We are not the only ones who wait, you know

By Walter Broeckx

The “you won nothing for X years” mantra sung by the media and repeated by a part of the fanbase is something that one never hears of other teams.

More sensible readers on Untold know that periods when you win nothing are part of the game. In fact they are part of any football club. All over the world it happens. Just take a look around Europe with me and see how much time it sometimes took for great clubs to start winning again.

And in fact most of those clubs didn’t have to build a stadium in those years paid for with their own money and not paid for by the city they are situated in or some rich and wealthy owner. No they went through such a period without having to deal with such a serious financial handicap. Not even to mention the rich owner that is paying silly money for transfers for every player that has made a headline some where in football.

Let us start with Italy:

Milan won the title this season and their last domestic cup before 2011 was in 2004. That is 7 years. Even the fact that the prime minster of Italy is their owner didn’t help them all those years.

Or let us take Juventus. Their last title was in 2003 and since then they have won nothing. Now some of the clever ones will say that they won the league in 2005 and 2006. But those titles have been taken away because well they got a bit of a helping hand to win those titles. Calciopolo it was called. Where the Juventus board was able to decide which ref would do which game and hoping that the refs would do them a favour when doing those games. So if you want to count titles won by cheating as titles be my guest but I don’t count them at all just like the Italian Football Federation didn’t count them after they found out the scandal.

Let us go to Spain.

Barcelona won their last title in 1999 and then had to wait until 2005 to win something again. But while they won nothing they were doing something that some of us might recognise: building a team with a Catalonian spine. I know some of you will point at the fact that Barcelona had also bought big names but those big names all came and went. Ronaldinho, Eto’o, Ibrahimovic even Henry all tourists that came to Barcelona and went away. But the spine of players like Puyol, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi form the spine since they came back to winning things. And like Cesc once said about Puyol that it took him up to being 26 before he had ever won anything in his career. Since then he has won everything.

Or let us take Valencia which can be considered as Spain’s third most important club. They won the league in 2004 and since then won no more league titles. Now they do have some kind of financial handicap compared to Real Madrid and Barcelona but the fact is there: no more league titles for 7 years.

Lets go down to Germany and look at Borussia Dortmund. They won their last title in 2002 and only this season could win it again. But the Bundesliga in Germany is very much dominated by Bayern Munich who is by far the record holder when it comes to winning titles.

Let us take a trip to Holland.

Ajax has won the league the last time in 2004 and since then they couldn’t win it any more. And still Ajax is considered the greatest club in Holland by most people but even they had to look at how others won titles and they had to wait. But it is possible that they will win the league this Sunday if they manage to beat current leaders Twente in the last game of the season when they play each other in the Amsterdam Arena. Ajax is the holder of most titles won in Dutch football with 29 league titles. But not one of those titles in the last 7 years.

Or take Feyenoord. When it comes to winning league titles the third best club in Holland behind Ajax and PSV. Feyenoord has won their last league title in 1999.

I could go to Belgium and point at Club Bruges but who knows them but they are the second best club in Belgium when it comes to winning league titles but they also are waiting since 2004 for another title.

The point is that in all leagues and countries the same can happen.  There are times you win and times you don’t win. It has happened to the best teams like Barcelona. They looked down and out until they could win their first title in 2005 and then they couldn’t stop winning.

And as I have said before they didn’t have to build a new stadium in those days. In fact we are the only team in that list who had to build a new stadium and pay for it. Other teams also have build a new stadium. But they paid a big price for it. They went down to the lower leagues.

Now I am not saying that we shouldn’t have won league titles all those years. No one more than me would have loved us to win the league in the last years. And certainly this year as I think we should have won it.

As a supporter of a football club you know or you should know that you will face such periods when you don’t win. It is part of the history of all clubs. It is part of the history of all big clubs. Even the big Manchester United has spend a period of 27 years without winning the league before 1993. Life goes in cycles and so does football. Before you know it the pieces of the jigsaw will fall in their place again and we will be celebrating the league again.

Arsenal will always come back, because that is what our history shows. We just do it our way, the Arsenal way.

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63 Replies to “We are not the only ones who wait, you know”

  1. we are arsenal n playing at england…andall thoese club are back to their title where are we ? we are not to ready to buy good players.

  2. Don`t forget the spurs. The fans like to remind us of our trophyless seasons, however, their last title was won 50 years back:P

  3. Walter, the strange thing is that ‘good old Harry’ despite presiding over a Tottenham side about to probably finish 2 places lower than last year and incapable of scoring a goal is being praised and fawned over by the press for having a great season. How many years is it since they won the league? Conversely ‘Wenger’ as the media sneeringly call him has produced a season at least the equal of and I think better than last year is being ridiculed as a failure who’s time is up. Funny old world.

