,

    as far as posts on ACLF are concerned, they are always of quality, would not come and read otherwise (that’s why I don’t read Untold), perhaps it was a bit rude of me not to acknowledge it on this particular occasion, for which I can only sincerely apologise…

    D******n to hold the ball in Swansea game? the pace of their midfield was WAY too much for him to handle, IMO, the selection was the correct one on paper, but did not qute work out…

  52. George – We also did not want players giving up and not tracking back, so for me he wasn’t that player. Plus Michael Oliver is the youngest ref in the lge, so him racing past Denilson would have been a certainty 😉

  53. Well said Jonny. I know we all need somewhere to blow off our Arsenal-related steam, but let’s be appreciative of a very good post today, which addresses the history of our great club, and the long-term vision put in place 125 years ago.

  54. Chriss.No,not for Arshavin.

  55. Suga3

    Just a few things-

    1. You are rarely here after wins, and you waited for 2 defeats on the trot to start posting regularly again.

    2. I do not know what “supporters” means to you, but I certainly know what it means to most people on this blog, and it certainly differs from your definition

    3. Calling players names after bad performances or players in bad form is called kicking a man when he is down, and it certainly does not help anyone

    4. I think most people here do not disturb LG, that little cocoon of negativity, name calling, griping, and whining, so I ask you to show us the same courtesy

    Ok now I go back to following what C’bob said sometime back and stop responding to doom and gloom comments

  56. In other news, Chelsea now have Cahill and Essien in their squad, so in theory should improve. Essien is quality, and whilst Cahill is no TV5, he is a much better defender than that clown sideshow Bob. The sooner we get some of our players back the better.

  57. SUGA3

    Your arguments are spurious ref David Dein. If Wenger is indecisive, how did we sign anyone? Who did Dein know who to target? He didn’t but Dein loved to wheel and deal which suited the club. However, your theory that we need Dein back presumes he never fucked up on any deal. So Arsenal signed every player we ever went for then which you and I both know is utter crap.

    However your argument now falls down since Wenger is not involved in negotiations with other clubs – that is the remit of Dick Law and his team. So if transfers fall through they are where the buck stops.

    Silence does not mean a lack of activity. And FFS stop making out transfers are simple. Even Ferguson admits they are more complicated than before. With HMRC looking at every aspect of earnings, particularly image rights, they are about to get even more convoluted.

    Oh, and David Dein? It might have escaped your notice that:

    (a) He was removed from the board at the time for two reasons – a failure to support The Emirates build and then working with KSE behind their backs
    (b) He parted ways with KSE
    (c) He parted ways with Red & White.

    So, who exactly is Dein going to work with at the club? Or are you saying get rid of everyone else?

  58. chrisgoona,

    Szczesny and Wilshere are natural ‘one in a million’ talents with natural aggression and MERITED arrogance in them, Bendtners and D******ns are not the same kind of animal, especially the latter…

    in Bendtner’s case at least the arrogance comes as natural, D******n is just a nouveau riche boy from a favela, once you give one of these money and some power, they tend to go off the rails, level headed, professional players coming from this kind of background are at a premium…

  59. Drew10

    On the subject of players leaving, I would sell Chamakh and I think the club are going to do that this summer. He strikes me as the sort of player who needs a run in the side to have any sort of form and with RVP, that is not going to happen.

    Arshavin I think can still do a good job but probably is not happy in himself being in and out of the side. Whether he stays this summer is not certain but I don’t think Wenger wants to sell him.

    Gibbs – Why? Aside from being injured, he’s not a bad player so why sell? You can’t rely on him at the moment but as he matures, his record will improve. Diaby? I’m not sure. He is a good player, could be great but will he ever fully recover? I wouldn’t name him in this season’s squad, that’s for certain.

    Walcott. FFS.

  60. Silence does not mean a lack of activity.

    Yogi ,I once said than and got my wrists slapped.And then told to put the shovel down 😉

  61. SUGA

    Point is Arsenal are getting hold of more of them than most other clubs. You can’t unearth these players until you put them on the pitch. Denilson and Bendtner done a job and were never starters. Injuries have always forced Wenger’s hand, but it allows the opportunity to the likes of Wilshire and the Ox to establish themselves.

    I don’t see where your going with this argument… ill give u another chance

  62. Yogi,

    yes, this is exactly what I am saying, none of Gazidises and Laws have earned their keep thus far, but hey, they patted each other’s back and gave themselves huge bonuses and for what?

    and if you ask me who would I prefer as chairman between PHW and DD, it will be Dein any day of the week…

    Law is out of his depth in the European transfer market, this is the kind of the old boys networks where Deins of this world are worth their weight in gold…

    he parted ways with KSE, seeing how indecisive Kroenke was, as for the R&W, he left for Usmanov to be allowed to join the board…

  63. buckagh @10.53

    Your comment is a bit rich…

  64. Well said YW. Eager to see the response to that.

  65. chrisgoona,

    all fine and dandy, but was there the need to play that useless twat in nearly 100 games to realise he was useless?

  66. YW

    I would imagine so also. Arshavin will decide his own future, he is 30 yrs old, and has experience and quality that will prove invaluable if he applies himself. His form could pick up, he put in a good shift against Leeds and made an assist against Swansea. I would like him to stay, but he has to earn it.

    Chamakh on the other hand needs some rather good fortune to keep his Arsenal career alive. When he comes back from the African Nations he could get a few games if Wenger has no other option or sees he can offer something. Something is seriously up with him mentally, maybe there is something we don’t know. He is not the Chamakh we cheered for every game when he 1st came to the club.

  67. Dein parted ways with KSE after Kroenke severed ties with him for being underhand. Korenke was under he impression that Dein was representing the Arsenal board when he first approached them. Dein then went in with Usmanov only to sell his share to him once he realised that they were not going to get on the board that way as well. Does not sound like he had the clubs interests at heart then does it?

    The guy had his time at the club, but blew it by getting power hungry. Simple as that.

  68. SUGA plum you have FAILED my dear

    He was a good squad player, if you have been following Arsenal you will know squad players tend to be our main players with the amount of injuries we seem to keep getting.

    Anyway, thanks for the chit chat.

  69. As it goes, I think Chamakh could be effective if played in a parntership with RvP.

  70. Ha ha, love the new sub-heading. Looks a great post, Ricky – saved to read fully later.

    Here’s some Vermaelen stattery for those inclined…


  71. er, no he was not, you can bring up all his stats, but these don’t play, the player does, and if he gets brushed off the ball by anyone and outrun by that fat cunt Dowd, he is useless, simple as that…

    you could argue that he was asked to play out of his natural position (never a DM), but that still does not explain his lack of pace and strength…

  72. My team for the make or break game against United.

    – – – – – – – – — – Szcezzer – — – — – – — – – –
    Koscielny – – – Mert – – -Verm – – – – Miguel
    – – – – – – – Song – – – – – — Arteta – – — – – –
    Ox – – – – – – – – – – RvP- – – – – – – – Walcott
    – – – – – – – – – – — Henry – – – — – – – – – – – –

    Get the quality and danger men all on the pitch. Van Persie knows how to play in the hole. In all likeliness Arshavin will start though. Djourou i wouldn’t put RB in this game. Hopefully Vermaelen is back.

  73. I’m gutted about Chamakh. He’s definitely got the potential to be a fantastic player. He’s an intelligent guy too (degree in accounting, or something?) which isn’t often found in players these days. Is he just a victim of our formation? He’s played well these past few games (central in everything we did against Leeds) but he has maybe lost the confidence to score. That classy goal against Birmingham? Those headers he scored? I want THAT Chamakh back.

  74. OOU,
    yes mate ,just like that.And he gave my boy Andrei some really quick ball to feed of .

  75. Its a bit early for teams Chris.Half of them will be injured by the weekend.

  76. Chris, interesting team. And a pretty good one as well. I think Arsene will continue to play a midfielder “in the hole” as seems to prefer this to a forward, although if that did work there really would be a serious argument for keeping RvP there and bringing in a quality striker. It could make the world of differnce to the side.

  77. Suga 3

    Usmanov will not be invited onto the board in the immediate future. He has a big shareholding, so what? How is he going to bring more value to the club in to use the current talking point, transfers? He isn’t. Don’t tell me he will lend the club the money, he won’t. It’s paper talk and don’t be taken in by it. And it won’t be free either, there will be a cost attached to that loan so how will that be afforded?

  78. Andy

    That requires a change in the 4-3-3 which isn’t going to happen or else moving RvP to a flank with Chamakh centrally. Which will bring a reduction in goals scored unless Chamakh hits a rich vein of form. Would you be prepared to bet anything on that happening.

  79. our club is like heroin (or monica belucci)…the more it hurts the more you want it.

    when henry left one year after the paris final i was angry, how could he do that? especially after missing 3 one on ones with valdez. wenger’s numero 1 product, couldnt do it under pressure in the highest of stages. a dagger in the heart. and then he left to join them so that xavi and messi win the ch.league for him. some legend i thought…..abandoning the ship. fast forward to last month when henry got emotional in his statue presentation and add his momment against leeds and i found myself crying a bit. is this normal? no it is not….thats what addiction does to you…..and the best of all was wenger sitting behind henry when henry shed his tears…what a face arsene..such fkn pride the man was illuminating… ahhhhh who needs needles when the hardest drug of all can be consumed through our eyes…we are lucky and blessed that our club is managed by such a pro. in some aspect i would say we dont deserve to have such a manager. i speak for the vocal locals who take him and the status he has persevered for arsenal for granted. i dont know what happened in pre or after war times….all i know is that arsenal was never a bayern munchen ..or a madrid…hell not even a porto…and if we ever become one..we will owe it to this guy.

    suga? lol……haha mate the drugs you take obviously make you miserable…stop it while its still soon yes ? the drugs…YOU take them …they dont take you. ;..you must have the upper hand (mentally) always…or else you will lose it all just like youve lost your faith on your team.

  80. That’s the frustrating thing Yogi, he’s obviously got the potential there to score goals, and he did it very well. What’s changed? It can only be psychological. Wasn’t there some sort of news about him that wasn’t supposed to get out?

  81. YW,

    you know full well that AU can lend the club the money on 0% for whatever period, it’s lunch change for him, besides, would paying off the stadium debt not be counted as expenditure towards the infrastructure, which is not included in the FFP calculations?

    share issue is also an option, but Kroenke will not go for that, as he would have to invest his own money into the club or see his share diluted, as AU would just buy them all, again, it’s pocket change for him…

  82. YW – Yeah it would. I was thinking of a reversion to a 442 (which I don’t think will happen). Or, as discussed a bove RvP playing in “the hole”. If we have a striker of a decent calibre ahead of him I could see that working. But, as already discussed, Arsene seems to prefer a midfielder in that role.

  83. Arseblog has a point on squad additions being crucial. Looking at Chelsea and Spurs the quality off the bench is good enough to change games. I don’t see that at Arsenal. Hope Arshavin rediscovers himself.

  84. Andy, for a 4-4-2 we need players like Viera, Gilberto or Flamini. All out action, combative players. With the exception of Song, we do not have any players like that. makes us defensively weaker. This is the reason, we never see Andre being played in the attack midfield role.

  85. Jabba's Delights

    Afternoon all

    Yogi, why cant we adapt our formation at times? Is 433 the only way for us to be succesful. Our form for a year has been pretty iffy would you not agree, most managers whould develpe another plan to get the best out of chamack like play him with a strike partner

    Will wenger and a few on here be the only people shocked when rvp doesnt sign a new contract?????

    Just reading through the same comments from the same peiople making excuse after excuse. We have no right to finish above spurs but we do have a right to expect better management than we are getting. an 11 game stretch with one victory against a major rival is all arsene has to shwo from end of January last year

    Where is Diaby, george??????

  86. Jabba,

    probably counting his hard earned cash, wearing his Spud shirt, fucking freeloading Wenger’s love child!

  87. And I do not think Gary Cahill has made Chelsea squad any stronger. He’s behind Ivanovic & Sideshow bob in the pecking order.

  88. Jabba's Delights

    The really upsettign side of all of this is that there are no excuses for our current plight other than self induced ones.

    Awful summer from the manager and the front office leads to appalling start.

    People can talk about our full back crisis but its emthasized by our manager expecting the same forward production out of miquel as santos. Has the manager not learnt anything from old trafford, you must adapt your tactics if personel is missing. Why was miquel repeatedly caught so far forward on sunday………….surely his bread and butter was defending especually aaginst sides with such threat from wide areas.

    If RVP needs a rest which he did repeatedly over xmas but wasnt given one maybe we should go with 2 up front if the personel dictates that we havent got another lone striker at club……awful management.

    Injuries hurt us more as our squad lacks depth. George can chat about rosicky and diaby allhe likes but actions speak louder than words. Thye havent picked up any slack just as some people said this summer.

    Hows Park getting on. Chamack and Park are wengers 2 striking buys in the last 18 months……………..hows that worked out????

  89. mj_gunner, I think Coquelin will play pretty well there. He’s shown he’s got the pace, the passing, and can tackle.

  90. Excellent post today. Shame that some infrequent visitors to this blog just ruin it.

  91. Suga

    R&W won’t give the club money at 0%, the cost will be dividends which then makes it more expensive than loan interest. That is a stated aim of UA – to get the club paying dividends. FFP in this argument is a red herring.

