How to be an Arsenal doom and gloomer in ten easy steps

1.  Take individual moments from games and use them as proof for your point.   But avoid seeing these in context.   So if a player makes a bad pass just before the opposition score, focus on that, blame him for the goal, and ignore anything else he did in the game.   Keep the whole argument incredibly simple, as in, “I don’t know why he perseveres with Denilson, he can’t pass, he can’t tackle, he can’t do anything.  Better to play Diaby – at least he’s tall and can get in the way.”

2.  Blame individual players – for example, Almunia or Denilson.  Make it clear that they are utterly hopeless, and that everyone who has properly watched the game will clearly see that this is the case.   It thus becomes an article of faith that anyone who doesn’t see this fact, was not watching the game, and therefore does not have a valid opinion.  The awful players (in your eyes) are not fit to wear the shirt, and should never be allowed to play for Arsenal again.

3.  Do not allow everyone to have own opinion. Rather than ever admit that there might be multiple opinions about a particular player, event or whole game, insist in all your writing that your opinion is the only possible conclusion that can be reached.  Anyone who can’t see it is an idiot.  A one line put down for someone speaking up for a player you are slagging off is the best way to deal with alternative perspectives.  Your view is that it is possible to see the world through a singular pair of eyes.  In which case anyone who disagrees is clearly not seeing the world as it should be.   (Which is why it is also important to develop an incredibly pompous style).

4.  Take as a starting point the vision that you know more than the manager, even if you have never managed a team, and never won the league title.  Likewise take also as a starting point the fact that your views are not being put into effect as proof that the manager has lost it.  Since there is only one right vision of the game, and you are expressing it, the manager is, by clear extension, a dope.   Clearly you must know more about the players’ abilities than the manager even though you don’t see the players in training, because you are critical of the manager.   In effect you have to take the vision that everything can be judged from the game.  This has to be self-evident.  What you must therefore deny is that a match can be part of the development of a side.  So if you were there watching the first games of Bergkamp or Pires or Henry you would say, “they are rubbish, they can’t score, they can’t pass”, because if you watch those first games (in Pires’ case most of the first season) you will not see the players they became.   Becoming and developing are not permissible.  Everything is to be judged on the game today.  If it is not right today, the player must go.

5.  If the manager gets it right, argue that he should have done it before (on the grounds that you have been telling him).  This again is part of the argument about being against development – if the manager believes that a player can develop and become better and better, you will not allow that.  Since no one is right all the time, the manager will make mistakes, but since you are against all development, anyone who plays for the club and is not perfect has to go.

6.  Never admit you were wrong. This is easy because you know you are never wrong.  In fact, a short-term memory dysfunction is rather good here.   Keep it simple.   Insult anyone who disagrees with you, since your approach is obviously right.  If you were part of the “Song’s not fit to wear the shirt,” brigade after the game against Fulham, just let that memory go, unless you really want to stand up against the crowd and say that Song is still no good.  But be careful – go too far and you could look silly!

7.  If we win well, say that we were lucky. If the defence shuts out the opposition, say that the opposition attack was weak and that we won’t be ok when we come up against real opposition.  In short, when we win always say, “don’t kid yourselves.”  Remind everyone of the defeats that have hurt all of us, and focus strongly on them.  A good line would be, “You can’t seriously believe that an Arsenal team that can be beaten 3-0 at home is actually going to win anything.”   It is important to ignore details.

8.  Avoid statistics, especially such things that show in numbers that Denilson touches the ball more than other players, makes more passes than other players, has more successful intercepts than other players.  If anyone else quotes stats then say, “you can prove anything with statistics.”  Alternatively make some up – for example arguing that our attacking potential is clearly useless, when we are in fact joint top scorers in  the league.

9.  Always deny that you are part of the doom and gloom mob by saying that you are telling it as it is, and that anyone who suggests otherwise is being silly or stupid, or whatever insult you want.   Call any blog that does not agree with you, “an unhealthy love-in”.  But do not at any time have anything to do with humour.  This is a serious matter and must be discussed seriously at all times.

