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October 2016
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Behold, the new brilliant Arsenal. From the incredible Elneny-Coquelin axis, forwards and back, the world beckons.

by Tony Attwood

It has become fashionable to knock Arsenal in general terms – with occasional reference to the fact that the club is not making progress.   We’re not buying the right players.  Wenger won’t spend.  Every player who goes to Chelsea, Man C, Man U, Tottenham, and God help us even Liverpool! is one that we should have got.  Besides, how can we be behind Leicester without being useless?

But I want to argue the opposite – that the progress in terms of the personnel in the team has been remarkable – and it is only now that we can see it.

Of course, the development is not remarkable enough and not fast enough, because we haven’t won a trophy this season, and winning the League is now not only unlikely but also dependent on other clubs who we are behind.  But more of that in another article.

For now I would like to put forward the view that we are seeing a remarkable revolution in Arsenal’s playing staff.  Just consider the last year or so…

Cech: Much criticism of the fact that Arsenal didn’t sign any outfield players last summer combined with high level publicity by the likes of J Terry that he would give Arsenal 10 extra points.

But both positions were misleading.  Terry was doing his usual put down of the rest of the Arsenal squad, suggesting our defence was crap – and many joined in knocking Ospina for one mistake in a Champs League game.  But I would contend that as a back up keeper he is superb – I have no worries when he plays.  And Cech has indeed been a good purchase.  Find me a keeper who never made a mistake in a high profile game, and I’ll show you a tape that was edited.  No keeper is immune.

Chambers: I don’t buy into the stagnating theory – he’s a full back and a centre back, a very handly combination to have.  And he’s still only 21.  We’ve hardly seen him – he’ll be released when the boss is ready (just like Iwobi).

Bellerin: Watching him this season has been a joy – not least because each time I do I recall comments around August 2015 (when he was still not yet 21) about the numerous weak spots in Bellerin’s play, and how relying on players like Bellerin showed how useless Wenger was (because he wouldn’t buy and because …).  Remember his early appearances – the “never win things with kids” taunts?  Had Mr Wenger not waited, not given him chances, not allowed him to learn from his mistake… we would not have such a sensational full back as we now have.  Barcelona, I’m told, are offering £20m.

Coquelin: If you are a regular reader you’ll know how I love to boast about spotting Coquelin early.  But the fact remains he came from being unnoticed on the bench and then on loan to being aged 24 the defensive midfielder that over half the teams in the Premier League are looking to find.   His recovery from his time out has been slow, but it is getting there, and he is now the extraordinary player that I always hoped he would be.

Elneny: I thought he was very good in Barcelona, but he’s just getting better each game – and making the fee we paid for him look ludicrous.   I really believe this guy is going to be the heart beat of the team for the next few years.  And he’s still only 23.  You’ll be noticing an age theme by now.  I’m sure you are getting it – Wenger is building a YOUNG team that will grow together.

Welbeck: Groans when we signed him, out for such a long time, but now showing what we have been missing.  Again, look at the age.  Danny is 25, and still to reach his prime.   Now think of all those tales about buying a new centre forward to replace him.  OK, if one of the greatest centre forwards in the world came along, maybe, but otherwise…

Campbell: Took forever to get into the team because of passport problems, and not being used regularly but still a great young player and a valuable addition.  If he continues to improve he could end up within a year as a regular.  And the age?  23.

Iwobi: What is there left to say?  We heard that Mr Wenger didn’t want him to go on loan but wanted to nurture his talents by keeping him at the club.  We saw cameo roles.  We waited, and wow suddenly we have a brilliant, brilliant young player.  Our only problem is that we’ll keep losing him for the mid-season African Cup, which could itself mean injuries, but still I’d sooner have him than not.  He’s 19.

Now that is a list of eight players – 73% of the team.  All of whom I’d count as recently emerging or recently purchased.   All of whom I think are of high value to the club.  All of whom I’d say have shown us what they can do across the last two years.

