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October 2016
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Hi Walter and Tony,

I hope you’re both doing well.  Some things recently came to thought whilst looking at other websites.I was shocked by the extreme anger and the spectre  of fascism in peoples posts. And its relentlessness.

Firstly the Anti-Arsenal-Arsenal (AAA) are very much present, but on closer inspection there is also the EWOB-the extreme arm of the Wenger Out Brigade (WOB).

What I mean by fascist, is anyone trying to achieve the position of being uni-polar. Its impossible, but they still try to implement this.  Quite simply they don’t seem to like/see anything positive about Arsenal, and therefore aren’t supporters or fans by any definition, perhaps there’s a new definition?  Its all there as evidence, anyone can read it,and there are years of this in their archives, freely available if you, quite rightly, don’t trust me.

Only their opinion counts and their ideological line is bent to everything,even if Zlatan (who is currently being praised as a new hero) had come to Arsenal would be a (insert your own word here) and that AW ruined him. The EWOB are only critical in a non-constructive manner and wish only to destroy;  nobody or anything is free from their critical polemic, not just target no1 Wenger himself, except themselves and all they stand for. They can now even become famous for their viewpoint, something they could never have dreamt about years ago. All just based on a polemic, based on emotion, based on quick sensationalism.

The sad thing is,that once any counter-support is wiped out, then the game is up, and the potential fascist must find a new counter-pole, or turn in on itself. If the EWOB got their dream line up, their dream manager, if the results didn’t come in, then we would have the same situation playing out again.  

So is it about people or the lust for a scenario? Are the scapegoats just cardboard figures in the minds of those trying to reach what will be another utopian failure?

Mostly there are two types of energies manifest through thought on the planet, a positive one, that cares and helps to grow, (one that nurtures life, including the helping the EWOB to survive as they grew up and that continues to do so throughout their lives) and a negative one, one that likes to destroy all in its wake, due to its inability to tolerate and acknowledge plurality and accept it.

Of course all notions of absolutism in our minds see one person’s meat as anothers poison etc. Yet we do have sensitivity of thought to create grey areas and develop compassion to carry the species along further, for a while at least.  But as you said the other day, its hard to convince anyone, and in a sense we are all going at our own speeds of understanding.  But then there is evidence and this goes a long way in the tempests of emotional reaction.

How many of our players have had their careers destroyed by the negativity towards them?  Was it AW booing at them,or was he trying to give them a chance? How many of the EWOB have explored the root cause of jealousy of other clubs and the fear of not being good enough, and the fanatical hatred that was put onto a players, those who if they didn’t immediately become T. Henry (or another “Invincible”) in his prime years, or a Brady etc were criticised to the point they lost their confidence? Is Theo next? All humans need to grow and to grow in an atmosphere of support. Those who parents were overtly critical ruin their kids,in some way or another,in the same way that those who don’t actively guide their kids at all spoil them…

Secondly, the term AKB is always being dumped on anyone who thinks AW is OK. A bullshit  term that implies, “new supporter” (ie Wenger years) who hasn’t a clue about football or anything apart from knowing the recipe for vegetarian sandwiches and reading the newspaper during the match and isn’t too passionate. I don’t particularly  like these supporters any more than the EWOB do and if I felt UA was all its accused of being I would be off, as I’m sure you would be too, and you’re the editors!

I wonder if you thought it might be time to attack the mythos of the AKB? I don’t see UA as an AKB site, but a site that supports AFC first, but that means also AW at this time and the players, rather than the mercenary calling, endless coffers of other systems on offer in football. Supporting the team doesn’t mean that you become some blind sheep, just following, it means trying to support the club! Our club has seen much worse times than this.

Two FAC’s and second last year-any other time in AFC’s history and people would be celebrating. But not in these days. In fact people seemed to be really humiliated by the Liverpool game. I saw one article that said we were “thumped”. What 3-4? Liverpool did have 18 minutes of excellent play, but we came back into the game and dominated the first half-and I think Klopp was as shocked as we were. But these days are soaked in hyperbole and hollow drama. And even worse, speculation and prediction as a testament to what “will” happen. But this is bullshit and only a bet. The good old 50-50. Its a kind of waste of time pretending to be a god of some kind that can predict the future.

One thing for sure is that those who read and participate in the forums at UA and PA, all want AFC to win first. Many of the blogettas don’t want Arsenal to win, they want them to lose so Wenger will be sacked-just go online and read it. And yet UA is criticised for being ” Arsène before Arsenal!”

But is any website/blog its forum?  Im not sure the AKB even exists but only in the minds of the EWOB, as some kind of fictitious enemy, a polemic to hate in order not to attack themselves.For much of their debating isn’t really debating, but a kind of group therapy, a group hatred.

But personally I think the term AKB is outdated and has morphed into a more detrimental term, to denote the false notion of superiority on the part of the EWOB.

EWOB believe that AW is depriving them of what they rightly deserve, and now even believe that they are “customers” and have certain rights. But football fans are not customers, and if they see themselves as such then they must by the nature of the game, become eventually disappointed. But they are not buying a product but an experience, one they can’t control, but one which if they supported more might yield better results.

But the EWOB reduce WC winners and EC finalists to donkeys and thieves nicking a living, while they cant even kick a ball themselves, and this is absurd. The world is always greener and somebody else’s soup always tastes better. The kind of people that extol the taste of steak and hate vegetarians, yet wouldn’t have the guts to work in an abattoir at least for any length of time. The same people who said to Joel Campbell “get out while you can” then go apoplectic now that  JC is going out on loan!

