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October 2016
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There are people who call themselves Arsenal fans, who want Arsenal relegated

By Tony Attwood

There is an interesting comment going around on certain bloggettas to the effect that it would be good if Arsenal were relegated this year, so that Mr Wenger would get the sack.  These comments are written by people who, it seems, class themselves as Arsenal supporters.

In the reality inhabited by these people therefore it is possible simultaneously to be an Arsenal supporter and to want Arsenal relegated; a challenging combination.

I find this interesting for me, because I recall in the past on one of the many journeys along the M1 after an Arsenal match, having a discussion with my fellow supporters with whom I regularly travelled, as to whether we wanted Tottenham to be relegated or to give them the misery of escaping relegation each year by just one goal.

It’s all fanciful of course – what we want is neither here nor there and has no impact on reality (at least as far as I know) – but on the other hand such discussions are usually infinitely superior in entertainment value to anything on the radio at such time, so we tend to indulge ourselves.

The general feeling, I recall was that it was better to have Tottenham in the top division but doing badly than have them in the lower league and possibly winning promotion.   For a team doing well in any division can get a lot of support.

Indeed I was surprised recently when doing the research in terms of the 1932/3 season for the Arsenal in the 30s series on the Arsenal History Society site to find that Tottenham, who did indeed win promotion to the first division that year, had the second highest crowd average in the country across any division.

The only club they were behind on attendance levels was… Arsenal who won the 1st division that season.  In case you are interested in such trivia the list of average attendances across the season is given at the end of the article on Arsenal in April and May 1933.

But back to the notion of wanting the team you purport to support, to be relegated.   The implication of that notion is that Mr Wenger would leave the club, and then, because all the perceived ills of the club (which we might recall has won the FA Cup in two of the last three years and was runners’ up last season in the League) would be resolved, and Arsenal would bounce back to the top of the Premier League.

If you know your football history, you will know that Arsenal have been in the top division since being elected to the League upon its expansion in March 1919 (and if as a side issue you have any concerns about the validity of that election this article sets out all the details).

No other club has ever remained in the top division for such a stretch of time without being relegated.  Here’s the top ten long termers

Pos Club Last joined top division
1 Arsenal 1919-20
2 Everton 1954-55
3 Liverpool 1962-63
4 Manchester United 1975-76
5 Tottenham Hotspur 1978-79
6 Aston Villa 1988-89
7 Chelsea 1989-90
8 Manchester City 2002-03
9 Sunderland 2007-08
10 Stoke City 2008-09

So a relegation would destroy a very significant part of Arsenal’s heritage – but that is not all.  For there is of course no guarantee that a relegation would actually result in an immediate promotion back to the top division under a new manager.

To prove this take a look at the Premier League table at the end of 2005/6 – just 10 years ago.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Chelsea 38 29 4 5 72 22 +50 91
2 Manchester United 38 25 8 5 72 34 +38 83
3 Liverpool 38 25 7 6 57 25 +32 82
4 Arsenal 38 20 7 11 68 31 +37 67
5 Tottenham Hotspur 38 18 11 9 53 38 +15 65
6 Blackburn Rovers (2) 38 19 6 13 51 42 +9 63
7 Newcastle United (2) 38 17 7 14 47 42 +5 58
8 Bolton Wanderers (3) 38 15 11 12 49 41 +8 56
9 West Ham United 38 16 7 15 52 55 −3 55
10 Wigan Athletic (2) 38 15 6 17 45 52 −7 51
11 Everton 38 14 8 16 34 49 −15 50
12 Fulham (2) 38 14 6 18 48 58 −10 48
13 Charlton Athletic (3) 38 13 8 17 41 55 −14 47
14 Middlesbrough 38 12 9 17 48 58 −10 45
15 Manchester City 38 13 4 21 43 48 −5 43
16 Aston Villa (2) 38 10 12 16 42 55 −13 42
17 Portsmouth (4) 38 10 8 20 37 62 −25 38
18 Birmingham City (2) 38 8 10 20 28 50 −22 34
19 West Bromwich Albion 38 7 9 22 31 58 −27 30
20 Sunderland 38 3 6 29 26 69 −43 15

In brackets is shown the level the clubs are playing in this season.

Nine out of the 20 clubs in the Premier League 10 years ago are no longer there.  Charlton we may recall had a group of fans who wanted to get their manager Alan Curbishley out of the club so that Charlton could move on to the “next level” after he had got them to as high as 7th in the Premier League table.

