Arsenal: False Idols, Falsehoods and Victorian Abattoirs. One Of Speaks…

He floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee, here’s the ACLF equivalent of Muhammed Ali. Except there isn’t a bee in Big Al’s bonnet, it’s the whole bloody species…

Chances are you won’t know much of what I’m going to talk about here, but that’s OK, neither do I. I’m going to see if I can write a whole post on what I don’t know about the club. Because speculating about Arsenal’s inner workings is like trying to complete a join the dots puzzle with most of the dots missing. That doesn’t stop people having a go, and in their creativity they end up with outlandish ideas like…I don’t know, komodo dragons in Stetsons.

We get detailed assessments of personnel and strategy grounded in nothing firmer than whimsy and hearsay. Soon it becomes truth, and before long the club has to come out and refute suggestions as far-fetched and damaging as the one that Arsène Wenger is taking a cut of club profits.

Where to start?

The medical centre is as good a place as any. To hear it from some it’s an abattoir, medieval torture chamber and Victorian surgical theatre all in one. Club doctors and rehab specialists, ankle deep in human parts, spend their days playing a deranged, real life version of the board game, Operation – if Abou Diaby’s nose flashes then they miss a turn jabbing at his legs and have to go and see if Kieran Gibbs’ feet could do with a new coating of leeches.

Then there’s the coaching staff. At least these people mean well, but since they’re a bunch of new age flower children they see football only in the most ethereal concepts. Defensive coaches order the back four to navigate the pitch by star constellations and send each other energies rather than voiced instructions. Youngsters are given no guidance, for, you see, nobody’s got the smarts to set these little hoods straight. They tried reiki and now they’re fresh out of ideas.

This summer two new and very young faces appeared on the Arsenal site in the Coaching Staff section. Their roles are so specialised they were immediately eyed with contempt – James Collins is a performance nutritionist, but his job has got nothing on Ben Knapper for narrowness. He’s a Football Analyst, whose job is to watch games on TV and make videos for the manager. “You what? So they’re paying students to watch the telly, no wonder we couldn’t afford to give Almunia a pay rise.”

Now back to Diaby. There’s this suspicion that he’s happy with his predicament. When you hear stuff like that you wonder about the lengths you’ll have to go to make Arsenal fans sympathise with their own players. How about we break a part of your anatomy to stop you doing the thing you were born to do?

In most cases I think it would be the wrist.

And every time it looks like you might be able to do it again – whoops, there’s another setback. “So what’s that now, thirty injuries in six years? Time’s not on your side sonny – you were once the next big thing, but you’ve lost most of your career already because of some wannabe hard-man who doesn’t even play the game any more. Oh, did I forget? Leave the club you sponge.”

On to Pat Rice. YW dealt succinctly with the fabricated rumours about him yesterday. What do you know about his relationship with the manager, or where his responsibilities lie? Whatever his strengths, they’re clearly enough to make him a valued figure at the club for almost half a century.

He gave insightful and frank accounts of our performances against Udinese in his surprisingly broad Ulster accent back at the start of the season. All to the amazement of those who thought he only had one word in his vocabulary. I wish the word had been “now”.

But the one thing, more than any other, that gets fans’ knickers in a twist is the club’s silence on transfer matters. It was always this way of course, but at a time when so many people think Arsenal owes them something, the prudent decision to keep schtum is treated as a personal insult, like getting blanked by an old friend.

And this gives rise to yet more toxic accusations. For starters, I have no idea what happened in the summer – noticing a pattern yet? – but I’m convinced it bears no resemblance to the narrative that we’re supposed to accept by people who are no wiser.

When it came to recruitment we’re supposed to believe this chauvinistic idea of a bunch of greenhorns getting the run around from shrewd and swarthy old-worlders. Problem there is that nobody has seen Gazidis in action. And nobody knows who was in last summer’s twenty-strong team, other than Richard Law, what they were doing and how much experience they had in their roles.

This is where David Dein comes in. In the past he was always the man in the photo with the new signing, and I don’t think you can ignore the impact of those photos on people who are desperate to see new faces at the club. Never mind that it’s a different game now, under new constraints. In the years since he’s been gone his status has been raised to something a little above demigod. There’s a reason the club hasn’t built a statue for him – it’s about idolatry, whole thoroughfares to the stadium would be clogged with a sea of prostrate worshippers. Kick off would have to be delayed every fortnight.

Finally, my least favourite football topic, and one of the most contentious – all I can say is , “Shut up, you do not know how much individual players earn. You might think you do, and you might make educated guesstimates, but ultimately you’re bullsh*tting. So shut up.”

Really, most of this stems from an absence of trust in the club. If the team had just won a trophy nobody would be prodding around in the dark, trying to find weaknesses. Where they are is unclear, but I’m sure some fans’ energies could be better spent elsewhere – provided their wrists have healed.

Don’t forget to check out this morning’s Arsenal On This Day, another delve into the past. Some very murky days coming in the next few weeks. ’til Tomorrow.

Posted on January 20, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 335 Comments.

  1. First?

  2. You are so accurate in your ignorance OOU. I think that the problem is deeper than the apparent hysterical doomerism. The amount of time taken by Jibber and Suga over the last few days makes me think that their purpose is to try to destabilise the club and its support. I’m guessing that they are funded by Usmanov and are not really who and what they claim to be. After analysing Jibber’s posts I was coming up with a deeply unhappy, female, Watford supporter but then I stopped because I was wasting time when the best thing to do with Jibber and Suga is to ignore them in the knowledge that when we return to winning ways they will return to the pits from which they have slithered.

  3. OOU thanks again,

    My belief regarding these issues could be summarised as: “only success in the form of trophies will turn plastics to gold.”

  4. Yogi I have been following your blog for some time and admired the insightful writings. So, I was shocked by this outburst. We are clearly to act like Proles, questioning nothing and not asking if change would maybe be a good thing. I watched Pat Rice week in week out in his playing prime and admire and respect him whether you like it or not the buck for our obvious current decline and lack of tactical awareness in the teams performance will lead to genuine questioning of the Manager and his Coaching Staff. You cannot have such an awful record in defense for a top 10 team and receive unbridled affection and support for the management team. As you have indicated, Arsenal Football Club, like many others act in a world of secrecy, partly through business necessity and partly, I’m afraid, through sheer arrogance and lack of respect for the fans.
    You are part of the modern phenomenon of instant news, rumor and Internet sharing so don’t start complaining when you and the football club are undermined by an unsubstaciated wave of opinions and gossip!
    Oh God, it just occurred to me, your not dating Mandy Dodds are you?!!

  5. I like it, well said. Mind you, I doubt if the people you are aiming this piece will realise you have just called them a bunch of w*****s? so narrow is their point of view …

    And yes, everybody is entitled to have a different point of you, but in a public forum you have more than blind prejudice behind such statements … Making racist remarks on twitter is not some ‘offence free zone’, it has no place in any part of our society.

    I have just read the Arseblog ‘Tim Stillman’ piece and I can honestly say I have not seen the comments that clearly offended him. Then I again, I don’t go looking at blogs that I know are out to exploit such frustration. Don’t get me wrong, I am somewhat deflated with our recent performances after the promise of so much going into the Christmas/New Year. That does not mean I want to blast out wholesale slaughter, both literally and of reputations, like some do. That is why I always enjoy this blog.

    Like you have said, you may not know many facts about the structure that is AFC, but enough to know what is out of order.

    Keep up the good work.

  6. Gooner In Exile

    That sir is a heroic post that is pretty much perfect, and I wish I could have written it. I get so annoyed with all the people that claim to have an inside knowledge and one thing that always pisses me off is “but he is paid this much”

    Well played!

  7. no one knows what the inner workings of the club are, that is something that cannot be understated, we are also under a sport that is in some areas out of touch with reality when it comes to balancing of the books that is it sometimes unreal. to see what the effects the petrodollars have had on the world of football is something i look at with utter disdain.

    But that said, we are sometimes our worst enemies………..it has taken us four years, four years to get a defence worthy of contending for the title, a defence that has three good CB’s and one that has promise. in between, we have had the Sol Campbell, Silvestre’s, and Squillaci’s of this world simply because the club was penny pinching. unable, and unwilling to pay a few extra to get the talent needed. We had the opportunity to get Chris Smalling two years ago, and the fee United paid for him was a reasonable fee asked for someone with so much upside, the salary i have no clue about, but it is surely less than what we are paying a guy like Squillaci, and he offers more in terms of a longer term investment, and resale value.

    Over at the summer we had an opportunity to get Ricardo Alvarez, who had stellar qualities, a player that Inter have relied on for creativity in the absence of Sneijder. but we could not seal the deal because we were haggling………..and we lost out on him because another team came in and paid the balance of what we were asked to pay as an add on.

    Guys, i love this team, will always do whether we are winning trophies or not, but to somehow think that we are a perfect team doing everything perfectly is a view i personally cannot support. I dont think that there is anything wrong with the coaching staff and how the players are taught to play, i dont think that there is anything wrong with the medical personnel (it is absurd to blame a doctor for an injury), and i dont think that Pat Rice has to shoulder any blame.

    Where i think blame has to be apportioned is in places like the board and the manager’s lack of will to invest in the team. im not saying blow the bank, simple matter is that some fees are within reach of what we can pay, but we love to get the better of anyone on any deal that even when the fee is reasonable and fair, it is sometimes almost always second nature for us to take our time bidding low and trying to get a deal done as low as possible.
    if it works, we have done well, but if we lose a player, a class player that starts to deliver immediately when they move to another team, the move is penny wise and extremely pound foolish.

    I have a problem with management due to the fact that we sometimes do not play our best player in a certain position. in reference to this point, im talking about AOC. Why not play the kid when he has more to offer, or offers more when he gets the chance? What are we saving him up for? Chelsea have unleashed Oriol Romeu because he is a better player compared to Mikel, Barcelona are playing Thiago Alcantara on their team because he an exceptional talent, United have been playing Smalling and Phil Jones despite their age and inexperience. it also begs the question, why not play him when we have had success with Cesc and Jack?

    Will success only in the form of trophies turn the plastics? Plastics????? i dont think that there are any plastics left, i dont think that they would be around that long. I talk to fans, and they are aware of what the club, and Arsene are trying to do which is to have a sustainable club that can survive regardless of who the owner is. but people also ask the question on the lack of investment on the team, as to why most transfer windows have to yield a profit when the net figures are looked at, and as to why a team that has the most expensive ticket in world football cannot spend a bit of its profits to make a challenger of its team. and i personally cannot fault them the least bit, because i love the team, and i want to see them win (anyone that says they dont is a hypocrite).

  8. Gooner In Exile

    Just read the comments and see you have had the pleasure of a visit from Suga. He does enjoy a trip off LG now and again to spread the word of doom to the unconverted. We get him at AA occasionally but thankfully like herpes he disappears after a few days.

  9. shropshire lad

    I didn’t write the piece, hence the introduction which makes it clear that the author is someone else. That and the fact that every Friday, the column has been written by someone else. Which sort of renders your whole point irrelevant since it was all based on having a pop at me.

  10. As usual Big Al, you show wisdom beyond your years.

    I have one more bit of ignorance.

    What is Kroenke ‘s vision for the club?

  11. OOU

    Brilliantly and concisely summed up…great post, really enjoyed it…

  12. Really great post. I’ve been enduring the doomerism from fellow supporters back home. In Kenya it seems to be a true Arsenal supporter u have to really hate Arsene’s guts. Really don’t know why some people waste their time watching, only to turn to me and launch into a ‘ WE ARE SHIT’ monologue.

  13. TV
    Arteta
    Gibbs
    Santos
    Sagna
    Jenks
    Coquelin
    Wilshere
    Diaby
    Gervinho
    Chamakh
    Henry??

    Players out/possibly out for the unted game..

    We do not have squad depth?? Well putting out any sort of team in a 25 man squad system means squad depth right there morons!!!

  14. Why do we always get to face united with only half our squad…damn damn damn!!!!

  15. Diaby, Gibbs, are always injured, and those areas are problem areas. As for AFCON bound players, we knew they were going to go come january. it isnt a surpise, is it?

  16. Arsenal 2 – 1 Manure. You heard it here first.

  17. Richie,
    Hope we can put in a repeat performance from last season when we dominated them, or several years back when we had Nasri score both goals

  18. i have a novel idea for you; instead of paying someone to make videos of our opponents, why doesn’t the manager actually go and watch them himself.He is the only manager who is never seen watching any other teams.Videos only go so far;they show none of the movement of the other team or the running off the ball. No wonder the defence gets caught out time and time again.As for the snide comments about dein, i suggest you read alex flynn’s book arsenal the making of a modern superclub, or listen to one of his interviews (there are a couple on the footballistically arsenal podcast) for an overview of what arsenal has lost since his departure.Mr flynn actually knows wenger and the board so he is far better placed than any of us to comment.If it were not for dein your precious wenger would not even be here as the rest of the board had never heard of him.

  19. Acrylic

    Ok thats 4 players, the other 8 are not, right?? Still 1/3rd of our squad right??

  20. @ Acryllic
    I’m hoping for the same. I remember Ferguson in the 2002 season saying Arsenal always outplays you for the first 20 mins. I hope we blast them away from the first whistle.

  21. Cbob

    And isn’t that particular ignorance entirely wrong? Surely the majority shareholder – to all intents and purposes, the owner – would make a priority of having his idea of the golden future in the public domain rather than letting a dystopian Hell emerge in its place?

  22. Gerry Lennon’s opening gambit’s been proved wrong.

  23. Bravo yogi and to be honest u are too kind….. the tw2ts who complain…whether they want to impose usmanov and dein;s interests , or wheather they are rival trolls getting their kicks …more aggression is needed…where words dont apply the stick does.

    a lot of sheep exist in the arsenal fans section……… alot of w@nkers who think they can give advise to wenger …(pmsl) about how to run football clubs…… it is beyond embarassing.

  24. Yogi, let me commend you for the last few posts, the one about our history brought tears to my eyes. OOU hasnt disappointed either today. Keep up the good work

    My only hope is the idiots who think they are “know-it -alls” as axis called them the other day can read this and get it into their skulls they dont know anything as far as the club is concerned.

    I see no one is back(arteta and vermaelen) and we have now lost Henry too. This makes me alittle pessimistic about Sunday but I am hoping for the best.

  25. Anirudh,

    We are not the only team to go through an injury crisis, United are also undergoing one of their own. the one place we have been unlucky is to lose all our fullbacks albeit as far as Gibbs is concerned, its somewhat a norm.

    two places we have problems are at LB and CM, and i have said it before, relying on players that have for years not been available for the better part of the season comes back to hurt us every season. i hope, i really hope we plan better in the summer

  26. In most cases I think it would be the wrist.

    BOOM

  27. That’s right Yogi.

    That’s the one bit of ignorance that is inexcusable and causes so much of the trouble that we see spewed out here and elsewhere every day.

    It is that silence, that doubt about his intentions that gives the doomers and miseries an opportunity to vent their spleen on the usual targets.

    To be honest, it is the reason why I don’t feel able to wholly reject their pessimism if not their hatred of Arsene and players.

    While doubt remains about what he plans for Arsenal’s future then the Suga’s have room for manoeuvre. Some will use that doubt to spread alarm for their own purposes, some because they are dim, others because they are just concerned.

