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October 2016
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The biggest problem in football is the failure of the media to recognise how complex the problem is.

By Tony Attwood

The point that I have been trying to make in my articles on Untold of late is that we are all being fed a conception of football which is simplified to such a degree that it becomes removed from reality.

Football as a game is complex with so many combinations of possible movements and strategies that the number of possibilities exceeds the number of atoms in the universe.  Football as a business operation is likewise phenomenally complex involving as it does such an enormous number of possibilities that we cannot imagine them.

And all that before we consider the social, political and financial implications.

Put the various sides together – football as business, football and a socio-political-financial affair, and football as a game, and there is no way we can express what it is about; it is too complex.

That does not mean that we should not begin to explore what is going on, and look for ways of doing it better, but it most certainly does mean that we can be sure that the notion that football in general or one club in particular can be changed by implementing one particular approach.

This is why anyone pointing out that Arsenal was the only major club in Europe not to buy an outfield player last summer, and that this is the reason why Arsenal failed to win the league, is talking nonsense.  Arsenal could have bought 20 players last summer and been in a worse position than now.  Or a better position.  Or the same position.

It is also why saying that we need a new manager is nonsense.  Of course it might work and a new man could walk in and take Arsenal to the league title the following season, but the historic analysis show us that most of the time this doesn’t happen.  Even the almighty Chapman took five years – and even then he just won the cup (which is not a trophy).

But not only is the proposition that simple solutions can resolve a situation in football totally false, having TV, radio and newspaper journalists saying this is the case does us a gross disservice in another way.   For it treats us, the football supporters who have enquiring minds and who want to know what’s what, as idiots.

We are being fed a daily diet of nonsense.  Not nonsense in terms of suggesting that Plan A should be adopted rather than Plan B, but nonsense in suggesting that the writers and commentators have a plan that is the slightest bit viable as a way of changing anything.

The history of Britain, and I suspect much of the rest of the world, is a history of people with power putting out false stories which are so utterly simplified in their versions of reality that they can’t possibly achieve anything in such a complex world other than by pure chance, or by relying on the fact that the other people involved are doing things that are even more irrelevant.

Which leads to the problem.  It is much easier to see what is wrong than it ever is to put forward a notion of how to make things work, just as it is much easier to reduce everything to a very simple cause and effect vision of life.

What is interesting I think is that most of the people who are telling Arsenal what to do and Arsene Wenger what to do, have either no experience of running a football team, or have tried it and failed.  Everyone can have an opinion, that’s not the issue.  What is the issue that these people’s simplistic visions are given far more credence than those of people who are actually in the game and know how difficult running a team is.


As this continues so we get an overall effect in which football is reduced to something it isn’t – something very simple.   As Johan Cruyff so memorably said, football is played with the mind; the legs are just a mechanism.  What he might have said also was, the mind is the most complex thing we know about in the entire universe, and there are an awful lot of minds involved in a football match.

And even this is just the beginning, because football takes place within society – a society which is so complex we can’t properly describe it, and which is changing all the time.

Let’s take just one example – an example away from Arsenal so that we don’t get tied up with “if you don’t see Wenger is useless you’re an idiot” comments.

Referees in grassroots football receive levels of verbal and physical abuse from players and spectators that for many people is simply beyond belief.  And it is getting worse month by month.

Keith Hackett has, to his credit, pointed out that the FA  Football Association does “not have a clue” about the scale of the grass-roots problem and that is undoubtedly true.

A report in the Telegraph showed that there were 3,731 incidents of misconduct involving adults in a 15-month period in children’s football matches.   The real figure is a lot higher as many refs are apparently unwilling to report offences.

Officials in the Thames Valley Premier League withdrew their services for a weekend in protest at violence and threats and Surrey Youth League have written to parents, “warning them that someone could be killed if behaviour continued to escalate out of control.”   Hackett has now written to FA chairman Greg Dyke to urge him to focus on the issue.   Expect some words but probably no action.

