Cash Is King As Calf Becomes The New Hamstring

There’s a big match this match weekend and being Arsenal, there’s a minor injury crisis erupting across the back pages. The truth of the matter is yet to be revealed but Mikel Arteta and Thomas Vermaelen have been joined on the sidelines by Thierry Henry. It seems that the calf strain is the new hamstring in the injury world.

Which means the highly improbable departure of Andrey Arshavin to Lazio definitely won’t be happening before the weekend. With Gervinho on international duty, even the most fervent Arshavin detractors will admit that there is insufficient cover to replace the Russian.

There are calls for young Oxlade-Chamberlain to be given a place in the starting line-up and whilst there is merit in the idea, there is too much risk attached to this notion. The youngster is full of promise and I would like to see more him in action for Arsenal. But there is a clamour for a top four finish; is it fair to put the weight of expectations onto such callow shoulders? Those who demand this are often the same who chastise the manager for the youthful policy. It is very much a chicken and egg situation; we think he’s good enough but won’t know until the risk is taken but are not in a position to take the risk even though we want the rewards.

Injury may force Wenger’s hand on this but for the moment, if – and it is a big IF – Arshavin is to leave, I doubt it will be until the summer. Indeed, I suspect that this is not on the agenda until the contracts for Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott are resolved. Even then, a player described by the manager as ‘efficient’ recently hardly seems a candidate for an imminent departure.

Finances are top of the agenda at the moment, or more importantly how much has Arsène got to spend and why won’t  he spend it. Confidante Antony Kastrinakis now of The Sun fame believes Wenger will shun the opportunity to fritter any of the transfer war chest accumulated. The basis for this is a strong sense of deja vu, a rerun of the Old Trafford massacre. That is what they want; the noxious nostrils of mediahounds have the scent of blood and they will do their utmost to get it.

It is purely speculation of course. None of us knows what is happening behind the scenes; that is the Arsenal way. The silence allows a stench of supposition to permeate, entrenching views. Come the end of this month, I am unconvinced that there will be additions. I am not convinced that Arsène believes they are necessary with all of the injured returning to fitness in the coming weeks. The real issue how many of them can sustain their return with the club’s history pockmarked with niggles and strains following prolonged absences.

The manager’s cause is not helped by the words of his Chairman. In his pet paper – one that is not averse to turning and biting the hand that feeds, PHW is no Barbara Woodhouse – he has re-iterated the financial planning that has gone on with what-if modelling omitting Champions League cash.

Whimsey observed also that Arsenal were “hanging on in there” in the race for a top four spot. Honest yes but I am sure that the manager is thinking that with friends like that, who needs enemies? Observations that it would be nice if we qualified every year are misinterpreted as a lack of ambition but are in fact, his use of the English language, the old school way, rather than being as he would see it, gauche. It just does not help though.

Change is being demanded; change of attitudes, change of players, change of leaders. Change is seen as the panacea to all of the Arsenal ills. Some change is needed somewhere but be careful what you wish for. The changes you least want are the ones that often happen.

Chances to close gaps have been spurned and frankly, Arsenal cannot afford to waste any opportunities which may arise with the fixtures of coming weeks, not just their own but those of rivals.

Over on the ACLF sister site Arsenal On This Day is a cheery venture to 1960, if you feel at all despondent.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on January 18, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 275 Comments.

  1. It’s just too soon to know where we are going.

    We could be about to blossom into a butterfly.

    We could be in it deep.

    We won’t know until about September I reckon.

  2. So PHW is back talking about bits from the self sustaining model? Well it kinda works one way these days with no investment in the team but the owners pocketing the change. Ok maybe there’s no single sugar dady bankroling the huge wages of diaby and manuel but there are 60 000 people every week paying increased percentages to watch a weaker and weaker squad each year. Talk about a self destructing model

  3. Morning YW. Thoughtful and insightful piece, as ever. Injuries are the only blight on my Arsenal support these days and another couple before the Manure return bout is just a sickening if unsurprising event. They will be catching us in another trough in what looks like a real roller coaster season.
    Lucky Arsenal? Hardly.

  4. Can anybody remeber the last time we got the opportunity to play Man u with anyhting approaching our 1st choice 11?

  5. a few good results over some weaker teams did pappered the cracks but honestly even the staunch wenger faithfulls like myself had doubts deep down. we are one injury away from a complete disaster. if rvp is the next victim of this new calf mystry, i am sure everyone knows where we’ll end up come may.
    do you know who to blame?

  6. Having TV, Sagna and Arteta available for the game on Sunday would be massive, so cross everything, pray, do whatever you think is helpful.

    Great post again YW, a voice of calm and reason amongst the vocal minority who appear like magic after every defeat.

    After reading through yesterday’s comment section – I have also come to the conclusion that you have tolerance level’s beyond the typical human being.

  7. Why do you feel the need to blame anyone RC?

    That is half the problem with element’s of our so called ‘support’ these days – the Black Scarf idiot’s and LeTwat.

    They always have to have someone to blame when they perceive things to be not to their requirements.

    It’s part and parcel of the whole ‘we have to win everygame, spend some money, sign every good player on Football Manager or You Tube’ mentality.

    Team’s get bad luck with inuries – fact.

    Team’s get bad decisions – fact.

    Team’s don’t win every game – fact. (well apart from us in 2004)

    Team’s don’t always play well every game – fact.

    But that is what makes football so great and enjoyable to watch – we don’t have it half bad being Arsenal supporters you know, people should realise that and enjoy it while it lasts.

  8. I saw United play Bolton and felt there was something weak about their team. Im hoping we start the game with a no holds barred attitude. A 2-1 score isn’t a stretch is it?

  9. Not at all – Utd. have their injury problems too.

    There is no reason to fear the game on Sunday, we are more than capable of beating them.

  10. Morning Yogi.
    PHW is at it again. I agree with Cbob. The situation at arsenal could conceivably go either way at this moment. We as fans should be optimistic, but I hope the management take a more realism based approach, which they seem to have done to some extent,considering PHW’s assertion that we’ve been planing for dropping out of the CL every season. At this point though, I would prefer a more proactive approach, were we actually invest more than we normally do in improving the squad. The Mancs and Chelsea maybe out of our league, but there is no reason why we can’t compete with the likes of Liverpool, Spurs and Newcastle in the transfer market. Like JJ said, having a squad that is too big is a better problem to have than the current alternative.

    Steww,
    What do you mean by this: “Injuries are the only blight on my Arsenal support these days…”

  11. Unfortunately if we lose I don’t think I can stomach the I told you so in the comments. There seems to be a section of the Arsenal support that gets a kick out of us losing. Especially back here in Kenya. Its sickening.

  12. It’s not just there in Kenya RW – we have a vocal minority here who love it when we lose – which is strange considering they claim to love Arsenal and talk about the club so much.

  13. @ Matt, Have you ever noticed how they always start a verbal tirade against the club by stating how much they love the club. So weird.

  14. Anyone who gets a kick out of us losing… even the slightest of kicks isn’t a fan. They may think they are but they are just around for the good times, or waiting for more good times.

    Its quite sad really.

    Anyway, I have a goooood feeling TV and Arteta will make it back for United. We need a win, this is a sort of make or break with regards to our title aspirations certainly (if they aren’t finished already), and catching up for a top 4 finish.

    We could lose and go on to still get in the top 4 or 3… its possible. But I don’t want to think of that. IF we win, it could set us up nicely for the end of the season.

    Wilshire is returning, Sagna, Jenkinson, Santos??.. Gervinho & Chamakh to return from the african nations.. Gibbs is approaching a comeback too. Who’s to say what could happen with so many players returning. We should all stay positive and get behind the team because we showed great consistency after our crisis early in the season.

  15. @ reality check – blame for where we are now?

    For the most part I would blame the vicissitudes of life. We have had getting on for 4 years of appalling injuries. It’s not the whole picture and not all injuries were unavoidable but, my goodness, the level of true rotten fortune has been so far beyond any reasonable measure of comparison it is almost impossible to overstate. Unheralded levels of bad luck have crippled us season after season. Wenger must have killed a fucking Albatross.

    Second on the list would be the way the summer was handled. We won’t know the truth behind the scenes until Wenger publishes a biography (perhaps not even then) but, from here, it did seem awfully mismanaged. I feel Wenger got a few things very wrong but whatever the truth the disastrous start to the season has given us little room for manoeuvre now.

    I would not have let Fabregas leave. He may well have promised Fab that he could last summer but that always had to be based on receiving a fair deal. Barca instead treated us like cunts and we should have made that clear to Fab and placed ALL of the blame on them. It is not our fault that they were claiming to be too broke to afford his asking price. FFS The cost could have been spread out over the next 5 years, if need be. This should have been explained to all parties and nipped in the bud – a deadline set for an agreeable offer – thereafter there should have been no discussion with either party. We had all the cards and yet we ended up selling late and cheap – a misery which was confirmed and compounded with Barca showing their class gloating in our faces.

    In final analysis Fabregas was treated more like a son than a prized employee and I think he would have been professional about it, if it had been handled well. The fact that Wenger pushed the deal through shows how blurred the professional relationship had become. It may work in our favour that youngsters see Wenger as a father figure but, in this instance, it seemed to cut both ways. I’d rather he had put the club ahead of his foster son’s feelings.

    Anywho leave he did and from there the summer got very messy very quickly.

    I’ll stop there – I still think we can get 4th but we need a change of luck. As Cbob alluded we are on a knife edge at the moment and it is too early to say where we will be come the summer.

    Beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?

  16. Jabba's Delights

    Matt

    Should teams with the ”best manager in the world” ample resources and by far the most expensively assembled youth setup on earth show improvement over a 4 year period in any major category?

    ”Team’s get bad luck with injuries – fact.

    Team’s get bad decisions – fact.

    Team’s don’t win every game – fact. (well apart from us in 2004)

    Team’s don’t always play well every game – fact.

    But that is what makes football so great and enjoyable to watch – we don’t have it half bad being Arsenal supporters you know, people should realise that and enjoy it while it lasts.”

    Its just such a tripe set of comments. Why should fans just accept demise of their team when much of it is self inflicted. Are we lagging behind everyone this year as they are so much better and richer than us or becuase of miss management. If you can put forward a plausible argument as to how we’ve been well managed and coached over the last year i would love to see it. Go tell the paying fans that old trafford, ewood park, liverpool, olyimpiacos, fulham and swansea was a rollercoaster. Effort, dicipline, coaching and talent were lacking………….and they shouldnt be by this stage in the process.

    Have you seen how our hugely expensively assmbled youth teams have been doing compared to other clubs? what about the reserves? how about the first team in the last 12 months. There is somethign quite clearly wrong at the club at the moment and the manager needs to stop making excuses for himself and players and find a solution like hugley experienced incredibly well paid executive should do.

    If no striker is signed and rvp gets injured the manager should be sent to court and you dotn need to have spent 1 second in football to have known that.

  17. Jonny 12.01
    Excellent post!

  18. Jabba the hutt

    Van Persie
    Chamakh
    Park

    + Henry – but I won’t count him for arguments sake as we started the season with 3.