He left the club in May 2006 after 15 years at Charlton.  Since then they have had six years in the Championship and three in League One.  The one year in the Premier League was the year after Curbishley left.   In the era from May 2006 they have had 12 managers.  In case that looks like a misprint I’ll repeat it – 12 managers in 10 years, none of whom has got Charlton back to the top division.

Of course it can be said that Arsenal with its long, proud history in the top league is not Charlton.  That is true, but my point is that when things disintegrate there really is no telling where they are going to end up.

Take Portsmouth.  They won the cup in 2008, and were in the Premier League until 2010, but they were then owned by people whom one might call slightly dubious (a term I use in the hope that that is mild enough not to have the boys sent round to do me over) and languish now in the fourth tier.

Of course Arsenal is a huge club, in the world’s top ten, but that is still no guarantee that some whacky notion that Arsenal could be relegated and bounce back up and then become champions could happen anywhere than in the minds of men who spend too much time on the internet.  Yes they might go down and come straight up – but then would they be better in terms of league position than the last three years with its two cup wins and a runner’s up spot, plus the continuing revenue from the Champions League?  It is possible but I doubt it.

For revenue is an important word here.  Without the Champions League revenue and the prize money that I highlighted in a recent article on finance, Arsenal would quickly lose its top players, for as we have seen, player loyalty is not necessarily to be found in most players these days.  RVP, Fabregas… the list would grow and grow.

In 1973/4 Man U went down to the second division, and won that in 1974/5 to come straight back up but it was 18 years before they won the top league again.  Tottenham went down in 1976/77 and came straight back up, but it didn’t lead to a re-birth of the club at the top of the top league.

And let us not forget that Arsenal in both 1974/5 and 1975/6 flirted with relegation.  That was under Bertie Mee, and at the time I was thinking that the board really should act to persuade him to move on.  He had had a brilliant run in the early part of the decade, but he seemed incapable of building a new squad.

I didn’t write a blog then, largely because we didn’t have the internet, but if I had would I have called for his departure?   Probably yes – because although I support the club and the manager and the team – I also have (or so I like to think) a certain realism within me – and I thought that after a period of decline, missing relegation in the end by just four points was too close for comfort.  But to reiterate, this is relegation we are talking about, not two FA Cup wins and a runners-up slot.

Or think perhaps of Liverpool, champions in 1990, cup winners in 2006, now up for sale to the Chinese.  For a 19 year period from 1973 on they were either first or second in the first division every season except one.  Since 1991/2 they have been second three times – three runners’ up in 25 years.  Their last seven years run has been 7th, 6th, 8th, 7th, 2nd, 6th, 8th.

For those who want change, I would always say, yes sometimes change is helpful.  But not always. Not inevitably.

We’ve had a spate of comments of late claiming that I demand evidence from others but don’t provide it myself.  These commentaries have been answered, but to keep doing it is getting tedious, so I think we should move away from that one.   But if you are still interested the article I doubt if anyone has ever had their mind changed by arguments on this site will probably answer most questions.

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56 comments to There are people who call themselves Arsenal fans, who want Arsenal relegated

  • Wolfgang

    This is the only way for the board to sack Wenger.He is out of date with everything.
    When you see how Burnley beat Pool,you wonder why the fm shdnt be axed.
    Arsenal have been incapable of holding on to a lead ,thanks the FM’s playing style.I am afraid the consensus is he is leading Arsenal to no where.

  • GoonerDNA

    Wenger will never be sacked but if we fail to secure CL football and fan pressure builds which it is at fantastic rate – Mr Wenger will not be offered a new contract.

    1 more season of Wenger and it’s a new era for Arsenal unlike a lot on here I embrace change I think it will do us some good and I’m not expecting instant results but I’m not going cut off my nose to spite my face.

  • Bernard Cordell

    I suppose Wolfgang’s comment is a perfect example of making an assertion that is not backed up by evidence. If Arsenal cannot hold on to a lead, they cannot have won a game since…… the last game of last season. We have only had two games this season and only led in one of those.

    I’m guessing that Wolfgang believes that relegation is a price worth paying to get rid of AW. It would be less traumatic if he were to urge our manager to retire at the end of the season. He’d obtain the same object and we might still have Champions League football the following season.

  • Polo

    Tony, I think you may have angered a few Pool fans by quoting them in your article.

