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Facts versus fiction: Why the pessimists are mistaken

By Domhuaille

Since the January window closed, the gloomers-doomers-moaners-groaners, anti-Wenger, whiners, pessimists, nihilists and Arsenal critics have infected the blog-sphere and too many Arsenal fan website with their incessant litany of dark vitriol against AW and bleak forecasts for AFC’s future. It is time that we separated the Facts from the Fiction and weeded out the misinformation, careless speculation and wild fantasies from the Truth.

Let’s begin with Arsene Wenger’s player management policies. No-one can claim, including myself, that they are privileged to know any of his inner motivations and preferences BUT we can rely on what he repeatedly states about dealing with players AND what players say themselves. Here is what we know;

1.     He finds British players in particular to be overhyped,overpriced and overpaid.

2.     He prefers to give his youth and reserve players (loanees & Arsenal) opportunities to prove they merit a first team place first, before resorting to an external transfer.

3.     He treats players with dignity, respect, loyalty and enormous patience and expects that to be reciprocated.

4.     He prefers younger, untested but potentially star players to older, expensive and often egotistical ¨superstars¨ when he goes on the market.

5.     He trusts his scouting network and loves to sign Barcelona’s under 16 diamonds when he can.

6.     He has strict and cohesive criteria that any outside transfer MUST meet before he proceeds to the recruitment stage. This is the area most whiners and gloomers don’t understand. Wenger takes his time since he wants to preserve the Arsenal homeostasis (balance).

7.     Despite the gloomers saying he ¨misses¨ players or is ¨stubborn¨ about spending, the facts show that he has spent quite well and wisely over the last 5 years and that he is well aware of who is available and willing to come to the Emirates but if they don’t meet his criteria they are ignored.

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8.     His patience and acumen with players is legendary and while he has often been disappointed, he has also been successful with many. Fabianski, Eboue, Koscielny, Szcesny, Wilshere, Ramsey, Eduardo, Walcott, Gibbs, and Djourou, to name a few.

9.     Finally he knows how to balance the 3rd highest wage bill in the EPL with the lowest transfer budget of any top 4 manager and the highest injury rate of any team over the last 3 years. Some of his gambles hurt him (Vermaelen returning in January) but overall he has been a magician.

The above represents some of the foundation stones in his approach. If we look at current first team, reserve and youth players in line to join the Arsenal this next season, things are actually quite promising:

Keepers: Szcesny (1), Fabianski (2) Mannone (3)….a solid lineup

Backs: Sagna (1) Jenkinson (2) Eboue (3)Vermaelen (1) Djourou(2) Koscielny (1) Bartley (2) Clichy(1) Gibbs (2)…..needs the new signing as Squillaci isn’t up to it.

Def.Midfielders: Song (1) Diaby (2) Lansbury (3)

Attacking Midfielders: Fabregas (1) Nasri (2) Wilshere (1) Ramsey (2) Arshavin (3)

Strikers: RVP (1) Chamakh (2) Walcott (1) Ryo Miyachi (2) JET (3)

Possible Squad players: Frimpong, Miguel, Eastmond, Coquelin, Watt, Botelho, Afobe, Wellington.

Possible new acquisitions: Oxlade-Chamberlain, Samba, Cahill, Gervinho.

Next season will definitely keep us on our feet….but the gloomers will be seated and crying.

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Note: As you know we accept articles from people who want to write for Untold. For the moment Tony Attwood is enjoying a holiday and will not be able to come online.  So if you have written an article and there is no hurry to see it published you can send it to the usual mail address. If you want to see it published in the next days you can send it to my mail address  walterbroeckx(at) and then we can see that it gets published as soon as possible.


37 comments to Facts versus fiction: Why the pessimists are mistaken

  • WalterBroeckx

    If you see at the money that is named these days for young English players who have not proven anything it really is unbelievable. They pay 20M for anyone who can kick a ball and is English. And just a few years ago this was the price tag for the best in the world! For the top players! The world has gone mad.

    And I also do think that what was good for most of the season will be better next year. We only lost to MU and Barcelona in the FAcup and the CL. We were in contention for the title until there were 2 games left. Only one stupid mistake cost us a trophy this season.

    How disappointing the final weeks have been, this shouldn’t stop us from thinking of the good things we had this season. Like beating MU and Barcelona as one of the few teams who were able to do this. Like being in contention almost till the end.