    3 international forwards for 1 position, plus Wenger sometimes uses Walcott when need be in that position.

    The South korean is a big hit over there, he was brought in as 3rd choice and maybe Wenger isn’t too pleased with what hes seeing right now. The premier league may be a step too far for him, or Arsenal may be even.

    Chamakh has been a disaster and Wenger was hardly going to replace him after a few months last season of bad form. Unfortunately he hasn’t been the same player since.

    Van Persie is possibly the best CF in the game at this moment in time. Who can you attract to sit on the bench knowing they ain’t gonna play if hes fit ? Not anyone of quality anyway, maybe you want to get Nasri back in on 180k to sit there…

    What is your solution, seen as our executive manager is doin f all in your books.

  19. Arsene has one flaw,And it has royally fucked up the team.
    He thinks that other people will show the same loyalty to him and the club that he has shown toward them.
    I am going to re-post some work from the mighty Muppet from last evening.Sorry if you have already seen it.(it should make even stupid people stop and think)

    ” 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.”

    Finally if we all could maintain Bob’s calmness ,the infighting which blights the fan base would disappear overnight.Some poster on ACLF leave you with a feeling that all could be right in the world ,with just a little work from us.

  20. Arsene Wenger-Tottenham legend

    You guys should persist with the legend Wenger for the next three seasons. We dont want a change of manager.He is the best person to be in charge of you,arseholes

  21. Islington gooner

    Matt the point is utd look a average side and have just as many injuries as us and look whete they are.Every year we make the same excuses about injury.

    I would have agreed with your post a couple of years a go and maybe even last year,but we cant keep saying the same thing year after year.I agree le twat talks crap and i wouldnt go along with the name calling and so called know it all people they have on there,but something has to change.

  22. “Are we lagging behind everyone this year as they are so much better and richer than us or becuase of miss management”

    are we not only lagging behind 4 teams rather than everybody? of which 3 are considerable richer than us, 2 of whom are on their way towards spending a £billion and 3 that have ignored any sort of financial responsibility for years

  23. This game has come too soon for us with area likely missing we are in deep Shit because that man’s sense of position is second to none and together with song have done a great job in protecting that back 5. Mertasaker has been the player looking most out of sorts of the new arrivals for me often looking clumsy at best.
    How is it we have no fit full backs it really beggars belief.

    Anything other than a defeat would be welcome on Sunday also for the spuds getting a resounding spanking would go down well.

  24. Arsene Wenger-Tottenham legend

    Man City away is a tough proposition.Hopefully, we will grab atleast a point to stay ahead of the arseholes at the Emirates

  25. Thanks very much. We will. And yes – he is.

    Odd who knew a Spud could be so agreeable?

  26. I’d say you’d be ahead even if you lose that game at City. But yes, jolly good luck with that.

  27. Islington gooner

    Arsene Wenger must be a tottenham legend for going there and winning the league unbeaten at shyte hart lane.It must of been a joy for you seeing us pick up the trophy for being the best team the premiership has ever seen.

  28. Arsene Wenger-Tottenham legend

    Jonny,why ‘you’?
    Dont we all support the greatest team in North London, Tottenham?

  29. I feel that manusa are ripe for the taking.

    But, and this is a HUGE “but”, our lads have to want this really, really badly.

    Manusa this year are seriously sh!t, what keeps them winning and drawing is the inherent belief at that club that they simply have to win, that the world somehow owes it to them.

    It infests every fibre of that club’s DNA, and it is thoroughly unpleasant at the best of times.

    However, we seem to lack enough of that incessant drive, that belief that we simply cannot lose.

    I wouldn’t like us to be as obnoxious as manusa, but I would like to see more drive and determination in some of the “lower profile” games.

    Far too many times in recent previous seasons we’ve seen an apparent lack of commitment against perceived “lesser” opposition, the tapping off after scoring a goal instead of going for the kill, the attitude that “someone else” will put in the shift.

    I thought we’d got over that post the sold trashford debacle, but it was sitting there, stinking the place up on the pitch against Swansea (the Fulham game was a different scenario imo).

    We have struggle to make the best of our opportunities to score for a while now, but I’m not so sure that’s purely down to personnel.

    I think Wenger’s approach to subs and rotation has a lot to do with it, and I would also hazard an uneducated guess that our training regime is contributing somehow.

    We do have class players, I just wish Wenger would do smaller and more frequent rotations rather than squeezing the last drops of blood out of a few and then doing wholesale rotation in perceived “unimportant” games.

    I’m sorry, but that’s a recipe for disaster imo. it shows a sh!t attitude to the squad, and forces out of form or players needing game time to play together, instead of allowing players who need time or form to play with players who are on song, giving them a better chance to get up to speed instead of the whole team on the pitch struggling.

    I also think this insistence on “patience” on the pitch can swing the wrong way, and often does imo.

    It’s all very well to wait for the opposition to tire or make a mistake, but imo I’ve seen that morph into a slapgat attitude on more than just a few occassions as well.

    Likewise, others have pointed out that there are too many passengers in our squad. Diaby is more Hleb than Vieira, but he is an excellent player – when he’s on the pitch.

    We have a few others, but basically it’s all very well saying you have 25 players, but not if a large chunk of those are more often than not unavailable.

    Then you’ve actually got a squad of about 15-20 at best.

    all that said, if we can get at least Vermaelen and Arteta (Sagna would be a dream) back for this one (as well as our hunger and self-belief), then we should win this.

    I believe we have a better team than manusa, it’s a question of whether our players want it enough, and believe that they are better.

    I don’t think PHW’s comments have been accurately reflected in the media, but I don’t think they should have been given the chance to twist them in the first place.

  30. Islington gooner

    71 never again springs to mind!!!! Thanks Arsene you tottenham legend.

  31. Arsene Wenger-Tottenham legend

    Lets sing together

    Come on You Spurs

  32. Nope my half-brother is a Spud though. I’m relatively sanguine about it all.

    Not sure why you’re here though, if you feel like trolling today, you’ll get a much warmer reception over at Le Grove.

    Bless.

  33. YW – nice write up, again.

    Matt
    “They always have to have someone to blame when they perceive things to be not to their requirements.”

    Agree……but there is another segment of supporter.

    How many times do we witness comments (after a disappointing result) where the blame is deflected at players that didn’t start? and after a string of poor results, conversation is focused on those constantly unavailable.

    If we struggle to score why are we bashing any defenders?

    If you support the manager, then why question who is on the 25 man roster. Isn’t he in the best position to make final decisions? This is not intended to infer that our manager is always correct.

    If you don’t support the manager – thats your choice.

    The manager and team have a mountain to climb. We must accept injuries and move on with those available.

    We defeated ManU last May without Cesc. We beat Chelsea this season without him. The absence of Cesc is not at issue.

    Our manager needs to get the best from those that are available.

    What our team needs to display is more consistency.
    Better distribution and patience from the goal keeper.
    Midfield showing better ball management – ball retention.
    Better decision making and concentration by the more forward players.
    Make our set plays more threatening to our opponents.

    CB is right in his evaluation above – we are at a cross roads and time will define our future.

    For the moment, we should be giving those on the field of battle our unconditional support.

  34. You seem to take a negative twist on everything, you should mind your blood pressure. Your comment seemingly criticising the use of the word ‘efficient’ has not been thought through. If the player is for sale, AW is hardly going to say he’s lost his touch, pace and vision is he? Also, surely there needs to be an interested buyer and not just a made up newspaper story.

  35. Spurs have not won the league for 50 years,that’s five zero years!
    They think they have a chance this year(they don’t)but you cant blame them for wetting their knickers a little.

  36. Oh and, get behind your team if you’re a fan.

  37. If Vermaelen is fit he’ll likely start at right-back. Rosicky-Song-Ramsey looks to me the strongest (only?) midfield we can go with if Arteta is out. I’d also stick with Arshavin on the left.

    I wonder if United will field 8 defenders again.

  38. Funny stuff on twitter.
    “BlackSnoodAFC1 BlackSnoodAFC
    We need a January signing, Arshavin gave us a massive boost in 2009. If we sell Dead wood like Arshavin the funds are there #LazyRussian”

  39. Rumour is both TV and Arteta look likely to be fit. Normally I’d say don’t risk it but not sure if we have that luxury…

  40. Personally I wouldn’t mind seeing Miquel and Yennaris getting more time on the pitch, I think they’ve done very well so far.

    I also quite like the suggestion that Arshavin could play a more creative role in the centre, but quite frankly I think Wenger sees some issues with that and so we will probably not see it any time soon.

  41. Jabba's Delights

    ChrisGoona

    I expect the manager to start seeing the obvious Christopher

    Davuid Healy is an international striker, what matters is that a striker is of cl quality and fits in our system nothing else

    Chamack a player we chased for ages has never been a good goal scorer and the fact that 80% of his goals came from headers should have alerted Arsene he might not be suited to our game unless he god forbid changed the teams tactics at times…he also never played up front on his own……………..hmmmmm good management?

    Park was an okay player for a team that got relegated last year, he also has never been prolific in the french league and never played upfront on his own…….hmmm, arsene if your goign to be the most rigid tactical manager on earth maybe just fucking maybe you should have some players up front who can play to your rigid tactics other than rvp.

    The stats are shocking

    9 players used in the 3 forward positions this year have scored 38 goals in 32 games between them with 22 (57%) of them coming from one player. So between the other 8 forwards we have very expensively assempled in our squad they have scored between them 16 goals in 32 games 2 each if you were struggling after 32 games of football. When you consider the premium any 433 or 4231 formation places on its forwards scoring you will relaise that our statistics are devastatingly poor. The fact that without him and sometimes even with him we struggle to hit the back of the net consistently should smash our fricking world class manager in the face as to a reason why he needs another forward and especially one capable of playing the rvp role.

    Teams that win things or really really challenge unitl the later stages have incredibly strong squads. RVP as told by our manager was close to the ”red zone” all xmas and yet we then started him and finshed him in every game. He was woeful aaginst, qpr, wolves and ful and missed a plethora of chances and lacked energy….he was knackered. Our form after cl as been even worse this year………….would it not make sense to have midfielders and attackers who can come in and contribute and actually win us points??????

    Rosicky, Diaby, Chamack, Park do nothign of the sort.

  42. Arsesession.good post
    Re what is needed ,yes ,but I think Arsene already knows that.

  43. Henristic – my phrasing was somewhat tortuous. What I meant was the only thing I’m truly miserable about in relation to supporting Arsenal is our horrendous luck with injuries.

  44. Jabba – I hope the rope you choose isn’t too long.

  45. Steww,I will provide it for him .No problem.And kick the chair away.

  46. Who’s this ‘Miss Management’? I want to blame them, but need to know who they are first…

  47. Jabba's Delights

    George

    It must be painful being wornf about the club you love so often. The manager keeps making you look really really stupid

    Hows Diaby getting on??

