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Is it about winning or competing?

By Walter Broeckx

So the media and many of our own fans repeat the mantra about x years and won nothing. If you then ask those people : is it just all about trophies? Do you only love Arsenal when they win? Then most will answer: No, no but I just want us to compete.

So what is actually competing? I think that competing is something like coming close to winning.  Now of course we can all have different opinions but I think that competing in the league means finishing with only 6 points behind. And in the cup competitions I would say that reaching the final or semi final is rather competing. So let us have a look at the fact if we were competing or not?

League behind FA Cup League Cup CL

2006

4

24

4th round semi final final

2007

4

21

5th round Final last 16

2008

3

4

5th round semi final quarter final

2009

4

18

semi final quarter final semi final

2010

3

11

4th round quarter final quarter final

2011

4

12

6th round Final last 16

2012

3

19

5th round quarter final last 16

So in 2006 with all the big names we still had we finished 4th and were 24 points behind. But we got to the semi final of the League cup and to the final of the CL. We were some 17 minutes away from winning the CL with almost an entire game playing with 10. So we competed for 2 trophies.

In 2007 we finished 4th in the league, still with some big names on our books and were 21 points behind. The only thing we were competing for was the League cup that season. We lost the final. A very young squad got beaten by a late goal from a complete Chelsea.  Not a great season of course but we competed for one trophy.

In 2008 we came close to winning the title. And we would have won the title if the refs would have allowed it. We came 3rd with only 4 points behind. We also reached the semi final of the League cup that season. So a season we were competing for 2 trophies.

In 2009 we came 4th in the league with 18 points behind. We reached the semi final of the FA cup. And we also reached the semi final of the champions league in that season. So again one could say that we were competing for 2 trophies.

2010 was a bad year. Finishing 3rd  is not really bad but 11 points behind the champions was a too big gap to say we were competing.  And we couldn’t reach a semi final or final in that season.  So we didn’t compete for a trophy in that year.

In 2011 we finished 4th with a 12 point gap in the league between ourselves and the champions. The FA cup and the CL was no real success although we beaten Barcelona at home but only to see Busacca sending Van Persie off when we were qualified at that moment in time. But we did reach the final of the League cup. We lost it in the last seconds. But we competed for one trophy and we won against the best team in the world and only lost because of a Catalan backheal and a rather biased ref.

Last season was a season where we didn’t compete. We lost our two best players. We made it from 17th in the league up to 3rd but the gap of  19 points was a big one. I just want to mention that based on the second half of the season Arsenal was keeping up the tempo with the two Manchester teams. But no real joy in the cups of champions league last season.

So if we take all this and put this in a table we can see this as our “competing table”

Competed on possible 4

2006

2

2007

1

2008

2

2009

2

2010

0

2011

1

2012

0

So in those 7 years we only had 2 years where you really could say that we didn’t compete at all. That was in the season 2009-2010 and the strange thing is that this was a season when we still had Cesc, Nasri, RVP, Clichy, Song …

And last season when we lost Cesc and Nasri two of our star players we didn’t really compete. And it is possible to say that this season again we lost two of our star players and the result is that we don’t compete unless we deliver a real surprise in the coming days.

So after seeing this it is clear we didn’t win a trophy in those years. I’m not even claiming that 4th place is a trophy to make up the numbers. If I would take that point of view things would look completely different and better. But I will not.

But you cannot say that we didn’t compete in those years. 3 finals, 4 semi finals and one league title stolen under our nose is what we did in those years without a trophy. I do think this is competing.

I could use the words once said: do you love Arsenal for the trophies? Or do you just love Arsenal? Is a trophy the only yardstick you want to use. Fine. Feel miserable then. But for those who claim that they just want us to compete I can only say that the in the last 7 years we did compete and on many fronts and on many occasions.

Of course the finishing touch was missing in those years. But if we look at the bigger picture and at  what we had to deal with when other teams could spend money as if it was nothing. And if we look at how hamstrung we were after building the Emirates I think it is remarkable that we even could compete in those years.

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135 comments to Is it about winning or competing?

  • kp7

    Competing is important because we can’t always win.our team is not known for competing though,just look at manner in which we lost at old trafford

  • GoonerDog

    Another day and another excuse from Walter! “…Do you love Arsenal for the trophies? Or do you just love Arsenal….? Good grief, you couldn’t make it up. Walter you don’t love Arsenal you love Wenger and all your articles just underpin it. Do you really believe that we are competing? Really?

  • Matt

    Add the 2013 numbers in which will be 0 and we will have competed for 1 trophy in 4 years.So there is a definate decline in recent years which is down to something, players? Manager etc..?

    At £1200 a year does my ticket feel like value for money? No it doesn’t.Is there something fundementally wrong at the club? Yes there is. What is that? Ahh the 64 million dollar question. Apparently it’s not the players,not the manager and not the board.What can it be???

    Statistics can be used to suit any point of view you want but reality is what you see and feel from within.

  • Bob A

    I think your article is thought provoking, not like the reply from Goonerdog, There are only 4 cups up for grabs each season
    FA cup,league cup, champions league and the EPL championship , hence the simple maths is a maxium of 4 clubs could win unless some teams win more than one so reducing it to 3 or 2.
    I for one fan, would like to win a trophy, BUT first and formost I am a supporter win or lose. I just wish some of the so called fans supported other clubs in any division who main expectation is just to stay up winning anything would be a bonus.
    Fans seem to forget we have probally the best stadium in the UK. and we have for the last 10 years put up with Chelsea,Man Utd & Man City with unlimitted cash available its a wonder we have done so well during that period , and as for AW do not wish , the devil you do not know because with out his skill over the last 10 years we would have probally been a mid table team.

  • Rupert Cook

    The question is what are we competing for. Fourth place, the title, the CL, the FA Cup, the League Cup. If it’s all of them we’re doing a very average job. With the squad we have we have virtually no chance of winning the CL or EPL. The FA Cup and League Cup should easily be winnable and fourth place should be easy too.

    As for not winning the title in 2008 I’d say a bigger part in that failure was a refusal to strengthen the team. It was not down to refs allowing anything. It’s about time some of us got over it. You don’t hear Cardiff fans bemoaning their stolen title some eighty years ago because goal difference didn’t count back then.

    You can play around with statistics until you make them work for you and you can apply your own criteria to them to make them fit a theory. Meanwhile most of us can see the quality of the squad has dipped drastically in three years.

    And the vital difference this season is that we no longer have a game changer. RVP was that man. All our major rivals have one and that maybe what we’ll rue most at the end of the season.

  • Mick

    @GoonerDog

    If getting to a final or semifinal is not competing then tell us, in your wisdom, what yardstick you would use to define it?

  • Mick

    @Rupert Cook
    We have several ‘game changers’ in defence, given the high number of goals conceded as a result of individual error!

  • insideright

    Spot on Walter.
    I ‘signed-up’ to be an Arsenal fan near the beginning of what turned out to be 17 year trophy ‘drought’ and in many seasons since then we haven’t come close to winning a trophy.
    If any true fan of any club equated what they pay to watch their team with the silverware paraded in return for that support then there would be hardly any fans (and therefore professional clubs) left in the country.
    The financial doping that has happened at some of our major rivals during the period in question puts our performance into perspective and, I think, into a good light.
    From this summer onwards our relative financial strength will completely change and I’m expecting us to become increasingly competitive. I remain, just like you, optimistic, and probably get a lot better ‘value for money’ than the pessimists seem to get as a result. Sadly it’s probably too late for them to change – they’ve painted themselves into such a pessimistic corner that only four trophies a season (and Wenger publicly flogged) will now do.
    Poor souls.

  • Gunz

    @ Matt

    “Statistics can be used to suit any point of view you want but reality is what you see and feel from within.”

    Reality? Your reality. What you ‘see and feel from within’ is your own perception of what is happening and it will be diffent from others.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Mick, ha,ha. Too true about our defence.

  • Pat

    Walter. You are very good at the stats. Consider this, Arsenal are in the top 6 in terms of attendances across europe for the last 6 years. We are also in the top 5 in terms of turn over in europe for the last 6 years. Our wage bill is close to 3 times that of Everton & over 50m more than spurs.Do you think that a club of this stature should accept winning no trophies for this period? I cannot imagine it happening anywhere else. The fans loyalty has been abused by the Board and the manager.

    There is no culture of winning at the club. Only a culture to profit.

    Wake up & see the light. The emperor has no clothes!

    finally, any manager who gives Johan Djourou a £2.6m 5 year contract in 2011 needs to be shot. At least Gus Caesar left the scene gracefully.

  • Steve

    Can we compete when we concede more goals with less shots?

    AFC total shots 626
    AFC total shots on target 359
    Total AFC goals 83
    Goal every 4.3 shots on target

    Against
    Total Shots 404
    Total Shots on target 218
    Total goals 55
    Goal every 3.9 shots on target

  • Mike

    I love the way the haters whinge on and on with no real logic to their argument. Using anecdotes, rhetoric, newspapers headlines and stuff they heard in the playground to substantiate their amazing wisdom about tactics and how to run a multi-million business. Then as soon as someone comes up with a reasoned, factual argument they start moaning about “stats don’t prove anything”. Jokers…..if stats don’t prove anything then wtf is the league table all about?!!!!

    Keep up the good work Walter

  • Stuart

    “In 2008 we came close to winning the title. And we would have won the title if the refs would have allowed it.”

    Personally I don’t go in for this sort of thinking. I wouldn’t be at all impressed if Man U or Liverpool fans said this about one of our title wins.

  • Matt

    Even by the stats the poster uses there has been a serious decline in the last 4 years to the point where we are not competing for anything.

    Supporting what is going on blindly is not what the club needs, questions need to be raised.

  • Adam

    The problems we face are mistakes or omissions from officials, this cannot be denied and all supporters from all clubs can point to instances where they feel hard done by.

    So we are at a stage of pointing out fault, blame, and gathering data to confirm this.

    What we are not doing is uniting on deciding a way forward?

