Arsenal News
Arsenal News & Transfers
As featured on NewsNow: Arsenal newsArsenal News 24/7

Arsenal News, Only Arsenal, Blogs, Transfer News

Archives

September 2017
M T W T F S S
« Aug    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  

Where are we now, where might we have been

By Tony Attwood

The idea is simple: let’s make up someone who can be Mr Incompetent, and lets laugh at him a lot.   Oh I know.  Mr Wenger.  The one man in the Premier League who never ducks a question, never refuses to talk to the media, always graces even the most stupid journalistic question with an answer – let’s get him.

It is difficult to think of a club that has come under such attack as Arsenal have in the last couple of weeks.  Arsenal were one of three top clubs that lost to lower league opposition recently in the Cup.  But has Tottenham and Liverpool undergone such attacks?  I suspect not.

Arsenal lost to Bayern Munich – and were criticised for that.  Forgetting perhaps the English teams already out of the competition.  Did they get attacked?  No.

Arsenal might not qualify for the Champions League next season.  They might, but they might not.  So let us look at the league table.  Liverpool isn’t even listed in my little extract from the league positions.

1 (1) Manchester United 27 22 2 3 64 31 33 68
2 (2) Manchester City 27 16 8 3 50 24 26 56
3 (4) Tottenham Hotspur 27 15 6 6 47 32 15 51
4 (3) Chelsea 27 14 7 6 55 30 25 49
5 (5) Arsenal 27 13 8 6 52 30 22 47
6 (6) Everton 27 10 12 5 41 34 7 42

Are Liverpool being torn apart week after week?  I think not.

No, Arsenal, and in particular, Mr Wenger, is the target.  And when the journalists have had enough, they go and get all the ex-players who can be found and who just reiterate the same old stuff, over and over.    The ex-players quite like it, since they are all after media work.  Funny thing that – if you want a job in the media, your chances of getting such a chance are enhanced if you are an ex-Arsenal player with a penchant for mouthing off.

Shame on you guys.  We worshipped you, just like we worshipped the team and the club of your era.  Turning your back on Arsenal now and spouting this drivel does not help anyone – except yourselves.  Now we see you as you really are.

Then a minority of fans get onto the phone ins and slag off Wenger.  The pro-Wenger lobby – the people who have cheered at the recent upturn in form in league matches – don’t bother with such tripe.  So it goes.

In reality is that this is certainly not our best Wengerian season, but it is one hell of a lot better than we have been most of the time in Arsenal’s history.  Do you remember when we were bottom of the league?   Well, if you claim to have been an Arsenal supporter who saw the first double under Bertie Mee in 1971, you’ll remember.  It was Bertie Mee who also took us to the bottom of the league.  Under Wenger there has been more doubles and nothing like that.

Instead of the years and years of failure after 1972, we have had 13 years of playing in the knockout stages of the Champions league.  And for all the years since we won a trophy, there is no reporting in the press of how many years it has been since Tottenham won the league.  Why not?  If Arsenal is due all this attack, why not Tottenham?

OK they may have won some things (I haven’t really noticed).  But if that is the case it is only because of the way the media has framed the question.  Why is winning anything the issue?  Why not “winning the league” or “winning the league without losing a match”.

We also have the Emirates, which I think is a brilliant stadium.  We are not like the clubs who have yet to develop a new stadium (rather like Tottenham, Everton and Liverpool).  We didn’t have to get the state to build the stadium for us (as did Man City, and presumably as WHU are getting).

And we don’t have huge debts or a benefactor, just at the time when financial regulations are moving in a direction that benefits us.

Of course I would like us to be higher up the league, to have beaten Bradford and Blackburn, and not to be behind Tottenham.  Of course.

But not at the cost of the spending of Manchester City or Chelsea and giving ourselves up to a benefactor who changes manager when he feels like it.

And so what I want to know is why the press corps let Roberto Mancini say that he has been the best manager in England over the last 15 months or so, without anyone who was at the press conferences having a bash at him, rather than bashing Arsene Wenger.

That is not to say that I want to attack Mancini, any more than I particularly cared about the fact that Sir Alex wouldn’t talk to the BBC for quite a while (actually I quite enjoyed that) but it really all does seem one rule for Arsenal, one rule for the rest.

Where was the criticism of the failure of Man City and Chelsea in the Champs League this year?  Sure there was some, but it only lasted a little time.  And I don’t mean to compare that with Arsenal who will probably go out to Bayern after the next game.  I simply mean, judged by their resources and expectations, surely they were due some criticism.  And yes they got some – but nothing like the stuff thrown at Arsenal by the press day after day after day after day after day.

For me the worst possible outcome of this media and AAA hysteria would be not that Mr Wenger would leave (although that would be bad enough) but rather that he would leave and go and manage at Manchester City.  Because with the endless resources there he would walk off with the Double.  And the Champions League.  Worse we would get one of the other supposedly top managers like Benitez.  Now that would be a test of my endless loyalty.

