Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain sings; Sky grunts

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Victory Through Harmony

By Tony Attwood

As you will know, we’ve signed one player this transfer window: Ryo Miyaichi, who is 18.

Now it seems we are on the edge of getting the second: Alexander Mark David Oxlade-Chamberlain from Southampton.   In case what we all hear is right, and Mr O-C is singing from our hymn sheet, here’s a quick run down so we can all speak knowledgeably when he arrives.  (You may know it all already, but I’m always a bit slow with these matters, so here’s the data, for my benefit if not yours…)

He played pro for the first time on 2 March 2010 aged 16 and 199 days against our chums Huddersfield Town.   He was not quite as young as young Theo on making the debut, but not far off.

In August last year he made his first start, against Bournemouth in the Little Cup and scored, and in September made his first league start, scoring his first league goal the following month.  In November he played a league match in which he was voted Man of the Match and was also called into the England under 18 squad.  (That means he might have broken his leg by now, but let’s hope not).

And now it seems he might play for us, signing so they say, on Wednesday for £7m before being loaned back for the rest of the season.

So, if it is true, why us?

There seems a multiplicity of reasons why a player would choose Arsenal – but in this case the biggest must be Theo Walcott.   Coming from the same club, with all the same razzle, Theo has survived the hard times and the inevitable injury that playing for England brings, and has come good.  Indeed with the timing of this transfer we are undoubtedly helped by the fact that this is Theo’s finest moment – he’s playing great football, and is widely recognised to be a major part in Arsenal’s resurgence.

But let’s not also forget Cesc and Ramsey – two other players who joined at very young ages, showed their talent and got their chance.  And with Jack playing full time now, it is clear that no matter who is ahead of you, if you are good enough you will make it at Arsenal.  Indeed not very many top EPL clubs have four players in their ranks week after week after week who have joined up so young.

I don’t know if the young lad has been thinking about playing for Chelsea (who have given up all the austerity stuff and are about to spend £21m on Luiz from Benfica.)  Or maybe Man City who are known for buying players, keeping them and then off loading them (Mr Wright Phillips anyone?)

But with Arsenal it is different.  Indeed the only thing that might put him off is the list of loanees ahead of him…   Consider Benik Afobe at Huddersfield, Kyle Bartley at Sheffield United, Pedro Botelho with Cartagena, Francis Coquelin at Lorient, JET now with Aaron Ramsey at Cardiff, Lansbury playing for Norwich, Mannone with Hull, Traore at Juve, Sanchez Watt who we saw last week with Leeds, and now Wellington Silva at Levante.

Quite a lot really.

It is indeed the production line of which we have spoken many times. They won’t all come good, but we don’t need them all to come good – we just need a few of them to come through.

This development of the production line is of course related to the 25 player rule which Arsène Wenger said would “paralyse” the transfer market.   At the moment no one else is saying this is the case – everyone is too busy talking about how difficult the January market is, but there is certainly a downturn in transfers going on and the 25 rule is clearly involved in everyone’s mind.

It is interesting however that other clubs do not seem to have followed Arsenal’s lead in using youth as a way around the 25 rule, for clubs can have as many under 21s in the squad as they like.  People like Jack won’t count in the 25 for several years to come.

But while young Alex contemplates creating beautiful music with Arsenal, the grunting of  the dinosaurs continues with Keys and Gray at Sky being caught on a mic making derisory comments about women officials in football.

The tragedy of such a situation is not that they made them – it would have been more surprising to have either of these people come on and tell us that they are in touch with their feminine side – but the way in which Sky feels that a telling off is enough to deal with the situation.

Of course, no one can tell these people what to think, and anyone with any honesty will admit that on occasion he/she has thoughts that he/she would not like broadcast to the world.  But the fact is that these two, who appear week after week on the channel with a near monopoly of live EPL games, clearly have and express such thoughts as a matter of course, and Sky’s execs must have known about it.

We’ve seen it before – as with R Atkinson – everyone knew he was a racist, but nothing is done until he’s finally caught by a mic.   Football it seems always continues with people until they are caught out.  Then they show firm and decisive action.  Or not in Sky’s case.  At least Atkinson then left all broadcasting; the fact that these two carry on shows as much about their characters as it does the contempt with which their employers treat us, the viewers.

Alex O-C and Ryo Miyaichi are apparently wonderful players who can bring light and beauty into the game.  Shame about Sky and its grunting misogynists.


