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It is not about Wenger and individual players: it is about chemistry

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If you think you know your Arsenal, it is time to think again. Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football.

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IT’S ALL ABOUT THE CHEMISTRY

Don McMahon

One of the interesting things about those supporters who don’t like Arsene Wenger is that they tend to pick on specific topics or players, and then state that the failure (in their eyes to deal with that issue) proves that Arsenal are a mid-table selling club who will soon sink into oblivion.

But in such commentaries there is often a failure to consider a mixture of issues – the complex issues that surround getting a group of people together and getting them to work for the common good.  It is called Club CHEMISTRY and it really does need a bit of explaining.

As we all know from our secondary education days spent in labs and classrooms populated by bored and disinterested adolescents and one or more wimpy science types trying to teach this horrible subject, Chemistry is the study of the passive and active interactions between natural and ¨artificial¨ chemical and elemental components, for the most part.

In the EPL context I am referring to here, it is similar; being the interactions between the players, the manager/coaches and others in a Professional Football Club, both on and off the field.

But why should Club chemistry be so essential an element of a Club’s success? You will have remarked that I use the term Club rather than team(s) since the very elements that make up a Club (the management, the Directors, the manager, the coaches, the youth, women’s and reserve teams, the scholars, the supporters, the financiers, the owners, the media, the pundits etc) all play a crucial role in the aforementioned chemistry.

Proceeding with the physics axioms that the whole is always greater than its parts, and that there is no such a thing as an absolute certainty but only a potential to be realized or glimpsed but never eternalized, then the dynamics of the above Club elements are obvious.

Who could have predicted accurately beforehand the greatness of Henry, Viera, Pires, Lundjberg, Bergkamp, Lehman, etc?  Who could have predicted that the man who was the butt of endless sarcasm and personal attacks in the Italian press would pick himself up and become one of the two greatest players Arsenal have ever seen (I speak of course of Bergkamp).

Which ¨experts¨ can, with 99% certainty, predict the final level of greatness of similar players like Ramsey, Coquelin, Wilshere, Diaby, Szcesny, Gibbs, Podolski, Giroud or even Chamakh, Park, Afobe, Lansbury, Martinez etc?

Not even Wenger, to whom the AAA ¨experts¨ are like sugar to titanium, claims to be prescient to that point. He has the unquestionable skill (very rare among EPL managers) to identify true potential and talent, nurture and nourish it and most often but NOT always  produce a diamond.  He also has that rare ability to take calculated risks with unknown players in the belief that the team can drag them up to its level; Nasri, Fabregas, Hleb, Flamini, Squillaci, Sylvestre, Santos, Jenkinson, Frimpong, Park,Chamakh, Bendtner, Arshavin, Vela, Bentley, Miguel, Almunia, Wellington and so on.

So how does this Club Chemistry work? Anyone who has followed AFC for a few seasons will surely have remarked the following;

a) The Arsenal ¨type¨ of player is more a Benayoun than a latter day Fabregas model. By that I mean Wenger goes for the lesser known candidates and most often eschews the established superstars. Even the AAA share this view, but claim it as a  Wenger failing while most of us true supporters praise it as a strength. Fabregas, Anelka,  or Henry would NEVER have been bought now they are established stars.

b) Since he is very paternalistic, Wenger values a reciprocal filial-like loyalty from his players. He tolerates everything and defends them to the hilt against all comers, including the BoD and to a lesser extent, the AAA. This culture of familial and filial network building is a core ingredient to Arsenal’s cohesiveness and success. When a player knows he’s safe and supported by his Club and manager,through PR issues, injury or loss of form, he has the confidence to try and recover. My favourite whipping boy Eboue was a case in point.

c) The Bendtner model is unfit for AFC, not because he isn’t talented, is too youthful or immature but rather because he is far too egocentric and narcissistic. Some say Szcesny is the same but that shows their lack of perceptiveness. The GoalPole is very confident (not a bad skill to have as a keeper-refer to Almunia for the consequences of lacking this) but is also, in a charming and disarming way, humble. He trusts Wenger and was allowed to pay his dues elsewhere before taking over as our first choice keeper. I am convinced that had Wenger decided to reinsert Almunia or Fabianski as first keeper, Szcesny would have accepted this with grace and aplomb and earned the spot through dint of effort and will. His play after the OT debacle in September was better and better…that is the sign of a champion!

d) Finally, the attitude such a positive chemistry obtains, is sufficient to win things or as in the case of last season, resurrect a CL place and come from 14 places below to pip our rivals to 3rd while all the time, minding the gap. This is due to  a great dressing room atmosphere, a certain steeliness on the field, the leadership of 3-4 key players and a belief in and will to win that, even through injury and loss, generates its own momentum.