  4. @Walter

    the biggest club of them ALL has got to be liverpool two decades without a league title

  5. So there are other as misfortunate clubs OK. How about the silverware winners then? How many are there since 2005? Point is that Arsenal fans understood and went thru the 5 lean Emirates digestion years but 10/11 season is the first unconstrained and explains disappointment because of raised expectations among fans. Meanwhile during the 5 lean years AW also evolved less as even Huddersfield and Leyton Orient almost coped so clearly signs of tactical sclerosis. Youth also 2nd behind Chelski so no change in power balance. Rigid cookie cutter playing style throughout age groups OK up to a point only. Lots of possession of ball but lack of creativity in final 1/3 shows that opponents have upgraded team and replicated training and tactics with players with speed, technique and stamina too, in many cases cheaper budgets than Arsenal. Fans crying blood and big spend and he’ll likely do the biggest transfer binge and clensing in years but he must upgrade his tactical tool box pronto, else face worse fate. Above all ditch the crock stars and clone MilanLab

  6. @Mick I feel the media want Arry I will sell my own mother Redknapp for the England Job so they are going to hype him up, what is the spuds best result beating Ac milan at the San Siro.

    There is so many reasons Arsenal are disliked and distorted like a magic mirror in a carnival. In pretty much all these trophyless years we was close to winning something, and have been consistently there or there abouts, Chelsea and now Man city have spent more than what Arsenal is worth to replace us and yet here we are like a bad Penny,

    Arsenal just need a bit of savvy in games like newcastle and liverpool and other games

  7. have u also considered how many managerial changes had 2 b done during d drought period b4 achieving success? I rili luv dis arsenal team, apart 4rm almunia, but d team is being mismanaged in a way by wenger. He nids 2 take a long hard look at himself and c if he can take dis team to victory

  8. What about Man Shity? They’re goin on 40 years without a major trophy. If PV4 doesn’t play in the final our favorite Route 1 Rugby side Stoke will win it over those spineless blues

  9. Can we sum it all up :
    ”The 4-3-3 formation deployed over the last two seasons has been utterly figured out. Two banks of four; squeeze the middle of the pitch, force Arsenal to play the ball wide and sit back and relax as they cross the ball to absolutely nobody. Rinse, wash, repeat. Even the most mediocre sides on the most horrific of runs have found joy nullifying Arsenal in this way. Liverpool, Blackburn, Sunderland, Stoke, Bolton- none of these sides produced Herculean defensive displays of calcio vintage. None of them are particularly brilliant defensive sides.”

  10. there are three set of arsenal fans. one group believe that wenger is a devil and responsible for all arsenal failures, ignoring his past achievement. second group believes that wenger is an angel and infallible and keeps on presenting points that are no longer tenable, supporting him in all he does even when the manager has personally admitted that he is to held for arsenal failures, this group does not see those failures. the third group where i belong believes that wenger is a great man but he had got some decisions wrong, no matter how painful it is, he has made some grave mistakes. i will not sack him if i have in the board but i will go more give him the free hand he had before. there is need to made some suggestions to him and insist that he carry it out. this is where i belong, together we can address the things we think that has gone wrong. no need to start calling him several names, he does not deserve it but as long as we continue to close our eyes to the realities on ground, we dont have any moral justification in Untold to call other sites names. let us be contructive and critisize where necessary. I know Walter that u are afraid that once you start it will be against the things u stood for. i am arsenal fan, i respect your decisions, your constructive points but may i asked you, “if u are made an arsenal manager (after wenger is gone because i know u will never take the post if he is sacked) what are the things you will do differently”. i love your article, i pay a lot to read it but please let us do constructive criticism. thanks, from a younger gunner.

  11. @gb yet again somebody reads an anti-arsenal report on some shite website or blog somewhere and thinks “yeah, that’s right”. If all these teams have figured out how to defend against us, how are we 2nd top scorers? If your gonna copy & paste, make sure the comments aren’t total nonsense cos it reflects quite badly on you.

  12. @eche
    That’s right. Most of the fans do not want Wenger to leave but they see the obvious mistakes he makes and they want him to change his ways.Walter says that he does NOT think Wenger is perfect but he never points out at his weaknesses.He makes it look like Wenger is perfect.

  13. @Stevie E
    The comments come from arseblog.com which is definitely not an anti-arsenal blog.It is a well respected and balanced blog.How are those comments total nonsense? Have you watched our games against the small teams(bottom 10)? We barely have a shot on goal for 90 min.Last season, we beat all 10 of them at home. This season we have 5 wins 2 draws and 2 losses out of 9.That’s 10 points lost AT HOME where we should not have.Not to mention Bolton and Stoke away where we had like 70% possession and the Carling Cup final where apart from Van Persie’s goal and Bendtner’s tricky shot, Foster did not have to make any great saves.