Do you know how the off side law came to be?  The full story is on the Arsenal History site

Football stewarding as art

Life as football

63 Replies to “Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain sings; Sky grunts”

  1. What i’m really concerned of is having too many talented players in the squad later on, which may lead to many of them leaving the club to get more playing time. Also aren’t we having too many youngsters already in the flanks?? Vela, Miyachi, Walcott, Nasri n last but not least Arshavin!!!!
    To be honest. I can only see Arshavin leavin after his contract gets over. But what about the rest? And add to that Alex OC n we have too many.

  2. Tony, please clarify “everyone knew he was a racist”. Atkinson was guilty of the racist comments and was rightly punished. How many are truely racists because of “yid comments”?

  3. Hello Dark Prince,

    Would rather have many related players than have few because in that way they can prove themselves. Arshavin is on the bench because Nasri stepped up and Cesc might not leave this summer because he is seeing the emergence of really good young players who are ready to work hard for the team. I am sure Wilshere keeps working hard because of Denilson, Diaby and Ramsey to come back.

  4. Better to have too many than too few.

    Have we forgotten the time when we had Eboue and Diaby on the wings for a spell? (Rosicky and Theo were injured, while Hleb had moved centrally to cover for a knock to Cesc) We were awful, couldn’t buy a goal. And this wasn’t too long ago.

    It’s always a numbers game with young players, and although more of them ‘make it’ at Arsenal than they do at other clubs, the success rate is still far from 100%.

    Having too much talent should never cause concern, it should cause joy 😉

  5. yes the y.. word used by that lot really is insulting and it’s about time something was done about it..
    our board asked our fans to stop singing it some years ago and we need to put pressure on other forms of media to get it stopped.

  6. I, for one, welcome female match officials – I suspect that they are less susceptible to corrupt coercion in the same way that males are.

  7. Big Ron and andy grey are dinosaurs from the same earar and there’s no place for them in the modern game. That poor girl got a load of stick but from what I saw she didn’t get a decision wrong, maybe the ref detective can clarify. I’d rather have a woman who gets tough discions right than men who get them wrong.

  8. I think they are both great characters, but have to accept your criticism. Can’t accept big Ron is a racist without further clarification. I’m prepared to be wrong. I won’t be fighting his corner if there is evidence. I am guilty of a few misplaced yid comments, but feel I am not a racist.

  9. I must admit that I did not analyse the decision the female assistant made in the Wolves game. But it looked a close call. And if male assistants would never make any mistakes you could doubt female assistants. But in every game male refs and assistants make mistakes. So what the deal about it being a woman? A mistake is a mistake, no matter if you are man, woman, straight, gay, lesbian, or from Mars.

    And I just checked it and I must say that the Liverpool player looked to be onside when the pass was given.

  10. I watched a Sky Sports News report on this lad, showing ol’ red nose watching him. I fear that he could offer a virtually guaranteed first team slot, what with his aging squad and all that, whereas at Arsenal the boy would have to face (i) a lot of quality competition already there, and young enough to stay around and (ii) an unrivaled reputation for bringing on more.

    And ManU appears more ready to splash cash at its stars. Ditto Chelski. And both have reputations for scavanging talent from under the noses of more ethical clubs, and making promises that shouldn’t be made. Could be worse though – ‘arry might get interested. We won’t be safe until the lad signs.

  11. Obviously its a good thing to have many talented players. I’d surely want all of them to be at Arsenal but i’m talking in terms how a player will think. Wouldn’t the players themselves feel for a lack of playing time and opt to leave the club. Just think, would Vela be happy to play as a 3rd choice forward all his career?? Even bendtner has this problem. Will he be happy to be the 3rd choice striker after Van Persie and Chamakh for the next couple of seasons?

  12. Bexxy – sorry not to come straight back, but I had to drive to work, do some work, make a coffee, do some work… you know the boring stuff.

    Anyway, it is lunch time. When Atkinson was caught out with his disgraceful comments a lot of people in the game were interviewed and a number said that Atkinson made these comments (which obviously I will not repeat in any way) all the time. Ian Wright was particularly passionate about it – making the point that Atkinson got away with it because programme makers and journalists said he was a “personality” and “the game would be the poorer without larger than life characters like him.”

    So those that heard his disgraceful comments found their complaints falling on deaf ears because his comments were considered “private” in that they were not said on air. Then he got recorded and the TV companies etc had to act.

    My point is that saying that the comments yesterday were private is no excuse. If I heard people making racist, homophobic, or sexist comments in my company I would reprimand them the first time I heard it, and get Personnel to give them a formal warning. The excuse, (the equivalent of the excuse made on Sky) that they didn’t say it to a customer would not be on. I can’t stop people holding those views, but I can stop them expressing those views when they are working for me.

