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Why Arsenal fans should applaud Manchester United’s title winning side on Sunday

Why Arsenal fans should applaud Manchester United’s title winning side on Sunday

By Drew Gray

One might well ask why, especially on a site so loyally supportive of all things Arsenal, should any Arsenal fan suggest that we clap the team that used to be our bitter rivals for the championship?

Well in my defence I have to say that applauding the opposition is a part of football. When Bayern Munich left the field at the Grove quite a few home fans raised their hands in appreciation of what was a supreme performance by the Germans. I believe Liverpool fans clapped the ’89 Arsenal side off the pitch, despite the fact that we had just broken their title dreams in the year of the Hillsborough tragedy.

This United side is not, despite Fergie’s protestations to the contrary, anything particularly special. They have won the league fairly easily because the noisy Arabs across the road have failed to build upon the league they bought last season. More importantly, ourselves, Chelski and the Tiny Tots have not come anywhere close to catching the Red Devils, let alone overtaking them.

In part this is because, as the AAA never cease to tell us, we sold them the Dutch skunk, RVP. His goals have certainly helped but I think there’s more to it than that. United have a winning mentality, a strength that courses through their team that instills belief. As they showed at West Ham recently, and on numerous other occasions this season, they simply refuse to be beaten.  Their football hasn’t been as free flowing this campaign, they haven’t done very well in Europe either, but they are racking up their 20th league title.

So they deserve respect. We should be attempting to emulate their success not decrying it. Let’s give them a real run for their money next season. To do this we need to build on the successes of this season, on the growing connections of our midfield, on the partnerships at the back. The board and the manager need to spend the money to strengthen in the appropriate areas. I’m not knocking the management, just saying what many agree that we need to step up to win things and challenge United next season.

Finally a word on our late departed captain and talisman. In some ways we have shown that we can live without him; no player is bigger than the Arsenal. But I for one don’t hate the man. He left to win things and he left for more money. Many of us would have done the same.

Fans are loyal, players can’t be expected to be, that’s just unrealistic. Yes he said some things he shouldn’t, but footballers are not noted for their intelligence; their brains are in their feet mostly. So credit RVP with what he did for us, notably last season when his goals got us over the CL qualification line, and let him have his moment of glory.

On Sunday let’s show the world the real Arsenal Football club, the old school club that oozes class from every pore. We are Arsenal supporters; we can appreciate the qualities of others when it’s well earned. Let’s clap United onto the pitch and not boo RVP.

And then let’s beat them and set down a marker for the next campaign

@blacksheep63

—————–

The referee analysis

The full index of articles in order of publication is now available here.

The books…

The sites from the same team…

 

209 comments to Why Arsenal fans should applaud Manchester United’s title winning side on Sunday

  • Richard

    Agree with you totally, we are the Arsenal and we do do things right, and once we have congratulated them, smash them into the ground and take three points.

  • gouresh

    Yes, sell our best players to our biggest rival helping them win and then applaud them when they win. You are certifiable.

  • Shard

    The difference between applauding Bayern on their display, and applauding ManU is that of respect. Bayern quite clearly played some wonderful football. ManU, in my opinion, do not deserve the plaudits they get because though they might have won the title even otherwise, they’ve as per usual, received a lot of help from referees, making it a title only in name. Their winning mentality is a myth. How much easier is it to believe you’ll win, and keep going, when you know, more often than not, you’ll be rescued by some strange referee decision?

    I do not respect their achievement, so why should I applaud them? As for RVP, fans are expected to be loyal, thereby, by the same token, fans can be expected to be react fiercely when a player disrespects their club. It has nothing to do with RVP’s motivations being understandable or otherwise. We’re not Arsenal fans to be excessively ‘fair’ to everyone, especially when we hardly receive fair treatment. Fuck them. They haven’t earned any respect, nor will they get any. Any of them.

  • Galway Gooner

    They are the Champions and so deserve respect. All this talk of the refs won it for them is all just bollix and makes us sound like Spuds fans when they lose out on the Champ League yet again.
    The fact is that United got the most points this season and they deserve their title. How about we show a bit of class and respect for them as champions and give them their welcome rather than to bitch and moan about it? Who knows, maybe we’ll even learn something from them. I dont like them as a club or as a team but I admire the mentality that they bring into games. With 15 minutes to go and 3-0 up at home and the title in the bag Fergie was still roaring at players when they made mistakes. I would love for Wenger to have the same desire.

  • Georgaki-Pyrovolitis

    @gouresh at 1:01 pm

    Very childish, if not down right pathetic. Manchester United are the champions, applaud the champions. We will be champions next year!

  • Giddy

    I couldn’t say it better than gouresh! I would say RVP is one who do not deserve our respect especially after spending many years in the treatment table save for the last season be4 he departed. Man united are winning 20th championship but anybody who watch what goes on in seasons know that it could just like titles which were won by Juve through match fixing! Yes they could have wining mentality but that in itself is overrated again.
    Next a kindly beg you to write an article of players that Wenger should send packing including Diaby to create space for new signings. Arsenal need players who can play not those on the treatment table with potentials!

  • Georgaki-Pyrovolitis

    @Shard at 1:15 pm

    An equally pathetic and disgraceful comment. Refereeing decisions? Give me a break….I don’t think Untold Arsenal’s analyses of refereeing performance is intended to foster paranoia, but it does in some, it would seem…

  • J

    Simply put… No!

    I will refuse to to participate in any such show of respect towards them and will be booing at the top of of voice this weekend.

    I will only contemplate showing respect if gazadis, hill-wood, kroenke, wenger and the other board members are made to stand in line and clap united onto the field!

  • Shard

    Galway Gooner

    They haven’t won my respect. My respect is not earned simply by winning trophies. I’m not that cheap.

    As for learning something from them. We can learn something from them (whatever that something might be) without cheering them on for winning the title. The Arsenal fans in the stadium are there to help Arsenal win (or should be) Not clap politely when the opposition shows up and make them feel welcome in our home.

  • Georgaki-Pyrovolitis

    @Giddy at 1:34 pm

    After this comment on you stupid comment it’s back to work from me.

    …”send Diaby packing”? You complete and utter f**king moron. The player has had his career ruined by thugs and you have the temerity to send him packing. If you were here in my presence I’d send you packing…you complete and utter dipstick….

    Take it from me the rest of you I’m angry….

  • Shard

    Georgaki pythagoras

    You can give your lectures on moral superiority to others. Paranoia? One can’t have an opinion which is contradictory to yours without being paranoid? And you talk of respect?

  • Danish Gooner

    Are you fucking kidding??? it is not 1st of April,saluting that vile piece of a scum team that often plays with the 12th man in their team and their alcoholic wife beater of a manager.You and Wenger can go lick Fergusons ass the rest of us will keep it real.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Can see where you are coming from, but the problem with vp was not so much the fact he left, but the way he did it, causing huge problems for our manager and team in the process. I know this article is not advocating such things, but the deference to utd of the more self harming element of our fandom is really quite sickening. These are the same lot who built arry into a deity around about a year ago last feb. think arseblog sums up the situation well this morning. But title winners do deserve some respect, even if they have the referees , the media, and a large portion of this leagues managers helping them all the way. As I posted last night, still cannot remember a sending off or a pen given against Utd in the epl for some time, that really helps when it comes to say a defender putting in a tackle, or the likes of Rooney taking it upon himself to elbow someone. But, guess it is more important to just back our team this weekend rather than worry about anyone else, that’s what really matters.

  • wayne

    Instead of blaming players for leaving should look at the club,4th richest in the world most expensive ticket prices in football yet year after year selling off quality players and being replaced with inferior players.RVP by winning his first season has shown to have made the right decision just like many before him.He told the truth,that’s his crime?,what did the club offer him a 130k per week? while Wenger is making 170-180k per week,no one else see the hypocrisy.RVP is a world class striker and the going rate for a player of his quality is 200k +,if the club isn’t prepared to start paying the going rate for top players the downward spiral will continue.RVP’s only crime he wanted to win things and get paid what’s he’s worth.

  • Georgaki-Pyrovolitis

    @Shard at 1:40 pm

    Well, I’m disappointed that there are so many people lacking the generosity and grace give credit where it is due. Read the article again. We were applauded by the Liverpool fans when we snatched the title from them in 1989. That’s the right thing to do. Lectures on moral superiority? I suppose you could also direct that pathetic comment at the author Drew Gray too. Perhaps, you should criticize Tony for allowing such an inflammatory article on this site. Idiot.

  • bob

    “On Sunday let’s show the world the real Arsenal Football club, the old school club that oozes class from every pore. We are Arsenal supporters; we can appreciate the qualities of others when it’s well earned. Let’s clap United onto the pitch and not boo RVP.”
    Mr. Gray,
    We get this craven credo about how to be the true Arsenal, oozing with a call to show gentlemanly class. In this media-saturated climate, Drew Gray, it will be rightly seen by most football fans – and I dare say most Arsenal fans – as weakness; in fact, as the craven behavior that you advocate. Is being “the good loser” your personal consolation prize for this season? Are you validating jumping ship to the highest bidder? To mangle the hand that nurtured you when you were injured and brought you back to your best days, only to be spurned? Could that be your motive? It is your effect. Are you forgetting (willfully or sclerotically) the crime scene at Old Toilet? And how shite meister in chief, Micky, R earned his spurs by violently stopping our unbeaten streak as Don Fungus danced his victory jig to the approving snorts and belches of that nuremburg rally? Are you forgetting how ref-abetted their seasons’ have been? Are you turning a blind eye to the fact that RVP has given them the Rednose XX, which puts him in the history books as, mark my words, Lord Football (soon as he retires). And you swallow whole that RVP’s goal yesterday against the abject non-defense of Aston Villa was, in Fungus’ words, “the goal of the century.” And you ignore that two goals were discernibly offside? No response to any of that in the here and now? Do you want to perfume the indefensible? To show that you/we are polite to a fault? Is this about validating your upbringing? Are you a fatalist? a masochist? have absolutely no fire in the belly and fall back on an appearance of class – class???? – when we have had our noses rubbed into the turf at the connivance of the whores of Riley and ref-protected assassins like Vidic and Ferdinand and divemaster Rooney; and kicked to shit by the Nevilles, and van Nestleroy’s, and others on that dark day? Do you have a memory cell? Exactly who are “we” to impress with your show of “class”? You have no spine, so you fall back on etiquette as a supreme virtue. Empty form that swallows just outrage. No. That is exactly the wrong message to send to ourselves, and to our boys; when we should find RVP/Fungusson axis what is most opportunistic and loathesome about the modern game. You may have had this warmed over gruel published – this provocative peace-in-our-time remnant of Neville Chamberlainism – so that Mr. Attwood can get his clicks on this website; but to summon and join a bandwagon of praise for the two-headed hydra is beyond detestable. They are Sauron and Smeagle in a football parody of Lord of the Rings. Don Fungus is now lord of the rings. Fie on that! We, Drew Gray (or whoever you are or write for) each love our team in our own ways: but yours is the way of surrender and conciliation, of gentlemanly style over substance, of bottoms up to a host of unfair pitch-tilting worst practices, and to a bullying/betraying tandem that will – with the help of the likes of your attitude – go down in football history as an object of reverence. You are courting that very nostalgia and its endless set of highlight reels – of this season, the decade, the half-century, over and over. You encourage the worst impulses in the fanbase. Where there should be “never again” you’d have us offer polite “well dones” Where things ought to be black and white, right now, at the business end of this very season, you indeed are your namesake: Gray. No, we should not go gentle into that good night, as Dylan Thomas rallied us. And we should, in the business end remember the Bard’s advisment: that so foul a sky (or Sky) clears not without a storm. Bring on the boos. Let the deceiving duo remember it, not sneer at our “class” mannequin-link applause. Up the Arsenal! Bring out the Red Cards! Go Gunners!