  14. Firstly, i think there needs to be a shake up in the backroom staff. Possibly a role for steve bould to play here. More attention needs to be on defending. In particular set pieces.

    Goalkeepers: Almunia needs to go. Seriously, just get shot of him. If the right good old veteran keeper who’s still got a couple of good years left in him comes up, then we should sign him. Then i’d send fabianski out on loan and let chesney battle it out with the golden oldie.

    Full backs: I think i’m happy with sagna and clichy for now. They are both at a good age and probably coming into, or already into their prime. They are probably two of our most experienced players now as well. I had my doubts over clichy but i feel he has improved this year defensively. Backup; at right back we’l have eboue and kyle bartly, two good, and very different options. LB we have Gibbs, who still has a lot to work on defensively, but with the right guidance, could challenge clichy for a starting post. Vermaelen could also be a good option to cover here if we can afford to move him from the middle, which, if we strenthen at CB, shouldn’t be a problem for the odd game.

    CB: keep TV, Kos, JD. Get rid of squillaci. Bring in the best CB we can possibly find for our money. Ideally he should be better than any we already have. With kyle bartley as well, we’d then have good strength in depth there. Send miguel out on loan.

    Midfield: i see our 3 central players as having 3 different roles. The defensive song role, the bit of both wilshire role, and the attacking fabregas role. What’s more, i’m happy with the 3 players mentioned, quality wise. They are all still improving as well.
    other options to song: diaby is no defensive midfielder. He should be able to play there, but he seriously can’t and we need to stop trying him there. Frimpong and kyle bartley are good back up options here. Denilson maybe as well.
    Wilshire back up: denilson, diaby and ramsey offer good options here.
    fabregas back up: ramsey and nasri

    the wider men. Everyone keeps saying about putting nasri in the fabregas role if he leaves. I agree, he’ll be excellent there. BUT, he’s the only one of our current options playing in those wider positions that has really excelled there. So i’d be careful about moving him anywhere. Why change a good thing? especially when not much else has been good. walcott and arshavin still have something to prove and need to start proving it for me. there’s not enough coming from them. We need another option here as well though. There should ideally be 4 strong options for these positions. Rosicky ain’t good enough any more. Get rid of him. Bentdner out wide simply should never happen again, and the fact that we’ve played him there highlights the fact that we need another option here. a decision needs to be made on vela. is he gonna reach the required standards?

    strikers: van persie excellent. CHamack for me is good cover. I think he’ll come better again. We need another good option here though and i’m not convinced bentner is ever going to give us that. I’d be very tempted to cash in on him as well.

    so, personally i would bring in a CB, wide player ,striker deffo. and possibly a keeper.

    out: almunia, rosicky, bentner.

    Of course, this is all assuming none of the other players leave. and let’s face it. there’s a good chance we’l lose fabregas. if we do, then we’re gonna have trouble replacing him to be honest. anyway, we’l see how that develops.

    to name names. i don’t see much foreign football at the mo so my players in mind are limited, but i’ll say:
    CB: Cahill, striker: milito wide player: not sure keeper:Given

  15. @gb, i read your reply & 2 thoughts went through my mind. 1st, while arseblog may be a respected blog, the quote you have decided is right is wrong, you haven’t answered the question, if we’ve been found out, how do we score so many goals? Whilst you may respect what they have to say, it doesn’t make it right.
    2nd, against the bottom 10 we’ve barely registered a shot. I watched those games and didn’t get that impression so i thought I’d get some stats for you (only in the games we either lost or drew) –
    Arsenal v Blackburn (0-0) Total shots (TS) Arsenal 19 Blackburn 7.
    Arsenal v sunderland (0-0) TS Arsenal 14 Sunderland 6.
    Arsenal v Newcastle (0-1) TS Arsenal 11 Newcastle 7.
    Arsenal v WBA (2-3) TS Arsenal 24 WBA 7.
    Now I make that 68 shots we barely had on goal, or that you didnt see… I look forward to reading what arseblog has to say about that…

  16. Even if the stadium was empty they wouldn’t give a shit.

    They are so massively out of touch with reality, thanks to the hero worship they get from the sheep that still believe “Arsene Knows”. Oh and the £40,000 (or thereabouts) that arrives in their bank account every Friday afternoon. Rolling Eyes

    Nothing will change until enough people wake up and let them know what a bunch of piss taking bottlers they are.

  17. Even if the stadium was empty they wouldn’t give a shit.

    They are so massively out of touch with reality, thanks to the hero worship they get from the sheep that still believe “Arsene Knows”. Oh and the £40,000 (or thereabouts) that arrives in their bank account every Friday afternoon. Rolling Eyes

    Nothing will change until enough people wake up and let them know what a bunch of piss taking bottlers they are.

  18. Stevie E,

    And if I my add the Carling cup final Arsenal had 20 shots and Birmingham 11. And if I remember right Foster was named man of the match. Now why would that have been if he didn’t have anything to do?