All of whom except Cech are young – and even in that position our backup keeper is 27 – a mere child in goalkeeping terms.

And that list is created without any reference to the high cost superstars – Alexis and Ozil.  Add them in and that makes 10.

As for my 11th…

Koscielny is hardly new, and he’s not a youngster, but he is new to the role of captain and seems to have instantly taken to the position.  I imagine a lot of anti-Wengerians now believe that we bought him as a star, but that was far from the case.  His career has blossomed late – but it blossomed with us because of the scouting talents of Arsenal and because of foresight.  Just read his own tale about how he moved from the bench of a second division French team to Arsenal.

What I am trying to say in my usual meandering manner is that most of the players cited in this article have emerged into the team in the last couple of years – and most are young, and yet people go on and on and on and on and on and on and  (ooops sorry went into a word warp there) on, about the need to refresh the team, have a big summer transfer window, etc.

Maybe some brilliant instant stars will come along – but if they don’t and the groans and moans start up again, I’d remember that list above, and then also consider:

  • Santi Cazorla
  • Jack Wilshere
  • Aaron Ramsey
  • Nacho Monreal

Sadly it seems there are many around who take the view that if a player is not a) new and b) expensive then the club is not making any progress.  And looking at the list of four players above remember the fuss made with Santi Cazorla and Monreal came from Málaga because a) it had an accent and we don’t like accents in England and b) because we got them on the cheap.  Typical Wenger – just buys cheap.

But football life doesn’t work like that.  Price means nothing.  Mohamed Elneny could go down in history as the steal of not just this season but of several seasons.  £5million?  FC Basel must be wondering how they never came to realise what they owned.  I’d say he’s already worth £15m not least because of the shortage of players in that position.   If he carries on like this it could be double that by next season.

Playing in front of the defence he can not only clear up most of the oncoming traffic before it reaches the back four, he can also score, and already has this season’s record for playing the most passes in one match by a single player: 121.

Even the staggering Gilberto Silva, (who we also got for next to nothing) whose trademark was to get the ball and pass it five yards, was generally short of that number.  And Elneny allows Coquelin to do his daredevil runs forward, as well as encouraging him to cut down on the daredevil tackles.

Coquelin-Elneny is a typical Wengerian masterpiece.  The world is short of the more defensive midfielders – everyone was totting up the millions we needed to spend if we could persuade anyone to play for a team that gets such negative publicity – and for just £5m we’ve got two incredible players in that position, aged 23 and 24.   And all the while we have been nurturing Iwobi.  It is sad that because of the rampant fanaticism of the anti-Wengerian press and their camp followers that neither Mr Wenger nor the players will get the praise they deserve as a unit, but at least Untold can help adjust that imbalance just a little.

I know this team has had problems and taken its time to get together, but I think in years to come we will look back at this moment as the start of another golden era.  This really is a remarkable, young, vibrant team that is going to grow into something very special.

I’m going to continue to publish on this site the transfer ramblings that Sir Hardly hoovers up, but I really doubt we are going to see more than one or two of these players – at most – in the summer.


Recent Posts


Danny Karbassiyoon’s book “The Arsenal Yankee” with a foreword by Arsene Wenger is now published.  You can buy the book…

  • On line here for £14.95, plus delivery
  • Or by phone on 01536 399 011 using a credit card.
  • Or by Pay Pal to  Don’t forget to enter the title of the book and your delivery address on the Pay Pal site, and calculate the full amount including delivery, see below.
  • Or by post to Hamilton House Mailings Ltd., Earlstrees Ct., Earlstrees Rd., Corby, Northants NN17 4HH with a cheque.

The book is also available on Kindle.


From the anniversary files.  The full list for each day is published on the home page.

5 April 2003:  The longest unbeaten away sequence in league football of 27 games begins with an own goal by Kolo Toure in the match against Aston Villa, balanced by a goal at the right end by Ljungburg.

