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October 2016
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Why the debate about Arsenal and its future is getting nowhere and is ultimately utterly pointless.

By Tony Attwood

There is something going on that I really don’t understand.

Most Arsenal supporters (not quite all, but most Arsenal supporters) want the same thing – for the club to win lots of trophies.   And most Arsenal supporters want to achieve this result by changing things.  The only difference between us is what we want to change, and a view as to whether some of the proposed changes could do more harm than good.

So, to summarise this situation fairly crudely (and I know that it is a lot more varied that this, but it is beyond my ability as a writer to describe the entire situation in one article), there is one group who want some or all of these factors.

  1. Change the Arsenal manager
  2. Change the chief executive
  3. Change the owner
  4. Increase the number of transfers that we do each year
  5. Cut the cost of seats at Arsenal.
  6. The non-use of statistics, such as the fact that Arsene Wenger has a higher win percentage in the league than any other Arsenal manager in history, because these statistics are not at all helpful in understanding what is going on because you can prove anything with statistics.
  7. Change overall.  Arsenal keep doing the same thing over and over again, and “as Einstein said” doing something and seeing that it fails, and then doing it again is the first sign of madness. (Einstein never said anything like this – it is just one of those sayings, but the commentators generally throw his name in, in order to get extra weight behind the point).

On the other hand there is a group that sees the situation as not being resolvable through these means for all sorts of reasons.  (And again, of course there are many other variations in the way people think about all this – I’m just summarising from my own experience).

  1. Expose what the PGMO is doing and question why it is doing it and through publicity engage the mass media in the debate in order to force through reforms of the organisation, while further investigating the consequences of the strange secretive set up of PGMO.
  2. Implement the Financial Fair Play rules for the Premier League which were promised three years ago, but never saw the light of day.
  3. Reject all talk of a limit on the number of non-UK nationals who can play in Premier League teams – a notion proposed supposedly in order to help the England national team win things.
  4. Control international football to reduce the number of injuries and days players are lost on international “duty”, and with this in mind expose the corruption and craziness of the FA, Uefa and Fifa not least so that the varies bodies’ actions are consistent.
  5. Enhance the drug control laws so that players and/or clubs cannot get away with just losing a player for a short while when drug laws are broken.
  6. Expose the way in which journalists and their newspapers, plus TV stations, their commentators and their editing, play on the fears of some supporters and whip up a storm over issues, often through innuendo and suggestion and without evidence.
  7. Be supportive of the team at games at all times and let nothing distract from that.
  8. Research and expose the actual effects of the changes that the other group want – such as the most likely outcome in changing a manager or buying a high profile or high cost player.
  9. Control players’ wages so that prices in stadia can be kept under control
  10. Enhance the coverage of football on TV so that all supporters can see all the games.
  11. Encourage the use of evidence in analysing football in every form, so that instead of being opinion based, it is actually based on a detailed review of what happened, from which theories can be evolved as to what is likely to happen next.  In short, “evidence based football analysis”.

Now these are two very different lists, and two very different types of list.  And in writing out these lists something has struck me, apart from how different the two lists are (which is something I think I knew already).  It is that…

The debate is utterly pointless

This is the only conclusion I can reach.  I will try and explain why.

a) The first group – those who want change such as the removal of Wenger, Gazidis and/or Kronke – know they are right.  They have no doubt.  And they also know that they are in the majority, for we are often told by them that most Arsenal fans think as they do.  They don’t present evidence in the serious scientific sense, because they believe that simple observation (eg the number of years since Arsenal won the league) is “evidence” enough.  (It is not evidence it is an observation, but we’ll leave that for now).

b) This group also run very big demonstrations – something I know because whenever I have suggested that demonstrations by Black Scarf and more recently RedAction were fairly poorly supported, they have been very quick to tell me I can’t see properly.

c) This group also have the support of a very large number of blogs (and on this point I agree with them – they don’t have to convince me).  Indeed as we’ve said on this site many times, Untold was set up in January 2008 specifically to give an outlet to views that were contrary to those expressed on most blogs, websites, newspapers and TV stations.  Indeed that’s why it was called Untold – because the views I wanted to express were not being heard anywhere else.

d) Because the views put out  in the first list of change points (from “change the manager” onwards) are very straightforward and easy to understand, and because they are right, there is a consequential argument that by not following those seven points, the club will fall apart, probably sooner rather than later.  Indeed we have seen each year on this site the prediction made that this is the year that Arsenal will drop out of the top four.

