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Why do some football supporters get so angry?

By Dr Billy “the dog” McGraw, senior psychologist, University College Hospital of the North Circular Road.

I have long been fascinated by the anger and aggression that is expressed on Untold – not so much the anger that you will read in the comment columns, but the anger, aggression and threats that Untold chooses not to publish.

Fortunately for the sanity of those charged with sifting through the comments that arrive here each day, no one actually has to work through the whole collection of them.  Certain key words and phrases, as well as comments coming from specific locations are automatically removed.

My fascination and bemusement comes not just from my professional background, but also from recently watching Werner Herzog’s movie, “Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World” part of which deals with the pain and suffering caused by the anger and aggression of internet users against a bereaved family.

Of course such appalling actions via the internet do not mean that the internet caused such behaviour but they do mean that for some people the internet is a chance to express feelings and emotions that were previously expressed only within the family.

In some ways this may be a good thing, in that unpleasant though it is for the moderator of a blog to receive such virulence in an email, it is probably better that the sender expresses his or her (and it is mostly his) anger in writing to a person unknown than takes it out on those with whom he shares a home.

But whoever this anger is expressed against this sort of anger at all is in essence illogical.  For example, writing to Untold Arsenal, which proclaims on its masthead that it supports the manager, to state that the manager is a useless idiot, is perhaps one of the most nonsensical things that one can do.  Even more bizarre is the action of some who express dismay that such comments are then not published.

Such a reaction seems to me to be akin to writing to a magazine for bee keepers claiming that bee keeping is harmful to the environment.  The writer might be correct (although I rather think not) but expecting a magazine geared up to the opposite point of view to spend its time debating such views (especially when put forward with little or no evidence) is not just plain silly but shows an incredible lack of both intellectual and emotional maturity.

But emotions are, of course, not based on logic.  Anger/pleasure,  along with worry/happiness, fear/anticipation, joy/sadness and guilt/jealousy are the prime emotions, and each except  Guilt/jealousy are opposites.  Guilt and jealousy are both negative and generally debilitating.   With the other emotions one of each pair is generally considered to be enabling and life-enhancing, the other (the negative one) is a counter balance to be experienced less, but (so some argue) with the purpose of helping us appreciate the positive side even more.

By and large it appears that the more we are able to have and express all the emotions in a manner that is socially acceptable, as well as being able to withhold them in circumstances where they are not appropriate, the better.

But this isn’t what happens for some people on blogs or on places like Facebook or Twitter.   In such places many people express one of the negative emotions full-on without any balance or analysis.  And this can never be good for an individual since it leads to that individual living in a world of endless expression of negative emotions.

But why?   From the point of view of the angry correspondent, the answer that the writer is simply wrong and needs to be put right, is surely false because we all know that abuse in response to an internet article doesn’t actually achieve anything – other than making the writer of the abuse (rather than the writer of the original article) look rather foolish.

Indeed this is the odd point – most writers of abuse generally fail to realise that for every person who gets angry in response to a situation, there’s usually another who simply laughs at the originator, and a couple more who just ignore the whole thing.  It is very, very rare indeed for anyone to have their opinions changed upon the receipt of abuse.

The reason that people are often unaffected by abuse seems to relate to the quality of life that non-abusers have.  To bring it into the context of Arsenal, those of us who support (as it says on the masthead of Untold), the manager, the players and the team, seem get a lot more out of their interaction with Arsenal than those who express negative emotions all the time.  Largely it seems, because it is more pleasant and more life-enhancing being positive, rather than being negative.

We know that supporting a club in the way we do, can bring a great bond, and great joy.  Yes we get an extra bonus by being there on the final day of the unbeaten season, at the cup finals, at the winning of the doubles.   But those who are generally positive know that like all emotions, to be truly meaningful we have to be able to express the flip side of the emotions: the sorrow and despair.  Experiencing those, without attendant anger, allows us to experience the joy of winning even more intensely.