5 April 2006: The match nominated as “Bergkamp Day”.  Bergkamp himself was a sub. The score was Arsenal 3 WBA 1.  Helb got the first, Bergkamp set up Pirès for the second and the third was scored by… Dennis Bergkamp on 89 minutes.


44 comments to Behold, the new brilliant Arsenal. From the incredible Elneny-Coquelin axis, forwards and back, the world beckons.

  • Wolfgang

    Brilliant Arsenal?Beating Watford 4-0 is nothing to crow about.They have reached the sf which is what matters.
    Beat WH and maybe the fans will believe. Until then take one game at a time. Too many false dawns.

  • Eliot

    Great, engaging, article, thanks, Tony.

    I generally have a huge problem with the sort-termism that’s plaguing the supporters of our dear club (and indeed many others) that’s really an anathema to talking about the game with any real thought.

    I’m not really talking about the “Wenger out” idiots, they’re most a symptom than a cause. But it’s a self-perpetuating symptom… and it doesn’t help.

    A very large part of the issue is the media, and their “well this team is/should definitely going to win everything” after any win, and “useless, the manager will have to go” after a draw/loss. Mix in the modern human characteristics of massive entitlement, dwindling concentration spans, and good old fashioned tribal stuff and football is less and less fun every passing da…. second.

    More articles like this please, keep ’em coming!

    (personally unsure if Elneny/Coquelin is the absolute, but it’s great that it works … I’d still give my left eye for Caravalho. Also, no mention of Rambo [I don’t mean for the axis, necessarily] he’s still 25, younger than Welbs!)

  • Mandy Dodd

    Agree on Chambers, he is being held back for a reason, but has often looked quite impressive when we have seen him this year.
    These new or newish players mentioned have been beyond excellent, other more established players are going to have to work very hard to displace them.
    Yes, as many are sang, if only, Elneny in the summer, but we do not and probably will not know the full story there.
    But this bunch look solid, and as many others are saying, less predictable. Iwobi and welbeck, let alone Alexis must provide defenders with nightmares.
    As for progress, some need to realise it is not always linear. Things may have slowed as we hit our injury crisis, but things could be bursting to life again.
    Much to think about for Wenger and the transfer writers this summer, but we have a manager….unlike some, who will give these youngsters a chance.
    Wenger needs a team sufficiently technical to fir his cruyffian philosophy, physical enough for this league, tactical. They have to be able to take on skilled opponents, physical bus parkers, whatever afflicts the refs of these Isles, and the AAA.
    Wenger may just be putting the final stages in his masterp,an together.

  • WalterBroeckx

    And looking at some kids yesterday…wow we have some talents coming up also

  • John

    This time next year eh!!!Watch Wenger go..

  • John

    Theres one thing Tony you sure know how to put super super spin on a less than average season!!You could make a bucket of sh1te look good.Every credit

  • WalterBroeckx

    From the Holy Bible according to John:

    It is forbidden to enjoy live. John, 9:47

  • Menace

    Do not forget we have a youg keeper on loan Schezny. He will be improving each year with experience.

    We also have John an expert on sh1te. We need someone to attend to the loos after the supds have been.

  • Dazza64

    John, good to see your keeping your negative thoughts in check.

  • jamiestunner

    I have no doubt in my mind that we have a group of talented young players, and we can safely expect a few of them to become very good players in the future.

    However, when you speak of short term mentality among the aaaa and media, I think you completely ignore the fact that we ended last season on a blistering run of form, and that team has now been taken apart, and new blood injected into the team.

    We also had a young promising team in 2013, 2011 and 2008. All those groups of players achieved nothing, and most of them are no longer first XI players.

    What I’m trying to say is that claiming Wenger has done something magical by bringing together this young group of players is quite overreaching. We have a group of players with potential, but we’ve has similar groups that amounted to nothing. (Remember the British core?)

  • John

    Im a realist whilst you my friend are a dreamer.Lets get exited again about coming fourth..You certainly have been taken in and brainwashed by wenger about sucess.

