Sanity Or Lunacy. Arsenal Are On The Cusp Of Both

Just when you thought that the lunatics had escaped from the asylum and camped en masse at The Emirates, up pop Manchester City to remind us that perhaps the madness at Arsenal is indeed sanity. OK, perhaps not but the dispute with Carlos Tevez is utterly bewildering.

His absence from the first team has apparently cost him £9.3m in lost wages, bonuses and fines. What are they paying him to induce this, enough money that he can afford to lose such staggering sums. Crucially, their posturing is likely to lead to the first team case of ‘sporting reasons’ for breach of contract. Telling him that he will rot in the reserves unless a deal suits the club is no bad thing until a lawyer gets involved.

One thing that this underlines is the gap between Arsenal and Manchester City financially. Not that this will be Arsène’s problem, he is receiving covetous glances from the Spanish capital. Jose Mourinho’s tenure at Real is seemingly in its death throes and the Arsenal manager is the one that Florentino Perez wants to replace him. Or Señor A.N. Other.

Perez has long had a soft spot for Wenger, approaching him when times are not at their best. He has history in this and has long made clear his admiration for the Frenchman. As with his last offer to Arsène, the clouds are gathering, planting seeds in the manager’s mind as he faces abuse. The last time a Madrid offer emerged came immediately after an AGM a few years back, when the jibe about Silvestre being a ‘granddad’ ruffled feathers.

Whether there is any truth in this, no-one knows. The timing is purely coincidental, I’m sure, it could not possibly be as a result of Sunday? Some have offered the view that the departure of the Frenchman would be no bad thing. Arsenal would, so the logic goes, be free of the financial chains he places on them. Except the chains would still remain. A new manager might well spend the residue of the TPA at the bank but what then?

There seems to be a misguided theory that more money will be injected into the club by KSE. That seems at odds with their other strategies in the sporting empire and counterintuitive; Arsenal’s selling point was always self-sufficiency. Usmanov is no different, attracted to Arsenal by the great profit potential in the share values and dividends. Self-sufficiency comes at a price.

This is before you address the issue of whether or where the squad strengthening should take place.

One who is determined to contribute to rendering the strengthening part irrelevant is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. You suspect it will be a while before the club allow him to talk to the mainstream media with the fallout from that substitution fresh in everyone’s minds. Alarm bells might also be ringing over the endorsement of sorts from Fabio Capello,

I have been impressed with him. He is a good player, who has a lot of quality and is playing at a really high level.

He will be a really interesting player for the next friendly games before the Euros.

It sounds worringly as if the paucity of English talent may manifest itself in the form of a place at the doomed Euro2012 campaign. A strong sense of deja vu with Theo Walcott’s ill-fated trip to Germany six years ago. The weight of expectation at Arsenal on Oxlade-Chamberlain’s shoulders is growing in direct proportion with desperation for change.

The youngster has definite promise and cannot be faulted for his application. The output though is inconsistent, the test is not how well he performed against United but how well he plays in coming matches. My concern with, for want of a better word, the hype is that once performance levels drop he will be subjected to the same derision heaped upon Theo Walcott.

Fundamentally, a swathe of the support is not going to give him time. Only their heroes get that, the rest suffer the slings and arrows of disrespect depending upon which way the wind is blowing. That is just wrong.

By all means be critical of a performance after the match but abusing players or managers? I do not understand it, particularly during a match when surely the word support is an absolute must. The world has changed if that is not the case and not necessarily for the better.

’til Tomorrow

Posted on January 25, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 394 Comments.

  1. Morning! *Sharpens knives*

  2. Personally I think the Ox will take this in his stride better than Theo – still rather England just jogged on though. Intercockingnationals. Grr.

    Broad is bowling remarkably well this morning – pitch it up, a little bit of seam. Jobsagoodun.

    One for each of the spinners.

  3. I think all players are heroes to their fans until they prove otherwise. I can think of a number of players that were popular at Highbury in their first games. Most get a chance, some more than others. It is neither a recent nor a local phenomenon I’m afraid. Fans pay their money and many want to have their say, right or wrong

  4. Hilarious story hitting that news feeds that one of our most high profile supporters, the Rwandan president no less, has called for the head of Arsene Wenger. I’m pretty sure he didn’t mean it literally, but I wouldn’t put it passed him.

    Honestly, what a load of old tosh and it’s incredible that the papers are even bothering to publish it. What next? The Pope says God wants Wenger out?

  5. Wavey it’s a true (non) story – he’s a big Arsenal fan.

  6. I know he supports the club (we gave him a banner signed by the team), but why is the fact that he thinks Wenger should go news?

  7. Cesc was young than the OX when he was a first time regular.If you are good enough.

    Theo has been at the club 6 years but still has the same problems as when he started.He cant beat a full back other than with pace.And his crossing is atrocious.Look what the OX did to Evra in the first half.

    This excuse about the weight of expectation doesnt wash just look at Cesc Jack and Szczesny

  8. Jonny,

    unless you are saying its true that God is a gooner and he wants Wenger out?

  9. Slow news day…

    Fidel Castro is a gooner too – lets get his perspective.

  10. Apparently Alex OC has told an ex Saints team mate that he was not injured or tired on sunday.
    That’s all Arsene needs, if true of course.

  11. Mourinho for Wenger could be an interesting swap… They seem to be managerial opposites.

  12. If it is just the English media reporting then it is probably pissing in the wind. Is there anything in Spain? About Real approaching Wenger that is.

  13. Definitely not for the better Yogi.

    Spoilt brats, common oiks and ignoramuses united.

    Nowhere else but at a football match.

  14. Great post Yogi.

    “By all means be critical of a performance after the match but abusing players or managers? I do not understand it, particularly during a match when surely the word support is an absolute must.”

    Sums up pretty much the scenario that is around us.

  15. Jabba's Delights

    ”There seems to be a misguided theory that more money will be injected into the club by KSE. ”

    Firstly Kroenke wont throw his money at anythign and anybody who know how he runs the rams and nuggets know this. Both teams hover around the top of the list of franchises with cap room every year

    I think there is a misguided theory that wenger hasnt had any money to spend in recent times. Take forinstance this window……………..are you telling me there arent funds available?
    Have these funds been generated by the club…..?

    What about a manger who spent the Adebayor and Toure money on rewarding current players with contract extensions when they haddnt shown that they deserved it?? Was that a good decision?

    Lets smash this notion that many fans want us to live outside of our means. Quite the contrary i love the fact that we are self sustaining.

    Our wage bill is hefty and sustainable the issue comes in how its alocated To much money is placed in postions where there isnt enough contribution. Whether that be down to talent, persistant injuries or the manager not trusting them the fact remains to much cash is tied up in unproductive areas. This puts a huge strain on the squad considering the 25 man ruile.

    His rubbish about it being impossible to find good value and quality in January is utetr tripe when you consider Ferguson getting, Vidic and Evra for a combined 13m in Janury. Thats 2 of the best players in their positions in thw world

  16. There is this theme in tw14’s career that the weight of expectation after sven took him to the world affected him negatively. Well,its being 6yrs.surely thats enough time to get over that.ffs,what happened to the kid 6yrs is not an excuse for his form today. And is not a good reason to slow the progress of other young players. Maradona was at the world cup at a very young age. Look how it panned many young players cope with the pressure.why? because they are good and get better with age.the ox is good.he has more tricks up his sleeves than just his pace.and he is going to get better.playing for the three lions would do wonders to his confidence

  17. Kagame is a former rebel leader and a guy I admire alot. He’s reaction to the results of poor administrative performance is usual to locate the source and remove it. The source- to a lot of arsenals African support- seems to be Arsene.

  18. Sounds like the Rwandan prez is better suited to supporting Chelsea ’cause AW’s going nowhere!

    Just maybe AW was trying to not let Capello get a full 90-minute view of the Ox to protect the young man from being pimped from all angles?
    Alas, it workedeth not.

    F**k off Real Madrid!

  19. Mourinho would never come to Arsenal, he only goes where there is money to spend.
    He has also publicly come out and said he wants to succeed Fergie at United
    I don’t think his personality would go down with Peter Hill Wood who i’m certain would say “we don’t want his sort here”

  20. Hey! The occasional poster is back. Joy.

  21. It must help that Alex’s dad is former International footballer!

    I recall before the last kick off that the tweeting verses were full of praise for such clever management when the Ox lad was annoounced in the starting line up.

  22. Spin twins. When in Rome, or even when in the principality of the Maharaja of Manchester…

  23. Jabba, why on earth would you want an owner that throws money around?

  24. Evil,

    Sorry, got busy and left, but you had a question on what i think of overachieving.

    AW has overachieved with an average squad, and he has to be commended for it, but why on earth was it so average to begin with? wastage.

    Someone else asked why it is young players come to Arsenal. i would like it is because they have a chance of making it over here, and that there is a management that believes in youth. other than that, the habit of paying someone more that they are worth should be abhorred. people complain when the richer clubs do it, but close their eyes when we do it.
    we are on the same boat, just doing things at different levels

  25. Is it just me or has this been – thus far – the least active January window since January started having windows. Is this a sign of:

    a) economic uncertainty
    b) the unavailability of decent players
    c) the ‘buy at right at the end of the window’ paradigm
    d) something to do with January Jones
    e) the January window has defenestrated itself
    f) something else
    g) all of the above

  26. Jabba's Delights


    I dont i was referring to Yogi comment.

    There are many different types of owner and none of them guarantee you success. The chels, City way is the closest you get to buying trophies but i hate them and i think its cheating.

    An interesting owner is that of Henry at Liverpool. He 100% is running his investment as a business however he realised that long term for his investment to come to fruition money needed to be spent on the squad to turn it round and also inject so fusuin into their commerical interests. He sanctioned increased one off spending ,specualte to accumilate.

    His method has worked in the US where he took the storied Red sox to their first title in 8o something years. He did howevere spend more than they earned in the intial seaosns as the squad needed an overhaul. He banked on the right people making the right choices which would pay dividends in 2-3 years without risking the club future.

    Liverpool win tonight and they are in a cup final vas a championship team, no given given our performance last year but it pains me that Liverpool are going to get that winning mentality in year one of their project.

  27. Don’t be silly Yogi. All these billionaires got rich by throwing their money into ventures that don’t return profits. Obviously. They’d be happy to spend half their wealth on the Carling Cup.

    Looking at the Ox it’s clear that he just has that special something. The way he approaches a game without fear. A winning mentality maybe. It’s unusual for someone so young at this level to look so confident. Jack had it and luckily for us so do some of our other young prospects.

  28. Jabba's Delights


    ”people complain when the richer clubs do it, but close their eyes when we do it.”

    Spot on and its point always missed by some on here. We pay huge sums to our younger signings way beofre they’ve earnt it and this has been pointed out by numerous managers.

  29. The only transfer I can think if Jonny is Cahill’s.

    Given any thought to a pub?

  30. And the Newcastle one Bob.

    I said yes to Phibbers.

  31. Many manure utd fans are contemplating life after Fergie. In Arsenal’s case who do you guys think would be a worthy successor?

  32. other than that, the habit of paying someone more that they are worth should be abhorred. people complain when the richer clubs do it, but close their eyes when we do it.
    we are on the same boat, just doing things at different levels

    Are you seriously that naive or trying to wind people up? Whatever we pay, whoever we pay we keep our expenses below our income. Is that doing the same thing as some of the other clubs that you refer to?

  33. Many manure utd fans are contemplating life after Fergie. In Arsenal’s case who do you guys think would be a worthy successor?

    For me it is a tos up between Suga, Jabba and Acrylic Alter at this moment.

  34. Jabba’s Delights | January 25, 2012 at 10:59 am,

    anyone that thinks its great maybe has to go on and see the effect that it has had on the team. we have not been able to get the compliment talent to win it all because of all these bad contracts on book. This year, RvP is on a contract year, and he has played like it.

    Why on earth has he not extended? Will he extend if we dont make top 4? Will he extend if we make top 4 but he doesnt see players coming in that enable us to be competitive? Does he sign for a team that will likely pay less and not surround him with the talent needed to win something in the last leg of his career, or does he go for a team that will pay more and has/will continue to accumulate talent?

    Cesc, Henry, Hleb, Nasri, Clichy and a host of others have left to win something, each season we lose some of our best players and bring in players that will get to their level in some time only to also sell them. when does it end?

  35. Keysersoze | January 25, 2012 at 11:08 am,

    We are overpaying people who do not deliver, the other teams are overpaying people who somewhat deliver. We are both overpaying, in our case, we are within budget but it does cost us because we cannot get rid of some of these contracts.

    Overpaying, is overpaying…………we do it within our limits, others dont. Same monster different clothing

  36. Acryllic

    This year, RvP is on a contract year, and he has played like it.

    Did you feel a tiny bit of shame while typing that?

  37. Jonny

    The more you think about it, the more a Jan transfer window seems ludicrous, by the time it opens the busy festive period is already done and dusted, points dropped due to injuries etc, The clubs in the CL have already finished the 1st stage, and cant buy from other clubs involved in the CL/europa for the later stages.

    So when the window opens, players will already be coming back in the short to medium term, add to that the overinflated transfer fees and wages, and lo – a transfer market no one is interested in.

    I would rather that the transfer window stayed open from June-end of september (till the end of matchday 2 in the CL), without the cup tied rule applying to players moving during the window

    The jan transfer window is just rubbish invented to boost media interest in the game.

  38. @ keys
    haha my votes for Suga.

  39. Keysersoze | January 25, 2012 at 11:16 am,

    Nope, for the simple reason that he has never had a calendar year like this where he was averaging a goal a game. for the mere reason that he is doing all of this on a team that lost some great players at the start of the season…………his achievements this season are for me bigger than anything he has accomplished in his time at Arsenal. that is something that i can proudly say.

  40. Leaving aside the never ending discussion over the spending practices of the club for a second, I might well be going against the current view on Arshavin, but I’d like to see him play more often – just in a diiferent position. SInce the start of the season we have been playing Ramsey in an advanced midfield role ahead of Song and Arteta, a role it seems likely that Wilshere will step in to when he is back from injury. This role doesn’t appear to sit well with the young Welshman as his style is not that of the pacey ball carrier, its more that of the sitting midfielder providing the raking passes for the forward and wingers to chase on to. I would suggest that we might well have used a slightly different layout to the players:


    Sagna/Djourou/ Mertesacker Koscielny Vermaelen

    Song/Coquelin Arteta/Ramsey/Rosicky

    Walcott Arshavin Gervinho

    Van Persie

    Arshavin would have more space to play, would not have to track back as much as he would have players behind him and would gernally have more options ahead of him with wingers either side to pick out as well as RVP in front. With full backs coming back from injury soon clearly the back line will change a bit, but overall the main change would be swapping Arshavin and Wilshere. The only positions we seem a bit light in then are the wingers and the forward, Ox appears to be able to play on either side but we are still sorely lacking in decent cover for RVP.

