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The problem with many Arsenal bloggers is they don’t have a winning mentality

By Tony Attwood

There is a saying, “If you think you are beaten, you are”.  And certainly for many Arsenal bloggers that is true.

Fortunately it is never true for Mr Wenger, a man who never knows when he is beaten, and who is therefore our most successful manager in 125 years of history.

For the last fourteen years we have sat at the very top table of the Champions League, something that in the era of Bruce Rioch, George Graham, Don Howe, Terry Neil, Billy Wright and all the rest would have been a wild fanciful dream.

And last night amidst the doom, gloom and rampant negativity of a vast numbers of Arsenal bloggers who have never had the notion of what “winning mentality” ever means, you would have thought we were playing to avoid relegation to the conference.

Szczesny and Jenkinson are hardly household names but I thought they were superb last night.  Theo came back from what appeared to be no-mans-land of the Liverpool match, Rosicky too is not a ghost walking, Frimpong is astonishing and certainly is going to be a brilliant player if he isn’t one already, Jack will come back at some time, and we haven’t even glimpsed Ryo and Alex.  Gervinho does it in flashes – and his time will come as he gets the hang of the new team.  We had 60% of the possession – not bad for an away game in the Champs.  We won with 13 shots on target – not bad again.

So we can now settle back on the usual stuff, such as, “His brand of living within-your-means book-keeping is an example to all governments striving to cut spending without undermining the competitiveness of their economies, ” which turned up in a Times’ Leader article – and it was about Arsene Wenger, not John Maynard Keynes.

The piece went on: “Talk about no good deed going unpunished! Arsene Wenger, entering his sixteenth season as manager, has won more trophies for Arsenal than any previous boss of the North London club.

“The flair of his footballers is admired around the world. By discovering young talent he has managed to keep Arsenal in the top four of the Premier League without running up a transfer fee bill the size of Greece’s sovereign debt. And all this while shepherding the club into a new stadium.

“And Wenger’s reward? To be booed and pilloried by Arsenal supporters for not opening his wallet more profligately to buy new players, and to find himself the target of media mutters suggesting that his future at Arsenal may be precarious.”

Of course this is to be expected now that we have revealed that there is not only downright ref bias against Arsenal but also media bias against Arsenal too the papers are trying to pretend it is not them – they are not anti-Arsenal, not a bit of it.

Not only was there that bit in the Times, there was a hilarious piece in the Mirror in which they seemed to suggest that because they once ran the Arsenal Win The World Cup front page after France won the world cup there is no bias.  Just go back and look at how the press spent days pointing out that we had not had an unbeaten season with the invincibles because we had been knocked out of the cups if you want to see how snarling the press can be when it comes to Arsenal.

The fact is that the press read the blogs, and they see all the snarling anti-Wengerian stuff that goes on, and so they think, hey this is what the fans think, let’s give them some.

The Mirror got so worked up as to say, “to suggest there’s an agenda against the club is a nonsense,” and of course it is.  There’s no agendas because the gutter press doesn’t do agendas.  They do mindless attacks and pathetic bias, which like the government in Orwell’s “1984” can change position at a drop of a hat.

In a world in which we have the financial insanities of Chelsea and Man City and the extraordinary world-wide grip of Manchester United which brings in all their money, plus the hidden finance of Real Madrid and the financial suicide of Barcelona, Arsenal and Wenger have defied the odds to still be there, with 14 consecutive years.

Recently I wrote about some of the players who I think could still enter the fray for us this season – ranging from those already with us and about to break through such as Coquelin to the transfers such as Yann M’Vila.  Word around France is that the bid for M’Vila is astonishingly large, and could be about to happen.

There’s another thing – with Alex and Ryo both being wingers, where does Theo go?  Down the middle could be the answer.  The squad is there, it is just going to change around a bit.

Maybe all the bits are falling into place – except those with no winning mentality just don’t know it.

56 comments to The problem with many Arsenal bloggers is they don’t have a winning mentality

  • Bobby Pliers

    Its not rocket science to see what Arsene Wenger is doing (or perhaps it is because it doesn’t seem obvious to the majority of fans), he is building a super quick young team that can not only take on the Premier League but Europe as well. With the signings that Man United made in the summer they are no nearer to Barcelona than they were on that Saturday night in May. One thing Barcelona cannot deal with is pace. Remember Messi and his “we feared Walcott” comments that were sneered at by the media. He was being honest, soon it will not only be Walcott they have to cope with but Ryo, Gervinho and Oxlade Chamberlain. This is why Wengers transfer dealings are laborious, prospective players have to fit into the plan. Sadly Scott Parker never will as he plays as though he’s walking in custard. In Arsene we definitely do not rust, we should count our lucky stars and ignore the media with their hidden agendas and xenophobic rants!

  • FinnGooner

    I can’t understand those supporters who after last nice great match and victory were still complaining. But as Tony said some people just don’t have right winning mentality. Although I’m still surprised about that daily Mail article about Wenger not being so paranoid (well surprised that Mail published pro Arsenal/Wenger story).

  • Toby

    Might well be the best headline ever and true to such an extent that it amazes me that no-one has drawn the parallel earlier. The very same people that say we lack a never-give-up-attitude are the ones that surrenders first. Well done, Tone!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Its the young ones that rant and pull their hair out while the old geezers (meself included) seem to take it in their stride.
    What with us having to watch some of the most awful football dished out by the afore mentioned managers (except for Billy Wright who was before my time as a fan).I was of the Mee generation !
    What we are getting is the best of any era except in the 1930s.
    Sit back and enjoy the ride.
    As I ‘ve posted before ,” A young man is apt to think himself wise ,as a drunken man is apt to think himself sober .”
    In both cases keep the car keys away from them !