  48. Having GIbbs, Diaby, Rosicky out for periods isnt poor luck, its expected. Has happened like clockwork for years.

    Expecting none of our fullbacks to suffer setbacks is a huge risk

    Expecting Wilshere to continue bossing games in a new position, without any set backs is a huge risk

    Hoping VP stays fit and on form for a whole season is a huge risk

    Hoping a second tier korean striker takes to the EPL perfectly is a huge risk

    Hoping a striker we dont use, or play to his strengths returns to the club after a year long goal drought confident and in form is a huge risk

    We have taken such gambles across a variety of issues for 3 years, not once has it even come close to paying off

    All the while we have the transfer fees and wage space sat in the bank from having sold two of three world class players last summer

    It baffles me how the apologists can see the same car crash year after year and reel out the same list of excuses.

    We were great before Wenger, we will be great long after he is gone.

  49. Jabbas back…looong time..oh thats right we were winning till 2 games ago!!!

  50. Fackin ell – this is getting miserable and Suga is not even here.

    Roll on Sunday…

  51. Jonny

    The media back home is doing the same thing as some Arsenal fans with the Fletcher out..

    Waiting for the “in fletcher we rust” ..that would be something eh 😀

  52. news..

    Wellington Silva has seen his disastrous spell with Levante come to an end, with the Brazilian loanee subsequently joining Spanish second division side Alcoyano on loan for the remainder of the season.

    Fellow Brazilian Pedro Botelho, who is likely to leave loan club Rayo Vallecano shortly, was arrested last Sunday for traffic offences. The incident, which saw the left sided player reverse into an unmarked police car and fail a breathalyser test, is likely to be the death knell as far his time at the Spanish club is concerned.

  53. Jonny, were we planning on bringing Botelho back as cover?

  54. “Change is being demanded; change of attitudes, change of players, change of leaders. Change is seen as the panacea to all of the Arsenal ills. Some change is needed somewhere but be careful what you wish for. The changes you least want are the ones that often happen.”

    I enjoy reading your blog but come on, how could ‘change’ bring anything worse than the current ‘year in year out’ impasse? The annual spectacle of a collapsing defence and ever so slowly shrinking ambition of this club. We are treading water.

    Answer me this question:

    Are you satisfied that the club is going in the right direction?

  55. Flint McCullough

    Good piece YW but you do always have it in for PHW. He appears to be saying “shit can happen but the world keeps turning”, which pretty much sums up our current situation to me. See todays entry in the excellent Arsenal On This Day (afchistory.wordpress.com)to see some of the deeper deppressing possibilities.

    Pedantic G reposts a Muppett comment hitting the nail right on the head.

    For now AW has to prove that he can still motivate what he has & get some real quality in as soon as the opportunity arises.

    A OC , don’t really see the risk in playing the youngster when the alternatives simply don’t give us enough. AA is as likely to cost a goal as create one, QED v Swansea.

  56. @Copernicus

    How very copernican of you, sorry could not resist 😀

    The thing is I am a regular reader as well and judging from the comments most people I think feel the following way-

    1. Are we happy not winning titles? no of course not, we would love to

    2. Can somethings have been done differently? Yes definitely, perfection is a target never achieved and at times we are quite far away.

    3. Is it tougher now for a self sustaining club to compete and win titles? Certainly

    4. Do we want a change of business model? I dont, and some others here too, I feel this is the right way, and a few years of sacrifice is sometimes needed to guarantee longevity and success in the long term

    5. Do I think lots of clubs will suffer with the spend, spend, spend mentality? I think most clubs will go down or find themselves in untenable positions sooner rather than later

    6. Lastly and Crucially, do I think the criticism of Arsene Wenger is justified? Considering all that we have achieved over the last 15 years, its just plain wrong, and we are privileged to have had a manager who has put the club before his individual success and ego, and he must be treated with the greatest respect

  57. @anirudh Must be very difficult being a foreign manager in India – can’t imagine Fletch is going to get long to turn things round!

    That said it has been two woeful tours in a row – if he lasts till the domestic tests things will be a bit easier.

    India are coming to the end of an era anyway – going to be interesting to watch them try to replace their ageing superstar batsmen. Can’t help feeling, even if Fletch survives the current difficulties, he’ll come unstuck in the transitional phase.

  58. Jonny

    My opinion is that as a foreign coach you need to have a decent reputation as a cricketer (john wright/gary kirsten/greg chappel) but also be understated, media shy, and a bit non-intrusive with respect to the team dynamics where Chappel failed completely..

    Fletcher I feel does not have the greatest cricketing stats to back him up and this might be the problem

  59. Johnny,
    I was saying the same thing (much less eloquently, of course) a few days ago. We have been so fucking unlucky these past 4 years or so, and it really does defies belief. This imo, emphasizes the Arsene’s mistakes, of which there are a few. But name me the manager who doesn’t make mistakes??
    It however doesn’t help that AW tries to be so obviously different from everyone else. This only magnifies his errors even further, as it focuses inordinate attention on his methods.

  60. Everyone is an expert…in their own minds.

    I am with Jonny, role the heck on Sunday.

    I am expecting big things from Walcott and Ramsey this Sunday. A Goal from Song to boot.

  61. As is the case in other aspects of human interaction, if one decides to take a path different from the consensus, they you better fucking make sure the new method works otherwise you’d be criticized not just for failing, but for trying to take the different path in the first place.

  62. Of course, if you succeed, you get more than normal praise as well for being a pioneer, a visionary etc. AW has definitely enjoyed both sides of this. Lets hope it gets no worse than this.

  63. I also agree with Steww, the only issue I have is injuries and I am glad about that. No one is to blame for our injuries woes, it is what it is.

  64. Hey Flint! Happy New year fella! 🙂

    Markus – no not that I know of. He’s still a rung or so down.

    Henristic – as usual you talk a lot of sense ;-). I’ve always maintained that luck is something that fans and particularly players like to play down – it gives them the idea that they control all the variables. The reality is nowhere near like that.

    Whatever as I’m fond of saying over the last 4 years, if we didn’t have bad luck we’d have none at all.

  65. Henristic, the problem is that there is no crisis. I find what is going on laughable. The only thing I see is that it has given weaklings and “know it all’s” license to blabber away.

    The only thing that came from Sunday’s match for me is disappointment. Though we have not played up to standard, we have lost some very winnable games and had some rotten luck along the way, with false pens and red cards.

    It’s for the players to refocus along with getting players back. We have a very good team. A team that should have beaten City, again bad call’s screwed that up.

    I am not saying this to blame the refs but to show that there is a very thin line between winning or losing.

    It is simply not even close to being as bad as these “experts” are saying.

    ARSENAL!

    ARSENAL!

  66. Jabba's Delights

    anirudh

    The sad part of it is babe is that you say we’ve just lost 2 games and thats why im on here but in reality we’ve been pretty poor all year hence why we have 36 points after 21 games, extrapolate that on and we fininsh with 64 points……our lowest ever total which followed our previous ever lowest total last season.

    Now there were those of us over the summer who highlighted that wenger has been on a downward curve and its proved by the cold hard football facts. This will be the 4th consequtive year that our defence has gotten worse and it will be the 4th year in a row that wenger had said we need to be beter defensively we are due to concede 53 presently.

    We have been scratching around for form all year in every compettiion we’ve been in and its a direct result of our managers continued ineptitude both on the coaching and transfer front.

    We had a remarkable opportunity to get better last summer with a very healthy transfer budget before Arsene had his pants pulled down by Nasri and cesc, he then choose to wait 3 weeks before doing anythign about it………………was he shocked they left why was there no plan in place.

    Baring a trully exeptional final 4 months to the season the clamour for the coach to mopve upstairs or resign will be huge. Self inflicted wounds

  67. what a load of bull

  68. “I really like Arsenal. But you, do you really like Arsenal? Or just Arsenal with trophies?”

    Dennis Bergkamp

  69. That quote from DB10 sums it all up for me.

  70. That’s good dups!

  71. Paul-N,
    I wouldn’t call our current form a crisis, but the injury situation is pretty dire right now. If it continues like this, we have very little hope of claiming a top 4 spot. Going by the experience of previous seasons, we knows there is a strong possibility that our injury situation doesn’t get significantly better. There is no guarantee that any of the currently injured players will be able to get a run of games together before succumbing to niggles and relapses which makes it less likely that they have a sustained positive impact. There is also the chance that one or more of few key players we have left (RvP, Theo, Song, Kos) will suffer injuries. We can’t be sure that Gerv will come back from the ACN uninjured and un-fatigued.

    For any other team, the chances of these things happening are remote. Can you say the same for us?

  72. This question has been asked.

    What other manager has accomplished what Arsene has with the same financial limitations?

    None of the “experts” have responded.

  73. Dups,
    Seeing as we haven’t touched a trophy in 6+ years, I’d be surprised if there are many fans left who only support the club because of silverware. If such fans exist, they must be an incredibly patient lot.

  74. Henristic, I feel you bro. The injuries have messed us up, yet again. I don’t know what to say about that but to hope that we can get player’s back. It’s really crappy!

  75. Jabba's Delights

    Paul N

    Which part of it is bull, surely a person who lives America you understand the emthasis placed on statistics over there. Under any statistic you want we are on a downward curve, please prove otherwise??? Same every year from you excuse after excuse, i hope you dont raise your child like that. with regards to injuries our own physio came out and said we actually suffered bang smack in the middle for injuries last year in the prem

    Dupsffokcuf

    When has anyone said its about winning trophies??? Its about doing all you can to be as good as you can working within your limits.

    We dont do that, when you consider the resources we had over the last 3-4 years. The wage structure has been highly criticised for years as it rewards people for doing little.

    Diaby, Rosicky, Denilson wages conservative estimate combined 120k total. tarnsfer fee for selling them……………….conservative estimate 12m.

    Bendtner, Chamack, ..conservative wages est 90k total, transefr fee, 10m

    Go tell me how that money couldnt have been better spent on somebody else.

    When was the last time our hugley well paid manager did something hugely impressive?

  76. Jabba, “in reality we’ve been pretty poor all year hence why we have 36 points ”

    Nonsense, if you exclude the piss-poor start to the season, whilst we haven’t played ‘excellently’ we’ve certainly been no worse than an inconsistent Man Utd. And a FUCK-load better than money-bags Chelsea.

    You’re just a curmudgeonly old goat. If your glass was ever full it would be full of piss.

    Reread what PG posted earlier from Muppet.

    No one here is interested in anything further you have to add – we GET your recycled miserable viewpoints ad nauseam.

    I’m sure LG will welcome you back with open arms.

  77. Henristic, I think one thing in our favour on the injury front is that we’re in a bit of a quiet period – that’s to say we don’t have that many matches on, not that the matches aren’t important. This January is definitely less packed than the last one, when we had two games a week all months and lost guys like Nasri. No replays (so far) or League Cup is helping at the moment.

  78. Henristic, they stay and moan constantly. They believe that their “allegiance” to the club gives them the right to constantly talk rubbish. self righteous, know it all supporter’s.

  79. Jabba's Delights

    Paul N your sooooo stupid its painful

    ”This question has been asked.

    What other manager has accomplished what Arsene has with the same financial limitations?

    None of the “experts” have responded.”

