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The Real achievement at the Lane

The Real achievement at the Lane

By Ian Trevett

It hasn’t been much fun reading some of the posts on less supportive Arsenal sites this week, with lots of vitriol aimed at the boss and various players. However, there was a short post on Arsenal Insider that really took my eye. It went along the lines of ‘my friend who supports Barcelona and my friend who support Tottenahm feel so sorry for me that they have stopped taking the piss out of Arsenal.’

This is wrong on so many levels. Forget about the glory-hunting Barca fan, how on earth can a gooner allow a Spurs fan to feel pity for him.

I can’t believe I need to point this out, but when you become an Arsenal fan, you have to take on certain responsibilities, one of which is:  never allow a Spurs fan to get the better of you.

It was sometimes difficult in the 1980s when they did have a pretty good team, but you should always have an answer for any insult they try and throw your way  – even after a bad result, even if you are feeling a bit down. It’s not as though you haven’t got enough ammunition. Unless they own a free bus pass, they will never have seen their team win the league – ever. Pity is a one way street and it always goes north up the Tottenham High Road.

Having said that, there are plenty of gooners who are starting to look nervously over their shoulder, and it is true that they have come a fair way in the last few seasons. But the tide hasn’t turned yet.

Of course, the media are telling another story. Redknapp is a wonder manager, Wenger has lost the plot, Bale is one the best players in the world, we are too injury-prone (unlike Bale?). White Hart Lane is the place to be. Our season is a disaster, theirs is a storming success.

All of which proves: never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

How do our seasons really compare:

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League Cup: We knocked them out and reached the final

FA Cup: They lost 4-0 to Fulham, we lost to United in a later round.

League: We are three places and nine points ahead

Champions League: They are still in it, we are out.

Even if we disregard the cups as no-one has won a trophy, the seasons are fairly equal as it stands. Our disaster is their success.

Our biggest nightmare is that Spurs will win the Champions League, though there is the small matter of beating Real, then Barca and then Man U or Chelsea. If they do that then fair enough, it is a major achievement, but I can’t see it.

The most likely outcome is that will fall short in the Champions League. And they will probably finish in 5th place, and their big Champions League adventure will be over – maybe for a long time.

Even if this happens, they would still get the plaudits. If we finished fifth, every so-called expert would call for Wenger to fall on his sword. Their success is our failure.

Which brings me to the REAL achievement of Spurs over the last 30 years.

They have succeeded in lowering everyone’s expectations to the same level as West Ham or Blackburn. They have messed it up so badly, so consistently, since the days when they were paid-up members of the Big Five, that no-one really takes them seriously. They have outspent us in the transfer market virtually every year since Villa and Ardiles arrived at Heathrow (Ardiles fell over a suitcase in baggage reclaim and shouted ‘Penalty’). Until Wenger came along, they played in stadium the same size as Arsenal’s (give or take 2,000). They have had injections of cash from a secretive owner – and done nothing.

Their big and only success is to change the definition of what a successful season is.

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Making the Arsenal – with Arsenal in the 1st division and Tottenham a long way away

60 comments to The Real achievement at the Lane

  • Brilliant. The goalpost are not the same size when it comes to the success of the two teams.

    You forgot to mention their great defence that had conceded more than our soft centre.

  • Dark Prince

    Rather than looking at other clubs, why dont we just look at our own. In last 3 weeks we blew our chances in all the competitions. Many pundits are applauding Spurs just because they have achieved more than their standards. But we on the other hand have not achieved what we should be achieving. Spurs are no match for what we achieve every year, but still whatever we are achieving, is not upto our own Arsenal standards. Always finishing in top 4 in last 6 years without winning the title shows that we are not improving. Even this year, though we’re currently 2nd in the league, we have still not improved much pointwise as compared to last year. We still are majorly an injury prone, we still lack leadership, we still depend on Fabregas, we still are very shabby at defence, and most importantly we’re still without a trophy. Meanwhile Spurs, who are pretty much behind us, have been progressing slowly. They have made some smart signings and their football has definately improved. Either way they’re behind us and more than them its chelsea that i’m concerned about.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Dark Prince

    I think that Arsenal being in second place for the moment is also better than anyone expected us to be.

