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Fatboy gets angry about not knowing Arsenal Reserves. I get angy over empty seats.

By Tony Attwood

Arsenal Reserves 1 Wigan Athletic 1 (4-2 on pens).

We’ve seen Arsenal Reserves labour before against more modest opposition, and of course everyone jumps on the bandwagon, doing the usual stuff about how poor Arsenal is, without actually bringing much in the way of new analysis to the situation.

And that situation is that Arsenal have suffered not just a set of injuries this season but a set of injuries to the key players who make the side work: Ramsey, Ozil and Walcott.

That trilogy is something else – so amazing that even when they were just getting to know each other and learn how to play together it worked beyond belief.  Take out one of them and we might have been able to keep our position at the top – but all three, no a chance.

Ramsey of course came back yesterday, but long before he was taken off he’d lost his sparkle – not least because he hasn’t played for so long.  That he was left on, was quite simply because we didn’t have many others on the bench to replace him with.

Wilshere, Walcott, Diaby, Gibbs, Gnabry, Koscielny, Ozil, Rosicky… that is quite a line up, and all missing.

It left the fat boy sitting behind Drew and I, and his father, fuming over the fact that they didn’t actually know who our centre forward was – and that seemed to them to be the ultimate crime.  Wenger playing a player who they didn’t know.

The fact that maybe, as fans with tickets for the semi-final, they ought to try and keep up, didn’t really seem on their minds.  So we all had fun – Drew, Ian, Ian’s sons, Walter and his pal from the Benelux club (whose, name I have totally forgotten – I’m sorry, I’m still not that good on Flemish names) – and they didn’t.  Maybe there is a psychologist lesson in that.  Or maybe it’s a weight issue.

There was a slight hint on the BBC that we heard on the way back from the match that maybe the question of why Arsenal always have so many injuries was a valid question – but then they quickly said, “but that’s a question for another day.”  It was as if the producer had rushed in and dragged his finger across his throat, or perhaps barked down the earpiece, “We DON’T ask that.”

And that’s how we are stuck.  No one asks.

Some of the answers are, of course, already known.   We get above average training ground accidents – not by any means the highest in the land, but above average.   But we also get not only above average, but by far the highest in the land, in terms of the level of contact injuries during matches.

Why we get these is two fold.  One is because we play a very fast game, and so sticking a leg out or lunging in two footed is just about the only solution that some players have.  What’s more, there are players who don’t like being made a fool of, by having a much faster player jink around you, and there are many many players who know that when playing Arsenal, there is every chance you can get away with it.

At worse, as Shawcross found, you can do a career threatening injury and just get three matches banned, plus a call-up for England.   At best, you get nothing.

The statistics that we have revealed on this site over the last few months are frightening, but they are there for all to see.

So what can Arsenal do?

Quite honestly it is difficult.  The simplistic solution is to bring in half a dozen top quality first team players, so that we have enough players to cover the injuries we are certain to get next season.

But there’s a double problem with that.

First, players are reluctant to come, knowing that they will be targeted for attack and will get precious little protection from referees.

Second when players realise that they are not being brought in as first choice players but instead as players who will step in when the inevitable injuries start, they back off.  What players want, simple little souls that they are, is a guarantee of a first team place.  Arsenal can’t give them it, because they know they are buying cover, and so the deal falls through.

And that’s before we get into the murky world of transfers.  This site has covered in depth, in a way that no other has done, the way in which many transfers are phantoms, invented to raise prices, mislead and manipulate the market.  If you want to go back to some of these, put “vapour transfer” in the search window, and you’ll find the articles.

But this year the matter got even more bonkers with Liverpool’s chief exec not only lying consistently concerning his player’s contract, as we had said regularly happened, but then brazenly coming out and admitting he lied, and bragging about it.

Transfers are difficult and made up of five parts all of which must work…

  • The player must want to leave
  • The player must want to come to the club that wants him
  • His club must want to sell him
  • No one in the chain of command must be lying
  • No one involved can be a crook.

The fact that the essence of the Barcelona youth policy of buying players has been shown to be bent (and if Fifa find it bent, you know it must be bent) shows just how dodgy the whole process has become.

So we have our injured, and we play our reserves – at least those who are not injured, and as a result we find it harder and harder to bring in players of the highest quality.

I guess the alternative is to play a slow game in the José Mourinho manner.  It would remind me a bit of the George Graham season in which the “boring boring Arsenal” phrase came about.  You might win some games, but it is win at any cost.

Anyway, the fat boy and his fat dad went away moaning, while the rest of us danced around at the penalty shoot out and cheered like mad afterwards.  Lots of players tweeted their happiness at the way the crowd responded, and that was nice.

As for Wembley, it was shocking.   There was some coverage of the fact that there were swathes of empty seats, but not of the fact that this happened to Arsenal in the Blackburn semi-final.  There were Arsenal people who could not get tickets, because they’d been given to Wigan who didn’t have a hope in hell of selling them.   At least 8000 red members could have got tickets if only Wembley and the FA had got their act together.

There was even a banner up about empty seats, although I suspect they didn’t show that on TV.

So we’re through, and we have another final which puts us top of the tree in terms of semi-finals (from quite a late start) and finals.  Details were on this morning’s article on the history site (www.blog.woolwicharsenal.co.uk)

 

83 comments to Fatboy gets angry about not knowing Arsenal Reserves. I get angy over empty seats.

  • lee

    Hi Tony
    Please could you tell me how many of the injured players that you have listed were contact injuries suffered during matches?
    The only one I can think of is Jack which was whilst playing for England.So if the rest were not suffered during matches surely we must be doing something wrong with regard to training and preparation,or are we just using our main players too much without rotation?(maybe due too lack of squad depth)

  • Jr gunzz

    Hey tony and others . Need help on getting my hands on two tickets for the final.im not a club member and sadly live in manchester. An advice will do coz I’m desperate (not for inflated price though)

  • Sammy The Snake

    Great tough win. It was nice to see the Arsenal play 4-4-2 for a change (or was it?).

    I’d really like to be at the stadium on May 17, anyone know a reliable selling agent on the net? I saw a few, but i’m not sure about their authenticity. Please help!

  • John L

    im loving the new media line that somehow winning the FA Cup is papering over the cracks, as this logic is applied to absolutely no one else.

    even if we were to miss out on CL next year, i still believe winning the FA Cup would be a step forward for the club. it would stop the flogging of our 9 year dead horse and most importantly it would be a huge psychological step for players like ramsey, wilshere, walcott, gibbs etc giving them a taste of success and the belief that they are indeed good enough to win trophies.

    it would also help us attract players in the off season, even without CL next year. like santi said recently, the club has a great foundation which players are aware of before coming, if we can add to that a brand new trophy and therefore ‘a winning mentality’ we become even more attractive.

    i just cant see how winning something, with all the pressure we are under for not winning anything, could possibly be a bad thing!

  • John L

    reading various blogs and media outlets after the game i couldnt help but get the impression that there was a few people that were rather disappointed that we won. the knives were out, the aaa was ready to banish wenger to the 7th realm of hell, and because of how much they want to ‘push the club forward’ they are obviously upset that we won a semi final.

    only in 2014 could something so hypocritical be thought of as ‘logic’….

  • Nick

    Yes the media have an agenda- shock, but hell we have handed them a narrative on a plate

    Yes we have lost three very good payers, but should should we have to rely on a young mam who almost gave to football to be a postman? No

    You are guilty as the very media bias you blast with this blinkered, myopic monlogue

  • John L

    @ nick,

    i actually thought sanogo did very well. he is by no means the finished article but his movement was smart, he worked very hard, he carved out a handful of half chances for himself, broke wigans defensive line once or twice and generally was a handful for the wigan defenders. if he had scored he would have been a hero….

    also, not alot of professional football players who have a horrific injury at a young age or simply dont make it go one to become doctors and lawyers….sanogo ‘becoming a postman’ is hardly indicaitive of his quality…

  • GooneressNo1

    @John L

    Those snivelling cowards in the media are having to scrape the very bottom of the barrel to come up with this. Anyone with half an active braincell can smell their desperation except of course the haters who rely on denial as a way to continue on the madness.