    Show me those shackles around his neck for the last 3 years? He has had money to spend but has choosen not to do it. He had money all summer he chose to buy gervinho a player who would be missing because of the ANC. He has money now but chooses not to spend it. Lets say we buy nobody and scrape 4th……………….why should you be happy as thats not the club doing all it could have done in a self sustaining way to be as good as possible. The squad is cryign out for more quality and we 100% have money to do it, there is no excuse not to strengthen but like previous years the manager will do it his own way and we will not do as well as we could have done. We should seek to improve every year whether thatgets us a title i couldnt give a stuff, regressing every year which is what every stat shows us doign is completely unaccptable especially for a manager who thinks he is above everyone aroudn him

    Could have we done better if arsene spent the ade and toure money wisely……………..absolutely 100% yes.

  80. Good point, OOU. In fact, I thank you for pointing that out, as I now have something to pin my hopes on 🙂

    Paul-N,
    Unfortunately moaning is an attribute of fans of any club, even those who have no hope in hell of a trophy. A good example is Blackburn this season and their attempts to get rid of their manager.

  81. Jabba's Delights

    Jonny

    Why do we exclude the beggining of the season?????? does it not count?????

    Its exactly like last year when everyone said pre carling cup look how good we were. why do we exclude the relegation form for the rest of the year, as it suits us?????????????

    The poor start to the year was a direct result of the poor form of last year and the managers complete and utter inability to arrest the situation over the summer due to his own incompetence

  82. “Paul N your sooooo stupid its painful”

    I have never gotten a better compliment in life.

    I would devestated if you found me sensible.

  83. “devastated” even.

    That is as much as your crap get’s out of me.

    Be off!

  84. Paul-N,
    “What other manager has accomplished what Arsene has with the same financial limitations?”

    Let me try to tackle the question in what is now a hopefully SUGA-free environment..

    My honest answer is that our current situation is unprecedented, so while my heart says none one could do what Arsene has done, my brain says, we can’t be sure, particularly in the last 3-4 years.

    I say our situation is unique because I can’t recall any other manager having the resources the board keeps saying we have, and choosing not to spend much of it. Most other managers tend to have the very opposite problem, as far as I know (which of course is not very far at all). I also think that even the money he has spent could possibly have been utilized more efficiently. This is not necessarily a matter of 20-20 hindsight as I thought this way in the summer.

  85. Cheered me up as well, H. There’s a long way to go, and players coming back between now and late-February can have a big say – unless there’s some really good news about returns soon I’d like to see AW field reserves in the FA Cup.

  86. missed an “also” after the dash

  87. Henristic, everything is relative. The next step is like a trophy for them. However, look at a what Arsene has accomplished with less than all others. He is top’s and I find it to be a bit of a joke that people who have not done one blow wow in football believe they simply know better than the man.

    Plain stupidity to say the least.

  88. Jabba's Delights

    Paul n

    You have nothing, zero argument to prove against it. All you do have is this unquenching faith your blind. Behind the tone all i’ve done is put some very simple stats togther about our beloved team……………..you cant answer against them.

    The fact is year on year when your drivel gets proved wrong time and time again you and your like, come across more and more like those muppets in the waco seige…. and we know how that ended

  89. *should have said… “..who then chose not to spend much of it.”

  90. OOU,
    I agree that the focus should be on PL and CL now.

  91. Henristic, surely we are dealing with consecutive years in the CL along with trophies won, no need to separate years. How ever, even we do, who in the PL has done it?

    Much has changed in the last 3 or 4 years, no? there is much more money being spent.

    The simple fact is, there is no one in football to compare him to. I doubt in sports.

    As far as spending money, it seems Arsene buys players that he believes we need and not because money is burning a hole in his pocket.

  92. Jabba…you clearly have this all worked out. When are you sending your resume to Gazidis.

  93. Paul-N,
    Seems you didn’t get my point about the uniqueness of Arsene’s position vis-a-vis our resources, and how much of it he is willing to spend. I don’t see any other manager in that position. Its is this approach that makes Arsene so special imo, in combination with the beautiful footbal his teams usually play, and his youth policy.

    You say we’ve been spending much more in the last 3 or 4 years? Really? I don’t think so at all.

    FunGunner pointed out the other day that wages are the major indicator of league position/success. IF she is correct, then we’ve just about been on par (or slightly over) in this past years where we finish in the top four. It is no mean feat, of course, BUT, could someone else have achieved more in the last 3-4 years, by spending more of what was available, and/or by motivating the players we have to perform better and more consistently? I can’t say that I know that for sure that the answer is NO.

  94. Jabba's Delights

    ”The simple fact is, there is no one in football to compare him to. I doubt in sports.”

    Your so ignorent, you live in america and yet gloss over the cardinals and Packers both just winning their ultimate prize in the last year with significantly reduced caps than their larher more illustrious rivals.

    ”As far as spending money, it seems Arsene buys players that he believes we need and not because money is burning a hole in his pocket.”

    And if those players turn out to be not all that…..who gets blamed those fans who highlight the mistake or the manager who made the mistake??

    Simple question Paul

    From where we were at at the end of last year and the money we had and the knowledge and quotes that were out there about Nasri and Cesc do you think King Arsene has done a great job, could our squad be better with the resources available to him? Saw that artilce about Wellingotn earlier that kid with massive attitude problems (highlighted by ti vickery years ago) cost us 3.5m in fee alone.

  95. Jabba's Delights

    axis

    Thats the sad part of it these days, i think if you gave any number of managers the platofrm arsene had this summer they could have done a better job than he.

    My quotes regarding this season are there for all to see over last year and this summer. 9 times out of 10 they have been spot on and i take no pleasure in saying it.

    The manager struggles to motivate our players and its plain for any none follower of him to see.

  96. @ Jabba

    Just a few things-

    1. The money we have over the last 3-4 years still does not mean we can compete with Barca, Real, Chelsea, City, and to an extent even United, to whom Wage caps, sustainability, etc have little meaning. Big difference being able to afford transfer fees, and wages. One is asset creation and the other is working capital and in finance literally chalk and cheese.

    2. You keep quoting these figures about wages of players like you have seen the salary slips or the contracts. The fact is you do not know, I do not know, the media does not know, no one exactly knows except the payer (club) and the player himself, so do not do that to make your point, its inaccurate, frivolous and argumentative.

    3. Even with the money we have (apparently) do you really think 40 million on Hazard is a risk free sensible investment? Or in other words if it is your money on the line would you do it? If your answer is no then please do not go on with this nonsense, if it yes either your lying or this is exactly the kind of thing which led to the financial crisis of 2008 and either way its nonsense.

    4. Our youth set up is well on its way to yielding dividends in terms of money recuperated through transfer fees of those who do not make the first team, maybe not yet, but every investment has a payback, and in the football world this seems to be the most sensible way to do it

    5. Show me another Arsenal manager who has mixed it so often with Europes elite and then talk about Arsene Wenger

    6. End result – Arsenal were nowhere near being a big european club until Wenger took over and now we are seeded in the CL draw and amongst the top 8 clubs in Europe, so you really have no leg to stand on

    Explanation enough??

  97. “Saw that artilce [sic] about Wellingotn [sic] earlier that kid with massive attitude problems (highlighted by ti vickery years ago) cost us 3.5m in fee alone.”

    SO fucking what?! Chelsea – David Luiz?? Fernando Torres?

    I’d rather have Song than either of those two players.

    Chelsea are worse than we are in spite of their billions of expense.

    You could do worse than look at Liverpool.

    Wenger got us a new stadium – maybe you didn’t notice all that he’s been achieving whilst other clubs are bankrupting themselves in order to keep up.

  98. My bad Henristic. I got you.

    No, I was saying that other teams have been spending more.

    We cannot say no, but likewise we cannot say yes as far as spending more money. I for one always thought we had a team to compare but for some reason failed to take the next step.

    I think our biggest problem over the years was that when we were getting close, core player’s left. I hope that these new players stay the course.

    As far as motivation. The player’s also have to motivate themselves. Given some of the comments from the players who left, they did not do that.

  99. There’s a lot of Sic in that post Jonny….

  100. dupsffokcuf | January 18, 2012 at 3:07 pm
    “I really like Arsenal. But you, do you really like Arsenal? Or just Arsenal with trophies?”

    Dennis Bergkamp

    You just don’t get it do you Dups?
    You can only quote ex players when they are critical of Arsene .And a bit thick like Wright and Merson.
    Paul the answer to your question is a lot of managers could have done better in the eyes of Suga and his moaning cowardly ilk.Any manager who would have spent recklessly would fit the bill.
    And I call them “COWARDS” because they cant take a few defeats on the chin without crying like slapped girls.
    Here is a thought boys.Arsenal owe us nothing.Not a thing.And in particular a certain Mr.Wenger owes nothing to miserable ungrateful cowards.

  101. Flint

    I only have it for PHW in the sense that his comments are ill-timed and often unnecessary; we know the mantra, we get it. But it has been published for maximum effect in the aggravation factor.

  102. George

    Well said…except as fans I guess we can expect the Club to be run responsibly, which it is to the credit of everyone involved at the club, in particular Mr Arsene Wenger.

    Only short-sighted whiners do not want this and want shiny new trophies instead.

  103. YW

    Maybe its his way of shielding everyone else from criticism

  104. Anriudh

    Doesn’t work, invariably stoking the fires by accentuating the finances over playing staff.

  105. My 4 dinner party guests would be Dennis Bergkamp.Arsene Wenger,Jimmy Connors and Muppet.

    Who has a better 4 than that?

  106. YW

    I agree..but maybe that was the thinking behind it, even if it is possibly misguided…

  107. There is nothing bad about wanting your club to at least try to be the best always.It is not glory hunting.It is the height of naivety/childishness to expect or believe your club to be numero uno every year.

    It is also naïve to claim to support a club and just sit and believe everything will be all right when the same catastrophy keeps repeating itself year in year out.How long do we blame injuries.How many seasons have messrs Diaby,Rosicky,RVP,Gibbs given us 30 league games a year.It is foolhardy to keep gambling on their fitness when year in year out they are consistently injured.

    I don’t think any of you Arsene supporters knew he was going to catapult us to this level of greatness when he signed up so who is to say the next gaffer is not even going to take us to greater levels.How bad can it get?After all we support through thick and thin.If we are going to be relegated with a new gaffer then so be it.Better go down trying than not at all.Yes we support Arsene because he is our gaffer and has done a lot for the club but if this season continues to pan out like the previous four, We need to respectfully let him go.The longer the glorious failure continues, the more he stains his legacy.This is the Arsenal.It is afterall an institution and Arsene has done the terrific job I think he has done,we can survive a new gaffer.He has had 6yrs of patience.This is not a church where we have to continuously show faith even when we don’t see the ‘benefits’….We have shown enough faith to a lot of people that have just fucked us over.It’s time AW,players and board reward some of this faith these last couple of years.

    We can’t keep re-enacting ground-hog day every season and come over here debating who is a bigger supporter.If AW was doing his job right,these divisions would not exist.I did not knw about this doomer vs akb battles until about 2 seasons ago.A lot of people have been patient with the club.It is excessive to question the commitment of fans who see the same car crush year in year out and get told we have a big squad and yet we have nothing to show for having a ‘big squad’.This is AFC we are talking about.We are in the top 5 clubs in the world.We should at the very least be seen to be trying to arrest our challenges.