  • how do say that did you forget what van said he just betrayed us, make the stadium hell for the former gang rapist who become true man by wenger
    booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  • puppyguts

    we each pay our money to be at the stadium and are entitled to behaviour however we choose…. your having a laugh if you think im going to applaud but i wont be Booing.

    as an alternative i think it would be amazing if the crowd was in complete silence…

  • Dominic

    The trouble is that there are too many “fans” who identify themselves not by supporting their team through thick and thin, but by hurling abuse at any other team. Like it or not (and as an avid Gooner I do not like anyone but ourselves winning the title) United have won the title and deserve the guard of honour. If the roles were reversed how many of the nay sayers would be lambasting any Man U supporters who would refuse to do the same for us?

  • Gunz

    @bob
    I second that!

  • bob

    Dominic,
    I couldn’t give a fig if you don’t consider me, or my ilk, or my lot, or brand of support as being a true “fan”
    No, there is no honour in this deceiving duo. This to your stiff upper lip and formal football pieties and worship of tradition. This is a hollowed out farce of tradition. Not genuine tradition. This league and its refshite is a fix. A manure patch and Ferguson is its weed. And to pretend that the guard of honor you worship is a true football expression for true football is an exercise in self deception. Are you proud that your guard of honor is on your home pitch? Is that the rally moment you want as a send off to the desperately needed 3/4 place finish that we must have?

  • goonermichael

    I think we should applaud them but the little boy inside me is saying nah fuck it boo the wankers

  • Giddy

    Georgaki-Pyrovolitis u want arsenal to applaud Man United and continue having Diaby in the payroll right? You also want Arsenal fans to applaud RVP who refused to sign the contract? The person who made the difference between Man United and the rest of the teams right? Have u asked yourself where arsenal would have finished with RVP staying and few signings we deed?
    You are a scam burg!

  • bob

    Is there anything more insulting than hosting a guard of honour on our own turf in homage to RVP/Ferguson? Could anyone dream up a worse scenario? (Maybe bring back all who had their legs broken to applaud the regime that unleashes refshite against us and turns a blind eye to their championship’s offsides, dives, cleatings and extra-times.) If you can’t stomach a guard of honor, bring your air-bags mates. And what will you choose to do Arsene? Shake the paw that gores you?

  • Sammy The Snake

    Was there a change of management at Untold?!

    Last year, Untold published article after article proving that those words were not that of RVP… Now you say “the board and the manager need to spend the money to strengthen”!!!

    In the old days, you would have been branded AAA by Tony & Co making comments like this. Has the world ended?

  • Fishpie

    What is this all about? Jesus! United won the league fairly, squarely and convincingly. RVP scored plenty of goals to help them do it! Both they and he deserve the traditional respect and round of applause from the losing teams for their achievement; the same respect and round of applause the United team showed us in fact when they played us at Highbury just after we won the League in 1991. Treat others as you would wished to be treated. Why is there even a debate about this?
    United, pretty much every season, as a club and as a team, exhibit ambition, drive, hunger, pride and good footballing
    prowess. Frankly they leave us standing. We should applaud United in a way that makes Mr. Wenger and the Board feel ashamed. I will be applauding them for the higher standards United set and pursue. The brutal truth is Mr Wenger and the club did not deserve to keep RVP. When United run out to a guard of honour line-up of Arsenal players, we should applaud United and sing, “Are you watching, are you watching, are you watching Arsene Wenger, are you watching Arsene Wenger?”.

  • chibyke

    calm down you lot…the level of abuse in here is horrible. Funny I requested for this type of article and am so pleased it was written.
    boo them or applaud them? is up to those at the erms by kick off.am torn between lynching rvp and congratulating him getting the trophy his talent deserved. truth is every team plucks from others..wonder if southampton is still crying about bale and theo and oxlade,munich does it year in year out in the german league. we didnt do well this season, we need to do well next season or to be more realistic we HOPE to.depends on arsene finally.we will hibernate and awake in august hoping for a better season.

  • bob

    chibyke,
    to me, what’s actually “horrible” is that on this day of the announcement that arsenal is to have the required honor of hosting the guard of honor, that someone would show up with ice in his veins, little if any pulse, and no fire in the belly and call those who feel this moment in its horrible irony and express with anguish and anger as “you lot” Try feeling something: it’s better to be a “lot” than a “not”

  • puppyguts

    a few making comparisons to previous occasions etc. but the situation this year with Rvp leaving and man u claiming title is unique and should be looked at with this in mind.

    @fishpie

    SCrew u…. we don’t deserve to have players like Rvp, you should be ashamed of your pathetic comments

  • Shard

    Georgaki

    I neither objected to the article (merely disagreed with it), nor do I object with Tony’s choice of article. He’s published some articles over the years which I don’t agree with. That’s his right, and my objections don’t enter into it.

    What I object to is you calling others’ opinion as ‘pathetic’, and why? Because they don’t want to cheer ManUtd for winning a title? Good grace? Yeah.. I don’t have the ‘good grace’ to do things just for appearing magnanimous. I’m not magnanimous when it comes to this. I’m bitter about ManU winning the title. And RVP has something to do with it, but isn’t the main thing.

    But forget ManU, if it were Chelsea or City winning the title, I still wouldn’t say, we should cheer them. No team matters except Arsenal when it comes to match days. We can do the congratulating and cheering the opposition after we beat them, if we want to. Not give them an advantage before.

    By the way, I’m not advocating against them being given a guard of honour. That’s convention, and should be adhered to. But I am 100% against our fans, harming our cause, by cheering on the opposition, and a player who dissed his teammates (our current team) to try and manufacture a move away to them. What message does that send our own players? It’s ok to rub our noses in it if you happen to want a move away from the club? We’ll forgive you as long as you win a medal for them?

    Call me pathetic, but you’ll be pathetically wrong about this. There is a time to show generosity of spirit. This is not that time. I can’t believe something like this is actually dividing opinion. Applaud ManU? Sheesh.. It seems like being fair is more important even when your tribe is threatened and abused. I’m not very tribal as a rule, but seriously, this is madness.

  • Shard

    And I was using the term ‘being fair’ ironically.

  • Shard

    Fishpie:- Proof that the AAA exist.

    Not being happy with our position, I can understand. Glorifying the opposition to belittle our club, there’s no place for that. Least of all in this context.

    My concern is Arsenal, not ManU, not RVP, and not their bloody title triumph. All they are, is an obstacle to be overcome to get 3 points we desperately need. For the rest, they can get lost.

  • Paul N

    I may not boo but I would surely not cheer. I do believe that United benefit from the refs. I can respect a team that I felt have won the PL in a fair manner, but I cannot big up a team that we all saw win pens dive after dive, in the early part of the season and the other things that Bob has noted.I often wonder how different the season would be if they did not usually get the rub of the green. I also believe that RVP disrepected The Arsenal football club, big time, and all Arsenal supporters. You cannot cheer a win apart from cheering what it took to win. If you cheer RVP, you are cheering his behaviour, IMO.

    I think what would send the best message is utter silence and then screem like crazy in support of the team during the match.

  • Shard

    Paul N

    I agree completely. I wouldn’t boo either, but that’s probably more to do with the fact that I think it’ll harm us as a club with the media attention, and ‘the right thing to do’ snobs among our own crowd, and motivate ManU on the field. (I would boo RVP though, but only to put into contrast the love that he felt from us, so that he understands what he really did)

    As for Utd getting the rub of the green (you aren’t paranoid are you?), I don’t think any reasonable person can deny that. It’s easy enough to notice, and the stats and analysis pretty much back it up. I suppose the only point of difference can be in how much importance you give it. As in, 1) yeah they get the rub of the green, but they play ever so well, or alternatively 2) yeah they play well, but they get the rub of the green,… and of course anywhere in between those extremes.

    I tend towards the 2nd of those positions, but I think that is true, because the margins are really fine in every game, and ‘the rub of the green’ goes a long way towards determining the result.

  • FunGunner

    Totally agree with Shard. The club should do the guard of honour thing but there is no reason why the fans *should*. If you admire ManUre, and you choose to show it by applauding them, bully for you. I don’t admire them, and I won’t pretend I do. The only attribute that they have which I have coveted for us is the ability to grind out games – which I feel we have started to get back. I don’t advocate booing, because that would be classless, but applauding and booing are not the only choices. There are plenty of ways to behave which fall between those two extremes.

  • Paul N

    “but I think that is true, because the margins are really fine in every game, and ‘the rub of the green’ goes a long way towards determining the result.”

    exactly, Shard.

  • Matt Clarke

    If I thought that they had won the title fair and square I would certainly applaud them – I did when AVilla last won the league title.

    I too think that, in the circumstances, silence is the best tonic.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I think we should give them the fridge reception. Complete silence when they enter the field. No clapping,no booing. Just silence. Just do the library act. 😉
    I also would give the same reception to you know who. Not boo him. He’s gone. We’re no longer interested in him.

  • Gord

    Off Topic – Giroud appeal is rejected by FA. So, we lose him for 3.

  • Mahdain

    What an utter tosh.. We dont need to applaud anybody and certainly not manure..They got their fair share of the routine ref assistance and please dont get me started on judas…he is a grade A prick who deserves every abuse and vitriol that will be sent to him. A backstabbing ungrateful twat

  • Rupert Cook

    How bitter people are. Manu won the title by a substantial margin. I even remember seeing a game, I think it was against Spuds when Manu should have had a penalty but didn’t get it, so not every decision goes their way. You see they won because they have the best manager and the best team. It’s horrible but that’s the truth.

    Perhaps some of you should exercise your ire at the prize clown who decided to sell RVP to them. Who made that decision? Clever wasn’t it. But let’s face it and admit it to ourselves that at Manu they are hungry for success while we just seem to be happy chewing at the bits that fall from their winner’s banquet. They have a squad of winners while we have nothing of the sort. To build such a squad you have to win things. One wonders when this will dawn on the people at AFC. Or perhaps, more worryingly, they just don’t care. It seems profit margins are far more important than winning margins at AFC. This summer we’ll see just how much ambition our club has.

  • Gunz

    Keeping silent, no acknowledgement says a lot more than booing. Also, limits what the Media-whores can use to attack us.
    COYG!

  • Paul N

    Rupert, so what you are saying is that because they don’t get every decision, they don’t get a favorable portion of decisions.

    I am not bitter, but I don’t agree with how they win and how RVP dealt with The Arsenal so I would not support.

    The last part of you comment is utter rubbish to me. What is ambition, to put the club in jeopardy to win things now, or to try to have a stable team that can compete for years to come? You want to blame the club for wanting to make RVP the best paid player in Arsenal history, is that it? or should the club have refused to sell him to the team that HE WANTED TO GO TO?