  • Dark Prince

    Walter- Forget what everyone else thinks, what did u, or any other Arsenal fan think, at the start of the season?? Did everyone of us think Arsenal will again end up another season trophyless?? I dont think so…

  • Ian Trevett

    Dark Prince – I’m not trying to deflect from our own shortcomings, but it is a pet gripe of mine. Probably because I can still remember all my Spurs friends telling me that Spurs were a better and bigger side than Arsenal. Now they play the underdog card.
    They aren’t a small provincial club. They are a failed big club which spends an enormous mount on transfers every year.

  • Ian Trevett

    I mean ‘amount on transfers’

  • DogFace

    My biggest worry at the start of the season was getting involved in a fight for 4th place with Citeh and Spurz – I hoped for a smaller cup along the way… but alas no. If we win the league I would say that would be achieving past my expectations.

    We shall see what becomes of that – until then, not too shabby.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I always hope to win something. But I realise how difficult it is to win something. Many teams want to win and we are just one of them.
    And we are doing things in a different way and a more difficult way. We cant compete with the likes of Chelsea/Man City on spending money.
    So my realistic part tells me it should be impossible for us to win something against those big spending teams or bid debt teams. My passionate part is hoping we do.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I mean biG debt teams…

  • Dark Prince

    Ian Trevett- Spurs is not a big club!! There jus a wannabe big club. And they are trying hard to achieve it. Even around 6 years ago, Chelsea was not a big club!! They too were a wannabe big club, but the difference is that they have earned the title of being a big club. Also is doesn’t matter what Spurs were b4, even leeds united used to be a big club once, but are they now? I dont think so…

  • gooner80

    Wilshere apparently spat at a spurs fan.

    I would be lying if I didnt say I felt a bit deflated, stupid mistakes, injuries have cost us big time.

    As for spurs, it is just a joke, the basis of their season is what they have done in the champions league, they beat an Aging Ac Milan side, Arsenal would have spanked them home and away, People listen to the media far too much, it is just a brain washing machine designed to make you accept their opinions. If spurs consider their season a success then they are a joke and fair enough still in the champions league but if they beat madrid/ barca/ and then manu /chelsea fair enough I take my hat off to them but the way it is looking they wont be in the competition again next season

  • Goonerabroad

    Dark Prince- Earned the title of being a big club, bought the title more like, yes they have won the premiership, but only as a rich mans plaything without which they would be Portsmouth

  • Mandy Dodd

    As you say, it is all down to the media. A lot of the London based media support Spurs and they play a big part in current attempts to undermine Wenger and the team. They also want to get on the right side of the …possibly…next England manager (depending on court outcome).
    Spurs have spent roughly £120m more than us in the last 6 years or so, yet have not finished above us.
    I think Spurs could easily sink without trace after this season, I am far more worried by the likes of Citeh and even Liverpool if they start spending.
    Harry has his qualities, he on some..and only some levels, seemingly open and honest with the fans and media, at times in contrast with the secrecy that out club seem to exude. He plays the media well. He has some good players. But he spends a fortune to get where he is, ask Pompey. Without a mysterious rich owner, I think Spurs would have more in common with the Leeds of a decade ago than Arsenal now

  • Dark Prince

    Walter- No one has ever asked Arsenal to compete against Chelsea or City in the transfer market. Also i’m sad to see that you find it impossible for us to win a title against the likes of City/Chelsea. C’mon, who are you fooling?? Does our current title run has anything to do with what City and Chelsea do in the transfer market?? I dont see how the big spending teams have any effect on our Carling Cup final. Neither do i see how they effected our FA cup exit. Neither did they have to do anything in the west brom game or the shakhtar game or the braga game or the newcastle game. The reasons for the poor performances in these games is bcoz of the players themselves and in some cases bcoz of the manager. Either way, its sad to see that we still haven’t learned from any of the problems we face in the squad. We dont improvise. Thats our problem.

  • Chowdhury

    … and to add to what Walter said, we also do it without having a ref pool in our pocket like some other “never write them down…” teams do. But I guess that is just another story on its own….

  • walter

    Dark Prince, but if you cannot spend like those teams you have to do it in another way. And this is a more difficult way. And this is something what I keep in mind when I see on how well we do or not.
    I’m not happy with the last two results in the league. But overall I feel fine with how the season has gone so far.
    Yes we could have done better. In fact we could have been in first place and well out of reach. But this is football in reality and not on a computer. So things dont always go like they should be going.

    A bit like everyday live I guess….