    Share issue is a definite option but as you rightly say, KSE don’t want it so it isn’t going to happen.

    If R&W are really serious about benefitting Arsenal, make KSE an offer they cannot afford to refuse for their shares. Then when that’s happened, loan the club money at 0% to pay off debts and undertake not to charge any Arsenal-related company interest, fees or salaries or anything else.

  92. Park seems to have not panned out as expected. Does anyone know what’s up with Afobe? Really thought this year he would get a chance.

  93. Ríçhîèé Waweru, he’s injured at the moment. Should be back by the end of Feb.

  94. Jabba's Delights


    I notice your always very quick to put down r&w and to be honest i dont know enough about them to comment. What i do know allot about is the current owner of our club

    His 2 flagship teams are the nuggets and Rams.

    The rams havent had a winning season for 8 years and consistently spend the minimum they have to on salary cap.

    The nuggets are famous for having a good team bought cheaply in recent years that failed to do really well due to lack of investment. They then traded their only true star to a rival, they also have huge amounts of cap space.

    So rather than you shooting down r&w for talking about a dividend how about you look at what the current ownership are doing for us and have a history of doing

  95. @ Mark, thanks. He has potential. Probably why arsene doesn’t wanna sign a striker.

  96. Jabba

    I never said we couldn’t change to 442, just we won’t. Quite simply because AW does not want to play that way, preferring the fluidity of his current philosophy. How far that is from 442 and who drops out from 433 in the change to 442 is open to debate.

    My reservation about Chamakh being the focal point of the attack is that he is not a 30-goal a season striker, his record in France shows that. I’m not even sure he is 20 a season (in the league, ignoring cups for a second) but that’s less certain. Those, however, are the bare minimum that a lead striker has to hit.

    No-one will be surprised if RvP doesn’t sign a contract, no-one. In fact I suspect that the preparations are already under way for this eventuality.

    Since when do we judge managers with results against rivals? It’s a rubbish yardstick at best. Oh, and your 11 game stretch. Against Spurs, Chelsea, Liverpool, United and City, the last 11 games show W3 D3 L5 in the Premier League. Which is a tad more than your 1. In fact it shows Arsenal have not lost more times than they have.

  97. YW,

    no offence, but I can see a bit of double standards here, why would R&W have to do something to appease the likes of you, whereas KSE can just sit back, do fuck all and let the club decline and some people will be fine with it?

    so, R&W wants dividends paid, and Kroenke is what, Santa Claus? if any of these two parties care about the dividends, it is the latter, Usmanov is richer of the two, he is not interested in peanuts…

    AU does not really care about the paltry dividends from shareholding, looking at his group of businesses, IMO, AFC is meant to be his crown jewel…


    spot on mate!

  98. You’re probably right. He’s been out for a long time though, so instantly promoting to first team probably isn’t a solution. He had a lot of interest this month though, as a lot of teams were looking for a loan player. Sadly, I think his current injury put a lot of people off. Would have been ideal to have him play a fair bit to get him back up to speed, have a good pre-season, then be ready for the first team.

  99. Jabba

    Personally I hold no truck with KSE – I didn’t have much faith in the previous owners either – but I have either less with R&W. If you look at their public utterances, there is an awful lot of PR speak. Talk of investments, talk of this, talk of that. If their plans were so good for the club, they would be on the board by now. Which sets alarm bells ringing because they are not, nor have they been invited to either.

    You claim,

    So rather than you shooting down r&w for talking about a dividend how about you look at what the current ownership are doing for us and have a history of doing

    You therefore defeat your own argument by referring to other sports. That has nothing to do with Arsenal does it? Same owners yes, but that is nothing to do with ‘what the current ownership are doing for us‘.

    You’ve taken a scattergun approach and are hoping some of it sticks. But you aren’t actually providing any evidence to support R&W. Which means one of two things. Either your incredibly naive and believe everything they say or, are in some way related to them.

  100. yes suga that fat gangster who financed chechnya wars or whatever woke up one day with a massive hard on to HELP ARSENAL WITH HIS OWN MONEY ….ahahhaaa…at best..usmanov is looking for a venture to do what roman does ….launder money ….ohhh are you shocked? russians laundring money through the epl? my oh my thats not how the world works is it? hahahah

    honestly either youre extremely gullible and naive and stupid to expect an uzbeki mafia lord wants the best for arsenal or youre a tottenham fan.

    the way you approach the subject…the point of view you take ..is the point of view an enemy would take. of someone who wants our greatest manager to go so that we get fucked. your talk is identical to the spud trolls who infest arsenal forums to sabotage. your line of thinking is closer to a rival fan …or maybe youre one of the r&w propaganda agents…present arsenal as failure ,, bang on kroenke and his minimal investments..get the russian in… textbook, textbook, textbook… dont you have better things to do than trying like an idiot to present the most succesful football business and the greatest manager of the decade as failures ? lol….

  101. Suga

    No double standards at all. I’m countering the PR that you and Jabba are putting forward to R&W. Everything put forward about R&W is presumption. There is not one shred of evidence you or anyone else can provide that offers any indication at all about their business management of Arsenal. Nothing.

    That’s not to say I agree with KSE, simply this: PR speak is easy and everything I’ve read from R&W sounds contrived and a cheap win for them. They offer to underwrite a share issue knowing its going to be rejected by previous and current owners. It’s a cheap way for them to try to get more than 50% of the club. That’s why it won’t happen.

    If R&W were so keen to own Arsenal, they’d make KSE an offer they cannot refuse. But they haven’t, have they.

  102. cesc_ara,

    quite frankly, I don’t give a fuck how Usmanov earned his money and he can break necks of adorable little bunnies in the morning for a laugh for all I care…

    Kroenke is obviously The White Knight In A Shiny Fucking Armor, who has always conducted his business in honest and transparent manner, what a prize mug you are, unbelievable!

  103. Jabba's Delights


    Wenger lack of abaility at getting a team to change its tactics is hurting the side. In every other sport i see succesful teams who are either so good at their style that nobody are good enough to take them out of their comfort zone (spain & barca) or i see sides that are incredibly good at exploiting opponents weakneses whilst hiding their own (all blacks, utd, england cricket, madrid, patriots).

    If wenger see’s 433 as our only option and as you put it Chamack has never been a lone striker why on earth did we sign him and why is he still our backup option?

    I remember some of most ardent akb’s on here ripping in to some of us for saying we needed a top quality player putting pressure on rvp. Look at how spurs utd and city reserve strikers have each won them games this year and then look at the paucity of options we have and tell me that we havent been mismanaged.

    ”No-one will be surprised if RvP doesn’t sign a contract, no-one. In fact I suspect that
    In fact I suspect that the preparations are already under way for this eventuality.”

    Not many arsenal fans were suprised when cesc and nasri left this summer but our manager and some of you on here were. What makes you think he has learnt this time. In fact what has wenger done in the last 4 years to make you think that he learns from mistakes????????

    Yogi i meant our 11 game stretch after old trafford this year that was hailed as a great run by some but in reality we played one major rival (spurs) and lost. We have lost 1 in 3 of our prem games this year.

  104. Stop feeding the trolls

  105. SUGA3

    You don’t care about how he got his money? OK, look at Shinawatra. Look at any of the Portsmouth owners. Heart of Midlothian? Clubs that – with the exception of City – are now in shit creek, without paddles.

    Yep, not caring about how money is made is really irrelevant.

  106. YW,

    you know that Usmanov offered about 4K more per share than Kroenke did, right?

    this represents about 30% profit, anything higher would be unbusinesslike…

    as for the rights issue, it would be anything but a ‘cheap’ way to get 50%, the outlay required to shift the % of the shares held would have to be what, 300M? 400M?

    and he would still have to buy out Kroenke, yes?

  107. Yogi,

    clutching at straws here, none of these individuals you mentioned is in Usmanov’s league when it comes to money, plus, his business portfolio is by now diversified enough to make him more or less immune to whatever can happen in Russia…

  108. oh well maybe you dont …but i do and the majority of arsenal fans would rather have the club kept as a pillar of goodness than being the toy of a mafioso whose currency is bloodmoney. maybe you dont prefer the civilised and honest way. you can join chelsea who dont give a f*ck how they got their titles they only care about gloating….

  109. Jabba

    Erm, Chelsea? That was in the run. No, wait, you stopped at 11 because you knew Chelsea was game 12. Your argument is fatuous since beating rivals doesn’t win the League on its own.

    As for your other arguments, how many trophies have Madrid won recently. Oh, the Spanish Cup last year. Not much to show for all of their investment is it. And that’s in a league which is a two-horse race from the start. The Spanish national side? The jury is still out on them in Euro2012. They will be there or thereabouts but they aren’t in the same invincibility league as Barcelona.

    As for England’s cricket team, not working judging by the first session of the Pakistan test this morning…

  110. @ Mark, true true. Placing too much pressure on him to perform in this situation would be unfair. Im really not fussed on making top 4 this season. It really tells a lot about our ambition over the years.

  111. Suga

    No-one is immune in Russia, no matter how much money they have. And the amount of money doesn’t matter; the names mentioned are all suffering because their assets are frozen due to criminal investigations into the source of money and nefarious gains.

    You still don’t get it. KSE own the shares now, not others. R&W have to buy their shares so make KSE an offer they cannot refuse. And yes a rights issue is cheap compared to buying out KSE. About half the costs. No, he would not have to subsequently buy out KSE if he could dilute their holding to less than his own, he could just freeze him out.

  112. YW,

    well, being Eastern European, I believe I may know a little more about the mechanisms that make the oligarch Russia tick than you do 😉

    the only risk is falling from grace, but this only happens if you show some political ambition (look up Berezovsky and Khodorkovsky), Usmanov is WAY too smart for that, just like RA…

  113. yes but why would he want Kroenke around ‘freezing him out’?

    the rights issue was meant to be worth 100M, this was nowhere near enough giving him the controlling stake…

  114. SUGA3 is… Usmanov!

  115. Jabba's Delights


    Its not down to trophies.

    Its down to doing all you can whilst not risking the clubs future to be as succesful as you can be. Our club hasnt done that over the last 3 years.

    If there was ambition at our club and manager this window would have been used to help what is clearly a thin squad which lacks both starting quality in a couple of areas and depth in a plethora of areas.

    We have been poor this season our defence for the 4th year running is utterly abysmal. When will the excuses stop, our manager breads a culture of self pity in the club. He is failing again becuase of stubborness

  116. SUGAdaddy. Of course! How did I not see it.

  117. This is gonna be one long week. can’t wait till the weekend to see how the boys respond. Something tells me we may have a repeat of last season’s results against the mancs.

    Great post today btw. Such an interesting and influential history this club has got.

  118. Suga

    A rights issue for £100m means jack when talking of stadium debt which was the core of the debate. Quadruple it and then its a meaningful exercise.

    I’m English so therefore know more about English football than you, using your logic. Which means you’re wrong and I’m right. Which I am anyway. 😉

  119. Jabba

    Arguably the profits following on from investments around the stadium point out that our club has done enough to protect the future whilst being as successful as they can over the last three years.

  120. YW,

    this £100M was meant to be invested into playing staff, not paying off the stadium debt, which is more than manageable and there is absolutely no need whatsoever to pay it off any sooner than scheduled, is there?

    AU is at least not living in cloud cuckoo land and is fully aware that with the sponsorship deals are up for renewal and if we represent Villa quality, we will get Villa money, plain and simple…

    speculate to accumulate is the word here!

  121. SUGA and Jabba,
    You both make some good points. I’m certainly not one to think we are a perfectly run club. My problem with the both of you is that underlying your salient arguments,lies an attitude of vicious disrespect towards the manager and his players. You sound intelligible and rational now, but it doesn’t take much for the awful part of you to come out, especially when you’re on LG (SUGA in particular). So I find myself feeling very uneasy about your motivations, even if on the face of it your arguments make sense.

  122. So you dont what Usmanov but you are happy with the way the club is going under Kroenke.Sell Cesc and Nasri for £55m and spend half of it

    Wenger is doing nothing to stop the slide in this window.Who will play upfont if RVP gets injured? 20min Henry or the Invisible man Park.Thats a joke

    Does Kroenke care about Arsenal finishing top 4? we one one of the 5 richest clubs in world football yet are only 5th in our domestic league

  123. I should also commend Yogi for bothering to engage with the SUGA and Jabba. It might make the rest of the more positive regulars squirm, but it shows just how fair/open minded you are.

  124. Henristic,

    where I come from, the respect is earned and lost, at this moment, I don’t think there is anything Wenger is doing to earn the respect, but there is a lot which makes me lose faith in his abilities…

    I don’t have respect for someone who is elevating himself into some demi-god status and openly says that we know bugger all, especially when his methods are failing left, right and centre and this is proving the ‘clueless’ likes of me right…

    I also don’t have respect for freeloaders like Diaby, who should do a decent thing and rip up his contract, not like he is ever going to be fully fit, is it?

  125. Interesting post Yogi.

    Interesting debate regarding the merits of R & W and KSE.