10.  Ignore all economic realities. Ignore the fact that Chelsea are run and owned by a Russian to whom the club is now £700m in debt.  Ignore the fact that Manchester United are £750m in debt and have stopped paying interest on their borrowings.  Ignore the fact that Liverpool are £350m in debt and the banks want their money back.  Ignore the fact that West Ham are living in three month bursts as they wait every quarter for the courts in Iceland to decide how much longer they can live.  Ignore the fact that a coup, economic downturn or simple bout of plain old boredom could leave Manchester City as much on the scrap heap as Portsmouth.  Ignore all these and other economic truths, and insist that the only way to win anything is by buying some of the top players of the moment at current prices.

Now toddle off and write your blog.

(c) Tony Attwood 2009

123 Replies to “How to be an Arsenal doom and gloomer in ten easy steps”

  1. Perfectly put, Tony.

    I had to turn off the Twitter yesterday shortly before half time. I just couldn’t take all the D&G messages flooding my phone anymore.

    I watched the second half in blissful silence…and we won. Clearly an indication that I was right to turn off Twitter, that my watching without Twitter was influential in our winning, and that all plaudits for the win should go to me. If you don’t agree, you clearly didn’t watch the match, don’t know what you’re talking about, and weren’t at my house when my Twitter was off. So. 😉

  2. One can only agree with your article Tony.
    But in a way it must be sad to be one of those doomers and gloomers for ever.
    They never have anything to celebrate in live I’m affraid. Live must be miserable and dark and I think our second half yesterday did hurt them. How dare The Arsenal to erase their meaning of the team so drastic and make them look like fools.
    But as they are stuck in their own little world they just don’t realise the fact that it is great to be a fan who can celebrate victory. Poor guys, I feel in a way sorry for them.

  3. No. 11 – Always insist that players on other teams, especially those linked to us by the tabloids, are the answers to all our problems. Ignore the fact that Wilson Palacios and Lorik Cana are incapable of passing the ball accurately and insist that Wenger got it wrong passing on them. Every time that a foreign player is linked with the club, create a blog saying “Arsene MUST sign so and so in the next transfer window” even if your only experience of seeing that player is a 5 minute youtube highlights compilation. Ignore it when that player is shown to be palpably weaker than our current players and instead harp on about how “Wenger misses out on quality players”. Use hindsight to prove points about how spending money works, such as saying things like “See what happens when you spend money, you get players like Vermealen and Arshavin” even though at the time of their purchases, you had been screaming about how Wenger was wasting money and should instead sign a new central midfielder like Palacios or Cana since Alex Song is so crap. Always, always insist Arsenal should sign Huntelaar or some other average player that failed miserably at Real Madrid.

  4. About your point 4: I recall the fact that DB had it rather difficult in his first games for The Arsenal. It took him several weeks to find his feet in the team and on the pitch.
    In todays world those D&G would have written him of after his second mediocre game. I knew, from his playing days in Holland, what a great player we could have if he was given time. And did he prove to be a great player ? He sure did. Well if we can give Rioch credit for one thing then it was to bring DB to The Arsenal. It was AW who made DB rise his game to his full potential at the end. Ooops this last sentence is totally wrong off course. AW had already lost it then… 😉

  5. We win because we are quality, through and through quality. Im a die hard Arsenal supporter, trophy or no trophy!

  6. Ignoring the details is the most important part. The most common argument I hear is that “the youth policy hasn’t brought us any trophies for 4 years so it will never work.” Simplify things, dumb them down, because you know your argument will fail if examined in more detail.

    Another advice for doom and gloomers is that if things are not going well, assume that they will continue to get worse and no improvement is ever possible. To you, football is not an unpredictable game. The season is not full of surprising twists and turns. Whatever is, remains, unless it gets worse.

  7. Tony’s article points the exact reason why I can’t be bothered with sites like, a fantastic format spoilt by the most ill-logical, bias content and some “so called” Arsenal fans that sound more like Spuds then Gooners. It makes you wonder what some of these ‘plastic fanatics’ are going on about when they slate players like The verminator even before he’s kicked a ball, asking the board to spend ridiculously vast sums on money (when we know it’s not always a path to success (eh Tottenham!) and even having the audacity to say Wenger’s past it and should go just because we haven’t won a “trophy” in a few seasons, even though we all know what we’ve just built, what we are about as a club, the financial strength, history, future and one of the most respected clubs in the world. Muppets the lot of ’em… Keep the faith Gooners

  8. Agreed Tony but other elements are (in no particular order):

    A complete & utter lack of perspective or reason.