    Oh yes, I like your style, lets celebrate the other team, whether you like them or not and while laying a big pile of crap on the team you claim to support.

  • Paul N

    …have a stable “club”…

  • Paul N

    …I would not “cheer”.

  • bjtgooner

    In all forms of sport it is right and proper to respect other teams, the problem with the Manures is that their behavior over the years since they kicked the Invincibles off the pitch has been largely abominable. I will not be at the match, but if I was I could not applaud the Dutch forked tongue traitor, his colleagues or his red nosed manager.

    Oh…. and rupert (depressive AAA sewer rat) – who the hell are you to talk about prize clowns – I would have thought that even a rat like you would have remembered that the traitor was negotiating with red nose behind backs before the end of last season and made his “clarification” statement to force his departure.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Paul N. I couldn’t care less if people cheer Manu or keep silent. I won’t be there anyway.

    And the club would not have been in jeopardy if we’d have kept RVP. Total nonsense. The club is swimming in cash. 70 million to spend in summer. Of course the irony will be if RVP scores the winner and sends us out of next year’s CL. What a great decision selling him would have been then. Sold him for 24 million but eventually cost us more.

  • Paul N

    Rupert, if you don’t care, what the heck are you talking about?

    RVP is one man but we are dealing with a process. The team has decided to do things a certain way and it does not include paying any player 200k per week. Simples.

    It seems that you are the bitter person, you are bitter that Arsenal are not spending money the way how you feel they should.

    I support Arsenal, CL, FA Cup, PL titles or not.

  • Mahdain

    I wouldnt bother with Rupert if i were any of you. Thats exactly what he wants…attention. If we all stopped giving it to him maybe he’ll crawl back to the sewer he came from for good..

  • Rupert Cook

    @Paul N. Yes mate, I’ve seen it all before. Arsenal had no ambition thirty years ago when they sold Brady and Stapleton. That probably set us back five years back then.

    Nothing changes at AFC. You pay the best players in the world suitable wages. You don’t sell them to your rivals so they can rub your face in it. You don’t pay a lot of average players the same wage as our socialist manager likes to do.

    Don’t direct your ire at me. I didn’t weaken our club. If you think stability comes from selling your best players every season I wonder whether you understand logic.

  • Wayne would you care to show any evidence to suggest that we have the most expensive ticket prices?

  • John

    My view is that MU do not deserve the sporting applause due to an opponent winning the title by fair means. Their success has been fixed for them, so they are not to be respected as worthy winners (4 offside goals in succession, givng them 4 points in only the last 2 matches merely the cherry on top of the cake for their season, in which they have probably been gifted more than their recent annual average of 15 points).

    I do not favour booing or jeering them, however, as that is beneath our own dignity. For me, total silence greeting them would be the most eloquent response for Arsenal supporters to offer.

  • Gunz

    @Rupert

    “Manu should have had a penalty but didn’t get it, so not every decision goes their way”
    If you look through the ManU Ref reviews, on the ‘Refree Decisions’ website. The total(%) of ‘incorrect against’ decisions, in every match (apart from 1or2),are ‘against’ their opposition.
    It looks close to “every decision goes their way”, as in excessively penalising the opposition.

  • Rupert Cook

    I’m surprised at the bitterness that exudes from this site. Usually sane people seem to have become possessed with a feverish jealousy.

    Like a bunch of schoolchildren. Oh boohoo Manu have won the title again. But according to most of you they haven’t because the refs won it for them. Ok fine then let’s declare City champions then, looks like they’ll finish second anyway.

    You know what, until Arsenal change their ways they won’t be winning the title for years. In fact I’ll bet anyone on here £100 that we’ll not win the league for the next five years.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Gunz, fine City will probably be champions then. How can we make ourselves champions? HOW? Oh please tell me?

  • Adam

    I’ll take that bet.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Rupert,
    by patiently building a winning team.

  • Arvind

    Give them the guard..because if we don’t do THAT and then lose, the self righteous media will be out to salivate gleefully on our misfortune. Following which the AAA will come out. So give them the guard, follow the tradition..end it. I wouldn’t clap or anything had I been there…just stay quiet .. completely as people have said.

    When that’s done beat them as comprehensively as we can. That will speak more. It’s about us.

    As for RVP, am I bitter? Very. Did he drag United over the line? Yes. Does that mean AFC were wrong? Not necessarily. I hope he misses 5 one on ones and gets sent off in the 90th minute after a miserable game. That’s about it. All the other ill will and calling him a rapist (after defending him for 8 years) is hypocritical.

    In the end it’s a game. Whop ManU..boo RVP’s every touch.. put him off his game. Help Arsenal win tomorrow. That’s it.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Walter, working so far. The sustainable model is a fraud.

    @Adam, you got it mate. I bet someone £200 we’d never win another trophy under Wenger back in 2007. Poor sod agrees with me now.

    Right we’ll make it up to the end of the 2018 season.

  • Adam

    Oh and Rupert, if you’re considering me one of the bitter individuals, I’m not.

    The overall quality of the premiership, for me is at an all time low. No team has set the stage alight.

    With regards to the officials, there are to many inconsistencies that do need highlighting. For instance; a Manchester born referee taking charge of Manchester games, both City and United, yet no London referee’s.

    I think you know I’m interested in the background rules of football and for someone as opinionated as yourself, we could do with your keen mind in highlighting these situations instead of always wanting to challenge the trend of untold, a little help would be appreciated.

  • Fishpie

    Shard
    I’m sure you agree you don’t have a monopoly on having concern for the club. My concern is for Arsenal FC too. I understand you fundamentally disagree with the way I choose to show my concern ..as you put it by belittling Arsenal….I’m certainly not proud or happy that I find myself having lost faith and feeling that I have to… but publicly supporting everything the current management do at the club is dangerous and potentially a worse crime than mine. I’d like to know whether you would ever criticize the club, what would have to happen for you to show disquiet? But sorry if wanting to applaud a team (even containing an ex Arsenal player) for their success is being a “snob”, I see it as being respectful. Applauding them on doesn’t mean we can’t turn up noise for our own team when the game starts. And if Mr Wenger and the board watch our team applaud the Mancs on on Sunday and aren’t thinking “Next season it’s our turn Robin”, shame on them. As Rupert puts it, “This summer we’ll see just how much ambition our club has”.

  • Rupert Cook

    Any others for that bet? I’ll be needing to build a new extension around then.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Adam, you are one of the most considered posters on here and I do respect your views. I’m not sure how big an impact bias refereeing has in giving Manu a title considering the vast points difference but I’m not out to deny there is suspect refereeing. There is also terribly poor refereeing. I do not want to get manic like some on here whose anger seems to obliterate their common sense. I think this anger merely obscures their true frustrations which is with a club that seems to be far too conservative in its ambitions.

  • Shard

    Typically, ManU winning the title, is only an excuse to berate Arsenal for not winning the title. Nobody cares about ManU winning the title. They just have to be defended because this can be used to show Arsenal in a poor light. Which is a scummy thing to do.

    And yes rupert. I am jealous. I want that title. I’ve had enough of people like you not shutting up because of a lack of trophies, while at the same time having a love fest with our rivals who have certain advantages we don’t. I want that winning feeling, and I want it soon. 5 years? We’ll win the league before then. The annoying thing will be that you and your sort will be back then, claiming Arsenal’s victory as your own, when you would have done everything to undermine and disown Arsenal all throughout the years building up to that triumph.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Adam. I’d also agree that the standard of the football in the league this year has been quite average. The better teams have under performed and Manu have had no serious challengers to the title, bias refs or no.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Shard, I’m jealous too but I don’t see my jealousy and my desire being shared by AFC. I’ve never claimed any Arsenal triumph as my own by the way. That honour goes to the players on the field. And if you think we’ll win the league by then take my bet.

    And I’ve done nothing to undermine or disown Arsenal. I haven’t that power but those that do, I would argue, have.

  • Fishpie

    Go on then @Walter, you know you want to. I’ll be the one to ask.

    “By patiently building a winning team”

    How do you patiently build a winning team then? Talk me through it. And in particular why hasn’t Mr Wenger in 8 years been successful at patiently building one? And why will he be successful in the future? What does it take to actually BUILD a team anyway? How long is it reasonable do you think for a successful team to be built?

  • Shard

    Fishpie

    To applaud the opposition, in order to shame our club before a match to me counts as treason. Would I show dissent? Yes I would, but definitely not in that manner. There are times when differences of opinion stop mattering in the face of an external enemy. If you don’t think of this as one of those times, I don’t know what to say. And would our board really think that if our fans wantonly cheer on the opposition? They’re more likely to think how they can get better fans into the stadium. And rightly so. I do agree however, that watching RVP celebrate should make everyone associated with the club even more hungry to win the title next year.

    As for ‘ambition’. That has to be one of the most misused words in football parlance. Arsenal have already undertaken a more ‘ambitious’ project than any other club with the stadium move, and have handled it more successfully than any club as well. All we’ll see this summer is how much they feel they can (and should) push the financial boundaries that we have to live with. I think it’ll be significant, especially because there have been signs of change from the ‘project youth’ stage over the last few years anyway.

  • Shard

    rupert

    I never bet on things that mean something to me. Things that are important.

  • Adam

    I have to disagree with your comment regarding ambition. I believe Arsenal to be super ambitious, but are also playing the long game.

    I would have no qualms if Wenger went and spent £100 million on proven players and we won the league, however, it would be great for the sport if we could continue in the fashion that we are, more along the lines of the Germans. But remember we also have to adhere to no TTPO’s unlike the Germans or Spanish.

    To put things totally in to context. If I owned Arsenal, I would put all my money into the club, no questions asked. That’s the emotional connection. But, would I hire a frivolous manager such as Mourinho or Redknapp and trust them with all my money. That’s the real question you should be asking yourself.

    What football manager would you trust with your life’s savings?

  • Shard

    Fishpie

    Do you think we’ve lost players because of lack of ‘ambition’? What does this ambition mean? Money basically. Arsenal, as a club, are entering a phase where they will have more money to spend. Meaning we should be able to build (and retain) a winning team better.

  • Gunz

    @Rupert
    Yes, i agree with you. There is “bias refereeing”, “suspect refereeing” and “terribly poor refereeing”. Which is bad news for the losing teams+supporters resulting from such events. PGMOL needs to be opened up!

  • Matt Clarke

    I wondered what fans of Salford Utd thought of the upcoming fixture, and so visited what was touted as their biggest fan site.

    (Having now been through the necessary sterilisation process) I can report that many would prefer us to qualify for CL over Chelsea. Perhaps not suprising, but nice to hear.

    They are as ambiguous as we are over Guard of ‘Honour’ but most would like to RvP play, just to rub our noses in it.

    One laugh though, this, from one post,
    Phil Dowd officiating means that United might actually concede their first penalty this season. He loves them

    …priceless

  • Paul N

    Fishpie, your comments and mindset are very dangerous and full of pride. What you are doing is suggesting that the club does not know what they are doing and I dare say that you do know. In other words, if The Arsenal simply do what you think then everything would be good.

    I have a few questions for you…have you ever ran a top football club before? have you even managed a top football club before? if so, what club was that and did your club win top honors?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Patiently building a team when you have not money to waste is a slow process.
    And if the players who are considered the best don’t deliver and they had the chance to deliver in 2 seasons when we could win the title, they had the chance in some 5 or 6 semi finals, they had the chance to win 3 finals then you have over achieved.