  • markyb

    Only one brainwashed person here

  • WalterBroeckx

    So what is wrong with being a dreamer?

  • John

    We have won two games on the bounce and now all of a sudden everything is rosy and we are ready to conquer.Shame its a month too late .We can do it when the pressures of but not when it really mattered against man u,swansea,barcelona and watford.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Well we could do it two years running of course and then delivered when the pressure was on but that will probably have been wiped out of the realists brains I think… Oops that’s right the FA cup was no trophy in those years.

  • John

    Nothing wrong with dreaming apart from when you wake up you have to face reality.
    I fully understand for some of you just watching arsenal is enough and the results dont really matter as long as we play good football.The majority of fans want their club to be ambitious and do what ever it takes to win and win trophys and be the best.Shame our owners and manager arent bothered about that.

  • colario

    With Leicester in 1st place what are our ‘expert pundits’ who for years and years have hypnotically informed us that you don’t win anything without ‘splashing the cash?’

    The present pundit mantra goes along like this:

    ‘I have always said you don’t need to splash the cash to win the league and Leicester are proof of what I’ve been saying all along!’

    What did we English football fans do to deserve to be ear bashed by these ‘experts’ whose only expertise is ‘ignorance’?

  • GoonerDave

    Can’t agree with the optimism, but I’d dearly love to be proved totally wrong and for Arsenal to win the league.
    Surely even the most optimistic supporter can see that we have a strange mental block when we are in positions of power in the league. We won 2 FA cups in a row, yet every season for years now, we absolutely throw away our chances of winning the title. AW talks too much about the mental strength our team has – in my opinion, he’s covering up the only major weakness we have. We suffer injuries year after year, but on paper we have a squad that can cope with that – yet once we start playing well and top the league/get close, the wheels come off. Every year. I don’t know what the solution is but we need one.

  • Sammy The Snake

    I’m still hopeful for this season, and truly believe we can finish at least 2nd (above Tots, anyway). I believe Tottenham will drop more points this weekend.

  • Rich

    Bit of a tangent here but want to mention the youth game last night.

    Really enjoyed it, some impressive players and football, disappointed to lose… and don’t think we gave ourselves the maximum chance to win on the night.

    It was another game to get me thinking about midfield balance (an obsession for years, i’ll admit), and also about the things we can’t know about the workings of a football club.

    We went with Bennacer and Reine-Adelaide at the base of midfield. A little guy with skill, tenacity, a lovely left foot, some good defensive instincts, and fairly average speed; and Jeff, a graceful attacking midfielder, with pace, strength and skill. In front of them were four very attacking players.

    Our start to the game was amazing, City couldn’t cope with our attack, we got a goal, and came pretty close to another. Even before city had managed a single dangerous attack,though, the question was there : how will this work once City do spring an effective counter?

    Unfortunately, they scored with their first, and with their second, though that was arguably more the result of not switching on at a set piece.

    Anyway, it amounted to just another piece of evidence for my collection that our system ,at senior and youth level, demands we get it right in central midfield. Our talent in attack is such that, with a solid base, whenever the scores are level we should nearly always be slight or strong favourites to score the next goal, and if ahead we should be strong or overwhelming favourites to go on and win.

    Coquelin, Cazorla was a huge improvement in that regard and Coquelin Elneny are, on paper and in practice so far, looking like they can be even better.

    To the unknown from last night: my hunch is that we may be in the process of persuading Nelson, undoubtedly one of if not the most talented 16 year olds in the country, to resist the inevitable overtures from other clubs. A start in the biggest youth game of the season would help a lot, and that may have led to us sacrificing a little in terms of our chances for the game.

    Nelson played well, as did Reine Adelaide, but Bennacer suffered by not having what he needs alongside him- an energetic midfielder with good defensive instincts- and the team did also.

    It would be well worth it, if it plays a part in ensuring Nelson signs with us, but we can never know these things. I find these hypotheticals useful to remind myself there are things we don’t know, can’t know and shouldn’t know about the inner workings of the club.