    I can’t just dismiss them as i would have done a couple of years ago.

    We really don’t know what is going on at the highest level and for all Big Al’s excellent riposte to us needing to know everything, this particular bit of ignorance is very bad news indeed.

    Unnecessary, unless there is something to hide.

  28. yes basil ….and dein and flynnn are both brittish…flynn wants sales for his books and dein wants the current board out. what better than a controversial presentation of the situation from the w@nker who sold out to gangsters……

    yet all you people talk about is how much wenger gets per year….lol muppets!

    dein…heheheh 70 million…..hahaha…he loves arsenal for sure…

    in principal i am the first to shout about the need of a dein type figure to protect arsenal interests on the pitch….but that cunt sold out to crimelords for 70m…………..his son drove henry and cesc away……. fuck him.

  29. and that comment abotu wenger/dein and who brought who and who made who…..it goes two ways yes….and if wenger wasnt as good dein wouldnt see 70 million……

  30. How about we break a part of your anatomy to stop you doing the thing you were born to do?

    In most cases I think it would be the wrist.

    hehehee

  31. shropshire Lad | January 20, 2012 at 7:33 am

    lol…..since when do you know anything about management or football to question or doubt rice and wenger? lol…..show me your badges and your medals son.

    after your medals i want you to show me the shares you have bought or any title of part- ownership you may have over arsenal which would allow you to have a say in how things are run.

    and after youve done all that go to the hospital and beg the doctor to tie your wrist up in some bandage or even better cut it off or else youll end up like this http://www.deadseriousnews.com/?p=821

  32. You’ve almost got the full house of Arsenal fan stupidity here, OOU.

    I would add that; Mikel Arteta was a panic-buy, that Bentley and Simpson were blocked, that Koscielny needs to be taught how to ‘put his foot through the ball’, and that there is a refusal to move away from a concrete ‘4-3-3’ (even though we routinely change shape from one 5 minute spell to the next).

    Particularly like the hippie granola defensive coaches. That’s exactly how I imagine Boro Primorac to be – a glorified ballet teacher.

    All in all a delicious treat. Might read it again…

    (Ballet coach Primorac back row, far left – what a pussy – how he captained a 1970s Yugoslavia team from centreback I’ll never know)

  33. Big Al,

    I loved your previous Post, and this one has me grinning from ear to ear.

    You do realise that the very people you are attempting to lampoon will read the article and believe you are supporting their views? 🙂

    There are also many genuine fans who are deeply disappointed that the club seem to be treading water, at the moment, but they remain steadfast in their support.

    Sadly many supporters, as opposed to fan(atics), prefer not to go onto blogs and express their support for fear of falling foul of the sewer mouths, so credit to you for trying to shine some light on the matter. 🙂

  34. LA

    >Ballet coach Primorac back row, far left – what a pussy – how he captained a 1970s Yugoslavia team from centreback I’ll never know

    Yeah but he didn’t have any English grit did he? Well aside from he kicked lumps off Mark Heeley in the Cup Winners Cup…

  35. Consolsbob me old salt,

    In the spirit of stabbing around in the dark…

    …We ‘know’ that Kroenke is a cautious investor (DO WE KNOW?? DO WE REALLY?? – thanks, Big Al 😐 ) – so a period of wait and see from Kroenke seems in keeping with that reputation. His was more a move to block Usmanov than anything else I thought – endorsed and encouraged by the rest of the board. He’s never come out a talked about investment in the playing staff. Maybe he will, maybe he never will.

    I’m not sure how knowing his intentions on that front changes anything for us right now. It might be frustrating knowing that a majority shareholder is NOT investing in players – but that’s not much different from having two or three large shareholders NOT investing in players. He’s never announced himself as a benefactor – he’s just a shareholder.

    I’m really bad at supposing about this stuff because I don’t know enough – but maybe that’s the point. One thing about keeping schtum is that fan expectation aint going anywhere. As soon as John Henry announced his warchest Liverpool fans started talking about winning the league – and they got Andy Carroll instead.

    …A blindfolded two penn’orth if ever there was one.

  36. So basically all is fine and nothing needs changing. So we can expect a top four finish and a possible title come May.

  37. Sometimes I wonder where you get your stoicism, YW. And then I remember that you watched Mark Heeley…

  38. That’s the spirit, goonerton. I’m with you…

  39. Goonerton,
    your comment made me smile.

  40. Quick thoughts on Sunday…

    What a big fucking huge fucking game. Can’t bloody wait.

    When Vermaelen and Arteta were pencilled to play I was thinking if we play without fear, without the handbrake on and play our natural game – we’ll beat them by two clear goals. Can we play like that after recent results and with our last meeting in our minds? Different question. We’d have to use all that to our advantage somehow. Points to prove.

    With those two out it looks a different game. Saving grace is – Utd aren’t playing well, and a partisan home crowd (you can find me in the Clock End) with little to lose, could make the difference.

    We regularly create two or three early chances in these big games. Lot riding on us taking them. Have you met Mr Van Perise?

    …ARSENAL…

  41. Got a ticket for the match! 😀 Can’t wait!!

    Anyone else going?

    Right, now to read through the comments… Nice one OOU.

  42. Yeah OOU,

    ……and then there are those that think the squad is a bit thin coz we got a few duffers in it like Squillaci and Djourou.

    Actually, sorry that’s me, bad timing.

  43. Sunday is huge. A defeat really will see us with a mountain to climb. Yet again we face Manure with tons of players missing, how frustrating 😦

  44. Acryllic Altair – your comments made me smile too, not because i agree, but because you are so ridiculously contradictory. (and because the last couple of days you’ve basically been saying the same thing over and over again, in slightly different ways…)

    You write a far-too-long post about the things you fault Arsenal for, then end with this:

    “and i personally cannot fault them the least bit, because i love the team, and i want to see them win (anyone that says they dont is a hypocrite).”

    Hmmm ok…

    And by the way, OOU didn’t once say that Arsenal are a perfect team doing everything perfectly. We all know there are some issues at the moment (although some feel they are much more devastating than those who can see the long term plan unfolding), and maybe you are right that we could have spent that little bit more to acquire a player, but we will never know all of the factors involved – the interview process, does he have the right attitude, intelligence? will he fit in with his teammates? will his family and personal life be disrupted massively? possible injury/illness concerns? these are just a few of the hundreds of factors that have to be acknowledged and worked around for any transfer to go through. The whole point in the article seems to have been missed by you entirely.

    Anyway… I am almost becoming moist in anticipation…

    Limps – not sure where i’m sitting yet… What pub you going to before (if any)?

  45. This is good

  46. Have this feeling that Sunday’s match decides whether we are top four material or back to the dumps. I’ll happily take any win even if it’s 1:0 to the arsenal!

  47. Well Limpar, it’s not often I can say this but you missed my point.

    I really don’t care about any ‘warchest’ mythical or otherwise. I don’t want Kroenke to say anything about investing in players. I don’y expect, or want, his money buying players. If that was the case Suga would be right, might as well have Usmanov.

    I would like to know what his intentions are for the club. To continue to challenge amongst the elite? To potter along and run a profitable business with the minimum of concern? To sell it off at a profit in a few years?

    Of course he wouldn’t tell us if it was either of the latter options but you get my drift.

    While believing that he was the prefferred buyer once the old Board decided to get out I don’t buy that he acted merely to block Usmanov. Why would he do that? Because he is a nice bloke? No.

    He is a businessman. He doesn’t invest hundreds of millions without a strategy.

    Now I hope that he is a good businessman and that he genuinely wants to support and build our club but he is here to make a profit one way or another.

    This is always where the football as business model and the football as a passion reality collide. You can run a club as a business, you have to, but what is the purpose in so doing?

    Look at what is happenning at Blackburn. A farce. The owners are trying to run it like any other part of their business empire. Good luck with that one.

  48. Great post and very amusing with it. Just amazed the so-called ‘popular’ press don’t routinely reproduce this material as it’s vastly more readable than much of their mainstream output …

    I have one question for you – or anyone who may feel they have the answer.

    Aside from the issue of injuries and players failing to honour their contracts which one assumes is largely beyond the influence of the club, is there, nonetheless a vacuum in one area of the club’s work which, were it to be filled, could do everyone a lot of favours? An area in which they could have control, to a greater or lesser degree?

    The area to which I refer is Public Relations – PR.

    Consolbob (9.21) touches on this – the sound of silence emanating from the club on so many issues, from the strategic (i.e., what direction is the club heading in terms of ownership/investment etc) to the daily tittle-tattle (e.g., why did we not buy x, y or z player that we may have been linked to in preceding weeks). Does the club feel we have above average levels of player injury and if so, why does the club feel this is happening? If the club feels we have normal injury concerns relative to other clubs, then say so – and explain why.

    This vacuum, to me, is symptomatic of the club’s apparent failure (in my eyes, at least) to engage fully with the fan base (not to mention the media and the wider world).

    And whilst genuine supporters won’t lose sleep over the Suga’s of the world being kept in the dark, the Consolbob’s of the world, in writing the following words sum up the problems that are caused by the club’s reticence to connect and engage with it’s support:

    “While doubt remains about what he [Kroenke] plans for Arsenal’s future then the Suga’s have room for manoeuvre. Some will use that doubt to spread alarm for their own purposes, some because they are dim, others because they are just concerned.

    I can’t just dismiss them as i would have done a couple of years ago.” (Consolbob 9.21)

    Science tells us that ‘nature abhors a vacuum’ – and in the same way, all the time that the club remains aloof, others will rush in to fill the space the club should be filling with PR which spells out their position on the issue of any given day.

    I’m not naive enough to assume they would – or should – always tell us everything we want to hear – and some stuff is undoubtedly sensitive and/or confidential.

    But at times, the sound of silence becomes deafening.

    And if the criticism of the club and its staff reaches critical mass, I would argue that, potentially, this could do far more harm than a professional and informed programme of constructive and measured engagement with the outside world would ever risk.

    So that, really, is my question – do you think the club could or should be doing more with PR to fight their corner, protect and promote their interests, to connect with their fan base, to counter the criticism and bust the myths that routinely surround any high profile organisation or individual?

  49. Limpar Assist (11.18).

    Bit rubbish, that Ramsey, isn’t he?

    Someone posted a similar vid of Kos a while back and (unless I imagined it) the criticism of him dried up overnight.

    We have awesome players and are an awesome club.

    If only we had the fans to kick in when the chips are down …

  50. arsenal andrew i agree to an extent…yes we need a figure to protect our interests on the pitch, a dominant figure that the f.a fears…s o that wallys like dowd dean and the rest think twice before treating us unfairly.

    as for p.r i aint interested at all….all i want is a person strong enough to deal with the f.a and media HARSHLY ….not some puppet to talkt o the fans to calm them down..to hell with the fans most of them are clueless anyway.

  51. yes andrew home crowd are like kittens…no voice..no flags no flares…60k idiots sitting there sharping their knives waiting for the team to make a mistake to start their booing…disgraceful.

  52. I hope we make the top 4 but I really don’t see the doom and gloom of missing out on it. We can have a period of rediscovery in the Europa league. A chance to also play more of our squad players.

  53. Can’t agree with you Richee. Not making the top four would mark the end of an era with grave financial implications.

  54. But what about the £100 million in the bank?
    What about the Ade and Toure money that Arsene is sitting on?
    Why is Arsene not doing everything possible to make us as good as we can be,working within the budget ?
    Eh.Eh Eh,want about them things?????

    Where are the trophies I deserve.I have worked hard for them,Eh.Eh..Eh?????
    Arsenal are not matching my ambitions.I am looking for a new team.

  55. K.G
    Kindly elaborate on the enormity of these financial implications??? I wud think the Europa league offers a greater chance for silverware and revenue generation for the Arsenal??

  56. Cesc_ara – I know PR has an awful reputation (and I don’t work in that area btw) but used with integrity it can have a beneficial effect.

    I’m not suggesting ‘a puppet to talk to the fans to calm them down’ – my point is that regular dissemination of information would help avoid them getting worked up (in some quarters) in the first place by the myths pedalled by all comers who can do this without opposition from the club.

    If “most of them [the fans] are clueless”, do you not think the club, in even a small way, has some responsibility for this?

    I don’t think Consolbob is clueless (far from it) but when someone of his stature talks about being kept in the dark (my words) then surely something could be done to address this?

    What do you think?

  57. yes andrew but the way i see it…the fan that gets worked up because arsenal aint fullfilling his personal ambitions is not the fan the club should try to please. arsenal is doing their thing. whoever wants to support them, the stadium is right there. if the moaners cant get it in their thick skulls that arsenal is preparing and working with a lookout to ten years and beyond then there is no point in valuing their outrageous claims and demands…ignore them completely.

    and no the club has no responsibilty if the fans are clueless about football and how things work in multimillion pound industries and what long term planning means. nike had to wait 20 years to get into the football industry…now they dress up the most famous of football clubs. barcelona has been working with cruyff for 4 decades to reach the stage theyre at.

    i did not call consolbob clueless… i was referring to people like sugapie.

    what i think? i think that the arsenal fans are huge muppets and threaten to destroy the phenomenal work of wenger because they have been spoilled, and have had their heads spinned by rivals taunting and media misrepresentation of our status. i expected the english arsenal fans who know that arsenal used to be and what difference there is now to put all them moaners at their places. too many sheep in our ranks. too many idiots who judge a club which is still a work-in-progress with the kind of criteria that our most hated rivals would use.

  58. Svelte 🙂 You are the man Bob.

  59. Good post cesc_ara.

  60. I agree with cesc_ara .Problem is I agree with Andrew as well,and Bob.
    I am going to have to start thinking for myself at this rate.

  61. Would have welcomed the signing of Taiwo on loan.

    Would be lovely to enter this weekend with our spine, bar Wilshere, all playing

    Worrying that no specialist full backs will be on the pitch come Sunday, the last side we played who use direct attacking wingers dominated us, now we have the same threat, just much better players.

    Really tough one to call, reckon thier will be bags of goals.

    3-3

  62. @ KG
    Obviously the Tv viewership money is limited in the Europa but isn’t thea an equivalence btwn Arsenal winning the Europa and Arsenal getting tossed out in quarters?

  63. No-one wants that George. We all know how that can end up…

  64. **quarters of the Champions league**

  65. Cesc aura

    Of course football clubs have to listen to thier fans. No fans. No money.

    Our CEO has said exactly that.

    In fact, if you look at our publicly available accounts, or read Swiss Ramble, you will realise how heavily geared our business model is on match day revenue.

    Not being in the champs league, not filling the stadium (cant remember the last sell out I saw at the Emirates), is more damaging than you think to our fragile business model.

  66. Is anyone on here going to the match on Sunday?

  67. Was thinking that… where do you go normally?

  68. Any flares would meet with almost instant ejection, and rightly so, it’s dangerous, not to mention thoroughly unpleasant.

    I noticed some interesting discussion points on the debt in the comments yesterday.

    I think Untold Arsenal has the exact details, but to the best of my knowledge we have (or had) more than one creditor.

    The principle debt appears to be a bank loan at extremely favourable rates (from what I understand largely thanks to our board members’ contacts, including PHW).