Now, pause for a second and just think about this.  The violent and aggressive behaviour of parents and children at children’s football matches, aimed at officials, is easy to spot, but its causes are incredibly complex.   Back in the 1960s we had “I blame all this TV the kids watch.”  Now there’s the internet.  A lack of discipline in schools and at home has always been brought up, along with immigration (always blamed for anything).

Paul Cooper, the president of the Sheffield Referees’ Association, gave the Telegraph lots of evidence and then said,  “Someone needs to speak out. Everything isn’t hunky dory. A boycott is something we are looking at…. I am worried that sooner or later there will be a serious assault.”

So we have a highly complex situation, the causes of which are most certainly not agreed upon, but which probably have something to do with the way society has changed, and a very simplistic solution – a boycott.

Just take a look at this from the Telegraph’s report…

“On just one February weekend this year, Graham Ekins, the chairman of the Surrey Youth League, received allegations of a linesman being headbutted, two parents fighting, a child referee being abused, a referee being threatened with a stabbing and players being encouraged by managers to smash up a changing room.”

The cause… is not examined.  Instead the Telegraph reports people jumping straight in with simple solutions.  As a result the issue is not properly examined, and options are not properly considered.  All in the name of one thing: simplicity.

I use that example because it is one that is away from Arsenal, away from all the argument about Wenger and the board and the team – but it shows the same point.   The behaviour of children on the pitch and their parents on the touchline is getting so bad that one could not blame any official for giving up.

But the issue of why is not considered.  Why is behaviour getting worse, why are parents not dealing with their children, why is the FA not tackling the problem?  And above all, why are so many journalists afraid of dealing with complex situations?

My guess (and it is nothing more) is that they are so used to reducing everything to simplicity they now believe everything is simple.  Anything that suggests it is complex is considered a conspiracy theory.

Put another way (to add to the inane statement of Margaret Thatcher: there is no such thing as society; it is just a conspiracy theory.

And where can you go once that thought is out?

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55 comments to The biggest problem in football is the failure of the media to recognise how complex the problem is.

  • Luscious Lisa

    Profound stuff. But do we poor football fans have the appetite or the mips to handle einsteinian analysis?
    People like simplicity. (Remember Kiss? Keep it simple, stupid.) Every successful person seems to have a simple quip as to why they’re successful (always have a suntan?).
    But it does seem that there are some simple maxims which carry lots of truth. “To keep doing the same thing and expect different results is the first sign of madness”, or the ‘best guarantee of success in life is perseverance.”
    As to Arsenal and Wenger, ‘to keep your head when all around…” comes to mind

  • nicky

    C’mon Tony, you can’t leave us in mid-air over Thierry cheating at the exams in order to get his badges.
    Where did the allegation originate and has it been investigated?
    Did someone sit the exam on his behalf?
    Were the answers conveyed to him via a secreted mobile ‘phone?
    If proven, what is likely to be his punishment?
    Or is all this “story” just a ploy by some hack, to hold our interest during the irritation of friendly international football?

  • Gord

    Referees, just like players, need training and instruction. When I got drafted in to officiating, I got I think 2 days (maybe 10 hours?) instruction. I’m an engineer, and I think a lot. I have always been bothered by offside. It has always been too ambiguous, even today it is far too ambiguous.

    Where is the training the referees in youth leagues get? It is watching what the referees do in the EPL. At Untold we spend too much time bitching about how poor the PGMO people are, and this is where all the youth leagues get their training. And they grow up and eventually become, PGMO employees, and the cycle continues.

    Poly want a cracker?

    Say someone starts a project. If a fan is an official (referee or assistant) in any league, and is willing to wear a polygraph at games, they get a front row seat. And this applies to the visiting fans as well.

