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Maybe we should be more gentle on the Anti-Wengerian journalists and their fellow travellers?

By Dr Billy “the Dog” McGraw

According to a comment in the New Scientist, “Nine of out ten people hold a delusional belief.”

Now holding delusional beliefs is what Untold Arsenal has been accusing journalists and their fellow travellers of doing through most of this summer.   Assuming that just writing down the name of 110 players and saying that some other journalist has linked them to Arsenal is a) interesting or b) likely to bring credibility.

Or indeed believing that spending money in the transfer window is linked to success on the pitch, or that having the top scoring centre forward is likely to lead to winning the league.  Or that there is nothing wrong with refereeing in the Premier League.

Or indeed that the problem with the English national team is that we have too many foreigners playing in the Premier League.

Or that Gnabry can play for Brazil and Arsenal on the same day.

Or that, as the Guardian says today, Harry Kane “who earlier in the week was talking about how it’s fine never to score in the first month of the season”  will go to Milan in January for €50m for him.

But really we should perhaps not be so harsh, since these journalists and their friends with their delusions are really just part of the normal community.    For if that comment about nine out of ten is true, (and by and large New Scientist is pretty much based in the world of facts, statistics, evidence and logical deduction), those journalists and the members of the anti-Arsenal-Arsenal brigade are just following the normal human condition.  People have delusional beliefs.

I started thinking of this when I saw an article (again from the Guardian, whose writers seem to be travelling a rather odd path at the moment), which says of Arsenal fans

The club’s supporters have been crying out for a new central defender and striker

which is of course delusional in itself.  Some have, but not all.  However the paper adds “it is possible to detect an uplift in the mood,” although they don’t quite manage to say how they have done the detecting.  Perhaps they have moodometer.  If so, I bet it is worth a few bob.  I’d love to have one and point it at different parts of the ground during a match.

Anyway, Mr Wenger’s comments, as normal, are worth considering.

“I would say it’s the most mature squad I’ve had for a long time, because they are men,” he said. “They are not 19 or 20 years old, they are 24, 27, 28, and the whole squad is quite mature. It’s the first time for a long time that I’ve had a team of what you can call men, ready to compete. After, we have to show that we are good enough to beat everybody else.

“I always believe we have a chance, even when we had young players. Certainly, I haven’t had a squad of players for a long time, who have enough experience to compete.”   

Also of interest is the comment the manager made about the final two signings.   ““We did it quite early compared to some other clubs because we finished our job on Saturday and the transfer deadline was on Wednesday. It was earlier than expected, because it was a quick turnaround on Saturday morning, which we didn’t expect to go so quickly.”

On Wilshere he said, “Is Jack’s Arsenal career in the balance? No, not at all.   I hope, personally, that he stays here his whole career. We had a chat together and he himself was concerned that he would not get enough competition early enough, because he feels ready to play. I couldn’t guarantee that, so that’s why the decision. It looks logical to give him time to really come back to a competitive level. At some stage you need competition and I couldn’t guarantee him that. Let’s not forget that last year he didn’t play.”

Eddie Howe, said he wanted Jack as an attacking forward thinking player, and Mr Wenger agreed.  “Personally, that’s where I prefer him.  I think Jack Wilshere is a world-class player. He has a great footballing brain, and understands everything that is going on on the football pitch. He is most dangerous when you give him the ball in the final third.

“For me, it was always a shame when he played too deep and too close to the goal because I like him where he can create. The thinking behind was that he would get regular football and come back to what he is – a world-class football player.”

As for tomorrow, we have had confirmation that Aaron Ramsey is still out with a hamstring injury and won’t be ready for PSG but Alex Iwobi is back.   Alexis Sánchez and David Ospina came back late from internationals not returning until Thursday night, so might not be selected which means we could see our third choice keeper Damian Martinez on the bench.

Lucas Perez will either start or be on the bench, which means that Alexis could be on the bench or not in the squad.   Shkodran Mustafi had that reported knock in an interlull game so may or may not be there, as the case might be.

28 comments to Maybe we should be more gentle on the Anti-Wengerian journalists and their fellow travellers?

  • Mick

    ‘Or indeed believing that spending money in the transfer window is linked to success on the pitch’
    If you really believe this to be the case, despite evidence to the contrary, then it is you who are delusional.

