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Being there… a night to remember and an insight into what the Anti-Arsenal movement is really about

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Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football.  Have your name in the book as an official sponsorUpdated information here

The day when Fulham tried to take over Arsenal – the full story in “Making the Arsenal”

We’re on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

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By Tony Attwood

As those of us with long journeys ahead trooped out of the ground on Tuesday night on the final whistle the noise was still reverberating from inside the Emirates.  A wall of noise, an outpouring of thanks from the the fans to the players.

And it made me think, as we drove back to the Midlands, were these the same people who were booing Theo in the first 20 minutes of the Tottenham game?  The people who poured scorn on the whole Arsenal set up.  The people who accuse the manager of gross incompetence.  The people who complained all last season that the club was run by money grabbing idiots who failed to see the need to buy a goalkeeper for £15m or £20m.  The ones who endlessly said we needed five players to make this team competitive.  The ones who said that last summer’s transfer window proved the grotesque incompetence that is inherent in the club?

I have long been puzzled by the this issue.  Some rows behind where I sit there are or were some people who have in the past spent the games deriding the Arsenal team, laughing at the players’ efforts, sneering at those of us who want to support the club.   These last few games they have been quiet.  Or maybe they have gone – I don’t know – I have never turned round to address them – but their negativity was getting to the point that Stefan on my right was seriously contemplating giving up his season ticket, because the atmosphere was so poisonous.

But last night against Milan the noise and support was there from the very start.  I have been to European matches at the Emirates where the whole Arsenal crowd has been outshouted by the 5,000 or so supporters of the away club.  This season Dortmund did that, endlessly supporting their team despite the fact that they were clearly going out of the Champions League.  But last night the Milan fans didn’t get a look in.   Not from the very first moment to the very last.

So what is going on?  Are these fans the same fans who have called for players to leave and the manager to resign, suddenly jumping on the bandwagon of a few matches’ success?  Or was the Anti-Arsenal movement never in the ground anyway – just a little bunch of people writing notes to blogs under a variety of aliases?  Were the rest of us just too lazy to support our club?

Certainly the fact – made so clearly by Dogface in his preview of the Tottenham game – that there are people who seem to spend all day debating anti-Arsenal arguments with themselves in a strange deluded and often paranoid manner, is one that is itself utterly puzzling.   These are the people who even in the face of a display such as we saw last night, and against Tottenham, will sneer and say, “so everything is all right now is it?  A couple of wins and you think it is fine?”

But why waste a lifetime behaving like that?  Why write in saying “I have been supporting this club since the 1960s and this is the worst Arsenal team ever,” while carefully forgetting 1974/5 when we came 16th and went 10 games without a win, or 1975/6 when we came 17th – and those were not the only rotten seasons.

I gave up trying to debate with these strange people long ago, and only mention them today because what the crowd did – what we did I might say – last night in the stadium, was incredible.  Just as it was against Tottenham.

The issue is, can we do it more often?  Can we do it again on Monday against Newcastle?  It is possible, but it will take some effort!

But what we have learned is that the stadium is more or less filled by Arsenal fans who will support their team when they feel like it.  The anti-Arsenal people, if they are in the stadium at all, are very fickle, only revealing their true anti-Arsenal feelings when it is a poor match or the team is not playing so well.  They are in fact changelings using poor performances to pour scorn on the club rather than doing what many supporters want to do, and support the club no matter what.

I think this was another element in the growing argument that the anti-Arsenal movement is in fact quite small, but appears much larger because

a) they are adept at using digital technology to appear to be more than they are

b) they seemingly don’t have anything else to do and keep up their barrage every day

c) they have the unmitigated support of the media who love the negative much more than the positive.  (When did you last hear someone on radio or TV mention how many years it is since Tottenham won the league?)

I know it is not possible to keep up that volume and intensity of support for the club in every match, but at least we have now seen what can be done.

There’s just one final postscript.  I am sure it would not have come across on TV but in the upper level at the clock end there were a lot of empty seats.  (There may have been in the upper level of the north bank where I sit, but I couldn’t see from my seat).   Yet on the weekend before the match I went on line and tried to use my silver membership to buy a ticket for Anne.  The web site said the game was sold out.

