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It’s time for positive supporters to take on the clowns

By Tony Attwood

One of the key points about Untold Arsenal is that we try and look at football by considering the evidence.

Unfortunately we are rather on our own in doing that, and as a result when a dozen or so supporters make one of their banners and hold it up at the end of a victorious night, announcing that it is time for Mr Wenger to leave, you know it will get maximum publicity while our evidence based approach gets no coverage.

It’s not the first time this group has done this – and it is possible now to put together a picture of who these people are.

The last time I saw it was against West Brom away in the league cup.  24 September 2013.  The fact that the bannerians have chosen these two matches tells us something.  It is more than likely that they are either non-members or they don’t have any away credits on their membership.

Of course I can’t prove that (I just say “more than likely”), but it is noticeable that these were the two games which have gone for zero credits.  (In case you are not familiar with the system, when tickets for away games go on sale they first are allocated to away seat season ticket holders.   Then they are allocated according to the number of other away matches the member has been to.  It is rare for a ticket to be available with no away credits – it happens for early round Euro games in Turkey and other countries where there are safety issues, but not too many others).

So they come, they put up their banner, and the media cover it.

The problem is a banner is not an argument, let alone a presentation of evidence.  Nor, let us remember, is it much of a way of getting what you want.  Remember Egypt in 2011, great hope for democracy, lots of banners, the Brotherhood take over and by 2013 you had a military dictatorship.  Fortunately we just cover football – its a bit safer.

Not all banners are bad however.   I have the picture of elderly people protesting under a banner that says, “What do we want?” with the answer “We’ve forgotten” below it.  The older I get the more I like that.

Back with football, Mr Wenger’s response to it all has been excellent of course.

“I have no problem to cope with everything but I find that a bit boring in the end. I always have to convince you that I am good enough.”

Not that he has to convince other managers in the league as it turns out.  It has become clearer and clearer of late how much they admire him, but the dozen or so zero-credit away fans and their allies in the media had their day.  Even Phil Brown, who launched a raft of attacks on Arsenal and Mr Wenger when he was at Hull, was in conciliatory mood on BT Sprout last night.

So what can those of us do to counter the negative publicity that the aaa, the zero credit banner wavers and the media give to the club?

In the end apart from go to matches (and of course I fully appreciate that many dedicated supporters can’t, and I do know how lucky I am to be able to go), all we can do is expose the lack of logic and lack of evidence in the anti-Wengerian arguments.

The recent press conferences are a case in point.  Read the media and you see Mr Wenger losing his cool, raging against the modest, moderate journalists who are just doing their job.  What he actually said was “What I find just boring is always sitting here after 19 years to face: ‘Do you think you are good enough?’” I am not on Twitter. I don’t invite anybody to go out to dinner and be nice with them. I work and work and work and work. If it’s not good enough, someone will tell me one day. That’s all I can do. I do not worry what you say about me or what fans say about me. I try to do my job in a proper way and with full commitment. After that everybody has the right to have an opinion.

“I cannot influence the behaviour of the fans. How can I do that? I don’t know. I am humble enough every day to question myself, to accept my mistakes and, believe me, I do that. After that there is no coincidence that the people who own the club tell me to be here for 19 years. Do you think they are more stupid than you or me? I feel privileged to have the confidence of the club for such a long time. I work seven days a week with full commitment. That’s all I can do.”

The problem is, the media is packed with soothsayers and mind-readers.  Amy Lawrence in the Guardian for example says, “Deep down, though, he is not immune to the weight of expectation.” OK Amy, you are a superb journalist, so please tell me.  How do you know?  It can’t be a twitch of the shoulders or a crooked smile, because it is “Deep down.”

I have to say, most of the time I have no idea what even I myself feel deep down, because I’m an emotional guy and my mood can change.  Deep down… that’s tough.  Deep down I love my three daughters and my seven grandchildren and would move heaven and earth to protect them and help them.   And a few other things along those lines.   But really, how can anyone say about a person they don’t have a very close personal connection with day after day after day and who is not a very very close family member or personal friend, “deep down…” this or that?

Steve Bruce on the other hand was good yesterday.  He said, “From inside the game you’re not going to hear people criticising him because, when you’re in management as long as he’s been with what he’s achieved, who is anyone to criticise him?   I find it appalling that they can. For me he would only get one thing and that is respect. It’s a blame culture now. Managers get the sack after 12 weeks. I don’t know why we’re questioning him. He’s been one of the great managers that this country has seen.”

That’s the real world.  As real as my love for my family.  As real as my lifelong stupid hobby of being devoted to Arsenal FC.  (Still, it’s better than stamp collecting).

And what does the press say.  Here is the Telegraph (and you really should not read the following when operating heavy machinery.)

Is Arsene Wenger guilty of crimes against Arsenal?

Now the implication of that headline is that the Telegraph thinks he is.   However they start backing off with the sub-heading “Arsene Wenger has been accused of various ‘crimes’ at Arsenal – but is that justified?”  So here we go with a prosecution, defence, judge and jury in the hands of one writer.
.
After telling us the article is sponsored by VW Commercial Vehicles, Jeremy Wilson takes up the thread.   Now J Wilson (Deputy football correspondent of the Telegraph) is a man with a past in this regard.   As with his piece “Arsene Wenger loses his temper over ‘boring’ questions about his Arsenal future.”   We’ve seen what he actually said above.  Losing his temper?  No I think not.  I have seen it, but not for quite a few years.
.
So what Mr Wilson does is look at various headline accusations.  It is worth considering because of what follows.

The last 10 years are a failure

A simplistic analysis. Yes, there have certainly been many disappointments and plenty of mistakes in this past decade but also major achievements that will be more kindly judged as time passes and perspective grows.

He includes reaching the last eight of the European Cup four times in the last decade (only previously done once in the club’s history).  Plus the Cup wins.   And he is honest enough to say, “Those who complained previously about a lack of silverware now focus on the 12 year wait for a Premier League title. It is understandable but still largely overlooks how, aside from three clubs who have outspent the rest of English football by a huge amount in recent years (Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City), Arsenal are still the last team to win the league title and have been consistently closest of the others.

