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October 2016
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For Arsenal supporters there is almost light at the end of the tunnel

By Walter Broeckx

Tomorrow it will be one month since we played our last match and won our last trophy. A second consecutive FA cup win has shut up the more fickle part of our fans. On Untold we always believed we would win things again if Wenger was given the time. Others weren’t that patient and still aren’t.

But I have noticed on the internet a few of the Wenger out shouters openly eating the humble pie. Openly admitting that they have been wrong. Finally accepting that the big difference with the Wenger from his first years was the fact that we had to build a stadium and had to pay a lot of money to pay for the concr ete and bricks and couldn’t spend it on players.

You can only spend your money once when you are a club like Arsenal. The oilers can spend their money twice, thrice or even four times when they cocked it up in the transfer market. Arsenal can’t. Once spent is spent and it takes a lot of time to maximise the chance of doing it right.

But as we are in the summer period and the transfer window is almost open people get excited about who will buy whom. Liverpool is doing what they did last summer: spending all the money they can imagine that they have, and then some.  So again they will have almost a brand new team, probably only to find out that it takes time to gel so many new players and that some of those shining new players aren’t as good as they thought they were.  But this spending a lot of money is enough to give their supporters some bragging rights and makes the ‘spend the f*cking money-Gooners’ envious and they want Arsenal to be like Liverpool.

Even if this were possible within the 25 man squad rules it would still not be a wise thing to do because of the fact that we do have already a rather decent squad is beyond some. “If Liverpool can spend the money, why can’t we? Is Wenger being tight again?” are really the wrong questions.

I think it might have something to do with the fact that Arsenal is a club (like it or not) that likes to do things the right way. We don’t announce the signing of a player when not all is done. Arsenal would rather wait a day longer if that last ‘i’ hasn’t been dotted properly enough according to the dotting commission, before telling the world that we signed a player.

Despite all the rumours that fly around I must say that I have been really relaxed about what will happen. Apart from Alexis who will play in the final (I really hope he does) of the Copa America, and Ospina, all our players are having a proper rest this summer. For the first time in I don’t know how many years. So I think that when the new season starts and the first training sessions take place we will have all our players (apart those two) available and fit. Not like in previous years when we started with a handful of players and then each week we had a few players coming back from their holidays after having played in a world cup.

Ok, a few youngsters have been out on duty with their national teams like Chambers, Gnabry and Jenkinson. I think it will be a pity for them if they cannot start training with the rest but we shouldn’t be depending on them as we will on some other players. I would have loved to see them play in preseason and would love them to make life difficult for Wenger by performing extremely well but we have enough players to start the pre season in a good condition.

The names that have been doing the rounds most and mentioned a lot in the funny spoof articles of Sir Hardly Anyone over the last weeks look good possible signings. I must admit I’m not getting any special feelings if we would sign Cech. Mostly because I like Szczesny and Ospina and I think they are two great keepers and I would dread losing one of them.

But if he comes I will be welcoming Cech to the Arsenal with open arms and accept the consequences. Even though I don’t really agree with it.   If Wenger thinks it is the right move, who am I to say it isn’t? Only time will tell and I hope that as usual Arsène knows best.

My biggest question for the moment is not: who will we buy? The question that keeps me awake (metaphorically, not really) is: when will we start training again? I know when we will play again and that is of the highest importance (in some 14 days time!) but you cannot play properly if you haven’t trained yet. So I wonder will we start training again next Monday July 6? Or on Wednesday July 8? If we are going to play on July 15 I can’t see us start training the Monday before. That would mean come to Arsenal, run around a bit and then off on the plane to Signapore to play.  Not really the good way to prepare a new season.

But it looks as if somewhere next week we will be entering the next season and have all our players back on the training field to start the new season. And that is something I really look forward to. One month without the feeling of a match is boring, but surely we are nearing the end of the boring season. With or without new signings I really am optimistic about the new season. If we can keep our most important players fit during the season I think we can go a long way in all competitions.  And I think that one special manager in particular sees us as their biggest rivals to win the PL.

But that is something we will see unfold in the next months. For now the most important thing is that we slowly are coming out of the darkest part of the season and we see a little light at the end of the tunnel. A new pre-season is slowly nearing and that is what matters most for me. To see our players back out there will be a big pleasure for the eyes.

Anniversary of the Day

29 June 1971: Don Howe left Arsenal having helped guide the club to the Double as first team coach.  He moved on to WBA where he stayed until 1975 before a year at Galatasaray SK after which he returned to Arsenal as manager.

The books

Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years

Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910

The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal


23 comments to For Arsenal supporters there is almost light at the end of the tunnel

  • Mandy Dodd

    Agreed, some former critics are coming back onside. Usually, there is a ” finally Wenger is doing the right thing in terms of tactics, defence, video analysis, signings, ruthlessness…..keepers…..etc” but whatever , the more as one the fanbase is, the better.
    Agree, very relaxed about who we do or don’t sign, but at least the names we are being linked with are impressive, though one of them needs to revisit his driving techniques.
    Wenger teams play to a set of complex patterns that demand intelligence, relative freedom of thought and action, these patterns need fully fit , motivated and practiced players. Hopefully , we now have that, and a fully firing Arsenal is a match for anyone. Mistakes will still be made, we may have the odd off day, perhaps assisted by the pgmol, but this team is heading in one direction only, there are certainly grounds for optimism.

