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17 years on: Wenger’s five magnificent summer signings (and how Mr Wenger survived).

By Tony Attwood

The notion of “new players” ought to be simple – but it isn’t.  The “spend some fucking money” group and the “spend spend spend” (or “Please can you show me on TV?”) group with their little pieces of paper saw “new players” measured in one light only.  “How much?”

If the player didn’t cost enough, he wasn’t worthy of Arsenal and thus didn’t count.

I guess much of this goes back to the comment we tracked down to 2007 when Mr Wenger not only said why, if he was given a transfer fund of £100m he would give it back, but much more importantly, why he would do so.  The first bit was remembered, the second has been forgotten.

But still, the simplistic “he’s only new if he costs” approach, means we bought one, Mesut Özil.

However the form of Flamini, whose returned was greeted by many with underwhelming enthusiasm, has shown that although on a free, he really should be counted as a significant transfer.  He made his debut for us on 20 December 2003 and has since his return been a powerhouse.  Given that he can play centre back and defensive midfield, there’s a double bonus there, meaning that Sagna won’t be called upon always as the fourth centre back when needed.

So Mathieu Flamini and Mesut Özil.  That’s two.  Then there’s Yaya Sanogo.  Mr Wenger obviously thinks very highly of him, but he hardly had any chances before he got his injury.  I’ll take a punt on that one and say he is our third.

And because I love to stretch meanings, I am adding two more.   Most obviously Serge Gnabry’s who cost all of £100,000 (so obviously useless in the SSFM view and anyway didn’t actually join until he was 16 in 2011.  (I actually recall one web site talking about “wasting more money on useless kids” at the time, but I think they must have taken that down, or been removed in full, since I can’t find it now.)

Anyway, Stuttgart must be kicking themselves.  He played for the first team on 26 September 2012 against Coventry, and as we all know Theo’s indisposition has brought him to the very forefront of things.

If he had been hailed as a wonderkid and cost us £10m instead of £100k and come straight in this season he would have been hailed as a triumph.  Because he came as a 16 year old and played in the youth and reserve team, he’s not counted.  Where’s the sense in that.

Mathieu Flamini, Mesut Özil, Yaya Sanogo, Serge Gnabry, and …

… the young man who played against Galatasaray in the Emirates Cup, and was named in the first-team squad for season 2013/14, despite this actually being his first-year as a scholar in the academy.  So young he doesn’t even have a Wiki page, although not so young that he can’t pick up an injury.  He’s out for another four weeks.

The Telegraph said, “If you haven’t heard of Gideon Zelalem: he is a child. … Perhaps he’s not just a common-or-garden Wenger prodigy but an actual genius who’s going to come on and score a hat-trick.”

Even the Mail got in on the act saying, “If Zelalem features for Arsenal before mid-December, he will become the club’s youngest ever player.”

But we bought him from Olney Rovers, he’s 16, and well, he didn’t cost £1 billion.  So?

So my view is that is our summer transfer list: Mathieu Flamini, Mesut Özil, Yaya Sanogo, Serge Gnabry, and Gedion Zelalem.  And I think that is a sensational summer haul.  It is just a shame that with their allies in the media, the anti-Wengerians took over the agenda and denied that most of these players were even brought in at all.

But of course the Arsenal Supporters Trust (of whom I am delighted to say, I have now been told I am not a member) wrote to the board saying that Mr  Wenger had “far too much power”, ignoring what he could use that power to do.

Black Scarf Movement said (according to the press, so they may have got it wrong) “there hasn’t been a poisonous atmosphere like this at Arsenal for over 30 years” because of lack of investment in the squad.

But, it seems to me, such a situation was of their own making.  They (AST and BSM) created the atmosphere and the tension, while Arsenal signed four brilliant players in Mathieu Flamini, Mesut Özil,  Serge Gnabry, and Gedion Zelalem, and a fifth who might well turn out to be excellent, but we don’t really know yet, in Yaya Sanogo.

(I could also suggest Ramsey is like a new signing, but he was really improving amazingly in the second half of last season so that would be a bit silly, and Untold is never thus).

We have just won nine straight games in all competitions and 12 straight away games (both including in the counting the WBA Capital One Cup match, which I include for clarity of numbering).

And we have done that with injuries to Theo, Podolski, Ox, Rosicky, Cazorla, Vermaelen, and Diaby.

Now it is true we have only played one of the top teams in the league this season thus far – and we beat them 1-0.  So we have have to wait until we play Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Southampton and the like before we know just how good we are.

