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Not El Classico; El London/Mancs Run-In

By Tony Attwood

The odds that you can get on someone other than Barcelona or Real Mad getting the championship or runners’ up slot in Spain must be huge, not just for next season, but the season after and the season after and…

With their tax advantages, state or local authority funding, and 100% of their TV revenues, the are immune from the ups and downs that occur elsewhere.  Yes I know Atletico Madrid have put on a brilliant show in 3rd spot, but even so, its the same old 1-2 at the moment, as it was last year and the year before.

What might finish this of course is the EC with their investigation of Real Madrid’s (and their friends in high places), land sale scheme, but I get a bit of a dodgy feeling about this really hurting Real Mad, much as I would love to see a full investigation.

In England we don’t have two big teams, although at the moment the Man C/U duopoly likes to think of it that way.  Bet on that continuing for 20 years if you wish, but somehow I don’t think so.  The world is moving again as FFP comes in.

And can Arsenal break back in, and give us the Arsenal/ Man U duopoly we used to enjoy?  Perhaps not a duopoly again, but the fact is that we have money that Chelsea and Man C can only dream of.  Money made from club profit, not from a donor.  Money that is safe from the prying eyes of FFP.

And we have the ability to win games we used to lose.  Remember the time when we used to win the shots on target level dramatically – like 15 to 2 or something.  So big was the difference I used to put it in the subject line.   We used to dominate possession in every match – now sometimes we do (like here where we had 62%) but sometimes we don’t and we still win.

What this tells us is that Arsenal now have the players who can take a game and win it, no matter what.

And maybe the match also told us exactly why we moved Steve Sidwell on: a three match ban, 12 minutes playing, another three match ban.

Of course Giroud went too, and will not be there for Manchester United, Queens Park Rangers and Wigan,  but then we do have others.  Theo for centre forward anyone?   But then if he had been playing there against Fulham Theo would not have put over the free-kick for Laurent Koscielny and then Mertesacker.

So we played poorly, but then everyone used to complain that on our off days we couldn’t win.  Now we can, so everyone complains that we have off days.   Just like the Bolton game in the unbeaten season – lots of complaints about how we couldn’t finish lowly defence minded teams off.

Obviously  such commentators don’t remember some of the less exciting games in the years we have won the league.   We won the league because we could have off days and get a draw or a win.  I think we are getting back to that.

Every week the AAA churns out its “spend some fucking money” cry and every week we go on, doing what teams that are heading upwards do.

Not many pressmen and women accepted the fact that some teams manage to up their level of commitment with ten players more than they can with eleven. But Fulham did just that, playing a forceful counter attacking game.

So the standard lines about not being able to win ugly, loving style more than victory, and all that rubbish, will be tucked away into the computer’s memory files until another day.  We won, it wasn’t good, but we won.  Everton who you may recall also played mid-week in an ultra physical game, lost to Sunderland.  Maybe that says something too.
.
So where to now?

Arsenal

  • v Man Utd (H) Sun 28 April 4pm
  • v QPR (A) Sat 4 May 5.30pm
  • v Wigan (H) Tue 14 May 7.45pm
  • v Newcastle (A) Sun 19 May 4pm

What do we go for?  Win three lose one?  9 points = 72 points total

Tottenham

  • v Man City (H) Today 1.30pm
  • v Wigan (A) Sat 27 April 3pm
  • v Southampton (H) Sat 4 May 3pm
  • v Chelsea (A) Wed 8 May 7.45pm
  • v Stoke (A) Sun 12 May 1.30pm
  • v Sunderland (H) Sun 19 May 4pm

Win three draw two lose draw one? 10 points = 68 points at the end

Chelsea

  • v Liverpool (A) Today 4pm
  • v Swansea (H) Sun 28 April 3pm
  • v Man Utd (A) Sun 5 May 4pm
  • v Tottenham (H) Wed 8 May 7.45pm
  • v Aston Villa (A) Sat 11 May 12.45pm
  • v Everton (H) Sun 19 May 4pm

Win four lose two? 12 points. = 73 points to conclude

———————————

The books…

The sites from the same team…

 

66 comments to Not El Classico; El London/Mancs Run-In

  • rantetta

    May I just say: F**k you very much, Everton. You came and kicked the shit out of us on Tuesday, with your class-less manager telling the world in advance that not only would you give us a kicking, but you disagreed with a penalty given to Arsenal in the previous match, even though it was “nailed on”. You got Fellatio-ni to elbow our Jack and generally try to cripple our players via the old toilet reject, Gibson, and the rest of the team.

    Even worse, I saw that assault by K. Moral-less on our Ryo, when your shite team were thrashed by Wigan. The whole world (or at least; those watching the FA Cup that weekend) saw you practising your violence in that match, and NOBODY said there was anything bad about it, despite the reckless 2-footed challenge that left Myachi injured and crying on the hoardings and needing an operation, from which he’s recovering well.