  • Mandy Dodd

    On Liverpool, looks like they are doing a ” Tottenham” two summers in a row, this time with the Sterling money. God bless their fabled transfer committee.

  • theoder

    Happy to read this article.We are happy to wait to get the best fruit.Last year we were really frightened by the spending of LFC & MUFC. But it showed us that money cant bring quality it need some sense and our manager got it in is pocket.The last thing i would love to say is that “Wenger knows the best”.

  • ukegh k Castus

    Arsenal as a club has two basic problems for now, if you observed last season. so they have to sort out those problems, holding mildfider n point man. as an arsenal fan I need them to move forward not to be in one spot and thinks they can be victorious. Real Madrid are still hunting for player. my problem is that let us start challenging top clubs in terms of every thing, we are equal to the task

  • BrummieGooner

    I read somewhere that most of the Youth Squad had already been back for a couple of days and that they would be joined today by those Seniors not involved in Internationals. (ie. Debuchy, Mertesacker, Gabrial, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Monreal, Flamini, Welbeck, Martinez, Sanogo. Coquelin, Bielik, Bellerin.)

  • Jambug


    Like most I hate the close season. Usually an International break is enough to invoke serious withdrawal.

    But back in training next week? Cant believe it. Cant wait to get going.

    I would be happy starting the season with the exact same squad we finished last season with, and can only echo your sentiments when you say:

    “With or without new signings I really am optimistic about the new season. If we can keep our most important players fit during the season I think we can go a long way in all competitions.”

    But if Wenger acquires some shinny new payers I’m not about to complain, which brings me nicely to the Cech quandary, and again I have to agree with you on this one:

    “But if he comes I will be welcoming Cech to the Arsenal with open arms and accept the consequences. Even though I don’t really agree with it. If Wenger thinks it is the right move, who am I to say it isn’t? Only time will tell and I hope that as usual Arsène knows best.”

    To me though, as others have suggested, the most important signature is Theo’s. The sooner that gets sorted the happier I will be.

    As for a change of tone with our detractors:

    “But I have noticed on the internet a few of the Wenger out shouters openly eating the humble pie.”

    This may or may not be true within the AAA type blogs. I wouldn’t know as I have never read them, but I don’t sense any thawing in the anti Arsenal media one bit. If a piece IS giving any praise at all, it is always through gritted teeth a laced with barbs.

    I found your observation that:

    “And I think that one special manager in particular sees us as their biggest rivals to win the PL.”

    very interesting, because as much as I cant abide the man at any price he is no fool.

    I remember his response when the following was put to him towards the end of last season:

    “If Arsenal can acquire 3 top players for next season do you see them as a serious threat next season”

    To which he said:

    “If Arsenal get 3 top players I think we’ll be looking at another invincible team”

    (neither are word for word, but you get the gist)

    Even though prior to Chelsea’s visit to the Emirates our chances of catching them was pretty remote, you could tell by the way they celebrated the draw that Chelsea definitely saw us as a serious challenge, even then.

    You’d have to be an idiot to not see just how good this Arsenal squad is, as it stands.

    Alas we have many idiots in the Media and I am sad to say quite a lot supporting Arsenal.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Like Brummie Gooner, I had read that training started today, I think it was in a closing paragraph of an article from Jeorge Bird on the comings and goings of the youth squad, now five new players at U18 level.

    I know it’s not our problem but West Ham have their first competitive game in the Europa League on Thursday, they have to enter at the preliminary round stage having qualified via the ‘Fair Play’ trophy. Still Fulham did that six or so years ago and got to the final under Hodgson. Good luck to them in that competition even if it means that thay may be better prepared for the opening day clash at the Emirates.

  • Sleekwhale

    I have been looking for an Arsenal-esq super striker. Now maybe we don’t even need any signings…Hopefully Wenger knows best.

  • bjtgooner

    Morning Walter, a very nice article.

    I agree with the viewpoint that there is a subtle change in the aaaa camp and also in the anti Wenger press and blog-sphere. Within their self imposed narrow viewpoint they have begun to realize the AW has already built up a very fine squad, which has not quite reached its peak and with careful additions will be a real challenger for the title next season. Consequently, the dimwits have tried to change their stance against this eventuality.

    (I would further contest that we would have been a serious challenger this season given fair and competent refereeing!)

    There is much to look forward to next season – lets everyone get behind the manager, team and club – and encourage them to go for it this season!

    Oh – just returned from Scotland – always impressed with the beauty of the countryside – but was pleasantly surprised at the number of Arsenal admirers amongst football fans up there.

    @nicky – some Scottish cheeses are not at all bad – would give English Mature Cheddar a close run!!