So while we have been very unlucky with injuries, we have been a little fortunate over the schedule.  And just as the matches get tougher, so the injured should return.  I am particularly waiting to see how Özil and Cazorla are played in the same team.  With Ramsey and Jack.

Anyway, last time around when this happened, Stan Kroenke has said the new Wengerian contract will be signed, and Mr Wenger has said much the same.  I expect more of the same when Mr Wenger makes his speech, as always without notes, to the AGM.  3% of shareholders will raise their discontent and vote against the board as they did last year and the year before, and the press will talk of a “major uprising against the board”, and that will be that.

So Mr Wenger has done 17 years in the job, and tomorrow, 1 October, the Arsenal History site will note the day journalism died.  The day, when, Mr Wenger having been in the job a day or so, saw the finest sporting journalists in the land having their darkest hour while providing Manchester United fans with their most appalling, disgusting and obnoxious chant of all time.   They (the journalists) having lost that war, have been on the attack ever since.  It is a wonder Mr Wenger is still here, still bringing in the transfers still seeing off the journalists, the AST and the BSM.

I doubt that you will find any other web site, and certainly no newspaper, mentioning the events of that day 17 years ago tomorrow.  Yet the events should be mentioned, because it showed exactly what journalists in this country are all about, and what the owners of newspapers encourage them to do.  It really was the day the press finally died.

As we learned from Silent Stan this week, Mr Wenger still takes all the training sessions, and still has total control over the club in the way that the Arsenal Supporters Trust dislikes so much.  He is still by far the most successful Arsenal manager.  (If you want to argue with that just look at the History Society analysis of managers.  Scroll down (it you are impatient and don’t want to read it all) to the final table which analyses managers by the number of games managed and the success rate. That gives the answer.)

Thank goodness Mr Wenger did survive the onslaught this summer.  And if you are in any doubt, just look at those new players and think: what other manager could have delivered that group?

  • Mathieu Flamini,
  • Mesut Özil,
  • Yaya Sanogo,
  • Serge Gnabry,
  • Gideon Zelalem

From where I sit, it’s looking good.

See also…

The books…

49 comments to 17 years on: Wenger’s five magnificent summer signings (and how Mr Wenger survived).

  • Very well written and thoughtful piece. Unlike like some bloggers that take the lazy and easy way out by stirring lies of Arsenal being linked to every player on the planet just get hits. Once again well done to the writer of this article, very refreshing and please keep up the good work.

  • Matt Lanna

    Don’t forget the Italian International keeper we signed on loan. As second or third choice it is an excellent signing of a mature player and no fuss is made because the media have no idea who he is!

  • rantetta

    Superb, Tony.

    I’ll add a link, if I may:

    In Arsène, Arsenal Utterly Trusts (NY Times)
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/30/sports/soccer/30iht-soccer30.html?_r=1&

  • colario

    Hello Tony.

    You say that Gedion Zelalem came from Olney Rovers. Would that be Olney in Buckinghamshire?

    A good article. On the Beeb I have heard it said that Arsene has now been at Arsenal for 17 years.

    When we read what the pundits and alike tell Arsene what he should and shouldn’t do, we can only conclude that they are as ignorant about Arsene now as they were 17 yeaars ago when he was appointed and cried out in unison ‘Arsene who?’

    I could not believe that headline. All it did was show the questioners ignorance of football in main land Europe where Arsene was already one of the best managers in Europe. In ‘little England’ We didn’t know who he was!

    Thank you Arsene for the past 17 years. Another 17 years would be great but I would settle for another 7 years if 17 proves too much.

  • colario

    Rantetta. Just read the article. Its a great tribute. I can not imagine an English journalist writing an appreciation like that. If he/she did it wouldn’t get pass the English media censurer that only approves negativism.

  • ande

    As you put it Tomy momentum of course, is key, but a caveat needs to be made for the purposes of perspective. we have gained 15 points from our 6 games. In the equivalent matches in 2012-13, we had 18 points and still finished 16 points off first place. So, although it is very pleasing to be clear at the top of the league, it’s early days. That’s not to put a damper on what we have acheived but what we must do is to continue beating the teams they should, which has happened in the Premier League so far this season with the exception of the first fixture.

  • marcus

    Good piece. I notice a certain amount of clarity returning to mainstream media. Kilbane described Ramsey’s legbreaker as an “appalling tackle”, which none of the MOTD punters had previously ever been able to manage.