  13. One more thing, if the Atkinson question is about whether he actually is a racist (rather than the issue that everyone knew but the broadcasters swept it under the carpet) then I would refer you to

    and scroll down to the headline “Racism controversy” – which contains some graphic examples of his view of life.

    In terms of the “y” word and Tottenham, Arsenal did indeed make a stand against this word following complaints from supporters, and have been successful at almost stopping it – certainly when compared with say 10 years ago.

    The “y” word has a particular issue of its own since some Tottenham supporters use it to describe themselves, which obviously makes the matter difficult if visiting Tottenham fans are using the word in chants in support of their own club. I don’t offer that as any sort of excuse, but simply an observation.

  14. # Tony
    Yes, I am questioning your reasoning for calling Big Ron a racist. Is Wikipedia really the best you can come up with? I’m no fan of Big Ron and couldn’t care either way. I just thought it was a brave statement and wondered if there was any substance to it. Clearly there isn’t.

    Bit of a o.g. there Tony. Enjoy your lunch

  15. we wont have jack problem for only 2-3 years, not several years. but as soon as he turns 21 in 2 years time he will be in the 25 squad. no free pass. like how theo next year will be included in the 25 squad. so will vela, etc. so the likes of rosicky and arshawin will find it hard to get their place in the 25.

  16. On the Oxlade-Chamberlain issue: If he signs and not only sings, what shall we sing when he scores (in a minute)?

  17. Blimey Bexxy – all you have to do is google “Ron Atkinson racist” – it is all there. Obviously I don’t know which news source you like to accept, but many people find the BBC fairly acceptable

    Or maybe the Independent

    Or maybe you won’t believe it until you hear it yourself

    I selected the Wiki article because it was to me a fair resume of the facts. But then if you don’t care either way, why are you going on about it? I am answering because I always try and answer comments made here about anything I set out as a fact, but why keep going?

  18. Its become so apparent that we have two Arsenals now. Firstly we have the brilliant Van Persie, Nasri and pacey and improving Walcott.
    Backed up by Cesc, Wilshere and Song. Our best line up since 2005.
    Then we have the shocking Bendtner, lazy Arshavin and Chamkah.
    Backed up by the poor Denilson, Rosicky.
    Results also prove the difference but its there for all to see.
    This is where Wenger needs to make a stance. He cant keep paying for poor players when he could swap a few and make us really powerful.
    Yes we need a CB like yesterday and one signing could make an amazing difference. Why does he do it the hard way ?
    I dont blame him for Arshavin, I mean the player was brilliant until he came to us. Its a strange one as he should have been brilliant.
    Van Persie does more good in 10 Mins then Bendtner does in a whole game. Some players need to go for us to really be back.
    We know Wenger and that wont happen.

  19. gandiv…

    It’s ‘fans’ like you who were calling for Song to be sold and RvP to go for being too injury prone.

    Bendtner been working hard and improving game on game, Arshavin is the same and I have no complaints with Denilson either – you’re just spouting the usual recycled bollocks I’m afraid to engineer an ‘argument’ to back up your Anti-Wenger agenda.

    You are transparent and nobody is buying into your nonsense.

  20. Bring on Mr O-C. The youth programme is finally paying off for the Arsenal. This year the Arsenal will win the league. Cesc, Nasri, Wilshere, Song, Von Persie, JD, those names are already sending shivers down the spines of the opposition! The youth programme will only be truly complete when we have that quality on the bench for league matches. Factor in the injuries and we can’t have too much talent. The ultimate benefit of the youth programmes is the depth of understanding of each others game tha players develop over time. I think the Barcelona midfield is a very good example of a fully developed style where poor performances are very RARE! ITS TIME TO ENJOY THE RIDE GOONERS!

  21. # Tony
    I am well aware of Big Ron’s comments and the fallout. My problem is with your line “everone knew he was a racist, but nothing is done until he is finally caught by a mic”

    I didn’t know he had history of this behavior prior to the Mic incident. Everyone else did, according to you. Please explain

  22. @casual observer
    Some ‘fans’ have memories like goldfish. We destroyed Spurs and Newcastle in their own backyards earlier in the season with our second string.

    A couple of poor results later and we apparently don’t have any quality beyond our first XI! For these people you’re only as good as your last game.

    One underhit pass for Cesc against Wigan and Walcott is utterly useless once again! This is the kind of ignorance we’re dealing with…

  23. In my opinion, there isn’t a single young player in the world who would turn down Arsenal after having a face to face with Arsene Wenger (that is, if the player wants to move from his current club in the first place).

    It’s not just about his results with youngsters. I’m sure many of you have seen his interviews. When the man starts to talk about football, it almost feels like he’s working a spell. And at the age of 16-17, most talented players search for a manager who’d actually make them a better player. What most outsiders like us don’t realise is that it’s not just about racking up minutes on the pitch, it’s about what a player does off of it. Players are made on the training ground. And that’s what Arsene and his backroom stuff do best.

