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What you have been happier to have supported Arsenal in an earlier era rather than the last 20 years?

By Tony Attwood

There is an article in the Telegraph today that says, “Once the butt of every joke, now Tottenham are laughing at complacent Arsenal’s expense.”

It is an approach which is replicated in many newspapers and on many blogs; Tottenham are on the way up and Arsenal are on the way down, and it is all Arsenal’s own fault.

One can understand why, for after all the media, in all its shapes and sizes, has been proclaiming the demise of Arsenal for years; indeed in the first year of publication of Untold (2008) there were people writing in saying that this was going to be the year Arsenal dropped out of the top four.

Maybe now though they are right.  Maybe Tottenham are soaring ahead, and Arsenal have been complacent, falling behind as new tactics and new styles of play are introduced.

But unfortunately just saying that doesn’t give us a solution as to what to do next.  Looking at the recent past and seeing a trend (based on one or two years, when it comes to Arsenal and Tottenham) is one thing, suggesting what Arsenal might do to change based on anything other than one or two years, or on pure opinion, is another.

One of the rather depressing things about the state of football commentary, both among those who are paid to do it for the mass media, and those who are not paid, is the lack of much significant evidence as to how things can be made better.

We know, for example, that money helps, in that the clubs that have the biggest revenue tend to be in the upper reaches of the league.   But we have also seen that there is a limit to this.  Manchester City have access to money beyond the dreams of most and yet will not win anything this year.  Chelsea had huge amounts of money under Mourinho, and yet could not stop a collapse far greater than anything Arsenal have seen this year.

Then there is the cult of the great manager.  Again Manchester City may find that in his second year their man from Barcelona will take them to the top again, but for the moment it is also clear that just having a top manager is not a guarantee of success.   Indeed nor is having a top manager and more money than most other clubs.

The notion of buying players has been run over so many times that it hardly seems worth considering yet again, but just in case you missed it, in essence, when it comes to big money players, the figures suggest that only 25% of them make a significant impact in year one.  A similar percentage never make an impact at all, and indeed can often do damage since they are played in the team, despite their poor performances, for far longer than they should be.

The fact is that money, a new manager and new expensive players can all help – but they are not, of themselves a guarantee, which seems to suggest there is no magic formula for upwards movement.  So what about the negatives: what drags a club down?

For a long time the notion was out there that Arsenal was the injury centre of universe, but this has been disproved, although some of the media had one last shot at it this season.  But in reality we suffer no more injuries than most.

As another way of looking at things I developed the notion, (now often replicated in newspapers, although as always without acknowledgement) that moving ground is often a negative.  Brentford, Scunthorpe, Wimbledon, Bournemouth are just four of the clubs looking to do this, alongside Tottenham (a redevelopment not a move) and Chelsea (ditto) but with both the latter included because there will be at least one year away from their home ground.

At the moment there are 14 clubs in our list of clubs who have moved ground, and none of them has received an immediate uplift from the new stadium, with at least 11 having received a significant negative effect from the move.  We’ll see how Tottenham does it next season.

Then there is the issue of negative fan feeling: does this have an effect?  It is just about the hardest issue to gauge because there is very little way of measuring the level of the effect and its impact.  With a stadium or a manager it is easy – there is something very solid to measure against, but with the fanbase?  I would say that normally fan protests have a negative impact and make the situation worse, but how much worse I wouldn’t like to guess.

Alongside that we also have to include the sniping by the media.  Obviously I focus far more on Arsenal commentaries than others, but when I do compare Arsenal negatives with those against others there certainly appears to be far more against Arsenal.  We had an insight into why this is from Talk Sport with the revelation that when they do a negative piece on Arsenal the phone lines get overloaded far more than against any other team.  Thus they do more negative pieces.

To give an example of how that goes, it is possible to imagine an article or a broadcast which commemorates positively Arsenal’s 20 year period in the top four, something which is very rare in the top division.  Man U did it (1992 to 2013) but otherwise it is unknown.  But no, it is seen as a failure.