Now these empty seats were not those where the tickets were sold and the purchasers did not turn up.  Yes there are empty seats in the ground for every match, but they are one’s and two’s – generally (from my experience of talking to those around me who occasionally don’t make it to games) season ticket holders who simply can’t make it to specific matches – as I couldn’t when in Australia recently, and Stefan couldn’t while in China and Ian can’t when his wife is working an evening shift in the hospital and he has to look after the children.   No, this was a large area with very few people in it, in the centre block high up towards the back.

So what happened?  Why could I not buy a ticket, and yet there were empty seats?  I’m going to ask my colleagues on the Arsenal Independent Supporters Association committee if they know what is going on.  What I can tell Arsenal is they could have sold one of those seats, if only the web site had let me.

But that’s a minor blip.  It was a great night, and it proves finally that we can fill the stadium with noise and passion, and not just when we hammer the Tiny Totts 5-2.  And it gives me a clearer vision of what the Anti-Arsenal movement really is all about.

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The almost impossible; almost a miracle; a wonderful night despite going out

Achieving the impossible: Arsenal v Milan

International games, abusing our players, remembering Lansbury

 

28 comments to Being there… a night to remember and an insight into what the Anti-Arsenal movement is really about

  • Dazzer

    Very well put.

  • ClockEndRider

    Well said Tony. It’s as though these ne’er do wells get some perverse enjoyment out of berating the club they claim to follow. Its as though anything which goes against their predetermined narrative is airbrushed out if history in some Stalinist attempt to change history.
    Couldn’t make the game last night due to family commitments but the noise and support from the stadium came across loud and clear. Well done to all concerned, on and off the pitch. It is now imperative to repeat the performance from the stands next Monday.
    I’ll be giving it my all. Those not prepared to do so, please consider giving up your ticket to someone who will.

  • the font

    well done ARSENE WENGER the boys gave everything they had for you

  • Kos

    Touching on the negativity that Arsenal face… I had no idea Liverpool hadn’t won a trophy in six years! I never heard that mentioned in the media.

  • Shadi

    Today was my 3rd game at the emirates… i came all the way from Jordan to watch 3 games. scum/livepool/milan.
    I have to say i never been more proud and happy than this 12 days i spent in here ( minus the 1 day before liverpool game. a very dreadful and boring city is liverpool ).
    I been a fan since i was 9 years old in 1989. since then i followed arsenal in every game i could on TV, Radio and lately internet. until the moment i could afford coming here.. i have to say these 3 tickets cost me almost as much you guys pay for season ticket ^_^

    1 Thing only disappointed me alot in todays game and in also tots game… yes fans made noise… but comparing to the game i attended in liverpool. 90 mins fans standing up singing it was so awesome that i literally couldn’t sleep 24 hours after the game just smiling and being utterly happy and joyful

    Sadly today your saying fans were singing loud but for me they weren’t enough… it was obvious the team was tired and had no more legs to carry them in the last 20 mins… they needed an extra push from fans but what happened last 20 mins ?? fans went quiet and even when some started singing stand up song… they stood up 20 seconds and then again zzzzzzzzzzzz

    i blame todays result on the fans not the players. players played 200% over there limit .. and they were not met by the support that equals such commitment.

    next year i will come again but to be honest i will try to get as much away games as possible. I rather watch a game with fans that support and love there team than those !@#$ who whines all game long.. rather than singing and just appreciate the fact… your living close to Arsenal and show your love to the club…

    even if we lost all 3 games than i attended.. it wouldn’t change my happiness and love for Arsenal

    The world greatest team !!!

    also i made so many friends in here and i hope next year to meet more loving arsenal fans!!

    lets get 3rd now and show the scum who’s the best team in london!

  • Asif

    Some very apt observations Tony. Case in point is that no one else mentions any other club having trophy less seasons but when it comes to Arsenal I guess almost every commentator or writer in every bloody write up definitely has a reference to the number of trophyless seasons for us! And almost everyone mentions that Arsenal fans are not happy about it but how many have they actually spoken to…its now the most preferred weapon for every Arsenal baiter.