  • Byron

    I post this as an apology to Untold, Tony and Walter who have had to endure some of my negativity in the past few days.

    As I always tell my friends during anti-arsenal times(most preseasons) Arsene Knows! He knows football and I trust him

  • otariq

    These are the same Anti Arsenal Bloggers that have been crying we need a Goal keeper. Wenger stuck with SZCZESNEY and telling us how good he thought this young man will be. He can only get better with more playing time, so why stick an old arse man ahead of him? People complain of Carl being too young, but he needs to play to get better. Wenger is building a team of young British players that while growing up at Arsenal with the Arsenal DNA.

    Which of us can not see Carl, Theo, Frimgpong, Jack, Kieran and hopefully Alex all starting for England in the next three years?

    I will suggest these Bloggers get of the back of Arsene and get on the backs of the Board. Arsene can do nothing with out the approval of the Board. Arsene is working with the resources given to him by the board, which means he has to buy younger player and groom them to be stars.

    Lets look at all the players Chelsea have brought in the last four years for big dollars and have let go because they are not producing in the Premier league. We do not have that kind of money. Buying players just to buy will not solve our problems. We need a team that will grow together. We have a very good back four, we just need another full back in case of injury.

    I will leave the football to Arsene, I want to board to give Arsene the money to buy the players he Arsene thinks he needs.
    Let the board come out and state that they are giving Arsene money but he refuses to spend it, than I will have and issue with the manager.

  • JohnW

    No matter what Arsene does, there will still be those fans who will think it’s not good enough. For instance, yesterday, I thought Jenkison was really good, and almost fell over my heels salivating at the prospect of the player after a full PL season. Yet, some fans still criticized him for being naive, etc! What i want now is for Arsene to buy a defender, just to cover the many injuries we get, and a play maker to ease Ramsey’s job a bit. Him and Rosicky are also a bit injury prone so the signing will help. If only I can see Cochelin, Afobe, even Freeman this season, I will be very happy for our academy.

  • Great post. As always, this site is a haven of positivity and optimism.

    I really enjoyed last night’s game. The post-Fabregas, post-Nasri era is taking shape, and is looking interesting.

  • otariq

    Tony,

    I would like you to ask these young snotty bloggers that are staying at home with their parents and have no expenses, which Manager they think can replace Wenger and still keep this team in the current position with this minimum investment from the Board?

    Why do these fools think that David Dein reached out to Red and white? These are the same bloggers that do not want Red and White but want Arsenal to spend what they do not have. Arsenal does not have money to burn. We are living with in our means.

  • Byron

    Another thing I want some clarity from the board on is this:

    I read a blog before all the sales, that we had 40mil to spend but that had to include salaries so in effect here is some of my terrible maths:

    A player who wants 120k a week will cost 31.2 mil over five years. So basically Wenger is forced to buy young as the wage is lower. That also means our 80mil war chest people speak of is maybe enough for 1 good player!

    If this is the case then the board is really making Wengers life impossible. Further they surely must account for the wages we have saved. More bad maths to follow

    Fabregas: 3 years at 115 a week =17.94 mil

    Nasri : 1 year at 100 a week=5.2

    Total: 23mil +60 mill made up of 35mil(fab)+ 25 mil (nasri) that gives Arsen his war chest doesn’t seem so impressive when you think the wages have to come out of it!! Wenger hasn’t go that much to spend

  • para

    Onward gunners.
    Let’s get ManU out of the way. Although things look bleak with our two “engine holding players” Song and Frimpong banned, all is not written yet.
    On paper they(Manu) should thrash us(like they did spuds), but i for one will be watching the game looking for the new AFC spirit that is growing(can you see it?) after the last 3 years of transfer sagas and unsettlement of the players, and we are not spuds.
    Anyway all i want to say is, Fans and Supporters, get behind the team and add to the new fire that has been lit.
    Hoping we can get some players now we have qualified(although i would rather players who really want to come to AFC and create something rather then those who just come because of success in the CL qualifiers)but football being the way it is, we have to sometimes accept it.
    I am so glad Cesc and now Nasri has gone(although i really thought Nasri would stay until i saw he did not want to play our CL game), and a new team spirit is coming into being, that which was lacking for the last 3 seasons.
    Forward onwards AFC.

  • the font

    sack the manager it was only 3-1 it should have been at least 53-0 he should also be sacked for bringing a goal keeper with a name like that poor old daily mirror will not be able to spell it
    as for this frimpong geezer we know whats going to happen there he is going to give arsenal his best years and then were going to sell for £75 million that alone ought to be worth sacking wenger if they do not sack wenger now do not worry they wil in a few years time when they have to pay out for tea lady to clean on all the trophys he is going to win

  • Michael ikoro

    They lack the winning mentality, confidence and above all, they lack class. It is 10:40 by my time and le grove is yet to publish their bile. Imagine if we had lost at udinese. Last night after the match, i asked an Arsenal fan what would the press and some fans moan about now? Why are you a fan if all you do is moan and boo your ‘beloved’ team? As for me, Arsenal comes first before any player. Up Arsenal for disappointing the unbelievers.

  • Charlie

    I just can’t keep calm reading some of those anti-Arsene blogs. Such idiocy is written and yet it seems to be lapped up by so many and the thought that these kids could force Arsene out is scary. Arsene is not seen as an overachieving manager but when you look at the resources that he has spent he has overachieved beyond any manager in the world today. I’m not sure whether you’re aware but the net transfer spending for Arsenal over the last 5 years is now lower than every team in the Prem, following the sale of Nasri. Astonishing what Arsene has achieved under those circumstances, truly astonishing.