  • porter

    Not surprised by the 30’s attendance figures. My family from Gospel Oak were a typical London family of those days parents 5 boys and two girls. The boys ranging between their teens and early 20’s would go with uncles and their Dad to Arsenal one week and Spurs the next. Would be interesting to know but impossible to define, how many of those crowds were actually the same people.
    As for Arsene leaving , it has to happen one day and we need to prepare for it. Unfortunately I don’t trust the board to make the right appointment as they are very adept at finance but football is not their strong suit. As soon as Chips said that all decisions are made by Wenger and that the board does not interfere it became clear that they are drifting. Back in the day we had Dein in the boardroom with the vision to scout the world for a manager. We have no-one of that ilk anymore.

  • virg

    It’s silly to make any assumptions about how our season will go based on the results of the first 2 games.

    A Liverpool loss under Klopp always seems on the horizon and that won’t really change until Matip and Karius become regulars and if they can perform to the standards he thinks they can in the premier league.

    Here’s a fantastic article by James Yorke on Statsbomb about the opening fixtures:

  • Nik

    Nobody should want us to get relegated.

  • Josif

    Last season I read a comment from a certain person at a certain blog that went something like “the worst thing for Arsenal would be if Arsenal won the league with Wenger at helm because Arsenal would never win anything with Wenger”. Now, I am all for reasonable criticism and I don’t hesitate to give one but that comment was the stupidest thing I’ve ever read in the infamous AKB v WOB debate (which is a spectacular feat given the amount of junk one might have read over the years at various web-sites and blogs).

    However, from my POV, if someone wants Arsenal to get relegated so that Arsenal can “move on”, he is either a fake Arsenal fan or someone who has an on-going trial and needs an evidence of his own incountability.

  • Justin Chinedu

    wolfgang, sorry but your wish is very wrong and Arsenal won’t be relegated. Am sure you are not an Arsenal fan.

  • nicky

    It’s about time that a proportion of supporters of our great Club realised that its progress from time immemorial has been based on peaks and troughs. Not since the late 1930’s have we ever managed to retain a championship.
    Arsenal will tend to win against the odds or clutch defeat from the jaws of victory, all in equal measure.
    The dark side of a minority of those who profess to support Arsenal FC is that they need scapegoats on whom to target criticism and displeasure. Usually it’s a player or two but occasionally the manager.
    Even in the throes of any success, they still have to clutch dissatisfaction with some aspect that will satisfy their need for some doom and gloom.
    What miserable morose lives they must live. In the pub, their glass will always be half empty instead of half full. 😉

  • Zuruvi

    At the weekend, the pundits were discussing Arsenal in a disparaging way (as usual).
    Jamie Carragher said it might actually be best for Arsenal if they fail to make Top 4 because it will force a change of manager and a change of thinking.
    And as usual, Thierry Henry agreed with Jamie Carragher.

    Our greatest legend is hoping for Arsenal to fail (this year) so that changes can take place at Arsenal??!!!!

    I have never heard any of the Man Utd or Liverpool legends hoping their club doesn’t do well so as to effect some change.

  • Damilare

    Thanks Tony for yet another brilliant article. A very funny thing how people want a change just for the sake of it. It becomes crazy when you wish bad for your club in the name of change.

    The only constant thing in life they say is change. But change in itself doesn’t guarantee anything as change could be positive or negative.

    That we have a manager for almost 2 decades is not a bad thing and I personally do not think Arsenal is in decline under AW considering today’s mad money football.

    I’d expected the media who are proponents of buy, buy, buy to demand performance from clubs based on their purchases. So City, man u, Chelsea etc are underachievers. In same light, Arsenal would only be expected to come 3rd or 4th (as the case maybe) every time until they are able to equal or outspend aforementioned clubs. Imoh its not sustainable.

    Arsene Wenger will leave one day with honours and accolades he rightfully deserves but until then, people should be careful what they wished for.

    The change mantra that brought the present administration in Nigeria is no longer as popular and desirable as they were 2 years ago. That you wanted somebody out does not guarantee that the new guy will be better.

    Sir ‘Rednose’ left man disunited without proper plan for future, the AW I know would rather sacrifice immediate personal glory for medium and long term sustainability of Arsenal.


  • colario

    I posted this in the previous piece but it is in better context here.

    ”The late Matt Busby manager when Manchester United were Manchester United and not as now manure told of an incident against himself and the late George Best.

    Before the game he told GB not to take on the full back because the full back will floor him.

    In the game GB did as he was told not to do and was floored.