    Hence, at every game we may have a one, two, … hundred referees at the game. Wired for sound, so to speak. And we record every one of those polygraph streams, time synced to the video feeds of the game. We have no knowledge of where any of these people are looking, all we can tell is if they are getting heightened emotions. And we analyse this in the context of the video feed and what they could possibly see (we know where they are sitting). If 30 referees see a foul, they will likely all react, and it shows on the polygraph for the fans. The only reaction that affects the game, is what the referee in the middle did, or didn’t do. But now we know if there was, or wasn’t an incident.

  • You really have a downer on Herbert Chapman, why,?

  • Notoverthehill

    If, Henry is studying for his badges at Hale End Academy and London Colney,? I would suggest that others are complaining about unfair preferential treatment.

    In an interview with Woman.s Own, in 1987, September 23rd. Mrs Thather’s recorded comment was

    – I think we have gone through a period when too many children and people have been given to understand “I have a problem, it is the Government’s job to cope with it!” or “I have a problem, I will go and get a grant to cope with it!” “I am homeless, the Government must house me!” and so they are casting their problems on society and who is society? There is no such thing!

    A very, wide-ranging interview, may I add!

    Tom Whittaker knew Leslie Knighton, so I will take Tom’s words over Tony’s?

  • omgarsenal

    I cannot speak for Walter here, BUT I am sure he has experienced the same level of intimidation, aggression,obfuscation and shenanigans when officiating as most other officials have. Gord is right, most officials don’t get the same amount of training and support as players or even managers do. What we are taught is punctual and superficial:

    1)The written Laws and their IFAB interpretations,

    2)Some marginal on-field training on occasion,

    3)A baptism by fire (on-field games),

    4)Assessors advice that is often generic and unspecific,

    5)The often unpleasant experience of attending discipline committee hearings,

    6)Regular confrontations with irate players,managers and supporters/parents,

    7)With the internet now readily available, constant negative perceptions of officiating and officials…….UA is a paragon of such critiques….backed up by facts.

    I feel an article coming on…………….stay tuned!!!!!

  • Gord

    I will follow up my own blurb (had to go check the Easter chicken, I mean turkey (if you have a box of turkey stuffing on the counter while preparing and cooking the chicken, the chicken will think it is a turkey).

    Now that we (or someone) has analysed the sets of polygraph results tied to what actually happened on the field (from however many camera angles are available); we could “give back” to the public, the results. Ideally, a complete copy of the game, with commentary as subtitles. Maybe a person has the video overlay going, where you circle the comings and goings. And now our referee participants, and other referees, can watch the game again. This is what you “flagged” in the game (and was seemingly ignored by the PGMO “expert”), this is the concensus (of all the referees wired up), and this is the after the fact judgement. For every single action in the game.

    14 year old goes back to officiating games in Luton or where ever, knowing that he/she was originally getting 35% of the game and is now getting 75% of the game. Some parent at the U10 game decides to confront the referee; you don’t know what you are doing. “Blah, blah, blah.”. Referee pulls out scorecard from participation in the polygraph work; “No sir, I catch more of the game than 60% of the referees in the EPL after going through this training. You don’t know what you are complaining about.”. “Oh, by the way Mr. Savage. Nice haircut.”

  • colario

    Charlie, don’t be a ‘Charlie’.

    In response to the ‘instant fixers’.

    The claim is often made about Arsenal here and elsewhere on many other of life’s problem, that there is no such possibility as an ‘instant fix’.

    Reference is often made to the fact it took Herbert Chapman to turn a team of ‘Knighton no hopers’ into a successful team and club.There was no instant fix. However there were signs that success was in the offing as Arsenal came 2nd in the league and Cup finalist. Heights that were way beyond the reach of Arsenal before Herbert Chapman’s arrival.

    If you are a Looserpool fan then I think you would refer to the late Bill Shankly who turned Liverpool into the winning machine they became. But it was no instant fix.

    Arsene inherited some players who had ability but were not being led professionally and also a number of squad players who were also runs, and not up to Arsene’s standards of skill and mental approach to the game. They had to be replaced and they were as I am sure you know.