  19. Walter,
    you must be mistaken… Im sure i read that arsenal barely had a shot on goal & foster had nothing to do. and on motd they only showed rvp take 1 shot on goal so that must have been it? i

  20. Walter,
    you must be mistaken… Im sure i read that arsenal barely had a shot on goal & foster had nothing to do. and on motd they only showed rvp take 1 shot on goal so that must have been it?

  21. I agree with Stevie E.. Don’t you know Walter. Goalkeepers always get the Man of the match vote against us because they have nothing to do throughout and they end up just looking good for the cameras with picture perfect hair and a great smile to go with it, which is potentially a good marketing tool for the FA to expand their market. MOTD never lies.

  22. Hear tell that bill shankley had to wait seven or so years for a trophy at Liverpool luckily they kept the faith with him.
    Funny the aaa are now up in arms claiming wenger has been some sort of willing stooge in upping share prices so a few can get rich. Actually the share price reflects the current health and potential of the club, for which wenger has helped bring about. Something to protest about I guess, along with colours of away kit and the club not availing of commercial opportunities. Whatever does it for them, it is their life!
    I might protest over songs hair.

  23. Arsharvin,denilson,diaby,rosicky,almunia OUT
    Hazard,Inler,Ox chamberlain,IN simple
    4-4-1-1 with different variations
    (lm)hazard,(cm)song,inler,(rm)walcott, v persie behind chamahk or
    same defence
    (lm)hazard,(cm)nasri,song,(rm)walcott,cesc behind v persie or
    (lm)hazard,(cm)cesc,Inler,(rm)walcott,nasri behind v persie

    the fact is we need another defensive midfieder as some games require two in the center. and 1 maybe 2 wingers so we can utilize nasri in the center were majority of his GOALS came from and stop pushing him out wide.

  24. Mandy Dodd, I can’t help but feel sorry for Dalglish, all the rave reviews he’s getting now for getting liverpool into the plastic cup are gonna turn so bitter if they start next season like they have the last few… badly! it’s easy to support a manager when he’s winning games but fighting for nothing. it’s not so easy when there’s everything to lose, so even achieving what almost every other club would pay billons (literaly) for, is seen as an abject failure and another horrendous season.

  25. @Manny

    I think Walcott is quality, he crosses well, has a decent number of assists, his shooting accuracy has improved and has scored a fair number of goals. The injuries slowed down what he could have produced, lost him for the final. For me he is an effective player he rarely goes backwards with his passing always trying to go forward and I hear he has been training hard on improving and to me it has paid off, his only problem is he is too NICE, he doesn’t have that edge, Im not saying you cant be a nice guy but often a bit of an aggressive streak can make you more competitive, he has had a few spells where he can go missing, but there is not many in that squad that can cross better than him and if you notice he is taking more free kicks obviously pinging them in training.

    When you break each player down in the first 11 they are all SUPER QUALITY PLAYERS but collectively a little something is needed, box to box we are great IMO better than the invincibles, but where it counts they need to get it right and it feels like a work in progress, I do feel the attack has suffered trying to plug the defensive weaknesses

  26. Agree on kenny steve e, Liverpool are a team playing well but without pressure under a manager in his honeymoon period. Wait until the Manchester refs get to them!
    I am sure we will finish above Liverpool next season

  27. @gooner80
    I agree with your assessment of walcott, we all just need to remember he’s only 21 so has plenty of time to toughen up which I think he will. This team is a work in progress but because we’ve seen them grow up from playing in the cc to now being first teamers, it seems they are a lot older than they actually are. what they need is support, not every arm chair knowitall slagging them off cos they misplace a pass. A lot of people has rose tinted specs on when they talk about the invincibles, while they were an amazing bunch, they also fucked up! do you remember pires trying to backheel a pen to henry and totally ballsing it up? This team simply needs time, hopefully AW doesn’t give two shits what the press has to say and keeps on with this project, I honestly believe we will have one of the greatest Arsenal teams for many seasons to come with all the silverware to keep the glories happy.

  28. I have a feeling if Liverpool replace anyone in the top 4 it is most likely going to be chelsea.

    Wenger has standards and although he does wrap them in cotton wool he will read them the riot act and let them know what is required of them

  29. If we had 68 shots and we scored only 2 goals then something must be wrong, don’t you think?
    How many of those shots were on target and really dangerous ?
    Against Birmingham, apart from Bendtner’s shot none of the other saves(20 shots according to Walter) Foster had to make were something special that any normal keeper would not manage to save. Nasri had a powerful 25-yard diagonal shot that looked like a good save but it was very close to Foster so I do not think that was a great save.None of the others were special.
    Yes, we are the second top scorers but we have scored more goals away from home because we’ve had more space to attack.At home, it is a completely different story and we will continue to struggle against parked buses if Wenger does not change the tactics.Man Utd have only 1 draw and no losses at home because they have found a way to break those kind of teams. We need to find that directness and improve our finishing big time.