“Defending Wenger in the context of 19 straight top four finishes has also become unfashionable – and trophies are of course what really matter – but it is still something no other club has done…. Then there is the Emirates Stadium which, at a cost of £390million, significantly restricted commercial income in the short-term but will help Arsenal compete at the highest level for a generation beyond Wenger. No other British club of comparable size have solved the stadium challenge.”

So on that he says, “no guilty”.

Wenger should spend more money

And this is where he goes off the rails.  “What might have happened if he had pushed beyond the bizarre £40million, plus £1, bid for Luis Suarez in 2013?”

The problem is the Telegraph is one of the papers that refused to publish the transcript of the Liverpool! owner who boasted at a conference in the US that there was indeed a £40m buy out clause, but that he lied, lied and lied again about it in order to keep the player at the club because “in soccer contracts aren’t worth anything.”  It was made clear to Arsenal that they were not going to sell their asset at that price, and they were not going to sell at any price to a British team and they would use any underhand tactic possible to keep him.

Ignoring that is just bending the facts to meet the political perspective of the paper.

And the subsequent question “Why back away from signing Morgan Schneiderlin last summer?” is just as daft.  He has Gabriel, coming through as a Brazil international and a player who is going to be with Arsenal for a long time, and Koscielny, now voted into the top 100 players in the world, and described by Wenger as his best buy in the last 10 years.   So buying Schneiderlin means not playing one of those two.

Its a dumb point – you can’t have Gabriel Kos and Schneiderlin and keep them all happy.  OK, so the argument was don’t buy Gabriel – we will only be able to judge that over the next few years which was the best move.

What this piece misses, as most journalists do, is the fact that only 25% of big money transfers actually make an impact in year one, and 25% only make an impact the size of their fee.   A player who does well in one team does not always do well in another.   Retrospective decisions about who we should have bought are simplistic.  At the time it is always a gamble and Mr Wenger is peculiarly good at gambling well, be it Ozil and Alexis, be it Bellerin and Coquelin, be it Henry and Pires.

Arsenal are full of big games chokers and losers

At least the writer admits that

The FA Cup final, consecutive victories over Manchester City and United, as well as a 2-0 win against Bayern Munich and the Champions League comeback in Olympiakos, show that they can deliver when it most matters.

The same mistakes are repeated

All clubs suffer injuries but Arsenal’s squad has endured a relatively high number to key players.

If you are a regular Untold reader you’ll be drying your eyes now in order to try and read on.  We’ve covered this so often it makes you wonder why some journalists are so resolute at not reading the blogs.   Arsenal’s injury record over the years is above the average, but not at the very top.  We tend to be about sixth in the league however you measure (days out, players out, year on year, 10 year average…).

Come on Mr Telegraph Man, even the BBC has admitted the “Arsenal injury crisis” story was always a myth just like the Dirty Arsenal story from the early days of Mr Wenger’s tenure.  That was invented too.  We get lots of injuries so do most teams.  When a team has a sudden non-injury run, they become like Leicester today, or Nottingham Forest at the end of the 1970s.

Another persistent issue is losing players to soft bookings or sendings off at critical moments. Francis Coquelin was the latest example on Saturday against Tottenham but Gabriel, Santi Cazorla and Per Mertesacker were also all sent off this season against Chelsea, as was Wojciech Szczesny in the Champions league first leg against Bayern Munich two years ago.

OK but have you ever heard that there is another side to the story?  Think about it for a moment.  Think Chelsea… some other evidence there perhaps?  Wrong player being sent off.  Player being sent off for a handball when the ball was clearly not heading for the goal, but obviously going wide…  any of that (all at Chelsea) ring a bell?

It is easy to think the whole article was a journalist just having a dig because he didn’t know what else to write about, but with the Telegraph also running

Why Piers Morgan IS ‘The Arsenal’

you start to wonder.  And then when straight under that is

• Wenger fears that Arsenal fans’ unrest could harm his players

the theme starts to grow.

All we can do is keep exposing their lack of research, their insistence that they can mind read, their ignorance of many of the facts, and meanwhile keep on supporting the team.

It’s a shame the media and their occasional fan friends with banners do this, but if you support Arsenal, that’s what you have to expect.  I think most of us have got used to it.

———-

Some stories from this day in history the anti-Arsenal Arsenal want you to forget

  • 9 March 2008: The earliest St Totteringham Day (the date when Tottenham can no longer overtake Arsenal in the league) ever, occurred with nine games to spare.  Tottenham ended the season in 11th position.
  • 9 March 2010: Arsenal 5 Porto 0.  Bendtner scored a hat trick in the Champions League round of 16.
  • 9 March 2015: Manchester United 1 Arsenal 2 in the sixth round of the cup.  It was the second time Arsenal had won in Manchester in the season, and revenge for the defeat by Man U in the league at the Emirates Stadium.  Man U received a shocking seven yellow cards, with Di Maria getting two and so departing early.   Monreal and Welbeck scored in a game that became famous for Arsenal’s change of tactics, utterly unpredicted by the press who said Arsenal always played the same way.

The insult of the day 

  • I to make thee mad, do mock thee thus.  (Henry VI Part 3).  

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65 comments to It’s time for positive supporters to take on the clowns

  • Gouresh

    It was a good all round performance by the boys. Theo came alive only when he was given the arm band, which is something to think about. he seems to become more responsible and performed as a captain. I think that AW should consider him a captain to get the best out of Theo. Nicky, just to point out, Theo controlled with his right and shot with his right….the thing to note about it was the quickness between the control and the shot. I was a bit worried when Ramsey just came on as we were too open and all over the place, but very soon we got our shape back. Cullum slotted in very well and overall the buys put in a good solid shift. This is what we fans want. When you take your chances, it becomes easy. Lets hope the injuries are not too bad as the list looks frightening. The banner was a tasteless, but in todays world loyalty has no value and everyone wants everything now and the easy way.

  • colario

    The attacks on Arsenal and in particular Arsene have gone from the surprising to the puerile.

    If there was in England a newspaper that reported football as it is, with the same momentum, the sensationalism and the same claims to be the lone authority on the game then, there would be no closed PGMOL shop, no £50 000 pay off to referees, the FA would be leaders in football technology, The FA would spend its money on football instead of it self. The……,…….,

    Or to shorten the above by use of the word of the first English writer to win the Nobel Prize for English literature.