    Carragher has gone as far as to suggest a nationwide Pro-Wenger support campaign. I like it, we could become the only club which is better supported by the opposition than some of its own ‘fans’.

  • graham clarke

    Arsenal are attacked by sky sports regularly and for years past they do it putting words in peoples mouths having a go at the club and players when match is on until it becomes clear arsenal are going to win this takes a toll on arsenal supporters that can’t think

  • Pete

    Colario – To be fair, Rob Hughes is an English journalist with a long track record in the mainstream English media. Obviously writing favourable articles about Arsenal gets you exiled ;-).

    More strangely, Myles Palmer (ANR) claims to be close buddies with him – so something doesn’t add up there!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Superb link to that article Rantetta!

    Two great articles on the same day 😉

    Two more games before the international break. Come lets give it all Gunners!

    And then start the cross your fingers period for a week… 🙁

  • Ande, you said,

    we have gained 15 points from our 6 games. In the equivalent matches in 2012-13, we had 18 points

    I don’t think that’s right. Our first six league games last season were

    Sunderland 0-0
    Stoke 0-0
    Liverpool won 2-0
    Southampton won 6-1
    Man City 1-1
    Chelsea lost 1-2

    That is two wins, three draws and one defeat = 9 points. This year it is five wins and one defeat = 15 points

    The goals are interesting though. Last year we got ten, with the bulk coming in that Southampton game. This year we’ve no high scoring game, and scored 13.

  • ARSENAL 13

    oh and Tony you forgot, Aresne Wenger doesnt do tactics. He just knows one way of playing football. And he is……wait a minute. How come he is in charge???And how did he do 17 years….

    These managers turned pundits couldnt manage a club for more than 2-3 years and they judge a man who lives and breathes football.

  • PJ

    I hope Gideon will get his spot in league cup. Arsenal 1st team midfield will be too crowded when he fully recovers.

    But I think the young guns midfield is already full too. so it will be interesting to see the young players showing their potential to their manager.

  • elkieno

    Congrats Arsene Wenger…
    Our legend above all legends, regardless of this seasons outcome if it proves a ‘drought breaker’ or not.
    Well written Tony.

  • Shakabula Gooner

    Should we say it now? Or should we have said it on Saturday? Or should we wait until tomorrow? HAPPY 17th BIRTHDAY @ ARSENAL, Arsene!

  • The same corresponding fixtures last season 2012-13:

    Arsenal 2 Aston Villa 1
    Fulham 0 Arsenal 1
    Arsenal 5 Spurs 2
    Sunderland 0 Arsenal 1
    Arsenal 1 Stoke 0
    Swansea 0 Arsenal 2

    For 12 Against 3 Pts 18

  • nicky

    In addition to our 5 magnificent signings, we have Messrs Cazorla, Giroud, Podolski and Monreal starting their second term in the EPL (when experience tends to show).
    AND the return, soon, of our sick and wounded by way of Rosicky, Chamberlain, Walcott and Vermaelen.
    Truly, our cup runneth over….I think.
    Arsene will begin to have an embarrassment of riches in selecting an eleven and we will all feel sorry for him.

  • Shakabula Gooner

    Sky did a piece on Saturday on Arsene Wenger, identifying 17 significant things that make him unique. It included lying about seeing stuff his boys were up to in the field.
    However, there are many things it didn’t include, which I thought belonged to the top 17.
    To me, it includes the following:
    1. Development of the Arsenal franchise into becoming a top4 earner in the international football world.
    2. Anelka’s sales to Real Madrid funding our training ground.
    3. Development of all those facilities including the stadium that has made Arsenal the favorite place to visit for international clubs, etc as well as one of the most supportive places for the development of players’ footballing talent.
    4. His super mentoring attributes that keep most ex-players nurturing a deep nostalgia over their relationship with the club.

    I bet Untold readers can do better than I have done here.

  • Matt

    Who has had anything bad to say about Gnabry and Zelalem?
    They have been touted as great talents for the last 2 years and no fan i know has anything but good things to say about them just because they didn’t cost a billion.

    By this understanding is Jack disliked aswell? Cesc,Anelka,Adams & Gibbs ????

    Most fans enjoy young players coming through but just wanted them suplemented to by the odd signing of world class talents just like all the big clubs.

    What about the goalkeeper? For a supposed face based blog this place is littered with errors. This blog isn’t part of reality.

  • Oh I see, sorry. It’s done by corresponding fixtures, rather than first six fixtures. Sorry, didn’t realise.