  24. @Wrenny – yeah, these are the same fans who thought Nasri was a waste of space and not fit to wear the shirt… etc… blah.

  25. @”Bexxy”
    As hesitant as I am not to wade into the racism, misogyny debate, I must.

    “I am guilty of a few misplaced yid comments, but I feel I am not a racist” What does that say about your proclivities, your sub-conscious, tendencies? Your….
    The moment anyone has to defend themselves against racism, without prompting, after revealing an intemperate statement they’ve made, explains a bunch.

    The various evidence of Ron Atkinson’s are available from various sources. Your first reaction to the truth spoken about Atkinson was “fuck off”. And when Tony provided you with some evidence from the public domain, your brain froze. That is the second evidence to confirm your own possible latent racism.

    Wise people know when to fold. But you have displayed by your various comments in the past on this forum, that you may not belong in that group of thinkers.

    @Tony- I have not seen Oxlade-Chamberlain play(except for some snippets on line). But you seem excited about him joining Arsenal, so I am. I have never doubted your depth of knowledge and wisdom about our beloved.

  26. This post had nothing to do with the original article. There are plenty of other posts where the issue could be brought up, and it is just insulting to take someone’s conversation (mine in this case – but I take the same view for everyone) and then subvert it into something else. I don’t like it in the pub, I don’t like it at dinner parties and I don’t like it here.

    I’ve written about this over and over again, and asked people to be reasonable – to look at the article, and then try and respond to it.

    Because I was not on the site at the time I missed the first article in this series, and by the time I saw it others have responded – but as I have said before, this is one of the few things I edit on. Please don’t do it.

  27. @ byo

    I am guilty of a few regretable comments regarding our brothers from tottenham, only in the battle of match day banter. Anyone else here guilty of the same offence?

    I have looked for “pre mic ” evidence of big Ron being racist, but no joy.

  28. @ Dark Prince. Any youth, brimming with self-confidence, will be happy to try his luck with a team consisting of a lot of other young and bright stars. If the array intimidates a youngster then perhaps he has a self-confidence problem or he is overrated and he knows it.
    The Youths that don’t make it still benefit from the experience of having the best technical training in the game and such command a regular shirt in a respectable first division team in England or Europe. Upson. Bentley. Pennant. Lass (was good but couldn’t wait) as was Toure Jr.
    Indeed, one of the benefits of the Youth System is, if their contracts are well managed, those leaving are still sold for more than it had cost to develop them over 3-4yrs that they ended up staying. For Arsenal, a win-win situation all round.

    And for the youth who makes it into the Club, good all-round footballing, feeding, physiological and psychological grooming to excel over the laong-haul, in their chosen professional career.

  29. There is an article today, Mr Attwood saying that EPL folks are thinking of turning the reserve league into an U21 league amongst other ways of removing the raison d’etre for most clubs outside the top division.

    This generally involves allowing recruitment into academies on a country-wide basis and trying to ensure that no longer will EPL clubs be required to pay a transfer fee to any club for anything they might do for a young boy.

    We’ll see how it pans out, but Ivan Gazidis is intimately involved in the discussions.

    Playing and training for Arsenal also appears to give fairly certain chances of injury Mr Attwood – Diaby, Gibbs, van Persie, Nasri et al have all been hors de combat as a result of tripping over their studs, being the recipient of a no doubt clean and fair tackle which broke a leg, jumping up and landing on the Emirates turf, thereby fucking up a foot etc etc.

    It’s getting tiring reading your cheap points about England.

    I hope you realise that your credibility as dispassionate analysts for HOC will be severely undermined if your testimony is like the articles you write on this website.

    Because sometimes they are cock-eyed, deliberately manipulating and sometimes plain biased.


  30. I agree with Shakabulagooner (great name!). You can never have too much young talent. The young talent competes against each other and the very best make it to the top. If you dont make it then you are still almost guaranteed a professional career somewhere. It is either that or take the risk with 20m players, where if they dont pan out you have used all your money and cant bid for someone else. With the examples of Vela and Bendtner, we already know that there are clubs who would pay 10m for Bendtner, so that represents a huge win-win for the club. Vela, if he has a succesful loan spell, will also become hot property (everyone is on the search for strikers – see Darren Bent). They may leave the club and be replaced by the next up and coming players (such as Afobe or Wellington) and so the cycle begins again. Going the route Arsenal have chosen means that you can effectively have a net-zero transfer policy, where sales always pay for further purchases, and that means all profits can be plowed into ongoing salary increases for the entire squad (exactly what is occuring now).