    ” If…..”

  • One of the best bit fo writing I have read this year. well done, tony alyways the right words.

  • Mark

    The guy holding the banner was on Arsenal fan tv and interviewed for about 8 minutes, watch it for yourselves if you want to. Not sure what kind of supporter he is, never seen him before and I go away a lot but thousands travel so chances of seeing him are slim. I am going to Barca next week and sounds like he is going so will look out for him and see who is in his ‘crowd’ and come back to you with any updates.
    Glad to see Bruce defending Wenger and a paper has actually said the fans embarrassed themselves last night with the banner. What is interesting about the banner holders is their age, they have no idea what happened before 1996 as most were toddlers at the time so have no historical knowledge of our great football club.

  • colario

    “What is interesting about the banner holders is their age, they have no idea what happened before 1996 as most were toddlers at the time so have no historical knowledge of our great football club.”

    By their behavior they still are toddlers.

  • Greg thanks for your kind words.

    Mark, the age issue is interesting. People who came to the club at the start of the Wenger era are of course very welcome as supporters, as is everyone, but the seem to have no historical awareness. Somehow they assume that if Wenger is not delivering the trophies as he did in the early days with the doubles, the unbeaten, a Euro final and endless FA Cup semi-finals and finals, then he must go.

    But very few managers can ever deliver such a run, and as the clubs with the big money have found, it is not something you can easily buy.

  • Dazza64

    The club needsto apply an IQ test to weed these banner waving morons out

  • Pete

    If I had played for Arsenal in that match, I think I would have gone over to the fans at the end when acknowledging the (excellent) support and asked the idiots with the banner to take it down. Calmly but persistently. Maybe they are instructed not to?

    Given the coverage I think it likely that if they try to repeat that stunt their could be trouble with some of the true fans. Frankly, if it was ripped down by supporters I would be cheering that. As it would send a clear message to the media that the vast majority of fans are behind the club, including the manager.

  • Max Kerr

    Actually Tony, I have to take issue with you regarding the Piers Morgan article, which I read as an hilarious dig at the Morganaut, and nearly recommended it on aprevious thread.

    However, Jeremy Wilson, as always, made me squirm.

    I was pleased by the TV pundits reaction to the banner, but sad that the camera kept panning back to it.

    Great result! COYG!

  • Richard morgan

    Nice piece, now I am not a Wenger out or Wenger in person. However, if I was to classify myself in either those camps it would be wengerite. I get to about 14 games a year and I generally record those so I can watch back and better analyse the performance. I believe we should never judge team or manager until a season is over. My problem is that an average of a piece of silverware every 2.3 years or so is not a bad record for a manager that had to deal with constraints and there were chances for more silverware on top of that. In fact if you were over generous and added community shields that trophy count would be a piece of silverware every 1.4 years. Now would these people be moaning if Chelsea or city were 8 points ahead of us at this time and Leicester and Tottenham possibly but I doubt it. The problem I believe lies in comments I hear from many other supporters is that Leicester are only where they are because everyone else has been poor, yet that really puts down how well they have performed well this season only losing 3 times two of those to us that’s better than any other team in league. Now can we win league this season ?
    For me yes it would take Leicester and Tottenham to falter whilst we win games but that’s still a possibility can we win games cup that’s a more realistic target. And cl highly unlikely. Has Wenger made mistakes the answer to that is yes of course he is human after all. In my opinion Wenger will be replaced at some point he will have to be because no one can live forever, but he has earnt the right to at least see out his current contract. Then the board should sit down and review whether or not to extend his tenure.

  • norman14

    A very good performance last night. Joel Campbell was inspired. Theo and Ollie in the goals, and Mo was exceptionally cool. For all the criticism that he takes, I thought Flamini had an excellent game, and was especially disciplined when he went to right back.

    The idiots in the crowd were an embarrassment – not only to themselves, but due to biased media reporting, all Arsenal supporters will be lumped in with the dickheads. I was hoping to see a group of real fans go over and shove his banner up his ass, but in retrospect, I’m pleased they didn’t, as that would have given the media even more of an anti Arsenal feeding frenzy.

    After the game, Arsene said that Gabriel was a hamstring and Ramsey was a thigh. Channel PIGMO this morning said Rambo was a hammie and Gabriel a knee. – So, who was right?

  • Colin

    Whether Arsene Wenger has done a good or bad job depends upon perspective. Against a club like Hull or Tottenham Arsenal’s acheivements have been incredible. However, on a wider stage, against the other European giants, with which we are on a financialpar our record is not so good, especially over the past 10 years or so. I’m of the opinion, that given the privileged position Arsenal has had for so many years (being part of the G-14 for example) we should have been able to have done a lot better than we have.
    Has that been the fault of Arsene alone, no I don’t believe so, the management since David Dein departed has not supported him in the same way as I understand. However, he is the figure head for Arsenal, and while he would be first to take the credit for any success, he must explain or at least address the issue of not being able to progress the club further in the EPLor ECL. He can’t keep saying he’s “bored..” that is an unfair answer to anyone who supports Arsenal.

  • Rantetta

    They’re known as “the banner-wankers”.

  • Josif

    Tony,

    Schneiderlin is a defensive midfielder, not a central defender. So, his arrival would have displaced Arteta and Flamini and would have given us a strong competition for Coquelin. I may earn myself a solid number of dislikes but if there was Wenger’s mistake last summer, it was not signing Schneiderlin. He is the Arsenal-est player to play outside Arsenal, a physically upgraded Arteta. There is a common argument that he would have displaced Coquelin or been forced to watch the game from the beach but…so what? When Ozil arrived, nobody was thinking about Santi’s double-double or Wilshere’s and Rosicky’s cases for the No.10 role. If Ozil hadn’t settled, Cazorla, Rosicky and Wilshere would have done the job. But that ship has sailed and there is no point in pulling out Schneiderlin’s, Coquelin’s, Arteta’s and Flamini’s stats to prove what I have stated above.