    Referee decisions took away a few trophies in those years.
    That would have made a big difference.

    So despite the big money teams we still are able to compete with them for a place in the top 4. MU and the refs are a different story. That will only have a chance to change when some people move on. As long as he is in charge we will need to be twice as good as Mu to be able to end in front of them.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Adam, I too would pour all my money into AFC if I was a rich board member. Which manager would I trust with my money?

    Not Redknapp. Mourinho knows how to win the CL and the English league though. Tough one but with unlimited resources, which I’d have by putting all the money I’ve won from you lot through betting, most decent managers can win you a trophy or two.

  • Adam

    You crack me up.

  • Stuart

    Fishpie,
    What colour is the sky in your world? You know, the one where mistakes are never made. Granted we haven’t won a trophy in 8 years but we had several in the years before that, we have been very close a few times in the last 8 years and our repeated Champions League qualification is not something that should be taken for granted. I think only Spain has had the same entrants to the ECL in the last 8 years, I might be wrong and they haven’t had.
    Have you ever made a mistake in your life? I’ll answer it for you. No, of course you haven’t, so let’s give you the job of AFC Manager, you wouldn’t last 5 minutes!

  • Stuart

    Rupert,
    If I was on the board or even a shareholder who claims (not pretends) to love the club and I had a spare £300/£400 Million knocking about, I’d pay for the stadium outright and let Wenger work unhindered.

  • AL

    Ferguson himself came out and said Arsenal wanted to sell the skunk to clubs who were offering half of what they had on the table, proof AW never wanted to sell to utd. The player himself had made up his mind where he wanted to go, and what should AW done? Hold a gun to his head? Had AW stuck to his guns and kept him against his will, and we finished 3rd or 4th(we had been finishing around there with the skunk in our team for a few seasons anyway), the same prats blasting AW for selling to utd would now be laying into him for letting him go to our rivals on a free. Remember Flamini. He’s gone, and I don’t believe he won united the title; things would’ve panned out the same had he gone to city or juventus, & he scored less for them than what he scored with us anyway. The refs, miffed by the last minute smash & grab by city last year, won it for utd. The four offside goals he was given in the last 2 games are testimony to that.

  • Adam

    Fishpie.

    Research contractual stability within football and all will be revealed.

  • Fishpie

    I am sorry if I appear arrogant and disloyal. Maybe I am. Maybe I am lost in my own folly. You are right of course, I have never run a football club. I am just a fan. I hope not a traitor. Shard, I regret my earlier post. It is wrong to protest before a match.
    But the bottom line for me is that I have lost faith in those who do run the club. If the last eight years are simply down to us having not had the money to buy better players than we did, but Mr. Wenger still kept us in the top 4, then hopefully with the additional money we are reported to have now, we will see, in time, a successful team emerge. But like Rupert I think there is something more deeply wrong with the club’s culture.

  • nicky

    @John,
    Well said.
    To put matters in the right perspective, Dean (on behalf of the PGMOL) should referee the game and all fans should applaud him over the efforts made by the officials to grant United the title.
    One day, when Ferguson retires, the truth will out.

  • Shard

    Fishpie

    And I’m sorry for calling you names. It takes a big person to acknowledge an error, and you’ve earned my respect by doing so. As for losing faith in the Arsenal regime, it’s been quite tough to keep the faith, although I genuinely believe that they’ve done a good job in difficult and ever changing circumstances. The way I see it is, even if I’m wrong, I’d rather be wrong to trust them and support my club in the process, than be wrong about not trusting them, and have a chance of harming the club in any way in my frustration. But that’s just me.

  • Yassin

    I say we Do Class, the Arsenal Class, we dont BOOOooo, no we cheer, when he goas out we cheer, but not his name of coarse, but the name he and that Rednose wanted to destroy, wanted to humiliate, we cheer the name of Arsene, we sing him all match long, that will show that what he wanted to prove was bullshit, that loyalty and Arsenal are much more important than any stupid trophy, we show him loyalty to a manager who got us a lot of trophies back then , no matter what we all think of, just to show that skunk what LOYALTY IS!!

    Respect for United, yes they will get easily by not putting him on the field next Sunday, or else they deserve our un-respect….

    We shall show the media that all they are trying to prove through this guard stuff is nothing but more loyalty from us, its not an honor to win trophies, its an honor to wear an Arsenal shirt and then to make the Arsenal kids laugh for getting a trophy, we shall sing all our legend name, Bergkamp, Adam, all who retired with us to show that he lost what cant be won by trophies,……

    and then when the game start, we shall sing all our players names, cheer like never before for any fans to have done, cause then everyone in the whole world will know what a joy it is to be an Arsenal, not to win a trophy,…..

    Be class without being weak, silence is weakness, applauding is humiliation, boooing is not Arsenal, but cheering your manager, just at the moment all those people all around the world are waiting to see him at this moment humiliated, will put them all down and raise him above all that c**ts who think they are better than we are….

    we should raise banners written on it Arsene`s name, singing his name real loud, until he shed tears knowing if his players are traitor, his fans are not….

    BTW all the AAAs, please this time stay out of it, you are not welcomed, this is WAR, and we wont be humiliated that easily, you can sit on the away fans section and cheer United from their…..

  • Matt Clarke

    nice post Yassin 🙂

  • Shard

    Yes to Yassin!!

  • AL

    Well said Yassin.

  • Paul N

    Fishpie, respect for that. My advice is that if you have lost faith, it is up to you to find it. Take a hold of yourself and look. There is much more good than bad. Our club is on the up. It is quite easy for me to see.

  • Paul N

    Yassin, powerful stuff!

  • Matt

    If United are so lucky and so bad why did they completely dominate us in the game this year? But according to the AKB’s were are ovachieving. Tony’s point that Arsenal don’t have he most expensive tickets, who does then? Please do tell. Just watching the Bayern game and apparently there tickets are 20 euros each and they can afford to buy big name players.

  • Adam

    Looks like that 2 goal deficit we lost by to Bayern isn’t so bad. Said awhile ago that Bayern have been set up to beat Barca. Good game to watch if any ones interested.

  • Adam

    Matt, Research Third party player ownership and you will have your answers.

  • Matt

    Shard and Fishpie

    I see both of you points but I have also lost faith in the club and manager.

  • Matt

    Bayern are very good, how did we manage to beat them

  • Gunz

    @Matt
    Which game this year?

  • Paul N

    My faith in the club and manager are fully intact.

  • Shard

    Matt

    You might want to check the rules of German football before comparing Arsenal with them. Also, Bayern’s commercial income is the largest in the world. That’s why they can afford to buy those players. Something we obviously need to work towards.

  • Yassin

    Thanks Matt Clarke,Shard,Al,and Paul N, but now we shall spread it for all the fans to be united on it, so Tony Walter, do an article please, and contact your friend blogs…..

    @ Matt I will tell you the story, Home leg at our Home, we were hearing on the TV the Bayern chanting and not ours, our fans back then were putting their hands on their cheeks watching literally, we lost that day… Away Leg, Our Unbelievable fans, Mostly AKBs as you call those type of people, we chanting their throats out, you can hear Oh Santi Cazorla from the TV, We Won that day…

    Was it that hard to analyze, Sir?

    The winning mentality Manchester has got is due to the believe of their fans in the players, even Phil Jones is brilliant for them, we can learn that from them too, instead of losing faith in the manager, team, don’t know what,…..

    You can always do a Presie and win a trophy mate, if you are so desperate, don’t worry we`ll applaud you then…

  • Blacksheep63

    I like Yassin’s response most, balanced and calm and he didn’t call me ‘mr’ when I’m Dr ;). Silence is golden sounds like a plan to me. I don’t mind people disagreeing with me, I don’t ate offence either, this is a platform for debate and each one is entitled to his views. But I’m not a fatalist, or a quitter. It is quite common practice for enemies in war to respect each other, to credit worthy opponents, and if united aren’t worthy why are we so far behind them? It isn’t simply because of the bias of a number of referees, they are other reasons. I will go with the flow on Sunday but I shan’t boo, just as I dont boo individual opposition players, I will support my club and sing my heart out from the north bank lower – as I do every home game.
    Thanks for your comments, all of you

  • Matt

    Gunz

    The game at old Trafford 2-1 to them but we barely made a pass.

    Shard

    I keno 51 % of the clubs need to be owned by the fans but there turnover isn’t much higher than ours.

    Yasmin

    We were totally outplayed at home and they didn’t know how to approach the home game after our early goal

  • Shard

    Matt

    A large part of our turnover goes towards financing our debts. That should reduce over the years, and with the TV money for Ebgland growing, we should be close to Bayern Munich’s income, though their commercial income is three times ours, and that’ll take some time to even get close to..

    However, Bayern won’t have to put up with any other club in their league as rich as them (we do with ManU, who are considerably richer), and their league doesn’t allow billionaires to pump in money, so they won’t face a Chelsea or ManCity suddenly arise and take away their talent. We won’t have such a luxury, although it might help if FFP kicks in.

  • Gunz

    @Matt
    Mike Dean – Manchester United Vs Arsenal (2 – 1) [03/11/2012]
    The Referee Mike Dean and his more than 80% of incorrect decisions against Arsenal, could be the reason why you feel we were “dominated”.

  • Matt

    The huge increase in gate receipts surely pays the debt financing? What are we going to do with the £ 100 million in the bank? Why do we have the lowest net spend on transfers over the last 8 years of any club that has been in the PL in that time below Stoke, Swansea and the like?

  • Matt

    Behave yourself Gunz. Do you really believe that ? Watch the game back.

  • Mandy Dodd

    If I was there this weekend, my energy would be spent applauding the team who beat what is clearly a magnificent bayern team two nil at their place

  • Stuart

    Bayern have been the sleeping giant of Europe for years now. Stealthily building their team with no one going in poaching their players. We’d all heard of Bayern but be honest, how many of you ever gave them a second thought before a few years ago? You never even heard of them in the Champions League until recently.

  • Shard

    No it doesn’t. Not with the increased costs due to the inflationary pressures of the oiler clubs. We have cash reserves of 122m as of November. The costs of running the club through the season have to be financed from that, the bank guarantee amount has to remain in the account, and we’ve extended contracts and bought Monreal since then.

    We’ve had SOME money to spend before, but nothing very significant at all. It makes sense to keep some money in reserve, unless you feel there’s a player who you can afford, who will justify spending all your money on him, because he’ll push you up to the next level. I’m yet to be convinced there is such a player that was available in our price range..

    But we did bid for players who we felt could be those players. We bid 20m for Reina (instead of sticking with Almunia) but were turned down. We also matched ManU’s bid for Phil Jones and offered him more money, but he chose them instead. Some say we even bid 30m for Gotze 2 years ago. I’m not sure I believe that, but I think we’ve been open to spending money on players who we’ve felt are worth it. Those players are few, and generally unavailable.

    So, what do you think we’re doing with the 100m in the bank? Better 100m in the bank than 100million down the drain I say.

  • Shard

    Stuart

    I don’t know what you mean by that. Bayern are, and have been for years, one of the true giants of European football.