As we have seen, people who are dominated by negative emotions are readily open to exploitation by unscrupulous media outlets who seek to boost audiences by encouraging such expressions of behaviour.    Deliberately seeking to encourage people who are angry about Mr Wenger’s presence at Arsenal, for example, does enhance their audiences, and I know that in so doing the producers of such programming argue that they provide an outlet for the negative emotions of such people.

It is however a false argument, I believe, not least because there is no evidence that expressing such anger ever changes anything. It doesn’t make the person expressing the anger feel better over anything other than a short period of time, and doesn’t make the recipient of the anger change their mind.  It doesn’t even stop the person who expressed the anger from doing it again.  Rather the reverse is true: the individual expresses the anger, but it changes nothing.  So they do it again, only a bit more.

It is in fact the most ineffectual way of doing anything, and if anything we should feel sorry for the people who utilise it.

 

45 comments to Why do some football supporters get so angry?

  • Danish Gooner

    One of the most nonsensical and patronising pieces of dogshit and you call yourself a professeur ? Of what?? patronising ??? It is exactly your kind of people that makes it so hard being an Arsenal fan that want success for the club.If we all did like you and sit idly by and do nothing, Arsenal would never again win a trophy.
    Your piece of shit article doesnt wash with your average fan that have long ago seen the writing on the wall.

  • MickHazel

    In contrast to Danish Gooner I think it is an excellent article, far from nonsensical and I don’t feel patronised at all.

  • Martin Hann

    Danish Gooner the writing on the wall , what does that mean ? I bet you was not standing on the north bank in the 70’s with only 13,000 in the ground.You do not know how lucky you are to follow such a great club

  • Mandy Dodd

    I would say there is a spectrum. Ranging from some sort of acceptance, to disappointment, delusion, generally being a bit pissed off……and then onto the more extreme elements ….I would say they get so angry because they are in a stage of arrested development, psychologically flawed ( sadly, one of their most famous has been diagnosed with a depressive illness). Some are self entitled narcissists, delusional emotional car crashes, some undoubtedly lack many of the most basic forms of intelligence and are limited to expression through anger. Some suffer chronic envy , possibly through their own insecurities and failings, real or perceived……looking at some, I would say their failings are pretty real. They don’t like themselves or their world, hence their frequent outbursts of love for rival clubs.
    On a positive note, at least Arsenal Fan TV and their forums give these social inadequatels an outlet, because if it wasn’t for Arsenal or Mr Wenger, they would most likely take their anger elsewhere, perhaps onto inanimate objects, strangers, or in some cases, worryingly, maybe even a bit closer to home.
    But, we all have the right of peaceful protest in this country. But if they imagine Mr Wenger, Ivan Gazidis , Stan Kroenke is going to be swayed by some rabid half wit on camera, who is often , in reality, just saying “look at me….I am angrier than anyone else here” Then they are even more deluded than they come across, and that is saying something

  • WalterBroeckx

    LOL that first comment. It can’t be real. It cannot? Surely not? okay … LOL

  • WalterBroeckx

    Mandy, the guys from Arsenal Fake TV I think you refer to are exactly as you say. They want to be the angriest of them all. In the hope that that way the will be seen as the “uber-fan.”
    In my eyes there are just caricatures of themselves.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Agree Walter, some of them are a real embarrassment …..not to Arsenal, but to the human race in reality.
    Maybe a few of them equate levels of anger to how they hope others may view their dick size…..who knows
    But it’s all very needy, all very “me…me…me”……traits I would associate with a toddler to be honest.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Love those comments….fans like us are stopping Arsenal winning trophies, sitting idly by etc……a fair portion of that mob would have replaced Wenger with Owen Coyle, Moyes, or Martinez…..I am sure they would have won many more trophies than Wenger in recent years.

  • Danish Gooner

    Martin i was 8 years in 1979 so no i wasnt standing in the North bank but you said it yourself mate a great club but i want it to be greater to go toe to toe with Real,Barca,Bayern etc and that hasnt happened for a while and it isnt going to happen under Wenger the 5-1 drubbing was a disgrace to this fine club and it becomes more and more obvious that Wenger havnt got a clue how to solve it,he is finished and it isnt a sustainable argument to go hiding in the sand like an ostrich by saying we are doing fine because we are not.And yes i almost wish we were back in the eighties even though some of the football was awful but it is better to be atrocious then being boring and bland.