But of course we don’t know who will go where or when, and we can only marvel at how Liverpool FC has managed to sink as low as it has, and to screw up its transfers as much as it has, without getting 5% of the negative comment Arsenal gets every day, every month.

I wonder also about the summer to come.   If Luis Suarez is tempted out of Liverpool and Gareth Bale out of Tottenham, just as Cesc and RVP were tempted out of Arsenal, what then?  Will they both find replacements that continue to keep them where they are (striving for a top four in Tottenham’s case, playing catch up in Liverpool’s).

But let’s try it backwards.  What if Arsenal had not been the force it has been.  Supposing we had continued with Rioch – would we have stood in the way of endless domination by Man U?  I doubt it.  Instead I rather think the league would have been closer to the situation in Scotland in their top league (and come to that in their third division).

Under Rioch I can’t see us having kept pace with Liverpool, let alone Chelsea.  I rather suspect that we would be more interested in keeping up with the clubs at the foot of the league, rather than having created the only Unbeaten Season in either the 20th or 21st centuries.  No doubles, just a mid-table job with occasional trips into the Championship – just like Man U, Man C and Tottenham before us.  (Actually I am sure Chelsea went down as well sometime, but I just can’t remember when it was).

We have had a wonderful time, seen wonderful football, are still up with the elite, who spend so much more than us, and are ready to take advantage of our new money, and the new FFP regulations.   Of course if you demand that Arsenal win the league all the time, that’s not enough.  But perhaps I still remember being bottom of the league under Bertie Mee, and that’s why I am willing to wait a while longer.

The books…

The other sites from the same team…

 

73 comments to Where are we now, where might we have been

  • James

    Other than the kicking at Rioch (I was living in Austria that year, so I’ve never had a really clear picture of how his reign went), this pretty much echoes everything I feel about the current state of affairs.

  • Gun_1

    Spot on…brilliant article.

  • WalterBroeckx

    If my information is correct Chelsea played lower league football from 1975 up to 1989?

  • ogban

    Thanks for something refreshingly different! In Arsene we trust. Gunners for ever.

  • JohnW

    There’s an agenda we have not unearthed. believe me. Why would BBC suddenly join the bandwagon! If we win on Sunday, I’m sure the media will state how nervy we were; if we get cheated by poor refereeing, i almost certain it will get washed down in a media tirade about how a spent force we’re. This season more than else, I would really like us to serve humble pie to the media by finishing above Chelsea and Spurs. I know its not a trophy, but it will allow us to assess what their agenda really is.

  • walter

    OFF TOPIC

    call me old fashioned, call me a soft one, call me whatever you like but things like this make me feel very proud to being a Gooner http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/club-opens-new-teenage-cancer-trust-unit

    In a way this is where we are now!

  • Good assessment. With the records Wenger has made, which Arsenal fun would like to see Wenger doing the same in Man City, Chelsea or any other unknown club since you want him out?
    There people who just love the club and they should be encouraged or supported to excel ( players and managers). He is paid some good amount of money but he never complains. The guy identified very good players and needs the rquired funds to get them but our (arsenal) situation can not sustain it.

  • AL

    Spot on with everything you say Tony. Just like City & Chelsea this year, I dont remember Utd getting blasted by the media for going out in the first round of the champions league last season from what was then the weakest group. Nor after they were subsequently eliminated in the europa cup at the first attempt. Imagine if it was Arsenal who had lost the title to City by virtually the last kick of the season. We would have been called any name you could think of under the sun. Some of them in the media still talk of the way we ‘bottled’ it in the CC against birmingham. Ok, lets just assume that the other teams above us dont get so much stick supposedly because they’re in a higher postion than us. But as you correctly point out, how about Liverpool? This is a team that has consistently got it wrong in every way imaginable; transfers, league finishes, managers, bad results, the whole lot, that its not even funny anymore. But still they get positive coverage. I shudder to think where we would be if suarez played for Arsenal, its scary to even think about it.

    I am sorry I dont want to call anyone any names or offend anybody, but for anyone to fail to see the blatant media bias against Arsenal is nothing short of, or lets just say it borders on the stupidity to me.

  • Adam

    I think the media are a tad wary of going too far with Liverpool after they boycotted the Sun. Although they did give Suarez some grief.

    Another alternate reality for you;

    Rioch remains in the job, we have no new stadium, Abramovich or Mansour buys the club and were all taking stick off of the rest of the footballing community because of our business model.

    so no change then.

  • AL

    Adam,
    I agree the media did give suarez some grief, but given his antics I am absoultely certain he would have been slaughtered if he played for Arsenal. He would have left by now, I’m sure of that. Just look at how a saint like Eduardo was treated after that one small debatable penalty incident against Celtic. Anyway, lets not digress from the topic too much, the media need to give us a break. I have also noticed they tend to report favourably on any European side Arsenal will be facing, that it almost looks as if Arsenal will be the foreign side.

  • Adam

    Al, I don’t generally read the rags but even I notice that the BBC will be negative regarding Arsenal, amongst many other media sources. I just wish the reasons for such negativity were clear to me, but I just can’t get my head around it all. I have read really negative reports on TV (old teletext type thing) then looked up where this has come from and found it to be a snippet from an online BBC article.