    The bottom line for me is that I want to see the club win things and stay financially stable. Its not our divine right to win things and finish ahead of Spurs and the CL every year. However, its just my opinion but I that the current trophy drought and our current struggles to make the CL would not be happening if we did a better job of using our resources to strengthen the team. Had we been a little more proactive in the transfer market this summer we would probably be comfortably in a CL spot and within a couple points of Spurs rather then in 5th and double digits points behind Spurs. To me thats frustrating because I want the club to succeed. I have no idea how things would be different if DD had not left or if Usimov takes over and I don’t really care. Just want to see the club start to make decisions that give us the best chance to get the results we hope for on the pitch.

  126. YW – appreciate your post today.

    After the past month of frustrating play, I needed something to rekindle my ‘belief’ so,
    I watched a replay of our ManU match last May.

    No Cesc; No Vermaelen; Nasri off at half time; Djourou (CB) replaced by Squill with 25 minutes to play. What an effort by every Arsenal player.

    So many obstacles to overcome…….plus the wanker official.

    What stood out was Jack’s energy and attitude everywhere on the pitch.

    Arsenal miss this player badly.

  127. Jabba's Delights


    If you genuinly believe we have done all we can in terms of using the tranfer market as a tool to get better i would be hugely suprised.

    Its our choice to pay down our ”very healthy and manageable” (glazidis) debt at record pace rather than investing more of it into the team.


    ”lies an attitude of vicious disrespect towards the manager and his players.”

    Just like in previous seasons i attend games and havent ever thought about booing a player or the manger it wouldnt cross my mind.

    I havent blogged since the end of the transfer window, as i wanted to see what happened to our season. Fed up with the same arguments defending and nailing wenger by the same people.

    I thought lets actually see how wenger judgement played out considering the total collapse of the previous year i wanted wenger summer activity to be given a chance the 2nd time may should mean judgement day. What can be said about our season so far other than poor.

    Tell me that the manager is top level now in terms of tactics and in th transfer market, shwo me where he has been worth 6m a year for the past few seasons???

    Show me where the players have matched the work ethic of newcastle or swansea this season……………….do the players play hard for wenger…………..results for a year have suggested they dont,

    I dont hate wenger i feel sad for him as what has befallen many alltime greats has befallen him.

    Failure to reach top 4 this year will be down to him and his poor management. In any other career he would have been out of the job a year or 2 ago, at arsenal he gets rewarded.

  128. Years of neglect have led us to where we are – its too late to just buy a couple of players. Its the end of a cycle and it could have been avoided. Many people saw this coming years ago, unfortunately the manager, board didn’t or did but simply didn’t care. Even if we’d invested the proceeds from the players sold we would probably be ok now. As it is we are a joke. What has Stan done in the 5 years he has been with us – nothing of note. Wenger lost the plot years ago and had led us to the mess we are in.

  129. Paulh

    Read the comments before you post.

  130. SUGA

    £100m in playing staff? Genuinely, I am interested in whom you would buy. Not in Championship manager terms, think about the squad as a whole, who you would buy and what maximum value would you pay. Come back with the £100m + £35m war chest (just an assumption for every close season).

    Sponsorship is a whole different matter and Villa quality is irrelevant. The Arsenal brand – God I hate that phrase – is global and winning trophies is secondary; it’s all about TV and media coverage, etc. Being out of the limelight hasn’t harmed Liverpool in that sense, their brand is arguably as strong as ever for marketing purposes.

  131. AIC,

    and the worst thing of it all is that there is NO ONE at the club to challenge Wenger before it is too late…

    yes, he can get sacked if everything goes tits up and we finish 7th, but you will not find anyone with enough knowledge and balls to be able to be proactive and prevent the car crash from happening…

  132. Yogi,

    funny that you mention Liverpool, this is what Adidas CEO said about them recently:

    “The gap between their performance on the field and what the number should be is not in balance,” Hainer told reporters in Munich.

    “Then we said, ‘Okay we will not do it. That’s the end of the story.’”

    as for spending 135M (more than 35M is available to spend now,LB but for the sake of the argument, let’s just leave it out):

    – a backup GK (Sorensen)
    – a LB (Cissokho or Baines) and a RB (keep Eboue or buy Van Der Wiel), loan out Gibbs
    – A CB ((Vertonghen)
    – a DM (M’Villa)
    – a CAM (fuck knows)
    – a winger/striker (Podolski)


    Almunia, Fabianski, Mannone, Djourou, D******n, Rosicky, Diaby Chamakh, Park, Bendtner

    this gives us:

    GK: Szczesny, Sorensen, Martinez
    LB: Cissokho/Baines, Santos
    CB: TV, Vertonghen, Koscielny, Merts
    RB: Sagna, Eboue/VdW

    DM: Song, M’Villa
    MF (general): Ramsey, Arteta, Wilshere, New Dude

    Forwards: RvP, Podolski, Gervinho, Walcott, AA, one of the youngsters

    not too bad, is it? and I would have got a truckload of change from all this!

  133. then there are the youth players who can fight for a cup game or a run in the side…

  134. Jabba

    I am not sure that the Glazer’s have a sustainable debt, there seems to be a creaking at the seams if they needed to orchestrate an IPO in Singapore. Whilst they are managing right now, based on what is in the public record, sustainability seems to be a premature description. FWIW, I previously didn’t have doubts about their business model as such – I didn’t like it but in terms of running their business, it was not wrong just too close to the edge.

    I never said I felt we had exploited the transfer market to its extreme, I offered the opinion that the club would argue that they “has done enough to protect the future whilst being as successful as they can over the last three years“.

    I do struggle to understand your measuring of how the manager is performing. You seem to not be able to decide yourself; my guess is that the board have previously set him a target of qualifying for the Champions League until all of the property deals are resolved. Maybe that has changed, I don’t know. He certainly has goodwill having been the most successful in the club’s history. Is that pot limitless? No, I don’t think it is but I don’t think it runs dry this summer.

    Interesting comparison to Newcastle and Swansea – we’re higher than both of them in the table so our work ethic must be better, surely?

  135. Jabba's Delights


    The crux of it is though Yogi that many of the very loyal foreign fans that we have on this website started supporting us when they saw a very succesful attractive football team.

    As is the case in most sports, floating fans tend to go to the best teams. All these americans and asians who ahve yet to decide their allegance arent goign to pick an unimpressive arsenal team that lacks direction, accountability and work ethic and has done for years.

    Our whole structure is derived at enticing these fans to support us but it isnt goign to work with hom we are going. Our policy with our asian players will actually turn them away from us as our record is nothign short of appalling. Where are you guys now who applauded wenger for keeping myachi at the club……daft management!!!!! Park err hello guys talk about doign a good job of making an asian football power house fanbase hate arsenal.

    Usmanov is right in that the best way to get better commercial deals would eb to have a very succesful team as it is we will have a least succesful and most unloved and respected side in nearlly 20 years when negotiations come round

    Have imentioned that the team have suffered from the same issues but with fifferent personel for 4 years??????

  136. Yogi:

    “Being out of the limelight hasn’t harmed Liverpool in that sense, their brand is arguably as strong as ever for marketing purposes.”

    My experience is anecdotal but when I go shopping for shirts for my son I see many more ManU, Chelsea and now even Man City shirts for sale. The others I see are Barca and RM. Liverpool is almost nonexistent. Go to MLS games and almost all the shirts people wear are Barca, ManU, Chelsea and some Arsenal. Man City is rapidly moving up the food chain. You may have some numbers which refute what my eyes see, and perhaps Liverpool still has some grandfathered money making contracts but to say that winning trophies is unimportant to your marketing is a bit of a stretch I think. I don’t go in for the doomsday scenarios that we will wilt away if we don’t make the CL this season but it would certainly be a boost to the ” Arsenal brand” if we started winning things again, don’t you think?

  137. SUGA

    Do you genuinely think that we’ll finish 7th. I don’t, not even in the darkest moments. And, unless someone is appointed now, a change of manager is unlikely have a beneficial effect between now and the season’s end. I read somewhere a while back about changes made between Christmas and season end re managers and it was something like 68% failed to stop relegation or win a trophy. Hardly conclusive since each club’s circumstance but more damning than some would like.

  138. SUGA

    Interesting – a fag packet calculation shows that to buy quality players the total spend is around £130m. That presumes that LB comes at a premium if Baines and a world class AM is not short of £20m.

    As for whether or not they are good enough, is an altogether different matter.

  139. YW,

    I agree that it would be unfair on the new man, if he had no opportunity to take advantage of at least the whole January to make the team his, but that’s the only reason Wenger should be allowed some more time, not a lot, mind you!

    whilst it may sound very radical, it is my belief that he should be sacked the very moment it will be mathematically impossible to finish in the top four…

    the stat about failing to win a trophy or avoiding the drop has little relevance here, as neither will happen this season 😉

  140. Bill

    Different parts of the world have differing allegiances. Liverpool are strong in the Far East and have a better reputation in central Europe. Somewhere like the US, there will be regional variations. Not sure where you are but I would expect them to have a higher profile in the Boston area than elsewhere, for example.

    Liverpool’s brand – see how much they are earning for shirt sponsorship. Adidas might say the brand is not of value to them but it hasn’t harmed the club too much.

  141. YW,

    I don’t think the total outlay for this would be much in excess of 100M, and then again, I am selling 10 players, surely, they must be worth a few bob?

    the net spend would be about 70M, this leaves cash for wages and a much more healthy looking team…

  142. Henristic,

    where I come from, the respect is earned and lost, at this moment, I don’t think there is anything Wenger is doing to earn the respect, but there is a lot which makes me lose faith in his abilities…

    I don’t have respect for someone who is elevating himself into some demi-god status and openly says that we know bugger all, especially when his methods are failing left, right and centre and this is proving the ‘clueless’ likes of me right…

    I also don’t have respect for freeloaders like Diaby, who should do a decent thing and rip up his contract, not like he is ever going to be fully fit, is it?

    ahahah…ok this gets funnier by the minute…..

    i agree respect is earned..and wenger has earned that respect and still has credit for another century. whatever it is that makes YOU personally lose your faith is your problem and you have to find other ways of dealing with it than acting like a pest and being negative.

    also in your paragraph about demigods (lol) please tell me who is the one who is self elevating himself? wenger? or you? from where i stand youre the one who acts like you know everything and that you know whats better….lol…contradicting yourself perhaps? In the case of wenger you cant possibly claim that you know better than him. He has been a football manager for more years than youve been alive i;d imagine.

    i didnt know you can predict the future as well (re :diabby) and that he;ll never be fit again ( funny how people like you were saying the same about rvp one and a half years ago), but im sure he thanks you for your support and im positive that when he plays football he does it for fantastic “arsenal” fans like you. this player has had his legs shattered by neanderthals here and instead of turning your anger towards those who have allowed this to happen you slate the player himself….what a fan…im humbled..get lost

  143. Jabba

    Your logic re Park doesn’t make sense. For every one who will drop away when he leaves, more will follow thanks to tours. You are aware, are you not, that Arsenal are the second biggest club in the world in terms of membership? Second only to Benfica. There is a strength in the brand that is being ignored.

    You make no sense in your argument over Miyachi; he’s been injured for a while or are you telling us that the club lied about him? If you are, make damn sure you have proof; opinion won’t do in that sense.

    As for Usmanov, talk is cheap when you know that the words have no meaning. He can promise to spend the Earth but it’s empty, he isn’t going to do it because he can’t. Like I’ve said several times, if he wants to buy the club, make KSE an offer that they cannot refuse. Until then, he is irrelevant.

  144. SUGA

    Looking at your list of sales – and assuming you can find new homes – Almunia and Rosicky are out of contract soon, Diaby will need to be released, Park / Chamakh you would get a fee for but not much of one. I worked on the basis that paying up all of the bonuses and agents would leave you with a net zero spend.

  145. cesc_ara,

    get into your skull that I don’t have to do squat and I will react to losing my faith in the club’s paid employee any way I like, does that compute?

    don’t read between the lines and try finding hidden meanings, there is none, with me, what you see is what you get, simples…

    I dare you, I double dare you to find a single line where I advocated selling RvP for being injury prone, the difference between him and useless Diaby is the attitude and the output, in Robin’s case it means ‘worth keeping even if he plays half of the season’, in Diaby’s it’s ‘never fit, inconsistent, get rid’…

    I mean, what the fuck are we, a charity? if I bang my head abd am no longer able to do my work, I am not going to expect my employer to keep me around until I retire, even though I am sitting at the desk, drooling and dpoing fuck all, yes?

  146. SUGA @ 3:11

    Keeping Eboue would involve a time machine. We sold him months ago, around about the time you last posted here.

  147. Jebus – two losses and all the D&G monkeys clamber out of their despicable hovel and come to holiday over here. It’s like watching a bunch of apes shitting in an aquarium.

  148. Well, people can have differing opinions but when people come on after the team hits a bad patch, I would not engage them? People like that are not genuine as far as I can see. If they are, where was the praise (on this blog) when we were playing well?

    Were these people just sitting around waiting for the team to lose to pop and say, “I told you so!” or whatever. I don’t even care if they are making sense.

    Fact is, nothing detrimental has gone on, the sky is not falling. We lost a couple of games, so what? It happens. Move the heck onto Sunday.

  149. I think that some people only come here when there is an opportunity to gloat just tells you more than enough about their personality and what kind of man they are.