  108. The Dream is over

    This time last year we were joint top.Now we are figthing for 4th place.

    The blame for this falls squarely at the door of Wenger.After the horrendous collapse last season Wenger should have had quality players lined up to sign on July 1st yet he waited to the last minute.None of the deadline day signings had a pre season with us,That is just mad management.

    Hill-Wouldnt is now come out saying we have plans for if we dont qualify for the CL but we are hearing nothing from Kroenke

    Heard John Cross say on the radio this morning to expect ticket prices to rise again in the summer.How can the club justify that.The club is commiting football suicide

  109. But that’s just the point Jabba…it is ridiculous for you to imagine that sitting on your frickin’ couch that you are in a position to glean the kind of information that would make anything you have to say “obvious”…your “obvious” assessment is the same as the “obvious” assessments my nine year old niece makes when she asks for a computer saying that it’s “obvious” her parents have the money. Look, I’m not telling you to have an opinion, or even that you shouldn’t have strong opinions about the team or the management, but let’s all at least acknowledge that none of us really have a clue what any of the details are. You discount major issues that drastically change the way things happen. You speak as if Wenger should just wander over to the market, pick up a Silva, a Fabregas, two Adams and a Hazard…if you know where there’s a parts store for football teams like there is for your car then PLEASE let us and Arsene know, I’m certain he’d be delighted. I mean in less then 3 paragraphs you have ‘sorted’ all our problems financial and otherwise. Apply for the job. Since the job is so much simpler than we all imagine, you can take a cut salary, (you’ll be able to get it done in a few hours a week…heck you could keep your day job!) – we’ll use the extra money to pick up a Yaya Toure or two down at the World Class Footballer market, and win the triple from now ’till we’re all old men. Nevertheless, I think I can at least speak for some and say, your air/tone of “know-it-all”-ness is hard to stomach. Unless you’ve submitted your resume for real, check your “it’s so easy” at the door. You sound a git. We’re all adults. You sound like the my lawn guy talking about how easy it would be to fix the education problem, or the Middle East…yeah; it’s simple.

    You may have points to discuss on each count, I’ve not offered a counter to any of them.
    [Though, I will say that the NFL shares revenues so that teams like the Packers can compete with their wealthier rivals. As for the cardinals…that team that won has now been dissolved after a one time run…Basically Leeds except they won it all. Marlins have done it as well…they were competitive for exactly one season then they sold everyone. Not really what we’d want for Arsenal either.] But there are real, useful, interesting conversations we could be having rather than puff-chest sputtering about the manager and what he should “obviously” be doing, it’s pointless talk, and frankly, I was kinda hoping we were all better/smarter than this grade-school “solve-the-ecology-problem-in-three-sentences-like-a-pothead” talk.

    Just my two cents.

    I’m sorry if I’ve offended I’m just tired of this. Please, read anything I’ve said with the knowledge that I’ve read your posts and even agreed with you over a good couple of YEARS, right Jabba. I’m not trying to blast you, I’m scolding all of us for the really poor level of conversation we’ve all engaged in, when I’ve been on here for some really excellent discussions of football and so much more. I’m just asking that we elevate the discussion to the level we are capable of.

  110. Shouldn’t there have been a [sic] after your sic(k) – given the weak pun?

    But yeah, Jabba’s Delights do rather make my stomach roll.

  111. Well it must be true if John Cross says it.

  112. Thanks for the explanation George.

    I was just thinkint that since they were football oracles, they would atleast be able to come up with a name.

  113. I have been saying that we should not let one or two indivudual’s drag the blog down. That what I have seen since Sunday and there is no need for it.

  114. Paul

    Thats the great thing about us winning, not only does it push us up the table, but it alsp pushes up the levels of discussion on this blog 😀

  115. I hear you Anirudh!

    I don’t even mind people questioning certain things (within reason) to be honest. I don’t feel like we to harp on it everyday though. Have your say and let’s get back to supporting the team. That is what is important as far as I can see it.

  116. Does no one want to play my dinner party game.?

  117. Paul N

    Yes healthy debate is the best part of this blog..

    I have never understood nor will ever understand how “supporters” post only after defeats, and not share in the joy of victory, that kind of defies the definition of support does it not??

  118. It contradicts their agenda Anirudh

  119. Jabba's Delights

    Anirudh 4.12pm

    1)Nobody is asking us to have beaten all those teams you mention on a consistent basis but i would have hoped for us to have competed a little better in the prem over 38 games. If chels are the poorly mismanged monsters that they are often portrayed on here surley the world greatest manager and with good resources, continuity and a youth system 15 years in the making could do a little smidgen better, or at least not get worse nearlly every year????

    2) With regards to the wages i put down they were massively conservative, they are almost certainly more, you can tell yourself that diaby after 3 contract extensions is still on 35k but you will be an idiot. Its fine for some of you to speculate what other clubs pay their players but god fordbid anyone to specualte on our wage structure which is more structured than nearlly any. staeting that chamack, bentdner, denilson, rosicky and diaby between them get 200k per week really isnt a stretch is it babe? equates to 10,400000 which is 8.5% of our playing squads salary. Why cant we sell the guys????

    3) Firstly its not wenger money to count. Its wenger to do the best possible job he can with the money that allocated to him. If he chooses not to spend as he thinks the squad is strong but then it fails due to lack of strength then thats on him. If he spends money and wages on players who dont play to good level on a consistent basis, then thats on him. The squad has lacked depth for years and people can shout all they want about players they like but unitl they start playign well and winning matches for us its a futile argument. Has Rosicky or Diaby played consistently well for 3 years………………..NO, have they been worth their wages in that time and most importantly there positions in the 25 man squad……NO. Nobody has asked us to buy Hazard for 40m. How about Ba on a free this summer over Park??????

    4) from an investment you need a return for it to be succesful. Ideally we need to be bringing through first teamers at the rate of 1 to 2 every 2 years to supplement natural wastage. We spend an incredible amount on our youth players in terms of signing them. The failures are littered throughout our setup and the present u18 which paid allot of money in the summer to sign 4 foreigners got knocked out at home to derby country. We need more for what we pay. All of the lads in spain cant get enough game time.

    5)Show me an arsenal manager that has had the chance to compete with the european elite every year for finishing 1st 3 times in 16 years. What Arsene did was fantastic until 2008 since then he has mismanaged arsenal failed to better us in terms of points or eliminate deficencies. Is there a manager who could have done better for us 1996-2008 absolutely not. Is there a manager who could have done better 2008-12 100% yes

    I

  120. Because in 2008 he forgot how to manage.?
    Brilliant.

  121. I’m done.

    Thanks as always for the post Yogi.
    Later everyone.

  122. Great try though Axis, really!

  123. Jabba's Delights

    George

    There must be millions of examples in life from your own company, multinationals, governments to sports where, managers, chief executives, chairman, coacheshave lost their wonderful ability to stay infornt of the crowd.

    With our manager i think his pride was what did him. The fact is he is the most powerful manager in world football and at a time when his team ability to compete should have been getting much stronger we have got weaker year on year.

    Remember our arguments in the summer it was pointed to you that we had suffered from very similar weakneses the 3 previous years.

    Defence.
    Tactics / ability to adapt
    Mental Strength

    In every single one of those categories we either have exactly the same weakneses or its gotten worse. The players have changed aroud allot in that time………….there has been one constant.

  124. Jabba, you are and always have been the worst sort of Arsenal fan going. A Sky Sports/internet generation, immediate-gratification addicted child. You will never be welcome into the Arsenal family because of these sad but simple truths: How could anyone enjoy going to a game with you? How could anyone take pleasure from a conversation about football with you? For god sake sort your life out, you only get one.

    Just some advice…

  125. Jabba's Delights

    Ba for Park on a free…………….nooooooo? paul N not even for you or did arsene hit the nail on the head??

  126. George

    People I’d invite to a ‘Murder by Death’ dinner party.

    Jabba
    Suga
    Spectrum
    AIC

    Could add more but only 4 at your party.

  127. Dups ,stop making up your own rule will you?
    That’s twice today.

  128. Jabba's Delights

    Limpar

    Or im just a arsenal fan who supported us long before wenger and will do long after. Im also one of those fans who doesnt see my job as a fan to believe anything and everything that a once great manager says. I see it as my job as a fan to want us to be as good as possible, renew my season ticket each year support the team in as many games as i can get to home and away, and then speak honestly about where i think wer’e at.

    You Limpar are a 27 year old lad who comes very much across as the sort of person who only started ‘supporting us when wenger came to town. Thats the fallicy of it all.

  129. George

    Could have some BLOODY fun at my party.

  130. Jabba's Delights

    4 people i’d give directions to the emiartes stadium to

    George
    Duppsokoff
    Paul N
    Gainsbourg

  131. Nope. Just a whiner. Nobody likes a whiner.

    Graham era for me, buster. Limpar era. And I’m not entitled to anything – but I do love supporting the Arsenal, I do love the Arsenal family – and I know, for sure, that it doesn’t like you.

  132. No such thing as a dull season with Arsenal 😀

    But it’s like a drug, sometimes its bad for your health but you come back for more.

    Arsenal Forever

  133. Limps .
    I feel if I met you ,under any circumstances.I would like you.
    And many more on this blog .And many who is frequently disagree with.like Bill,JJ and that twat Dexter.an tell a lot about a person just from their
    You can tell a lot about people from their online persona.
    Is their anyone who would want to meet and have a beer with Jabba,AIC or Susa3?And it has nothing to do with their opinions.

  134. Jabba lost in amongst your whining are some good points.

    Many of us accept that Wenger has shortcomings but still firmly believe (in fact it’s what unites us) he is the best man for the job.

    At present, that is the vast majority of Arsenal fans are still on Wenger’s side, until that changes what good does bitching to us do?

    I just don’t get the point.

    “The mind that is too ready at contempt and reprobation is, I may say, as a clenched fist that can give blows, but is shut up from receiving and holding ought that is precious”.
    GEORGE ELIOT, Felix Holt

  135. Go for a beer – you’d have to find me first! 😉

  136. Jonny

    I heard you are a tall chap and a chef. If you wore one of these you should be easy to spot.

    http://goo.gl/5QHrF

  137. It’s a bit tiresome though, all this ‘Wenger has lost it or ‘Look what Arsene has achieved’ argument that increasingly dominates the ‘discussions’ here’.

    If Muppet is right, and he could well be in the short to medium term, then we all just need to get used to enjoying football as it is and always was for 99% of football fans.

    That is, make the most of victory or a good match, win, lose or draw.

    In the longer term presumably, boredom, some kind of economic reality or a change of owner’s priorities at the mancs and Chelsea will see Arsenal in a very healthy situation. We are now really, that’s the niggle that bothers so many when they perceive a lack of ambition at the club.

    They may be right. We have absolutely no idea what Kroenke’s plans are for us. We are entirely in his hands. Most of us preferred him to Usmanov, on balance I still do, but iI don’t know if his interests are Arsenal’s or mine.

    It’s certainly true that we don’t need to compete with man city, competing with the other mancs, spurs and the scousers would be plenty good enough in most situations.