    For the next few games I doubt it would do much harm to play the Ox, after all a schedule of Aston Villa, Bolton, Blackburn and Sunderland is going to be a walk in the park for the young lad after being given a starting spot against Manure.

  41. @ Acrylic
    This year, RvP is on a contract
    year, and he has played like it.

    Are we both watching a different van Persie?

  42. Jabba's Delights


    Which club has the lowest wage as a% of turnover in the league???????

    ”Many manure utd fans are contemplating life after Fergie. In Arsenal’s case who do you guys think would be a worthy successor?

    For me it is a tos up between Suga, Jabba and Acrylic Alter at this moment.”

    You see here is the funny bit. Lets look at what a new coach and what theyve got to beat in recent times.

    We currently have a manger who is reducing the club points total year on year….FACT
    We will already almost certainly have had the 2 worst seasons in 15 years……. .FACT
    Our chief wekanesses defence and mental fortitude get worse year on year……..FACT.
    We have some very good players and a few exeptional young ones………………….FACT
    We have an excelelnt amount of money to spend and some players who MUST be moved on who could fetch wedge……………..FACT.

    Ist actually a lovely little job to come in to. I in an instant would take Klopp as he is a guy who knows how to win things then the tables arent turned in our favour.

  43. Jabba

    So Wenger all of a sudden does not know to win things??? I have truly heard it all…

  44. Ah, but you said Phibbers doesn’t actually sell beer Jonny.

    That’s a problem.

  45. Jabba

    Ist actually a lovely little job to come in to. I in an instant would take Klopp as he is a guy who knows how to win things then the tables arent turned in our favour.

    Klopp? The same guy whose team came last in our Champions League group?…….FACT

  46. why would we even be contemplating another manager at this moment in time?

    Yes, things havent gone the way a lot of people would have imagined, but getting rid of AW is not the solution. dont judge him this season regardless of whatever happens, judge him by what he does in the summer transfer window and what he accomplishes with the team the coming season. we are have a great base that he can build on, and if he could keep the great pieces we have while adding the few needed there is nothing that stops us from competing with the rest.

  47. Fins. Whay was that Cult song you posted t’other day?

  48. Consols and Jonny

    Looks like we have given you guys a super-in-form Ponting and Clarke for the ashes 😀

  49. Bob – been a while since I was there so it *might* do.

    Regardless, unless I’m much mistaken, you didn’t articulate this was so!?

    If I’m meant to be looking for an alternative you’ll have to tell me 😛 B-)

  50. Consols/Jonny

    Phibbers doesn’t see real ales from what I can gather, but I would imagine it would sell bottled beer.

  51. sorry – that should be sell.

  52. Dearie me, Jibber, you do like to witter on don’t you, lad?

  53. Ah, Muppet. Very timely. If no actual beer, you know, the stuff from a pump, I would rather try elsewhere.

    I’m sure I told you this on Twitter Jonny. No?

  54. Well done Anirudh.

    Can’t wait to give them a good kicking. Disappointing show by your lot though.

  55. Acryllic Altair

    So Van Persie is playing for a move away then..???

    I don’t see how any Arsenal fan can honestly believe that.

  56. I’ll make further enquiries Consols – I’ll post later.

  57. C’bob

    😛 hehe..

    Disappointing in not the word, in fact I think a new word has to be invented to describe this tour and also the one in england..

    Im going to behave like some Arsenal fans and say its all Fletchers fault, look at how well Kirsten did 😀

  58. “We will already almost certainly have had the 2 worst seasons in 15 years……. .FACT”

    how can u use “almost certainly” and then state it as a “fact”?

    Klopp would certainly be worth considering, when AW decides its time to go, as 1 bad year in the Camps league doesn`t make him a bad manager. Did excellent work to get them there in the 1st place

  59. Jabba's Delights

    Keysersoze | January 25, 2012 at 11:16 am

    This blog is famous for turing on past players (frank george) so dont have a go at someone who speaks with a bit of foresight about current one’s.

    Playign betetr in contract years is a very well trodden path in America where extensive reseach has been done into the subject

    If you are under the illusion that RVP is so maddly in love with the club that he wouldnt be looking at his last major contract has an opportunty you more off the ball than i thought.

    If RVP doesnt sign on its 100% because of our lack of ambition. For all the shit that gets spoken of players i beleive that in many caes winning something is still the greatest thing they take form their careers.

    Read his quotes in the same way that those of us wihout blinkers read Cesc and Nasri comments over the previous 2 summers and are starting to get worried by Wilshere responses. Repeatedly he has urged arsene to show more ambition……….

  60. Sorry Bob if you did, it didn’t notify my on my e-mail (which it should have). Ah. Just checked it went to Muppet, not me. No prob.

    If it’s just us – and you’re happy to walk a little further (in the wrong direction) – I’d suggest The George – a bit of a shabby den, but back-street, so quiet, and 4 real ales on offer…?

    Choices are tough nr Holloway Rd…

  61. Anirudh.

    Is Tendulkar ever going to get that century? Is the ‘Wall’ finally over the hill?

    Who are you playing next at home?

  62. I see the non-racist FA are at it again. Balotelli to face charges for what could conceivably have been an accident and Lescott, who ran at an opponent and elbowed him in the jaw – no action. It was nice of Harry to demand action over one and not the other.

  63. Jibber Haw Haw

  64. Jabba's Delights

    Keysersoze | January 25, 2012 at 11:30 am

    sooooooooooo what?

    If we go and get beaten by ac milan in the next round which there is probaly a 50-50 chance of happening but dortmund go and win the league probably about a 60-40 of it not happening who the fuck cares??????

    Look at the vibrancy of their play and then look at the age of their team and then look at what they did last year to Bayern Munich who are every bit as good as a Utd or chels teams who pushed aside our young sides in previous years.

    Watch there 5-1 beat down of Hamburg this weekend (some of you on here could do with watching some other side to gain some poerspective once in a while) watch how hard their forwards and midfield work to win the ball back then go watch us vs weaker team…………….tell me which one impresses you more, then go look at the differences in resources…………..candy from a baby.


  65. chrisgoona | January 25, 2012 at 11:50 am,

    Nope, he has always given his all, but this, this is a contract year and he knows that the next contract he gets is the last huge payday while he is still at the prime of his career. that he hasnt yet signed for us means that he is looking and assessing all the options he has, that may be the reason he wants it discussed at the summer.

    Does he extend for a team that will likely not only pay less, but may not give him the chance to win anything or does he move to a team that will pay more and has the talent ready?

  66. Part of a German Blog from a guy called Kit Holden . . . Stunning Stuff!!!


    The Premier League is jumping for joy, rubbing its hands in glee and creasing itself with laughter. Its favourite pastime is back. Welcome to another round of the ritual humiliation of Arsene Wenger.

    I opened this blog by speaking of Wenger, and I have leaped to his defence on numerous occasions since. I have no qualms, however, in doing so again. Despite a wealth of evidence to the contrary, the Premier League and its media companions will not stop until they have irrefutably proven Wenger to be anything between the Devil and a lunatic in need of sectioning. Or more preferably a combination of the two.

    It is one of the Premier League’s greatest tragedies that a man as eloquent and honourable as Wenger should be routinely hounded into a position of immense pressure by unconsidered conclusions. The Wenger Question is one of those arguments like Dawkins’ case against religion or the death penalty: its only real merit is in the sheer size of its public support. Any true objective onlooker can see that Wenger is a man to be revered, whose achievements at Arsenal are second to none, both for footballing and financial reasons, and that to revel so heartily in his misfortune is closer to sadism than analysis. And yet we are dragged along under the immense peer pressure. Wenger is wrong; his policies are ineffective and his faith in attractive football is risible. If you deny it, you deny the law of Alan Hansen and Martin Samuel, and as such you cannot truly know anything about football.

    To give them their credit, many of Wenger’s critics have finally come round to sense in that they no longer disregard his immense success at Arsenal. When putting the Frenchman to the verbal sword these days, it is considered only fair to do so with a brief and reluctant concession of his team’s continued presence in the Champions League and the astonishing lack of debt which so defines them as a club far more admirable than their direct rivals. But with the acknowledgments out the way, the bile can flow ever more freely. No trophies in six years and the departure of certain key players; unchallengeable proof, they say, that this man has reached the end of his time. Two games into the season, and Wenger’s team are already in crisis, according to many respected British national dailies. Gleeful pictures of him under the north London rain were plastered with increasing malice over the back pages this weekend. Named and shamed: the man who dared to defy the Premier League’s recipe for success.

    For this – what else? – is the reason for the Wenger hatred. It is not that people are blind to his success, it is that they fail to accept that it is just as remarkable as Manchester United’s stack of Premier League trophies, and far more impressive than the heavily subsidised glory of plastic teams such as Chelsea and Manchester City. Wenger’s idea of success transcends silverware, and extends to dignity and long term prosperity – two things which Arsenal have in abundance and other teams have forgotten the meaning of. The media accept this, but they cannot understand why anyone would accept it over immediate riches and trophies. For instant gratification is the core value of the Premiership, and this long nosed meddling foreigner with his fancy brand of football should not have the audacity to negate it.

    But who is the real loser? Is it the public and press, who sneer and jeer at Wenger everytime his team get knocked out of a competition or a player leaves? Is it the Arsenal fans who have been so persuaded by the media witch hunts to abandon reason and turn on the most brilliant manager of their club’s history? Or is it Wenger, who in spite of all the pure hatred and disrespect being thrown daily into his measured face, retains an intelligence, an eloquence and a dignity which is simply nowhere to be seen in most of his contemporaries?

    The Premier League really does eat itself, and Wenger is the prime example of this. By Scudamorian logic, Alex Ferguson is held up as the model for all good managers; even when he cuts deals so transparently crooked as the signing of Bebe or behaves in such a disgustingly infantile manner as to refuse to speak to the BBC, the pundits and observers just laugh it off with a knowing chuckle: he’s Fergie, he can do what he likes. When Wenger, a man who refuses to buy into the corruption of the English top flight, even if it costs him silverware, makes the odd mistake, he is portrayed as a madman. Is this the right message? Of course not.

    Not that the right conclusion will ever be drawn – when Cesc Fábregas left Arsenal this summer, it was widely accepted to be at least partially a result of the club’s empty trophy cabinet. And yet on his departure, did Fábregas – as considered and mature a professional as any – laud the pace and excitement of the Premier League? Or did he express his deep regret at having to leave a man as admirable as Wenger, to whom he owed so much? The honesty of Fábregas’ emotion was something which no Ferguson and no Mourinho will ever inspire in their players, for all their trophies. Loyalty, yes, but not on this level. The tears of Cesc Fábregas were testimony to the brilliance of Arsene Wenger.

    The latest fad is to suggest that the Arsenal manager may be losing his marbles. That his time has come, and he should leave before he goes mad. It is the pettiest and ugliest form of insult. That Wenger will stick to his guns no matter what is said about him is what makes him such an incredible manager and individual. It is part of the reason that his services are still coveted by Real Madrid and it is why, if and when he does leave Arsenal, he will leave with his dignity firmly intact, no matter how many trophies he has won. If that makes him a madman, then send me to the asylum with him. It can’t be any madder than the Premier League.

  67. Oh dear oh dear oh dear

  68. Jabba's Delights


    You direct bile at past players even legends liek i’ve not heard form anyone before, makes a mockery of calling denilson a crab

  69. Sorry, have I missed something here?

    Is AW leaving?

    Oh no, that’s right. I haven’t.

    And he isn’t.

    Consolbob – looks like The Wall has hit the wall … Terrible drop by Straus in slips just now off the new ball …

  70. Jabba, “starting to get worried by Wilshere responses. Repeatedly he has urged arsene to show more ambition……….”

    What the fuck Jabba. Stop leaking bullshit man. Show me a quote! Because I remember Jack getting really excited on twitter on deadline day when news came through of our signings.

  71. I rather like the sound of the George, sounds a bit like me. Muppet’s also looking I see. I don’t know if there will be any others. Yogi’s going to ask the question in a post..soon.

    Otherwise just you, me and Muppet.

  72. I hope he does and quickly, its getting to be a bit much..and sadly I think this will be the last match for both Dravid and VVS, the footwork is gone for Dravid unfortunately..its a shame cos “that forward defence” will be sorely missed (by me at least) for VVS I think its just the “eye” which has disappeared..Will be sad to see them go though..

  73. Nice on, JD Gooner. Excellent in fact.

  74. You dried up yet, Jibber?

  75. Strange things are afoot in football and life. It wasn’t all that long ago when football, that game, was really quite romantic, matches and title chases were less predictable, results more often unexpected, it exuded loyalty and passion, players seemed trendy in a cool (actually working class) way, most supporters were friendly and more respectful of good teams and players, it seemed such fun, and commentaries (especially on radio for us faraway) were more interesting.

    Re-reading ACLF today and yesterday has made me sad and happy at the same time. I hear a whining, cynical male-bitchiness (the worst kind, you may agree I’m sure), full of their fake knowledge, disrespect, fans who don’t seem to get excited by a game anymore, or any players, and lots of gimme gimme gimme. And then, hey, voices, of passion and loyalty, humour, interesting ideas, and excitement in what makes a game, a season, all the ups and downs and personalities interesting.

    You could be a Manchester United or City fan, the honeyed arrogance of it all coming out of your nostrils or any other orifice, or worse, ye-gods, a stout blue-shirted Chelsea Dave, or even a White Hart Lane diehard swimming in decades of hope and longing. Hell, you could even have Kenny as your manager and the 80s as your last football romance.

    Arsenal is not perfect. It’s manager, Mr. Wenger, grew up in a bistro listening to football talk as a kid. His deputy, Pat Rice, used to play for the team. It, and a few other teams lower down the ladder, seem to fashion something akin to a game I remember loving, the headiness of it all, the drama, spontaneity and sheer fun of it.

    Me, playing keepie-uppies for hours, wearing my Arsenal shirt as a 12 year old, happy as anything! No one where I come from did that, hardly anyone had heard much of Arsenal, but I had! I had no inkling of the football cynic, and wish today I had never come across a single one.

  76. Strauss drop a catch in the slips!! ohh my god he`s made a mistake! sack him!! sell him!! deport him back to SA

  77. Jabba's Delights


    I see what youve done there you put 2 senatances together to fit your point. RVP has repeatedly asked for wneger to show ambition.

    Wilshere has repeatedly made it very clear that he is happy CURRENTLY at arsenal but playing at the highest level is what matters most to him……………cl

  78. longblackcloud

    I know Klopp has done a good job. I was just pointing out a “FACT” to dear Jabba.

