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Arsenal, doing it the Arsenal way

By Walter Broeckx

The life behind the scenes of Untold is sometimes very funny. After my article that I had written about Wenger I read a comment that said that it was a “Very AKB written article”. I think I will take this as a compliment then.

He was first time poster so he can be excused for maybe not knowing that this is what one could call an AKB website. That does mean that we do write a few AKB-articles. That the writer then continues by saying “but any other top club would have fired him by now” means that he didn’t get the meaning of the article as I think in the article one could see why Wenger has not been fired by the board.

First and for all…. we are not ANY other top club. We are a different kind of top club. As Tony has pointed out on many occasions Arsenal is different in that in most cases it always has given time to their managers to work for the club. We never have been a club that has changed their manager as we change from underwear. So what other top clubs do is of no interest to Arsenal.

I wonder if the person who wrote this comment has ever entered the Arsenal museum that is in the building outside the Emirates stadium on the North Bank. Because if he would have done this and I have done it 2 times already, then he surely would have seen the letters that hang out there. The words saying: We do it the Arsenal way. Come to think of it, as he claimed that his family supports Arsenal since the 1920’s I sure hope that he has visited the museum because if not it would be a bloody shame.

But these words ‘We do it the Arsenal way’ are very important and is something that every fan should remember. We don’t do like that other former Middlesex club that now is situated in North London. They do it like a top club. They fire and hire managers like ‘top clubs’ do. But it is not because you do that that you are a top club. Compare the hiring and firing of managers with what ‘non top club’ (according to our writer) Arsenal has done. And who has been the most successful since 2007.  A year he liked to use as a turning point for an unknown reason for me.

It brought the ‘acting like a top club’ rivals 1 league cup trophy in 2008. Arsenal won 2 trophies since 2007. Tottenham has been in the CL once. Arsenal all these years. So Arsenal not acting like a top club according to this writer won more and was more successful than the club who pretends to be a top club by firing a manager without giving him time to build.

But what the writer completely misses is the fact that the board knew the difficulty of the task that Wenger was facing. I really don’t know how people can just dismiss the problems Arsenal had in those years. If they don’t get it by now I really wonder when ever they will be able to get it. But hey, I am a patient man and I will try to give the problems again and list them.

All the money going to the building of the new stadium even before 2007. No money available to buy top class players until the season 2013-2014. Two teams coming from nowhere sponsored by bags of money from outside football and still having to fight a team that was declared the flag ship of the PL and had to end near the top by all means and who has an enormous financial advantage because of their worldwide sponsorship deals and visibility.

Now if one would say that we average fans didn’t know that then I think it is because those who don’t know or knew it were not really looking for it. Or closed their eyes for it. Because it was out in the open. Not in the words we use now. No, it was a bit hidden but anyone who could read between the lines had seen it. I think most Untolders have known about the problems for years. And that is the reason why they kept calm and waited for the tide to turn.

But what we supporters think is in a way not important. What the board thinks is more important for what happens. It is they who hold the key to fire a manager. And it is they who have more expertise and knowledge than the average fan even when his family supports Arsenal since the 1920ies. And it is the board who knows the real situation when it comes to how much money can be spend.

So it is clear that the board knew all along and I think that they have been very happy with the way Wenger has done his job. And as the name Dein was mentioned in his comment I just want to say that it was Dein who brought Kroenke to the club. It was Dein who wanted to move us out of North London and take us to Wembley and not build the Emirates.

This doesn’t mean that I want to take too much away from Dein. As he clearly has done great things for Arsenal (like bringing in Wenger) but he also had a few things that I am happy that didn’t work out. Just as Wenger has admitted to having made mistakes, Dein also had his moments of mistakes.

Not firing Wenger “as any other top club would have done” is for me a reason to love my club even more than if they would have “acted as those other top clubs”. I want Arsenal to do it as they proclaim to do it in the museum: We do it the Arsenal way. No need to compare us with those other clubs. We are different.

28 comments to Arsenal, doing it the Arsenal way

  • Tell them Walter, tell them. Or can’t they spell? Don’t they see that Arsenal doesn’t spell the same way those other clubs are? Oh yes we are different. We are Arsenal and oh, so proud to be!

  • Arthur

    I have supported Arsenal for the last 20 years. I am not bothered about results. I care about the style of football. (My favourite team is the Brazil 1982 team who did not win a thing!)

    If the style of football changed e.g. if Mourinho or Simeone managed Arsenal, I would stop supporting Arsenal.