  • WalterBroeckx

    off topic Bayern beating Barcelona 4-0. Cesc and Song had a perfect view from the bench…

  • Yassin

    @ Matt, I don’t know how much truth is in the 100 million, and what is it for, I don’t care what you think about the management of the team, Kronke, Gazidis, …. Although I still believe in the sustainable model….

    I only care about our team, I only care about the players who play in our shirt, who are booood and destroyed, Gervinho, Ramsey, and now Giroud. I care about a manager who gave it all for this team, if you can`t see it, then you must be blind, don’t try to convince me that after all this pressure on him, that he doesn`t want to spend the money he has got, he wont take it home we all know…

    It`s your right to say and believe whatever you think is right, but once in the battle, on the field, we shall all be one voice singing hard as much as we can, not boooo as hard as we can, this you can`t argue about I guess,…………

  • Shard

    and by the way..I should have spotted it earlier matt, but the increased gate receipts form part of our turnover..

  • Matt

    I thought the stadium debt financing cost £18 m a year and the increase in gate receipts alone was in excess of £30m

    If our manager couldn’t find a player to improve our squad over the last number of years we need a new manager.

  • Shard

    In fact an inordinate amount of our turnover.. With more TV money coming in, our reliance on gates (percentage wise) will decrease..and with Commercial income growing in the future, hopefully we’ll have the ideal situation of balancing those 3 sources of income at roughly 33% each..

  • Stuart

    Shard,
    I mean there has not been so much hype & hysteria about Bayern until the past few years. Part owing to this, they have not seen the vultures circling to take their prime players which has allowed them to build and become the team we see at the moment.

  • Shard

    It’s not about ‘improving’..It’s about a player that’ll improve it enough to justify the cost. And he’s always had to be plugging the leaks with the players being taken away from our team.. That in itself makes it harder to build a team. What he’s done in the circumstances, has been brilliant.

  • Matt

    I don’t boo and support the club financially and by turning up for the games home and sometimes away but don’t agree with the way we are run and managed

  • Matt

    Why will nobody tell me on this site if Arsenal tickets are not the most expensive in Europe, who does have the most expensive tickets?

  • Shard

    Stuart

    Sorry. But Bayern have always had a lot of money. When we drew 2-2 with them (2001 I think), it was a miracle. Bayern were a mega club even then.

    They did lose Hargreaves and even Ballack to ManU and Chelsea as they were nearing the end of their contracts, but situations like that have been few. Also because German players tend to stay in Germany mostly, just like English players stay in England. Bayern’s transfer strategy for years has been, ‘buy whoever performs well in the Bundesliga’. You watch any player play well with a team, and next season he’ll be in Bayern Munich. They dominate their local league because they are by far the richest club there.

    They did spend the last 2 years playing second fiddle to Dortmund though. We shouldn’t underestimate the role such painful experiences play in building a successful side. Although of course, their money is a key factor. Something we should have soon, but not enough to dominate our league. Not any time soon.

  • To hell with class. I want to beat the hell out of them.

    And I also want to win the game.

    No guard of honour. That is reserved for honourable people.

  • Shard

    The issue of ticket prices has been done to death. We’re not even the most expensive seats in London, let alone Europe.. But you’ll have to ask someone else for the exact figures. Since I don’t visit the stadium often, I’m not inclined to remember the ticketing system and prices. And since I don’t crib about paying what I have to when I do go, I don’t have an interest in seeing what other teams charge. I simply pay what I feel I want to.

  • Matt

    The people who run the site seem to say we don’t have the highest ticket prices regularly but won’t say who does.

  • Matt Clarke

    …maybe a whole minute’s silence – to mourn (belatedly) the death of fair play.

  • Shard

    Matt

    Maybe because they don’t know who has the highest? But they do know that the cost of watching games at Spurs and Chelsea are higher than at Arsenal?

  • Matt

    I know that’s not true

  • bob

    “He’s turned out better than any of us thought,” Ferguson says. “He has kicked on from Arsenal, a much better player now from when he was there.” (from the sychophantic Guardian article by the more sycophantic Daniel Taylor, earning his spurs and paying the rent).
    Is ANYONE going to applaud this? What a disgrace this comment from one cunt about the other.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Do not forget that paper used to be called the Manchester guardian. Is he going to get more goals and assists this year than last?

  • bob

    Mandy,
    Really hard to get over the cruel ironies of this wicked scheduling of a victory lap.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Very true Bob. Apparently fergie made his team take in the last minute loss of the title city won last year, and make sure they felt the hurt and set out not to let it happen again. I hope the guard of honour, or whatever it is called has a similar effect on Arsenal Fc, although recent events and signings lead me to believe we are moving away from the dark days, I hope so anyway. This unfortunate event can be used to galvanise the team, and the club. We have certainly seemed stronger as a team in recent weeks. We have had a mixture of our best players poached, sugar daddies, a new manager/ assistant dynamic, a relatively new Kronke breed of execs who have made mistakes , but are learning, refs, media, ffp and lets face it, a few self inflicted mistakes thrown against us, but to me at least we still look pretty strong,as a team. Hope for the future as long as we put,things right.

  • John

    Probably a bit off-topic, but no pundits have yet pointed out that Arsenal beat Bayern in Munich, whereas Barcelona lost 0-4.

    Southgate did refer to that game as a “dead rubber” for Bayern; —– (ie they won by a comfortable margin of 3-3). This is the same Southgate who was a failure as manger of Middlesborough, whose opinion counts for f….-all.

    Interesting to learm that Barca have no Plan B, cannot defend set-pieces, are no good when not in possession, rely on one man etc. etc. Sounds familiar?

  • sperez

    I just hope Wenger climbs the podium with the ManU team and then the ManU support gives the French manager a standing ovation. He certainly deserves…He was a ManU’s loyal servant after all.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Does the same apply to fergie for selling tevez to last years champions?

  • Gooner Murphy

    SPURze, just crawl back to that sewer you came from your’ contribution to any debate on this site is only to agitate you’re not wanted here.

  • sperez

    At least Ferguson still knows how to win trophies…Now, Wenger only knows how to make profits…by selling our best players to rival teams.

  • bob

    Mahdain,
    Did we not dream this nightmare together almost two months ago? It was our darkest prediction come true…

  • GoingGoingGoone

    Don’t like ManU.
    Don’t like the way RvP engineered his transfer to ManU.
    Unfortunately, we shall be pilloried if we do not do the Guard of Honour thingo. We get enough stick without adding this to the pile. As for RvP, boo him during the game AND show the ManU plastics how well we can support our team by cheering loudly from start to finish.

  • Veeraraghavan Prasanna

    I would really love to read an analysis of Man United’s 38 match refereeing. Am forced to remember certain things on their course to victory like the Chicharito’s goal that was offside against Chelsea, the Liverpool game where the red card was partial or the second last game where Van Persie’s goal was clearly offside.

    I did not get to see the Villa match but again I believe two if not all the goals were offside.

    A detailed study would help a lot.

  • T.I Gunner

    When will FIFA stop manU from winning games through match fixing.
    Not that because I do hate them. But because even their fans knows it. I have manu friends who will mock us by telling us. ‘Its a manu way, hate it all love it’

    Its a stupid idea to get up & clap for them

  • Rupert Cook

    Bayern, wow what a club. Not only did they go out and buy five players after that defeat to Chelsea last year but they have now bought Gotze, a player we were linked to a while back. Now that’s ambition. They want to be a global brand and they are prepared to invest to do it. Getting Guardiola though maybe a mistake, I think their current manager is doing a fine job and Guardiola’s style may not serve Bayern well.

    Interestingly though two of their goals should not have stood so bad refereeing yet again. Still they were miles better than Barca, hopefully Barca’s style of football is being eclipsed because I found it quite tedious at times.

    Well RVP got his title which a player of his talent deserves. Arsenal are basically a stepping stone for talented players, we’re a small club in a big stadium, even Wenger admitted that.

    We have one of the best strikers in the world and instead of bolstering the team with equal talent we sell off our best player to our rivals. The watchword at Arsenal is capitulation, not ambition. Name me one other big European club, which Arsenal purport to be, that would keep a manager who has won nothing for 8 years.

    We’ve heard a lot of words from Gazidis about money coming in, well let’s see if this summer we buy some proven world class talent instead of selling it. Let’s see action, as the Who once said.

  • Stuart

    Matt,
    Tickets at both Tottenham and Chelsea are more expensive if my memory serves me correct.

    If you break down the cost of their season tickets to a per game basis then they are about £1 more than ours. It’s only a pound some might say, but look at the stadium you are paying to sit in and then tell me who is getting fleeced.

  • Stuart

    Shard,
    You are right, they have always had alot of money, I don’t dispute this. I’m just saying we haven’t heard much of them.

  • Stuart

    Hi Matt,
    Here is a link to an article on Untold following the infamous BBC joke of an article. I’ve linked to a section in the comments which you may find interesting.

    http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/25542/comment-page-1#comment-267091

  • Shard

    Just because no one else does something you are doing, you must be doing it wrong- learn to lead not follow.

    And if arsenal are a small club in a big stadium then do you agree that your protestations and expectations are unrealistic? To compare bayern`s spending with Ours is pointless. Both clubs are at completely different phases in their growth cycle. Although of course, being in a similar position is our ultimate aim. If people would just stop n think without getting carried away, they would see That arsenal have been working towards that. It takes time to build something. That is ambition. Not throwing money about.

  • Edu

    this s a sport at the end of the day and you have to shake the other persons hand after the game only that this time we are saluting worthy champs who for one cared about investing in there squad..arsenal die hard

  • Matt

    So there we have it Arsenal are in the top3 for most expensive tickets in Europe.

    Shard

    If Arsenal are building towards something what is that? When are we likely to get there? Why have had the same season virtually every season for the last 8 with no change? Are the Arsenal board more interested in profits than sucess?

  • bob

    Is this worth the extra 1.5M shitload that AFC bean counters will receive because Manure wins with RVP? I’ve read that this is part of the deal, “the sweetener”. Is it? Do “we” need it? Do you like it? And, in case you’re losing your edge as the club starts to go all soft in ginning up for the honour brigade, let me repeat this wee bit of slobber from Don Fungus: ““He’s turned out better than any of us thought,” Ferguson says. “He has kicked on from Arsenal, a much better player now from when he was there.” (from the sychophantic Guardian article by the more sycophantic Daniel Taylor, earning his spurs and paying the rent). Is ANYONE really going to applaud this? to honour this? For the sake of football tradition? What a disgrace this comment from one cunt about the other.

  • Sav from Australia

    Hi Drew,

    Nice article mate. You make a very valid point. I only have one issue – not with you, just with Man Utd – its that the referees handed them the league title, not the Dutch traitor. I consider them first class cheaters.