The kind of people that think all teetotalers are “uncool” yet haven’t grown up with alcoholics nor spent time trapped with them. Or have been an alcoholic themselves and all the destruction and suffering they impose on themselves as well as others.

They are also ageist.Yet don’t understand that all matter, in whatever manifest form is actually old, billions of years old.  Nobody is simply their age,  how can they be? -“new” or “young” is the same as “old” when consider what we are made of. Perhaps in a time of such hysteria we need some wisdom?

At the moment these people can not be satisfied,   their minds suffer too much.They are especially jealous of José and would love his attitude at AFC and are the kind of fans that metaphorically shoot tigers in cages,in my opinion. José at Utd and Pep at Man City scares them,  but lures them too.  The placebo affect of the Zlatan/Pogba transfers means some kind of talisman for Utd in their minds,despite no evidence that it will work.  Well, we shall see; November and December can be tough months for footballers and August paints a pretty picture of what football might be in the fantasy sunlight at summers end.  As Klopp found out at BVB not long ago.

I’m sure José is most grateful of their support, as are many visiting teams to the Emirates but it has had a detrimental affect on the club.

Perhaps neither Pep nor José could achieve what Wenger has, nurturing and building players, and creating a new stadium and working under those confines because they are a different kind of manager.  OK sometimes AW gets it wrong, or things don’t work out. To be human means to make mistakes. But how many times did it work out? If Wenger is to be blamed then he also has to be praised for all he’s done and won, quite simply you cant have it both ways. Of course the same argument can be slung back as we know. I don’t know what goes on behind the scenes at AFC but I’m sure it fires many people’s minds into creating many fictitious scenarios, often the type that today’s climate nurtures.

Except the EWOB  aren’t supporters. They were, maybe at one time, but not any longer.  Endless vitriolic cursing at all members of the club just isn’t supporting.  They don’t want “their Arsenal” back, as it was the mostly boring football of GG (nostalgically in vogue again through the rose tinted mists of memory) or ironically the Wenger revolution – which they profess to loathe. They want Pep/José and big transfers, not that that guarantees anything, to me its like the hollow lure of celebrity.  Although even now, the EWOB are starting to hack into the 90s Wenger as proof he has always poor. Emotionally ranting at not having total dominance is always good ‘proof’ isn’t it? Haven’t we had enough of 20th Century thought? Where is this totality? Where is this absolutism? Even the ghosts of the past tell us to stay away from these paths,for the consequences are long lasting.

Of course if the roles were reversed how would it be for them to read and hear the vitriol they espouse? Could they take it? Do we collectively have to be so hysterical? The EWOB are also seduced by the touchline shouting and antics of Klopp and Simeone, but as a player, when you’re out there, you’re dealing with other things too much to be at one with touchline coaching.  

I’ve always thought that AW wants his players to think for themselves,so they can grow,and in any case he’s often there coaching as the tv reaction shot shows.But in a world of toxic rhetoric flung here and there everyday, who wants to people thinking for themselves?

The EWOB don’t see that for years you allowed a different opinion on UA as long as it could be backed by evidence, that all could come on to UA – and of course they could also put their emotional opinions on the forum as countless arguments in the archives can testify. But try going onto an EWOB site and make some apologetic for the AW side and see what response you get and are called – even if you offer evidence. Its pubescent in many ways. But it’s possible to grow beyond all that frothing hysteria?

Personally I feel that most UAers are long time AFC supporters who were there before AW, before GG and way beyond that, the EWOB are actually the ones who are new fans, and that’s one reason they want AW out, to have a new time as its all they’ve known. And like it or not, UA supports the club, team and manager. Hardly a crime is it? Now we ask who wants the team to lose and who doesn’t?

Then comes the burning Bunyanisation of the “Invincibles”, their shadow looms long, a team that could do no wrong in the minds of the EWOB. Of course most of them would have been young/kids etc when they were around and even if not, the Invincibles have become a false bench mark, and when someone like Henry makes a statement speculating that people might not want to come to Arsenal, its suddenly gospel truth, rather than just an opinion in the vast sea of opinions! Pundits aren’t any more an authority any more than I am. But when the TV agenda is sensationalism, then what can we expect? But the idea that fans aren’t influenced by the media is again a bit short-sighted; of course they are.  Look at the memes that have become urban myths, straight from the pundits mouth.

The EWOB also align themselves with every pieces of fiction that the newspapers conjure up and believe it too. To believe sports writers during the transfer windows is basically letting yourself get dragged down the rabbit hole of fantasy. No? Then please bring forth the evidence that Arsène was “dithering” or Arsenal are “idle” in the market.   I notice the word “dithering” has imposed itself on the impressionable, the same as “4th place”, “he’s like a new signing” or the crap about being a “specialist in failure”etc.  And what about the new meme floating around “shambles”?  Burnt into fans minds as is evident on plenty of  blogs post Sunday.

I think most of what AW says after games or at press conferences is politics,and yet they think its the truth. Somethings are of course interesting and relevant, but the man knows that whatever he says can be twisted and turned, but also he will protect the club and team at all cost.Simple politics!

