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Gooners versus goners

Untold Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

Gooners versus goners

Don McMahon

Every true Arsenal fan or supporter is known as a Gooner. The origin of this nickname is claimed to lie in the adaptation of the term used for AFC’s players, the Gunners-referring to our artillery badge. However there are now a new group of Arsenal aficionados who I shall term ¨goners¨, coining the American slang expression for those who are on their last legs. Another way of naming them is to refer to them as gooners, with a small g.

What are the characteristics of these purported fans? I have written about them in many other articles but here are their basic attributes:

1)      They always look back at our past glories because they fear the future, which to them is bleak and unpromising at best and a total disaster at the worst.

2)      They never fail to criticize the team, the manager, the management, the players, the club policies, or whatever piques their negative fancy.  A potentially good new signing is, in their pessimistic world view, a less than desirable investment in the distant future or a second rate knock off, unworthy of their high expectations.

3)      They are invariably nihilistic and persistently refuse to listen to others’ views and opinions if they don’t concur with their own.

4)      The reason I call them goners is that, in their opinion all future success is a goner while Wenger is still manager, and/or the current Board is in power, or while such and such a player(s) is/are still at the Club….they want them gone! It also references their desire to get rid of players they feel are deadwood but they don’t always agree on who fits that category.

5)      Finally, all of them have an arrogant ¨I told you so¨ attitude and some even openly wish AFC to lose so the majority,supposedly blinkered supporters (Gooners) will, out of anger and despair, rise up and boot Wenger out. They share a common illusion that confuses AFC with someone who cares about their rancourous opinions.

These goners seems to overlook one obvious fact when dissing AFC’s chances and whining about how crap we will be. There are 6 teams in the fight for the title, including Arsenal. Each of them play each other twice during the EPL season. Each will try and take maximum points from the other 5 and what will likely happen is they will end up tripping each other up. The Spuds and Liverpool are likely to cause a few surprises but in the Tiny Totts case, they haven’t strengthened themselves other than in nets. Liverpool look slightly stronger than last year and if Suarez has another banner year, they could end up taking a few points from the other 5. One way or the other King Kenny will get them playing with heart.

Manure will most certainly drop a few points,like they did last season and Chelsea don’t appear to be getting any younger even with the few new faces they brought in.

The elephant in the room is Shitty. They have more talent on their bench than most non-top 4 teams have on the field. Mancini is an excellent manager but he has an even worse problem this season than last…he has more superstars to keep happy. How he is going to manage keeping 6 guys, all of whom could play in any other team as a starter, satisfied to sit on the bench each week or play 1 in 5 games, I don’t know.

Now to Arsenal. Here is my take on what positions have been strengthened from last year using a scale of 1-10 with 1 being dangerously weak 5 being the same and 10 being vastly improved:

Goal: Szcesny,Fabianski,Mannone   –   more experienced and mature     6

Back 4: Sagna, Jenkinson,Vermaelen,Kos, Djourou, Squillaci, Gibbs,Traore – slightly better   6

Defensive midfield:  Song,Frimpong,Diaby – slightly improved  6
Midfield: Ramsey,Wilshere, Nasri, Cesc?,Rosicky, Arshavin – if Cesc & Nasri leave – weaker  4

Attackers:Gervinho, Walcott, OAC, Ryo, Campbell, Vela, RVP, Chamakh – much stronger -8

substitutes: OAC, Campbell, Chamakh, Lansbury, Jenkinson, Squillaci, Djourou, Traore, Frimpong. Rosciky. improved from last year  7

Do we really need this constant barrage of whining, groaning, agonizing, pessimism pouring out of their orifices like sewage from the Football world’s lavatories? Does this ¨In Arsene we rust¨ rant add anything to the club’s motivation, confidence and enthusiasm for the coming season. Does the occasional booing of players at home improve the climate and the morale of our players? Does the incessant criticism of so-called deadwood leave room for these same players to want to improve and if they do, will they be commended by their same demeaners?