  • Dark Prince

    Wow, i still dont know what is the fact and what is the fiction in this article.

    Is szczesny as good as van der sar or cech??
    Is our defensive partnership as good as of chelsea’s or manu’s??
    Have we ‘missed’ out on players jus bcoz we didn’t want to pay that extra amount??
    Do we have a squad who are not cribbing over wages or not demand transfers to other clubs or demand leavin the club bcoz of lack of opportunities??

    This is another article which only proves that Wenger has overachieved with the present squad. Well, its a compliment. But is that only what Arsenal is aiming for??

  • Lanz

    Nice one. It is very unfortunate that our players let AW down this year. The Newcastle away match comes to mind. Mental strength issues?? In all, I still prefer his fatherly attitude to the hard-nosed, impatient type that people prefer him to exhibit. Eg, buy a Keane @ 24m and sell him six months later @ 12m; buy an Ibrahimovic @ 45m plus Eto’o and sell him for peanuts a year later.

  • NickW

    I didn’t see a lot of facts there to back up your argument that Wenger has done a great job in the last 5 years. Just listing players names doesn’t mean that they are good enough to do what’s required to compete for the premiership. For example listing Diaby and Lansbury as the back up players for Song shows that you don’t understand what’s been missing for the past few seasons. Neither of these players are defensive midfielders or have the leadership qualities required to do a good job. As for the strikers JET couldn’t even get in the Cardiff team, Walcott is a terrible footballer and while reports about Ryo Miyachi have been good, he is totally unproven and he is a wide player.
    My main criticism of Wenger is that his defensive signings have been very poor eg. Koscielny, Squillaci, Silvestre. He has also been talking about improving the defense for the past 3 or 4 years but has only succeeded in making it worse each year (check the goals conceded stats if you don’t believe me). Finally he sticks with players who are either clearly not good enough or past it, for far too long. Why do obvious little problems have to develop to crisis proportions before he decides to act?

  • Diyo

    You Crazy AW fan. How blink you are!!!!!!!!!! you must be Man U or Hotspurs fan. Yes in your long explanations you ignored that EPL is not all about Big 4 but trophies (in six total yrs NONE)no single CL………Can you tell me how responsible was purchasing SIQUILACH(TOTAL COMPLETE FLOP. AW is good at praying with our dear souls and mind games on fans. Comme on and be real, WE NEED TROPHIES HOW MUCH THAT COSTS WE DO NOT CARE

  • WalterBroeckx

    Diyo, and all those who follow in your footsteps would you please say:
    “How much that costs I don’t care”

    There are actually some people around who actually do care how much it costs. You can prefer the Birmingham scenario win a Carling cup and going down. Or the Portsmouth scenario: win an Fa cup and going bust. Or the Leeds scenario… not winning and still going bust.

    So you may trade places with those teams if you want, but don’t say “we” when you mean “I”.

    On this site most of us do care about the future (and our past) for longer than today.

  • Sharpshooter

    Walter, Diyo didn’t deserve an answer for his Caps Lock ramblings. The dude can’t even write “Squillaci” and I just found out that AW is “praying with our souls” :)…
    Anyway, I can’t help myself noticing that except for delusional guys like the one above, there are a lot of Arsenal blogs without many readers (you can see that from their comments section) that regularly post the same crap about big signings, AW out etc. It’s very interesting that, at the same time, all these blogs have a lot of affection for Mr. Usmanov and Mr. Dein, who are presented as Jesus Saviour and St.Michael (or any other saint that kills monsters). Maybe this would deserve an article on Untold…

  • Ugandan Goon

    speaking of separating facts and fiction, has anyone seen the the AST Q&A session with Ivan gazidis?
    i really thought that most of the stupid opinions and questions posted on the comments page were made by young and stupid people but crikey people old enough to be my grandfather were asking the most ridiculous questions i’ve heard in ages.
    it got me thinking what questions i would ask the club, and i could only come up with one- which is how can we possibly turn these young players into barcelona?
    our circumstance dictate that we do exactly what we are doing, provide a stable environment for them to develop the potential that is obvious to all with eyes to see and perils bring in additions accustomed to a certain style of play.
    thank you for the article, domhuille.
    I suspect you like many others before you will find separating fact from fiction is easy but most people live in an alternative universe where every man is entitled to his fiction and feels it’s his right to inflict by shouting the loudest on public forums.