  • TwoLeftFeet

    Great post once again Tony!! I heartily agree with the comparison and believe that each and every fan must get behind the manager and the team. I may have a difference of opinion with the manager on more than one topic but I remain a firm Wenger supporter and believe without the slightest bit of doubt that he remains the best man to lead this club.
    He has come under intense pressure in the last couple of weeks and he’ll be glad to get a reprieve, at least till the weekend! 😉 As they say, in football you are only as good as your last game.

  • Charlie

    and the comments by Nasri about passion were directed at them for they are the ones silent in the stands until there comes an opportunity to criticise their own players. That’s why i tell them please leave this club because right now you’re acting as a virus without a cure.

  • mogooner

    Hi Tony ,

    great article , i was wondering if you could post something about the following as it recently appeared several times over the blogsphere and could be as well explain wengers behaviour in transfer market , youth policy etc..

    it seems that the board is restricting him quite a lot and that ( according to an inside source ?? ) wenger actually would have liked to raise the wage structure to keep players like nasri and attract others ? it seems so that the board is happy for wenger to splash for example 30 million on a player but then keep him on 90 k per week ( which if you do the maths … just doesn’t make sense ) Wenger apparently wants to change that but is forced to behave as he does. i am not saying that he the would become an irresponsible spender but i think there is a lot of sense in this . apparently arsenal commented even on those blogs which seems even more so that there is some truth in this and poor wenger is taking all the heat and the board is quite happy with this.

    would be very interested to hear your thoughts on that matter .

    thanks

  • Lanz

    I chucked again and again as I read this. Thank you very much. However, you never really wrote about these bloggers and the children who make comments on their sites. I can understand a newspaper that claims neutrality decides to have a go at us. What about bloggs who say they ARE Arsenal blogs? I wish we could have a good review of these so-called Arsenal blogs and let us observe a trend- much like Anne did for some journos. Wenger must be commended. Did you read yesterday the piece from one Toby who wrote for Just Arsenal? If true, it shows that AW is loyal. Some other coach would have been whinning, moaning, etc (any names come to mind?)and threatening to resign. I hope the fans and the bloggers appreciate this. Keep up the good work Tony.

  • allan

    lets support wenger,from yesterdays game we r not far from the target.all we need are quality signings as wenger puts it.please buy english players as they are loyal.

  • denny

    The best blog around proven once again. What ateam performance. The Wright spouted his bile on ITV last night still negative after the game. Said yet agin that Arsenal need to buy leaders. What tosh.

    The leadership shown last night by RVp. TV, WS,TR and AR was surberb.
    Keep going lads.
    In Arsene I trust.

  • Hamad

    May I add, Tony the title of the article is brilliant and your support for Wenger in the article makes many fans proud of the club, the manager and fans like you even more. Thanks for a brilliant piece.

  • eleanor

    This is the first time I’ve seen an article here that not only doesn’t make sense, but even when I assume its point I vehemently disagree with it.

    Let’s start with “Maybe all the bits are falling into place – except those with no winning mentality just don’t know it.”

    Maybe? How can something that has no substance only conjecture be the critique for a minority through a lack of attainment of that insubstantial conjecture? Or … how can someone be criticised for not knowing something that isn’t factual.

    Now I’m all for getting behind the team. More so when support is turning. And I’m all for ‘bigging up’ what we have as opposed to laying into what we haven’t. But I’m also in favour of freedom of expression even when that freedom is abused.

    What’s driving the blogoshere is not a lack of support but legitimate arguments as to the direction of Arsenal FC. And it actually seems to be based on evidence.

    Bloggers are right to question Wenger’s transfer policy. They’re right to question Wenger’s priorities. And they’re right to question the assurances he’s given over strengthening the club through players.

    I happen to disagree with much of the tone and content of some of these sentiments (at least until the transfer window closes), but you know full well that most blogs are out there to make money and that most blogs simply hash and rehash stuff like monkeys with typewriters … they’re bound to get lucky with something about Arsenal way before they get to Hamlet.

    And the same is true of the national press – standards have dropped to the extent that broadsheets like The Guardian and Independent churn cut-and-pasted articles out citing other newspapers or rumour mills as their sources. If you don’t like it write to their editors. (I have.)

    But back to AW. There’s nothing ‘obvious’ about what he’s doing this season. So far he’s taken the unsuccessful squad from our last campaign … sold two of our best players … sold ‘solid’ international players like Clichy and Eboue … is in the process of selling another in Bendtner and brought in Gervinho and some promising teenagers. (So far) this isn’t strengthening the squad. And it’s certainly not put us in a position to evidently challenge Barcelona, the two Manchesters, or anyone else that might be in today’s UEFA pot one.

    So to many it could seem (on the surface) that today’s Arsenal lacks ambition. That Arsene is hell-bent on making a point about club football in general – namely that a club can be competitive in all competitions, if not win one of them, while still being well-run, financially prudent and well-coached. But that’s not what AW is telling us directly because if he did he’d get told back that being competitive isn’t enough – not for The Arsenal. Because what most Arsenal fans want is to be comparative not just ‘in the mix’ and there’s a huge difference.

    Come September 1st whatever the composition of the squad turns out to be … whatever comprises Arsenal FC … will once more attain my complete, unwavering, and considerable support, but for many this may simply not be possible.

    And you ought to realize that both are valid stances.