  30. Can’t say better than that stevie.
    Goner 80 I am sure they have been read the riot act! I have never seen wenger as annoyed as kn the last few weeks. Players, and I mean well paid experienced players have let him down, many blame denilson, too easy too lazy and wrong. To me it seems like wenger now realises he cannot keep this going any longer, some just seem so complacent and have allowed their heads to drop. Does not make them bad players but maybe not the players we need now. There are lots of myths that wenger has a free reign and that the board will support him no matter what. I do not buy those, I believe wenger was told to win something this season and the cc campaign was almost against his better judgement. Stan and ig want to Market the club, they know they need success. Wenger wants to be at this club, gone are the days when finances meant top 4 was enough. I may be a hopeless optimist but I am convinced wenger knows he has to win , and win he will. The time for experimenting is over and he seems to know it.

  31. I agree Mandy Dodd.

    I remember reading something about him saying certain players dont know how lucky they are and what it means to wear the shirt and what an honour it is. A little bit of the stick and a bit of the carrot methinks.

    I think Wenger wants to win because the guy is a winner also, he is a very sore loser, and I think Wenger is professional and sets high standards.

    I think the professor will scrutinize the season, the man is obsessive, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is up now working on the next match

  32. Think he was up working on the next match since the end of the Stoke game. He is supposed to be a workaholic! Very true some players do not know how lucky they are. I think some want out their time has come to an end, and some are in for an unpleasant shock, maybe a few examples made will spur on others. But we have many plus points from this season, captain jack, chesney and jd. Nasri and Theo have improved. Vp has been amazing, sagna immense. We have tv , Rambo and hopefully a fully fit cesc to look forward to. Kos has had a great start and will get better. Song has done well but at times can do better and may with the benefit of competition. Then there are those who will be signed and those coming through, all under hopefully a much tougher coaching regime with a bit more emphasis on work ethic and defence.
    It’s all doom and gloom!

  33. I think this thread is gone way off topic we all have the whole summer to debate where the team can be improved and how.

    Nothing changes the fact that other teams have waited just as long as us for success when going through transitional periods for one reason or another.

    To be honest half of you wouldnt feel near as frustrated if there wasnt a media highlighting witch hunt going on against us for as long as I can remember. Its a shame some of you believe it.

  34. Of course all teams have a waiting time for success. I remember waiting 18 years as a young gooner for a sniff of anything. No team has a right to win anything. Enjoy when its your turn. Ignore the media hype about us not winning anything for six years its b….cks. There has been a lot of theories as to why we have not won anything in that time.. some constructive others just spleen venting. What cannot be denied is the way this current crop throw away winning opportunities and cannot defend under pressure..until that is addressed this squad will under achieve. We all know the squad is talented and in many games work hard enough but… its not enough to win trophies.

  35. Walter- sorry to say, but just because other teams haven’t won anything doesn’t mean we should sit back and not introspect. Eventually we failed to win anything this year. Thats the ultimate point.

  36. @Mandy Dodd:

    I’ll join you in your protest over Song’s hair, if you’ll join me in my protest over Sagna’s.

  37. Yes we won nothing. Just like 17 of the other teams in the EPL will win nothing this season.
    But unlike 17 other teams we have been competing this season until it was completely over with just 2 games to go.
    Yes I would like to win (we should have won it in fact) but winning is not a given right. The only thing we can demand is that we compete to win the league. We did compete.
    And believe me this year has been the closest we have come since a few seasons. Maybe this is why many are so disappointed. Even claiming now that they knew that what happened would happen so they dont even have the right to be disappointed. If they knew we would fail then they cannot be disappointed I think. You can only be disappointed when you had hope.

  38. I think that posts like this one are a valid and necessary counter-point to the constant media onslaught regarding Arsenal’s recent lack of “silverware.” I don’t think it’s fair to accuse Walter of some sort of sycophantic Wenger-worship in presenting these types of posts. I know exactly what he’s responding to, as should all of you.

    That’s not to say that there’s no room for constructive criticism about Arsenal, but I like to see that someone out there is presenting those arguments that, to me, seem pretty self-evident; namely, that regardless of the trophies that Arsenal has failed to win in recent years, they’re still one of the top footballing sides in the world.

    Trophies aren’t the only indicator of success in football, and I think it’s good to see someone out there pointing out all of the things that Arsenal does so well, and perhaps providing some perspective on the true significance of their recent “trophy drought.”