  • John

    Tony, you make some very good points about supporting your team. For me it’s not quite as black and white as positive supporters and negative supporters. In any one match I will applaud, cheer, berate, curse. I’ll start out positive and end up being negative. I’ll be pessimistic one week and optimistic the next. I try to be supportive all the time but will regularly find myself holding my head in my hands. Away from the matches themselves I have written to both Wenger and Gazedis complaining about season after season of unresolved defensive frailties and begging the club to bring in the one or two players that will take us up a level. I’ve also written to congratulate the manager on being in the top four season after season , something no other Arsenal manager has ever achieved. The reality is there is much for Arsenal fans to be proud of in their club and unfortunately there is also much to frustrate us. Personally I think the club deserves both sets of reactions because while it shows each season it is capable of great things, it also demonstrates it does too many things badly on and off the pitch. So is a good fan somebody who attends, applauds and encourages all the time even when things are badly done or is a good fan somebody who registers their dissatisfaction in order to try and put pressure on the club to improve? In my book both of these fans have a role to play and we should appreciate each other’s contribution to cajoling the club to better and winning performances.

  • Roland C Rozario

    The ‘Untold Arsenal’….. a passage of quest has been well documented and put it right across, and as it should be.
    That ever ‘Near Miracle’ will suffice for the disgruntled ‘fans’ to take heed and flock to the Emirates to see TEAM ARSENAL take on all and sundry!
    Congrats for the fantastic win over AC Milan where their few pompous loud mouth players and Manager included, wrote-off Arsenal before the game!
    With the result they have, i fear, squirmed into their burrows!

  • Goonerist

    I was on here the other day disagreeing with your post about media bias however I’m here today in full agreement with everything you have written. It’s so spot on.
    There are always fans like this at every team but it seems we have an excess of them at Arsenal, I’ve actually been put off going sometimes due to the excessive negativity I often hear which is probably the worst thing to do. I guess it has something to do with how much tickets are at our place and the constant media harpng about how long we’ve gone without a trophy. There are things that should never happen – losing to relegation fodder like Birmingham in a Cup final, losing 8-2 to United, but they do and that doesn’t mean anyone should start a calculated effort to turn on the team. The Arsenal News Review and Arsenal Truth blogs both seem to exist to attack Wenger and his team and I think have had a lot of influence.
    The reality is even in this season, which is supposed to be our worst in however long, we are still fourth with a shout of 3rd and have still put in some memorable perfomances. I personally have a lot more in life to worry about that my football team. My philosophy is that we enjoy the wins together and share the losses, this is what following a team is all about. In the new age of football people expect to win all the time, but what about all the clubs who have never win anything? I know I would rather have more nights like last night, the big European games, than winning the Carling Cup for example. So from that point of view Wenger is right when he says getting in the Champions League is a bigger achievement. I guess this is has been a longwinded way of saying things are not that bad at all for our club and could be a lot worse so we should just get on with supporting the team.

  • Nash

    Every club has its moronic fans who have’nt a clue about love and passion for their club
    Perhaps some of the ‘fans’ at the Emirates are just Corporate entities that just throw their money for the night out
    Who cares
    We gave it a shot and I’m proud of my team
    May the the rest wallow in their bitterness

  • lee ncube

    i hope ibrahimovic who was running his mouth abt how arsenal are inferior now knows we are a better team than them by far. i previously had a soft spot for milan but i hate that team now after what he and the caoch said abt arsenal, saying all their players are better all our players in our team. i am struggling to match any of their players to RvP or to the Ox or to Walcott or to Rosicky or to Kolscielny

  • Goonerist

    @Lee it’s not even always about who is the better team it is also about which is the superior club and we have, and always will be, a superior club than Chelsea. They have been a better team than us for the last few years,maybe with the exception of this one.

  • Cpt BlackBeard

    Great post, I would just like to add, we do not need fans booing the players. even when they perform badly. We are the 12th man, we are supposed to be supporters. And anyone who watches top flight football will know that the crowd can play a large part in influencing a game, either positively or negatively. We need to play our part in continuing to make The Emirates a fortress (like Highbury was), teams should come here and the mere sight of the pitch should put them off. Milan last night, the crowd were fantastic. And Milan just couldnt handle us from the first whistle, we were rampant, yes the squad played well, but we backed them, even against the odds and that can Spur on an underdog like you woudlnt believe.

    My point is, every club has fickle fans, but if your going to games and sitting in the Home crowd, do YOUR job and SUPPORT!!
    Dont get me wrong, I have written on sites to say that Theo could improve on his touch or Johan needs to read the game better. But to attend games and target our own players is unacceptable and a joke. Cursing at missed opportunities, swearing, fine. But singleing out one of our OWN players is stupid, what do these fans think that will do to a players confidence?

    Looking at some of the other comments, never understood why Italian teams talk so much, They do not have the greatest record against English teams, they do not learn that the pace of our game is quicker, they come over here and are complacent and arrogant. And like last night, they get out to the sword swiftly.