    Fundamentally the officiating process is flawed and subject too human error, now we have the technology to overcome this, but yet again we rely solely on the powers that be to implement this.

    A fair sport all around is all that is asked for and at the moment we do not have this in so many areas of the game, not just the officiating of matches but within the differing rules across national governing bodies (national FA’s).

    Too much disparity across the sport in general for it to be classed as fair.

  • Adam

    I also believe that the quality of our league this year has been dire in comparison with past competitions, this may be due in slight, to no international tournament at the end of this season but also may have other factors involved.

  • Adam

    Sorry for multiple posts but another stat that Arsenal could improve upon that would make a significant difference to our league position is goals scored away from home.

    Question for anyone out there.

    what player has scored the most goals away from home this season across Europe? We could use him.

  • A. Stewart

    “So what is actually competing? I think that competing is something like coming close to winning.”

    I think competing in this context and the complaints as a result, is reasonably doing all within our power to give ourselves the best chance to win, and many who complain don’t think the club is currently doing that.

    They don’t think that the inefficient uses of the resources that we do have, which in the eyes of many overpays and leaves us stuck with for far too long far too many players that contribute nothing to very little, when for the same or less money a couple of truly impact players could be afforded and/or paying squad players lower and our top players higher would result in a better chance of retaining them, building upon strength and ultimately winning, is doing the best we can within our capabilities to compete.

    They don’t think that hoarding cash, being hugely profitable, while simultaneously and disproportionately (in comparison to other clubs, and big clubs) burdening the fans to prop us a “sustainable” model along with its other key revenue generator, the selling off of our best players (often to our direct domestic and continental competitors) is doing the best we can within our capabilities to compete.

    The don’t think that giving countless chances to kids (and overpaying them too) to eventually come good, when the manager admits it may cost games in the process, or gambling on injury prone players to finally be fit after 6 years (and then they inevitably get injured again), is the best utilization of our resources and gives us the best chance to compete within our current capabilities.

    They don’t think that not tactically preparing for our opponents and specifically adjusting for top players on top teams who can hurt us (as confirmed by recent players and the manager himself) is giving us the best chance to compete within our current capabilities.

    They don’t think that openly reducing our standards and targets to “the 4th place trophy” sends the right message to players (but rather breeds complacency and non-accountability) gives us the best chance to compete.

    They don’t believe that giving a manager complete autonomy and seemingly non-accountability to anyone is the best method for giving us the best chance to compete.

    Amongst many other reasons.

    So it’s not about: How much money others have; how we are performing in relation to our wage bill, the refs, the media, or that we would go bankrupt if we try something different etc etc.. but rather is the club doing the best it currently can within its own means to give us the best chance of winning? Especially given that its current revenue structure depends heavily on the fans contributing premium prices for a product that doesn’t match.

    It’s not about fans wanting us to compete by spending like Chelsea or City, but rather doing the best we can with what we have, and while you are perfectly entitled to believe that we are doing so, many other fans don’t think we are..and there are no less gooners for thinking that way.

    And I think the vast majority of goners that you label as “AAA” will be perfectly ok if we continually kept coming up short on the trophy front (especially in this day and age of big funded clubs), once we were doing all we can within our power to still responsibly position ourselves with the best chance of winning something, again, many fans simply think we are not.

  • americangooner

    @mike so true…

    I also noticed the same posters saying we are ‘X’ points adrift but also conflicting themselves when they say stats don’t prove anything. If stats don’t prove anything then 8 years without a trophy should also not mean we are a poor side& the manager is awful.

  • SouthernGunner

    The 2007/08 season is the one that sticks out for me the most. We were by and large the best team that season and proving it with our results (even with an on fire Ronaldo playing brilliantly that year for our closest rivals at the time). Our first year without Henry and we surprised a lot of people in just how well the likes of Cesc, Adebayor, Flamini & Hleb did, two of which were named in the PL Team of the Season. The team at the time was giving a good account of themselves and making a strong statement of intent. Even in Europe, we knocked out a very good Milan side from the competition with our relatively young, inexperienced players.

    What undid us was parly the injuries to some players and parly the officiating at key moments (already been pointed out in other posts). Neither of these were within our control, they were the resonsibility & actions of opposing team players and match officials. Even with a team that has a strong case for going on to win the PL title, it’s not always possible to compete/win as fairly as there ought. Results don’t just rely on our players doing their jobs well & being the better team, it relies on others (officials, opposing players) doing theirs fairly too.

    As disappointing as a loss can be, it’s easier to take when it’s a fair result and you’ve been beaten/outplayed by the opposing team. But there are also games when we have been good enough to get a deserved result and somehow it’s gone against us, usually in a manner beyond our team or managers control. For this, this blame lies elsewhere.

  • createstrain

    more often than not i come to hear what stu has to say.

    the brain washing is kinda surreal. its not like what he’s saying is rocket science.

  • gouresh

    I have come to a conclusion that this site is for the defeatist. If you want stats and a lot of it, this the place. There is every reasons given for not winning, except the obvious ones. Then there is the audacity to fell us to be managers if we seem to find fault with AW. On that same note can I say that if you find the refs so bad, pick up the whistle and become an EPL ref. Then ae we can dissect each mistake, after watching them a million times from different angles. Every one except AW know what we lack. But GOD forbid to say 1 word against AW.

  • jag

    Wenger is a victim of his own success. If you judge us against the period before his arrival, he’s doing alright! Not that it’s acceptable, just saying.

  • Adam

    @gouresh,
    I would love to officiate in the premier league, However I’m from London so wouldn’t be allowed.

  • GoonerDog

    @Mick So we are competing? And your wisdom refers me to a final against Birmingham that we lost and two semi finals in 2009!! In the last eight years our ability to compete is inversely proportionate to the number of quality players that have departed. Even rose tinted Walter’s stats above support this. Our competing this year has left us facing defeats to Bradford, Blackburn, a limp display in the Champs League and a season that is as good as over in February!! You are a man clearly easily satisfied if this is competing.

  • GoonerDog

    @Mike “…..their amazing wisdom about tactics and how to run a multi-million business….” A multi-million pound business?!? Arsenal is a football club! It is regarding our club as a multi-million pound business that is the reason for our inability to compete. Would any Arsenal fan rather have £24m less profit and Van Persie in the team? I think the answer is a resounding yes.

  • iniez

    It’s hurt sometimes following arsenal over the years. Big losses, referee decisions, injuries, media bullshit. But I keep my head up. And that’s what Untold does. That’s why I love coming here. Not to bury my head in the sand like some would suggest, but to balance the positives with the negatives. There are plenty of places to go where they are more than willing to highlight the negatives. And I thank god that there’s a place like Untold where they decide to not drop their heads, and instead sieve through the shit and negativity surrounding our club and find that silver lining. I don’t understand why some fans are so threatened by this. Why they feel the need to ram their thoughts and negativity down our throats. “I’m miserable so you have to be as well”. That’s the impression I get from some. Yes there are problems, yes most are self inflicted. We knows this. I hate that after we lose a game I worry more about negative arsenal fans than other fans. It’s getting so exhausting

  • dan

    I agree with some of the positives but also many on the negatives carry weight as well.

    The feeling spreading amongst fans should Arsenal continue to follow due course then something has to change.

    Wenger must take the blame.

  • Mike

    @Goonerdog. To think that any club can be run without business principles is simply extraordinary. The fact that many dissenters believe that a transfer policy alone is all that is required to run a successful premiership club is enough evidence for me that they haven;t got a clue.

    Of course, I would prefer to have kept RVP instead of having £24m in the bank but I should imagine it’s not quite that simple. Some people may think it is. Personally, I am neither a world class football manager nor am I experienced, qualified or knowledgeable enough to run a football club. What really annoys me is that there are many Arsenal fans who clearly think they are. The moment someone suggests they have such abilities is the moment I realise they very clearly don’t.

  • Mick

    @Goonerdog
    You haven’t answered the question. What in your opinion constitutes competing?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Gouresh,
    I am a referee but because being from another country I’m not allowed to referee in the PL. Given my age would be a bit stupid also 😉

  • It's Grim Oop North

    At some point the penny will drop with you Gooners how to enjoy watching your football team even when they do not win trophies every year, or even when they lose individual matches.

    There are many, many fascinating parts of a football match which are worth turning up to watch without resorting to being even the better team.

    A brilliant tackle, a little piece of skill, a well placed pass, a comedic error you can laugh at, the oppo fans singing a clever taunt, a tasty pie – all these things and more are part of the majority of matchgoers’ reasons for turning up every week up and down the country.

    These fans might well go 34 years without silverware, yet still come back season after season in huge numbers, because they have come to appreciate the finer things about football, the hope and the competition within the 90 minutes, not over the whole season as you lot seem to be obsessing over.

    Moaning and naval gazing is fun too, and you seem to be taking to that like ducks to water, but try changing the record and taking the positives from within each individual game. If the best thing that happens is a steward getting a ball in the back of the head in the second half, then that’s what you need to reminisce upon and have a good chortle with your mates in the pub afterwards.

  • Malaysian gunner

    The name of the game is winning. The days when football was played between villages for friendship and ties are over.It has grown into a world wide sport with the biggest appeal as in the wc.
    Thanks to Wenger,Arsenal have been uncompetitive through his philosophy.Fans come to see a winning team playing ugly
    football if necessary. He is the anithesis trying to match winning soccer with patternweaving socccer. They have not worked the last 8 years and and are unlikely to work.
    He has to go or he has to ditch his style which have caused the gunners to go into decline.

  • Tasos

    The name of the game is competing.

    You try your best to compete and beat the rest.

    Unfortunately as far the EPL goes the odds are stacked in the favor of one team. The competition is flawed.

    In recent times only teams which have had vulgar sums of money thrown at them have been able to overcome the odds and beat the favored ones.

    The way things are in this flawed league, without the vulgar sums of money thrown at your team you have zero chance of success, pretty much, unless your team is fortunate enough to have a genius for a manager but history proves there aren’t too many of those precious people around.