  39. @gb you originally started by copying some nonsense about teams having found us out, which was dispelled because we’re 2nd top scorers, then you changed that to not having a shot on target at home against the bottom teams, which again was proved wrong because we’ve had 68. Now you’ve changed that to just how dangerous a shot is, or were they on target. What’s next, how many shots were aimed at the top left corner? So what do you expect lower teams yo do when they cone to the emirates, try to plat football against us? That doesn’t work as we’ve proved against the top 4… So they’ll park the bus, its called tactics. If what you’re really saying is we are inefficient in front of goal? Yes, I’ll agree with that, at home against 5 teams we have been inefficient in front of goal this season. Clearly not as good as man u who scored more goals than us ay home. I wonder if we were top because of our away goals scored (a lot more than your beloved man u) you would have had to find something else to complain about? The problem I have with your argument is you didn’t think of it yourself and because of that, when you’re proved wrong, you have to move the goalposts. If you had in your own brain decided that we don’t score enough goals against a couple of teams at home, then yeah you’re right, but to copy and paste someone elses thoughts without thinking it through or researching it at least, well to me that’s the laziest form of comment you can make. That’s what the press have been doing all season, 1 twat will say something against us, all the other twats go, yeah that must be true and just copy & paste. That’s why this whole article has been written by Walter, some journo said, arsenal haven’t won anything for 5 years, then everyone jumped on that bandwagon. Now everytime you read something about arsenal, it has to say how long its been. GB, if you cant have an original thought, at least check your facts before spouting nonsense, and changing the nature of your argument because you’ve been found out is thr most sincere form of flattery, and for that I thank you 😉

  40. Sagnas hair, now that is an issue that needs taking on! I am going to burn my signed pic of Brady O Leary and Stapleton in protest!

  41. After reading some of the above comments, it has made me think, that it would be interesting to see the stats of every club in the Premiership for shots on and off target as well as goals scored, penalties (given and scored), how many times teams have hit the post etc. etc.
    Anyone know of a site where we can get these stats ?

    Interesting stat I worked out …..
    RVP scored a goal every 99 minutes in the Premier League this year. So if he had played the whole season (and scored at the same rate!) he would have totalled 34 League goals. Not bad eh.

  42. I agree on some of your points Walter,but lets face it,you left out some facts.AC Milan may not have won the league since 2004,but they defeated liverpool in 2007 to win the Champions league(through 2 Inzaghi goals).
    Barcelona owe their success stories not to the so called back-bone brought up talents,but to both these brought up talents and expensive buys.E.g Eto’o,Ronaldinho,Deco,Henry,Ibrahimovic,yaya toure,helped them to win then.And now,Dani Alves,Eric Abidal,David Villa,Mascherano,Pique,Keita,Affelay,etc,are helping them now.They were expensive talents Barcelona had to pay huge sums of money for.Do you think if they had been like Wenger and only relied on buying young unknown/untested talent,they would have the recent overwhelming success they now have?They reinforced their defence,midfield and attack with huge sums,something Wenger has stubbornly refused to do.No wonder the levels of success of these 2 clubs are in sharp contrast.The fact is Wenger enjoys being hailed as a coach that buys unknown players and converts them to stars,if not why does he stubbornly ignore the basic Arsenal problems everyone knows and has been clamouring for?He is obsessed with his philosophy and not even trophyless decades will make him sign necessary expensive talents like Barcelona.

  43. stop, i am tied of hearing how many years clubs have stayed tropyless, why dont you mention those that wins every two or three years. your argument is faulty and not balanced. if your child comes back at the end of the term with a result sheet that says that he failed, will you tell, dont worry you are not the only one who failed. compare yourself with winners and not loser. that is how correct thinking men do

  44. @eche also, sorry but it’s not the same thing as your child analogy, if my child was entered into a sporting competition and came 2nd or 3rd would you expect me to call him a loser or a failure? Sport isn’t sitting down studying, it’s a competition in which there are other teams trying to win and only one can, not like in an exam when lots of people get an A. Also, in an exam, you haven’t got people trying their best to make you fail either as defenders or Fergies puppets.
    If you’d read the artical properly, you will have seen that we are being compared to winners, Milan, Juve, Barca et al. All been through periods of not winning to come back and win again, just like we will. Come on now, think… that’s how correct thinking men do (?)

  45. Eche tell me what do you do when your kid comes home with a B or a C in an exam, lock them in a room stop loving and supporting them tell them its just not good enough ? that you are sick and tired of it after 6 years of getting B’s ? your a lunatic

    Thank god my parents werent like you 🙂 .

  46. We have the second most shots in the league, but how potent are our attacking movements. That can not be summed up with simple shooting statistics. I’m guessing we are far and away the best possession team in the EPL, so how about a ratio of how many shots on target per ten minutes of possession? Or a more precise ratio, how many shots on target per ten minutes of possession in the attacking half of the pitch?