There is also the issue of referees.  Although it is now commonplace for people to write in one-liners to Untold denouncing the idea that there is anything wrong with refereeing (I don’t publish them most of the time because they add nothing new) the fact remains that we’ve gone to the extent of publishing our evidence in video form, using referees to do the analysis who have nothing to do with Arsenal, and explaining how the set up of the PGMO is akin to that of the match fixing era of Italy, and why the arrangements at present are more rather than less likely to aid covert match fixing.

The latest game it is to point to a handful of decisions where Arsenal have “got away with it” and claim that somehow that negates the thousand or so decisions analysed in the first 160 games of the season.  Sorry I don’t agree.

What it comes back to is that there is no formula for success, but a lot of people wanting to point to individual items which they claim will make Arsenal champions once again.  Sadly, the evidence suggests that while some things are helpful, there is no formula for success – although for the moment changing grounds looks very much like a fairly regular cause of disaster (although not always at once).

And all this leaves me pondering: would I have preferred to have watched Arsenal at some other time in their history?  I’ll leave that one with you, and will be happy to read thoughts on that.  And I’ll offer my thoughts in a later article.

Some other thoughts

Tottenham target equalling Arsenal’s league record by 2055.

Corruption news: 43 footballers, 8 agents, 12 clubs, Barcelona, and Tony Pulis.

Ref Review: WBA – Arsenal. When oh when will Neil Swarbrick learn the laws of the game?

Who are the most fouled players? A clever way of forcing you to believe that the referees are always right.

Ronald Westcott: Arsenal’s unluckiest player ever of whom we know so little.

Arsenal’s forgotten manager Joe Shaw wins the league for Arsenal. 28 April 1934.

37 comments to What you have been happier to have supported Arsenal in an earlier era rather than the last 20 years?

  • Wolfgang

    Covert match fixing?The FA shd ask why the ref awarded Rasford apenalty.

  • Henabth

    Let’s not pretend this was all down to how well the opposition played yesterday. I’ve given them enough credit, so let’s be brutally honest: this has been an issue for Arsenal for quite some time now. Maybe a couple of seasons at this point, and despite his best efforts on the training ground and in the transfer market, Arsene Wenger seems unable to do anything about it.

  • markyb

    What you mean improving to finishing second last year?

  • ClockEndRider

    Henabth,
    His best efforts are looking increasingly feeble. I don’t think you have to be a tactical genius to make these players play better. Just maybe some coaching rather than making oblique statements about “mental strength”, “confidence” and “handbrakes”. You know, actually tell the players what you want them to do rather than acting like some Delphi Pythia.

  • ClockEndRider

    Delphic…

  • Max

    It was the most one sided North London derby I can remember for ages. Arsenal were abject, Sp*rs were very, very good, and the difference was clear. There was precision and clarity to the way they played, while our players looked rudderless and simply unable to find any cohesion.

    It is time now to thank him for those efforts, and give someone else a go. Except here’s the thing: the thought of this football club trying to transition to a new manager is actually terrifying. I’m not saying it shouldn’t be done, of course it should, but I have even less faith in the people at the top to make good decisions than I do in Arsene Wenger right now.

    This situation we find ourselves in is not simply down to a formerly great manager losing his way as he comes towards the end of an illustrious career. It’s a big part of it, but the rot goes from top to bottom. The owner does not care. Not one bit. He might make some noises to suggest he does, or we might get another back-channel article from his son in a favourite newspaper about how a former legend is on the agenda, but I would like nothing more than for Stan and Josh Kroekne to sell up, fuck off and never come back.

    I know it’s nigh on impossible, and the idea of Arsenal being owned and run by people who care about what happens to the club is practically a pipe dream, but they are presiding over a steady and seemingly inexorable deterioration of Arsenal Football Club. Kroenke is a big, big problem, and if you want to be angry with the manager that’s fine and perfectly understandable, but save some ire for him too.

    And what of our intrepid Chief Executive, Ivan Gazidis? He broke his silence the other day, but it was only to talk about how excited he was that we’d be playing RP Leipzig in the Emirates Cup in July. Not a word, not a single word about the manager and his future. Not a word about the future of the football club, the plans we have, no holding anybody or anything to account, and his nonsensical ‘catalyst of change’ shite can go into the same fucking bin his ‘We can compete with Bayern Munich’ bullshit lives in now.