  • Matt: If you don’t think you’re getting value for your money, you have an option: You can leave, and support another club.

    GoonerDog: “Quality players”? What, exactly, did we win with Fabregas, van Persie, Nasri, Hleb, Flamini, Adebayor? With the first 2, an FA Cup, although Fabregas was a bit player and RVP only a little more than that. And that was when we still had true legends in the 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 10, 12 and 14 shirts. Yes, the CL in ’06 or the League in ’08 would have changed everything; but those guys didn’t get it done. As far as I’m concerned, good riddance to bad rubbish. A player who doesn’t want to play for Arsenal and didn’t the job done while he was here is no loss. As the saying goes, “You don’t lose when you lose fake friends.”

  • goonergerry

    A few years ago this piece might have had some credibility because then it wasn’t so long since we had at least competed- without winning- but nevertheless looked and played as if we still could with a bit of luck and a following wind.

    We have played 7 games against the top 4 teams this season so far and accrued the sum of 3 points in total. That is not competing in my book. What we are doing is taking part in 4 competitions nothing more.

    I have no problem with this site supporting Arsene Wenger through thick and thin, and writing endless stories about what a great manager Arsene is, but to claim that the team continues to be competitive is nothing short of make believe.

    The argument that we are being being defeated by oil money is not strictly true either- we are being overtaken by the likes of Spurs on the field who have not had the benefit of ECL money like we have for all but one year out of the last 14.

  • Mark

    Arsenal have been very competitive in most years. Losing some key players has hurt but what about the horrid injuries that took out key players in some seasons? All teams can have injuries but some teams have many more. Arsenal have had many more big injuries to players than other teams. How many teams in the EPL have had as many broken legs as Ansenal in the same number of years? Ramsey, Diaby, Sagna, and others.

  • Mike T

    In 1976 after Southampton had won their FA Cup semi final against Crystal Palace?, Mick Channon was interviwed on TV and in response to a comment about how well Southampton, who were in the 2nd division,had done Channon relied “Its no good just getting there you have to win the bloody thing”
    This article, had it been written by say Wigan or even say Stoke supporters , would be understandable and justified but for goodness sake you are Arsenal a club with huge resources and you the supporters shouldnt go around slapping each other on the back and saying how well things were going and in effect saying we did as well as could have been expected you should be seething but the strange thing is far from that many arent and all the time look for excuses or seek satisfaction in blaming the ref.
    The supporters of every club will look back on an incident about a decision not given in a game saying had we been given that penalty, that free kick or an injury not happened or whatever we would have won the game ,the cup, the league but truth is for every incident where you believe Arsenal were hard done by there would be a similar incident that a rivals supporters would be able to site in exactly the same context.
    What do they say “Had the greyhound not stopped for a wee it would have won the race”

  • Doublegooner

    Uncle Mike:

    Typical idiotic comment ‘Go & support another club’.

    000’s are complaining because they are not happy.

    Many are those who pay to attend games, who’ve supported our club through decades, through good & bad periods.

    Many sit in the ‘ordinary’ seats, others in Club Level or boxes.

    000’s complain because they love our club.

    Many are seriously doubting or have had enough of the most ‘powerful’ high profile individual at the club.

    If that’s a reason for you to suggest they ‘should leave & support another club’, then I suggest fans like us should start labelling fans like you the real ‘AAA’s’.

  • andy bishop

    Blaming referees is an excuse and a cop out from the reality…all teams suffer crap decisions..all teams suffer negative press..look at Utd the last three days. Competing is about winning and judging yourself against the best at that time. If you fall short then work harder to improve..if you then fall short you can hold your head high. Most were proud of the effort put in against Spurs and some of the football we played. We competed the best we could but fell short because of lack of the highest quality. We once had Thierry Henry…Spurs now have Bale. We have Mertesacker at the back..Spurs have Vertonghen…We have Giroud who really struggles at the highest level…we purchased Gervinho who no longer makes the starting line up as with Arshavin and so on. We have one of the largest wage bills and highest ticket prices and again fall further behind in the competetive stakes. Another post shows a remarkable picture of a crowded Highbury in the 30’s when we were the best. We had the largest crowds, had the largest budget, paid the best wages, had most of the best players and we won things…we competed. Today it is other clubs that enjoy that status. There is a lot we can be proud of as Arsenal supporters…our success comes and goes and we are in transition and as each year goes by we compete less and less with the benchmark. Our history and status in the game and the fans deserve better. Blaming referees and the media is merely an unproductive whinge. I have been a fan for 56 years and seen the ups and downs and know we will once again be a competitive force once again….not I fear under the current regime

  • Mandy Dodd

    FACT- The only teams in the EPL who have consistantly more successful than us over recent years have had massively more resources than we have had, and whatever happens this season, that will remain the case. That is not to say things do not need improving considerably, especially the way we defend for one… but the fact remains. And Wenger is a big part of the said fact. If things stay as they are, a lot will come out in the wash this summer, and I firmly believe our manager may well consider his position, rightly or wrongly, but until then, lets not lose sight of things, knee jerkers ususally just make things worse, especially if they are influenced by The Sun.

  • gouresh

    So what is being competitive? 1 can look at the meaning in the dictionary, but when we talk about Arsenal, its always & should be always about winning. Eg QRR R competiting to stay in the div. Mid table teams compete just to stay in the div. Is that good enough? Maybe for them but not for us. We are competing for 4th. The logic is that if we finish in the CL place, we can attract world class players but the irony is that we don’t pay world class moneies. So then what’s the point of competing for 4th? is money, but does it benifet the team? I doubt it.
    @Walter: everyone has come or the other reason. I played for 20 yrs as a CD and I know a thing or 2 about it but when I watch us play its shocking. I have done my level 1 FA coaching but really wish I had the time go al the way but with 2 small kids & a daily commute of 80 miles makes it impossible. Going to the toilet without being hassled for me it termed as lucky day & time they say “your winding down time” is my drive on the bike on the way to work & back home. At the end all us supporters have just 1 thing in common, that AFC should start competing to win. Not all are so elequted gifted like yourself to make a point. They tell it as they see it. some have different views so its unfair to brand them as AAA.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    However your look at stats or facts(as you perceive it)and the general direction you think the club is heading ,why not look for positives rather than denigrate those who enjoy and follow the spirit of this pro AW ,pro Arsenal blog ? Is my head in the sand ? Not in the very least!
    Am I happy with our situation ? No !
    Would I like some changes ? Yes !
    Am I hopeful that AW will sort it out ? Mais oui !
    Try Socrates’ Triple filter test .

    In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day an acquaintance ran up to the great philosopher and said, “Socrates, do you know what I just heard about your friend?”

    “Hold on a minute,” Socrates replied. “Before telling me anything I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Triple Filter Test.”

    “Triple filter?”

    “That’s right,” Socrates continued. “Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you’re going to say. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”

    “No,” the man said, “actually I just heard about it…”
    “All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now let’s try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?”

    “No, on the contrary…”

    “So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about him, but you’re not certain it’s true. You may still pass the test though, because there’s one filter left: the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be something I can use for my benefit?”

    “No, not really.”

    “Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?”

    The man stared at him, and without a word turned around and left, dejected.

    Which is what I would love those AAA’s to do – just leave !

  • dan

    Poor Ryo comes off worse, hope he recovers soon.

  • Doublegooner

    Brickfields:

    I believe Socrates was known for questioning what he saw & asking “Why ? ” alot.

    Bet he’d repeatedly be asking ‘Why ?’ ‘Why ?’ Why ? if he was a fan.

  • Grumpy man

    If you look at it like Brickfields Gunner, you’ll be like Socrates and never find out if Plato has been going with your wife.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Doublegooner,
    Maybe Socrates would ask those questions. But then he would give the next answers himself:

    Why? Emirates : less £££££££
    Why? Chelsea $$$$$$$$
    Why? Man C $$$$$$$$$$

  • asd

    Another day and another excuse from Walter!

    Great comment GoonerDog.
    Only once in the last 8 years has the gap between us and the champions been single digit.
    Are we competing? The answer is yes, we are competing for the 4th place trophy.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Asd,
    maybe we should go for Moyes. But oh wait a minute… wasn’t it Moyes who said recently that if he got the choice between winning the FA cup and finishing 4th, he would prefer finishing 4th.

    And if you would have read further than my name you would have seen that I said that I don’t count finishing 4th as a trophy.

  • asd

    WalterBroeckx
    March 9, 2013 at 4:39 pm
    Doublegooner,
    Maybe Socrates would ask those questions. But then he would give the next answers himself:

    Why? Emirates : less £££££££
    Why? Chelsea $$$$$$$$
    Why? Man C $$$$$$$$$$

    Walter
    We are competing with teams with less cash than us for 4th place.
    Oh i never knew Blackburn, Bradford and Birmingham have more ££££££££££.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Doublegooner – I think you may be referring to George Bernard Shaw ,who said ,”Most people see things as there are and ask why ,I think of things that never were and ask why not?” .This was also one of JFK’s favorite quotes .
    I do admit though, that if he saw some of Arsenal’s games this season , he’d have cursed them with some choice Latin words !

  • WalterBroeckx

    @ asd,

    Leeds have less money than the totts and got them out of the FA cup.
    I could give you more examples but that is why it is football. Upsets happen. If they wouldn’t happen nobody would watch football.

    Are we competing for 4th with teams who build a 60.000 stadium lately ?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Just seen that Wigan won with 0-3 at Everton. I wonder who got more money of those two teams asd?

  • asd

    Just seen that Wigan won with 0-3 at Everton. I wonder who got more money of those two teams asd?

    Walter i don’t care who has more money between those two teams neither do i blame £££££££ when we lose to $ity, Chavs or UTD.

    When a smaller teams beats us, you say its an upset which happens, when we lose to top teams you say £££££, ref or global warming.

  • WalterBroeckx

    @ asd you said:

    “Oh i never knew Blackburn, Bradford and Birmingham have more ££££££££££.”