    An influx of expensive players will bring instant success.

    A fundamental lack of love or feeling for the game for what it is – ie glory hunting mentality.

    An ever present expectation of perfection in every game.

    An instance that our defence is useless if it concedes a chance, & that better teams will punish us, leading to the belief that we should appoint Tony Adams as a defensive coach, in spite of the fact that the teams he has managed so far have shed shiploads of goals.

    A non understanding that the opposition are sometimes quite good & are very often capable of making it a bit difficult.

    An undeniable belief that you are the realist.

    A constant belief that the grass is greener elsewhere & everyone else’s players are better than any we have.

    Believing any story in the press linking us with buying or selling players, then expressing bitter disappointment when the player doesn’t arrive.

    Stating the obvious & thinking you are so clever do so & that AW might not have thought about it too.


    Oh dear this could go on & on.

    Even so, I suppose I become a D&Ger after a bad performance but thankfully the perspective soon comes back. AW must have been one as well, at half time yesterday.

  9. oh that sounds like the majority of the soecalled arsenal fans. I sometimes do not understand why they support arsenal, they clearly do not like what they see. I wish they would all go support someone els.. I love arsenal, simply because they provide the best entertainment ever… best football best entertainment most exciting squad. If you want 20 million signings or several 15 million signings go support Liverpool. Rumours say their signings has taken them very far and that it is thanks to their clever buyings this year they are playing as they are. This would be a perfect team to support for the plastic arsenal fans. Massive amounts spent on transfer targets. Or support city that has the money you crave.. they want more fans. its true! they try to build a fanbase, only waiting for you…
    yet again very good post mr!

  10. Flint – “the opposition are sometimes quite good & are very often capable of making it a bit difficult”

    Love that one!!!!

    One day people are saying “we should smash West Ham at Upton Park because they are crap” and the next day the same people are saying “sign Carlton Cole because he is awesome and exactly the type of player that gives opposing defenses problems”.

    And then they dont see the obvious contradictions.

    Or saying things like “Chelsea and Utd would smash that team” the week after Chelsea lose at Wigan or Utd lose at home to Sunderland. Arsenal are ALWAYS the only team that loses to inferior opposition because we are just SO BAD!!!!!!!

  11. and my personal favourite argue that wenger should have signed felipe melo who brilliantly just won the worst player in the italian league lol

  12. The negativity will effectively stop as soon as we win a championship. No silverware for 5 years while watching rivals lift trophies will tend to bring out those evil doom and gloomers. We are trying to do something different then every successful club in history. Win major trophies in the the biggest league in the world on a self enforced budget. This puts a huge target on our backs for those negativity mongers. We do need to have some balance in our approach. I am not a negativity monster and I love our team, but I think the pendulum may have swung a little to far towards youth development at the expense of winning.

  13. The Doom & Gloomers are mostly a brigade whose opinions are first and foremost formed by the incompetent and lazy media. Then the flawed opinion is reinforced strongly by the IKBs (I know Better) of ‘Le Anti-Support It’s-a-crime-to-love-the-team-or-manager Groove’.

    Having played so much of Championship Manager game, they trick their own minds into thinking that they are actually better at football management than Wenger.

    They actually know absolutely nothing about football; Have absolutely no understanding of the game; and judges everything through a myopic view using hindsight to support their argument.

    MEDIOCRE FOOLS the lot of them.

  14. Bollox This Arsenal team just won a big game – great and I’m very pleased. However as we all know we will win FA this season again due to Mr Wenger not addressing key issues like a pathetic keeper, a defense just one injury away from disaster. Thus should have been our season, but is not going to be due to petty penny pinching and stubboness.

  15. The one thing I hate about most of the articles on this site is you so rarely give me anything to argue with! Great stuff again!