  • Andrew I am not sure that WHU’s games will leave them better prepared. They are doing a fair amount of travelling and playing lower grade teams. OK we do that too, but for us the result doesn’t matter and there is some co-ordination in the games, and we are able to mix and match the players. WHU won’t be able to do that.

  • Tom

    Most Arsenal fans seem more relaxed this transfer window and to be honest I was surprised to read that there are voices out there urging Wenger to spend like Liverpool have ( haven’t noticed any), and the reason being that with the emergence of Coquelin , Arsenal don’t have any obvious and glaring ” wholes ” in their squad anymore.

    If Cech comes, he will be a definite upgrade on what we already have but I understand the reluctance with which some treat his possible arrival.
    Ospina, despite his obvious physical limitations, hasn’t done much wrong to lose his spot and he genuinely looks like a likable character.
    To see him go makes some people’s emotions override their cold , hard judgment.

    We had a similar debate last summer about Arteta/ Flamini position , with some on here ( no names need mentioning) going as far as saying these two were the best holding midfielders in the league, while others saying that Arsenal’s style of football didn’t require a holding midfielder at all.

    Enter Coquelin and the debate is over. The only mention of additional strenghtening of the position is in case he gets injured.

    DM and the Keeper where my personal two must haves for Arsenal to get to the next level , and Cech along Coquelin fits the bill nicely.

    If Wenger finds an additional improvement on what we already have at other positions then that’s even better, but that would have to be someone really special.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin.

    Are the 25 man first team Gunners who have trained and played up to 30th May 2015 not entitled to a continuous 42 days rest? I think they are very much entitled to have those days away from football to rest. The first team squad are not supposed to report for training until 13th of June 2015. But being as it is, they have to report earlier than that date to enabled them to prepare for the pre-seasons of the Asia Cup?, Emirates Cup and the Charity Sheild games before the big kickoff on 8th August as we welcome the West Hammers to baptism of fire at the Emirates Stadium. I must confess that I am not bored of any lack of watching Arsenal games, because I know they are on a well deserved season break. At least I know they are not machines. Even machine gets engine-fatigued and needs to be serviced before it can run properly again. Money can buy quality if it is carefully spent and it can as well enhance the quality onground, I think that’s what the Boss is trying to do as he has not yet told us who he has signed. I believe he will sign top qualities when the window opens. He has to sign to enhance the qualities he has onground to mount an unstoppable audacious challenge for the Premier title and others. To be honest, I am not eager to see the Gunners start to train and to play their friendlies. But I must say, am earnestly looking forward to who and who the Boss will sign in this transfer window to move the Gunners to advance level over their Premier League rivals next season.

  • Gord

    Some backroom transfer information. James Haycock (physio) moves to Arsenal from Huddersfield.

  • Gary

    Cech transfer now on .com. I am anxious to hear what will happen to Ospina

  • Mandy Dodd

    Cech now on the official site

  • Pat

    I didn’t think I cared one way or the other about Cech, but now he has actually signed for us I find I am very happy.

    I’ve always liked as well as admired him. He appears a decent person as well as a great player. Far too good for Chelsea. And now he’s one of us!

  • Hisham

    Welcome on board Petr Cech!

    I believe pre-season starts this week. Will have to wait for the .com to show the pictures. COYGs!! We are going to have a great season

  • Ben

    Fantastic signing. Cech is one of the best around.I really pity ospina. He deserves better after his performance in his first season. One more signing, striker.

  • goonersince72

    It’s finally happened! I’ve been waiting for this since the first Cech rumour. The team is better for it. You don’t win big titles without a world class keeper.

  • Sleekwhale

    Petr Cech is @ Arsenal!

  • Gord

    I had noticed in the WWC 2015 game between Canada (my team) and England, that Siobhan Chamberlain came in. I did not know what happened to the England starting keeper. The Guardian is reporting, that the starting keeper suffered some kind of allergic reaction, and her eyes had become affected. What kind of allergy? Certainly an unusual reason for a substitution at a major tournament.

  • Vintage Gooner

    Thanks for the post Walter and helping us all to get through the Summer. I would like to suggest that Arsenal treat the Singapore tournament effectively as appropriate for our League Cup squad. Perhaps 11 or 12 of our most promising youngsters and 8 or 9 of our most senior squad members.

    This would help with a competition which is bound to continue to be for Arsenal primarily a testing ground for our best youngsters and which starts much earlier than other cup competitions now we have avoided qualification for the group stages of ECL.

    The Emirates cup would however probably call for a much more hybrid team and being late in July must fit much more closely to our first team preparation.

    Still looking forward to a really promising season and the probability of silverware yet to come.


  • Redsy

    The funny part about Liverpool is they spend all that money last year on southampton players and then wonder why they end up playing like southampton and this year they are going back for more ….go figure.
    We buy players like Ozil from Madrid or Sanchez from Barca Petr Chec deom Chelsea and improve each season.
    What are they smoking at Anfield well thats anyones guess.