    For me its lazy, if these people really wanted a story they should be looking in to the background rules of football governance and why we need such rules?

  • Oguntuase Amos

    The plot is clear. Wenger rubbished British managers and taught them modern football in terms of tactics, facilties, training protocol and revolutionary diet, state of the art stadium, training and medical facilities, unearthing raw talents and polishing them to become stars. He demonstrated that you don’t need to spend fortunes to win and remain successful and that a club can be self sufficient. He also does not pay royalties to the press for image laundering. Above all! he is a French man. Whether the critics like it or not, Wenger had contributed to the development of modern football in England than any manager dead or alive including Ferguson. Truly Ferguson had won many trophies; those are to the coffers of Man U, but the contributions of Wenger are felt and copied by all as they have revolutionized in England the administration of football and how it is played. Does anybody think an average English man nay the press would ever forgive Wenger a common foreigner coming to teach them something about football.? Does he not know that football was first played in England? We would harass him, embarrass him, we will use the press against him, we would influence the referees against his team, we would tempt his good players with huge wages, we would frustrate him out of England, but thank God that Wenger stood up like a man and he would triumph at the end. Wenger is a man of integrity who does not believe in squandering people’s wealth, he manages Arsenal as if the club is his own and the players like his children not the use and dump mentality. He is indeed a rare gem. I am proud of him and a country that manages to have him as either their manager or director of football development would reap abundant rewards in both the short and the long run.

  • Tasos

    Arsene Wenger has been and continues to be crucified by many in the media simply because he hasn’t won a trophy for 7/8 years.

    Whilst the very same people lord over the Everton manager David Moyes. One of the best managers in the EPL we are told, even though he hasn’t won a single trophy during his 10 year tenure. In fact David Moyes has only ever won a lower league title with Preston North End and that some 13 years ago now.

    If we are to believe that winning trophies really is the ONLY guide of a managers/coach’s true quality then who nominated David Moyes LMA Manager of the Year in 2002–03, 2004–05 & 2008–09 and why did Alan Pardew also receive that accolade last year when his Newcastle team ended the season pot-less?

  • Jed

    Evening Tasos
    I think it’s all about performance relative to resources. Moyes has been very consistent with Everton on about half the wages that Wenger has had to play with (though of course AW has been consistent too). My take on AW’s performance is that he has gone from relative outperformance (as described by Oguntuase Amos) in the first decade to getting the right sort of results for our expenditure (4th richest – 4th place).
    And turning to Pardew, I’ve got no complaints about his award last year given what he achieved on the money he had available. And he is continuing to do well in the transfer market this season IMHO, albeit with less league success.

  • marcus

    If all that matters is winning trophies, then it is better to lose in the first round to a 3rd divison club for 5 years on the trot, and then in the sixth year win the trophy, than to consistently ‘come second’ as Wenger has done, getting to quarter finals and semi finals, and being runner-up in the league.

    I think we should congratulate AW and AFC for failing properly, and so should the media, instead of all this losing at the last hurdle stuff.

  • Tasos

    @Jed

    Exactly.

    I’ve no problem with either manager winning those awards.

    Both have achieved success relative to their resources without winning trophies, so I ask why does that same rational not apply to Arsene Wenger?

    Double standards.

  • Andrei

    Interesting read, Tony. However I don’t quite get what is your beaf with Benitez. After all, you are not a Chelsea supporter.

    “Worse we would get one of the other supposedly top managers like Benitez. Now that would be a test of my endless loyalty”

    Now you suggest that the lion’s share of British media critisism is reserverd for Arsenal and Arsene Wenger. In the same article you join them in ridiculing Benitez something they have done relentlessly since joined LFC. Sounds a bit contradicting doesn’t it?

    Here is genuine question. What is the reason that you question Benitez credentials as a “top manager”? After all his record is quite impressive especially in Europe. I’m not suggesting that Arsenal should get busy hiring Benitez just asking.

  • I remember those days we were glad that Bertie Mee came in he gave us our first double.I can remember the Swindon years still sends shivers down the spine these were the days when highbury was less than full more like half.Billy Wright gave us hope not much else then up and down till Graham turned up prehaps with not great football but winning football.With all the managers who have managed Arsenal in my time Mr Wenger gave us the best time so just remember when you hurl abuse you could have had Swindon then you would have been upset there are worse managers than Mr Wenger not only in our past but also in the future.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Agree tasos, David moyes is just stoke or Sunderland, with a couple of very good players. Depressing dinosaur kick and rush stuff that has set English football back so far. Wenger has been quoted as saying that football should be a feast, this seems to be his core belief. how sustainable this is remains to be seen with the petrodollar boys, and the young data driven tacticians using the Jose tactics straight out of the Nfl. But we seem to be no longer under the financial pressures of years gone by. These tactics used by other managers may ultimately prove to work, certainly seems easier to,destroy our play than for opposing teams to create, for whatever reason…at the moment..but if negation is the key to success, it will prove a much more boring world than that envisaged by wenger.Things have not gone great this season so far at least, so far for me, grade c at best, but as the great man says.we will miss him when he is gone. We may ultimately win more trophies than we are at the moment with managers to come , but we will miss him.