    A young player will always have that choice of “will I play?” if they decide to go to a big club, whether it is City, Utd, Chelsea, Barca, Madrid or Arsenal. The one huge thing in our favour is the fact that AW has proved over the years that if you are good enough, you will play regardless of age. That is a massive point in Arsenal’s favor.

    Bexxy – with regards to Ron Atkinson being racist, many of us followed Big Ron his entire career, both as a manager and a commentator. The amount of times he made comments such as “that young black lad” rather than something like “that young lad” was pretty ridiculous. He was alwasy given the benefit of the doubt because of the fact he integrated his WBA teams in his early years. But there was always a racist undercurrent behind his words, for years and years. When Ron Atkinson was actually caught out saying “nigger” on TV it didnt come as a surprise. It isnt that he is racist in the sense of discriminating, he is just from a different time when such comments were acceptable and the game was dominated by whites. In that sense Tony is right to say that everyone knew what Ron Atkinson was like.

  31. Rhys – of course Tony is biased, he makes no bones about it. He admits it every single time someone writes a comment like yours. Why do you constantly try and make it seem like a bad thing?

    The difference with players getting injured playing for Arsenal and playing for an international side is that ARSENAL PAY THE WAGES OF THE PLAYER. That is a massive distinction.

  32. @ paul c

    I agree 100%. Problem is that was not regarded racist back in the day. Love thy neighbour, mind your language etc were all acceptable in his day. Different world

  33. @ bexxy,
    slavery was morally right back in the day.
    your tenacious questioning of mr. atkinsons ‘previous’ is a bit puzzling as this character was given a chance to publicly come clean on t.v(as you do?), there is a full length documentary that might allow you to extrapolate backwards and perhaps work out for yourself whether you think he was chairman of a race relations committee in a previous incarnation.
    search it out for yourself and if you still need ‘proof’ then maybe it is a you say and i say tomato but with a ugandan accent thing.

  34. bloody norah,
    why the sense of humour failure?
    @ rhys
    interesting titbits as always and as always a bit heavy handed

  35. @rhys
    i am intrigued by the article you mentioned in your post, where can read it?
    bloody hell, if the conclusions you draw are accurate, it looks like we are in for a barca-real vs the rest in la liga sort of situation which is outrageous.
    this daylight robbery cannot be legally/’morally’ defensible, can it?

  36. Ugandan Goon – I agree wholeheartedly with your points to Bexxy, my concern is that it was probably in vain as his usual clever post on here when we lose a match is ‘in Arsene we rust’. Which says a lot really about his intellect. I am glad you made them anyway.

    On the sexism row, I don’t find Gray & Keyes comments that suprising at all as it is very much in keeping with the kind of out dated nonsense that they say in general throughout football matches. I also don’t condone their comments but believe they are entitled to have their personal views. Due to the fantastic mute button on my remote control, I literally haven’t listened to a word those two have said for years.

    I am not sure how useful an apology would be in this situation either as it would just be insincere, so I don’t think they should be forced to make one. I do however think it would great if they were sacked, but I would much rather SKY axe these two for being rubbish at their on air jobs instead of this off air incident because I don’t believe getting someone like Sam Allerdyce in would be an improvement as it is replacing like for like.

  37. You dis leave out Sammy Galindo who has been loaned out to some obscure 2nd division team in Spain, ig I recall correctly.

  38. Bexxy just because the TV programme “love thy neighbour” was on tv back in the day does NOT mean it was acceptable any more than fucking Golly Wog pictures on pots of jam.

    Needless to say neither exsist anymore and for good reason.
    Ron was wrong his remarks were racist and there is no place in todays world for that kind of crap.
    Sky sports to say they are banning these 2 morons for one match on monday for their comments is a joke also.
    It reminds me when I first started flying how many females were pilots compaired with today and what the first few had to go through to get their wings or gain employment with an airline.

    These idiots are a disgrace if we cant have women linesmen involved in football why should we have women supporters ?should yee be even allowed watch a game ? hell should you be allowed have an opinion on a blog about football since its supposedly the view of the clowns at sky sports a mans game ?

    Sky should have sacked the pair of them they are clowns dinosaurs from a different era an era were things clearly werent for the better.

    On to our youth purchases I hope we buy Eden Hazard as well as young chamberline it is ok to call him young chamberline after young wallcott ?
    Eden will probably like a lot of these youngsters mean the ends of careers for some of our past favourites rosiscky and others but time stands still for no one and looking at how wiltshire, Gibbs, walcott etc is doing now I welcome the continuation of the whole youth project.