    I also recall there being mention that early settlement would incur penalties.

    That said, it would not make much sense to settle the debt early, especially considering the below market rate that was secured for it.

    As a thought, I suppose the club could reduce the debt to say 1 pound and leave that in place until the end of the loan period? Might that avoid the penalties?

    Nevertheless, considering the interest rate in place, astute financial management would surely suggest that the club should take advantage of that facility rather than merely paying it off as fast as possible?

    I could understand a large cash reserve being built up considering the current financial climate, but not paying the capital off ahead of schedule.

  69. Also Cesc aura

    You say if the moaners get it in thier thick skulls? I’d suggest you sit down with a chunk of the away fans who sacrifice thier weekends and significant sums of cash to go and support the fecking boys everywhere. Believe me on the occasions I am fortunate enough to get tickets for away games, it isnt some massive group Wenger love in session.

  70. take this for example…we get the mancs mocking us for being trophyless when they went 26 years without winning the league, they have also got relegated. lol ….

    then you have the sloane square boys who won the league after half a century and spending a billion and call themselves kings of london…lmao…. last year they spent 70m in january and ended trophyless….lol….have you seen anyone blasting them the way they blast wenger;s kids?

    spuds? lol…not even worth talking about them muppets

    seriously there is nothing to complain about…we always knew this was gonna be a really shitty period and thankfully we have a manager who achieved unbelievable things for the amounts of underinvestment that were occuring for the first team. the time to have judged arsenal would have been when fabregas and majority of players who started together reached 26 years of age…….the arsenal fans have been moaning like cretins ever since these guys were only 20 or 21….. now that cesc has gone and that plan went to ruins the fans will have to wait till the generation of wilshere and ramsey hit 26-27 before they start judging.

  71. The question of what happened to the Toure/Adebayor transfer money has never been answered.We sold them for £41m.We bought TV for £10m but that was it.
    We sell out every league game.£3m gate reciepts
    Why the reluctance to spend big money on quality

    Fans can say Arteta Per Santos etc are good signings but that doesnt reflect in the league table

    This has been our worse season under Wenger.That is because the squad is not good enough.You cannot run and hide from that fact

  72. Highbury Barn – for these games I can only get tickets on my pals ST’s, so thats where we drink or his flat 50m up the road.

    Moving to Upper St in May – the good lady (bless her) still hasnt clocked on to its proximity to Mecca.

  73. I can understand a reluctance to pay large transfer fees.

    If the club looks at the total cost of “ownership” of a player, the less you pay in terms of a transfer fee, the more you can afford to pay in wages.

    The transfer fee goes to the selling club, quite often a rival, and means very little to the player himself apart from any possible “cut” he gets.

    The player would surely be more interested in his weekly wage, so increasing that at the expense of the transfer fee would be a double win for the club in that you have a more satisfied player, and you minimise strengthening a competitor by giving them more money than you need to.

  74. Jabba's Delights

    Geo

    ”than those who can see the long term plan unfolding)”

    hmmmm so we just lost the guy arsene built the team around and now we have 3 1st team starters one of which is our only trully elite player looking like they will be off in the summer.
    They called for the club to show ambition…………do you think Robin was blown away by what he’s seen????

    The plan isnt unfilding if it has to restart every year.

    If we dont make the top 4 and a defeat at the weekend will be doing us no favours we will be in a position where we need to replace important players, do we have a manger who can do that and make us a betetr side……………..last summer suggest not. Every quote that has come from wilshere makes you realise that to not be playing cl football long term would mean him leaving………………….wake up and smell the coffee big guy these next 5 months are so fucking important for our great club and your messiah legacy its not even funny.

  75. Lenny.
    When you cash your next GIRO And your pay back your Mums Loan,try to understand how a budget works

  76. Cesc aura

    But you are resting on your laurels about Wenger winning trophies previously, and the ugly measures by some to make the step up to winning trophies.

    Comparing factions of history is pathetic, what would your response to be to a bindipper who started harping on about 5 european cups? Honestly, what woudl your response be? “oh well done chaps, you are without doubt the best english club ever, because you did x,y and z and only spent what you could afford”. Give it a rest.

    Lets be realistic. After nearly 7 years of rebuilding, two seperate squads, millions recieved in transfer fees, only a faction reinvested in the squad, are we a better side than 05/06? Are we getting closer to challenging for the title?

  77. I live near Manchester ,I could switch to City.
    They are matching my ambitions.

  78. Great post but it is one sided to say the least. It is very clearly trying to put down any one who has had any valid questions over the past few months ( or probably years ) with out being even remotely objective.

  79. Same old story with you George. Quick question for you pal.

    Do you think signing Taiwo on loan till the end of the season would have bettered the squad, by a) allowing our first choice CB pairing to start to together, and b) for having a specialist LB to be on the pitch

  80. hey luke yes i get what you mean. there should always be a healthy relationship between club and fans…but in this club i do not believe the club has done enough for them cretins to start doubting everything and everyone. we aint close to relegation..we aint up to our necks with massive debts..we aint staring into a black oblivion with nothing to hope for. in this partticular case its not the club that has done anything wrong. its the fans insistence that they can have things their way. no. organisations as serious as arsenal do not work like that. organisations like arsenal have their plans their margins their numbers. they will play it safe. the fans want the club to take risks which are not worth taking just for the sake of giving them kodak momments with trophies. they are gloryseekers if they think like that.

    the way i see it arsenal offers a lot to the fans. arsenal offers security, stability, class and great football.

    and not being in the champions league is an extra incentive for the fan to go support his team to get back there…….arsenal fans have taken things for granted. thats their fault. fans are in their majority simple people who just want an escape from their daily routines. when arsenal doesnt win and doesnt allow them a pleasurable escape they all start critisising as if they have worked next to cruyff and lippi.

    and luke i havent said a word about the away fans…im talking about the home crowd that makes our team and players play with their backs on the wall as if they have to prove something to the muppet who paid for a ticket.

  81. Don’t leave PG – sob – we love you 😦

  82. Luke ,what makes you think we could have done that without it effecting things that you know nothing about ?
    But you not having a clue is not a new thing.Despite you thinking you know everything about the inner workings.

  83. Jabba's Delights

    George

    The accounts clearlly show we have money to spend.

    Our wages have been the 3rd or 4th highest since 2004 which is exactly where we’ve finnished on every occasion in that time.

    We have spoken about this before;

    Why does the club not address weakneses in the same way that your or my company would. If they are trying to address weakneses within the playing squad and behind the scenes, why is it not working…………is that not a legitimate question? Why has our performance on the pitch got statistically worse each year for 3 years and what might be this year. Why has the defence each year got worse despite being identified as an area of extreme weakneses by our manager. If you cant blame him or the coaching staff or the players as they are all world class…………….who is to blame……………utd, referees, city, spurs, our fans????

    Why shouldnt a fan ask these questions about the club they love. Anyone who follows other sports understands that cycles come to an end and not everything is forever…………..at what point does excuses stop and our failure so far this season (and yes it should be viewed as a very disappointing 1st half to a season) come down to poor management. If its not poor management and the board are nailing us behind the scenes we should revolt. Anybody who follows US spot unfortunatly knows though that Kroenke isnt stealing money he is just a stingy owner who often presides over anambitious teams

  84. Richii being a kenyan myself I know the type you are talking about. anyone who comes to me with the “wenger has lost it bullshit” mostly get their news from the Le Grove’s of this world and know squat about football.Mostly i advice them to shut it or join mancity!

  85. Isn’t the idea that we bank all the cash to settle outstanding debt, then come 2035 we can start investing in the squad?

  86. Lets be realistic. After nearly 7 years of rebuilding, two seperate squads, millions recieved in transfer fees, only a faction reinvested in the squad, are we a better side than 05/06? Are we getting closer to challenging for the title?

    yes lets be realistic..the 05-06 team was coming with an accumulated speed and air of superiority from the invincible era. the two squads that could have won it in the meantime lost it due to situations which have to do with our young players experience and englands hatred of watching a bunch of foreigner yongsters mocking them with their fast football and precise passing. arsenal has gone through an amazing witchhunt. and its unbelievable that the fans dont see it. in 07 when eduardo had his foot hanging by the thread of his sock….we got back there…what did they do? they gave birmingham a non existing penalty….a few weeks later they cancelled a legitimate goal against middleboro…a few weeks later another one with sunderland…and int he old trafford game they made ronaldo take a penalty twiuce and gave a hand ball against gilberto ( ball to hand , not hand to ball,,,,, form a distance of less than 2 yards….how the hell can that be translated as intentional) which hargreaves scored from…united wont he title by a difference of four points in comparison to us…… and one or two from chelsea.

    last year i demolish newcastle 4-0 and i sit top in the epl table …..dowd disciovers two non existing penalties , a red card offence and the one time van persie bropke through to score the fifth the ref stopped him for making a foul when he is marked by TWO!

    if the fans dont see these things then they are blind.

  87. cesc

    Your missing the point. The sole purpose, neigh, the sole existence of sporting teams everywhere, in every league, in every sport is to compete at the best of your abilities.

    Fortnuately for us, the team that we sport is in the top percentile globally of football. Naturally with such prestige and accolade comes more pressure (well rewarded pressure I may add)

    To simple suggest that we, as fans who keep the club running day to day, should merely sit back and enjoy the pleasures of supporting such a great club, without evening questioning any alarming aspects which threaten our veery greatness, is blind in my opinion.

    I’ll always go to arsenal, in fact, a couple of years of nothing will speed up my ST coming through, so every cloud, but the difference between AFC and other clubs is that, if we do finish 5th/6th/7th this year, and lose further key players and potential management, we will be the only club who could say, we had the means and the ability to address this before it got out of hand. Thats the issue.

    Supported the club first under graham, so the great football had nothing to do with my addiction!, i dont care if that goes, just want to see us go hell for leather in everything we do, with everthing we have got, and seeing this season unfold in pretty similar fashion to the last 3/4 is becoming draining, like banging your head against a wall at times supporting this club.

  88. Cesc_ara – apologies, I didn’t mean to suggest you called the svelte but manly Consolbob clueless.

    I agree with a great deal of what you write (not just today but most days) btw. Your recall, at times (probably all the time), is quite remarkable and your long term outlook, in my book, is admirable.

    However, despite sharing your low opinion of certain elements of the support, I can’t agree that the club can afford to disregard them – or any – of the fan base in the way I feel they currently are.

    History is littered with the wreckage of those who have ignored their supporters (Maggie Thatcher, to name just one – who ignored what should have been her closest allies in cabinet, for example, and became a rare example of a sitting prime minister removed from power not by the vote of the people but by her own party).

    And as one who goes to all the home games and just a couple of away matches each year, I’m aware of the commitment required to follow the club. Yes, again, you ARE right – the club isn’t forcing me to follow them.

    But they do need me and many others like me.

    I’m not suggesting they have to please me with everything they do or don’t do or even justify their activities or inactivities – but would it really cost that much to enlighten me, a little, from time to time?

    Luke (12.56) – you lucky, lucky b**s***d! I used to go out with a girl who lived literally doors away from the Highbury Barn and I worked for 15 years adjacent to Upper Street, near Angel tube; two of my most favourite places in the world! Very, very happy days – good luck to you both!

  89. What on earth are you talking about PG?

    See you restort to abuse, fail to answer a simple question, and ridicule anyone who questions the dark and secret ways of arsenal football club.

    We need a specialist LB. Thats a fact. Taiwo is a specialist LB with decent pedigree, that is expensive, thats on loan. That is a fact.

    How long till Gibbs is fit? Last time he played 5 games on the bounce? What about Santos? When is he back?

    We are crippling ourselves by playing TV at LB.

  90. cesc, im sorry, i cant engage you over witchunt claims.

  91. I want my Arsenal back.
    You know the one that Arsene gave us.
    We need a manager who can be like Wenger

  92. come down to poor management. If its not poor management and the board are nailing us behind the scenes we should revolt.

    lol jabba…..revolt….pmsl..if you had any guts you would revolt against all them xenophobic pricks that hate wenger arsenal and what we stand for. but …yeah go boo the manager who took you from the gutters of mediocrity finishing seasons in 7th and 12th and turned you into a moneymaking machine and a brandname recognizable worldwide for their football.

    i guess you havent even noticed the psychological advanatges the refs can give to our opponents ……….

  93. Inner workings???? He might be the tea lady.

  94. I want my Arsenal back.
    You know the one that Arsene gave us.
    We need a manager who can be like Wenger

    ======

    AHAHAHAHHAHAHA

  95. Nice post, OOU.

    Regarding the summer, yes, it was pretty miserable; it puzzles me how people seem to forget that there was a huge amount of uncertainty which was only resolved at the end of the summer. Once we missed out on third place, there was the question of would we qualify for CL. The other big question was what were Cesc and Nasri going to do? It’s possible that we might have handled things better, but as OOU points out so eloquently, we don’t know what really went on. In light of that, some of the views put forth about our recent transfer dealings seem surprisingly (and misguidedly, in my opinion) “sure” of the “facts”.

  96. luke…you havent discovered america mate. yes professional sport is about winning. but you have to accept that climbing the ladder takes time. in order to climb this ladder arsenal chose to do it in a very safe and very footballing way. academies, younsgters..develop and what do you know at some point and if your work is of high quality you will also create a generation that will do what united did before us , what barca is doing now and so on.

    andrew… i think you are a clever enough guy to understand that what arsenal has gone through the past few years is the result of many things and not just wenger;s inability to spend.

  97. Geo | January 20, 2012 at 11:18 am ,

    Contradictory? how so?
    I love this team, and i would like to see them win as would any fan. i have not yet seen a fan that doesnt want this team to win anything.

    Also, i fault the team because some of the things we do are glaringly wrong. do i want us to spend? yup, but i have always said that they biggest hindrance is salary space. how do we get rid of it???? By selling people we dont need, but even that is an issue because we overpay some underdelivering players, and we look to make huge profits when they need to be sold.
    United, sold Brown and O’shea on the cheap because they were no longer needed. we on the other hand looked to sell both Denilson and Bendtner high, teams bolted.

    Finally, i trend to question when people are overly optimistic, or overly pessimistic. i like the debate over here, its mature, but people are overly optimistic, people rarely want to see anything wrong, at legrove, people are overly pessimistic and cannot see anything positive. both are a problem. i find a middle ground where i see the positives and acknowledge the weak points that might need stregthening.

  98. Fortnuately for us, the team that we sport is in the top percentile globally of football. Naturally with such prestige and accolade comes more pressure (well rewarded pressure I may add)

    fair enough luke but the thing is that whatever prestige and acclaim arsenal enjoys is because of wenger. he gave it to us and he can take it away if he wants too.

    it’s like you becoming a manager in a cafeteria and through your work the cafeteria becomes club 54 where de niro shows up with three hotties. you brought the company to that level. i as a customer cant turn to you and demnad explantions if for a few nights club54 doesnt hit previous heights.

    its like ferrari fans turning against schummacher for crying out loud….like the chicago bullss fan turning against jordan….i place arsenal fans turning against wenger in the same bracket. they simply can not do that for the manager who has devoted his life;s work to make our club a global superpower. its not about emotion its about respect.

    he has chosen to do it in the way he knows best. there is no other manager in the world than can work on and develop players the way wenger can. so for what arsenal planned wenger is both the right guy and the most experienced and qualified. not all players are champion material of course, thats logical and to be expected. still at this point they need all of them to develop them and then sell them. thats the plan. get the club in ch. l , develop players fopr a while, buy low sell high and at some point when the burden of the stadium does not exist they will be able to integrate what will have survived with the ready players they need to go for the dominance. its working like clockwork but a fe frustrated muppets are threateing to damage all this because they cant tolerate their collegaues mocking them at work in monday mornings.