  • bob

    Mr. Attwood,
    While I fully agree (fully) with you that the negative media coverage of AFC/AW is massively disproportionate to how our rivals are treated, where we part company today is in your use of the long history (when we were Mee’d) as a basis for advocating a form of patience that seems just as disproportionately silent (blind?) to AFC’s downside on the pitch. It’s not enough to say “of course” when it comes to the Bradford-Blackburn debacles. What’s needed is analysis and proposed remedy. Instead, your patience (in practice) replaces advocacy; it means to not ever gets out in front of any transfer window to pose a request of the manager/management, let alone a willingness to analyze what are our critical needs and hold anyone accountable for not addressing them, etc. etc. I couldn’t agree more with Mandy Dodd that this is a grade C-season that demands change. But you won’t go near that in print. Instead we get reminded of what happened 36-46 years ago and how much better it is today by comparison. Well, please take on that some will find that a truism and a way to sidestep identifying/ addressing in your voice, that problems exist, that changes are needed, and that here are what I think could/should be done. I mean that would be taking the oh so arrogant stand of omg, putting oneself in place of the manager. (After all, what can anybody respond to that truism? I mean we are fans who are locked out of the inner sanctum’s of what goes on at AFC, so what else can anyone expect?)

    Mr. Attwood, you’re consistently spot on in noting how the hyenas truly do have it in for us – and there (and elsewhere – racism, refshite, corruption) your courage is hugely commendable – heroic, in my book. But when it comes to pitch performance, you refuse to issue a card (other than get out of jail free); and don’t/won’t demand any accountability of any Arsenal player or management figure or marketeer or investor (except for Usmanov). In today’s very piece, you invoke history to advocate infinite patience and tribal faith (and on a non-specific basis); and, to finally justify this, you end by setting up a straw man to easily knock down, as follows: “Of course if you demand that Arsenal win the league all the time, that’s not enough. But perhaps I still remember being bottom of the league under Bertie Mee, and that’s why I am willing to wait a while longer.” Well, Bertie Mee may well be, but exactly who is it that today is demanding “that Arsenal win the league all the time”?

    Yes, surely it’s a rhetorical flourish; but it is a bit bullying in its dug-in refusal to entertain or propose any remedy to address any gaping weaknesses in the side. I guess you don’t find any gaping weaknesses. Or find any grounds for holding anyone accountable for it/them. At transfer windows you don’t/won’t advocate for any player/personnel move (only offer up dullish profiles of the latest player we’ve been “tied to” by the doltish media, mostly both as filler, imo). But there’s never the risk of getting out in front of the club’s final decision to acutally spend or not to spend. Mostly, the position you take is don’t spend. And, if necessity demands it (like Gibbs injury), then it (bringing in Nacho) becomes proof that we spend.

    You label this “football news with a positive arsenal perspective,” but this editorial angle avoids heartfelt constructive criticism of our performances, placing them beyond the UA pale. Does that mean that such criticism is simply negative? Is there no difference between that and AAA-dumb?

    Anyway, I don’t expect a reply, but this much said, and I do mean every word: this website of yours is, overall, a brilliant and needed free-speech zone: where people can opine and debate with you, and with each other, to our hearts’ content and discontent alike. And I do and will continue to thank and applaud you (in word and with mouse clicks) for this gift. (And, Mr. Attwood, for your sidebar link over there to Mr. Bob Dylan).

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Nice read ,Tony ,and like most I would love to out the culprits who are the cause of this media witchhunt and tar and feather them .
    I’d love to pull out their fingernails one by one and waterboard them till they squeal like the little pigs they are ! If that doesn’t work , then I ‘d use real torture !
    What’s that ? It’s not legal ? Damn !

  • bill from manhattan

    the media whores are constantly bashing wenger are not fooling me. the same old tired bullshit, arsenal haven’t won anything in 8 years blah blah blah blah. over here in the states it has started too. i have read snippets in sports illustrated magazine about the demise of our proud team and giant of a manager. i am afraid a small portion of our fans have drank the kool aid. these pointy headed morons have let these media whores do there thinking for them. a couple of months ago i was watching espn and even ian darke trotted out the same old crap. when tottenham is on the telly one ever hears about spurs not winning the league in over 50 years. a mongoloid idiot can see whats going on. i remember the great dean smith who was the longtime basketball coach at north carolina university. he had a couple of barren years and some people were calling for his head on a pike. they said he has lost the plot and doesn’t know how to coach anymore. people in the know just laughed and paid no mind to that drivel. at that time coach smith was coaching b-ball at the university for 30 years and was the all time winningest coach in the history of college basketball. he is now in the basketball hall of fame and has a statue of himself outside the arena that bears his name. ha ha ha. open your eyes morons and think for yourselves, if wenger was from the u.k. they would be errecting statues of him. he is the most inovative manager of the modern era. he knew there would be bad times because of the funding of the new stadium and he chose to complete the task. you pin heads are out of your non delveloped minds if you think mourinho, ferguson, mancini or any of those so called great managers would have done likewise. i hate when the media whores piss down my back and tell me don’t worry it’s only the rain. you never miss your water till the well runs dry. lets be honest about things, our bad years have been pretty damn good. a lot of clubs would love to have our bad patch. 16 straight years of champions league football and a super new stadium. i think you punk-assed whinging bitches jumped on the arsenal band wagon during the undefeated season, and now can’t stop crying about no trophies. DO ME A FUCKING FAVOR AND GO FUCKING SUPPORT ANOTHER CLUB. you know who you are morons. think for yourselves.