  16. Tony,
    Great post as usual. Why, just today I was reading a blog that seem to highlight all of the points you discussed above. I am wondering if it was the same one that set you off?

  17. Great stuff Tony! I was reading and just nodding in agreement, looked like one of those bobble heads. The very reason I’m here is because I feel that I’m an escapee from that insane asylum. Mind you, I never considered myself a patient there.

    Well then, D&G syndrome sounds like a mental condition to be diagnozed. Do you think the shrinks (you call them Analysts in Europe, I believe) would take this as a treatable condition? I have a feeling it is also highly contagious. Now, that might require a quarantine.

  18. Tony: A stunningly effective critique of the negativism that pervades some ‘supporters’ sites. You sound as angry as I felt reading some of the comments after the victory at Liverpool. Debate is to be welcomed, but taking a hatchet to team morale is at best destructive self-indulgence, and at worst shows a calculated desire to attack and undermine the team and its support.

    Walter: An important element of the D&G mindset is to set standards that are virtually unattainable, and to dismiss as total abject failure any individual or team performance that falls short of these standards. Hence, they demand complete and unrelenting dominance of each and every game throughout the whole season. This style of thinking is known to undermine performance, not enhance it, and makes individuals who adopt this style extremely vulnerable to depression. Stu

  19. Hahahaha, this is fabulous even though I’m guilty of doing every single one of them (especially as far as Denilson is concerned). Up the gunners!

  20. hmmm……why did’nt you write this post Pool game, this team is far from achieving…..especially with the ilk of Denilson and Almunia…we were lucky that webb did’nt take gerrards bait. i challenge anyone to say with any conviction that Denislson, Diaby, Eduardo (yes!), Eb-f***k-oue will ever make. they won’t. Denilson is appalling against any of the top teams, out muscled, out thought always. I’ll argue the point about the financials. 15 million for Ardshavin did’nt break us did it. not exactly madrid and look what a difference he makes….We are not asking for 5 porsches….just a few high spec tough off roaders! Arshavins presence prove the case to spend wisely and remember Wegner was hand was forced to buy Ardshavin from above. What KILLS me is that Wegners genius need just a tempering of reality to make this team unbeatable but he persists with players that just wont make it.

  21. Gold. Absolute gold.

    As a writer of an Arsenal blog I know the unfortunate power of the doom and gloomers and how quickly their negative feelings can multiply into an unstoppable force.

    At the end of the day it comes down to modern media: people saying what they think when they’re high on emotion and haven’t had time to digest their thoughts. You get 10 people like that and it’s very hard to stop.

    To TheSKAGooner – buddy, Twitter is a nightmare for football. The sport is so beautiful and a game so unpredictable that I find one of the least fun things to do is communicate with people via ongoing texts. Sit down, watch the 90 minutes and debate after the game, but don’t do something that takes away from the experience of a great game of football!

  22. Colonel Mustard, for 5 Porsces you like to have, 15mil to 20mil per player in my math is b/n 75mil to 100mil, and yes will for sure break us! It will be irresponsible to spend that kind of money. I remember an away game at Everton where Edwardo scored a few goals, a game we usually struggle to even get a tie, won it 4-1. Edwardo, given time will come good. Patience is all that is required. Denilson and Eboue are doing exactly what Wenger require them to do in the team too. What more could we ask for?

  23. Colonel mustarda ur clearly 1 of da D&Grz… I mus agree that almunia may not b the best keeper out ther but look at cech who is way past his best days eva sinc he got injured. Ppl still go on about him as if he is world class even tho terry nd carvalho hide his flaws so well… I’m sick nd tired of da whole denilson is rubbish argument. The guy had a poor 1st half like most of da team(including king fab) but he turned it around in da 2nd half… I saw him make numerous challenges nd made a few crucial interceptions thanx to his good positional sense… I rememba a particular moment wen he made a challeng on a liv playa near da sideline late on. This guy is quality nd has captaind brazil at al junior levels so i don’t think wenger is da only crazy person 2 believ in him nd giv him a chanc 2 develop. He still makes mistakes but he wil cut thos owt as he matures into a seasoned professional… We enquired bowt arshavn in da summer U idiot !!! Wenger was impressed by his performanc at euro nd said he was a special player. The media inflated his price nd zenit becam greedy. So don’t act as if wenger was bein stubborn nd finally gave in… Instead of lookin at al da positives dat come from da youth policy u choos 2 look at al da negatives. Trust me if u hav a negativ attitude towards somethin u will easily find somethin wrong… Anyway gunnerz 4 life!!!