There is a certain inevitability about this argument which the contrary group – the pro-Wenger group – can’t and don’t put forward.  Because we don’t know if we can expose what PGMO is doing, and ultimately bring about its reform, we can’t predict the future. But because the anti-Wenger group know for sure that Wenger and co are destroying the club, or at the very best stagnating the club while other clubs progress, decline and fall is inevitable.  And thus change is inevitable.

What obviously follows from this is that arguing against a single pro-Wenger blog such as Untold, is pointless.  Success is guaranteed, so why bother with the nutters on the sidelines writing their little blog?  Logically the club is about to go into decline.  Maybe even terminal decline.

Indeed why do they even bother to read a single headline we put out?  After all, no one convinces anyone.  They know they are right, so why continue the argument?  We on the other hand think we might be able to expose some of the things going on, and so need to continue what we are doing.

So what should each side do now?

Clearly there is no point in the anti-Wengerians engaging with us.  We know we won’t change, and they are certain we are wrong.  So they can carry on doing their demonstrations (although I wish they wouldn’t because I think it harms the club, and the players), and wait for the collapse that their analysis logically predicts as being inevitable.  (There is a certain Marxist historical inevitability theory in this, but I’ll leave that for another day).

For us the issue is the reverse.  We have found a whole raft of things which evidence suggests are going seriously wrong in football, from the misuse of public money through to the implications of the utter secrecy surrounding PGMO.

We know, in terms of media exposure, that we are very much out on a limb.  Other web sites support our view from time to time, but most are against us, and along with the mainstream media, they are certain that the answers are fairly simple – such as change the manager, change the players etc.

Thus all we can do is keep on being a voice that keeps on asking difficult questions, that keeps on following Barcelona’s breach of the basic rights of children even when most people were telling us we were wrong and the club would be vindicated.  Who keep on pointing out what the FA is doing with money that should be spent on grassroots football.  Who point out that a minor change in Swiss law could start the collapse of the Fifa old guard.  Who keep on exposing PGMOs actions.  Who point out that most managerial and player changes don’t work.  And so on.

But really, the majority of websites with their allies in the press, on radio and on TV, have no need to engage with us, and absolutely no need to fear us, because they know that inevitably, as they have been predicting for years, Arsenal will collapse under the present regime.

And yet they still have the need to write in and call us names, or in some cases, set out their contrary arguments.  Funny ol’ world.

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55 comments to Why the debate about Arsenal and its future is getting nowhere and is ultimately utterly pointless.

  • Jim

    And all articles like this are pointless too..What it boils down to is nothing but personal opinion..If I want Wenger to stay or go makes no difference whatsoever, and nothing will change because of my opinion.

  • colario

    Your last paragraph.

    ‘And yet they still have the need to write in and call us names, or in some cases, set out their contrary arguments. Funny ol’ world.’

    By ‘they’ I take it you mean those whom we sometimes refer to as ‘trolls’ The commentators that make claims like ‘Wenger doesn’t know what he’s doing.’ With out any support for their claim

    In the last two days we have had some interesting and well thought out posts.There has also been some interesting comments in response to the posts. All have been a good read and much appreciated.

    In the comments section of these posts the ‘trolls’ have been conspicuous by the absence. Now I wonder what does their lack of comment say about them?

    Football in England is corrupt. The evidence is there if you care to look for it. Not just on the pitch in England but around Europe.

    The administration from the top down to little old England is also corrupt.

    Until the problem of corruption is dealt with and abolished what ever changes that are made ie. a new manager or owner, is not going to resolve the perceived problems of the team and club.

    Changing matters at the club and not football itself is no different from pulling up the leaves of weeds and leaving behind underground the roots of the weeds. The weeds will continue to grow.

    Until corruption is abolished and the culprits severely punished the weeds of football will not only continue to grow but flourish.

    It seems to me ‘the trolls’ don’t understand this fact of football life and until they do they will always shout ‘the manager doesn’t know what he is doing.’ whoever the manager might be.

    ‘Arsene knows best.’ When it comes to corruption he sure does know best.

    Arsene knew about corruption in football from his time France, before many of the ‘trolls’ were born.

  • Tom

    For the most part you are correct, it’s a pointless debate. Wenger isn’t going anywhere, not for another season at least, and I can easily see him signing another extension after that.