  • Max

    Tony, I appreciate what you are saying but for supporters that haven’t seen those days and only seen success this will be very difficult to swallow.

    If you don’t think this insipid, cowardly board are having any impact on what’s happening on the pitch, that’s ok, but I happen to think there’s a direct correlation between those people and the fact that despite more money and greater resources we have become less competitive. People speak about the players being in a comfort zone, well so too is the manager because he knows he’s got nothing to worry about from Gazidis, while Kroenke is so basically clueless as to be not worth considering.

    These men inherited a cash cow, a shiny new stadium, and they think that’s an achievement to be proud of. The reality is fans take pride in what their team does on the pitch, not how well the balance sheets look or how many washing machine partners we have. They can all fuck off with the Kroenkes as well, useless twats.

    So let’s get a new manager, shake things up, rejig the coaching staff, move on some of these players who represent the worst of this comfort zone era, but if we’re left with those same people up above then I genuinely fear that we’re in for some turbulent times over the next few years.

  • Scuba

    Markyb

    It’s more improving on the 71 pts from last year. We haven’t reached the 80 point mark since the 2007-08 season, and have only beaten 75 points once in that time span (and can’t this season, either). While disappointing, not winning the title for long stretches should be expected at every club. With the resources we have, however, we’re underachieving if we don’t at least contend late into the season occasionally, and it’s been a long time since we can say that we did that.

  • Max

    I know we have a cup final, and I’m delighted about that of course, but this is a team – sorry, side – that is falling apart before our eyes. Just six wins from the last sixteen games (two of them against non-league outfits), 25 goals scored but 29 goals conceded, there’s a formation shambles, players who look like they don’t care and even after a rock-bottom moment they still couldn’t get it together to make a derby against the old enemy remotely competitive.

    You couldn’t have watched that yesterday and not been slightly envious of what you saw on the pitch from Sp*rs. And that’s a pretty grotty feeling if you’re an Arsenal fan.

    That this football club still seems more inclined to continue with more of the same than make the changes everyone and his dog knows we need to make just compounds that. This isn’t something that can be fixed with a war-chest, although I eagerly await those stories leaking out this week as they desperately try to shift the narrative, because frankly that’s the only thing they seem willing or able to change.

    If yesterday didn’t hammer home to them that we need a lot more than that, then I really fear for what lies ahead.

  • nicky

    As a supporter of Arsenal FC since the middle 30s, I have experienced the peaks and valleys, joys and sorrows and victories and defeats in equal measure.
    Now, in somewhat beyond my dotage, I am saddened by the militant attitude of many who follow our great Club, due to a lack of achievement in the EPL and the CL.
    By not winning either is perceived to be a serious failure and blame is laid at the manager and players, with lack of signings, poor tactics, coaching and game plan being the main culprits.
    While this may be true, Arsenal have no divine right to permanent success. In fact, historically, the Arsenal way has tended to clutch victory from the jaws of defeat and vice versa.
    And since the glory days of the late 1930s the Club has never once managed to retain the English premier division championship.
    This domestic season, we are now unlikely to qualify for the CL, although we should enter the Europa Cup next term….nothing to be sneezed at. We could win the FA Cup later this month.
    Many followers of our rivals regard our supporters as fickle for the manner in which we are hypercritical of the performance of the team. And I think they have a point.
    The achievements of Arsenal FC, year upon year, is something that most other clubs remain envious.
    Yet it is still not enough for some regulars at the Ems.
    I would like to see a future when there will be 100% support for the manager and whoever is selected to wear the shirt.
    The Club has a US owner who is solely interested in his investment…..which incidentally is progressing extremely well financially. So I should imagine he is here to stay for a while longer.
    That being the case and with thousands on the waiting list for season tickets, a global following and the financial future looking very bright indeed, it behoves all loyal followers to stand firm and support the Club as it nears the end of one season and prepares to regroup for another. 😉

  • Varane

    Nice speech there Nicky. But i notice that like clockwork every year at the usual unraveling of our season, someone like you pops up with a similar message, imploring the fans to get behind the management till the end of the season. However i do look for similar message from “you” at season’s end, aimed at management and imploring them to in turn support the fans and properly prepare the team for the new season, unfortunately, then the talk usually changes to, wait until season starts b4 judging. Now my question is, should this support be one way only? I.e fans support club, club doesn’t have to give a damn?