  • Loutei

    Interesting write up, I’m neither pro or anti Wenger but fact is he is our manager, we as gooners should respect that, along the same lines I can’t believe how shallow some of our fans are, you only need to check twitter #arsenal to see the slaging off of our players, manager and club in general. I can’t wait to see people’s attitudes when the likes of Fabs and Nasri (if they do of course) play for us next season and bang in there first goal of the season. I’m sure the same haters will be chanting there names. Yes as a fan it is hard to watch us run six seasons without silverware but we are not hitting panic stations every season we are challenging in every competition, I thunk it’s fair to say that everyone feels we need players in certain areas especially defence but what’s this urgency for NOW NOW NOW. Wenger is very smart in transfers which some see as slow and at the back of the pack. Fact is he checks every little detail so he knows the player will suit us as a club and our playing style. None of us know what happens behind closed doors but I for one trust his judgement. You only have to look at his dealings with most (not all!) current players he generally gets long term commitment from them, this is because he is respected and trusted by the players to do what is right for them. Again check JET who labelled him ‘Daddy Wenger’!
    End of the day everyone is entitled to there views but if your a gooner remember that, support the boys even through the rough times or go pull on a Lilly whites top and drive down seven sisters road to the scum!
    Gooner for life, not just through the good times!

  • Jim

    You are an ultra-optimist by the sound of it. Clichy and Nasri are on the way out, and very possibly Cesc. Without them, the team is hardly promising, even when you include all the named new recruits – whom you optimistically assume will all be signed.

    Then you include deadwood such as Diaby in the team, who is a promising star to you. A promising player is a young player who is showing improvement and progress. Diaby is no longer young. Neither has he improved nor progressed.

  • ak47

    nice art, a bit pointless i feel because your either intelligent enough to know or your a diyo type who belongs on the ever depressing le spurs.
    its obvious that were in a fantastic position but its also obvious that changes need to be made.

    i for one would like clarity on the nasri situation and wonder if that was asked at the meeting yday? i guess i have to come to terms with the fact that your’l rarely find players who love the club the way we do. getting van p on my shirt was a no brainer all those yrs ago.
    would i be bothered with clichy leaving? not really, cesc? nasri? dont know any more.
    and thats the problem, i should know. we all should.

    im suprised youve included jet in there, last i heard he was going backwards, and even if ryo gets a work permit he isnt ready for the first team imo.

    and id rather hazard above ox and gervz. hope walcott gets his chance up front this time.

  • Phil

    Jim – the Nasri story is a load of tosh – as French speaker, I checked the original source (an interview on TF1) and there was nothing aprticularly incriminating in it. The tabloids have just rolled with the story, it has pricked up momentum from so much retelling but there aren’t any quotes to it… the lack of denial is purely to do with the fact that Nasri is in the middle of contract talks, and it strengthens his case.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Sometimes reading the comments on Arsenal blogs you get the feeling there are an awful lot of Spurs fans who’s favourite colour is red…
    If Fabregas goes then we change our playing style again, we’ve become too focused on his passing (because he is so creative), as we became too focused on Henry’s goalscoring.
    I think we would be better off signing Oxlade-Chamberlain than Hazard because his reported attitude fits better with how we want to play. Even if we don’t then bringing Gibbs, Lansbury etc. into the first team could counter-intuitively work out better for us.
    If we can get to the level of participation in the national team that Barcelona have then I suspect our treatment from referees would improve considerably.

  • bob

    I find this article to be filler – shallow and lacking in the kind and depth of analysis and information that UA and many commentators regularly put into play here. It does some cheer-leading and turns into a laundry list/wish list and says Arsene has done and will do everything exactly right. Sorry, but I do love the man and respect his skills; feel that we as fans are not being well-informed by Arsene or the club (and perhaps all or most clubs are that way, but I still hunger for and prefer to get information); I no that no one walks on water and everyone can use loyal, constructive criticism or they dry up from lack of self-reflection. Would the writer of this piece, for just one example, even consider – either way – the need for a defensive assistant to be a legitimate topic for analysis? Or what measures/tactics are needed on the pitch to combat the likelihood that in (at least) some cases we need to deal with being hard done by certain referees (with “w”‘s in their names)? These and many more internal and external issues have been and continue to be raised hereabouts. This article is in touch with none of what’s been and continues to be done. It is fact-free. And, to my lights, way too easy to caricature by the AAA’s. Lastly, I like to know something about who has written an article with some kind of tag line about them at the end, as is customary in print media but seems to be going out of style in online articles. In any case, I would hope that we get more nourishment from future articles that are put on the collective plate hereabouts. Tony come home!