  99. Regardless of switch side of the fence you sit at this moment in time, don’t you think we have been very poor in the transfer market? I am not saying that the transfer market is the holy grail, but we have a brand that needs to be expanded upon and that is not only achieved through trophys but also big names. Arsenal are a club that has prided itself on developing players and we can certainly look back with a smile on many who have walked the marble halls. But, just perhaps it is time for Arsenal to approach the transfer market with an eye to bringing in a couple of big names and using their status to further our brand. Just a thought.

  100. Altair – “Finally, i trend to question when people are overly optimistic, or overly pessimistic. i like the debate over here, its mature, but people are overly optimistic, people rarely want to see anything wrong, at legrove, people are overly pessimistic and cannot see anything positive. both are a problem. i find a middle ground where i see the positives and acknowledge the weak points that might need stregthening.

    So True.

  101. Jabba's Delights

    ”past few years is the result of many things and not just wenger;s inability to spend.”

    No your right mate there are a few things.

    His lack of spending hurts as it takes away one of his biggest strengths which is an ability to spot a player at the right age. His work withnyouth in recent years is a scatter gun approach but his abilty to sign mid range 21-25 is supperior to nearly anyone.

    His inability to sort out the defence wether that be with personel, coaching or whatever has really really really really hurt us.

    His inability to install some mental fortitude into the side…..he is the manager the buck stops with him especially so if it happens year after year.

    Everyone knew times would be tough 2004-8 but when the club starts declaring 50m profits and loading up on cash, people expect to see an improveent especually so when the manger telles everyone there will be one as we have resources and he believes in these players.

  102. cesc I agree 100% with your posts today, as usual, but the point I was trying to make was more about being unsure of Kroenke and his plans. The world will manage very well without me being sure of anything but Arsenal are under attack from it’s own supporters.

    Some are malicious and have agendas but most are just your normal football fans who only care about results.

    The Emirates plan was there before Kroenke and Wenger, with the Board delivered it brilliantly.

    The question is does Stan still share the view of the future that they worked for? If we are not sure then it’s hard to blame others who go a bit further- or in some cases, a lot further.

  103. To be fair my only critisism of the club recent dealings in the transfer market are:

    a. Leaving it too late.
    b. Lack of decent options in the striking department.
    c. The Cesc sale.

    The purchases we did make were decent in general. Would it have been nice to get in a somebody like Hazard/Goatze? Most definatlty.

  104. Am I the only person that thinks that Arsharvin, Djourou, Squillaci, Benayoun, Almunia and Chamakh should be found new homes? Hell, they are only the players from the squad still at Arsenal at this time, there is also Bendtner, Vela, Lansbury and Denilson whom all find themselves on lone. I am a huge Arsene fan, you won’t hear Arsene out from me nor lay blame at his feet for the annual injury crisis. That said, we do have a number of very average players whom have not demonstrated consistentency over there time at Arsenal. I have not included Park because I feel it would be unfair to brand him at this point in his Arsenal career.

  105. Bob – It is an interesting thought; just where does Silent Stan see our club heading? Realistically.

  106. The Million Dollar Question.

    To me, it’s the root of much of the current uneasiness around the club.

  107. American investors don’t do for love…

  108. my qualms.
    1) Not buying either Smalling or Alvarez when they were being offered at good rates
    2) Leaving it late every transfer window……how many team refused to sell because they had no time to reinvest?
    3) the number of players that have not come good yet we still continue to rely on them. some who should be at the peak of their careers

    As for this site, the mere fact that people think that Arsene is untouchable, that he cannot be questioned. people can pose a question to their parents, their partners, friends, ask God a question, but Arsene knows it all???? thats a retrogressive line of thought.

  109. Interesting post OOU, a bit of hyperbole helps to make your point I guess. TBH, I have never known fans of any team to sit back and be happy with whatever happens. Thats just not the nature of sports fans, it never has been. This is one of the biggest clubs in the world and we all understand the stuff about financial doping but most still believe we could have done better the last few years with different management of our resources and a bit more tactical flexibility. If thats not correct and we are really doing the best we can then I guess our future is fighting for 4th and the fans will eventually get used to a new reality. Some of the criticism is over the top but that comes with the territory of being a high profile club. I would certainly rather that the fans have high expectations, compared with the alternative.

    I think we can get a win this weekend against the manc’s. The key will be our defense. The last 2 games we have scored 3 goals which would have been enough for at least 4 points during our good run. Hopefully our defense will rebound and keep a clean sheet and RVP can get us a goal or 2.

  110. The Million Dollar Question indeed.

    Of course, one assumes the club knows which way the club is heading.

    Don’t we?

    Mind you, once the stadium is paid off we’ll be much the way Manure were just prior to the Glazer takeover.

    One almighty asset …

    And whereas the Glazers used the Old Trafford asset to fund the purchase of the Mancs, Stan already has ownership.

    So he could leverage the AFC asset in one of two ways; to fund acquisition of the best players in the world.

    Or to fund the acquisition of A.N.Other business …

    Probably too fanciful by far, but until Silent Stan breaks his silence …

    As I was saying, vacuums and voids.

  111. Yup, bit of a rant today. Good comments though!

  112. Good stuff Big Al, and some good comments today.

    Szczesny; Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Santos; Song, Arteta, Wilshere; Gervinho, Walcott, Van Persie

    Arguably our strongest team. Wonder what odds the bookies would give me for seeing them all on the pitch together at least once this season.

  113. OOU – another gem.

    “Now back to Diaby. There’s this suspicion that he’s happy with his predicament. When you hear stuff like that you wonder about the lengths you’ll have to go to make Arsenal fans sympathise with their own players. How about we break a part of your anatomy to stop you doing the thing you were born to do?

    In most cases I think it would be the wrist.”

    Priceless!

    Regarding the inner workings of Arsenal…..

    I feel like the blind man swinging his seeing eye dog around by the tail………….
    ………………………………………….you know,………………………………………………….
    just looking around.

  114. Jabba’s Delights | January 20, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    “His inability to sort out the defence whether that be with personel, coaching or whatever has really really really really hurt us.

    His inability to install some mental fortitude into the side…..he is the manager the buck stops with him especially so if it happens year after year.”

    hey jabba you talk about mental fortitude yes? let me ask you …was vieira pires and the rest the kind of players that needed assistance in that part? hell no. they were a group of SELF-determined mega players who had created their own colony here and had the right chemistry to stick one up the english establishment. these players had taken matters personal. these players were not kids. these players were world cup winners and some of them are considered as the best in their respective positions. these things happen once in a lifetime. wenger did not need to say much those days. his players did the talking on the pitch. wenger has done a lot to make his young players not feel fear when they play, but a leg break here, a leg break there, getting robbed by refs, facing unparallel animocity from opponents, having to deal with pressure from media and fans……these things are not easy for a 19 yearold to cope. the mental fortitude you ask them to have is something that doesnt grow on trees to go and collect it. they have to fuck it up and make tons of mistakes so that they learn, gain experience and when they mature to use all they have learned and start applying it. and wenger was willing to go thorugh this period in full knowledge of it. how can you expect even fabregas to be calm and know what to do when he is only 21 22 23 and is facing lampard who is 28 29 and 30 ? even though cesc muight be the better player…lampard wants ti more and knows what to do to get it. our fans have not allowed our young players to do that. our fans expect our 22 and 23 yearolds who have minimal experience in pressure situations to take the title off teams that field players who have been there and done it before.

    at this point i have had the counterarguement that “well then why did wenger didnt keep his invincibles so that the youngsters learn from someone?” and the answer is again simple. stadium. henry wanted 9m per year lol…vieira could see what was coming and wanted a chance to play in another top league for another legendary team. inthe endo f the day wenger offered them all 1 year extention deals …noone took it…only dennis and robert….ferguson could keep his oldies and integrate with ronaldo rooney etc….but ferguson didnt have a 450m stadium to consider did he?

    andrew: re kroenke..its way way too early ….someone in here has stated that part of the deal included that for the first 12 months the board stays as is. maybe kroenke is waiting for that period to end and bring in his guys to sit and talk with arsene and plan whatever they want to plan. i understand that you are anxious to know but its not like wenger is some inconsiderate tw@t to allow some american with a moustache to ruin what he has built so far. and from what i see kroenke has wenger in his highest of regards. maybe he will be more willing to listen to arsene when he says ” we cant lose our two best players and still convince people that we are ambitious” and when wenger asks for a goetze or whoever else kroenke to say ” yes get on with it, im here to cover the cost”.

  115. * ooops…my last paragraph is for consolsbob | January 20, 2012 at 2:00 pm …

  116. Well done Cesc_ara, super contribution to the blog. Well, apart from your name..

  117. lol thansk mj gunner …..the name is as you can imagine from an old account and the only one the computer had saved in its memmory…lol…

  118. My apologies for changing the topic, but I sometimes feel people here underestimate the presence of BFG in our defence. The aerial presence he provides calmness to our backline which has been essential to our defensive improvement this season.

  119. we lost our software this summer. the mainframe …and wenger must sit down with his technicians and devise a new logarithm sequence. that could take 1 -2 years. but i have faith in wenger;s abiliity and i can not accept that he has forgotten about football./ christ just a year ago he took pep to the cleaners tactically. mourinho is still struggling….

  120. cheers cesc, I think it’s time you changed it to “jack_ara”..

  121. Cesc_ara:

    Is the whole grand scheme is really on track? I don’t know. The points you make are exactly the same as 5 – 6 years ago and back then we were only 1 or 2 years away. We were all waiting patiently for the debt to become managable and then the investment would start and our young players would mature and the rest of the world would fall away under a mountain of debt. Our debt has become very managable and those young players have matured it looks like we are starting all over. Now you are telling us to wait until the stadium is totally paid off so we can start investing and we have to wait for the new group of young players to mature. The prospects of keeping our best player are not bright. We have a new owner and we have no clue what his plans and goals for the club are right now. I applaud your patience and admit we should all have more, but you can certainly understand a bit of concern from the fans.

  122. mj – “My apologies for changing the topic, but I sometimes feel people here underestimate the presence of BFG in our defence. The aerial presence he provides calmness to our backline which has been essential to our defensive improvement this season.

    I do agree with you.but for differing reasons. I think he is an excellent organiser, which is somthing we have blatently missed for a long time at the back. As far as his aerial ability goes; it is actually not that special. For a guy of his size he is not dominating in the air (similar to Crouch). TV5 is by far and away the guy I would want challenging a player in the air. One thing is for sure, I am more than happy with him being in our back 4.

  123. D Fizman always stated that the stadium debt did not interfere with the transfer budget/wage structure. They were two very differing beasts.

  124. Limestonegunner

    Excellent remarks, CBob. You asked the really essential question a few days ago about whether the club was in a relative decline or in a transition toward a better period. We don’t know but at the end of next summer we’ll have a better idea.

    In the meantime we have a huge game Sunday and a thin squad coming off two games lost from winning positions because of uneven performances. It might have been easier to right the ship with a weaker opponent but the size of the challenge might just motivate us to have a big performance with greater rewards in confidence and momentum. A defeat will be really dispiriting and a draw would allow us to look to the next game with some relief but no real boost.

  125. and ferguson…dont make me laugh…in 99 he didnt knwo what was going on, in 08 he won it cause terry is a useless idiot and a pussy, and in the two with barca twice he approached the midifeld of barcelona with 37 y.o giggs and carrick…the games were not even a contest after 15 minutes….. tactical masterfox my @ss…..in the first one he played rooney as left back…ridiculous things. and what did he do to change things? nothing.

    wneger was reading the game and reading it again and bang from 0-1 ..2-1 and with a defensive line 5 meters of the halfwayline….no space fopr them to do their passing. pressure them in their own area ….konscielny owning messi all night. compare that to gutless mourinho who with a budget of 300 m plays barca with contra attacks even inhis own ground…how s that going einstein? hehehe does the famous moto the arsenal fans use for arsene not apply to mou then?

    in th final in paris he was 15 mins away , tacitcally he had tied raijkard and ten kate in knots..it took the inspirational once in a lifetime display of a legend like larsson to unlock us. and had henry showed his balls in them 3 one on ones with valdez theyd have no chance. and we did that with senderos and eboue and flamini …lol…

    fergei was playing robotic catenacio with quiroz next to him telling him how to do it…..

  126. Cesc Aura

    Firstly, Arsenal were a great club before Wenger. Graham won trophies at quicker rate than Arsene, so dont make us out to be some piece of sh*t club prior to his arrival. Its ignorant, its insulting, and its nowhere near the truth

    Since you like history so much, Wenger took charge of the third most successful club in English football history. So we were a well oiled, well run machine before he came.

    Secondly, your constant reference to sticking one up the english establishment with Vieira and Pires etc, if you had read any literature, or listened to anything Vieria said, he quite clearly states the induction of Adams, Keoen, Dixon, PArlour, Seasman made him and the new signings understand what he meant to play for Arsenal

    Shame we dont have more of that now. The legacy of our great sides has been lost in a myriad of spoilt youngsters with no true affiliation to our club.

    Wonder why Lehman, Campbell and Henry have been brought back

  127. Cesc – “and ferguson…dont make me laugh…in 99 he didnt knwo what was going on, in 08 he won it cause terry is a useless idiot and a pussy, and in the two with barca twice he approached the midifeld of barcelona with 37 y.o giggs and carrick…the games were not even a contest after 15 minutes….. tactical masterfox my @ss…..in the first one he played rooney as left back…ridiculous things. and what did he do to change things? nothing.

    Err, you do realise that since we last won something he has won the lge 3 or 4 times, been to a couple of CL finals (one of which they won) and some other stuff (Lge and FA Cups?) (this is off the top of my head). I think the bloke has a decent idea of “what he is doing”. Given the amount of ridiculous games we have thrown away, the phrase about glass houses come to mind.

  128. Also CA,

    Graham focused on youth and developing talent, and won titles in the face of free spending bigger clubs – see, Arsenal football club even managed to do that before Wenger.

  129. bill 5 or 6 years is noithing…i say these things expecting arsenal to start producing results after 10 years…not 5 or 1 or 2… long term means exactly that…long. players dont mature till they hit 26-27-28 onwards.. phenomenons like messi are not the norm. players like lampard and xavi are the norm. players who between 20 and 26 were getting disgraced by vieiras and zidannes, but when they learned and the conditions around them clicked they went on to accomplish great things

    and im not telling you anything or what to do …i just cant see how some of you can expect a team that is a work – in – progress to produce the results and dominance of a united barca ajax milan etc etc.

    wenger might not even be here to enjoy it…but we certainly will.

    also in such projects you always accept that the first crop might get burnt from the pressure and expectations of the fans..a…nd thats exactly what happened. the next in line are the wilsheres ramseys frimpongs walcotts etc etc…english boys who will naturaly feel more connected to arsenal and want to make it right rather than a homesick catalan kid or a tw@t from denmark or some party animal from mexico…….. lets not make the same mistakes as fans.

    and mark my word….once wenger;s english kids start maturing and arsenal has a brittish spine fo players the f.a and the refs will favour us like they favour the united brittish spine. wenger knows that too. THATS is the biggest problem that arsene faces…that so far he does it with players that the public here can not affiliate to. and in order to teach the english kids to play the game like fabregas and vieira its gonna take ages..thats why he gets them from 15 so that he brainwashes them and make them forget about hoofballs and tackling.