  • Danish Gooner

    Bla,bla,bla,bla Mandy !!!!!

  • Gord

    OT: 1994/95

    Wimbledon is a mess. But, it appears that there were 24 referees used for EPL games in that season. For a team, a season was 42 games. Most referees got between high 30’s and mid 40’s for number of games. A couple of referees were in the 20’s of games. One got 2.

    Number of appearances subject to change, as I resolve the Wimbledon problems.

  • Tommo

    Don’t get the anger myself? I am also fascinated at the anger shown in the comments section that you do publish, especially those defending any criticism of Wenger or the club. Some venom shown there too.

    At least you ask why… unlike the media does. But why don’t you supply the answers? This is your profession after all. Maybe one for your next instalment?

    As for Fan TV. That is not anger. That is a performance put on for show.

    It reminds me of Jeremy Beadle sticking a microphone in someone’s face and asking them to swear at him for the camera. The funny thing about it is when the rant has finished, Robbie leaves the mic there, so they feel the need to keep ranting. Cringeworthy.

  • Doug

    DG,
    We have never been in the same echelon in modern football(post WW2) as Real, Barca and Bayern you fool, never. As for wishing for eighties, twat, you want the manager sacked so the club can go forward and yet yearn for past. Any opinion that may find itself off your keyboard, has no real validity given your past comments. Also someone who is claiming to be in their mid forties, you show an alarming lack of life experience in football, fighting, rioting, police brutality, alchohol and that just the football, let alone the politics at the time(miners strike, Toxteth, Brixton, St.Pauls). Yeah bloody marvelous times.
    So Danish Gooner, give your brain a break because you clearly did not understand the point that the good Doctor was making, go back to LeGrove and relive your past glories there.

  • OlegYch

    i’m curious, what kind of anger regular readers who don’t see moderated comments are missing?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Well Dr. Billy The Dog, your point surely has been confirmed 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    So Danish Gooner was 8 in 1979 but still he yearns for the 80ties…. when we won…. 1 league cup which is no trophy anymore and certainly when we would win it.
    And the 1 special (I admit) league title right at the end in 1989. That was it for the trophies in the 80ties.
    Really Danish Gooner you really yearn for that?
    In the league going from 1980 till 1989 we finished: 4 – 3 – 5 – 10 – 6 – 7 – 7 – 4 – 6 – 1st.

    So you want that? I bet you enjoyed the 82-83 season….

  • Leon

    Arsenal Fan TV would be OK if it was expanded to include a more random selection of fans instead of the 4 or 5 muppets they regularly feature. I like Robbie Lyle, he puts a lot of effort into this project and travels with his camera person to all of our matches home & away.
    I think there’s some envy among the regular bloggers now that they’ve received the Sky seal of approval.

  • Pat

    Hey, Mandy, you really let rip! I enjoyed it.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Has to be done!

    I guess in Robbie Lyles defence, he puts differing opinions on camera……but he is also giving a platform to,some fairly extreme views. That is not always a good thing.
    Before his current role Robbie was a DJ, into hip hop, reggae and other similar types of music…..he got pretty well known. Guess, in the spirit of the more controversial aspects of hip hop, he would say he is just reporting what is out there rather than making a judgement on it….he comes across as a pretty reasonable guy…….unlike some he interviews that come across, as Gary Neville says…..idiots.
    But maybe a reasonable guy should not be giving a platform to such unadulterated anger

  • Arsenal Fan Tv rules

    I will be linking this article to Arsenal fan tv so they have the right to defend themselves

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Thanks for the laughs Billy and you guys . You really rock ! Great swatting Mandy – all well deserved , I ‘m sure.
    Do these sad people really come to UA , thinking that the AKBs have all the answers to whatever they perceive to be wrong with the Arsenal ?
    Or are to blame for all ills , by being loyal and supportive of the club and manager ?

    Speaking as an overwellming majority of one , I would start every season wishing that we go unbeaten in all competitions and win the whole lot . Not having done so ,I’d take a deep breath and move on, and then I start the next season with the same hope.