One final note of transfers and the EWOB. They want every great player in the world to replace the current team,even though a) they are unavailable at other clubs b) AFC couldn’t afford to pay them all. But that doesn’t  mean anything does it, as the child screams for what it wants, regardless, as it always must have. But would that team work as a unit?

I was also disturbed by a recent quote I read on Piers Morgan twitter account. That there is “first” and all else is a failure. This is quite myopic to the point of blind in its understanding of the nature of reality and again smells of fascism (and sport has had a long relationship with fascism in all its forms over the years).

The world is a relative place, all must have a relationship with another to exist and operate. Without all participants, “first” means “last” or even worse – just a negation, a position of sterility. Plus when all is relative, we as spectators laugh at those who come last in the Olympics or other sporting events, yet those laughing aren’t even in the twinkle of an eye for selection to such events, so what’s so funny?

All has to fit together,in order to create the false idea of being the “best” and even then its only due to certain prisms of thought being put onto or projected by us, and whether we agree or not.  If you don’t agree, go to an old flea market and see the old medals from forgotten campaigns given to forgotten soldiers.  Medals that don’t mean anything to anyone except a few collectors…

Lastly on this point, if “first” is all that counts, then team GB came second in the Olympics…see it’s utter horse manure, and we see a relative pattern of incredible complexity appearing before our eyes. But how deeply is the idea of “winner” and “loser” etched into peoples minds and what will be the fallout of this in the future?

Then we have to all agree that these “events ” mean something. Yet it’s easy to switch to the absurd and see the fact that sport is pretty daft in relation to some things that are going on in our world. Much ado about nothing. Us being sucked into a ludicrous entertainment that has been destroyed by money. If the prices were cheaper for tickets, and less money in the game, how would it be? Will people still want to be footballers in ten years time in the storms of negativity and over analysis?

Perhaps the EWOB are sadly stuck in a kind of frightened childhood trauma, frightened of the idea of being left behind or not dominating or winning, to a point that even when it occurs, (or when the data says AFC are doing better than they think) it’s still not enough,and the neighbours world is always much better?  It’s a shame that this has permeated our society to such a degree, so much egged on by those who only wish to exploit ordinary people.  Haven’t we seen all this before?

Well until the next time, keep up the great work. COYG!

Danny Ogoff

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Sometimes it just doesn’t all work out

  • 24 August 1991: Aston Villa 3 Arsenal 1.  Alan Smith scored. As league champions Arsenal had opened the season with two defeats and a draw – scoring three and letting in seven.  


  • colario

    Is this another Times Fourth Leader?

  • Gideone

    A treatise On EWOB. Hmmmmm. Insightful!

  • nicky

    You make a sobering indictment against those whose resentment of Arsene Wenger appears to gain momentum day by day on certain sites.
    With respect though, the case you make was perhaps over- laboured. 😉

  • mikeB

    Whilst agreeing with many of the points I am questioning why you have written this, and who you have written it for. For people like me, baby boomers, who recall so many years of relative failure prior to Wenger, you are preaching to the converted. For the empty vessels, who scream their vitriol via any medium that is willing to amplify their ignorance and stupidity, you lost them by the second paragraph. If it’s for me and the genuine supporters, I appreciate the hard work that went into it; thank you. However, if it is for the empty vessels and ‘Wenger Out Brigade’ then seeds falling on stony ground comes to mind. I do feel that serious-minded supporters need positive sites and considered articles, such as this, but perhaps with a little more pithiness.

  • Mike could not have put it better, I’m baffled . I can’t help but think they would like to convert people ,reminds me a bit of Jehovah ‘s and Scientology lot .

  • For Gods sake Tony don’t read the Mirror or you’ll go into meltdown !

  • Chris

    Great piece….if you americanise it some, you can re-use it in the Washington Post as it applies to the US elections….

  • Yellow Canary

    Oh not more acronyms. I have one of my own SKID. Stan Kronke is dubious. Awaiting more information until then this acronym is pending SKIAD, Stan Kronke is a disaster.

    I know Tony likes Arseblog so I’m sure he’s read the illuminating take on the Tragic Toupe. Not that many of us haven’t already mused over the efficacy of the ownership of our great club by Stingy Stan.

  • Temitope

    nice and insightful article.
    i agree with some of what is written and i disagree with some of the points but overall it is great

  • Gooner S

    @Mike B

    I guess we are of similar ages going by your “baby boomer” comment. I see and hear many people of my age or older at games that are clearly WOB. It’s not age related.

  • Flares

    The question of winning or losing and your observation on Piers Morgan is a troubling one. Although Morgan is clearly an horrific individual whose allegiance to Arsenal we’d like to permanently wipe with a memory-altering laser, his point is a fair one and highlights how far down the rabbit hole of social-engineering we’ve fallen. I recently took up a new relationship which has involved assuming the step-father role for my partner’s children, who are in the 9-11 age bracket. Having not had any recent experience of how this age group now engages with the world, imagine my dismay to find out the classic summer sports day so beloved of my own youth has become a watered-down shitefest of ‘participation’ exercises, in which nobody is declared the winner, trophies are doled out to everybody involved and students are taught that being competitive is secondary to the simple joy of taking part.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for teaching children the importance of getting stuck in and enjoying an experience for what it is, but not at the expense of promoting the healthy pursuit of personal gain which will allow them to set and achieve personal goals throughout their lives. The next generation will soon find itself at a dangerous impasse; caught halfway between the narcissistic self-absorption of a ‘Me’ cycle who want everything now at the expense of everything (and everyone else), and the neoliberal androids of total inclusivity, raised to believe that everybody is equal and winning counts as a passive-aggressive act which should be outlawed.