  • Rhys Jaggar

    The answer to Spurs fans needling you is this: ‘if you were so happy, you wouldn’t waste your breath with this shit. You’d be off shagging your wife, girlfriend, husband, boyfriend, bumchum, finger-in-the-dyke or whoever. So either fuck off and get on with it or face up to the fact that even NOW you aren’t happy! In which case, fuck off anyway, because I can’t be doing spending any time with the likes of you feeling like that!’

  • Adam

    Im glad Ian has brought this up as i have never understood why Arsenal fans feel they need to “take on certain responsibilities, one of which is: never allow a Spurs fan to get the better of you”. we all want our club of choice to do well, and i understand that the close proximity of the spurs and the Arsenal adds to the rivalry. However for families such as mine which have a split history with both clubs its difficult for me to dislike spurs (I will probably get slaughtered for that). My family pre-dates both clubs in the north London area, those born before and around 1900 where spurs fans as are there descendants to this day. my Grandfather and his siblings born after 1900 plus descendants turned their attention towards the Arsenal so the point im trying to make is, That if Arsenal never moved into north London when they did then the likely hood of me being a spurs fan is quite likely. So for me to hate spurs is the same as me hating my family history which i cannot do. I wish spurs all the best but I hope The Arsenal do Better. Some may not understand this point of view that’s up to the individual.

  • Mandy Dodd

    I have come across some Spurs fans who seem to pay more attention to what Arsenal are doing than their own club.
    All those years in our shadow I guess…….
    Love the passion but still no excuse for what Captain Jack is supposed to have done to that cabbie, we can easily make our points with Spurs fans verbally without resorting to emissions of phlegm

  • TommieGun

    I think rather simply that any Spurs fan, like your friend, who feels sorry for Arsenal, is in possession of really potent hallucinatory materials. Ask him for his dealer’s phone number …

    Let’s just look at their last PL results: conceding a shit goal to get a 3-3 draw @ WOLVES, before that a 0-0 v. Westham (2 bottom feeding clubs) and before that getting a 3-1 whooping from Blackpool (another “TOP” team, right).

    A bloody joke that’s what it is.

  • even with the points dropped on Saturday the league title is still in our hands – we have Cesc, Theo, Song coming back from injury.

    Don’t forget we are not relying on anyone else to slip up. If we win our remaining 9 games – nobody can catch us – now is the time to stop complaining and get behind the team.

  • Dark Prince there are two things that I must take issue with.

    First, you say…

    “Rather than looking at other clubs, why dont we just look at our own.”

    The answer is in part that this is UNTOLD ARSENAL and a guiding principle of the site is within the name – that we explore issues that others don’t. But also, if we just look at ourselves then we miss 99% of what goes on. This is revealed in your other comment, from later in the day…

    “Chelsea was not a big club!! They too were a wannabe big club, but the difference is that they have earned the title of being a big club.”

    I can’t quite see how “earned the title of being a big club” is right. Chelsea became what they are today through having a huge amount of Russian oil money put into them. Now if you think that Arsenal should do that, then you can argue that point, but not under the guise of saying why don’t we just look at our own club.

    The simple fact is that Arsenal has not right to win things or be top of the league, and for most of our history we have not done so. Wenger managed it for the first half of his rule over the club, but then the world of football changed as huge levels of finance were pumped into clubs from overseas sources.

    Tottenham H, Chelsea and Manchester C all benefited from this, and the thing that we have done is managed to stay in the top four, without going down that route.

    If you refuse to take into account the rest of football, then I suppose I could say, Torquay United is a disaster, still in the 4th division, fading away after the first couple of months of the season. Everyone should be sacked because we should be in division 1. I don’t say that, even though I love that team, because I know where they are and what they are battling.

  • Marcus

    Wenger bid 20 million for Reina in the summer….

    and it was rejected, (as have been many other bids),

    the other clubs know we are a sniff away from something very strong, and they are trying hard to keep us from coming to the boil