  39. @rhys
    i realise i might be having a one sided convo here but judging by some reports i have read (telegraph), it seems after the debacle in south africa, the EPL looked at the german model to fine tune the existing youth coaching, to dovetail with the financial fairplay rules and homegrown player quotas,all very sensible (so far).
    the germans launched their system in 2002, obliging teams from the top two divisions to compete in the u-18 competitions with provisions for a couple of older players to cover occasionally.
    the whole exercise cost the clubs something like 80 mil euros from a total revenue of 2 bil euros.
    The clubs accommodated it, cooperated and well it worked, the germans make things like these look easy, unlike most.
    i hope this story runs and can shine a light on the proposals because i for one would like to see some of the massive revenue of the Epl put to some good use, judging by the prominent PL figures reportedly in consultation at the moment i cannot see a pleasant outcome for the championship or even clubs further down the PL table(communism for the rich , capitalism for the poor- this is england, after all).
    the main objective of the undertaking(improving the pool of english talent)is lost if they run roughshod over the futures of the clubs key to providing a context for the scouting and competitions, and it is to be hoped that complete cooperation between the leagues will be a key strategic aim and i cannot see that happening without some transparency in negotiations even at the early stages.
    i want to be optimistic about this especially as the journo in the telegraph seems to have gone off half cocked but i fear his instincts are right (on the money!).
    this is going to be an interesting story to follow not least because of what implications there are for third world football, where organisation is a swear word!

  40. @gooner gal,
    i was a little miffed at the lack of courtesy shown to tony, the article is pitched in a light hearted and friendly manner. why sour the mood with drivel like that?
    PS. i missed our match on saturday, i cannot put in word how grrrr i have been since.

  41. Ugandan, I think what happened with the German youth set up was admirable and they arrived at the world cup with an excellent squad of young players who will undoubtedly be amongst the front runners again in 3 years time.

    I fail to see how anything will ever work in england though.

    1) The referees you can kill a player here and nothings done even though we know when we go to a world cup that kind of defending wont be allowed. By that time our defenders dont know how to defend any other way the art of defending has been dead for a long time now.

    2) Over here since the days of norman whiteside at 16 scoring for manutd in the fa cup final there has been an emphsais on rushing youth players through the ranks. examples would be rooney and walcott to a lesser extent but do you think clubs would they let them develop in an under 18 league ? when everything seems to about money the value of the next young pele or zidane etc. Arsenal might but the southamptons and westhams etc who sell to survive probably not.

    3)Should their argubably be less teams in the top flight division and a winter break like in spain etc so we arent so tired and we cant compete by the times major tournys arrive ?

    There is so much more wrong with the EPL, I dont think that following the German model will work unless the rest is addressed first.

    4)Then you have the media who play a huge roll with its ok a fair tackle when legs get broken but we have more legs broken in 5 years here than spain or italy have in the last 20 years.
    But after the comments from those clowns in sky lately we know the punishment handed out to the 2 involved was a joke so will opinions on anything else change if the likes of sky who have a monopoly keep brainwashing people thats its ok to live in the dark ages.

    I think we are long way from improving football in the UK.

  42. @red gooner,
    i sense a heavy political driver behind all this, remember cameron and prince whatshisname making exhibitions of themselves at the fufa(fick ’em btw) thingummy. there is a real prize for the taking if they can deliver football success on the world stage, this is an election winner, but how progressive can they be? we saw what happened to andy grey for daring to sue the news of the world. sky may not have an interest in the championship but the PL is a cash cow that i am sure they wont want anybody tampering with, and we know whats good for rupert murdoch is bad for everybody else!
    there is a lot changing but i agree with you the way things are done over here is progressive in name only, the same people kind of end up winning all the time and the losers lose again.
    Ps i lived in germany for a while and hated it, just in case anybody thinks i am bashing england.

  43. I hope you are right on Sky Sports Ugandan that it is the cashcow and they will do the right things make changes.

    I find it lunacy though how the head of HR for sky sports is a woman and still has to let those idiots keep their jobs.
    Then we have the BBC with the timing of the documentary on corruption in FIFA the day before a vote on the world cup.

    The media are no good plain and simple in the UK from the rags like the sun to sky sports to the BBC.

    There are just to many changes needed for this country to become succesfull again on a world stage.
    Maybe people will eventualy catch on and visit sites like Untold for some sense and reason and ignore a lot other places 🙂

  44. Big Ron, Andy Gray and his ilk comes from an era when making racist & sexist comments was not considered racist nor sexist. I too am from that era and still smile when I remember that(having spent a year and a half at Loughborough College before coming back to Borough Road in London)they called me Snowy the whole time I was up there! Also playing rugby as I did for a while I was called all manner of things you can imagine – by my own team mates!