  • bob

    Mandy Dodd,
    An interesting read, plus quality comments that analyzes the current state and near to middle term prospects of AFC financing. I wonder what your thoughts are if you have the chance: http://www.7amkickoff.com/

  • Sav from Australia

    Nice article, Tony. Good point that needs to be made.

    Arsenal for the league next season, anyone? Or am I crazy?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Some places to send the AAA –

    I have been in many places, but I’ve never been in Cahoots. Apparently, you can’t go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone.

    I’ve also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there.

    I have, however, been in Sane. They don’t have an airport; you have to be driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to my friends, family and work.

    I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, and I’m not too much on physical activity anymore.

    I have also been in Doubt. That is a sad place to go, and I try not to visit there too often.

    I’ve been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm.

  • meditation

    is this whats happening to the league? van persie to man u ? American owners? just questions. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8XPk8Tlid4

  • meditation

    is it illegal to leagues and associations to fix outcomes? does the entertainment title on the match day tickets allow this?

  • meditation

    is it illegal for leagues and associations to fix outcomes?

  • Tasos

    @meditation

    Good link/listen.

    It all sounds horribly familiar to Me.

  • Mandy Dodd

    interesting link bob. I know swiss ramble decline to comment for that article, but i can remember him saying very similar things. we are not guaranteed a place in europe, fans will be wanting more than we have achieved recently and we do pay high prices. i hope we have done things to address our top players leaving, this more than anything has been killing us. next year, we really have to kick on, that will mean strengthening not only playing staff but our system of playing. this means not having to take on top teams like bayern without a very good more defensive minded mf. this means not letting in sloppy goals. this means having another top striker. i neither like nor trust stewart robson, but despite some improvements, it just does not look like Bould has any influence at all on this team, if so, that is negligent. i know Shard and others quite rightly point out that we do not want a return to all the nil-nils earlier in the season, when maybe they were drilled a bit more than sb, but there has to be a happy medium, defensively, and attack wise, we have been found wanting against the top teams, and some lesser teams, we have the resources to stop these problems and excuses will no longer do. this team can move forward massively next season, but they do need to change a few things, for everyones sake. i believe they will, failure to do so is unthinkable

  • nihirealist

    bob,

    Was selling Cesc and Nasri and Van Persie a part of our strategy? Or were they players we just couldn’t hold onto and lost against our will in the face of our restrained spending ability, especially in comparison to some artificially boosted clubs? If it’s the latter, then I don’t think you can class the former as part of our strategy. We’ve spent most of what we made from these transfers on buying players to replace them, and on higher wages (more players), so it’s not like this was a substantial stream of revenue that was planned before. On the other hand, if we keep Cesc, Nasri and Van Persie, we win some trophies which boost our revenues directly and indirectly. I think that was our plan.

    But we’ve had to adjust to reality, and this has caused it’s own problems. One thing I think we can all agree on is that it can’t go on for much longer. Losing players we want to keep. In this regard we’ve had some success recently. I think and hope that the phase of players leaving us like that is over, and that we can build on the side now. It is crucial to finish in the top 4 though. Our finances are still not as brilliant as people generally believe, and that loss of 30m will be huge.

  • uk

    Great question andrei, in these years of wenger barreness, benitez has won d’champ league(in his first season) and world club cup, yet tony joins d’press in benitez bashing, then comes here to act like wenger’s d’only one being bashed. Tony y do you bash benitez?
    Man city got elimininated from d’champ league, just like we r about to, the press still goes on about it, mancini lost his cool last week, told the press to stop asking if he’s gonna be sacked, said if he deserves to be sacked, all other prem managers do too, probably insinuated wenger moreso, cos @least he unlike wenger has ambition to win.
    You can bash the press all you want, they know they didnt cause you to go all these years without a trophy, if you think trophies arent important, then tell them so and they will report what you say. I think the problem with the AKB paranoids is, you want those trophies, refuse to pay for it, when you are called up on it, you say, we didnt want it that much in the first place, but yo u dont want that reported because it then embarasses you.