    It made me uncomfortable to see the two we went with selected as the central midfielders, but I’m putting it down to unknowns of player development.

    We’ve tons of talent in the youth ranks, and my hope is whoever emerges comes into a side with an Elneny Coquelin base, or something which offers similarly high levels of protection to the defence.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I on the other hand believe that we will go on a good and sustained run as the walking wounded return , as well as without other cup distractions.
    The Foxes have had all the luck and breaks so far this season , and as we all KNOW that everything evens up in the end , so I see them lose all their remaining games. It was predicted in a Karma cookie message !
    The Spuds , well they are the Spuds . They don’t need help from anyone to go off the boil!

  • Georgaki-pyrovolitis

    I really appreciate comments like those posted by John. You see my mother always warned me that I’m an overly optimistic soul, naive even. So it always helps to be brought down to earth by wise old campaigners like John.

    John, I will try hard to not be deceived to often from now on. I will pinch myself very hard if I am fooled by the wonderful flowing football on display when Arsenal play. I must remember that it all about winning things…..

  • YellowPeril

    I am half way between where you are Tony and the anti Wenger brigade. I buy into the optimism for the team developing and that wenger has again showed he knows how to spot a bargain and develop a good young un.

    The future may be bright but it could also be a lot more difficult if Chelsea, Man City and Man Utd invest significantly and all have new managers. Klopp in his 2nd season at Liverpool with some of his own purchases may have a bit more to say as well. We will now have to compete for the title under more difficult circumstances and I don’t see players like Ozil and Sanchez hanging around if we can’t compete for the title. Bellerin would also be a concern if next year also ends as a damp squid.

    As brilliant as Wenger still is in some areas I still feel that he has got some things with the team set up and tactics and style of play very wrong this season and any failure to seize the EPL this year represents a major failure. The path opened up to us. chelsea inexplicably fell away, Utd are still not back from the post fergie era, Man City undermined their manager with announcements of him going, Liverpool are in early days with klopp and had that managerial change to deal with. This season we are the most stable of the traditional title challengers and are also 3 years or so into Arsene’s building project for a title winning squad, when more money became available for top players. As such we should be doing a lot better.

  • John

    Also it looks like wilshere has been a naughty boy again.Wouldnt you think that he would behave himself after all thats gone in his past.Out galavanting and brawling isnt the way to recover from injury.

  • John

    The wonderful flowing football of the team from 2000-2004 those were the days.Now most of its tippy tappy sideways passing which is easy to predict and play against and with no plan b become monotonous.

  • goonersince72

    Stop using ‘we’. You’re neither a member of the club nor a supporter. And please give me your definition of “galavanting (sic)and brawling”. Laughable, sound like my gram and about as well informed.

  • Zedsaunt

    The notion that super managers are going to come into the EPL for next season and as a consequence Arsenal will find themselves at the back of a chasing pack, with four or five title contenders snapping at them, does not stand up.

    Between now and the new season there are the Euros, the bi-annual selling jamboree. At the Euros the EPL will be there, each club with a fresh tranche of TV money to spend/squander/blow away. Every player on offer will have a price, every player will be trained to a high degree, every player can play in a team, every team can play in any of the organisational line ups the coaches demand.

    Each defender is skilled. Defence is as much a part of football as attack. EPL clubs will buy, with money to burn.

    From this perspective – an influx of skilled players, money no object for the EPL clubs who would normally be anticipating relegation battles, defenders as skilled as attackers and all players trained in playing in team formations and staying organised – then there are no clear favourites, no handful to be leading the pack.

    38 separate games, each game separate from the last. A tight hard fought battle of attrition, starts in August of this year and finishes in May of next year.

  • Mark

    Do you spend all your waking hours looking for a negative stance about Arsenal, John?
    Take yourself to the sites that crave negativity, Online Gooner and Le Grove, much more to your liking.
    That story was printed two days ago….keep up I.