    Lasly, I do not get into arguemtns with friends or associates over whose the biggest club in London, secretly they know its Arsenal, and they know I know it doesnt need to be said out loud. Our history is extensive, within Wengera rain and pre-wenger.
    Why do you think the media make a big deal of that fact we havent won a trophy in 7 years, yet they do not mention Spurs who have failed to lift the acquire the Premiership title since before the invention of colour television.

    Rant Over. @JayMacking (follow me and I shall follow you)

  • A great piece of journalism that summed up what every gooner should be thinking.
    I had to leave five minutes before the end in order to catch my transport taking me up to Glenshee, Scotland.
    I kept praying for the roar to happen as I ran to the underground but what a game and what a crowd performance.
    It is so good to come on to a site that is obviously visited by “thinking gooners” whether you agree with an opinion or not.
    The question was asked “where ar ethe anti brigade?”
    Adam Kemp and Danny Griffiths, are two such contributers.
    If you have the time/inclination have a look at the durge Danny Griffiths has written on Arsenal – News regarding last night and Arsene Wenger.
    How anyone can call themselves Arsenal fans when they find such negativity from last night is beyond me.
    I have been banned from Danny Griffiths site due to calling him a Spud in disguise amongst other things!!
    Shadi its great to have a supporter like you in our ranks, but please dont judge our home support on one game.
    We are all passionate supporters and when 60,000 fans groan it is louder than when 4,000 groan!!!
    Spread the word Shadi..a gooner is for life!!!

  • Dan T

    @Shadi
    Glad you enjoyed your time with the Arsenal. You picked a great 3 games to come and watch aswell. On the home and away fans – All clubs have better away support than home. The fact that these fans travel the country to support their team means they are committed to the team and committed to supporting Arsenal, they will always be more supporting and vocal than the home crowd.

  • Timmy

    I watched the game in the company of Two Arsenal fans, One has remained silent on the Arsenal matter simply because he isn’t seeing trophies, the other has turned out to be one of the AAAs. The AAA ran his mouth before the match that Arsenal will only tried but they will get beaten going to the extent of even saying Arsenal won’t be able to register any goal. By the end of the first half, dead silent while the other that chose to remain silent on the Arsenal matters sprang to life. It’s just funny how people can lack the mental, psychological and emotional strength to weather the storm of the downside of life, let alone that of a Football Club that only seeks for implicit trust in support.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    I think the answer about the seats is that they stop selling tickets online a certain number of days before to guarantee them arriving by post. IMHO they should announce: ‘we have XXX number of tickets we will sell to members on the night which will go on sale at 6pm.’ Costs money, of course.

    Quite how they announced the attendance as 59,000 is a mystery if the number of empty seats was great. Perhaps it was only about 500 all in a block?

    For those interested in how different opinions on performance differ you will find written across today’s Press:

    ‘Walcott, AOC and Rosicky were magnificent in the 1st half’ (I read this in Independent over breakfast).
    ‘Walcott’s time is up’ – comments on Le Grove.
    ‘AOC is a work in progress but Walcott is a work in regress’ – Dutch blogger on http://www.telegraph.co.uk

    I am not commenting on comments, but clearly someone is lying.

    I suggest you read the AST survey 2011 and you will start to understand the mentality of Arsenal supporters. One common theme is that they are addicts and will keep paying up, almost no matter what. That does not mean they agree with everything the Board or the manager do, but it does mean they keep paying their money.

    Your definition of a fan is somewhat akin to what was traditionally expected of Tory Party members – the leadership is always right. I hope you feel outraged by me associating you with that Party – your attitudes mirror old-style Tory membership values…..nothing to do with policies, economics etc etc in that, is there?

    Mine is that of a democratic, member-financed party. Which is that vigorous, sometimes passionate, sometimes painful debate is had in which the members may not only contribute but sometimes lead. However, when ranks must be closed for the good of the Club, they are closed.

    Yours is perfect if management and leadership is infallible. In the Tory Party it often wasn’t.

    Mine is better at times where strategic choices must be made which will inevitably cause deep division but must be resolved without inflicting lasting or terminal damage. It’s worse if people talk at each other not to each other, however…….

    The biggest question Arsenal fans need to ask about is the difference between performances in dead rubbers and performances when trophies are on the line. In the six years at the Emirates, Arsenal’s default mode has been glorious failure – superb football when it doesn’t really matter, not enough winning when it really does matter.