    No, but go on the search for the common factor in those 3 games. Because there is an answer for us not winning those games. Just two words. First starts with an M and second with a D.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Yes ASD and when we win against a big money team it is like an upset.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Walter @ 5.09 pm. ,do we get a prize if we know the answer ?

  • asd

    “Oh i never knew Blackburn, Bradford and Birmingham have more ££££££££££.”

    No, but go on the search for the common factor in those 3 games. Because there is an answer for us not winning those games. Just two words. First starts with an M and second with a D

    Haha… Like i said blame you every loss on $$$$$ or ref.
    Against Birmingham, its wasn’t Mike Dean who failed to communicate with his keeper, it was Szczęsny, the same guy who palmed the ball straight at Kazeem-Richards.
    Incase you don’t know or can’t remember, you wrote an article that goes Kean is the man not Dean after the blackburn loss.

  • Doublegooner

    I am a long time fan who began doubting Wenger back in 2006.

    I ask all Wenger diehards.

    Tell us what attributes he now demonstrates, be it tactics, transfer value for money, introduce new ideas, to be the only man to continue as manager beyond his current contract ??

    Note: Please try & present better answers than say ‘he deserves respect for all he has won at the club’.

  • sperez

    Doublegooner, they’ll probably tell you about what Wenger did almost a decade ago as if it was the present moment. Or they’ll start spouting lame excuses about money ignoring the fact that Arsenal has a big wage bill and Monsieur Wenger has been pissing money up the wall on poor signings and overpaying players that offer nothing or very little to the team.
    Then, they’ll conveniently forget about the lack of tactics and motivation skills, poor selection and terrible defence.

  • Doublegooner

    sperez:

    I know 🙂

    Let’s wait & see if they can enlighten us with some evidence that we may have missed.

    I forgot to mention & I believe it relevant. Wenger will be 64 in October.

  • Mike T

    @ walter

    I know how much you just love to blame Mike Dean but in the Littlewoods cup against Birmingham the reason you lost was down to your poor performance and in truth in the first 2 minutes if the Birmingham player hadnt been incorrectly given off side you would have been down to 10

  • WalterBroeckx

    Mike T,
    as you are on a football blog I suppose you know something about football. So what you say is not really smart and I put this polite.
    I suppose you know who makes the offside decisions in a game? In case you don’t know: it is not Mike Dean.

  • WalterBroeckx

    About Mike Dean you should try to understand something about the psychology of the game. Since 2006 all the players that have played for Arsenal have experienced his bias. They have seen his evil laughing face when he screws us from closer than we have.
    I remember the Manchester City game. At a certain moment he ignored a blatant foul of Manchester City. The Arsenal players close to him protested and by accident the camera closed in on Dean. And you could see him laughing in a sarcastic way to the appealing Arsenal players. It was the smile of a ref telling the players: You can say what you want I screw you when I want and nothing you can do about it.

    Believe me the last thing a ref can and should do is to laugh with a team or with players. And I mean laughing them in their face. That is a dark side. I could say that is like dancing when one teams scores. Or jumping in the air with both arms at the end of the game. Unprofessional behaviour.

    Of course as most of you never refereed a game you don’t know such things. I know this all too well because in one game a certain team was unhappy with one of my decisions and as we had to wait a bit before we could enter the dressing room we stood there for half a minute and some players and people from that team were still protesting my (in my eyes correct decision) and without really knowing it I stood there with a smile on my face.
    It made their blood boyle as they thought I was laughing in their faces. I just was thinking of something else. But later on I talked with the responsible person of that team and we both agreed that a ref who is laughing the face of a team or the players is behaving in a very unprofessional way. I have seen Dean doing it on a few occasions when Arsenal is on the end of his decisions.

    Of course you can ignore this. But believe me I know what it means to players and I will never ever have a smile on my face when I take a decision or when a team is feeling hard done by my decisions. It’s called respect.

  • asd

    Walter
    Believe me the last thing a ref can and should do is to laugh with a team or with players. And I mean laughing them in their face.

    So what should Dean do? Cry? Please stop making excuses.

  • WalterBroeckx

    About the Blackburn game. Yes Dean was not at fault. The PGMOL is at fault.
    Again all the players know Dean. They know all too well that with that ref on the field they will probably lose the game.
    You remember when we had that long run of wins against the spuds up to a few years ago.
    You remember on how sports psychologists were brought up and explained that for the spuds players they not only had to overcome playing Arsenal but also the knowledge that they could not really win against Arsenal. I don’t know but at some moment they talked about getting in psychological help for their players. I don’t know if they actually did it but they even talked about it.

    So with Dean I think the Arsenal players also are having a mental problem now. They know that they can hardly win a game against any team when he is on the field. They have seen him make wrong decisions over and over and over again against Arsenal. So I really think that they now almost accept defeat as something natural when Dean is the ref. The damage he has done over the years has become a “this is just the way it is attitude” amongst most players.

    When a player knows that he only has a chance of winning 1 game out of 10 games when Dean is the ref, they will walk on the field almost with a losing mentality.

    For those saying : come on they are full time professionals on big wages. Well as far as I know the player they don’t count their wages on the field. They only want to win their game. But if they come up with a ref that they know who will screw them on every opportunity it is something that might have a bad effect on their moral. And to win a game of football each detail is important. And the higher you play the more important details are.

    So for now Dean has to do nothing any more. He doesn’t need to screw us. He has done so much damage over the years that he can damage us without doing anything.

    So yes I wrote an article telling that their keeper Kean was the most important one from keeping us from winning. But the invisible influence of Dean was there. Make no doubt about it.

    The reverse case could be seen in the unbeaten run. If you read the interviews of the players who took part of that run they all say that after a while they just went on the field with the knowledge that they would not lose the game. And their opponents after a while went on the field in the knowledge: we cannot win this game.

    In fact those are both (Dean and unbeaten run) examples of the psychology of the game and of the players. And the effect that they have on the final result.

    And if you don’t believe me ask sports psychologists. They will and can tell you more stories. In fact you would be surprised how many things are won by sports people going to a psychologist.

  • WalterBroeckx

    asd,

    I wonder if you ever played the game? Or have been a ref?

    The mental force is of the highest importance in top sport. Any undermining of that force can bring defeat.

    Of course you don’t have to believe me but you could also point at where I am wrong of course. Maybe you are a sports psychologist but then not the ones I have spoken with.

  • WalterBroeckx

    And what Dean should do? Do what a ref should do: be fair for all.
    Laughing in the face of people who cannot defend themselves is very bad behaviour.

    I even try to avoid this when I come on here and I sometimes see people say stupid things. I sometimes could make a fool of them. But I let it go. Because I don’t think it is fair to do.

    Ok, I admit sometimes when someone is really getting on my nerves I have sinned.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Mike T,
    Last note about the Birmingham game and a possible red card.
    If you would know the rules you should know why it wasn’t a sending off (if the offside wouldn’t have been given).

  • Adam

    “He’s done a fantastic job for Arsenal. I know that doesn’t exempt him from criticism, but it’s something people should take into account when they start to criticise him. “Kenny Dalglish”.

    When I think of Arsène Wenger, I think of Warren Buffett. Wenger runs his football club like he is going to own the club for 100 years. “Billy Beane”. (if some of you don’t know who this man is research him).

    I think the job he has done at Arsenal makes him without question their most successful manager, even above people like [Herbert] Chapman. “George Graham”.

    “I think that Arsene Wenger is still a top-class manager. He has spent so many years at this club, he has brought so much to this club. I can testify because I used to be one of his players. He brought so much to the club, even if he didn’t win so many trophies. I think he deserves more respect than what he is getting at the moment,” Garde

    What is unbelievable is that I am in a position where people reproach me for making a profit. The people who lose money – nobody says a word. Reproach the people who lose money. I do business by managing in a safe way in a healthy way and on top of that you reproach me for making money. It looks like we are in a business where the quality is to lose money. “Arsene Wenger”.

    We have people who wish to challenge our belief in Arsene and the difficult job he is doing at our club.
    They wish to set the rules on how we judge him, dictate when we should hold opinions from. They also predict amongst themselves the reaction to their statements, it is a competition for them, they wish to be proved right.

    They come up with “Arsenal are only in it for profit”, yet we have one of the highest wage bills in the league, If you wish to maximise profit you cut the wages, so this argument is flawed. They have a pop at “silent stan” yet we have a shareholder we never hear from, Farhad Moshiri.

    It’s obvious they are upset and cannot separate their feelings from life’s controllable events to life’s uncontrollable events. One poor sole who comments infrequently on this site has been in a depressed state of being since he lost faith in Arsene Wenger back in 2006, but he still persists in moaning about something he has no control over.

    So this is for you Doublegooner;

    If at first you don’t succeed, then skydiving isn’t for you.

    After chatting with other Untold regulars we have had a whip-round and have purchased you a parachute jump. Training not included, and you will be jumping from an inverted helicopter.

  • asd

    Walter
    I played basketball in college. You say mental strength is the hardest to overcome and i agree but how many times have we heard the players have mental strength from Wenger?
    Real winners are tough mentally and i don’t think Jack goes into a game worrying about who the ref is.

    Talking about mental strength, do you know the psychological boost the players will get from signing a big name player?
    Do you know what the “4th is like a trophy” speech from Wenger does to the psychology of the players?
    And we wonder why the players sometimes play as if they don’t care.
    A winning mentality starts from the manager and Wenger has failed woefully in that aspect.

    Walter if you are going to psychology, start from Wenger.

  • asd

    Adam
    “It wouldn’t happen. No chance. I don’t believe I would”.(Alex Ferguson on going 5 years without a trophy).

    He told The Sun: “Yes I would love to have that stability at a club.

    “But at the same time I think for my mentality I also need the pressure to succeed.

    “And if no one imposes that pressure on me then I would impose that pressure on myself. The pressure to win things.

    “Yes it’s possible to be one or two seasons building for the future and not being at the level to win things.