    Arsene brought to Arsenal professionalism in every aspect of football.

    There is no ‘downer’ on Herbert Chapman for with out his vision and know how, that this former spuds player brought to Arsenal we could still easily be the Fulham or Crystal Place of North London, for that is all we were when he arrived at the club in 1925.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    How to become a smart and shrewd sharemarket investor – buy low , sell high . You really cannot go wrong !
    Millions will attest to this .
    Billions will disagree !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Life’s path –
    Others have walked it before you , others may walk it with you , and others will walk it after you , but NO ONE can walk it for you .

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ colario March 27, 2016 at 8:29 pm – Not sure if you watched yesterday’s T20 India vs Australia game ? After restricting the Australians to what was considered an achievable total , the Indians started very slowly and lost wickets at regular intervals .
    Then comes in a big hitter in Yuvraj Singh , and the mood picks up . Only for him to injure himself quite early and thus restricting his running . He(?) decided to soldier on , but was unable to move the scoreboard fast enough . The crowd went quiet for some time feeling for the first time that the game was running away from their heroes .Kudos to them , the kept the faith and the batsmen starting chipping away slowly without any panic .
    With the game delicately poised , and Virat Kholi well entrenched , he decides to hit out and gets out . There was no booing during his painful tenure , nor were there calls for him to retire hurt .
    Then comes in captain MS Dhoni to speed up things and for the Indians to win with 5 balls to spare . The crowd was palpably nervous , but left it to the management and players to make the important decisions and were rewarded .

    It reminded me of AW and Arsenal , especially the injury part , and how if the crowd gives him enough latitude , that he would deliver . But too many smartalecs and know -it -alls screw it up for the faithful.

  • colario

    Hi Brickfields.

    I didn’t watch the game but I did hear the story of the Indian team’s response to the Australian total.

    There was no mention of the crowd’s reaction to the events at the wicket and I take your point.

    Unfortunately the English media like the American media is for ever fighting for followers, for the more followers you have (or the bigger the audience with regard to TV and radio)the more advertising you can obtain and this makes the money.

    The media sees sensationalism and instant fixes as means of getting the followers it needs and so we are lumbered.

    Those with a sheep’s mind feed of this sensationalism and the media feed of the sheep.

    My desk mate at school said to me one day,

    ‘I’ve got more brains in my little finger than you have in the whole of your head.’

    He clearly had not thought through is belief for I was able to reply:

    ‘Well at least I keep my brains in my head and not my little finger.’

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ colario March 28, 2016 at 7:15 am – And I guess he regularly recharges by sticking it up his ‘seat’ of power !

  • David Roberts

    Tony, here is the full quote of Margaret Thatcher, to which you refer:

    “I think we’ve been through a period where too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it’s the government’s job to cope with it: ‘I have a problem, I’ll get a grant.’ ‘I’m homeless, the government must house me.’ They’re casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society.

    There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It’s our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour. People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations. There’s no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation.”

  • norman14

    Interesting that someone like the self imposed authority on Arsenal, Piers Morgan, is quite happy to climb onto the “Wenger Out” bandwagon, but doesn’t have the balls to take on either the media or PGMOB.

  • John

    Rumour has it that there is a new 3 year deal on the table for Wenger!!Brilliant another 4 years of the same groundhog day .Who can blame Kronke and the board as its making them more money after all. More of the same and I bet the fans cant wait.

  • Menace

    Brickfields Gunners
    March 28, 2016 at 5:30 am

    Life’s path –
    Others have walked it before you , others may walk it with you , and others will walk it after you , but NO ONE can walk it for you .

    You rarely get it wrong but AAA & WOB can walk it for you!! 😉

  • Jammy J

    @ John – Wow, really looks like you half of the fans constant moaning and whinging, is really having the desired effect! It’s quite funny how utterly fruitless your whinging is really 😀 (well it would be funny, if it didn’t have such a huge negative impact on the team, anyway).