There are so many more subtle aspects of this Chemistry.  If one fails, the others prop up the whole so that, in the case of AFC, while some AAA whiners booed our players and the manager, our away fans were the equivalent of a 12th player.

The feeble-minded Anti-Wengerites totally misinterpret and misrepresent what it means to be a supporter as do the AKB’s and other acronyms. Wenger is NOT divine, nor is he infallible. He makes errors and openly admits them. He is neither stubborn, pig-headed nor is he senile,unlike his critics.

SAF is a mirror image of Wenger in many respects. Sir Axe is a dictator and a fearful adversary (perhaps this is what British spine is all about?) but also very knowledgeable and astute tactically and managerially. His failures are as obvious as are Wenger’s and he has been recently ¨embarrassed¨ in Europe as often as AFC but his successes have matched and some say, surpassed those of Wenger as well. Yet none dare revile or remonstrate him for those errors or rail against his hegemony for fear of the hair dryer treatment and cold shoulder from Manure or the media.

So there you have it……Podolski, Giroud, Wilshere, Diaby, Jenkinson, and our almost or truly new recruits, must not only show their goods but also fit into a Club Chemistry whose very culture is teamwork, hard work, perseverance, faith in Wenger, trust in their supporters and belief that the Arsenal will come out shooting as the EPL gets underway once again.

Hope springs eternal as Alexander Pope wrote and once again, we the hopelessly addicted spring for tickets in the valiant belief that this is finally our year! May the Chemistry be with us…..

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Latest Tales…

 

40 comments to It is not about Wenger and individual players: it is about chemistry

  • avatar zigzag

    Brilliant stuff, hope everyone reads it!

  • avatar TT

    An excellent article.

    It always makes me laugh when people say that the Greeks were the worst team to ever win the European Championships.

    On the contrary, they absolutely were the best team to ever win it!

  • avatar slugboy

    Very good piece.

    However, with the ‘defend the team no matter what’ philosophy comes a little complacency. the team chemistry combined at times to make am look like worldbeaters. And then the very next week, we looked tired and lazy. Whilst I would defend the arsenal philosophy to the hilt it would be good to get rid of this perceived complacency. Possibly a larger squad and more competition will serve us better this year.

  • avatar ak47

    just when you think the transfers are over, along comes cazorla. enjoyed that thanx.

  • This is contrived rubbish. The ‘ chemistry ‘ should include …. FOCUS UPON : -

    Defence as well as attack / Strength as well as technique / Experience as well as youth / Set piece excellence as well as flowing open play / Shooting as well as passing / Variable tactics as well as a one dimensional style of play / Expertise from the coaching team at large NOT always ignored by the One and Only Man.

    Of course Wenger is obstinate ; of course he will never be convinced to change his mind ; and of course he controls far too much of Arsenal FC. Do you really believe RVP, Nasri, Clichy, Cesc and Adebayor and others only refused to re sign because of money ??

    If you had any contacts at all inside the club you would know this. AW ‘s in house credibility finally collapsed that time he subbed Oxlade – the best player on the field – when half the stadium chanted ” you don’t know what you are doing.” There is a ‘ white board ‘ in the changing room for tactics explanation but ” Arsene never uses it because he doesn’t do tactics.” I don’t suppose you knew that either ???

  • avatar Ben

    you carnt spell our player’s names and your just making simple things complicated tbh

  • avatar Rog b

    Off subject for a second,but nice to see team GB kick off the Olympic games with the ladies football team winning 1-0 against team NZ, whats even better is that the winning goal was scored by Arsenal lady Steph Houghton.There you go AISA history site that one should take a special place in the Arsenal archives.

  • avatar Mike a gunner

    At last we have a true and logical article about our great club. Well said.

  • avatar colario

    I could not agree more.

  • avatar oz gooner

    No one could ever say Wenger is not our greatest ever Manager. But like us all he has many faults. The most annoying is that he cannot admit when he is wrong. You go on about the AAA but what about the players that don’t trust Wenger. The latest being RVP. We can call them mercenaries but we have lost a lot of talent, players who do not see Wengers Philosophy as an ultimately successful one. Sure we are a consistant and reliable performer in the EPL but is that enough of an ambition to aspire to ?