    Angry with him I told my assistant ‘I told him not to that’

    George did it again and was floored.

    Again ‘I told him not to do that’

    In the 2nd half George again took on the full back only this time George left the full back for dead and scored.

    Matt said ‘I turned to my assistant and said ‘when will I learn to mind my own business?’.

    We buy a striker that is great at playing down the middle. (If there is one that is.) After all this is not fantasy football. It might work. It might not.

    Meantime we need a middle striker so Alexis is put in the middle, (seemingly he has played there before)he doesn’t score in the first two games so what.

    For the One Match Only Experts Alexis is useless.

    If they are proved wrong will they admit they should learn to mind their own business and support the player and the team? I doubt it.

    As has been pointed out her recently a closed mind can never admit it is wrong.

    I know what it is like to believe that Arsenal have the wrong manager in place. I wanted him to win because I want Arsenal to win.

    I can’t get to games now but back then I went in hope and sometimes watched in despair.

    If you disagree with the club and its manager and can’t give them your support then leave or be patient support team the day will come when what you don’t like will change.

    Then hope the change you wish for proves the right change because if it doesn’t. What then?”

  • goonermikey

    Another piece of irrefutable logic (with evidence) Tony. It just completely baffles me as to why some people just can’t seem to get their heads round it when there is no evidence to support the opposite view. Blinded by their own sad need to be associated with glory I suppose.

  • tissiam

    some fans who want wenger to be sacked or arsenal to finish outside the top 4 like to think they are “experts” in running a club,manage a team but somehow they haven,t realised there are no longer easy games in the pl,even the so called small clubs have bigger budgest that most teams in europe,how many times have we heard them last year screaming murder after we drew against a “mid-table team” but for the same team to beat one of the big 4 the following week but didn,t hear anything???

  • Richard

    Wolfgang it’s absurd to think or advocate that relegation would be good for us just to get rid of Wenger. Now going into Liverpool game with two inexperienced CB pairing was not good. But Wenger could not have been aware that he would be without all three of his main CB. To lose two CB to impact injuries which are not down to fatigue or being rushed back is unlucky. Yes maybe he could have pushed for a player to come in immeadiately but that would mean paying over the ofds not something that is desirable.

    Secondly season is two games old( ahh but Wenger haters will be screaming we are six points behind Utd city et al.) there is no way we can win league now, this of course is ridiculous we have played last seasons champions and a top 8 team who are considered by most a club to be pushing for a top four spot now only Chelsea and Utd have played one top 8 team other teams were lower in league.. City looked unconvincing againstsunderland and had some refereeing help against Stoke. My point is we are not out of title race and we are slowly getting up to a full first team squad in attacking positions anyway. I always judge the season at end of season by certain criteria. Did we win a cup, where did we win the league if we didn’t win league where did we finish and what was our points haul and finally did we qualify for cl football next season. Now I would be first to call for Wenger to go if I thought he didn’t have the desire to win things and the ability to win things. The two cup wins that we have had recently show he still has the ability to win things and his desire is still there I watch Wenger throughout games a lot I will use my favourite as it highlight Wengers passion and desire to win the Bradford league cup loss I attended and was fuming after game but I re watched game as I had recorded
    It and part way the to cameras panned to
    Wenger and you see him get angry and say just pass the fucking ball . Now I like Wenger not because what he has done for club but because he is calm and clear headed he looks at games dispassionately and analyses them the same way. Emotion clouds judgement and thinking let’s look at Liverpool game as a reference point we lost 4-3 but could and should have had a draw Theo
    Missed a penalty and in first half we had a few more opportunities all without a big chunk of our first team missing( again people will say oh but so were Liverpool, howvever I’d say sturridge was their only real high profile absentee). We on other hand had mertesacker Gabriel wilshere ozil giroud koscielny welbeck unavailable that’s 7 first team players over half a team of players and we nearly got a result out of that game. Watch and see come end of season we shall be fighting for title and finish in top two positions again

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Leading Arsenal to no where? Come on Wolf, you can’t be this serious with that your blatant comment, are you? Yes, we may not have won the title again since we last won it 12 years ago. But we have been coming close in the last 2 seasons to repeate the winnings we had again. And we’ve not fallen out of the top 4 since only time knows when we last did which has seen us playing in the Ucl on regular basis. And in addition to these, a back to back FA victory in the last 3 seasons is quite a move getting us somewhere.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Wolfgang, the last match specialist….