  24. You forget the unwritten rule Tony. The secret code. If you want to get an active blog, and become an internet millionaire, pick a really popular topic, something that attracts millions of people, something like…….. Football! Then pick the most marketable league in the most marketable language, something like……..English PL! Then pick a popular multinational team with a big following worldwide, a team like…….Arsenal!

    Now you can hone in on your target market.
    Whatever the team does, stand diametrically opposed to it, choose bluster, choose verbiage, choose illogicality, choose a cod Scottish accent, choose the veneer of football punditry, choose twaddle, Chris Twaddle, or Glen Twaddle, or any twaddle, choose article submission software that will reorder someone else’s tawdry article from some dingy hole on the internet and recycle it in lurid ringspun colours, choose artificiality, the ersatz opinion, the borrowed phrase, the tired cliche, the lame excuse, the souffle of opinion formed in the cauldron of another catastrophic defeat, choose whatever you want , as long as it is hopelessly and irrevocably stupid and and can sit next to old nick in court with a shiny suit and offices at Grays Inn – then dress it up in an Arsenal logo, type it in, and pray.

    Not forgetting the most important thing:

    “Why not visit our new forum! Click here to have a look…”

  25. Oh who knows anyway? I find myself in disagreement with Arsene almost never….At the same time I found this article a bit tough to swallow. My fulltime job requires me to drink the company punch because they pay me well to do so..But every now and then some thoughts or ideas are just wrong. So as with the spirit of independence I object and I do so LOUDLY! So I get the points of negativity because I too have been on blogs where the previous tenants were followed in order to a T. That’s why I find myself checking in here more often than not. And, for the life of me I can’t follow the logic of the Denilson haters…I say for the dissenters, complainers et al just provide the logic and reason and allow for proper debate and maybe at the end of it we can agree to disagree. Other than that proper debate allows for great discussion and points of view…It gets a bit lame when an article is written and every response is in utter agreement…

  26. there is a saying that goes like this…

    It takes one to know one..

    You win a game then people jump on their high horses and talk crap about how loyal they are and how they believe no matter what as if they were worshipping GOD for example..

    What a pathetic article and a obviously written by someone who thinks their shit doesn’t stink !

    ‘But he wants glory people’..lets give it him then…

  27. Great article. I hate reading other a lot of other arsenal blogs because i good deal of them seem so pessimistic all the time. They think they’re all knowing. The worst is the blogs that give the players ratings. They’re extremely harsh and i feel they’re unqualified to judge our players on such a rigid scale. I love reading your blog because it is insightful, intelligent, and optimistic. cudos for being the creme de la creme of Arsenal Bloggers

  28. Great article Tony, after reading all those comments from “the other” blog even i wanted to start a blog and put forward those points, you saved the world from my writing. I agree whole heartedly with all your points. Especially 4 and 8 , how can any bloggers / any IKBs( i like this “I Know Better) think that they know better than some one who has spent 55 years of his life in football and few decades coaching. And about Denilson being a DM he intercepts and tackles more than anyone in the team may be better than anyone in the league still he gets all those hatred and they simply say he is not good enough. Anyway forget negativism and believe in Arsene and be happy.

  29. Well said Tony. I’ll happily confess to a public apology to Alex Song. Long after the Fulham game (was it 3 seasons ago?) I thought he was a bit of a waste of space, but last season against the spuds away when we down to ten men, he made the magic jump from misfit to real gooner. And, more importantly has stayed there. Wish I could say the same about young Theo. I’m dying for him to make that permanent leap but fear it may never happen.

  30. Hartwick89, you make a good point. It’s fine to disagree as long as it’s done with logic and reason.

    But I think this blog, more than almost any other, provides a forum for intelligent conversation. What I can’t stand is how at other places, there are all these trolls who simply sling insults at others who disagree with them. Last week when Chelsea-fan Joe was flooding the blog, I think people here generally did a fine job of responding to him in a clever and civil manner. There were no “you are a f^&*ing moron” or “Your mom/sister/daughter is a w&*(re” comments.