  138. I’m convinced that the Champions League has been Arsene’s number one priority for the last 3 or 4 years (at least). We’ve been desperately unlucky not to have won it yet. Bring on Milan.

  139. It’s certainly true that we can not compete with man city,or Chelsea if Roman decides so.
    Its like boxing.A Flyweight can overcome a Bantamweight ,perhaps even a Featherweight,but not a Heavyweight.No matter how skillful he is or how good his trainer and regime are.
    Football is the same in the end.

  140. ‘A good big ‘un will always beat a good little’ un’ as my old Dad used to say. He boxed.

  141. @George ok
    George Graham
    Bob Geldof
    Elle Macphersen
    Brian Cox

  142. Great hat Dups! I’d be easy to find in that!

  143. It’s a good analogy for sure, but it’s also one that we’ve almost invalidated in three out of the past four seasons – but for a bit of bloody good fortune.

  144. OOU .But we were only fighting 2 weight up with United and perhaps 4 with Chelsea.But City have come in at the new “super heavyweight” category .In the end the sheer weigh of punch takes its toll.

  145. Flint McCullough

    Cbob
    “then we all just need to get used to enjoying football as it is and always was for 99% of football fans.

    That is, make the most of victory or a good match, win, lose or draw.”

    It is indeed how it needs to be but will there be enough support to fill the stadium? The financial side of this makes it an altogether different proposition to the pre PL years, when Liverpool apart success was relatively cyclical for the top clubs. Basically any well managed team with good players could have a shot at the prizes.

    I believe we will still be able to compete but continuity will be hard to achieve when your outstanding players are going to be tempted by the Citys & the other 4-5 clubs above us in the world football food chain.

  146. Spy.hardly a barrel of laughs.But at least you played.
    The rest a miserable bastards

  147. So we’re the punctilious little pugilist – working hard to keep trim and stay in our category. I assume there’s nothing heavier than Super Heavyweight – Man City’s a f*cked-out lardass with five chins and a gut that hangs down to its knees. It doesn’t connect with many swings (Adebayor, Santa Cruz, Tevez), but there’s so much power it’s curtains it gets it right (Aguero).

  148. I believe we will still be able to compete but continuity will be hard to achieve when your outstanding players are going to be tempted by the Citys & the other 4-5 clubs above us in the world football food chain.

    That is bang on Flint.But we will better compete with Arsene at the helm.But some don’t want to accept either premiss

  149. OOU.
    Perhaps But what if they are Ivan Drago.Could Rocky still have won if he was 8 Stones?

  150. I know Flint. The pass was sold a long time ago.

    Perhaps we can keep at least return to the reasonable expectation of a Trophy sometimes, you remember, always think this year will be the one for a good Cup Final.

    I do think that the days of glory are still there for us. I don’t believe that the money doped clubs will always be there, or, if they are, then all the ‘top’ clubs will also be owned by sugar daddies. That may be the future of sport.

    I’m just glad that I got to stand on the terraces at Highbury enough times for the love of the club, and the game, to be something more than just a glory hunt, more than just who can buy the most expensive ‘stars’.

    I can’t lose that. Those who haven’t got it will never know the joy of going to a match for the sheer excitement and ‘ordinariness’; of it all. I hold that feeling close.

  151. Not surprised the club is looking back at the financial modelling without Champs League money. The fine print, I seem to recall when the stadium was being built, was along the lines that we didn’t need to qualify every year.

    Trouble is things have changed in football since then. For one thing we apparently have no money to spend now to bring in players and we will have a lot less without the CL cash. For another our best players will want away – not because of missing out on one season in the highest profile competition, but because we clarly aren’t going to add to the squad.

    Losing our better players and not being able to attract the next batch equals a self-fulfilling cycle of decline. So prove me wrong Arsene and persuade the money men to get some players in because waiting for Jack and Co. to come back from injury with 10-12 games to go is too big a gamble.

    13 days to save the Arsenal!!

  152. OOU

    Nice parallel 😀

  153. so weve apparently been saving money just in case we dont make cl

    how many years are we planning to stay out of it then..? if we sell rvp and theo after selling cesc and nasri thats 4 years of cl money right there…

    another shocker from PHW..hes really not well..but its nothing we didnt know already..
    all those years we could have won the league and we didnt strengthen on the off chance we might not make top four…

    how about investing on the off chance we could have won the thing that gets us into the cl…

    lack of ambition..all those seasons of saving all that money has just tempted fate..maybe if it had been reivested properly we wouldnt be in the position to worry about lack of cl..

    thats what happens when you have a baord who are ultra business and the football comes secondary..but its the football that makes the business in this instance..neglect the football at the sake of the business and the business will suffer anyway in the long run..

    and its ok saying weve saved money for this scenario..but when we sell robin then thats the cl money right there so we havent really touched the ‘safety net’ have we..

    its all bollox..as usual….

  154. How/why do the decent amongst you find the strength to debate with the repetitively tedious moaners who allow their frustrations to rule their reason and loyalty? These are the same personality types that used to frequent public squares for the joys of a good olde public hanging; the same fashion led harpies who would nestle comfortably among the lynch mob.

    Sufficient description to seperate commentators into the two key camps that I believe affect our club at present.

    My comtempt – like their mean spirited negativity – is limitless.

  155. my 4 dinner guest’s george.

    George Graham
    Paul Merson
    Lyndsey Lohan
    Ronnie Wood

  156. In movies anything can happen as long as you sympathise with the hero – it’s the suspension of disbelief thing. But not even our own fans sympathise with us anymore.

    Still, Drago’s too efficient though – Man City are anything but; they’ve wasted so much to get where they are.

    The whole thing still stands up. One good thing about this country crawling with Manure fans is that nobody’s going to be able to mention City’s success without mentioning the half-billion spent on achieving it.

  157. CB

    Did you feel the earthquake a while ago. (you being down in the SW).

    http://goo.gl/BeQad

  158. George Graham is a popular guest.Best count the silver Duke.Might find a spoon or two in his back sack

  159. duke

    GG’s a bit out of place, isn’t he. Probably better to invite Howard Marks…

  160. OOU,It is costing them almost half a billion each and every year.Really.

  161. Better have Arsene Wenger aswell then so he can come out and defend Graham and say he didnt take the silver and that there was no silver and that there is plenty of silver spoons left!!!.

  162. Yogi,he would make a few quid on the evening

  163. Jabba at 5.38

    Been looking at Google maps then?

  164. No, it’s just a little bit more than their net spend on transfers (roughly) since ’03, PG.

    Wanted to make a joke about chalkboards, but couldn’t manage it.

  165. Consolsbob, you say “we all just need to get used to enjoying football as it is and always was for 99% of football fans”.

    Trouble is 99% of football fans won’t be sitting in a 60,000 seat white elephant stadium like we will when we are out of the CL, our best players drift away and we can’t attract equivalent quality replacements. The whole idea of the move was to be able to match-up financially to Utd but they are no longer our only competition for the CL and I can see crowds drifting away pretty soon. Already, though we post gates of 60,000, there are a few thousand who have apparently paid that aren’t turning up. Will they renew season tickets if we aren’t competitive?

    I am old enought o reember Newcastle and Chelsea invetsing massively in huge new stands in the 1970s and both clubs were subsequently broken by the debt and relegated.

    I reckon the only way out of this is to invest in player this month and hope like billy-o it gets us into the top 4 and if Arsene has to threaten to walk if they don’t come up with the money then he should do it for the sake of his own reputation as well as for club.

  166. As bad as City’s doping is, I’d still rather they win the title than Manure or, god forbid, Spurs. Not that I’ve given up all hope that we can sneak it, given a turn in our fortunes.

  167. Flint McCullough

    Yes indeed Cbob!

    Look the Cappa Don, no matter what happens this season there will be some point when we don’t qualify so when that is the case we have to cope with it & that situation is the same for all clubs. None will enjoy uninteruppted success for ever.

    At this point we will still be a very attractive club for a player & City can’t have all the good players. We have never bought the most sought after world stars, even DB10 was damaged goods at the time.

    We need some more top quality that is for sure but there is no point spending on less than that because it will come out of the summer budget, when there is more likelyhood of getting what is needed.

  168. I know OOU ,but when you factor it wages for their players(and Tottenham’s) it is three times as much.
    I know you know ,but I cant help myself 😦 its horrible being a pedant

  169. Thank gooness for that dups. I thought it was wind!

    The thing is Cappa is that we don’t know if we are in a decline. This team, without the injuries, could have competed.

    We don’t know who arsene has lined up in the summer.

    If he doesn’t spend and we lose Robin, then I think you might be right.

  170. Dgob

    I don’t think we are in the shit becase of the moaners, mate. I think the moaners are out cos we is in the shit!

    And blaming a few tiny moaners on a blog for the poor financial planning of a multi-million pound business we happen to love seems to miss the point by about 7.5m miles!

  171. C’mon george you know it would be interesting talking to george graham. getting the insights into the glory years!!!

  172. Consolbob

    Yeah well, perhaps being a bit gloomy!

  173. Duke.I think you should consider changing your bait.

  174. all the teams in the EPL are supposedly on level terms within the standard of the league, of course in reality some teams are technically better than others. That’s why there’s promotion and demotion after the end of the season. A ‘lightweight’ can definitely throw the ‘heavyweight’ off the ring occasionally, but to do it constantly would mean the lightweight becomes a heavyweight. In the Japanese Sumo, size of the individual, within the same rank, isn’t the deciding factor whether you win or lose. If Swansea is continuing its winning, it becomes a heavyweight.
    Everyone recognizes the problem Arsenal is facing for the past several seasons, with all the unfortunate injuries crippling the performances, for instance. But other teams have similar problems of their own as well. In a broader sense there isn’t any single factor which dictates the outcome of the Arsenal games which is only unique to Arsenal. I don’t want to criticize the frailties of the players, their weakness or strength are on going balancing act for Arsene to deal with. When Swansea is being praised as doing an Arsenal better than Arsenal, it becomes very clear to me to ask the question WHAT IS ARSENAL ? A technically gifted fast flowing attacking football, pleasant to the eyes to watch ? OR a guts and steel never say die attitude which sustains and carry the team to greatness ? Or is it the marriage of the two ? I always thought Arsenal should be able to overcome the final hurdles for the past three years, including this season, with a ‘lightweight’ team. Chances were opened but they didn’t take it. It seems like an eternity waiting for the team to finally wake up to realize they are all good players, but they absolutely need to proof it to themselves, and us, that they ARE just as good as any other players on the field.
    I said a lot, end of story.

  175. Robin will be the same age Titi was when he was sold.
    If the price is right he will be sold.
    If it was my club £30 million and he would be history, and a statue perhaps

  176. Well let’s face it, arsene would tell you nothing over dinner, but Graham after a few, would sing like a Canary

  177. But Arsenal are not in any place that you claim Cappa Don. We are not at the top, but we are steadily there about’s.

    There is a heck of a lot left to play for, no?

  178. Also, how do you know the finances of the team and what has been done? how can you comment with such surity?

    Also, how do you know that, what you call the wrong thing today was done with the long term health of the club in mind?