  150. Yogi @ 3:27:

    Still hard to believe that a few trophies would not improve our ability to generate revenue, but you know a lot more then I regarding that subject so I will take your word for it.

    Nice to have you participate in the debates. Thanks. Can’t believe anyone would really think that the boss should be sacked but I guess to each their own. I suspect he will get a contract extension for as long as he wants.

  151. Paul N,

    you are not in position to engage anyone, as you have ZERO arguments, you still have not answered my question about who will we oust from the current top four to get there, since you were so sure we would get there…

    and I don’t think you appreciate the bigger picture here…


    IMO, selling Eboue and replacing him with Jenkinson should never have happened in the first place…


    well, one way or another, share issue aimed at raising 100M to be spent on players would only be a good thing surely?

    and the money we would have got for these duds I listed is another piece of damning evidence of the mismanagement that occurred in the last few years!

  152. Can’t come soon enough, Paul.

    Should we lose, with regret, I think I’ll avoid this toxicity. It”s disappointing to feel dislodged from having a decent discussion but you know the negative cancer will spread. Still at keast they’ll feel happy about being ‘right’…

  153. And with that I think I’ll leave ya’ll to it. Still think the best bet is to stop all engagement.

  154. There are those who, through belief in Usmanov or just a careless approach to who owns our club want him to take over. It means, to those who see that way forward an end to cheap transfers and, for many, an end to a manager who has lost his way.

    I find most fat capitalists objectionable wherever they hail from. All make their money from exploitation in some way. Some make it in truly awful ways. I wouldn’t have any of them, given the choice. It’s obvious though that Usmanov has a powerful PR machine working for him while Arsenal has, well, whatever passes for a ‘Press Office’ at the Emirates.

    The real debate is whether we have entered a spiral of decline or not. I don’t know.

    If our squad was intact, we are a top 4 side. A stepping stone to future glory. As it stands now? I don’t think we are. A tipping point to mediocrity. I don’t know.

    At the start of this season this debate was everywhere on the Arsenal blogosphere.

    I did a guest post here that summarised my feelings that the future was in Arsene’s hands. The Arsene we have known would succeed in turning the season around. If he didn’t then he would leave with the thanks of a grateful Arsenal for services rendered.

    I stand by that. This season will show to what degree Arsene still wants to manage Arsenal to success. I know that there are always caveats such as the ‘support of the Board’ but this is Arsene’s club, his team. He will stand or fall on what happens this season.

    I’ll say it again. The Arsene we know would not fail.

  155. Jonny,

    no mate, I am far from happy, it’s like watching the nasty, fatal car crash in slow motion and not being able to do anything to stop this…

  156. I genuinely don’t think we will lose. The team has got something to prove and in all honesty, before it all went haywire(i.e. when Coquelin went off) back in August gainst the red Mancs, we had more than enough chances to make it a proper game. We are now a much stronger side and the worst case scenario I can see for Sunday is a draw — which will happen if we don’t start taking our chances.

  157. Jabba's Delights


    Myachi shuld have been sent on loan to go an learn his trade. He got injured 2 months into the seaosn having done absolutely nothing. We use the loan market awfully and have done for years.

    Our treatment of park is hugely damaging for us. He is by far the most popular player in korea and one of his 2 final years before national service has been destroyed by arsenal football club and in particular wenger who didnt do his research.

    Paul N

    The team has been in a bad patch since Feb last year, look at the bigger picture . The team defence is still woeful and for the 4 consequtive year will have gotten worse. The squad still doesnt score enough goals considering the amount of players we have to send forward to score them. We still rely on a squad of about 10-13 players to produce for us as wenger doesnt trust certain very highly paid others.


  158. It’s been very quiet rumour wise when it comes to Arsenal this months. ….

  159. For real Jonny.

    Yeh, if we lose, they will be back but I will not waste my time responding to their bull.

    As far as playing United. Last night, I watched the game when we beat them last season. We played some really good football, with no Cesc or Nasri in sight.

    What I noticed was the influence that Wilshere had on the game and how well he plays with Ramsey. Wilshere may not have the numbers as far as goal’s and assist’s but his burt’s up the middle of the pitch are something that we have lacked this season. The cause the defense to get nervous and spaces start opening up.

    As Wenger would say, “he will be like a new signing”, when he comes back fully.

  160. Jabba

    >We use the loan market awfully and have done for years.

    Sorry but that is utter bollocks.

  161. Newcastle are really making waves back here in Africa. They are signing Papa Demba Cisse from Freiburg. Cisse+ Ba thats crazy. Plans to shift the AFCON to a 3yr period must be a motivation for Pardew.

  162. We have a very good squad. No one could know what would happen as far as our defense but with players coming back, our team will make another push.

    I could not care less about anything else at this point.


  163. Jabba:

    We have shipped several goals in a couple of games this season but overall our defense has been much better. I expect that it will continue to improve. We are more then capable of a run of clean sheets that will move us back up the table.

  164. Paul N,

    we have a good first XI, but our squad has no depth at all, once you scratch the surface, there is not a lot left…

    even with everyone fit (haha) on the current form, we are RvP or Szczesny injury away from being a mid-table team, can you imagine a scrap for the top four with Almunia or Fabianski between the sticks? or with Chamakh/Park up front?

  165. I guess I must’ve dreamt all those games last season when Fabianski was really great in goal.

  166. Sug:

    Fabianski did well last season before his shoulder injury. I think wojo is better, but Fabianski in goal would not be a disaster. In fact during the summer I thought he should be our starter. Don’t believe that anymore but I think if he would play regularly he would not hurt us.

    Agree with you about RVP. We clearly need another reliable goal scorer.

  167. I do agree that losing RVP would deal us a massive blow though. But who knows, maybe Chamakh would suddenly rediscover the form he had when he first played for us …

  168. Bill,

    Fabianski in goal would be a complete a disaster, he is a good shot stopper and knows how to save a pen, but that’s it, he is clueless when it comes to set pieces, etc.


    which games were these then?

  169. I woud love Rosicky to start more games. He is one of the players that pushes the team forward through the middle of the pitch. We focus more on the wings now, but as has been said, with our full back’s out that has taken a bit of a hit.

  170. As dups would say, “Don’t feed…”

  171. Well it did not take long to read the posts today.
    My lesson is learned.I have not read a single word past their names.
    The down side is Yogi’s replies are wasted on me because I don’t know what he is replying too.
    Henristic said all that needs to be said on the matter.

  172. That is quite possible Evil, regarding Chamakh. Others could also raise their game as far as goals. Our mid’s need to up their game.

  173. Sug:

    Fabianski made one mistake last season and that was against Newcastle when we lost 0 – 1. The rest of the games he started he did very well. Some people tend to see with rose colored glasses deny bad games but you must have watched Fabianski with dung colored glass because you did not see the same thing that I did last season. He has made a several mistakes in his Arsenal career, some are real howlers and I really don’t have a good handle on who the real Fabianski is, but he did play well last season and I suspect if given the chance he would not be a disaster.

  174. @Suga
    Wolves, Chelsea away, City away, … genuinely the only game where I can think of him not bein rather good in goal was the one against Newcastle. And in that he just made one mistake … but that was enough to cost us the three points.

    And he does know how to organise his defense on set pieces. Afair last season we conceded more from set pieces with Sczc than with Fab.

  175. of course it is possible, just not very probable, eh?

  176. I wonder if some of these Newcastle players could have made a difference for Arsenal this year? Ba n Cabaye look like really good players.

  177. Bill, Evil,

    I am Polish and had the opportunity to watch Fabianski long before he was even rumoured to be coming to Arsenal and I can tell you one thing: he has not progressed at all, he is the same rabbit in the headlights kind of GK…

    Szczesny might have conceded a number of goals, but you can count on one hand these that were his fault, unlike in Fabianski’s case…

    my opinion, mind you…

  178. mattgoonerknight

    I think the emergence of sp*@s this season has definitely skewed people’s perceptions of how this season is going at present.

    We all know how about how the season started (I won’t “go there” regarding the permutations of how and why) and what has happened in theses last two poor performances but in between this there has been some real encouraging signs.

    If say, Chelsea were 3rd, 10 points above us and the spuds were just a mere 4 points clear, I reckon we’d be a lot more optimistic about our current standing, despite recent events.

    I’m clueless re. Red & White etc so won’t even go there.

    I also said I’d shut the fuck about transfers until deadline day so I’m keeping to my word on that front.

    I’m really, really (recurring) gutted about the last two performances; it feels as if we’ve let ourselves down but we recovered earlier in the season and a good solid run from now will keep us in contention for Champions League.

    Fuck the spuds – if they keep it up – it will be a once in 15 year event, not the end of the world just fucking annoying. The fact that they kept their better players and are challenging for the title despite failing to qualify for the Champs League last season perversely enough should serve as some kind of comfort to us – if we fail, we’ll simply need to keep calm and carry on.

    Come on you gunners!!!!!!

  179. @SUGA
    Nice way of completely avoiding the topic of Fabianski’s performances last season. Is it so difficult to concede that he didn’t do much wrong when he had his run of games last year?

  180. Oh nooooooooooo……..
    Suga Sweet & Jabba BeRight have returned to ACLF
    right after the Welsh plague????

    Damn why even bother staying
    ..i just got my hair done
    bye..see ya..def wouldn’t wanna be here

    ciao, merchants of doomage…
    later YW

  181. Sug:

    OK. Can’t argue since I am not Polish and never saw him before his Arsenal days. I don’t think he will ever be the long term #1 at Arsenal, because of wojo. He has also made a lot of howlers and I suspect that he would have a very short leash if Wojo was injured, but no matter what you thought you saw, he did well during the brief spell when he was #1 last season.

  182. Evil,

    yes, but I have seen him in the cup games and he was seriously lacking there, very lucky on a few occasions, there is a reason why Szczesny was played against Leeds…

  183. I hate the fact that when these moaners come around they all but take over the blog. Many people have decided to stay away, all because of 2 individuals that again, only come around when thing’s are not going well to complain and moan.

  184. I saw him in the Cup games, too, and Greece aside — where in all honesty from Fabianski to Vermaelen to our midfield everyone was kind of having an awful day — I didn’t find too much wrong with his play. But you can surely give me some examples where he made massive mistakes!

  185. Paul N,

    this is absolutely hilarious, is the irony of moaning about moaning lost on you?

  186. Don’t let them take over the blog, please.

    Lets contunue to comment, inspite of.

  187. Evil,

    it’s not ‘massive’, but I remember him completely misjudging a ball that was rolling slowly on the pitch, not sure if it was Shrewsbury or Leeds, him chasing that ball and watching it bounce off the post looked pretty comical from where I was sitting at the ground…

    and there were other shaky moments like that…

    it’s just that IMO, he is an accident waiting to happen, him being in goal makes me feel a tad uneasy…

  188. *Bolton, not Leeds

  189. SUGA, I’d be surprised if you find humour or joy in anything.

  190. Markus,

    well, I am a funny man, trust me!

    but that does not stop me from seeing things for what they are…

  191. What a guy!

  192. We can try to try Paul. New topics anyone?


  193. mattgoonerknight

    Is the irony of your lack of support for the team lost on you, Suga 3?

    Paul’s right, I’m a relative nubie on ACLF but I’ve been around long enough to see that you haven’t contributed for weeks – so why the change of heart?

    Do your arguments lack weight when the team is doing well? Do you not enjoy SUPPORTING the team?

    I personally love it when we win and I’m certainly more inclined to point out areas in which I feel we could improve upon while we’re winning rather than shitting on us with criticism while we are down – that is not support.

    The real irony is that such behaviour is atypical of that of our rival fans, namely spuds – quiet when we’re winning, crawl out of their holes and unwind their necks when we loose.

    Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?

  194. Well well well,, I must say it makes interesting reading but I think Ill give today a skip.

  195. Suga:

    If I remember correctly you are also smart enough to be a member of MENSA (?sp) and a funny man to boot. No one can say you lack self confidence.

  196. George – “You aint seen nothing yet.Now Arseblog has jumped on that bandwagon.
    He is as bad as Suga3 ,but hides it better.

    I have just read the piece and can’t see anything wrong with it whatsoever. Please point out where he is mistaken?

  197. Jonny, I thought we would discuss the game coming up.

    How did Frimpong play against the Spurs? I didn’t get to see that match.

  198. MGK,

    no, they don’t lack weight or anything like that, and I am only on here, because I am off sick for a few days and I felt like having a little debate with you lot…

    so what if the timing ain’t perfect?

  199. Andy, it’s reactionary bullshit. Claiming we have 8 squad players who offer absolutely nothing. Does that sound reasonable?

  200. Paul. I only saw the highlights but he looked tenacious, spirited and dogged. they subbed him because he was on his last warning (and had already earned a yellow). Very proud of him.

    Check this –

  201. When’s Park going to play, I hear he is absolutely fucking brilliant

  202. Its not that far off the truth Markus. He does give valid reasons for his views.

  203. I think much of Frimp’s game is ‘in place’ – he’s just got a few burrs that need filing down. His distribution is patchy, and he could obviously show some better decision making, but he’s ahead of where Song was at the same age.

    The biggest challenge is that he’ll be vying with Coq for the same spot as back up to Song. One suspects if Frimpong falls short it won’t be for lack of effort.