  • Ian Trevett

    Adam – just in case you misunderstand me. I enjoy the rivalry with Spurs and it is good fun having banter with their fans (as long as I win). I also come from a split family of sorts. My dad and his brothers were Arsenal fans. His sisters married into the dark side. But you are right that it shouldn’t get out if hand. Anyone who has been to White Hart Lane in recent years will know that some of their fans are happy to attack any visiting Arsenal fans – even if they have kids with them. It shouldn’t be like that.
    Dark Prince – Spurs SHOULD be a big club. Just before the Premier League started Spurs were one of the first (maybe the first) to spot the financial opportunities in football. They diversified, went public on the stock exchange and were prime movers in forming the Premier League (and keeping the potential TV money to the big clubs). The only trouble was they made spectacularly bad decisions both on and off the pitch. As I said in my piece, all they have achieved in thirty years is the wiping out of any expectation.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Arsenals acheivements, especially in the Wenger era have not helped Spurs or the demeanor of some of their fans.
    Ok we have not won anything since 2005 but we do have a top stadium, and it will soon be paid for.
    Spurs may have to go through some very lean years if they go for a bigger stadium…unless they find a Wenger….and lets face it, Arry has his qualities but he is no Wenger. Cannot see him doing too well on a limited budget

  • “We explore issues that others don’t.” This suggests that you’re assuming Arsenal fans can look at these issues and think for themselves. I wonder if there are any Spurs blogs that make that assumption. If so, they’re going to be rather disappointed.

    It’s like I said last year (and a lot of others said variations on this): A good definition of a small club is one that finishes 4th, one place behind their rivals, and their fans are ecstatic; while a good definition of a big club is one that finishes 3rd, one place ahead of their rivals, and their fans are furious.

  • RedGooner

    At DarkPrince,
    Shaktar, Braga,Newcastle and Birmingham …You are blaming wenger and the players for those defeats ?
    Hang on one second !!!
    Newcastle 2 dodgy penalties and never sent of their player for throwing our keeper to the ground the same as diaby was sent of for ?
    Shaktar the refereeing was a disgrace so one sided it was a joke.
    WestBrom Keeper 2 central defenders and 3 midfielders out injured ?
    Braga we were entitled to rest some players with the fixtures we had comming up.

    If we were Liverpool fans what would be our priority with their history ? What about Utd 20 years before Fergusson arrived and with the squad they have now and debt if he retires maybe 20 more.

    The media dont pick on liverpool and the funny part is its now a given they wont be top 4.

    You are brain washed by what the press say is success.

  • Adam

    Ian, thank you for the reply and i agree, friendly banter is ok, I just hope your not talking from personal experience when you mentioned a trip to the lane with the kiddies. I do think we have to except that spurs are becoming more competitive, which is a good thing for ball fans, Football in London is looking good for the future, I for one hope west ham become more competitive when they move grounds, Chelsea are already there and Fulham are a decent side and we have QPR who should be a hard club to beat within the next few years. So all in all if Arsenal do eventually achieve there targets and win the league and other comps, we really would have done it the hard, but right way.

  • Wrenny

    It’s quite amazing how successful the media’s anti-Arsenal propaganda has been in completely brain-washing some ‘fans’, to the point they genuinely believe that Arsenal is a DISGRACE and they feel HUMILIATED, etc. In my weaker moments I almost feel sorry for these weak-minded souls who chug down, and then regurgitate, all the simple-minded insults and nonsense thrown at Arsenal. Almost.

    Coming back to Spuds and their spending, this might be of interest:

    Since 2003, the Tiny Totts have spent more on players than MAN UTD! And twice as much as Arsenal!

  • Ian Trevett

    Adam – Thankfully no. I’d never take my kids up there, but i have heard plenty of first-hand stories of indiscriminate violence against fans with kids in tow.

  • Mandy Dodd

    The media can only work so well on the weak minded and easily led – seems like we have a few very brittle fans if they really believe all this nonsense.
    All I will say is that sometimes, the clubs secrecy, though maybe understandable on finances …does not always help our manager. I refer to conflicting statements on Wengers transfer kitty over the years and such like. I am convinced that until maybe this summer, he had hardly anything to spend, and what he did have went on increased wages. Hence Wengers mild rebuke at the board when they publically suggested if given £100m for transfers, Wenger would hand it back – come on, Wenger is fiscally aware but he is no fool, nor has he lost the plot!
    Maybe Wenger the loyal employee is taking grief for things that are not his fault.
    There does seem to be a bit of a change though, with Gazides recently warning that fans will have to be “Super Patient” – maybe another year or two to see the debts completely paid off ahead of schedule?

  • Zulu Gooner

    Brilliant. true arsenal supporters do not read british press and certainly do not listen to or take sympathy from sp*rs fans – what a sorry state some so-called gooners find themselves in. come on Arsenal!