    So what happened to you yesterday, Everton-Moyes-ey? What happened to you Mr ‘world class’ Baines. You got a beating, innit? MOTD did’t have anything good to show about your game, cos you were crap.

    ♫♫ Champions league, you’re ‘aving a Larf, Champions league, you’re ‘aving a Larf♫♫

    It’s a pity ref Marriner chose to revert to type in the 2nd half of Arsenal’s game at Fulham yesterday, giving ‘ghost’ fouls to the home team, etc. Very well done to the Gunners for holding on for that win. Most of the teams are looking tired, understandably, so I think it’s important to keep supporting our players, even when they’re not as dynamic as we’d wish.

    Forward, Arsenal.

  • rantetta

    I’m for Gervinho at centre forward. I think he has some magic in his feet and he may be played in the away matches which Giroud misses.

    That’s another good article, Tony.

    Thanks for all the ref stuff, Walter (and Dogface – I know you’re in there somewhere, even though you’re on a beach, presently).

  • bc

    i just hope that without a big number 9 wenger changes the formation, to a 4312 so that santi can get back in the middle behind a front 2 (any of podolski, walcott gervinho and chamberlain. wilshire or rosicky to join arteta and rambo in a 3some is favourite.

  • bjtgooner

    rantetta @9.46 am

    Well said.

  • Sav from Australia

    Yes, well said rantetta!

  • Elvis

    Well said rantetta.
    I used to think Everton was a half decent team. But their behavior over the last month is shite. They are desperate to qualify and think that anything is acceptable as long as they qualify. F U moyes.

    Next time stoke beat the crap out of you, I’ll laugh at your whining. When Leighton baines and fellaini move on in the summer and you go back to 10th place, All is well again

  • rantetta

    Thank you for your positive comments, fellow Untolders, not only for what you’ve said today, but particularly – over the months and years. BJT, Bob, Shard, Mandy, Sav, Shottagun, Nicky, AL…. there are too many to mention. You all make this the best site, along with the plethora of terrific writers.

    I am, however, missing the articles written by Anne, Don and another writer who’s name escapes me. They deal with things like the commentators and other meedja BS, so forgive me, but I’ll post two recent articles from other sites, that I thought were somewhat poignant:

    A view on commentary-hatred, “Of all the teams that are considered “big” Arsenal seem to be the only club that suffers from unrelenting criticism… Norwich could do no wrong and Arsenal could do no right. When tackles went in on an Arsenal player he claimed that Norwich was doing a great job at “getting” at Arsenal and he could see nothing wrong with the challenges.”
    http://northlondonisred.co.uk/arsenal-hated-team/

    from Fri 19th:

    …”I think that we all have come to accept that referees will never ever offer us the same protection afforded to the the red Mancs, the establishment will not show the worst fouls committed against us on their televised highlights nor discuss them on their radio call ins.”
    http://positivelyarsenal.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/making-hay/

    Tony, I hope you don’t mind me posting these links. I still regard Untold as the very best, and this is my own way of replying to Sperez/Rupert, et al.

    Bottom line: I’m an Arsenal supporter. I love The Arsenal.

    ♫♫♫Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal♫♫♫

  • The little tots come from behind to lead 3-1 damn, will the Professor change tactics for once when we play manure!! Just for once do not congest the midfield and bombard them for the flanks surprise them with the unexpactable and then we will kick their butts.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Oh well prepare for the wankfest

  • bob

    The unspoken: DO NOT LET FUNGUSSON clinch against us.
    That will be unpardonable. There are principles beyond the cash/accountancy nexus, and that is one of them. Gentlemen, start your engines. Let the games begin.

  • So the whorelists will start all over again, the tots are the best team blah ,blah just need to win manure and zip their butts.

  • Gf60

    Socrates’ thought on ManC taking a leaf out of our second half performance yesterday. Poop, bums and wee wee.
    Just as I was thinking of slightly forgiving the chinless wonder as well…Bah, humbug!

  • Arun

    Well, manu isn’t going to win at our ground, hopefully. But we must beat manu at home to give our chances a required boost. Hopefully, liverpool will do us a favor by beating chelsea. If chelsea lose tonight, we might have a cl playoff b/w them and totts.
    @bob, giving them the guard of honor will always be preferred over conceding it at home.

  • Al

    Bob,
    I think funguson will clinch tomorrow night at OT, if he wins that’ll be 84 points and city won’t be able to catch that from their current 68 with only 5 matches remaining…

    I’d hate for them to have done that at our own ground, but still they’ll come as newly crowned champions so there will be focus on that too.