  • ande

    You got it Tony. Hopefully, with this wafer thin squad, we can avoid any more injuries, but tiredness and the stress of constant playing will take its toll sooner rather than later. So pathetic to hear the groans of AVB last week- how many of his squad are injured compared to ours and how many did they rest in their last Europa League match? If you don’t want to play in the European version of the League Cup, throw the game as the twitch did a few seasons ago. Now onto Napoli- which worries me. We need to win, but as much as a lot of people laugh at Benitez, he does have a pedigree as a Cup manager over the years- I just hope we are fresh enough on Tuesday, understandably, we looked a bit leggy yesterday and in between Napoli and Dortmund, we have two more internationals for all our players unfortunately- damn them!

  • Ian Jenkinson

    @ Ande

    Do you like quoting almost word for word other peoples work? Your post was copied and pasted without permission from another article from another site and was not written by you (unless you are the original authour under a different name). And you didn’t even have the decency to credit the original author or produce a link to the original article. Plagiarism isn’t well thought about around these parts.

  • Armin

    Proud to be all 17 years around and witness transformation Arsene done. Not just transformation of Arsenal, but whole Premiership, if not European football.

    PS
    Hardly can wait to see how will anyone defend against Özil and Santi. Swansea could block Mesut and make it a bit harder for us to get ball to forward, but once Santi is there, I cant see how they going to block both.

  • Ian Jenkinson

    @ Tony

    Great article by the way! I wrote that myself…… 😉

  • JeremiahGooner

    I’m sorry but I couldn’t think of any top flight team that we have played so far this season. Certainly no team that has performed better than Arsenal over the last 17 years. As for Manchester United it seems that Moyes is only content if he puts them at the same level as Everton.

    For Arsene all that can be said is that you are unique. You have guided Arsenal from strength to strength and now, this year, it looks like our best chance to reap the rewards. Don’t leave Arsene and ignore the glory hunters because at the end of the day there is no-one around who could replace you. A bit like Fergie, replace Arsene at our peril.

  • marcus

    “wafer thin squad”

    Can you substantiate this remark please Ande?

  • Matt

    I see the bloggersphere cyber old-bill are out and about again.

  • rantetta

    Oh yes, the Italian goalkeeper, too.

    I’m so excited about young Gideon. His displays pre-season – were mouth-watering.

    Marcus, I too was surprised Killa used those words on MOTD, re Shawcrosses tackle. Maybe he’ll not go far with comments like that, me feels. After all, our one-time temporary manager, Stuart Bollux, seemingly has an ongoing career in anti-Arsenal commentary.

    And where were Lawrenson/Shearer/Hanson on Saturday’s MOTD?
    Someone told me Lawrenson has stepped down, or has been sacked. Is this true? (That info came from a Liverpool supporter whose info is usually incorrect anyway. This same guy simply repeats plundits cliché’s, i.e. “they’re trying to walk the ball into the net”.

    This mate says that to me while we sit in a pub – him pissed, me sober.

    And funnily enough, Guy Mobray was the BBC commentator for the Swansea – Arsenal match. As Giroud played the ball back to Ramsey, Mobray chirped, “Ramsey, they’re trying to walk it in…..”. I find this phrase insulting to Arsenal’s football, and it’s one of so very many such phrases/quips – spouted to make this wonderful club’s football seem useless and ineffective.

    Of course, Ramsey “shift-ed” and smashed the ball into the top corner even before Mowbray finished the phrase, so he continued, “they can do that, Arsenal. They have done it”. Hadn’t Ozil’s shot just been saved by the keeper? Why is it not acknowledged that players cannot always shoot if they can’t see a path into the goal? They’re not trying to walk the ball into the net, they’re trying to score a goal!

    Check from about 4:30 mins for those comments, or watch the whole Swans v Ars highlights, plus intw’s and analysis:
    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x15b468_swanarsmtd_news

    I’m delighted at Gnarby’s progress. I watched him at Reading during the 5-7 cup match, and that’s the thrill of watching Arsenal’s youngsters. How will they progress?

    Cast your mind back a few years – Theo would get chopped down time and time again. Shoulders would pop out, ligaments displaced, some “fans” would moan – ‘injury prone’, blah blah. Coming up to date we see that not only is Theo injured but the Ox is too. And yet we have this cheapo German playing 3 games in a week (and he’d played some under 21 stuff prior to this last week). Gnabry tries his best to not give the ball away or make mistakes, and yet every footballer makes mistakes – even those who’re experienced. Gnabry scored a Theo goal – side netting, far corner, innit?