  • Dark Prince

    Tony- I know exactly what this site is about. But even though you’re exploring issues that others dont, its not logical to turn a blind eye towards the obvious. Spurs may not be achieving what Arsenal are but clearly at today’s date, they are playing in the biggest competition of Europe. And if i was a Spurs fans then it is a successful season. And they have played some fantastic football, though not as good as us, but still better than United or City. The point i’m trying to make is that they are progressing and developing and are achieving their goals. But are we achieving our goals? I dont think so…

    Regarding Chelsea having a billionaire to support them, it still doesn’t take away the credit from them that they earned their title. Eventually they won their games and they won the title. There are no writing on the stones which state that you ‘earn’ the title only if you have a profitable business or if you have many youngsters in the team or if you play the best passing football. You earn the title by simply winning and having the most number of points. Everything else comes second. Even for us, just bcoz we play the best football or we have a superb financially running club or the fact that we dont have a sugar daddy doesn’t mean we earn the right to win the title. Every club has its own way of business plans so as to win the title. All the big clubs make big signings, we too had made some big signings a decade back. As of now, we have our own plan, which is so far not been successful in terms of trophies. I respect what Wenger has done in recent years, but still the main objective of a club is to win the title, which we have consistently failed in last half a decade.

  • Dark Prince

    Ian Trevet- its another case whether Spurs should be a big club or not. But as of now, they are not.

  • Dark Prince

    RedGooner- lets face the facts. First of all, i was talking about the newcastle game at home which we had lost 1-0. Clearly underperforming side.
    The return trip just showed our defensive weakness even though the ref played a part in it. Either way, conceding a 4 goal lead is unacceptable.
    Then the West Brom game at home. I know we were missing some players, but are you trying to say that West Brom is a better team just bcoz few of our 1st team players are missing?
    The return trip, it was the same thing, we had Van persie, arshavin, nasri, ramsey, wilshere, clichy, sagna, koscielny…doesn’t this team has players good enough to beat a newly promoted team who are fighting against relegation??
    Just look above, we lost 10 points in 4 matches against 2 newly promoted sides!!!!
    The Braga and Shakhtar game, our players made crucial errors. And that was it. Even if we rested some players, but we still had enough quality on the pitch to win these games. But we couldn’t.
    As for what Liverpool or ManU does, i dont care. Bcoz i’m an Arsenal fan. I’m concerned about my own club rather than what others do.
    The same goes towards the media. I dont care what they have to say. But yes, in the end the conclusion that i have and the media have are quite similiar, though not always. You dont have to look into the media to know how your clubs are playing. Just tune into those 90 min, the truth is laid bare on the pitch.

  • Marc

    Personally I’m going to spend a load of money in Clinton Cards in May and send every Spud fan I know a 50th Anniversary card with “61 and never again” written in it.

  • Ugandan Goon

    @dark prince,
    Wake up mate, we lost in europe to barcelona by one goal playing with ten men (van persie sent off early in the second , our best player carrying an injury! nobody likes loosing but at least play against the best and test yourself. in fact i hoped at the time it would give our players a first hand glimpse of what standards to aspire to. the expectation around spurs this year is what happens in the press every time England are in any competition, the journalists pull out a template and edit a few essentials and voila ….same shit different day!
    you talk about points dropped to lower sides, i say we beat Chelsea and Barcelona.
    Mate we all share your misgivings about certain things but the difference is we are looking at it in a glass half full frame of mind. whats happened to chelsea this year? everton, liverpool? the credit crunch and a few rules are slowly giving us the advantage but it will take time to come through, and it requires faith and patience and an effort to really understand what the club is trying to achieve.
    as for the truth on the pitch it goes back to the model and achieving succes by teaching players to play a certain way and keeping them together. i think you cannot argue that it doesn’t work, after barca’s performance against us.
    The media throws up these flavour of the month biases but we must always try and remember that the clubs goals are long term and largely outside the scope of a newspaper article.

  • GoonerTerry

    “Pity is a one way street and it always goes north up the Tottenham High Road”. Sheer poetry mate (0:

  • Dark Prince

    @Ugandan Goon- Read my earlier comments, i dont see where i had argued about the Barcelona match. I was talking about our domestic competitions. Also i dont see the half glass full view bcoz its d empty half which makes throw away the trophies. Also this half glass full view is the reason we have not progressed all these years. We need to improvise and try to fill up the empty half if we want to win some trophies. Just think, for the first time i’m hearing Wenger saying that he’ll not quit Arsenal. We have reached such depths. I personally dont want him to leave. But if his stubborness remains then it would not be long that he might be actually sacked.