  • bob

    p.s. sorry, meant “guest articles” in the next to last sentence)above)

  • Stevie E

    @Bob – I’m inclined to agree I’m afraid to say, whilst a nice & fluffy read it doesn’t say anything of note really which is a shame. I have noticed a lot of 1st posters though so that’s good! I especially enjoyed Diyo 😀

  • marcus

    “The problem dear Brutus lies not in the stars, but in ourselves”…(haha)

    People conveniently overlook that Wenger has kept Arsenal in the top 4 for 15 years, and in Euro knock-out for 10.

    I really don’t think Wenger is the problem here..but the Media has become fixated with him, (if he were a woman I’d call them stalkers), and every other Jo Blow with a OS and a keyboard seems to share the delusional psychosis.

    Wenger has built his team largely on scrimpings, so I cannot even see an argument or discussion there.

    The real argument has to be about things like:

    1) the commitment of highly paid players
    2) the level of institutional anti-Wengerism in the FA / football totopoly
    3) the impartiality of the refereeing system/venality of the refereeing system
    4)the commitment of the Arsenal board to a full spectrum football club…(e.g. plays good football, wins trophies, doesn’t fleece the supporters)

    You can do a for and against Wenger if you want, but its not really the main issue, is it.

    Bottom line for this club now has to be:

    1) Offload freeloaders
    2) Offload turnkits ( bye Cesc)
    3) Recruit players with passion , e.g Samba
    4) Rather than lose 15/30 million on Nasri, (sell now at 15, and you lose 15, goes free next season and you lose 30 Million) hike up his wages and get him onside.

    Hopefully we’ll see VP and Walcott flanking Nasri up front next season. (Barca style attacking formation)

  • bob

    @marcus: Lots to chew on in your posting, cheers! To take just one Point (Point 2) on the level of anti-Wengerism in the FA/football totopoly obviously also includes their media-sycophants. On that score, I think that the UA community consider a “Media Watch” either on its own, or that syncs up with other proposed Watches such as “Vidic Watch” “Dowd Watch” etc. So, let’s “imagine” its Manure vs. Arsenal and Dowd or Vidic gets away with one. The Media Watch could look at how THAT incident gets covered by the Sun, the Guardian, Sky, ESPN, wherever. This way we would develop a list of the writers/presenters/toadies who are active participants in the anti-Wengerism/stalking that you rightly highlight; and then make it available on this or any other website so we have a case study in how patterns of egregious calls/non-calls that change the outcome of a match are then covered up or spun or whitewashed by the media – which, in turn, helps to perpetuate the denigration of our team and our manager.

  • marcus

    Totally agree Bob.

    Patterns of bias.

    Or “the Tartan Totopoly”

    lol…(Totopoly: a football cartel, with loose knobbling equine knobbling associations. Borrowed and adapted Waddingtons)

    anyone noticed how any player associated with Arsenal is now a ‘schemer’

    Arshavin : the Russian schemer
    Nasri : The French schemer
    Wenger: The Alsatian Schemer

    Google “arsenal Schemer”

    WTF is that all about??

  • Shard

    Excellent suggestion. I will back the idea of a media watch to the hilt. I often read newspaper articles and I do not pay attention to writers (I wouldn’t call them journalists) and who said what. There’s so much tripe out there that I don’t waste my time differentiating the good from the bad. But maybe just like we aim to highlight and discuss the referees, we should look at the media too.

  • para

    I had noticed sometime ago that the media is Anti Arsenal, and i think it is because AW buys french players and says english players are to pricey.
    ManU is the nations flagship and will remain that way until they start to flounder and fail.
    The media does not vilify manu’s foreign players like they do ours, but look how they are starting to fawn at our english players.
    The media is full of hidden (national and other)racism and it is becoming more and more obvious, just watch and listen carefully to (especially)MOTD or others. I have stopped listening and just watch the football else on mute.

  • Shard

    Apparently the article got one fact wrong. We do not have the 3rd highest wage bill. It’s 5th.