  • Arun

    What happens if Chelsea wins the Europa league and finishes 5th in the league???
    As far as I know, europa league winners get into the cl playoffs but what about the 4th placed team in the league???

  • Al

    Moyes stooped a little too low in order to push for 4th, turning his side into a mini-Stoke in the process. And he has gone down in many people’s estimations.

  • Al

    Arun,
    I’m not sure about them getting into cl play offs, thought if they won the cl proper then the team finishing 4th would be doomed(like tots last season)

  • sperez

    Rantetta, you have to put things in perspective. Do not conveniently forget the whole season. Pathetic home defeat to Swansea, draw with Fulham, Arsenal making the same mistakes in less than 5 minutes allowing spuds to score twice… We couldn’t even beat QPR at home without some help from the referee.
    Everton/Moyes is not responsible for this (Spuds also dropped points against the Toffees), Wenger is.
    He had several years to change things but he only made things worse.
    Sturridge just scored…

  • Mandy Dodd

    Maybe we need to poach some of the spuds medical staff?

  • AL

    You’re right, spurz, its all Wenger’s fault, he was also responsible for the credit crunch.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Suarez makes the day just a little bit better even racists have some uses I guess

  • Gord

    @Al

    Wasn’t it Wenger who sold the nuclear missiles to North Korea? 🙂

    @Mandy Dodd

    You beat me to it, so Liverpool does a favour and takes a point off Chelsea.

  • Al

    Gord,
    Yes, and that too:)

  • marcus

    Walter, will the FA be able to penalize Suarez? The ref was clearly aware of the incident and took no action at the time

    http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/news/premier-league-match-facts-liverpool-v-chelsea-014849524.html

  • sperez

    You reap what you sow. The last 3/4 years should have made Wenger open his eyes. Spuds were always there, trying to overtake us. The last season you know they bottled completely. I don’t know what exactly happened to spuds on that occasion but Wenger was lucky for their collapse. But instead of learning something, Wenger kept gambling on other teams to drop points. He sold our two best players of the season(according to most Arsenal fans), replaced our goal machine with a very average striker (his poor finishing against Everton looks more costly now), didn’t bother buying a DM (relied on a perpetual crock like Diaby)and continued to neglect the goalkeeping position.
    Wenger’s overreliance on opponents collapsing may finally backfire this season and he is the person to blame. He clearly deserves. Unfortunately, the club will also suffer. Years of mismanagement is really catching up.

  • Shard

    You reap what you sow is exactly what would have been said about Arsenal if we’d spent beyond our means and gone the way of Leeds. An exaggeration on my part? Perhaps.. But no more so than the ‘years of mismanagement’ claptrap above.

  • Gord

    @Marcus

    If the referee didn’t act on it and didn’t see it, the FA should be able to. I don’t think you would need to even have TV evidence. If the tooth marks on the Chelsea player match Suarez’s teeth, he convicted himself.

    Liverpool has 4 games remaining, I would like to see a 42 game ban from this incident. He has already served a 7 game ban for biting, and a 8 game ban for being racist. Time to kick the ban up a notch or two.

  • Mandy Dodd

    why all the nervous breakdowns on the inter web? Wonder is Sir Tim Berners Lee envisaged his invention (ok not technically true I know) as a source of AAA breakdown? Hate to rain on doom mongers parades, but look at the form table, and we are winning even when not playing well

  • sperez

    Please, I’m not talking about overspending. Why do you here on untold always keep saying that?
    I’m talking about spending the club’s resources wisely. Wenger clearly has been pissing money up the wall on poor signings,overpaying shite/average/unproven players(many of them don’t even play for Arsenal, no contribution at all).
    Do Spuds have more resources than Arsenal? Last season we paid 50m more to finish 1 point ahead of them (and thanks to a dodgy goalkeeping). This season, things may be different, Spuds may finish above us but they are still spending less.
    Arsenal is the 4th most valuable football club in the world, then why do you pretend we are Reading, Bradford, Birmingham or Leeds?
    With Arsenal’s resources, Wenger should be aiming higher and not settling for 4th spot. We can’t outspend the likes of Chelsea or City but we don’t have to if the club’s resources are spent in a sensible manner and we have a capable manager.
    Our wage structure,created by Wenger, is an aberration that prevents us from being competitive (Wenger’s socialist policy is killing us). That’s what I’m talking about. Spend the money the club CAN AFFORD wisely and don’t cry poverty to the fans, saying ‘we can’t compete’ just to hide Wenger’s inability to win trophies.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Wait until the Spuds start paying for a stadium upgrade.

  • Shard

    sperez

    Either our wage structure prevents us from progressing, or it is the reason we’ve shown unmatched consistency. Or both. Changing the wage structure, and aligning it with say ManU’s wage structure, still wouldn’t allow us to compete with the top wages, because as a percentage of our turnover, those wages will still be higher for us. Sure, it might let us have one player on huge wages, at the cost of the whole squad’s wages. It’s tough to know which way that will go. Beneficial or harmful.