    However, there is a mistake in the very title of the Telegraph article. A crime against Arsenal? I was taught that there is no crime if it’s not defined under a criminal law or as old Latin saying nailed it: “Nulla crimen sine lege, nulla poena sine lege.” Therefore, Wenger can’t be responsible for a crime that doesn’t exist.

    But then again, what have Romans ever done for us?

    Move on to Suarez.

    As always, I will repeat that Suarez doesn’t have character of an Arsenal player as neither biting (sorry, Jens Lehmann) nor racism are acceptable at Arsenal FC. What people keep missing is Suarez’ statement that Gerrard talked hin out of a move to Arsenal which was the reason he didn’t force Liverpool! to respect the contract clause. Also, Suarez had missed five league games due to his desire to check how Bane Ivanovic taste like so he wouldn’t have played from the very beginning for us and nobody can say for sure he would have made a connection with Giroud like he had had with Sturridge etc, etc.

  • Zedbee

    Josif

    Morgan has not exactly uprooted trees at ManUnited though. It is quite easy to look at players and think they will be the perfect solution but until the player actually plays for that team it is pure speculation. We cannot afford to speculate/ take chances on players as often as United, Chelsea and City do. Sad reality of life.

  • Andy Mack

    Dazza64,
    The IQ test isn’t a bad idea. It doesn’t have to be a high number either as all the ‘Banner Wankers’ combined IQ is unlikely to reach double figures…

  • Jambug

    Tony

    Reading the following extract I have to say it sounds suspiciously like he was reading your:

    “The real reason why some clubs do better than others – and its not transfers or managerial changes”

    article from Monday, and dare I say it, more specifically the statistics I produced in my comment at 2.17PM which cover all what he is saying, and at greater depth.

    “He includes reaching the last eight of the European Cup four times in the last decade (only previously done once in the club’s history). Plus the Cup wins. And he is honest enough to say, “Those who complained previously about a lack of silverware now focus on the 12 year wait for a Premier League title. It is understandable but still largely overlooks how, aside from three clubs who have outspent the rest of English football by a huge amount in recent years (Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City), Arsenal are still the last team to win the league title and have been consistently closest of the others.

    “Defending Wenger in the context of 19 straight top four finishes has also become unfashionable – and trophies are of course what really matter – but it is still something no other club has done…. Then there is the Emirates Stadium which, at a cost of £390million, significantly restricted commercial income in the short-term but will help Arsenal compete at the highest level for a generation beyond Wenger. No other British club of comparable size have solved the stadium challenge.”

    Honestly he would of been better of just to ‘cut and paste’ my comment.

  • Gideone

    @Jambug: “Honestly he would of been better of just to ‘cut and paste’ my comment.”

    You never can say. Maybe ‘deep down’, like Amy Lawrence, he knows all your thoughts. Omniscience is a trait that seem peculiar to journalists these days 🙂

  • proudkev

    Great article Tony.

    Look Deejay DT and his motley crew with that banner are a very unpleasant lot. They are regulars on Arsenal fan TV slagging off the manager, the players and the club. Quite a few youngsters amongst them, with a great vocabulary of four letter words. These are the sort of people that get excited insulting people.

    I am not Ian Wrights’ greatest fan but I respect him for what he did on the pitch for us. When you see Deejay DT abusing him and calling him a ‘pr**k’ for questioning his banner, it paints a picture. These idiots respect no-one, not even themselves. They are not the greatest intellects on the planet and that comes across clearly when you see what they say and listen to them on AFTV.

    In 2013 they were demanding Wenger was replaced with Laudrupp!

    Think about that. Laudrupp better than Wenger.

    These guys don’t want what is best for Arsenal, that is not their motivation. The media fall into this trap. All these idiots want is to get their own way. They travel to Hull with their banner and proudly display it despite a 4-0 win – because the game is about the agenda. It is not about wanting their team to win. Its about personal gain.

    They are obsessed on Wenger, fixated and that is some irony.

    There are many like them for whom WOB membership has become like gang culture.

    Just take a look at the WOB blog yesterday.

    If you read the leading WOB blog and look at the comments pre, during and after the game yesterday it is shocking. You could easily think you was on a Spurs or Chelsea blog. Honest, the comment section is as far away from an Arsenal supporters blog as you could find.

    The abuse aimed at the players, the manager and ‘us’ is quite something. The level of hate is actually frightening. I have no idea how many are fake Gooners but most on these appear to have convinced themselves they are fans, not quite sure how.

    The fact these idiots try to pretend they want what is best for Arsenal is actually funny. The claim they make is that they want results and trophy’s and getting Wenger out will give them that. There appears to be a delusion here, that Arsenal replacing Wenger with managers like Coyle, Moyes, Monk and Laudrupp will guarantee us success. Really? That sums up what we are dealing with here, this lot aren’t very bright but they are desperate. Desperate to get their own way and feel good about themselves. They dont care who replaces Wenger, that has no relevance to them.

    This agenda is not about trophies. It might have been but not any more.

    Why are they so quick to discredit the two recent FA Cups? Why during and after the game were they abusing the players and the Manager? Why did some claim they wanted Hull to Win? One of the best comments on the WOB blog after we won 4-0 away was this gem:

    “Well. Let’s hope watford can do us over on Sunday. Sod the memories. Just f*** off wenger.” (These are my asterix’s)

    He wasnt alone in thinking along those lines and that is pretty frightening. This lot are insane.

    Let us hope they proved what they are with that banner waving yesterday and their insult of Ian Wright. These are not Arsenal supporters, the only thing they support is their agenda.

    It is about time everyone in the media woke up and smelled the coffee. It is also about time someone at Arsenal Football Club grew some balls and started to stand up for our under siege manager. The way he gets treated is disgusting, truly disgusting.

  • insideright

    So much of this ‘anti-Wenger’ feeling stems from a complete lack of understanding of why Arsenal have so much money in the bank the belief that Wenger ‘refuses’ to spend it.
    Because other clubs spend money they don’t even have (and then achieve the odd trophy) means, in these peoples minds, that we should do the same. It is ignorant, short-termist and takes no account of the fact that whoever they think should take over (never a suggestion is made) is more than likely to spend that money just as badly as most others do.
    The complicity of the media is based on the desire to print bad news rather than good and the inability to understand good business practice when it stares them in the face. They are, after all, only journalists.