  • ClockEndRider

    Nicky,
    I think you may have misunderstood me. I don’t expect to the title every year. However for my £1000 a year ticket in the cheap seats, I do expect to see year on year progression. Or at least not see year on year regression. When we were paying 30 bob to watch Terry Mancini, I expected to see football of a commensurate level and was not disappointed. Now I am paying nigh on £45 a match. Do I see football of a commensurate level?

    I don’t have a childlike expectation of success. I just don’t want to feel like I’m being legged over for my money. A fairly rational response, it seems to me.

  • Stevo

    With regard to coaching I do not think that Mr Wenger uses statements to the media saying “mental Strength, confidence and handbrakes” has anything to do with what he says to the squad after a match so try and get that into your head before making such stupid comments on this site.
    On another issue about Arsenal , does the Telegraph think it is only us that Spurs are laughing at now and why do they not include every club who are deemed to be challenging for the title? as far as I can see it is only Chelsea who may not be ridiculed by Spurs.

  • ClockEndRider

    What does he say to the team then? Because whatever it is isn’t working.
    I could say “get that into your head before making such stupid comments ” but that would be crass and childish and I don’t want to sink to that level.

  • Leon

    I don’t know how he prepares his teams to actually perform on the day, but I would hope that it has something to do with motivating multi millionaire footballers to play in a way that might encourage season ticket holders to renew.
    It’s not been very evident of late TBH.

  • Mandy Dodd

    The Wenger era has been a wonderful time to watch Arsenal….success, building, attractive football, great players, youngsters coming good.
    Ok, at the moment, some of that seems a long way away….though there is still success to play for for.
    Wengers tenure is clearly in its late stages….talk of a two year contract, though in contrast to many, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he called it a day this summer….who knows.
    The club don’t appear to be showing a lot of leadership for now….they may or may not have perfectly valid reasons.
    But the fact is, whether the manager stays or goes, the club is in pretty rude health these days. Should he go, we will be able to attract a very decent manager, no guarantee of success of course, but a decent starting point. Should he stay, he will surely be energised to improve on what could be his first season of what could be classed as underachievement, though, I stress, the season can still end on a high.
    Whether he stays of goes, I think we are going to see changes this summer.
    But, the reality, though the media and some so called Arsenal supporters are heady on the long awaited relative success of our neighbours, reports of Arsenals demise are being grossly exaggerated.

  • nicky

    @Clock End Rider,
    You didn’t mislead me because I agree with all you said. You are not seeing value for money because of the grossly inflated wages now paid to players.
    The point I was trying to make is the doom and gloom being spread around to no avail, when loyal support is called for, needed and the only way. 😉

  • CORNISH

    I am feeling very sorry for Arsene W. today. I have never seen him walk out of a post-match interview before & he seemed really stressed. On my large TV screen his eyes looked very unhealthy & should be of concern to his medical staff. I really don’t know why he puts himself through all the anguish & pressure.

  • Gooner S

    @Tony to answer your question no I wouldn’t substitute my support of Arsenal for any other period in their history. I started attending matches under my own steam in the late 70s. Overall I remain positive towards Arsene Wenger. I lost patience with the moaners 3 or 4 years ago, when much of them had been moaning for 3 or 4 years before that. I stopped listening because more often than not their comments did not take into account the situation the club was in from 2004 onwards. Like other supporters I’m disappointed with recent results but I do feel that the players have let him down a lot. Since January of this year good performances have been in short supply and it does seem as though confidence has completely gone. That said we have a (difficult) FA Cup final coming up. Three finals in four seasons is nothing to be sniffed at though some of our support seem to be doing just that.