    You might feel the wage structure is the problem, but there’s no way to know for sure that it is, or what realigning it will do. What is clear is that our resources have been lower, and our team has been in a constant state of flux. The latter leads to some inefficiencies arising. That is normal. It is not ‘mismanagement’.

    I still maintain that the only ‘mistake’ Wenger and the club made was not falling out of the top 4 early, and then staging a heroic fightback. The fact is that until a danger is seen, no one truly believes in it. And Arsenal’s transition has been managed so smoothly that people take for granted what we have.

    Spuds have spent more in the transfer market for a number of years. This is balanced by having lower wages, but then our wages reflect that we’ve spent so long in the CL spots. We’re only the 4th richest brand because of the stadium. And that stadium is what we’ve been paying for from our own resources.

    Also, what is this nonsense about waiting for other teams to drop points, or finish ahead of Spurs only due to a dodgy goalkeeper. I thought it all evens out in the end, and all that matters is where you finish? Or does that not apply when things go for Arsenal rather than against?

  • sperez

    When Spuds start paying for their stadium…Hmmm.
    If they start to sign and overpay average shite/unproven players and get a manager who thinks it’s ok to use a socialist wage structure to waste money paying high wages to dross players that contribute with very little or nothing at all and punish top players with less wages than they really deserve, then, I have no doubt they’ll go downhill.

  • sperez

    Unmatched consistency…8 years without winning sod all. It’s better to keep rewarding high wages to the likes of Djourou, Denilson, Squillaci, Diaby, Chamakh and Santos, then.

    We are not that far behind ManU’s wage bill.

  • Shard

    sperez

    How much do you think a squad player should make per week? How about one of the first team players, but not a star? And how much should we pay the star players? Remember that you also have to pay the around 500 employees at Arsenal, and fit it all into a wage bill of 143.4million.

    Let’s see you do the math as to how much you’d want is to be paid to which sort of players (and how many ‘stars’ and how many ‘squad players’ would you want in your team) Then we can see whether firstly, the math adds up, and secondly, what level of players would be willing to accept the lower wages that you suggest for the squad players.

  • Shard

    Read the bit about being in a state of flux leading to inefficiencies. That’s common sense, because sometimes you will take a decision when its needed even when the risk of it not working out is more probable. We wouldn’t have had to buy Chamakh and Santos if Adebayor and Clichy had stayed. Denilson was a youth product brought through at a time when we were trying to replace Gilberto (and he did this fairly well for a while) Diaby was offered a contract 3 years ago. When the recurring nature of his injuries was less obvious.

    Just because a decision doesn’t work out doesn’t mean it was the wrong decision. But it’s far easier to criticise something for not being all you would like it to be, than to actually understand the decision making process. (Which is not to say that mistakes haven’t been made. Mistakes doesn’t equal mismanagement. That is a macro view, in terms of which, we’ve done very well indeed. Even if it isn’t all we all want)

  • rantetta

    @Sperez,

    You’re correct in noting I should seek perspective, and I believe I have done so. My perspective doesn’t lead me to believe that bad results are all “Wenger’s fault”. I think those who insist Mr Wenger’s leaving the club would make everything OK – fail to see the influence of narrative – the same narrative that many folk, including pseudo Arsenal fans – BUY, hook, line and sinker!

    I posted a comment at 12:54 which hasn’t appeared as it’s in moderation. It may never appear as it includes links to two articles from other sites. (One link is an article about the hatred of Arsenal, whilst the other’s about ref inaction/media. In the preceding text I mention your name, so I have “perspectivated” to some extent.

    My beef is very much about referees. I think some of our problems are their fault. How about Chelsea scoring a goal against Arsenal after Ramires ‘frontally’ stamps on Coq 22’s ankle, commits countless fouls, unpunished, and then receives the man of the match reward, which entirely ignores the ‘influence’ of ref Atkinson, who was then given the return match at Stamford Bridge. How about ref Dean being awarded successive matches at the Ems – against Spurs, in which that ref allows all kinds of fouls, penalties and goals from them (although Arsenal ended up winning). Ref Dean was awarded two cup games this season, that Arsenal lost. Indeed, ref Dean is awarded as many matches as possible with, I believe, the intention to uber-screw The Arsenal and also to teach other refs how it’s done. (See ref Probert as 4th official at OT, who had Mr Wenger sent to the stands. And we’ve seen that ref Probert has learned his lessons well from Dean/Webb/Mason, et al.
    Watch the whole 2nd half of Fulham v Arsenal and check how ref Marriner’s decisions deteriorated.