  • David M

    @mick
    Its the evidence you choose to believe. there is some pretty substantial evidence to the contrary of your statement. Chelsea winning the league after the Roman Slave driver came in. Man $ity after the UAE slave driver came in. Real madrid’s and Barca’s countless titles through their heavily debted spending, Bayern Munich don’t mind hoarding all the bundesliga talent with vast sums of their countless members.

    No one is saying that if you spend money you win, but if you spend money well and organize a squad that fits together there is a substantially larger chance of winning.

    Arsenal have spent serious money this summer, and we really needed too. I give us a shot now, but without the players that came in we had next to zero chance. It is important to analyse both sides of the coin so to speak otherwise you are no better than the AAA people you love to slander as you are just sitting on the other side of the fence with different coloured blinkers on. Arsenal is run by a very rich man who has is very interested in seeing the absolute maximum return on his investment, As he said himself “If you want to win championships then you would never get involved”. If you think he cares one bit about Arsenal fans that I am sorry but it is you who is delusional.

    COYG…so sick of this interlull

  • Nonny

    Or wanting the club to win the so called transfer trophy by asking for hypa-expensive players. It is a case of delusion.

  • Jambug

    Mick

    You are wasting your breath.

    As you will be aware I have posted dozens of times, with bucket loads of statistics, showing that long term big spending is a nigh on guarantee of success, and I never even get my post acknowledged.

    I agree with, and defend to the hilt, 99% of what UA stands for, but I find this particular relentlessly peddled nonsense, from normally intelligent men, mind boggling.

    One single fact should be enough to blow the argument out of the water:

    ‘Since Arsenal every title, baring the miracle of Leicester City, has been won by either Man Utd, Man City or Chelsea.

    Maybe it was just luck and had nothing to do with the £50 Million net they spent on average every year !

  • Jambug

    Nonny

    Stating facts about money equating to trophies in no way suggests I want Arsenal to:

    -Spend money they haven’t got.

    -Spend for the sake of it just to placate the whingers.

    -Engage a sugar daddy.

    -Veer from there self sustaining model.

    I love Arsenal. I love Wenger. I agree with the way our Club is run.

    I for one accept that winning the PL is very very difficult for us, given the money available to the usual suspects, but that will not stop me dreaming.

    If we do win the PL this year I believe it will be Wengers greatest achievement.

    If we don’t I will stand behind my Club as I always have, and always will.

    The fact I can see, and accept how money buys success doesn’t lesson my admiration for Arsene, Arsenal and how our Club is run.

  • Menace

    I’m with you Jambug. One thing I would add, I love football – the beautiful game when played within the Laws by skillful players.

  • Jambug

    Mence

    Here here to that.

  • Gord

    It would appear our U23 have got their first win. 3-1 versus Derby I believe.

    Congratulations young Gunners!

  • Leon

    You don’t really like the Guardian do you?
    Shame!

  • Menace

    Thanks Gord. You really keep us informed with results better than the BBC. They are totally Man United focused.

  • Polo

    There were some people on here and other sites saying how Arsenal had regress and players don’t want to come to Arsenal anymore because AW has taken Arsenal backwards blah blah blah. Well not according to the West Ham manager:

    ‘And Bilic has now revealed West Ham failed in a move for Bacca because the Colombian was waiting for an offer from either Arsenal or Atletico Madrid, but the Croatian boss added he was happy with his summer dealings.’

    http://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/709133/West-Ham-Slaven-Bilic-AC-Milan-Carlos-Bacca-wanted-to-join-Arsenal-transfer-news-gossip

  • Polo

    @ Jambug, I think you and Tony are both correct in your assessments on spending. I think Tony is pointing out that spending large amount on players for the sake of it won’t win you titles for examples Spurs, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Newcastle etc. However, you are correct, that over the long term clubs who spends big on quality players will win titles for example Chelsea, ManU, and ManC.

  • Gord

    I will disagree with spending big. Some spending is necessary.

    But, I think the example you want to follow on investing, is Warren Buffet and Berkshire Hathaway. Value investing.

  • Gord

    The medja is demonstrating its problems understanding Wenger again.

    The following two statements are not the same:

    > Arsene Wenger believes Jack Wilshere could manage Arsenal one …

    > Wenger: Wilshere will take over as Arsenal manager one day

    Why can’t these people just exactly quote Wenger if they can’t understand what he says?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Maybe we should be more gentle on the Anti-Wengerian journalists and their fellow travellers?
    WHY ?