  • Richard B

    The real test for Spurs (whatever they do this season) will be over the next three seasons when they have to finance a new stadium and rebuild a squad which is relatively old in many positions and has several players carrying chronic injuries. Given their appalling record at bringing youngsters through to play at the top level that’s likely to cost them a lot of money too. All that at the same time (if we believe the media) as losing ‘Arry either to England or to prison.
    History tells us that, when Spurs face the big decisions, they usually get them wrong. Whish is why they are where they are now in terms of a ground to play at and a squad that will need major surgery very soon.

  • goonergerry

    I am disappointed in both the Board-and AWs approach to strengthen the defensive capability over the last few years-but the thing is you still have to recognise that Wiltshere, Fabregas, Walcott and Nasri a returning to form Arshavin, RVP fit and we still have a powerful forward unit which should outscore most teams even with mr Al in goal. Wed be better if Song and the others were fit was fit but they are not.
    I dont hold with the Birmingham performance-yeah it was poor.
    But lets be honest about this if Spurs were drawn against Barca over 2 legs and then after the away leg played a fresh United away 3 days later-dont tell me they would win those games- virtually no one would. There is no way Spurs would beat Barca at the lane.
    One of the reasons we are still second is because other clubs are competitive at different times in the season-It is in our interests to have a good Spurs team taking points off Chelsea, Man U and Man City. It is up to us to have a good enough team to beat them. It would be nice to turn them over and shut Arry’s increasingly irritating mouth.

  • Dark Prince

    completly agree with Goonergerry. The summation of our problem is precise. I too feel the board should stop running Arsenal just as a business and more like a football club which needs to win trophies and help Wenger achieve it.

  • RedGooner

    DarkPrince – You said westbrom home was and away was unaceptable BUT ..ManUtd drew 2-2 at home with them and were lucky to get a late goal away to win 2-1 MY point is this the injuries you shrug off the other day to Arsenal players as we should cope BUT imagine Arsenals first 11 playing them without there 3 best midfielders and there 2 first choice centre backs missing what would be the score then ? it does matter and yes it does change the result.

    Newcastle game if you cant see that this was just pure corrupt refereeing then I give up.

    You should care what Liverpool does as it highlights how well we are doing as we are inn a similar position to them we dont have a sugar daddy and still show promise way above what they are doing.

    I understand your frustration BUT everything is still to play for as winning the league to me would still equal success. we cant change the past but we can keep supporting our team regardless theres not a team in the country hasnt dropped points to these newly promoted sides.

  • Dark Prince

    RedGooner- I agree with the injury list the we had against West Brom. But are you willing to admit that even a 2nd string midfield of vast talents like Wilshere, Ramsey, Rosicky and Denilson is not good enough to beat a newly promoted team who are fighting for relegation?? Also are you willing to admit that a our so called good 3rd n 4th choice defenders Koscielny and Squillaci (who i might is highly experienced as well) are not good enough to handle the attackin force of a team as weak as West Brom??

    Ok i admit the Ref in newcastle away game was corrupt or inept…but what about our performance in the home game against newcastle?? We gloat about having the best squad but then our squad members just cant perform when it matters. Then whats the use of having such 2nd string players at our club. Just compare our squad depth to ManU, they won against us with 4 make shift defenders and 2 full backs as wingers. Their midfield was not even a midfield but still their 2nd string players got the result against a big team like Arsenal. Compare this to our 2nd string players, and they cant even beat a newly promoted team fighting against relegation. And guess what, we got 2 chances against west brom and we blew both of them.

    Also its sad to see that you are comparing our club with liverpool. I mean, are they even our title rivals this season?? Why dont you compare Arsenal with ManU or Chelsea??? Also liverpool changed managers 2 times in a year!! How can u compare that team to us who has the same manager for last 14yrs and a squad who mostly constitute of players who are with each other for atleast last 4 yrs?? Are you willing to compare ourselves to our true rivals?? I dont think so, simply bcoz you know we have performed miserabaly in comparison.