    During this past month Walter posted articles about the refs. Some people write things that make me think; they just don’t read this stuff.

    I really think that those who want Mr Wenger out on the basis that he’s the reason for our ‘failures’, or whatever, themselves fail to use the mass of perspective provided by this and other positive Arsenal sites, and maybe, their own eyes.

    For some, nothing is good enough. Sure, yesterday’s match wasn’t the best from Arsenal, but for 75% of the game they done very well, including over 80% possession prior to Sidwell’s red card.

    Seems like your perspective spawns an agenda that’s entwined with the narrative, Sperez! You won’t be pleased if we finish in May by qualifying for next season’s Champions league.

    Become an Arsenal supporter.

  • Harry

    I don’t understand the attack’s on Wenger’s record, he has transformed this club under extreme financial duress, kept the football entertaining, and frankly has overachieved.
    We are 20th in net spending over the past 11 years and 14th since the inception of the PL.
    We are below the toffees to highlight the Idiocy of the punditry to suggest he’s a capable replacement, and if we finish 3rd it would be a momentous accomplishment, especially after losing our three best players and having to revamp.
    We have a squad that can compete with big money and will.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Why has the internet gone into some massive orgasm/ self flagellation depending on your view point that the Spuds will finish above us?
    As I say, our recent point scoring is actually rather good. Stiff upper lip, mental strength and strong hearts needed…or do todays Gooners lack what they most expect in our players?

  • AL

    @Rantetta 8:30pm
    Another good post. Some of our fans act and sound like rival fans. And with names that sound like rival clubs

  • AL

    Sorry, meant post at 8:13pm….

  • bjtgooner

    Yes rantetta, another good post – but sperez is so warped in his outlook that he will probably not appreciate the explanation.

  • Adam

    Some information, just to put it out there.

    The Manchester United home game against Aston Villa tomorrow night will be officiated over by Manchester born Anthony Taylor.

    A game in which United can clinch the title will have a referee who was born 3 miles from Old Trafford.

    Now I have no problem with referees from the same county officiating over teams from that county, However in Arsenal’s case I cannot find a referee from the same region let alone the same county that gets our games.

    Sorry to whinge, just thought you lot should know what we are up against.

    Could you imagine the uproar, if we got a Finsbury born referee.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Wish I could say I was surprised Adam. Guess this means we get dean against Wigan Utd are going to win anyway so why are the pgmol embarrassing themselves in such a way?

  • AL

    WTF! Thought dean, clatternburg, foy, the rest, don’t do certain teams coz of where they were born/come from? What’s going on here? Of course I don’t think it would really change anything even if utd got a ref from London(if one existed) or wherever, but something’s clearly lacking here; consistency. Or maybe since villa are playing for their lives they thought just to be sure….SMH.

  • Pat

    On the Suarez biting incident – Sky mentioned in passing that Jermaine Defoe – an Englishman – bit somebody in 2006. The ref gave him a yellow card and in his post match interview his manager – Martin Jol at the time – cracked a joke about it.

    Nothing much has been said about it since.

    So, although I think biting someone is a rather odd thing to do, it is not the most dangerous act in the world, and I
    think all the moral outrage being expressed – let alone threats to have him removed from the candidate list for player of the year – is well over the top.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Guess Taylor has told them he supports bury…..like all from withamshawe! Promote ms Massey…

  • Mandy Dodd

    Anyone else worried giroud is going to be a huge loss not least in the way he helps out the defence. I know this goes against the opinions of many but think he does more for the team than meets the eye. A replacement will be difficult in the next few games podolski is clearly not fully fit theo and Gerv can lack consistency in finishing. Giroud like other arsenal foreign imports needs to be more streetwise with these refs. I was and still am expecting dean to try and do us but are the pgmol being a bit more subtle than usual?

  • Adam

    And there you have it Mandy Dodd. How do we truly know who they follow? However if you take London as an area we have 0 referees and 0 assistant referees. So how does a Manchester official get to do a Manchester game?

    We could have loads of officials from London. They could say the support Barnet, Leyton Orient, Brentford, Millwall, Crystal Palace, AFC Wimbledon, Dagenham & Redbridge & Charlton and still do all the premiership teams. Is this what we are seeing in the north of England when they are sure they can get away with it?

  • Adam

    Mandy, I’d just put Chuba up front and let him get on with it.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Interesting choice in Chuba there was maybe a time wenger would have done that but these days, in the words of The Specials. “Too much pressure”. Unfortunately the manc ref thing will not go away as long as scudamore and Riley have a pulse…..and prob quite a few others. Think one of the reasons wenger does not go mad on spending is futility he knows what he is up against.

  • Adam

    We should know tomorrow what official we have for the Manchester farce. May go some way to predicting the Villa result.