  • bob

    @Shard, marcus, all: great! so to push it a bit farther: We might work on a match by match basis – zero in on whatever flagrant calls/non-calls (including fergie time) etc. might turn or decide a match, and then divide up the media into a number of assignments – you check out a and b, I check out c and d, anyone else who’s interested – wrenny, anne, stevie e, marcus, anyone and everyone, and we see how each of the media outlets cover that incident. Maybe we key it off Walter’s match review – such and such call/non-call by Dowd (for example) led to the game winning or tying score. There don’t have to be lots of these – even a few great examples (recent past could work as well) – will suffice, and then we would find out who does what in the media – yes, marcus, bias patterns – and thereby collaborates in how Arsenal gets perceived across the EPL (including some of our own fan base). We’re bound to learn a lot and could better, as fans, defend and be proactive in our team’s interests. Anyway, just to stir the pot and hope it makes a meal for a few of us. For one, I’d volunteer to do Guardian coverage. Any other takers? thoughts?

  • bob

    p.s. not sure, but we could decide (or not)sample a couple of representative influential blogs and see how they covered/spun the event?

  • Stevie E

    @bob @all – yep im in. I get the evening standard every night so volunteer to take them on, are we just looking at match reports or general press, prematch, transfers etc? Though to be honest, id struggle to read that rubbish at the moment. Also, the press have ways of implying a problem, only tonight the standard ran a story with their pic of the year AW with head in hands, is this something we’ll be looking at?

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    Shard….thanks for the correction, it was a typo as I have difficulty typing late at night!
    Bob….your criticism is somewhat harsh and YES in response to your rhetorical question: ¨Would the writer of this piece, for just one example, even consider – either way – the need for a defensive assistant to be a legitimate topic for analysis?¨
    As you asked for some kind of tag line about me: I am retired and a former National referee, NASL official, avid Arsenal supporter but never been to a live Gunners game (living across the Pond), am not a member of the AKB lot but, like you agree he needs to be given more time to turn things around.
    I wrote this blog as a response to the wave of negativism and unjust criticism directed to the Board,Wenger and many of the players at AFC. I don’t buy your contention that officials on occasion do us injustices, but that’s from my experience and I have no proof that such bias doesn’t exist…it is always impossible to prove a negative.
    What specifically do you find nonfactual? Everything I wrote was based on what Wenger, his players or the club has said or written….and on current EPL statistics as well as excellent Arsenal websites and related blogs about our financial situation, our transfer history and this website as well.
    Anyway, I will continue to share my views, always supported by solid information and continue to appreciate positive and constructive criticism from Gooners who care.

  • bob

    @Stevie E: yes, I would say the Photos really matter, maybe even more in opinion making than the words. I also think they have a stock 5-10 photos of Arsene in different moods which they keep recycling for the desired effect. I bet we could even isolate and label the pictures: Arsene angry 01, 02…; Arsene puzzled 01, 02; Arsene kicking bottle 01, 02…; Arsene looking haggard 01, 02… and so forth. Like Marcus said it, it’s a virtual (not virtuous!) form of stalking. If which each compiled a log of coverage with links to the article (when possible online), we could decide to start with the first match that counts, or whenever anyone feels like starting (during the transfer window, especially when we actually have a transaction or the infinity of rumors will choke the life out of us). So, so far it’s you (and extra pints for choosing) the Evening Standard; I’ll do the Guardian; anybody else? any newspaper or TV or influential blog would be good to commit to following. And, for now, I propose that we start with the first match – but if others want an earlier start, no problem. We’ll find a way to coordinate. I also want to float the idea that once the season starts we have a consolidated Media Report for each match that could complement Walter’s Ref Report and any other watch (Vidic, Dowd, Webb, Cesc?, etc.) that Walter/UA might (or not) decide to take on (as per discussions here going back a few weeks).

  • bob

    @Domhuaille: yes, I was harsh and am sorry for my tone. What I meant by being fact-free was not that you didn’t state a series of observations based on facts as they’ve been announced, but more that I don’t find many of those announcements to be factual. You’ve compiled a list of positives and would they all be so on their face, amen (for real). But I prefer something more factual/specific when you write: “6. He has strict and cohesive criteria that any outside transfer MUST meet before he proceeds to the recruitment stage. This is the area most whiners and gloomers don’t understand. Wenger takes his time since he wants to preserve the Arsenal homeostasis (balance).”
    To this I ask: what are these strict and cohesive criteria that MUST be met? What is the “homeostasis” that you cite? With due respect, you may well have reams of detail on each, but I’d love to know any of it. That’s it really. I think specific details (what I call facts) are golden and help us think further along the road. Cheers, mate.