  130. CA – “wilsheres ramseys frimpongs walcotts etc etc…english boys who will naturaly feel more connected to arsenal

    Heh.

  131. i do realise that andy but i happen to question the motivation of the refs here when they allow ferguson as much time as he wants to equalise or win a game he is struggling…nto to mention all them “honest” penalties his “honest players” get….

    for me the real measurement of ferguson is europe…in england they dont dare cross him. and in europe ive seen him get very very very lucky. nothing to do with ability. i saw his ability when he was facing barcelona with his strongest ever squad..the game stopped being a contest after eto scored. that was minute 7.

  132. Cesc

    Do you think signing a GK over the last 4 years, or signing a CB in Jan last year, or signing another striker would have been wise?

    Or does that ruin the carefully step by step plan AFC has, which by all accounts, has us falling out of the CL, and losing further players we have spent years and millions developing, just as they hit thier prime.

  133. CA – “wenger;s english kids start maturing and arsenal has a brittish spine fo players the f.a and the refs will favour us like they favour the united brittish spine. wenger knows that too. THATS is the biggest problem that arsene faces

    Sorry, but that is complete bollocks.

    Our team of 2004 did pretty well without an English spine. M City seem to be doing fairly well at the moment as well. It does not matter where a player is from. If they are good enough, and have the correct attitude they will do well. If we manage to get 11 similar minded players with the quality to compliment that on the pitch as once, we will win things. Simple as that.

  134. cesc aura

    his european pedigree is quite good no? 2 CLs, 5 consecuitive years reaching the semis (we’ve done it once, and final once)

    Only 4? managers in the history of the sport have won more CLS than him, is that ALL down to luck

  135. Manure’s trophey haul in recent years is telling. On paper their side has been average at best, but ours has been oozing with technically brilliant players. However Manure’s mental attitude is 2nd to none, and Ferguson will stand for nothing less. If our players would have had their attitude, we would have cleaned up as our players were better footballers. Unfortunatly, an attitude cannot be coached. Its there, or it isn’t.

  136. signign a goalkeeper over the last 4 years….ok who?

    reina? liverpool was asking for 25million
    stekelenburg ? ajax was asking for 15+
    would you like buffon? forget him.
    peter czech? hmmmm not the same since his injury

    lets see what is the wise thing to do. my priority is to get through my repayment period making as much as possible. to reach top 4 and keep making money almunia aint so bad. if you want to win titles then of course you dont rely on almunias, but my priority is not the title. therefore when liverpool asks 25 for reina i will laugh my head off and keep playing cheap almunia because in a matter of two – three years i will have a developed schesney who will be for free.

    the cb issue is a tricky one i will admit ..but the options the media were giving to wneger like 17m for cahill and 15 for samba….just lol…if you want a cb that will be a world beater then obviously players from bolton and balckburn dont get a mention…you look at defenders like chielini for instance or vidic….can we afford them? of course not. then no point arguying about it. but we found a vermaeelen and we found a konscielny who are both exceptional defenders…as for per i still have my doubts.

  137. In the wake of Liverpool’s £300m sponsorship deal, another factor to take into account is when Arsenal’s sponsorship deals are up – 2013/4 I think? They need to be in a good position, both in the EPL and CL if they are to attract something similar, or better?
    It also means that any 3 year contract offered now will run into that period, so may be a little gamble on what we don’t have, but might get, could be in order? I don’t know?

    As for ‘Silent Stan’, he has bigger problems to deal with with his American Franchise, the St Louis Rams. However, Arsene should pay close attention there. All the coaching staff were fired after a run poor results. A repeat of the 2011/12 collapse could mean an even bigger shake up than just losing RVP?
    Just a late thought for this inspired debate?

  138. CA – I am sure there are more than 4 keepers out there who were better than Almunia. C’mon, be realistic.

  139. For example, we could have signed somebody like Brad Friedel. Still and excellent keeper, would have been cheap, and old enough to allow Szchezny to develop and take his place in the squad. Just an example.

  140. Cesc, so what you have done is laughed of some paper talk.

    Do you not think that our multi million pound global scouting network couldnt find anyone else?

    We had funds in the bank, we have a FIXED TERM with our loan, paying early makes no difference, and you could argue that a decent keeper (Brad Friedel) and a decent CB in the last couple of years could have helped us get closer to winning the title.

    Oh, and if not winning the title isnt our ambition, then why o why does your beloved one constantly state it is?

    He has failed to use the resources available to strengthen areas that needed strengthening, this is nailed on fact in the history books.

    Who knows were we would be now? Staring down our worst points and goal ddifference ever under Wenger? Probably not. What if we won the title last year? Would CEsc still be here, Nasri? Would RVP have signed a new contract?

  141. luke what does fergie spent and what does wenger ?

    if you just take the numbers then yes you can make a case for ferguson and it can look pretty good..but thankfully it happened in an era where i could witness it and i saw his team get very lucky in 99 and 08 where he won it and totally disgraced in the other two where he had to show his ability.

    and yes mate the two he won …99 and 08 were lucky… sorry if you admire him…i dont..peasants and their chewing gums promoting violance against my players is not something i will respect or acknowledge. i will admit though that he knows, but he knows 5 things and executes them to perfection. the only time that fergie surprised me and forced me to tkae my hatt off to him was when he beat benitez in his own game…rotation. thats where i said to myself that you can teach an old dog new tricks. but even in that case …id apply more blame to the gutless liverpool players who were failing benitez ending with goalles draws at home like amatuers….

  142. Great stuff Big Al.

  143. CA – How do you come to the coclusion they were lucky in 99? I despise the club, but I don’t see how they were lucky. They won the CL with their best 2 midfielders missing (and David May in defence. Think about that…..David May). At the time it was arguable one of the best pairings in Europe as well.

  144. Oh, and as for Vidic, my father represented the player before he went to Moscow, was offered to Wenger and he declined to sign the player.

    Vidic cost 7million, Kompany 6million, Evra 7million

  145. Limestonegunner

    CA, I would have taken Brad Friedel for the 2.5 million reported fee when he went from Blackburn to Aston Villa in 2008 or 09, whenever it was. He would have been an excellent and steady veteran keeper under whom Chezzer could have developed and in a year would have been our club’s generational keeper. I love him but he has only a year and a half with the first team and so there are some inconsistencies in his game.

  146. Gerry Lenon, you cannot compare the state of the Rams with that of Arsenal. The annual sacking of coaches in the NFL is the norm, even happens when they probably shouldn’t.

  147. I do hope you don’t say it was becasue they were 2nd best but still won. Much like our 2005 FA Cup win I prefer to look at that type if victory as resilient. 😉

  148. im out.

    cesc, your swinging punches in every direction, and I dont even think you know what your aiming for.

  149. Right, off home.

    Laters.

  150. Oh, and if not winning the title isnt our ambition, then why o why does your beloved one constantly state it is?

    i have answered that many times mate .

    had wenger come out 6 years ago telling you forget about titles and stuff …who would buy a ticket?

    look mate how old are you? can you not understand or figure it out for yourself that when you reach such a stage as wenger or ferguson you become part -politican and as such you need to reply diplomatically.

    what is he ? stupid? to come and and tell the fans that were gonna be shit for a while…lol? who will fill up the new 60k seater? who will pay the tickets?

    of course hes gonna say were going for the title..he wants to keep the fans happy knowing that arsenal will always strive for the top and he also has to make it become second nature to his players so that they realise that here at arsenal we always go for the big ones. but secretely and in personal level when talking with rice and the board they know exactly where they stand.

    and mind you ..he hasnt been that far … only injuries and inexperience of his younglings has cost him…..and of course english referees…. very important.

  151. Jabba's Delights

    Cesc

    It was a complete disgrace that Almunia started last seaosn as our number one after having such a shocker the year before.

    In the first game of the season away at Liverpool almunia lets Ngog shot in at the near post, did that make wenger change his mind………………..nope how did that turn out for us???????

    Would have spending 1-2m extra on Shwarzer or Friedel been so bad?

    Wenger is in complete charge of transfers if he wanted a striker this window, he could doit. If he wanted a left back on loan he could do it. Why is he taking the risk of our season completely bottiming by not doing this. Why does someone need to have worked a day in football to say that we need another striker as we massively overreliant on rvp who in all probability will leave the club as he doesnt think its ambitious.

  152. Been to other Arsenal blogs. After every defeat its like an Arsenal civil war.

  153. Mike Dean is our ref Sunday.

    @OptaJoe: 0 – Arsenal have won none of their last 10 Premier League games with Mike Dean as the ref.

    Bet you are all worried now!

  154. Cesc_ara:

    5 – 6 years is a very long time in terms of football and sports in general. The problem with building for 5 – 10 years in the future is that no one has any idea what the landscape will be like in that time. So many unforseen things can happen. You should always build for the future but you can’t delay gratification forever. Just my opinion but I think the pendulum has swung a little too far towards building for the future side of the equation. I doubt that the fact that more of them are English will make it any easier to get the current group of young players to stay together and mature together in a positive way then it was the last.

    With regard to the last 2 paragraphs thats certainly an interesting take on things.

  155. dont worry luke i know what im aiming for…..i can comprehend what i see and i can explain it….it aint rocket science….

    im swinging jabs…? lol you have started questioning everything .. from tactics..to players..to manager..to whether we need a goalkeeper lol..on and on…i have a reply for everything.

    yet i make you one question about whether you realise what long term planning means and you cant even answer.

    anyway ..i dont want any fuss..everyone has his own understanding of events and his own interpretations…if you want my honest opinion arsenal fans are overexaggerating the negatives. of course we have negatives but its nothing compared to the difficulties others face. and also i believe that you should all show a bit more respect and gratitude to the person who is responsible for the image of arsenal worldwide. realise it mate…before arsene you were a bunch of neanderthals playing for the 1-0 kicking people around..the fact that brought you titles doesnt mean shit im afraid …i dont think that ac milan and sagghi was really taking notice of what graham was doing in the muddy pitches of england , neither was ajax particularly interested in how arsenal played the game back then…neither was yoru team drawing comparisons with teams like barcelona and beating giant superclubs inside their own ground (inter, ac milan, real etc etc) before arsene you were also losing finals in the 94th minute in worse manners than kos and scez , with SEAMAN the legend hitting the showers and getting lobbed from 50mtrs out….ok?….so shhhhhh and a bit of persepctive please.

    make what you want from the above….

  156. Limestonegunner

    Sorry folks for repeating the suggestion. Following and typing on iPhone, so falling behind what was an interesting discussion but seems to have spin out into side issues and MancU comparisons.

    CA is the new Joshua, but doesn’t write as well. Many good points but also missing the point on occasion. Cbob and Andrew are right on the money, I think.

    The point I really agree with CA about though is that fan frustration can boil over in a destructive way. We can see this in the over the top response to the last couple defeats and about a month of not playing very well. We’ve got to get it together, but this is a weakness of our sel-sustaining model and our heavy heavy dependence on matchday income. After 6-7 years of less obvious success on the pitch and a competitive environment that looks tougher, some of the goodwill will dwindle. We could really use more commercial income soon, because the rumours of a ticket rise sound very ominous–the consequences would not be good, I think.

    That’s why I do think now would be a great time for a big move for one of our long term targets, if the right player or two were available, which they probably aren’t. The team, the club, the support could use a lift after the courageous fight back from the cellar of the table.

  157. cesc:

    my post are 3:55 was in answer to your post at 3:24. Several posts happened between and its gets confusing. Sorry.

  158. Limestone @ 4:01:

    Very diplomatic as always.

    Your post is perfectly on target as always.

  159. Limestonegunner

    dups, that is terrible news about Mike Dean. He is a horrible ref. I hope, though, that we forget about that and just get up for this game, at least the players and in ground support. We need a really big performance from the support to lift the players and intimidate Mike Dean. The very first bad call for a free kick or card and he should hear a wall of sound smashing into his ears.

  160. Limestonegunner

    Bill, I think you raised a good point above about being on track or not. There have been hiccups and the landscape has changed. Sometimes it seems we can’t do much about it and on other occasions there are some things perhaps we could do better. All I can say is that I love AW and Arsenal and will always support but I do think AW has made some adjustments this season. And they have been toward defensive solidity and veteran, quality experience. These are things you have been calling for so you deserve to be happy with the progress we made this Fall. But the weaknesses are also there to see. I would like to see him finish his work as I don’t know if our late purchases were the end of the rebuilding of this squad. Things Gazidis said in the Fall suggest that it wasn’t completed and we are in a year of transition. So we need to use each window as best we can as well as bring through younger players–Ramsey, the Ox and so on. While January may not be the best conditions, neither was having to wait until CL gorup stages were assured and the Cesc/Nasri sales went through to do business at the end of the window when the season had already started. We have to work within these circumstances if we want to build on the good recovery of the first half of the season, in my opinion and too hang onto our best players. If we have a chance to act in a bold way, I hope the club takes it.

  161. On another note. Reading how people are uneasy about Kroenke. My question is why?

    I feel he has said enough but we have to accept that he is not a big talker.

    However,

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/kroenke-we-have-all-elements-for-success

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/stan-kroenke-hails-team-s-spirit-and-fight-

    What else does he need to say?

  162. I’m quite happy that I never know what Arsene is up to in the transfer market.

    -Tapping-up
    -Other teams putting in false/spurious bids to derail Arsenal deals
    -Teams hijacking our deals rather than doing their own scout work
    -Teams refusing to sell to us for various strategic/structural/business reasons

    …these are some of the reasons for just being QUIET about a deal, let alone to myriad reasons deals don’t happen the way some fans would like them. If it was as simple as money = signature they wouldn’t need a twenty-man team to get them done.

    Thanks Big Al, Yogi for the post, ( I like Fridays! )
    Yogi, as always, your patience astounds.

    Regarding Wenger…

    Ignorant men don’t know what good they hold in their hands until they’ve flung it away.

    Sophocles (496 BC – 406 BC)

    (That’s right…lol. I broke out the Sophocles on that ass! Bow down bitches.)

  163. Jabba's Delights

    Cesc

    No actually the issue being with some of us on here we complain about the same fricking things time and time again and the reason for this is that they dont get solved.

    I think just about every gooner i know wanted a new keeper at the begnining of last season. If another clubs manager had made such a deciosn only for it leave him with egg all over his face you, limpar, george would mock that manager and their fans. Well thats what happened to us with the whole almunia thing. Worst of all it costs us allot of points!!!!!!!!!!

    A cb, lb were called for in the summer by some of us. George called everyone a cunt for doing so as Clichy was the best in the league and Djourou was better 90% of cbs.