  • YellowPeril

    I don’t believe we can also excuse this season on the injuries without looking at the training and coaching set up. It would be the same excuse for about the 7th year running and statistically that would start to be considered more than just bad luck. This would put some focus again on Wenger, as to whether he has allowed the training to move with the times and the up to date sports science practices. I also feel we had a big enough squad and variable options to deal with it as well. I am not writing it off as a factor but do think other factors that were within our control have been more important.

  • YellowPeril

    Zedsaunt, I hope you are right and if the recent formation Wenger is using is the way he will continue and can add a couple of quality purchases then we may be competing for the title. it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility though that a couple of those managers hit the ground running. We have also shown glimmers of hope that would point towards a great forthcoming season on 2-3 occasions and then not followed through on that promise. It is fair to say that much of the fan base will not hold their breath until Arsene and the squad actually do it.

  • Rich


    If you need any further help to cure you of this awful optimism, positivity and, frankly, foolish and unwarranted pleasure of yours, there are some other great posters here. Try this from yesterday.

    ‘To shine a light on just how much Arsenal have under-achieved since Liverpool and United’s dominant periods, and how little has been done to redress the balance.
    We were ahead of both of them in the summer of 1976. That’s what 40 years of complacent neglect gets you.’

    I read that and a few comments like it late last night having spent the evening engrossed in the youth match, then an hour or so with my mind on something completely different (Zombie apocalypse).

    I reacted differently, and I think more correctly, to the comments than I normally would. To take that stance at face value, it struck me as an unbelievably weird and sad way to approach life and football.

    To seemingly not be able to enjoy any aspect of football other than winning a title, to experience enormous displeasure at not having the best historical record of any club…it’s too strange for me to put into words properly.

    I can understand getting some pride and satisfaction from your chosen club’s past and whatever successes there were in it, but at best it is a…relatively odd practice, or rather it is if it takes precedence over living in the here-and-now with your team and enjoying what football serves up on a weekly basis.

    I could get into a bit of trouble here with some of those who take a lot of interest in the club’s past, but for me it is such a minor thing next to the major of now and the future.

    Maybe I’ve a strange brain or something, but I’ve never been able to feel any thrill about things before my time as a supporter. I’m glad the club has a rich history, and appreciative of those who have done good things for it in the past, but in all honesty can’t feel much emotionally for events two years before I started supporting the club, let alone two decades, or seven, or ten.

    I, too, dream of significantly closing the title gap, of some remarkable period of utter domination, of a Champions league title, and another, and so forth…but it’s the journey along the way where all the beauty and excitement would be found, year by year, game by game.

    Taken at face value the attitude of some, the air their posts gives off, is suggestive of their being little or no pleasure until the very moment a title is won, of nothing else being remotely enjoyable; even of the real happiness only being available should we ever have the best record of any club in England, domestically and in Europe.

    I feel sorry for anyone who can’t simply enjoy a good game of football or even a good moment in a game. I could do a lot better on that front myself, but clearly I could also do a whole lot worse.

    Ultimately, it’s perhaps the best thing of all about the game and, not coincidentally, one of the things that distinguishes it from the rest of our lives : a clean start each year; fresh hope always; a new game; the next game: all these different levels of enjoyment- in the minute, the game, the season, and even, as a bonus but never the main thing, a club’s historical record.

  • Georgaki-pyrovolitis

    John @ 1:18 pm

    “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” a saying which apparently first appeared in the 3rd century BC in Greek. Yes, I agree that we saw free-flowing football during 2000-2004 but I have seen plenty since too. It has a name “Wengerball” and it keeps me hanging on. I see progress and I expect Wengerball to also deliver glory, if not this year, then certainly next.

    I’ll let you into some embarrassing secrets, I lose sleep when we lose. I’m downhearted when we lose. I can get frustrated and even despondent. But I understand the context of the EPL today. If Man United, Chelsea and Man City are struggling to stay in the top 4 with all their financial clout how much more difficult must it be for Arsenal to build a stadium and remain competitive using their own resources. Who am I to decide Arsenal should have swept the board with trophies by now?