  • avatar Byo

    @Chris- Pls tell us more, since you have “contacts” inside the club. And in the process tell us how many clubs(at the top level) you have used the white board to teach tactics.

    It is one thing to claim inside knowledge, it is another to insult the effort of one who tries to write his opinion in an article for others to enjoy or critique.

  • avatar ak47

    wow, chris is your second name tucker by any chance?

    were not as glitzy as we used to be with the birth of a new team crowning. though i’ll be patiently waiting for a giroo bicycle or a pod screamer, not to mention arteta is pretty handy too. our free kick threat should increase at least. but im excited by a team that contains minds like arteta, koscielny, ox, vermaelen, podolski etc…especially someone like kos(now that he’s signed on:-)) world class but humble. and now with mr i dont wanna get sanctioned cos you cant get the staff, on the scene i need to put me shades on.

    who needs batman or robin? weve got doctor octopus?

  • avatar Rog b

    Interesting post Don,
    @Chris
    for someone so ‘well informed’ seems your insider forgot to tell you that the Ox was taken off because he was recovering from an illness a few days before,something that was publicly stated by both player and manager after the game. What,did you do an Emirates tour and one of the security guards let it slip that Wenger doesn’t use the white board? I find it very odd to start your post stating that it is contrived rubbish but after reading it I find myself totally agreeing with you. Your post is exactly that.

  • avatar Stuart

    Chris from Cambridge with a new alter ego?

    Don, great post, I agree with it and more.

    Wenger has previously stated that part of his player selection criteria is that amongst many things, he chooses players who just love having a ball at their feet. This and many other factors are convincing me that the genius of AW success at Arsenal has not been down to having good players but having a good system and players who are able and want to understand and most of all enjoy it. The system of fast and fluid passing is great fun to play (speaking from from experience) and has proven very effective when done right, you can actually out-play anyone with it and your team gets less tired as the ball is moving rather than your players. The most demanding part is the short demanding bursts of about 5-15 metres every now and then to get past the defender.

    The chemistry of a group of players who LOVE to play football is an unbeatable bond.

  • Ben – I don’t know if this is deliberate irony or if you are a prat.

    “you carnt spell our player’s names and your just making simple things complicated tbh”

    A spelling error and a grammatical faux pas in a sentence complaining about spelling and construction. Brilliant!

  • avatar Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    Chris….I appreciate any dissent as that is always valuable IF informed but yours is clearly NOT. The Rubbish is contrived by you with very spurious and decidedly unproven statements about things you couldn’t possibly know or even surmise.

    I know you are an anti-Wenger, AAA whiner just by the scathing tone of your rant. You don’t understand what I meant by Chemistry but instead try to Bullshit your way around the facts by confusing tactical,training and strategic paradigms with the team chemistry. Then you throw in a lame critique of Wenger as the ¨One and Only man¨!

    Wenger , in your demeaning and denigrating psychotically induced raving, is ¨obstinate¨? He has ¨too much control¨…please explain this absurd statement since there is a GM and a BoD, as well as an owner who would and have disagreed with your simpleton interpretation of reality. You, of course desperately want to believe that our recent dearly departed (Nasri et.al) left because he was a bad manager, with no ambition, having lost the plot, unable to win anything worth mentioning,hated by all the fans at AFC, a puppet to the evil gremlins that manage the Club, etc.,etc. Who do you think backs AW up? Try Krownke,Gazidis, the entire Board, all his current and most of his former players and 99.9% of true AFC supporters- the real Gooners! Why wouldn’t 100K/week not tempt half-hearted and uncommitted players like Nasri,Adebayor and Cashley from leaving a Club that treated them very well BUT couldn’t match their financial wants? Their careers are short and they wanted to cash in before they got too old…that’s it!

    Poor Chris – you are so desperate to prove you’re opinion really matters that you blatantly lie about ¨contacts¨ and get yourself crucified on Untold, when confronted by your boldfaced fabrications. Your only contacts at the Club are in the Emirates washrooms with pretty-boys and vaseline Queens who make you feel ¨wanted¨. I live over the Pond but I have Tony,Walter and numerous other excellent and well-informed sources and blogs to rely on for the facts. the onl;y difference between them and your contacts is that mine are real!