    One of these days , I’m going to get it right , finally ! And I am patient.

  • Thanks to everyone who sent the abuse in. Some of it was really rather droll even if utterly unpublishable.

  • Omo r'Arsenal

    Dannish Gooner,

    Your sentiment for Arsenal to ‘go toe to toe’ with the big names Real, Barca, Bayern…could well be classified as noble. Yet I think you sounded a bit too blown away by the personal definition of success of a football club.

    Many football clubs in Premiership at present wish to be just like Arsenal, no not Man Utd or Liverpool. Just like Arsenal, why? Because they feel we are a success story…not just by trophy judgement, mind you. But because we are a self-sustaining club financially – needless to add. Which of course your beloved example of Barca are struggling to come to terms with right about now.

    A piece on goal.com recently explored the present acute financial limitations of Barcelona to satisfy the huge contractual terms of the MSN – but let’s go for Messi especially in this case. For just like Sanchez, he has just eighteen months left in his contract but it would appear from what I have read that Barca either go more into debt mess to meet his inevitably more expensive terms or file for a divorce with their legendary squad leader.
    I really hope this isn’t the kind of ‘toe to toe’ argument you wish for us right now. Owing to satisfy players into ‘winning’ trophies is inconsiderate to the long-term existence of Arsenal Football Club.

    Let’s be honest with ourselves here. Trophies are won most times for momentary euphoria and bragging rights for us fans but if won at the expense of the existence and subsequent competitive chances of a club? Nah, they are not worth it.

    Liverpool are European giants by trophies success definition but right now, even the bragging of their fans to that effect cannot lift them one place above their position in the league at present.

    So what is it am I saying in essence?
    It is this. You love the club, I do as well. We all want same thing for Arsenal – success. But success is relative especially in this case. To some, to win trophies with a huge club debt is pretty fine, even if we fall into oblivion thereafter. But to others like me, we must win trophies according to our financial strength, it will consolidate our continual existence and competitive spirit. The Blackburn Rovers lesson should be enough.

    With our current approach, we will still trophies. In fact very soon I believe. But the added joy will be that we did so debt free.

  • Tommo

    Looks like Gord is putting together a ref review summary for the 1994\95 season. Better late than never I suppose…

  • WalterBroeckx

    LOL Brickfields I do exactly the same…. I really do

  • Bobome

    Omo r’Arsenal,
    Thumbs up for that piece. Unless AFC remains with a fighting chance of winning trophies without a huge debt overhang I’d rather they go inch by inch until they get to that era than using the rocket fueled by massive players buying debts now.

  • insideright

    @Bobome
    Couldn’t agree more – and I say that as someone who was standing on those terraces in the 60’s and I therefore view things from a very old age! Even though I have much less time left to enjoy those successes they will be all the sweeter because of the fact hat they have been earned rather than bought via debt that future generations will have to deal with.

  • Not afraid gunner

    I can’t understand watching your team having a wage bill as big as Chelsea,City, bigger than Bayern or Juventus and not querrying their failure to go beyond the last 16 of the Champions league or winning the EPL even once in the last ten years.

    When genuine supporters see how far apart we are to the big guns in Europe, and we are in fact top 6 in Europe by financial strength, it is clear we are not efficient. When you go further to check our season ticker cost, you get a bigger picture of how inefficient we are.

    If you dig deeper, look at our line ups, our match day strategy, our sub strategy, you got to be concerned as a genuine fan.

    Why would your love for a manager obsufucate your love for the club? Is loving or supporting a manager synonymous with loving a club? I don’t think so.

    I would wager that the manager is a bit selfish. If he truly loves Arsenal, how can he supervise over this grand division among fans? Is it worth it in the end? The manager may say he has mainly delivered top 4, which the board or owner wants, but the ultimate owners of any club are the fans. Are the fans not desirous to win the title? Leicester did it last year on peanuts. Why not Arsenal?

    Time to go Wenger, time to allow a proper structure in thus club you love: a DoF, and a younger and better manager.