    People who hate him blame him for everything and deny him most of his achievements, and people who love him want him to stay on for ever, regardless of his shortcomings which they either overlook, or even deny they exist.

    Between the two aforementioned camps sit the vast majority of fans who still admire him but are becoming increasingly convinced that he’s taken Arsenal as far as he can and the next season , or the one after that will be exactly the repeat of what we have seen thus far.
    Arsenal will make the top four again, and will get knocked out of CL before or at the same stage as they always do.

    Any debate with the two extremist groups is utterly pointless ,as they are both in denial and convinced of being a one hundred percent correct in their believes.

    “Wenger is clueless and any success he might’ve had in the past was due to his predecessor”, is neatly balanced out by “Wenger is the best manager in the World and any failings, whether be it in CL or in domestic competition, is due to football being corrupted and the whole universe conspiring against us”.

    The reality of the situation is probably such that Wenger is still one of the top managers in the business and still the safest bet to keep the ball rolling for the near future. Whether he can inspire the players or the fans to any new highs is another thing entirely.

  • Arthur Pendragon

    A fascinating Post, and one where it is difficult to get to grips with.

    I understand the first group of reasons/demands outlined and attributed correctly to the anti-Wenger group. What is perhaps missing is that on the surface they seem reasonable demands by frustrated fans who have no direct way to express those views, however misguided they are. But a list does not bring home the vitriolic, and vile abuse hurled at a decent man, and the best manager Arsenal have ever had.

    You are correct that there is no reasoning with such fans and it simply increases the degree of vituperative bile any attempt to put an alternative case brings on the head of anyone ‘foolish’ enough to attempt to do so.

    What I do not really understand tho is why the ‘general’ points made in the second list, which I have rarely seen mentioned in other Arsenal blogs, and how any of them would mitigate or remove the anger of the anti-Wenger fans who are quite focused on Arsene being the cause of all evil, and are only subliminally interested in the machinations of other external problems.

    Naturally, I am not privy to the travails of Untold in regard to the attacks on this blog, and which you finished the Post referring to – but hopefully you will soldier on and hold fast to the tenets you believe in.

  • Top Guns

    of course the debate is pointless if this site does not allow opposing views..

  • Robert

    “Implement the Financial Fair Play rules for the Premier League which were promised three years ago, but never saw the light of day.”

    The PL does have FFP rules in place, such as wage caps and max losses. Which other rules are you saying were not implemented?

  • Col

    “the debate about Arsenal and its future is getting nowhere and is ultimately utterly pointless” – yes, but its a blog. It exists so that people can engage in that debate, even if it is ‘pointless’. If all you have is people agreeing with each other no-one would read it.

    Arsenal fans in the majority are probably somewhere in the middle, like Tom – and therefore actually susceptible to being persuaded. Personally, I am not persuaded that letting Wenger go makes sense. Despite everything, Arsenal have a chance of finishing second this season, which is hardly ‘bad’. Whilst I am not overly optimistic for next season, it is hardly hopeless.

    Equally, whilst I think football is corrupt, I am not convinced there is a refereeing conspiracy against Arsenal, but that does not mean I cannot be persuaded.

  • Good post Tony. I am a firm believer in Wenger’s ability to lead the club to glory. Form is temporary, class is permanent also holds true for managers. They don’t come classier than Wenger, and he has not suddenly lost his class because he has not won the EPL for 12 years.

    Many things have to come together for a team to go on a winning run of titles. It has not quite come together for Arsenal, but I think it is too soon to write both men and manager off. Isn’t there any slack for the many years for the post Highbury phase? Why should people feel Wenger doesn’t deserve some slack for that? He is in the right direction and he should be left to complete what he started. Is it a coincidence that Arsenal is the only survivor of the traditional “top 4” still in in the top 3 of the EPL table as at today. If Wenger is so bad why isn’t his club in Chelsea’s position?

  • Ken

    How much are you paid to write this bullshit? its abstract nature covers the whole intention lying behind, but cannot deny the fact that it is done for lucrative purposes and disinformation.
    You are so transparent for a professional analyst: the style, the syntax, the way of arranging arguments, the whole pack itself smells a professional interest but so crude in nature. One day you will be paid back for the damage caused.
    No need for others to comment on my remarks, it is far beyond your understanding, Tony is conscious of what I am talking about.