    Why be gentle on bald faced liars ,frequent fibbers , sneerers and snivelers ?
    And those who laugh or make fun of the faithful AKBs for all those years of our undivided and unwavering support?
    Makes no sense to me , anyway .

    Why would you want to leave a gifted full toss or a no ball alone ?
    Do smash them as hard as you possibly can ! Its YOUR right !!!

  • ClockEndRider

    Agree with BG. Stupidity and mediocrity should be treated with the contempt they deserve.

  • para

    Of course the monetary resources of a club play a part in winning titles, but it does Not provide guarantees.

    We must be aware though, that if Arsenal had as many resources(£££) as the big three(Chel$ea, Man€U, and ManC$) they would be spending more as well, but probably not as spendthrift.

    Common sense dictates that Arsenal cannot take too many risks when it concerns spending and must be diligent. One slip and Arsenal is economically in trouble.

    Once that happens it soon spills on to the football pitch, and we know where that leads to.

  • Zuruvi

    @Jambug. You’re on the money.

    Spending big on useless or average players won’t improve your team. Examples: Spurs and Liverpool.

    However, spending the money necessary to get the very top quality players and doing it on a sustained basis tends to improve your team and improve your chances of winning the Premiership. Examples: City, United, Chelsea have used this strategy to dominate the Premiership over the last 25 years.

    Another extension of the logic would be … If a club consistently sells its most valuable players, it will struggle to win the league. Example – Arsenal.
    The stadium project necessitated Arsenal selling off its most valuable players because we couldn’t offer them the level of salaries that our competitors were offering or we couldn’t afford to add other new top players and create a winning team (this making our superstar players agitate for a move to clubs that “win things”).

    The very top players cost more in wages and in transfer costs.

    There is a strong correlation between where a team finishes in the league and the total of its wage costs.
    Arsenal normally outperform the position we should get based on wage costs. This is because we have a brilliant manager.

    Even in the current Arsenal squad, one could argue that our three expensive players are possibly our better players. Obviously I don’t think our “free” players like Iwobi or cheap players like Bellerine are our worst players. These “bought on the cheap players” and the players brought up through the youth system just show the brilliance of Arsenal and Arsene Wenger and assist to explain why we often outperform the predicted league position based on total player wages.

    Jambug is right. Evidence does show that spending big over a sustained period (e.g. Barca, Bayern and Real Madrid) does provide trophies and league titles.
    Evidence also shows that the teams which spend the least in transfer costs and in wages normally end towards the bottom of the league table.

    We have not used the word “guarantee” as not many things are guaranteed in football. And to be honest and fair, I don’t think the journalists and pundits say it is guaranteed although they do push their points with such aggression one would think they are guaranteeing that big spending equals winning the league title.

  • Omo r'Arsenal

    @Jambug, I definitely agree with you on wise and necessary spending by clubs to win trophies. But so does Tony I believe.

    My only concern is, what would happen to football in the long run if every club start spending. The Paul Pogba purchase is just an ominous sign of things to come.

    I believe that the present huge unwise spending on players will sooner or later, suffer the law of diminishing returns which might be the consequence of several previously overlooked economic forces.
    And when that happens, football clubs will fall back to basic and commonsense spending.

    Whichever it goes, Arsenal would be safe. And that is my joy.

  • Jambug

    Polo

    “I think you and Tony are both correct in your assessments on spending. I think Tony is pointing out that spending large amount on players for the sake of it won’t win you titles for examples Spurs, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Newcastle etc. However, you are correct, that over the long term clubs who spends big on quality players will win titles for example Chelsea, ManU, and Man C.”

    I have conceded on many occasions that sporadic high spending is in no way a recipe for success.

    I have gone in to lengthy detail about how even the 3 mega spenders don’t necessarily win anything following a high spending Summer, yet they may, in fact have, won a Title after a relatively low spending Summer. For an example of this you only have to go back to Chelseas last Title which followed a Summer transfer net spend of just £5 Million. Then you have at the other end City having a net spend in excess of £100 Million last Summer only to fall well short in the PL. When I did this I went in to fine detail how this could, in fact does happen, so I’m not doing all that again.

    To be fair I have NEVER once seen Tony concede that High long term spending is the key to success, which is clearly the case as the facts bare out.

    No, it doesn’t always happen instantly, and it certainly doesn’t happen all the time, that would be impossible given there are 3 mega spenders challenging for one title, but if you just keep spending and spending and spending it WILL happen.