  79. Jabba's Delights


    Im as dry shrivelled as a 80 year old man with months to live……o wait!

  80. ZimPaul | January 25, 2012 at 12:11 pm,

    cry me a river. the one thing i think is pathetic about this site bar its mature debate is the fact that people take the high road, think that because they can only see positives they are the only ones that deserve (DESERVE????) to support the team.

    All the fans love this team, some choose to profess it in a different way. to somewhat attack someone for the views he/she holds without ever going into detail as to why you disagree is not only petulant, but it shows a disdain for alternative views which is something that should always be encouraged.

    Get off that moral high road, and notice that fans worldwide want (yes, i said want) better things from this team.

  81. Jabba's Delights


    What if he kept on dropping the same catch 4 years running, would you drop him?

  82. Great post. Seems the Ox will have to grow very fast. Soon the British media will be comparing him to Messi.

  83. I suspected you might approve Bob. I thought of suggesting The George when YW was organising, and he pointed out the Victoria Line was out of commission. The thing is, whilst it’s not far from Holloway Road, it is in the wrong direction. And, well, you know what people are like! But for that it’d, be my first choice – old-school, back-street London boozer. We have lost waaay too many of them over the years, even more in the current climate. It’s tragic because these buildings get gutted and turned into flats & shops. The bankers have stolen more than our money – they have stolen bits of our heritage as well.

  84. Keysersoze:

    Yes fair enough.
    The definition of a fact does appear to have been rather altered by some

  85. JD and ZP. Thank you.

    One for an outsider’s insights and t’other for reminding us of the joy that football was, is for many, and isn’t for those who swallow the propaganda and rich men’s hype.

    Andrew! I’m watching the highlights this afternoon!

  86. Be careful what you wish for….. it may come true. Sticking by Wenger is probably the only single thing that may allow us to continue to challenge at the top. Listening to the criticism of him assures the sane supporters that the Doomers love the sound of their own voices, have a mentality of entitlement that undermines any form of argument or logic and are terribly short sighted and self serving.

    Whatever anyone else says, Arsenal is one of the only truly sane clubs at the top surrounded by overspending, myopic lunacy.

    The Ox is not Walcott, he has a way to go, but all who have seen him want to see more.

  87. Pubs closing everywhere Jonny. If they reopen they are often run by chancers with get rich quick dreams.

    Pubs, like much else, used to be seen as a way of making a living. Just that. Pay the bills, feed the family, get by.

    Not enough anymore.

  88. Jabba, I took your last point to mean you were referring to Wilshere. Just the way I read it. Maybe you meant VP?

    JD Gooner, that is some brilliant stuff from Kit Holden.

  89. Great bowling SB! He has learnt the lessons of pitching the ball up. It’s a simple thing, you’d think (to aim for the top of off stump) and let the ball talk, but most bowlers go through their entire careers achieving it only sporadically. Especially taller bowlers.
    Broad made changes a year and a half ago and has returned a different bowler. He’s worked hard, fair play to the lad.

  90. Jabba
    How could he drop the same catch 4 years running? surely this would only be possible if you were watching re-runs of the dropped catch as each catch would be a different catch? I could see how this could fuel your negative mindset and taint your opinions of his ability.

    Now if he dropped a “similar type of catch 4 years in a row” I would probably deem that acceptable as 1 dropped catch per year would not be unusual, but really the best way of judging would surely be based the selection on how many runs he is scoring as that is his main job. Do we also consider offering him extra training trageted at recitifying this mistake that he has made on more than 1 occasion?

  91. Funny name who speaks on behalf of “all fans”. I already have what I want. Always have had. You remind me of mental slavery.

  92. SA Gooner | January 25, 2012 at 12:28 pm,

    i am yet to see a team as big as arsenal where people have fans as OK with winning nothing as those on this blog who think that anyone that aspires that the team can/should do better is a doomer or is myopic.

    I have been to a lot of sites, talked to a lot of guys, and a huge amount have said they dont want a big name to come in, they dont want us to spend over the odds, but to use the world class scouting network to get some class players as we have been doing for ages.

    Why that always gets lost in translation on this site no matter how many times it is said is still a wonder to me.

    As for AW, he shouldn’t ever be above reproach from the same fans that pay his salary……anyone that thinks otherwise is out of tune with the way things work in the world they live in. anyone else that thinks that fans cannot aspire to get a better team in any sport while living within their means, is even worse than the former.
    Anyone else that refuses to see the bottlenecks created by the great man himself, closes his eyes to the obvious.

    Myopic lunacy????? lol

  93. ZimPaul | January 25, 2012 at 12:36 pm,

    The name was chosen on purpose………..i love it when people jump on it because it reminds me that they have nothing to add to anything i say or have nothing to back up their claims.

    Same thing you just did.

  94. Freedom is Slavery.

    Ignorance is Strength

    I thought you knew that ZP.

  95. i would love to see what comments herein would be like if AW went on to sell some players and buy some come the end of the season, bettered our squad (while staying within our means) and we actually go on to put better performances, and challenge better.

    That would be a sight.

  96. “Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”

  97. “There will be pleasure. Because knowledge is sexy. There will be pain. Because knowledge is torture”.

  98. JD and Zimpaul marvellous posts. Keep it up.

  99. My god! That’s so sad.

  100. in other news

    “Europe’s top-flight clubs have reported annual losses totalling a jaw-dropping €1.6 billion (£1.3bn), UEFA’s latest club licensing report has revealed.”

  101. Absorbing days cricket. Do love the last session – lengthening shadows and often an even contest between bat and ball – especially with a new ball and two reasonably rested seamers at the top of their game.

  102. Acrid Foulair (12.24)

    So this site is pathetic yet you continue to grace it with your wisdom.

    Odd that you should continue to patronise something you value so poorly …

    And you love the team, but only conditionally, because you somehow want ‘better things’ from them.

    So until these unspecified ‘better things’ are somehow achieved, you will continue to join forces with the media and the fans of our rivals and strive to undermine everything the club is trying to achieve.

    You are happy to work hard to help create the conditions where a small but noisy number feel able to boo their own team at a major home game, go on air and take to blogs worldwide and join you in doing all you can to damage our club.

    So you don’t really love the team at all, do you? You wouldn’t strive to undermine your nearest and dearest (your other half, or your kids) by publicly questioning and criticising their every move. Holding them up to the light. Hanging them out to dry.

    Unless you didn’t love them anymore.

    It’s not that you don’t ‘deserve’ Arsenal.

    Its just that you don’t have a clue what it means to support them.

    As I say, it’s odd that you keep patronising something you value so poorly.

    It’s odd that you say one thing and do another. Saying you support something you are working to dismantle.

    Wearing the same coat as our rivals yet continually washing that replica Arsenal shirt you presumably bought when things were, in your mind, ‘better’.

    What is it that is so grubby?

    Is it the shirt?

    Or the person who used to wear it?

  103. I imagine that we would be excited Acrylic.

    I don’t know anyone on here who doesn’t like new signings.

    It’s interesting to see what you have picked up here about the site, it’s posters and their responses to you.

    You miss the taget by a mile.

    No insight, judgement or maturity.

  104. “Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct; nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.”

  105. Zimpaul – what’s you’re 12.50 about?

  106. On a 1984 kick Bob?

    One of my fave Orwell quotes is seemingly quite apt…

    “All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting”

  107. Lol.

    ‘your’ no ‘you’re’.

  108. Memory tells me that ZP likes Orwell Jonny.

    As do I.

    One of the most bimportant novels of the 2oth C.

    Strange we don’t hear from it more often these ‘enlightened’ days.


  109. Last one Jonny, unless I’m provoked.

    My personal favourite.

    “…to do anything that suggested a taste for solitude, even to go for a walk by yourself, was always slightly dangerous. There was a word for it in Newspeak: ownlife…”

  110. The OAC/theo situation is different in regards to international call ups. Correct me if I am wrong (I may well be), but Theo had not even played for the Arsenal 1st team when he went to the world cup. AOC has, and whats more, he does not look one bit out of place. Addditionally, it is plain to see that AOC is a “footballer” whilst Theo was (and is) an exceptional athlete who plays football.

  111. Jabba's Delights


    As much as you like signings do you like winning. Obvioulsy supporting Arsenal gives you no right to win but do you enjoy it more after a good win, rowsing run of form???

    Come surely i right when i say nobdoy bar the romantic that Zim Paul is likes us losing????

  112. Come surely i right when i say

    Are you yoda? 😉

  113. Marvellous book Bob – if pushed, I’m more of a Brave New World man.

    Assume you’ve read ‘Coming Up for Air’?

  114. Acryllic,

    Lovely. Except you have not actually said anything.

    AW not above reproach..blah blah….Am yet to see a team as big as Arsenal…blah blah.

    We have one team like Arsenal in the top 5. Consistent and with balanced books, we wait to see if the Spuds can continue in their current vain……. top 4 finish for them will be spectacular….why? because it has got hard…..really hard and the argument over Tevez shows why. It is money……the sort of money that a hundred million cannot fix.

    That sort of cash makes you like the guy at a poker table who thinks he is rich but will lose his house, the ones that will take it can not be beaten because they will raise the odds ’till the poor bastard can’t raise any more.

  115. arsenalandrew | January 25, 2012 at 12:54 pm,

    I value everything herein (and have stated so), just not the fact that people dont like an alternative opinion. i said it before, people here talk foul of a place like Legrove because they are always negative (something that even i find disturbing) yet they cannot see the same fault in their eyes because they are a mirror opposite by the mere fact that they cannot see anything negative (another thing i find disturbing). Why someone would read more into a simple statement like an alternative view being acceptable, and throwing in a rant while at it, is beyond me.

    secondly, i love the team, and i love it unconditionally. if it were any other way round, would i still be supporting it after all the failed years? Would i have started supporting the team at a time when they were not winning anything?i don’t think so.
    The thought that the only way one can love something is to show affection even when things are not right is beyond me. i have friends, and when things i am doing something wrong, i would prefer it if they told me and offered me a better way out while encouraging me. it is what parents do (well at least mine did, mixed with some discipline), it is what businesses do. it is what a club like arsenal should do.
    I am almost sure that AW will make some changes come the end of the season and not because people professed love at this teams failure to get it done, but because fans have the hope that the the whole team from the board, to management, to playing staff can do better. is it not the same reason the likes of Cesc, Nasri, RvP wanted some players to come in?

    Finally, i spend a lot of time talking to arsenal fans. maybe in this oasis of everything positive people dont want anything better. but you go everywhere else, you see people who want some players to come in, fans that support the team yet are frustrated by the fact that the same mistakes are made year in year out. fans that point out that we waste money that might be better spent somewhere else, or rely on the same players that have underdelivered and continue to do so. Do they support these players every time they take the field? yup, just as they support this team financially each and every year.

    So when i see fans tell AW to spend some (read some, and not all) money, they are voicing my views and those of millions worldwide that share the same opinion. Travel the world, get to watch and see games with various other fans, talk to the multitude online, and i assure you that the bigger percentile still support the manager, still trust that he is the man to take us forward, just not the means he has employed the past 6 years. Player departures sighting lack of ambition also dont help when the same players move to teams and win things.

    So, sorry, get off that moral high road you and others on this site occupy, accept the reality that is. Maybe the feeling that only those that have a positive outlook know how to support the team is more out of a feeling of self importance rather than reality. We all support Almunia, just not when he is making mistake after mistake and dropping us points. We all support AA23, just not the fact that he doesnt seem to work hard for the team (a weak point almost everyone notices on his defence). We all support Diaby, but some have an issue with the fact that all he has to show for his time here despite the multitude of appearances is a handful of fantastic games.

    Do i value this site or Arsenal so poorly? Nope, the mere fact that i complain and voice my issues shows that i care enough to see the positives but also the aspects that hold us back. aspects which if bettered turn us into a force. so spare me the rant.

    I suspect that like the others before you, you will magically disappear, or keep quiet.

  116. One thing is for sure If Arsene leaves today, Arsenal may never be the Arsenal we all know and love he has done soo much with such limited resourses under a very hash conditions of Egnlish media. He transformed Arsenal into one of the best managed clubs in Europe fanancially more so. I exception of Bayern who are slightly better than us.

    That said have he failed in some decisions, Yes and I say this with great respect to him and I have saying it as amuch. Firtst, he has weakened the team over the years at first we could understand because of the Emirates project but does that give himenough reason to weaken the team to the degree that it is in? I know I will get insults by saying that sp*%s has a better team in every department compared to arsenal and the results are on the table for everyone to see so much so that those cunts might and most probably will finish above Arsenal for the first time since I started supporting Arsenal sad. he has done that in seeling the more experenced players for what look at the Fabregas case we sold one of the best cantral midfielder for what £34 million of which if Torres was worth £50 millon Ronaldo £90 mill Carol £35 mill then Fabregas would have fetched Arsenal well 0ver £60 million ar better still the £34 million plus a payer or two if Barca could not afford him instead the father figure Arsene wenger give him away and Barca immediatelly put a buy out clause clause of £60 mill on fab signature just to abuse us more all am saying is we dont do good bussines in terms of selling and buying players. another example is Squillachi we bought the lad at £6 million a useless defender who have costed us games more than win them for us, who is old and has no positive influence on our team and left the young more potential English premier legue player in Cahill just because we bould not add some more worthy millions to land his signature. We scout for player but we never end up having them not because they are expensive but because we are slow and mean. Mata was available for us with about £16 million before his contract expires and the buy out clause was ineffective what do we do wait and chelsea come and take him up.

    when we lost all our full backs Arsene is on record saying that it will be foolish for us o lose points due to lack of full backs we all thought we will sign someone on loan Wyne was available so was Taiwo The later ending up in QPR so my question is who is foolish now we conceded as many goals due to lack of Natural full backs which has costed us the season Mancity game Muquel failed to mark Silva, Fulham game Djorou saw red, Man-u game we all nkow the story, even Swansea game Dier and Syncler skinned our full backs. we cannot say that we are building a stable future for a team that is not there in the first place a good team means success and more fans in the stadium and in turn more resources.

    God forbid we dont finish in top four a good number of fans dont renew their season tickets RVP go to look for glory (who can blame him his career is at a prime and he is enjoying more footbal than ever due to lack of injuries) and the emirates stadium will be a ghost of the past glory meaning we cannot even attract star players.

    its time for everyone to open up their eyes and not hide under the sand am sure all are worried even the one who are die hard fans of Arsene. we Should all be fans of Arsenal before we become fans of Arsene to the point of blindness that we cannot see waht is right infront of our eyes that Arsene need to change and lose the sturboness.