    However, I have rarely enjoyed watching Arsenal this year. Some of the games have been excruciating e.g Crystal Palace. I do not remember this happening in previous seasons.

    Has the style changed even with Arsene in charge to a Mourinho/Simeone style? I would rather we lose 7 nil playing good football than grind out 1 nil victories.

    Please let me know what you think. I do not support Arsenal blindly. I want to enjoy watching my team play. I want to know if Arsene has changed his philosophy.

  • emmanuel

    My friend Arthur, football is a game where opposing teams try to win by scoring goals. that’s why there are goal posts on the opposite sides. to score goals and beat the opposition requires some tactical manouverings. you seem to be the only person on earth who does not care whether your team wins or not. I also admire the arsenal style of play, but I want them to win most of time. I’m happy if they grind out results, but I’m happier if they win playing the arsenal style.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin.

    Arsenal have decided to jettison the tika taka entertainig style of playing football for the time being, I would believe. The Gunners have now adopted the devastating precison goal scoring attacking football. This adopted new style of playing has yeilded good dividend for Arsenal FC. Who are now placed 3rd in the table. And are definitely going to win the Barclays Premier League this season with their new style of playing. God’s willing.

  • Dec

    Arthur, I think you’re mixing up Football with Ballet.
    Pretty patterns around the pitch and a bit if ball juggling thrown in won’t quite get the results to win anything. True fans should support their club through thick and thin, regardless of who the staff are. Don Howe and George Graham would have had a much different approach to the game than Le Boss but we supported them at the time just as much. When Arsene moves on ( hopefully many years from now), true fans will support his successor whoever that happens to be. Simply because that’s the Arsenal way.

  • nicky

    It’s funny (peculiar) how one’s memory can play tricks. My favourite Arsenal teams were in the heady times pre-WW2. The days when 7 players played for England. The last era when we retained a championship. The days when schoolboys copied the hairstyles of their heroes. And magazines were full of pictures of Arsenal players and their families At Home.
    But when I see the fitness, speed, close passing, ball control, tactics and game reading of the modern professional, I marvel at the progress that has been made over the past 70 years.
    Even the fans have changed, most are more knowledgeable, some are more bigoted and tribal.
    In fact we have ALL changed, whether we realise it or not. 😉

  • TailGunner

    It’s refreshing to read an article with some heart for a change. More like this and the recent one about Arsène please.

  • para

    It was when i saw the docu about Arsenal stadium being built that i realised the enormity of Arsenal’s plans and i am glad that the came through the various phases successfully.

    //
    This so called “tika taka” style is strangely only associated with two teams, Arsenal and Barca, but many have since adopted it into their repetoire i think. Look at Chel$ and Southampton who try to.

    Arsenal suffered a little with that style during the changes and upsets of players leaving but have not given up that style of play as we can notice with our youth. They have now since integrated other styles of play thereby evolving it into the Arsenal way.

    Arsenal is now a force, with la few little or big blips(who does not have them?) and is ready for Manu i’m sure.

    Roll on tomorrow.

  • bob mac

    @ Arthur

    I agree.

    But Arsenal are always a joy to watch, even in defeat; due to the style which epitomises the managers beliefs.

    I do feel that there has been more pragmatism of late, with a great determination from the team to win by defending well. OK let’s concur as we all know the true value of a top 4 finish……….we should as we always achieve that at least.

    Bring on utd for a lesson in pure football.

  • Matt Clarke

    Thanks Walter (as ever!) – another interesting UA article done the UA style, which is becoming distinctive in it’s own right.

    However, I do have one query.
    I know what the ‘AAA’ acronym stands for but what about AKB?

  • philo

    and the daily mail had a nice article about Arsenal today-Arsene particularly
    Arsene is irreplaceable- fact

  • Mandy Dodd

    Matt Clarke, stands for Arsene Knows Best, a source of pride for some supporters, a source of insult to others ie the aaa, or WOB….wenger out brigade, or AMGs ….Arsene Must Go. Then, there are the JCLs….Johnny Come Latelys….
    Being an Arsenal supporter gets complicated!
    Great article BTW. Fortunately, done think we will be seeing a Mourinho at the club any time soon, wouldn’t imagine our board would be over impressed with eye gouging managers.