  • Gord

    The Ladies are in action against Man City, in Manchester. It is (I believe) in the second half. At 13 minutes, Jemma Rose was dismissed, so Arsenal is playing 1 player down. Manchester Evening News is doing a live commentary. Twitter has its feed.


  • Gord

    Ross scored for ManC at 65m (header). Ten minutes later, ManEvenNews still hasn’t reported that. 🙂 Come on Gunners, you have 15 minutes or so left.


  • Gord

    Arsenal give up a penalty at 78m and that is converted 2m later. 0-2.


  • serge

    Jammy J

    “huge negative impact on the team”

  • Gord

    We are into 3 minutes time added on.

    There is no disputing that the the goal was scored on the penalty, but apparently the call by the ref was questionable. This is opinion offered by the Manchester press at a game in Manchester.

    Attendance was 1914.


  • Jammy J

    Feel free to elaborate serge.

  • serge

    Are you suggesting that the team reads this blog and reacts negatively to posts like John’s?
    Because it’s most unlikely on both counts.

  • Jammy J

    No, that most definitely wasn’t what i was saying. I was referring to the extremely vocal, negative portion of the “fans” that have such a bad impact on the team.

    I mainly mean at matches when Arsenal are perhaps not doing as well as they should and instead of the whole stadium getting behind them, cheering them on and giving them a moral boost, sections of the fans start getting on the players backs. Many, many players can attest to what a hugely negative impact that has on you; both on and off the pitch. It completely demolishes your confidence.

    Why would anyone want to do this to their own team/players? It’s clear they have had no impact whatsoever, on whether Wenger stays or goes, so this is literally the only effect that these whinging, self-entitled idiots have.

  • Jammy J

    Arsenal seem to be a team, whos performances reflect on how high or low their confidence is, so this seems to be even more of an issue, with us.

  • John

    Jammy j
    So now it the fans fault that we have once again choked and bottled the chance to win the league.Whose fault was it in 2015,2014,2013,2012,2011,2010,2009,2008,2007,2006,2005,??
    I suppose they were down to referees,injuries,oil money ,pundits ,press and the stadium .I think there is only one person left to blame but it cant be down to him because he only runs the club from top to bottom and makes all the decisions.

  • omgarsenal

    Ahhhh Johnny boy….so the season is over based on your expectional talent for…..whining?
    What’s with your penchant for blaming well before the end of the season….? who says you are entitled to blame or accuse anyone?
    LeGrovel is missing you once again……

  • Jammy J

    I’m sorry John, but where exactly did i say it was the fans fault that we may not win the league? What i actually said, was that it has a negative effect on the players. I understand exaggerating my point to make it look like i’m wrong was very clever of you, but it sort of comes across as a desperate attempt to disprove what i’m saying. Are you trying to say that it doesn’t have a negative effect on team?

    Are you also trying to say that having a net-spend of practically £0 for 7 years or so, whilst other teams have spent £500million+, didn’t put us at a disadvantage?

    “he only runs the club from top to bottom and makes all the decisions.” How do you know this? Do you know someone personally on the Arsenal board? If not, i don’t understand how you could possibly know such a thing and i’m willing to be that you don’t. I see this same argument rolled out time and time again, in a attempt to cast Wenger in a bad light; however i have never seen anyone give proof of this. If you could actually reply this time then that would be great, because every time i ask this question, no-one gives an answer.