    That said where is the cure you ay ask? The answer is Arsene Wenger please read the mood of your employers (fans) and more so the table look hard and compare the teams that brought glory those days and realise that only one or two players could make it to the invicibles (RVP and he can struggle to be a regular with Dennis on that team and sagna for Lauren and probably TV5) and act on it before we are 6 foot under.

  117. SA Gooner | January 25, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    What is the crime is fans aspiring that the team does better?
    What is the issue with someone pointing out some negatives?
    What is the problem with having an alternative view?
    Where does the problem lie in people pointing out that we are overpaying some players and that is the reason why we cannot get rid of their contracts?

    You have basically read, and decided to answer your own question.

  118. Jonny

    Absorbing days cricket eh???

    Wonder what that feels like 🙂

  119. Consols/Jonny,

    I rang the Phibbers. They do sell draught beer, but not real ale. They wouldn’t elaborate on what kind of draught beer – just standard stuff I think.

  120. Muppet, Jonny, Cbob, is this mini-meet-up for the Villa match on Sunday?

  121. Sounds like The George’ might be a runner, Muppet.

    Sounds like my sort of boozer.

    Good on you doing that work though. Standard stuff? Double Diamond? Red Barrel?

    Any beer that is pumped is ale, surely?

  122. No, it’s the Blackburn match, Billy. You going?

  123. Billy’s Boots – no, this is the meet for the Blackburn game.

    Consols – ok – the George it is. As kick off is at 1.00pm, what is the plan ? To meet and hour or 2 beforehand and then go back over there ?

  124. Altar – if you don’t like it here – and it is evident you don’t – fuck off and take your negativity somewhere else.

    It’s a pretty simple choice.

  125. Consols.. I thought real ale was like the independent stuff.. that’s how I interpret it.. like Speckled Hen etc..

  126. I’m happy with either lads – let me know what you decide.

  127. The George it is Jonny.

  128. who said i dont like it here? Cant you read?

    And why does pointing out the obvious make me negative? SMH

  129. Yeah our Graham is right – Phibbers are bound to sell some kinda bitter – just not REAL Ale. 😉

  130. Cbob, absolutely. I heard that the two clubs are organising a special event at half-time, a competition to see who has the worst fans (a ‘boo-off’).

    Hmm, that’s a 1pm kick-off. Are you meeting before the match, after, or both? I should be able to after the match.

  131. You’ve moved on from moaning about the club to moaning about the people who occupy this site and their ‘high horses’. Personally I think you just like moaning.

    It’s not even that I disagree with everything you say it’s just the endless negativity – I get enough of that in life without having to listen to you pollute the waters here.

  132. JD Gooner@12.04, i totally agree with what the german blogger wrote.awesome stuff.but what an akb like me cannot understand is why the great man persists with players like arshavin.and my akb pride was seriously hurt when swansea completely outplayed us.ffs,we hold the patent for wengerball in england.

  133. Well, I think that any beer that’s brewed and is ‘live’ is ‘real’. The big brewers make the stuff too.

    Anyway, we’ve settled on the George.

    Times. I’m up the night before so can happily start drinking anytime pre match. I have to get back to Paddington for 6pm so can probably squeeze a beer or two in then as long as we are near a tube station.

    Perhaps we can have some stocks on the pitch Billy? Kean and Arsene can raise some money by selling wet sponges to their fans to throw and humiliate them.

  134. “You’ve moved on from moaning about the club to moaning about the people who occupy this site and their ‘high horses’. Personally I think you just like moaning.”

    if me pointing out the obvious is moaning, let the moaning continue. This statement is almost as bad as the one where people’s upbringing was brought to question, or their stature in life. some here think that they are better than the multitude out there. reality is they are not.

    “It’s not even that I disagree with everything you say it’s just the endless negativity – I get enough of that in life without having to listen to you pollute the waters here.”

    I think you dont agree with my views, plain and simple. is my negativity endless? Nope, but people make it look like that because i dont worship the beacon of endless positivity as they do. If you read what i post, and how i post it, there is never a need to get anyone riled up, now that is not the same i can say for responses towards me.

    See the difference?

  135. AA

    It seems you are preaching to people who are too entrenched in their own beliefs they won’t pay attention to you or anyone with a differing view.

    I have been on le-grove and even though they are generally negative if you hold a differing view from them they try to explain why they think you are wrong. Here all you get is if you question anything you are not a real fan or something like that.

    I actually like this blog (the articles that is).

  136. fanboy and AA it’s just getting exhausting after 3 defeats to discuss things with some people on here. You try and hold back the nagative tide but eventually you just have to ignore it. Most of them will be gone again after our next win anyway.

  137. Jabba's Delights

    Jonny | January 25, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Jonny your an rude idiot and everything thats wrong with the site. The guy writes an article slagging nobody off and thats how you respond. Yogi wants to get more people on here without becoming the drivel that is le grove. That means genuine debate not 2 of arsene love childs askign who gets to jerk him off quicker….get it!

    Its would be awesome if just once one of you (would love geroge to attempt it) actually wrote as to why the current manager should beyond any criticsm using our declininig performance over the past 40 months and base that against what we’ve done in the transfer windows to rectify it.

    So lets make this clear. All your being asked to do is to explain our declining performance on the pitch (points) over the last 3.5 seasons and how we choose to respond in the transfer market.

    All the doomers do on here is put forward a plausible reason that the head honcho has something to do with it……………whats your side to the debate. Actually come up with something prove your love for arsene is backed up by a sound footballing judgement

  138. fanboy | January 25, 2012 at 2:02 pm,

    Articles are good, there are some fantastic members too, and the discussion mature.
    But its amazing at how people go back into name calling, and people will call you negative, spud, not well brought up, or poor, myopic because you have a divergent view none of them ever has anything to combat, or for the better part point out something wrong on.

    Cant believe someone called me out to state ten things i think are positive, got to that and everyone sought of told me to simply focus on that and nothing else. Amazing, aint it?

  139. Sadly, Bob, there would probably be no shortage of takers!

  140. Markus | January 25, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Thing is regardless of whether we win lose draw, some of the things i talk about are things that i think need to be addressed over the summer. it is a view that i have held for years now, nothing changed by results. therein lies the difference.

  141. Yogi: nice post.

    I hope Capello keeps his grubby hands off the Ox. I agree that ox can probably handle the pressure but why even go there. What if it does affect him? We may have the next lesser Ronaldo on our hands. We need to do everything in our power to make sure that he lives up to that potential.

    Arsene will never leave for Madrid or anywhere before his contract is finished. First and most important, he is to honorable. Second there is no way he could get a situation where he has the control of operations and long term support of the board that he has here. I fully expect that he will extend his contract when the time comes.

    Glad the good fan bad fan debate has cooled down. A few wins in a row and moving back into 4th will get things back on an level ground. Really hope we make a run at the FA cup. Getting the no trophy monkey off our backs at the end of this season would be a huge boost for everyone going into next season.

  142. “Jonny your an rude idiot and everything thats wrong with the site”

    Fucking brilliant. I’m going to get that made into a badge.

  143. Jabba's Delights

    Whilst your at it can you change your picture you look like one of those creepy blokes looking for kids on the internet….its not you is it????

  144. AA maybe the summer is the time for it then? Mid-season negativity can’t help.

  145. Markus | January 25, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Mid season negativity????? Mid season reality. we have had a january transfer window and chosen not to address some of the issues.

    See how it works?

  146. The thing is, the 2nd half to our season could be very differnt to the first. We played well in spells, but ultimately did not hit the heights we asipire to (for varying reasons) and were too inconsistant when we did.

    Within a few weeks we will have a number of players back who should be fresh and raring to go.





    Will be our starting 11 come the end of the season I think. I still think we can finish in the top 4 (we certainly have the talent to) but we need to start putting a run together sooner rather than later.

  147. How can a statement along the lines of ‘I feel this and that can be done better to improve the club’ be seen as being negative???

  148. fanboy | January 25, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    I still scratch my head on that one. when i get it figured out I’ll let you know

  149. Bla bla bla spend bla bla transfer window bla bla bla bla issues bla bla bla trophy bla bla bla bla bla Diaby bla bla bla change bla bla bla act now bla bla bla bla contract bla bla bla bla

    JUST SHUT UP!!!!!!!!

  150. GA, it is possible that we finish in the top 4, we need to get a good run as we did and hope that Chelsea drop points because in all honesty, i dont see us catching spurs.

    Players coming back also helps, lets pray that we lose no one from now on.

  151. Keysersoze | January 25, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Duty calls, I’m out.

  152. It is me. But thanks for hurting my feelings. And you call me rude.

  153. Well said Andy.

  154. We need to catch whoever is ahead of us. I don’t care who it is. If the Spuds finish above us, meh. I don’t really care. They are having their one season in the sun, good for them. Normal service will resume before long.

  155. Andy.

    I agree with everything you say. Only concern is how tv5 and kos will work together on a long term basis. They have the potential to be a totally dominant pairing or it could go south if they lose track of the importance of organization. Much as I hate to say it but I think BFG is going to end up being our 3rd CB. He has not been the as dominant in the air as a good lump should be but I still love what he brings to the team. Other then that I agree with your first choices. Lots of talent but we still need someone be sides RVP who will score on a regular basis. Hopefully that will be Ox in a couple of years and maybe gervinho can figure out how to hit the target. He sure does everything else well.

  156. Jabba's Delights


    that is a good team but we are relying on wilshere and Sagna hitting top form straight away and we are desperate for RVP to stay fit every game form here on in. We cant even rest him really and thats a shame as its not the best way to get the best out of him. Wilshere will also be playing with much much more responsiblity , could work out great but its failed so far this year with young Aaron

  157. This is the pub you are after gents:

  158. That seems like a great suggestion Limpar, but I think there’s already been a consensus of opinion for The George:

    But if anyone wants to switch/change to LImpar’s suggestion ? I don’t mind… all the same to me.

  159. Well we could go to the George before and the Full Back afterwards.

    The key point is to actually find one another.

  160. Limpar – I have been in there a few times. Nice place. Especially in the summer sat out the back in the beer garden (small, but quaint).

  161. Andy

    Add another consistent goal scorer and a creative midfielder to our team so we can ease the Ox and JW into their roles, and give us some real quality depth and that team could win the PL next season assuming we keep RVP.

  162. Just got this from Twitter:

    Redknapp “Do I need 30 f***ing grand avoid 30 grand income tax? Do I need that Rob? I mean 30 f***ing grand! I’ll f***ing give you 30 grand”


  163. Fanboy, Acrylic is a glory hunter and a know it all. All he talk’s about is what have not won lately as if that means that Wenger is some failure.

    Mi done suss him out!

  164. Jabba

    All the doomers do on here is put forward a plausible reason that the head honcho has something to do with it

    I shall be polite and point out the errors of that comments:
    1. No, all doomers do on here is come to wind people up and then get upset when they cannot win the argument.
    2. You forgot to add, “and throw in some gratuitous insults for good measure before complaining that they have been insulted themselves”.
    3. You mention later, proof about sound footballing judgement which is just too daft to be on the receiving end of an insult.


    You’re badge is in the post.

  165. goonerandy @ 2:24 pm

    good stuff!

    We have a very good sqad. I have been saying this since day one, the best team in the PL when we are healthy. Lets not foot ourselves, we were two wrong calls away from beating City, injuries and all.

    An excellent sqaud!

  166. Bill – Yeah, I agree with that. Wilshere used to score his fair share in all of the setup he has been involved in. As yet he has not really played n his prefered advanced midfield position, but I fully expect him to play there once his match fitness is up. Wenger (so far) played him in a deeper role as we had Cesc, but more importantly as part of his footballing eduation. Maybe he could be the goalscoring midfielder that we need?

    As for the wide men, AOC looks like he may get his fair share. He certainly likes to shoot on sight. Gervinho will get his fair share simply by averages I think. He gets himself into some great positions even though his finishing is not the best. Freddie was similar; he scuffed most of his shots but got into that position so often he would alwsy get plenty of goals.

  167. So it is wrong to say anything about players who punk out on the team and leave but ok to lambast the players and the manager that we have now. Hypocrisy again!

    “who the cap fits, let them wear it”

  168. Can’t wait to get our Jack back. What’s the guesstimate – is it still about 3 weeks away? Or less?

  169. Do you Know? I woke up last night with a real sense of excitement about the next match.

    Optimism too. Can’t wait.

  170. Think AOC will be fine with the expectation, he is the genuine article. I’m not suggesting that Theo isnt, just that Alex’s dad was a top level player & so he’ll be well versed in constant the ups and downs that he’ll face from week to week.

  171. YW

    I realy doubt the ‘doomers’ have absolutely nothing better to do than come on a blog looking for a fight but maybe I’m wrong, and no offence intended but it seems to me that its the so called doomers that try to raise valid points (maybe not all of them) but just get put-down with weak jokes about their screen-names and such.


    from what I’ve seen of AA’s posts (maybe I haven’t seen enough of them), he seems pragmatic and just voices his concern that the club is underachieving thanks to Wenger.

  172. Jonny – They said Feb, so than seems about right. We have missed his drive from midfield I think. We should not build his return up too much, but I do think it could rejuvinate the side. Ramsey has grafted hard, but is really toiling now I think. He could do with a break. Any side would miss a player like Wilshere.

  173. Is this gathering at the george open for everyone? I’m also going to the Blackburn game and would be keen to have a beer with some other ACLFers!

  174. fanboy

    No…stick around long enough, trawl through the archives and review the comments. Not one has come on here without gratuitously insulting other commenters. Then they whinge to me that they get insulted back and wonder there are insults thrown quite readily at them.

    As for valid arguments, it depends on which side of the fence you are sitting.

  175. Andy @ 2:56:

    Agree with all that but still concerned since its all just potential at this point and we don’t know if any of what you say will come true. I suspect I am preaching to the choir with you but I think we should get a couple of players for those positions just in case things don’t work out as we hope. If everything goes as you expect then we will have incredible depth when the inevitable injuries come around and we will be able to rotate much more if the unimaginable happens and we don’t have injuries. A true win/win.

  176. The theory isn’t money will be injected into the club, its more to do with balancing our wage bill and using the money we made off the back of previous sales to buy players who will make us a better club I really don’t think thats a bad thing to ask for and as much as it pains me spuds are battling with united and city when they spend less on wages per year probably tax free but they 3rd with the 6th highest wage bill blowing the whole arguement that we’re poor so it ok out of the water.

  177. Jabba's Delights


    1) Doomers put forward what they think about there club and get called cunts. (hence Jonny trying to intimidate a lad who hardly ever rights just for putting his oppinion across) If you want the blog to be a love in only, you should say so but make no mistake its the Jonny of this world who tear into innocent polite people for saying their point.