  204. Markus – “Andy, it’s reactionary bullshit. Claiming we have 8 squad players who offer absolutely nothing. Does that sound reasonable?

    Well, we are over half way through the season so reactionary it is not. What have they offered so far in this campaign? Enlighten me.

    I am not shit stirring, but I think the point is worth looking at. You say it is wrong, but have not pointed out which bits.

  205. always enjoy reading stuff like this..
    its rare we get away from talking about the next fixture or the last fixture..its nice reading stories that get us out of the whirlwind for 5 mins of everything else we always talk about..
    good post..

  206. JJ – thought you meant the comments section there at first! 😛

  207. newcastle have found a one in two striker…
    we were linked to him a bit back but im suprised hes going to newcastle..
    hes been pretty devastating for frieburg..

    pardews loving the french and africans at the minute..

  208. Well it’s always easy to look at stats but how many assists and goal’s did Wilshere have last season? He played in almost every game mind you. Now, do those numbers tell the whole story?

    I would agree that Chamakh and Arshavin are struggling for confidence but that is mainly because they have been benched, not because they cannot produce.

  209. JJ – 33 in 51. Pretty impressive, better than 1 in 2.

  210. Squad rotation is the biggest area that I would like to see improve.

    Jonny, thanks for the vid.

  211. has it been another one of those days jonny? 😉
    im still reading through the comments..

    yogi what do you mean by walcott ffs?? have you smashed as many tellys as me??

  212. Paul – You are right of course, stats don’t always tell the full picture and can be manipulated. But c’mon, the players mentioned in the article have contributed very little. We can see that with our own eyes. We are carrying to many passengers.

  213. Arshavin is disillusioned for having been played out of position throughout his career here…

    with Chamakh, it’s mental, apparently, he had some problems (i.e. a sex scandal) which was kept under wraps, he was said to be devastated, well, I’d say if it is true and he had a breakdown for a reason like this, let him be devastated somewhere else…

  214. Nobody is saying that they are wankers or anything, just that they are not really adding much to our football club (for varying reasons). For us to remain competitive, there has to be a point where the situation is looked at. That is not unreasonable.

  215. yeah i guess so andy..hes pretty clinical either way..

  216. JJ – £10M as well. That is a good deal. Even if it does not work out they will still probably get a decent price for him.

  217. arshavin not actually been played out of position as such throughout his career
    he always played on the left for zenit and for russia..

    the only difference was that it was more a free role so he was allowed to drift but he prefers the left so he can cut back in and shoot or slide a pass..hes playing where he likes

    with us its more of a fixed position though..hes stuck out there, if he drifts it means the wingback has no support but i still dont think this is the biggest factor
    i thinks its cos hes not getting any younger so you expect him to naturally move inside with age…

    ive always prefered him on the left but i do now think the time has come to either play him centrally or sell him

  218. GA, I think our squad rotation needs revamping. Arshavin’s numbers were decent last season and so was Chamakh’s when he started. If they were starting every game but doing nothing, I could see but that is far from the case.

    Mind you, in their last outings they both played well.

  219. JJ – I’ve stayed away.

    I find it doubly difficult as I can’t stand the negativity but I think lost in all their bitter bollocks are some decent points. But then the far left and the far right are pretty much the same to me.

    I’ve certainly been aggressively attacked by both plenty of times in my time! 😉

  220. Arshavin has made a couple of lovely passes to RVP recently, if I am not mistaken.

  221. JJ,

    funny that, I recall him saying that he did not like being played where he was at Arsenal, but he was prepared to do it for the time being, hardly an indication of playing in his preferred or favourite position, no?

  222. That’s another remarkable piece of business from Tha’ Toon. They’ve been good to watch this season too – fair play to them.

    I suspect this is cover for the likely departure of Ba (prob to Spurs), after his agent leaked news of his release clause. But if they could get them working together that would be quite something.

  223. Limestonegunner

    It was an interesting and informative report on the AISA meeting. I certainly look forward to reading more about that period of history from Tony Attwood. However, I completely understand why the conversation has gone in other directions. 1) there isn’t that much to discuss about that period because we don’t all know that much about it and 2) this week we are reeling from two straight league losses and anticipating somewhat nervously an upcoming big game to ManU because of large numbers of injuries all taking place during the January transfer window. There is a lot to discuss about all of that.

    As far as the new or infrequent negative posters, they wouldn’t be so noticeable if people posted what they think about the issues themselves instead of bemoaning their presence or deciding to stay away.

    I have a lot of concerns about the team/squad and ideas about what we might try to do about them, but one important issue needs a bit of attention: the criticism of Ramsey and Arshavin. It is going too far and is creating a palpable sense of negativity at the match. I heard an away supporter calling in on the Fans’ Forum to report that there had been booing of Arshavin as he was substituted. Apparently Thierry and Ramsey heard an earful as they went to acknowledge the away support at the end of the game.

    As far as Ramsey, we have to be concerned about a young talented player’s confidence. He’s been through a great deal to play for us this season after a year away because of the Shawcross attack. He’s only 20/21 and is being played a lot and being asked, unlike Jack last year, to play under a microscope in a very difficult position as the creative hub of our midfield attack. Frankly, this season he should be playing where Arteta is and I had hoped Arteta would play more forward. For whatever reason that hasn’t happened and it is a huge responsibility to place on Ramsey’s shoulders. He is going to have inconsistent performances as a young player who has lost a year of development and is thrust into a position that requires more quick decision-making than almost any other. I think he also needs a rest since he covers more ground than anyone and is knackered in late stages of games. We overplayed Jack and that was dangerous. We’re doing it again this season with Ramsey. We have to admit it. With Jack and Diaby unfit, this season we are really missing Cesc and Nasri. Benayoun really can’t play there and Rosicky hasn’t been fit enough either. Hopefully he’ll play more often now and rotate with Ramsey.

  224. Paul – That is true to a point. Take Chamakh; it is doubtful he will get that many start in this formation as long as RvP is here. If he can’t perform coming off the bench, it is pointless having him in the squad. Park? Is it really worth debating?

    The points Arseblog made about Almunia and Squallachi are the least controversial as they are reserve reserves anyway. But the Gibbs and Diaby calls also merit some discussion. Both good players, but there has to come a point where there injuries are too big a cross to bear for the squad.

  225. that seems a good deal andy

    we’ll see how it works out but 10mil seems a good deal for a striker who has shown he can actually strike..

    like you say if it doesnt work they havent lost too much if it works then pardews got another one worth a shit load..

    if ba and cisse clicks they will be pretty potent up front..

  226. I have a feeling that with the Cisse deal Ba might be on his way out. There were some rumours about a 10 million release clause…

  227. well suga maybe thats more down to the free role thing…

    ive got a feeling that even if we saw him in his ‘favorite postion’, we’d still see him drift to the left

    so maybe we should just take the disciplined role out of his game and let him do what he wants..maybe thats what he meant??

    cos when i was watching him play for zenit and russia he was playing on the left..

  228. Evening all – what have I missed? Fine post btw, congratulations to the whole ACLF team the blog really is turning out excellent stuff day after day.
    I don’t have time to read all the responses but my guess is after two defeats Jabba, Suga and maybe AIC have crawled slinking from their foetid pits to drip bile and venom all over the comment section.
    My God I’m glad I’m not them. Suicide would be the only rational option.
    One thought sprang to mind on Sunday – how much we missed Denilson. Arteta has played the Denilson role well so far but in his absence we could have done with the real deal.
    Ah well onwards fellow Arsenal fans, the next match will come soon and wipe away the temporary misery of these minor hiccups.

  229. GA, rotation. Coming off the bench is not too bad if you come off the bench regularly. Since we play a 4,3,3 we make most of our changes on the wings or the mid because RVP stays on, no matter what. Chamakh is left in a sticky situation.

    Arsenal have always stood by injured players and it has worked out for the most part. Surely we are not expecting something different in the cases of Diaby and Gibbs? I am glad that they are given chances.

  230. jonny..
    interesting point on ba..

    at has been rumoured that spurs are in for samba and loric remy and if they cant get remy they’ll go after ba..

    i hope not though..i really hope this is the depressed market we were told it was..

    cos if everyone around us reinforces their squads and we sit and twiddle our thumbs i’ll be the one whos fucking depressed 🙂

  231. JonJon

    “cos when i was watching him play for zenit and russia he was playing on the left..”

    You have actually watched him play for Zenit and Russia and commenting based on that? Sorry, but that is atrocious, and totally the wrong way of debating. I bet you hadn’t heard about the Chamakh sex scandal too? Tell me?

  232. ‘Arteta has played the Denilson role well so far but in his absence we could have done with the real deal’

    lol.. 😉

  233. Well we’ll all be singing ‘SUGA giz a wave, SUGA, SUGA giz a wave!’ when it happens. When Sagna, Wilshere, Vermaelen, Arteta and Gibbs come back and we put a run together. When the bottom falls out Spurs (City, Liv, Newc, Utd and Us in their next 6 – if they come through that unscathed then fair play to them – they’ll deserve it… but not til then), and when Chelsea continue to stumble/plod/stumble and end up beneath us.

    Just over halfway. 4th still very much on. Always has been – we’ve just had too much to get over of late. Our best centreback pairing has played together 3 times so far this season (3 clean sheets). Our best centreback hasn’t played at centreback for 9 games. Just an example of the impact of the Phenomenon Fullback Pile-up.

    Fully believe we’ll bounce back. AW’s teams are always pretty good at that. Either way I’ll enjoy watching them giving it a good go as always and if it doesn’t happen there’s always next season and the annual summer strengthening to look forward to. 8 more years of Arsene Wenger please. Watch him turn it around… Once in a lifetime football mind – enjoy him while you can.

    Unless you want to play fantasy football and go blue in the face for 48hours looking like a cunt.


  234. Paul – Yeah I would agree with that, but you have to question why Arsene does this? It seems he has lost complete faith in Chamakh. Even when games are won (heh, with us who knows) he does not swap him for RvP.

    Steww – Heh, you are such a card (Denilson/Arteta comment).

  235. I wonder if we could talk the Blue Manc’s into loaning us Tevez and paying most of his wages. 🙂

  236. Park isn’t used for a very plausible reason that he’s not Arsene’s purchase. I read he can play across the front line and not necessary a center forward. If he’s psychically fit and ready to run, it make sense to me that he should be given a chance to play as a left winger. There’s no down side if you consider AA23 is to start as first choice while Gervinho is away. At the very least Park should have a better work rate than AA, he has proven he can shoot just as well as RVP and AA ( as in the CC .) I really don’t understand what’s Arsene doesn’t see in Park while he trust AA to ‘recover’ his fitness/form for the whole 90 min. An better option is to interchange AA and Park as 1st choice and sub. Same as AOC and Walcott on the right.

  237. keyzer i was writing a comment that was really tearing into you until the penny dropped..

    yeah its easy to comment on something you see and not something that could have been totally made up..

    abit like religion..but we wont go there again..we’ll save those discussions for the international breaks…

  238. GA, I guess with the early season issue’s there is less room for error. The thing is though that when players are injured other have to play.

    As I stated earlier. Last night, I watched the game where we beat United last season. Cesc and Nasri did not play and the team was great.

  239. Bill, Tevez has gone to PSG.

    I bet in 6 months he wants to go home again.

  240. Coincidentally, I have just come across this on the internet:

    Too much suga may cause “brain decay”

    It is well known that too much suga causes tooth decay, but might it also cause “brain decay”? Recent research suggests that it just might. People with diabetes are more likely to have a heart attack or stroke at a younger age. In addition, they may be at a greater risk of a decline in mental function — brain decay — or dementia.

    Of course, I don’t know if there’s any truth in it.

    I’m told there may also be detrimental effects from merlot, but not if it is taken in moderation.

  241. Park is not used for not having physical strength and pace to cope with the demands of English football, I’ve seen him play live and I am baffled as to why we bought him and antagonised Lille while we were at it…

  242. Limpar @ 6.43 post of the day. Anyone ushering in the end of this reign should beware what they ask for.

  243. good call bill..
    not a bad idea..

    the mans a dickhead but he can play ball..and you just know he’d run his bollox off just to piss mancini off..and fergie..

    he loves it…and hes good enough to do damage…

    we take him on loan. they pay his wage…and they can command a bigger fee at the end of the season when hes banged in 15goals and helped us win the fa cup and finish 3rd 😉

  244. bad call bill 😉

  245. Jonny – Very true.

  246. Andy @ 6:32:

    Winterburn is usually reasonable and I can’t ever remember disagreeing with him, but I think he was a bit harsh. That said we have looked bad the last 2 games. Hopefully just a brief run of bad form. If our defense really goes down the crapper we will end up in mid table.


    I thought Tevez to PSG was off, then on, then off, then on, and the last I heard was off. Bummer if he has left for France. Carlos and RVP together upfront would be titillating indeed. 🙂

  247. suga
    my own opinion is that wenger didnt sign park…

    the club are already drawing up plans for a massive tour around asia next summer..
    we’ll visit about 4 countries.. japan china and korea being toured in one go..posiibly africa as well..

    wenger doesnt want this..he didnt want the last one..

    park and ryo will be first teamers on the tour…park was bought for that reason..

    i think wenger isnt perfect on transfers but i think the board do not help him one bit..

    wenger doesnt negotiate transfers..he targets players and is upto that dick bloke and ivan to get them in..

    wenger wanted hazard..he wanted gotze as well…

    we didnt get them…

    thats the boards fault……in my opinion…

  248. What other manager has done what Arsene has done, with the restrictions that he has had?

  249. JJ, that is very deep for an opinion. It’s as if you really know.

    Can we get some of those opinions about crooked ref’s?