No one is asking any supporter to close their eyes to the issues at the Club. But presuming the manager,the board and the players are blissfully ignorant of their failings or determined to ignore them  and constantly berating them in public, seeking to blame all the club’s ills on a few people and rejoicing in the Club’s failures as further proof of their righteousness is counter-productive and villaneous! I personally prefer to look forward to a great season and if things don’t work out as well as hoped, to maintain my faith in the Club, who afterall have done pretty well in their 125 years.

Untold Injury Index Gameweek 1: New season, same old story

Untold defenders: how well did we do?

Joel Campbell, seven players and a new academy.

To support or not to support: that is the question

Our failure this season?

23 comments to Gooners versus goners

  • Wade

    A great post again !!! Love your work 🙂

  • AFC49

    Your rates mean nothing.. Let’s wait awhile for a conclusion, because we’re confused now by our situation.

  • AFC49

    and this is a pure challenge.

  • Benja

    I am Kenyan and a die hard arsenal fan, I believe the difficult phase at Arsenal will pass soon. Mr Wenger and the board are building a foundation that will keep Arsenal at the top for the next 100 years. Nobody forces anyone to become a fun of a particular club and if you feel so let down by arsenal why not choose to support another club. I envy Liverpool because of their fans loyalty they are always roaring their players forward no matter how bad they are playing

  • nicky

    Two points:
    1.Await the end of the transfer Window before reaching conclusions.
    2.Your inclusion of Ryo Miyaichi is well founded. He could well be our Player of the Year.

  • ak47

    whos to say ther gooners at all? and if they are then its classic sheepism?
    are they to blame for their susceptibility, or lack of knowledge? derren brown gives an insight i feel into how easy ppl can be manipulated.
    we can only pity them because such a frame of mind will disrupt other aspects of their lives undoubtably.
    i agree its a little early for conclusions but what ever the weather is it not better to be optimistic?
    what happened to arshavin?

  • Bergkamp65

    Whether you called a fan “Gooner” or “Goner” is does not matter. It is only from your word of mouth. Both are similarly concern about the club prospect..

    Nobody can build a future that lasts 100 years and you got to be kidding me. This shows that Benja is ignorance.

    Yesterday match against Udinses was a good show of our strength and shows that Ramsey is not in the calibre of Vieira.

    While it is important to balance book, the club also needs a few fresh faces to add ideas and challenge for title. Rivals are all too familiar with Arsenal style of play and the reason Arsenal is not scoring is that rival understood the tactical movement.

    Cursing other clubs by calling them “Man shitty” is just to show that you are envy and do not get me wrong as I hated both Mancs club to the core.

    Wenger is also someone who give brilliant in giving excuses to ward off criticism.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    I read the dumbest comment by a paid writer, suggesting that Arsenal can afford a six figure per week salary but that MCFC can easily double that. The evidence for the prosecution says otherwise. No club in world football can really ‘afford’ players on £200k/week. All the clubs paying such figures are running at horrific losses.
    Then you have Mancini himself grumbling that transfers aren’t happening quick enough, when standard MCFC negotiating practice is to start with “name your price” and proceed from there. AVB hasn’t got his hands on a decent playmaker despite Abramovich’s billions, Lord Fergs has spent a fortune on two prospects and one “quality” player whose team nearly got relegated last season. Still no sign of a quality central midfielder gracing the Old Toilet Bowl…

  • shakabulagooner

    I will attempt to build a bridge here:

    Most people you will term “goners” may be just very nervous or pessimistic fans who become aggressive and abusive when palliatives that they hope upon to allay their fears are not forthcoming.

    Most fans see Arsenal’s 60,000 capacity Emirates and its consistent rating as being among the top 10 football clubs in the world to mean that they are on the same league financially with all football clubs everywhere. However, the reality is that we are new in the “big league”; we got there through financial prudence and we still owe a huge sum for our estate in the swanky neighborhood (of the rich and mighty) that we just moved into. As a result, we cannot yet afford to park any and every limousine that catch our fancy in our huge garage nor go for wild shopping sprees as we see our neighbors doing.

    My take is that the less nervous, more knowledgeable fans should not relent in explaining these things to fans as this is the only way we can help in calming them down, deepening their perspective or speeding up their maturity.