    “But no longer, because my mentality is I always need the pressure of winning things.”(Mourinho)

    Now compare this two people’s record i’ve put up with Remi Garde, Kenny Dagilsh and Billy Beane’s record.

  • WalterBroeckx

    asd,

    obviously you can look inside Jack his head. I can’t.

    I hear Wenger say that we need mental strength. Of course he will not say in public: my players have no mental strength. If he would do so it would be time to send him away from the team. If you don’t understand that… well then there is no further need to talk about it.

    Can you give me an example of a manager who has won anything while constantly saying that his players are rubbish?

    If you would be smart enough to understand you would know what Wenger means by saying 4th is LIKE a trophy.
    Ask Moyes about it.

    Do you know what it does to the players to hear them being called shit by their OWN fans?

  • WalterBroeckx

    asd,
    ferguson has it easy to speak like that. He always could spend more money than Wenger. And certainly in the last trophyless years.
    This article is just pointing at the fact and it is a fact that on a few occasions we could an probably should have won a few things.

  • GoonerDog

    @Mick. I take it all back, clearly a season finishing in February is the epitome of competing and underscore that with the league being over in November.

    Do you really believe that is competing? Really? Even a die hard Wenger lover must see that?

  • GoonerDog

    @Mike. The point is they are not running the business well. We showed a profit this year only because of the sale of VP and Song. Selling your best players each season to create profit and replace with inferior, or with Song not replace at all, is in itself not sustainable and is a ludicrous business model. Equally signing inferior players on huge contracts to the point that we cannot get rid and continue to pay their wages is also not good business.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Maybe we can come to the conclusion that for people like asd, doublegooner, goonerdog and spurz is that they only love Arsenal when we win a trophy.
    In itself there is nothing wrong with that of course. But just say it then that you only want trophies. There is a name for such fans. Because that is where the difference is between a supporter and others. Supporters will support their team even when they don’t win a trophy.

    That was in fact what I wanted to say in this article and wanted to find out.
    Of course I’m not happy with the way the season has gone so far. But well this is football with all the things that can have an influence on the result of a game.
    The worst thing this season is that the team has been consistent inconsistent. We had great games where the players showed great potential and then had games where the team seemed like strangers. Having to rebuild a team in the last two years from scratch. Losing world class potential players like Cesc, Nasri, RVP and Song is not easy to replace. They were the core of the team.

    So we now have basically a team that has only 2,5 players left from the team we had 2-3 years ago. TV, Sagna were omni present in those years. Jack was only for one season and TW was a bit in and out the team and certainly not one of the carriers of the team.

    So we are in a rebuilding phase once again. And if you cannot take this in account in your hunt for trophies fine. It took Fergusion 6-7 years to build his first league winning team at utd. Many fans wanted him out.

    Just imagine how their and maybe ours history would have changed if the utd board at the time would have listened to those “000s of fans”. I think they will feel a bit stupid by now. Or probably they will forget they ever said that he should be sacked. And they will swear on the head of their children that they never said such a thing.

  • GoonerDog

    @Uncle Mike. Understand your feelings about all those players and its still grates me too that they wanted to leave. That said when we had all those players we had a team that could still compete, obviously a few notches less than the Viera, Parlour, Adams model. It’s not the winning that to me is the be all and end all. I don’t think any unhappy Arsenal camper believes that we should be winning everything and, in any competition, there can be only one winner. What I want to see is a team that is capable of having a proper go and not just making up the numbers. The sad fact is that short of a well drilled defence and three or four top notch players we could be that team.

  • GoonerDog

    @Walter. See comment to Uncle Mike.
    Winning trophies is the usual red herring pulled out those, and you are the ultimate example, who support Wenger through thick and thin NOT Arsenal. I would like nothing else for Wenger to have a road to Damascus moment and suddenly pull Arsenal up from this downward spiral we are on but, as sad as it is, his time is up. Now that may hurt you and when you have deep love for something it is also understandable, but such love is ultimately misplaced.

  • asd

    Walter
    People like me including(doublegooner, goonerdog) support Arsenal but we don’t support mediocrity.
    We would support the team even if they go 10 years without a trophy as far as the club is doing all within its powers to move forward.
    You say we lost players like Cesc, Nasri, RVP and Song but have you asked why they left? If the club was doing all within its power to succeed, would they leave? Would they leave if they felt Wenger could help them achieve their dreams?
    Song is a good example of our frustration with Wenger. Song was horrible his 1st few years with us, then he comes good and he is sold. Wenger scarified the success of the team because of some players and when the players leave, you guys claim the players betrayed Wenger.
    Can you tell me the club is doing everything in its power to win?

  • Fishpie

    Walter, a good piece, and one that does remind me of the many past years Arsenal fans spent not coming close to a semi or a final or even fourth place, so your perspective over the last few years is fair. Compared to other lean years in our history these lean years have been relatively eventful and we’ve even dared hope of picking up a trophy here and there. My definition of competing is when the board, the manager and the players can look me straight in the eye and say “we/I did everything possible to win a trophy”. And I’m sorry but I feel ( i don’t know for certain but I sense it in what I’ve seen) that the club didn’t turn those near things into winning things because the club didn’t do all it could to done to have acquired the better goalkeeper or defender we needed or didn’t adopt a more pragmatic system to hold onto leads or demand /inspire players to fight and fight and fight. As far as I can tell, I just sense it and I’m certainly suspicious of it that stones were left unturned.

  • WalterBroeckx

    @asd,
    well as you know the answer tell me why they left. And unless you know them in person you have as much a clue as I have. Maybe they had enough of the own fans telling them how rubbish they are?

    All 4 of them had 4-5 years to win us something. They didn’t. If they wanted to win that much, then why didn’t they do it for us?
    Maybe another question could/should be: did they do all they could to win something?

    Maybe you were angry when 3 years ago RVP got a new contract. Maybe you said at the time: what how can they give a new contract to this always injured piece of shit. (what I read at the time from some fans – obviously not supporters)

  • asd

    Was i angry when RVP was given a new contract, No but if he was sold and an adequate replacement (not some who needs 2 years to settle) was bought, i would have been happy.

    In life, everybody CAN be replaced.

  • GoonerDog

    @Walter
    “…….Maybe they [Cesc, Nasri, RVP and Song] had enough of their own fans telling them how rubbish they are?……” Yes Walter that is why they left; they were all rubbish – Good grief you could not make it up!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Let me rephrase it: what was your thought about giving an injury plagued player a new contract at the time.

    In a way this isn’t fair as you now have hindsight on how he turned good. But come on lets not pretend lots of Gooners were not happy at the time with the new contract for RVP.

  • asd

    During RVP years, i wanted him sold. As at 2011, i was still in support of Wenger keeping Diaby. As at now, i want him released.

    read my last statement: everybody CAN be replaced.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Does anyone else have a feeling some sort of change is in the air. I do and it is an uneasy feeling. This team just needs more time together.

  • AL

    All the hard work Arsene and the board invested in the team is about to pay off. FFP is about to kick in, our current squad all has players who have two or more years remaining in their contracts apart from Sagna. Perhaps this coming season would be the first we go into not having lost a player in the summer. All points to a positive outlook. And what do some fans want, a change of personnel at the top. Let me just say if they have their wish it could be the beginning of becoming what Liverpool is known as today; a once successful club happy to finish in the top 8, and likely to match spuds record of 50years without the title than win it anytime soon. Liverpool lack stability, and that can be terrible for results on the pitch.

    On a side note I can’t help notice there is a clique here who will go against everyone regardless of what we are talking about. It seems they just don’t want to agree with the rest, whatever the discussion. For instance there was an article recently about a ref that dared send off a player at OT. While most people were in agreement the ref got it right, as soon as I saw some names I immediately knew they would be saying the opposite even before I read their posts. And sure enough they didn’t disappoint. Now everyone knows, including past & present players(Alan shearer included) that teams just don’t get penalties or red cards going for them at this stadium. It’s almost as if its an unwritten rule which everyone apart from hardcore utd fans is aware of. This ref had the guts to buck the trend. Unsurprisingly, the posters I’m talking about were seeing things from hardcore utd fans’ point of view. Is this because their hatred of the way our team is run means they’ll think ‘hang on, what is everyone saying about this, let me go against that’? There are certain things in life that people are in agreement about almost universally, whether they support chelsea, pool, spurs,etc, and that its near impossible to get a decision at OT is one of them. Except of course if you belong to this bunch. Always on the other side of the fence, I don’t understand it. I’m positive even if we had an article saying Castro or Gaddaffi were dictators they would say no. Is this the definition of the AAA? Surely it must be.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Not sure Mandy but I know what you mean. Sometimes change can be invigorating and I do think we need that. But of course change can make things worse.

    I think we have some good players but for some reason they gel too infrequently. I think some of them can’t adapt to Wenger’s style of football. I also don’t understand why we persist with this same style of rather slow ponderous possession football when it’s yielded so little and when we played with pace and purpose ten years ago and we reeled in the trophies.

    I suspect we’ll be in the Europa League next year and I wonder how that will affect our ability to attract better players. It may make some difference but then Pool have kept Suarez who is a striker we could use and Spuds have several kept good players too without CL football.

    The frustrating thing is that we needn’t have been in this position as we have far more potential than Spuds and more money at our disposal and yet we have not spent wisely for some seasons now and we’re now paying the price for losing our better players.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Al, so how do you think FFP will change things? It seems to me after reading up on it that certain clubs, we know who they are, will exploit loopholes.

    Maybe Wenger has invested a lot of hard work but I’m not sure what the board have done. And exactly how is it about to pay off. I’m just curious.

  • Adam

    http://positivelyarsenal.wordpress.com/

    I think this article actually sums up quite well what I think of the minority commenters on here. They know everything about nothing.

  • Adam

    @AL, that is probably the one universal truth about football supporters, 99% will unite over awful officiating at Old Trafford. I don’t think anyone or any one issue has or ever will unite all football fans. This is as close as we have come to unity.

  • Stuart

    ASD,
    Your response at 9.39 is just examples of jealousy from other managers, none of them infact are contradicting what Adam said.