  • Arun

    @bob, another thing that worries me is if we hadn’t sold these players, we would have been making a loss of around 30m every year. And if we sell them, it shows as a profit and a decline on the pitch. We are 12 points worse than the previous season in the same fixtures. If we don’t make it this year, we are looking at 30m loss excluding the match day revenue. The gamble that we took in the January window might come back to haunt us.
    @Tony, your continuous references to the past doesn’t help in anyway. If you want to be the best, you have to do better than what you have done already. But sadly, it seems to me that we are going downhill at the moment and if we lose on Sunday, it might be game over in the race for fourth spot.
    To make the matters worse, if City fails to reduce the 12 point gap, get ready to give a guard of honor to RVP when he returns.

  • Arun

    @Tony, to add to my post, your bashing of Benitez is quite similar to what media does with Arsene. And simply doesn’t make sense given his achievements which also include winning la liga against the madrid side of 2002.

  • bob

    “To make the matters worse, if City fails to reduce the 12 point gap, get ready to give a guard of honor to RVP when he returns.”
    Arun,
    imo, this alone would be insufferable; the worst of ironies on many levels. karmic.

  • dan

    Racist media!!!

  • Arun

    @Bob,
    No, there is one more worse case scenario: Manu wins the league at Emirates with RVP scoring the winner.
    That will be the worst.

  • bob

    uk, oik, orc,
    it’s not any one factor that causes poor pitch performance. it’s multiple factors at once. so go back to the playpen when you consider that no one here has said that the press alone is the reason for AFC’s issues. Combine it with refshite, the press’s refusal to slate it when it undermines any Arsenal performance, and the continual hyper-charged atmosphere of AFC as uniquely terrible that seeps through at home to the players and may impact other players’ willingness to come here and/or the willingness of potential commercial entities to partner with us, and yes, the other problems of losing our best players or going into economic peril, and more, all combining to harm AFC’s prospect. For you to argue that any one is saying that one thing – mediashite – is to blame for everything is to set up a straw man, like yourself, to argue with and defeat. People here are’nt dense or deluded here. And your frequent drive-by slobbering only exposes how irrelevant are your mean-spirited postings.

  • bob

    Arun,
    yes, it would have the impact of that theft at old toilet but at home. what would fans do there and then? well, perhaps we shouldn’t dabble further with the cosmos on this very point at this time, or 🙂 …..

  • Arun

    With the everton match being postponed for April, it gives us a 10 day rest for the Bayern tie. That will be followed by a 14 day rest between swansea and reading match. So, if we beat totts on Sunday, we get a big rest for the Bayern match. Any result against them, even a draw, will be a big confidence booster for the team. If we don’t win on Sunday, we might find ourselves 10 points behind Tottenham before we play in the league again and gives the media nearly 2 weeks of crucifying us.

  • bob

    “I think and hope that the phase of players leaving us like that is over, and that we can build on the side now. It is crucial to finish in the top 4 though. Our finances are still not as brilliant as people generally believe, and that loss of 30m will be huge.”
    nihirealist,
    To your important points, I put Mandy Dodd on to this. So if you haven’t read it (and also the quality comments that together analyze the current state and near to middle term prospects of AFC financing), please do consider it when you have the chance. http://www.7amkickoff.com/

  • uk

    @bob
    You’d do well to find the part of my statement where i say AKBs blame the press for arsenal’s woes. I dont really care to join issues with you, but let me rephrase my earlier post, maybe it’l help you.. Ready?
    The point if my post is, stop slagging off the press, if you’ve gone 8years without a trophy they will say so, if you’ve been winning everything in sight, they will also say so. And if you think it is ok to go press bashing, then join them in bashing benitez, then you are being hypocritical. But if you’d prefer to be a hypocrite, its all right, the press doent have to indulge you.

  • Arun

    Here is the link to that deloitte report:
    http://www.deloitte.com/assets/Dcom-UnitedKingdom/Local%20Assets/Documents/Industries/Sports%20Business%20Group/uk-sbg-football-money-league-2013.pdf

    @bob
    Our commercial revenues are in a dire state. We barely reach half of Man U or Man C. If Man C win the EPL this year, though unlikely, I feel that they will be able to overtake us in the money league. The report states our commercial revenue at 65m euros which is nearly 1/3rd of Bayern Munich. This is worse than Liverpool (99m) and surprisingly, Schalke 04 (93.4m). Despite the fact that Schalke has won only 1 trophy since 2005, this is something special. The commercial revenue of Man C is just short of Man U, which may be due to their Ethiad deal, though I am not sure.
    Our match day income has reached its peak and will most probably decrease this year due to lack of home matches. There is increase in Broadcasting income but its distribution will be equal. This leads us to improve our commercial income which I fear won’t happen without trophies. Keep your best players and winning a trophy might lead to more revenues in the future rather than selling them to your rivals diminishing your brand value & the success on the pitch. Another big blow might come in terms of the CL money. Last year we made 28.2m from the CL whereas the winner of the CL got 10m overall. The board decided to gamble on this money instead of spending it in January to make sure that we do it make to the CL this year. But if this gamble fails, then we are in some big trouble & a very torrid summers ahead.

  • nihirealist

    Arun,

    Our commercial income, without signing any new deals, except for the kit deal, should be around 100-110m euros starting from 2014-15, till 2019.