  • Mandy Dodd

    We have fourth highest wage bill, behind Chelsea and City…..and significantly, we have been there for some time.
    Bayern and Juve have near monopolies on buying players of their respective nationalities when they chose, their power means they don’t have to spend as much as some on transfer and wages…..and significantly, this is been the way for some time
    Seems most of the English clubs are behind in Europe big guns….on a club and international stage, has been that way almost since Riley and co turned this into a shit kicking league.
    Wenger is selfish now…..the usual narrative is that he is too loyal?

  • Jerry

    @Dr. Billy “the dog” McGraw,
    Great and funny article! Confirmed by some of the above posts!

    @Not Afraid Gunner,
    I am not sure where you are getting your numbers from, but they look pretty wrong.

    An article by Total Sportek, shows in the Premier League what Mandy already said- City, United and Chelsea all have higher wage bills than Arsenal. The difference is between 18-25 million for the season, that’s about 345,000 – 480,000 higher on a weekly basis!

    Bayern’s and Juventus’ wage bills are highest in their respective league. Bayern’s market value is double almost everyone in the Bundesliga except Dortmund.

    Another thing dismissed is the fact that the UK has higher tax rates and cost of living than some of those respective countries forcing PL teams to have to pay higher wages. Also the Global Sports Salaries surveys by Sporting Intelligence lists 8 teams in Europe with higher weekly wages than Arsenal:

    1) Manchester United
    2) Barcelona
    3) Manchester City
    4) Real Madrid
    5) Chelsea
    6) PSG
    7) Bayern Munich
    8) Juventus
    9) Arsenal

    http://www.globalsportssalaries.com/

    Do not let your dislike for a successful manager become synonymous with an alternate reality.

  • Gord

    If a person goes looking for data on football, you quite often see something like:

    19720913 ABD DEF 2-0

    And that is it. No record of the scorers, cards, officials, or other data. I am pretty sure that all of these games had quite a bit more data associated with them (when they were in the form of dead tree databases). The may not have had the number and type of fouls, corner kicks and other details. But for many leagues this data probably started to exist when games became televised and recorded.

    But for many historical games, all of the data may have been on paper, and that paper has ceased to exist any more. It’s recovery may be impossible.

    I think organizations like The (sweet) FA will tell you that it is far too expensive to keep all this data. That is nonsense. Long ago, the data could have been written to tape. And every few years you need to copy the tape and use a new one. Today it might be a disk drive, or possible an M-disc.

    Just looking today, I see that Seagate has drives as large as 10TB for sale, but a common size for those economically minded is a 1TB disk.

    For the 1994/95 season, a long entry in the data I have built is maybe 200 characters long for a single game (lots of scoring and cards to get to that). Most games will be less than that. All this other data like fouls, offsides, … should have been available, as these games were usually televised and were recorded at some point.

    We can store about 5.5 billion games (5,500,000,000) games on a 1TB disk. The EPL is a 380 game season, so that is about 14,500,000 seasons of data. The oldest soccer is about 200 years old, so that is about 72,000 leagues of data. England has something like 10 leagues of data (okay, not really), so that is about 7200 countries of data.

    There are only about 200 countries on Earth.

    A single 1TB disk should be big enough to store all the commonly used summary data for all the adult football games that have ever been played, anywhere on Earth. The date, the score, the scorers, the cards, the officials, the attendance and similar data.

    All for about $60.

    And you can’t find this data? That’s silly.

  • Not afraid gunner

    Jerry,

    I cannot take liking to the bank. I look at outputs, systems and results. Are you completely satisfied that Arsene is getting the best out of this bunch? Are you happy constantly coming top 4 and going out of top 16 in ECL? Can we do better?

    I bet we can. I think Wenger does not prepare his team well for a match and shows favoritism and undue loyalty to players. He pampers them. Look at our last matches at Stanford Bridge and Alliance arena.

    Whilst I agree that Alonso should have been carded and his goal disallowed, the injury to Bellerin changed the dynamic at our right wing, where you had Harzard and Alonso operating. After bringing on Gabriel, who is average and not so fast, he should have changed his game plan by removing Theo and bring on Wellbeck. We were unbalanced for most of the match after that injury.