  • zdzis

    This is a bit harsh, but in some instances, warranted. Your title reminds me of that famous Brechtian dictum: if the people lose trust in the government, the government should dissolve the people. It currently looks like the only choice if we want to make sense of what’s going on. There are whole crowds of people saying whatever they happen to think about Arsenal, and there are people like me, who patiently sift through all that buzz trying to get to those few pieces that carry any weight at all. Don’t have to tell you this, but the buzz is winning over sense at least since June.
    @eleanor: I believe Tony’s comments are not leveled at all blog authors, but only at the group that instead of filtering the information they gather, just posts anything that comes. It’s the kind of people who re-post stories about Arsenal making a supposed loan bid for Kaka as proof that Wenger lost his mind. Or the kind that claims Arsenal has weakened over the summer, even before Cesc and Nasri went, because Clichy, an irregular international, and Denilson, whom most named among the “deadwood,” were let go. This is the kind of expertise that’s regularly furnished to the fans, who then have their “God, please, no!” moments over pure tall tales (e.g. the Barton transfer story). I know it’s not illegal, but it’s unprofessional and unethical. Is it Wenger’s fault? Just think for a second, would it be less noisy if Wenger HAD made his transfers in early July?
    As for the “maybe” sentence – I’m not English by birth, yet I somehow understand the sentence. It’s a stipulation that questions a conjecture. Or a conjecture that questions a stipulation. Whatever it is, it is logical. You can question the view that the team’s in disarray in light of what we saw yesterday. So there is basis for what Tony is saying.
    And also, the issue of the direction Wenger takes in developing Arsenal. It IS quite clear. Haven’t you noticed Arsenal got 3 new young wingers? All of them are terrifically fast, technical, very young players that are sure to spend years in London. That Walcott may be moving into the middle also makes a lot of sense, with him becoming less and less effective on the wing. And the only missing piece of the puzzle is the creative midfielder. You can question that (still, supposed, because we know next to nothing about what Wenger ACTUALLY thinks) policy, that much is granted, but so long as you’re trying to produce INFORMATION, ANALYSIS, etc., and not “conjectures,” you should know better than to treat any move made by the manager as completely haphazard, illogical, stupid. Senseless criticism is not a valid stance, and as such, it warrants a critique of its own – and here’s where Tony’s article comes in. I’m not saying what you’re doing is evil – I’m just saying you can’t hold it against anyone who’s tired of baseless critique that he sometimes goes up and voices his own opinion. So, it’s a valid stance against an invalid, often counterfactual, critique.

  • Tony,
    I had the temerity to write a blogger using the Beeb website who claimed to be defending Arsene Wenger just before the then impending exit of Nasri and of course immediately after the departure of Cesc Fabregas.

    I said “I read your post misleadingly titled “In defence of Arsene Wenger” but I am sad to note that that the slant of your post is definitely anti-Wenger. I thought for once here is a Beeb journalist wishing to stand apart from the rest; how wrong I am.

    “Where did you conduct your interview with Arsenal fans who told you Wenger is “delusional, stubbornly incapable of competing in the transfer market”? Is this not your own invention? All real AFC supporters have wised up to the games your kind are playing and are up in arms against journalists like you who seek to continue your negative media campaign against Arsene Wenger.

    “How can the fellow be “stubbornly incapable of competing in the transfer market”? He is either capable or not; to add “stubbornly” is to stretch the impact you want your words to have on AFC supporters. Your game is up. No amount of calumny or “talking points” will detract us from giving the support the guy clearly deserves.

    “… and I can’t imagine how your organization pays you to be so openly biased in your reporting and commentary on an innocent person who has done nothing but dared to do things differently for the good of the Barclays’ Premier League? …”

    Of course they shot down the comment and refused to post it claiming it offended their house rules on posting comments. Maybe it did but that does not detract from the fairness of my assessment of the clear bias against Wenger in the blog. He cited no authority on the so-called comments by AFC fans or that his conclusion was based on a properly conducted opinion poll of AFC supporters.

    Where does it leave us at this stage of progress in the affairs of AFC? Clearly, there is enemy within and without; and sometimes one may have to ‘shoot’ first before asking questions. Vigilance, is what we need to stop the rot of ‘doom and gloom’ rapidly spreading amongst our fan base.

    Only last night after the 3 – 1 trouncing of Udinese another so-called Sports reporter on an international network claimed AFC was “lucky” to get the win because Sanchez and some other fella were no longer with Udinese! But before the tie and well after those two players had left Udinese those jokers did not give AFC any chance in the world to go beyond the qualifying stage. Their prediction was that the club would implode after the Udinese match!

    On the contrary AFC is proceeding to the group stages of the Champions’ League and they are astounded. I can see them (in my mind’s eye) scrambling to regroup and re-launch their vicious attacks from another angle. Good results from the field of play will negate their effectiveness plus the contributions of blogs like yours off the field. Keep it going.

    I dare you to post this reply if indeed you have any claims to fairness and balance in your editorial policy. Good day.

  • The last two lines in my above comments was my message to Beeb then on my comments to them.

  • I don’t want to get into a long debate about the exact meaning of each word or sentence; I wrote the piece rapidly and emotionally, and that’s how it is meant to be taken.

    By bloggers I meant both the people who write blogs and the people who comment on them.

    In terms of whether Arsenal’s current policy makes sense, I think there are grounds for worry about what the board is up to, and whether the new owner is interfering. I have no inside information, but listening to Mr Wenger speak it is quite possible to interpret his comments as occasionally being swipes at both his board and the journalists that report him.