  • americangooner

    I noticed many defending benitez, when there was nothing vile mentioned in the article. As an arsenal site catering exclusively to arsenal fans, its only natural to display a disliking of rival managers. Although the site is in public domain, it won’t be read by the general public, unlike The Sun or the Daily Mail. Any site that caters to a particular club cannot be wholly objective, hence the disliking. Also, benitez hasn’t won the premier league.

  • Andrei

    @americangooner It is one thing to dislike a rival manager and quite another thing to question his credentials. Therefore when suggesting that Benitez is not a “top manager” especially in the context of the article talking about unsubstantiated criticism of Wenger in the British media some explanation of the Benitez claim is warranted.

  • A. Stewart

    Laughable at comments downplaying the treatment Suarez has gotten as just getting “some grief” and comparing it against some hypothetical exponentially worse treatment had he been at AFC. Any rational observer can see that Suarez has been lambasted by all and sundry, probably (imo) unlike any other player before in the prem. Benitez has suffered no shortage of ridicule from various and many parts of the media from his Liverpool days onwards (hilarious seeing justifications of UA’s inferred ridicule based on dissections of what is and not the public domain). Dalglish had a rough time last season, Mancini has a torrid time with the parts of the press especially recently etc etc etc.

    Guess what, feeling victimized by the media is not unique to Arsenal Football Club, its Management, Players, nor especially its Fans. Every club has parts of their fan base that feels the media treats them the worse amongst their rivals. And *gasp* believe it or not, there are many other rival fans that would say Wenger has generally had a good relationship with the Media for the vast majority of his time at AFC, and that the media has been in awe of him and has elevated him to mythical status.

    Get out of your self-victimization bubble for a minute and realize that the world is full of so many vastly different opinions, interpretations, and also full of many other constantly paranoid “victims” at many other clubs.

    Pointing a finger at “the biased media” is really nothing inherently unique to Arsenal, to football, to sport or even beyond. Sheesh, this need to feel victimized by the media borders on delusion imo, and more importantly has nothing or precious little to do with our performance on and off the field.

    I get the obsession with Refs (to an extent) on this blog (again, believe it or not this is not unique to AFC), as there is a clear and tangible connection to what happens on the field of the play. I do think it’s slightly misguided and a bit conspiracy-theory laden at times, but this obsession with the media and their treatment of AFC is mind-boggling to me.

    You know what’s the best way to shut them up? Winning, and if the media still doesn’t like you when you win, guess what, the club, its players and its fans probably won’t give a crap.

    Anyway, there cannot be an honest conversation about “The Media” if it is treated as one homogenous single-focused organism with a unified agenda, because it is anything but.

  • A. Stewart

    @ bob, there cannot be an honest conversation about “The Media” (and its actual indirect effects on our play as you suggested actually rather, theorized) if it is treated as one homogenous single-focused organism with a unified agenda, because it is anything but.
    ..

  • uk

    @A. Stewart and andrei,
    Couldnt be said any better. Inasmuch as the AKB may not be salvageable, its good to @least give them the message. If the press and other neutrals dont take them seriosly, they have themselves only to blame

  • americangooner

    no one, including AW, gives a horse-shit about the media. Everyone knows they are crap. Fabrication is the norm & profit is above journalistic ethos. Nevertheless, it has become an important aspect while discussing football. Hence, it does pop up once, twice, thrice,… As such this media topic cannot disappear. Obviously media-bias is not limited to Arsenal. And maybe other club’s blog are discussing this supposed bias. Despite the negativity towards the ‘negative media’, the media isn’t going to go away, and it will be discussed.
    The ref issue is not limited to arsenal only. That’s the reason why setting up of another site where the competency of referees in every PL games is analysed. This analysis, I presume, will give us a bigger picture of how refrees perform and their level of consistency on decisions per game. Again, since refrees are an integral part of football, its only apt to discuss tb them. I don’t see anything wrong analysing refrees.

  • Gord

    For any “industry” dependent on the public, all entities are dependent on the media. If the media decided tomorrow that ManU was to be disposed of, it would not be long before ManU was gone (3 years?). Maybe it is 3 years before they fall out of the EPL, and then ….

    What sports teams need from the media, is for all teams to be treated in the same way. And the media does not treat all teams the same. Some teams are essentially owned by media. They will be supported to the end. Perhaps the best one can hope for, is that teams at worst, are all treated the same if independent from media owners.

    I thought there was a Chelsea comment in this thread. Benitez has made a statement. I gather he only signed on to be interim manager in the hope that he would become permanent. His blurb today admits he will not be here post May. Too much news about Laudrup moving anywhere from Swansea (I think he should stay there), but maybe he ends up a Chelsea?

  • Gooner S

    Good for you Tony. I agree with the sentiment behind this post.

    The press is the press though in this country. I see their attention as a back handed compliment. They need to sell their newspapers or whatever. Arsenal are news worthy.