    Where does the new generation of Arsenal fan fit into this possible scenario? Obviously the former. But is expecting victory a character fault or a positive trait? The vitriol directed at Wenger and the demands for him to go seem excessive on paper, but long term they won’t make a vast difference to his life. He’s on a rumoured £8 million a year salary so is clearly a wealthy man, and is hugely respected throughout the game with a resume which would make most managers pull their teeth out for. Personally, I’m on the side of the manager and wish him to continue for as long as he is able, yet I’m also happy for an increasing tract of our fanbase to aggressively demand success, rather than hide behind their Metro and skinny latte in the stands on match days.

  • Polo

    @ Danny, good article and well done, thank you.

  • Zuruvi

    I’m glad to hear this writer saying that Arsene Wenger is sometimes right and sometimes wrong.
    I think Wenger tends to be right most of the time.
    It is very sad that our fan-base is now so divided because of Arsene Wenger. Some love Wenger. Some hate him.

    Even on this Forum it is sad that even people who genuinely love Arsenal and Wenger are “thumbed down” or criticized if they dare say that Wenger has a weakness or I deed mention a weakness of our beloved manager.

    Another example of the toxicity within the fan-base is the issue of Arsenal’s strikers. It is well-known that Arsene Wenger himself has been trying to sign a striker for the past 3 or 4 seasons but if any of us say Arsenal needs a striker to assist the efforts of Giroud, to some it is like we have criticised god. I think anything that seems to be critical of the current situation is no longer accepted in good faith. Maybe this is caused by the fact that some fans rightly see that Arsene and Arsenal get too much undue criticism so they are now too sensitive … They no longer know when criticism is genuine and constructive.

    Can any genuine Arsenal fan who wants Arsenal to improve be in a position which says that Arsenal doesn’t need another specialist striker (in addition to Giroud)?
    And why would a genuine Arsenal fan be unhappy if another genuine Arsenal fan (not the wicked pundits) says Arsenal could benefit from having another clinical striker?

  • Marcus

    Good article… The double standards involved in complaining about ageism, and then saying that all wenger outs are stupid and ignorant because they are young really does annoy me though. I”m a 20yr old fan and have been a firm supporter of wenger for as long as I can remember, I think he’s brilliant and is far better at building teams than probably any other manager out there. Just because I’m young doesn’t mean I believe the BS in newspapers, and it does annoy me when UA a site I have a lot of respect for because of their emphasis on evidence based discussion chooses to make sweeping assumptions about the demographic of the AAA.

  • AAA. In America give emergency assistance for Breakdowns

  • Marcus

    Zuruvi… A genuine Arsenal fan who does want Arsenal to improve can indeed be in a position where they say they don’t want Arsenal to have another striker in addition to giroud.

    There are pros and cons to either sticking with just giroud or buying an additional striker.

    Sticking with just giroud: PROS:

    1) already fully acclimatised to the BPL, the way Arsenal play, the way the team apart from xhaka and holding play.

    2) giroud is a fairly safe bet, has improved his figures year on year, and not including penalties had the best minutes to goals ratio of any player but aguero last year. Bringing in a big name striker to take his place may reflect badly in girouds performances and he may be upset as this is probably the last year he will have in his prime.

    3) giroud provides a physical presence something which we often seem to be lacking I guarantee we cannot bring in a striker who is technically better than giroud and as good physically this window.

    4) we won’t have to replace the striker this window. Next window there may be a far better opportunity to buy a truly world class striker, which we would not be able to take if we blew 50m on laccazette

    5) welbeck has a chance of actually getting some games when he comes back. This will help the season after.

    6) if a striker is bought next year rather than this giroud is more likely to stay and be the amazing impact sub the AAA have wanted him to be for years

    7) if the new striker is bought and fails to impress or takes a while to bed in to the prem, fans may get on his back, there may be tensions between wienger having to play his big investment and giroud

    Buying a new striker this window:

    1) IF the player was top quality (lewandowski griezman et al) then this may improve our quality significantly this year.

    2) plastic fans may get more behind the club, possibly resulting in better performances on the pitch

    3) in the absence of welbeck a new striker with pace might provide more tactical options for wenger to use resulting in better performances. This is a big if especially as Sanchez might, once the team have learnt the new system, be better up top than a new player.

    4) the players will get a lift if it is a really big signing

    From my reasoning, the balance of evidence suggests that it would only be wise to sign an additional striker this window if they were a world class or close to world class player with a big future I.e morata. This is partly because the chance to sign these players doesn’t come around often and so we may not get the same chance next summer.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Danny, have you prompted the level of the Arsenal supporters supporting and against Arsene Wenger to a higher level that can be described as: The EAKBs – The Extreme Arsene Knows Best and The EAOBs – The Extreme Arsene Out Best?

    I think this is a new extreme description names being caved out by you in the anal of football supporting history in particular for the 2 groupings of the Arsenal supporters who are widely known and called the AKBs meaning, Arsene Knows Best and the AOB meaning, Arsene Out Best who are also mostly identity as the AAA or aaa.