    Again, he has M-Niles, but he prefers Coq, who is poor with the ball.At the moment our best DM is Niles, period. I wonder why he does not see that?

    At the Allianz, we had Coq, and Ozil. Ozil’s previous performances did not justify starting him. His laziness and Coq’s lack of anticipation allowed the first Robbeb goal. On current form Ozil in a crunch game is -1.

    When playing teams like Bayern, control of the wings and minimizing crosses is vital. Hertha did that effectively and Bayern were lucky to scrape a draw. Hertha has a much lower wage bill than Bayern. It’s not about wages.

    In all professions, risk management takes folks very far. As a manager, I hardly see evidence that risks are managed well or As Low as Reasonably Practicable as they say. Wenger sends the guys to just play…and it shows. That explains the spanking we receive at this stage in the ECL.

    Which leads me to doubt if Wenger was that good. Perhaps, he recruited an exceptional bunch of players? Perhaps, the players micro managed themselves?

    In any employment, if you meet your task and target, you are OK, not exceptional. If you exceed your task and target, you are exceptional.

  • Jerry

    @ Not Afraid Gunner,

    In regards to your first paragraph questions. Yes I think the club can do better, but I do Wenger sets up the club to get the best out of them.

    Let us take a look at the two games you mentioned. You as self-proclaimed “look at the outputs, systems, and results.” The problem with that view is that you completely ignore the process/activities steps and evaluation.

    In both games you mentioned, we suffered injuries on the defensive line. At Stamford Bridge, you agree that Alonso should have been carded and goal disallowed, but ignored the output- Down 1 goal and forced substitution of a defensive player (Bellerin). From that 1 scenario, we are continuing that game at a disadvantage.

    Then you propose bringing on Welbeck who only recently returned from a long layoff due to a knee injury for Walcott who this year has been doing a good job getting back on defense unlike the past years. The risk of a further injury to Welbeck would outweigh the reward in that change.

    Also, if looking at the opponent, you are ignoring the 3-0 win against Chelsea at the Emirates. Why are you valuing 1 win over the other in your output strategy? The team was clearly set up to win and was doing well until the injury.

    At the Allianz, same thing, until Koscielny left injured, Arsenal were doing very well, tied 1-1 (in fact slightly ahead based on the away goal rule). Koscielny needs to be replaced 5 minutes into the 2nd half, then it’s no surprise that Bayern pounced and scored 3 goals in the next 15 minutes.

    The team was set up to succeed, but no manager plans to lose a defensive player to injury early in a game or literally 5 minutes into the second half. Perhaps if you think he just sends the guys to just play without any instructions, you should see how some other teams play in the league.

    In fact, having the highest scoring team in the league by providing no tactics or instructions makes literally no sense at all. It would be almost impossible (I’m sure Gord can be you some slim statistical possibility of that happening)!

    By ignoring the process, you ignore some key activities and questions:
    For example, how does one of the most attacking teams in the league (Arsenal) not get a penalty call for over 3 months, but has 4 against them?

    How is it possible for one of the most attacking teams in the league to be fouled the 4th fewest in the league, when teams with similar attacking statistics are fouled 40 (City), 50 (Spurs), and 60 (Chelsea) more times.

    In regards to the outputs, you are also ignoring the progresses the club has made over the last few years–> Progress in league standing (4–>3–>2 last year), successive FA Cup trophies, becoming financially stable after building the emirates.

    Also, the lose of the manager, can result in an even worse output- the potential lose of key players which can include Sanchez, Ozil, Bellerin, etc.. That is not progress, that is 3 steps back

    In any employment, you do not get fired for meeting your tasks and targets.

  • Pat

    Good point about Germany and Bayern Munich, Mandy. I have a friend who is a Dortmund fan. Year after year Bayern has bought Dortmund’s best players. This is one way of keeping winning the league! But it seems unfair to me. Bayern Munich is resented by fans all over Germany.

  • Pat

    Jerry – very good post.