    Oh and another thing, sometimes the players are to blame….

  • Georgaki-pyrovolitis

    YellowPeril @ at 1:33 pm

    Give me a break!

    Among the many activities that a modern club must do Arsenal host an annual conference on sports medicine, that means they have those on the cutting edge of sports science presenting their findings. You can see video clips of these on the Arsenal Player. They most certainly are applying the best, up-to-date knowledge they can get. They must do this, it’s in their interest.

    Arsenal, however, don’t suffer more injuries than other clubs, a subject Tony has often written about on here. Perhaps, they suffer more injuries to first choice players at the same time. However, I haven’t studied the data – but that might be a reason. Again, look in the Untold archives for some good, researched stuff.

  • Pete

    Georgaki – I’m afraid we have suffered more injuries over the last 6 or so years. Perhaps 2nd or 3rd worst in the country? Here are the stats:

    2015/16 4th worst (up to a few weeks ago and probably still approximately correct as we picked up a few more recently).
    2014/15 5th worst
    2013/14 Worst
    2012/13 3rd worst
    2011/12 2nd worst
    2010/11 2nd worst.

    My sense is that only Newcastle have had a clearly worse record than us over this period.

    As to why this is, any number of theories have been expounded. A couple of years ago Walter published some great analysis of the prevalence of contact vs non-contact injuries – and it seemed we picked up a disproportionate share of contact injuries.

    Nevertheless, it is very clear that Arsenal are working extremely hard to try to improve the situation but with only limited success so far. As regards next season, I am concerned that our players will suffer due to the Euro’s (and think Alexis and Gabriel may be in a CopaAmerica too). But we shall see.

  • Menace

    What most forget is a road may seem clear but a traffic cop can ruin your perception with a single hand. We have those traffic cops in the shape of Rileys cheats called PGMO. They stop us with the most stupid decisions that they save specially for Arsenal. The number of penalty decisions that have been ‘not seen’ by these ‘SpecSaver’ advertisers is quite amazing. Even our youth have to suffer the same revised unpublished Laws of the Game. Goalkeepers handling outside the area when one on one to only get a yellow card.

    There is very little chance of victory when the officials are bent. Why they are bent isn’t yet clear but bent they certainly are. I hope the bookies refuse to pay out on the huge odds bets, pending a police enquiry for fraud. Footballisfixed cant be totally wrong!

    I love the arrogance of some morons who despite not being worth tuppence think they would be able to spend a few million & buy a successful trophy winning squad. The media might call Leicester a minnow but surely they are owned by a wealthy Thailand businessman & a few secret unknowns. They are not a low cost club. They are an unknown entity with some strange goings on.

  • nicky

    As usual, a good prognosis on the future of Arsenal under Arsene Wenger.
    We may well see the best from this crop AFTER his retirement.
    To your list, I might have added Jenkinson and Sanogo.

  • chibyke

    What an article. L.o.l. In one swoop, we have been informed that (1) this season has gone (2) next will (probably???) be better(3) prepare/ manage our expectations during the transfer window. Leicester winning the league throws most of wenger’s argument out of the window. Didn’t splash cash, we have better players man for man.we didn’t have lose any player we didn’t want in the transfer window. So cohesion shld be there. This Leicester team had one thing more than we didn’t……”grit”. Winning southampton( a gritty team that thrashed us 4:0) convinced me of that. Yes by all means squeeze out the positives from this season but if Leicester wins it? Wenger & his boys have failed us. As our people wld say” it is only the lazy hunter who always complains that any time he goes hunting, all animals learn how to climb trees”. He shld know that when birds learn to fly without perching, the hunter shld learn to shoot without missing. I greet u all.

  • Notoverthehill

    A perfect write-up, Tony.