    Danny, do you know something else? it’s this kind of supporters grouping that has made Arsenal to stand out among the elite clubs in England in particular and in Europe in general. Thus making Arsenal more popular and unique as a big football club that is the silent envy of many big and small clubs around the world imho.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Danny, please substitute the word prompted with promoted in the 1st line of my opening paragraph. It’s my keyboard dictionary that’s changing my typed words for me unawares.

  • Fishpie

    Danny, thanks for writing this piece and reflecting on the fans and their relationship with the club. I think most Arsenal fans are struggling with what Arsenal is, has become, is going to be etc. I certainly am. For much of my life as a supporter, I was used to Arsenal never really throwing everything at becoming a relentlessly successful team. From the days of Billy Wright to the days of George Graham, we would base teams on youth players and quite a few B international players: McLintock, Graham, Sunderland, Smith, Dixon, even Ian Wright. Not always but often we let Liverpool, Utd and Spurs buy the glamour players. In many seasons, in our own pragmatic way we built organised competitive teams and won trophies and waited in other years for one team to dwindle and be replaced, including the Manager of the day. Wenger changed all that by lifting the quality of our game, the quality of our best players and our youth players dwindled to a trickle, certainly, under Wenger, never enough of them at the requisite quality to make it the basis of the team.
    The Emirates became the beacon of an even greater club emerging from a proud history. It became clear that that might take some time however and even with greater financial resources in the last 3 years, the club has struggled to make the step up. And the last two summer transfers seem to indicate even the Emirates and greater commercial deals do not allow us to compete at the very top financially. Many of us are waiting to find out what strategy the club is now going to take. And I’m waiting for the club to come clean about its ambitions. Personally, I can’t see how a Manager who wants his players to be expressive and creative can achieve success unless he has the very best of those kind of players. And that needs greater money than we have.So I’m wondering whether we need to go back to the pragmatic days with pragmatic managers, managers who build a strong unit of organised driven players so the team is greater than the sum of its parts. But I’m really confused about Wenger’s strategy, the club’s strategy. It feels directionless and wedded to a more innocent time that has been and gone.

  • Nik

    Polo I wouldn’t pay a blind bit of notice to 2hat Gazidis says

  • Nik

    Marcus we’ve needed a top striker since van persie was sold and still we haven’t got one .That’s been over 3 years , but don’t worry there’s always next year.Open your eyes top players dont want to come to Arsenal as they can see that there is no ambition at the club.Van persie saw this coming and now most of world football can see it.We even tried haggling with poor bolton over a couple of hundred thousand to get holden .No wonder players and clubs don’t want to deal with us.We have massive problems as the world has reported on.Our reputation of one of the top clubs is being eroded by Wenger,Gazidis and kronke which everyone apart from a few wenger Faithfull on here can see.

  • Flares

    ‘top players don’t want to come to Arsenal’

    They generally aren’t interested in spending too long at any of the big English clubs, unless they throw ridiculous amounts of money at them. Hence why Ronaldo used United as stepping stone to Real, Suarez to Barca…Messi or Neymar won’t come here, Hummels stayed put as has Greizmann, Lewandowski, Aubameyang, Benzema etc.

    Zlatan is only at United because it’s a nice little stopover en route the USA in which he can earn a massive last European payday. Pogba made no secret his first choice was RM but they already had the world’s two most expensive players and even they have limits financially. Where the PL now excels is boasting the top managers, but that’s another discussion…

  • Nik

    Flares but if ibrahimovic stopover at utd puts them back on top of the premier league for a couple of seasons for 200k a week it will be well worth it.Morinhio can handle big characters in the dressing room like him and Pogba. I sadly don’t think Arsene could.

  • Nik

    And remember the suarez fiasco.If we had been serious instead of trying to take the pics out of Liverpool we could of maybe prised him for a couple of years.I was watching arsenal abroad on saturday in a bar and they had Barcelona on the other screen. The difference between the 2 teams was frightening to watch.A sad indictment where we have ended up in the last 10 years.We are are a million miles away from Barcelona on and off the field.sad but true .It’s not what we were promised when we moved to the Emirates.

  • Markyb

    Nik you sound like a typical spoiled brat. The scousers lied about the buy out clause and Suarez wanted Barca at the end of the day. Do all the girls you ask our say yes straight away?

  • Marcus

    Nik… You are completely right, since van Persie left we have not had that top top quality up front which can make the difference between a team finishing 4th and 1st. I am not trying to deny that we would all like one such player and that giroud does not on the basis of everything we’ve seen so far fit into that bracket.

    Wenger knows this too, he knows that top top quality wins things, that’s why we tried to get Suarez, higuain and (maybe) vardy, and he wants to get top top quality for Arsenal. The problem is, top quality doesn’t often move, and this has nothing to do with wenger “penny pinching” .

    If you think about it, it should be abundantly obvious that it is very rare (relatively) for any football club to be able to pull off a top top signing. A few ingredients are needed:

    The buying club has to have enough money to pay the transfer fees (these days 90m) and the wages 200-300k

    The player has to want to move.

    The selling club has to accept a bid, or the release clause has to be triggered.

    This may not sound like a long list but imo the deciding factor is always the second one. Big players rarely want to move. Why? Because usually they are already at the biggest clubs.