    2) I give as good as i get, Jonny and some others like him pick on people who have done absolutley nothing wrong. If you defended those the same way you defend a Frank who writes more insults than anyone the world would be a fairer place.

    3) You can be called an absolute cunt on here by people named above for writing that Alex Ferguson is a wonderful manager and Utd are a well run club. You can be called all sorts on here for pointing out that the club statistically has gotten worse for 3 years in terms of performance. So yes i do mean sound footballing judgement and the lack there of of some people who have one thought on football and that is that everythign Arsene does is right and anyone who dare challenge that notion is a twat.

    rather than be called cunts maybe some ”doomer”s would just like one of you guys to explain why you think what you think without insulting anyone. Why does the manager not get blamed for our defence? Why does the manager not get blamed for the summer and start to the year. Why does the manager not get blamed for keeping almunia as num 1 last year. The answer is always the same from him and you guys………………”you dont know anything about football how dare you question him”. How about you in all your wisdom answer the question, why are arsenal getting worse statistically year on year after 38 games????? Without blaming it on referees, media and Money? As in reality anyone with some footballing judgement knwos that there sint a referee and media conspiracy against arsenal….right?

  178. fanboy, yep, he comes across as sincere but he is a glory hunter. When you mention what Wenger has accomplished, he say’s what have we won lately.

    And please don’t believe that people on here don’t voice concerns, we do, but we don’t encourage people who believe they know better than the manager.

    People like Acrylic act as if Wenger has some malintent. Afterall they can easily see what is needed and we have the money, so what the heck is up with Wenger?

    They don’t think to themsleves that maybe something didn’t go according to plan, maybe Arsene did not think a certian player was better than the players at the team. Maybe he simply just trusted his players and did not believe he needed help, only to be hit by crazy injuries.

    Its easy to look from outside, with your mouth full of critcism but we have no idea what the deal really is.

  179. Bill – Yeah, that would be the ideal situation, but I can’t see it happening so we will more than likely have to get through with what you have. A striker who could also play wide, and be good enough to go straight into the 1st 11 would be great, but it does not look likely. Fingers crossed the potential delivers.

  180. Waking up in the middle of the night exited about the next match – an FA Cup game against Villa!!

    AND (with all due respect!) at Bob’s age.

    Never mind ‘real ale’ there’s a real fan.

    Take notes Jabba – try loving the game for the sake of the game, rather than expecting it to give you something more.

  181. I don’t expect a nothing to happen in January. Hopefully we can claw our way to 4th place with what we have do some business next summer. I really believe this team could challenge or even win the PL with a couple of good additions. Hope springs eternal.

  182. Yeh, come around after losses and expect people to take you seriously. No sign of you when we were doing well. The injuries mess us up and here you came with your mouth full of “what the team need’s”

    Lets get real!

  183. Jonny my 12.50 is about this … from his heinous AA

    “The name was chosen on purpose………..i love it when people jump on it because it reminds me that they have nothing to add to anything i say or have nothing to back up their claims”.

    So,I says, My God, that’s so sad.

  184. Sorry first sentence should read. “I don’t expect anything to happen in January”.

    Need to read the post before I hit send.

  185. Jabba

    If you give as good as you get, why the fuss? If you ignore the insults, or feel that there is no need for them, just respond out of politeness. You’ll find people lessen or drop them. By responding with insults, you perpetuate the cycle.

    You’ll find it wasn’t the defending Ferguson – I’ve frequently said he is a manager to be admired for his record – it was probably the detrimental comment about AW that went with it.

    This isn’t a love-in blog; its one for Arsenal supporters. Blind loyalty is as much a failing as total dissension. What irks most is that when the side wins a game, no-one comes along and points out the failings yet a defeat brings forth a slew of criticism, little of which can be construed as constructive.

    Work out why tempers are short and patience noticeable by absence.

    And it’s not just doomers who find themselves excluded. Some supporters have found themselves cut adrift because they fail to understand that pure bile towards an alternative view, along with an unhealthy xenophobia, are not acceptable.

  186. The Full Back is a nice pub (sorry forgot to get back to you on that Limpar, it’s an old favourite) but could be too far from the ground, depending on timings, arrivals & stuff.

  187. What abot gunnerluc?

    Is he a fit and proper person to meet with a couple of ACLF AKB’s?

  188. CBob

    The Cult – Here comes the rain.

  189. Bill, we have an excellent squad. Hang on in there and watch the team get their second wind. I am sure that players will take time to get up to speed but I trust it will not take long.

    We don’t need additions in my opinion, just player’s back.

  190. “but we don’t encourage people who believe they know better than the manager.”

    Syria has the same problem

  191. Fucking hell Jabba – Acryllic has written more words than any other person on this site over the last few days (magically appearing much like yourself when the going gets tough). I lost my patience with his non-stop repetitive, moaning after 2 days of it.

    The problem to an extent is that we all have our own sets of opinions and by and large none of us are going to change them much. People just don’t. Regardless whilst it’s reasonable to have a debate with someone who you marginally disagree with most people on here have little or nothing in common with your or his viewpoint. Because of that we don’t much like listening to you.

    You make him out to be a ingenue 5 year old and I’m the bully stealing his lunch money.

    I could care less – it’s tedious listening to negative people trying to engage you in a conversation you’re not interested in.

    The funny thing is you think this is bad and I think I’ve been pretty fucking patient so far.


  192. I am sure that returning players will take time to get up to speed but I trust it will not take long.

  193. Syria has a problem with people knowing better than one of the best football managers ever?

  194. Paul.

    I agree we have a good squad and I fully believe we have another good run in us. I don’t think we will have any additions before next summer. Here’s hoping we can pull out 4th.

    The problem with the squad as constructed is that everything has to go right for it to prosper. Players like jack w and Aaron and and Ox and theo all have to consistently play up to their potential which history argues rarely happens and our top players need to stay healthy which is even less likely. That’s why I would like a couple of additions this summer so we have have some fluff just in case everything does not go as we hope.

  195. Zimpaul – Jesus! That’s hilarious. Tells you all you need to know really. Why ever bother talking to anyone else anyway? I’m #1 So Why Try Harder?

    I don’t understand what the name is actually meant to be though?

    An acrylic altar?

  196. thinking they know better than…

  197. Let’s not all get carried away with AOC just yet, I agree going forward he adds an extra something to Arsenal but tracking back defensively needs honing.

  198. This is my definition of a real fan:

    1) One who watches his clubs games (and vocalizes his support whether at their stadium, at the local bar or in his living room) in hopes of a win and still loves his club wether they win, lose or draw

    2) One who, when he feels his club’s mangement or players aren’t doing as well as they could/should, voices his concern and asks questions (at the right time)

    3) One who doesn’t put any individual above his club

    Truth be told, I love Arsene Wenger but I am not afraid to question some of his decisions (no need for name calling though). Decisions like persisting with an underperforming player, mixed messages as to transfers and some faulty tactics (I’m not saying I’m a tactical genius but there are some things that are a bit obvious that Wenger doesn’t correct).

  199. Is there any consensus here on any players in the Arsenal squad that may indeed not be good enough to contribute as required?

  200. Jabba's Delights


    How very very romantic of you.

    What is loving the game for the sake of the game?????? Do you love a nil nil as much as winning 4-0. do you like a thumping 3 goal defeat as much as last minute 4-3 win aginst your closest rival? Is your judgement affected if you actaully paid £1885 for season ticket or just watched form home?

    I support Arsenal and i unconditionally want Arsenal to do well. Im well aware that the world isnt perfect but that is still what i want every time we play. The aim is to do well still….right or is that not the aim?

    The funny bit about what you say is that its you guys who always talk about our football as if its interwoven into the fabric of the club. Its many of you lot who say they started supporting arsenal becuase of our football.

    I dont expect us to play football, i was born into a family of arsenal supporters i will support us not matter the football unlike some of you. I want my club to be succesful and have no shame in saying it I think we can do betetr than we currently are, you dont!

    With regards to just enjoying the game………….unfortuantely that game is now a multi billion pound industry and it will only get bigger. These are dangerous times for our great club and this worries me i choose to discuss this rather than put my head in the sand and convince myself that arsenal really do play the best football in the world and that our defence is statistically the best in open play or Abou Diaby is better than Wilshere.

  201. One thing is 100% certain. If aw goes to Madrid so does RvP, Hazard and m’villa too. Rvp won’t stay here if aw us in Madrid. Not for 200k a week and not for 300k a week.

  202. I understand your concern’s Bill. I am not against getting players in and I am think we will. With that, lets hope some players return from loan ready to go.

    My hope is that the injuries give us a break. We would be the team to beat if we have most of our players healthy. I have no doubt about it.

    Exciting times to be an Arsenal supporter!

  203. Jabba: “Its many of you lot who say they started supporting arsenal becuase of our football.”

    Jabba, I have never taken a shot at you because I believe everyone has a right to their opinion, that said you cannot qualify the above sentence at all. I would hazard a guess that the majority of fair weather fans do not offer their views on this site or indeed any other because they don’t care beyond the result.

  204. CBob, Orwell,like Jack London’s “People of the Abyss”, also wrote an extraodinary book (or was it his short stories) about street poverty in London and Paris in his time. I read both as a teenager. They made a huge impression; it was impossible for me to conceive such a thing as people dying the slow death of malnutrition and poverty in a place like London. Here it happens, but over there! I guess for Orwell that may been the 50s, he must have been young. Jack London’s was 1910 thereabouts. Both books were based on their experience living off the street, in Orwell’s case also as a restaurant porter in Paris. Do author’s even do that anymore, live a life they want to write about? That’s when I became an Orwell fan, and much later read his more famous books. It has some bearing on discussions around ACLF today.

  205. Paul-N: “My hope is that the injuries give us a break.” I think this is like wishing for a lotto win 😦

  206. Let’s all sing along now….

    # Jabba Jabba Jabba…jib jib jib
    # Jabba Jabba Jabba…jib jib jib
    # Jabba Jabba Jabba…jib jib jib
    # Jabba Jabba Jabba…jib jib jib

  207. Fanboy, I think things are obvious to you because you are on the oustide looking in. You can speak to any supporter and they will claim that there are players on the squad who they cannot believe the manager play’s, while other’s may like the player. They are the managers and what is right to them, may not see right to you.

    Question by all means, but dont over simplify it.

  208. I know Miami!

    Usually the injuries hit at the end of the season. My hope is that we are past that now.

  209. No Syria’s problem is President Bashar can’t be questioned or held accountable for his actions.

    My point is, by not being allowed to question him you live up to the hype of the media and doomers view that Wenger is a dictator who can’t be questioned.

  210. Orwell was a teacher in a school (now an hotel) near wear I was born. Just across the road from Hayes Football Club. He was there in the 1930s (bit before my time).

  211. Paul.

    Admire your spirit, but I agree with Miami @ 3:45.

  212. Afternoon all,

    I was sitting in the North Bank on Sunday (My 2nd trip to the Emirates!), and couldn’t believe a couple of things. The abuse some of our players get from our own fans, and the booing. Every time Theo went for the wrong run or failed to take it past the fullback or whatever, the ‘fans’ around me were giving him so much stick. They were obviously regulars too. Djourou was the same, he was being called shit and a waste of space every time Nani ran with the ball. They both had poor games, but the way that the frustration of the fans was translated into vicious abuse was sickening. Me and a lady sitting nearby were the only ones sticking up for them amidst a torrent of abuse. I actually couldn’t believe it. Then they turned on the manager for taking off the Ox. He’d had an awesome game, and we were all disappointed in seeing him leave, as was our captain, but the chorus of boos was just shocking. To be amongst that, and really feel the disdain towards our great manager was very sad. It changed the game completely – whether that was the substitution or the booing – both had a huge impact on the remainder of the game.

    I think Altair said something about the doomers still supporting the team every time they stepped out onto the pitch… well that didn’t seem to be the case in one of our biggest games of the season this Sunday. I had always thought it was the vast minority who acted like this, but my experience of the match proved that wrong.

    It was an amazing day don’t get me wrong, being behind the goal as we were dominating the game was one of the best experiences ever. Watching Yennaris come on and take it in his stride, watching the Ox perform above everyone’s expectations, seeing Kos play yet another great game, Rosicky battling, Chezney making an amazing save etc etc etc all amazing. But all tainted by the home ‘support’. I was a bit gutted tbh, but a great experience nonetheless. Thanks to my bro for sorting out the best birthday present I’ve ever had!

  213. goonerDNA, the doomer’s are simply wrong.

  214. I started supporting because I was born into an Arsenal famioly too Jabba. the games were dour in them days.

    As Bob says –

    Arsenal play – I support.

    I’ve been called a doomer and a cunt myself on here by some but I’m a regular on and off for 4 years (a lot more on of late). When The Arsenal lose you’ll most likely see nothing of me for a day or so – I don’t feel the need to spread pain, whilst we’re all feeling it so keenly already. Or I’ll be on to be positive as I have been all week.

    You choose to ONLY come here when we are all in pain and slate the manager. What kind of person does that?

    Sure in the real world your a card carrying supporter but on ACLF you’re no better than a trolling spud, no more helpful than a twisted knife and about as welcome as a fart in a space suit.

  215. Bill, hope is the best I have as far as injuries.

  216. @Jonny
    Still laughing that you, as one of the more neutral and balanced posters on here are “all that is wrong with this site”. Keep it up!

  217. Abusing players and managers is ugly, but hardly a new phenomenon. Quite frankly what do you expect in football these days though? A game now bereft of any notion of fair play, respect for opponents, where injured plays are laughed at or booed by the crowd where managers are happy to criticise referees who are doing a difficult job and fail to see any of their team’s shortcomings, all egged on by sensation seeking TV journalists and over-paid, preening TV “presenters”. A nest of vipers, I’ll tell thee.
    So, the moral is, don’t be suprised if elements of the support are cretinuous, considering the above. From my readings of George Orwell, I remember he was less than enthousiatic about the phenomenon of football “supporters”.

  218. Jabba's Delights


    I think the one thing we have in our favour with RVP is his absolute love of being the main man after an earlier career of playign second fiddle to some greats.

    Arsenal can offer him somegthing that other clubs cant and thats unconditional love aand an attack built arounf him. Yes im sure he would love a couple more weapons around him, and who knows he may get them but Real cant offer him any of that. Benzeam and Higuian arent on his level yet but they are betetr players than he at that age and they will egt good game time.


    George has stated as much before on repeated occasions. And the one thing you start to understand when someone like Cesc writes is that he only likes the team because of the brand of our football. Both of these 2 are similar because of the utter drivel they have written about George Grahams arsenal and our wonderful sides in his era. Guts, determination, organization, pride, teamwork, talent. Thats hwo i would define the majority of his era and i fricking loved it. This is the same tiny insignificant club that we are led to believe arsene took over.