  • Mandy Dodd

    I am contradicting my last post but are these guys slaves to the club manager or both? If heaven forbid wenger managed utd would he get the same?

  • sperez

    Shard, I disagree about Diaby. He spent more time on the treatment table at Auxerre than playing. Wenger was warned about Diaby’s injury record but he chose to ignore it.
    Then, one of the Turkey giants wanted to sign Diaby but Wenger refused to sell him. By that time everyone at Arsenal knew Diaby was hopeless, but Wenger couldn’t let his love child go. Know something; Wenger will always put his players above the club.
    So, to add insult to injury, Wenger didn’t buy anyone to replace Song because he ‘gambled’ on Diaby’s fitness. Just more excuse for not wanting to sign a proper replacement.
    Then, we have to hear Wenger saying how Diaby is a nice guy who doesn’t like to drink or party…So what? Excuses, excuses and more excuses.
    Yes, mistakes have been made but is Wenger trying to address the problems?
    No,he just keeps repeating the same things over and over again expecting different results.
    Please, Einstein, defines insanity again.
    Wenger and his little crusade to prove the World wrong… to the detriment of the club. The only thing he’ll ‘achieve’ is the destruction of his own legacy. And sorry to break this to you, but in many countries Wenger is fast becoming a laughing stock, even in France.
    Rantetta, Wenger’s departure is not the solution but a good start. Change is desperately needed and Wenger couldn’t adapt because he is unable to change. He is too afraid of leaving his comfort zone. So why do we have to stick with a manager who clearly can’t deliver at the highest level anymore? Isn’t it better to give someone else a chance to prove himself? Things could be worse or better, but at least the club would be trying and not settling for 4th best.
    Anyway, I don’t expect a new manager to succeed immediately. First he’ll have to clean the mess Wenger made. So patience is necessary.
    By the way, Wenger only cares about the UCL money. He doesn’t care about the trophy because he can’t win it anyway. Remember Wenger is the only manager who has lost all the 3 European cups. And he is the only manager with more than 100 games on UCL without a trophy. So, Wenger knows very well his limitations. We won’t win the UCL with Wenger. His record in this competition is not even that good. Arsenal will probably be knockout as soon as they face a good team. Just like the last few years.

  • Gord

    @sperez

    -10**10**100

  • Mandy Dodd

    Sperez also remember wenger is the only modern day invincible manager in the top English league. Btw Einstein never said that, nor did Benjamin franklin or mark twain of whom that quote you refer to is also attributed to

  • Domhuail

    Sperez….and what is YOUR crusade…..ah wait a minute….its shit on Wenger as often and as irrationally as possible and call anyone who disagrees with you a name….all the while sprinkling your rants with incorrect information ,while calling them facts. Yes change is needed desperately but NOT at AFC….we need a new Sperez who isn’t so jaundiced and blinkered that he can actually writer about something other than binning Wenger, ever 2 seconds.

  • Hey guys!

    Long time away haven’t posted sine Aug 2010 🙂 Good to be back!

    Thought i’d wade into the dangerously inflammatory “Wenger” debate. I thought I could add something useful, though that will no doubt be up for debate.

    I will start with the most obvious point, and that is we are currently 3rd in the league (which at the beginning of the season pretty much everybody thought was a pipe dream). Many said that we would be in a stiff battle for any top4 place at all, and that a rear guard action of buying up quality was needed if we were to challenge that, oh – and by the way RVP would be leaving too.

    So the fact that we are currently sat precariously above our London rivals in 3rd (albeit having played a game more) that says to me that Wenger has overachieved in terms of the expectation placed upon the current team.

    But what has he achieved in terms of actual league performances? Where do we paint the line between success and failure? Not so long ago dropping out of contention for the league was a failure, and not being in all the cup finals was a failure. It seems the Arsenal we all knew and loved from our youth, bit the metaphorical arm of progress and was sent off. Subbed on, was a cheaper, weaker Arsenal full of “good” players but lacking something that was required to win titles.

    Now I have been one of Wengers strongest supporters, and I still think he is the correct man for the job. Nevertheless he is not immune from criticism. This season the defence has improved, and somehow our midfield has survived the loss of Fabregas and Song, and we are in 3rd against the odds.

    I can’t help thinking though that Wenger has basically conceded the league title until FFP comes in to play. That would explain his lack of proper signings. Podolski is a good lad and can score goals but let’s be honest, he was never going to give us 20 a season. Giroud has potential for the future, but the reason he was cheap is because he has no pace and his mentality is always in question.

    So if I am asked if Wenger should go, I say no because there is nobody I can think of that can do better. Then again, sometimes I think I myself could do better – the selections and the subs confuse me at times, and our inconsistency.

    Anyway, the point is – Wenger has done well since selling all of our best players last season and therein lies the problem.