    If we look at the big transfers in the last 5 years we see:

    Higuain: 85m napoli-juventus
    Pogba : 89m juventus-man u
    Lewandowski: free Dortmund-bayern
    Rodriguez: 80m monaco- Real Madrid
    Neymar: 50m santos-Barcelona
    Suarez:75m Liverpool-Barcelona
    Bale: 86m tot-real
    Ronaldo: 80m Man U -real m

    Not including the pogba deal one striking aspect of this list is the fact that the smaller clubs are the ones selling to the bigger clubs not the other way round. The pogba deal can be explained both by pogbas history at Utd, the fact he’s won it all bar the CL in Italy, and mourinho attempting to bring Man U back in line with its revenue and reputation.

    The deciding factor is big players want to move to big clubs.

    Now I would not argue that Arsenal can no longer attract top players , in the last few years we have bought ozil Sanchez and cech, these are all big players. Even though we sign probably about 30% the amount of players Liverpool signs we sign more top players , Liverpool sign decent players and players for the future, and then get rid of the ones they don’t want. We sign top top players and players for the future.

    However we have only signed our big players because something has happened to make them want to leave, but when they do, we get them. We cannot just go out and buy Neymar or bale or lewandowski. How do I know this? Because United would have signed all 3 and not pissed half a billion up the wall

  • Tom

    “One final note of transfers and the EWOB. They want every great player in the world to replace the current team…”

    Pure nonsense !

    If you name 10 best players in the world football right now, even the most rabbit “Wenger out “voices will admit 90% of those players are simply unavailable to a club like Arsenal for one reason or another.

    Even the most critical of Arsene Wenger and this Arsenal squad ,limit themselves to two or three positions , mostly a striker and a CB.

    Why make silly statements that can be easily rebuked?
    Sure you can always find one or two crazies, who would like to get rid of Wenger and every player he has ever laid eyes on, but most of the Wenger Out crowd think this squad could challenge for major trophies with a different manager and one or two additions.

  • Wengers Warriors

    i like giroud he is a great striker! But he needs help!! Not replacing! Sanchez and Walcott are not strikers and akpom is not ready! I don’t feel we need a griezmann or lewadoski although I would be happy if we did! A Perez or Gabriel Barbosa would be perfect! The away game at Leicester was worrying! When I am at away matches (apart from Stoke) the Arsenal fans would be happy with a draw! But at Leicester is got really nasty and if we lose or draw with Watford I can see a civil war breaking out amongst fans and the AKB are shrinking and really out numbered! I hope we can get a few wins under our belt so the players don’t have the extra stress and fear that comes from the fans! I feel Wenger will leave at the end of the season and needs the fans to respect him for all he has done! But I fear this will not be the case.

  • Polo

    @ Marcus, well said, and be careful you might be called ‘blind’ or ‘deluded’ with your logical comment soon by AW haters.

    It’s obvious that most top quality strikers choose to play either in La Liga, Bundesliga, or Serie A. If you look at the Premier League as a whole how many clubs have top class strikers? ManU went looking for a top class striker a couple of seasons ago and who did they get? Martial for £35+million who incidentally is a winger. ManC looked for a striker to assist Aguero as he usually get injured and who did they bring in? Bony.

    But I guess some people are so blinded by their hatred for AW that they can’t tell between facts and fictions.

  • Wengers Warriors

    I have to agree, the best strikers don’t like coming to England! It’s really odd, we attract the best midfielders, keepers, but strikers and defenders just don’t come! Surely we are more attractive than Italy and Germany??

  • marcus

    Tom…This is really what saddens me most about WOB’s, they are the ones who claim that we as AKB’s need to “open our eyes”,”be more ambitious” but it is these same people who deny that arsenal could ever sign a player like griezman. These same people could never believe we would ever sign ozil before it happened.

    As I see it if we are going to get a player of that calibre playing for arsenal, there are two ways we can go about it:

    1) We can buy a promising young player and hope he becomes worldclass

    2)We can somehow buy the world class player

    Because of the unpredictable nature of a top class players availability, which depends on a huge amount of different factors including many non football related issues, this presents a challenging and unique problem in terms of planning.

    Arsenal could plan to find this worldclass player and even sign very promising talents but there is no guarantee they will become the real deal, ideally you only want to really develop one aswell, aubameyang and griezman didn’t become top players at dortmund and atletico because of a chelsea style 40 youngsters on loan. On top of this the media will slate you, “yer cannae win anything with kids”.

    Arsenal could plan to sign a world class player but this involves waiting around possibly for years in the hope that a big name striker would become available and want to come to arsenal over madrid barca or bayern.

    When wenger signed giroud I believe he thought he saw the potential in him to be a world class striker. If you look at girouds goals from when he scored 25 in his final year in ligue 1 you can see why, some long range and very acrobatic finishes which seem a bit like higuains from last season. Obviously, that didn’t work out ideally but we still have a very good striker in giroud.

    When wenger signs top players he doesn’t do it like mourinho. He doesn’t decide right I need a CB a CM and a CF and I will get them by the end of the transfer window. His teams are built so that even if we were to sign no one we still have young players coming through and other players who can play multiple positions to fill in at other roles. With promising young players I believe he is more selective in having certain numbers for each role so as to give them more chance.

    But, when the opportunity comes a long to sign a top player he will do it in any position as long as it strengthens the team. When we bought Ozil it was probably the last position the fans would say we needed strengthening in. To accommodate we shifted santi out to the left and then to cm. Imagine if he had just told ozil “look, I like you as a player, but we have santi, we don’t need you right now”. I am sure we wouldn’t have made second last year.