    That is the first place where the fault lines lie, and in my opinion it resides around the fact that the new stadium, particularly the corporate seats which underpin its financial success, was sold on the basis that the stadium would allow Arsenal to compete with everyone in Europe. It grates in the extreme to be told after six years of high expenditure that actually, the stadium would allow Arsenal to compete for fourth and the diddly cups if they can be bothered to try in them. You can argue all you like about it, but there’s a real fault line out there with fans.

    The second fault line lies as to whether Arsenal is or should be a selling club or not. In its time at the Emirates, it has been a selling club. Henry, Hleb, Toure, Adebayor, Fabregas, Nasri, Clichy, Flamini, Gilberto (against his will), Lauren. All sold. You can argue until the cows come home as to whether its the greedy players, the parasitic agents, the Moneybags at Chelsea, Citeh (add PSG, Malaga et al to the list now) or whether it was the Arsenal wage structure of overpaying squad players and underpaying stars. It’s a fault line where opinions are radically different, particularly amongst those who pay more to watch Arsenal. There’s an argument that you spend £50 – 100m in a one-off investment in experienced players, from which you reap financial rewards in the next 3 – 4 years. It’s one that divides fans, some seeing it as a start of financial doping, others seeing it like a private equity investment with expected financial returns and attendant risk of it not working out, but with an implication that the person who finances it gets equity for their troubles.

    The third fault line concerns where Arsenal FC is going. In particular, is it going toward a Harlem Globetrotter franchise playing 16 home games and the rest around the world, or is it going to remain a North London club. There’s never been a transition in global sport quite like that. It would be akin to telling New York Yankee fans that 80 of their regular season games would be played in Cuba, Japan, China etc etc. You’re going to invoke strong opinions on that and no-one’s right, no-one’s wrong.

    The fourth fault line concerns what Arsenal fans want from their team: do they want to watch beautiful football or do they want to win trophies? There’s no right or wrong answer, but it’s a deep fault line amongst fans. Most fans I have talked to the past six years don’t expect to win the title or the Champions League every year but do expect appropriate investment and culling to yield teams which win trophies regularly. They don’t get a great adrenalin rush saying, on the last day of the season: ‘WE FINISHED FOURTH!!’ They don’t expect to have a wage bill of £250m, they expect the wage budget set to be used in the most efficient way. They see a lack of mental fortitude sometimes and rightly expect multimillionaires to possess enough of it.

    The fifth fault line concerns the attitudes of fans themselves. Whether they are ‘we’re right, they’re wrong’ dogmatists, of which this site is an eminent example; or whether they can see that most strands of opinion divine some or more truth if you dig beneath the surface, of which I am one, despite me jousting fairly ferociously with you lot some of the time. You’ll note I’m studiously avoiding comparing the two mindsets – it’s usually a function of where your brain sits in the number of stable positions it is possible to hold in attitudinal terms. I talk to people you would call AAA and they say some things I agree with, others I don’t. I read the AST surveys and suggest to them that they co-ordinate one with Arsenal FC using 10,000 people because that would resolve this silly ‘AAA are a small minority’ argument once and for all. You’ll probably find that there’s a spectrum of opinion, as there already is one amongst the several hundred they surveyed last summer. You’re already convinced that it’s a small minority, rather than perhaps reflecting on the fact that the small minority hold really extreme positions and that you transition through the majority of fans until you reach the other extreme position, yours, which is that Arsene Wenger is infallible. Most fans think he’s a damned good manager, has a damned good track record, but is far from infallible and, like everyone else, must justify his £7m annual salary. The reason there is a fault line is because no-one has done a proper, broad-based survey. So people just keep on fighting in their entrenched positions. And you wonder why the Arsenal fan-base isn’t united………

    Just remember this: Arsenal are out of the ECL. They played brilliantly for 45 minutes last night and tired in the second forty five. They played appallingly for 90 minutes in Milan. At that level of football, you don’t qualify if you are only on top form for 25% of the tie and on reasonable form for 25% of the tie. Because opponents capable of winning the ECL are professional enough to play good football for at least 65% of any tie.