  • Colin – your argument applies the false logic that is seen fairly often here.

    As you rightly say at the start “Whether Arsene Wenger has done a good or bad job depends upon perspective.”

    Quite so, and you put your own perspective very eloquently. Mine is different because I incorporate the fact that Wenger has a higher win ratio than any Arsenal manager who has managed over 100 league games – but each to his own.

    So you argue that”we should have been able to have done a lot better than we have” based on what you admit is your perspective. Fair enough. I think you are wrong, but there we are.

    But then, in the same piece you go on, accepting that your own argument is true, with the sentence, “Has that been the fault of Arsene alone”.

    Now that only makes sense if your original assertion of how one should look at the situation is supported, so everything from that question onwards is based on an assumption at the beginning, and one that I think is invalid.

    This is the way the anti-Wenger campaign is being created. You blame the whole management for something that many people does not exist, but in writing that second paragraph you tend to draw people into the assumption.

    In essence, in well-conducted debate, the assumption is argued out first in a fulsome way, before the consequences are examined. But in football it seems it is now enough to say “here is my assumption” and then draw a strong conclusion, such as “He can’t keep saying he’s “bored..” that is an unfair answer to anyone who supports Arsenal.” Yes he can if he doesn’t accept your opening assumption.

    , no I don’t believe so, the management since David Dein departed has not supported him in the same way as I understand. However, he is the figure head for Arsenal, and while he would be first to take the credit for any success, he must explain or at least address the issue of not being able to progress the club further in the EPLor ECL. He can’t keep saying he’s “bored..” that is an unfair answer to anyone who supports Arsenal.

  • Gouresh

    There is a report on Dailymail that our boys held a secret meeting to sort out the season even with AW not knowing and the result was the display at Hull. Have some more meeting boys, if this is the result, who the hell will complain?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Maybe their banner brings good luck to the team ?

    I thought I said it before but with football becoming more or less a real circus, and as in each circus there must be clowns we should allow them to behave in their silly ways.

  • Vincent Andreetti

    Some fans don’t know the dark days of Don Howe as manager, Wenger when retired will go down as Arsenal’s greatest manager.

  • Minesy

    Do you know, Walter, as I sat watching Swansea equalise after another blatant foul on an Arsenal player last week, I asked myself why so many friends, (supporting and often attending games of clubs all over the country and indeed abroard too), continue to challenge me on my continual frustration and lack of faith in the refereeing and governance of professional football … you know, the usual, “you only moan when you lose”, (not true, you should have seen me go last night !!!!) or the inevitable “it all evens out over the season” … and something clicked … it’s exactly the same reason people follow WWF in America … clearly choreographed and played out to the maximum dramatic effect the WWF is big money and hugely followed …. the TV spectacle of the Premier League and Champions League means that most people are casual observers and red cards, penalties, etc merely enhance that drama for them … so FIFA are run on an intricate system bribes ? Who cares as long as there’s a few sending offs and managerial sackings this week … as long as the TV subscriptions and replica shirts sell, who cares ????

    Sadly I think that’s where we are heading … that is, if we haven’t already arrived there …

  • Gord

    There was a clash of heads yesterday, and I hope Mertesacker is feeling better today.

    In my news this morning, is a story that Canadian researchers just published an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) which is apparenlty quite good at predicting whether a young person is going to suffer a long time from a concussion. Might be useful for the academy to look at, or Gunners coaching young players.

  • proudkev

    Afternoon Colin

    Thanks for your contribution, here are the responses from the sanity party:

    1. Colin Said:

    “He can’t keep saying he’s “bored..” that is an unfair answer to anyone who supports Arsenal”.

    Wenger said he was bored with questions about his position during a pre match press conference. He is quite right to say he is bored with those stupid questions from mischief making hacks. What do you want him to say in a pre-match press conference? A review of the season?

    It is a pre match press conference about the Hull game. Not a review of a season that still has a fair way to go.

    Very boring.

    ***************

    2. Colin said:

    “However, on a wider stage, against the other European giants, with which we are on a financial par our record is not so good, especially over the past 10 years or so”

    Are you are really claiming that in the last TEN YEARS we have been on a FINANCIAL PAR with Barcelona, Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Man Utd and Man City?

    Are you saying that from 2005/6 to 2015/16 we have had FINANCIAL PARITY with those clubs?

    If you believe this, then you are nuttier than a box of frogs.

    Colin, this is ignorant recycled garbage. The old chestnut of ‘ten years’ or ’12’ years, a gun loaded with blanks by the WOB’s and tthe agitators in the media. The number one load of RUBBISH. The lie that for TEN YEARS we have been able to equally spend with our rivals or spend the same as them. No need to sell our best players. The same ten years when Man City and Chelsea, amongst others made hay and the same ten years a club the size of Manchester United failed to get into the Champions League for 2 of those years.

    The same TEN YEARs the media recycle, knowing full well it is rubbish but that the gullable anti-wenger members will grasp with both hands,because they don’t have the brains to do anything else. The fantasists.

    The saucer of milk for Rudolph and his mates, the childs tooth left gently beneath the pillar for financial reward, all part of the ritual for those engaged in the recycling of the narrative ‘TEN YEARS we had financial parity’.

    Project Ashburton paid for by the moeny trees at Highbury Fields. The uncompetitive sponsorship deals, the Granada situation, the stalling of building work when we ran out of money and the issue surrounding the econmoic crisis and the property crash caused by toxic debt, all figments of the imagination.

    The inconvenient truth never to be mentioned or acknowledged.

    The fact our net spend increased suddenly in 2013/14 an indication that Wenger had been sitting in his counting house, counting all his money until a bird came down and whispered in his ear ‘spend some fking money’. So he opened up the pie and withdrew some of the billion quid he’ld been secretly hiding away because he hates winning football games, which he wasted on Mesut Ozil.