    We’re top of the league, yes. I only hope it’s not the cue for people to start breaking our player’s legs or inflicting injuries on them – as has been the time honoured tradition when we’re doing well.

    On the other hand, we have a many players who can play, competently or better, in other positions. This bodes well.

    Forward, Arsenal.

  • marcus

    @Matt I am assuming this remark “I see the bloggersphere cyber old-bill are out and about again” is aimed at me

  • marcus

    @Rantetta What do you expect from the media? As has been said before, they have a lazy handbook guide to English soccer. Each club has a set of terms and terminology that are applied to that club. This creates a self-reinforcing authority viewpoint, because all media pundits regurgitate the same platitudes and dictums. So Arsenal are ‘easy on the eye’, ‘flatter to deceive’ ‘lack substance’ and so on ad nauseam.

    The same handbook of hegemonic thinking applies across the board of course; so in the Middle east you have “dictators” on one side and “sultans” and “sheiks” on the other side.

    Saudi Arabia is an extremely repressive regime, but they never refer to their leaders as dictators…….

  • Matt

    No Marcus.

  • AnonymousGun

    Emi is sad… you leaving him out ;(

  • SouthernGunner

    Great to see Gnabry come in & perform so well. Three games in a row & he’s impressed. Talks about baptism of fire! Has a bit of the Ox about him from what I’ve seen, & with his more experienced German compatriots around him ot help settle in, he has a lot of good people to continue learning from.

    As for Wenger, even Alan Sugar has recently called him the Leagues best manager, which is more respect than what a minority of “fans” have shown.

  • rantetta

    @Marcus

    “they have a lazy handbook guide to English soccer. Each club has a set of terms and terminology that are applied to that club.”

    Quite right. And lets face it, the “lazy” handbook isn’t even the worse of it. The out and out lies, plus omissions, re. The Arsenal – combined with constant slurs on Mr Wenger are too outrageous to behold – all of which happens to be the stuff the “bloggersphere cyber old-bill” could be using to negate certain people on here, whose “knowledge” and negative assertions – merely prove their anti-ness.

    Once Arsenal win the PL I hope somebody will write an article showing all of the lazy handbook phrases produced since the move to Ashburton Grove.

  • Ian Jenkinson

    No Marcus,

    It was aimed at me. I am here to serve and protect.

    Not really.

    @ Matt

    I just don’t like the idea of somebody copying and pasting the words of someone else and passing it off as their own.

    He wasn’t quoting the original author. He wrote it as though he was saying it himself. He even went as far as adding “As you put it Tomy….” Which i am guessing was meant to be “Tony” to make it look more authentic and that it came from him.

    That is just silly to me. Am i wrong?

    It is unfair to the original author and it is unfair to the people on here who have engaged in conversation based on “Ande’s” thoughts when it has already been debated as a topic on the site of the original article.

    Maybe it’s just me…..

  • Pete

    @Dougie.

    Can we please kill this “corresponding fixtures comparison” dead?

    One can not compare corresponding fixtures from one year to the next. Teams vary, injuries vary, pitch/weather conditions vary (Arsenal are generally better in warmer conditions, for example), referees vary (…) and – most importantly – form varies. Not just for Arsenal, but also for the opposition.

    For any particular game there are 3 possible outcomes: W/D/L. The probabilities of each can be estimated before hand – a good proxy is bookies’ odds – they are not in it to lose money. For an example, if the probabilities for the WBA(A) game are: Win 60%, Draw 20%, Loss 20% (they’re not, but I can’t be bothered to check) then the expected points outcome = (3 * 0.6) + (1 * 0.2) = 2 points.

    So, to see if form is superior to expectations you need to compare actual points against expected points. If expected points for the first 6 games was 10 points and this season is 12 points (again, I can’t be bothered to check pre-match odds for each game) then we are doing better than last season.

    Comparing corresponding fixtures is completely fallacious. It doesn’t prove anything because of all the variables listed above – just that Arsenal won those games.

    Another way of looking at is to check the average league position of all the teams we have played:

    Tottenham (3rd)
    Aston Villa (9th)
    Swansea (13th)
    Stoke (15th)
    Fulham (18th)
    Sunderland (20th)

    This is distorted because 5 of these teams have lost to Arsenal. Should probably eliminate the Arsenal results from the comparison. And 6 games is not a very big sample! But this does confirm we have had an easier start than average.

    I am not having a go at sceptics because the like-for-like comparison has also previously been used on this site (and elsewhere) to justify less good form.