  • ARSENAL 13


    I was wondering, why is it that (some) ex-ARSENAL players of legendary status are always anti-ARSENAL in their views?

    example: Tony Adams, loved by gooner world. Social media/media candidate to replace Mr Wenger.
    Henry, king of the gooner world. Media/ social media candidate to replace Mr Wenger.
    Viera. Media/social media candidate to replace Mr Wenger.

    Something in common there??

  • Brickfields Gunners

    OK ,the AKBs please stay put on the Right lane , while the lemmings move over to the Wrong lane !
    And wave goodbye to ‘them’ as they exits our shores ! Cliff ahoy ! Keep pushing !

    What ? The opposite of right IS wrong !

  • Top Guns

    Another good article Tony.
    Anyone who wants Arsenal relegated is NOT an Arsenal fan in my opinion.
    I consider our record of being in the top division for very nearly 100 years to be our proudest record.

    I am however concerned about this season as I can only see the division between our fans worsening with the uncertainty over the future of Mr Wenger. I think the fanbase could be unified if he were to announce now that he was going to stand down at the end of the season.

    On the other hand if he agrees a new contract then fine and if fans don’t like it well then go and support another club.

  • Josif

    All three of them are Arsenal legends as players and nobody will ever be able to dispute that.

    However, none of them hesitated to do whatever it took to win the game. Adams and Vieira could scare the opponents by the sheer power of their appearance and physical strength. (Feel free to add Keown to that list.) Henry didn’t run away from complaining to the refs, yelling at his team-mates and, eventually, using handballing to get what he wants – all three things being extremely annoying. If you don’t agree with me, just ask yourself: if they had been playing elsewhere in Premiership (and I don’t take Vieira’s City days seriously), how would you have called them? From our Invincibles, I guess Bobby, Gilberto and Freddie are the nicest people. It’s no wonder they haven’t thrashed Arsenal as Adams, Henry and Paddy have, never mind that…something…Ashley Cole.

    DB10 is something special.

  • Menace

    OT -Just watching the Team GB return interviews. Sky asks the opinion of the GB coaches/admin as to what is wrong with the National Football team! The answer was beautifully Wenger like – We talk about Team GB & the Olympics. Anything outside that will make new headlines.

    That shut the Sky!! What a beautiful gold lined cloud.

  • Josif

    I know it’s waaaaaaaaaaaaaay off-topic but if Arsenal really have to pick between Mustafi for £43.1 million pounds and Evans for £25 millions, I’d take neither of them and suggest that money to be spent on, say, Julian Draxler or James Rodriguez.

  • Why would Kronke sack Mr Wenger when he makes him so much money , no chance . I don’t think he’s that bothered about Cups and Trophies so job for life

  • Chris

    Well, I just hope AW will make it at least until the 19-20 season so he’ll celebrate the century no other club will achieve in our lifetime.

  • Menace

    Back on topic – Those that want destruction to gain glory are similar to suicide bombers -kill themselves to get a better life!

    Relegation is not a new beginning.
    It is the shame of not being your best.
    Competing is the soul of success.
    Trophies are its visual glory.

    The cost of competition is where the soul decorates itself. If the glory is bought, the soul is wistful. If the glory is trained & worked for, the soul is immortal. Celebrating a bought trophy does not have real joy. Real joy is when despite all the trials of unfairness & financial handicap you succeed, knowing that you won without cheating the truth. Without cheating the true sense of sport.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Lets organise an impromptu Worldwide Arsenal Referendum –
    1. Arsene in ? / Arsene out ?
    2.If Arsene out – who next ?………….
    3. Are you sure he wants in ?

    Please continue to add further questions and answers .

    Since I’m sure to vote – 1. Arsene in , I ‘ll exit now.

  • Mustaffi no chance no way 50 mill Ashley Williams 10 -12 mill would have been good business

  • nik

    Some people do want us to drop out of the top 4

  • BG as previously said he ain’t going anywhere anytime soon . Wouldn’t be surprised if Kronke wasn’t begging him to sign a new 3 year contract

  • Justin Chinedu

    Menace at 12:40pm……i doff my cap, sorry not wearing any. you said it all. Let the self-destruct people stay off our ARSENAL.
    Brickfield….and they will remain undecided. lets find a club for them….Fake Fans Leave Our Arsenal(FFLOA fanz)

  • Flares

    Arsenal 1 defeat in last 12 PL games. Make believe crisis created by the media and seized upon by buffoons, who’ve probably only been ‘supporting’ the club since their Mum decided to get the full Sky package at home in time for last Christmas. Agree with the fella above who said use the money to buy Draxler, that’s if Wolfsburg don’t then decide they want £80 million a day before the window closes.