    I am sure that people make mistakes, we all do, but to claim that the club is run by people who it would seem don’t have a clue, doesn’t add up.

  179. any whay what was i thinking my revised dinner party.

    George Graham
    Paul Merson
    Lyndsey Lohan
    George Rodger

  180. Spy, Arsene will tell how you can save a lot of money.

  181. Duke ,you would have to think long and hard about the seating plan.

  182. Duke ,I am told that George Rodger is a violent cantankerous old twat.Certainly not someone you would want in your home.

  183. Lovely post @7.04 Cbob.

    I remember the first time I walked up those steps and saw the green of the Highbury grass, heard the crowd, and felt a shiver run down my spine – I was simultaneously hooked and over heels.

    As you say “those who haven’t got it never will”.

    Reminds me of Shoeless Joe Jackson in ‘Field of Dreams’, lost in the romance of playing –


    Man, I did love this game. I’d have played for food money. It was the game… The sounds, the smells. Did you ever hold a ball or a glove to your face?

    I used to love travelling on the trains from town to town. The hotels… brass spittoons in the lobbies, brass beds in the rooms. It was the crowd, rising to their feet when the ball was hit deep.

    Shoot, I’da played for nothing!

  184. my dinner party would be
    wenger
    dein
    kreonke
    jerry springer

  185. george
    if it was your club and you thought it was better to sell robin for 30mil then fair enough..
    but seeing as though its your club..what happens next?

    im intrigued 🙂

  186. Bruce Lee?

    Would he have, quite literally, kicked the gr*t out of most heavyweights?
    Happy to defer to the wisdom of George on this one.

  187. Unfortunately, I only went to highbury as a likkle yute (moved to the US) but I remember the initial feeling I had, it was special.

  188. Hang on, OOU@ 6.47 has answered that one already.

  189. Finsbury ,only on the silver screen.Sadly.

    JJ ,lets say we offer Robin £150k per week(and ignore for now the knock on effect this would have on squad wages) for 4 years = £30 million
    We get say £30 mill for him
    As he will be worth almost nothing aged 33 it will cost us £60 million to keep him.
    Now I know its not that simple ,like
    you have to spend to replace him and they also want wages ,but still If it was my money I would think that selling him was the way forward.
    Of course as a fan I want us to cough up and keep him.

  190. Looks like the end of season collapse has started a few weeks early then! At least we shud hav enough points to stay up!

    I still havent got over sundays debacle. Ud think wiv all my experience, ewoid park, old traffic cone n scousers at home as well as fulham id b usedto shite. And thats just this season. I was also there when we spunked a 4 goal lead at st james. Park. Now im well up for a conspiracy and yep, Dowd.is a cunt, while we do hav a shit load of injuries thats troo.
    But, wot exactly neefs to occur before a decision is made? That actually we hav to try and do something ourselves instead of blamin everyone else? Btw i despise the media n the laughs they r havin at our expence is pathetic. But, we need to ignire those pricks, like we need to ignore mist of the shite on the web.

    Hoqever, that doesnt mean we dont need to address the serious lack of investment, comparatively that has been goin on for years. Its funny, pauln asked how long id b moanin about nu transfers n i sed till jan 31st. Thing is, it mite b jan 31st 2030! Belated rant over, sorry sunday killed me

  191. yeah and its took its toll on your writing skills dex.

    george, c’mon your not old.

  192. Sorry jabba delights but the words arsene wenger , arsenal and failure dont go threegether. You have lost the plot with your financial mis-analysis with them wages and what rosicky is on and what diabby is on etc etc. Dont forget that this manager has built a stadium and kept a team of inexperienced youngsters in top four and even flirting with the title of champion. Do you mind explaining me why do you consider it a failure that arsenal hasnt won the league in the years where the club has completely different priorities and is admitedly in the biggest transition in their history ? Success is relative and depends on what you invest. I think you would agree arsenal invests significantly less than what chelsea and united invest for the first team, wouldnt you? Isnt it the same for liverpool and city? definately id say. chelsea spent a lot of money last year, they finished trophyless. In relation to what arsenal spent , isnt chelseas failure a lot bigger than arsenal;s?

    Chelsea plays with 35m essien, 25m drogba 20m czech 55m torres etc etc, arsenal s playing with 1m song, 2,5m? rvp, 6m sagna etc etc…lol….manchester plays with 20m carrick 30m ferdinand 30m rooney 17m nani 17m anderson 17m valencia lol..lol…lol…only stupid people would call arsene;s work a failure. Or ungreatful bastard sons. All i know is that this manager of failure you talk about has made his club the 3rd richest in world football while repaying a 450m stadium and has solidified arsenal;s position among the elite clubs in the world recognisable for its ethos and style of play……and he hasnt won shit yet….hehe..incredible…. I dont know what youre watching but I see that united and chelsea and city and liverpool need to outspend arsene by hundreds of millions to marginally defeat him for the title. The only failures are all them mickey mouses who hit their keyboards critisisng a pro whose been doing it for like..30 or 40 years and has won the title here going a whole season unbeaten..( yes how useless indeed…tactics? pfff ) while you lot havent worked a single day in football , you wouldnt even find the dressing room…. i doubt you even know how to kick the ball straight.

    and for those who have issues with his contract and salary…just lol…what hes done for arsenal is priceless and youre counting the pennies he gets?…..you cheap bas tards…you scrutinise what he and his players earn and then you call him an accountant like hypocrites. in the end of the day wenger as manager of this club has every right to be sceptical and careful and scrutinise the finances as much as he likes….you ? with what authority? as a fan? …please dont make me laugh….you think that because you pay a ticket that gives you a saying in how the club should be run and what targets to set? HA! yeah keep calling wenger delluded…the most pragmatic technocrat manager…

    the responce to that of course is …” well cant we have an opinion and express it with civility?” …of course not! to be able to offer an opinion you must first of all know things. secondly, your opinion should be the conclusion of a thought process that weighs the pros and cons and not a monologue of negativity. therefore for an opinion to hold its ground it must come from a person with experience on these subjects. and most of all, without bias! fair and objective and impartial. liek f*ck if every idiot out there thinks he can offer an opinion disguising it as free speech right after the emotional frustrations he;s/she;s been through watching football……

    in fairness ….if you were the manager of a club that had to generate a surpluss of 25 m per annum for the banks, and you wanted a keeper….and liverpool asked 25m for reina and ajax asking 15+ for stekelenburg …youd laugh your @rse off and keep playing almunia

    (sane members of aclf…sorry i really tried with punctuation and stuff but…… barca – real on now…

  193. But where r my manners? My dinner guests r genghis khan, lorraine kelly, anthony worrel thompson and postman pat

  194. In real life Chuck Norris was a more dangerous ‘martial artist’ than yer Bruce Lee.

  195. Oooo I wanna watch that,,, any links people ?/

  196. Cesc erA dont even bother replyin to a sad cunt like habba, hrs a weasley mealey mouthe doomer twat, disapeared for months, has she even posted lately? Dont waste ur time on that manc biatch.

    Dukeg sorry man am on me fone

  197. Dexter is that really you or an literate joker masquerading under your tag?

  198. Jonny,but not a more dangerous fighter

  199. george
    i understand that theory..
    and i wouldnt argue with any of it..

    but if it was your club what would you do with the 30 mill?? would you spend 5mil of it and give him half the wages robin was on and pocket the rest (just in case you might not make cl in 10 years time)

    or would you do what i would do and invest the fucking lot bringing in a player or players who could actually kick a ball…

    as fans i think we would all want to keep him but also if we put our business heads on and stayed fans it certainly wouldnt be in the circumstances of the first option..which has been happening way too much at this club.

  200. Hard to call – certainly would have him beaten him in competition.

  201. dexter
    get a new phone..

  202. Ronaldo1 – zip 4 real.

  203. JJ,

    Dont expect kroenke to fukin pay for the dinner!

  204. Barcelona, rolling around already. I can’t stand that team!

  205. Yes, but was Chuck Norris as good at basketball as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar?

  206. But kroenke could expect some advice on how to run a football team, right JJ? ha ha!

  207. hahaha duke
    actually my revised dinner party would be
    bale
    modric
    parker
    vdv

  208. Thanks for thr advice JJ, you think that will make me feel any more optimistic then? New phone, new hope? 🙂

    George, course its me man. Even tho I promised myself Id stay away from here as I knew myy thoughts would be as welcome as a fart in an astronauts suit. Or jabba anywhere.

  209. I’m outside of my comfort zone here, but as far as I know there’s some kind of division between internal and external martial forms (this has got to be more interesting then Jabba’s jiblets). I was once asked to film a very old master from Shanghai in N.London. He beat up a bunch of young martial artists using some funky pressure point technique. Fifty odd years my senior, but I’d have passed on the opportunity to fight him in a competition.

  210. haha paul..
    😉 😉

  211. Jonny only a karate competition would it have been certain.
    Kung Fu it would have been Bruce and freestyle is anyone’s guess.

    Stick to Cricket 😉

  212. dont tell me JJ, lasagne on the menu??

  213. Check out- Benny Urquidez in
    ‘Wheels on meals’ (Jackie Chan)
    He was undefeated kickboxing champion and could fight for real

  214. dukegoonem | January 18, 2012 at 9:20 pm
    JJ,

    Dont expect kroenke to fukin pay for the dinner!

    Proper funny.

  215. george whats your favourite martial arts film?? i know its not film friday but as your an oragami expert an all.

  216. goerge they’d both get frimponged..

  217. dukey
    first seconds and thirds

  218. Really enjoying watching Anders Iniesta play..the most under-rated player at Barca..

  219. Cannot believe anyone would even dare mention chuck fucking NRA Norris? Jonny, you disgust me man. 🙂

  220. Anirudh

    That was ironic right?

  221. its interesting that our game v utd is going to be aired live on air on fox in the u.s.
    it should attract a good audience as its on before the giants and the 49ers superbowl playoff..
    lets hope we give a good account of ourselves…we dont want our first live game on fox leaving everyone thinking we are shit…first impressions are very important..

  222. Nico! funny george but segal was a pussy.. van damme was a fukin ard nut.. you cant go wrong with kickboxer & bloodsport , fukin great films.

  223. Dex

    No mate..I really do enjoy watching him play and I do believe he does not get as much credit as messi, xavi and cesc 😀

  224. Ralf Macheo is the daddy tho, him and david carradine…. Grasshopper n all dat….

    He could do a job in our midfield.

    Laters, might be back next week. If anyones goin the game, I’ll be the one in the Arsenal scarf.

  225. holding it upside down no doubt dex!!

  226. @Anirudth
    Well, he as nominated for the Ballon d’or last year. Wouldn’t really call him underrated. He also scored the world cup winning goal! Iniesta isn’t going to fly under any radar, that’s for sure.

  227. Just noticing how much Barca cant counter and resist the temptation to counter even if they could, their pressing game has a safety net which prevents/discourages counter attacking football and gives them their defensive stability and balance.

  228. Evil

    I am not saying he is not rated very highly, but when people talk about Barca its generally Messi, Xavi and then Iniesta in that order, I feel he is more important than both of them, he is the one who makes them tick and often is the one who makes the crucial transition pass when the move changes from ball retention to attack..