    But I still do think there is a Wengerian plan, even if the board is not letting him do everything he wants to do.

    Consider this:

    Goal keeper – out of the disaster that we were told we had a year ago, we have three fine keepers. Our problem is holding onto them.

    Full backs – Jenkinson was superb last night and I still believe in Coquelin.

    Central defence – Miquel played very well against Liverpool, Djourou looked the part last night.

    Defensive midfield – tragic that we have lost 3 brilliant players for the next game (Jack, Frimpong, Song), but what a line up we have there.

    Attacking midfield – Ramsey is growing and we don’t know where Alex and Ryo are going to play.

    Attack – if Theo moves into the centre then options grow.

    This to me is a plan. It doesn’t mean we won’t buy more players – I suspect we will – but it shows that the simplistic “we’ve sold experienced players and brought kids” isn’t right.

    If Mr Wenger can make all this work, and take on the Board at the same time, he is more of a genius than I ever gave him credit for.

  • gar

    as a longterm reader of the great pieces you churn out like we churn out future stars ive had to leave a comment it seems to me that our poor manager is being used as human shield by a board who are not prepared to come out and say that arsene has to report to them and they have to veto his decisions regarding transfers in and out of the club and the wage structure of the playing and coaching staff. I have read a number of other blogs which we all know and will not dirty my comment with the name of crying out for a 26mil signing of a certain 20 year old Eden Hazard from a team in FRANCE with no epl expereience yet slag Lord Wenger off for signing young Carl for 1mil anyone see the irony of these people wanting to spend a vast sum of money on a youngster from the french league yet complain about having players from france in our squad beggars belief really

  • Oh, and Zdzis

    if the people lose trust in the government, the government should dissolve the people.

    Oh yes oh yes oh yes. Thank you so much for that.

  • Samuel

    But why no mention of the 3 million pound that the Emirates stad
    ium plows into the club,s coffers after every home game and already half paid off is the stadium thanks to sound financial
    principles ,so how much will a brand new 55-60000 seater stadium
    cost Liverpool today (2011) or Chelsea,Spurs while the clubs boa
    rds of directors continue deluding themselves and their respecti
    ve fans that spending big money on overrated and overpaid player
    still the way to go ,400 million pound a bare minimum for a new
    50-000 seater ,does Liverpool have this kind of financial streng
    th ,i don,t think so ?

  • I think to brand other bloggers as “lacking a winning mentality” because we’ve expressed our dismay is unfair. Granted, the full-on doom and gloom merchants take things a little too far, but that statement applies in equal measure to those that blindly support Wenger and refuse to admit he is capable of mistakes.

    I sit somewhere between the two. I don’t doubt Wenger’s abilities as manager, but neither do I refuse to admit he isn’t to blame for certain lackings in the current team.

  • Gooner S

    I’m occasionally guilty of being overly pessimistic. This Sunday for example is a game that will be tough. But I look at it like this; I support Arsenal and have done so for a long while, whether we win trophies or not is not going to stop me supporting Arsenal or enjoy doing so. I still get a genuine thrill at each game I see and each win I witness. Of course I get as frustrated as the next man when something doesn’t go our way but I don’t expect to win trophies. Perhaps that is because when I was a kid we went 71 to 79 without winning anything. We do need to add to the squad and I’m sure that Arsene Wenger knows this and is trying his best but whether we buy or not is not just down to him; Gazidis will do all the negotiations and financials and the board will release the cash and set budgets. That’s the way it goes. I’m sure that there is business politics operating in the background at the Emirates.

    I do enjoy reading this blog. So thank you for the upbeat views.

  • Perry Grove

    Ha ha – lovely headline. Very true!

  • David

    Having not long read the begrudging drivel of the Editor on the Gooner forum, it is so refreshing to read Tony’s level headed, reasoned take on things.

  • Tony,@goonergal/Ugandan gun and the rest of the gunners who stood by what they said i congratulate you all. I think the Udinese game and the news $eporters where not so bumbling like that day when we played Ragers. Manure is next with the world cup finalist Ref!!
    Shot em down, like you did with Udinese the Ref hard orders from above he did wot he was told to do but wot GOD PUT TOGETHER NOBODY ATHUDER . He will be with orders from above, but he also has his limits and we will prevail. Lets go gunners.

  • Jay Jay – the headline is a headline – not necessarily fair, but there to grab attention, be a little amusing, and help maintain a feel good factor.

    Accusing Wenger of not having a winning mentality without actually defining what that is (which is what the bloggers in question do) is rather silly, and I just wanted to have a smile at their expense.

  • Ronnie Brown

    I agree they don’t have a winning mentality, a winner thinks what can be done to improve the team, acknowledges the flaws and plus’ rationally and logically and looks at ways to squad can be improve and supports the team, a lot of these bloggers are like babies, all they do is bitch and moan like immature idotic brats, someone will miss in a match and it’s “fuccccking shittttt, we’re relegated now!!!” and just lots of hysterical nonsense, it’s truly pathetic, thankfully there are still sites like Untold because that negativity certainly needs to be balanced, I have stopped reading certain sites anyway ages ago, but even when I check other news sites I see some childish nonsense, abuse is never acceptable, this is a game after all, an important game that means a lot to us, but they take it too far with vile personal abuse and threats. Some of the players have certainly been badly affected by a section of the negative fans, these idiots are counter productive, and like Tom Watts said recently their love of going online and moaning and bitching is greater than the club, they don’t really care that it hurts the club and the players, most teams in the world would kill to be in the position Arsenal are in, I see some people say “who would want to come to Arsenal? We’re shit” that is a good insight into how THEY see the club they supposedly love and support, most players would want to come to Arsenal, we have a fantastic history, some great players, large support, great stadium, we compete in Europe and for the title, and have a good chance in the cups, Arsenal and a great attractive club to play for, not to mention the legendary manager currently in charge and the style of play we have. Especially some of these kids coming through, it isn’t very humane to be already saying there shit and insulting them so intensly when they have not played in the case of AOC and just started in the case of Gervinho, we need to get behind the players, manager, club and not disrespect them, it doesn’t mean we have we can’t speak about concerns, but shouting abuse at people and expecting them to be fully and extra motivated for them to play for you is backwards, let’s see support in good times and bad, even Cesc said Arsenal have the potential to be the best club in the world in the future, and I agree with him.