    For example, this period reminds me of the time when Flamini, Hleb and Giberto left us together. Gaping holes emerged from our mid-field, our team struggled for 8-19 games but in the end, the team stabilized. Unlike at that time when what was done was to promote from within and to allow the newly promoted to blend with the team, we may need to bring in new players to the mid field before the end of the transfer window and still allow time for the new players to blend.

    Thus, the challenge of “the Gooners” (i.e. those who see the transition coming and wish to see the team do it in an orderly manner and fans give their maximum support) is to counter “the goners” (i.e. those who fear the worst especially as Arsenal have done done as others have done and as they expected them to do) with optimism, realism and goodwill.

  • shakabulagooner

    sorry: In my contribution of 10:39am, I meant to say: “our team struggled for 8-10games” and not for 8-19!!

  • Cpt BlackBeard

    Nice post, I agree we have to get behind our team, ive got plenty to say on the matter of Arsenal, our manager, and the fans but Ill leavge that for another post. My anguish today is with Marouhn Chamakh. What I want to know is, ok this guy has poor movement, the touch of a sex offender, heading ability seems limited and he cannot play with his back to goal?
    With this in mind, why doesnt Wenger just tell this guy to shoot. Even if his shoots go so far up the clock end that we think he knows one of the fans. Just shoot, no twisting and turning in the box, that is not in his locker.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    “Most people you will term “goners” may be just very nervous or pessimistic fans who become aggressive and abusive when palliatives that they hope upon to allay their fears are not forthcoming.”
    That doesn’t excuse the fact that they have stopped supporting their club.
    Things that make me nervous as an Arsenal fan:
    The board losing their faith in both Arsene & Liam.
    The board adopting a ‘small club’ strategy and turning us into a small club, with a huge empty stadium and crippling debts.

    If there was a manager who could work within the constraints our financial situation imposes and do a better job than Wenger then I’m all in favour of replacing him, his championing of players who’s effort and workrate let the rest of the team down is his major flaw. The problem is that there is no clear candidate to improve on our manager.

    Not winning a trophy is an irritant. Players not giving their all for the shirt is an insult. Fans failing to support their own club is a disgrace.

  • Dave gooner

    I like this site really good positive outlook. However, if certain sites are constant in their negativity you guys seem to have gone the other way completely and to a degree blindly in my opinion.

    First, saying our midfield has weakened to a 4 from the supposed 5 of last season is almost laughable, Nasri and Cesc were vital to the way we play, at the moment they have not been replaced and so surely a 2-3 is where are midfield’s at. Basically significantly weaker. This of course is just opinion. (but if you look how we’ve played)

    Also our attack is not much stronger (8), we cannot be making judgement that AOC, Miachyi and to a degree Gervinho who haven’t been proven yet, and here we have lost nasri too, so 6-7 is the most that can be realistically given.

    This site also fails to address clear managerial and tactical failings. On the manager front if key players were known to be going, which we all knew at least one would, replacements should have been brought in sooner. A) to cope with the hard early season B) to stop this media hyped “arsenal crumbling” idea, which has clearly affected the confidence of our team. Add to this our usual injuries where failure to deal with can be only left with the manager

    On the tactical front, it was obvious at the end of last season that without nasri and cesc our attacking approach needed so much effort to produce a goal (even with them in the team) without them creating actual goal scoring chances seems almost impossible. Chamack, whether or not he needs our support he just really isn’t very good and as 2nd choice striker to RVP i fear where his goals will come from.

    If i’m really that wrong i’m sorry but really even you guys (Tony) must be getting frustrated with Arsene. At the start of the window I said he will lose my support unless he deals with our problems, I hope I haven’t been premature but that’s two weeks left….

  • kanmi lawson

    Gooners 4 life u cant buy d spirit of champions

  • Dark Prince

    A very poor article…

    To say that any Arsenal fan is critical regarding anything related to Arsenal is not a fan, is very stupid. Jus a some days ago, an person wrote an article here at Untold in which he himself admitted that he joined in some disgusting chants about Nasri at the stadium. Does that mean he’s not an Arsenal fan??

    Hasn’t the authors of this site – Tony and Walter, never criticised ever regarding anything related to Arsenal??

    Even, its hard to imagine that the author of this article himself must hav never been critical about anything in our club or our players or management.