  • Flares

    Sorry for the double post, but the coefficients scores over the last ten years or so make very interesting reading. It’s common knowledge that English clubs have dropped off reaching the latter stages of the Champions League, but along with Chelsea we’ve pretty much propped up the Premier League getting four spots each season. Another achievement the spoilt Gooners can brush under the carpet.

  • Polo

    Recently on this site there were some comments made about ‘competing for the league title’ and that Arsenal haven’t been competing for a long time. This intrigued me, so out of curiosity I went to see if whether other team(s) compete with the winner in that particular season. I assume competing would mean still can win the league with 2 games to spare or within a margin of 6 points. Below are my findings:

    Season: 04/05
    1st: Chelsea – 95 points
    2nd: Arsenal – 83 points
    Margin: 12 points

    Season: 05/06
    1st: Chelsea – 91 points
    2nd: ManU – 83 points
    4th: Arsenal – 67 points
    Margin: 8 points

    Season: 06/07
    1st: ManU – 89 points
    2nd: Chelsea – 83 points
    4th: Arsenal – 68 points
    Margin: 6 points

    Season: 07/08
    1st: ManU – 87 points
    2nd: Chelsea – 85 points
    3rd: Arsenal – 83 points
    Margin: 2 points

    Season: 08/09
    1st: ManU – 90 points
    2nd: Liverpool – 86 points
    4th: Arsenal – 72 points
    Margin: 4 points

    Season: 09/10
    1st: Chelsea – 86 points
    2nd: ManU – 85 points
    3rd: Arsenal – 75 points
    Margin: 1 point

    Season: 10/11
    1st: ManU – 80 points
    2nd: Chelsea – 71 points
    4th: Arsenal – 68 points
    Margin: 9 points

    Season: 11/12
    1st: ManC – 89 points
    2nd: ManU – 89 points
    3rd: Arsenal – 70 points
    Margin: 0 (goal difference)

    Season: 12/13
    1st: ManU – 89 points
    2nd: ManC – 78 points
    4th: Arsenal – 73 points
    Margin: 11 points

    Season: 13/14
    1st: ManC – 86 points
    2nd: Liverpool – 84 points
    4th: Arsenal – 79 points
    Margin: 2 points

    Season: 14/15
    1st: Chelsea – 87 points
    2nd: ManC – 79 points
    3rd: Arsenal – 75 points
    Margin: 8 points

    Season: 15/16
    1st: Leicester – 81 points
    2nd: Arsenal – 71 points
    Margin: 10 points

    If using my definition of ‘competing for the league title’ then in the past 12 seasons only 6 seasons was considered ‘competing’.

    Season 2010-2011 is intriguing ManU won the league with 80 points which is lower than Leicester’s and Chelsea came second with 71 points equal to Arsenal’s.

  • Polo

    Season 2010-2011 is intriguing ManU won the league with 80 points which is lower than Leicester’s and Chelsea came second with 71 points equal to Arsenal’s.

    So last season wasn’t the ‘weakest’ season as purported by the media, I wonder why many of them say it was the ‘weakest’ season? Must be because two of the biggest spenders came 1st and 2nd maybe?

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Do you think the Wolfsburg’s left winger Julian Draxler and the Real Madrid’s attacking midfielder James Rodriguez will cost anything less than the £43.1m Valencia are said to have asked Arsenal for Shkodran Mustafi?

    Real Madrid are reported to be asking for over £53m before they will let go Rodriguez. Do you think Arsenal will splash that huge sum of money on a player whose form has appeared to have dipped and has falling down the pecking order at Real Madrid who are considering to ship him out to any prospective buyer but not on the low side of cash?

    I’ll not say Arsenal will not do it if they think he can improves the attacking midfield position performance in the team particular and the overall performance of the team in general at Arsenal. I don’t know which of the mid- wing he operates from. But if the Boss insisted in converting Sanchez to a striker, I guess he maybe operating from the mid-left where we already have Oxchambo as option and cover for now as Walcott is playing at mid-right. I think when Iwobi is back, the Ox will be moved to mid- right as option and cover for that mid-right where he can also operates very well. All these suggestions of mine are premised on if Rodriguez is signed by Arsenal which I can’t see it happening until it has happened.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Polo -August 23, 2016 at 2:13 pm … and the champions and media/experts’ favourites ended in tenth ? And sacked their manager ? And became embroiled in controversy ?