    A certain team playing at White Hart Lane, holds the record for the fewest matches played by a Premiership club’s season: 40. Season 2005-2006.

    It will not be beaten by Leicester City FC, 38 games, plus 2 – FA Cup games and 3 League Cup games.

    With the players running a half-marathon each game, then a recovery time is required.

    Leicester, has used the recovery time well, usually a week!

    All players are not equal.

    In my very humble view, the players have done good!

  • Paul the gooner

    Someone said “we perform when the pressure is off”.Total crap.So playing Watford on Saturday was no pressure, this against a team who beat us 2 weeks ago.Any match we play there is pessure.I do however believe , that since we have paired the two defensive midfielders together, it has made a huge difference.When you have the attacking 4 infront of you, just give them the ball.
    Can you imagine what rubbish we will be thrown at all supporters during the transfer window.It will be meltdown.

  • BarryL

    Great article Tony
    It’s been great watching Bellerin, Monreal, Le Coq, Elneny and of course Iwobi develop and grow.

    I understand fans disappointment that we don’t look as though we’ll win the EPL this season – though there is always a slim hope.

    We all want the Gunners to win trophies, but we’re probably in two different camps – those who want to win at any cost (a la Maureen) and those who want us to win with a certain style.

    I still think this is an exceptional season. Leicester have lost on 3 games (two of these were the Gunners), and remember the winning run the had to save their place in the EPL last season. We’ve lost 7 – of which West Ham, Swansea and WBA we should have got points.

    I think we’ve coped relatively well with the injuries we have had to be in third going on 2nd.

    We have a good core of players now – but we are vulnerable to those teams who are prepared to try and kick us out of the game – Stoke, Chelsea, West Brom and Leicester (remember Drinkwater trying to amputate Ramsey’s leg)

    Against most teams, Le Coq and Elneny in holding roles are sufficient, but against some others we need an additional defensive minded MF who will kick lumps out of the opposition if they try anything with our guys. Whether Wanyama or Krychowiak, I’m not sure.

    An additional CB – in the Wes Morgan mould – would be key for some tough away games; and finally a CF who can efficiently tuck away a high proportion of chances that we create all the time. I like Ollie Giroud but his conversion rate is too low.


  • Arsene Wenger is staying so go cry somewhere else as this site is Pro Arsenal and pro Wenger. Why waste time and energy moaning when you know how people on here feel. Yes we want to see them win every game with wonderful free flowing football but that is not going to happen every game and if you have a good pair of eyes and watch all the matches you can see why. For me it’s a joy to support this club good times and not so good but support them I will and AWenger. We are so very lucky to have had this man with us this last twenty years to see us threw the move to the Ems, find the players that he has while on a budget and win us those titles and cups and going threw a PL campaign unbeaten. I have been asked why I spend so much flying over from Belfast to watch the Arsenal and those are just a few reasons. I’m also a season ticket holder and will continue to do what I do because my love for this club runs very deep and I really don’t like idiots or pretend supporters running her down just to score cheap points.

  • Menace

    Those of you who claim we lost to West Ham, Swansea, Southampton and WBA must really need a visit to SpecSavers. We were ‘PGMO officiated’ in those games. When you get to understand the delicate management systems of daylight robbery in English football your eyesight will catch the sadness of the death of the game.

    Brute force is never difficult to present but it has special northern appeal.

  • Al

    Spot on. All along the tune was you can’t win the title without spending. And now that a team is on the verge of winning it without breaking the bank, albeit via a generous helping hand from the pgmob, we’re now told you don’t need to spend to win it. You couldn’t make it up.

    Off topic,
    Watching the all Spanish CL clash, and the commentary from Darren fletcher and mcmanaman us dreadful. They were drooling over the way Atletico were roughing Barca up, even tho it was apparent they couldn’t get away with those fouls much longer. And it came as no surprise Torres got sent off in first half. The way these guys admire and glorify negative football is sickening…

  • Pat

    Great article, Tony. An inspiring look at our amazing talent.