  • Gord

    @John L

    In line with your story, the BBC had an article about a young man from Mauritania who is in engineering school at Sussex, who is playing amateur football in the UK and has been a part of his national team. Heck, he even played in the game against my country’s “best” (Canada).

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/26868489

  • Nick

    @ John. That wasn’t meant as dig at Sonogo, he did have a reasonable game, especially considering he wasn’t exactly over serviced

    My point is trying to pretend all is well and blaming the meeeedja for writing bad stuff is as unbalanced as them

    Are we missing important players, absolutely. Do we have a big and good enough squad to compete, no and at the risk of causing more ire, Liverpool have played better gootball than us , on a small budget, with smaller, less talented squad

  • Nick

    Plus the idea that everyone who doesn’t agree with your view is a hater, is daft

    Most of us are neither AKB, or AAA

    I don’t care if we win trophies , or not, but I do want to see some intensity , desire and passion in our team and before you trot out some trite line about going to follow Citeh etc- j have been watching the team for thirty years at some points during which it was so piss poor we marched to get Don Howe back….. Really

  • dan

    @Nick

    LFC also have half the media on their side, just look at the BBC. The media also fails to mention the number of games the other contenders have played in Europe.

  • Nick

    The media are not to blame for the football we have played since February

    If the loss of Theo leaves our team so ridiculously slow any half decent team can press Ux high without any threat of a pact counter, then my friend out team is unbalanced

  • GooneressNo1

    Dan the media love-in with Liverpool is obvious as it is pathetic.

    Nick Arsene knows.

  • dan

    Wenger may be at fault for such a small squad, to contend with the league/domestic cups and Europe. However, as was it was spouted by the media “lose the dead-wood”, This summer we will sign quality over quantity, again, the same voices will be calling for more depth.

    LFC, have had the rub of the green, today Skirtel literally punched the ball away, but guess what? Nothing has been said the media, all is fair in love and war when it’s LFC!!!

  • Nick

    Dan if you think the ref didn’t give it because it was LFC then you are bonkers

    Gooneressno1 I am no sure anymore, he has done so much for us that I hope he does, but I think he will step down at the end of the season anyway

  • John L

    @ nick,

    i realize your dig was directed more towards wenger but in turn youve also had a go at a young up and coming player at arsenal, which as a fan i just cant understand or let slide. especially when he gave his all, check out the picture of him heaving during the penalty shoot out. utterly disrespectful towards a kid whose worked his ass off for the arsenal under difficult circumstances throughout the season.

    also, no one has said that ‘all is well’ or that the squad cant possibly be improved upon. as a matter of fact we did try to sign a striker, we just werent able to get exactly what we wanted or felt we needed. so we saved our money and will continue to wait until we do. if it was your money, could you really argue against that? if im shopping for a car but cant find exactly what i want, for the price i want…i dont just go right ahead and buy any old thing. i walk away, do some more research, find a different dealer, wait until i have exactly what i want, need and can afford. i do this because i wont have money to buy another car for a long time…

    also, liverpool have played some very good football this year no doubt about it. but they actually have spent an awful lot of money to put that team together. how quickly people forget the spending of 100 million. they have performed above expectations this year, and good on them. but the idea that they put this team together on a small budget is bollocks. they have spent more that arsenal over the past couple of years.

  • dan

    Wenger ultimately will lose the battle, so many poisoned minds have already judged him. The voice of his support quieten, he is in twilight of his role at Arsenal. 1/2 yrs the club will look for a new man, the media wont give the respect he deserves.

    Under Wenger, Arsenal are recognised club/brand world over, a fan base which has trebled, flair football and class. A transition from our humble Highbury to the Emirates, on shoe string budget guiding us to Europe’s elite competition, We are here because of him.

    Should he been of British nationality, believe me, he would of been the best thing since sliced bread.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Maybe we should do like Liverpool and Everton: don’t play in Europe for a season, get yourself dumped out cup competitions as soon as possible and then you have all the time in the world to focus on the PL.

    It might help in reducing the injuries also.

    Nah, bad idea 😉

  • dan

    @Nick

    Believe me, the media would not let it lay if that was our defender. Could you imagine the Motd pricks?

  • @Tony thanks for the piece, i just wonder where the sewer rats are!! If we had been beaten ooh my gash it would be disaster in here. But guess what the media or whore-lists will get on us like if we win it,The arsenal has not won the premiership for i don’t how long.They don’t deserve the FA cup they deserve more than that. Blah blah blah and then wining the FA it will not be a story and it will never be on the papers for 2 days.
    But anyway who cares, the chat room is not hazardous the air is so fresh and the ruperts and there devils friends are gone what a lovely site.

  • @Tony thanks for the piece, i just wonder where the sewer rats are!! If we had been beaten ooh my gash it would be disaster in here. But guess what the media or whore-lists will get on us like if we win it,The arsenal has not won the premiership for i don’t how long.They don’t deserve the FA cup they deserve more than that. Blah blah blah and then wining the FA it will not be a story and it will never be on the papers for 2 days.
    But anyway who cares, the chat room is not hazardous the air is so fresh and the ruperts and their devils friends are gone what a lovely site.

  • GooneressNo1

    @ Nick

    I have to disagree strongly with your opinion that Arsene will ultimately lose the battle.

  • dan

    @GooneressNo1

    It’s inevitable, call it media propaganda, call it the times. Wenger has been the fall guy, yesterday during the match our belated ITV camera’s zoomed in the crowd of agitated but clearly disproving the substitution of Podolski fans.

  • oh im sorry for that.

  • Josif

    Mr Attwood, as a man with glasses to another man with glasses, I’d like to ask you something: what if that “fatboy” or his father have a blog and they refer to you as a “four-eyed”? I know I wouldn’t like it.

    Unless, of course, the whole story was just an allegory that suggests every person that doesn’t agree with Arsene Wenger is a fat ignorant.

    And, Piers Morgan aside, it’s not true.

  • nicky

    Tony,
    I’m sure your readers would like to know how you coped food-wise during your long day from the near Midlands to Wembley Stadium. Were the pies of substance or did Mrs A make you some delicious sarnies (with a Penguin for afters)?

  • Florian

    Nick @ 6:41pm:

    It’s not the loss of Theo, it’s the loss of Theo and another 4 midfielders that thinned down our squad to the barebones. Otherwise, your statement is just taking things out of context, and that is manipulative at best, and malevolent more often than not. Most important, that is not a fan’s attitude. YAAAP 🙂

    I also saw Skrtel’s punch in the replays, and I couldn’t believe my ears when the pundits on NBC excused him saying it was unintentional. LFC had everything working for them this season. Can’t wait to see them in the next one. And the saddest thing is that it was Clattengurg of all people who let him get away with that, as he did with Suarez when he dived a few meters in front of him for a free kick, while already being booked.

    Ok, off with the rants, we are going to the finals! COYG!

  • AL

    Sanogo was immense yesterday, I think he was probably the next best player after the Ox on the whole pitch. Ok, if Per hadn’t given away the pen he would obviously have been a close second.

    The media love in with Liverpool is sickening. I couldn’t believe it hearing the sky pundits say Dzeko didn’t fall properly in order to win a penalty. FFS, is there a right or wrong way to go down in the penalty box? And what kind of message is that sending to the kids? Skrtle punched the ball and nothing given. Lost count of the number of times Suarez dived with Clattenburg choosing to talk to him instead of brandishing the mandatory yellow for a dive that would have seen him off. And has anyone noticed how there have virtually been no stories about Suarez diving all season? This was a guy that could hardly go for a week last season without controversy, he was in the papers every Monday morning for the wrong reasons, mainly for diving. Are we supposed to believe he’s undergone a complete transformation in a space of a few months? Ok, he may have cut out the diving, but what about the 13 penalties that Gerard has taken this season alone, where have they come from? How many of those has Suarez contributed? I’d say more than half. He’s no longer a sinner because his antics might just win Liverpool their first title in 25 years. Most neutrals (myself included) would prefer for liverpool to win it over the oil clubs, but the way liverpool are being handed the title is leaving a sour taste in the mouth. its never good if refs and the media hand the title to any one team, we don’t want to have another utd in the making. Part of me thinks he’s now getting positive media coverage because he ‘shunned’ Arsenal, so it must be made to look like it was the best decision ever made by any footballer.