  • Ronnie Brown

    Anyway the headline says many not all, and it is true, many don’t, they have a victim and childish mentality.

  • Ronnie Brown

    Exactly @ Bobby Pliers, Arsene has a plan behind his purchases, in a way it is a shame we lost Cesc as he would have been DEADLLY at top form passing to are new attack, however if he can be replaced well we would be ready to challenge, I love the Gervinho signing, think it’s gonna be a great signing, excited by Alex Oxlade too, need to see more of Ryo before judging but from what I have heard he is rated VERY highly, with a creative passer we will be so dangerous with Gervinho and Theo on the wings, RVP up front, that is a very hard attack to play against, look forward to having Jack & Diaby back too.

  • jak sparrow

    The problem with arsenal bloggers is that half of them have never even run a lemonade stand yet they seem to know how to allocate capital in a multi-million dollar business like a football club. I mean it must be as easy as Football Manager 2010, right? Such are the side-effects of the internet, we now have to listen to some very shallow opinions of people who have no business airing their opinion. As much an arsenal fan I am, part of me wanted us to lose yesterday which will somehow result in Wenger walking away or geting fired. Then we will know exactly what we just lost. But now all is nice and dandy in goonerland. The behavior of the fanbase towards Wenger over the last 6 months has been downright abominable and it goes beyond football. it’s a serious humanity flaw. we only remember the good times and thats just not good enough.

  • Desert Gooner

    Put in other words, the AAA are the Tea Party of Arsenal.

  • Sammy

    Tony, I was just waiting for you to bounce back with a Wenger eulogy after you disappeared for few days since the Liverpool debacle. And I see the Wenger fans are back in numbers after beating an admittedly good but nevertheless an also-ran team, with no great Champions League history in an Italian league who is past its sell by date. Nevertheless, we should treasure these moments. After all, it is just our 2nd win from 9 trips to the continent. And we also haven’t savoured many wins since we lost the CC final in Feb. So I’d rather cherish this previous moment before Man Utd tears us a new hole in a few days time. And believe me, they will tear us a new hole like they have many times in the past few years. This is because our great manager has refused to plug the same weaknesses we’ve seen in our squad year after year after year. All because he refuses to part with his money to address the immediate issues in the squad. Instead he prefers to wait for 5 years hoping his kids will come good. And I’m not opposed to this idea, I was very supporting. But now we’re onto our 3rd batch of kids. The first batch (Flamini, Hleb, Adebayor etc) left after they come so close, but Wenger didn’t complete the final piece of the jigsaw. The 2nd batch of Nasri, Fabregas etc have gone as well, waiting for the succcess we came oh so close with. PLEASE! I can’t hear the nauseuse “the team is young” excuse anymore. No doubt we have brilliant kids, but they will make mistakes and there won’t be anyone in the team to guide them like the Man Utd team has. Some of them will come good and some of them will turn mediocre. The good ones then once again leave the nest tired of playing with the mediocre team-mates, their eyes turned by bigger salaries. Who could blame them? In Arsenal, they would neither make much money (as much as they can with other teams), nor success! Nobody would like to lose out on both fronts. I wouldn’t!

    So Arsenal fans. Enjoy the moment, cos these moments have become far and few. And all because when the whole world sees the weaknesses in the squad, Le Prof declares “I didn’t see the incident!”

  • Simon

    @Jak S – agree 100% I also lay a lot of the blame on fantasy football as well, some people really do think it’s as easy as that… but of course it isn’t…

    the coverage of yesterdays match was awful self justifying stuff. nobody wanted to admit what they saw, some really outstanding new players, assembled to a proper affordable budget playing a quality team away in a hostile atmosphere under massive pressure playing with heart and skill and getting the result!

    it frustrates the heck out of me that M City and Chelsea just inflate transfer fees and wages until they price us out as with Nasri but what can we do about it? turning on our manager and players ain’t gonna fix it, busting the club with debt would be madness, getting our own Sheikh in (Qatar? Kuwait?) doesn’t attract me where is the pride and joy in that?

    I am looking forward to this season a lot, this looks like the basis for a great team and I think they will grow into the season as we go on, I’d like to stick with what we have, no signings, but expect the Boss will add to his squad nonetheless but no matter who he signs the best potential for improvements for any squad is for the players already in it to improve (if they can) and I see loads of potential bring it on!

  • zulu gooner

    simply the best …again! dont you just love idiots like “sammy” above – what a misery these types are. no wonder GPs are so busy with antidepressants, what sort of existence do sammy and his/her like have? come on you gunners!!

  • Notoverthehill

    Sammy, why bother to write your drivel when you are obviously Anti-Arsenal?

    FC Barcelona outplayed Whisky Nose Ferguson’s team in the Champions League Final. Your team, your choice and THEY do play the 90 minutes. A £30+ millions player can be benched with YOUR team, The Arsenal could not spend £20 millions on a single player. How many £20+ millions, £30+ millions have ManIOU spend on a single player?