    To think I used to think my wife was nuts……

  • Fransico

    TonyHow can you write with a straight face that “Why back away from signing Morgan Schneiderlin last summer?’ is just as daft. He has Gabriel, coming through as a Brazil international and a player who is going to be with Arsenal for a long time, and Koscielny, now voted into the top 100 players in the world, and described by Wenger as his best buy in the last 10 years. So buying Schneiderlin means not playing one of those two. Its a dumb point – you can’t have Gabriel Kos and Schneiderlin and keep them all happy.” Last time I looked Gabriel and Koscielny are central defenders and Schneiderlin is a holding/defensive midfielder. How does keeping Gabriel and Koscielny happy have anything to do with Schneiderlin. Moreover, even if Schneiderlin could have been deputized on occasion to cover in central defense, how would that be a bad thing?? Neither Gabriel or Koscielny has covered himself in glory over the past few weeks and having a better 5th option than Monreal would be a plus, particularly if it means subjecting Monreal to possible injury in his role as a 5th central midfielder as was the case yesterday.

  • Pete

    Just as well it is called “Arsenal Fan TV”. If it was “Arsenal Supporters TV” there would be an issue with the Trade Descriptions Act.

  • Milan

    you are obviously very …

    Two reasons for not publishing your comments Milan. One is that your email address given appears to be bouncing, and the other is that by and large I tend not to publish comments that insult the writer.

    Did you really think I would?

  • Polo

    Interesting read, but one thing the author forget is that AW chose and bought the players, and it’s the players that let AW down. Let’s hope the players can repay him for his trust in them. AW has been getting a lot of stick for not buying more players. Let’s just hope this win will re-energize the players confidence and they win the remaining matches and hopefully the league. I still believe we can win the league even though it will be difficult.

    http://www.punditarena.com/football/english-football/arsenal/arsenaltsn/why-is-arsene-wenger-wasting-his-time-at-arsenal/

  • porter

    Unfortunately whether you or I agree with the banner wavers , they have the right to do it.That is one of the tenets on which our society is built unless the E.U have changed that as well. Just as you put your banner inside the club they feel that they have to take it to away grounds because it would not be allowed at home.
    It is a shame that the Arsenal support is split and from where I am in the ground the element of dissatisfaction seems to be growing. It kind of reminds me of the time that Billy Wright was hounded out. Such a shame that it has come to this. I think the quote is something on the lines of “” I may not agree with what you are saying but I defend the right for you to say it.””

    Get the dislike buttons out

  • Jambug

    proudkev

    “It is about time everyone in the media woke up and smelled the coffee.”

    –The problem is Proudkev, the media don’t want to smell the coffee, they know exactly what is going on. In fact it is the media that drives this agenda.

    Like Ian Wright last night. As I have pointed out elsewhere, Wright regularly ‘attacks’ Wenger and has many times suggested his time has passed, then he has the audacity to have a pop at the people he helped to motivate. And when all is said and done, it wasn’t the banner he was criticising, just the timing.

    And this is what the media do. They directly help to create these Wenger out fans, than start screaming ‘look at all those Wenger out fans’. It’s all so self perpetuating.

    “It is also about time someone at Arsenal Football Club grew some balls and started to stand up for our under siege manager. The way he gets treated is disgusting, truly disgusting.”

    –Said the same thing many times my friend. I can only think they feel they may only make matters worse. But it is very frustrating.

    Also regarding your answer to colin on the finances, I did a fairly in depth post about it yesterday responding to another whinge from John.

    Frankly mate we are just banging our heads against the wall.

  • Jambug

    Porter

    But the point is, just because people have ‘the right’ to do it, doesn’t make it ‘the right thing to do’.

    You sound very sympathetic to these banner wavers. Why?

  • porter

    Jambug , not particularly sympathetic but I stick by the point that it is their right. I believe in democracy and free speech and as far as I see it that is all this is. In fact I am surprised that the wording is as polite as it is. There is no abuse , just a statement of their feelings.

  • porter

    If you can think back to the burning of pictures of the Beverley Sisters on the Clock end and North Bank and the toxicity of the way Terry Neil was ousted , this is minor by comparison.

  • Fransico

    Tony,very eloquent but a lot of us have a problem with Wenger in that he appears to forever fail to learn from his mistakes as surely overall team performance is down to him. As Mourinho once said he would not go X amount of years continually failing to beat a team. He would of course adapt and we have seen this with his wins against Barcelona. Sadly both Fergie and Mourinho had Wenger firmly in their back pocket. Looks like Koeman is joining the group and even Aladyce had lots of success against him. He simply failed to learn and adapt. Next we have the frailty of both physical and mental attitude. Season after season combined with a small squad failing to adapt. Then we have his perceived ultra caution in the market (plenty of insider gossip about this) means he continually misses targets. Again failure to adapt. So Wenger can have the best win ratio ever but forgive me where are the titles? Looks like they blow up at pressure moments. I would also say that Wenger is trying to ring fence himself by being ultra corporate but all we get is failure to adapt again and this time it is social media. He is handling it poorly

  • Fransico

    Also Chelkski having one bad league season doesn’t blow his argument out of the water. The whole point is wenger has failed in the league and champions league year after year after year, despite having the resources to at least make us genuine challengers. He chooses not too for his own reasons that defy belief. He is outdated and the club and the fans desperately need something new, not groundhog season again

  • Jerry

    @Tony,

    Excellent write up! Great to see other managers in the game like Bruce supporting Wenger. I have to admit I get angry every time I see Piers Morgan linked as an Arsenal fan. He’s got the biggest mouth but never supports Arsenal! I actually can’t remember him saying one good thing about Arsenal or Arsene Wenger, and if he did it was a backhanded compliment.

    I actually have a different opinion in regards to the Arsène Wenger statement you mentioned “what I find just boring….”. I actually emailed the club, saying that Arsène Wenger should have used that opportunity to take control of the room again. Answering in that manner let the media make up the narrative instead and control the questioning. A PR rep should have provided Arsène Wenger with different talking points for responses to possible uncomfortable questions. For example, he could have responded with something like:

    “This is the only statement I will like to make on this matter: 19th, 10th, 20th, 16th, and 16th were the positions of clubs that changed managers this year.

    Can you tell me how you guys avoid the pressure? Every week, it seems, a manager of a club competing for the league title is asked to answer questions about job security because of a vocal minority, but you guys ignore the signed requests of over 100,000 fans.