  • dan

    According to the bullshitters only known to the tabloids, Arsenal will have a major over haul this summer.

  • dan

    AL

    LFC winning the league is the worst thing for football not just in this country, but the footballing world. A club which wallows with the victimisation of the fallen 96, yet fails to acknowledge Hysel.

    If we did sign Suarez, the media will cry “Wenger must stop all this diving”, also we wouldn’t be awarded any penalties to start with.

  • nicky

    @Al,
    With respect I think you go too far with your comments on Sanogo. He is raw ,clumsy and inexperienced and barely deserves a place in the first team.
    I think Arsene plays him now, because he disturbs any opposing defence by his presence, which allows our attackers a bit more space.
    And before you write me off as defeatist, I feel Sanogo is a real prospect who in due time could be our main striker for years to come. He has weight, height and speed which, when harnessed, will be a force to envy. As long as he avoids longterm injury.

  • bjtgooner

    @Al

    I agree with your comments about Diverpool & the media love in – it was rather disgusting to hear their comments today & remembering some of the soft penalties given against us! Yet more evidence of the press covering up for the PGMOL.

    I also note that the press having criticized the Arsenal team and fans for celebrating their win yesterday were strangely quiet as Hull celebrated their equivalent win today!

  • AL

    Yes, Suarez to Arsenal would’ve been hell, dan. He had expressed his desire to leave England because of the media, so you can imagine what that would’ve meant for both parties….

  • GooneressNo1

    Dan the only thing that is inevitable is the fall of this evil, degenerate empire.

  • Gianni Dioro

    @lee – Regarding Arsenal players injured while being fouled in matches this season. I remember these, there could be more:

    Oxlade Chamberlain – fouled in the Aston Villa match; out 5 months

    Ramsey – fouled as he passed the ball against West Ham, ref played advantage, Ramsey limped off a minute later; out 3 months

    Walcott – Fouled by Bentaleb who should have been sent off for studs to the achilles, Ref ignored or didn’t see the foul. Walcott collapsed a minute later; out 6 months

    Wilshere – fouled by Agger in a “friendly” match, probably should have been sent off, but wasn’t booked. Out an estimated 6 weeks

  • Gord

    A Food Report

    As none of the Untold Arsenal staff on hand at Wembley driving Arsenal forward for the win have submitted a food report, I have a totally unrelated food report.

    Two parts, baked potatoes and bread. Both stuffed.

    Baked Potatoes

    The typical stuffed baked potatoe recipe requires one to bake a potatoe, wait for it to cool a while, cut the top off,
    scoop out some of the cooked (soft) innards, make some kind of mashed potatoes with the innards, and then put the innards back inside the cavities of the baked potatoe for further cooking (usually broiling). For those that like potatoe skins, excess filling goes on top of the “top” of the potatoe which was cut off, and also broiled. Two meals from one potatoe.

    You can cut the top off a potatoe raw. Scooping out a cavity in the raw potatoe takes a pretty strong melon baller. The various pieces of raw potatoe can be cooked in some way, and I will ignore that.

    You can fill the potatoe with anything, and then bake the potatoe and its contents. Cooking vegetables typically takes the highest temperatures to effect desirable culinary changes. A potatoe nominally has a lot of water in the flesh, and consequently in cooking our “stuffed potatoe”, we are nominally steaming the stuffing.

    I have looked at various versions of ground beef for stuffing. You want to cook the potatoe until the internal temperature of the meat hits the proper value. Potatoes with thin walls take longer to get to that temperature, than potatoes with thicker walls. So, you won’t find a time recommendation, cook the potatoe as long as you have to.

    But, your significant other comes home for dinner, and you present them with a plate containing a lowly potatoe. And that is all. And they immediately think of how teams like Stoke and Wigan play football. But you persevere, and tell them to cut into the potatoe. And the immediately notice that the potatoe is stuffed, and full of lots of flavours and nutrition that they weren’t expecting. Sort of like Arsenal, a balance of standard fair and European flair.

    What haven’t the French experimented with in cooking? You can cook in paper bags, you can cook in salt, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some French person hasn’t claimed that the practice of cooking food wrapped in large leaves is due to them. This French person might even have a surname of Wenger, who knows?

    Arsene Wenger did not give me this recipe. I did see a French influence. But, you can cook a chicken inside a loaf of bread.

    The recipe works with a bread dough derived from sourdough. I had a sourdough starter last winter and before. It was the laziest sourdough starter you could imagine. All sourdough starters are talented, but my starter was like Matt Le Tissier. So a month or so ago, I started following a recipe to make a sourdough starter to produce a better starter. And as near as I can tell, my new starter is like Olivier Giroud. Consistent; you give my starter 12 hours, he more than doubles the volume. You add an ingredient which has a preservative meant to kill a small amount of yeast, and it keeps coming through. Most sourdough starters expect to be fed some kind of flour, and this one has twice flourished on getting shredded coconut instead of flour. Just like Giroud doing a bang up job at Arsenal. (And it looks like Sanogo could be heading the same way.)

    The first time you do any recipe, especially one that is largely made up, you will find room for improvement. Why report on the problems? Mention the problems in passing, report on likely solutions.

    How much dough you need to make, depends on how big a bird you are cooking.

    As I was just developing my starter, every 12 hours or so, I needed to discard half of my starter and add more flour and water. Well instead of pouring this down the drain, I put the discard into a bowl. As we are just seeing spring now in NW Alberta Canada, average daily temperatures are close to 0, as is my kitchen.

    I probably had about 6 feedings of starter to work from, which in my circumstance is about 4 cups of flour. And some of this flour had been undergoing digestion by yeast of more than a couple of days. The components of gluten aren’t digested by yeast, and so a person sees considerable gluten development in the starter if one is using high protein flours for food. At about the second addition, I started adding rye flour to the “discarded” starter, to develop the sourness. This should tend to decrease gluten development, but it was hard to tell.

    Come the day to cook the Spur (oops, the chicken), a person needs to prepare the spud/chicken and the dough. Thyme and sage are typically part of poultry seasoning, and so I added a heaping teaspoon of both (old powdered) to my dough. Mixed it in thoroughly. For flour, I added a little multigrain bread flour, but mostly dark rye flour. As I had no idea how much flour and water I was working with, you need to do this “by feel” (sort of like determining who to substitute and when in a football match, which AW does very well).

    The next time, I will make a little more dough than I did this time. And I will divide the dough into two packages: with one being about twice the other.

    The stomach cavity of any animal (including birds) is a likely place for high bacteria concentrations (bad stuff). Sort of like asking ‘Arry’ to manage your team.

    When I went to the store to get a strong onion to put in the stomach cavity, I was also looking for garlic (to put roasted garlic inside the onion). That day, you couldn’t buy just single heads of garlic, the smallest you could get was 3 heads of garlic. I only used 1 head of garlic, but I would use all 3 the next time. Cut the very top off the garlic, drizzle in some olive oil, back in convection oven (like my toaster oven) for 3 hours or so at 225F.

    I peeled the dry skin off the onion, cut the onion _almost_ into quarters (anchored on the root), took out some of the innermost onion, and put the roasted garlic “paste” in the center. I reassembled the onion into a sphere, and placed it into the stomach cavity.

    As mentioned above, birds have bacteria in their stomach cavity, nominally like how ‘Arry’ hangs around football teams. If the pH of the stomach cavity is low, bacteria are unlikely to grow. One way to get the pH low, is to add segments of citrus (lime, lemon, orange) to fill the stomach cavity after adding the roasted garlic filled onion. Citrus is a sunshine fruit, and it is appropriate that the addition of light reduces the effect of ‘Arry’.

    Citrus has other things. The rind of citrus is high in limonene, and probably other quaternary amines. Scrape the rind off your citrus before putting the segments between the onion and the stomach cavity walls. Push the citrus rind between the skin and the flesh of the chicken.