    An earlier blogger tried to calculate The Arsenal transfer budget with fantasy figures. The Cesc transfer is €14.5 millions now (??? when is now 1st September 2011), €14.4 millions at the end of September 2011 (most likely 31st October 2011, then €6 millions variable payable in 2012, 2013, 2014,2015 and 2016. The Nasri transfer £3 millions for the agents (including Darren Dein),….. and so on and so on.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Sammy,
    for some reason I don’t think you are an Arsenal SUPPORTER. I think you are a goner? Maybe you don’t realise it yet?

  • i see it now. follow me on this. we have four fast wing options in theo, gervinho, ryo and the ox. Put them on in the first half with van persie up front and two holding midfielders in song and frimpong. In case no one has noticed, song can be very creative on the occasions he moves forward.

    with our youth and speed we can wear down an opponent by half time. whether we are ahead or slightly behind at that point, the opposing team will have spent a lot of time running and won’t be happy coming out for the second half.

    that’s when we switch to one holding midfielder in song or frimpong, depending on who’s doing better on the day. Then we switch theo/campbell to center forward and put van persie in the fabregas role supported by jack (or ramsay, diaby, the Mozart, arshavin or the little Belgian). if gervinho or ryo are injured or worn out, we trot out oxo and keep the pace up.

    with one purchase in defence we look like this: sanga/jenkinson, djourou/new signing, kos/vermaelen, gibbs/traore/sanga. our goalkeeping should be covered in the capable hands of the poles and mannone.

    so we buy a creative mid and a defender for maybe $30 mil while Liverpool spend $100mil or so for a team that cannot beat us a second time this season without a friendly referee. do you think Barcelona would prefer to face manu or this squad?

  • SharkeySure

    In a word… Quality !!

  • Travis

    Many bloggers, like Le Grove for example, don’t have a winning mentality, described clearly by the fact that they claimed that we can not finish higher than 4th this season even before it starts.

    The difference between true Arsenal supporters and those pussy cats is that when they are moaning about how weak we are after a disappointing result, true supporter sing their hearts out during that game and continue to do so before the next game.

    True supporters don’t claim that we would definitely win something. They just try their best to help making that happen and have belief that it can happen.

  • John L

    Sadly, our fans are becoming more and more of a problem. It used to just be irritating to me, but I feel as if it is now getting to the point where it is affecting our club.

    I know that Nasri was offered a very good contract but was greedy, and most likely he is just having a swipe at Arsenal and its fans saying that he is now at a club ‘with more passionate supporters’ but i feel as if this isnt the first time ive heard a player speak out about this. (anyone have some examples?)

    Arsenal’s image is hurting. and yes the media play their part, but when players start talking negatively about our support thats a huge problem!

    Its on the rest of the fans and support to solve this!

    Unfortunately i live in California, and am relagated to early mornings by myself watching internet streams. And the occasional MLS game live (maybe a couple games cheering in the u.s would help lift the wool from some fans eyes!) but what can be done about this at the grove? and what can the rest of us do about this internationally?

    Tony, i remember you running articles in the past about ‘bloggers’ who were coming on to sites with all caps, spewing negative thoughtless bile, and clogging up the forums. Thus contributing to a negative vibe surrounding the club. Can we here at Untold band together and start doing that as well…say, le grove….but with short positive comments hundreds of times over??? do you think that might change the air of negativity in some corners of support? maybe in a monkey see monkey do kinda way?

    i know that if i were at the emirates i would scream till i lost my breathe, possibly retch and cursed myself for smoking cigarettes. but thats me, ive been known to break my furniture during arsenal games!!
    I wasnt a big fan of the incessant noise of the vuvuzela during the WC in south africa, but since you cant very well force others to be louder or start jumping up and down or starting being supportive, could fans start bringing drums, brass instruments, flags, foghorns, dressing up, partying. Could this kick off a more festive atmosphere in the stadium? and get other fans into party mode? (after all you are watching your favorite thing in the world right?) could those of us who are positive and are 120% supportive drown out the negativity, boos, silence and sighs by bringing some tools in to help us?

    Arsenal have been working making the staduim more homey for fans, arsenalization or something? what are the club doing to encourage more passion, noise, and fun in the stands during the match? are they working with supporter groups? are they encouraging a little bit of mental behavior in regards to jumping and yelling like a lunatic?

    Some of the talk on this article was young/newer versus older/longer fans. maybe if our voices are heard a little farther and more frequently some of these younger/newer fans will come over to us? and maybe the rest will feel so ostracized by it all they will pack up and leave!

  • Rhys Jaggar

    I think that it’s not against the concept of a winning mentality to analyse the characteristics of winning teams throughout the past 50 years.

    One consistent theme comes through: a core of stability provided by experienced players, usually internationals, allied to a regular refreshing of the side with the infusion of youth.

    Nottingham Forest 1978, hardly ludicrous spenders, had: Viv Anderson, young boy; Tony Woodcock, reasonably young boy; Archie Gemmill, John McGovern, Kenny Burns, Larry Lloyd – all experienced. When they won the League they signed Peter Shilton and Trevor Francis to win them the European Cup.

    Look at Liverpool around the same time: Keegan sold to pursue a European dream after a decade at Anfield was replaced by Kenny Dalglish, the exact analogy to Dennis Bergkamp coming to Arsenal. They bought a youngish Hansen and Souness with Clemence, Thompson, Hughes being seasoned campaigners.