  • Shard

    @dark prince

    Football does not exist only on the pitch. The finances define the success on the pitch too. So in a financial sense ManU, Chelsea, ManCity, and even Spurs to an extent are not our direct rivals. ManU and Chelsea achieve just about what is to be expected, the rest underperform, and we overperform.

    Of course there are problems with some of the playing squad. certain players aren’t performing like they should. Certain players may not be good enough, somethings may need to change. But the question is what do you want done about it? How do you improve the mentality of a player? How do you get in a replacement who will be better if you discard the player? You seem to think that the way that Chelsea and ManU do things is the way to go, at a time when pretty much all clubs are fighting to do things our way.

  • Yommex

    @Dark Prince. Beside Birmingham, which other club has won anything this season? The point is there is no assurance that Manchester United or Chelsea will win anything this season, Liverpool are out of contention for any silverware yet we are been made to believe we are having a disastrous season despite being in the chase for the Premiership title. How come different parameters are employed when it comes to Arsenal? Chelsea are third yet they are regarded as a greater threat to Manchester than us! The only concern now is for these negative folks not to infect the players with their pessimism.

  • Dark Prince

    @Shard- You say that finances of Chelsea or ManU affect our results?? I mean, how does their financial status affect our game against West Brom or Newcastle or Braga or Shakhtar?? Pls enlighten

  • Shard


    Not as an isolated example in matches. But OUR finances affect our general status. It is not just something for the accountants to look at and feel proud about.. Do you really think that ManU in the 90s would have won as much as they did if they did not have financial supremacy?

    You say we should look at only yourselves, but then you compare us with Spurs, and ManU.I can understand frustrations with some players and their performance. What I can’t understand is the feeling that we are somehow inferior to ManU or Chelsea. We are doing better than I think they would if they were ever to respect their financial situation, AND, at this moment, we still have the title in our hands. We haven’t performed miserably as you say.

  • Dark Prince

    @Yommex- What has Arsenal won in last 5years? Hmmmm…guess that answers more questions than the number of trophies birmingham has won this year. The success/failure of Arsenal can never be compared on the same ranks as ManU or Chelsea or any other club. Even Chelsea’s success or failure is not compared on the same basis as Arsenal’s or ManU. Even ManU’s success or failure is not compared on the same basis as Arsenal or Chelsea. Bcoz its simple, all 3 clubs have different action plan to win the title. ManU and Chelsea have though found success in its plans in some way or other in recent years. But what about Arsenal??

  • Dark Prince

    @shard- Lets face facts here. I admit we haven’t performed horribly. But have we improved anything from last year?? Unfortunately not…

    Also finances in general make an impact to the concerning club, but it doesn’t in any way affect other clubs. Thats why i said that Arsenal’s yearly performance doesn’t count on what Chelsea or ManU do in the transfer market. Even today, Arsenal has a better team than ManU or Chelsea. But unfortunately, its our own fault that we’re not able to prove it on the pitch.

  • Shard


    I feel we have improved actually. I also admit that it is our weaknesses that have kept us from being in an even better position. (Even though it is not ONLY our weaknesses, but let that go for now). But what exactly is your point here? Is it that we haven’t improved? Is it that we haven’t won anything in 5 years? Or is it about certain players and certain matches?

  • Dark Prince

    @Shard- IMO i dont think we have improved overall. Though we have improved on individual levels like Nasri, Walcot, Wilshere, Djourou, Szczesny. But as a team, its still the same old Arsenal. We still depend on Fabregas to make our passing game successful. Without him, we’re still clueless in the final third of the pitch. We still get hit on counter attack, and aerial attacks r still scaring us. Our set piece defence still sucks. These were certainly the issues when we started this season, and it still remains. Overall our players have got better but as a team we still need fabregas to show that improvement. Without him, these same players start to look ordinary.

  • Shard


    I agree about missing Fabregas. I find the problems with our attack to be more frustrating. I think Theo and his pace, is missed in that regard quite a bit too.

    But some recent events notwithstanding, I think we have improved both from set pieces, and against counter attacks on the whole. I’m not now expecting a goal every time we concede a corner, which was the case last season. We’re still vulnerable to the straight ball over the top, but I still see improvement in that regard. It’s a subjective thing though so I can’t say you are wrong to believe that we haven’t.