    Okay, our chicken has all the additions it needs. Get a pan large enough for the bird, and oil it. Spread out the smaller ball of dough on the bottom of the pan. Place the bird in the center of the pan. Spread the larger ball of dough evenly overly the bird, and using water and pinching, “weld” the top dough to the bottom dough.

    The original recipe I leaned on, was 1.5 hours at 360F. I cooked mine 1.5 hours at 350F (10F cooler). I carefully cut the top off the bird and removed it. A temperature probe to the thigh showed the bird was not yet cooked. So, I cooked the bird another 20 minutes (or so) at 350F with no cover (bread) on the bird. Which brought the thigh temperature to the desired endpoint.

    After cooking (and cooling), you need to remove the bird from the bread. The bird needs to be carved or disassembled (you can make chicken stock from the carcass). But, the “bottom” of the loaf of bread needs further cooking, to dry up all the water and juices inside the bottom of the loaf.

    If you make soup from the carcass, the “bread skin” makes good croûtons.

    And so ends my attempt to put food and Arsenal into context.

  • AL

    Gianni
    Very true, people tend to forget and blame the management but all the players you mention have been out for long periods due to contact injuries. That’s a total of over 15 months of football missed by 4 key players from contact injuries. I’m sure there’s more, like the Rosicky nose smash by Agbonlahor, Monreal, etc. Not sure if Walcott was stamped on by Chiriches or bentlab, but it doesn’t matter anyway.

  • Rupert Cook

    @nicky, have to agree, Sanogo is hardly ready to be first choice for us. Saw nothing about him that showed he was an amazing talent. What he’s got is a lot of enthusiasm and more pace than Giroud but he’ll probably need a season or two to become a regular.

    Good luck to Liverpool, hope they win the league. Rather them than Chelsea and at least Gerrard stuck with them through thick and thin unlike our best players who all got fed up and left. And they play exciting football like we used to play some years ago before we got obsessed with passing the ball around at a snail’s pace. Saturday’s game was another example of that deadly dull style we seem wedded to which any decent team can accommodate, fortunately we changed tactics and went with two upfront which might be the way to win our remaining five league games.

    Still semi finals are very rarely exciting, the Hull Sheffield one being an exception. Even when we had a team of great players we often made hard work of winning a semi final. All that matters is we have a chance of winning a trophy.

  • Gianni Dioro

    @AL – You’re right, it was Chichires who fouled Walcott.

  • dan

    I hear Diaby is back in training, another target for the likes of Pulis/Allerdyce and all the lump & load managers.

  • Gianni Dioro

    I didn’t see the Swansea – Chelsea match today, but apparently Swansea had a player sent off similar to how Arsenal had a (wrong) player sent off.

    Apparently Chico made a poor foul, got booked. Made another poor foul two minutes later, and under pressure from Chelsea players, Dowd said, “No” as if he were indicating he wasn’t going to give a 2nd yellow.

    Then Mourinho and company surrounded and badgered the 4th official (R. Madley), and after a lengthy delay, Dowd showed Chico his 2nd yellow card of the match, and Swansea were down to 10 men after 16 minutes.
    http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/apr/13/john-terry-phil-dowd-chico-flores-chelsea-swansea

    Relatedly, I’m fairly convinced Mourinho got Gibbs sent off a couple of weeks ago by pressuring the 4th official (A. Taylor).

  • Rupert Cook

    @Dan, are you crazy? Suarez to Arsenal would have given us the chance to win the league instead of most likely ending up with Europa League football next year. Wenger is kingmaker once again if Pool win the league, his action of selling RVP gifted Manu the league and his inaction of bidding up for Suarez will probably give Pool the title. If only he could be kingmaker at his own club. Well he’ll have his chance against Hull to at least get a minor crown.

  • dan

    Mourinho is a lot of things, the likes of A. Taylor are fulfilling their pgmol obligation to fuck us over!

    Golum’s understudy has learnt well.

  • dan

    Rupert

    My sanity has been questioned many times. Suarez to Arsenal, would of been another issue, Suarezgate – how his diving has doubled since the move.

  • Rupert Cook

    @dan, I’d rather have him diving than Giroud’s oft pathetic attempts at diving hopelessly for crosses. Imagine how wonderful it would have been to see Ozil and Suarez together.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Anyone wants to help a brother with getting two tickets for the final at Wembly? Just suggest a reliable www place to get the tickets. Thanks!

  • bjtgooner

    Is it possible for everyone (including the ruperts) to get behind the team and manager for the final run in?

  • Mick

    @bjtgooner
    Of course it is possible, more a case of is it probable, and unfortunately the answer to that is no.

  • Mick

    Is anyone else still getting problems with fatal error messages and slow page loading. When I posted the previous comment I lost the page and got fatal error gobbledegook on the screen instead of a normal page. I have the page back after reloading but am still getting strange fatal error stuff above the Untold banner. I am using Firefox.

  • jambug

    Nick @ 6.25pm

    You say: “….Liverpool….on a small budget…”

    If you are going to use Liverpool as a stick with which to bash arsenal please at least know some facts.

    Season Net Spend (or LOSS if you like)

    2000-01 = £18.5 Million

    2001=02 = £16.7 Million

    2002-03 = £16,0 Million

    2003-04 = £3.3 Million

    2004-05 = £20,2 Million

    2005-06 = £28.2 Million

    2006-07 = £46.2 Million

    2007-08 = £28,2 Million

    2008-09 = £23.9 Million

    2009-10 = £11.9 Million

    2010-11 = £1.5 Million

    2011-12 = £1,8 Million

    Total Net spend 2000-2012 = £267.5 Million which is a Net loss of £22 Million per season

    Over that same period:

    Chelsea = £570 Million Net loss or £47.5 Per season.

    Man City = £523.4 Million Net loss or £43.6 per season.

    These are the only 2 clubs who have a bigger net spend than Liverpool.

    Arsenal = £57.4 Million or £4.8 per season. Which is one TENTH the spend of the ‘oilers’ and under a QUARTER of what Liverpool have spent.

    Over that same period you may or may not be aware that Arsenal have built a new Training/Medical centre as well as a nice new Stadium at a cost of over £500 Million, or put another way, at least £41 million per season.

    I agree Liverpool are playing very well, especially going forward. But, and it’s a big but, they have had a relatively light season, and have been very fortunate with injuries, and it makes a MASSIVE difference.

    Just look at how Liverpool where struggling to score early on in the season when they DID have injuries and suspensions, notably to Suarez and Sturridge. How many 1 nils. Were where they in the table?

    If Liverpool had had to deal with the lose of those players for most of the season as we have with Theo, Ramsey etc. etc. it proves they would of struggled just as we have.

    So Nick, before making statements such as “on a small budget” do some research or you make yourself look a little silly.

    And Rupert, before criticising the way we play, take a look at how other teams falter when they have crucial players out.

    Liverpool, United, Chelsea, even City have failed to play anything like there best when certain vital players are out. It happens to every team, not just Arsenal.

  • nicky

    No wonder all the crumblies in Alberta become snowbirds in the winter, head for Florida, never to return.
    Your menu of a mere baked potato plus ANY filling filling you can suggest would be banned in any reputable football ground in the Mother Country. And as for the complicated chicken dish, by the time it was ready to eat, the match (including time added on) would be over.
    It was a good effort though and I can see why Canada became a Dominion.

  • bjtgooner

    @jambug

    Well said.

  • bjtgooner

    @Mick

    Yes, still getting the messages you outline & I am also using Firefox. Not all attempted post are actually posting & site very slow.

  • jambug

    Nicky @ 6.41pm

    You say: “If the loss of Theo leaves our team so ridiculously slow…”

    As Florian says at 7.48, it’s not just Theo is it. Again, to make your point, in a season where we have had an horrendous injury crisis (for whatever reason) that far exceeds anyone else in the PL, you try to infer it’s only Theo being out that counts. As I said earlier, look how Liverpool struggled without Suarez and Sturridge.