  250. JJ – I am pretty sure that no signings would be forced upon Arsene. He has always said that complete footballing authority is one of the reasons he loves Arsenal so much. I think he would walk if the board tried that.

  251. Limestonegunner

    JJ, I thought we were going to Nigeria next summer.

  252. Wasn’t there talk about the US. Does that mean we would sign an American?

    I wonder how that kid Brek Shea did when he trained with Arsenal? does anyone know?

  253. JJ,

    quite frankly, if he gets players forced upon him and keeps schtum pocketing nice 7M p.a. instead of walking, that says something about his integrity, doesn’t it?

    not like he can’t afford to tell them to go fuck themselves, because he will end up in a fucking poor house if he does so, is it?

    we signed players on the deadline day, you could argue that none of these players was his signing, as he is on record saying that he is happy with the squad as it is beforehand?

  254. Bill, it was the Tevez to AC Milan (not PSG) that was on-off-on-off

  255. JJ @ 7:12:

    The boss having anything less then complete control of footballing operations does not fit with the evidence that we have.

    Paul @ 7:18:

    Refs are not crooked, just inconsistent. 🙂

  256. and oh, there is no ‘board’, there is just Kroenke and a bunch of clueless, overpaid executives with no real affiliation with football, bar maybe Gazidis if you want to count him being employed by the Mickey Mouse league that is the MLS…

  257. SUGA – “quite frankly, if he gets players forced upon him and keeps schtum pocketing nice 7M p.a. instead of walking, that says something about his integrity, doesn’t it?”

    Except it is doubtful that this is the case. I really don’t think Wenger’s integrity can be questioned. Especially if doing so on assumptions.

  258. Limestonegunner

    Hey, don’t go insulting the league that has given us our big signing this window!

  259. goonerandy,

    I hope you noticed the ‘if’ bit 😉

    as far as I am concerned, if he had players forced upon him (poor players at that), he should walk, plain and simple, otherwise, he is an accomplice to the crime of taking fans for mugs, hence the fans would have every right to question his integrity…

  260. Lots of European clubs do it that way, it is normal at some places. I honestly don’t believe he would work in those conditions though.

  261. OK, do you seriously think this could happen at Arsenal with AW being The Almighty?


  262. SUGA3 | January 17, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    get into your skull that I don’t have to do squat and I will react to losing my faith in the club’s paid employee any way I like, does that compute?

    -im sorry……paid employee ? ahaha jim the other night, a totenham fan , said the same thing, some mancs are banging on the same tune too….lol..they think wenger is just the coach of the first team like avb mancini redknapp etc etc…haha ..no my friend..wenger is no employee..nor coach..he is the MANAGER ..do you know what a manager is? furthermore..in this particular club he is the Alpha and the Omega…pretty much like that other cunt is for united. Only he needs money to win things and runs the risk of putting his life;s work at the hands of the banks..hehe..wenger is smarter than that. he is the strategist, leader, guru and general BOSS of this club. He decides at what temperature the grass should be watered and what kind of angle the seats will have at the stadium. a genius who has had first hand input in the design of our stadium and an exceptional tactician who forces his rivals to outspend him by hundreds of millions to marginally beat his youngsters and crippled 2nd rate players. His financial understanding of the game and his unique ability to improve players and develop youngsters give him an advantage over the rest. first of all class. tons of it. and of course respect.

    don’t read between the lines and try finding hidden meanings, there is none, with me, what you see is what you get, simples…

    -all i see is an arsehole being ultra-negative and moaning like a bitch about things which are out of his control, knowledge, authority, expertise…..

    I dare you, I double dare you to find a single line where I advocated selling RvP for being injury prone, the difference between him and useless Diaby is the attitude and the output, in Robin’s case it means ‘worth keeping even if he plays half of the season’, in Diaby’s it’s ‘never fit, inconsistent, get rid’…

    – no i will dare you to read what i wrote about diabby again and i will doubt your intelligence if you come back telling me about rvp…i believe i made it clear about the point of view you choose to see diabby…. aplayer who while wearing the arsenal shirt and playing for us has been assaulted by neanderthals because “arsenal dont like it up em” …instead of blaming a talent that hasnt been allowed to flourish due to sick tackling, blame the mentality which has allowed this animocity towards wenger;s youngsters.

    I mean, what the fuck are we, a charity? if I bang my head abd am no longer able to do my work, I am not going to expect my employer to keep me around until I retire, even though I am sitting at the desk, drooling and dpoing fuck all, yes?

    – no we are no charity , we are the best run football club in the planet and now with official authorisation and certification. when it comes to quality we top them all. if you are too shortsighted and cant see that this is the way to build a solid base as foundations to last another century then dont bother us with your cr@p please….i told you yesterday..you are too young to have these discussions..you dont know your arse from your elbow. other teams that build stadiums might go to division two for a while ….not even think about qualifying for champions league or trophies. go read and learn a bit you muppet, no other club or manager has ever managed to juggle as much and succeed at it all. we always knew arsenal would be in the shit for 15-20 years when they embarked on the emirates adventure and if people didnt see it then tough luck, they will suffer…and if shit means getting fourth with walcott eboue and almunia ill take it mate! wenger will too, so will the board. what you dont get is that things could have been a lot lot worse. you are simply incapable of understanding that while arsenal invested heavily for their future, our rivals spent heavily for a short term fix. and now that you see the rivals short term fix working you lose faith to arsenal……lol…you sound very prehistoric in your thinking…..i take it that proof of wenger working is only when he delivers you kodak momments with trophies huh…..the rest of the time he is just sitting on his @rse i guess..thats why he weighs as much as allerdyce…ahahaha

  263. This is becoming more & more tedious now.

  264. doesn’t matter how Arsenal would finish this season, the team needs a overhaul in the summer.
    Looking at the big picture, this season is at a crossroad with all the right and wrong decisions but the fact remains Arsenal is at a transition that fans should understand and be patient. Building the right team is far more complicated than signing big names on the surface, and who would anticipate all the back line injuries we’re experiencing right now, don’t underestimate this enormous disruption at the team. Just when we thought we’ve a defence which got some steel and resilience than the past, injuries struck. The short good run was gone. once again we’re having a fragile team with same old problem.

  265. Dups – It is. I’m off.


  266. cesc_ara,

    first of all: Wenger is employed by the club and paid for his work, this logically makes him a ‘paid employee’, can’t be bothered with the rest of the delusional shit you wrote on this subject

    second point: all I see is some delusional sheep cunt with no opinion of his own and horrible command of English language

    third point: Diaby’s injury occured SIX years ago, maybe it’s time to call quits on his redundancy package?

    fourth point: completely unrelated to the point I made, but since you are at it, care to explain to me why Wenger CHOSE not to use the resources at his disposal for at least three transfer windows and soon to be four?

  267. you all know how i feel about the board and what they are doing, so our predicement is more to do with them and there lack of investment rather than the manager and his stumbling philosphies in the modern game…

    at the end of the day wenger doesnt sign off the cheques so whatever we all think, i happen to think the total control thing is bollox..

    he gets paid to manage the team and he gets asked his opinion on other things..if that opinion cost the club over 15mil it wont happen and thats down to the people who handle the accounts and thats not wenger..sorry to bust bubbles but its not..

    if dein was still here it would have happened, wenger got the support. dein may have fucked up on alot of things but you need someone like that on your board..a risk taker..someone who doesnt say fucking no to everything

    he hasnt had the support since..

    greed is our downfall..primarily…everything else has been affected like a set of dominos and that includes wengers management..

  268. the way i see it suga is that every manager gets shit forced upon him

    wengers had more shit to put up with than most..what other manager can rake in a profit on transfers every season and still keep his team in the top 4 for a zillion years..

    the answer is none..

    so if wenger loves us and he knows hes good enough to do the job why the fuck would he walk away and leave us in the shit..

    cos this baord aint gonna give any other manager the money hes gonna need are they??

    so why would he walk away??

    he was flirting with madrid the other year so its not like he hasnt thought about it..

    until an auto biography comes out i guess we’ll never know but wenger still wants cl and he aint gunna get it that easy being manager of arsenal.

    maybe he’ll do an henry???

  269. JJ,

    flirting with Madrid? he would not last a season there!

    this whole ‘flirting’ crap coincided with fans giving him grief at the Q&A session, not much of a coincidence if you ask me…

    don’t think he is interested in trophies anymore, it’s just about proving some points…

    and please, do a Henry? you mean move to a bigger club and win the CL? with his one dimensional tactics? not happening…

  270. anyway speaking of if you know your history
    if memory serve me correctly the last time spurs finished above us was grahams last year..??

  271. yes ok wenger is an employee….henry is another ….. lol…

    the sheep are the ones who get manipulated by rivals taunting usmanovs propaganda and media’s anti-wengerism.

    lol i doubt you intelligence on the diabby point

    what resources? the money he;s been busting his @rse to make for the club?..yeah lets give it to the players and agents you see as fit to wear the shirt, as long as you can show me your managerial credentials… hehehe

    youre a spoilled little bratt arent you…daddy busts his @rse to build a house for the family and is saving money to repay the cost of it and youre busting his balls for a new playstation….

    tell me you peasant of an individual …when you were paying for your house’s mortgage did you have a ferrari parked outside too ? pmsl ….and a yacht in some marina? realise it …450 million needs to be paid back before even thinking about investing to win titles.. thank heavens we got arsene who could shock us all and even win it while repaying the stadium…lol…

    as for the comment ” mugging the fans off their money” ….lol i dont remember wenger coming out with a rifle sticking it to peoples heads forcing them to buy anything…nor do i remember any one twisting anybody;s arm. you attend IF you want. nothing is mandatory. you have a choice.

  272. you really dont like him do you suga??
    come on dude hes made mistakes but fuck me hes acheived things with us and done things we could have only dreamed of..

    he flirted with madrid a few times…theres plenty of times he could have left but he never did.

    when we were going great guns every superpower club in the world wanted him..but he knew what he had to do and he stayed and kept us near the top under massive burdens

    time maybe running out and theres arguements for and arguements against but just as i dont like the board, you dont like the manager so i guess we’ll never see eye to eye on this one cos we are both biased from our positions..

  273. evening george i wondered where you were hiding 😉

  274. cesc_ara,

    yes, Wenger is an employee, and so is/was Henry, some employees are worth the money they are paid, some are not…

    you doubt my intelligence, do you? well, I have to question the intelligence of the individual who gave the permacrock Diaby a contract until 2015 on the basis of one good season!

    there is no use for the money in the bank, and giving the money to agents and players is the name of the game here, you just need to allocate it appropriately, which Wenger is failing miserably in doing: fourth highest wage bill and no player worth mentioning outside the top 15 names? in a 50+ man squad?

    peasant? do yourself a little favour, sunshine, we don’t need to pay the 450M (your numbers are bollocks, but hey) before we can spend, it’s complete and utter nonsense, there is absolutely no benefit in paying off the debt ahead of the time scheduled, just like there is no point in paying off the mortgage early if you are to reduce yourself to bread and water diet!


  275. JJ Spurs finished above us almost every other year pre Arsene.

    Cesc era Lol,I was you 6 months ago.
    You cant teach a chimpanzee quantum physics.

  276. JJ,

    it’s not about whether I like him or not, it’s about maximising output using the resources at his disposal, which he is failing to do…

    yes, he took us to another level, failed to build upon this and now we are witnessing being taken back to where we were at the end of GG’s tenure, yes, we have the new stadium, but really, what good is it for the fans?

    dude, we have a massive wage bill, squad full of duds on too high wages to get rid and we are reduced to witnessing ‘Arry sticking up two fingers to AW on much lower budget, you have to appreciate that something is seriously wrong with this picture, no?

  277. an employee? ahahahah …..you aint worth it kid.

    go pop that spot between your legs cause i fear its complicating with your brain functions….

    “and giving the money to agents and players is the name of the game here” …ahahhaah EPIC ….

    your last paragraph is the perfect indicator that you have no idea of the term “sacrifice”

  278. You cant teach a chimpanzee quantum physics

    haha!…great comment and well deserved. what a muppet…..

  279. and who is sacrificing here? Wenger? he is paid 7M p.a., what a martyr he is!

    maybe one of his mollycoddled ‘superstars’, are they sacrificing anything?


    nice job on taking sentences out of context too! I guess you are right, there is no point, you are just a bit thick…


    stop acting like a cunt, quantum physics? little wonder you can even spell it…

    and care to tell us where Diaby is?

  280. One can only hope that these are the throes of a dying man.

  281. George

    You couldn’t teach this chimp to peel a fucking banana.

  282. oh well, good ol’ ACLF, not a single counter argument, good job that AKBs are the dying breed now…

    the end is nigh, you hear me?