  • Adam

    That is why I didn’t reply directly Stuart, For a person to quote our direct rivals is a bit embarrassing for them and maybe highlights where their true allegiances lay?

    He probably doesn’t know that Arsenal was supposed to be the destination of Alex Ferguson back in the mid eighties. And that Jose Mourinho relied heavily on funds in his early career from Jorge Mendez.

  • Doublegooner

    @ Walter
    Maybe we can come to the conclusion that for people like asd, doublegooner, goonerdog and spurz is that they only love Arsenal when we win a trophy.
    In itself there is nothing wrong with that of course. But just say it then that you only want trophies. There is a name for such fans. Because that is where the difference is between a supporter and others. Supporters will support their team even when they don’t win a trophy.

    ————————————————————

    My dedication to our club cannot be doubted by you.
    I have supported ..(by going home since 60’s & away mid 70’s ) through thick & thin.

    I’ve loved this club not just on the pitch, but some of my off field experiences.I always dreamt of winning trophies & the disappointment of being at Heysel was painful coming days losing at Wembley.

    Mid 80’s cold dull mid week nights at Everton, N.Forest, Coventry

    I go home & away now & as a few others have pointed out, I don’t expect silverware & as far as I see it, we lack real ambition. I spend alot of money each season & will not walk away, although for the first time ever, now feel like it, so that gives me every right to voice my disapproval. I must stress, I do not boo the team.

    In a separate answer from you, you ridiculously suggested maybe it was the fans who drove certain players to leave. What stupid nonsense.

  • AL

    Refreshing article & equally refreshing comments in that link Adam. Restored my faith in mankind, thanks.

  • sperez

    Jorge Mendes? Mourinho worked with a budget the club gave him. He won the UCL twice with Porto and Inter and he didn’t have loads of money at his disposal.
    But even with £1 billion to spend, Wenger wouldn’t win the UCL trophy. That’s the difference between Mourinho and Wenger.
    Stuart, jealousy from other managers? Serious? What has Wenger achieved lately? Empty trophy cabinets.
    Ferguson and Mourinho have things to show, including the UCL trophies.
    Perhaps, this ‘jealousy’ has something to do with an overpaid and overrated manager with no accountability and ZERO things to show off in the past eight years.
    But I suspect Mourinho and Ferguson would quit their jobs before going EIGHT years without a trophy.
    Yes, Wenger is the most successful manager but he is also the longest serving manager in Arsenal history without winning a trophy.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Shankly had a pretty major trophy drought but from what I hear Liverpool fans are quite pleased he did not quit his job . On another note is this the start of the spurs faltering?

  • americangooner

    Sperez seems to know everything I guess. He even knows the future. He knows for sure arsene isn’t gonna win CL with 1 billion to spend. He must be quite a thoughtful person.

    This not having ambition thing is perpetuated firstly by RvP and then through the power of twitter and piers moron has multiplied in leaps & bounds. That piers moron who is a journalistic hack & possesses a record zero number of footballing achievements has the guts to tell arsenal lacks ambition. How can a person who has won 3 PL titles 4 FA cups, 1 Ligue one title, be suddenly accused of being devoid of ambition.

  • Mike T

    @Walter

    I thought you were a ref So tell me if a asst ref puts his flag up because a player is in their opinion, in an offside position are you saying the ref has to give an blow for offside?
    An offside decision is made by the ref. I will acccept that in 99.999999% of cases if the flag goes up the ref wont over rule it but they can and do.
    As for the Birmingham game the point I was trying to make , was that you infered that the game went against Arsenal due to MD being in charge, but the irony was that Aresnal benefeited from an incorrect desision.

  • sperez

    I don’t need RVP or Piers Morgan to tell what it’s happening when I can see crystal clear. 4th spot trophy that Wenger keeps spouting is ambition. Yeah, right !
    Once again talking about what Wenger achieved many years ago and ignoring the huge elephant in the room over the past 8 years.
    Wenger won’t win the UCL trophy that’s for sure. He doesn’t have the motivation skills and tactical nous to accomplish that. He couldn’t do it with better squads so why do you think he will deliver when the quality of The Arsenal squad has been deteriorated over the past few years (and the wage bill increasing)?
    Wenger doesn’t even bother to study the opposition for goodness sake! So no game plan. What kind of management is that?
    When you have a manager who lost all 3 UEFA finals you know there’s something wrong.
    Wenger has a semi-final and a final in the UCL competition but Ancelotti managing AC Milan has a much better record (and two trophies) with less years. And once again Ancelotti didn’t have loads of money to spend.
    In fact, Wenger’s record in the UCL is not impressive at all. And once again it’s worth mentioning that only 4 managers has more than a hundred games in this competition and only Wenger has ZERO trophy. Embarrassing for a so called ‘TOP’ manager!

  • Adam

    Sperez, Porto & Benfica have always been the strongest sides in Portugal, they rely heavily on outside investment by ways of selling a players future transfer rights, also known as third party player ownership. You will not see these figures in a clubs books they are monies outside of football and even have their own rules now written in to the FFPR, if you cannot understand this concept, all you have to do is ask and I will forward you the regulations so you can read up on the differences between the rules which premier league clubs adhere to and the rest of Europe barring Poland and France which also rules this form of player registration income.

    When a team finalises its books it is not allowed to declare profits from players future transfer rights until that player has left the club, and then only the percentage the club owns, so when Porto sells a player for say £30 million then the possibility of them only earning 20% £6 million is a very realistic situation.

    When Porto or Benfica bring in a player from say Brazil they might not own the player but might only own his registration for the purpose of FIFA player status and transfer regulations, in effect they are loaning the player from an agent or agency which is using the club as a promotional tool and the club is keeping its running costs down. This summarises the relationship between many clubs in Portugal and agents from the area, Brazil and Africa.

    Mourinho’s declared budget is not a reflection of the truth. Neither are any financial reporting’s coming out of Portugal as most monies is from private investors, a very similar principal to how Brazilian football is run.

  • americangooner

    Sperez, I don’t think so you know for a fact what AW does & doesn’t. To say that wenger doesn’t study opposition, has no tactical nous, etc. is incredulous. From your POV a manager is to be judged by how many cups he wins but the question here is ‘Is arsenal competing’. During those failed UEFA finals we were competing with the best. We went 10 matches without conceding a goal in 2006 CL – against vastly superior oppositions. Matteo won the CL but if real madrid, barca and bayern were to choose between matteo & AW who would they choose?

    “Once again talking about what Wenger achieved many years ago and ignoring the huge elephant in the room over the past 8 years”

    After you put the above sentence, you bagan to talk about other managers past success. Ancelloti isn’t doing great given the resources PSG has, nor is chelsea, nor mancity in relation to resources & player qualities.

    I Am pretty certain AW knows what is wrong with Arsenal but since I am not AW I cannot surmise precisely what AW is currently thinking.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Mike T,
    a ref can overrule his assistant.
    But if he would do so he might risk a punch on his nose at half time 😉

    You must have been part of a ref-team to understand it. Any ref will tell his assistants that they are responsible for the offside calls. The only time he will overrule them is when an assistant raises his flag but when the ref from his position on the field could see that a defender made the pass to that attacker.
    He can overrule them when there is a passive offside position.
    But in this particular case the assistant raised his flag to signal an offside of the active player.

    Yes it was a wrong decision. But in such a case the ref is relying on the decision of the assistant. If a ref would overrule such a decision and overruling that decision would be wrong he will face:
    1) an enormous punishment from the PGMOL.
    2) like said a punch on his nose from the assistant (and probably the other assistant will join him and the ref can go home with two black eyes)
    3) future assistants will not be happy to do games with him. They will not like him because he doesn’t trust them. Or has an agenda.

    Back to this specific case: the assistant was wrong. But the ref had as explained had almost no option to overrule that decision.

    The only way this decision could be overruled with 100% certainty, would be by using video evidence.

    Oh that is what I have been calling for for many many many many, too many years now.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Another thought:

    And as I said before: the incorrect decision was from the assistant.

    And believe me no ref can make correct offside decisions when he is alone on the field. It is humanly impossible to make correct offside decisions without assistants. They don’t put them(assistants) out there to fill up the numbers.

    From statistical evidence last season some 90% of the offside decisions made by the assistants were correct. My first guess is that if we would remove the assistants the ref would make less than 50% correct offside decisions.

    I think if a ref on his own would make 30-40% correct offside decisions he would have a great game.

  • sperez

    Please, don’t try to belittle Mourinho’s work at FC Porto. If you look at the Porto squad that won the UCL in 2004, you’ll see most of the club’s players were Portuguese and not foreign super stars assembled with exorbitant spending.
    Wenger certainly couldn’t win with that Porto side.

  • sperez

    What we’ve been seeing on the pitch suggests Wenger doesn’t care about the opposition.
    Fabregas stated during World Cup that the team was not briefed on the opposition. ‘At Arsenal we don’t really look at anything from the other team, we look for ourselves and that’s it.’
    No game plan at all. That’s why Arsenal is not performing well.
    Ancelotti, Ancelotti. He is so superior to Wenger…
    I believed PSG has the best defensive record in League 1 and one of the best in the UCL. Put Wenger in charge there and you’ll see the defence making the same silly mistakes over and over again. Unless PSG hire an expert to coach their defence to keep Wenger away.
    Ancelotti won 2 trophies at Chelsea in 2009/2010. So, no eight years without a trophy yet.
    Just to remind you, this run to the 2006 UCL final coincided with Keown coaching Arsenal’s defence.
    How long do you think Wenger would keep his job at Real Madrid, Barça or Bayern?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Wenger was invincible when on a level playing field.

  • Adam

    Now who’s burying their head in the sand.