    You say: “…if you think the ref didn’t give it because it was LFC then you are bonkers”

    Well firstly I would say if you don’t think Refs give biased decisions then it is you that are bonkers.

    Have you not read the pages and pages of analysis done by this site that clearly shows that our refs are indeed, disgracefully biased. Or do you dismiss there work too as ‘bonkers’ ?

    But the failure to give the blatant penalty is not the worst of it. Yes it could of been a genuine mistake. It’s the post match fallout, or lack of it, that is the telling part.

    As Florian and Dan have been saying, imagine if that had been an Arsenal player.

    We have microscopes out. Days of ‘how Arsenal got away with it’. And why?

    It’s all to make sure EVERYBODY knows how LUCKY we where.

    It’s all to make sure EVERYBODY knows we are due a bad decision and woe betide we complain about it.

    We get the rub of the green, everyone knows about it. We should expect payback !!!

    Liverpool get the rub of the green and it quietly goes away.

    And if you don’t think that’s how the media work then:

    You haven’t seen the way they can overthrow governments with one headline.

    You haven’t see them destroy a career with one story.

    You haven’t seen them ruin someone’s life with one revelation.

    I know it is only football but the principal stands:

    NEVER, EVER, UNDERESTIMATE THE MEDIA AND IT’S POWERS TO MANIPULATE EITHER INDIVIDUALS, OR THE PEOPLE AS A WHOLE.

    The media do not REFLECT opinion, they attempt to MANIPULATE opinion. That is how they work, and that is my point.

    If you do not understand or believe that then it is you that are indeed ‘bonkers’ !!

  • Menace

    Error at header:

    [13-Apr-2014 17:16:17 America/Denver] PHP Fatal error: Class ‘LeagueManager’ not found in /home/untoldar/public_html/wp-content/plugins/leaguemanager/sports/irish-gaelic-football.php on line 10 [13-Apr-2014 19:29:46 America/Denver] PHP Fatal error: Class ‘LeagueManager’ not found in /home/untoldar/public_html/wp-content/plugins/leaguemanager/sports/tabletennis.php on line 10

    I’m also using Firefox.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Gord – Ooh, la, la, la, c’est magnifique !
    While I commend you on your Spud bashing and mashing and getting them well done and really turning them over , your rooster cooking is really something to crow about !
    Some culinary comments and pointers ,if I may.

    1) You are right in noting that the French were the first in Europe to cook in leaves but it was not a Wenger but Henri Charriere @( that’s alias , for you younglings!) Pappillon .
    He learned this while he was at Devil’s Island and on the lam .While the Indian tribals thought him this form of cooking , the Leper colony’s cooks inadvertently gave him a taste of cannibalism with their frequent mishaps in the kitchen .
    Some of them lost more than their heads in that hell hole , but it gave more ‘body ‘ to their meals !

  • dan

    Jambug

    Recall the Eduardo dive against Celtic, he made the front-page and everyone associated with football felt the so ashamed fearing for the future of this great game. Even though on replays showed contact, but, it didn’t matter this what Arsenal are all about.

    Rooney/Gerrard (English), condemned the foreigners for bringing this to our EPL.

    Didier Dogba, super diver because he is foreign
    Robben, super diver because he is foreign
    Ashley Young, super diver (worst diver), oh he needs a talking too!!!!

  • AL

    So, according to rupert, Wenger helped Liverpool to the title this yr(which they haven’t won yet) because he failed to prise suarez from them. Never mind that he did what was necessary to get the ball rolling and it was Liverpool who lied to all about the player’s contract. Even if there had been no lies, suarez has been a pool player for over 3 yrs, how that can be attributed to Wenger I’ll never know. So, if pool don’t win it but either of city or chelski do, then it’ll be Wenger’s fault for gifting them the title by not buying Aguero or Etoo? Why do we waste our time with people like these????? Honestly, can someone tell me why.

  • AL

    Nicky
    Regarding Sanogos performance, I may have gone a little OTT with my praise but let’s not forget he was playing alone upfront against a team that was happy to park the bus. I think of the 27 attempts at goal 7 or 8 of those were his alone. Apart from the cross from the Ox which he headed down, I think he really didn’t have any easy chances and even then most of those he created by himself; a few of them were from almost impossible positions and had he managed to pull one off(he wasn’t too far either) we would still be talking about it.

    I did say, on another thread, give him a couple of years and he will be the real deal. I think his ability to swivel around and hit a volley reminds of poachers like Carsten Jancker, Ibrahimovich,and to a certain extent Drogba. Those are a real poacher’s qualities and such players are difficult to stop as they pull of a shot when the defender least expects it. Of course everyone played well, but I felt the Ox was outstanding, and Fabianski too but I felt he had very little to do all game(wigan only had 2 shots on target in 120 mins, and please note, I’m not diminishing the importance of his saves, just focusing on what happened in the 120 minutes).
    I don’t like comparing players but if I had to I think you’d find apart from Per you’d struggle to find anyone who performed better than the Ox and Sanogo(and this includes players like Podolski, Carzola, upfront who I felt were a little below par their best). That’s my opinion anyway 🙂

  • Gord

    @Brickfields

    Thanks, and thanks for the update on cooking with leaves. First time to try and turn a recipe into a story.

  • Tom

    Jambug

    Your numbers on Liverpool net spend in the last ten years or so tell only half the story. The other half , if you look at it from a slightly different prospective, might look quite different.

    Arsenal and Liverpool changed owners at about the same time in 2011 and 2010 respectively ( 4 months apart if I’m not mistaken), so no advantage to either club in that regard although our owner is far richer than Liverpool’s ,it has to be said.

    Brendan Rogers has been in charge for little less than two years while Arsen is the longest serving manager in the EPL , so that should be a clear advantage Arsenal , right?

    Rodgers’ net spend at Liverpool has been about £60M while other squad players like Suarez, Henderson ,Agger, Johnson and Skrtel were bought prior to his arrival in 2012 for a total sum of about £80M . That’s a total sum of £140M of talent that has been playing the most attractive football in PL this season.
    Every one of those players could’ve been bought by Arsenal if they so desired ,seeing as neither one of them is considered a world beater and there was very little interest in any of those players apart from Liverpool ,except for Suarez who Wenger could’ve had for about £20M in 2010 but passed.

    If you consider the fact that Arsenal FC have been making official statements to the effect that Wenger had at least £75M or even as much as £100M on transfers in the time Rogers have been in charge at Liverpool then there’s no argument to be had that Liverpool have done something Arsenal couldn’t have , is there?

    What Liverpool spent in 2002 or 2006 makes little difference seeing as none of those players remain at the club or contribute to their current situation.

    The only way your argument would hold water if Rogers had been in charge for all those years and needed to spend £267M or so to finally get it right.

  • Tom

    Al
    Liverpool haven’t won the title yet but if they do , Suarez will have contributed to them winning it more than any other player in their squad.

    Now I don’t blame Wenger for not being able to get him last year but he could’ve gotten him in 2010 before Liverpool did.

    Wenger looked at him along with people from Chelsea , Tottenham and some other clubs as well but decided against it so if they do win it in the end , Wenger’s decision not to buy him in 2010 would have effected the outcome of this title race.

    Just the same as passing on Yaya Toure in 2006 or 07 has effected the title race in 2011 or not being decisive enough with Ronaldo transfer in 2003 which effected later title races against Man U.

  • jambug

    Dan.

    Pires is another one who to this day is still mentioned ahead of Young, Bale, Gerrard, Rooney etc. etc.

    I was having a fairly decent chat with a Chelsea fan at work the other day. To be fair he too was moaning about how Rooney still gets away with murder.

    I said to him about Pires always being the first player mentioned ahead of all the others and asked him why he thought that was.

    He said it’s obvious, because without that dive you would never of gone unbeaten. It’s because of how important it was.

    I couldn’t believe it.

    I said, so during Utds treble winning season there wasn’t a single dive or anything else to blight that achievement then?

    Apparently none that he could recall.

    so I suggested that there-in lies the problem, because it was only Pires dive that got such attention (well apart from Eduardo of course). It’s only pires dive that has still not been allowed to drop for 10 years or more.