  • GoonerDave

    Could both of these groups not be wrong? Isn’t extreme support of anything in life incorrect by definition? Without balance there will never be truth.
    I would hazard a guess that neither of these groups are in the majority – that the majority of fans are in between and personally the anti-Wenger crowd is as baffling to me as the group who think he is above criticism. Nobody is above reproach in this world.
    Selling our best players year after year and wondering what might have been. We waited, knowing that soon we would be solvent and signing the best players in the world. And what happened? When our wealth was worth the absolute most it ever would be, we did next to nothing. The chance came to spend before every club got 100 million in TV money, but we didn’t. Accident? No players available? How about this – we are being used. Our money is being accumulated by an owner who is on record saying he does not care if we win. He’s not taking money out because he doesn’t need to. His asset owns that money. It already belongs to him. The money you have invested as a fan now belongs to somebody who doesn’t care if we win.
    Love Wenger or hate him, he’s got a very finite amount of time left at Arsenal. Kroenke is the real issue here and could be for decades.

  • Mick

    It takes one bullshitter to recognize another.

  • Gouresh

    What we have in our hands is “change the way we play” which if I am correct or miss read is not mention in the list. by which I and a lot of the fans and for that matter neutral fans as well mean is “ mix it up”. the rest of the points are the fans opinion and we should respect that, whether one likes it or not. This is still a democracy. you may think that they are foolish while they may think you are defeatist. now lets not pretend that that AW will go on forever so will have to bit the bullet one day and when that day comes, some will be elated and others sad. As for the points about the supporters supporting the team, I think that they sang through the 3-0 hammering at old fart rd and I am sure they sing for all the games. The frustration has creped in not because of one match or one season. As for the refs, financial fair play etc, how serious is the club, I know that AW speaks about video help but that’s only when he is asked. can anyone give information on any back ground work done by the club on some of the points, most notably the refs because this site has spent a lot or time, effort energy etc on collecting data? Every defeat is blamed squarely on the ref’s decision and if its so blatantly obvious, what has the club done to change, rectify this since the 49th game?

  • para

    No debate is ever pointless!

    Someone somewhere always learns something, even if this is not readily apparent.

    Please watch the breakdown on of the invincibles.

    Very nicely done Adrian Clarke. I hope those who you speak to do listen and pay heed to your words.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Let’s leave infighting arguments among ourselves alone and concentrate on Arsenal beating Man City on Sunday to guarantee a 3rd place finish in the table and to also enhance a possible 2nd place finish ahead of Spurs.

    I’ve said in my previous comments that, the managerial change arguments by the Arsenal fans opposed to the Boss and those supporting him should stop but to no avail. These arguments for and against have become antagonistic and abusive amongst the Arsenal fans on the pages of the websites on the internet. Why? What’s the point?

    The Gunners MUST not play to get a draw against Man City at the Etihad on Sunday but play to win the match. The moment the Gunners start the match with the aims of getting a draw from the match, Man City could beat them. But if a draw happened as a result of playing the match on itself, that can be understandable. The Boss SHOULD help the Gunners by making the most correct starts and bench that can win the match.

  • para

    Should have added:
    No debate is ever pointless unless one sees it as a battle and expecting a winner. Some like to call it reasonings where each one will learn from the other.

  • Rich


    If it’s beyond our poor understanding, who were you writing this for? Couldn’t you have just sent Tony an email?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Over the years , UA were being ridiculed when certain ‘abnormalities ‘ were pointed out in the going ons at FIFA , UEFA , the FA and in PIGMOB . The heads of the first two are on gardening leave , while your FA has started digging its own grave .
    That leaves only the shady ones …..soon , soon …..
    The media ? They too will soon be changing their tune (albeit in higher pitch !)when they are gripped by hands of justice .
    ‘ If you got them by their balls , their hearts and minds will follow .’
    Theodore Roosevelt

  • Pete

    Facts. Evidence. Analysis. Acknowledgement of Complexity.

    All of these things are absent in the populist and ignorant.

    The trouble is that those who are hostile could only muster a couple of hundred supporters amongst 50,000. So not even popular.

    It was extremely reassuring last Saturday to discover that the malcontents are a smaller minority than they thought and I feared.

    Onwards and upwards.

  • Pete

    I have a question.

    Turn the clock back 20 years. We scrape into 5th place on the last day of the season with two goals in the last 10 minutes to sneak past Bolton 2-1, in a 38,000 seat stadium (I remember, I was there).