    Poor article overall….

  • Check out a proper Gooner fan (Danny Graft) right here with a top song “Arsenal Bloody Arsenal”, pretty solid support right there:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXAZJ28s1rU

    Also – here are the Lyrics for those having some trouble with the London accent:

    OK

    This is for my gooners,
    Born and bred gooner from 1988
    Won the league in ’89 so I didn’t have to wait
    Mickey left it late; my dad waited 18 years and all he said was:
    “it made it more great”
    Then another one came in 91,
    Tony got nicked came out and got it done
    Georgie Graham’s magic, he has a magic hat
    93 the first club; both cups in the sack

    Then a year later ‘ave Parma
    Zola went hard, Smudge went harder
    Wrighty had tears, Merse’ was on the beers
    Graham got sacked I was racked full of fears…

    …Still I sing, still I sing for the…

    ARSENAL, ARSENAL, ARSENAL
    all my life singin’ ARSENAL, ARSENAL, ARSENAL
    ’till I die singin’ ARSENAL, ARSENAL, ARSENAL
    don’t know why singin’ ARSENAL, ARSENAL, ARSENAL

    OK

    Brucie Rioch had a ‘mare
    Then came a livin’ legend out of nowhere
    he won the double in his first full season
    So any talk of calling for his head’s called treason
    Then we got top 2 ’till 02,
    UEFA cup runner up good times we had a few
    Silvinho, Winterburn, Kanu
    Did things at the bridge I thought nobody could do
    We still got slagged and they said we’re in trouble
    the boys came back and we bagged another double
    Freddie and Wiltord, icing on the cake
    And to make it better it was at United’s place

    ARSENAL, ARSENAL, ARSENAL
    all my life singin’ ARSENAL, ARSENAL, ARSENAL
    ’till I die singin’ ARSENAL, ARSENAL, ARSENAL
    don’t know why singin’ ARSENAL, ARSENAL, ARSENAL

    OK

    Can’t get better that the 04 season
    Won it at the lane and we did it unbeaten
    Super Sol and mad Jens in goal
    And Lauren and Keown gave Ruud a nice beating
    …whooa…
    Vieira, it’s only Ray Parlor, Dennis was a master
    But I can’t forget about the king
    Henry did too many legendary things
    Fuckin’ hero
    Hat trick at the San Siro and did it for Bobby not De Nero
    So much love for every one of them guns
    so to the lot of ’em I say:
    “Take a bow son”

    ARSENAL, ARSENAL, ARSENAL
    all my life singin’ ARSENAL, ARSENAL, ARSENAL
    ’till I die singin’ ARSENAL, ARSENAL, ARSENAL
    don’t know why singin’ ARSENAL, ARSENAL, ARSENAL

    OK

    Big up Pat Rice; the geezer spent best part of his life at this club so if you want him to go; y’can jog on
    And Adrian Duram drop me out you silly mug
    Big up ‘vP, little jacky boy, Arron Rams’ Scezney, Gibbs; that’s the future
    Things ‘ain’t been too good for a long time now
    Nothin’ but agg’
    Here’s how I’m feelin’

    Six years pain, dreams in the drain
    Feels like a war man, it’s more than a game
    More than a struggle to keep staying strong
    When it’s been so long since a victory ‘uddle
    Quick to be hussle’, the quick to forget
    That the clubs on top got a lot more debt
    And everyone wanna blame bankers; still attack arsenal?
    Shame on you wankers
    Shame on the papers, fuck any ‘aters
    So sick of mugs biggin’ up leg breakers
    ’cause we would ‘av won 08 with Eduado
    Wenger built something out of nothing like Meccanno
    Bigger than soprano, don’t doubt the benifit
    The world’s throwin’ stones; Wenger built the Emirates
    They say we’re shit then they’re sellin’ it
    ’cause we’ve been off to Europe more times than a delegate

    ARSENAL, ARSENAL, ARSENAL
    all my life singin’ ARSENAL, ARSENAL, ARSENAL
    ’till I die singin’ ARSENAL, ARSENAL, ARSENAL
    don’t know why singin’ ARSENAL, ARSENAL, ARSENAL