  229. Wheels on meals, Kickboxer and of course Enter the Dragon

  230. [cesc_ara] +1

  231. Talking about martial arts. This is the real thing right here!

  232. lol dexter..you think its the smae person changing nicks or are the idiots multiplying ?

    mourinho disgusts me, ronaldo disgusts me..pepe is a clown….madrid i dont mind…. but barca and for what theyve done to us ..they disgust me more..ok they are a phenomenal team but in spain and europe the refs push them a lot, thats not fair. plus i find ti physically impossible to be running and playing like that for 90 mins x 60 games and winning everything in your path for 3 years running…the dope must be real quality there.

  233. Enter the Dragon for sure, no doubts about that

    Oh are Jedi’s and Sith included as martial art experts?? 😀

  234. That was a mistake. This is the real deal.

  235. Van Damme Duke 🙂
    So a dancer is your idea of a martial artist?
    Fair enough

  236. Just read it again…thanks cesc_ara

    “I dont know what youre watching but I see that united and chelsea and city and liverpool need to outspend arsene by hundreds of millions to marginally defeat him for the title. The only failures are all them mickey mouses who hit their keyboards critisisng a pro whose been doing it for like..30 or 40 years and has won the title here going a whole season unbeaten…”

    Indeed.

  237. Anyone got a link for the classico?

  238. Jackie Chan could take Segal

  239. jackie chan drunken master!!

  240. Ryo Miyiachi is the hardest.

  241. Van Damme is a great, big wuss.

    Jackie Chan a movie martial artist – neither of them could actually fight.

    Seagal has a 7th dan in Akido.

    A young Seagal would have bitch slapped them both simultaneously. I doubt either of them has ever been in a proper fight.

  242. that Really was embarrassing from Pepe

  243. @ Duke Yeah he trained under Toshiro Mifune

  244. Another embarrassing El Classico – painful to watch that amount of cheating.

  245. Jonny ,you are right Seagal would put them all into orbit ,
    He is twice their size for starters.And hugely more skilled.
    He may be an awful actor but fight he can.

  246. martial arts? you should have seen pepe and co tonight……hahaha …barca are cunts indeed…but puyol….seriously mu do you expect to beat this lion with them kittens lass and pepe? you remind me of arsene who wanted to beat essien and lampard with denilson and diabby….. oh youve lost it mate …mourinho you are useless and crap..cant beat barca….tonnes of money down the train….hide in shame…

    as for ultracult martial arts movie ….best of the best 1 …with eric roberts (with pony tail)….U.S FUCKING A …and of course the unforgettable micheal dudicoff in american ninja 1,2 ,3,4,5,6,7…..and the japanese epic 7 little ninjas and…bud spencer slapping a dozen of people in one go ..legend

  247. El Clasico

    Dirty cheating diving cunts 1 – other dirty cheating diving cunts 2

  248. its why the spanish lost the armada, bunch of girls. aint been that much spanish diving since the sinking of the san salvador.

  249. I was joking about Jackie Chan, he is a fine stunt man though.
    Akido is alright, but does not compare to say Kyokushinkai

  250. Martial Arts is very overrated as a form of self defence

  251. i know George, sometimes students train for years and when faced with a real violent situation, freeze

  252. Spy,the majority only took it up because they could not fight in the first place.If you have not got it in you a few slick moves against like minded non fighters wont help you a jot.

  253. Krav Maga is a proper martial art. Use any weapon available to you.

  254. theres nothing else you need to learn other than planting your none chocolate foot firmly in someones bollox..

    no tricks and flicks, no tools needed…send their bollox into their skull..

  255. Yes JJ try doing that to Seagal

  256. copernicus | January 18, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Answer me this question:

    Are you satisfied that the club is going in the right direction?

    …well why dont you define first what type/kind of direction you mean…?

    for you the right direction might be a “do it like roman” , for me the right direction is being financially independant, be organised and work like a swiss clock and approach football with a correct set of values. for somebody else the right direction might be having a dictator with a chewing gum bullying everybody else and winning stuff by default or because his players dive

    if our end destination is to break even from the stadium investment yes we are in the right direction.

    if our end destination is to spend like perez in the next ten days and win a quintuple in 2012 and then collapse then im very glad to tell you that no we are not in the right direction.

    if our end destination is to create a mix of foreign world class talent with nucleus of players from within the club that could hit a spell of dominance once the burden of repaying the stadium is out of the way then we are definately going in the right direction.

    and now you will answer me this question:

    Accepting that success in football comes in cycles, do you see any other debt free club making massive profits and already applies with uefa’s 6+5 rule which is better prepared than Wenger;s Arsenal to take advantage of the next cycle ?

    if you do then please tell me ….

    give me an example of the teams you see going in a better direction than arsenal
    -manure? 700m debt..stadium and carrington belongs to the bankers…fergie is 70.

    -chelsea? 600m debt, ageing squad, and totally clueless at running football clubs…roman bought chelsea without buying the ground…lol…. now he is at fights with fans associations

    -city? havent seen anything working yet….have you? a football babel, plus i dont want my arsenal to be subjected to the tantrums of any tevez balloteli nasri aguero.

    – liverpool? lol they are the biggest circus….ownership changes every 3 years…and they sell strikers like torres for 55m and buy caroll for 30. …lol..more than what they paid for suarez. they had benitez who was very decent and they denied him money for a transfer he wanted an dinstead loaded robbie keanne on him out of nowehere for 20 m who was sold back to ttnhm after 4 months….and they sacked the manager who brought them closer to winning the title here in years and who had beaten wenger ferguson mourinho ancelotti (c.l)…circus.

    the clubs (in epl ) total debt is a figure close to 4 billion …..3 billion of that…75% belongs to our rivals… and wenger will have the last laugh when he;s waving au revoir to them as they sink in administration. his kids will be 27-28-29-30, he will have money to add players, with his wengerball in his own stadium with steady revenue …great stuff.

  257. Pssst Jonny I have been hiding out inside your computer…is it safe to come out yet?

  258. cesc_ara..I like your points very much…we think alike..

  259. just love it when people come in and say hey we have the cash sitting in the bank, why not use it? Use some of it? yes, but surely not the whole chunk which is what some fans seem to be advocating.

    At YW, we do need some change, personally, i dont want a change in manager, but i would like to see AW change some of the things that he does. Do i believe that he is the right man for the job? Absolutely, but that doesnt necessitate me as a fan from questioning some of the actions that he takes as a manager………its part of life i guess.

    As for the injuries, some are unfortunate, and that cannot be understated, but some injuries to certain players have become a permanent fixture over the past few years. i said it yesterday, and a few days back. Diaby, Gibbs, Rosicky, and RvP are all players that we have seen miss huge chunks season after season, and this season, 3 out of four have missed huge chunks of the season yet again. that has always meant that going with two LB’s is a risk, having another person get injured in midfield apart from Diaby and Rosicky for extended periods (e.g Wilshere this season) always meant that we ran a risk of not having enough bodies in midfield and it has happened this season.

    Overall, the lack of rotation starts to take a toll on players, too many games played in previous seasons have led to muscular injuries (something that was highlighted by the medical team when they gave a tour to bloggers last year), the hamstring and calf issues become more common and the squad is stretched even more. some of these things are avoidable, some are things that we could have rectified on last years transfer window. maybe going forward, we plan a bit better and have a squad that can compete even when we have injuries.

    I want absolutely no change in manager, but i hope, i really hope that come the end of the season there is a post mortem carried out, and we get the players needed in the are needed.

  260. It makes me laugh when people say they don’t want a change of manager they just want him to manage differently.You know ,like a different manager would.Like them for instance.
    Because obviously Arsene is good .What with the Invincible’s and all that .But he just does not see the whole picture as well as they and their mates do.Perhaps we could have internet polls of fans,and manage the club on the results of these.Sort of management by consensus.Maybe you could only vote if your Champ Man team has done the treble.

  261. I am not an Arshavin detractor,but his sell by date is fast approaching and with little to offer Arsenal on his current form, I would say that this is about it (the next few weekends notwithstanding)

    The other story that took my eye was Djourou relishing the prospect of facing Man- Ure at the weekend. From Man-Ure’s point of view they are looking at a player who is mid-career, has never found a position in the Arsenal starting line up, is about 3rd down the substitute list, (just above Squillaci?) has been around about 6 or 7 years without much effect and has hardly played the last year in a winning Arsenal side, surely they are the ones that are relishing the opportunity to face him!

    Football fantasy goes real.

  262. SA he was the main man when we were doing well last season .Top class until his shoulder injury.
    Either your memory is not so good or you just like a good moan up.

  263. ARSENAL – MANURE 01/02 …1ST ROUND EPL ….3-1 COMPLETE AND UTTER DOMINATION. BARTHEZ….HAHAHA…

  264. and im bored of these classicos…its the smae thing over and over again…madrid starts confidently…scores….then barca ups the tempo a bit..they equalise and then the madrid players lose focus direction and their minds and play kick box, taek won do, wwf…everything else besides football. the way barca moves the ball is very irritating, they mock you….they make you feel like an asshole chasing shaddows…makes you go nuts. cunts

  265. cesc ara. You have really stepped up over the last few days.

    Major kudos to you.

    Brilliant stuff.

  266. PG, its people like you that somewhat piss me off at times. i like Wenger, i love what he has done for the team and how he continues to work, but i would be lying if i came in and told you that i am okay with everything he does.

    Last season we needed someone to come in, he decided that we needed no one and we crumbled……..something that even he came up and admitted was somewhat wrong i.e. he thought that the players could do it all. and he is on record as saying that.

    This season, he invested rather late in the market, and it has cost us. we messed about sealing the transfers of both Smalling and Alvarez, both players that were not out of our reach say like a Ronaldo or Mata, and both are absolute bargains.

    is Arsene doing a fantastic job???? yes he is, can it get better? absolutely. Arsenal buying players in problem areas would be a change, Arsenal investing earlier in windows and sealing deals before the transfer market hawks come around is something that would be welcome. all those signify a change not only to the way the club is run, but in some situations, the way the manager does stuff. hard to understand? Hardly.

    Someone once said that it is foolish to do things the same way over and over again and expect that there will be different results. let us live within our means, but for crying out loud, let us have enough players in the problem areas, and those are at the back in the LB position, in central midfield, and upfront. the past five maybe six years, we havent had quality depth, and while things are better this season, no one, absolutely no one thinks that we have the required numbers, and that my friend requires some type of CHANGE.

    As for Arshavin, stats flatter. we could manage to have him play and do that one special thing be it a goal or assist or both in game while needlessly giving possession on countless occasions without him offering anything on defence. we cannot do that this season, or at any other time going forward. I would rather see Theo, Gervinho, and AOC get the nod before he does.

  267. hehehe cheers consolsbob… i am convinved that the moaners never really understood what it meant to move grounds and start from scratch… either that or theyre all spuds and chelsea trolls.. the points of view they take belong to people who hate arsenal and wenger. what kind of muppet persists on presenting the glass half empty ? obviously the muppet who wants to present arsenal and wenger as failures. who are the most desperate to do that? our rivals…hehe

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