    Just remember this: Arsenal are over 15pts behind Man Utd, who are a self-sustaining business with high operational profitability and huge commercial revenues. They do not have a sugar daddy. They built their own stadium with their own money. They won the European Cup in 1999 with plenty of British players. They have invested in British players that Arsene Wenger wanted to buy. They have retained players in their 30s who still perform very valuable functions for them on and off the pitch. You may hate the shit out of them, but that club, apart from the vile LBO the Glazers did which has bled £500m from fans to the banks for no good reason, is extremely well run using financial principles similar to Arsenal and a youth set up which has done as match as Arsenal’s has until recently, anyway.

    I suggest you think a lot about what I have written and realise that a lot of people think similarly.

    It may afford you greater understanding, something you would do well to acquire.

    Yours is a romantic love, whereas true love loves something despite its faults. No sane marriage lasts 40 years based on ‘my wife is perfect at everything’, no matter how useful a temporary construct of ‘she’s perfect for me’ is in cementing the initial attraction into a potentially durable bond.

    True love involves working at it, ironing out differences and confronting deep fissures.

    It doesn’t involve sneering and deriding, insulting and labelling.

    Think about that last sentence a lot.

    It’ll do every Arsenal fan a great deal of good to think about it…….

  • JohnW

    Thank you John, but remember our players and manager are also human beings. They might get some things wrong some times, but still we should support them no matter what. There was a man called Pascal Cygan, who used to make countless mistakes in our defence a few years ago. But one thing that i noticed about him, he would play the best he could, yes he made mistakes but atleast you could see he was trying. Yes, our team makes mistakes but if only we tried a little more in our support, perhaps we might have broken the winless patch by now.
    As for the game, I’m still wondering what might have been, had we got a little more options in midfied. If only one of Arteta, Jack Wilshire, Coquelin or even Frimpong had been aroud to give us drive after The Ox was injured, may be we would be still celebrating qualification to QFs. But, thank you The Arsenal.

  • JohnW

    Rhys,
    Your points are pertinent, but do you have to deride and boo players just because you want to put a point across? Don’t you think each and every one of the Arsenal fans and supporters want exactly what Man United, Real Madrid, Barcelona have achieved, but is yours the best way of coaxing success out of Arsenal?
    The way I understand it, the negative aura you depict makes it difficult to market the Arsenal brand, as a result, it creates uncertainty, which would make life more difficult for the team and it’s building/ strengthening.
    I would also like to ask you Rhys, lets assume that the club sacks Arsene, buy all the players you want, are you absolutely certain that they will win trophies, dominate world football as you want?
    Are you certain Man City will win a trophy this season? Bayern Munich has more expensive players than Dortmund but the way I see it, they might end up trophyless this season as well!
    The key question is: What did arsene do between 1997-2005 that he’s not doing now and why is that? How can an experienced manager like Arsene say in 2004 that players between 28-34 years are on top of their game, and then all of a suden in 2006 he chances philosophy full circle? He sells experienced players, buys young, why? BUT i think even you know the answer but you refuse to acknowledge it.
    Lastly, you must understand that however good a team is, they will have a period of between 7-10 years when they will dip in form. Barcelona had it, Liverpool is experiencing it, even ManU will be like that. So may be we are about to conclude ours. I don’t know but for me, soccer is much more than your jeers and whining.

  • Mahdain

    uefa continue to show what a bunch of twats they are..they are charging wenger for saying the truth and once again the shit refs get away with it

  • WalterBroeckx

    Telling the truth and Uefa doesn’t work Mahdain…

  • Jerry

    @Rhys, Are you asking us to also remember the same Man United that didn’t get past the Champions League group stages like this current “under-performing” Arsenal squad did?

    The same Man United that tends to get more favorable decisions by refs than Arsenal which will account for a good amount of those 15 points difference?

    The same “self sustaining” United whose transfers in have cost significantly more than there transfers out (except for 09/10 season due to the Ronaldo sale):

    http://www.transferleague.co.uk/premiership-transfers/manchester-united-transfers.html

    Look at the transfers of their Sunday starting 11 (numbers in millions) – De gea (18.9), Jones (17), Rio (27.55), Evra (5.5), Carrick (18.6), Young (17), Nani (13.5), Rooney (27), Park (4 mil sub)

    Scholes (academy 1994), Giggs (as sub from City academy 1987)

    ONLY 2 Players from the Academy in last 15 years – Welbeck and Evans, BUT 149 MILLION ON THE REST OF THE SQUAD THAT PLAYED! Not self-sustaining at all. I rather support Arsenal whose transfers are about half the age and the cost and will soon be dominating for many years to come! Just my 2 cents