    Should he get away with conceding the league (by selling all the best players and amassing money to spend after FFP comes in)? Clearly we won’t win anything this season and I am not overly hopeful about the next one either.

    And is this fair to supporters? I don’t want Arsenal because I want them to finish 3rd or 4th; I just want to see them try to win every game like the olden days.

    But these days, the only games they seem to want to win are the ones they HAVE to win to stay in CL contention.

    And I really hate that. Is that Wengers fault? I don’t know but he is the manager and so I have to assume so.

  • Shard

    sperez

    Love child huh? Is that the level of ‘debate’ you can conjure up? Really? There’s no point talking to you. You still haven’t replied about redefining of the wage structure. I won’t be holding my breath since such ‘mundane’ things are obviously beyond your capabilities. All you can do is indulge in taking potshots which have no meaning or logic. Yes. Wenger is mad and on a mission to destroy the very club he built. That explains everything.

  • ARSENAL 13

    man, where is this going? The real supporter is the one who points out the negatives in the team and helps the team improve on it………shit crap.

    If you watch your team play only to pick out the negatives, then you need medical assistance. Dont forget football is a game. Dont bet your life on it.

    The beginning of the season we were the contenders for the Europa spot…as per pundits, and some Nostradamusesque fans. Now that we are sitting third, they are still complaining….”Arsenal is not good for a title, you cant win without RVP and Song”. I wonder what the complaints would be when we win some titles. Ah yes…the last time they had the ‘no english players’ and ‘that too many reds’ thing going.

    @sperez, hopefully, you wont blame Wenger for that cannibalistic behavior from Suarez.

  • Rufusstan

    The issue I always have with those calling for Wenger’s dismissal is the ‘What then?’ factor. No manager is bigger than the club, but the current situation is driven by the feeling of not liking what is happening, wanting to change something to make it better, and focusing on Wenger as the obvious target.

    I can get behind that, but to do that, you need to sell me on what happens next. The current situation feels like the old Internet meme:

    1:- Sack Wenger
    2:- ???????????
    3:- Profit!!!

    Most sack wenger arguments do not even have a credible replacement, let alone any kind of argument of how or what a new manager would actually do to improve things. Most arguments throw out vague comments as proof. Not saying the guy doesn’t make mistakes; all managers do, but the climate of negativity comes when people just want to focus on them.

    Sperez– Had to grab a few points:

    Its fine to focus on Diaby as maybe a mistake, but have we missed him? No, because Wenger ADAPTED, now plays 2 number 6s (Arteta and Ramsey), and we are going to end up conceding fewer goals than last year.

    Stepping over the whole Einstein point, the fact that Wenger is becoming a laughing stock is interesting. Care to share any sources for that? Googleing it just gets a bunch of Arsenal blog rants, and the occasional English Journalist doing the usual shit stirring. Every pundit I have heard (including the ones that hate us), give a version of the same thing about him– Doing an amazing job in difficult circumstances and they will miss him when he’s gone.

    As far as the champion’s league goes, it sucks we have not won it, but when your keeper gets himself sent off under 20 minutes into the final, and you are still leading with 15 minutes to go, what more can you do?

    Common-Sensei — I’d agree that we are in a position hedged by 3 things: The financial constraints from the stadium move, the additional competition from City and Chelsea and the hope that FFP will level things out.

    I do take issue with the idea of conceding the league, as it implies Wenger not trying as hard as possible, which i would see as both untrue and inexcusable. I’d also argue that we were on course to win the league in 07-08 until Eduardo’s injury, which would suggest it to be completely untrue.

    We just have to accept that the Wenger has always built the strongest squad he can in the circumstances. Is he a failure because he cannot match United with little money, or the two clubs that has spent more (unearned) cash on their squads than we did on the stadium?

    It hurts to be challenging for 4th rather than 1st, but short of a sugar daddy of our own, or Wenger doing a Leeds, what more do you want?

    I think that the measure of our success recently is that despite all that is stacked up against us, we made 3rd last year and are competing for the same position again, when most predicted we would finish 5th at best.

    Everything points to the next few years being better, whether its due to FFP, the club’s finances improving Chelsea starting to live within their means (with City to follow as they reach that point of the cycle).

    Wenger has kept us going in what is traditionally a terrible time for a club (how many clubs fund a stadium and them get relegated?), even ignoring the impact of Chelsea/City. I just want to give him a chance to show what he can do as things get better.

  • @Rufusstan

    That’s just it we already have sugar daddies, two of them! Kroenke is worth a few bob and Usmanov is the richest man in the Uk.

    I don’t think the issue is money though it’s not like we haven’t spent; but Giroud much as I love the guy and want him to do well, was never the answer and I was fooling myself to think he was going to score 20 a season. Podolski too, these guys are good players but we still don’t have anybody really to give us 20 league goals a season.