  • Not afraid gunner

    Jerry,

    Thanks for at least keeping it civil.As a side note, I hate the division in the fan base which has become synonymous with the manager. Am sure he cannot be happy about that and I wonder how comfortable he will be signing on for a further two years. We know he had a similar experience in Monaco. Raising them up, and then it all went south pretty fast, dividing the fan base as well.

    Do, let’s get this, Wellbeck could not play, and no other body could come in or no instructions was given to Theo to adapt his game to that of his covering right back? Is that proper?

    OK, lets go to the Alliance Arena. Are you saying that the team understood the risk in allowing Robben to cut to his right? In front of our 18 yard box, we did not close down well enough. Simple things that any average team will do well enough with lower paid personnel. Some even get victories against better rated opponent by being tactical from A-Z, no passengers.

    When we play, it looks like we do carry passengers like Ozil, Theo and Coq. Ramsey as well, but he is injured at the moment. Wenger buys all players, so loosing one defender, is not enough reason to fall apart.

    Against Barca in 2010, I believe, with Arshravin, Nasri, Cesc, Jack, we beat Barcelona at home. But they were a superior team. We key them come at us, but once outside our box, we were tight on them. We don’t see that often with Wenger’s teams. Simeone delivers that regularly, ditto Tuchel, and Allegri.

    You start to wonder why Wenger sits on his ass when he sees things are not working well with his team. The sub must come at 67-70 minute and the personnel to be subbed is already known before the match, not based on on-pitch performance. No serious high performing organisation operates the way Arsenal operates.

    Why do you give him an easy ride? The guy has been at this job for 20 years! 20 years !

    There is no reason on earth why we should not give any team a game even with the current squad. But we have a culture in Arsenal that overpays average players, and giving them a cushy environment. No accountability. Wenger would have been a legend in my eyes if he pushed himself and his team to achieve more than the board have asked him to.

    His legacy, am afraid will be looked upon as a missed opportunity.

  • Not afraid gunner

    One more thing. I agree that some refereeing decisions have been atrocious. The Chelsea first goal sticks out. Some commentators have said the Arsenal have scored a couple of hand ball goals. May be true, but I see them as ball to hand.

    Wouldn’t you be happy to see a crack striker, two tall mobile CMs, playing with Xhaka, and a fast winger and get rid of a lot of the dross?

    Outs:
    Theo, Gibbs, Ramsey, Ozil( not entirely dross, but no effort), Elneny, Gabriel, Jenkinson.

    Looks like Wenger buys any available player without thinking of how they would fit into a team. Example: We were wanting a striker and we stumbled on Ozil. Shouldn’t there be an articulation of what each position requires and then get the players to match the positions?

    Isn’t that part of process?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Thanks Pat, excellent stuff Jerry.
    Welbeck, if reports are to be believed has had a career threatening series of injuries, every reason to be careful with him.
    Where we have suffered, MF….losing a very influential , and brilliant player. Coq is not the same without Santi. Xhaka will be excellent, but he is adjusting, like pogba, who in contrast to Xhaka, the pundits plead the Frenchman needs more time, the same pundits say Xhaka is a liability. Xhaka has also had a red card, for something I have yet to see another premier league player, nor a Sutton player sent off for, not
    As with all things, I am sure the club, team and manager can do better on some fronts….can’t we all.
    I sense the manager situation is playing on some of the players, and perhaps creating instability. I personally wish Wenger would just sign on and be done with it, shut the media up, stop elements of the pgmol thinking they can help get rid of him ……but Wenger cannot win for now on this front. Tbh, the pessimist in me fears the worst in the manager situation, I hope I am wrong, but let’s see what the season brings

  • Menace

    Not afraid gunner – ‘Wouldn’t you be happy to see a crack striker, two tall mobile CMs, playing with Xhaka, and a fast winger and get rid of a lot of the dross?
    Outs:
    Theo, Gibbs, Ramsey, Ozil( not entirely dross, but no effort), Elneny, Gabriel, Jenkinson.’

    How dare you call our players dross! You come across as an absolute idiot if you think support is decrying class footballers with such a derogatory term. You should go to the training ground & ask to see the team practice & then call out the ‘dross’ & advise them what your take on their play should be. Your take on the ‘tall mobile player’ makes you an old school English type that believes ‘big is best’. You probably love ‘Big SAM’ and his long ball tactics.