  • Jerry

    @Jambug, Zuruvi, Mick, etc..

    From my understanding in regards to transfer spending, the UA articles have been focusing against the media promoted thinking that high spending on transfers guarantees winning.

    UA takes a slightly more realistic views of Arsenal’s transfer abilities.

    Arsenal can not spend like some of the biggest european teams either due to
    1) sponsorship (Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Bayern Munich)
    2) sugar daddy like ownership (Chelsea, Manchester City, PSG)

    The Arsenal spending ability is more in line with clubs such as Juventus, Dortmund, Athletico, Tottenham, and Liverpool.

    Arsenal are interestingly trying to take the best of both groups: spend big when available like the larger financial teams and develop their own talent through the youth system. If successful, it would be the best route for long term survival.

  • Jambug

    Jerry

    —-“From my understanding in regards to transfer spending, the UA articles have been focusing against the media promoting the thinking that high spending on transfers guarantees winning.”

    But that’s the point, it does.

    People can not like it as much as they want, but it does, which is why since our last title the 3 biggest spenders have been mopping up over 90% of PL titles, and over 50% of the other domestic trophies.

    —-“UA takes a slightly more realistic view of Arsenal’s transfer abilities.

    Arsenal can not spend like some of the biggest European teams either due to

    1) sponsorship (Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Bayern Munich)
    2) sugar daddy like ownership (Chelsea, Manchester City, PSG)”

    Of course this is true, but this has nothing at all to do with the argument that ‘mega’ spending wins trophies. In fact you just prove the point because by a strange, well actually not so strange coincidence, all the teams you mention are the Clubs that mop up all the trophies across Europe.

    —-“The Arsenal spending ability is more in line with clubs such as Juventus, Dortmund, Atletico, Tottenham, and Liverpool”.

    Indeed it is, and like us it is these teams that are on the periphery when it comes to winning trophies, popping up with the odd domestic cup now and then, and the even rarer title once in a blue moon.

    It can be dressed up any which way you like but clubs spending 2 times, 3 times, 4 times and even more than there competitors will dominate there league in particular, and all trophies in general, the odd ‘freak’ accepted.

  • Jerry

    @Jambug,

    There’s a difference. I can agree with the statement that spending money helps with winning trophies. I can’t agree with the statement that spending will guarantee that a club will win a trophy.

    You said the 3 big spenders have been mopping up over 90% of PL titles, but you are considering the results of all 3 clubs as 1 unit. Essentially you are comparing the results of 3 clubs vs 1 (if comparing to Arsenal).

    1) City have won twice since we last won. (2/12 seasons= 16.6% or 2/8 seasons of spending = 25%)
    2) Chelsea have won 4/12 seasons = 33.3%
    3) Manchester United have won 5/12 seasons = 41.66%

    So the best percentage with heavy spending is 41.66%, which is essentially a coin toss, but no where near a guarantee.

  • ob1977

    Thank you Jerry, that’s exactly what I’ve been thinking, at the very best a 1 in 2 chance, and that’s with a heavily weighted (FA/PL/Ref assistance) coin…

  • Having the top goal scorer in the league improves your change of bringing successful…..FACT

  • Jerry

    @Klis,
    I can agree with that statement because you said improves your chances. It doesn’t really say much though because in any profession, if you have the top professional, you have a higher chance of success (whether it’s sales, marketing, medicine, etc.).

    For what it’s worth since Arsenal last win the league, the top goal scorer was on the PL winning side only 4/12 seasons or 33.3% of the time. Improved chance, but still no where near a guarantee.

  • @Jerry,

    I thought I’d put it out there because there seems to be
    a belief that we don’t need or even want the leagues top scorer, as a defence of Arsenals T/fer straegy.
    Any advantage however slim is welcome, 33% is a big number, extrapolate further to other leagues etc and it may well be higher.
    The bookies won’t take top goal scorer and league winners as a double, it’s known as a related bet as the outcome of one could effect the other.

    My point is I wanted us to break the bank for a world class striker, didn’ t happen, maybe Giroud will deliver, or Perez….hope so, but we need to wake up to the FACTS,…..best chance of success is with the best…

    Anyway, enjoy the rest of the w/e….. COYG

  • Flares

    United, City and Chelsea have dominated the collection of PL titles since we last won it, but have also boasted some of the finest managers in Europe to guide those players to glory.

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