    Wenger is often scorned by fans for “not being able to make the tough decisions” “being too nice to players”. But when cech became available we didn’t tell him to go away because ospina had only had a year at the club.

    Its the same with giroud, we tried to buy suarez, and that would have meant benching giroud, but that deal didn’t come off and its only worth giving up on a promising player who has already gone through the settling in period and knows his team mates for the real deal, not another promising player who could make it.

    Giroud still has a year left at the top of his game. He could be like van persie and be a late bloomer finally becoming that 20-25 goal a year striker right in his prime, or he could be well giroud as we know him so far. If thats the case wenger can say look giroud I gave you your best shot at the big time, why don’t you be an impact sub and retire here like rosicky. There will be no unrest in the dressing room, no feelings of betrayal, and then next year wenger (or arsenal if he leaves) can either:

    Find a new promising young talent, we will have a lot more resources to pick the best choice than when we picked giroud.

    Or finally bring in that big big name striker with all the money we’ve been saving so that we can compete for the top class talent.

    If Wenger does bring in a top CB this window then by next summer everything but the striker will be in place. We will have a strong defence with able back up not only for the central roles but at fullback because of chambers and holdings versatility. We also now have a strong, physical but technical young core of elneny xhaka and coquelin in central midfield. We have a wealth of talent for the attacking midfield roles and the wings with young stars like iwobi and reine adelaide able to provide back up without getting annoyed at game time. We will then have top back up strikers in giroud and welbeck, the only piece of the jigsaw left will be the top class striker.

  • Polo

    @ Nik,

    ‘We even tried haggling with poor bolton over a couple of hundred thousand to get holden .’ Were you part of the negotiating team? How do you know this if this was true?

    ‘No wonder players and clubs don’t want to deal with us.’ I guess Ozil, Sanchez, Welbeck, Xhaka, and Holdings must be from the Arsenal Academy.

    ‘We have massive problems as the world has reported on.’ Coming second last season and have been in the top tier of the Premier League for nearly two decades, the only team apart from Real Madrid to qualify for UCL for about 18 consecutive years, won two FA Cups in last 3 seasons, and is financially strong, and this is considered ‘massive problems’? And I guess wanting Arsenal to be relegated or be mid-table is not a ‘massive problem’ but a success?

    ‘Our reputation of one of the top clubs is being eroded by Wenger,Gazidis and kronke which everyone apart from a few wenger Faithfull on here can see.’ I must be blind if this is true because I’m sure if Lyon and Valancia accepted Arsenal’s bid for Lacazette and Mustafi, both would have been at the Emirates, if reports are true both wanted to join Arsenal.

  • Ambelechina

    on point Mucus and we got need to think outside the box sometimes and look at a bigger picture

  • nik

    I know this because the first 2 derisory offers to bolton was rejected.Do your research.

  • nik

    Its funny though how man utd who arent even in the champions league were able to identify where their problems lay and went out and bought 2/3 world class players though.And at least 2 of those were affordable to Arsenal.Why could utd attract them and not us.You tell us we have the best manager In the world.We are in the champions league.We have loads of money and one of the best grounds in world football so why is it then?Their club is ambitious..and wants to win major trophys not to just compete and rake in the money like arsenal does.Kronke is the cancer of this club and just like his american teams , is in it to make the most money possible.Its just a shame our manager goes along with his idea, mind you if your raking in 8 million quid a year you would probably do the same

  • Polo

    @ Nik, did you get that info directly from Bolton or Arsenal? Or it’s from the rumour media? Could it be other factors beside the price that hold up the transfer for example the future sell-on percentage if Arsenal was to sell Holdings? All I read was ‘reports say’ or ‘it is believed’ here is an example: ‘But Football Insider claim Holding favours a move to the Gunners, who are said to have had their initial offer of £750,000 rejected by Bolton.’ But ofcourse it must be true if the media say so I guess.

  • Flares


    Offering Barcelona 20 million for Messi would be derisory – our offers for Holding were in keeping with market value. Bolton have been woefully in debt and were nearly wound up in February – it’s natural they would be playing hardball with Arsenal to try and squeeze as much money as possible out of them (interestingly, the fee matches almost exactly what they owed the Inland Revenue). As a general rule, defenders cost less than outfield players, so Holding’s valuation was accurate; there are only a handful of transfers from League One which have been higher and, with the exception of Matthew Lowton going to Villa, have all been midfield/forward players.

  • ARSENAL 13


    “and went out and bought 2/3 world class players though.And at least 2 of those were affordable to Arsenal.Why could utd attract them and not us.”

    A simple answer, WE DID NOT GO FOR THEM.

    Hypothetically speaking, If we offered same wages to ZLATAN, do you think he would’ve chosen utd over us?

    yeah and ambitions. Sic of this term. When buying players at exorbitant prices show ambition!!!!!!! oh yeah 20 million in agent fees for a player alone is ambition. source of this info is same as yours.

  • Mick

    ARSENAL 13

    ‘yeah and ambitions. Sic of this term.’

    I’m sick of it too.
    We are so unambitious we went and built a £500 million stadium.