  219. Paul, I think the whole AKB/doomer thing is stupid and immature. I’m just an Arsenal fan with an opinion we all want the same thing at the end of the day.

  220. Which game is the meet at? Sorry – I’m having trouble working, following Redknapp in the dock and reading today’s comments…

  221. Actually, Jonny is, Evilk.

    Not ‘evil, you understand.

    Thanks Fins, Liked that. Something for the iPod.

    I Like Jack London too ZP. Terrific stories.

  222. Bollocks! Try again.

    Actually, Jonny is, Evil.

    Not ‘evil’, you understand. ‘more balanced.

    Thought you were in the Lakes Limps?

  223. A female member of the jury in the Arry case has complained to the Judge about the defendant winking at her. 🙂

    Arry’s got a twitch

  224. Jabba's Delights

    A spurs implosion due to Aaaary doign time would literally make my year and probably do quite allot to heal this divide……unitl the summer!!

  225. I do miss Santos. I must say I was amazed with Yennaris, and didn’t expect that, nor was I expecting Ox down the left and sometimes switching right. That is interesting. I wonder what Red Nose really thought, I bet it was one huge sigh of relief.

  226. Not sure if this’ll work…

  227. So Jonny – having a good day?

    I see you have been identified by those ‘in the know’ as a rude idiot of dubious moral (ie, illegal) outlook.

    Guess you must be hitting one or two raw nerves …

    You idiot, you.

  228. I’m so confused, am I still Jonny? 😉

    Yeah made me roar with laughter too Evil – it may seem a little schizophrenic, but my support gets stronger when things get worse. When it’s backs to the wall it clears the cobwebs a little.

    I’ve been told I’m a good man to have a in a ruck.

    Mind you, the same people have said the exact opposite too and for precisely the right reasons.


  229. Oh yeah, that’s true, I will be nearer Blackburn than London for that one 😐

    It’s you coming up from Devon, Bob – means I have to bolt up country to keep a good distance.

  230. Andrew – having a lovely time mate. 😀

    Come in, the water’s lovely.

  231. Tune of Maggie May

    Oh Arry they will say
    As they’re putting you away
    Now you’ll never walk around Tottnum anymore
    Oh you never paid the taxman
    Because you were so lax man
    Now you’ve just become some bigman’s little whore

  232. I refuse to allow the current maelstrom deflate my optimism and faith.

    The nobodies of the world have infiltrated every sector of our lives: politics, financial, medical, health care, media, etc; individuals with their own self-serving agenda.

    Sadly, a too large a segment of our world is gullible to swallowing opinion as fact.

    Arsene Wenger is a rare individual, not cut in the mold of traditional football managers.
    Position him anywhere in a line up consisting of Redknapp, MeCarthy, Ferguson, Coyle, Pulis, well you see – he’s looks out of place.

    Arsene is a man of principle, in a world that seems to have lost its principle. He is fearless to make decisions, even at the expense of his own reputation.

    Here is a man of character. Once you pass his criteria, you have his trust and commitment, and as supporters we have witnessed his inner strength, exposed in his commitment to Arsenal and its players.

    For me one of his shinning moments was the way he handled Eboue.

    Most managers would have sent this player packing after his booing off at the Emirates, but not Arsene. Protecting this player’s self-esteem as a human being was his priority.

    The outcome of Eboue at Arsenal is not significant, it’s the way the manager saw what was important for this person.

    Most lost players, the outcomes influenced by the players immaturity, combined with financial factors out of manager’s and Arsenal fiscal restraint. Flamini, Hleb, Toure, Gallas, Clichy, Cesc, Nasri departures all contributing to disruptions in our long-term planning.

    I have found that the most important life lessons are learned from individuals that set the right example.

    Our club could not have found a more worthy individual to be the face of Arsenal, a reflection of character.

    The fact that some Arsenal fans find only criticism is their choice to make, but I would attribute their reactions to forgotten or ignored life lessons.

  233. Jabba

    You have made your points over and over and over and over again and again and again. We all know what you believe. Do you really expect George or Jonny or anyone to come on and say “gee you were right all along”. Is that really important to you because it isn’t going to happen. No one is going to try to have a reasonable discussion with you at this point any more then you are suddenly going to stop banging on about this stuff. At some point it becomes a matter of you doing nothing but trying to wind people up. For the sake of yourself and mostly for the sanity of everyone on the blog, grow a pair. I am breaking my own rule right now but my hope is that everyone ignores you and you get bored and go find someone else to preach to.

  234. Now they’ve put you in the gaol
    and your sewing bags for mail
    you mind wanders to good days you’ve had before
    you once had all that power
    now you’re frightend to take a shower
    just incase you drop the soap down on the floor

  235. New poster here. Have read this blog regularly but rarely posted.
    This is my current view on the Arsenal fandom which I am sure a lot of people here have felt.
    Supporting AFC has become a case of :

    “I am right & you ‘re wrong,
    if you disagree with me then you’ve been an idiot all along”

    All right now, lets bring out the kitchenware!!!

  236. Let’s not have talk of Mourinho for Wenger. We don’t want ugly football. Let him go to Manchester!

  237. goonerDNA @ 4:06 pm

    The issue is motives.

  238. Put it like this. I can want my child to be successful so I can brag or I can want the same thing so that they can be a huge help to others and be happy. The success part may be the same, but in essence, they are two different things.

    The first is likely to have issues when their friends child is more succesful than their own and miss the beauty of their own child.

    Football is much less but I hope you get my drift.

  239. I’m surprised that people persevere with Jabba’s Delights. I struggle to understand his prose…..Maybe he gets so excited he strikes the wrong keys….

  240. Bill @ 4:32


  241. Acryllic A (1.20)

    “I suspect that like the others before you, you will magically disappear, or keep quiet.”

    Sorry to disappoint but for as long as you and your turncoats continue to attempt to overwhelm the good folk who regularly write the normal good sense for which this blog is renowned, then I’m afraid there is little chance of me disappearing, magically or otherwise.

    I’ve been tuning into ACLF for a few years but rarely post myself as there are plenty who can do the job far better than I could ever hope to.

    But it’s hard to read and NOT write when the club hits choppy injury infested waters and they draw, they lose, they fail to share the scoring or stop scoring freely, when some players extend (or fail to extend) their contracts – and for any of that to be seen by some as a cue for open season on trying to take down the manager and/or certain players currently not flavour of the month.

    No mate, I won’t keep quiet.

    I’m not sure whether it is due to the whole Sky phenomenon but the last 20 years HAS seen a change in fan behaviour as we all have become accustomed to holding views on the clubs we support – views which range from a broad grasp of a club’s stated overall strategy to incredibly detailed opinions on any number of issues. Maybe Sky has triggered this; the online world is certainly helping to convey it.

    Alas, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing …

    Ostensibly, a heated debate amongst fans of different teams is great fun and I’m sure most of us do it. The problem comes when a side isn’t hitting the prescribed heights and a section of the support lose their heads and instead of continuing to challenge our opponents and the anti-club media, adopt the views of our opponents and join in, like some kind of confused pack animal attacking the very club they profess to be a fan of.

    You, Acryllic, are only helping the opposition when you denigrate the players and staff of the club. You merely help the media shift more newspapers etc when you stop being a supporter and start being, at best, a partially informed critic.

    How could you or anyone POSSIBLY have known why AW removed the Ox from Sunday’s game when he did.

    So how could anyone have possibly started booing?

    Suggest you re-read: Geo | January 25, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    He’s spot on.

    Acryllic – stop doing the media’s job for them. Stop behaving like you are a fan of another club. Think about your priorities; what’s more important – the expression of your part-formed half-baked theories.

    Or your full support of the team you claim to love.

    It could be, AA, that some of your ideas are right, who knows? I don’t and neither do you.

    But I do know one thing.

    Sunday wasn’t just a narrow defeat to one of our biggest rivals. It was also the day the stadium was shamed by its own fans.

    And for that, fella, you have to take your share of the responsibility.

  242. A question to Jabba. Why do you post here. When it is so obvious that the majority here have a vastly different opinion on things, what is the point in posting here? It is not as if the posters here run the club so that if you can change their opinion the club is going to be run the way you want it. So what is the point.

    Personally I have skimmed through the comments at le-grove a couple of times and seeing the general mood realised that they have a vastly different way of looking at things. I have never felt an urge to post there and try to educate them. What is your motivation?

  243. Andrew, I hope you’ll remain a regular poster – not just when the water gets toxic – though your diluting effect is much appreciated.

  244. From today’s Fiver


    The acronym Uefa uses for its financial fair play initiative is FFP but European football’s governing body could be forgiven for thinking FFS this morning as it revealed the cumulative losses of about 650 top-flight clubs across the continent stood at £1.33bn in 2010, a 33% increase on the £1bn registered the previous season.

    Uefa’s general secretary, Gianni Infantini, said the scale of the debts was a “last wake-up call” for a game which, he inferred, had been happily slapping the snooze button for far too long. “This red trend has to be inverted very, very quickly to save European football,” he said.

    Infantini went on to say that the findings of the club licensing benchmarking report will take on “an increasing significance” with the financial fair play rules starting to be measured from this season and implemented for European competitions in 2013-14. Clubs who overspend in this initial two-year monitoring period can face the sanction of being excluded from Uefa competitions from the 2014-15 season.

    Andrea Traverso, the head of the FFP project, once again outlined that the rules allow clubs to make a total loss of £4.2m in the first assessment period, or up to £37m if a wealthy owner makes a one-off donation to wipe out losses. Thirteen clubs it did not name, including several from England, would have failed its break-even tests on their 2010 accounts.

    The biggest culprits were among the richest: of the more than 200 clubs playing in the Champions League and Europa League in the monitoring period, 65% outspent their earnings and three out of every four clubs with annual revenues exceeding £42m also recorded a loss.

    The knocker-up had done his morning’s work but it remains to be seen how many clubs will turn over and go back to sleep.

  245. Jibber an Acryllic or whatever.
    Name me one ACLF AKBer (and that is me, I admit it)who does not want what is best for the club.
    That does not want players who would improve the squad
    That does not want Arsene to do everything he can to win games and trophies.

    You see for all the repetitive guff that you spout ,the fundamental difference between us ,is that I believe Arsene does the best possible for the club ,within the constraints of finance and a long term vision.You don’t think he does.
    You say we never answer your reasonable questions(we have hundreds of times but you don’t accept the answers,or can’t grasp them)well you answer me one simple question


    Now fuck of you plumbs.

  246. You say we never answer your reasonable questions(we have hundreds of times but you don’t accept the answers,or can’t grasp them)

    Couldn’t agree more.

  247. Jonny I think it’s a very nice photo.It looks not a bit like you though.

  248. Well cheers to you Jonny.

    Can you explain (‘cos I must have hit my own snooze button at some point) why some say FFP ‘won’t work’ or ‘has been watered down’?

    I had long anticipated that this development would, at some point work in our (AFC’s) favour – but these days I keep reading it’s not going to have any impact.

    What do you reckon? How come the cynicism in some quarters?

  249. i have given a lot of thought to the possiblity if the reports due come to pass of a Wenger and Mourinho swap. While we all have watched as they do play ugly games against Barca, Mourinho also does understand football and if you havent noticed, his team sits atop La Liga. Also outside of when they play Barca(any and every rivalry gets ugly on the pitch) they play a free flowing part counter attacking part high pressing attacking but with speed game that allows them to score plenty of goals. Would anybody really be opposed to this type of football for AFC. Isnt this what we all want, for our flanks to be run up and down with speed by the likes of Theo and OX and for RVP to play uptop with another striker or even with the speed of Gervinho sitting beside him so that defences can’t just key on RVP? Dont we wish for our midfield to be one of quick passing game and fluidity to where the manager does rotate the midfield to keep them fresh for the business end of the season. Dont we wish for our defence to sometimes play with a back 3 of Mert Kos and Verm with Song and either Le Coq or Frim infront of them? We want to win and while i do have grea respect for Arsene and do understand that he is a brillant manager and that we have won under him but I also am not immune to the fact that sometimes a fresh face brings about teh change that we so desperately wish for, Silverware. Either way I will support AFC adn its manager until the bitter end!!!!!

  250. Andrew because money corrupts .And as FIFA & UEFA are already corrupt it is sort of obvious.

  251. The cynicism stems from the fact that some clubs (City) have explored ways of circumventing the rules (Etihad sponsor deal) and many more have mace no effort to curb their spending. Meanwhile Platini has remained utterly mute.

    The clubs have thus far carried on with so little regard of the rules that there is scant conviction that the clubs won’t challenge the rulings legally, circumvent or just ignore and see what happens. It’s a power play with little teeth.

  252. Thanks, interesting – so, aside from City and certain others exploring ways of circumventing the rules it’s more that the absence of houses being put in order that has led to the cynicism?

    So, just to work the logic – if the clubs that are about to fall foul of the rules mount a legal challenge to those same rules, what’s to stop those clubs that have worked hard to abide by the rules (eg, Arsenal, to name but one) mounting a counter-legal challenge?

    I’m probably being hopelessly naive here (or just naively hopeful) – and I’m acknowledging PG’s ‘money corrupts’ remark – but is there not a real possibility that for one season (at least) the usual over-spent, over-committed suspects will actually be barred from the competition until they have, as I say, put their houses in order?

    The simple threat of it ‘going legal’ isn’t necessarily anything to fear, surely?

  253. Could they not introduce a rule that prevents “legal”challenges?
    Actually I know they cant.Because that sort of stuff is illegal.Right?
    But in my head,someone somewhere has done just that.

  254. In a wider sense it’s to do with the fact that football has laws that do not apply to the rest of the real world and yet every so often those laws get challenged (such as the Bosman ruling) invariably when these things go through the courts they have to refer to employment and business law and draw parallels against the real world. The question could become are the strictures UEFA are trying to place on these clubs (businesses) legal under European law?

    I doubt it would get to this stage but it what it might do is dramatically increase the probability of a breakaway league – with the biggest clubs agreeing terms that suit themselves rather than loftier, slightly more egalitarian, principles. It’s going to be a very tricky balancing act to pull off.

    Regardless whilst the accounts that will qualify concern 2011-12 Uefa’s accountants don’t start examining them until the 2013-14 season.

    Then it gets complicated – there is an “acceptable deviation” of €45m over the first two years. And, as long as they can prove they are moving in the right direction, they are also allowed to discount the wages of players on contracts signed before June 2010. That rule will hold for the first two “monitoring periods” – the two years ending 2013-14 and the three years ending 2014-15.

    Arsenal are in poll position to pass the exams but the exam board may collapse under the weight of those who are determined to cheat the system…the war games have only just begun.