    I suggested that if diving was your yard stick for discrediting any achievement then thanks to Drogba Chelsea hadn’t got a leg to stand on (no pun intended) with regard to credibility for ANYTHING they’ve won over the last 6 or 7 years !!

    He didn’t really know what to see unsurprisingly.

    Haven’t Young and Bale been booked half a dozen times each for diving? And yet before either of those get mentioned Pires name comes.

    But that’s what media manipulation can do.

    Despite numerous Brits taking more dives than Tom Daley does in an Olympic year it is still the Johny foreigner, and more precisely, Arsenals Johny Foreigners, that get it in the ear for diving way before any Brits even get a mentioned, if they get mentioned at all !!

    Nasty little cheats those Frenchies.

    Fine up standing citizens those Brits.

    Shameful xenophobic, biased media. God I hate them.

  • Gunz

    @Tom
    YAAAP!

  • jambug

    Tom

    Suarez for £20 Million in 2010 would of still been a record signing for us at that time.

    We also had RVP.

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

    I love the way you conveniently skip over 10 years of maintaining Champions League football on a break even budget, just to focus on the last 2 years.

    Also to suggest that the relative spends over those preceding years has no relevance on todays squads is ridiculous.

    Yes Rogers has done well, no doubt about that. But he has been fortunate with injuries in a season with virtually no other distractions on them. If he had lost Suarez and Sturridge for the amount of time we have lost Theo, Ramsey and Wilshere, he would not be where he is now, as the first part of the season was testament to.

    In an attempt to get where they are now Liverpool have pushed themselves to the brink. It’s a gamble that may or may not pay off. They are not out of the woods yet, and seem no nearer to building there new stadium now than they was a few years ago.

    Lets see how they fair once they are financially committed to a new Stadium.

    Despite what you may think I don’t suggest for one minute that Wenger is perfect. He has made mistakes over the years. He has made mistakes these last couple of years.

    But unlike you, I will not judge him on this year alone. Indeed I will not judge him on the last couple of years.

    But what I will judge him on is what he has done for this Club over the last 20 years.

    And what he has done for this Club is phenomenal.

    In the first half of his Tenure he bought us more silverware than we could ever of dreamed of.

    In the Second half he has moved our Club to a completely different level. We are now a Club playing in one of the best Stadiums in the World. We are a Club that is admired and respected all over the World.

    Testimony to how far we have grown is that despite 8 trophy less years we are now perceived throughout Europe and the World as a far bigger Club than we where when we was winning those trophies.

    EVEN IF YOU IGNORE THE BASIC FINANCIAL BENEFITS, THAT IS HOW IMPORTANT CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FOOTBALL HAS BEEN TO US THESE PAST FEW YEARS. IT IS THAT ALONE THAT HAS ELEVATED US TO WHERE WE NOW STAND ON THE WORLD STAGE.

    Without CL football make no mistake no amount of League or FA Cups would of maintained the PROGRESS that we have made these last few years. Without CL football we would be in the shit, big time !!!

    Failure to acknowledge this, and exactly how important it has been to the entire future of Arsenal FC is, to my mind, idiotic.

    And as for isolating 2 years, and one possible title for Liverpool FC, as reason enough to deride Wenger and all he has done for our great Club is sad, short sighted, and ungracious in the extreme.

  • AL

    So Wenger is now being accused of handing the title to our rivals by being indecisive?? When we all know that the majority of clubs dive in and offer double the amount of money to the selling club when they hear Arsenal are asking about the player(Higuain, from recent memory). And anyway, the accusation that Wenger didn’t buy this or that player so he’s strengthened the club that ended up buying said player IS absurd. Does he control the market by himself? Is it a case of clubs/agents bring a basketful of players to Wenger first, ask him to take his pick, before selling the leftovers to the rest? That’s how you guys are making it sound. Yet the reality is its a bidding war out there, where more often than not he will be competing with cheque book clubs. I’ll only talk about Arsenal players that Wenger let go, not players who have never been involved with Arsenal. For all we know there might not have been any intention by Arsenal to sign most of those players in the first place, and it’ll be just the media pushing their agenda like how they associate us with 150 potential signings every summer. The whole argument is stupid anyway that I feel a little silly talking about it, dignifying it in the process. Its not worth discussing, period.

  • jambug (@ 6.45pm)

    I admire your patience and tenacity in making these points. This was poignant for me:

    “Testimony to how far we have grown is that despite 8 trophy less years we are now perceived throughout Europe and the World as a far bigger Club than we where when we was winning those trophies.”

    When I made this point in an article some months back, I got push back from some Arsenal ‘historians’ who told me then that Arsenal has always been huge before Wenger’s era. Nonsense. At no time in our history have we been this regarded in the world of football. The fact that we have this lofty status despite going over 8 years without a silverware is the best testament to Wenger’s managerial acumen.

  • Tom

    Jambug

    The vast majority of what you have posted in response to my post is irrelevant to the point I was making which was ,there’s not a single thing Liverpool have done since 2010-11 that Arsenal couldn’t have done if they wanted to.

    Using words like ; sad ,shortsighted , ungracious and idiotic ,to describe my point of view doesn’t make your argument any stronger but in fact more desperate and lacking.

    Why do I get an impression that you and people like Al are already preparing the grounds for the eventuality that Liverpool might actually win it, therefore we must find reasons to discredit their success at all cost.

    I’m already seeing statements made indicating the league and PGMOL are fixing it for Liverpool to win it ,by the same people who spent countless hours posting before how it was City or Chelsea getting the fix.

    There’s not a single person on this site , myself included, who said before the season started that Liverpool were the ones to watch because of their talent and the net spend over the years , so why start now ?

  • bjtgooner

    @Tom

    Jambug can well answer you comments himself – but wrt the question you ask in your last paragraph ending with “so why start now?” – and I realize this question may have been rhetorical – but the literal answer is that jambug was responding to Nick. (Unless I have missed something).

  • Gianni Dioro

    @AL – I’ll join you in singing Sanogo’s praise. In the past 2 matches he has beaten the offside trap three times to put himself through on goal, twice against Everton, and once against Wigan. However on all three of those occasions he was wrongly whistled for being offside. In fact, he scored from one of those occasions against Everton with what should have been his first goal for Arsenal.

    Sanogo reminds me a bit of Adebayor early in his career. He was a handful for defenders, had pace, but needed to be more clinical and composed in front of goal. By the way most Arsenal fans thought Adebayor was crap early on, but he improved quickly and so will Sanogo.

    One difference I see though is that Adebayor was constantly caught offside, while Sanogo has shown that he can beat the offside trap with timely runs, perhaps suggesting he is more like Drogba than Adebayor. Can you imagine what Arsenal will be like next season with both Theo and Sanogo making timely runs, testing that last defender?

    So yeah, plastic fans may slag off Sanogo now, but I’m expecting great things from him in the near future, thinking next year will be his break out season.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Gord – I did post a second comment yesterday , but it seems that it was so hot that it ‘Flambe(d) ‘ itself !
    Just testing to see if the site is okay.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Here goes …

    2) The Matt Le Tissier as the starter is an inspired choice . Certainement par excellence ! The perfect blend of the finest red and white .

    This fine French heritage mixed with the coarser ,wilder English spirit brings tears to a connoisseur eyes .The dapper and swashbuckling musketeer with a dash of the old tough bulldog. A good and potent ‘body’ – a very fiery combination indeed .
    From its humble origins of the finest genes of the Channel Island , transported to the mainland to mature , ‘breathe ‘ , develop and deliver in the sea air of the finest English port .The joie de vive of Southampton.

    While appearing outwardly languid and insipid , it strikes the sweet spot with amazing cunning and verve . Many who had been lulled were taken unawares by its grace and punch .It gets more bouquet than brickbats !

    While extensively coveted , it was never exported ,much to the delight of the local Saints who referred to this intoxicating phenomenon as “Le God “.

    Strangely and paradoxically its longevity has been attributed to regular ‘smoking’ ,a laid back nature as well as copious addition of blended alcohol !