    Porto & Mourinho, Benni McCarthy (south african), Hugo Benjamín Ibarra (Argentinian), Silvio Maric (croatian), André Macanga (Angolan), Iván Kaviedes (Ecuadorian), Miklós Fehér (Hungarian), Rafael (Brazil, Fredrik Söderström (Sweden), Juan Esnáider (Argentinian), Víctor Quintana (Paraguay), Edgaras Jankauskas, (Lithuanian), Ákos Buzsáky (Hungarian), Derlei & Ferreira & Zé Carlos & Carlos Alberto & Maciel & Fabiano Rossato & Bruno Moraes & David Lopes & Evaldo (All Brazilian).

    The Portuguese players you speak of are or were clients of Gestifute. who at a later date were moved on for exorbitant fees.

    Gestifute players for Porto 2004

    Maniche a free transfer from Benfica to Porto later sold for £14million.
    Paulo Ferreira sold for £18 million
    Ricardo Carvalho sold for £26 million
    Deco sold for £18million
    José Bosingwa sold for £18million

    Non Gestifute players

    Jorge Costa free transfer
    Vítor Baía sold £5 million
    Nuno Valente sold £1.7
    Costinha sold £3.5

    You see a pattern emerging? Now I take nothing away from Porto’s win, they dived their way rather spectacularly to the final and winners podium, however I will attack their business model as it gives them a direct advantage over other clubs that are not allowed this form of financial income.
    It does not offer long term stability and is in a way contradictory to the ethics of the game. As outlined in the player status regulations.

    Again if you do not understand this I will pass on as much information as possible.

    FIFA’s research partners Birkbeck university of London have released studies in to Benfica and Porto’s model of ownership and FIFA & UEFA are looking into banning this model, as yet it’s still up in the air.

    The point im trying to make you understand is this, If a player has cost Porto £1 million and is then sold 2/3 years later for £18 million, and this money does not show on their finance reports then someone else owned the players transfer rights and the only reason Porto could afford the player in the first place was that there had to be an agreement in place for the players future sale.

    You only have to look at the latest Gestifute transfers from Porto.

    Pepe £27 million, Hulk £47 million, Falcao £41 million and the list could go on. Porto should be one of the richest clubs about, but where is the money? And why aren’t Porto posting huge profits? The reason being is that they don’t own the players outright.

    But you bury your head in the sand, Im done trying to make you see sense. Any manager will be successful at Porto.

  • WalterBroeckx

    sperez,
    and who was coaching the defence of the invincibles?

  • bob

    sperez,
    Answer Adam’s analysis of Porto 2004, or plug it.
    You’ve no credibility if you cannot or will not.
    Beautiful job, Adam.

  • sperez

    Portugal, Portugal… Portuguese blood runs through my veins.

    Não nego a existência de práticas financeiras questionáveis no mundo do futebol. Também ocorre em Portugal, eu sei. Contudo, se queres mesmo falar a respeito disso, não há nada mais repulsivo do que o modelo econômico que sustenta os dois gigantes espanhóis, Real Madrid e Barcelona.
    Estas mais uma vez a tentar diminuir o trabalho de Mourinho ao afirmar que qualquer um teria sucesso no comando do Porto. Será que esse ‘sucesso tão fácil de conseguir’ vai além das fronteiras de Portugal?
    Porque duvido da capacidade de Wenger em conquistar a taça da UCL com o mesmo time que Mourinho comandava em 2004 com ou sem dinheiro.
    Seus números são pós-FC Porto campeão Europeu de 2004? Se sim, por favor, explique a Bob que parte desses lucros obtidos foi após a conquista da cobiçada taça da UCL. Nada que obscureça o maravilhoso trabalho de Mourinho.
    E o Benfica? Será que qualquer um teria sucesso por lá também? Falas do Porto, mas o Benfica foi um dos clubes que mais se beneficiaram com a citada prática. Por que o Benfica ainda não ganhou a UCL na última década se é tão fácil com toda essa vantagem pecuniária?

    I don’t deny the existence of questionable financial practices in the football world. It happens in Portugal, I know. However, if you want to talk about this, there’s nothing more repulsive than the financial model that sustains the Spanish giants, Real Madrid and Barcelona.
    You’re once again trying to belittle Mourinho’s work when you say that anyone would be successful at FC Porto. Will this success ‘easily achievable’ go beyond the Portugal’s border ?
    I doubt Wenger’s capability to win the UCL trophy with the same team Mourinho managed in 2004 with or without money.
    Your numbers are post-FC Porto, European champion of 2004? If this is the case, please, explain to Bob that part of these profits was gained after the conquest of the so desired UCL trophy. There’s nothing to obscure Mourinho’s wonderful work.
    And Benfica? Would anyone be successful there too?
    You talk about Porto, but Benfica was one of the clubs that benefited more from the aforementioned practice.
    So, why Benfica didn’t still win the UCL in the last decade if it’s so easy with all this financial advantage?
    —————————————————
    Walter, I answered this same question here once. I believe Wenger was not that good about defence (though I recognise he had several qualities regarding other things in football)and the fact the he inherited Graham’s defence certainly helped him in the beginning.
    Toure benefited from having someone as good at the defensive job as his partner. Sol Campbell was a beast in defence. Just imagine a Toure-Vermaelen partnership in the invincible years. No good at all. Toure needed someone good, solid and experienced to put him in the right direction.
    Let’s talk about the defence over the last years. So, if Wenger was the only reason for the success of the invincible’s defence, why hasn’t he been able to ‘coach’, replicate the defence from those glorious days? Why has the defence been so terrible ?

  • sperez

    Not a single super star in FC Porto squad in 2004.

  • Adam

    As I said I’m done with you, Its just not going in is it?

    And yes I am belittling Mourinho’s work, and yes you are right Arsene Wenger would not have won the champions league with that squad or with that model.

    Remove the model and Porto would not be able to attract the talent to the club nor keep it.

    However Mourinho did a fantastic job with the Internationals at his disposal.

    Not a single super star in FC Porto squad in 2004.

    DECO? Mcarthy?

    Oh and you have my sympathies regarding the Portuguese blood.

    Long live Arthur Wellesley. You do realise that Portugal are Britain’s longest serving allies.

    No superstars? But don’t you want us to go shopping for just that?

    Your boring now.

  • Adam

    I cannot account for your ignorance Sperez. So you are now counted amongst the stupid who will not listen. I have tried to make you understand that Porto’s squad was assembled with the help of financial doping and Jorge Mendez influence, similar to Real Madrid before Mourinho’s arrival.

    “But you no listen”

  • sperez

    Deco was not a super star then. A very good player, but superstar? C’mon… Mourinho convinced Deco to stay a little longer.
    Just look at Mcarthy before he joined Porto. A good player yes but he flourished under Mourinho.
    Superstars don’t join Porto, Benfica or Sporting. These clubs are used as stepping stones (just like Arsenal now).If a player becomes too good to play in Portugal, he’ll be sold. Superstars want to go to Madrid, Barcelona, ManU, City and Chelsea, Bayern…
    Falcão wasn’t a superstar when he joined Porto. He still plays for Atlético, still…but..
    Agüero was not a superstar when he joined Atlético. In fact, when they sold him to City, they replaced him with a player of the same caliber spending almost the same. Atlético has more ambition than Arsenal.
    Wenger should learn to do this. When he sells a player he tries to replace him with inferior shite. That’s why the squad keeps deteriorating. This is not a self-sustaining model at all. In a self-sustaining model, you replace a player with one of the same quality.
    I guess Wenger is afraid of the pressure to win trophies. So it’s better to say nonsense like ‘this is the best squad I ever had'(a couple of years ago).
    Anyway, back to the Portuguese teams… FC Porto couldn’t afford to buy superstars in 2004 and this hasn’t changed since then.
    So, what I am trying to say is Porto was not the richest club in Europe and they couldn’t buy all the players they wanted but I know the club had significantly resources to assemble a good team, A GOOD TEAM, NOT A TEAM FULL OF SUPERSTARS. Then, Mourinho worked his magic.
    Money is necessary to achieve things in football but it’s not the only factor behind success. If money was everything, there was no need for competition. We wouldn’t see Birmingham and Bradford causing trouble for Arsenal or Bayern losing the Bundesliga title to Dortmund.
    So, a manager needs to be competent using the resources available to him wisely. Wenger is mismanaging Arsenal’s resource with his horrible socialist wage structure (well, guess what? Wenger isn’t being paid according to his socialist wage principles) and with very poor signings.
    About Portugal and England, yes, I know.
    The Brazilian gold really helped to finance the English Industrial Revolution…

  • sperez

    Yes, I know, I know… financial doping. But blame UEFA. Porto and other clubs just took advantage of the situation. Real Madrid and Barcelona are far worse and richer…
    Do you really trust UEFA’s FFP? I can’t see them causing trouble for the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, City, Chelsea…
    But, remember it doesn’t matter the resource a club has if it’s going down the toilet.

  • bob

    sperez,
    just wondering if all that glitters is gold? In other words, is it fair to ask whether the Brazilian gold you mention that financed the english industrial revolution actually mined by the thousands of slaves that the portuguese had brought into brazil from africa?

  • gouresh

    Is this discussion about competing / winning or going towards politics? In that case U can bring in all the European countries that exploited other countries for their benifet.

  • Rupert Cook

    Good points from both sides. I don’t think you should belittle Mourinho’s achievements Adam. After all he knows how to win the CL. This is what I find so revolting about Rafa’s treatment at Chelsea. Rafa won the CL with a fairly ordinary Pool side. I think he’s earned a little respect from everyone.

    I don’t think anyone actually thinks Wenger will ever win the CL. Certainly not at Arsenal. He’s had 15 or so attempts and come close once. That’s not a great manager.

    Despite his obvious decline Wenger still deserves respect too. He gave us seven years of great football and several trophies along the way. On an international level he’s come up short but he’s done a sterling job on a national level at least up until four or five seasons ago.

  • sperez

    Bob, yes. The slaves from Africa certainly mined the gold from Brazil. You know, Brazil was the last Latin America country to abolish slavery. It didn’t take any longer because the British government put pressure on Brazil to end this practice.
    Rupert, Wenger deserves the utmost respect for the first half of his tenure. But these past few years…well, it has been depressing.