    I am sure the majority of Arsenal supporters will be behind this team to get the most points and hopefully lift the title at the end of the season. Next question please.”

    If further pressed for details of the above statement (e.g. clubs that changed managers/100,000 signatures), Arsène Wenger can reply with a smile, “Come on now, you know I can’t do your job as well.”

    If Arsène Wenger is asked, how he knows the majority of supporters are behind the club, he can respond, “What supporter would not want their team to win all their matches”.

    Could have been used as a rallying call to get the banner-wankers (thanks Rantetta) in line.

  • dan

    And they wonder why nobody reads old media!

  • Jambug

    Porter

    I applaud your defence of free speech and couldn’t agree more. I doubt you’d find a single dissenter on that score, but lets be honest here, this isn’t about free speech is it?

    The question being asked is, is it the ‘right thing to do’?

  • proudkev

    Jambug.

    I accept the right for fans to want a change of manager. As Porter says, free speech and all that.

    However, they don’t represent me and therefore they do not have the right to embarrass me with these pathetic flags and their constant abuse of the players that represent the club. I mean, what kind of moron does this after a 4-0 away win? The fact DT was tweeting in 2013 that Wenger should be replaced by Laudrupp, just shows the level of intellect we are dealing with here. These are the social media types, the socially inept who display their ignorance like some kind of badge of honour.

    As you say, a lot of the WOB types seem to be basing much of their argument on a lie. None of us can do anything in that regard because they don’t want to acknowledge anything that may weaken their argument. Hence the hilarious use of the ten year argument and this notion that we had finacial parity with all the big spenders for those ten years. Not sure if these people have just been brainwashed or they live in caves but surely they cannot believe this crap? If they do, I guess there is no point debating with these idiots because they are away with the fairies.

  • Free speech, ok then here is my free speech. It’s about time all those who profess to love Arsenal FC get behind this team and its manager if they want the PL Title so very badly instead of shouting abuse at the manager and his players. Do those with the banner think that those players who give us a quarter final to look forward to just might stop and wonder why the hell they are bothering for because no matter what they do they cannot do right for doing wrong. How if you where in Arsene Wenger position deal with all the crap that is thrown at you even though you have given your all to this club and then some at a cost to your personally life because this club is your very heart and soul and you hurt like hell after every defeat. If you took that abuse could you deal with it in the manner this man does with dignity and calm , I doubt that very few could and that’s what separates this man from the rest and if this is what he gets from so called supporters who hold up their silly little banners even after a good win then God help this next man that comes along.

  • Jambug

    “The whole point is wenger has failed in the league and champions league year after year after year, despite having the resources to at least make us genuine challengers”

    And where do you get that from?

    City have had a budget 10 times that of ours.

    Chelsea 7 times that of ours.

    Man Utd 5 times that of ours.

    Are you honestly saying we have the finances of Barca, Madrid, Munich etc. ?

    Our transfer budget has been closer to Aston Villas than any of those.

    We have had to build and pay for a new stadium over the period you deride, or did you miss that?

  • Jambug

    Linda

    Another great post.

    “If you took that abuse could you deal with it in the manner this man does with dignity and calm , I doubt that very few could and that’s what separates this man from the rest…..”

    I know I couldn’t.

    I truly don’t know how he found the resolve to stay around. Honestly, with some of the ‘fans’ we have, we don’t deserve him.

    I just thank the stars he has more backbone than I could even dream of having.

  • Andy Mack

    Colin, we were the poorest man at the G-14 table and the planning & construction of the stadium made that even more the case until quite recently. Even now we have problems competing financially with the big European clubs and the ‘sugar daddy’ clubs but we are getting there slowly. The club could do a ‘Bale spend’ like the spores did but that’s neither the AFC way or a guaranteed way to success (as they proved), but it will get spent when the right players become available (in the managers view).
    We are heading in the right direction for success as the new big club, although we have had some false dawns and it’s certainly a bumpy ride…

  • Notoverthehill

    Piers Morgan is employed by the Daily Mail.

    It would seem that the Arsenal shareholder, Piers Morgan, may be in the Rooney testimonial committee?

    Morgan quotes Rooney, that the Chinese have tendered a contract worth …. at least 8 zeroes, tax free?

    The Chinese yuan, is worth roughly 11% of the pound sterling. Yuan 100,000,000 is worth roughly£11,000,000.

    Would any sane person offer to pay Rooney £100,000,000 over 3 years, taz free?

  • porter

    The question being asked is, is it the ‘right thing to do’?

    In their minds yes.They have no other way of showing their feelings.Years ago a protest in Avenell Road could not be stopped unless it turned violent . Now however any protest has to stand on a roundabout because due to the design of the stadium they can’t get near it.

    What you really want to know though is whether I agree with them and that’s for me to know . I will say however that I wish it had not come to this , I would prefer that the club had gone in a different direction some time ago and like an ex player said the other night . I am fed up with seemingly aiming to compete but not worry about winning the two competitions that I really covet.

  • Jambug

    I really don’t think that their are many out there man or woman who could take what this honest decent man has had to put up with. We need one with that old saying, Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.

  • Andy Mack

    porter, the rubbish AW gets overall is worse than Terry Neill got purely because the club is much bigger now and the media is much bigger (especially ‘online’). But as you say, there were some particularly nasty events against Neill.
    However although he managed us to 1 great FA Cup victory, his general results were poor. In D1 we came 8th, 5th, 7th, 4th, 3rd, 5th and when he left we were 16th (ended up 10th). So multiple levels below our present manager achievement-wise, and we didn’t have the moneyed clubs around the way we have now .
    The problem is that these guys don’t appreciate that we’re on the edge of becoming a genuinely ‘big’ European club entirely off the back of the work the club has done during Arsene Wengers reign…

  • sorry that should have read to those with the banner here is one we have that read’s, Be Careful What You Wish For As You Just May Get It. To be honest if they have left school with any GCSE or A Levels I would be shocked so I don’t think they would even understand those word’s.

  • Jambug

    I love guys like Fransico, come here, spout rubbish, get asked a couple of questions, then disappear like a fart in a hurricane !!