  • John

    Im not saying that the crowd don’t have any affect on the team but you can understand their frustrations of seing the same failings year after year after year.Would you say that the manager being unable to motivate and get the best out of the team at a critical part of the season also has a major effect on the team and club???
    And now onto finances.We were told by gazidis that money would be available to wenger even through the years of repaying the debt for the staduim but he chose not to spend it.Do you not believe him??And we all know that over the last two years there ha been considerable money to spend but wenger has refused to buy by saying that his squad is good enough wthout additions to the outfield squad and so he should be judged on that .Since we have finished in the top 2 in the premier league Wenger has earned over 100million pounds in wages from the club.Does that not bother you??
    And onto your last point i thought it was common knowledge that Wenger runs the club from top to bottom and even built the emirates himself.Do you think that he is put under pressure to win the title or champions league?If he was he would of been sacked years ago.The only pressure is to make Kronke an the board money and by winning his top 4 trophy every year keeps them happy.
    Now eventually the tide has turned and many fans,some of whom were staunch Wenger fans are seing that he has taken us as far as he can and that its time for change.Sure it might take a while for a new manager to bed in and get things how he wants but that is better than seing the same results year after year after year.We will never win the league again whilst he is still in charge and the champions league will remain a dream.

  • John

    And Omgarsenal
    Blind optimism will only get you so far.And the slim chance we had for the title was lost on sunday 28th feb when we lost to the worst Utd team i can remember.As an iptept performance as i can remember and it was then i realised that this team led by Wenger had no bottle or desire to win the league.

  • Mick

    John, you have been brainwashed by the media.

  • Jammy J

    @ John – Sorry, i didn’t realise 2 consecutive FA cups was considered a failure now.

    I can totally understand the crowds frustration when Arsenal aren’t playing well, but what i can’t understand is why they start getting on the players backs so quickly, leading to even shakier performances; it’s a vicious cycle and no-one is a winner when this happens.

    “Would you say that the manager being unable to motivate and get the best out of the team at a critical part of the season also has a major effect on the team and club???” If a manager couldn’t motivate a team, then this would be a problem, yes, but what makes you think that he can’t? Any player to have ever played under Wenger has always had exceptionally positive things to say about him, so i can’t imagine that that’s the problem. I believe that during a match; the crowd has a much large role in either motivating or discouraging the players. This is where the problem lies, because soon as things aren’t going Arsenals way, the fans immediately start to do the latter.

    “told by gazidis that money would be available to wenger even through the years of repaying the debt for the staduim” He did say that yes, but this just wasn’t the case. It was only to keep the fans happy in the short term, because if he had come out and said at the start of every season that we wouldn’t be buying any players, a lot of fans would get a bit aggro. Wenger didn’t just not buy high-end players for the fun of it in these 7 years.

    Apart from last summers transfer window; since 2013 or 2014, Arsenal have spent a considerable amount of money, so i’m not really too sure what your point is (well i know what it is, but as with most of your points, it’s incorrect). Specifically the start of the season when the financial constraints were finally eased and we went on to purchase around 6 players in one window. Admittedly i was frustrated at Cech being the only senior purchase this summer window, but i believe the only place we desperately need to strengthen now is upfront. Unfortunately, world-class strikers are very hard to come across and if Wenger had brought another striker for less than £20million, this would be just yet another excuse to bash him “oh, a classic stingy Wenger buy of an unproven player”. He really can’t win; you’ll complain either way.

    “it was common knowledge that Wenger runs the club from top to bottom” This is just a case of people thinking if they say something enough, it’ll mean it’s true. It’s pure conjecture and there is literally no evidence that this is the case. People make out he’s this huge dictator that controls everything and everyone; yet also a man that is happy with mediocrity, has no passion and can’t motivate the players. Well? Which one is it?

    Just because certain members on the board may be happy with 4th, that absolutely doesn’t mean that Wenger is. To question his ambition is fucking ludicrous. This team and manager are just as hungry for the PL and CL as any other team are; the thought of them all getting together and saying; “ah right then lads, 4th is secure, so lets not bother any more because all we care about is the money” is just so ridiculous.

    One of the biggest issues with a lot of the players i fear, is confidence and when you have not only pundits and the media giving you a hard time, but also, even the one group of people that are meant to stick beside you no matter what, then just imagine what that would do to your confidence.