  • A. Stewart

    “Porto & Mourinho, Benni McCarthy (south african), Hugo Benjamín Ibarra (Argentinian), Silvio Maric (croatian), André Macanga (Angolan), Iván Kaviedes (Ecuadorian), Miklós Fehér (Hungarian), Rafael (Brazil, Fredrik Söderström (Sweden), Juan Esnáider (Argentinian), Víctor Quintana (Paraguay), Edgaras Jankauskas, (Lithuanian), Ákos Buzsáky (Hungarian), Derlei & Ferreira & Zé Carlos & Carlos Alberto & Maciel & Fabiano Rossato & Bruno Moraes & David Lopes & Evaldo (All Brazilian). ”

    And not one of these players were considered top stars in world football at the time (and even since), so not sure what they point of saying Mourinho had foreign players at his disposal was, other than he had foreign players at his disposal.

    Now I take nothing away from Porto’s win, they dived their way rather spectacularly to the final and winners podium, however I will attack their business model as it gives them a direct advantage over other clubs that are not allowed this form of financial income.

    “Gestifute players for Porto 2004

    Maniche a free transfer from Benfica to Porto later sold for £14million.
    Paulo Ferreira sold for £18 million
    Ricardo Carvalho sold for £26 million
    Deco sold for £18million
    José Bosingwa sold for £18million

    Non Gestifute players

    Jorge Costa free transfer
    Vítor Baía sold £5 million
    Nuno Valente sold £1.7
    Costinha sold £3.5”

    So what? None of these players were household names in world football UNTIL their successes at Porto under Mourinho. We’ve had this discussion before (sorry to but in), no-one was denying they were quality talents (who became quality players under Mourinho’s tutelage). Not to mention these local players were the nucleus of their success far more in comparison to the non-superstar foreigners you listed.

    “Now I take nothing away from Porto’s win, they dived their way rather spectacularly to the final and winners podium, however I will attack their business model as it gives them a direct advantage over other clubs that are not allowed this form of financial income.”
    Well yes you do go at very long lengths to take something away from Porto’s (well this is really all about discrediting Mourinho especially in comparison to Wenger, let’s be real) win, including now the jibes about diving.

    Great you seem to know a lot about their business model and if your gripes are about “a direct advantage over other club that are not allowed this form of financial income” IN PORTUGAL then fine (similarly you should discredit anything Barcelona and Madrid has won in Spain, no?)..but just like when I was having this discussion with you, it’s about comparing a comparative lack of resources (personnel and money) to the elite teams in Europe. And no matter what shady ownership structures that exist in Portugal and no matter how great players like Carvalho and Deco etc (the players you state that Porto chiefly benefited from having due to that ownership model) turned out to be, their resources in terms of funds, and player status (at the time of comparison) paled in comparison to the heavy hitters of the sport at the time, the likes of the Milan, Madrid, Barcelona, United, Munich, Juventus, even Liverpool etc..and even in comparison to…………Arsenal who had far more highly rated players than the Porto boys at the time, and was and is still a more wealthy club.

    So no matter how you spin in, Mourinho won IN EUROPE with Porto with far less financial and player resources than the big boys, and won the Uefa Champions League without the level of big spending (Oligarch-esque) that he is accused of not being able to win without. Moreover, this doesn’t begin to address what he achieved with a net transfer profit at Inter.

    At Porto he won without spending big money on big superstars as he is often accused as not being able to win without. Again, we are comparing the resources available to him to those of the big boys in Europe (not the league in Portugal), and regardless of how good the Porto boys turned out and were sold for eventually, they were NOT commonly considered amongst the top elite players at the time, that clubs like United, Milan, Madrid and even ARSENAL (you know, the invincibles) had.

  • Adam

    I do think you miss the point A.Stewart and if I have to I will take the time to walk you through your misunderstandings, of how Portuguese football is set up to succeed for the chosen, or at least the chosen one.

    You obviously have not researched the background of football as I have or have access to the information that I do.

    Again if I have to walk you through it, if you cannot work it out for yourself and as I have said to Sperez, all you have to do is ask.

  • Stuart

    Adam,
    Could you write an article about that? What other leagues do you have knowledge of also?

  • Adam

    Stuart, I have been reading up on Brazilian football or rather lack of it, and to think they have a world cup coming up.

    I have written many articles about Portuguese football, they are on here somewhere?

    The more you read up on the background of football the more you realise some things are instigated more than we would like to acknowledge.

    Now I love football, but it is a mess and needs cleaning up.

    And I find it very difficult to give credit to individuals when it is clear they had a huge helping hand.

  • andy bishop

    This thread has lost the plot…The question was “is it about winning or competing?” Ask any professional sportsperson and it is about winning the ultimate goal…you have to compete to attain that. Arsenal are competing but within their limitations. We all know this. Only dreamers believe under the current regime we will win anything. I love the club but also a realist….Arsenal IS a business first and foremost. Venture capitalists like Stan Kroenke have invested for the long term and left it to the professionals to run the club. I believe he is about 200-300 million in front at his time and that is without winning diddly squat. Fine for him….the fans want more and not unreasonably considering the investment that has been made in the stadium, the brand and having one of the best managers in the world. Kroenke on board has secured the future of certain directors who if all remember did not want his sort on the board a few years ago. If Arsenal want to compete at the top level things must change…the promise to the future about FFP..the Arsenal financial model, Wenger building a team with youth…its all promises. Whether we like it or not financial football has moved on and changed. Hang onto the dream and promises but until we do what Man U, Man City, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea do how can we compete

  • AL

    There’s nothing special about mourinho, its only the English press that adores him. Everywhere else he’s made fun of, that’s why he left Inter. Personally I wouldn’t to see him associated with a club I support because he’s a slimy & dishonest character. He has used money to buy success. As Lord Sugar once said, get him down to Leyton Orient and we will see how special he really is. He’s a chancer.

  • AL

    Did I mention UEFA also labelled him an enemy of football. Now can we talk about proper football managers please, not some translators-cum-con-artists-turned-football-managers.

  • gouresh

    Today we will see if we are competitive or are we just on the CL to make money. We had 10 of prepration (tactical=attack/defence) so I really really hope that we give it our best. If we are up 1 or 2 goals in the 1st half without conceding we have a chance. Its not about competing but, its competing to WIN!

  • Rupert Cook

    Hilarious. The jealousy of Mourinho strays into the realms of the absurd. Wenger isn’t as good a manager as Mourinho. Success is measured by achievement and even when Wenger had a side capable of winning the CL, the teams between 98-06, he couldn’t. All managers of big teams have access to healthy sums of money, even Wenger, though his use of funds has been poor in recent years.

    Whatever happens tonight, probably a 4-0 thrashing, though I’d love it if we progressed, this team is vastly inferior to the best teams in the CL.

    Not qualifying for the CL maybe a blessing as we can actually concentrate on competitions we could win like the FA Cup and Capital One. That’s our level now so get used to it.

  • Mike T

    @Al

    Your comments about Mourinio are, well beyond belief

    Heres a manager that has won 7 league titles, 2 CL and 1 UEFA cup . He hsa won a major competion in every calender league since 2002 to dismiss as being a joke him comes somewhere that isnt based on anything other than bias.

    I really dislike how SAF conducts himself but if I were to suggest he isnt perhaps the greatest mananger in English football history would be me in denial so for anyone to suggest Mourino isnt up there as one of the greatest coaches currently in world football seems starnge.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Mike T. It’s the land of denial where a large proportion of Arsenal fans now reside. Mourinho is a manager who would almost certainly have won us a trophy or two in the last eight years, financial restrictions or not. Next we’ll be hearing that Messi isn’t better than Diaby, Messi only plays well because he’s surrounded by virtually the Spanish national team and if Diaby wasn’t injured every week he’d be the best in the world.

  • A. Stewart

    do think you miss the point A.Stewart and if I have to I will take the time to walk you through your misunderstandings, of how Portuguese football is set up to succeed for the chosen, or at least the chosen one.

    You obviously have not researched the background of football as I have or have access to the information that I do.

    Again if I have to walk you through it, if you cannot work it out for yourself and as I have said to Sperez, all you have to do is ask.
    ..

    You don’t need to walk me through anything Adam, I hear you loud and clear and find your points valid about how Portuguese football is set up especially with regards to the bigger clubs and thus makes it somewhat non-competitive, similar with la liga and Barca and Madrid’s TV revenue / banking arrangements monopolies rendering La Liga largely uncompetitive.

    However, NONE OF THAT, erases the point that still Porto’s monetary and player resources paled in comparison to the European heavy hitters when Mourinho won the CL with them..That is the point you seem to constantly miss. It’s a very simple point that seems to escape you consistently. It’s hardly a eureka moment.

  • A. Stewart

    “As Lord Sugar once said, get him down to Leyton Orient and we will see how special he really is.”

    The hallmark of a great manager has now been reduced to whether they can achieve success with a lower division team? That’s almost as juvenilely silly as the “But can Messi do it on a cold/wet Wednesday night at Stoke?” stuff.

    “He has used money to buy success”
    Explain how we “bough success” with Inter for the treble.

    “Personally I wouldn’t to see him associated with a club I support because he’s a slimy & dishonest character. ” Personally I wouldn’t make judgments on his character as I don’t know the man personally. He could be a great family man, philanthropist, good tipper, or he could be the epitome of evil. What I do know is that he is a good football manager. Personally I don’t think he is the right fit for Arsenal and I wouldn’t want him to manage AFC either, but that doesn’t prevent me from seeing he is a damn good manager, who has achieved a lot at a young age in various environments, and whose players generally love playing for him and often and regularly speak about that and his motivational prowess.

    “Did I mention UEFA also labeled him an enemy of football.”

    Well no you didn’t, but you kind of did actually with your rhetorical question. Not that I know whether that is true or not, but erm, so what if they did? Personally I give little credence to what governing bodies of the sport have to say, since they’ve long proven their corruption, inconsistency and incompetence, if you wish to justify their musings, feel free.