  283. …There was something awesome in the thought of the solitary mortal standing by the open window and summoning in from the gloom outside the spirits of the nether world…

    Come friendly spirits of the nether world…

  284. Does not seem to understand that no one is remotely interested. I’m sure there is a name for that disease.

  285. dups & bill
    latest news ( today ) had Mancini talking with Inter about Tevez. …….also its reported that Tevez has lowered his weekly wage demands DOWN to 120k / week.

    Tomorrow, likely be other rumors to report.

    re: Frimpong
    Everytime he received the ball – he was booed by the home crowd.

    I thought he gave a decent performance against Spurs. He had one very nice volley on goal (from outside the PA )……but right at their goal keeper. Took the ball away from Modric a couple of times. Most of his passes were successful.

    Made a strong tackle, that he thought he won cleanly, spurs awarded a free kick….. and then Frimpong had a meltdown on the ref’s call……that got him a yellow……then proceeded to make 3-4 aggressive tackles and lucky to last an hour…..b4 he was subbed.

    Having him on the pitch took the spotlight off Karl Henry and Hunt.

  286. dups,

    well, you seem to react by the way of offering hilarious remarks about primates in response to suggestion made by another comedy genius…

    and I am not interacting with you so do one, will ya?

  287. cesc_ara
    Please stop it with him.
    Now,I have not read a single word he has said all day .But it will be nothing he has not said a hundred times before.He has not has an original thought since he first looked at his Mothers tit and thought “I am hungry”
    You are wasting your time and ours ,because I am reading what you are saying and its all been said before .
    He really is a bit slow.I mean he thinks he is mensa’s Ricky Gervais but really.I am sure his IQ barely makes double figures.

  288. ive long said the wages need sorting..
    even now we have this big squad but we are relucant to use some of them so we are mispending money in this department

    but thats something thats going to take a few years to fix cos the last squad went wrong and we are still carrying some of them..but we did start to work on it in the summer so at least we saw some movement..

    it went wrong cos we tried to develop a team…we didnt build one we nutured one and they were all tied down to protect our investment and to keep the bosmans and websters away..you can actually see the method in the madness but we put our trust in too many young players and it ended up being a mistake

    shit happens..he got that one wrong…but he got his last two teams right…

    which goes back to your first point..resources..weve got lots yes i agree we aint skint..but is he allowed to spend it like he used to when dein was here and they were building teams like arry and levy are doing now??

    i dont think he is…when you lose a player of cesc calibre you need to replace him with another of the same skillset…wenger wanted gotze, he wanted hazard..but they aint going to cost 10mil like arteta was…its upto the baord to sanction those deals and after making 70mil you would have thought it might have happened…but like i say…wenger doesnt write the cheques..so maybe your looking in the wrong direction??

  289. not a single counter arguement? lol …… i didnt realise you do this for the exercise of your debating skills…youre such a masterdebator

    the end is nigh? lol yeah my friend from tottnehma i say the same things to manure fans when i enter their blogs to wind them up……hahaha …gotcha you little punk..ahahahha

  290. JJ people want to blame a man who is so superior to them in every way imaginable that they will not countenance anything else.
    In a nutshell he make stupid people insanely jealous.

  291. george,

    seriously mate, I always thought you were better than that, but you are just another pig-headed Wenger praetorian who can’t see wood for trees…

    so, you have insulted me, do you feel better now? yawn…

    will not dignify that nonsense with further comment…


    how did we work on that in the summer, by loaning Bendy and No.15? they will still be our problem come May, you know?

    he got that wrong because he thought the few top assets will carry the passengers, as far as I am concerned, we had this problem after 07/08 season and it was never properly addressed…

    as for your beef with the ‘board’, once again, there is no such thing at Arsenal, there is just Kroenke and being a facade for this makes Wenger an accomplice…

  292. ok george i see what you mean…and i feel embarassed that i have lost two hours instead of perfecting the 352…lol…

  293. cesc_ara Knows.

    I think I’ll be a c_aKB

  294. the fact of the matter is that no matter how much you will try to laugh it off, Wenger is in a ‘borrowed time’ situation here, it’s obvious that we need to strengthen, why is there no action to do so?

    do you seriously think that the squad as it is will finish in the top four?

    serious question, I want ‘head’ not ‘heart’ kind of answers, just think you are betting your house on it – would you?

  295. cesc_ara
    Just tell me where my little Andrei plays ,and I am in. 352 it is then.

  296. Suga just how long have you been an Arsenal fan? You’re a fucking ingrate and delusional to not understand that no other manager could’ve gotten us to where we sit now. The modern Arsenal, better and worse, IS Wenger.

    He had the vision to get us into an amazing new home and then overcome the largest shift in market forces football has ever witnessed all the while keeping us profitable and at or near the top. This is isn’t ‘taking us to a new level’ this is a monolithic achievement the likes of which football and probably no other sport in history has ever witnessed.

    His time may be coming to an end but it’s only because others have pulled the rug from under his feet with disparate spending so obscene it’s truly appalling.

    If that is the only way these cunts can find to tilt the table and distort results then good luck to them. I think we have better values. Wenger still has the majority of support and until the day comes that this changes you should suck your fucking ego in, and stop assuming you know best.

    He could have handled things better in recent years but, until you take into account the larger picture, you’re just one of a small minority of ungrateful blowhards who simply aren’t classy enough for the team they support.

    Best manager ever.

  297. Jonny ,have I ever mentioned I really like your style.

  298. Do you mean the squad as it is – as in without: Sagna Vermaelen Gibbs Santos Coquelin Diaby Wilshere Arteta Gervinho and Chamakh?

    Or do you mean without Podolski, Hazard, Carlos Kickaball and Jose Mourinho?

    I think we’ll finish in the Top 4 – I stated so much earlier. Or don’t you read posts…

    We’re still only 2/1 for a top 4 finish with the bookies who are paid for ‘head’ not ‘heart’ answers.

    We’re halfway through the season with half our squad to come back – many of which are our best players.

    As so many good people before me today have said to you – jog on, you mug.

  299. we sold many first team squad players as well as players who were on the fringes..

    we also loaned out a few including the ones you mentioned and the likes of vela

    so even without the sale of cesc and nasri the changes were made and lots of players were shipped out

    i very much doubt the likes of jenks, frimmers, le coq, ryo and oxo are on the mega amounts the rest were and when this summer comes im pretty sure we’ll see alot more departures..

    we have some aging players also and players whos contracts are up so its natural to assume we wont be far off sorting the squad out and nearly getting there..even if robin stays theres going to be alot of changes again suga..

    as for the board, i suppose you are right we do have an owner now but while ever we still have a chairman we have a board…

  300. Jonny,

    I started following Arsenal in the 89/90 season whilst I was still living in the old country at the age of 13 and on the back of that Anfield win at the age of 13, so my first memory was us being the underdogs and pulling off a minor miracle…

    let’s get one thing straight here: I am grateful to Wenger for taking us to another level, but at the moment, we are on the way back to where we came from, so it kind of defeats the objective of the stadium move and sacrifices we had to make, no?

    obscene spending? I am sick to my stomach every time I have to point this out, but what about Spuds, are they spending obscene amounts too?

  301. Limpar,

    fuck you very much too 😆

    yes, I am asking about the squad with no additions, even on the assumption that all the absentees will come back and have no hiccups (which won’t be the case)…

    2/1? I am not a betting man, but is this not a 50/50 chance?


    so, we got rid of Eboue and replaced him with Jenks, as far as I am concerned, this is decline in quality, so it’s adding to the problem, not resolving it, fuck what wages he is on…

    generally speaking, the summer TW was a complete and utter abomination, we have lost two of our best players without really rbeplacing them, not shifted one bit of dross and replaced a good utility player with a League 2 player with 9 games under his belt…

  302. Since 2005,Spurs have out spent everyone bar City and Chelsea.

  303. The Spuds may not have spent the same as Chelsea and Man City but they are living off money that is not theirs and they have no way to pay it back. My brother is a Spud and tells me that they are acutely aware that finances are fucked. And what the fuck have they won anyway?

    You are not grateful – you are angry because it isn’t being done the way you want. 14 years of CL qualification and the one time it comes under great threat you bitch and throw out your toys. This isn’t over but I bet part of you wishes it does go south and we don’t qualify and that RVP does leave.

    You’ve already given up – not just an ingrate but a coward to boot.

  304. george,

    are you talking gross or net spend?

    they have also sold quite a number of players, these ex-Spuds are everywhere, you know?

  305. …and still done fuck all. Let’s see where they sit mid-February when they’ve played the teams around them like we have. Good luck to them and all that, but it won’t last.

    They are at 5/2 by the way – longer than The Arsenal – and for very good reason. Personally I’d have them about 8/1 but then that is a ‘heart’ answer isn’t it – god forbid.

  306. Jonny,

    bollocks to that, I am just being realistic here, and I am not throwing the toys because we are bound not to qualify for the competition we don’t have a cat’s chance in hell of winning, what I am cross about is the whole situation with the club…

    obviously, there is something wrong here: we can’t keep our best players, the recent purchases made are questionable and we are one of the richest clubs in the world at that, mental or what?

    and don’t say ‘players are greedy’, sure, some of them are, some of them want something else, like winning stuff, but you can’t expect them to carry the rest of the team, can you?

  307. and oh, you seem to have a short memory, our CL spot came under threat more than once in the last 14 years, most notably in 2006…

    and in the season when we bought Arshavin…

    if the last season was three games longer, we would have missed out too!

  308. City look a shadow with 3 players missing,Yaya ,Silva and Kompany.
    United only need to lose Rooney for a game and Blackburn can beat them at OT,
    How would they cope with 6 first choice missing and 4 of the back up first choice as well?
    Oh but that is just an excuse ,I suppose.

  309. yes the summer was hard to watch..we made a mess of it..no debate it was fucked..

    but jenks is not a downgrade on eboue..
    eboue was a free role rb..never stuck to his flank didnt over lap always cut inside and had no final ball..usually resulting in him falling over…

    jenks is a great little prospect…fast, can defend, runs the flanks, can cross..will learn alot under sagna..

    i think we upgraded so we disagree..rb was never a problem to begin with we have the best one in the league we just needed a backup who wasnt a headless fucking chicken and with jenks and even kozzer we are better there than last year so you pick a bad example..

    as for spurs im not too sure..theyve sold quite a few players over the years for big money like carrick and berba and they managed to get rid of quite a few to sunderland in one go for abot 20mil..

    but they were bankrolled for a while by some guy called joe lewis..id be interested to see their finances although levy has taken them off the market and theyve gone private now

  310. they may look a shadow, but unlike us, they still grind out the results and last time I checked, they were top of the league…

    Blackburn? the same Blackburn we lost to when they had more goals than shots on target?

    we had this conversation before:

    – Jenks and Gibbs are not viable options for me and Santos should have been rested against Greeks, Sagna was shit luck and there is nothing that could be done about this
    – Jack got run into the ground and it was obvious that he would not be back anytime soon, yet this was not catered for in the summer like it should

    the rest are short term absences, which should be easily covered by the squad players, still, thanks to mismanagement, we don’t have good enough cover…

  311. of course Jenks is a downgrade on Eboue, he is out of his depth at this level, Eboue was capable of competent performances with an odd cockup, but was normally up to speed, given the run of games and virtually always fit…

    Jenks is inexperienced and lacks agility, if he is fast, how does he get skinned as often as he does?

    and why do you think it is a good idea for the second choice player at a club of our calibre to be a learner, i.e. a player for the future?

  312. ‘if he is fast, how does he get skinned as often as he does?’

    a little lapse here: what I meant was that he is often found on the wrong side of his man, can’t turn and it results in dangerous situations…

    as for the crossing bit: yes, he can direct the ball to get to a place in the box, but does not really look up to see if there is or will be an Arsenal player on the end of that cross…

  313. i really dont know where the jack got run into the ground thing came from..

    he played alot last season but he didnt get injured and he had all summer off cos he didnt go to the u21’s and he got an injury in the emrites cup..

    picking up an injury in pre season isnt exactly being run into the ground

    its a myth..it wasnt anyones fault…

  314. No JJ it was Wengers fault.Everything is.Get with the program will you.

  315. Have you considered poisoning as an explanation to your sickabed ways?

    Worth a thought…

  316. i never saw jenks get skinned..
    i saw him caught out with his positioning a few times but not skinned
    clichy used to get skinned..

    and i think your being too petty with the looking up…crosses aint pinpoint..their zonal..onrushing players make it difficult to pinpoint a cross..like a corner..just put it in a good zone..the players movement will get him on the end of it..
    if theirs nobody there then thats cos of lack of attackers not cos the crossers didnt look up..

  317. JJ,

    fuck me sideways, Jack had played nearly 50 games in the last season and by Wenger’s own admission, he was ‘in the red zone’ fatigue wise, yet he was still selected because Fabregas was having one of these mystery ‘injuries’…

    did you see how jaded he looked back then?

    of course, he got that injury between the seasons, but the injury was still fatigue related…

  318. I don’t know what you are doing on here SUGA3. Why bother trotting out your usual position. Everybody knows that you hate Wenger, and you want change. What you don’t tell us is how confident you are how that change would deliver results. You accuse all of us as being deluded, but how can your assessment of any change be objective. You would have to point to somebody with a track record of trophies with a similar budget to ours. Moreover, you would have to demonstrate that this somebody had overachieved against opponents with up to twice the budget. There is no other manager in world football who has done this. You can point to Mourinho, but his budget at Chelsea would probably have kept the chief executive of Goldman Sachs quite busy. You can point to Harry Rednapp, but bar his current high place in the league, the only trophy he won with Portsmouth coincided with them nearly going into administration, as he spent over £100 million.