    “We will never win the league again whilst he is still in charge and the champions league will remain a dream.” Yeah, that’s the spirit! Boy, aren’t those players of ours so lucky to have such passionate, optimistic fans!

  • Jammy J

    @ John – You may call it blind optimism; we call it being a supporter. You should try it sometime.

  • Polo

    It’s funny that the WOB’s like John think AW only happy with 4th place and he doesn’t care about winning, but if you read the media many times they say what a sore loser AW is after losing a match, would people who don’t care about winning act as what the media say?

    It’s amaze me how people think AW runs the whole club from top to bottom, so why are there a Board, Chairman, CEO etc? Surely they are not employed for good looks right?

    AW built the modern Arsenal with his vision and hard work, and I haven’t seen any commentators or media reports to debunk this. Before AW arrived where was Arsenal’s training ground? Oh they didn’t have one.

    I would hate to work where most of these WOBs are working, surely you would want your manager to have trust in you? What would happen to your state of mind if your manager don’t trust you?

    Can you WOBs provide evidence that AW has the money to buy players but decided he won’t because he love holding onto it please? All I can see are rumours and speculations, nobody had provided actual evidence.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Menace -March 28, 2016 at 12:57 pm – Have to disagree here Bro , ‘them’ fools only think that they can walk it for you , after walking all over you . I seriously don’t see that happening !

    We getting directions from ‘them’ bungling buffons reminded me of this lot . Alt least these guys were funny !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Brain washing in progress ? What’s his name ? Send in your suggestions .

  • John

    Winning 2 Fa cups in 2 years is a great achievement but to just win 2 fa cups in over a decade is not.As has been proven by teams playing weakened teams it has been devalued over the years and to most teams who want to win the bigger prizes its a distraction.
    You ask me what makes me think Wenger cant motivate the team .?I did watch the games against man utd and swansea .Did you?It was there for all to see.why is it that just a handfull on here along with our manager cant see what the rest of the world can?And dont use that crap about being brainwashed by the press .You dont have to be a football manager at the top level to be able to understand the game and see whats happening in front of your eyes.Most of Wengers ex players can see it,a lot of ex managers can see it so why cant you see it.I think deep down most of you can but refuse to acknowledge it.
    Next i see you are calling our C.E.O a liar.You make it sound like we had no money to spend and that it all had to go on repaying the debt.We have two of the richest men in the world as owners.what is the point in that .Surely in 2013 they could of sanctioned an interest free loan so the club could push on when the injuries kicked in ,,but no we signed kim kallstrom .We call the oil owners of chelsea and city but there is one thing about them hey love the clubs they have bought into and use their wealth to maximize the clubs chances of sucess, subsidise ticket prices and regenerate the areas around the ground.Ours takes money out and not a word is said on here against it ,infact you defend it!!
    And yes i do think wenger is happy to make the top 4 and isn’t as ambitious as some of the top coaches.He is happy to leave us a little short year after year so he has an excuse to fall back on when he fails again and his 8 million plus salary is safe.People say on here that he could go and manage any club in world football,the real madrid’s and barcelona’s and get paid more.That might be true but at those clubs he would be held accountable and under presure to win trophy’s.He would not be able to hide behind excuses ,the sort of ones that are used regularly on here to admonish him of any blame!!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Yes John I did see those matches mentioned. I even did see that with the score 2-1 a United player handled the ball and saved a goal and no penalty and red card was given against him. You probably did miss that part of the match? Or are you seriously saying that being a man more on the field wouldn’t have affected the match?

    And in the Swansea match I saw a clear foul on Özil not given and they scored their first goal from that. And then I saw an offside goal given to Swansea to make them win that match.

    You surely can’t claim to have seen those matches without mentioning this? Or maybe that is Wenger’s fault also that referees are selective blind….

  • WalterBroeckx

    And in 2007/2008 we didn’t win the league because we were robbed by referees. Starting in the Birmingham match.