  • Gord

    For me, it is currently Wednesday night. A couple of hours ago, a news article came out about something that happened Tuesday in Europe. FFF offices were searched by the police, in connection with the Septic Bladder criminal investigation. The story was out of Geneva, and both Swiss and French police were involved. Would the FFF have offices in Switzerland?

    In the USA, another one of the many plead guilty.

    We may yet see some of the top dogs behind bars.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Everyone and anyone is entitled to their opinion , but remember that what ever is posted or printed on the internet is forever and one day it may come back to bite you in the arse . Facebook is quite a wicked tool .

    What is it with the ‘what if he …’ and ‘ what if he didn’t’ questions ? Fact. Player x left us and player y did not join us . Why say if he had stayed or if he had joined ….we would be better and more successful ? Really ? How do you justify this ? In court this would have been thrown out as being ‘ called ( calls ) for speculation ‘ .

    Instead those who think that they have all the answers , please tell as very clearly and factually as possible , your blue print for Arsenal’s success . Be most specific . Do teach and enlighten us . I personally do really love to learn new stuff . At the same time , as most on here are aware , I do love a laugh or two !

    The floor is yours .

  • Brickfields Gunners

    This reminds me of a story told by a friend of mine . There was a doctor whose practice was not too successful . To ‘promote’ himself and get more patients , he would daily read the obituary column . If there was a funeral nearby , he would attend and pretend that he was the deceased’s doctor.

    He would then tell the other mourners that he had correctly diagnosed the dead person’s ailment , but he/she did not either follow the doctor’s prescribed treatment or had chosen( erroneously , of course !) to seek treatment from another doctor – to disastrous consequence . Many who heard this , were very impressed , while some others were very skeptical and decide to investigate further .Especially loyal patients of those doctors who were being slandered .

    When the truth was eventually found out , the said doctor was laughed out . And am sure this story is still doing its rounds at functions and gatherings .

  • Brickfields Gunners

    In trying in not going off topic – here is a positive message , with a poster , about money and dying with Dignity , and having a laugh all at the same time .

    From an e-mail from an elderly gentleman to his friend ….

    ” I have already informed my family that I will not be able to afford an expensive nursing home, which would allow me to die with dignity. Therefore, I have moved to Central America, where the dollar still goes a long way and I can spend what little money I still have left during my final years enjoying life and dying with dignity!

    Oh,…… and Dignity said to say ‘Hello!’ ”

    Here’s the attached photo and the full article –

    http://thenewcenturyman.com/dying-with-dignity/

  • Brickfields Gunners

    A man who apparently had enough goes to a lawyer to seek a divorce .

    Man : ” I want a divorce . My wife hasn’t spoken to me in six months .”

    Lawyer : ” Better think it over . Wives like that are hard to get !”

  • Brickfields Gunners

    The importance of understanding the context and not jumping to conclusions.

    A drunk man who smelled like beer sat down on a subway next to a priest.
    The man’s tie was stained, his face was plastered with red lipstick, and a half-empty bottle of gin was sticking out of his torn coat pocket.
    He opened his newspaper and began reading.

    After a few minutes, he turned to the priest and asked, ‘Say Father, what causes arthritis?’

    The priest replies, ‘My son, it’s caused by loose living, being with cheap wicked women, too much alcohol, contempt for your fellow man, sleeping around with prostitutes and lack of a bath!’

    The drunk muttered in response,’Well, I’ll be damned.’ Then returned to his paper.

    The priest, thinking about what he had said, nudged the man and apologised. ‘I’m very sorry. I didn’t mean to come on so strong. How long have you had arthritis?’

    The drunk answered, ‘I don’t have it, Father. I was just reading here that the pope does!’

    MORAL: Make sure you understand the question before offering the answer!

  • Polo

    Good posts BG, thanks. Had a good laugh. The priest and the doctor funny stuff.

  • porter

    Andy I did reply last night but for reasons best known to the internet it has not appeared this morning. However you say that we are now on the edge of something big but some including myself would say that we have been on the edge for quite sometime. The problem appears to be that the club see the edge more like a precipice that they seem unwilling to cross.

  • proudkev

    Morning Porter.

    Do you honestly think we had the money and resources in each of the last ten years to demonstrate Wenger has underachieved? In other words is it fair to say Wenger has underachieved in the last ten years as in constantly peddled?

    Perhaps you can quantify by year, starting in 2005/6 (10 years ago). I would be interested to see in which of those years you believe we ‘under achieved’ based on resources and which years we over achieved. It would also be useful if you could cite any supporting evidence.

  • porter

    Kev I will answer your post but am very busy today and don’t really have time to give it my full attention until I return my 2 year old granddaughter to her parents this evening unless she goes to sleep and I get a break. But I will come back on it. Sorry.

  • proudkev

    No worries Porter.

    The terrible two’s….!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Sometimes I wonder , who is effing whom ?

    A man was going to the county fair one day with a pig under one arm and a chicken under one arm, and a basket on his head. He came to a crossroads and didn’t know which way to turn. While he stood there deciding, a young woman approached him, heading the same direction.

    “Please, ma’am, I’m on the way to the county fair. Can you tell me which way to go?”

    “Yes,” she replied. “I’m on my way there, too. We’ll go right down this way about a mile, turn left about a mile and a half, left again about a mile and we’re right there.”

    He said, “Wait a minute… down here, turn left and left again? Couldn’t we save a lot of time by walking through these woods?”

    She replied, “Yes, we could. But I couldn’t walk through those woods with you. Why… you might try to kiss me!”

    “Listen,” he said, “how could I possibly kiss anybody with a pig under one arm, a chicken under one arm and a basket on my head?”

    “Well,” she replied, “you could put that chicken on the ground, turn the basket upside down over the chicken, and I could hold that little bitty ole pig.”

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Stress Management

    Just in case you’ve had a rough day, here is a stress management technique recommended in all the latest psychological texts. The funny thing is that it really works.

    1. Picture yourself near a stream.

    2. Birds are softly chirping in the cool mountain air.

    3. No one but you knows your secret place.

    4. You are in total seclusion from the hectic place called “the world.”

    5. The soothing sound of a gentle waterfall fills the air with a cascade of serenity.

    6. The water is crystal clear.

    7. You can easily make out the face of the person you’re holding underwater.