    It is in the same class as its predecessors and long servers of a bygone era –
    the Terry Paine , and the champaign class Channon .

    It should never be mistaken for the Matt LeBlanc – which is a blander white American product ,which often comes up when Google-ing .This is better appreciated only in the company of ‘Friends’ !

  • jambug

    Tom

    You say the vast majority of what I write is irrelevant.

    I disagree. Why?

    Because what I was attempting to do was expose your ‘Short term’ judgements of Wenger as pretty insignificant when compared to his ‘Long term’ achievements. They obviously need pointing out to you as you seem to forget them or some how see them as irrelevant.

    By short term I mean the last 2 years because it seems to be that period, and more specifically Liverpool/Rogers achievements within that period, that you have focused on as a means to deride Wenger.

    So lets look see if you have a point.

    What did Liverpool achieve last year.

    PL: Nope.

    CL Qualification: Nope.

    FA Cup: Nope.

    C1C: Nope.

    Europa Cup.: Nope.

    In fact last year was a complete and utter failure. Are we even in ROGERS OUT territory in your World.

    This Year.

    CL: We’ll they are not even in that. But hey that might work in there favour.

    EC: We’ll they are not even in that. But hey that might work in there favour.

    FA Cup: I believe they was unceremoniously dumped out of that by some rubbish from North London, but hey that might work in there favour.

    C1C: No nothing doing there either, but hey……..Oh you get the picture !!!

    So there not pilling up the trophies yet are they.

    Well that’s established that your entire argument is based on what they MIGHT do. Not what they have done, but what they might do.

    Like you I have no problem in conceding that Liverpool are a very good side that are good to watch. I have no problem in conceding that Rogers has done a good job.

    What I do have a problem with is your convenient use of hindsight. If, as you say, we had the chance to buy Suarez back in 2010 then surely the opportunity was also there for Chelsea, City, Utd, Spurs, in fact every other Club. But obviously they all felt at the time, as did Wenger that he was a) surplus to requirements or b) Not worth the money. Point ‘b’ is specifically relevant to Wenger as in 2010 we was still having to sell to buy. Okay, NOW, when we see how he is playing I have no doubt all those Clubs, not just Arsenal, wish they had signed him. But would they, in fact would YOU, of said that around this time last year when he was going through his 2nd ‘Cannibalistic’ phase ? Nobody would. He was poison.

    As I say hindsight is a wonderful thing.

    So lets assume Liverpool do win the PL. Great. But Why is that a stick to bash Wenger.

    City spent over £100 Million in the Summer(On top of £100’s of Millions already spent) for what? A C1C. I would suggest that as a far bigger failure.

    Manchester Utd: I would suggest they have far more to worry about than we do. Oh by the way, is MOYES on your list of Wenger replacements? No. Funny that. I bet he was 2 years ago !!

    Chelsea: Still spending money like it’s going out of fashion. Still playing football more boring than watching paint dry. Still I suppose ‘IF’ they win something it will all be worth it, but given the small Nations budget they spend achieving what they do they should at least have a little class don’t you think?

    Personally I wouldn’t want Mourhino, there players, or there medals gleemed through dirty oil money at any price. Maybe that’s just me.

    In conclusion.

    Nobody, I repeat nobody, saw Liverpool coming good like they have.

    By the end of last season they was in meltdown. I doubt there was a single player baring Suarez that you, I, or anyone else involved with Arsenal, would of suggested buying at that time, and if you say there was than I’m sorry I wouldn’t believe you. Even Sturridge was a work in progress and nowhere near the top of anyone’s ‘must buy’ list.

    But a relatively ‘light’ injury free season has enabled a good manager to get a good set of players playing exceptionally well. Great. Well done.

    I’m convinced given an injury free season we would still be right in the thick of the title race, but we didn’t and we are not. That is our lot I’m afraid.

    But I still don’t get why you find any of this reason enough to yet again deride Wenger.

    You seem incapable of seeing the ‘bigger’ picture and always just want to focus on one specific signing that got away or one specific team having a ‘purple patch’ as proof positive that Wengers a failure.

    Well I’m sorry but I don’t agree with you.

  • AL

    Jambug
    Well said.

    What I’m going to say has nothing to do with your post jambug, just my views, which might be deemed a little controversial. Just to respond to the question that did anyone see Liverpool as the team to watch, the answer is no. Even they didn’t believe they’d be in the top 4 this season. But there’s now a concerted effort to push them over the finish line. Not since they were denied a goal against City, and had one other controversial decision against Chelsea, have they had anything go against them. That they got a hattrick of penalties at OT and a red card is quite unusual. The same ref somehow missed two penalties that he could’ve given against them at the weekend v City. I don’t care who wins the league,as long as it’s an honest win. All the papers are full of articles saying why Gerrard should win the title. Ok, it’s their opinions, but wouldn’t it be better to have such articles after the title is decided? All these stories about the Hillsborough tragedy seem like they’re being used to whip up sentiment and support for Liverpool. They have even managed to track down Bruce Grobbelaar somehow to give an interview or two. It’s what has been in the news all week. Liverpool certainly haven’t done enough to have won the last 7 or 8 games in a row. They certainly shouldn’t have won at West Ham two weeks ago where Gerrard scored two controversial penalties. My main worry is we have another united in the making. This season the media have installed their title favourites at different stages, and this coincided with said favourites getting favourable decisions from the refs at the time. First it was city, when hansen et al were blatantly refusing to recognise Arsenal as potential challengers. City were getting questionable decisions going for them. Then they briefly flirted with Chelsea after they unexpectedly won at City and the same thing happened. Now it’s Liverpool’s turn, which I guess came at the right time for them. But what I can also see is had it been possible Liverpool would have been their preferred choice, just that they never thought they would be a reliable prospect to back at the start of the season. It seems the refs are so used to hand the title to any one team, that they find themselves intervening where they are not needed, they have to have the final say.

    It’s plain obvious to see that Liverpool, while they’re playing well, are being assisted. The media, and the refs, would rather a team that has any of these players; Terry, Gerrard, Rooney, Lampard, win things. This is not just my opinion, but there’s a definite problem with people saying it as it is or grasping reality in England. If you bring up an obvious anomaly you’re labelled a whinger. You’re not allowed to accuse someone of cheating even though everyone can see that’s what’s going on. This is why we get the pundits glossing over the refs glaring mistakes, as noone can say hey, that decision was inexcusable and this ref must be axed. Ferguson was hailed as the best the world had ever seen, even though it was plain obvious he was a bully but noone dared talk about it. All the reporters never saw anything wrong with what he said or did, even though he’d swear at them, ban them, refuse to talk them, etc. Ditto the refs, who suddenly realised what a bully he’d been after his retirement. This man was above the laws governing and controlled football in this country. This spineless behaviour and lack of balls is what created such a monster. There’s a tendency of not questioning things here, even though anyone can see how wrong things are. Those that do try to question anything are quickly dismissed as deluded or mocked at and made a laughing stock. Anyone who says they cannot see it I’m afraid they have some kind of tunnel vision. The view that would make them argue Rooney is the world’s best, or even Beckham, make them have high expectations they’ll win the world cup at each tournament, only to fall far too short. Good luck to Liverpool if they win it, but imo it’s a bit tainted, certainly not to the same extent as Ferguson’s titles but definitely not 100% clean either.

  • jambug

    AL

    As usual you make many good points.

    You cannot argue with the fact that City where getting dodgy decision after dodgy decision when they where steaming ahead.

    You cannot argue with the fact that the same is now happening to Liverpool. My West Ham fan friend was spitting feathers at the injustice of it all last week.

    My United colleagues where similarly irked when they faced Liverpools 13th man. (Though to there credit they conceded the better team won. Had to really)

    But the point is everybody notices it when it happens against them, but apart from Arsenal fans they all lack the balls to point it out as a ‘trend’ and not an acceptable one at that.

    Add to that the media ‘love-in’ and you have the perfect storm which enables Refereeing bias to pass unquistioned.

    As most who visit here will know I avoid the media completely for the most part, so I have no idea what’s being said. Most of it I pick up from references made on here.