  • bob

    Fergus/Manure fans/RVP are bad winners: the kind that rub salt in the wounds of those who make their victories possible, and who are expected to applaud and honour their betters (or should it be bettors) because, after all, it’s the tradition. Well, then: it disgraces the tradition to carry on with this shite. We should wear black arm bands and come with red cards; go all silent or turn our backs on the ceremony. We’ll get stick if we applaud (weak in the knees, those good sports there) and if we don’t applaud/honor them. As if EPL/FA are perceived by the majority of fans as honorable? Bollocks. The hypocritical media will go all rapturous about the dastardly duo and how, in the name of football, they deserve top top treatment. But who are this media to judge anyone? This craven lot of ass-kissing sycophantic midwives to Fungus-Ball. Is that who we should fear and please? They hate us already. Let’s give them reason to do it: to stand up to this forced exercise in self-flaggelation in the name of football tradition, enforced by moralistic media errand-boys for a corrupt regime. Is there no medicine that people won’t take because it’s dished out in the name of football tradition? Imo, football (that is football fans) deserve better – better media, a level playing field, genuine competition, and an end to a contrived farce where there should be competition. We could decided to say no – one major way or the other. But to step up and politely or (in the spirit of faux-competition) lustfully applaud to honour the game? It’s self-deception to do so. Grace points in heaven. Worshipping idols with feet of clay. Is this the example we set for the kids? Why not a civics lesson in how not to go along to get along? Why not a demand that the extra 1.5M that “we” are spozed to get from the “deal” for RVP if they win the table and put it to something genuinely useful – like a program in media literacy so that the next generations can see through the newswipe and lens crafting that we have had to endure and are now asked to validate in the name of tradition? Fie on Fungus, on Micky R and the hives, and on he who “deserves” to win because we don’t “deserve” to have kept his services (but only to have paid him to have one good season and kiss his rear end for having deigned to give it too us). No to all this and all the excuses that try to perfume it, and tell us we are not good enough to demand better of ourselves, of the media, of our team’s management, and of organized football. Applauding this circus is a disgrace to football as it once was and ought to be. Not applauding this circus is a teachable moment for the next generation. So choose your voice, but have one. Silence is golden. Booing is platinum. Dropped knickers divine…..Be the change that you want to see, but not ever on bended knee.

  • Stuart

    Matt,
    I believe the board are more interested in profits than trophies which is why they keep selling off our best players, even the ones that don’t want away.

    As for having the same season for the last 8 years, we have the fourth highest resources (previously third until the Arab money arrived in Manchester) and have always finished third or fourth so I see what you are saying here but it’s just one of those things. The managers at Man Utd, Man City 7 Chelsea receive the same (if not a higher due to the revenues supplied) level of expectation, they just have much more resource to hand to enable that. Until we get our commercial revenues up then the best we can realistically expect is the same (same season as you put) however there could be freak occurences where we win the league on the back of the team gelling well which is our current issue IMO (although it has been getting better).

  • bob

    Stuart,
    We’ve got our finances up now. Right? Are we forever going to sound the “until we get our revenues up….” mantra? What’s the excuse this summer not to go for the roses?

  • only1

    i have no problems applauding Man UTD. they are the rightful champions and we’re not sore losers. They did well and its a traditions anyway. its still sports at the end of the day.

    but for RVP, its a different thing. i have no problems of him leaving like what the author said, but i am absolutely disgust at his action after leaving. Leaving no gratitude to the club that makes him and the manager that gives him his chance. and the game at OT, i’m disgusted at how fake it is when he came up to try to win back our hearts! Now, everytime he scored, he would run to SAF~~ how long has SAF know him?

    >>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<
    a comparison between Batistuta VanPusssie
    Batistuta after his goal for Rome vs fiorentina:

    Bowing his head, he eventually freed himself from his colleagues and wiped tears from his eyes.

    "I played the whole match with these conflicting thoughts in my head – I am sorry for Fiorentina," he said. "It was important, though, because I want to win for Roma so I was trying hard but I can not forget my past."

    VanPusssssie after scoring against Arsenal. does it seems like a man who has feelings for the club he has captained for?

    “It was a special day and in the end it was quite a game, I think we played well. We were a bit sloppy with chances and should have scored two or three more. But in the end we are happy with three points because that is all that matters.”

  • Shard

    bob

    Why do you assume that it’s excuses and not reasons? What basis do you have for charging the people running Arsenal with deliberately making decisions which harm Arsenal? Or is it just that you think they are wrong in the decisions they made? Considering they have more facts, knowledge and experience than you do, that too would be quite an assumption.

  • bob

    Shard,
    I, for one, don’t consider AFC a monolith. I see that, whatever the public face, Businesses often have internal policy differences. I don’t think major decisions like major purchases or transfer window activity or not are unanimous. I don’t assume AW and AFC board are in lockstep on everything. I see contradictory public pronouncements from AFC over the course of a season or two seasons, and, like anyone else, try to make sense of the tea leaves. One can only go on what one can see. I don’t go on faith. I have no always about AFC, or myself. I don’t share your faith in the unseen. As you wrote yesterday, you make that choice and have the satisfaction, if wrong, of having wanted only the best for your team. Wanting the best for my team, I choose to distinguish between the management’s sets of interests and those of the players as a collective on the pitch. I allow for gaps and differences. And, like anyone, cannot know what goes on inside. But I won’t take a leap of faith on it. That’s where one’s life experience kicks in, no doubt. And perhaps that’s where we part company, at least how it plays out analytically. And today, my focus is/has been on the guard of dishonour, so I’m not up for debating this further as a thread. I think the honour guard and defeating the demonic duo is the proper focus in this moment for me.

  • Shard

    bob

    Fair enough. But just so you know..I don’t take it JUST on faith, and I’m well aware that there’ll be discussions and dissensions within the club, as there indeed should be in any organisation, as long as they can agree to move forward together once a decision has been taken. That still doesn’t mean that there are ‘excuses’ and not reasons. But since you’d rather leave it be for now, let’s leave it be.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Dortmund, selling off their best players. Klopp out.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Shard, where are we leading? By employing a manager and throwing a huge wage at him to ensure we struggle to finish fourth every season. Who’s following that bizarre model? No top team I can assure you.

    The point of moving to a large stadium was to fund the purchase of better players and keep those that we need. Arsenal are not poor, they have a large pool of cash which for some reason they think serves them better by sitting in a bank. You invest in the best and by doing so you attract more fans, win more trophies, gain better deals because you have raised the club’s profile etc. It really is simple. Of course not every signing works out but everyone here believes Wenger is a genius so imagine if he actually bought some world class players. He’s made a start with Cazorla, who’s had a reasonable season.

    Sure we can’t buy every player and some will not come to Arsenal because we’ve been tagged with the moniker “selling club” but that is something that could be changed with a bit of proactive purchasing rather than reactive.

    Kowtowing to Fergie and RVP shows the club has little desire to spar with the best. I’m reminded of the time when Tony Adams was thinking of leaving the club until he met with the manager and was told that Arsenal were intending to go for success. He was convinced to stay and Platt and Bergkamp soon appeared. One wonders if that scenario might repeat itself with Wilshire in a few years time.

  • Rupert Cook

    @GoingGoingGooner, Kopp out, surely.

  • Matt

    Klopp.”If you dont like it dont come to the match and give your ticket somebody who will support us”

    Wenger.”We do have money,we dont have money, handbrake on, handbrake off, you cant sell Cesc & Nasri and think of yourself of us a big club,no we are not a small club”

    Some managers speak the truth and can be listened some talk absoloute cobblers.

  • Shard

    rupert

    “The point of moving to a large stadium was to fund the purchase of better players and keep those that we need.”

    It still is.. Even with the debt payments and the long term deals (which’ll be over soon), we’re better off with the new stadium than we would be without it. Ask Spurs and Liverpool. They’ll tell you. Also, there were no sugar daddies of the billionaire kind around when the stadium was planned. Their appearance has meant that the payoff from the move has been delayed.

    ” Arsenal are not poor, they have a large pool of cash which for some reason they think serves them better by sitting in a bank”

    Poor and rich are relative. I’ve pointed out to you before how ManCity and Chelsea, since 2009 have spent an average of 120 and 108 million pounds more than Arsenal PER YEAR on transfers and wages. That’s with our wage bill also increasing. Arsenal aren’t poor, but Arsenal cannot compete with numbers like that.

    As for cash in the bank. How much do you think has been sitting there over the years? Leaving out the amount that has to stay in there as bank guarantees..Let’s see a rough estimate? If you claim you don’t know, then on what basis can you say it’s a large amount of cash. As I just said, large amount is relative. Could we have spent 20m pounds on a player 3 years ago? Yes. We tried with Reina. We bid 16m for Jones, and offered him more wages than ManU. We’ve been willing to sanction spending that money (which is only substantial now, after all these years) on players that we felt were worth it. Not spend it for spending’s sake. So you see, we were prepared to ‘invest’ money in the squad.

    It makes perfect sense to not spend all your resources when you don’t know where your next paycheck is coming from and how much it’s going to be. We now have resources saved up (staying in the CL has been crucial to that), and we know how much we’ll be getting in the next few years as well.

    Oh, plus spending on transfers is not the only spending which is important. A total upgrade of the club’s medical facilities costs money too. And it helps in the playing side of things as well. Just doesn’t get those sexy headlines.

    Give me a credible reason for why Arsenal would sit on cash, and we can then try and decide what is more likely. That they were simply being conservative, or they have some ulterior motive.

    I wonder why the theory that the Arsenal board are basically destroying Arsenal doesn’t get labelled a conspiracy theory.

  • Shard

    Matt

    Maybe some fans also just exhibit more sense and understanding than others.

  • Shard

    If Wenger said what Klopp said, you’d be up in arms demanding his resignation, and you know that’s the truth.

  • Rupert Cook

    I love that Wenger phrase “we played with the handbrake on”. He even used it after the Fulham match, I think on purpose to parody himself. What team plays with the handbrake on? What does it even mean? I have visions of players sort of coming to a dead stop mid sprint. I expect he means we got complacent and let the opposition gain the upper hand.

  • Shard

    oh and rupert..What we’re leading up to, is something we’re criticised for rather than praised for. We’re leading up to being one of the richest clubs in the world. Some lists place us there already but they don’t count debt and they don’t count on the oil clubs. And we’re doing it in a way it’s not been done before. (partly owing to the fact that European clubs are basically gifted their new stadiums, and because ManU didn’t have to build a new one since they could just extend it)

    It’s a journey ManU started in the 80s. It took them some time before they reaped the benefits of that as well. And that was without the ultra competitive environment of today.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Shard, the board, too many, have a lack of ambition. I think that, you don’t. so we’ll have to disagree.

    On another site I visit called Arsenal Times there is a poster there called Radio Free Arsenal that will argue that Arsenal have vast sums of money, most of which has been siphoned off by the board. Do I believe it? Not sure but he doesn’t half have a convincing argument. Trouble is he bores everyone with it as it is his bloody obsession.

    He actually believes that Wenger has done a great job and is convinced that funds have not been available to him. I have to say I disagree with that side of his argument.

    Anyway I will retreat from this argument, suffice to say that I think a team with Arsenal’s vast resources can afford to splash some cash and could have done so last summer without selling two key players.

    But let’s see what happens this summer. I think we both agree that good reinforcements are needed if we are going to be real contenders for the league and CL (should we qualify for it).

  • Rupert Cook

    “the board, to many,” I meant to type.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Shard, well I hope I live long enough to see this great rich future of ours. I’ll be a pensioner before we win the league again I suspect.

  • Matt

    Shard

    No way would i if he was honest and straightforward about whats going on at the club, instead of all his smoke and mirrors act i would trust him and stand behing him even if i disagreed with him.

    I dont distrust and dislike him for the sake of it.