  • Flares


    James is a car crash waiting to happen. His behaviour at Madrid has apparently been pretty dire and his attitude is way off what is required to represent the biggest club in the world. We’ve all seen that Wenger takes a dim view of improper conduct from his players off the pitch, so I’d give this a mahoosive swerve if I was Arsenal. He’s just not worth the hassle.

  • JohnW

    Think of a Spurs fan, who has cried for the better part of 20 years on Arsene’s hand. Would he/she want AW to stay at the Arsenal? Or a Liverpool fan who despite all the money they spend each year fail to dislodge Arsenal from the top 4. I think that many people want Arsenal to sack AW for selfish interests, and unfortunately some Arsenal fans have decided to allow all these people with their own interests to think for them. Beware what you wish for sometimes.

  • Leon

    I want Arsenal relegated! Relegated to the least maligned club in the country.

  • Polo

    @JohnW, exactly and well said, my thoughts are the same. Plenty of clubs are desperate to get in to the champions league. The prestige and financial gain by participating is huge. What’s disappointing is some of the Arsenal fanbase instead of defending the club, they join with our competitors to mock and degrade the Club. I’m still stumped as to how relegating the Club is in the Club’s best interest.

  • Ken

    I see you’ve decided not to publish my comment. It didn’t contain any insults or profanities so I can only conclude you are afraid of opinions that differ to your own. That’s really quite pathetic and is a childish way to run a blog and just cements my decision to give your blog a miss from now on. Maybe some day you’ll take your head out of the sand but I doubt it. Enjoy your blinkers.

  • David

    It would be interesting, Tony, to compare Liverpools finishes that you quoted with the amount of cash they spent during that period. I’m fairly sure Arsenal have spent significantly less, especially during the early years, which goes to show that Wenger might not be quite as terrible as the media narrative proclaims. Even Man U haven’t shown the same consistancy which one day will be looked at as a remarkable effort. Most clubs would be ecstatic getting a ‘fourth place trophy’ every year.

  • Nickw

    I don’t think any true fan really wants Arsenal to be relegated. I do think some fans are very very frustrated with the way Wenger manages the club. Most I think just want him to change his ways to be more like he was in 1998 when he was more pragmatic and not afraid to sign quality where it was needed. Of course it’s more difficult now but we aren’t the poorest club in the country by any means and other clubs on similar budgets manage it.

  • Mick


    ‘…and not afraid to sign quality where it was needed.’

    Do you mean quality like Ozil, Sanchez, Cazorla, Cech and by the look of it Zhaka and Holding (even though he was only £2 million!). Not to mention Mert, Monreal, Giroud etc etc.

  • As a newbie, I should offer some opinion, relegation is a metaphor for a poor season, were for some the ends justifies the means….don’t you think?

  • Ken, thank you for your comment. We get about 10 or 20 of these a day, and they tend to get automatically deleted but I happened to spot yours while digging and looking for something else, so you get the response.

    You noted we have not published your comment, and added,

    “It didn’t contain any insults or profanities so I can only conclude you are afraid of opinions that differ to your own”

    My guess is that the only way you could have written this is by the fact that you have not read the “Comments” page, permanently listed under “Pages” on this site nor the article, so often referred to in other articles: – “I doubt if anyone has ever had their mind changed by arguments on this site.”

    OK, no one is forcing you to do a bit of basic background research when you write to a web site, just so you know what sort of place you are writing to, although I feel it is polite so to do.

    But then you say, “so I can only conclude you are afraid of opinions that differ to your own.” And really that is rather silly. There are hundreds of reasons why we might not have published your commentary – and indeed we list quite a few in the two sources I quote, but you can only conclude one thing.

    You had no evidence, no logical analysis – just one event and you reach your conclusion.

    Now I would never be so rude to you as to say “Maybe some day you’ll take your head out of the sand” as you have to me, but I suppose on a very bad day I might just go down that line.

    Just to show how far off centre you are, I can tell you, and have said many times, the biggest reason for commentaries not being published is that our automatic software removes them. It is a far from perfect system, but we have it because on a site with 6 million page views a year and a tiny team of volunteers running the site, we just don’t have the facilities to work through all the comments and get rid of the stuff we don’t want to publish.