  • uk

    Another you would do well to consider is that when a club makes lying its stock in trade(an attitude defended by some on here as being intelligent), then it should be willing to take the consequent ridicule. If you were a pressman, you interviewed a certain mr X today and he says something like “no, we will not sell. If we sell so and so players, then we cant say we are a big club”, 2weeks later, so and so are sold, u interview him again and he says somethng like, “of course we are a big club, where do you get that contrary opinion from?”. Or today he says we have the money, we can challenge the likes of chelsea and man city for the stars, two months later, while staring down at another failure says, we dont have the money to challenge the citys and chelseas. Will you as a pressman put any weight on his words? If you ask me, i would report the next interview this way; mr X says …, however from past experience, you should expect…
    The press is not foolish, neither are they supposed to be subservient to any club, afterall they account for a good chunk of revenue generated in football. Dont treat them like kids and expect them to indulge you. Managers who are honest and open usually dont hav issues with the press.

  • Arun

    @uk
    Managers who are honest and open usually dont hav issues with the press
    Tell me one manager who tells all the truth in his press conferences.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Arun, you cynic – we all know Arry has never told a lie!

  • iniez

    I’m concerned for uk, clearly he’s taken a blow to the head and judging by his latest comment his state must be deteriorating rapidly. Uk if you are still conscious you need to dial 999, our prayers are with you

  • uk

    @iniez
    Tnx. Now pray also for wenger.

  • uk

    Actually many managers i know tell the truth. If they don’t, you will need to prove they don’t first, before labelling them liars. So just to mention a few, moyes, o’neil and yes redknapp

  • uk

    @iniez,
    Hope you’re still praying? You might need to also buy some indulges for your Lord wenger

  • uk

    *indulgences

  • Mandy Dodd

    Maybe arry’s dog told a lie?

  • iniez

    Quick thinking Mandy testing his cognitive functions but it’s worse than I thought! Uk we’re only trying to help, have any dogs tried talking to you recently?

  • uk

    @iniez
    Thank you once again. Now please return to prayers, the soul of your lord is at stake

  • bob

    uk,oik,orc,
    What planet are you on? For all your sanctimonious defense of the press, I’d say you were one of those jornos or the son/daughter of one. More to the point: how about your favored Lord Football’s behavior. Decent, respectful, not bullying, open, ever-available, never lying, never using the press to intimidate a referee before or after the fact. All horseshit and you know it.

  • uk

    @bob
    Sorry mate, but like i said, if i were a pressman, i’d take wenger’s words with a pinch of salt. Consequently, whatever such a person says is subject to private interpretation. There’s no point of gooners going all sanctimonious on the press. Like the boy who cried wolf, arsenal fc has earned the right to negative press

  • chibyke

    I have been a regular here for over a year and i have to say ur level of optimism in here is depressing.i respect what wenger has achieved but in the light of the past 8 years, he either should step up or leave by 2014.my issue is not winning a trophy but a gradual downgrading of the ambitions of the club(u can’t see SAF hammering on about 4th place trophy). U don’t see management of players, u see mollycoddling of a lily livered litter of players.we now accept defeat against top opposition as usual. If you don’t win anything,shut up and work towards winning something.that’s the best way to deal with detractors.not engaging in verbal wars.wenger himself said it’s difficult to go back to sausages when u r used to caviar.this team lacks passion,aggression and a desire to spill their blood to win.the skill and potential is there.its his job to make this team he assembled,winners.and when they fail? No consequences,let’s move on to the next games seems to be his mantra.in here, your highest criticism is”it arguably could be beta but definitely could be worse” please. This team is not it and you know it. However it is your blog and if i don’t like what u write then i shouldnt read it right? Am just saying it wouldn’t hurt to admit we are shite sometimes. Kip up the good job. Fan from Nigeria.

  • Doublegooner

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/football/4821564/Arsenal-takeover-REVEALED-How-bid-can-transform-Gunners.html

    Wonder how true this is ?

    For all those who think the useless Kroenke cares about the team and not in it for the quick profit, lets see.

    Dein hinted at a recent Q&A stating he cannot predict the future of Arsenal. ‘Whatever happens, happens.’ Yet he closed by smirking and mentioning don’t be surprised by ‘a major event of change in the not too distant future.’

  • uk

    Word chibyke, word!

  • chibyke

    @ UK….thanks…cue in our 2 mins of madness in the NLD. Everybody saying 7 points is not 2 hard to catch up. What is the assurance that this team will pick up maximum points for the remaining matches? I have accepted wherever we end up this season. My major concern is..will wenger make arsenal fiercely competitive next season? Or do we expect the usual”i will only buy top top top players who will add value to (the world class he already has right?)*shakes head*

  • uk

    @chibyke, it wasn’t 2mins of madness. More lyk several seasons of madness. In the said match apart from the goals i could also mentionat least 3 other times when that thing called a defence was left for dead but spurs couldnt capitalize (bale 1st half, sigurdsson and bale 2nd half)

  • uk

    Of course he won’t. Quality players won’t suddenly become easier to find, would they?

  • uk

    And by the way walter, your predictions didnt come tru. First, mike dean wasnt assigned the tottenham match, 2ndly arsenal wasnt given a red card. Wat did come tru however was that we lost, the reasons for that werent as you predicted.