  • avatar Flavour

    Every day both the papers complain about Arsenal and Wenger but for 16 years teams that have been buying world class players have never finished then table above us. If you consider what Man City spent to win the league with goal difference then you will agree they won by luck and not hard work. IF they have won by a gap of ten points then I will respect the spending.

    @Chris, why don’t you go and start your own blog and write what you think is not rubbish since you know too much about the club

  • avatar Asif

    Very well said Don…just to add to it, there was a picture of Na$ri and Wenger sharing a laugh around last year’s pre-season time, when Na$ri had openly expressed his desire to fill his coffers (with cash using the naked guise of winning trophies; the same hymn book that RiP has borrowed this year and added a couple of more acerbic stanzas of his own to it).
    The point that I am trying to make it is that here is a man who truly believes in respect. Yes we are tribalistic when it comes to supporting our club but just for once if we just retain our sanity and think over this ojectively, then we may realise that the player himself is the master of his destiny and if he decides to leave…you really can’t do much. So rather than making it acrimonious and giving the already prejudiced British media some more free fodder to fill up their columns with, he choses his dignity over everything else…he is made up of more sterner stuff then we might actually ever acknowledge.

    Think of all the blood and sweat that he spends on nurturing and protecting these kins of Judas and you will still not find him saying anything vile about them; whereas lesser mortals like us would suffer an irrepairable loss of belief!

  • avatar Stuart

    Chris,
    I state as I have many times before (to ‘Chris from Cambridge).

    Wenger doesn’t have too much power, he is an employee. Do you think a multi-billionaire has been so successful by giving away the control? I don’t think so. Wenger is in control of the team training, tactics, players etc and I’m sure his opinion in other areas is valued but he does not, under any circumstances have control of his employers.

  • avatar nicky

    This is stll about Wenger but slightly off-topic and an attempt to lighten the seriousness of the post.
    Now that Arsene has joined the ranks of the “speckies”, on matchdays who will be responsible for holding his little bit of yellow cleaning cloth? Steve Bould?

  • avatar Limpar's Wand

    I can’t say I agree. We haven’t really had any winners or ‘grit’ (or any of the other cliches) since vieira and keown left and with them the last of the ‘old arsenal’. This isn’t me being negative, but the teams we’ve had were easily good enough to have won things, notably in 2008, as well as in 2011. The thing that let them down was egotism all through the squad, the very same that now sees all these ‘stars’ want to leave and accept no responsibility for their failures. They all play for themselves and last season is the first in a long while that the attitude didn’t utterly stink. It pains me to say it but Wenger oversaw all of it, gallas, bendtner, adebayor, van persie, nasri, cesc. They were all given too much leeway and didn’t repay it.

    The thing for me that makes Arsenal consistently overperform (in relation to the financial input) is not some vague notion of ‘chemistry’, but STABILITY throughout the club. All the young players that come through are schooled in a certain way from the beginning. They have a very high technical level and can come in to the first team because it is the same football they have been playing for years. This is an enormous and understated advantage we hold over virtually all other clubs, who reinvent themselves year to year under different managers.

  • avatar bob

    Dom,
    Your arguments and eloquence win the day. Why descend from those heights to this: “Your only contacts at the Club are in the Emirates washrooms with pretty-boys and vaseline Queens who make you feel ¨wanted¨.” There are many non-heteros who love our club.

  • avatar Phil

    please guys, can we all take a deep breath, step back and relax. if people like us cannot talk without arguing, what hope is there for future generations when everyone will be able to laser each other with funky weapons? think about this forum and realise how petty our debate is. at the end of the day, when the suns rays are so hot due to the greenhouse effect and it all goes wrong, remember this silly chit chat drama queen-ness and laugh. :)

  • avatar GoonerTillIDie

    Not reading this blog again….

    The rest of this comment was cut as it was simply abuse without a single shred of logic or evidence.

    But anyway since the writer won’t be here again I guess it doesn’t matter too much.

  • avatar Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    Bob….this comment wasn’t aimed at LBG’s or anyone of a different sexual persuasion but at Chris’ arrogant claims about having contacts. Perhaps a bit too salacious of me so criticism accepted….I promise to be a good boy from now on!