    I remember being devastated when I read the racism claims about Big Ron because I had always held him in high regard for producing my good friends Laurie Cunningham and Cyril Regis. I grew up with Laurie in North London and I knew he thought that Big Ron was great. But I understand that its a different time now and I applaud the efforts being made to combat racism in sports. We’ve come a long way. But I always felt that the Big Ron issue should have been taken in the context of his time…I feel sure that Big Ron didn’t hate black people, but did partake in a little “commentary” when in a certain company. We all did it and no one thought that they were being racist…

    BTW for those who are curious: I am black and I am Jamaican..

  45. Gooner Terry, I know what you mean by saying that Rons remarks should be taking in context of the time.
    But I was also brought up in that era and still know that its wrong if I can see it so should the likes of Ron Atkisnon.

    Its not a good enough excuse in many peoples eyes.

  46. @gooner terry
    i know another gooner terry in finchley who is a big burly and die hard goon from finchley. i always thought you were him, well blow me…jamaican eh?
    like most black people i know , the whole ron atkinson was just so passe you almost felt sorry for him. and to be honest someone got me riled b’se they obviously just did’nt get it!

  47. @ GoonerTerry

    U R the voice of reason that I was looking for. Often, I fail to voice my thoughts in the right way, but you have summed the up. Nobody is saying that racist behaviour was correct (back in the day), but that has to be a consideration when criticising people from that era.

    I felt that Tony’s line about Big Ron was lazy reporting and irresponsible.

    Anyway, moving on. Can’t wait for tonight. Que sera and all that.

  48. I think that Wenger should be buying A proven GK and CB in January if he is serious about a title challenge this season, even if its for the short term. Its a shame that he has no problem splashing the cash on an unproven player who “might” come good instead of spending it on the areas that need most working on. Dont get me wrong, Ive heard good things about Chamberlain. I just hope wenger doesnt use the excuse that he spent his transfer budget in january on Chamberlain. or something else. I see a lot of people saying that we now don’t need a new GK because Fabianski has started playing well, you dont become a good player overnight, and I for one am not 100% confident with fabianski in the starting line up. And what happens if we dont sign a CB?, god forbid but injury prone Djouru could get injured again, who will that leave us with then?. Since Wenger proudly boasts about our profits, im sure it wont bankrupt us to buy a GK and CB (aswell as investing in Chamberlain). It is very unlikely he will, when have you ever seen him buy more than 2 or 3 players in January ?…Exactly

  49. Snelhalbumbhatt – I dont think I have ever seen any manager buy more than 2 or 3 players in January – at least not in the EPL. Can you give me some examples. And not just one example – that in itself would be a wild exception – several examples please.

    (One of the problems is that players bought in the Jan window are cup tied so that reduces their efficiency).

  50. @Tony, Wenger gets a lot of things right that have kept us in the top 4 for years but the team has been going round in circles – imploding when it really mattered in big games and the final leg of the title race. In some seasons (the one before last for example) we scrapped top 4 slots. With the resources at his disposal and wage bill top 4 should be a given every season. Maybe you dont get the frustration with Wenger is that he keeps making the same mistakes year after year. He got it wrong with the defence this season again buying Kos and Squashy and not getting a proper GK. Yes Kos may get better by why again are playing a hope and wait game on someone who could be the new Bould or the new Cygan? I hope Wenger gets it right this season but I see traits in our games – even when we win – that point to the same old weakeness in the team. Should people moan at Wenger for not addressing the obvious – course they should! As for Walcott I dont argue that he is making more of a contribution over the last few games and is very industrious. The pont I was making about him is whether he can deliver the killer finish in a big game with few chances. Wigan was like shooting fish in a barrell. Yes good win but they were crap and not a benchmark, like Leeds and WHU. Yes you can only beat whats in front of you – so when we beat Manure and Barca I will concede we have moved on. Otherwise its the same old story – not just good enough! Wenger needs to prove he can move the team on.

  51. The league is ours to lose, given our remaining matches. For me it will be won or lost in the transfer window. Come on Arsene, get that centre back and keeper now! Going to be tough, due to missing the boat in the summer. Better late than never

  52. Hi fellas,
    A nice report you have there Tony.
    I think I’ll go with snehalbumbhatt, he’d made good comments ’bout AW. He should try and help the team by buying a quality GK which is very important in OUR quest for glory this season. I’m yet to come to terms with “Fabianski/Szczesny’s” performance in goal against Barca [Almunia, what a disaster], remember last season?!
    Secondly, we need a proven CB, ‘coz we can’t continue to rely on Mr Squillaci; ageing & yet to cope with the pace of the game in England. We still need an extra hand with DJ, KOS & ‘Verminator’.