    The problem with the Arsenal attack isn’t scoring, it’s how often we get a quality chance at the end of an attacking movement. If we’re not getting a decent look at goal, chances are we’re giving the ball up in the midfield and the defense is left vulnerable on the counter.

    You hardly see Barcelona lose the ball in the midfield and almost every attacking movement they make ends in a through ball attempt or a quality shot. It makes it much easier to get back and defend when you have pushed the opposing team back into their third and have forced the keeper into collecting the ball and waiting for his team to get back down field.

  47. “I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now.”
    Pretty much sums up the mindset of the AAA. Such a shame real life doesn’t work like that.
    The Barcelona analogies are all spot on but people don’t seem to grasp the point. Their attack is their first line of defence, only the truly special (either one way or another) try to play the ball out of defence if they concede possession. Our attack is nowhere near as good as our defence. We really miss having a player like TH14 who can handle being double marked. TW14 is ‘getting’ there but he is still most effective against a high defensive line where TH was effective against any defence.

  48. Woolwich you are right.
    Another thing thats annoying me lately is the SKY website.
    Every frikken image on an Arsenal pre match is one of WENGER in dispair bent over on the touch line.
    Talk about propoganda ….I guess its just going to be added to the other list of joke websites I dont bother my arse visiting anymore.

  49. @Micko:

    A few days ago I posted the “What The Premier League Table Would Look Like If All Shots That Hit The Post Had Gone In” Table from whoateallthepies. Here it is:


    1 Arsenal 86
    2 Chelsea 74
    3 ManU 73
    4 Liverpool 59

    If this statistic is accurate, I think it’s just crazy to think about how much of the EPL table was decided by a few inches one way or the other! What does this tell you about how much of Arsenal’s “trophy drought” is just down to plain old bad luck?!


  50. @Yinka:

    I’m going to correct you on some of your comments and statistics concerning Barcelona. Your comments are in quotes, and my responses follow. Since I don’t have time to compile statistics over 3 years, I’m just sticking to Barcelona’s current team.

    “Barcelona owe their success stories not to the so called back-bone brought up talents,but to both these brought up talents and expensive buys.”

    That’s basically correct, but you overstate your point later in the post. Messi, Iniesta, Xavi, Puyol, Piqué, Valdés, Pedro, and Busquets all came up through Barcelona’s youth system. That’s 8 of their starting 11, and I think it’s pretty clear that a team with these players would do well whether or not they’re surrounded by expensive transfers.

    “And now,Dani Alves,Eric Abidal,David Villa, Mascherano, Keita,Affelay,etc,are helping them now.They were expensive talents Barcelona had to pay huge sums of money for.”

    Again, you’re only partially correct. Here are the transfer fees (in euros) Barca paid for the players above, from most to least expensive, along with some notes:

    David Villa: 40M
    Dani Alves: 30.5M

    You’re correct about Villa and Alves. Both were expensive signings, start regularly, and have made immense contributions to Barca in the past year.

    Mascherano: 22M
    Abidal: 15M
    Keita: 14M

    I don’t know if these fees for Mascherano, Abidal and Keita can really be considered “huge sums of money” in modern terms, although they’re definitely expensive. However, neither player regularly starts for Barca. Although both have clearly been valuable assets to the club, I don’t think you can say that the success of Barca is down to either player.

    As for Abidal, he’s a regular starter and contributes a lot to the team, but Barca did acheive quite a lot of success despite Abidal being out after surgery.

    Affelay: 3.5M

    This is not a “huge sum of money.” I think you’re just mistaken on that one.

    “Do you think if they had been like Wenger and only relied on buying young unknown/untested talent,they would have the recent overwhelming success they now have?”

    Yes, I do. Or at least I’m not willing to say that they wouldn’t have. As I mentioned, 8 of their 11 starters came through their own youth system, and although some of their supplementary players are pricey, there’s also Affelay at 3.5M, Adriano at 9.5M, and Maxwell at 4.5M. Barca has achieved just as much success w/ their own youth players surrounded by these less expensive players as they have w/ the more expensive.

    “They reinforced their defence,midfield and attack with huge sums,something Wenger has stubbornly refused to do.”

    Arsenal has spent some money on transfers, although I’m not familiar with exactly how much. From what I’ve seen after a quick look around, I’d say that the Villa and Alves transfers are inconsistent w/ Arsenal’s spending levels, but that the rest of the list isn’t too far off from what Arsenal spends on some of their top players. Can anyone help me out with that?

    Anyway, the important thing isn’t how much money you spend, but the level of talent you bring in. You can assemble a great team by spending on young, untested players at lower cost, so long as you know how to spot the talent that will allow them to evolve into great players. And that brings me to your final point:

    “No wonder the levels of success of these 2 clubs are in sharp contrast.”

    Are they? I guess that brings us back around to the old argument of how exactly you should define success. Arsenal’s “bargain basement” youngsters have managed to consistently finish in the top 4 of the EPL, which suggests that they would certainly qualify as the type of “great player” that I referenced above.