  • Shard

    If he told the fans to not turn up and give their ticket to someone who cares to support? Yeah right. You’d surely love him for it.

  • Matt

    If he said something like that it would mean that fans would know the sort of person you’re dealing with.

  • Matt

    Do you know the circumstances in which he said that?

  • Shard

    I figure its to do with the sale of Gotze being announced and the semi final with Madrid tonight..

    It doesn’t matter. I have no issue with what Klopp said. I like Klopp.

    I’m just saying that there’s no need to bring up Klopp to disparage Wenger. It’s not like Wenger’s reasonable statements aren’t used as a stick to beat him with. If he said anything like what Klopp said, regardless of circumstance, people would jump on him. That is my opinion, but I’m confident enough about it to go so far as to call it fact.

  • Shard

    rupert

    When you say you’ll be a pensioner, does that mean you are going to become a Chelsea fan? I’d like that.

  • Arvind

    IMO there’s too little focus in AW as a person and Arsenal as a club. AW I’m guessing goes the full hog for his players, even if it means he will have to struggle the next year. Meaning.. if he felt that RVP deserved a shot at glory the next year and he’d stayed here enough…he’d let him go. Big risk. But I think he tries to give players a fair deal as far as possible. Not that I am saying that was the reason RVP left…just an example of AW psyche. That’s why he lets so many players go on free transfers instead of selling them for money. There’s failed loanees yes…but there’s many who leave on frees too.

    Arsenal as a club… I have all the respect in which they try and operate. I do not subscribe to all this ‘balance sheet shows 100 million’ spend some fucking money crowd. Just because one has money, it does not mean you have to spend it. If the right player comes along..sure. No I don’t know who….but I can’t give out a guarantee either that the player won’t flop. So I say .. ‘I don’t know’ and move away.

    In the end as I often say, when I post, if all of you who have a problem with Arsenal not spending are really angry… do write to the board in strong terms or stop buying merchandise or cancel your subscription or whatever. THAT and nothing else will make Arsenal listen.

    Not that I’d do it though…frankly… but I do sit millions of miles away.

  • FunGunner

    Excellent comments, Shard.

    @ bob
    Arsenal had to sell JvanC because he held all the cards. Once a player is out of the protected period of his contract, he cannot be forced to stay. Do you know any examples of players in the final year of their contract who have been forced to stay at their current club?
    He went to ManUre because that is where he was determined to go. You cannot force a player to sign a playing contract with another club and he wasn’t interested in going to Juventus, which was AW’s choice. The only thing we could do was screw as much money as possible out of ManUre. If you’re going to get angry, get angry at Judas – this is all his doing. He thought only of himself.

    Also, can you tell me what benefit accrues to the “bean counters” from the club taking in £24m plus £1.5m if JvanC won the league? The money is recycled into the football budget ie players, and the team is less valuable in money terms without him. So what do these bean counters get out of the deal?

  • Stuart

    “The point of moving to a large stadium was to fund the purchase of better players and keep those that we need.”

    It still is the point however at the time players were far far cheaper, the stadium move was planned pre Abramovich. You get alot less player now for whatever money you have.

  • Stuart

    Matt,
    You have to give AW a break over that to be honest. When it comes to these conflicting reports he is fighting many fronts. Firstly the press always want a story, whatever it is, secondly, other clubs wish to know our plans (so he’ll say anything to put them off the scent) and thirdly, he is paid by the board to front all the criticism due to their ‘lack of ambition’. As his employer, he can’t really come out in public and start humiliating them. How long would you keep your job for if you did that?

  • Adam

    To reinforce the point above.

    Bayern, Dante a very good signing, been in Europe along time, no interest from the oilers, Bayern paid £5million ish.

    Martinez, very good player, interest from various oilers, Bayern paid in excess of £35 million to land their man.

    Is Martinez seven times the player that Dante is?

  • Stuart

    Re Bob @ 1.29pm

    Yes they are up but we need much much more.

  • Arvind

    Completely agree with Shard. Wenger says what Klopp says .. he’d be ripped to shreds. Here’s a few samples:

    — Wenger dares fans to stay away!!!
    — Arrogant Wenger blasts fans
    — Trophyless Arsenal attack loyal fan following
    — Talksport: Angry AFC fans call in to demand Wenger resignation

    Next up in a 1 hours special.. Ian wright, Piers Morgan, Stuart Robson to talk about Arsenal’s failings. Guest appearance by Myles Palmer.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Nice one Arvind! You are right, Wenger cannot win! As for van Persia, I think a few things need to be put in context. A very talented player, who had a great year and got us into the Cl in difficult circumstances last year. BUT , there is a charge sheet against him. More than once played for Holland when not fully fit resulting in months out injured. Petulant when he arrived, prone to stupid red cards. Was he really a team man? I am not convinced. Did he affect the confidence of players around him, in a negative way in recent years? Gervinho and Ramsey reputed to be players he was not impressed with. He made stupid demands to sign a new contract, and when they were not met, did his utmost to damage the club, players and manager who made him what he is. Little known fact, but he tried to get money out of the club for breaching his contract, some believe he would have gone the Webster route, easy to believe with him. He is not unique, cesc also behaved badly near the end, but no damning statement from him, just love for the club. Even nasri , he was greedy but did not seem to be intent on harming the club. The fact is , maybe wenger indulged vp too much, should he have been allowed to have chicken placenta rubbed on ruptured ligaments after holland mis diagnosed him? A critIsism aimed at wenger in tHe days without dein is that he has not been ruthless enough, or maybe he just demonstrates humanity. Vp was indulged, so were others. Vp had one good season, many absences were self inflicted. In the long term, are we worse without him, I think not. If I were there this weekend, I would ignore him and cheer on our boys, they are all that really matters. Vp is history, and apart from one glorious season, quite unpleasant history.

  • bob

    Stuart,
    Much much more…you parrot the company line and provide not a scintilla of anything specific and any reason for it. Please take your confidence and run it by a child, if you can find one daft enought to listen to that mantra.

  • bob

    FunGunner,
    First, congratulations for acknowledging that bean counters exist. Second, do you think there are no bonuses given at AFC? (That the club floats above the material plane?) Do you think that the amount of individual bonuses have nothing to do with how well the club does in its annual earnings report? (Why not ask your lawyer oracle of inside-doings and see what he/she might wish to add to educate people here?) And, to be sure, if that 25.5 million actually all gets ploughed back into the football side (along with the money due from Cesc), I shall be very glad, deliriously happy; but that also means that I, like many, want the verification of seeing that it is being spent on quality signings and quality reinforcements for the bench; this so that we win a championship that seems a few (~3) quality signings away. Fyi, I’d much rather that we be at our best, whatever it takes, than to be personally right about anything about football.

    That said, for my information and learning curve, are you saying that when it’s been (frequently) said that a club must sell a wantaway player (as with RVP) or risk them leaving the next season “on a free” (as was said with RVP in the press last spring and summer), then is that a misstatement of the actual legal situation/legal options that are available to that club in that season? Are you saying that a club cannot hold on to the player in the season that the player wants out in, or the next season, and thereby keep the player for that season; but then must lose the player “on a free” in the next season? Is that the way it works? You’re saying that AFC did not have the legal right to keep RVP for this very season? Or, is it that we had the legal right to keep him for this very season, but then would be forced to let him go next season on a free? Which is it? Please do explain. And whatever it is it is – Good, for I will have learned from you, and be glad for it. And, so I can further know, what’s the name of the rule that says that a player in his last year of his contract must be allowed to leave that very season while he is still under contract.

    And, btw, since you’ve read some of my angry postings, have you noticed that I’ve been irate about RVP’s leaving like the mendacious judas he is? Or are you so keen to stick it in that you happened to miss that bit, just to make your breathless point. And, on the topic of my angry postings, FunnyGal, do you dare venture an opinion no the guard of dishonor; or do we just keep our powder dry for the safe stuff? What do you think about the applause or silent treatment or none of the above? Will you be there? What will you do? That’s actually what I care about – and it’s not because I believe in having to show “class” by applauding a judas.

  • bob

    Arvind,
    really well said! especially the list of media orifices. 🙂

  • bob

    Mandy,
    I agree he’s proven to be a swine and a judas. I also felt that in his capacity as captain, he was warm and validating on the pitch. You’ve been over the moon for Ramsey and no doubt hold it against RVP for having slated him (I’m guessing a bit, but think so, and only know of one time, which was ugly). But I will say that the man knows how to be a captain and was praised as such during last season by AW, and no player has slated him (that I’ve heard) since his departure. I don’t know how to measure that the team is better without him as you say; because prior to his disgusting mode of departure, he was, looking forward (not backward) huge in the great turnaround that got us to a third place finish. As was assist-man Alex Song, a person we two seem to agree represents a mystery departure and a hole that remains to be filled (perhaps this non-impoverished summer).

  • Mandy Dodd

    Bob , he did,prove a good captain, and good player last season, but good as he is, I judge him over eight years and he was wreckless with his injuries, at best. The critics will say fergie would not have allowed him his holland,indulgences when injured, maybe they have a point. But ultimately, on face value at least, he judged us on our lack of success, to me at least, some of his actions were part of that lack of success. Like a lot of greats, maybe he was just a tad self centered. That is his right of course. Maybe he was making a valid point on how the club is run these days, think both of us have had our concerns on some issues. As for Ramsey critIcism, that is only hearsay….maybe….and maybe at some points justified, but looks like things are looking up for him. I hope the club learn things on several levels from,the,last couple of summers, not that they were to blame for all of it, but mistakes have been made, although recent signings have provided some encouragement.but vp is history, no triumphant second comings, no statue , no coaching posts. In my eyes at least, he is gone from,the club, I just support who we have now. They may not be as good, but at least they want to be here….for the moment…as far as we know….

  • Stuart

    That’s why I ran it past you Bob!

  • Shard

    There was that article during the Euros by some journalist claiming inside track with RVP essentially calling Ramsey (and Arshavin was it?) useless. I put it down as journalistic nonsense (and had forgotten about it till now) but RVP’s statement, basically did say his teammates were rubbish.

    I’m with Mandy on this one. RVP is history. And I think as much as keeping the RVP of last season (and this) would have been wonderful, it is unrealistic to expect it, least of all demand it. We keep him after his statement, and we are essentially giving a message to the rest of the side that the club is open to being disrespected, and that we don’t care about their talents, because we need our super talented player more. It goes against all norms of team building. That’s even assuming that an unhappy player (lets face it, a happy player, or even content player doesn’t put out that statement) would be able to give the same output.

    RVP played for a mega contract last season. And he got it, and he did everything he could do to get it, no matter who or what he had to run over to get there. Some call that being a winner. I just call that being a c***.

    and bob.. If we’re talking legal positions, RVP, LEGALLY, was entitled to pay us the amount of his annual wages, and walk off into the sunset and have his pick of any team. Yes, there is a gentlemen’s agreement to not make use of the Webster clause between the clubs, but since we’re talking legal rights, that’s legal, and is something to be considered as well.

  • Shard

    Mandy

    “A critIsism aimed at wenger in tHe days without dein is that he has not been ruthless enough, or maybe he just demonstrates humanity.”

    While I agree that Wenger demonstrates humanity, I disagree that this ‘humanity’ is somehow at loggerheads with being ruthless in the management sense.