    We need a striker as we are so tactically infelxible that le boss refuses to not play one up top even if rvp isnt playing. Its FUCKING stupid and Christian Gross did you wouldnt be suprised. This neither suits HIS 2 buys in any way shape or form. We are an injury to RVP away from …………………..?????????????

    We’ve complained about our defence getting worse year 4 years running despite our manager saying it must get better. We are on course to concede over 50 goals this year…………….who fault is it. I thought a chief exec or manager job was to first identify a problem and then secondly solve it. If they are incapable of solving it (making it worse) he should be dressed down in no uncertain terms and told to explain why he cant solve it…..would you not agree?

    Mentality. ever since Eduardo, we’ve allowed a big disappointment turn into the end of the world. Its either that or our players just dont care which i dont believe……at some point the manager needs to look at this situation and rather than pay lip service to it but actually either bring in some charchter or demand it.

    These are the same issues for 4 years.

    I was called a cunt on here over the summer for saying its not unreasonable to think that we could end up with mid 60 points this year considering the 7 point frop we had the eyar before……………….what are we on target to get???????

  164. @Orbinho

    Last Arsenal Premier League win with Mike Dean as referee was at Stamford Bridge when Robin van Persie scored two in a 2-1 win in Nov 2008.

  165. Brilliant piece today OOU, very good, has prompted some excellent comment’s as well, normality seems to be slowly resuming, albeit with 2 notable exceptions.

    Luke – You are a lucky guy moving to Upper St – great place to live and drink before and after games.

    On to Sundays game – We are going to need to be 100% focused at Full Back – Man U will play with 2 wide players, Nani and probably Valencia and will look to attack us there as it would appear to be our weakest area at the moment.

    TV5 and Arteta missing is massive, I would of felt much more confident with those guys back.

    As it is, if we play to our best, and cut out the individual errors, we should win this one.

    On a seperate note – Stuck in traffic yesterday, I was watching last season’s review and Chamakh really was excellent for the first 6 months of last season.

    Some of the critiscism he get’s from our own so called ‘supporters’ is baffling.

    If he can regain that confidence and form at the ANC he could be a really important player for the end of the season.

  166. Wenger, ” I’ll assess left-back options after Sunday”. Eh, why not before?

  167. Limestone:

    I agree with everything you say. We certainly have made some moves in the right direction with improved defensive solidarity and adding veteran quality players to the squad. This team does not have the complacency issues of previous teams so we are clearly moving in the right direction on some fronts and thats very encouraging. This is clearly a year of transition, but realistically looking at where we were 4 – 5 years ago we should have been in a much different place today and not having a return to transition. Hope we learned some lessons.

    Agree completely with the sentiment in the last part of your post.

  168. @Paul N
    Dups says Mike Dean is ref
    Get ur excuses in early mate

  169. I agree with Cesc era
    He is the best thing to happen to ACLF for months.

  170. Dups ,he is busy at the moment.There is a game coming up

  171. Jabba's Delights

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/football/nfl/01/20/rams-nfl-london.ap/index.html?sct=nfl_t2_a3

    Kroenke takes the lead in exporting his club to pastures new. They get 8 home games a year one of which will be played abroad there local fans going to hate every min of it.

  172. Any bloody excuse, eh George. 🙄

  173. Jabba's Delights

    none have ever gone for a multi year deal even the glaziers were turned off as the local fans hated it so much.

    Another thing i got called a cunt for last summer, prem game to be played in states or asia within 5 years……FACT.

  174. What is your excuse?

    We have not won when he has been the ref. Worry about that, not me.

  175. how many of the starting 11 will be the same as the 11 who played at OT?
    Too many ,me thinks 😦

  176. Good link Jabba at 4.39pm, you disproved your own argument. Were it so hugely unpopular, there wouldn’t be a US market for the match to be broadcast and they need that as much as the expansionism they want into Yrop.

  177. Limestonegunner

    This is going to be a tricky match because the fullback injury crisis comes up against good play on the wings. Our strength should be playing through the middle of their soft midfield. But I expect Red Face to throw in the bruisers/defenders in midfield to just clog us.

    I’ve picked Ramsey to have big games before this season and a couple of times he’s not had his best, but this time I really believe he can make the difference with a good performance to show his quality. There has been a lot of flack coming his way over Wales comments and folks have made him scapegoat and pilloried him over the last two disappointments. I hope he shows that he is made of stern stuff and has a scorcher of a game. He’s been through a lot, and while it may have detracted from his football development and maybe even affected him a bit physically in terms of his touch, I bet it has strengthened his will and determination. Come on AR, score one and make one to win 2-0 against the Red Mancs!

  178. Limestonegunner

    Jabba, you know it’ll be played at the Emirates! Maybe you’ll get a preferential rate to have your season ticket spot for the Rams game.

  179. just asking, how much would we saver in slaries if we got rid of the non performing players that earn in excess of 50k? Arshavin, Almunia, Squillaci, Chamakh would cut at least 14 million of the wage bill. Going by what it is rumored they earn.

    What if we got rid of the rest like Denilson, Bendtner and co?

  180. If something looks like a c**t, tastes like a c**t and smells like a c**t – it probably is a c**t.

  181. Acrylic,You really are a tedious prick.

  182. Cesc ara

    `before arsene you were a bunch of neanderthals playing for the 1-0 kicking people around..the fact that brought you titles doesnt mean shit im afraid` …
    make what you want from the above….`

    I get it now. Your not an Arsenal fan at all are you ? You`re an Arsene fan.

    Lots of people are both but you`re not one of them.

  183. Paulie.sometimes we go over the top when we get frustrated arguing with tedious pricks.
    Cesc era might have done that.I know I do.Have you never done it?

    He is a proper fan in my book

  184. Jabba @ 4:39 and 4:40:

    No one can doubt your passion and your belief in what you say even though the criticism is often over the top. However with that one you are really stretching. Trying to maintain some bit of objectivity and credibility is a good thing.

  185. Acrylic, what a way to come up with a comment that is in total opposition to the point of the post.

    Well done!

  186. Jabba,try to understand that people call you a “cunt” because you are precisely that ,no other reason.Simples.
    Even if everything you say were 100% bang on ,it would still hold true.

  187. Passion?

    By moaning constantly and being as negative as possible?

  188. PG,

    Nope – I`ve never described anything to do with Arsenal Football Club as anything other than `us` or `we` – & I`ve argued with many tedious pricks over the years !

    He`s shown his true colours with that post.

  189. Paul-N (4.21) – thanks for those two links to recent reports/interviews with Stan Kroenke.

    I remember them and I recall at the time thinking they raised more questions than they answered. In the second link, after stressing his admiration for the board and then endorsing the sustainability principle adopted by them, he then says this:

    “What was so tough about the Glazers’ situation? They won. And they have increased revenues by a huge amount. If I was a fan of that club I would sit there and go ‘wow’. Because how could you do it any better? That’s what I would say. In the States, we have a whole different philosophy I think but maybe it’s time for everybody to think a little bit. I think they ought to think a little bit about who invests in these clubs and what do you want for the long-term?”

    Is there a hint of ambiguity there?

    Unless I’m misunderstanding him, he appears to be congratulating the Glazers (for being successful) whilst also signing up to the principle of sustainability.

    Surely these two approaches to footballing economics are incompatible yet he appears to see merit in both.

    To re-quote Consolbob’s answer to the question of where Stan Kroenke sees the future direction of AFC (2.08):

    “The Million Dollar Question.

    To me, it’s the root of much of the current uneasiness around the club.”

    When one of the few interviews Stan has given is as puzzling as the one above, it’s not surprising there is a degree of unease around the club.

    I’m not asking for (or expecting) 100% transparency in all matters, but it would be nice to have some kind of road map to refer to, from time to time …

  190. Paulie .I see what you mean now.
    I think it is him calling people “pre his support” “you”
    But I dont see how that makes him any lesser of a fan.
    Surly its about how much you love the club now,not about how you came to love it.

  191. Call me old fashioned George (& yes, I AM) but to me it`s not all about the here & now.

    I`m proud of OUR great club & it`s history. I know all about how we `tricked` our way into the old first division (thank you Liverpool), Drake, Bastin, Chapman, Allison, Mercer, Sammels, Wilson etc etc & Arsene leaving won`t change how I feel about US one bit.

    God forbid if `win that second ball !` Fat Sam became our next manager I`d still love the club.

    I just get the feeling there are a lot of so called supporters who would go elsewhere.

    Could be wrong of course…..

  192. Paulie.are you local to the club?
    In other words have you always been an Arsenal fan?

  193. George:

    “In Bruges” is going to be on one of the cable tv channels next week. I have set the DVR to record it. Looking forward after your recommendation. Thanks. My wife and I don’t see a lot of movies anymore but still surprised I missed that one if its as good as you and Jonny said it was. Thanks.

  194. arsenalandrew at 6:01 pm

    “I think they ought to think a little bit about who invests in these clubs and what do you want for the long-term?”

    This statement say’s it all for me.

  195. Limestonegunner

    Bill, I liked it a lot too.

    George, Paulie is right. It is a disgrace to denigrate this club’s great history. We have had two of the best managers in the history of football as innovators and forward thinkers. Chapman and Wenger. If someone doesn’t want to appreciate that, it is their loss. But I wouldn’t waste breath defending them or that remark.

  196. Another outstanding post, OOU. I came home knackered, was considering rolling into bed (at 8:30pm!!!) but couldn’t turn in without a quick read of your regular Friday musings, telling myself it would be worth it. My faith has been rewarded!

    “Really, most of this stems from an absence of trust in the club.”

    This is it in a nutshell. And you can file under that heading all the criticism of our PR, or the way the club communicates with fans. Because we haven’t won anything for a while, everyone loses faith in professionals who are among the best in their fields – both on the coaching and non-coaching side, and is convinced that they know better.

    As I read, I laughed, I nodded my head, I smiled wryly and finished with a “yes!” I have now been galvanised and I don’t have to go to bed. Yay! Ta.

  197. George,

    Yes, long time fan.

    Any thoughts on Sunday ?

  198. I agree with PG about cesc_ara
    he is the best thing to happen to ACLF for months!
    Quite the RASER…truly a star!

    c’mon Paulie,
    Its 2012, the world’s more interconnected than ever..
    the economic shit’s hit the fan with the foulest stench ever..
    the gap between rich and poor is as wide as from Highbury to the Moon & increasing..

    Clearly its going to take a stupendously mighty effort to get life back to a place where hopes & dreams still have a place in the hearts, minds & lives of generations to come?

    Don’t u think “the effort” is going to need more COMMON SENSE & PASSION to re-callibrate reality than plain old (sometimes blind) loyalty?

    Look around, here on ACLF..how many people are from N.London?

    U have every reason to be proud to be a gooner
    The tradition, standards & class nurtured at AFC are 2nd to none
    and have been well protected, maintained, embraced & moved forward by a small group of select individuals.

    Arsenal Football club is today a beacon of hope & dreams to millions around the world today and Arsene Wenger is the present bearer of the torch.
    And considering the pressure this entails in today’s world of tweets & twats, I’d say
    he’s doing a mighty fine job.

    So disagree if u must with some of his & the board’s methods & decisions
    But by God, do it with respect
    Its the least they deserve!

  199. ps: if the board fired AW for a Fat Sam, how many people do u really think would still support the club?

    It would mean we sold out, soul & values, like David Dein & the bulk of the spineless who worship money.

  200. right now,
    win or lose ARSENAL makes them* look like cheats!

    *them..the Man Utd’s, Chelseas, Barcas, Real Madrid, Milans, Man Citys…etc

    who wants to support a cheat?

  201. Aman,

    Not sure why your directing all that tripe at me.

    I got narked at Cesc ara for comments like this …

    `before arsene YOU were a bunch of neanderthals playing for the 1-0 kicking people around..the fact that brought YOU titles doesnt mean shit im afraid …i dont think that ac milan and sagghi was really taking notice of what graham was doing in the muddy pitches of england , neither was ajax particularly interested in how arsenal played the game back then…neither was yoru team drawing comparisons with teams like barcelona and beating giant superclubs inside their own ground`.

    That could have been written by any opposition fan IMO.

    I`m a massive Wenger fan & I`ll be eternally grateful for how he`s transformed many things but people have to realise WE were a great club before he came & WE will be a great club long after he`s gone.

    Oh, & for the record I don`t give a monkeys where fans live , work, hibernate or what they get up to in their spare time.

    Just respect the club

  202. sorry Paulie,
    the last bit:

    “So disagree if u must with some of his & the board’s methods & decisions
    But by God, do it with respect
    Its the least they deserve!”

    is directed at the whiners, the doomers, not to you.

    BUT
    “I`m a massive Wenger fan & I`ll be eternally grateful for how he`s transformed many things but people have to realise WE were a great club before he came & WE will be a great club long after he`s gone.”

    If you don’t protect & defend this manager against the doomers..if they “win”, there is NO GUARANTEE WE will be a great club AFTER he’s gone…
    remember the likes of Usmanov & Dein are waiting…

    Just respect the club..the manager & the board

  203. Fair enough Aman,

    I don`t see it in the black or white way that many do but I there is nothing wrong with optimists.

    Here`s to a home win on Sunday

    Laters

  204. Limestonegunner

    That St. Louis Rams story about having a home game in London is interesting. I said last year that I could see how Arsenal might benefit Kroenke and his US sports franchises a great deal by facilitating access into the massive market that is London, one of the great cities in the world. But I don’t see what Arsenal FC has to gain that is especially valuable from this association.

    Does it have anything to lose? 7amkickoff again had an excellent post–his suspicion that Arsenal v. ManU is appearing on the Fox Channel because the two American NFL/English football club owners (Kroenke and Glazers) have a mutual interest in cross-promotion. The sad part is that Fox overhypes, overproduces, and dumbs down the sport it presents. We’ll have to see. However, I would never accuse Walmart of expressing or preserving class and tradition!

    http://www.7amkickoff.com/2012/arsenal-v-man-u-on-fox-the-sky-is-falling/

  205. well, well, well…

    what a complete load of praetorian, Goebbels-like propaganda…

    I believe that the irony of accusing me of working for Uzbek is lost on some, the more amusing it is for me 😆

    not going to take apart the repetitive insults chucked at the ones who dare to think for themselves, like I said, it’s repetitive and too easy, it’s like shooting fish in the barrel…

    that bit made me chuckle though:

    If you don’t protect & defend this manager against the doomers..if they “win”, there is NO GUARANTEE WE will be a great club AFTER he’s gone…
    remember the likes of Usmanov & Dein are waiting…

    what bollocks, and Usmanov and Dein would do what exactly, level the stadium and build a fucking parking or something?

    since Dein left, we have won zip, hell, did not even compete properly past the 07/08 season…

  206. Limestone, what does this mean?

    “The sad part is that Fox overhypes, overproduces, and dumbs down the sport it presents.”

  207. YES indeed Paulie,
    here’s to a home win on Sunday
    COYG!

  208. This team has always competed. We have been close more often than not but we have faltered. Last season, we were minutes away from possibly kicking Barca out of the CL, but for a corrupt ref, I think we would have.

    You see, when you are negative, you can barely see any good.