    To sum up: Yes, Arsenal have made a better than expected start this season. Yes, Arsenal have had an easier opening sequence of fixtures than last season. But they are still likely to have outperformed the expected outcome for the first 6 fixtures this season.

    And Arsenal have done this with a high load of injury absence – even by our standards.

  • blacksheep63

    well said @Pete. If we had underperformed at the start of this season we would have had plenty of brickbats so, whilst its early days, we should credit the team for results we have achieved.

  • AL

    Gedion, Serge, Jack, Aaron, Theo, Alex, Yaya, Kieran, Carl; exciting times ahead indeed:)

  • Stuart

    Ande,
    So last season wasn’t bad afterall then eh!?!?!

  • Tomas

    Tony. Most fair minded Arsenal fans don’t care how much a player cost ,as long as he can improve the squad. Getting Flamini on a free was a great piece of business , not because he came without a transfer fee but because he was a known quantity and was exactly what Arsenal needed and “Oiks” like myself were calling for, perhaps even more so than Ozil. Seeking out young talent has always been a trademark of Mr. Wenger’s regime, so suggesting that some fans don’t appreciate those players( and the list is long) is disingenuous at best. It could be argued some of those players were put on too big of a contract in the past, before proving their quality and ultimately never really making it( that list is probably longer) thus contributing more to Arsenal’s lofty wage bill rather than on the field performance.As for an anti-Arsenal media bias, perhaps there is some but it’s been my experience that media go where the story is, and a negative story sells faster than a positive one( a fact that hasn’t gone unnoticed on UA).. Surely loosing to Bradford City and Blackburn Rovers in the same season qualifies as such a story, to point out just one example. While it is true that it is difficult for some writers and pundits to eat the humble pie ,after they were proven wrong by Mr. Wenger, I would attribute this more to breakdown of societal norms and inability of people to admit they were wrong, rather than malice. I seem to remember your rather lengthy post in which you stated as a matter of fact that Arsenal were never interested in Higuain but rather Mr. Wenger used him as a smokescreen to Ozil’s deal. Well, after recent statements from Mr. Wenger to the contrary , looks like you were proven wrong . I’m sure however, that in the spirit of journalistic integrity you are printing a retraction already. Take care.

  • bjtgooner

    AW managed the transfer market rather well this summer and strengthened the already good core with some astute new signings. The media hype directed at his apparently slow purchases was totally unjustified, it they who now have egg on their faces.

    As far as I am aware the disgraced AST leadership have not yet apologized (or I have not seen the apology) for their disgraceful statement, they should man-up or resign. As for the scum in the shadowy BSM – their purpose for existence defies credibility.

    Lets hope AW is around to steer the team to success for many more years.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Egg on their faces indeed bjt. I know things can change quickly, and some , even of our own are just waiting for us to falter but am I starting to detect the green shoot murmurings of a change of opinion of wenger from some quarters? Just seen rafa and alan sugar have called him the best coach in the league. We await the comments of piers moron on this issue.

  • Linz

    Tottenhams signings are better,sorry.

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    marcus; fully agree!
    The cliche-ing goes on and on.
    What of a political process where special interest controls who gets to stand for elections? Interestingly, the media that decide on our behalf, and against our will, who is a “good guy” and who is a “bad guy” are the same nefarious liars when it comes to football. They are dominated by Murdoch and his friends, a bunch of angry white men still fighting the cold war when it comes to politics, and deciding who, coach or player on the pitch, is to be liked or disliked when it comes to football. So here is my take on the AAA-Sky-Murdoch media material:
    “Arsenal dictator Arsene Wenger has decided to keep all the money for himself and his protector Stan Kroenke. His players are using illegal tactics, as usual. Aaron Ramsey, once famous for tackling Ryan Shawcross with two leg bones, is at it again, scoring illegal goals and dishing illegal assists. Meanwhile, Man United has been unfairly treated by the referees who should be ashamed as they have only awarded them a couple of penalties, as opposed to the usual baker’s dozen, and the customary own goals by opposing teams have mysteriously dried up. It must be a conspiracy! etc…”

  • WalterBroeckx

    of course they are Linz. You should always think that the team you support does the best deals. You are a loyal fan. I give you that.

  • marcus

    @Ray
    I did reply but it was erased…

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Tony , deleting ManUre ( partially , anyway !) from the ‘top ‘
    six (am including Everton here) was really naughty of you !
    Not that I ‘m complaining ,mind ! Wonder where they will be on November 9th ?