    It’s not so much other players looking ordinary in the absence of Fabregas that worries me..I mean let’s face it, Fabregas makes a huge impact himself, and on the game as a whole, so you’d expect some drop in effectiveness when he’s not there.. But what is disappointing that not many people seem to want to step up and play that role. Wilshere, RVP, Arshavin (in recent weeks) have been the ones who have shown a sheer will to win. I don’t know whether Nasri has been tightly marked, but he has gone off the boil. The rest of the team doesn’t seem to know how to cope. In that regard I agree. It’s time for everyone to step up. And that means every one. No exceptions.

  • Dark Prince

    Shard- Yea, thats one the biggest disappointments for me- No one really wants to step up when Fabregas is missing. The player who is having the most desire to win is still Wilshere. Nasri has been little disappointing in last couple of months. Walcott though is very inconsistent. But he has improved this season so wont blame him. I think our disappointment has basically been the midfield when Fabregas doesn’t play. I thought Rosicky could have performed well in his role atleast against the weaker sides. But he too has been a disappointment. Also i hate to see that we use 2 defensive midfielders when Fabregas is missing. Problem is that we haven’t changed our formation according to injuries we had. Its a combination of tactical inflexibility, underperformin players and injuries which have ruined our season basically.

  • Shard


    Rosicky has been a major disappointment. I was expecting much better from him. As I recall he actually started the season quite brightly, but since then has been completely anonymous in games.

    But, the formation bit, you can’t want better defensive cover and still want 1 DM. It’s a balancing act, and I think on the whole we are better for it. I do believe though that with Denilson performing as poorly as he is now, and with other midfielders injured, we should probably go for a 4-4-2, or play Nasri centrally and play Bendtner or Chamakh up front. I do think the latter will happen. Denilson being taken off at half time surely is an indication. When did Wenger last make a substitution at half time?

  • Dark Prince

    Shard- thats also a good tactical plan. And yes, it was more of a desperate move for Wenger to change it at half time against West brom. But surely its better to start that way rather than do it at half time when Arsenal is trailing by a goal. Also, it was the first time that Bendtner, Chamakh and Van Persie played together. You could see how threatening we were once some of the underperformin players come off. I think we should start as strong and threatening as possible rather than doing it too late. Also, unfortunately, that 3rd min goal conceded also broke our record of not conceding within the 1st 15 min in epl.

  • Shard


    I don’t know if Wenger will change formation midway through a season, but I do think he’s lost patience with some players. His trust in them seems to have eroded. I agree that we should start stronger, but that isn’t only down to the selection. Players must show urgency right from the off. I still truly believe we can do this. And I think even if we fall short ultimately, there is a lot to be positive about. I believe we will get better automatically next year. That’s not to say that certain changes shouldn’t be made of course. Anyway, I can’t wait for the football to start again.

  • Dark Prince

    Shard- The problem is that Wenger really doesn’t have a plan B. He sticks to one formation for the whole season even if the players for the individual roles are missing. Look at what Ferguson does, he is very flexible with his formation even if their squad doesn’t have depth. He can easily go to a complete attacking 4-2-4 or 4-4-2 for the weaker teams while he puts a 4-5-1 against stronger teams. But our formation always starts as d same which in some cases becomes very predictable. I dont mind starting with the same formation in every match if we have all our players fit, but when our key players are missing then it becomes quite clear that our 2nd string players are just not good enough to fill up that role. Even Nasri in central midfield is not effective. Our 4-2-1-3 combo is heavily depended on Cesc’s consistent killer passing ability which cant be matched even by Nasri or Wilshere. And if he isn’t there i see no reason why we continue with a formation which is depended on him.

  • Shard


    Ya Wenger doesn’t change things around that much. Maybe he should, but I don’t know his reasons, and I’m not going to castigate him for it. He does make some smaller changes to affect a game though. He’s not tactically unsound by any means. It’s just that he generally chooses to not change things drastically. We did score a good few goals from straight long balls a few seasons ago though 🙂 Was a little funny to see actually.

  • Dark Prince

    Shard- lol, even those goals from long balls would have been an act of desperation. I think its one of Arsenal’s weak points, that we start to act in desperation rather than going thru it logically. I still remember in some of our games in this season where we are not in a winning position in the last 10 min, when our gk would desperately kick a long ball out in the other half in desperation to start a counter attack. But the problem is that most of our forward players are short heighted and hence never win that long ball. Eventually most of those long balls are won by the opposition which makes it more frustrating.