    One thing I will lay a level bet on is that they are not still going on and on about how Liverpool got away with one of the most blatant hand balls you are ever likely to see, assuming they made anything of it in the first place.

    My God, if it had been us there wouldn’t be Ref or fan in the land that hadn’t been made well aware of the fact that Arsenal where due some PAY BACK. And rest assured we’d get it!! I mean we’re still getting pay back 10 years later on the back of Pires dive !!

    I read on here that some parts of the media claimed the other blatant City penalty shout wasn’t awarded because the City player went down ‘wrong’.

    Jeez, I bet these people could justify Hitlers misdemeanours if he was Scouse !!!

    We can all see it because it’s as plain as the nose on your face. But as you say AL, many are just too spineless to call it.

  • Tom

    Jambug
    I stopped reading at “was Moyes on your list of Wenger replacements?”
    when I realized how pointless this exercise of having a debate with you really is.

    Have I ever been or am I for Wenger getting a sack?

    NO!

    Was I deriding Wenger in any of my posts about Rogers?

    NO!

    Did I state at any point Wenger should’ve gotten Suarez , either from Liverpool or Ajax or Groningen before ?

    NO!
    Just that he could’ve gotten him form those two clubs before Liverpool did if Wenger wanted to.

    No hindsight here ,sorry .

    When you suggest or install in your post words or opinions never stated or conveyed , your whole argument becomes invalid no matter how passionate it is.

    Goodbye !

  • jambug

    Tom

    If your constant criticism of Wenger is not an indication of your dissatisfaction with him and therefore desire for change then I don’t know what is? Or is your constant criticism in some way a perverted way of expressing your admiration for him?

    Why was you making comparisons between Rogers and Wenger if not to deride Wenger in comparison? Or was you actually trying to highlight how well you thought Wenger was doing?

    Why bring Suarez up as someone Wenger COULD of bought if not to suggest he SHOULD of? Or was you just pointing out how well Wenger had done to avoid buying the diving, biting, cheating little git?

    You Tom, are a bog standard, whingeing, whining, ante Wenger type. The only difference with you is that any time you are bought to task you haven’t got the balls to back up what you say and start crying that you didn’t actually say it.

    Well yes you did Tom and it’s all in black and white for everyone to read.

  • Tom

    Al
    If Chelsea win the league this season ,will you say you were wrong about Liverpool being promoted by the media, the league and PGMOL or will you just bring up all the dodgy decisions Chelsea has gotten this season to validate your position ?

    I had this debate with Walter a couple weeks ago when I asked him and anyone who cared to respond , if it was so obvious the league was fixed , why not say it right then who the eventual winner was going to be.
    No hedging your bets or open ended statements.

    Walter declined to say although he was quite clear in his previous post that it was City . Everyone else who responded said City as well and even one poster told me that if I got my “head out of ma ass” I would see it was going to be City or Chelsea because of the “MONEY”

    I told Walter that for every wrong offside decision City has gotten thus far , I could’ve given him a dodgy penalty call going Chelsea or Liverpool’s way.

    Let me give you an ex – player’s opinion as to why Chelsea , Liverpool and City get calls going their way ,and I know you don’t like it when I bring my former playing days into the debate but it is relevant.

    Every manager I ever played under always stressed the importance of being brave and decisive in the final third. To force defenders into committing themselves and to force referees into making decisions.
    Chelsea, City and Liverpool do it better and more often than any other club in the PL and that’s why they get more decisions.

  • AL

    “Liverpool haven’t won the title yet but if they do , Suarez will have contributed to them winning it more than any other player in their squad.

    Now I don’t blame Wenger for not being able to get him last year but he could’ve gotten him in 2010 before Liverpool did.

    Wenger looked at him along with people from Chelsea , Tottenham and some other clubs as well but decided against it so if they do win it in the end , Wenger’s decision not to buy him in 2010 would have effected the outcome of this title race.“

    Well, actually Tom, if you re-read the above you’ll find that you’re actually saying by not buying Suarez (or by not taking him off from Liverpool’s grasp) Wenger helped them to the title. Just.look at the last line in there and explain what you’re saying there, if you’re not saying what we think you’re saying.

    About your other statement that we’re already preparing to discredit their success, can you let us know one penalty that we got which we shouldn’t have got? Meanwhile I could tell about 5 or 6 penalties that we didn’t get that we should have got. I could also tell you about 4 or 5 penalties they got that they shouldn’t have got. And also a few penalties they should have conceded that they did not. What does it all tell you? If that’s not being aided then I don’t know what is. I can assure we haven’t seen the last of the controversial decisions involving these teams, and I can tell you for Liverpool the decisions will be favourable to them, for us they’ll be negative, and so will it be for city. I could even go on to add that Everton will also get favorable decisions going for them. For the record I said that Liverpool were getting help to win the title after the game at OT, and didn’t just start saying this yesterday. The signs were there to see. I don’t think anyone needs to be psychic to see these things, nor is it rocket science. It’s there for those that want to see.

  • AL

    Well Tom, your last post came through while I was composing my last post. If you go back to my earlier post again you’ll see I said initially the media thought Liverpool had no chance, hence they were backing city and Chelsea. You can’t deny that around Christmas time the two teams that were getting any favourable decisions were mainly city, followed by Chelsea. But once Liverpool came into the picture, the momentum has swung their way. It doesn’t mean with certainty they’ll win it(utd lost it 2 years ago through virtually the last kick of the season, but does that mean the fixers wanted city to win? No.) they’ll try to ensure that happens. Liverpool will still have to do their bit.

    There’s nothing open ended about my statements, it’s clear those in the media would rather any of the teams I mentioned won it before the likes of us. Hell they’d even prefer spurs win it before us. Whether that happens is something else. If I may ask you a question, when hansen and shearer were stating we would not win it but city or Chelsea what was the logic behind those statements? They would just say city and Chelsea have been there before and done it before, they know how to win this blah blah blah. This was despite us topping the table for months. But ask them now the same question would they still say the same? Even though city and Chelsea, who according to them have done it all before, are still within touching distance. What has Liverpool done any differently to what we were doing then, not much. They’re just top of the table like we were then. But now I can assure you they’ll back Liverpool to the hilt, despite the fine margins between first and third. It’s all designed to influence things around us subliminally. Do I think Liverpool will win the title? There’s about a 50% chance they’ll do it. It could still go to City or Chelsea. But who do I think those in the media would rather win it, Liverpool.

  • Tom

    Jambug

    I strongly suggest you get your tin foil hat readjusted as it’s patently obvious that as the weather warmed up ,it has expended and slid down over your eyes , thus preventing you from reading correctly the “black on white”.

    As for whining, well, you practically invented the concept.
    It’s the FA, the PGMOL, the UEFA ,the fixture congestion, bad luck with injuries, early starts to games, the media , the pundits, needless internationals, the physicality of the league, flawed player loan system, financial doping, rotational fouling …………………………. 🙂

  • Tom

    Al
    That’s a very good question and an interesting post Al . What a difference when someone actually reads and responds to what was written . Thank you!

    Maybe Hansen and Shearer said we wouldn’t win it because of past history. That’s always the safest bet . Much the same as you wouldn’t bet against Arsenal pipping Everton to the fourth place. Wenger has done it countless times and even if he got lucky once or twice , the sixteen year uninterrupted CL presence shows he knows how to get it done.

    Maybe they looked at our relatively easy schedule in the first two months or Arsenal’s poor record against the leagues best teams or our injury record over the years.

    Maybe the reason they don’t say it about Liverpool now is because Liverpool have scored over ninety goals already and have shown they can beat and destroy even the best sides.
    Which brings me to Liverpool / City game. I agree with you a 100% that Suarez should’ve been off for his dive against Demichelis but if you are going to be honest, you have to admit Liverpool were very wasteful and on another day could’ve scored five or six. City could’ve scored three or four themselves but over the 90 minutes Liverpool dominated the game.

    It was clear that Clattenberg wasn’t gonna let the game be decided with a penalty or a sending off.

    Look for the same type of refereeing in the Liverpool / Chelsea game.