    I don’t see any end to the dissension until Arsene Wenger leaves and then, when whomever comes in to replace him, I don’t see it stopping then if we don’t win the league.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Cornish, I would imagine Wenger is burning the candle at both ends, I would guess he is the type, if something is wrong, he will just throw more of the day’s hours into it.
    I would imagine he puts himself through it because he has a very high stress threshold, and loves the club. He wants to make things work, even though things seem stacked against him for now

  • Sammy The Snake

    Silent Stan, the CEO and AW must be really thankful for your articles.

    There is of course a formula for success. Read a few books on the subject if you need to be convinced.

    Excellent owner + excellent CEO + excellent manager + excellent players + money + a bit of luck + a bit of ref blind eye = SUCCESS!

    The byproduct of the above formula is happy and excellent fans + media that can’t complain about the club!!!

  • Pat

    ClockEndRider

    There you are again, saying Arsene Wenger doesn’t do anything for his money and sends his players out unprepared.

    I suppose you are operating on the principle of the Big Lie, that if you say it often enough people will believe you. They may, but as with all Big Lies, they would be fools to do so.

    To answer Tony’s question, I feel totally privileged to have been an Arsenal fan for the past twenty years, including going to the last two FA Cup parades, and many exciting matches. I am glad that Arsene Wenger’s aim has always been to make the football exciting.

    I also feel privileged to have had the opportunity to read and hear Arsene Wenger’s comments on the game – insights which we would not have got from many other managers.

  • titus makinde

    Were you coerced or forced into buying expensive tickets?Why dont you go getl cheap tickets elsewhere and enjoy success there?That will be very good for your health.Believe me,it will.

  • Gooner Murphy

    OT;
    Some surprising comment From Stan Collymore regarding his fellow Pundits,
    Writing on his BoyleSports blog, Collymore called divinhg “an epidemic within football” and said that too many pundits “condone cheating, diving and conning because we gain from it. It’s that simple.”

    Collymore added: “It’s cheating, it’s making referees’ jobs impossible and it’s making long-standing fans angry.”

    “To every pundit who says you have the right to go down, you are a disgrace to the sport.”

    “You should be nowhere near a mic or a studio. You are encouraging 11 year-olds to cheat and from the messages I get, that’s exactly what is happening.”

    And he has a warning for pundits who are reluctant to come down hard on cheats because of loyalties to players or clubs.

    “I guarantee one thing in your illustrious careers ahead, you’ll be sat on the pitch someday, crying and distraught as you’ve been cheated out of a game.”

    Collymore wants football to act now on cheats.

    “If I had my way, all three players would be looking at an FA disciplinary charge with a warning on first offence, then bans after that.”

  • Gooner Murphy

    Diving debate: Stan Collymore calls fellow pundits ‘a disgrace to football’

    Monday, May 01, 2017
    After a Premier League Sunday featuring dubious penalties for Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford and Leroy Sane, Stan Collymore has lashed out at his fellow pundits.

    Writing on his BoyleSports blog, Collymore called divinhg “an epidemic within football” and said that too many pundits “condone cheating, diving and conning because we gain from it. It’s that simple.”

    Collymore added: “It’s cheating, it’s making referees’ jobs impossible and it’s making long-standing fans angry.”

    “To every pundit who says you have the right to go down, you are a disgrace to the sport.”

    “You should be nowhere near a mic or a studio. You are encouraging 11 year-olds to cheat and from the messages I get, that’s exactly what is happening.”

    And he has a warning for pundits who are reluctant to come down hard on cheats because of loyalties to players or clubs.

    “I guarantee one thing in your illustrious careers ahead, you’ll be sat on the pitch someday, crying and distraught as you’ve been cheated out of a game.”

    Collymore wants football to act now on cheats.

    “If I had my way, all three players would be looking at an FA disciplinary charge with a warning on first offence, then bans after that.”

  • para

    I would prefer to be watching Arsenal from when i started and continuing on till i leave this place, because i do see that Arsenal has been evolving.

    Arsenal evolved football in UK. They achieved many firsts and only due to stadium build did the football have to take a back seat.

    The quality of the players and coaching was a big factor in Arsenal still managing to achieve stability.

    They take care of business first, building a solid foundation(earning). Having to borrow too much always restricts a business, and when things go wrong, well we know the results.