    Arsenal bloody Arsenal
    that’s all I gotta say
    Arsenal bloody Arsenal
    gooner ’till I die
    Arsenal bloody Arsenal
    and that’s why
    Arsenal bloody Arsenal
    Arsenal bloody Arsenal
    Arsenal bloody Arsenal
    Arsenal bloody Arsenal

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    @DP
    You missed this bit which undermines your post:
    “No one is asking any supporter to close their eyes to the issues at the Club. But presuming the manager,the board and the players are blissfully ignorant of their failings or determined to ignore them and constantly berating them in public, seeking to blame all the club’s ills on a few people and rejoicing in the Club’s failures as further proof of their righteousness is counter-productive and villaneous!”

    I’m not saying I entirely disagree with you though. Constructive criticism is a very useful tool and to ban criticism entirely would be counter-productive.

  • RedGooner

    DogFace Excellent song something much needed the best ive seen on u-tube since.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8oGGm13qWo

    On the ratings above ite rediculous to give ratings on whats improved and not improved after two games that can only be done at the end of the season.

    If loosing cesc and maybe nasri make us a 4 instead of 5 I give up.The defence hasnt inproved either they may after 2 games be playing well but loosing a decent left back when we all know Gibbs is injury prone didnt strengthen us.

    We should leave reviews of whether we improved or not till the end of the season as its a bit like putting the cart before the horse.

  • azed

    Competition brings out the best in people. Rvp would raise his game if he was competing against a benzema/Eto and the likes.
    Buying big name players galvanise the squad and improves morale.
    Aoc, Ryo, campbell wont make the players we have better because they are not challenging them for a starting role.

  • Tasos

    The anti-Wenger media frenzy continues almost unabated. Their agenda has been set and it looks like they will not stop until they have the head of our great manager.

    Anyone listen to Bob Wilson on BBC radio 5 last night?

    When questioned about the fans unrest, Wilson responded;

    “I think the press are baying for blood, you cant just put it down to the fans, the campaign to get Arsene Wenger out of this club and out of this country….don’t you underestimate what is happing on a daily basis in our media”

    A true Arsenal legend……keep up the good work Bob.

  • Tasos

    “Happening”

  • bob

    Tasos,
    Spot on! For total agreement on this, please see mine and Paul the Gooners near the end of today’s http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/13840/comment-page-1#comment-111999

  • Domhuaille

    Dark Prince….critical as usual without any foundation or cohesive arguments:

    ¨To say that any Arsenal fan is critical regarding anything related to Arsenal is not a fan, is very stupid¨….NEVER EVER said or even implied that in any article I’ve written…I agree with positive criticism and even support those who don’t take sides (like me) but you didn’t bother to read the spirit of the article you just launched into a shit-fest,as usual.
    ¨Does that mean he’s not an Arsenal fan??¨ …no he is a fan but one who is chanting in total ignorance of the actual events and facts, to which he, and the rest of his chanting entourage are never privileged to know. What positive contribution did he make to the teams morale…the tone of what you wrote implies he was ashamed and confessing his sins…ridiculous non-point!
    ¨Hasn’t the authors of this site – Tony and Walter, never criticised ever regarding anything related to Arsenal??¨ … there are many points to be highlighted about Wenger’s failings and AFC’s problems but the constant, one-sided, distressingly negative demeaning and denigrating of our Club does nobody any good. Tony and Walter both try and keep the tone positive since there are enough guys like you who are out there believing everything negative and critical they hear or read in the World media about anything Arsenal, and we desperately need alternate,more balanced viewpoints.
    I realize,from your grammar,composition and spelling, that English is not your mother tongue so I’ll keep this simple. Criticize away but come up with some insightful, positive suggestions other than the incessant: ¨buy some big stars, get rid of the deadwood, kick Wenger out, get an English spine, win some trophies, spend money Arsene (hopefully before you get kicked out), in Arsene we rust, he’s lost the plot…etc.etc.¨
    When you tossers can actually make some real, data based, founded in fact constructive and salient suggestions then maybe someone will actually pay attention.
    Thanks to everyone else who took the time to actually read the article and write very solid comments, if succinct.