  • Mandy dodd

    Eufa are a busted flush Mahdain. Platinis baby, Ffp, will be blown out of the water when Chelsea take Jose back and citeh carry on being citeh, and I do not think eufa will be able to do a thing, there is a prevailing view amongst some that Ffp is an instrument to blunt the power of certain English teams, the treatment of arsenal, surely the poster boys of Ffp by both platini and eufa strongly suggests this assumption to me….along with platinis endorsement of what is going on at PSG, which could not be further from the spirit of Ffp. I think his scheme is a good idea in essence, but put in place by the most risible of politicians.
    Arsenal get it in England and Europe, for trying to do things the right way. I am in no hurry for wenger to leave but will be in the queue to buy his book when he does, I hope he lifts the lid on it all

  • nicky

    I think we pay far to much attention to the AAA, those in the media and all doom and gloom merchants who are hypercritical
    about our great Club.
    Far better indeed to concentrate on giving 100% support at all times to whoever wears the shirt.
    In one respect I’m not too sorry at our departure from the CL this season.
    After our sorry start in the EPL early on, our present elevation to 4th place is in my view nothing short of a miracle. Arsene Wenger can take much credit over the way he has had to manipulate the first team squad in the face of the most appalling injury list going back to pre-season days.
    Our progress until May is now largely in our own hands and
    qualification into the CL next term our only target. Last night’s magnificent effort must surely have given the team (and by that I mean WHOEVER Arsene selects to play) enormous confidence for the remainder of the season and it will now be imperative for all fans to play their supporting role to the end of the road. 😆

  • AFCThick/Thin

    Rhys you’re boring. I think most people that visit this site do so because they have tried to analyse all the facts which include some you conveniently left out (horrible luck with injuries, poor ref decisions etc.) and have concluded that sure, things aren’t how we’d like them to be, but actually they could be a lot worse and with a bit of luck and patience, things could get a whole lot better.

    I must admit this site does come across overly, sometimes blindly supportive of Wenger (calling him “Lord Wenger”??) but I think they have done more to look at the bigger picture and all the facts than most if not any other blog I’ve been to.

    Couple questions: 1. Do you think the model of Arsenal is best not only for the future stability of the club but for allowing it, once the debts and all are paid off, to be a leading force in football?

    2. If the answer to 1 is yes, who would be better than Arsene to work under such a model?

  • DC

    AOC will be just as good as Messi in about the same period of time from what i have seen live; mark my words on that!
    Next season is going to be a super ride to jump onto with RVP (at last, a true club-captain and leader after so many years,
    ( http://www.talksport.co.uk/radio/hawksbee-and-jacobs/blog/2012-03-07/wilson-wenger-believes-arsenal’s-spirit-best-its-been-five-years )
    our re-found “never say die” belief and strength of character aligned with our returned footballing quality, and the inevitable new first-team signings and squad strengthening that Arsene will surely make following his successful sit-down over coffee with RVP and Stan Kroenke before the start of next season!
    http://www.talksport.co.uk/radio/sports-breakfast/blog/2012-02-29/van-der-kraan-van-persie-doesnt-sound-someone-who-wants-leave-arsenal

    In Arsene we trust and here’s to a third place finish before the season’s over and to RVP’s player of the year awards and the Ox’s young player of the year awards!
    Looks like Per’s influence on the Germans has already started with Lukas Podolski
    ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/17295576 ),
    so it’ll be Gotze next, hopefully! Then the Verminator can equally influence Eden Hazard and that’ll be our major playing-staff additions for next season over and done with, with either Matias Suarez or Odemwinge good squad additions too! Happy days and I’m off to put a bet on for at least two trophies next season one of which will be the EPL title!

  • Damien Luu

    Well, thinking about it, those people who are spending all their days talking negatively about Arsenal, our model, our policies, our players, our manager, our fans, etc. they DO NOT do that as a habit or a “lifestyle” don’t they? I mean talking all day long about a football club that you obviously hate everything about it? Give me a break! There is only one reasonable reason for them: they get paid for doing that. By whom is beyond me, though. A mafia boss who could not buy the club and could not get any attention of anyone in the club, maybe. Who knows.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Because many people asked it we did a ref review of the Arsenal Milan game and will try to do also the first leg.

    I must say I was blown away by the numbers. On here soon…stay on line…

    Dogface over to you 😉