  • Nik

    Arsenal 13
    20 million for one of the world’s best strikers on a 2 year deal is a bargain.Arsene doesn’t think so and rather start with wingers up front like sanchez and Walcott. Arsene knows.Plus do you not think Ibrahimovic would rather play in the champions league than the Europe league?Mind you they probably have a realistic chance of winning that competition unlike us who sadly have no chance.

  • Polo

    For those who haven’t read this article, it provides a basic insight to how transfers work. Interesting read.

  • Flares

    A bargain, you say? He’s the highest paid player in the PL on over £260,000 a week. Arsenal already have the 4th biggest wage bill year on year – we can’t afford him, simple as that.

  • Flares

    …and after reading that article posted by polo I can see why we REALLY can’t afford him. Excellent post by the way, thanks for that fella.

  • Fode

    I want Arsenal to win. My mood is affected after every Arsenal game. These are true facts. I will support whoever is representing Arsenal until they leave and even when they do I will always have mixed feelings towards them. It’s not false that transfers do excite me but lack of transfers do not anger or sadden me. Could a new striker improve the squad? Yes. Can the squad improve without purchasing a striker? Yes. What’s the difference? I don’t but we all find out as time goes by. Sometimes I wonder what would the reaction be when Wenger was trying to play Henry as a center forward and for 9 games or so it was “obvious” the project was not working? Sanchez played 2 games and people are appalled that it’s even tried! Personally the happiest I have been supporting Arsenal was not 89, or 2004 but 2008. That team was having games that would left me overjoyed for days especially when you compared the players we had then compared to the players the other top teams had. Now when I see people calling Walcott donkey, not a footballer, talking about how much he is earning compared to the great displays he provided ever since, you know there is something wrong with some people. As any supporter I do curse the manager and any player sometimes but overall I am a big fan of each member of this great club and would defend them with every energy I have. I am not at war against those that do it differently but you can’t help but hope that people understand the importance of a healthy atmosphere and overall relationship between the professionals of the club and the supporters.

  • ARSENAL 13

    So…..Utd were so ambitious of winning Europa league that they dropped out of CL.

    I prefer ARSENALs ambitions of atleast taking part in Europe’s top competition than rather drop to Europa and be a big fish there…better a David fighting Goliath’s.

    When we pay big wages to any player…they have to be special. Like Ozil. Alexis. Rambo……zlatan sure may be special but age its a big gamble that we can’t afford.

  • Polo

    @ Flares, you are welcome. Here’s another interesting piece of writing. You might have thought the author was Tony 😉

  • Nik

    Flares 260k is a bargain with no transfer fee when you compare it to Walcott who is stealing 140k a week for doing what?

  • Nik

    We can’t afford him??Is that a joke . we have over 200m in cash reserves in kronke bank.mind you we have to save all that for emergencies and to pay the staff.We must have some serious earners on our books then .Oh no just the manager and ceo who are earning over 200k a week between them.

  • Mick

    Maybe Ibrahimovitch actually wanted to go to United and not Arsenal. Maybe Wenger didn’t fancy him for any number of reasons. Maybe Wenger thought his arrogance and wage demands would cause a problem with the existing players.
    Who knows, least of all you.
    It’s not as easy as playing Fifa Manager on your computer you know.

  • Nik

    Arsenal 13 .Football is a gamble though.All transfers are a gamble.Id rather gamble now and again than stick with the tried and tested failings that we have for years.wheres the ambition there That’s why more fans are now wanting a change in manager . how many years do you keep giving someone another chance before its time for change?? 15 ?20? Knowing that person can only get you so far.

  • Nik

    Mick what a load of rubbish you have just posted .”maybe his arrogance and wage demands would cause a problem”.
    1.all world class players show an arrogance .Look at Ronaldo and Henry in his pomp and Bergkamp. They all had an arrogance but brought an auro into the dressing room and created a buzz around the ground.They were winners.Its up to a strong manager to manage that.
    2.Why would wage demands cause a problem? Did it cause a problem when we offered Ozil 160k when Ramsey was on half that ??its down to a strong manager to manage that surely.We are talking the wages of one of the top players in world football woh has been short listed for the world player of the year on numerous occasions.why shouldn’t he be on the top wages?

  • Mick

    I was posing possible considerations that Wenger may or may not have taken into account. I am sure there were many others. As I said, who knows, least of all people like you who seem to think transfers are as easy and straightforward as going to the supermarket and buying a tin of baked beans.
    Furthermore not all world class players display arrogance, what an incredibly stupid thing to say they do.
    And wages of £250 thousand a week is on a wholly different level to £160 thousand a week, what an amazingly stupid thing to say it wouldn’t potentially be a problem.

  • Polo

    So it’s only the base salary that Zlatan wants, he must be really generous to forgo all the add-on bonuses and image rights.

    Zlatan played under Mourinho in the past and had said he would like to play under Mourinho again, so who would he choose Mourinho or AW? Put in another way, would Messi choose to play for mourinho over Pep?

  • Polo

    Also the domino effect on the wage structure had Arsenal signed Zlatan, what to say Ozil and Alexis at the next negotiation also want £260,000 a week and they walk if not agreed upon? Example, Leicester.

    So that simple £260,000 is not truely the overall cost to the club.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Polo – some very fine and enlightening links that even the feeble minded should be able to comprehend . Thanks .

  • In Wenger we trust.. One Arsene Wenger..

    #Welcome Perez.