    But what I basically disagree with is that Dein is relevant to that seeming change. I think it’s simply to do with the reality of the situation. Wenger couldn’t afford to be ruthless, so he did his best to coax the team towards success. If Wenger is ruthless in shipping out e.g. Denilson, he has to go out and buy another player, which Arsenal could ill afford. So he sticks with Denilson and teaches him. He sticks with Song and teaches him. It has very little to do with the player’s feelings (except that Wenger must have seen the talent and the desire in them) and more to do with where the club were and what the club needed to do. As the club’s spending power grows, we’re probably seeing the return of the more ruthless Wenger.

    Do you think Alex Ferguson would be as ‘ruthless’ with his players if he didn’t have the luxury of buying another quality player, and of keeping the junked player in the reserves if necessary? I don’t. Unless he really can’t help the nasty side of his character.

  • Tasos

    Today’s article from the Racing Post’s excellent editor, Bruce Millington.

    “ANGRY GUNNERS FANS NEED TO CONSIDER BIGGER PICTURE”.

    “Arsenal have won nine, drawn two and lost one of their last 12 league matches, which is exactly the sort of thing they tend to do just after people have decided, following an uncharacteristically poor run of results, that they are destined for relegation and that Arsene Wenger is an imbecile”.

    “It is currently no bigger than 4-11 that they will finish in the top four, thus qualifying for the CL for the 15th consecutive season”.

    “This impresses Me. It doesn’t, however, impress all the Arsenal fans, not by any means. A protest is planned for Sunday’s match at home to Man Utd, partly, it seems, because supporters object to the clubs plans to sportingly applaud the new champions on to the pitch, partly to express residual anger over RVP’s transfer to United, and partly to object to the way Arsenal’s board conduct their affairs”.

    “The mood among those unhappy Gooners was summed up by a phone-in contributor who fumed this week “They are running the club as a business. I want them to run us as a football club”.

    “It is understandable that some supporters are frustrated that Arsenal do not win trophies as frequently as they used to, but this season they are on course to perform every bit as well as they have in each of the last six seasons, when they had Cesc and RVP and so many other star names whose sale so offended the fans”.

    “In other words, it’s business as usual. Arsenal are unable to compete with the might of Man Utd and the phenomenally superior wealth of Man City and Chelsea, but they still achieve far more than the supporters of scores of other English clubs could ever dream of”.

    “And if the board sees fit to run Arsenal as a business, that’s to be applauded, not criticised. Fans of Portsmouth, for instance, would surely yearn to be able to turn back the clock and see a bit more business acumen used to prevent their dramatic slide down the divisions”.

    “QPR is currently being run in a way that many businesses would consider highly risky. Their future could be said to be far more uncertain than Arsenal’s”.

    “If Arsenal suddenly started signing far more expensive players and paying far bigger salaries it would not guarantee they would be able to compete for the title but it might destabilise them and lead those who believe the Gunners are currently in a poor state to regret their demands for the club to be run less sensibly”.

  • Stuart

    Tasos,
    Very good post with some valid points.
    I think the aggrieved fans that are calling for the club “to be run as a football club” are not being greatly realistic. It seems like a case that as they personally have nothing to lose, they are OK with all caution being thrown to the wind.

  • bob

    Shard,
    Is it known whether RVP/Dein actually invoked or threatened to invoke the Webster clause? To your knowledge, why, in this case, has this clause not been stated or reported in any media coverage? Or has it?

  • bob

    p.s. I seems that the name, letter and knowledge of the Webster clause and its actual or possible implications should be more widely understood/discussed hereabouts. That is, to better inform the fanbase? Or is it already so well known that i’m just asking for the obvious? (I don’t think so, but I’m a relative newcomer to football.) In the RVP case, a wider/better understanding of this Webster clause would have gone a certain distance to create a more informed debate on RVP – even though we typically can’t/don’t know whehter it was invoked or threatened to be invoked in this case. (Is it not invoked by gentleman’s agreement amongst the clubs; but might be invoked by the wantaway player and his agent?)

  • bob

    Arsenal aren’t poor, but Arsenal cannot compete with numbers like that.
    Shard,
    To finally return to the earlier thread: yeah I do have specific policy gripes, rather than a chronic a priori disposition to bash the management. One of several places where I take issue with AFC/HQ is in its decision (or majority decision internally) not to spend/purchase in either of the last two winter transfer windows. Two winter windows ago: The failure to spend on an overstretched defense when we faced four cup contention was a blunder of great magnitude that contributed to our crash outs in all competitions. This state of threadbare affairs was then well known, and many fans screamed and advocated for it, but nothing was done – and at a time when a vastly improving financial situation was just over the horizon and well understood from inside (albeit not literally in hand just then, but predictable and soon actualized). This past winter window: still not filling the need for the post-Song defensive midfield presence and for greater clinicality in the last third or for problems in the backline, they do not secure affordable help – except Nacho because forced to by injury. Those can be more thoroughly analyzed and specified, but, for my part, I’ve argued them ad nauseum on this blog. And we did agree to wait until the past winter transfer window which came and went without a (unforced) purchase. Something we’ve disagreed about with the mantra to wait until the next (this summer’s) transfer window when (hopefully, and I do harbor those hopes) when it’ll all come good. Again, there is serious talent to be had, especially in an economic crisis that impacts too many clubs, and no one can purchase all the talent that can make a difference. If there is the will and the capability to exercise it with the unsentimental ruthlessness that is needed to win a championship. I think, with money, it may well return to AW’s arsenal. And, perhaps we’d both hope for that.

  • Shard

    bob

    The Webster clause is also a relatively new development (I think something like 6-8 years ago?) Adam will know this better, but I think what it states is that any player, is entitled to cancel his contract with a club, by paying the club the amount of money he would have received as wages over the length of his remaining contract. The condition being that he must have signed his last contract with the club a minimum of 3 years ago. (For players over 28, this is a minimum of 2 years ago)

    In theory, any other club has nothing to do with it. The player can take this action unilaterally. In practice, no player is going to wave goodbye to untold riches (and instead pay a club) to become unemployed, without having a better paying job lined up. Hence, there exists a ‘gentlemen’s agreement between the clubs to not poach players off each other by use of this Webster ruling)

    No, we don’t know whether RVP threatened to use it (apparently Hleb did threaten to use it, but that’s also unverifiable)

    But we were talking whether Arsenal could LEGALLY hold on to RVP’s last contract year. Technically, we couldn’t be 100% sure of that legal right.

  • Adam

    But we were talking whether Arsenal could LEGALLY hold on to RVP’s last contract year. Technically, we couldn’t be 100% sure of that legal right.

    He still had a contract with the club and it would be down to RVP to prove he had just cause to terminate his contract whether in a protected period or not. A player cannot use the Webster clause to get more money, it doesn’t work like that. The rule is there for players who want game time or have been mistreated by their club neither of which happened with RVP. In fact he was offered a new contract or extension.

    The Webster clause is not for players such as RVP, he wouldn’t get away with it.

    What must also be considered is the laws of the country in which the contract was signed, and unless he had a clause inserted within his original contract then CAS wouldn’t have looked too favourably on his early termination.

    Please remember if he wanted to use the Webster clause, he would have a lot to prove, after all a contract is still a contract.

    ———————————————————–

    “In all cases, the party in breach shall pay compensation. Subject to the provisions of Art. 20 and annex 4 in relation to Training Compensation, and unless otherwise provided for in the contract, compensation for breach shall be calculated with due consideration for the law of the country concerned, the specificity of sport, and any other objective criteria. These criteria shall include, in particular, the remuneration and other benefits due to the player under the existing contract and/or the new contract, the time remaining on the existing contract up to a maximum of five years, the fees and expenses paid or incurred by the Former Club (amortised over the term of the contract) and whether the contractual breach falls within a Protected Period.” (4)

  • bob

    Adam, Shard,
    This is vital and illuminating stuff. Really grateful for the clarification and thinking through some possible ramifications. Let’s revisit soonish. 🙂

  • bob

    Adam,
    What’s the larger agreement (and date) called to which the Webster clause belongs?

  • Adam

    bob, I don’t understand the comment above, please clarify,

    Cheers.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Shard, a Chelsea fan, why would you want that? So I could laugh at your support of an underachieving club? No, I detest Chelsea. If I gave up with Arsenal I’d pick Oxford as my club. Help the wife out with a real lost cause.

    Btw, I think we might be the new Liverpool. That is not win the league for at least two decades. Might win the CL though as even they’ve managed that in the last ten years.

  • Shard

    Adam

    Thanks for that. I wasn’t aware of those details. Important stuff.

  • Shard

    rupert

    I went in search of your radio free in Arsenal times, and my computer flashed with messages of malicious content on the site, so I left post haste.

    So, I couldn’t do any research on what the fellow claims. But I’ve been thinking about this alleged embezzling that the Arsenal board is up to. I don’t think it makes sense. If Arsenal were some huge corporation with revenues in the billions, it’s easy to comprehend something like that. But when we’re talking in the tens of millions, then it’s a little less likely. Why? Well, the accounts are published halfyearly and they are pretty straightforward. Arsenal are debtors so have banks monitoring accounts, and for a few million, the board, who deny themselves the legitimate right of dividends which could amount to the same money, are unlikely to do something illegal for it.

  • Shard

    as for the Chelsea bit, it was just a play on the word ‘pensioner’.

  • Adam

    No worries Shard we are all learning as we go, me more than most. I do worry that i’m turning into an anorak. I do believe there is so much more to say on this issue, but its mostly guess-work.

    Anyway, good day all.

  • Shard

    Adam

    Are you sure the Webster clause and the (I believe) FIFA ruling about a player having played at least 10% (?) of his club’s matches are linked?

  • Shard

    Although I’m not saying you said that… I just thought the Webster ruling didn’t have anything to do with the amount of time a player spent on the pitch, so I’m trying to learn. Thanks.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Shard, you should google sportnetworkarsenal and Arsenal Times should appear.

    Not saying I agree with Radio Free but he doesn’t half witter on about it. To be honest I got so tired of it that I usually ignore his posts now so his original arguments and all the twists and turns in them have vanished from my brain. He was giving me a headache.

    I got your Chelsea joke. I sincerely hope I live long enough to see us win another league title.

  • Adam

    The specifics, I’m still learning as we go,as far as I know a player must hand his notice in a few days after the last competitive match of the season. The amount of games he/she plays only comes in to effect as a reason for terminating a contract early (for sporting reasons) they can get away with that.

    RVP’s situation was different as you know.

    I’m open (as always) to making mistakes, and I’m sure I’ve made loads. But my interpretation is; A player must have solid reason’s for terminating early and just moving clubs to win trophies or more money isn’t for sporting interests.

    Otherwise we would have seen this clause used time and again already.

    A contract is still a contract.

    If RVP wanted out he would have to prove he was mistreated, and good luck with that. That’s why I think we got £25 million for him. Ferguson knew FIFA & CAS wouldn’t back RVP. It would have opened the flood-gates to all other players wanting out early and football would have no stability and the lawyers and agents would have free reign.

  • Shard

    Maybe if you stopped worrying so much, and stopped being so cynical about what you love, you’ll have a longer life 🙂

  • Shard

    Adam

    Am I to gather you don’t hold this gentlemen’s agreement as very gentlemanly? 😀