    There are other reasons, but well, you can work them out if you ever read either item I have suggested. But if I may be so bold, what you should do is go and do some imagination expansion night classes. If on seeing a situation like this you can only imagine one set of origins, then there is a problem.

    But I would thank you also. I’ve been contemplating a follow up to the “I doubt if anyone” article, and I think your comment that I have seen today would be a good starting point.

  • Simon

    I’m guessing that Wolfgang and the rest of his mob weren’t standing on the North Bank with the rest of us back in the day.
    The new breed of Arsenal supporters sicken me.

  • Yellow Canary

    @David, that works both ways though. Imagine if we’d spent a bit more we might have won more. As for Arsenal being relegated I’m sure that won’t happen and I don’t wish it. I am fascinated to know though just how much money we have and if we have 300 million why we’re not using it on upgrading the team. Not much needs to be done but unlike Tony I think we are desperately in need of a prolific striker.

  • Flares

    Yellow Canary

    Define prolific. The buzz word these days seems to be a striker who ‘guarantees’ you 20-25 goals a season. Everybody’s at it, demanding this mythical beast as if he isn’t actually mythical but grows on a tree in your back garden. In fact, there are only three forwards currently in world football who we can safely say, barring a serious injury, can feasibly guarantee you that level of return: Ronaldo, Messi and Luis Suarez. Zlatan is almost there but even he falls slightly short on occasion. The point is: it doesn’t actually matter. Harry Kane scored 25 last season and Spurs came third. Ronaldo scored 35 and came runner up.

    Very few strikers can be deemed prolific in the modern era outside the three beasts I mentioned above. Further down the spiral it was par for the course here, particularly with the UK-born players who were more likely to be aiming towards nailing 30 – Rush, Lineker, Shearer etc – but as the PL has evolved it has become a rarer occurrence (interestingly, Michael Owen’s league scoring stats for Liverpool aren’t too dissimilar to Giroud at this point)

    The outrage which greeted our failure to sign Higuain was nonsense. Looking back at his performance, he’s had one outstanding season for Napoli which put him back in the shop window, but in the previous six seasons to that he’d only broken the twenty barrier twice and overall had scored just 15 more goals than Olivier across the same period. Ignoring the decimals that’s only an average of two more goals per season – hardly raising the roof. Not forgetting that Giroud also scores regularly in the CL and is first choice for France, for which he has also done the business in a major tournament.

    Arsenal are a team who are expected to score from all areas of the pitch. The reliance on a goal machine like Ian Wright or Henry is now less important – our midfield contribution is deemed more essential than that of any singular forward player. For example, I would expect a return of at least 15 goals this season from the Elneny/Coquelin/Xhaka axis. Remember when Ramsey was banging them in and now everybody wonders where he went? The expectations have changed and I’m not convinced there’s many current European strikers who stand out. Maybe Lewandowski or Benzema, but could we get them to leave?

  • Simon

    2015/16 Manchester City finished fourth in the league after spending £174,906,800.
    2014/15 Manchester United finished fourth in the league after spending £161,465,000.
    2012/13 Chelsea finished third in the league after spending £96,622,000.
    2011/12 Chelsea finished sixth in the league after spending £88,967,000.
    2010/11 Manchester City finished third in the league after spending £156,907,000.
    2009/10 Manchester City finished fifth in the league after spending £126,678,000.
    2008/09 Manchester City finished tenth in the league after spending £134,891,000.
    2007/08 Tottenham finished eleventh in the league after spending £80,969,000.

  • Simon

    Food for thought

  • Flares

    Aaah, the Express article from this morning. That was quick. Just look at the amount the Manchester clubs needed to spend to get the elusive fourth place. I don’t know about you but I’m glad Wenger always managed it on a shoestring – nice to match your rivals for a fraction of the price.

  • Frankantz

    More fan bashing. This site is so predictable. As someone said Wenger will leave at some point and there will be a few on here scratching their heads wondering who to worship next. Change is inevitable, and sometimes its good to embrace it. Especially if you’re getting stuck in a rut…as this club is. I’m not one of those who see 4th place as a successful season. That’s not to say its a disaster, because that would be relegation, and I imagine no sane fan of the club would want that. Just as no sane fan would want Wenger to empty the club’s coffers paying for dross like Jonny Evans or Phil Jones. So instead of pointing out the extreme fans and their scorched earth views why not point at the club owner who apparently did not get involved with the club to win things.