    Look at Man Utd in the early 1990s: all those kids were learning from Bruce, McLair, Hughes, Cantona.

    Arsenal 1998: a young Anelka and Vieira were backed up by experienced Adams, Dixon, Seaman, Winterburn, Bergkamp.

    It’s not a losing mentality to say that a squad needs experienced winners if you want to win things.

    Now eithe Rosicky, Arshavin and van Persie had better step up or Arsenal need three experienced signings if they want to win things.

    A losing mentality is to make excuses for losing last season’s Carling Cup final to Birmingham. There was no excuse for that and highly loyal, long-standing fans I spoke to at the stadium that day said precisely that.

    A losing mentality is to say that 4th is tbe best that Arsenal can aspire to in the EPL. Because given what Arsenal did up to March last year, that is hardly a sensible attitude to take. It is a winning mentality to say that Arsenal need some no-nonsense, slightly unsexy members of the squad who balance the myriad of creative talents already there. Roisicky’s performance last night backs that up….

    It’s perfectly reasonable to suggest that by rotating squads more judiciously you can avoid Jack Wilshere ‘going into the red zone’, as it was put. It’s a winning mentality to suggest that Arsenal need to think holistically about play-time-rest-time-injury time-recovery time i.e. make sure the medical back up team is best practice and that injury prevention strategies concerning over-training/over-playing are best practice.

    It’s perfectly reasonable to suggest that Arsenal’s forward line can learn from studying Man Utd’s forward line in how to use wing-play, corners etc more productively. It’s not rocket science to see the difference as a spectator and it’s a winning mentality to suggest that Arsenal either improve their teamwork or use different approaches.

    And finally, it’s perfectly reasonable to suggest that Arsenal’s defence needs to tighten up. Any sane analysis of last night suggests that the result could have gone the other way, particularly in the first half. I’m glad it didn’t, but you don’t deny the truth just because Arsenal qualified. It’s not a winning mentality……..

    I agree that scattergun insults of manager, players, board and other bloggers isn’t a winning mentality.

    But equally, it’s not a winning mentality to think that you sell your two best players, you replace them solely with teenagers, your three major rivals strengthen significantly and yet somehow Arsenal are better placed to compete this year than last. Sure, you can say that Wilshere 2011 strengthens the squad compared to 2010, as does Szczeseny. But Man Utd may well say the same about Chicarito, Welbeck, Fabio et al.

    The truth about most bloggers is that they find it hard to reconcile paying more to watch Arsenal now than when Arsenal were winning doubles, going a season unbeaten and reaching a Champions League final.

    That means they haven’t accepted a permanent diminuition of status yet.

    Would you prefer it if they did?

  • Ugandan Goon

    @Tony and others,
    while i am glad to argue the toss with all and sundry, sometimes i have to defer to older wiser heads. take this corker for instance
    “We live in a society where everybody has an opinion on everything. I’m like somebody who flies a plane for 30 years and I have to accept that somebody can come into the cockpit and thinks he can fly the plane better than I do.

    “But that’s part of our job and we have to accept that. I just would like to say that the club is in overall a very strong position because tonight, for 15 years on the trot, we play in the Champions League.”
    Here endeth the sermon, repent bloggers!

  • @ugandan goon: point well made. fifteen straight years of champions league football is a record that will stand for a long time. some arsenal fans have no idea what they already have. as i have said in another post, a dose of allerdyce or benitez would put paid to that in short order.

    the aaa who think arsene is not aware of where the team needs strengthening are living in a fantasy land of their own making. the others who think that running one of the world’s largest sports franchises is an easy task have not yet been promoted out of the mail room at their place of business.

    when roman tires of playing with his toy and takes his billions and goes home, how long do you think chelsea will stay in the top flight? when mancini comes up against playing in four competitions including the best in europe the oil men will understand that throwing money doesn’t solve all problems.

    meanwhile, i support my team because i love the beautiful game as much as i love winning. all others, go watch stoke.

  • Clerkenwell Gooner

    @ the font – lol for this:

    as for this frimpong geezer we know whats going to happen there he is going to give arsenal his best years and then were going to sell for £75 million

    Well, we got our reward for going past Udinese (and what a save, Sir Chesney – think I’m in love):

    – Greek champs
    – German champs (ain’t complaining, we get to see Mats Hummels)
    – and to round it off, Arsène’s old foe, OM. I somehow knew we’d get Marseilles, just knew it.

    Very exciting indeed.

  • mark

    I think that the Gunners will surprise the pundits and the press this year. It is just unfortunate that the Gunners have to over come the opposition team and the officiating bias!

  • Ugandan Goon

    @Mike in atlanta,
    You give me too much credit, sir.
    All i did was copy and paste an interview the lord wenger gave to the BBC this week. God knows i’d die to have a long chat with the man himself.

  • Gooner77

    As Sammy said earlier… Wait until Man-Utd tears us a new whole on Sunday. All the Wenger fans (its not the same thing as being Arsenal fans) will go back and hide in their caves, until we beat some mediocre team again.

    Mind you, this is not a criticism of the team or the young players who have been excellent given their limited ability and experience. The criticism is only for Le Prof who has been blind to weaknesses in the Arsenal team that every man and his dog knows about. But if he would pull out the finger from his behind and actually smell the stink, he would know he needed to spend a lot earlier to remain competitive. Alas, I can bet a pound that come 31 Aug, he would again make a lame excuse as to how he worked hard and tried to sign a few, but couldn’t find value, so he’s gonna treat the invalids returning from injury as new signings. I bet that this season we won’t finish in top four.