  • bob

    @Stevie E: Stevie, the Evening Standard’s pic of the year is Arsene with head in hands? not Fergie doing a victory jig? or any of the zillions of action photos from the past season? Is that right – that’s THE photo of the year?! Is there an online link to this? Wow: if so, I’d nominate it for Exhibit A in illustrating marcus’s pattern of bias: an opening salvo in (some of) the media’s run-up toward the impending transfer window and then on to the new season – Arsene in despair. Is it innocent? Wellllll, would seeing that inspire an impressionable youngster to sign on with our club? Thought for food, methinks.

  • Stevie E

    @bob – link to evening standard photo of the year selection 😉

  • Shard


    I can only contribute to monitoring some online editions of the UK media. Any suggestions about papers and what leanings they have. I am completely in the dark when it comes to the papers there.

  • bob

    @Shard: how about online edition of (hold your nose) The Sun; and/or a major Indian paper for international coverage; and/or TV coverage on Sky or Setanta; and/or a major blog (AAA or AA)?

  • bob

    Shard, how about considering an online edition of (hold your nose) The Sun; and/or a major Indian paper for international coverage; and/or TV coverage on Sky or Setanta or ESPN or Maged, etc.; and/or a major blog (AAA or AA)?

  • Shard


    Indian papers usually just print the stuff from AP or Reuters, and sometimes from the UK papers when it comes to the EPL. So not worth looking at them. I could give examples from the TV coverage by ESPN Asia, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to watch all relevant content. (By the way, the chief football man on ESPN Asia is Steve McMahon. Him with the 1 minute remaining at Anfield 89)

    Is there even a need to look at the Sun? They always talk crap, and everyone knows it. But if you feel that it is required I would. Should be entertaining.

  • Bobby Pirates

    Great blog as per usual. Why can’t the others be reasonable, not seeing the forest for the trees.

    Sure, I’d like trophies, so would Blackpool fans I’m certain. But we’ve developed a terrific squad on a shoestring. We may not be no1 but we’re close in what is definately not a fair fight. AW has had us punching above our weight for far to long to deserve ‘Le Grove’ style vitriol. Now it’s time for us to get rid of Denilson/Arshavin/NotsoSuperNic and strengthen those key areas that will give us that final push.

    Oh, and Samir, sign the damn forms!

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    @Bob…apology accepted. Your points about my backing up what I opine is fine so here goes:

    What are these strict and cohesive criteria that MUST be met?: A few years back AW gave an interview to a French paper in Alsace called L’Alsace ( in which he described his ideal Arsenal player as follows:(I translated it so hopefully it is understandable)

    1)A team-oriented and humble member of the squad,
    2)One who is proud to play for the Gunners,and wear the shirt,
    3)One who is patient and cooperative(collaborateur in French?),
    4)Is discreet and committed to improving,
    5)Is enthusiastic and has a positive attitude,
    6)Has good technical skills,ball control,fitness and pace,
    7)Is looking for a long term contract with AFC,
    8)Is between 20 and 29 years of age and has international and/or EPL experience ideally.

    He has also made press and Arsenal website statements that reflect these and other criteria since 2005 regarding player’s transfer fees, the club’s budget, the finer points to a sought after player’s cv and so on…too many to quote here.

    What is the “homeostasis” that you cite? The term, as you may already know means to maintain a stable, constant condition. In the context of the Arsenal, it means the balance and equilibrium present in the Club between the Board,the manager, the players, the staff and the fans. Basically it is the ideal situation where the board supports the manager, the manager maintains and promotes a positive and results-oriented atmosphere at the club without unnecessary stress and conflict, the players perform at a consistently high level and can over-achieve when needed, the staff collaborate and cooperate with their manager to achieve great results (top fitness,injury-free season, improvement in play, etc.)and the fans willingly and enthusiastically support all of the above because they are seeing what they want and expect to see. I don’t mention trophies or the PR/media here as either are NOT necessarily a salient element in the homeostatic process.Wenger is always juggling 25 balls, two of which are his own so maintaining this balance under very difficult conditions is a feat in itself…and Arsene does it with class,aplomb and wit.

    Hope this explains some of my understanding about AFC and AW!

  • Paul

    Bob, I buy the Sun every day (don’t ask me why), but I do read the sports section and everything about Arsenal there. I can honestly admit that I end up pissed of most of the time, but sometimes they do write good stuff as well (probably depends on their mood). Therefore I could cover the Sun and justice would be done 🙂