    Also, since you chose Barca as the subject of your comparison, I’ll point out that Arsenal is one of only two clubs this year to win against Barca when Barca was playing their strongest available line-up.

    Arsenal beat the best Barca had to offer 2-1 at the Emirates after 90 minutes of play. The only other club to beat Barca this year (excepting the 2 la liga sides that beat their 2nd string) was Madrid, and they only managed to do it 1-0 in the Copa del Rey final. Also, Madrid had to go into overtime to achieve their win, and the Barca line-up they defeated was more depleted by injuries than the one Arsenal beat.

    And let us not forget that, at the time Van Persie was sent off for a dubious 2nd yellow at the Nou Camp, Arsenal was poised to eliminate Barca from the CL. Before that, Barca was having much more trouble breaking through on Arsenal’s goal, so who knows what would have happened if RVP hadn’t been sent off?

    So, are “the levels of success of these 2 clubs” really in such “sharp contrast?” If you’re only looking at trophies and titles, sure. In terms of how good they are in footballing terms, I’m not so sure.

    As a Barca fan, I’m more afraid of Arsenal than I am of any other club out there. And that’s why I like and respect Arsenal so much, and why I’m such a fan of them whenever they’re not playing Barca. Credit where credit is due, I guess 🙂

  51. @anne, excellent post! And if you consider that barca can get youth players from all over Spain while we are restricted to local players (I think that’s right, I’m sure I read that somewhere but if I’m wrong I stand corrected), it makes our achievements these past seasons even more remarkable.

  52. @anne

    Good post. To add to stevie E’s point about being able to sign youth players only from the local area, we also can’t buy kids usually from South America because of work permit reasons. Another factor limiting our transfer spend is the amount of wages we pay. It is partly a consequence of trying to hold on to promising players (and as such is maligned with Denilson, Diaby etc given as examples as players who aren’t worthy of it), but it is also that England now has a 50% income tax for the high earners, which all footballers are. So Arsenal have to cover that cost with an increase in wages. Arshavin reportedly is unhappy because he is getting a lot less than he thought he would. Add to that our restrictions due to the stadium then there are certain disadvantages compared to Barca’s current position. It isn’t a perfect parallel to draw really.

    Anne, Wenger bought Arshavin for 15 million pounds (close to 20m euros I think), Koscielny for 10m (13m?) He also payed for Rosicky and Hleb (12 m euros) who were fairly experienced players at the time. So in that sense you are right about the prices being roughly within Arsenal’s range. The story of Wenger as a miser is a myth. He simply won’t spend money the club doesn’t have, and won’t spend what we do have without being sure that it is a wise investment.

  53. @Stevie E and Shard:

    Very informative.I don’t know much about the nitty gritty technical aspects of signing players in England, so thanks.

  54. Anne-Your argument about Barcelona tells only a partial story and omits the huge outlays on transfers Barca regularly have made towards achieving success during the past 7 years-e.g. 58m on Ibrahimovic, 24m on ETO’O., 23m on Chygrynskiy etc.
    Buying players is one thing but paying their salary is another-whether it is right or wrong having players of that calibre has won key games and maintained the competitiveness of the squad-and were integral to it. I don’t think your argument that Barcelona could have achieved the same success with home grown players alone is credible at all.
    Maybe Ajax is the best example I can think off of a club achieving success purely by growing its own players-that was achieved in a past era-and they are now clearly a feeder club for the likes of Milan, Barca and Madrid as well as Man City and United and Chelsea. For me even if they manage to take the title this year-Ajax illustrate the dangers of being over reliant on a youth strategy.

  55. @Goonergerry:

    I did say at the outset of my post that I was only going to address Barca w/in the past year, because I didn’t have time to compile the hard numbers over a period of years. My main point wasn’t to say that Barca hasn’t benefited from spending on players outside their system. I just thought that any argument on the subject should be based on the actual numbers, so that was what I was trying to provide.

    However, I do think that what Barca spends on the majority of it’s players isn’t all that inconsistent with what Arsenal spends. Yes, there are some big money outliers, and Barca has benefited from that, but I think that the actual significance of that spending has been made into something more than it really is.

    As I said previously, the defining factor isn’t the money spent, but rather the performance achieved. I think that Arsenal is farther along on that score than most people give them credit for, and I’ll continue to stand by that argument until Arsenal finally proves me right by winning a bunch of trophies. Until then…:)

  56. @Laundryender:

    Great article. I’m going to have to watch that Ajax match now. Hang on, unless I already missed it…wait, when is it again? 🙂

  57. as the article says Anne

    “Tomorrows pivotal match”

    article was published today

  58. maybe i can show this to that guy who runs the goonblog..he has been spewing shit since city won the fa cup

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