    If you were then told that we would hire a new little-known manager who, in the next 20 years, would win us 3 League titles, 6 FA Cups, complete an unbeaten season and qualify for the Champions League for 18 years in a row (including reaching the final) as well as seeing the club move to a purpose-built 60,000 seat stadium financed out of internal resources. All while competing with three other clubs with significantly greater resources – Man Utd we knew about, but the other two through external financing the like of which had never been seen before.

    Would you have accepted this or would it have been a ghastly mistake?

    Now, here we are, 20 years on… While it is not certain we will finish in the Top 4 this season it is more likely than not. Having paid off half the stadium debt (not all of it as some think) we now have increased resources to buy (more) world-class players although not yet even close to the three richer clubs. Our youth system continues to deliver however.

    Would you really want to change the man who has delivered all of this? Really?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Pete – May 6, 2016 at 12:47 pm – A big LIKE from me .

    ‘ The happiest people don’t worry too much about whether life is fair of not , they just get on with it .’
    Andrew Matthews .

  • Brickfields Gunners

    The heckler –

    There was once a magician on a cruise ship who performed mainly slight-of-hand tricks. He had a regular spot on the ship’s evening entertainment. He was actually quite a good magician, but his routines were regularly ruined by the on-board parrot who would fly around squawking out and giving away his secrets like:




    The magician was getting pretty sick of this and threatened to kill the parrot if it ruined his act one more time. That evening right at the climax of his act, just as he was about to disappear in a puff of smoke, the ship hit an iceberg and sank in seconds.

    Amazingly, the magician and the parrot were the only two survivors. The magician was lying on a piece of driftwood in a daze. As he opened his eyes he could see the parrot staring at him out of its beady little eye.

    The parrot sat there for hours just staring at him and eventually said, “OK, I give up, what did you do with the ship?”

  • Somerset Gooner

    Good article Tony 100% agree with your thoughts. On a side note believe it or not there is an article in the Daily Star today by David Woods which reflects our ways of thinking. Hope it’s OK to post links! If not could you delete it.

  • Top Guns, that is just about the oddest comment I’ve seen this week – and it has been a very odd week

  • Jim, I think if you read any of our pieces about evidence based football reporting and the use of logical deductions you might get it.

  • insideright

    FFP has worked to the extent that in recent years the previously financially doped clubs have had to sell in order to buy and have trodden water or gone backwards.
    More clubs have thrown in the towel on beating Arsenal by kicking them and have taken to parking the bus even deeper than before. Our own possession of the ball has had the look of being less effective and penetrative because of this. It won’t be helped by the success of Leicester who play exactly this style (even though we beat them 7-3 on aggregate).
    We have dealt quite well with the challenges of the past but now face new challenges (and maybe new teams presenting them) but we’ve never been in a better position to face them.
    Now is absolutely not the time to change – certainly not while others are about to go through much bigger changes which will present them with much greater risk.

  • Norsgeneral

    It breaks my heart to see all the fans at each other’s throats and as someone who has been very critical for the way AW has run things and wanted him replaced, I really take no pleasure in seeing some of the things written by Arsenal fans.

    So much so, that I am fed up with the in/out argument, and accepted, that AW will be there next year, so therefore, I will now judge him on, purely next season as a manager of a top premiership club. No harking back to past glories or records/results, just performance from pre season onwards. Team selection, tactics, man management, game management, transfers in & out and most importantly, results. I think this is the only way to go, with all the arguments raging around us. Then base what happens next May, on one season’s performance. He has the money, players/staff, will be pitched against some of the finest managers in Europe. Lets see how he and his team do. Many will argue, that this criteria should apply for the last season, but as Leciester and Spurs have burst the ‘you can only compete with Millions’ point, the next season is perfect for this sort of analysis.

  • Cy

    Time for Wenger to go, under him Arsenal have become stale, predictable, underachieving and happy with mediocrity. Thank you for your efforts Mr Wenger (1996 to 2006) , but you cannot take us any further. Time for change, after all Arsenal belongs to the fans, not Mr Wenger.

  • Gord


    A day or 2 ago, I seen a blurb that Mertesacker was out for 2 games, which means he is gone for the season.

    Today, I see that the Ox tweaked a knee ligament, he is out 8 weeks now. Or, maybe it was 6-8 weeks. So, we will end the season with 2 injured.

    And we have the U21 in their playoff on Tuesday.

  • Tom

    The official capacity for the Ems is shown to be 60,442 , so if you discount the few hundred ” loud malcontents” , there’s still over 10,000 silent critics ( according to your figures of attendance) who showed their displeasure with the club, or perhaps the Sunday game time interfered with their church going schedule.