  209. always competed? you could say that, providing that the season ends in March at the latest, not May…

    the last season when we came close was 07/08, last season we had a league + cup double served on a silver plate next to a pile of gak and once again, we choked: came fourth in a two-horse race and lost the final to a relegated team, call that ‘competing’?

  210. as for that Barca thing, seriously, when ‘we’ scored, we had 0 (zero, zilch, null, nada) shots on goal, let alone on target, so blaming that on a ref is a bit rich…

    yes, it was a wrong decision, but come on…

  211. Ad hominem argument SUGA…

    “After a thing, therefore because of a thing.” Not logically sound.

    The fact that we have not won a trophy since Dein left does not imply causation.

  212. Suga:

    I think you come over here for nothing more then to see if you can wind up a few AKB’s when the mood stikes you. Have to admit you are good at it. Not sure how that could really give a reasonable person any of sort of pleasure but I guess to each their own. I think there is some type of DSM V psychopathological diagnosis for that type of behavior but I don’t have time or energy to look it up.

  213. Just trying to keep the discussion honest since we can’t avoid it…

  214. Bill,

    I am doing God’s work here, for there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance 😆

    axis,

    er, do you know what ad hominem means?

    Dein was the only proper football man on the club’s board, watch the vid below and realise what he had to deal with in the early days, if it was not for Dein, we would not be anywhere near the position we are in now…

    yes, he said that building a stadium would hamper our ability to compete, was he wrong? was he fuck!

  215. I’m not even in the discussion…(there’s simply no talking to you is there?)

    I retract my comment. Please leave me out of your crusade.

  216. what I am saying is that Dein was the one who realised that it was bordering on impossible to EFFECTIVELY compete with (quote) ‘Russian tanks firing 50 pound notes at us’ and that we would need outside financial backing to do so…

    Dein was the only person on the board of directors who showed some ambition as far as football results are concerned, plus, he was the only risk taker able to speculate to accumulate…

    the fact that the transfers just happened when he was around and turned into sagas of 2378 episodes each when he left says it all…

  217. @Suga
    Wenger is Articulate, principled and unlike our perfidious politicians believes totally in his cause, do you imagine for a moment he has not gone over every concern you have

  218. Bill he is not winding me up .I have not read any of his shit for days.
    I accept he is a miserable twat how know fuck all about football or plumping so I will leave him to wallow in the gloom that he tries to drag us towards.
    I don’t stop in the street and talk to every pile of dog shit I come across,so why should I speak to him

  219. Spy ,Of course he hasn’t.Everything he has achieved in the game was by accident.
    He has never been as well up on modern football as experts like Jabba and Suga

  220. Cesc ara

    `before arsene you were a bunch of neanderthals playing for the 1-0 kicking people around..the fact that brought you titles doesnt mean shit im afraid` …
    make what you want from the above….`

    Yea i took a moment , thought about it,, here is what I make of it.

    FUCK OFF YOU MISERABLE LITTLE TOAD..

    to diss our history like that is unforgivable in my books. You are not a fan of Arsenal football club. When Wenger hangs up his boots you will be off too.

  221. weve missed deins influence thats for sure..
    he knows alot more about football than anyone else we have or had on the board anyway..

    dein was kicked out for a good reason..it was a sackable offence what he did but at the end of the day he walked right into the trap cos theres no doubt they were looking to get rid of him in either case..he was a threat, he was the one who wanted to take the club forward in football terms and he didnt tow in line..

    he gave them an excuse….but he did what he did cos he knew what they were going to do to us..

    id love to know what lady nina did to get kicked off the baord but it just goes to show there has been a power struggle going on at arsenal since the move to the emirates was completed and the incomes doubled and it didnt just involve dein..

    its about the money..it was always about the money..and in time all will be revieled whether its still about the money under the new regime..

    its not looking good so far..as cbob so rightly says, why the silence if they have nothing to hide..

    we;ll know more this year but the last few years have told me all i need to know already..

  222. george,

    don’t flatter yourself, you are beyond help 😆

    I don’t stop in the street and talk to every pile of dog shit I come across

    do you talk to some of these then? what makes you choose some ahead of the others?

    LMAO!

    GunnerJones,

    hear, hear!

    and some idiots on here seem to think that he is the best thing that happened to this blog for a while!

  223. I must admit that I am not the smartest guy but lets deal with facts. Arsenal were up on aggregrate, whether it was an own goal or not, whether we had a shot on goal or not. I mean how silly can someone be.

    Also one shot on goal, does not mean that you did not create chances. If you miss the cross bar by an inch it is off target.

    We have lost when teams have had one shot on goal and that is that, it’s a loss and Arsenal supporters like you know who, would say that the team need’s to score more goal’s.

    Arsenal had 3 goals to Barca’s 2 until the crooked ref stepped. Maybe its me, but anyone should be able to get that.

  224. wow did someone really say this.

    `before arsene you were a bunch of neanderthals playing for the 1-0 kicking people around..the fact that brought you titles doesnt mean shit im afraid` …
    make what you want from the above….`

    what a cunt.

  225. No George, not by accident, but by virtue of David Dein. Get your facts straight! 😉

  226. Paul we all know what thappened that night, we were robbed but dont expect the wenger bashers to acknowledge it.

  227. Paul N, read the post, since 7am goes into much more detail. I agree with him about their coverage and find it typically quite crass.

  228. What a cunt indeed Duke.
    They were a well oiled(especially the alcy’s)defensive bunch of gambling drug addicts.With a manager who got sacked for dishonesty.
    What was not to like ?

  229. Paul N,

    have you figured out who we will be displacing in the top four come May yet?

    silly? OK, facts are that we were up on the aggregate and pretty much the whole second half to go, right?

    what makes you think we would hold out with that cunt Almunia in goal anyway?

    you think we would outscore them? we had ZERO shots of ANY kind when they have put the ball in their own net, there was not a single shot to miss the crossbar by inches or by miles for that matter!

    anyway, this is fairly pointless, we have bigger problems now, wouldn’t you agree?

  230. So let me get this straight. Someone says something, that some don’t like, about our past and he is villified by the same individual who throws our current manager, players and board under the bus every chance they get?

    hypocrisy of the highest order!

  231. Spy,

    so, he has gone over each and every of these concerns and did fuck all to rectify this…

    or perhaps tried to do something and failed, same result…

  232. It smells in here again.

  233. george do you know our history? watched any dvd’s or read any books?? i could reccomend some for you. we have a great history full of great players you know.(including the piss eds)

  234. Paul N,

    what that cunt has done was shitting on, let me think, 109 years of club’s history, almost as if we were Southend fucking United (no disrespect meant) before Sir Arsene arrived on his white horse and blinded everyone with the sun shining out of his arse reflecting off his shiny fucking armor, keep them coming mate!

    george,

    I will have Tony Adams going to the pub in shit stained pants ahead of most of these ponces who call themselves Arsenal players these days…

  235. Gunner Jones.
    Why should he not speak the truth?
    What because it upsets the old timers who supported Arsenal since PHW was a lad.
    Arsenal have a world wide following and profile .in the main ,because of Arsene Wenger and his style of football.
    Arsenal was a typical English team.Short on everything apart from crates of beer for the coach trip home.Living off the glory provided courtesy of West Ham , a dodgy Russian linesman and home ground advantage.

  236. its not the disregard of grahams era thats key in this..so what..grahams gone he was a great manager but we went one further with wenger..

    its the constant use of the word YOU..

    like duke said..cunt…..

    over 100 years of history and no appreciation for anything before 15 years ago..you you you…

    thats bollox we dont need fans like that..

    plastic springs to mind..here today gone tomorrow fuck them…end of…

  237. George,

    also GG was the only unlucky manager to get caught, they were all at it so i think as he is an arsenal legend you should show him some respect and refain form calling him a theif. take fergie, you heard about the irish horse trainers who threatened to unleash all sorts of his dealings if he didnt pull out from saying that that winning horse was his, he fukin went as quite as a mouse once he knew he could be up the shit.

  238. Duke I have “The History of Arsenal” book .
    The Club had a proud history and has always been “class” at board level.
    But pre Wenger they were never a top European Club.Well they are now.

  239. Im sorry George but I enjoyed watching Arsenal before Wenger came along, We are a club of pride and history and anyone who disses that the way he did is not a Arsenal supporter. I think at that time George most teams ( or all ) were that way, it was life at that time in history. The fact hat he refers to the Arsenal before Wenger as YOU ! Well , say no more.
    Just because he post extremely long posts about why there is nothing wrong at the Arsenal and gets in tiffs with Jabba and Sugar means fuck all to me. He will get alot of praise on here for that alone from some but not me.

  240. Paul-N | January 20, 2012 at 10:47 pm
    So let me get this straight. Someone says something, that some don’t like, about our past and he is villified by the same individual who throws our current manager, players and board under the bus every chance they get?

    hypocrisy of the highest order!

    Do you all not get that?
    JJ if he was not supporting the club in those days he is entitled to call those who were “you”

    Give me him over absolute cunts like Suga ,Jabba and AIC any day of the week.

  241. Overall, I agree with the point made earlier that the club could do much better with their PR. However, there have been a couple of recent (albeit modest) successes. One was the refund to away fans who went to the 8-2 at OT (nice gesture – let’s hope they never have to repeat it). The other was after negative press coverage about empty seats at the match against Shrewsbury Town in the CC. The club pointed out that that match had the second highest attendance out of all the Premier League and CC games in the previous week or so, listing the top attendances from those matches.

    With regard to Stan Kroenke setting out his vision, I’m not sure why people are expecting that he will. He is not referred to as Silent Stan for nothing. It seems to me that there is a lot of downside for him in going on the record about anything. I don’t imagine that people are going to start liking the club or buying merchandise just because of what he says. By saying anything meaningful, he would be creating a hostage to fortune, and I’m sure his words would be used against him. I can imagine people being frustrated if his actions did not live up to his words.

    It’s human nature to want to know more about a subject people care about. Until the club starts a football version of Big Brother (there’s an idea for a post, YW) (not to be confused with Big Brovar who will tell us he got there first) and broadcasts a continuous feed of life at London Colney and the Emirates (you do know that the players live at the stadium, don’t you?), we will have to live with the situation of always wanting to know more. If they told us why certain transfers failed, there would be further speculation about that, if they showed us the defensive work they do in training, people would want to know why they’re not doing it for longer, with/without the ball, or X, Y or Z – it’s potentially never-ending.

    Personally, I’d like it if the club were a little more forthcoming, but only a little.

  242. still no reason to slag off our past george, we were getting to be a top team after GG actually WON a european trophy something wenger hasnt actually done yet has he, oh the irony george.

  243. @SUGA
    And how many proper chances, and I am not talking about speculative shots from outside the box or a ball trickling into Almunia’s hands, did Barca have in that game until Cesc decided to gift them a goal? Don’t be too surprised at the answer, mate!

    We came to the Camp Nou with a game plan. The tactically inflexible Wenger decided that we wouldn’t even try to play their game, but instead we would do something we aren’t capable of: defend resolutely. Unfortunately and despite everyone’s expectations, Wenger managed to get his tactics spot-on. Barca were bereft of ideas and never, ever looked like scoring until Cesc’s intervention.
    And you really think that sending off one of our players — and especially someone as important as Robin, who did a lot of defensive work by pressuring Barca early and therefore forcing them to spend less time on the ball, didn’t change the outcome of the game? You don’t think that Barca would’ve tired at some point — like they always do because they play such an intense pressing game — and that we couldn’t have taken advantage of that?

  244. funny that, we never won ANY European trophy under Wenger, and you also conveniently disregard the fact of the English clubs being banned from Europe for large chunk of time when GG was around…

    and oh, one of the only two European trophies we have ever won was CWC under GG, not bad for a bunch of pissheads, eh?

  245. Justify yourself all you want. Its hypocrisy.

  246. Gunner Jones .
    Dont you see why he is entitled to refer to supporters of the club who were supporting pre him as “you”?
    I repeat”Surly its about how much you love the club now,not about how you came to love it”

    Or are the older fans somehow better like a sort of “caste” system,or elitist group?

  247. graham was indeed unlucky
    the only thing he did do wrong was get caught..it was morally wrong but he wasnt the only one doing it…he just got sloppy..

    that type of shit has been going on for years in the game, agents saw an opening and made a living out of it ffs..

  248. no hes not george
    thats fucking daft

    i wasnt around in the thirties but i still refer to us as we..

  249. Duke ,would that be the European trophy which is the equivalent of the one we laugh at teams competing in,and hope like fuck we are not in next year?

    He was not slagging of the clubs past either ,He was slagging of the style of plat and the ethos.And he was right to,

  250. JJ, I imagine it was legally wrong as well, eg tax evasion, unless he was declaring it to the Inland Revenue (the judge will see you now, Mr Redknapp), and, arguably, fraud, in that he was taking money that should have gone to one of the clubs involved. It may have been common, but that doesn’t make it right.

  251. george really?? ..the cup winners cup back then was a serious competition. seriously george you have no case and will be laughed out of court on this one…

  252. Sorry JJ.
    Think what you want .I like him and agree with him .
    And how anyone can think he is a cunt simply for not using the correct English ,in your elitist minds,when describing the club before he was a fan ,is beyond me.
    Especially a real disrespectful cunt like Suga3
    Get over yourselves

  253. That’s ‘common’ as in ‘widespread’, not ‘common’ in the PHW “we don’t like his sort” sense. 🙂

  254. hahahaha, ethos?

    so, let’s get one thing straight here, you reckon Wenger has not only instilled the higher footballing culture (which I agree with), but also the ethos?

    nothing wrong with this club before Wenger, I started following it as a kid after the Anfield win, now that is what I call a sign of ethos!

    do you think this team is capable of pulling off an against the odds win when it counts?

    come on, hit me with your fact-defying logic, can’t fucking wait!

  255. the arsenal on this day blog says it all…

    cbobs posts he regular produces on matchdays are fucking awesome..

    we love the arsenal for exactely that reason…not just cos of the last 15 years…its that simple..

    if you dont like it..tough..your in a minority…

  256. Duke
    Well when you win it the Europa League is a serious competition ,Ask Jose.

  257. Suga3

    Er, Barcelona at home last season, Chelsea away this season?

  258. @DG
    Back in 1994 the CWC was already on the decline. CL was where it was at and the UEFA Cup was becoming more important, too. That the Cup Winners Cup wa abolished a couple of years after we won it tells you everything you need to know about it.

  259. er, no, I don’t think he is a cunt for not using the correct English, I think he is a cunt, well, ahem, because he is a cunt!

  260. Arry in Southwark Crown Court (Court 8) on Monday. Judge Leonard presiding.

  261. sorry george but from the snippet i just read he completely tarnishes the arsenal history and mocks our traditions. so for that reason he is a fukin cunt. dont give a fuck how well he writes. george i know your a late comer as he obviously is but you have more respect then this twat surely.

  262. JJ,
    What you are not a proper fan if you don’t appreciate the Graham era?
    You have to be a real fan like you do you?

  263. BB,

    I don’t think you have understood the question correctly: I am talking the ‘achieve the ultimate objective’ kind of importance, not some one-off games that will count for fuck all in the end…

  264. @Suga
    Nice try rephrasing your question after you’ve asked it. Make up your f*cking mind.