  • “Doing It the Arsenal way?”
    It means building a new stadium and paying for it yourselves… No Olympic venue obtained for nothing…no handout from Boris that other london club supporters are paying for.
    It means being vilified by the media,referees, other clubs and it supporters, “some” ex-players who have never managed a club OR have tried (A.Shearer for example)and failed miserably.
    It means having highs and lows like no other club.
    It means knowing you support a club that, whatever the result,is always a part of your life once you have taken to supporting them.
    It means quite simply joining the greatest club, manager and supporters in the world.
    Oh to be a GOONER!!!!!!

  • John

    Also, Arsenal ranks among the best in providing for disabled supporters, – not just in wheelchair spaces, but in additional provision of facilities, eg lounge, changing accommodation, support for helpers and companions, including facilities for helping dogs.

    I heard (from a source in Hull) that Hull City’s official bus was involved in a minor accident, when leaving the Emirates after the 3rd round cup tie. The whole party, including players, directors, officials, partners and guests were entertained to best Arsenal hospitality and given assistance to sort out their journey home.

    The Arsenal way is class!

  • Gord

    I read a couple of articles about disabled facilities at football grounds in the last day or two. Apparently Swansea and Leicester are the only two stadia which meet the regulations. Arsenal comes close, for example it has 96% of the required number of places for watching the game.

    What besides watching spaces are missing, I don’t know (article didn’t elaborate).

  • omgarsenal

    Arthur……I agree somewhat with your observation about AFC changing their approach to Football but disagree with your contention that they are no longer playing beautiful Football:

    1)they have adopted a more robust defensive style and adapted a sounder rotational approach out of necessity. Thus they are both stable but unpredictable.

    2)Wenger has modified his total Football approach to the personnel he has….strength in attack, wisdom in midfield and solidity in defense. We are more-counter-attacking and a longer passing club now than when Cesc was here.

    3)The fact that Walcott and the Ox have trouble getting a game means that he prefers the Sanchez,Ozil,Giroud and Cazorla hold-up style rather than the speedy attacker who needs the perfect through ball. Sanchez can make a mess of defenses, Giroud can sweep up play, Ozil can cut through any defense and Cazorla can twist defenders in knots.

    4)We are still suffering from two issues team-wise: continual serious injuries due to the brutality permitted by officials and an overall small team who need guile more than strength….against bullyboy opponents it gets harder to overcome these disadvantages.

  • Rantetta

    Ooh, this is a good.

  • Micheal Ram

    I’m sure Emirates will be renamed Arsene Wenger Stadium in due time.

  • Menace

    The Arsene Wenger stadium will continue to be a revenue stream & will have sponsored naming as it does today.

    Walter I am glad that the 20 years comment touched the same nerve for both of us.

    The Arsenal way is historical & has its source in the early years. The respect that the boards have created is reflected on the field of play by the togetherness & sportsmanship exhibited by the players & subsequently fans.

    Oh! to be a Gooner.

  • ARSENAL 13

    @Arthur,

    Yes style of play is important. But it has to evolve with time. We have started surrendering possession now. And are more lethal with what we have. And with teams like Chelsea and others adopting possession based football, we have evolved our game to counter that.

    The way we go form our box to the opposite box with quick 3 pass moves, blindingly quick…just wow.

  • Rosicky@Arseanl

    Nice article
    I hope we continue playing the Arsenal way of playing football and not follow other so called TOP clubs

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    Nice article.
    I hope we continue playing the Arsenal way of playing football and not follow other so called TOP clubs.

  • Matt Clarke

    ..thanks Mandy 🙂

  • Derek Paget

    Like the article [& the w/site – my favourite!] – however, in the interests of historical accuracy, we should note that Bruce Rioch wasn’t given a great deal of time? Not that he’s ever made a fuss about that, quite the opposite.
    Not entirely off subject: as a long-time season ticket holder [& life-long fan] I have written to the club re: the Living Wage. I have asked for the club’s view on this [should be £9.15 an hour in London]. If we are as classy as I believe we are, Living Wage should be policy? And Che$$ski say it’s their policy, apparently… Can I encourage all who have got this far down to join me in asking where Arsenal stand on LW?

  • blacksheep63

    hear hear Derek

  • Sleekwhale

    AKB’s, AAA’s and their cohorts would not be getting no understanding about doing anything the Arsenal way because u said so. U’ll still see them trotting around Le gro… and other sites just because they want to criticize Wenger or the boys or the board. @ least I’m sure we’ve evolved again within the past 5years and the soccer is still sublime!

  • Sammy The Snake

    Great game, thank you Gunners!!!

  • Sammy The Snake

    Ohhhh, Danny Welbeck!!!