    This season, all the teams have done so poorly even united despite them getting points handed out regualarly by the referee’s – we could easily have been level with them right now, or even ahead if Wenger had bought a decent striker who scored more goals.

    I am always a massive Wenger supporter and I would hate for him to leave. But if/when Utd beat Villa tonight to sew up the title you can bet your bottom dollar RVP will be loving getting a guard of honour at the Emires from our lot.

    And can you imagine if Villa draw? They will be coming to the Emirates looking to rub Wengers nose in it, that they are a better team. It’s pathetic.

    No, next season I want to see a proper sustained title challenge and there is no excuses. I also want to see us taking the cups more seriously, a club like Arsenal should be looking to win every game regardless of any excuses.

    And this is the minimum of what we should expect, Wenger too no point being a lame genius – I want to see his desire to win game back to normal.

  • Oh… and Wenger can act like it’s just another game, but I really really REALLY REALLY R E A L L Y **need** us to beat United on Sunday.

    It’s a matter of pride, after last seasons mauling and defeats this season. We need to at least keep a clean sheet against them, hopefully counter a few times and score.

    Basically if we can beat united well here it will lift the fans enough to buy Wenger more time, because I know so many people that are getting frustrated at him and it’s taking it’s toll on the atmosphere at games…

    United must lose on Sunday!

  • AL

    And also this crap that we are not going to win anything without Rvp & song needs to stop, what did we win with them here? They were here many seasons & won us nothing, why should this year have been any different? They are mercenaries and went where they were offered more money, and that’s nothing to do with AW, period.

  • Rufusstan

    Common-Sensei– We have 2 sugar daddies or none, depending on how you look at it. Kroenke was never going to pump cash into the club; no matter how wealthy he is. Its just how he seems to work. Usmanov would pump the cash in, but won’t do it unless its for his toy. In any event with FFP looming it might be too late for that now.

    Its been said for a while, and I agree that the issue we have is wages not transfer fees. A lot of the ins and outs over the last few years have kept net spend low, but we are over 60% of turnover on wages and still rising. Getting rid of the deadwood gives us the room to bring in the players we need.–Hopefully.

    Its weird about the new players. I agree we really are short a clinical finisher, and the thought of the Dutchman with this squad makes me want to cry. On the other hand, I think the 3 summer buys were intended to spread the goals around a bit, and it is noticeable that while no one has hit 20, the three are at 32 between them, and its good odds we will match or beat last years overall tally.

    If for the first time in years we can start with a settled squad and add to it (Striker, maybe experienced keeper, cover any departures). We might actually go into next season with some optimism. There are no reasons left not to improve the squad, so if next season is more of the same, then there is something systematically wrong.

    As far as united goes, I am already hoping that they win tonight which is making me feel ill). The thought that the first title won at the Emirates is United’s 20th is just beyond comprehension. Beating them on Sunday is important, but is they drop points tonight, then it just must not happen.

  • Yassin

    @Rufusstan
    No sir they better not lose tonight cause then they will have to wait until Chelsea game to clinch the title, cause we are going to destroy them….
    Over optimistic? I dont care and dont know and give a daman, Dont forget we are the Arsenal, the pride of London, and this time, we the fans , shall win the game, we shall not stop chanting until we destroy their mind and make them run crying for their mummies to hug them…
    where is the spirit man? and everybody say our players dont have a fight in them, will it seam we dont too….

  • United win 3-0 seal the title anyway, so it seems the Emirates game is only a must win for us, and that’s just for the sake of pride.

    I think we will comfortably win against United on Sunday now; which is also bittersweet – we only seem to win games that have no meaning for the other team when it’s the bigboys.

    Wenger won’t take it lying down though I hope, in fact I pray (even though I am not religious lol). Get rid of the perrenial benchwarmers and injured soldiers, and grab some decent quality – we are screaming out for a lead striker with a bit of quality and a quality midfielder to replace Wilshire on the occassions he is not in form or rested.

    Our defence is finally looking better, and I have a lot of faith in Sir Chesney he is blinding quality and will be amazing next season when he’s had a rest. Future captain there maybe, just needs a bit of experience.

    This season was defined by our terrible start, the loss of RVP and Song seemed to really demotivate and unsettle the players – coupled to the fact there were too many new faces there anyway; it is a miracle we now sit 3rd.

    But this is Arsenal, no matter what happens we never lie down. A win against United, and a good run until the last game should ensure 4th at least, hopefully 3rd with a bit of luck elsewhere. And that has to be considered a successful season. Then we can start again, with renewed hope and vigour to actually challenge.

    This season I want to see some desire from the players and some consistency. Next season though, I want to see the blinkers removed and every game being viewed as a must win!

    Come on Arsenal 🙂 Time to get back to your best!