  • avatar Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    Limpar’s Wand….you make an excellent point but I wasn’t trying to show that AFc overperform because of their Chemistry, quite the reverse. I was saying that they can succeed as an organisation and a Football Club by promoting this Chemistry that every great team from United to Barca seem to have, as we do, and that is more than just stability. Stability, in my mind is a corollary to Good team chemistry and one consequence of achieving this Club chemistry. We have had the same manager for 17 years, the same philosophy since Herb Chapman, more or less, the same class since our Dial Square days and the same respect for the game since the game became professionalized over 100 years ago.That stability is due to the Arsenal approach which relies on positive and constructive chemistry throughout the Club.
    your point about egos and narcissists ruining our chances is one to ponder further. I remember Gallas seated on his posterior after Eduardo’s injury and pouting like a 5 year old. I remember our players getting bullied by Stoke and no one standing up to the troglodytes. Maybe this is remedied now that we have Vermaelen,Song, Szcesny and company. I watched Podolski take stick in Koln and he was in the player’s face so fast that they guy didn’t know what hit him…that is being a leader and showing character….the character we need. I don’t ever remember Cesc,Nasri, Reyes, Flamini, Hleb doing that.

  • avatar bjtgooner

    Don, good article. I remember Sir Alf Ramsey talking about the 1966 team and stressing that it was important to pick the best available team – not necessarily the 11 best players. Chemistry from 1966?

  • avatar gooner murphy

    @ Chris

    All hail Chris Our new leader with all the Inside Info sign him up quick Tony

  • avatar Aussie Jack

    If there`s one thing I enjoy more than football it`s the English language but (being a bit of a peasant)I prefer articles which I can understand without the help of a dictionary. I fully understand the gist of what the writer is saying and agree that `chemistry` is an important, although rare incredient, in all associations. I certainly can relate to this by my experience of being involved with a rugby team that had such a uncanny awareness of each others mindset and movements they needed little or no coaching. It was pure telepathy and they went through season after season undefeated, but that is once in a liftime and it was not planned.
    In order to achieve such a family atmosphere you need to remove the negative elements and that`s easier said than done and something Arsenal have suffered from.

    We now need these disturbing elements to leave so that we can create a `band of brothers` enviroment.

  • avatar Brickfields Gunners

    Nice once again ,Dom. Agree that we are an experiment in progress and having improved our technique (as well as learned from our mistakes) ,we will in time get the desired result – a team firing on all cylinders and beating all comers.
    The aim has never wavered – to be successful by prudent and rightful means.

  • avatar ARSENAL 13

    Don…nice one.

    Flash back…..OT. The day we lost 8-2. The away supporters, nothing I had seen like before. We some how fail to generate such an atmosphere at home.

  • avatar Brickfields Gunners

    On a lighter note ,while all expriments have a noble aim ,
    their end results may be differently interpreted by different
    people.
    The story is told of a scientist who did research on the humble flea .He trained the flea to leap up whenever he shouted the command “Jump “,and the flea did this on cue.
    He then started his experiment .He then removed a pair of the
    flea’s legs and shouted “Jump “,and it did .He then removed another pair of legs and told it to jump ,and again it did .
    Finally he removed the last pair and told it again to jump,but it could not .Having concluded his experiment,he presented his finding to his peers ,detailing his steps.
    He concluded that if you remove all the flea’s legs , it becomes……deaf !

  • avatar Aussie Jack

    @Brickfields Gunners….The sequel to your tale is: The scientist in question is a woman who emigrated to Australia and became Prime Minister. Which explains a lot.lol

  • avatar Brickfields Gunners

    @ Aussie Jack – I think not ,as when I last heard, said scientist has proposed to our government to send a manned mission to the sun.
    When asked would it not be too hot , the smart aleck has proposed to send them at night !
    But my condolences to you – their type are spreading like wild(bush)fire!

  • It is a pity that some are so angry about in house revelations. I suppose because it cuts across the ” We Blindly Trust ” belief. I imagine the ” Rust ” fans will be more interested. Those who don’t want to know what actually has been happening inside the club … are left to their own guesses and assumptions ?

    > Like the Directors (!) have prevented full reinvestment of transfer money coming in for the last 2.5 years – plus a natural transfer budget. That is totally wrong.

    > Like the Directors insisted on the ludicrous ‘ Flat ‘ wage structure. Wrong.

    > Like the medical staff were to blame for Wilshere being over played to the extent that his body broke down. Wrong.

    > Like it cannot be true that some teenagers brought in from overseas are no better than those developed within the club. That is right.