  • Polo

    You think Stan would put more of his money in Arsenal if he only see it as a business?

    Speaking at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston he said: “For me, being an individual owner, I have to have some sort of reality involved.

    “If you want to win championships then you would never get involved. I think the best owners in sports are the guys that sort of watch both sides a bit. If you don’t have a good business then you can’t really afford to go out and get the best players unless you just want to rely on other sources of income.

    Now, the Man City owner really care about the club or it’s only about the money?

    ‘Manchester City moved a step closer to becoming one of the superpowers of world football on Tuesday by selling a stake in their parent company to a Chinese consortium for £265million.

    The figure being paid by the Chinese for 13 per cent of the City Football Group is the roughly the same as it cost Sheikh Mansour to buy the whole club in 2008.’

    Last time I heard Chelsea FC owes Roman over £1 Billion, what would happen to Chelsea if Roman decides to walk away?

    You really think these billionaires put their money in clubs for enjoyment? It’s an investment and when they reach the profit target they will start to sell away.

  • Mick

    You would think that idiots like John, who are obviously only happy when criticizing and whinging, would be happy that Wenger will be around for at least another year.
    Never mind John, just think of all the whinging you will be able to do next season, and during the close season you and your WOB mates can spend many happy and pointless hours designing and making more Wenger out banners (They were effective weren’t they!) ready for the start of next season.
    And they keep slating Wenger for doing the same thing and expecting different results!

  • John

    Dear me Walter clutching at straws again.That is why you will never be taken seriously outside of your website!!

  • John

    I see you making the old excuse from a few years back about “what happens when they walk away””.well they havent yet and Abramovic has been there for 10 years now.I wish the leech kronke would walk away but you know if he did he would take what he could because it is just a business to him!!And yes, as proven, some billionaires do love their clubs and its a shame we dont have one.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Oh, now you got me crying John…. 🙂

  • John

    And walter you sometimes have me in stitches about your conspiracy theory about referees conspiring to stop us winning the league.You think its referees holding us back and i think its the manager!!Theres not many outside untold towers will agree with you that’s the difference!!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Well what I think is based on what we have found over many, many years. Yours is based on…?

  • WalterBroeckx

    You could always show the numbers where we went wrong over the years of course…

  • Polo

    Maybe you’re correct John that Roman and the Sheikh do love their club hence why they put in billions into the club and Arsenal’s owners don’t. But shouldn’t that where you and the other WOBs be targeting your anger at? Shouldn’t the WOBs be demanding that the Arsenal’s owners put in more money to allow AW a level playing field with his counterparts instead of relying on the club’s cash position for transfer budget?

    Also what happen to the £200 million that AW has for transfers? It seem the media no longer mentioning it.

  • Polo

    While researching to find articles to rebuke John’s comments, I happened to stumble on this interesting article. Although it’s just opinions but interesting nonetheless.

  • John

    Mine is based on the last 12 years league position that we finished in and how far we have gone in the champions league and who was the manager in those seasons.They are the facts.And if i had time to delve deeper i would probably find that most of those seasons we tend to drop off at roughly the same time and drop out of the champions league around the same time and have an injury crisis at about the same time.From these facts we can assume that lessons have not been learned and there has not been any improvement.That is why its a common joke about arsenal and groundhog day.Surely the fans deserve better than that and as we were told when we left highbury that we needed a new stadium to compete with the very best in europe not to just make money!!!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Polo , March 29, 2016 at 11:20 am – Nice link to a fine article .

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Its out ! The secret of becoming a millionaire . How ? Follow these easy steps .

    Well to start off you have to be a billionaire .
    Then invest in a football club with stupid , greedy , creepy and whiney fans who demand you spend some of your hard earned fucking money !
    Why you ask ?
    For shiny trophies to please them , and so they can boast about it to their friends . After all isn’t it why you bought the club in the first place ?

    Now explain that to your family .