    Have you not understood the Wenger way of playing football? It is the most copied method because it makes the ball work & the team play irrelevant of height & physique. The likes of Santi Cazorla would not make it in your team of tall players. Dixon would not figure in your back line.

    You may not think the PGMOL are the major cause of Arsenals struggle to get to the peak of the game, but I do. I think they are a corrupt bunch of pig ignorant cheats that have got away with taking the game into disrepute while being supported by a corrupt media. They literally gave the league to Leicester last season & have let Leicester show their true colours this season while supporting Chelsea by allowing Red card offences to slide by ‘unnoticed’.

  • Menace

    not afraid gunner – process? It requires an understanding of the subject matter & needs someone in a position to make the decisions. Thank God you are not the one as your subject matter expertise is sadly lacking.

    Wenger is a student of The Game & his subject matter knowledge is unquestionable. He is not God & cannot destroy the cheat with a whistle with thought. Bayern played an aggressive ‘professional foul diving’ game & did it well enough to fool the referee. They fouled & got away with it. They are a class act & managers like Pulis would have a suitable strategy to neutralise them. Wenger is not of that ilk & works on evasion rather than confrontation. That is why we avoided tackling them in the second half (or second quarter if you look at the 2 legs).

  • Jerry

    @Not Afraid Gunner,
    In regards to his time at Monaco, it may have been due to results but also the match fixing by Marseille played a big part in his departure to Japan.

    In regards to Theo at Chelsea, I am sure he was given instructions to track back even before the game started, because that aspect of his game has really improved this year.

    Everyone knows which one is Robben’s weaker league, but he’s still crafty and scoring goals throughout Germany, not just in 1 game against Arsenal.

    There is a difference between giving Wenger an easy ride and giving respect. He gave us great success in his first decade and then sacrificed his own personal success to help Arsenal build a stadium. A manager like that deserves nothing but respect and the patience to succeed with the strong foundation he built.

    In regards to the players you listed, I hope none of them leave, and especially not Ozil because he is my favorite player, even before he joined Arsenal.

  • Pat

    Menace

    Interesting point about Bayern’s ‘professional foul diving game’. As you say, this offers another explanation for our lack of tackles in the second half.

  • Not afraid gunner

    Menance,

    Keep it civil, stop the abuse. It’s bad manners to call a guy you’ve never met an idiot because you disagree with him. If I take your word that the listed players are not dross, will any of them make Chelsea, ManU, Liverpool, squad? Lets not talk about Bayern, Juventus, PSG, Monaco, R-Madrid, A-Madrid or Barca.

    I still maintain we need to revamp our midfield and currently we have a disjointed one. Coq tackles, has pace, but cannot pass to save himself. Xhaka can pass, but cannot do so under pressure. Why not have two new strong mobile midfielders on either side of Xhaka to mask his weakness? We have no genuine winger and a striker. We still need one.

    Jerry,

    Monaco was not all about Marseille match fixing. Wenger lost the dressing room and then the fans. Fans are the real owners of any club. Once it starts getting toxic, a smart manager should walk. Twenty years is quite a long time in football terms. Not sure Wenger can win any ECL or EPL for us. Announcing his departure at season end, will unite the fanbase, and give the club the needed time to put proper football structures in place and recruit a new manager. Signing a new contract will create more problems than it solves.

  • Polo

    Reading this ‘I think Wenger does not prepare his team well for a match’ gave me a laugh, is Arsenal fourth from bottom place or fourth from top place? How a man who ‘does not prepare well for a match’ keep his team at near top of table consistently for 20 years in a league touted as the best and most competitive in the world? If the man ‘does not prepare well for a match’, how he get a win percentage of 57.3% which is amongst the highest, and he achieved this with so called ‘dross’ players.

    You might want him gone but at least show some respect for the man.

  • Jerry

    @Not Afraid Gunner,

    That will not unite the fan base. In fact, it’ll give more power to the vocal minority. Look at all the other clubs forced to change managers every 2-3 years