  • Pete

    Tom – there are many empty seats for every home game – and that has always been the case. I agree that empty seats for Norwich were more than usual, but that could also be due to: disappointment at end of title challenge (as opposed to the club in general), relatively unattractive opposition, awkward KO time and game on live TV. I note also that there were far more empty seats for the WBA game at which there was no protest…

    So, if a few of the empty seats were due to protesters being even more passive (i.e. voting with their feet rather than holding up placards) then so be it. Although I think that is marginal. Let’s hope they don’t renew their season tickets and we can actually fill the ground with supporters next season, much as we manage to do for the League Cup games.

  • Pat


    Maybe some fans have absorbed the negative atmosphere transmitted by many blogs and the media and felt too dispirited to go.

    If so, it’s a pity they didn’t. I was really bucked by people’s response to the little demonstration, especially hearing many people singing One Arsene Wenger, and Arsene Wenger’s Red and White Army for the first time for ages.

  • Florian

    Unless one is a newcomer, they would know that the issues that they want to debate have been debunked a long time ago, and shown to be fallacious. Really, it almost looks like a good thing for Untold to do would be to create a Wiki or a dictionary of fallacious Arsenal assumptions.

    Second, when people of the first group invoke their right to “debate”, what they mean is really be argumentative. Typical for them, they don’t bring evidence and don’t accept that their point of view can be successfully challenged with evidence. I’ve personally been at the core of day long arguments (on other forums, don’t worry), where I had first hand experience with the people’s ability to ignore the elephant in the room.

  • Thomas Shelby

    nice backhand there Pete. you just counter Tom with fact and reasonable answer, but as usual’ Tom know it all and always right. he still think the protest was a huge success

  • Cy – thanks. I asked in the headline why the debate about Arsenal and its future is getting nowhere and is ultimately utterly pointless, and your comment has shown us exactly why the debate is utterly pointless.

  • So does this mean you won’t be bringing the subject up again. ?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I always thought that Arsenal belonged to the shareholders . You tend to learn a new fallacy almost everyday on UA !

  • Cy

    Debate is about 2 points of view, one side states all is well, the other points to 10yrs of promises and underachievement , seems some fans are happen with that, the debate should be Why are fans happy with that and want Wenger to remain at the helm of a club going nowhere in terms of major silverware, if finishing 3rd or 4th is ok then there is no debate. But 10yrs, Yes 10yrs of missing out on major success leaves some of us wanting change. You may mention CL but we only make up the numbers, you may mention FA cup wins 2014 & 2015, that was great , but even Portsmouth & Wigan have won the FA lately…Anyway I don’t hate Wenger, I just want change for the good of Arsenal Fc.

  • porter

    Gouresh has it in his first sentence , ask most of the dissenters and to varying degrees they will blame the manager for what they see on the pitch. The internet has made us all critics but in the end most people watching the games have either played and been watching football through various styles and times. They are not stupid they know the way the game is played and they know when things are wrong. Our play is not as good as it once was and out tactics do not appear to be particularly fluid. Address that , make it so that teams cannot plan weeks ahead of how to play us and you will find that many of the waverers will be back on board in no time. Improve the image on the pitch and all the rest is just fluff.

  • Cy, I have done my level best to explain, but you don’t get it. I am more than happy to admit this is my fault, and that I am useless at explaining things to people. But what I don’t understand is why you keep on coming here and repeating something that has been said over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, without anyone who shares your point of view being able to understand the argument from the other side.

  • Tom

    Interesting that you would reference disregard for evidence when describing the opposite camp, while exhibiting similar behavior.

    When I posed a question to Pete whether he thought Arsene needed to shoulder some blame for Arsenal injuries, your reply was that unless Wenger himself is seen kicking the players, then no, he shouldn’t.

    I disagree. Never mind playing some players through red zones where the chance of them getting injured is higher than normal.
    How about asking players with knee ligament damage to continue playing , when there is virtually a 100% certainty it will make their condition worse.
    Ozil, Coquelin, Ox and Cazorla represent Arsenal’s latest four knee injuries and all were asked to carry on.

    Talk about ignoring the “elephant in the room” 🙂

  • Tom

    I should probably clarify that I don’t think Arsene is rosponsible for those injuries(obviously), just for handling them.