    But now as all things evolve, Arsenal has to evolve further. It has to adapt to changes, not by following everyone’s advice(although it is wise to listen to advice).

    They must now come up with solutions, taking in all the facts, including external advice/opinions, and evolve to the next level.

    No one man can do everything anymore in this fast paced world.

    The club now needs to split into sections, like Kemalot(camelot), a sort of round table at football level.

    They already have that at board level.

    Now the areas of football that directly affect the players performances need to be separated into distinct parts, and these parts need to work together as a whole.

    Each part led by someone who just concentrates on that part.

    Only then will Arsenal start to lose this stagnation that has kept it economically fit, but not quite tops in footballing terms, and start to become the team that will again thrill the world.

  • para

    Now is the time to buy a better quality player.

    Sadly the prices have risen so much(still a strange concept to me) that the not so class players now cost what the top class players used to cost, and the top class players have moved to another realm indeed in monetary terms.

    So Arsenal are stuck in the same situation as before, more income but more outgoings too.

    This is a real problem.

  • Max, that is interesting about owners who care and I started to think about that as a result of your comment. I guess you have to go back to Sir Henry Norris who invested his personal fortune in rescuing the club in 1910. Sadly few Arsenal supporters have bothered to understand the real truth about Norris, and instead buy into the Tottenham propaganda about him – which is just fantasy – and so this has become mainstream. For the moment I am not sure I can think of other owners the club has had with that level of commitment and passion. I wonder if this might be worthy of an article. Thanks for that.

  • Max – in relation to the “insipid cowardly board”, your solution then is to get a new manager – I don’t get that. I thought the point about owners who care was good but I don’t get the logic of changing everything else and leaving what you see as the problem in place.

  • Pat

    The point about Rushton and Diamonds is sad and important. While top clubs get richer and richer, bottom clubs go bust, and facilities for amateur football and for young people to play get fewer and worse. Sadly, expensive private flats on former playing fields is a familiar story.

  • Zuruvi

    A manager is often as good as the players at his disposal.
    A good manager can achieve great results with highly talented players.
    A very good manager can achieve good results with average players.

    When Wenger had highly talented players (Overmars, Thierry, Dennis Bergkampt, Sol Campbell, Pires, Anelka, Vierra, etc.) he developed these players into even better footballers and he was winning titles and playing attractive winning football.

    Today, Wenger has a squad of genuinely average footballers (except for three or so players such as Sanchez). the result is that Wenger is getting good results but not great results. These players are just achieving what their skill-level dictates. How many of our current players would get into the Spuds team? Not many.

    Wenger has said that Arsenal stopped competing for the league title when we had to sell our BEST PLAYERS. Surely to reverse this situation is to BUY BEST PLAYERS from elsewhere plus scout for the best-talented youth players. Going for the cheap players like Sanogo and the rejects like Welbeck will not get us to where we once were (about 15 years ago).
    Rashford who is a mere teenager has shown that Man Utd were right to get rid of Welbeck. Welbeck is a hard-worker but for a striker he doesn’t score enough.

    And how many of our current squad would fit in the Invincibles team? I think maybe just one or two of the current players might get into that team or get a place on the bench.

    Why have we regressed? The answer is simple. We sold our best players. Previously we bought the most talented players in England and Europe and Africa. Today we buy or develop averagely-talented players and keep them for 8, 9 or 10 years despite them not delivering on the field (e.g. Almunia, Nicklas Bendtner, Theo Walcott, Ramsey, Gibbs, and that right full-back we got from Charlton Athletic whose name I keep forgetting).

    Buying good and highly talented players will get Arsenal back to where we should be. Keeping average players who should never be at a club as big as Arsenal (such as Sanogo, Welbeck, Carl Jenkensin – just remembered his name!) will never get Arsenal back to winning the major titles.

  • Zuruvi

    Does spending money make a team better?

    Tony has always been saying that a study shows that only 25% of players bought achieve success in the first season.
    Whilst I don’t quite agree with this analysis until I have seen which players have been classified as successful and which have been qualified as unsuccessful.