    The halcyon days are over. We have to wake up. We can relive the moments of 2003-2004 on DVD and treasure the memories, but how realistic is it to believe that we will ever again have 5, 6, 7 truly world class players in our team ? i.e. the best players in the world in their positions – Cole, Henry, Pires, Campbell, Lehmann, Bergkamp, Vieiria. How realistic is that now ? I’ll tell you how. It is cloud cuckoo land. A fairy tale. Can you believe that we managed to sign somebody of the ilk of Robert Pires in 1998 – a world cup winner around the age of 25. A similar player now would cause a massive scramble amongst all the elite clubs in europe, and would have been tapped long in advance anyway. A case in point, Eden Hazard. A player who is young, but apparently valued at €40 million by Lille. He is not even mature, but it is inevitable that he won’t be coming to us. We have lost our advantage in the french market. Every man and leur chien is there; Newcastle, the italian clubs, the spanish clubs, Chelsea, Manchester United. The game is up. Finis.

    What do you want ? Should we enter the spending race ? Or do you just want to nitpick about supposedly available players who could do better than the current crop of scapegoats ? So you are probably advocating 25 quality internationals. 2 players in every position. So, like Manchester City ? We live in a world of limitations. If it is as easy as all you guys say it is, we would be riding high on the top of the league. As it is, we have 10 players injured. Granted, they are not all key, and our squad does have weaknesses. Actually, I wouldn’t say they were weaknesses. They are just not as strong as some of the other clubs with more financial power.

    If you go on believing that we will capture the dominance of 2002, 2004. Or that the landscape of the premiership is unchanged from 2004 then you will be coming on here for a very long time, trotting our the same arguments, with the usual prejudices. Maybe Wenger will eventually go. A successor will come in, and you will be initially enthralled, but then the limitations and disappointments will set in again. The bottom line is money. You can have an inspirational manager, good tactics – but they would have to perform utter miracles to dominate against teams if their budgets are hundreds of millions below. Look at the evidence. The odd team can perform well – like Spurs, like Porto (under Mourinho), but inspiration will only take you so far.

  319. yes, crossing is zonal, but what is the point of making that cross if there is no one there?

  320. Jenkinson was handling his baptism of fire very well until he got injured. His League 1 tekkers bailed us out plenty of times. He will be a fine player. Great lad too. Fairytale stuff. Only a complete scumbag would start blaming Carl Jenkinson for Tottenham’s momentary elevation above the Arsenal. Get a grip.

  321. If a zonal cross lands in an empty box, does anyone hear it bounce?

    Or – more pertinently – if a wind-up tosser spends 48hrs fishing for bites on a forum – does it make him a giant, unwelcome waste of time and space?

  322. Muppet,

    I have to say that it is good to hear an actual argument from you 😉

    what I am advocating is getting rid of the few players who take up the squad spaces and replacing them with solid professionals, not necessarily world beaters, but players who can be called upon, not just when the injury situation is dire, but also to give these first choice world beaters a breather, which is not something we have been able to do for a few years, simply because Wenger likes his vicious circle:

    – playing the same group of players because the backups are shit
    – running them into the ground or exposing to much greater risk of sustaining an impact injury in the process
    – once we run out of the first choices, we call upon the backups who lack match fitness, understanding with the rest of the team as well as the confidence
    – dropping points and losing KO games as a result, given that these usually occur when the first choice players are already out

    I don’t care if we win zip, what I do care about is seeing the effort, I don’t want to see the passengers (you know who you are)…

  323. Limpar,

    fuck off you melt

  324. SUGA

    Don’t act precious. If you can’t take the heat, etc.

  325. Good luck ‘debating’ with the circular, anti-sense machine there, Muppet. It’ll be totally edifying, forward-driving and worthwhile!

  326. YW,

    well, I am only voicing my feelings towards Limpar, whom I have always considered to be a melt, not a lot wrong with that, is there?

  327. and where did I say Jenkinson was to blame for anything? I feel for the poor lad, it is Wenger’s fault for buying him to be a second choice RB for us, plain and simple!

  328. Great stuff Muppet.

  329. Peeps have a look at this on twitter ,funny as

    BlackSnoodAFC1 BlackSnoodAFC

  330. My only wish is for players to get healthy. If we can get Sagna and Santos back that will make a huge difference along with TV. Hopefully the former two will not take too long to get match fit. I don’t see a better set of defenders in the world.

  331. seeing as though the fb is the last line of the field, when he makes that run up the field its naturall to assume hes not alone seeing as though hes run from the back..

    his jobs to cross it..if nobodies their it aint his fualt and theres zero point running the full length of the pitch to stop and turn back or do nothing with it..thats the problem we had last year..

    get it in the box..someone should be there..if they aint hes got the right to kick them in the bollox..seeing as though hes run the length of the pitch and they only have to run in the box..

  332. Santos is said to be out until March-April, the only hope is Gibbs staying fit in excess on 15 minutes…

    Sagna is not too far off and neither is TV…

  333. It’s not the heat of the kitchen, it’s that obnoxious smell.

  334. JJ,

    I know you want the local lad to do well, trust me, so so I, but I have to disagree here: running the length and automatically crossing it is just mindless, one-dimensional headless chicken nonsense…

    in this situation, crossing with purpose (i.e. seeing that someone has a chance of getting on the end of that) is what sorts the top players from those who make up the numbers, do we want players who do the latter?

    we have got enough of these as it is, wouldn’t you agree?

  335. Limpar,

    did not want to tell you this, but now that you mention it, you should definitely wash more often…

  336. if hes crossing it into an empty box then thats the fault of the attackers..
    like i say..a fb should never be the furthest man up the pitch..
    its not headless chicken…its really a lack of attacking threat..

  337. JJ,

    we have witnessed about a million of crosses from Sagna and Clichy that would never really go anywhere, you reckon the attackers don’t bother going into the box, knowing that the cross is likely to be shit anyway?

    and also, who is to fight for these high balls, RvP? I could go on about his numerous abilities, but aerial prowess is just not amongst them 😉

    yes, I agree, FB should not be the man furthest up the pitch, but what if he is? do we lose the ball and blame the attackers? of course we don’t, even the stats would reflect that as a failed pass/cross or interception by the opposition…

  338. i dont know what stops them all getting into the box..but its obvious at times theres not enough of them piling in..
    maybe apart from robin nobody has that predator instinct..
    we have seen alot of poor crosses over the years..watching jenks cross it is like a breath of fresh air..santos too…

    to be honest you raise a good point about robin..but i think he does have aerial prowess..you watch him defending corners and he clears loads for us..he gets on the end of them defending..so its wierd he doesnt really score from them up the other end..

  339. Great post today, Yogi and Ricky. One might say it, and the new-heading, were prescient, given the (ahem) interesting comments that have followed from some of our occasional visitors today.

    A topic came up yesterday, in passing, and I would like to come back to it: we have tended to ship goals in bunches this season. I think a big factor in that has been a lack of on-the-pitch leadership and maturity. At times – and Sunday afternoon was one of those times – we badly miss having one or more players who not only can sense when we are starting to get into trouble, but also, more importantly, have the ability to get us back on course. TV5 is, I think, one of those players. Arteta is another. I don’t think that either, individually, has the powers of a Vieira in that respect, but together and with a few others, I think they have the ability to influence matches in this way. RVP has been fantastic all season and shown leadership far beyond what I thought he was capable of, but I don’t think he has this quality.

    I believe we are lacking in this area because Wenger is a crap manager and should be sacked immediately. (Oops, sorry, I thought is was SUGA3 for a moment there.)

    Arguably, we have been lacking in this area for a few years, partly because we seemed to lose some of our better players every summer, partly because I think AW was reluctant to block the path of the promising young players by bringing in older, more mature players, and partly because, at least for a few years, we couldn’t afford them.

    The recruitment policy last August appeared to represent a change of tack. Whereas before we had the occasional recruitment of a TV5 or AA, this summer we brought in Mertesacker, Arteta, Benayoun, Santos and Park – all with significant club and, in most cases, international experience. In many respects, it has helped, but it is not enough.

    It is this need for leadership and maturity, I think, that makes recruitment more complicated. Arguably, our players over the past few years have been good enough to win trophies, but they have lacked sufficient leadership (and perhaps some of the elusive “mental strength”) to overcome some of the obstacles we have encountered. My hope is that if we do buy anyone this month, they have these qualities.

  340. ‘I believe we are lacking in this area because Wenger is a crap manager and should be sacked immediately. (Oops, sorry, I thought is was SUGA3 for a moment there.)’

    we are getting somewhere, soon, you will not be apologising for this 😆

    ‘The recruitment policy last August appeared to represent a change of tack. Whereas before we had the occasional recruitment of a TV5 or AA, this summer we brought in Mertesacker, Arteta, Benayoun, Santos and Park – all with significant club and, in most cases, international experience. In many respects, it has helped, but it is not enough. ‘

    players in bold letters were panic deadline day buys made as a result of getting embarrassed by ManYoo, without even conducting medicals, some revolutionary shift in policy, this…

  341. JJ,

    dunno why this is the case, headed goals and attacking play are just not his thing, just like it was not Henry’s…

  342. dont you just love it when people give names of players we should buy and giving it as bible truth that they will succeed at the club?

    Some of the best players we have had have come on the cheap like Cesc and Kolo Toure, RVP is also standout as were the likes of Flamini and Clichy. Buying big doesnt necessarily mean that a team will win, if anything, it took ages for Inter spending huge chunks before they started dominating, Madrid have been spending like bonkers and have last seasons Kings cup to show for years of overinvestment in an underschieving side. Barca? Mismanaged under Laporta, but when you look at their side and how much talent comes from the academy, it is hard to see why they throw cash tryinfg to get other players in that they dont necessarily need.

    As for Arsenal, i would say we need another left back for the mere reason that we cannot depend on Gibbs to be fit for extended periods.
    We need another midfielder because Diaby and Rosicky are not going to be available for first team selection for huge swathes of the season.
    We need a forward that may be able to play wide so that the numbers in the two positions tally up with what is needed for a consistent run.

    I may not be pissed or even worried if we dont invest this window…….the true test comes at the end of the season. i look at a team like United, and they know that they cannot rely on a guy like Ferdinand to be fit the whole season or play week in week out, so they are stacked when it comes to CB’s. it would be great to see us apply some of that reasoning when it comes to purchases……Rosicky may be off at the end of the season, as may be Benayoun. Arshavin???? Big fan, but we have to be realistic, if we get a reasonable bid, get rid of his huge wage payments and get someone that can push the starters for first team places either from within or buy someone at a reasonable fee.
    As for Diaby, he hasnt really played footie that has been out of this world even when he had a good run in the team, depending on him with all the injuries he has is also somewhat hit and miss.

    We have a good core that only needs limited investment, forget about the 7 to 8 players that Suga mentions, i say bring in players in the areas that are needed and we are ok. A left back may not be urgent, but it may be needed, bring in an extra midfielder because the past few seasons we havent been able to rotate with all the injuries we have had, and it is a recurrent theme this season. bring in a front man that can play either wide or central and end up killing two birds with one stone.

    Finally, get rid of some of the contracts we have. Almunia and Rosicky’s end this year, i am not a fan of the idea that we renew either. Squillaci hasnt done much for us this year, and Arshavin is on a huge wage and he isnt delivering at current moment. Nick Bendtner doesnt even want to be here next season. if we can in one way or another can some of the huge contracts that weigh us down we might have a bit more in terms of transfer market funds.

    Finally, we cannot have the transactions done as they have been in previous years. We tend to haggle, haggle, and haggle to no end. Two seasons ago we had the opportunity to sign Chris Smalling, We were talking with Fulham about a possible move and we took so long that United snapped him up for a fee that today looks an absolute bargain despite the fact that we needed him more.
    This season, we messed up the Ricardo Alvarez deal. a friend of mine was soo mad he found it hard to put it in words…….and all for less than two million quid. he is a player that has started showing immense quality at Inter, again, absolute bargain for what they bought him for. his was a deal that even the Palermo president thought was done, but something that many thought would take a few days went on for a week, then two and Inter stepped in and completed the deal in a few days. we sometimes shoot ourselves in the foot.

    We also cannot do things last minute as we did this season. had we the players we now have at day one we would have been much better of…..way better off.

    So near, yet so far…….that is what i sometimes feel, and as JJ said two days ago, having a big pool of players to choose from is a far smaller problem than not having players to choose from. one of the best quotes i have seen in a while.

  343. If you see a yank business man come in to your club and just wants to take money out and has no ambition, well be optimistic!

  344. Cheers Jonny, George.

    Limpar – yes, pulling teeth.

  345. Well there’s a new dentist’s chair in town for you to sit in whilst the extraction takes place


  346. Thank you for your most kind and really wonderful review. I was knocked out.

    I am forwarding the link to all the AISA committee, and my fellow authors working on the Woolwich history.

    Again, a million thanks.

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