  255. Geo, you are a star and so is your brother. Happy birthday.

  256. Thanks again J – yes, a tricky time ahead; one almost wonders why UEFA went down that road in the first place!

    I also wonder why a breakaway league hasn’t already been set up – so many Euro leagues are practically unwatchable thanks to the lack of genuine competition; it was one reason I was lulled into a false sense of security re: Cesc – I couldn’t bring myself to believe he would, at such a young age, commit himself to something so dull.

  257. I think UEFA has a genuine fear the game will implode – and not without reason. Platini is furious over the English teams buying their way to the top of the tree – I genuinely think he is an Anglophobe. I recall his fury over the Man Utd Chelsea CL final – disgusted at the amount of debt it represented. That was the seed of it if memory serves.

    The breakaway league wasn’t universally wanted – Fergie, for one, was totally against the idea.

    Good job too – I hate the idea.

  258. Went to a Burns Night supper in Smithfields this night 20 odd years ago. Ended in a terrible ruck, after the guy reading Barrrrrrns called us foreigners a bunch of sassenach bastards. My mate gave him a poke and he flew backwards off the table he was using as a stage. He ended up in the corner of the room, kilt over his head, showing the whole world his….boxers with a panda motif. What a let down.

    All was well though. In the ensuing melee which rolled down the stairs and onto the cobbled street there were todgers aplenty on display.

  259. …bright pink and ginger, with a hint of Royal Tartan. Gave my interior designer wife at the time ideas for our living room.

  260. Not surprised Fergie (talking of the bright pink & ginger, Frank) was/is against it; suspect his ability to subvert the refs in Europe is a shadow of what he achieves over here …

    Just settling down to hopefully watch the Scousers and Citeh tear themselves apart over the League Cup. Amusingly they have the Worst Ref on the Planet to contend with in O’Dowd.

    Not sure who I want to win it the least.

    Few mention Liverpool have never been to the ‘new’ Wembley but further setbacks for Mancini are always welcome. Decisions, decisions …

  261. at the start of the season we knew it was going to be a long tough battle..
    nothings changed..
    despite all the negatives there are still many positives to take from our team and the season is far from over..

    its ironic that the ppl who have been saying 4th place is not a trophy for years are now demanding us to finish 4th..

    to be honest 4th place has never been a trphy for me either win the league or you dont..the titles gone so what does it matter if we finish outside the top four from a football perspective?? so we wont play in cl for a fucking what…its not like we havent spent the last 14 years in the thing and until wenger came we were lucky to finish in europe so it will be a huge reality check to some of us if it does happen this season..never might help us in playing well in the league next year..

    however, all that aside, there are still two trophies to play for and while we are still in it we can win it…

    im encouraged by the young talent we have coming through..and im also encouraged that our injured players…who also happen to be very important players, are set to return..

    my only concerns are that we could be out of one of the cups and too far adrift to catch chelsea by the time they do..i also hate the fact that we are so far behind the spuds….and we have to remember that we had virtually a fully fit squad to choose from for the last few months of last year and we still blew it..

    but nothings decided in january..a couple of wins and we are back on track..

  262. I can’t really speak for others Jabba, but the reason it is so hard for me to have constructive conversations with many of the doomers on the site is really rather straightforward. Most, are never here unless things have gone poorly. After a solid win, when the tactics were right and the play excellent…silence. We can go 4 wins in a row and not a peep from the doomer crowd. Compliment? Happy note? “Hey Wenger/Arsenal got that one right.” Nope, not a single comment…even the press feel compelled to say well done. (Even if they do bury it under all the other more “interesting” crisis stories they have for whomever lost that weekend.)

    Nope….Not a single kind word for the team or Arsene…HOWEVER…ONE loss and here they come, pouring through the door, with all the “I-Told-You-So!!” they can carry.

    I know you’d like to have a reasonable conversation, or so you say, and I have no reason not to believe that, but remember…not one thing positive for the average doomer to to say for weeks; then we take one loss and here they all are wanting to have a “reasonable” conversation about why we suck so bad??

    I don’t know man – seems kind of disingenuous for anyone to try to see these things as if they happen in a vacuum when they don’t. Most of us get up the morning after a loss counting backwards…(3-2-1…here they come)….” “Seeeeeeeee, I tooooollllddd yoooouuuuuuuuuuu!!!” “KKiiilllllll Wweeeeengggereeeer!!!” “TTThhheeeeoooo sssuuuuuuxxxxxxx!!!” “BBBBuuuuyyyyy PPPPlllaaaayyyeeeeeeerrrrrsss!!!!!”

    I always imagine these blokes in my mind, rubbing they hands in glee over the keyboard the day after a loss…constructive criticism happens along side praise and acknowledgment… most doomer talk just smacks of the malcontent having waited for his moment to point the finger.

  263. Frank

    My favorite story is still the one about the lancshire sheep and their shepards who were born with one leg longer then the other so they could only walk around the hills in one direction.

  264. As Arsenal supporters between 1996 and 2005 we became somewhat spoilt, enjoying a great team and great success.

    However, it seems to me that the rest of the EPL, by that I mean the “lesser” teams have cottened on to what is needed to stop teams like us playing to our strengths.

    In truth Manure and Chelski and the other “better “teams have continually struggled at some time or other against the minnows, it is just that they seem to have been caught out less than we have.

    Perhaps we did overachieve for some period of time, but not during the pinnacle times reached by the Invincibles. When you have reached certain level, the chances are that the only way forward is down.

    The lack of patience of players such as Hleb and Flamini, who I have no doubt now regret leaving has helped us on the way down.

    It is no disgrace for it to happen, it is inevitable.

    Nevertheless, are any of us qualified to really say what AW and his management team should be doing. Even those of you lucky enough to see the team week in and week out, surely cannot see what the professional and experienced eyes see.

    No one is perfect, and makes no mistakes, so AW has made mistakes, but, he has also made great decisions.

    The 11 or so games when we were winning virtually every week was evidence of that.

    I am convinced that the recent slump is mainly due to the lack of proper full backs. The 2nd half on Sunday was such an amazing contrast, if only because we had a fullback, defending and overlapping.

    We have also seen how opponents have targetted our deputy full backs with great success. That will stop soon, when our fullbacks return and we will then be able to attack with the same sort of penetration as before they were all crocked.

    Just as AW is human, so are the players. They make mistakes as well, and we must accept that.

    One further point, TW seems to be at the end of a lot of critisism. Firstly, I believe that he has assisted in a large number of RVP’s goals this season, so, even if he has not scored so much himself, his contribution has been crucial.

    My second is the fact that in the absence of a CF type player, who can spray the passes out with great foresight, a player like TW, who needs passes into space for him to run on to, will seem not to be playing well. How many times do we see him calling for a pass and not getting it.

    I suspect that AR, at present does not have the ability to make those long telling passes, but i am sure he will get there.

    Just as we all critisized Helb, Flamini and the others for having a lack of patience, so we have to have patience as well.

  265. Christ what a goal!

  266. what would Jibber say if Arsene had bought Savic?

  267. Does anyone really care what Jibber-Jabber would say, or ever has said?

    Lucky penalty for Liverpool – when was the last time we got awarded one of those as a handball?

    Been several this season.

  268. No Jonny we should have got then awarded Liverpool have been gifted that

  269. tbh i dont know what is more annoying. To see City win a trophy or to see Liverpool have a huge possibility to end their drought by facing Cardiff in the CC final. Finishing the job we failed to finish last year…

    I do think that as a neutral it would be great for football in general if City won shit all this year…
    And we can still win the FA Cup ofc..
    And if we grab a 4th place this year that is 100 times better than winning a CC cup trophy and become no 6.

    But still, i hope Cardiff wins that final…

  270. @Jonny maybe now with the new financial muscles of PSG he will be more leanient towards the big money spenders. After all they are a french team. Howeve as they are owned by foreginers they aint really french any more though, which i guess could take most of the glory away for the proud frenchys. This again could as you say lead to him and UEFA actually clamping down on the big spenders.

  271. jjgsol (8.15) – yes, I think there is a lot in what you are saying; certainly, as Pedantic George has made the point in the recent past, the likes of Mans U & Citeh plus Chelski have had to spend vastly increasing sums just to gain a marginal advantage over everyone else. Sums that would bankrupt most clubs.

    I think most sensible observers would agree also with your points re: the effect of the loss of our key defenders. What is more puzzling is how this has been missed by those who seek to knock the club – including some sections of our own ‘support’.

    And I’ve thought all season that Theo has missed Cesc possibly more than any other player on the pitch (possibly excepting Arshavin – over to PG for a view?!).

    It WILL come good again – as you say, we saw key signs of this during Sunday’s match.

    Patience, indeed.

    On another note – Citeh have been impressive this evening?

    No, I didn’t think so, either.

  272. lol now all City got to play for is the PL and if they dont win that they will winn nothing this year. For once i really hope United will win…

  273. but it should have been us beating Liverpool though, not Liverpool beating City….

  274. its a typical blue moon drownig scenario this…

  275. A Scouse victory v Cardiff not a given, either.

  276. is Bellamy not on loan from City also? Does that mean that Citys loan player actually killed them off?? that is way cool!

  277. When the little mancs brought the tie to 2-2 on aggregate, imagine the Kop booing like crazed, bloated …er booers. Wouldn’t happen would it? No decent supporters would boo their side at such a crucial point in the game. Never been heard of. I mean no group of fans has ever done such a thing in the history of the EPL and certainly not since I saw my first game in tens of years ago.

    How fucking low can Arsenal ‘supporters’ stoop. We are now the pariahs of the footballing world.

  278. Sooner or later Arsenal ‘supporters’ will kill this club. I suspect that it will be sooner.

  279. Aw go fair on City there’s no way they can compete with the midfielders they have at their disposal.

    Alves has just scored an absolute screeeeeeamern for FCB.

  280. Nearly – I think CB went on loan to Cardiff from Shiteh but they ended up selling him to the Scousers.

    Still an irony – Mancini never rated him.

    Ho ho.

  281. Cheer up[ Frank we are just thinning a few of the weaker members of the herd – no great loss.

  282. Yep, Frank – apparently Daglish didn’t “know what he was doing” either …

    I take it it’s not just me that feels the club has been diminished by our own fans?

  283. 5 minutes to go. 2-1 to the big mancs. All to play for. 60% of Arsenal ‘supporters’ in the gound were queuing to get out. Most with their backs to the pitch. Never, ever in the history of football anywhere in the world has this happened before.

  284. I have finally made a really tough decision

    I want Barca and United to win the respective leagues just so that city and real win nothing, to prove a point to the spend spend spend advocates…I can deal with the united fans gloating for one more season

  285. Thank you but I am not unhappy. Arsenal were always innovators. It is fitting that we find ourselves here before the others. We need some sort of purification. A filter. We need to scrape the dogshit off our shoes.

  286. Despite the theatrics, some of the passing from Barca was just sublime in that 1st half, just had to appreciate and applaud

  287. 40,000 fans know more about the game than Arsene Frank.
    Back in the day then had no Sky Sports to educate them.Now every fucker is a Championship Manager.
    Just read some of the experts on here.

  288. Poodle

    I guess not..he could not have played in that case..or is it different in the CC??

  289. The reffing is getting from bad to worse. How is that a pen for Pool and we are denied a clear cut handball against City.

    Thing’s even up, my foot!

  290. PG

    And about footballing economics too…despite Arsenes almost lifetime experience in football and his masters in economics..

  291. Is anyone watching the ACN? This game between Senegal and Equatorial Guinea is just outstanding despite the absolutely shocking conditions, they are through to the quarter finals against one of the tournament favourites!

  292. The Doomer’s finest hour, Frank.

    Actually, they wouldn’t even commit to something for that long.

    That last twenty minutes, the culmination – nay, the pinnacle – of all their hard work invested in slagging off the club in recent months.

    They must be feeling very proud.

  293. Senegal had Ba, Cisse and Sow on the pitch too!

  294. Where are you watching coverage Passenal – you gotta stream? (Don’t tell me ITV4 +1).

  295. JD Gooner | January 25, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Best thing I’ve ever read. Thank you for sharing it here otherwise I would have never seen it.

  296. Anirudh @ 10:06 pm, United and Barca have spent money like crazy also.

    That is a lose lose situation mi bredrin.

  297. The crowd played Brutas to Arsene’s Julius Caesar

  298. No, it was on Eurosport, slightly spoiled by Stewart Robson on the commentary, but definitely the best game so far. The pitch was like a bog because there had been a 3 hour torrential downpour beforehand so it was surprising that 2 matches went ahead. First game was 2 – 2 between Libya and Zambia and the second was 2 – 1 to Equatorial Guinea.

  299. Thanks P – I always firmly enhance Stewart Robson’s commentary with judicious use of the mute button.

  300. Paul N

    Case of best of the bad lot 😀

  301. I hear you!

    United winning again may be too much for me though and I can’t stand Barca.

    I’m torn to be honest!


  302. I did not take Cesc too long to learn diving Barsa style…

  303. oohhh la on!!!

  304. Poodle

    Agreed dude, be so much funnier, healthier (I know, but) more ironic if city blow it.


    Ha! You old ham you! Brutus indeed!


    Was it that many who left? Where we were, no one scarpered early, which was a first!

  305. sv, all the Barca players do it, no surprise at all.

    someone posted a vid about how Barca practice how to dive and feign injury. There is no doubt in my mind that it is part of the system.

    RM, will win this.

  306. Barca’s theatrics is disgusting. They are by no means the only teams that practice the dark arts, as Mourinho’s teams always perfect that shit and other aspects too. Just witness Inter at the Nou Camp the other year. But Barca’s cheating completely undermines their good footballing, fair enough if it was once in a while, but its constant FFS.

  307. El Loco Classico – should have been 2 penalties there, one at each end within 30 seconds of each other, the second pen should have been a sending off for Puyol too!


  308. Guys to be fair Cesc did get a face full of fist

  309. I know they’re cunts but this is an ace game.

  310. Ha! Jonny!

  311. there is a disgrace..

  312. Pedro the cheat is hilarious. Blimey… You must see it.

  313. Red card for nuffin there…

  314. Busquets, Pedro, Puyol, Pique et al man.

  315. Pepe is a shite defender though

  316. It was Busquets, sorry.

  317. As much as I hate Varca and their cheatin players and underhand and erm overhand tapping up of our players, Real’s history and the fact that Mourinho is their manager mean I would (just) rather barca win la liga.