    I have a hypothesis …
    More than 75% of cheap players or less talented players will NOT achieve success in their first season, and most probably in their second season, or third season, or fourth season. Yaya Sanogo and Carl Jenkinson are but two examples. Gabriel is another one.

    On the other hand the more expensive Arsenal signings or established players are doing much better in their 1st, 2nd and 3rd season. Sanchez, Ozil and Cech are good examples.

    Fifteen or twenty years ago, Arsenal could buy highly talented players like Anelka, Vierra and Pires on relatively cheap costs. Wenger was ahead of the curve in terms of scouting the world for talent. These days every club and manager has a scouting network for talent so it is now very difficult to unearth cheap talent that is good enough for Arsenal. Even Sam Allardice and Tony Pulis (of all people!!) have scouting networks.

    Arsenal is the 5th or 6th or maybe 7th richest club in the world. We need better talent of players to match our profile as a club.

    Buying expensive players doesn’t guarantee success but it certainly helps. Man City are now winning trophies and league titles ever since they had access to buying top players. But as we all know it doesn’t guarantee success hence they will not win the title this year.
    Buying expensive players doesn’t guarantee success but Chelsea was a mediocre club until Abramovitch poured his millions into the club. Spending money certainly helped achieve success.
    Man Utd has achieved success over the past 25 years years simply because Fergie had the budget to buy top,top quality players (plus he obviously had referees that were supporters of Man Utd).

    Over the past 30 years, the teams with the lowest budgets have always been in the bottom quarter of the league. The teams with the biggest budgets on transfers and wages have always been in the Top 6 of the log. (To every rule there are the occasional exceptions such as Leicester winning the league last year and Chelsea finishing 10th).
    We cannot dismiss a general truth on the basis of a few exceptions.
    Top players cost more in wages and in transfer fees. Sanchez costs a lot in transfer fees and wages. Carl Jenkinson costs a little in wages and transfer costs.
    Top managers cost more in wages. Wenger costs a lot in wages. Pulis costs less because he has less ability.
    You generally get what you pay for (both in football and in life).

  • nicky

    and trust for the best. We have no choice. 😉

  • Goonermikey

    @ Clockendrider

    If you do not like what you get for your £45, the simple answer is, stop paying it. There are many others on the waiting list who would love the opportunity.

    And of course, as with most dissenters, there is a major flaw in your attempt at logic. Terry Mancini cost £20k (or 13,333 times your entrance fee) whilst Mesut Ozil on the other hand cost 933,333 times your £45. So it’s absurd to try and make the comparison as you have.

    Having said that, I do accept that Mancini was hardly the best player in the side at that time, I too stood on the terraces and watched him (and worse). So let’s take one of our more up market players at the time. A relatively recent signing would have been Alan Ball who cost £200k more than Mancini. But even at £220k that still only makes him 146,667 times the cost of getting into the ground. Now let’s look at the best we had, Liam Brady. Now he sold a few years later for £0.5m, a big fee indeed. Yet still only,333,333 times your 30 bob entrance cost.

    So, put quite simply, your comparison is meaningless. Or at best, the conclusion that could logically be drawn (although I doubt even this is reasonable) is that your current £45 ticket is actually giving you access to watch players who (by virtue of their price) are much better than in 1974 when Mancini signed for us.

    Of course, the other thing you fail to mention is that in 1974/75 we finished the season in 16th place. Yet you are still claiming that it’s worse now than then………….confusing at best!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    As for me , Tony , the Wenger years have been very memorable , although in truth the early years were truly out of this world. I enjoyed seeing Arsenal playing some of the best football in my life .That’s a third of my life !

    It was such that for quite a long time now , I can only watch the Arsenal games in full . Hand to heart I cannot watch the crap the others are dishing out , and tend to click on to other channels . I may only watch the highlights the next day.

    Whatever direction the club chooses to go, I’ll still be here , and wishing them well and cheering them on . As I have been since season 1971-72 .

    Up the Gunners !

  • Yellow Canary

    I did support them in earlier era, 1970 onwards. There’s been a lot of highs and lows but I’d swap the Graham era between 87 to 94 over this current one.

  • Pat

    Yellow Canary

    Why?

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