  • Tom

    Thomas Shelby
    For the record, I thought the protest was a huge failure and I’m not always right.
    I have admitted to being wrong or changed my mind many times on here, the last time when I did come to the conclusion upon review that Carroll should’ve seen red, so congratulations you’re 0 for 2 🙂
    Stick with ping-pong buddy.

  • School is out I see.

  • Top Guns

    I think it is important that all supporters are able to come together for the final year of Arsene Wengers time at the club. There is no reason why he cannot go out on a high if the right investment is made this summer.
    I would worry though if the protests continue into next season. So the supporters have to stop the sniping and the club has to show some ambition. Fair enough?

  • Pat

    Top Guns

    By referring to Arsene Wenger’s ‘final year’ you show where your priorities lie. Stop trying to manipulate supporters. Weasel words, Top Guns – whoever you are.

  • Who knows if it will be his final year? We will only know that if he chooses to announce it or maybe he will sign a new contract but that is all up to the boss and the board as it should be.

  • Top Guns

    Pat – I apologise, maybe I should have phrased it differently but as things stand Mr Wenger is entering the final year of his contract. Now my point was for all supporters to come together and I really don’t see how you can interpret my post as manipulation. As I say the sniping has to stop – we all support the same team!

  • Florian


    I have yet to see a piece of palpable evidence that makes Wenger responsible for the players’ injuries. There was a study made a couple years ago that concluded that compared to the other teams in the league we are just above average in terms of non-contact injuries, and way above average for contact injuries. Hence my comment about Wenger kicking players in training. The link is here.

    Playing players through red zones: the only time I remember something mentioned about that was a Wenger’s comment about Alexis, so I suspect that’s what you’re alluding too. The formulation was actually “he’s close to the red zone”. “in the red zone” is your interpretation – an inaccurate one, and one which denotes negative thinking patterns in certain directions. But that shouldn’t be surprising by now.

    “asking players with knee ligament damage to continue playing” and “latest four knee injuries… were asked to carry on” – where did you get that?

  • Menace

    What is wrong with winning money? Trophies are cups that are made from silver & are tokens of success. The positions in the league are roughly worth £10 million each. So 18th would be £10 million more than 17th etc. The top 4 places are worth almost double – £20million. The winning position is worth another £50million. This value is roughly drawn from statements in the press so take them with a pinch of salt. Financial success is key for professional clubs. If it wasn’t, Arsenal would have raised the officiating issue a long time ago. Problem is (as far as I’m aware) FA can suspend or prohibit any one or any entity from playing football in England. There is no law stopping them from using PGMOL or a comedy club from officiating in a football match in England.

    Cy look in the mirror & ask yourself is 4th place better than 5th or in your case nowhere?

  • bushido

    Florian- asking players with knee ligament damage to continue playing and latest 4 knee injuries were ask to carry on from Tom. make up story and blame Wenger as usual for everything bad thing that happen inside the club came into mind.

  • bushido

    Menace, some of this Arsenal fans will never satisfy and rather see the club finish outside the top 4 as long A.Wenger remain as manager.the recent video i watch on aftv the host even said Arsenal can afford to lose the match against Man City cos Arsenal already pick up 3 point against Norwich last week to qualify for CL.he said it like’ whats the point for the club to fight till the end cos Leicester already win the league, even tho Arsenal still can grab the 2nd spot.they want the club to spend on transfer like super rich club even when some supporters know and realize Arsenal will never operate that way plus the club still had to settle up paying the stadium debt(recently somebody pointed up at me that Arsenal still half free from that debt). so of cos the club will be cautious with the money but no doubt the team will be strengthen next season. and only God knows what kind of hell gonna break loose if the club decide to gave A.Wenger contract extension at the end of next season

  • Florian


    A comedy club would do a better job as refs than our current PiGMOBsters. At least the comedians know how to toss a coin properly and in an unbiased way. 😀

  • Pat

    @Top Guns

    You were the one sniping.

  • dokjat

    Tony, your reply to Cy is childish and condescending. But hey it’s your blog and you’re entitled to reply as you wish. Much as I’ve enjoyed some of the analysis you have offered, it’s become rather repetitive and it’s time to bid farewell. Not that you’ll care anyway. I wish you much success in turning the media around to your view, and to finally prove the existence of refereeing bias (which would technically constitute corruption) that you claim. Given the “evidence” you offer on this and other issues, it appears highly unlikely that Arsene will be able to win another Premier League title as long as these issues continue. Thank you for sharing your point of view.