  318. That was brilliant – like a night at the theatre.

  319. Pepe is a proper dirty sphincter.

  320. I don’t want Maureen to win anything again .Ever.
    A stupid man, made more stupid by success 🙂

  321. well we can choose between City, United and Spurs as winners of the PL. I dunno what would be the least evil. Me thinks United. They and us ahve the longest standing managers, we are the most stable clus at the top of the PL for the last 20 years.They are our Arch enemies..
    Tottenham are grantedly our noisey neighbours and may they stay like that for long time to come… I dont want them to actually win stuff for real…

    City are just revolting, i dont want them to win…

    Here is what i think we should aim for the rest of the season :
    we win FA cup and secure 4th place, we also atleast go to the semifinal of CL.

    when our backs are back plus jack and arteta, i think we can go all the way aslong as we do not meet Barcelona before the final. We can seriousley beat them all xcept barcelona. We are not allowed to beat barcelona, and if we are ever close they will send a player off. such are the rulse of UEFA…

    If we get 4th place plus one out of two above(semi final CL or FA Cup) i will be very happy indeed with this season…

    Then United can win the PL for all i care.

  322. A good manager can make the Madrid team play good free-flowing football. The moron can’t make them play like that, he uses defenders who can’t play the ball, so there are always contradictions within their system, with the back line that doesn’t seem to gel with the likes of Ozil, Benzema, Ronaldo and Kaka. They need a good creative midfielder and perhaps a different manager. I have no doubt they would love to have ours.

  323. It’s very difficult when your choices are dirty diving cheating bastards Barca with Pep or dirty diving cheating bastards Madrid with Maureen. Maybe Pep just wins.

  324. and really we will reach the FInal of the CL if we just avoid playing barca until then, since PL is such a big league and only we and Chelsea are left. Maybe they will avoid us drawing Barca until final…. After all Chelsea are dead boring and europe enjoys a decent PL team in the semi finals…

    We all know that these draws are somehow rigged always, no way the money men will let these things go at a chance. its far far far far to much money involved for that…

  325. You old luvvy george, bet you’re sat their in full theatrical make up, toga and laurel doin your I Claudius…

  326. i hate both the spanish teams may they rot in the umcoming spanish economic disaster both of them…

  327. I would love to see what we could do with a full squad of players. That seems well far fetched an idea though!

  328. I despise Mourinho, he is odious, the architypal modern manager to go with the modern footballer like Teves, Rooney, Nasri; souless, and completely selfish.

  329. Yeah, if you have to pick between Barca and Real, it’s really difficult to make your choice. On one hand Barca’s team is almost exclusively filled with c*nnts. Really, when they have their first XI, probably half of their players at least are known frauds that cheat and dive at every opportunity. And they are constantly creating new cheating bastards, like Pedro. On the other hand Madrid might not have that many proper c*nts, though they do have the lesser Ronaldo, but than again, they have Mourinho as couch and he counts for a lot. Can I just have them both going bust and Valencia winning something for a change?

  330. Bradys right foot

    The Kit Holden piece kindly posted by JD at 12:04 pm is superb, a moment of logical clarity and honesty, pretty much sums up exactly where I stand. It also mentions the Bebe situation which I alluded to last night the interweb can be a really small place.

  331. Bradys right foot

    Dex by the time of the Milan match we could have everyone back bar Santos. I’d settle for Jack & Bacary if i’m honest but if we can get the numbers back i think well finish the year very strongly.

  332. BRF – the only real question is why we had to listen to Jibber Jabber McTwat STILL asking us to clarify x,y and z hours later, when all he had to do was read that Holden piece.

  333. Bradys right foot

    You lost me at Cross Jonny, lol.

  334. What a utter sad frtiendless cunt that jibba Mctwitch must be. Why on earth does he still pretend to be a Gooner? He was made months ago. Just ignore the pathetic fuckwit.

  335. BRF

    I think we’ll need Arteta, Gibbs, Coquelin & Diaby back too man. I am worried we’ll end up seeing exhausted over used players otherwise. Yennaris and Miquel deserve more playing time too, they have impressed. Pity we dont have a striker in the yutes thats deemed ready for action just yet. Afobe might have been, if not for serious injury.

  336. Jonny ,then he fucks it up with this
    “But Arshavin doesn’t look as if he cares and that’s hard to take.”
    He is a pompous prick.

  337. True – at least he tried. Well good night all.

    We’ve broken the back of the week now. It’ll be easier from here.


  338. Bradys right foot

    Jonny m8 Jibber is just caught in an infinite loop of doom lol.

  339. BRF

    Arteta, Henry and Coquelin could be back for Sunday, then Gibbs and Bacary middle of Feb, Santos and Wilshere end of Feb.

  340. But according to some bloke caled Boris from Moscovite Sun, who Dukeyg heard on Talkeybollox radio, Arshavin has been fat since he went on holiday to Miami 2 years ago, possibly with george, hence the rotundicity and fatness.

  341. Bradys right foot

    Can’t wait for Sunday myself sometimes you need a game to cleanse the footballing villa is such a game. l8r.

  342. I should be so lucky.
    And not only that Dexter but some bitch recons he feels “betrayed” by Andrei.
    Fucking betrayed? I ask you ? wtf?

  343. Betrayed, lied to, conned, all copy and paste cliches man. Eeejits.

  344. Bradys right foot

    Lol Dex I’d rather get fat in Miami than on whatever god forsaken lard and oat derived delicacy George has been gorging on in Blackburn.

    Having Gibbs and Bacary for the Bolton game would be great.

  345. Hey ,have I grown a target on my napper?

  346. I’m still not over the game last Sunday. Kos put in one of the best CH displays I have ever seen. Positioning, fantastic tackles, many of them in the box. When he gets forward he just knocks the opposition defenders off the ball. Of course Dean was very unhappy with the big manc little defenders being pushed around and awarded a freekick against our boy every time but then that is the manc factor for you. Kos is the story of the EPL this season. Strangely people who get paid for writing football stories have not noticed. I suspect that most ‘gooner’ sheep have missed it too.

  347. Amazing how Per Mertesacker makes up for his lack of pace. very similar to TA, and coincidentally TA has a lot of respect for him. This guy is going to be fucking immense. Shame that so many ‘gooner’ sheep have failed to noticce that.

  348. Thing is, if you are interested in football at all you would pay the entrance fee just to watch these two guys work it out and develop their skills. If you are really interested that is….Trouble is most ‘gooners’ are too fucking stupid to notice.

  349. Andre Santos is probably the most technically gifted left back in the world. very few people know this. Just a few discerning ones. RvP knows. Trouble is most ‘gooners’ don’t have the capacity to know.

    He is injured. However…

    On Sunday they booed. Soon one media presenter with a days training in hypnotism will have the lot of em clucking away like chickens, wearing only their underwear. Fucking gullible fools.

  350. Carl Jenkinson will be the subject of a frantic debate between press and FA about his ‘nationality’. Why? Because they will come to realise shortly that the kid is the best right back in Europe. He will inevitably play for Finland. Why? Because the FA are too slow. As are the lazy press and media. Most of this of course will go above ‘gooners’ heads.

  351. Frank .what is your stance on Andrei?

  352. Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey will go on to be the best two midfield players in the EPL. Griity, determined, space aware, great technique. They got their break from the manager they revere. Most ‘gooners’ will not have noticed this of course and will have tried to get rid of that same manager. If he goes then there is no guarantee that JW or AR will stay at Arsenal. But then most ‘ gooners’, blissfully, don’t give a fuck.

  353. Andrei is class. He is captain of his country. He needs to play through his confidence issues, but it is hard for him. No-one ever complained about the defensive abilities of Marc Overmars or Anders Limar or R9obert Pires, but AA seems to get hung out to dry for his ‘covering’. I watch him on the ball and his understanding of other players, passing etc…..and he looks the business to me. Great player. Love the way he laughs and jokes with the youngsters, who I suspect are learning an emormous amount from him.

  354. Limestonegunner

    Frank, I am a big, big fan of Santos. In fact, I think we would be comfortably in fourth and putting pressure on the Spuds with him in the side. Not only supremely gifted technically but also absolutely excellent defensively in the air and in the tackle. What a gem, what a loss.

    Similar views on Kos. Our best defender and the last two games he has bravely charged forward in the second half when we were chasing games. He was everywhere and amazingly good on the ball.

    Merts is terrifically intelligent. I think next season he will have adjusted fully to the PL. He is surprisingly weak in the air right now for someone of his size and smarts, but clearly a class player.

    I think many people see this. Unfortunately we’ve suffered some poor results recently; brings out the worst in people. But there is no excuse for what happened in the game, absolute disgrace when the game is there to be won, something a home side with momentum and the crowd behind it might be well poised to do.

  355. Frank ,That how I see it.
    I cant understand how people see his failings as a defender ,which he is not.And miss his his assets as an attacker ,which he is.

  356. Limestonegunner

    Frank, maybe if Andre could play more from the centre he could use that vision and passing to greater effect and also be less exposed for his defensive liabilities, especially since he does press at the front. He just isn’t the type to run up and down the side of the pitch.

  357. Your last sentence says it all, Limestonegunner. I have never witnessed such an abrogation of support in many years of watching games. In my opinion the fans lost us the game and I mean that seriously. This is a very, very serious issue. In fact it is a cirsis and i see no way out of it. We are carrying far too much baggage.

  358. I agree, Limestonegunner. My opinion is that we should keep faith with Andrei. But it might be out of our hands. It might be too late after last Sunday.

  359. LG he is a plucky little fellow with a huge heart.
    He always shows for the ball.
    He may be in poor form ,but he is still a wonderful player if used correctly.

  360. You are a good man, George. If we had had many more of you in the stadium on Sunday the result would have been different.

  361. Limestonegunner

    I felt like something broke at that moment. The frustration and the rage was given vent in a way that transgressed a sacred boundary.

  362. I am also very pleased with Mikel and Yossi. What a strong, plucky, skilful,player Mikel Artetea is. They say that he is not as ‘good’ as Cesc Fabregas, but I reckon that far more areas of the pitch have opened up since he joined us. He has bottle in abundance. Yossi too has accepted a bit part role very gracefully, but I have rarely seen a player with as much energy. Great to have him in the squad and a great loan by AW. I hope Yossi stays for a while becuase he is great with the kids.

    You know I used to do this with my old mate who now lives in New York State, but latterly the youngsters in my family have been helping me hobble down to the front of the West Lower about half an hour before KO. We watch the players come on to warm up, take a few photos etc etc. But you get to see the players close up. Watch their skills. This is an absolutely amazing squad.

  363. In 3 years Andrei has gone from Savior to sinner.?He came smiling saying “I am gooner now” What have we done to him?
    I despair.

  364. Limestonegunner

    That’s the sad thing, PG and Frank. I watched his look as he came on and the boos rained down. He’s been playing much better the last few games, so I don’t know what people were thinking.

  365. They don’t think, Limestonegunner. They just don’t think.

  366. ok ,goodnight.
    Great to have you back Frank.

  367. Limestonegunner

    Arteta is a brilliant player; so pleased he has joined. One thing I’d like to see more from him is his invention coming forward or creating through balls and taking shots. He has played the steady role which we have needed and benefited from, but his first couple of games he showed the skills there. He quickly figured out that we needed linking, possession and stability defensively, so he has provided that. Right now with less attacking options from fullbacks, we could use more help from central midfield to create better chances for RvP and Walcott. Soon Sagna and Gibbs should be back, but before that happens Arteta can have a bigger impact in attack.

  368. Limestonegunner

    Goodnight, George!

  369. You see, something else which is not mentioned about last Sunday, until the final assualt down the left which allowed the big mancs in because of a slight lack of concentration by a right footed centre half playing as left back,we defended magificently. One of the best defensive performances I have seen from an Arsenal team. Not many ‘gooners’ ever metntion that

  370. Goodnight, George

  371. Limestonegunner

    I do think Djourou was under great pressure on the right having to deal with a speedy Nani and sometimes two players coming down our right. But Yennaris’ speed immediately helped. Mertesacker was beat a couple times by Welbeck but did magnificently–intelligence and experience to keep running right where the ball was going to clear it off the line.

  372. Goodnight, Limestonegunner.You may have noticed I have lost my glasses. I find them in extraordinary places but I will tell you about that another night. Anyway a beautiful red haired lady has just poured me a glass of milk so I guess I had better say night night, before they lock me in my room. Night night.

  373. Limestonegunner

    Where in NY state has your gooner friend gone to? Upstate NY has some very beautiful areas and of course NYC is almost as wonderful a city as London.

  374. Limestonegunner

    Night, Frank!

  375. I wonder if the Faltering Fullback would be interested in my Thai pasties?

  376. Sorry I missed that, Limestonegunner. Around Albany way.

  377. On the AA comments.

    I too like AA. I think he is coming in for stick defensively as he is not producing offensively though. If he was still scoring and effecting the games going forward, people would simply accept that he is not the best defensively. His problem at the moment (and for quite a while) is that he is not really doing anything going forward (due to lack of form).

    AOC looked more consistantly dangerous in the game at the weekend that AA has done all season. And for a player of AA’s unquestionable talents that is not really good enough.

  378. Also just reading that Theo is asking for 100K per week. If that is true, what are people’s thoughts on that?

  379. I’m not surprised Andy – it’s the way the game is going and this is what might become the ultimate test for Arsenal – redesigning our wage book to fit closer to the suga-daddy paradigm.

    On current form he isn’t worth it – but then I’m not sure he was worth the reputed 60K he has been on for the past 3 or so. I’d say it’s a horrible gamble/judgement call for Wenger. I’d like to hold on to him but, personally, I wouldn’t go above 90K.

    After all, if Theo is worth 100K what does that say of RVP?

    Secondly if someone like Chelsea are interested what’s his market value?

    It’s sad watching someone as gentle and good-hearted as Theo being led by his agent to ask for a sum that, he must realise somewhere in his heart, is based solely upon potential he has yet to, and might not ever, fulfil.

    Once again this is a game Wenger can’t win. Let him go and Wenger will be slated for letting our best prospects leave (selling club) pay him 100K and we’ll be overpaying our kids.

    If possible I’d sell him and use it to part fund the purchase of Hazard!

  380. Jonny – I agree with all of that.

  381. “People on Twitter think they can do my job”

    John Cross taliking about George.

  382. Three thoughts, GA.

    All negotiations are a game, played by unstated but well-understood rules. What you ask for and what you’re expecting are not the same.

    It’s doubtful if anybody outside the negotiations really knows what he’s “asking for”.

    Because of ManC and Chelsea, it’s a rigged market, so it’s practically impossible to judge objectively the “worth” of any player. They’re “worth” whatever the moneybags are willing to pay them.

  383. Cbob

    Yes and they probably could…

  384. However sometimes what you ask for and what you expect are exactly that – Keane, Ferdinand, Rooney (examples off the top of my head) they all held out for and got what they wanted. Thankfully Theo is not SO important to us and that hard to replace.

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