  53. @ GoonerTerry – you are entitled to your personal interpretation of Ron Atkinson’s attitude & behaviour, but I am sorry as far as I am concerned, he was caught making an inappropriate racist comment that was inexplicable.
    Some black people may even call themselves N*gga but there are many others that find this term offensive. To me it makes no difference what your personal ethnic background is either. What Atkinson said was rude. As for the argument about his comments not being out of the ordinary for a person of his generation, I refer you back to Ugandan goon’s earlier posts.
    If the defence for Atkinson is ‘that’s probably what he’s always called black people because he from a different era’ then it was most certainly the right decision to remove him from our tv screens as he hasn’t been able to adapt and evolve with the times.

    @ Bexxy – so you are basically saying that up until now you haven’t been able to get your point across properly? Can I ask if your clever tag line in ‘Arsene we rust’ is just a continual typo?

    I also think your comment about Tony’s article being ‘lazy journalism’ is utter rubbish! This and many other articles on the Untold Arsenal website surpass the quality of many in the mainstream press. And another thing that seems to of escaped your understanding is that this is actually a blog. Perhaps you could have another go at trying to make a point that makes sense.

  54. Tony please allow me a little speech:

    @ GoonerGal et. al. we have probably flogged this horse to death but I just need to say this: I don’t think I was defending Big Ron per sey. I was just saying that in my experience (growing up as a black person in England)what he said was not unusual because during his time persons of his ilk referred to people like me by those names. It was so commonplace that in the end we had to just tune it out. If I had a pound for every time one of my mates would say “I hate them Black so and so…but you are alright Tel”…I am talking about the time when the Black & White Minstrel Show was required viewing on a Sunday evening! When I was growing up it was Coon this and Wog that…and Skinheads that would chase & beat Black & Asian people for no other reason other than they were foreigners. We had to fight for the right to simply walk down the Holloway Road. And there were places in East London that one simply could not go! If I chose to I could have had a fight every single day of my life as a kid…BUT I knew that half the problem was xenophobia…and not direct racism. For me their’s a difference between real racism like the Trans Atlantic Slave trade, Apart-hate South Africa or Jim Crow America and the rantings of a few misguided Englishmen. As a Black man I am carrying the knowledge of what real racism has meant to my people…so I tend to take the petty stuff with a smile and a lot of pity for the poor souls that don’t understand what it means to be a part of the Human Race. Mind you I understand that as a White person you guys most likely have the need to expunge all traces of it from your collective consciousness and that’s a good thing. I am just expressing that it is often different from a Black persons point of view…that all.

  55. well said gooner terry,
    and so to reiterate tony’s point- we all know it is human to err but the world has moved sufficiently so that if you are on the mic in a television studio making certain remarks in this day you are dumb numb and a bum.
    i cannot wait to hear what walter will have to say about ref. halsey’s new rule- if the ball hits me, i’ll do whatever i like.
    come back sian massey we need you!

  56. @ GoonerTerry, it appears that you are saying that racism isn’t ‘real’ or that bad unless there is a direct threat of physical harm? You don’t think being denied opportunities, treated as less than an human being or being spoken about in a derogatory term counts as valid racisim?
    I would say that subversive racisim can be just as damaging as overt racism. Lack of opportunites in the workplace, education system and social settings because of skin colour can prevent people from achieveing their full potential.
    Thank God there were people throughout history that didn’t accept the status quo and/or didn’t just tune out so that slavery was eventually abolished, the apartheid removed and we had in the UK figures like William Wilberforce who fought to stop the slave trade here and further down the line we have had the introduction of the race relations act (1974) and the Stephen Lawrence enquiry in 1999.
    Which are small steps of progress in the right direction and things should keep improving as long as people speak up and challenge racial discrimination so that action is taken. Ron Atkinson is a public figure and therefore has a large sphere of influence. So as I said in my earlier post, I don’t think what he said should be dismissed or laughed off. As far as I am concerned, challenging and changing ignorant mindsets can influence societies norms in general for the better.

  57. @ GoonerGal I see your passion. Thanks for the history lesson…but you’d do well to read a little Jamaican history to understand that we Jamaicans started fighting as the slave masters gathered us up, we fought on the ship during the middle passage (and over 6M Africans perished at sea); we fought on the plantations; we fought every day until we were free. We are still fighting now. So don’t miss understand my “tuning out” comment – but that’s what I do when I don’t want to engage idiots…

    Moving on: I would love to get back to the serious business of Arsenal FC and our chances of picking up a few trophies this season.

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