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For the first time in four years I don’t know what to say

By Tony Attwood

It wasn’t just that we threw away a game we had sorted.  It wasn’t the fact that we could have won it with the last kick of the match.  It was just that that special factor that gets you to win unwinnable matches wasn’t there.

We have had it for so many years, and now, it isn’t there.  I remember a series of 0-0 draws a few years ago (about four in a row I recall) and that was fairly dire, but if you studied what was going on you could see how it was working and where it was going.   (We played Cardiff in the cup that year, if you want to place it – and I think it was the year we caught Villa and got 4th that way).  I can’t bear to go and look anything up today.

But this was just … nothing.

We scored three, but there was no joy somehow – ok there was joy at the scoring but nothing more.

And I am the guy who endlessly supports Wenger, the board, the club.

I haven’t read any newspaper reports or anything – after the game I went with Walter, Erik and the guys from the Benelux club back to their coach.  They didn’t get back home until 4 in the morning, or something like that.  That is support.  Everyone who wants to complain about the club – just remember what those guys did.  Devoted almost 24 hours solid to getting too and from the game.  That is support.

I chose not to go home, but drove to Chiswick (which took as long as if I had driven back to the East Midlands), and went to a Ceroc dance.  (Ceroc is a form of modern jive – there are clubs all over the country).

Met a charming lady from Solvenia who seemed moderately impressed that I had been to her country, and knew about its history and cultural traditions, but so impressed as to want my phone number.  Such is life.

And at the end of the evening I still had the 2 hours to drive back to the Midlands.  At least I had the story of Marcus Tullius Cicero to listen to on the audio and keep me awake.  My god what a man – and utterly forgotten except by those of us who realise just what the Roman Republic did for us all.  (We wouldn’t be here if it were not for what they did).

I got to bed a couple of hours before the Benelux guys I reckon.

So what do we do?  (Apart from overthrow this state we live in of the rich by the rich for the rich?)

Blaming the board and the manager and the guy who designed the clock, the person from Deleware North who do the catering and who took the positive decision never to train anyone who works there; that is all ok.  But what do we do now?

Say, ok Jack is back soon.  And Arteta is just not doing it right at the moment but will come good again.  And wasn’t it good when we had Diaby back.  And maybe Rosicky can produce one more season of driving genius. And …

Maybe.

Going back over past mistakes is no good because all it does is throw mud.  To build a new side, and new club, or maybe more simply to build a side that actually gets the results is what is needed now.   And I am honest enough to admit it.  This season, at least so far, it is not working.  Even Cazorla is not longer the genius we thought he was.

Trouble is the fan base is now so angry that I doubt most other managers wouldn’t want to touch the club.  A bit like Blackburn really.  What manager of utter genius would want to touch this?

At the end there was some booing, but the majority applauded the guys.

I don’t know.  If you do, great.  All I can do is go dancing, and play the new Joe Walsh album which is utterly superb.  Not as superb as an unbeaten season, but still superb.  Thank you Joe,  you’re a good guy.

But as Marvin said, “Life?  Don’t talk to me about life.”

——————————–

The books…

The sites…

173 comments to For the first time in four years I don’t know what to say

  • avatar Matt Clarke

    Your mate Cicero said,
    “The rule of friendship means there should be mutual sympathy between them, each supplying what the other lacks and trying to benefit the other, always using friendly and sincere words”.

    So, you are, and have been, a good friend to Arsenal – and by extension, us fellow supporters.

    I just hope that the neigh-sayers can shut up and remember what a true friend is too.

  • avatar Terry

    Our beloved Arsenal are now owned by the rich, in order to make the rich richer. And they don’t need trophies to do that. So, the football side of things is merely there to promote more money-making. How many times have I heard fellow Arsenal fans saying they feel ripped off by the board. We won’t be able to prise our Arsenal out of the hands of Kroenke, Hill-Wood et al.
    So, we need to build a new Arsenal, a new club through the existing fan base that we have. The ‘AFC’ in AFC Wimbledon stands for ‘A Fans Club’. In ten years they are only one tier below MK Dons. I reckon we can do it quicker. The sooner we start the better. It’s obvious we’re going nowhere with the current set up. Let’s build a club that the fans own and reinstall the club’s desire to win silverware.

  • avatar dan

    Diaby the gamble of all gambles, count him out and forget about him for the reminder of this season. Rosicky another one with Gibbs, made out of glass. Wenger admitted to gambling on Diaby, doesn’t take a genius to figure that will strike a blow.

  • avatar CB

    Cazorla is the new Arshavin.

  • avatar lengooner

    The sad thing is that teams are now out footballing us. Gone are the days when we could always ,at least we passed them off the park.
    We are a shadow of the good and great teams of the past.
    AND IT ALL STARTED TO GO PEAR-SHAPED WHEN GIBBS GOT INJURED.

  • avatar Daniel Wong

    Time to replace Wenger. He is the causing all the problems with wonder kids,pretty soccer,no need to have agood gk and defence,etc,. Fans cpme tp see pretty soccer. The attack will take care of everything.Problem is the attack could be a problem.

  • avatar John

    Wenger has done a terrfic job but I think its time for a change no one could have pulled the club through the staduim change while keeping us in the top four.

    But I think the relationship has gone stale and we need sumthing different.

    Wenger is to subborn to change his approach which is not working and its resulting in our best players leaving season after season becuase they want to win trophies, who can blame them.

    His inability to address the defensive issues is disgracful ex Santos who in their right mind would buy this turd for 6.2M he cannot f**king defend thats a must for a defender. Teams with much lower transfer budgets have better defences than us, alot of it is being organise and putting your body on the line.

    A huge wage bill without anyone being on big money, no point on being cheap in the transfer market when your blowing money on average players wages week in week out. We couldnt get rid of Bendther, Arshivan, Alumnia, Squallac and Denilson becuase of it, very bad management.

    This theory comparing us aas being better because we dont post losses well when your successful you commerical revenue and deals will outweight the money spent ex look at Utd deal with DHL our commerical tema is a f**king joke, binding us into long term deals without any increment to industry averages being paid out… shocking

    No one questons Wengers he has too much power and is not accountable for his peformance.

    He is a great manager but in todays game you need to be a ruthless SOB and he is not. He also doesnt have the ability to review a situation and try a different approach. His tatics are lack of them are crap ex playing Utd Fergie okay Wayne these are a soft bunch and its a easy win but lets make it even easier by sitting on Arteta without him ticking things over they are a mid table team… need I say more.

    That match was embrassing he didnt even compete and people will say well a least we didnt get slaughter well in the score line we didnt but in my eyes on the pitch we did anyone that says otherwise is a f**king liar.

    Fans deserve much much better from the players from the management team from the commerical team from the shareholders!!!!

  • avatar Nizam

    Now Wenger admits he has a fragile defence. The defence has been a problem these last seven years starting with the gk.Since Lehman left,the gunners have a sub std gk compared to the top teams. And this from the manager of the 4th richest club in the world. No wonder they always lose to MU and Chelsea and other minnows.
    Time to get real.Sort out the defence. Get Keown to drill them into shape other wise get ready for Europa league.

  • avatar Andrew Crawshaw

    Of Arsene’s five goals as he set out at the shareholder’s meeting the first – winning the league looks sufficiently remote as to be unachievable.. The second – winning the Champions League seems unlikely, we should come out of the group but probably in second place making progress through the knockout stages difficult. The third – qualifying for Champions League next year is still in our grasp if we can find some self belief. The fourth – winning the FA Cup hasn’t yet started so too early to tell. The fifth – winning the League Cup, well we should be capable of beating Bradford to progress to the semi final after that we will have to see about the draw. If Arsene looks unlikely to deliver any of the three main goals by mid December, I think both he and the club have some very serious questions to answer re the direction we need to go in. I find it difficult to imaging a future without Arsene but feel/fear that that day may be approaching.

    Of course we could rediscover our MoJo against Spurs and start winning again and all be dancing in the aisles – here’s hoping

    COYG

  • avatar dan

    Bendtner, Denilson, Park, Chamakh, Squillaci and the always injured are still on our books, they are bleeding our club dry. Proven so inept we can’t offload them, nobody wants our rubbish, but we’re always ready to offload our good players. Really this beggars belief, god knows how much money we could use instead of paying these failures for failing.

  • avatar nice

    Arsenal has became just a Top 4 EPL competing team. Its good and bad in a way. At least it still can take part in Champions league and gain enough revenue.
    From the way I see not matter how Arsene and the board does nowadays unless they changed their way which I doubt so,Arsenal will always remain this way.
    Carzola and the new players they are good players , it needs time, do not expect miracles.
    As usual Arsenal sometimes seldom have good starts,sometimes some games they can smash opponents, sometimes Arsenal can be shockingly terrible at some, losing to terrible teams.
    A championship team always can maintain its consistency.
    I do not see this happening in Arsenal unless the manager or the Board needs to change.
    I am not angry, just disappointed the way Arsenal has turned into.

  • avatar Will

    For all of those calling for Wenger’s head.

    1) Who replaces him?
    2) How do you know the board are not holding us back?

    After all, this is the guy who paid how much for Henry, Wiltord and Pires?

  • avatar Shard

    John

    “Wenger is to subborn to change his approach”

    Well, it depends what you see as his approach. He’s changed since when he first came to Arsenal. 10 years ago, Liam Brady was among those criticising Arsene for not making enough use of the academy players. Not something you hear levelled at Wenger now. Quite the opposite in fact.

    He’s also changed the formation of his teams. 4-4-2 has gained a mythical status amongst fans who don’t trust the 4-3-3 only because it hasn’t got us the same success as the Invincibles did.

    Also, last season we bought the sort of players from whom we could expect fairly immediate impact, instead of allowing them to grow up, as well as those who are unlikely to ever have much resale value. This suggests a slight shift in Wenger’s policies no?

    I think the last bit is what gives me confidence that our financial situation is improving and that we’ll soon be ok with spending more money in the transfer market.

    Also, the wage bill and structure is a legacy of the stadium move. The CEO has already said that will be changed. It will take time however.

  • avatar owens

    I dont really buy the idea bng made or maybe don’t get wia ur going..the board and wenger as far as am concern dont care about the club..i would be wondering wenger owns no shares in our club(not really necessary) Y,we are the big club of yester-years..we are no longer a big club..u cant say to urself “ha we sure will get 3pts out of dis match”..wich is somtin we all can say to ourselfs wen we were a big club..f*ck wenger.

  • avatar dan

    @will

    Wenger is on 6-7 million pounds contract, that is a major contract. Who wouldn’t want that sort of money?
    Yes, we don’t know if the board is holding back, but, Wenger has never come out and said so either.

    Silent Stan, looks like a bean counter!

  • avatar Lobster

    Last night, I layed awake, dreaming about what might have been if we still had all our players from the past 3seasons.. Then I snapped back to reality when my girlfriends brother BBM`d me “Haha not long until Wenger is Sir Fergies head scout!”. At 3am! What a clammy nutsack.. I replied “Haha not long until your sister gives Sir Lobster some head”(not cool I know, but I was pissed).. The ManU cunt showed the text to my girlfriend this morning, but luckily she understands how I am when Arsenal do the kind of thing they did yesterday

  • avatar Stuart

    John,
    I’ve seen it a thousand times before; your comment about the problems being the players, the management team, the commercial team and the shareholders and the solution being to sack Wenger. Are you saying the rest of it would go away if he is gone?

    Personally, I think that would be only the start of our problems as Wenger is merely an employee meeting his targets set by his boss (much like the rest of us), it is a shame the primary target handed to Wenger in order to keep his job doesn’t seem to be trophies.

  • avatar Stuart

    Dan
    Wenger couldn’t come out and criticise the board for holding back, they are his bosses. He did come close by being snide when he said ‘if we sell Fabregas, no one will ever take us seriously’ (or words to that effect) but please keep in the teal world here. He’d lose his job if he (publicly) criticised the board, just look at Dein for a specific example.

  • avatar dan

    @Stuart

    Fair enough, so the board are evil?

  • avatar Stroller

    @Tony

    I know exactly how you feel. The last few games have piled up more questions than I can find rational answers for. I watch games fearing the worst, seeing the opposition look more dangerous than we do, two goal leads thrown away and a glaring collective fragility and lack of confidence.

    Sorry but this isn’t about club ownership, although some will inevitably link it back to that. It’s about the current dynamics of the players, squad, and coaching approach. Why? Because there seem to be disconnects that make the sum of the individual player capabilities less than the total sum of the team performance. In great teams it is always the other way round.

    Back to some of those questions and issues:

    1) Left back. We are in the position of playing our centre back and captain in a position he is clearly not comfortable in (despite all the spin about how he’s played there in the past (blah, blah). Before him we have a young player with a terrible injury record and a Brazilian who is now deemed too dodgy to select. How do we address this vulnerability?

    2) Midfield. Unlike left back we have a great choice of midfielders. Amongst those we now have two top-class players in Wilshere and Carzola, while Arteta (putting yesterday aside) is not far behind. Yet still something is lacking. We no longer dominate possession and at the same time are easily bypassed when attacks opposition. Are we simply too fragile physically in this area?

    3) Podolski. Out marquee summer season seems incapable of playing a full 90 minutes. In fact he fades noticeably after half-time. Yet he is a regular starter for us and still goes off for German internationals. Presumably he is carrying an injury of some sort but what is its nature and how long is this going to go on?

    4) Walcott. After all the angst of previous high-profile departures here is another one dragging on right up to the wire. Uncertaintly cannot help when it comes to playing (despite spin to the contrary put out by both parties). I think most of us know what you do and don’t get with Theo, and so should the club. Is this going to turn create another big negative right in the middle of the season?

    Sorry for the length of the post. Just had to get it off my chest.

  • avatar Paul

    I love it when fans leave such negative comments on a pro Arsene/Arsenal website. Sack Wenger. Sack the board. Sell the players. Buy a new team. Get noiser supporters. You guys should get yourself of to Le Grove and join the rest of the doom and gloomers there? You’d fit right in.

    @ Terry top idea. Off you pop and start a new Arsenal team. Good luck. Then you can log on to that teams website and bemoan how rubbish they are every week. Not sure though if you’ve thought it through completely? You might need to borrow some money to achieve your dream. You know stadium, players, coaching staff etc. I reckon these days a billion or so should do it.
    Hang on though borrow a little more and you could buy Arsenal? You’ve obviously got all the answers as to what’s wrong with the current Arsenal. Buy the club, sack the board, sack the manager, buy a whole new team. In fact you could be the new Arsenal manager and I’m sure you’d have us top of the league by Christmas?
    Or not.
    You should team up the Rupert? He wants a goalkeeper, a LB, Two Mids and a striker. Let’s quickly add that up. Approx. Buy five top players 150m. Wages over the next five years 130m. There you go. Over a quarter of a billion over five years for five top players and we might still not win anything? There are no guarantees of winning anything in football but I support Arsenal period and hope that we will be a force to reckoned with again.
    You guys should stick to playing Fantasy football? It’ll be cheaper in the long run.
    I’m sure no fans were happy with the result of yesterdays game? The chance of winning it with the last kick of the ball and Arteta fluffed it. On hindsight he should have put it in the other corner? Don’t you just love hindsight?Unfortunately it happens. It’ll probably happen again but what do you do as an Arsenal fan? Give up?
    This is the roller coaster ride that comes with supporting most teams. Arsenal are no exception. Me I am an the eternal optimist and I’ll move on to the next game against the spuds and hope that we can win that one. What else can I do? Suppport another team?
    Gooner for life.

  • avatar Stuart

    I don’t really get your question Dan.

  • avatar dan

    @Stuart

    IS the board evil?

  • avatar Stuart

    Paul,
    Love it!

  • avatar Stuart

    I think the board are corporate, maybe that is evil in its own intertwined way.

  • avatar americangooner

    since we are not achieving a convincing result, it is imperative that something be changed. we cannot expect the same tactics to deliver different results. some soul-searching needs to be done in order to realize what has gone wrong. It has been the worst start to the league after 11 games in more than 30 years. that is serious as anything arsene wenger has ever faced. maybe some degree of flexibility is required of the manager. maybe players need to keep their mouth shut on why they would be a better CF.

  • avatar Kabir

    Not calling for anyone’s head. that’s not the arsenal way.

    What must be done is the players need to look close and hard at their performances. What better way than spurs at home. I always believe but the team have to show up next weekend. If they don’t, I promise I’m going to lose it. I feel ashamed to say it but currently I’m enjoying games where im a neutral fan rather than watching arsenal games. And I love arsenal to bits . Sad sad sad

  • avatar asd

    Paul

    If my boss told me coming to work any time before 12 was early enough why will i try and get to work by 9am?

    Wenger has told the world a billion times that his aim is 4th position. The players who feel they deserve better(RVP,Cesc,Nasri,Song, Hleb)leave while the average over paid dross(Almunia, Squilacci,Djourou) is comfortable at the club, hence they run down their contract.

  • avatar Paul

    @asd
    “Dross@ Nice to here a fan use that word to describe an Arsenal player. You need a big squad to compete at any level. Every single team in the EPL or what other league are going to have squad players. Sometimes you’re going to have to use them. You need them no matter how good the first team is. Are they good enough for Arsenal? That’s for the manager to decide I’m afraid not you.
    You’re they guy who left the comment about Chelsea not being in debt the other day? On this site because?
    About as relevant as your latest comment.
    Are you sure you like/want to support Arsenal. Seems like you’re just another very unhappy fan.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Trying times indeed. The critics love all this, they say we are a club owned by an American in it for the money with no care for the sport (so why doesnt he just sell now and make £350m?), managed by a penny pinching autocrat who is over-ruling his defence coach with the disasterous results we now see. And then the CEO – WTF does he do? Most of it complete nonsense of course but hard to argue with the way things are going.The truth…whatever that is – is usually more bland than the rest of the stuff out there. Maybe we are too influenced by finances, maybe Wenger does have a bit too much power, maybe he does not pay enough attention to defence and keepers, maybe he did take one gamble too many on Song / Diaby, maybe players are disheartened at a perceived lack of willingness to fight to keep key players, I know I a sometimes! Maybe the captaincy weighs on Tommys head, maybe all the negativity is getting to them. Or maybe he has lost too many key players to rich predators, just could not get in the players he wanted this summer, has hit our traditional Nov poor spell, and maybe the players are at the moment struggling to cope with some of Bould’s ideas that will yield dividends over time. Maybe we are competing for trophies with too many too much richer than we are.
    A poor result, but we did show some fight and are at least starting to score. Durig times like this, everyone needs to stand up and be counteed, and I include the management in this, beacuse mistakes have obviously been made. We need to be seen to put up a fight to keep Theo, Wenger needs to spend in Jan, and we need to sort out the defence, IF Wenger really has done something with the coaching to set up to hinder this aspect of our game – which started so brightly early on, he must must change or be held accountable. But we still have a lot of quality out there, 4th place is the minimum, few serious rivals are doing much to pull away from us for that place.. During such spells, all kinds of things are up for debate, nothing wrong with that, but beware of getting caught up in battles with Spud sleepers posing as Gooners – some abusive trolls, some trying to come across as more reasonable – but in this of all weeks, they will be out there!
    I personally do not think it is time to call for Wengers head..or anything like – but like a few others at the club – maybe he needs to up his game a bit….and I am sure he will with the desired results. But overall, this team needs more time to gel, needs key players back, maybe needs a couple rested, needs key players kept if possible, needs a strong Steve Bould and certainly needs strengthening in Jan. And maybe more robust statements of ambition from the board might help…and inspire..
    Some of the fans need to up their game as well – this “I want nothing to do with the club until they start winning things” – well… not even worthy of comment

  • avatar asd

    Paul
    I’m not a hypocrite like cos i pretty sure you’ve never said anything bad about your (Country/PM/MP)
    Did you read the Almunia article where he claimed he should have left a year earlier but he had a contract too good to turn down?
    What has Chamakh and Squilacci contributed to the squad this year?
    Have you seen the wage bill? Wenger and Ivan keep claiming financial prudence yet we can’t sell Bendtner, Denilson,Park because no other club feels they are worth the wages they are on.
    Being a fan doesn’t mean i should be stupid.

  • avatar dan

    @asd

    Couldn’t agree with you more!

  • avatar Paul

    @ asd
    I’m stupid because you say I am?
    Honestly love it.
    I assume you work ( if you’re old enough) if you’re Boss came along and asked you to leave or take a pay cut would you? I’m sure you wouldn’t.
    It’s the unfortunate system that clubs/players work within. it won’t always be like that. One day you won’t “buy” a player the club’s will just trade them. No fee, just pick up their contract and when you can’t trade them you’ll just let them go. That’ll come eventually as will wage caps. watch this space. Until then clubs are tied into paying the player they bought. Not every player is going to work out. it happens at every club.
    Unlike you I never once called you stupid. So please refrain from calling me that.

    @ Mandy
    I always enjoy reading your comments.

  • avatar asd

    Paul
    I never called you stupid. I said be a fan doesn’t mean i should be stupid.

  • avatar Stuart

    ASD
    Wenger has never said that qualifying for champions league is his sole aim, he is on record as saying it is one of the aims but never his sole aim. You shouldn’t mislead people with lies like that, some people may have believed what you said.

  • avatar Yommex

    There is nothing wrong with the team, the problem is with Wenger. Possibly senility is setting in. IMO he’s too soft with the players and this does not bring out the best from them. He started this long ago by always defending obviously indefensible actions by his players but because the results were coming in nobody paid attention. He never saw anything wrong in their approach to the game and this eventually developed into the players having no passion playing for the club. New players come in, see same and settle into the rut – Podolski and Carzola are fast losing their sparkle because they are under no pressure to perform. Their positions in the side are guaranteed.
    One of the things that destroyed Chamakh was the fact that two seasons ago when RvP was injured he was playing so well but once RvP got back he was permanently consigned to the bench. Wenger loves to make a star out of one the players and they have always bitten his finger yet he has refused to learn. Adebayo did it, Fabregas, Nasri, RvP all followed suit and the approach remains the same. Very soon a sort of messiah would emerge this season – I see that in Giroud or Wilshire but once they are established, they leave.
    No player should be made to think he got a permanent shirt and when they don’t play well, he should be bold enough to let them know. Watching his interview yesterday made me sick. He was making excuses for the players and still found words of commendation for them when they ought to have been tongue-lashed for such a dismal performance. When has Schalke and Fulham become such a footballing force as to easily come back from being two goals down to Arsenal? Yet, he still sees it as the players showing mental stregth to get a point from those matches!
    I think his time is almost up. Guardiola may fancy the idea of turning Arsenal to the Barcelona of EPL. The board should approach him.

  • avatar nachiketa

    For years i have been reading the views on this site and for the first time i have seen the unflinching support of even the most ardent fans waver.(only the cynics remain).. the real Question today is why are arsenal being outplayed on the pitch? i think its just down to too much game time for arteta and cazorla and podolski and some of the others… honestly i wouldnt be worried if arsenal go into the game against villa for instance with arshavin instead of cazorla and so on.. give those outside the team a chance… top teams do it each day… players go in and out depending on their form… give them an ultimatum and if they dunn perform sub them at half time.. arsenal never go for tactical changes.we play a rigid formation and are sorted out before we step on the field.. ARE OUT TACTICS SO PERFECT… ??????????

  • avatar nachiketa

    mertesacker can maybe make way for JD and poldi can be replaced by gnabry.. eisfeld can get a start.. just take one chance each game instead of starting all of them together…

  • avatar asd

    Stuart
    What lies?
    Wenger is on record for saying he will be happy with 2nd for the next 20 years.
    The club celebrate 4th like they’ve won the champions league.

    Before the season started Wenger and SAF where asked their opinions of the coming season, SAF said “We want to win the title back” while Wenger said “We want to try our best in the competitions we enter”.

    Spot the difference in both statements.

  • avatar nicky

    Paul, I’m with you mate, all the way.
    After Tony’s unusually depressing post and a lot of doom and gloom comments, I think one or two points need to be addressed.
    Firstly, I get increasingly tired by the claim that the Club “is owned by the rich to make the rich richer”. The shareholders receive no dividend and the only way for them to make any money from the fortunes of our Club, is to sell their shares.
    Then there are complaints over why certain players on high wages, whose usefulness at Arsenal has virtually ended, haven’t been sold. The simple answer is that they are still under contract and in some cases have refused to transfer for a lower wage.
    Having said all that, we are left with the doom and gloom merchants who, just like this time last season, are demanding Arsene’s head on a charger alongside that of the
    Chairman. Steve Bould is coming under fire and poor Ramsey has become the natural successor to Denilson for sustained abuse and criticism.
    For many years, certainly over the past decade or so, Arsenal supporters have been consistently described as being “fickle”, not a title of which to be proud. Those of us who have supported our great Club in triumph and disaster since the heady days before WW2, look on in astonishment at the despair expressed by many of the younger fans of today, coupled with their lack of patience and faith.
    You see, we have seen it all before. The dodgy results, the lacklustre performance, the silly mistakes and our frustration. It’s all in the genes of Arsenal FC, and it will never change. We will win against all the odds and also clutch certain defeat out of the jaws of victory.
    The fainthearted cannot be included among the ranks of the true Arsenal supporter……the status is too life-threatening for them.
    There has always been only one acceptable course of action for the loyal fan……to maintain a calm backing for whoever is in charge of the team and whoever is on the field of play, accepting success and failure in equal measure. That is all we can offer.

  • avatar Stuart

    ASD,
    So point out to me where it says our aim is 4th.

  • avatar asd

    Stuart
    Wenger has said it so many times. You can bury your head in the sand if you want to but the facts remains the facts.
    Back in 2007/2009 we blamed youth for poor performances, now we have players in their late 20’s and we are still having this same nonchalant attitude. They players are not the same, the assistant coach is not the same but the Manager/board are still the same.

  • avatar Matt Clarke

    Well said Nicky.

  • Tony strange defeatist post from you, rememeber this AFC fans
    are not all divided up into 2 camps AKB + AAA some like me have huge respect and admiration for AW for all he”s done and can”t imagine the club without him, but that does”nt mean
    i agree with whats going on i don”t, this club has been on the slide now for a few years and it”s steadily getting worse.

  • avatar Stuart

    ASD
    Wenger has never declared at the start of the season that our aim is 4th place, this has only happened later in the season when 1st was not achievable. I’m not burying my head in the sand, the fact remains that you are making up “facts” to suit your argument. Just because qualifying for the champions league is said as something we have to do, doesn’t make it the target. If 4th was the target then we failed last year didn’t we?

    Like any organisation, we would have a best, a desired and an essential target. Maybe something like:-
    Best = Do the quadruple
    Desired = Win league and a cup
    Essential = Qualify for champions league again

  • avatar bjtgooner

    @Nicky

    Good post, it is nice to see the sensible perspective coming through – despite the antics of the doom and gloom merchants.

    I do believe we are a better team than the present results show, but we seem short of confidence.

    To try to understand why this is the case is difficult, but I can only assume the departures over the last two summers have not helped, followed by summer tours which disrupt the pre-season preparations. The constant disruption to the league program thanks to too many internationals, on top of a disrupted pre-season, again do not help the gelling process.

    We have other distractions, the Walcott contract situation cannot be helping the team, further, the constant attacks on the team and manager by elements of the press and also from alleged sections of the fan base all undermine the club and player confidence.

    We cannot fix all of this, most we will be sorted by AW, but as Nicky has outlined – it is important that the fans let the team and manager know that they have our backing, go out there and do your best, whatever that is, and we will back you through thick and thin. As for the AAA – time they went to WHL.

  • avatar iniez

    Well put nicky. Emotion is strong, and it’s a fantastic thing. But we can’t lose sight of logic because of it. This entitlement complex really bugs me and the way in which people use their loyalty to this club as an excuse to express such hate. But then again who am I to question peoples loyalty. I’ve only supported this club since 2006. I’ve never seen us lift a trophy as an arsenal through and through. Never tasted that success everyone’s banging on about. I’ve always loved football, but never got around to choosing a club to support til late on. I don’t even know how I chose arsenal. Frankly I think arsenal chose me. I love arsenal and I don’t know why. Does that make me less of a supporter..maybe. I crave success for this club as much as any of you. I would love to see us lift a title. I’ve missed some of our greatest moments in history and that does eat away at me. Fuck I’ve missed out on some proper titi time, and that really kills me. I don’t know how supporting arsenal alluded me for so long but I got there eventually. We’ve had some great times and I know they’ll come again. Arsenals history doesn’t span the last 10 years. We’re 126 years old and going strong. And that’s thanks to some fantastic individuals who’ve run this club, and arsene is one of them. It’s thanks to arsene that I’m sure we’ll continue to enjoy success, hopefully under him. There aren’t many who can do what he’s done, or are even willing to do what he’s done. Some claim he’s in it for money but I think that’s horseshit. Arsene could have left long ago, for more money, more resources, and even more prestige. But he loves this club and wants to see it do well. Arsene wants to see this club survive. He didn’t just want his 5 minutes of fame and walk off to another job. He wants to build a dynasty so that fans like me who haven’t supported this club for long can enjoy the success that most of you have tasted in the years to come. And I so respect this man for it. He walked off from cushy Highbury because he knew there was no real future in staying there, and that took balls, and sacrifice. Some of you may say I’m just used to mediocrity because I haven’t yet tasted success. Maybe you’re right. But what I do know is no one can judge a man until they’ve walked a mile in his shoes. You don’t tell an engineer how to build a skyscraper. Granted arsene does make mistakes, and I do disagree strongly with some of the things he does. But the positives greatly outweigh the negatives and it’s a great shame that some don’t take notice of that. I know that arsene isn’t the be all end all of arsenal. Arsenal existed before him and they’ll continue to exist after him. And its thanks to him that we will. Our form has gone down a bit but it’ll come back, I know this. The foundations in arsenal are strong enough to keep us around for a long time, and we didn’t need any sugar daddies or referees to help us. We did it all on our own. And maybe that’s why I love arsenal so much. Because not only do we do things the right way, but we do it with style. This post is running too long now and I need to run. I’ve managed to forget my point but all wish to impart is that nothing should be taken for granted. Be thankful for what you have and cherish it because there are those who have it worse. Entitlement is meaningless, it’s all about perspective

  • avatar alex

    In football anything can happen is the only my consolation.As Tony put it there is no need to analyse this game at this moment in time.Nor there is anything positive about the squad in general.

    Wenger has to go is everywhere.People throw names as a possible successor.The unknown messiah will need money to buy players.So who is gong to give him money ? Stan ?
    Stan is here to make money for himself and he did not fall from the American sky to appease Arsenal fans.
    In football the luckiest club are CHELSEA and lets get over it.Modern football is about money and we are unlucky that the american is the choice to be the owner of this magnificent club.
    IMHO i believe this squad needs at least four players of high calibre to be where it should be.I guess many people knows that and the answer should come from the American and not Wenger.

    Leave alone Wenger please.

    In fact he should have left long time ago by himself because his peers had and continue to have substantial amount of money at their disposal to compete in every front.Arsene knew it but decided to stay and help.He should be praised for that.

    With all this booing and the stuff throwing at him slowly but surely the time is coming that is going to slam the door and say good bye.

    Arsene can walk in any club and will be welcomed with open hands.

    And who is going to come to us that will keep us on the champion league with limited budget ?

    Mourinho?
    Guardiola ?
    Moyes ?

    Easy to name it. Uhhh?

  • avatar PMA

    dear Tony

    An excellent comment capturing most of the frustrations we – the fans – have to absorbe these days. As a long term Arsenal supporter, I have been proud to see all the excellent work done by the all time great manager Arsene Wenger. I also believe in the financial stability strategy that the club is pursuing. However, the balance beteween sporting ambition and financial flexibility has now tipped dramatically to the wrong side and something must be done with this. A change in strategy starts with the board accepting that tings are not working out and that the club must Invest dramatically in the squad come January. Not only do we need 2 or 3 quality players – we need players with a strong winning mentality. As with Mr Wenger, I would hope that he still have a couple of winning sides left in him if he really got the budget. One thing is certain however, “hope is not strategy” and the club (board) need to wake up.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Can only agree with you alex, I do not believe the board and owner have been especially helpful in all of this. Both rvp and nasri seemed oly to willing to have a go at those running the club, as opposed to wenger. Of course we do not know the full facts. Has stan ordered for the wage percentage to be slashed? Maybe it suits the parsimony of both board and manager to hide behind ffp, maybe they really do have a plan and they are sticking to it, or has stan created an environment whereby they do not feel comfortable spending too much, no matter how much is allegedly available? It could be that wenger is over cautious of course. But this jan is going to reveal quite a lot about our board and manager. It is clear the squad cannot cope with injuries, international, the epl and the Cl…or certainly not yet and as the squad is. Sir Clive Woodward decided to take on the now famous policy of improving lots of things by a single percent, if you find a hundred things to improve, you have a major change on your hands. As a result, his England team won the rugby World Cup. I gather our cyclists have a similar philosophy, the results are there for all to see. Arsenal could certainly find areas whereby they could make major improvements. If the board, managers, players or whoever are stopping such progress…and someone appears to be…possibly for the best of reasons, they need to stop it before momentum takes over out of their control. As tony says, this season is not working, all issues need looking at, if say a manager does not want to coach defending, or an owner is withholding cash to strengthen the team, they need to take a very close look at themselves. On a brighter note, returnees, better results, a domestic cup, a couple signings, actually for once keeping a key player, a more commanding experienced keeper….and things start to look a hell of a lot better. Finances are important, but so are results, I hope those running the club all truly understand that.

  • avatar Jonathan

    On a personnel level I think it’s clear that midfield reinforcements are needed. Cazorla and Arteta already look jaded and Wilshere cannot be expected to play all season. Diaby and Rosicky are both high risk and cannot be relied on while I think the rest of the midfield options are either not ready or simply lacking in flair and creativity. A creative midfield purchase is essential in Jan in my opinion

  • avatar Paul

    When things aren’t going well. it’s easy to blame the manager. After all isn’t he to blame for arteta missing/schwarzer saving the panatly? If Arteta had scored and we’d got the three points then todays topic/comments would have had a completely different tone.
    If Dein hadn’t appointed Arsene sixteen years ago then just think who might have been chosen instead? Would we have had the stability? New Stadium? CL football every year? The Academy? The doubles? The invincibles?
    Would we have been like the Spuds? How many managers in the last sixteen years? How many expensive players? For what? Are they really in a better situation than us.
    Who ever replaces Arsene I’m sure will have his own ideas but for now I’m still going to keep faith with the best manager we’ve had in the modern era of Arsenal.
    For those who want Arsene gone? Be careful what you wish for.

  • avatar asd

    bjtgooner

    To try to understand why this is the case is difficult, but I can only assume the departures over the last two summers have not helped, followed by summer tours which disrupt the pre-season preparations. The constant disruption to the league program thanks to too many internationals, on top of a disrupted pre-season, again do not help the gelling process.

    1)The top 3 teams have been going on pre season tours long before we started but it never affected them so why should it affect us?
    2)Internationals affects all teams in the EPL so why is it only us that blames it when our team perform poorly?
    3)Like i said earlier 2007/2009 team is different from this present team(Experience/ type of players) but the results are the same. So may be the problem is with management not the players.
    4)When i say management i include Wenger because he is part of them. I don’t think Kronke would take a decision that would relate to the players and Wenger won’t be involved.

  • avatar asd

    Alex
    In fact he should have left long time ago by himself because his peers had and continue to have substantial amount of money at their disposal to compete in every front.Arsene knew it but decided to stay and help.He should be praised for that.

    Or
    He decided to stay because he could do what he liked without question and there was no problem?

    You are quick to give Wenger the praise for all the trophies he won but don’t he is not responsible for the recent failures?

    Paul
    As for be careful for what you wish for,
    In 1996, headlines went Arsene who?

  • avatar Mahdain

    Talk about being opportunistic guess what? The AST are having a meeting tomorrow and im sure for nothing else but to spread lies and misinformation hence fanning the fire. Why is it that their meetings are always held when we are in a rough patch? What agendas do they have? How do people even take that group seriously when they have a failed politician who has his own agendas as a spokesman?

  • avatar bjtgooner

    @Mahdain

    I have a feeling Doublegooner is in the thick of this, he has been trying to drum up support for a protest next week.

  • avatar The font

    I support arsenal I like to watch them win but I support arsenal a few years ago we was the size of west ham and only a fraction of the size of Leeds now we are rated the 8th best club in Europe as I say I support arsenal I have enjoyed the ups. And let me tell you without the downs there can not be any ups as I said I support arsenal and enjoy talking to other arsenal fans who will always be arsenal fans the players and managers will come and go but I will always support arsenal

  • avatar rupert cook

    @Paul, Five world class players for 150 million. Surely if you think Wenger’s so good at finding gems he could cut that total down to half that.

    Wenger’s tactics or lack of them have been brutally exposed by numerous managers in the last few seasons. Will things get any better? It’s doubtful.

    Arsenal need to sort out their wage structure. For a financially prudent club they waste a lot of money. They’re quite willing to throw money at a CEO, perhaps they should start doing that at players of super quality, which apparently we only buy.

  • avatar Thundertinygooner

    I have often been critical of this blog not because I am an AAA – I am anything but, I am simply surprised by the degree of naivetyand often rather crazy bias I find here.
    But I loved the emotion and honesty you showed here at the start of your blog.
    I love this club but I am very uncertain about the direction it is heading in and Im so sad that the Wenger legacy is getting tarnished so badly.Very few managers could do better with this Board and this owner and they are the real problem but Wenger is losing his grip and ultimately we will lose out on a Champions League place ( not necessarily this season) because of lack of investment in playing quality.. But there are some who could and that wasn’t always the case. We defend very poorly and now don’t even pass quickly going forward and nobody is optimistic that even if we wanted to spend money the sort of players who could change things would want to come.
    The answer.? We need an owner with ambition and a Board with dynamism.Sadly we also need a Manager at the height of his powers. We have none of these at present

  • avatar Paul

    @asd
    Maybe Arsene who but he has went on to make Arsenal a force to be reckoned with and he’s still our most successful managers.
    If you’re only looking at the last few years as to how good a manager he is then yes this hasn’t been his greatest period. No reason though to suggest that this season will be a disaster although again reading some of the comments you’d think we already had nothing to play for?
    Thankfully in the league there’s still almost 3/4 of a season left.

  • avatar Adam

    It cracks me up that people think going out shopping for professional footballers is an easy task. Just grab a trolley and off you go.

  • avatar rupert cook

    @ Adam, no it isn’t but you expect a club of Arsenal’s size to be able to do it reasonably well.

    I mean Wenger had no idea Berbatov was up for sale.

  • avatar asd

    Paul
    Our best position in the league, is 4th. We can win the CL but Wenger would have to be pragmatic which he is not so i also rule that out.
    Our best bet, is the CC and F.A but i believe Wenger will not win any trophy at Arsenal again

  • avatar alex

    Robin Van Persie is known to speak his mind.
    Remember the dressing room bust up with Dyabi(Red carded v Barton)you can see Robin genuinely want to win and is no afraid to speak his mind against his own team mate.Players that they play for the fan and the club do this things.Which in my opinion is welcomed.

    Wenger describe Van persie as a dedicated football man.
    I know as you know Robin stated that money was not the obstacle to extend his contract.He genuinely want to win trophy.
    The board say has left football reason.
    Time will come and we will here that Robin had a LIST OF PLAYER NAMES that the club need to buy.And probably might had some deals with the players he want to join him.I am not making it as Van De Vart before joining the spuds Robin has alerted the club but they did not take action and stated that clearly in an interview after a game.
    let me clear here as i do not mean I support that any player in the squad should be taken in account his opinion in such situation.No absolutely not.The club decides who should come and go.

    Robin Van Persie is arsenal made player that swamped every recognition that a footballer could achieve.He was not part of the furniture specially his last season.He is an exception.

    It boils down to money at the end of the day and we know that American has no ears for that and they will Robin has left for footballing reason.

    Coming back to the current squad I don’t see individuals that give100/% bar Willshere .To not be too pessimistic glimpse of that I do see in Arteta. Surely it is some left over from Everton but not made in Arsenal.That is for sure.Excuse the new players as still it is their first season.They look strangely unmotivated kind of guys they met in the car park first time and playing just for fun.

    Come onnnnnnnnn this Arsenal !!!!!

  • avatar rupert cook

    @ Paul, this is our worst start in thirty years. I hope Giroud is the new RVP because we’re going to need a lot of goals to counteract the leaky defence.

  • avatar Paul

    @Rupert
    What makes me laugh about your comments. Is yesterday you want Arsene to buy 5 world class players. Now you’re saying Arsene should find bargains. Now you’re saying we should sort out the wage structure?
    Do you know what you want?
    You can’t buy or attract world class players on low wages. You can’t buy half a team of unproved players and expect them to instanly gel / win.
    It’s almost as if you like commenting for the sake of it?
    You sound like you have all the answers? Why not send in your C.V. to AFC. Maybe they’ll let you run the footballing side of the club and you can make eveything better. You’ll be a Hero.

  • avatar asd

    Adam
    Funny how it’s easy for us to sell our top players. Oh and we never have a problem signing teenage players.

  • avatar Mahdain

    @bjtgooner oh im sure he is a member. Tbh i really just don’t get the AST. They call themselves the Arsenal SUPPORTERS trust but do everything but that. The timings of their meetings say it all really. They have their own agendas to fulfill. Call me cynical but i have this strong feeling refusing to go away that they are in cahoots with the Uzbek. Well atleast their spokesman is

  • avatar Paul

    @ Rupert
    You think we should have signed Berbatov?
    Wow! That would solve all the problems?
    Now correct me if I’m wrong but that’s the same player who said he wouldn’t play again for the Spuds unless he got his way and they transferred him to OT.
    Ring any bells?
    OH! Just like the latest striker to demand let him go where he really wants to go.
    Good luck let them all go.
    I’ve always been of the same thought. If a player doesn’t want to stay and play for the team then we’re better off without them in the long run. RVP included.

  • avatar bjtgooner

    @Paul

    Good comment to rupert (depressive sewer rat with acne but not a lisp). He does have a compulsive pontification disorder – potentially the worst AAA troll we have had for some time.

  • avatar Florian

    rupert, I’m sure you knew Berbatov was up for sale way before Wenger did:)

    Yea, I’m with Adam here, it’s cracking me up.

    It would be interesting to get you guys that moan over the state of affairs, and give us a definition of world class players, a price estimate, a wage estimate, add up all these figures and see what you end up with. I’m sure you’ll do way better than mancity. After all, you’re the ones that could take Arsene’s place any moment and bring the club to instant glory.

  • avatar bjtgooner

    @Mahdain

    Agreed. I am not sure if the fat Russian is using them or if they are trying to use him. The AST seem to be blinded by his promise of money – they can’t see beyond that to look at how he got his money and just how clean (or otherwise) the money is. Nor can they see his real purpose in wanting to take over the club.

  • avatar rupert cook

    I didn’t say we should sign Berbatov, I said AW didn’t know he was for sale. Read before you comment.

    Cut the wage bill, offload the dross and then pay good players decent money. It’s what other clubs do.

    Five world class players is what we need. At least. And but for previous penny pinching we wouldn’t be in this situation.

  • avatar rupert cook

    @ Florian listen sunshine before you make inane comments you should know some facts. Wenger admitted that he had no idea Berbatov was for sale when interviewed on tv yesterday.

  • avatar Adam

    ASD, that’s the market Arsenal have been dragging their trolley around for the last decade and there are reasons for it.
    Plus selling a player is not as easy as some would think.

    Rupert, Hello fella, Even a club as big as Arsenal cannot get their targets all the time. I would like us to be more competitive but im also aware of the obstacles that hinder us in the transfer market.

  • avatar rupert cook

    And yes Arsenal will have to spend that 150 million sitting in the bank if they want to move forward.

    Now I’m off to read a good book and leave you lovely little people to your pleasant fairy tale world.

  • avatar alex

    @asd
    He decided to stay because he could do what he liked without question and there was no problem?

    You are quick to give Wenger the praise for all the trophies he won but don’t he is not responsible for the recent failures?

    To consider failure for not winning trophy is an easy answer in my eyes.
    Don`t you consider he is fighting against club with unlimited resources ?
    Modern football is all about money.Recently Man city prove that earlier Chelsea and Man united,

    Please do not think that i idolise anyone but i still credit Mr. Wenger for keeping us around the pack.I do believe as well he put trust for some mediocre players for a long time.But when you have limited funds gambles.Clearly in the case of Jenkinson has paid its dividend but in my eyes as many already said Ramsey with his performance and Dyabi on his injury we lost it.

  • avatar rupert cook

    @ Adam, fair enough but I wonder how many lesser teams in the league find better players than we do. Maybe AW’s judgement is a little faulty.

  • avatar Adam

    Oh Rupert, dude, you just hit the nail on the head. Its not just the league clubs that Arsenal struggle against in the transfer market. Its the smaller European sides as well. Again there are reasons for this. they have financial options open to them that we are not allowed.

  • avatar bjtgooner

    @Adam

    I suspect that if AW was not in the market for Berbatov it was not because he didn’t know about him being on the market; more likely he had other players on his radar. While Berbatov can be a good player, I believe he does carry some baggage & AW would not want to discuss that in a post match interview.

  • avatar Florian

    rupert,

    Ok, fair enough, if Arsene said that I have no complaints. One point crossed off the list. You have yet to give a compelling answer to the rest. 150 millions siting in the bank is in this world enough for maybe 2-3 world class players and their wage bill for the whole duration of their contracts. And bear in mind that we don’t have the endless oil-funded money pits at our disposition, so even 150 million might not be enough. Hope you get the gist.

  • avatar asd

    Alex
    For what Wenger has done,i thank him but i think his Ego got in the way.
    The last trophy Wenger won,he played defensive but ever since then, he’s rarely done what’s needed to do but what he’s wanted to do.

  • avatar RobL

    @ Rupert Cook, Cut the wage bill? great idea if only Arsene’s transfer button wasn’t stuck on his playstation.
    Oh bugger, this is real life….

  • avatar Adam

    bjtgooner, Hello sir, hope you had a good weekend (apart from the draw), The mad thing is with Arsene, you think you got him sussed and he moves in another direction.
    I was getting used to him targeting youngsters, now he seems to be going after players with no future sell on potential.
    I personally believe we need more players at the club in their 30s, you know the type that will end their career at the club. Just opinion though

  • avatar Pat

    Sorry you’re so sad Tony.
    I was surprised you felt so bad and, for you, were pretty negative.
    Maybe the mood in the stadium affected you.
    From what I read on another site it was super critical.
    But as we have said on this site before, who does that help? I’m sad it’s like that again.
    It was a three three draw, not even a defeat. We might hsve even snatched a victory.
    I think Giroud scoring twice is a big plus as well.
    I was pleased Podolski scored too, because some people were talking about him as if he had suddenly become useless.
    We’ve said before, we have three new players, all new to the premier league, who are doing pretty well in the circumstances. Arsene Wenger reminded people with his remarks about Pires just how different the premiership is.
    He also has a new assistant in Steve Bould and I expect they too will be getting used to this new relationship. Pat Rice was there for a very long time. Working relationships sometimes take a while to settle.
    Anyway, these might be factors this season.
    I can’t see the percentage in so many people being so negative.

  • avatar bjtgooner

    @Adam

    Yes, agreed, the correct mixture of experienced and young players is what most managers really want.

    With AW he tends to look carefully not just at the playing ability but also at the character and attitude – and I suspect this intense selection process has eliminated some apparently obvious candidates. If you remember last summer Yann M’Vila was almost forced on us by agent/press pressure & AW didn’t jump – now we can see why.

    But you are right, perhaps the best mix for a squad would include some 30+ players, some in their prime and some young developing players.

  • avatar Adam

    I can understand why Arsenal let all its experienced players go after the invincible era but I also believe we are paying a price for it now.
    A must for the future for me is TH14 ambassador he would love it. Shame Bergkamp is fimly routed to Holland.
    Its these characters that lift a club when it has a barren spell or a dip in fortunes.

  • avatar johan

    We are not even 4th in the race for 4th anymore.

    Arsenal need to realise that football players are like anyone else in the workforce. They don’t like it when those not performing or not done the hard yards get pay increases or the company they work for employs useless people who are paid huge salaries. They resent it and their performance drops or they go to a new employer.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Bjt completely agree with you. Mvila looks like trouble, although his latest France ban is perhaps a bit harsh in context to what he did. But character is important, you could pay over twenty million and get the poison that is balotelli, or ade, or tevez, or Rooney who needed buying off to the tune of nearly 300 grand a week. Players have too much power now, managing is so different to ten, fifteen or thirty years ago. And do not forget some wenger critics would have you believe that st fergie would never bow to a player in such a way….well, with rooney, he did.
    I think wenger has made mistakes in the transfer market, but can also see why he made them.
    On that subject, on the evidence so far, looks like we dodged a bullet with sahin……but then there is mata……

  • avatar Doanythingformoney

    Panic not everybody. When AW realises that Caz is not a CM and that Art cannot anchor the midfield and changes things- everything will be OK. At the moment, all decent teams see these deficiencies and play straight through us. Ramsey, Jacko and the Qx are set to be the best midfield 3 in Europe- even better than Chelsea’s but all midfield 3s need a good 3 ahead of them. I dream of Cazorla, Cavanni and Walcott up there rotating and dragging defenders about just like the old days. Dafter things have happened- especially under FFP.

  • avatar bjtgooner

    @Mandy

    Its hard to get every transfer right & sometimes a player will be bought to start in the first team & sometimes as a squad player, but AW does get it right most times. So far we have not gelled properly this season, but that will come. For now – time for some shut eye!

  • avatar weedonald

    Most of you lot make me laugh. Most of these whiny,bitchy comments are totally BS, such as:

    1) Those who say they’ve supported AFC for 20 years etc. should know that a few bad games don’t make a complete season and we’ve had worse starts than this (last season anyone).

    2)Those saying AW is no longer able to do this or that should remember that he’s been in worse situations, has dragged us out of trouble and recently took us from 17th to 3rd.

    3) Those bitching about Kroenke have no idea of what he’s about but they believe the media and AAA crap like kindergarteners.

    4)Those making egregious claims and unproven statements about the current or former Board members are simply lip-syncing other more intelligent and powerful interests with their own agenda.

    5)All too often those currently moaning about Giroud,Podolski or any Gunner for that matter were praising their value and their skills to high heaven when we were winning more than losing. You know your hypocrisy but fail to manage it.

    6)How is it that Chealsea, who tied a game they ¨should¨have won today are not vilified like Arsenal are when the same thing happens to them. Basically it is due to our fickle fanboys overinflated and totally unjustified sense of entitlement…we are a ¨big¨club and a big club doesn’t drop points….what BS!!!

    7)What makes you fanboys suffering from delusions of grandeur think they can have the slightest influence on the running of AFC, the Board and Wenger’s management or anything else crucial to AFC’s stability and success?

    Frankly if most of you were given the opportunity and honour to manage or run AFC, you wouldn’t have a clue, you’d cock it up so thoroughly that even Wenger couldn’t put the pieces back together. Arsenal isn’t broken, it is simply having a bad patch, the team is short on self-confidence and cohesiveness but it will improve, as it always has under Wenger. No ¨miracle¨ signings in January will remedy anything, since there isn’t anything mortally wrong with our Club, with the exception of the pessimism and negativism all too many fickle fanboys have bought into, thanks to the media,Usmanov’s backroom machinations and our usual ratpack of AAA, anti-Arsene gloomers. your laments are a self-fufilling prophecy, ohhhhhhhhhhh AFC are doomed, ohhhhhhhhh we tied and are shite, ohhhhhhh everything Wenger will do,has done and is doing is useless, ad nauseam. If these clowns say it is so, it must be true….or at least they believe this. I am NOT an AKB or rose-coloured glasses supporter…..I am able to see the shortcomings of our Club BUT I can see both sides, unlike the complainers who simply excrete their usual offal on the net.

  • avatar Mark

    Expectations about Arsenal are way to high. Yet clearly the lads are not preforming as well as they could. They are inconsistent. They seem to lose their concentration at points. But it is not one thing that needs changing is 1000 things. Each player, each coach, the manager and the board all need to step up to the challenge and do better. Football is a game of decisions and against fullham, the team was some good decisions that resulted in three goals but to frequently made some very poor decisions which resulted in goals for fullham. For example the pass to Arteta in the penalty area was a poor choice in that situation. It was a mistake in the choices. All at Arsenal need to increase their focus and intensity but especially the players as they are the ones on the field making the decisions. Managers and coaches can only prepare, train and make the selections. The players have to preform and right now they are not!

  • avatar ARSENAL 13

    I dont see a gloom here….all I see is an opportunity for change. NOT the change in personnel. BUT formation.

    for a change…. why not play Cazorla wide, Arteta as AM and Ramsey and Wilshere pivots.

  • avatar rupert cook

    @ Weedonald, actually this is a worst start than last season. And one should remember that RVP saved last season. If Giroud can keep scoring then he may well save this season.

    Do you have any idea what Kroenke’s about?

    Chelsea aren’t vilified mate because they won the CL and are very much in contention for the league title. We are plainly not.

    @ Adam, I agree some older players who have actually won a few domestic trophies or the CL could be the sort of spur for the younger players and the team as a whole. Nobody in this team knows what it’s like to win anything.

    Sure getting players isn’t like dashing around a supermarket grabbing what you see but it wasn’t hard for Arsenal to recruit a large influx of players after that 8-2 thrashing last season. When they want to this club can get moving.

    @Florian, did I say we needed to sign 50 million pound players? I think it’s essential we sign a world class gk, a dm/lb and a striker. We can probably get away with three great signings to claim fourth spot and then strengthen further in the summer when maybe we can get some of these wasters off our wage bill.

    The hypocrisy of fans is always most illuminating. For instance I suggested Jelavic would have been a good signing for 3 million. Some on here went crazy. Yet if we had signed him I bet you’d all be singing his praises now. Just because he plays for Everton doesn’t mean he’s not good enough for us. Who was Jenkinson playing for a year back? So far Jelavic has looked more effective than Podolski and how much did he cost?

    And Fellaini is the sort of midfield monster we need. Now he’d probably cost us 30 million. Missed out there.

    I’m not saying Moyes is a great manager but he does find the odd decent bargain.

    I think AW has been trying to emulate Barca, lots of possession football, endless passing, wearing the opposition down etc. but to do that you have to be able to keep the ball. We give it away far too easily and one of the worst culprits is Ramsey. The kid is just not good enough, not yet anyway.

    And the other thing Barca do is harass and harry the opposition when they don’t have the ball. At times we look indifferent when we haven’t got the ball. Don’t give your opponents time and they will make mistakes.

  • avatar Terry norman

    Why don’t those who support Wenger and his band of ‘merry crooks’ explain to me how they ever expect the Arsenal to become a winning team again? If the board and manager are happy not to be winners, why should anyone expect anything different from our players? Losing breeds losing, winning breeds winning, success breeds success, tell me which category the Arsenal are in these days? And if your waiting for FFP rules to come in and save us, get real! There is no chance in hell of that happening and we’re so far behind everyone else, even if it did come in, we’ll never catch up. Did you know UEFA had to drop the ‘transfer’, this year which was part of their FFP rules, on of legal advice, the whole thing is falling apart before it’s even out there. FFP was just a convenient way of the board to stop investing in players and accumulate wealth for themselves, Wenger included! Read, not listen to, Wenger’s post match interviews, they read like a its a buffoon talking. And while you pro Wenger lot sit there watch us move from champions, to qualifiers to cl, to europa league to etc and do nothing, a good few of us will got of our backsides and let the board know we’re not happy with the direction the club is heading.

  • avatar Stuart

    Paul,

    ref your comment @ 10:25 pm

    I believe we would have been more like Liverpool.

  • Terry there are over 500 articles on this site explaining why we support the current model. You only have to read them

  • avatar Walter

    Fellaini was around 20M when Everton bought him. Could you imagine Wenger spending that money on a 20 year old? You get mad at Wenger at the time for buying another unproven kid for that kind of money.
    Besides if Fellaine would play for Arsenal he would play one game, get a 3 game ban, play another game get a 3 game ban, play another game get a 5 game ban, play another game… season over.

  • avatar rupert cook

    @Walter, now you can predict the future. You’ve no idea what Fellaini would do. 20 million, well that was money well spent. If we’d have bought him we could have sold him to Chelsea by now for a nice hefty profit.

    I can’t imagine Wenger spending 20 million on anyone!

  • avatar Brickfields Gunners

    It’s a trying time but we have seen worse .Not too pleased with the current situation but I do not have the answers .
    Hope the players buck up and really get going soon.
    Up the Gunners !

  • avatar Shard

    Worse start, and yet we were never 17th in the table this year. We might be doing worse than WE did last year, but we’re doing better in relation to other teams than last year. That’s all a league is about.

    Besides, we have had a tough opening schedule. Away trips to Stoke, Liverpool, ManCity, and ManU are over and done with. The team is still gelling and learning to play together, and should improve over time. We should buy some players in January, as the likes of Mirallas, Cesar, and Sahin were (seemingly) targeted in the summer.

    Nobody really knows how much money is ‘sitting’ in the bank. Some of it stays to cover the requirements of loan agreements, some of it is needed to finance the operating costs over a season, some of it is probably an emergency fund in case we need signings or don’t make the CL. I’ve heard cash on hand being anywhere from 70 to 150m. How such a wide range of estimate?

  • avatar Walter

    No, rupert but I can predict the refs. No Arsenal player would get away with what Felaini has gotten away with. And mind you even he got a lot of red cards already.

    And as we were at Schalke we talked about having Felaini at Arsenal as he is from Belgium so some of our supporters club are also interested in Belgian players. And as someone pointed out: where do you play Fellaini if he would be at Arsenal?

    In midfield? He is not a real defensive midfielder so forget that position. So he would leave gaps as he likes to go forward very much. And he is not a fast one who is back quickly in defence to help out when needed.
    His most effective position seems to be as a kind of target man up front. Doesn’t work well in our formation.
    Change in formation could be an answer. But then you have to see if we have a player who can play next to him. Walcott maybe could be such a player. But apparently he is rubbish to some. ;-) (Not for me!)

    The problem with buying players is that it is not because a player is great at a certain team in a certain system in a certain position that he will be as good in a new team in a different system even in almost the same position. That is the main reason why transfers don’t work out sometimes. the player didn’t turn in to a rubbish player but he cant cope with the new system in his club or with his team mates.

  • avatar Jahan

    Just like the club took some five or six years, after the construction of Emirates, for stabilization (like young players, selling best players , etc.), this is the time for fans to get stablize.

    I don’t worry about fans raising their voices. But in the end,
    the bravest, the strongest, the strong willed and patient fans remain supporting the club and the not-so-brave, not-so-strong fans move to other clubs.

    I believe, these kind of recent, not-so-good performance is needed to drive away the not so faithful fans.

    I believe, the club is under good hands. You want a reason for it: why else the media always has something to write bashing our ownership, when it’s well-known that we’re one of the most well-run clubs.

    I love Arsenal because of the uncertaining of the result. It’s what makes it pleassurable.
    I know many Manu fans who doesn’t see most their matches. When I ask them why don’t they watch it, their simple reply is “I know we’ll win”.
    Really?!!, if you want to follow something knowing it will happen, is there any joy in it ? I doubt it.

    Arsenal gives so much of mixed emotions that you wont get it in most places in the world.
    That’s why we’re living, right; to perceive different kind of emotions; to be happy; to be sad; laugh; cry; swear; love; boast; rubbish it.

    Just think for a moment, why you, me, anyone else in this site are to writing/commenting about Arsenal.
    It for the love of Arsenal.

    Nothing more, nothing less

  • avatar Walter

    Shard,
    if someone someday comes out saying we have 200M on the bank they will swallow it and tell it as gospel the next day.

    As you say part of the loan agreement was that a certain amount of money would be “sitting on the bank”. That is money you cannot use to buy players. Yet some want to spend it all. And if possible today.

  • avatar rupert cook

    There’s money there to spend. We don’t have to spend every last cent.

    I’m sure we could fit Fellaini in somewhere, Wenger loves playing people out of position.

    I don’t want to see Walcott leave. One of the best players we’ve got even though he does disappear at times.

  • avatar Shard

    rupert

    Agreed. There is money to spend. Plus, I also think we need to buy some players in January, and also next summer to continue building on this squad.

  • avatar Jefferson Davis

    SAY NOTHING…
    SIMPLES.

  • avatar Sav from Australia

    I agree with Walter’s point about referees penalising Arsenal players. Maybe that is why they deliberately don’t ‘get stuck in’ for ’50-50′ balls. Because they know it will results in fouls and cards against.

    Rupert you are a knob. Go back to the sewer rat.

  • avatar Gouresh

    After reading some of the comments, we don’t need world class players as we have players that are good enough [at least our 1st 11. We need quality bench strength, we cannot rely on players with horrendous injury history] we need players with the will to win and the manager too tell them to forget 4th place or 3rd place or 2nd place…..they have to target 1st. this has to be re-enforced again & again & again. How can 1 expect to perform when the target is 4th, what happens if we miss it? Players will just jump ship, at the end of the day no matter what, players want trophies, we lost Henry, Hleb, Vieira, Cesc, Nasri, RVP [i know i will get slack for mentioning Nasri or RVP] for precisely this reason, the only difference is that Henry, Vieira & Cesc did a proper PR job… Fans are not fools. AW says that 4th place allows us to go for world class players and when we do, we cannot compete financial so then we are left with looking for younger talent who taken time to gel and as they come into their own have 1 good season then they are off, so we are in this constant transition. AW needs to be able to motivate the players to go out there and fight for every ball. Another thing is that we have Giroud, who is a great header of the ball providing some1 can cross. Theo cannot, Sagna cannot, Gibbs [when fit cannot] that leaves on Poldi, surly that’s not right! Its like having a 5 foot striker and we are playing long balls.

    We have captain who does not speak, scream nothing…..i remember Tony Adams. The central defence [one of them] can and SHOULD be able to bark orders to all the playerS and control their movement at the time of attack and let them their defensive duties when we lose the ball…does any1 in our team at the moment do it? Every1 seems be playing alone. [I say this by my own experience]

    What’s lacking is motivation and & self-belief.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    There are clearly a few things that need sorting out, maybe a bit of hard work on the training ground would be a big help.
    Wenger is not a convential manager, he is a radical. If he were a conventional EPL manager, we would have an O Neil or Big Sam on our hands, maybe with a good defence but without all those years in a row in the CL. If allowed, he will sort this in his own way.
    He has clearly made a few mistakes and mis calculations on mainly squad depth, but he has sorted out problems before and will again. His challenge – maybe to be a bit more proactive in assessing squad depth, Diaby for instance was not hard to predict.
    Reading the blogs, seems like we are losing a lot of fans (or at least until things come good again) That is their choice of course…as is the right to protest, but some of these protests and their targets seem a bit misguided to me – whats the point in having a go at PHW who is clearly just a figurehead. The problems and solutions lie not with the board (though some of them do not help) – they lie on the training pitch. Our team and resources should be good enough to at least challenge, if they are not, things need addressing. I believe Wenger could easily walk at the end of the season if we fail…then things really will get interesting. Lots of critics would love that…again , their choice, but who would replace wenger…all this fantasy stuff about Pep – come on, with our financial restrictions! Very few top managers would risk their reputations working to a negative transfer spend and wage cap, and if anyone believes that is purely down to Wenger and not partly the board, …..well just let em believe it. Wenger has hinted enough times about where we could be without him…a desperate man clinging to his job, or an insider who knows the current reality.
    None of this of course changes the fact that we have to pull out all stops necessecary to improve, and quickly

  • avatar Maciek

    We need a world class cdm, a world class left back, a quality offensive midfielder and another quality striker since Chamakh is pants. We also need a quality gk.

    And first and foremost we need a new world class manager, because the one we have has lost the plot.

    You say that our starting eleven is quality when fit. I tend to disagree. Ramsey is poor, so is Diaby even when fit. He is so overrated. We just need a world class “Patric Vieira type of midfielder”. That sort of palyer ia badly needed.

    And I could easily name a few left backs better than Gibbs and centrebacks better than Vermy.

    As for Wenger, he should go 7 years ago. Back in the days he was great, but now he has lost his magic wand.

    Hill Wood and Gazidis should fallow him. At the moment the Club is a joke. We don’t even deserve to play in the Europa League, let alone the CL.

    Have a great week everyone!

  • avatar Stuart

    Shard,
    That said, I think Man U have had the toughest opening schedule (on paper). They have played more of the (traditional) top teams in the league than any other but then we also have to factor in the real world and assistance from refs I suppose.

  • avatar Stuart

    Gouresh,

    I agree, what the team looks like it needs is a good old fashioned team building excercise where they go away together for a day and build rafts and try to race across a lake. ;-)

  • avatar Andy Kelly

    Maybe Wenger’s type of management style has had its day, just as the likes of George Graham and Howard Wilkinson have.

    The team at the moment looks as stale as GG’s did in 93/94 and 94/95. Coquelin looks no different to Selley, Chamakh could be Chris Kiwomya and Gervino could be Glenn Helder.

  • avatar Gouresh

    @ Stuart: wish we had the time for that. the time now is to kick arse and get 3 points against tiny totts.

  • avatar EAC

    Well if you dont know what to say after Saturday then we are entering a new era of support(or the lack of it) After the match I dont remember ever being so depressed about the state of my team….and I have been attending matches home and away since 1956!….add to an AGM which confirmed that we are foder not fans …highest prices..crap food…best players sold and a £600k bonus to Mr Smoothie.
    My adoration of the Arse will continue as at 70 years of age I am too old to change and I am certainly not going to forced out by a cynical board and players only there for the money

  • avatar Gouresh

    ok, have been reading the comments on various atricles here…..what’s the deal with all the agression at Rupert Cook? surely we are grown up to have out own views and does it mean if we don’t kiss arse one gets hounded. u guys behave like kids.

  • avatar Stroller

    I have to agree with those who say that it’s not all down to money, or indeed the Board. We have a squad packed with internationals and supposedly up-and-coming youngsters. Yes there are one or two glaring weaknesses – in goal and at left-back where we lack depth of cover, but the issues right now are around the team as a whole. There is a lack of cohesion and a lack of confidence leading to a feeling of vulnerability when watching them perform.

    Do the current crop lack character or the infamous ‘mental strength’ when put under pressure by the opposition? Or are there some tactical or organisational issues which are making them so uncomfortable?

    Either way it already looks like we’ll be scrapping for 4th place again this season.

  • avatar Gaurav

    I think the problem is reconstructing a team every year. That is just not possible. Even Man City when they got the money, needed a few seasons to BUILD a team! We are asking Wenger to build one every year (because every year he loosed his best players) and win competitions with them. Not possible. We need continuity.

    How long has Carrick, Ferdinand, Rooney been the stem of Man U.
    For Man city Kompany, Yaya Toure, Kun have been playing for a couple of years now.

    There is no question Wenger can produce. 2007-08 squad. The squad that beat Barcalona at home to name a few. BUT We cannot be changing our core every year.

  • avatar Gf60

    @EAC what with the likes of Andy and Tony asking questions that maybe should have been asked a few seasons back, maybe this is the time for the old guys (I’m also 70) to start reminding them of just how bad it could be. Rope Nicky in as well, he maybe the oldest Untolder, and we can start an old farts protest group. I liked being spoilt as we were for the first ten years with AW but do not appreciate this unspoiling. Having been raised on caviar and cream for these years, it’s bloody hard getting used to the old hard tack and brack water we were getting in the 50s.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Hopefully, and if the people running the club are doing what they say they are doing, they are putting us in a position where we do not have to put up with what we did in previous years. Before and just after the stadium, we were seriously skint and had to do something as we all know.
    Just seems many do not believe what the board keep telling us, and that the club are being used purely as a cash cow. I am far from sure this is the case, although with some of the things going on, it is sometimes hard to make that arguement.
    looks like further patience is needed, but amazing how results can change outlooks

  • avatar andy bishop

    Is anyone really surprised at the results this season. A top club that continally sells its best players will eventually slide. Arsenal trophy success tends to go in cycles. I guess we have all bought into the self sustaining, new stadium and promise to the future talk as being an acceptable excuse for
    what is failure considering the status of our club and manager. It is as simple as that, while the reasons our best players talk by walking remain unresolved we will continue to slide. I cannot recall an Arsenal side being unable to defend properly on such a regular basis.

  • avatar Stroller

    @Mandy Dodd
    I agree with what you are saying, but feel that the club (and this applies to both the Board and Wenger) have made a mistake in allowing their message to be interpreted as being one of limited footballing ambition. Why list our competition priorities in such a forthright way? Especially when we have had this trophy drought. I don’t hear other clubs talking this way.

    Of course we have financial realities, but so does everyone else (with a few exceptions). Most sensible supporters understand this but equally want to feel that there is a vision and intent that takes us onwards as winners, not battling to hold on to champions league qualification because of the money it brings in.

    Oliver Holt on Sky TV yesterday talked about Arsenal supporters appearing ‘bored’ with what they have been given over recent years even though it represents an excellent achievement against the background of the stadium development and financial constraints. He may have something in this.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Cannot disagree with you stroller. Maybe they are just trying to manage expectations, or,worryingly, maybe that is the limit of their ambition. I read Ivan was fairly shocked at the state he found the club in, when he arrived with the money from sponsorship deals….or relative lack of them. I also remember wenger saying he would not abandon the club after last summers fiasco and the UTd mauling….strange thing to say. What I am trying to say …..neither parties are complete saints, or sinners in all this, whatever the short comings the board may have,wenger is to some degree complicit, although I am convinced the board are hiding quite a lot they don’t want to come out …..behind their manager. Maybe one of the reasons why players who clearly care for the club….and manager are leaving. Whatever it is, just wish they would sort it out, this is all damaging stans investment…..potentially, the clubs brand and wengers reputation, there are no winners so far.

  • avatar rupert cook

    @Sav Australia, this conspiracy that refs have against Arsenal is a load of 4X mate. Arsenal players scared of going for 50/50 balls because they’ll be penalized! I’ve heard some rubbish in my time.

    What, so every ref is against poor old Arsenal? Do you think they sit down together and plot the downfall of the club?

    If so why did those pesky refs give us a penalty in the last minute?

    Those insults you think make your points stronger have the opposite effect. Perhaps you lack the intelligence to see that.

  • avatar rupert cook

    @ Gouresh, thanks mate. And an excellent point about Giroud, he seems to be a great header of the ball and we need to put a few decent crosses in though the team seems to be a little short on players capable of doing that.

    @ Mandy. agree with your last post. And whilst it is an achievement to qualify for the CL umpteen years in a row our record in it is quite poor. One final and currently we look further away from winning it than ever.

    Wenger is quite replaceable, after all most people had never heard of him fifteen years ago. A manager who drilled some defensive duties into our defenders and used some tactics would be useful.

  • avatar Shard

    rupert

    Used some tactics indeed. You only see what you want to see. Most of the goals conceded by Arsenal this season have come from individual errors (or poor set piece marking) rather than any tactical failure. A manager can’t legislate for that.

    Also, did you see against Fulham that defensively we were lining up as a 4-4-2? That was a tactical change too. The manager knows tactics and knows his players better than any of us do. That is a fact. Yes, sometimes it doesn’t work, but it can be due to a number of factors apart from ‘tactics’. Sometimes players just don’t turn up. (That is also up to the manager in a sense, but it is not tactical), and sometimes things just don’t go for you.

    We were ranked 42nd (or something) in the CL when Wenger took over. We’re now in the top 10. Our record is NOT poor. One final appearance is not ONLY. It takes a lot to get there, including a lot of luck. Which brings me to your view on referees. Don’t take Sav’s statement to the extreme. It is more and more becoming a recognised fact that there is an institutional bias in ManU’s favour, and Arsenal lie at the other end of the spectrum. The very penalty you talk about was the first in 18 months at the Ems. Go figure.

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    And Rupert,
    in a way this penalty was the result of a penalty from last week given against Arsenal. For once the appointments from the PGMOL backfired in our favour.

    Remember last week Dean giving a penalty for a handball when Cazorla had his hands in front of his face and body. And at the sideline you had Wenger asking the 4th ref an explanation. And that 4th ref was Dowd. So I can imagine Dowd defending the decision from Dean. So he knew all too well that when now a Fulham player committed a handball he could only give it to Arsenal because otherwise he would look like a complete fool.

  • avatar rupert cook

    I don’t buy this ref conspiracy against us. When you cover every single league game (not just Arsenal, every game) and you discover bias then I’ll accept it.

    I’m quite willing to believe that there’s a strong case against Fergie’s when it comes to influencing ref’s decisions though.

    Shard, I disagree. I hardly think our performances in the CL are great. In that time I’d have expected a world class manager to have reached at least two finals. And won one of them.

    You think Wenger has tactical nous, I don’t. So we’ll have to agree to disagree on that.

    Do Arsenal lie at the other end of the spectrum on ref’s decisions? I think that’s emotive talk.

  • avatar Shard

    It IS emotive. But that doesn’t make it wrong.

  • avatar rupert cook

    If you really want an intelligent debate on ref’s decisions, one that isn’t black and white, consider this:

    A ref gives a penalty against Arsenal. It’s a bad decision (of course:) ). Our gk saves it, Arsenal break forward and score. Cause and effect, have you ever considered that? From a bad decision a good outcome can happen (for Arsenal anyway).

    If there had been no penalty would that opportunity to score have happened?

    Or another example. An Arsenal player is awarded a yellow card. It’s a wrong decision but he’s taken off a few minutes later to ensure he doesn’t get a red. The player who replaces him scores a goal a minute later.

    You or I have no idea what futures have been changed by the ref’s decisions.

  • avatar rupert cook

    Shard, I know but you have to have proof.

  • avatar Florian

    rupert,

    You’re founding a discussion on imaginary happenings. I see now why you have a difficult time with the reality.

  • avatar rupert cook

    @ Florian, every action has a reaction. I’m sorry if you can’t understand that. It’s a complex debate for some.

    The reality is Arsenal are not good enough. Refs don’t have anything to do with that.

  • avatar rupert cook

    There’s a short story by Julio Cortazar which illustrates my point most transparently.

    For a more simplistic explanation watch the film Sliding Doors.

    And no I’m not trying to excuse poor refereeing decisions.

  • avatar Shard

    Refs have a lot to do with it. You are right that we can’t determine the future that didn’t occur. Which is why they get away with it. Good or bad is not the issue. It is a barrage of wrong decisions, sometimes blatantly so, that have gone against Arsenal over the past 4-5 years.

    But never mind that. If you want to ignore that aspect of the game and say it has no impact then that’s your call. Just know that you are discounting one possible factor in the outcome of any game/season/history, simply because it is hard to quantify.

  • avatar rupert cook

    Shard, not ignoring it but I expect many teams have had a barrage of decisions go against them over the last five years, after all the same refs officiate throughout the league.

    If we have been singled out then I wonder why we aren’t taking the issue to court? If there’s corruption among refs why don’t we do something about it?

  • avatar Shard

    wonder a little more because the answer is fairly obvious. The burden of proof in a courtroom is much higher. If that is the only sort of proof you need then you’ll never be convinced, until somebody can provide evidence of, say, money changing hands. Corruption however, doesn’t have to involve money. It could just as likely involve refereeing promotions, or perks, or a cushy post retirement job (see Riley, Walton, Gallagher) It’s like match fixing. Nobody can ‘prove’ it, except through inference (and that usually involves money)
    And even when someone confesses to it (Lundekvam), FIFA conduct an internal enquiry and that’s that.

    There are a lot of issues with refereeing and how it is administered, and you’d have to be very very trusting of human nature to think that corruption doesn’t exist within it.

  • avatar rupert cook

    I wouldn’t be surprised if corruption did exist but I have no idea why Arsenal would be singled out. Why not Liverpool or Chelsea?

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    Well we try to do something about it Rupert.

    It took years of police investigation to find and prove the calciopoli scandal in Italy. And as far as I know Arsenal are not able to do such an investigation.

    So we just can register the facts as we have found them. 40% of the league games wasn’t bad.
    Doing more will make things clearer.

    Just to give you an example. Last year we had a good debate with a few Norwich fans after our home game (that I attended and that also ended 3-3 – it’s just me attending I think). And about how the ref gave all and everything to Norwich in that game.
    I then looked at the date from the game Norwich – Bolton (or Blackburn – my memory lets me down) and then I also saw that the ref blatantly was helping Norwich in that game.

    And then I got to the game Chelsea – Norwich of this season. A few weeks ago Chelsea won 4-1. But in the review I saw that the ref blatantly refused to give a penalty against Norwich. On 2 occasions a very clear foul was not given and one was less clear where he got the benefit of the doubt.

    And when I saw his bias numbers blatantly in favour of Norwich I suddenly remembered those other two games and yes it was the same ref.

    So apparently this ref has a bias in favour of Norwich. It can happen once, twice is well… you know, but if it happens every time he does Norwich…. then there is something wrong.

    So if you have the bad luck to have this ref in a game of Norwich you are fighting a big bias. And who would think of Norwich being beneficing from referee bias? I surely didn’t expect that at all. But the numbers prove it when this ref is in charge.

    I can take other examples but most of the times the lines lead to one particular team.

    And players know this all too well.
    I never forget an interview with Rio Ferdinand a few years ago. When he talked about the days before he joined United. He said (not the exact words – my memory ain’t that good): “as a player you hated United. Because you knew when playing them you also had to get over the referee decisions to get a result. You were not just playing them but also against the refs.”

    I was waiting for the interviewer to ask the questions of questions: “And did you noticed they did since playing for them?”…. but the interviewer didn’t put the question.

  • avatar rupert cook

    Well Walter we have to be glad we only play Norwich twice a year and that ref isn’t officiating every game we play against them.

    Was he in charge when we lost 1-0 a few weeks ago?

    I’m a pretty cynical person and I’m more likely than most to have doubts about authority of any kind but I have to temper my natural cynicism by always looking for solid proof against whichever authority or official I’m accusing of corruption.

  • avatar Arun

    @Rupert, what kind of a proof do you want???
    One thing is certain that Arsenal can’t go to court for these decisions and UEFA, FIFA & FA prefer internal investigation which barely leads to anything.

  • avatar Arun

    rupert cook
    November 13, 2012 at 9:22 am
    I don’t buy this ref conspiracy against us. When you cover every single league game (not just Arsenal, every game) and you discover bias then I’ll accept it.
    This clearly sums up you. Ever heard of ‘sampling’???

  • avatar rupert cook

    @ Arun, why on earth would there be a conspiracy against Arsenal?

    Do you understand what that would involve? Every ref to be on the take and every ref against us. It makes Watergate look simple.

    You won’t get anywhere in a court unless you have conclusive proof. What fans want to believe and what the unbiased public believe are two very different things.

  • avatar Shard

    rupert

    No. It does not have to involve every ref on the take. And no one said every ref does it. Why else would Mike Rikey appoint Dean to us 6 times last season, while some other refs who might have less of a bias agains us don’t get appointed at all. Or why did Atkinson not get a ManU match for 11 months since he was blamed for their loss to Chelsea. Or Clattenburg since the 6-1 loss to ManCity? Ref appointments are as much a part of it.

    As for why Arsenal? I obviously cannot provide you an answer. But I know it is happening (or at least has been happening), and I am then forced to speculate why it would be Arsenal. The only reason I can think of is because we represent a risk to the buy buy buy model.

  • avatar A. Stewart

    A little off topic here, well actually quite off topic since this is in advance of the NLD preview…But Lennon, Walker and Defoe now look to be added to Spurs’ injury list that includes Kaboul, BAE, Dembele and some others…If we fail to win that throws the “injuries” excuse out of the window as they are arguably in worse shape.

    Liking our chances if Dembele doesn’t make it…if he does, I’m not sure we have anyone in midfield that can contend with him in both phases of the game.

  • avatar Fred

    Shard, one question I keep asking myself is: if there’s a conspiracy against the Arsenal, why did Phil Dowd award us that ridiculously soft penalty in the last minute against Fulham? :?

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    Fred as you haven’t read it I think:

    in a way this penalty was the result of a penalty from last week given against Arsenal. For once the appointments from the PGMOL backfired in our favour.

    Remember last week Dean giving a penalty for a handball when Cazorla had his hands in front of his face and body. And at the sideline you had Wenger asking the 4th ref an explanation. And that 4th ref was Dowd. So I can imagine Dowd defending the decision from Dean. So he knew all too well that when now a Fulham player committed a handball he could only give it to Arsenal because otherwise he would look like a complete fool.

  • avatar rupert cook

    Well, I have to agree to disagree with all this ref nonsense. It’s not the refs that go out and buy average players and it’s not the refs that force Arsenal to perform indifferently.

    The issue is Wenger. And also Gazidis who seems to delight in selling our best players to our rivals.

  • avatar Florian

    rupert,

    You never seem to lose an opportunity to blast the management, the team and us people who enjoy themselves. You seem insensitive to any sort of logical argument, and have the skin so deep that an atomic bomb couldn’t make a peephole in it. This is no longer about mutual respect, as yours seems to have never been (at least since I’ve seen you posting on this site), and ours has drained out. What’s the point of disagreeing every f*ing single time with the majority of people here? What kind of pathologically dirty mean s*bag are you? Now you’ve got me mad. I tell you one last time, stop being so narrow minded, accept that you don’t know everything and you don’t hold the secret to the absolute truth by which the World revolves, and get a life.

  • avatar Shard

    A.Stewart

    Want a bet a majority of those players make a miraculous recovery for the NLD? Lots of players drop like flies when the internationals come around.

  • avatar rupert cook

    @ Florian I nearly fell into a coma through laughing at that post. “Insensitive to any logical argument”. Classic. Every argument I have is based on what I’ve witnessed at Arsenal for the last six years. The facts point to stagnation. There’s logic for you.

    But my apologies, I’ll agree to everything you say.

  • avatar rupert cook

    Regarding the refs debate. Now I’ve been priced out of the Emirates my wife and I sometimes watch Oxford play. She’s an Oxford supporter and drags me to a few games.

    At the Kassam where they play you can be as close as twenty feet to the action. Every game I watch the home crowd criticize every ref’s decision that goes against them. It’s called emotion and is far from objective. If I were an Oxford fan I’d be convinced the refs were biased against Oxford.

    Why doesn’t one of you watch every Stoke or Everton or any other league team’s games throughout the season and see how decisions balance out against them? You might even be impartial, or more prone to impartiality, and find that Arsenal are not the most hard done by team or victims of some opaque conspiracy.

  • avatar Shard

    rupert

    The match that made me convinced there was a ref ‘conspiracy’ (I prefer the term agenda) was ManU-Wigan, in a match I wanted ManU to win (so that Chelsea didn’t win the title) way back in 2008.

    We’d already been bumped out of a chance for the league title following the mental impact of Eduardo’s injury, AND some fucking horrible decisions, but I put that down to luck. I don’t care about winning the title so much that I’d want bad decisionfor my team (Though I admit that has reduced- not cos we’re not winning- but cos we’ve been affected by too many bad decisions ourselves)

    Anyway. I watched a game, wanting ManU to win, and what followed in the course of that match left me with such a bad taste in my mouth, despite getting the result I wanted. Since then, I pay close attention to referees, and it goes further than ‘oh every team’s fans are deluded and emotive and can’t see straight’ That is complete BULL. Fans are biased, but so are referees. Only one of them are openly so.

  • avatar Walter

    Rupert,

    I don’t know why I still bother to answer but this is exactly what we have done (40% of the games) last season and are doing now (aiming at 100% of the games)

    But we might as well stop doing it as you already know the answers in advance. ;-)

  • avatar rupert cook

    Fine, tell me the results at the end of the season.

    I refer you to a most enlightening read I posted on another thread.

  • avatar Walter

    And do you really think our reviewers are biased when reviewing WBA-Reading?

  • avatar Walter

    We will rupert, we will.

    But I can imagine right now you will come up with a reason to throw it away whatever the results are ;-)

  • avatar rupert cook

    Walter there may well be bias. What I can’t see is why it would be directed at Arsenal and not say Chelsea. As I said before there’d have to be an agreed bias against us with every ref involved. It seems too bonkers and logistically virtually impossible.

  • avatar Florian

    rupert,

    You should.

    But I’m already wasting my time. Going to bed now.

  • avatar rupert cook

    I love bringing the inner tyrant out in people.

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    If you would have followed us in detail you should have noticed how the bias is swinging at times. Depending on what is needed, who comes close, who has been a naughty boy, …

    I really think by the end of this season and with the numbers of last season we will have a great picture on each ref and on how he behaves against all the teams.

    We will know exactly who is biased against Arsenal and who is fair. And there are a few fair refs when Arsenal plays. For some reason we don’t get to see them doing our games a lot but that will be just a coincidence ;-)

    Don’t ask me to name them. The enemy is reading this you know….They will even get fewer Arsenal games.

  • avatar Shard

    rupert

    That’s just another way of saying you like annoying people to the point of exasperation.

  • avatar rupert cook

    No Shard, I debate with people who have different opinions. Some of them are frightened because Wenger is being mauled by the fans and some sections of the press. They are scared of change. They also see glimpses of truth in those who dispute the sense of the direction the club is taking but hate to admit it and are fearful of what may happen if Wenger leaves.

    Some think Wenger will still deliver success. They maybe right but it seems unlikely. The results on the pitch prove that.

    Some people resort to insults and name-calling because they don’t like the status quo being challenged. So be it.

    And many, like yourself, patiently argue your point and do it very well.

    Who is right? What happens between now and May will tell us.

  • avatar Shard

    rupert

    Actually May has nothing to do with it. If it did, so many folks would just let it go till then and not constantly rip on the team. And equally, even if come May, we still haven’t ‘won anything’, I doubt many on here would join with the cries to kick Wenger out.

    Unfortunately, everything about Arsenal has become a battle, with lines already drawn. It’s annoying to say the least. All I want is to watch the football. I don’t want the refs ruining a good game, and I don’t wan’t any bad performance to be less of a reason to be upset than the reaction to it online. Everybody acts like an expert on finances, on tactics, and on every aspect of running a football club. It’s gotten me down enough to reduce my time blogging about my favourite subject.

    As regards Wenger. Firing him might have some upside, but there will also be downsides to it. It is a risk basically. I really don’t believe firing him is worth the risk. We’ll end up worse off. Trouble is, a lot of people have already made up their minds that ANY change is better. Even if it means dropping out of the top 4. Even if it means we lose money as a club. Just anything to change the ‘stagnation’ that being in the CL every year.

  • avatar Roger Crates

    No Atmosphere?
    Don’t blame the supporters the players or the manager.Blame the Stadium.(Board)
    A few months ago i wrote to Tony, who i have imense respect for, asking if he had any idea why the TV screens in the Emirates unlike other clubs never show the game live. Apparently it may be contractual.
    The Ems. is an amazing auditorium but when you are there ,it’s lacking intimacy and that illusive sole.
    The lower tiers especially the goal ends are far back from the pitch, not quite a running track but not far off so that when the game is at the far end you have no view and although the upper tiers have an over view and you can follow the game you still feel far away.
    So if i am half making sence what’s the solution?
    Does anybody remember the last world cup?
    Not the just the vuvazulas, the four TV screens high above the center circle showing the game live.
    Everybody in the stadia were involved all the time no mater where the play was.
    So chanting was co’ordinated and the atmosphere vibrant.
    We have TV screens but don’t make use of them and i for one strongly believe the conscquent lack of fan atmosphere effects the team moral negatively.
    So mount them over the center circle involve all us fans all the time and watch the players improve.
    While we are at it ,what about a charismatit stadium anouncer.
    Think back to the Shalke away game.
    The Germans know how to create an atmosphere.
    Come on Arsenal

  • avatar rupert cook

    @Shard, it may well be that even if we win nothing by May Wenger will still have the support of many fans. I think it depends on the league position. If we make the Europa League then AW will probably keep his job.

    But if we finish mid-table I think Wenger’s position will be untenable.

    We don’t know if we’ll end up worse if he’s sacked. It’s the fear of the unknown but sooner or later change will happen. I don’t see Wenger managing Arsenal in five years time especially if FFP has not been the saviour of the club.