    > I could tell you what happens on the coach back to London if we have lost a match … but NO .. I had better not.

    By the way, I did not say AW controls his employers. But I sympathise with the view that nobody has been able to stand up to AW since Dein was kicked out. This is at least partly because neither the controlling shareholder nor the senior executive Director are football people. None of the coaches are rich men and they have kept their heads down. Let us hope things change with Steve Bould’s promotion ?

  • avatar chris from Cambridge

    Rog B.

    No … I have never done an Emirates tour .. though I bet it would be very interesting. As you say Oxlade had been ill a few days before (but not injured). The players and staff were well aware when they reckoned it a daft subbing error. Do you recall when, late on, AW used to bring on (say) Cygan as a defensive left winger (!) and we all thought … WHAT ? But in those days I too accepted all AW did.

    My contribution above is based on what I have been told via either players or staff or medics. How it can be described as contrived rubbish is therefore unclear. Perhaps the same players or staff or medics don’t know what they are talking about ?

    Anyway let’s just pray we do well this season.

  • avatar Stuart

    “Do you recall when, late on, AW used to bring on (say) Cygan as a defensive left winger (!) and we all thought … WHAT ? But in those days I too accepted all AW did”

    I suppose you would have preferred him to start Cygan.

  • avatar LRV

    Chris: With your inside knowledge, you should start a blog to inform all of us “” We Blindly Trust ”” supporters. Oh yes! I am one of them. I trust. I trust the club… I trust the team… and… I trust the manager.

    Like the footballers you claimed left because they stop trusting, why don’t those staff leave as well, since they do not trust the man they work for? Surely there are plenty of clubs and stadia arround. Are you sure you are not just talking to Robson who thinks his name alone is enough to link him to Manchester? (Oh sometimes he thinks it might be Newcastle).

    Could you get your inside contacts to tell you why quite a lot of people who have left still fight hard to keep or regain contact with the club. Oh! Perhaps you have a ‘Jealous Brigade’ quite willing to peddle cheap scrapheap rumour that you guys feed the dumbass press that feed you trash in return; eh?

    Do pray write an article, no, an expose, with exclusive tidbits from your ‘insinders’.

  • avatar Stuart

    Chris

    First you have a friend in the know, now it is you who has heard it first hand from several players and staff. Further proof you are making it up as you go along in my opinion.

    Also, if you are associated with the club the way you are going about things (dropping bait on internet blogs) is sneaky and underhand and unprofessional which is another clear reason that you are not to be trusted.

    Oh and further to your point, you have previously stated on internet blogs that Wenger is in control and the board have to answer to him on several factors. Back tracking seems to be your style because it is al lies lies lies!!!

  • avatar Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    Chris….here are more fantasies you try and pass off as ¨in house revelations¨! But it is clear that they are simply your AAA blind imaginings and wishful thinking about what MIGHT be going on under the covers at the Emirates:

    1)Full reinvestment of transfer money…read the Swiss Rambler’s research,unlike your claims he actually does investigate and dig out facts. Wenger HAs had a natural transfer budget and funds were re-invested from players sales BUT the Club is a business and had to pay other debts (the Emirates,player salaries, operating costs)from that money…not as simple as you’d like but the truth nonetheless.

    2)The so-called Flat wage structure was actually a wage cap, a very different thing. No one, including you, knows what the actual wage struicture at the Club is, nor do they know what any one player earns so strop preening and face facts.

    3)Wenger himself said that he was warned by the medical staff not to overdue it with Wilshere since he was nearing the red zone but he took a gamble and lost…not the first time a manager has done this, even SAF did it with Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.

    4)So what if some foreign kids don’t ALL become a Fabregas! If you’d actually look at the success rates of kids from the UK and kids from elsewhere, the so-called foreigners have done quite well. Frimpong, Coquelin, Eisfeld, Ryo, Szcesny, etc. have matched and in some cases surpassed Wilshere,Walcott, Gibbs, Lansbury, Ramsey etc. I think its the old ¨British spine¨argument in another form…and its equally lame!

    5)Unless you are working at AFC and on the support or coaching staff who ride with the players after a match, there is NO way you could tell us anything we don’t know.

    ¨What I have been told via either players or staff or medics.¨…sure….and I just spoke to Wenger,Gazidis and Vermaelen and they told me they never heard of Chris from Cambridge and have no interest in ever talking to you or confiding in you. What a shame i had to burst your imaginary bubble!