  265. Duke ,I do because I don’t disrespect something I was not around for and don’t know.
    But if you read through the posts and saw how the came to make that statement and the cunt he made it to .I doubt you would feel that way about him.
    He is a top top bloke in my book.

  266. BB its an interesting point you make
    i dont know what actually happened to GG afterwards other than a year ban from the game..

    i dont know if any legal charges were brought on him..will have to look it up..

  267. it’s simple: you have to be an Arsenal (note, it ends with ‘al’, not ‘e’) fan first and foremost!

    you can admire your idol all you want, but don’t forget that even he is not bigger than the club…

  268. serious george back down on this cup shit it was afukin respected compition back then ffs. you cannot compare it to the europa bloody league.

  269. Ah, Suga, I understand now. For the League title, rather than just a League match. In that sense, I cannot disagree. I’m sure you’re not implying that League matches don’t count for anything.

  270. @Suga
    Also, for what exactly are you calling Almunia the c-word? For his lack of consistency? I don’t think he has ever done anything to offend the club. Never talked badly about it, never misbehaved to the supporters. Even now those past few years, he could’ve easily gone and moaned, but he didn’t. So why does he deserve to be called the c-word? It’s not like he went out like Adebayor and talked about how much he would like to do Beyonce/AC Milan.
    But I think that you feel the need to call one of our players who has never done anything but behave professionally towards the club and the fans that word just shows what kind of person you are.
    He might not be the best goalkeeper in the world and his odd habit of being world class one night and than making a mistake you wouldn’t even see in Sunday League football the other night could be infuriating, but I am really curious to hear from you what he has done to deserve what you are calling him.

  271. Evil,

    don’t be fucking daft, I think it is fairly obvious that the last game of the season where you can nick the title has more weighing on it than a single league game at the beginning of the season or a CL Q/F?

    but if you insist, let’s just consider the Barca games: in 1989 we had Thomas, in 2011, we had Bendtner, same pressure, the outcome?

  272. JJ
    “we love the arsenal for exactely that reason…not just cos of the last 15 years…its that simple.”

    We? We? who the fuck is we? Some sort of a gold members club you have got going?
    So you love the club more than me do you because I don’t have fond memories of what happened pre. Dennis Bregkamp?

  273. i dont care whether he appreciates the graham era..
    couldnt care less
    some ppl prefer the wenger era..i do..

    but graham or no graham we are still a we..not a you..graham still gave us some of the greatest nights of our lives…

    the comment was a dig at arsenal fans…it looked like it was written by wengers wife..

    you were shit and you were crap and you were this and you were that…

    thats how we talk about spurs history..or chelseas..

  274. JJ, yes, I can’t recall either. I have a vague recollection of some police involvement, but I don’t think there were any charges brought.

  275. @Suga
    Funny that, coming from you. I’d also like you to remind that you have to be an Arsenal fan first and foemost(and note: it’s not spelled “success” or “trophies”) and surely being the club that we are, with our prestige, with our class, with our ethos, is far more important than being succesful, wouldn’t you agree? I’d rather see Arsenal play in the Championship than become the next love-child of some cash-rich investor like the fat kraken Usmanov. For all our rich history and our heritage, it would be probbaly the lowest point if we would become the newest sugar daddy club. Not even winning the CL three times in a row could rid us of that shit stain.

  276. Duke in case you missed it ,it ain’t just me
    “Evil | January 20, 2012 at 11:22 pm
    @DG
    Back in 1994 the CWC was already on the decline. CL was where it was at and the UEFA Cup was becoming more important, too. That the Cup Winners Cup wa abolished a couple of years after we won it tells you everything you need to know about it.”

  277. Evil,

    since most people on here call the others cunts, why does it bother you?

    he never moaned, did he? he may be a shit GK but he is not an idiot, it was Arsenal or back to the Celta Vigo bench for him, would you moan?

  278. we all say we were founded in 1886 dont we. weren’t around though were we except maybe bob!…we won the double in 71…….7 years before i was even born..

  279. my take is that if we are to be owned by a rich dude, may that rich dude be as rich as it gets…

    Russians have a very apt proverb for that about losing the virginity and not earning the rouble…

  280. nah it was still a major trophy. a coup and an absolute fukin proud moment to watch us win that.

  281. Suga, you may be seeing the past through rose-tinted spectacles. While you may say our loss to Luton in the Littlewood’s Cup final (a match where we were actually ahead and managed to lose it in the last few minutes) was relatively meaningless, don’t forget our last-minute loss to Real Zaragoza (remember Nayim and Seaman?) in the 1995 final of the prestigious Cup Winners Cup.

  282. Next thing you will be agreeing with Jabba that you are not a proper fan if you dont drink in an Arsenal pub before the games.
    Fuck this elitist shit.
    Give me Cesc era all day ,every day

  283. Billys Boots.
    Perhaps that was the specter of Wenger looming that saw the collective bottle fly out the window.

  284. BB,

    still, I think you will find that Graham’s team won more finals than lost, unlike Wenger’s…

  285. @DG
    But that is just the post-Heysel English romanticist perspective. In mainland Europe by that point the CWC wasn’t worth talking about anymore. The times when the big clubs were competing for it regularly were gone by that point. You just have to look at the teams that won it before and after us. Chelsea, PSG, Zaragoza, etc.

    @Suga
    It bothers me because I am an Arsenal fan and when some run-along decides he has to mouth off on one of our players, especially when he might not be the best of players but hasn’t done much wrong when it comes to being a decent human being,, I obviously get interested.

  286. To doubters and waverers out there,
    Watch’ Fever Pitch’ again, (18 yrs of hurt)
    Shed a tear, tie ur scarf to your wrist and march proudly to tje Grove

  287. Evil,

    how long have you been a fan?

  288. george you should read GG’s book, a good read.

  289. George, of course you’re right. Wenger is to blame for everything. He hadn’t even joined the club, but he had already put the club in the downward spiral we’ve been in ever since, which has only been briefly interrupted by two Doubles, three League titles, four FA Cups and an undefeated season.

  290. Spy,

    18 years of hurt?

    I think you will find that not a single manager was ever allowed to go for longer than 4 years without winning something…

    and while you are comparing, it’s currently 6 years (could say 7, as we will win nothing this season) and counting…

  291. An impressive talent has been revealed this evening amongst Arsenal supporters; the ability to type comments having disappeared up their own arseholes at a rapid rate of knots.

  292. English teams were only allowed back into europe 4 years before we won the cwc..and the champions league as we know it didnt begin till 93 only one year before our cwc win. it was still a major trophy but whent down hill quickly.

  293. Duke I am sorry mate but for the last 3 days Cesc era has fought against the joint forces of Suga3 and Jabba with the occasional other twat joining in against him.
    He has done sterling work and I find it strange that some people chose to lable him a cunt for what I consider nothing more than honesty.

  294. @SUGA
    Are you going to ask what I am packing in my pants next? Not sure what your goal is by asking me how long I’ve been a fan. Anyway, I’ve been a fan for close to 15 years. Became a fan shortly after the World Cup 1998, mainly due to Bergkamp.

  295. I wish you would be more specific Yogi.If you have insulted me I at least want the opportunity to feel hurt.

  296. so, you are another Wenger era fan then, no wonder you don’t know anything different, the kids in North Korea love their dear leader too, eh?

    I

  297. george,

    well i can see why you like this cesc era then and he maybe he is a good fan but still and im suprised that you are defending him on this.. neandathal!!! really is that what we were then before wenger a bunch of neandathals!! and that is just the truth is it?? now george i get on with you so we wont fall out over it!!! but that is a poor comment to make a little like the stuff over at le grove , you know the stuff thayt sounds like its come form the mouths of spuds.

  298. @DG
    My comment was obviously meant to include the European Cup, the predecessor of the CL, as well. All I am saying is that the CWC was not some mythical cup of high prestige.
    It all depends on perspective. Winning it as an English club was obviously something huge, because England hadn’t played on the European stage for a long time, but for clubs from Germany, Spain, France or Italy it was not as important. It was probably more important than the Euro League is right now, but when we won it, it was already a competition in decline.

  299. Duke all I ask is you read through the comments leading up to his statement and judge him then .Rather than calling him a cunt based on one sentence taken from hundreds that the lad has written.
    Is that unfair?

  300. no its not george.. right i got to get some shut eye…me little one will be smacking me on my head at about 7am. good night chaps.

  301. george and cesc_ara sitting in a tree… 😆

    Evil,

    if it was Wenger’s team winning the CWC or the Mickey Mouse UEFA Cup before it has been turned into even Mickey Mousier Europa League, we would hear no end of it, can you please acknowledge that we had good teams and good managers before we heard the hooves of the white horse?

  302. we will have to carry on this debate another time… i wont forget about this one georgias!!!

  303. @SUGA
    And your point is? Mind you, I am 23 and from Germany. It’s not like I had the opportunity to grow up with the Arsenal. And back when I became an Arsenal fan, I didn’t really know much about “managers”. I was 9 years old, so for me it was all about Dennis. Even if I had caught a glimpse of the teams managed by Graham or Rioch, I don’t think it would’ve made a lasting impression on my young mind. Anyway, what is your point exactly. Your personal attack, once again showing off your maturity, is aiming at what exactly? At me being young and genereally not being able to choose when to become an Arsenal fan?

  304. @ Suga at 11:50pm.

    Hmm. Let’s see.

    Graham won four cups (FA Cup, 2 x League Cup, and Cup Winners Cup) and lost two (League Cup and CWC).

    Wenger also has won four (4 x FA Cup) but has lost five (Champions League, FA Cup, UEFA Cup and 2 x League Cup).

    “Didn’t they do well?” If I had to choose, I’d prefer the second batch, thank you very much.

    One reading of this is that you’re saying that AW’s teams bottled it in the final, when GG’s bottled it in earlier rounds? If you are, I would have to say, “How dare you disrespect the club’s history!!” But you couldn’t really be saying that, could you?

    My over-arching point is: you are very selective in your use of facts. By doing so, you often undermine your own argument.

  305. didnt they do well??
    lol

  306. And on that note, goodnight, gentlemen…

  307. @Suga
    You must be confusing me because I never said anything to the extent that achievements prior to Wenger don’t matter or vice versa.
    In fact, Graham was doing well for us, I don’t doubt that. I would’ve loved to have been around for ’89 or ’91, but it’s not like it was my choice when to be born! Our club has got rich history and heritage and many people played a part in it. But on the other hand for all the success Graham brought us, there were also low points. Always finishing at or near the top and basically competing every year has got a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Would you want to win the Europa League if it meant we have to finish 10th domestically?

    Anyway, I am not a fan of the club because of it’s players, it’s managers or any other human being. I am a fan because of what the club stands for. That’s why, for me, success is secondary as long as I can be proud of our great club. And playing the football we have been playing, the way we have acted as a club all this time, being probably one of only two self-sustainable big clubs in the European footballing world, together with Bayern Munich, those are all things to be proud of in my opinion. That you’d rather have us become the next Sheikh club basically just shows that we both might be fans, supporters even, but for quite different reasons.

  308. BB,

    what I am saying is that when Graham’s teams actually got to the finals, they would do the job more often than not and that Wenger’s teams have not always reached the finals either…

    yes, Wenger is consistent than Graham, but the problem is that the level at which he is consistent is dropping regularly, not too sure if I would rather see a team capable of finishing 1st as well as 12th or the team that is dead set to finish 3rd, then 4th, then 5th, usw…

  309. Evil,

    well, we don’t really play great football these days, do we?

  310. Suga,

    We are also in a phase of rebuilding. If we are still being outplayed by Swansea next year with Jack back in the mix, I’ll start to worry.

  311. Sagna,TV,Santos,Jack Arteta,Gervinho.
    Were missing and will be missing on Sunday.
    If anyone thinks Swansea would outplay us with them in the team, then there is no argument to be had.

  312. do you really think a club like us should rely on services of a kid, no matter how special he is?

    and, given how Wenger does not really plan for situation where Jack is out for an extended period, what if he gets injured again? not like it can happen pretty much any second, is it?

    then what? will we be trading the same comments?

  313. Why do you bother? You cannot win.

  314. I hope you are talking to me Dups 🙂

  315. you cannot win if you are not right, plain and simple!

  316. Slime in this ear, slime in that ear. 🙄

  317. @Suga
    I never said we should “depend” on Jack, I jut think that with Jack back in the team, Ramsey won’t be under so much pressure and we will have more options for the attacking berth in our midfield triumvirate. With both of them sharing that position, I feel that it will aid them both in their development so in the case when either one of them is out injured, I think the other one will be able to jump in and perform. At present it’s obvious that Ramsey has been overplayed unfortunately. If Jack had been fit, they would’ve rotated more and we wouldn’t see those signs of fatigue from Aaron, especially as he is one of the hardest working members of our team.
    If we have both injured at the same time however … well, we can always try Oxo there!

  318. Ramsey looks jaded, I don’t think it was ever the plan for him to play as many games as he has thus far and he will play some more…

    with the whole Olympics Team GB nonsense, he will not get a proper rest in the summer and I have a bad feeling about this…

    as for Jack, frankly, I would rather have him work on his fitness and even maybe give the rest of the season and the Euros a miss too!

  319. goonerandy | January 20, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Manure’s trophey haul in recent years is telling. On paper their side has been average at best, but ours has been oozing with technically brilliant players. However Manure’s mental attitude is 2nd to none, and Ferguson will stand for nothing less. If our players would have had their attitude, we would have cleaned up as our players were better footballers. Unfortunatly, an attitude cannot be coached. Its there, or it isn’t.

    Fucking awesome post.

  320. “For me, not making the top four would be a
    disaster,” Wenger admitted. “Because I want to
    play with the best. We want to play in the
    Champions League and anything else would not
    be good enough.”

    Very strong words by Arsene. Doesn’t look like he thinks much of the Europa League. I quite enjoy watching us play with the best too, but what happens if we can’t?

    Question for cesc ara, do you think Arsene’s saying this cos he believes it or that he’s just being a politician to make sure our 60,000 seats are filled?

  321. Lately, I get just a bit uneasy when Arsene comes out with such strong statements of intent. Just like the one about losing Cesc and Nasri as a sign of a lack of ambition, I fear such words may come back to haunt us/him.

    Especially when such comments are preceded by PHW’s words which were basically preparing us for life outside the CL. Makes it feel like Arsene and the board are not always on the same page.

  322. I think both speak with good intentions and honesty.

    It’s just that we have got cynical. By ‘us’, I mean the world.

  323. I agree with both views…(sue me)
    Not the end of the world…would be a “disaster” …for ONE year max

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/wenger-returning-players-will-boost-bid
    If most of our wounded come back fully fit, we should retain our top 4 spot

    Games LEFT: (EPL 16, CL 2-7, FA 1-4)
    Feb: Bolton, Blackburn, Sunderland, AC Milan, FA 5th, Spurs
    March: Liverpool, AC Milan, Newcastle, Everton/FA QF, Villa, CL QF 1L, QPR
    April: CL QF 2L, Man City, Wolves, Wigan/FA SF, CL SF 1L, Chelsea, CL SF2L, Stoke
    May: Norwich/FA final, West Brom, CL final

    Tough but doable

%d bloggers like this: