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Vermaelen is not an AAA

This article refers to the AAA – the name Untold gave to the supporters who always complain about the team and the management.   You can read about the AAA further here.

By Walter Broeckx

Yesterday I read a sentence that our captain has said or written down this week.

Vermaelen said: “Some people seem to like being negative & it appears to make them happier, but that’s not the attitude you’ll get from the team.”

I don’t think this sentence will make Vermaelen more popular by the AAA. Because in a way it is almost a perfect description of the negative part of supporters of Arsenal.

We all have seen it in the last years. When Arsenal win a game they stay away from Untold. Or when they come they try to write down the performance of the team. But when we lose a game…they come out in full force.

As if they are finding pleasure in our defeat. We know some are waiting impatiently for the next Arsenal defeat to come over and rub it under our nose. If you read between the lines you can see that there is no sadness for the defeat. No, there is joy because they can tell us how bad things are.

Most of us on Untold are people who have a more optimistic point of view on Arsenal, and so we are somewhat different. We are sad because we lost a game. Because we don’t want Arsenal to lose a game. But we try to think that there will be more games to look forward too. We look for a certain player who did fine. We look at a player who came back from a long term injury and who did a good job. We try to find something positive to lift our spirit again.

Of course a defeat hurts but well it is part of football and just the invicibles were immune to that part of football for 49 games.

But Vermaelen now is saying that the he and the team don’t have the same attitude as the AAA. And we should be grateful for this. Because if it would be that the team would fall for the AAA look of things…then we would be really doomed.

Throughout the whole of last week the AAA said we would lose against WBA. Because the players being useless, the manager don’t have a clue, the board steeling our money, Gazidis doing nothing at all….  Now just imagine if the players would come to the training ground after the Swansea defeat and say: all is lost. We’re doomed for ever. Well then we surely would have lost against WBA.

But no. The team came out with a positive attitude and just did what was needed. They won the game. The fight was there, the spirit was there, the will to do well was there. All things that according to the AAA are missing all the time.

I know the Swansea game was a bad one. But that is just the way it goes in football. Sometimes a team can come up with a bad performance. And if the other team has a good day it can cost you the game. But the way we played against WBA showed that the team took the defeat on the chin and stood up and told themselves to do better. And they did.

A bit like we try to do at Untold. Feeling down after a defeat. But looking at something positive and work from that to do better next time.

While the AAA just revels in the defeat to pat themselves on the back saying: told you so. Well that attitude doesn’t help the team at all.

What does help is support. What helps is believing that things can be turned around. What does help is knowing that because of one or even a few bad performances the team is not done and can stand up and do better.

Of course I do hope that the team, the players and the managers look back at a defeat and point at the things that went wrong. But not with an AAA pair of glasses on. Because then we could call it a day and stop playing at all this season.

No it should be done with the Untold pair of glasses on. Okay, it went terribly wrong let us do better next time. Being overly negative doesn’t help you to move forward. It only brings you down more.

But as Vermaelen said: some people are happy about feeling negative. I’m not one of those people.

I always try to ask: what is best for Arsenal? If we all give up and just lay down is that the best thing to do? I think not. It will bring us even more down. I really do believe that with a positive attitude you can get further. Not just in football but in live in general.

The players know all too well what goes on amongst the supporters I think. Is it a coincidence they ask to support the team more? I think they know all too well about the differences that exist between the fans. But they know all too well that going to the war in a divided way is only going to cause worst performances and results.

If the players would listen to the negativity that is surrounding Arsenal in some quarters we would be relegated at the end of the season. If the players would be happy when feeling negative like the AAA does we would be in big trouble.

So lucky for our club the players are having a more Untold look at things. Let us just try to do better each time. And if we failed on a day, we just try harder next time.  The players don’t sink in to a sea of negativity delivered by the AAA. The players start each game just trying to do better. And it is up to us to support them in their fight to deliver a better result.

Maybe even the AAA has it reason and its part in Arsenal, but we can be very grateful for the fact that the team is not part of the AAA mindset. Because if they would be, then things really would look bad.

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The books…

The sites…

70 comments to Vermaelen is not an AAA

  • Andrew Ryan

    How can he be? the phrase AAA is pure quixotic nonsense.

  • Shard

    AAA is pure quixotic nonsense..

    This sentence is pure gold. Using one created term which is supposed to typify a certain trait, to deplore the creation of another such term.

  • derek

    According to ANR, Walcott is not signing his contract because of the new clause Arsenal want to impose….ie: no CL qualification, players take a pay cut. It won’t work for several reasons……

    1) Other clubs probably don’t cut wages (especially ‘top’ clubs)

    2) Wenger won’t be taking a cut in his salary for further failure

    3) Arsenal don’t invest in the quality required, therefore it’s almost like ‘constructive dismissal’ where Arsenal FC are driving down wages by deliberately not investing in the quality of the squad and selling their best players (and top earners) year on year, they are taking a gamble on which they almost cannot lose. (No CL money, recoup it through less wages).

    4) One man (Wenger the dictator) controls the club, meaning players wages are directly affected by the actions of one man, not necessarily the player himself. Performance related pay becomes Wenger performance related pay.
    It actually makes Wenger even more powerful than he is now!!!

    This club is doomed, seriously, the future is shockingly bad. Arsenal FC will be the richest mid-table club in world football.

  • Shard

    According to everyone with a brain, ANR is absolute rubbish.

  • derek

    I keep reading posters on here saying that we have the makings of a good team and bar some absolute shite signings (Gervinho I’m looking at you) I would agree we are a bit of a diamond in the rough.

    What frustrates me is that we are not finding out how good we could potentially be because we play a tippy tappy slow passing game with players out of position and square pegs in round holes. This squad is probably not on the same level quality wise as the two Manc clubs and hasnt got the same quality attacking options as the Chavs but we should be competing with these teams regardless and a good tactical knowledge can bridge the gap between those that are good and those that are great sides. The big difference today in the Manchester derby was for me the way the two managers responded to the game. Balotelli was given the shepherds crook when Mancini saw it wasnt working just after half time and Ferguson set out his team to actually attack with pace and put is team in with a chance to exploit the quality players they had up top. Playing to your strengths imagine that???? When was the last time there was a proper tactical substitution at the Wengerdome when things werent working?

    Instead we have to settle for battling it out for the virtual trophy when greater things are possible.

    We have the basis of a very good team if we added a few astute signings and actually played tactics that suit the players that we have we could challenge for trophies again 🙄 It really pisses me off when I hear/read comments defending wenger’s ineptitude by saying how it is impossible to compete with the mega rich clubs cos it totally ignores the fact that we should be a far better team than we are showing and these fans are refusing to ask themselves why that isnt the case 👿 The signings of arteta,mertesacker,cazorla and podolski gave me hope and belief that I hadnt felt for a few years now but that has been wiped out by the signings of klingon,santos and (to a lesser degree) giroud and that added to the departure of rvp and the undeserved loyalty shown to diaby,rosicky and (to a lesser degree) ramsey convinces me that we are and always will be running on quicksand as long as wenger remains in charge.

  • Shard

    I’m curious..Does anyone actually read what derek goes on spouting?

  • Andy Mack

    ‘Most of us on Untold are people who have a more optimistic point of view on Arsenal’.

    I think you mean ‘a more realistic view’.
    The team’s still got problems but the world isn’t falling apart and IF things go ‘as expected’ with FFP etc then we’ll be in a much better position than almost any other team in the premier league.

  • derek

    I love the way that every game is a ‘must win’ and that every potential defeat will spark ‘fan fury’ and could be the major catalyst for change. Its already pretty funny reading how each defeat is cranking up the pressure on Wenger

    FFS – this is a man that has overseen us getting our arses whacked 8-2 – our worst PL defeat ever and one that can never be removed from the record books, throw away a 4 goal lead, throw about 2-0 and 4-2 leads against the Spuds, and who at one stage last season led us to 17th place !

    Anyone who can ride out that little storm and still receive full backing of the board and 7m a year isn’t going anywhere first. Providing we get at least a Europa League spot this season, which we probably will as contrary to popular opinion the PL is a crock of shit, he will be staying. Virtual Trophy means an undoubted contract extension, Europa League means suck it and see for another 12 months during which if we get back on course for the VT renew it as and when.

    Only total collapse this season and next will result in the Coach of the Decade moving on. If we lose to Bradford, Reading and Wigan in the next 3 games he’ll still be free of pressure because everyone else will keep dropping points from 3rd downwards and therefore we’ll be a handful points away from the VT positions and out of a cup that he dismisses anyway. Meanwhile the excitement of a CL last 16 draw will have him reinforcing our wonderful 13 year record with thinly veiled digs at the likes of City and Chelsea for going out. Then January comes along, he makes Kroenke another few million to fund his pending dividend and has fulfilled the board’s ambition once more

    There’s Only One Arsene Wenger

  • WalterBroeckx

    Derek,
    are you not just copy+pasting things around here? This is Tuesday today and you “write” about a game on Sunday and say “today”.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Or Derek is the fastest commenter in internet history or is just copy pasting things. Two such long comments in the space of a few minutes…. I’m starting to get some serious doubts.

  • derek

    @Shard, read it you might learn something instead of having your head so high up wengers behind

  • derek

    Wrong i am a super typer

  • WalterBroeckx

    Derek, ask the one who wrote the first comment and question about a tactical substitution how it worked on Sunday.

    How did it help City that substitution at the end? They lost the game. And yes we can be sure that Balotelli wouldn’t have made the foul that Tevez made and from which the traitors scored the winning goal for Utd. I think that substitution went wrong.

    And yes I have seen a few tactical substitutions from Wenger in the last months. Even last Saturday. Look at the subs. A forward (Oxlade) replaced by a midfielder (Coquelin) to bring a bit more defending. Oh look Rosicky another midfielder for another striker a few minutes later. I think you could call this a few tactical substitutions.

  • derek

    +this is not the only place where i comment.

  • Shard

    derek
    If learning is to be a depressive maniac like you, I’d rather stay ignorant, you snivelly little twat. You aren’t here to discuss anything, and I have no interest in engaging with you in any reasonable manner.

    Walter,
    how long does this have to go on before he gets banned? I’ve stopped coming on Untold as often as before because this is no more a place of proper discussion. SO many posters on here have an agenda, and none of that is to do with actually discussing Arsenal, or anything about the article.

  • Shard

    btw the same comment as dear ol derek’s @2.49 just appeared on another site under the pseudonym darud. I have so far refrained from using the term AAA because I don’t like generalisations in general (hehe)

    But surely there has to be an interested/employed group of people who go around copy-pasting entire posts all over the internet, and invariably these posts are negative in nature or contain certain talking points. That can’t just be coincidence.

  • soglorious

    …Derek, Walcot’s contract needs typing. How about helping us do the typing if you are such a fast typer… Untold, dont stop being realistic I beg you for Christ’s sake. Even if Arsenal plays in the league 2, a Gooner I shall still be!

  • Andrew Ryan

    Shard,

    When the referee reports went elsewhere, Untold’s lack of anything to say other than repeated pro Wenger mantras has exposed it and made it far less interesting.

    However, you are correct that Derek’s efforts appear to be based around agenda based statements and not meant for discussion with others.

  • Shard

    Andrew Ryan

    I’ve been on this site from before they started doing ref reviews, and I don’t think they have anything less interesting to say. As for Untold’s agenda, at least they make it clear where they stand. In support of Wenger, and by extension the club’s policies. As far as I know though, a lot of the regulars here keep questioning some issues that the policy brings about, and question the articles as well when they don’t meet expectations or seem unrealistic.

    As I’ve said before, I have issues with the use of the term AAA. At the same time I recognise the convenience of it, and the idea it portrays isn’t completely wrong, it would appear. As I hinted above, any term takes time to become acceptable. Your use of Quixotic is perfectly acceptable now, but it did come about in reference to an imaginary character, with a recognisable character trait. Which is sort of what the AAA is.

  • Lobster

    Derek, go home dude, and don’t come back, not even as darud or whatever u call urself on the weekends

  • derek

    Writing in the Times, Cascarino said: ¿Big clubs sack managers, and Arsenal are a big club. They have the best stadium in the division and a fine history, but cannot call themselves a big club if they are prepared to hang on to Wenger out of sentiment. ¿When I look at him, I see a guy who believes in a philosophy based on simplicity. He won¿t change. He was a genius, but that genius has had its day. Football has caught up with him and he remains in the job because of sentiment. ¿I am worried he could end up like Brian Clough; a magnificent manager who at the end of his career was but a shadow of what he once was. At the end of his Nottingham Forest career he was out of touch and Wenger is in danger of becoming something similar, of being embarrassment.

  • Shard

    As opposed to Cascarino who already is an embarrassment? Yes, I’m sure Cascarino’s ‘concern’ for Arsenal and Wenger’s legacy is genuine.

  • Andrew Ryan

    Shard,

    The issue with the phrase AAA is that at core it means nothing and is merely pejorative – there is certainly no organised group called the AAA as it is an imaginary term. We are all Arsenal fans and all have our own views on what should happen. I don’t have any problem with chaps or indeed ladies who pay their hard earned money and go to the Emirates expressing their disappointment with the club’s results or way it is being run, in what ever legal way they choose; or conversely continue to support a manager who has won nothing in 7 years.

  • JohnW

    The young man Jermain Meade reminds me of a certain Bixente Lizarazu, also pint-sized left back but won everything there is in football. I wish Arsene gives him further opportunity to prove himself.We need players who want to throw a fight in a match. I don’t think in football having talent alone will make you a winner, but a mixture of both talent and finghting spirit. This is what Lizarazu had, what Meade has, what’s lacking in many Arsenal players.
    Finally, deriding one’s team can only lead to a heart attack, that’s why in the Olympiacos game, I only focused on the performance of Meade because he impressed me a lot.

  • derek

    £200 million and not one top class player to show for it. If you buy average under performing disinterested players you end up with an average team. Everyone can see that apart from Wenger and the apologists.

  • Shard

    Andrew

    I think I already said I’m not comfortable grouping people under heads like the AAA. But the idea of it isn’t wrong in my opinion.

    There are many fans who are unhappy and voice their displeasure. Agreed. There are also some, like derek above, who wish ill on the club (and claim that this is for the club’s actual benefit) and then they go all out to spread this canard, through multiple postings and names of various sites (which also makes their number seem a lot more) Some of the first category, will fall prey to those of the second category. You can call them what you like. I myself do not use the term AAA. But I agree with the idea that always deriding the supposed object of your love is contrary to the best interests of the club as well as the fans.

  • Shard

    derek

    virtually none of your postings has anything to do with the topic at hand.

  • derek

    Very easy to give your life to a club when you are being paid £7 million plus bonuses every year

    Lets see`s what happens when he fails to get us in the C/L next season!

  • derek

    yes it does, read it properly

  • mick

    Derek @2.59
    ‘+this is not the only place where i comment.’
    And I would guess this is not the only place that thinks you are an overwhelmingly boring twit.

  • Shard

    well derek..My mistake. It certainly does have relevance to the article. You very clearly exhibit the traits that make an AAA as defined at the top of the article.

  • Gerry Lennon

    If I see comments that I don’t agree with, but are written in a manner than you can have a ‘reasonable’ discussion about, that is fine. Otherwise, read, dismiss, ignore. It is the best policy. Life’s too short otherwise.
    I write replies on a couple of other blogs than this. I avoid all the negative sites I find. This has kept me away from some that flit between the two standpoints from time to time, but hey, at my time of life it really is a case of life’s too short!
    I must be the opposite to the type of responder that Walter describes. i tend not to want write much about bad games. That is bad games rather than where we tried but lost.
    For example, I wrote before the Swansea game that they ‘Needed to pass quickly, accurately, and keep possession’. They didn’t, Swansea did, at least in the first half, but it did not need me to pipe up and say ‘I told you so!’ afterwards. They put it right next time, and with or without the referee’s decisions going our way, I think we still would have won. Oh, and on that point of penalties again … just how long was it when we went a season and a half without a single ‘home’ penalty being awarded?
    As for decision going in our favour?? .. err(cough) Keiron Dyer (cough)??
    On tonight’s game I just hope there is more than just talk about taking Bradford seriously. Put out a strong team, send a strong message. The result will follow …

  • Georgaki-Pyrovolitis

    @derek at 3:25 pm

    Cascarino has been advocating the sacking of Wenger for at least six years. He is ‘old school’ and has never accepted the new soppy, feminine, European ways of doing stuff. He is a ‘real’ man that would eat steak and chips an hour before kick off and pig out on jammy dodgers just before training. You see none of that prevented him and the likes of him from being world class player.

  • derek

    Negative, you are not facing up to the realities & not even acknowledging the harsh failures left by the current manager. Wake up and smell the coffee

  • Dec

    I think it’s time for everyone to give Derek a big hug!!!
    Such a sad, miserable, discontented existance must be hell.
    Drawn to the Arsenal like a moth to a flame yet tormented by that very flame. No appreciation of the good things in life.

    Poor Derek. No wonder he talks such pure and unadulerated CRAP.
    More to be pitied than blamed.

  • Andrew Ryan

    Shard,

    The problem comes when anyone who makes a comment that does not praise Wenger or the board is labelled with a throw away acronymn. This occurs on this site time after time to those you have classified as first category supporters. You don’t have to be opposed to Arsenal doing well to see that a manager who has won nothing in 7 years, maybe is not the expert he was in his first 9 years.

  • Georgaki-Pyrovolitis

    @derek at 4:13 pm

    Assuming we agree with you (I certainly don’t) what are we supposed to do,what can we do go on a march and protest?

    You are just a heckler, benefiting form internet anonymity. Perhaps this is the highlight of your life, trolling forums to get any kind of response. Sad boy.

  • Shard

    True Andrew,and that’s why I don’t use the acronym. As regards your point about the manager. Also fair enough, but also perhaps some people feel that the difference between us winning trophies before and not winning trophies for 7 years is not down to the manager, rather due to factors outside of his control, the effects of which have been mitigated in large part through his efforts and expertise.

  • americangooner

    some commenters here have more of an issue with an acronym- that is severely limited to this site – rather than on the gist of the article, which is vermaelen isn’t drawn to the negativity that perennially surrounds some sector of fans. he thinks negativity to be one that drains energy and focus. he is more focused on improving his performance than destructive criticism.

  • Georgaki-Pyrovolitis

    @Andrew Ryan at 4:14 pm

    You offer nothing other than the obvious observations “a manager who has won nothing in 7 years,” try putting that into context. It might get a little more respect.

  • derek

    Fergie has not gone out and spent 30 + million on a player but what he has done in the main is buy qulaity players at reasonable money and yea he has had some failures but has offloaded them pretty quickly. Lets face it he got VP for a song!

  • derek

    @andre-ryan..no point in trying to convince the sheep. We are now talking about bring in Huntelaar – what a pedestrian, 29 year old, who cannot do anything outside the box?. Nani for £20m- a diving, theatrical show pony who thinks he’s Ronaldo and plays like him once a year. Time for Shawcross? Yes please, and if they’re still around, why not go for Martin Taylor and Dan Smith? None of these will happen and nor will most other rumours. The team needs a few people to put their bodies on the line and to be proud of the shirt- new faces might help, but the overall bad attitude and complacency will not disappear now- it’s been here for some years. By the way, I know someone who once had a drink with someone else who knows the cleaner who used to clean RVP’s house. He said that the Dutch skunk was always going to leave for more money. Much more credibility than the forum idiot’s post yesterday.

    How much is Stanley sticking it to us? Well, direct comparison of ticket prices is pretty meaningless because people earn much more nowadays than they earned, say, 50 years or even 15 years ago. So a much more accurate comparison would be man-hours worked to pay the price of a ticket. So here goes. In 1960 average wage was £700 pa = £14 per week = approx £3 per working day and a ticket at Highbury cost 7/- (35p) = one hour of work. In 1989 average wage was £13500 pa = £270 pa = £54 per working day and a ticket at Highbury cost £12 = two hours work app. In 2012 average wage is £25000 pa = £500 per week = £100 per working day and a ticket for an A-listed game averages £83 – which (if you include a programme, a cup of tea and the bus fare) = A FULL WORKING DAY.

  • Georgaki-Pyrovolitis

    @derek at 4:26 pm

    Berbatov was £33m and how often was he used and how long did he hold on to him. We can add to the list don’t worry…Fergie was the first to spend big money on players…The difference being ManU could do it because they have been paying there way for years, unlike ManCity and Chelski…come back prepared…

  • Georgaki-Pyrovolitis

    @derek at 4:31 pm

    “By the way, I know someone who once had a drink with someone else who knows the cleaner who used to clean RVP’s house. He said that the Dutch skunk was always going to leave for more money.”

    That’s it. You are wasting your time. No more reactions from me….

  • Woody

    Interesting article Walter.

    @ Derek
    “Fergie has not gone out and spent 30 + million on a player but what he has done in the main is buy quality players at reasonable money”

    You’re joking right? Fergie for years was always first to throw as much money as he had to land a player. He paid 30m+ for both Berbatov and Ferdinand. Didn’t Berbatov just sign for Fulham for 5m? If you work it out he just cost Fergie 50m over the last four years.
    Good business there then. In case you cannot do the math. He just lost 45m on that deal.
    RVP was offer 190,000 a week to stay. He chose to take the money and run.
    That’ll cost Man. U approx. 71m over the next four years. Bargain EH.
    I know who I’d rather be managing my team. Obviously you have other ideas.
    Are you Rupert in disquise?

  • Andrew Ryan

    Georgaki-Pyrovolitis

    By perspective and context I assume you are referring to Wenger now being the longest serving manager without a trophy. The previous worst sequence being the unfortunate George Morrell, who had to put up with alot more negative politics and financial issues than the current incumbent.

    The excellent book on Woolwich Arsenal published by the AHS history site has all the details.

  • Shard

    Andrew

    Do you really want everyone to go over the whole financing the new stadium, rise of billionaire clubs, long term commercial deals being locked in while the league’s revenues grew etc etc? That is context which you are obviously aware of but choose to ignore for some reason.

  • Andrew Ryan

    Shard,

    Not really, its boring going over and over the same excuses. While I agree Wenger has papered over the cracks to some degree he has the look of a once great manager who is now a relative shadow of his former self. It would be lovely for it not to be, and for him to regain his previous greatness, but…

  • WalterBroeckx

    From the moment you replace negative thoughts with positive one, you will get positive results.
    Don’t know who said it but I just read it when coming home and this is what it is all about.

  • Georgaki-Pyrovolitis

    @Andrew Ryan at 4:52 pm

    Believe me I never shy away from hearing what Wengers detractors have to say. I often read Myles Palmer and other hostile bloggs. None base their criticisms on firm evidence, just the usual obvious observations “he hasn’t won a a trophy for 7 years” or perpetuate descriptions like “Wenger is an absolute dictator, an autocrat, stubborn, unyielding, snob etc.,” Blah, blah, blah..

    I am persuaded by evidence not hearsay…

    Listen, I live in hope that he will deliver again, the best football I have ever witnessed in the EPL. No other manager has had such an impact of the EPL….

  • Andrew Ryan

    Georgaki-Pyrovolitis
    Shard
    Walter

    Have you read the excellent book on Woolwich Arsenal published by the AHS history site? Its utterly definitive but unfortunately out of stock again on Amazon.

  • derek

    I’m not sure the stadium is as full as people think. The games I’ve been to sofar have been reportedly sold out. But there are soo many red patches all across the stadium. The only place that is ever packed solid is the away section. I’ve heard that when they declare the ground is sold out, they are talking about tickets sold rather than bums in seats or feet through the turnstiles. Like you said, from a business perspective the club is very, VERY, healthy. But the fact that people are getting tickets that they don’t bother using makes me wonder who they are, how they got the tickets and what this means for the future. Are season ticket holder voting with their feet, or are too many tickets going to sponsers and media folk who treat going to football like a trip to the cinema?

  • Georgaki-Pyrovolitis

    @Andrew Ryan at 5:30 pm

    No, but I have read most of the books on Wenger.The latest updated “Arsenal: The making of a modern Superclub” by Alex Fynn and Kevin Wichter is really quite critical. I’ve also heard the podcast by Alex Fynn where he claims Wenger has had money to spend just 3 years after the stadium move but has opted not to use it.

    I cannot imagine that the pressures in the past i.e., before the internet, the age of instant gratification, the policy of ‘soft diplomacy’ practiced by the Arab dictators investing in ManCity and the shady guy who owns Chelski would be more to contend with. But then I haven’t read the book yet…

  • Andrew Ryan

    Georgaki-Pyrovolitis

    Christmas is coming and I’m sure Tony A. would appreciate another sale. It is very detailed and interesting, genuinely uncovering new info, and it appears to be selling well. It is regularly sold out on Amazon.

    As for podacsts have you listened to the Tuesday club? If not please do so – it’s fantastic.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Shocking. We have some very good players and some very flakey players. This club really has to up its game all round. And that includes the manager. A great chance for a trophy, bottled it yet again. The mental strength thing strikes again. I have spent a lot of time defending this team and manager in some hostile places, but this season, they are seriously letting us down. It was not a lack of effort, but they were dead on their feet like Birmingham….even cross the ball. If this were a one off I could take it, but it isn’t, there is something seriously wrong with this squad. In the first half, they looked completely under prepped to play a league two side …the question is why? This has to be the all time low under wengers reign.
    You will not be able to move on this board for aaa and their spud mates for weeks. Another year without a trophy, that I can live with with our constraints we have been under, but it is harder to live with what we have seen this season. I repeat, shocking.

  • bob

    Mandy,
    In the face of this “performance,” is January not the acid test of what this edition of AFC actually about? There are glaring needs. Is Gervinho’s last third disconnect sustainable? etc. etc.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Vermis statement has a lot of sense..

    Bradford stadium (very Highburyesque), with it 23000 fans made more noise than we manage in a 60000 seater Ems.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Mandy, the question is who imposed those constraints and just how tight are they?

  • Just a thought but perhaps Vermaelen SHOULD take a more negative view of the teams performances. The reality check would help the team I think – instead of the ‘we’re fine’ approach as we stumble from one low to the next. Against Bradford last night Vermaelen was simply awful. He has no discipline at all – charging in and giving away stupid free kicks time and time again.

    Acceptance of the problem is the first stage to a cure.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Get the Verminator to kick some butts and I ‘m sure “We’ll be back !”

  • Rupert Cook

    Perhaps Wenger should accept there’s a problem.

    Apparently we only sign top top quality players, whatever that means. Because based on what I’ve seen of our squad I’d say about three players could be described that way.

    Falcao is a top top player and seeing as Chelsea aren’t in the CL anymore here’s our chance to prove we are ambitious. Spend some of that huge cash pile we have on a player who is actually top top quality. We might actually have a chance to win something because the strikers we have are decidedly average.

    Yes it’s a lot of money but nothing compared to how much we’ll have to spend in a few years time when the club has sold the few decent players it has and replaced them with nonentities.

    If we don’t start spending like the big club we pretend we are we can look forward to years in the wilderness.

  • Shard

    Jayram

    There is a difference in being realistic and being negative. Negativity is called that for a reason. It doesn’t help. Being self critical but being positive is good. It’s constructive. And Vermalen’s comments seem to echo that. If anything the team could do with feeling more positive about themselves. I said this 2 seasons ago too. The only times we saw the real team play was when the fans were entirely behind them. Barcelona. Spurs. Milan. ANd a few other examples I can’t remember now. It’s not easy and yes the team have to improve. But loud, vocal, incessant support when they’re on the pitch can only help. And in that sense, the fans have lost a sense of fight as much as the players. Which doesn’t excuse the players. Just a reminder that we’re all in this together. I mean if you feel the club’s successes as your own. Why not the club’s failures?

  • Rupert Cook

    I think some of us forget that the prime objective of AFC is to balance the books, not win trophies.

    As long as we remember that we’ll all be a lot happier.

  • Shard I think you are right. We’re not privy to the discussions that happen behind closed doors, but I would hope that the team and manager are accepting that they are performing poorly and letting the club, fans, and themselves down.

    Part of the problem is that I don’t really believe they are doing that, because we dont see evidence of it on the pitch.

    I can accept losing as long as I see the team really battle – but last night, as an example, I only saw Jack Wilshere and Thomas Rosicky really focused, determined and giving everything.

    When I see players like Vermaelen make the same mistakes week in week out – basic errors like rushing in to win a ball they can’t possibly get to – it does make me wonder if they are REALLY working on fixing the problems.

    Frustrating time to be an Arsenal fan.

  • Rupert Cook

    One has to wonder exactly what goes on in Wenger’s mind. Why does he play Ramsey on the wing? That doesn’t work. Why are most of his substitutions reactive rather than proactive? Why are we passing the ball around endlessly with no end product? Why are key areas in the team not strenghtened? Why has he become a manager who seems to lack any tactical nous? What the hell has happened to him?

  • A. Stewart

    He needs to worry more about his poor positioning and general defensive awareness (been happening since his first season and is not a recent thing) more than worrying about who (fans inferred) is being negative or not.

    He’s a pretty average PL level defender though, really don’t and never have seen much special about his defending.

    Imo, probably our 3rd best CB, but is effectively undroppable now that he is Captain.

  • A. Stewart

    @ Georgaki-Pyrovolitis re: “None base their criticisms on firm evidence, just the usual obvious observations “he hasn’t won a a trophy for 7 years””..

    You just highlighted the firmest piece of evidence that Wenger detractors point to as his primary failure…i.e. not being able to win a trophy for 7 (looks like 8 years). A situation that wouldn’t be tolerated at any other of Europe’s elite clubs during the same period (yes that is an assumption on my part but a very reasonable one given how many managers at elite clubs who have won things during this time have been sacked). A situation given our profitability, financial worth and Wenger’s own tremendous earnings (yes I haven’t seen his actual pay cheques and bank statements), extensive wage bill, and very large number of pros is troubling for many.

    That he hasn’t won a trophy for 7 going on 8 years now (and clubs in England that are worth less, and have less quality squads have won trophies during this time), is actual firm evidence to his detractors that he isn’t performing well. As you say it’s on of “the usual obvious observations”… and it’s the firmest most obvious piece ofactual hard evidence too they usually cite. Not sure who that doesn’t qualify as firm evidence.

  • A. Stewart

    Also Wenger loyalists seem to paint everything as excusable through the eyes of finances (ironic since we seem to prioritize the financial aspect more than most/all)..But imo and in that of many, many of Wenger’s failings are not acutely a result of anything directly financial but cover things like tactics, relying on injury-prone players, lack of in-game adjustments, playing players out of position often, strange team selections and player omissions (some big cup semis etc come to mind in recent years) etc etc….

    To think that somehow when the magical FFP comes into effect (as though other clubs aren’t smart enough to prepare and to exploit loopholes, and that it will have as much tooth as hoped), that everything will be great to me is misplaced, because many of Wenger’s problems are squarely managerial and not reflecting of bigger picture finanical issues.

    Right back on topic, Vermaelen….pretty average defender.

  • A. Stewart

    @ Woody re: “RVP was offer 190,000 a week to stay. He chose to take the money and run.”… first off the blog and its core members usually frown on quoting salaries etc that paint AFC/Wenger/our players in a bad light, and are quick to say that those doing so are only speculating and don’t have actual evidence and that “no-one really knows exactly except those in the club” etc.

    However, unsurprisingly there is not such criticism of tossing around figures like 190K a week when it’s a reference to making someone look bad who doesn’t play for us.

    Anyway you say he chose to take the money and run, for me I infer that you and many here think he is a mercenary.

    Glass houses, because imo, AFC is littered with mercenaries. The majority of our better players who “chose” (very debatable in some cases) to leave have actually won something during the time we haven’t..so it’s quite arguable that they “chose” to leave for the sporting and financial success on offer elsewhere that in many cases their elite talent and status in the game deserved/can command.

    So is it worse that RvP for example is a mercenary band bolted for the money? Because to me he is in the very elite bracket of top players in world football today, and in today’s market amongst elite clubs can command the high salary that he is now earning (which will probably come along with some silverware), and thus is being paid at today’s market value for his status (regardless of if you think it’s obscene or not)

    Is that being more of a mercenary and taking the money over the litany of players who (imo and that of many) seem content to hardly play or never play while arguably making far more than their actual market value per their ability/status in the game? Players who if they had a shred of ambition would actually try to salvage their playing careers at lower clubs, but with less pay?

    Top players going to top clubs to make top money and win trophies are far less mercenaries in my view than average players content to play (well not play really) for us and making far more than their market value (and eat up valuable wages and spots and thus make it more difficult to retain and attract genuine top players as a result).

    But hey, it’s always easier to point fingers at others as being money-motivated mercenaries, even though the vast majority of our better players who have left us in recent years also have trophies to show for their increased bank account balances..

  • Uk

    A. Stewart, couldn’t have said it better. Anyway, i guess RVP,cesc,ian wright, etc are AAA. Verminator have fun with walter and tony, i’d rather celebrate trophies with the big boys. Hell, even andre santos can’t wait