    There is a distinction between being blindly pro-Wenger and logically pro-Wenger. I’d like to believe that most of the people on this board are of the latter, and if Wenger ever screws up big, he’d be called out for it. It’s just that right now–as you so rightly point out–it’s pretty hard for any intelligent person to disagree with what the Boss is doing.

  31. Hee Hee… Funny, but well said.

    see the difference 2 weeks make!

    patience and the arsenal team will come good!

  32. What a great post TONY!

    I gotta say that the one thing they do the most is CONTRADICTING themselves without even knowing it.

    After this Liverpool win they said things along the line of “it’s a fluke, we got 2 shots on target and scored on both, Liverpool was crap, blahblahblah”.

    After we lost the manu they were the first to point out the the RESULT was all that matter, it didn’t matter if we outplayed by a mile.

    You see my drift??? We just won a very very tough game but they just didn’t give a damn because it discredited their status about Arsenal’s failing to ever win big games. And some of them said this is not a big game because Liverpool is not in top 4…..utterly crappppppppppp my friend.

    Another thing is that when they ran out of logical points to argue, they’ll start saying how they don’t care about gunners outside of England, that they’re not real fans………..the last time I checked AGE and GEOGRAPHY aren’t factors in loving any club.

    and they dare to say they love Arsenal more than me……shit I want Arsenal to win more than anything but I won’t ever take a piss on the club I love like they do.

  33. According to the D&G people support a team for winning trophies only which means teams at the bottom half of the table must not have supporters or those that support them are crazy. I support a team with its weaknesses and like all our players even though when they dont play well or the team lose I get frustrated.

  34. There are many types of this vermin:

    1. The IKBs: They know everything and are always right on hindsight. The best players are the ones we never had. Every player who left was world class. The ones we have are rubbish. The board which turned a world Top 15 club into a world Top 5 club are morons and know nothing. The manager who achieves so much on so little is a fool. Wenger’s whose player knowledge formed an important part of Mourinho & Chelski’s rise is a fool, and Moaninho is a god. We all know after all that Chelski simply went after Arsenal and Man Utd targets and paid double.

    2. The miserable sods: The guys at the Online Gooner are masters at this. They’re so negative they must spike their tea with battery acid. The kind of miserable moaning, whingeing, self-hating support have a physiological need for things to gripe about and players to hate.

    3. The chronically stupid: Myles Palmer is a buffoon and most of the people who take him serious are of the same ilk. Nothing they say is of genuine value.

    4. The wind-up merchants: The guys at Arsenal Action and Le Grove fit this category. They’re like tabloids. The headline is more important than the substance of the story. They have no substance, and like category 3 they say nothing of genuine value because they’re in it for their own feelings of self-importance.

    5. The tabloid/moan-in slave: I read it in NOTW so it must be true. These ones are just gullible. What they are really are bandwagoners. Once they hear something said twice they buy into it wholeheartedly. The tabloids say we must spend, and Arsense is stubborn, and Arsenal are in crisis, we will be kicked out of the Top 4, we don’t have English players etc.

    6. The BNP & BNP-lite: We don’t have many English players in the starting 11. They hate this with a passion, and hate the team. Many of these aren’t even supporters. They’re guys on a mission.

    7. The chavs: You know them. They want shiny silver and they want it today. Deliver it or die. They’ll sell their saviour for silver. This type of fan I have the least sufferance for. If all you want is silver, just go support the team that last won any.

  35. How can u say ppl outsid of eng aren’t real supporters…I’m from south africa nd i’m a die hard arsenal fan. I watched nearly every single arsenal game. Win or lose i’m a gunner 4 life

  36. Ole Gunner
    You’re spot on mate. Well said. Visiting Pyles Malmer and Le Grove is like having that last glass of Merlot. You know you shouldn’t but as Oscar Wylde said, “I can resist anything but temptation.”

  37. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Cheers to Andy @ ArsenalFCBlog for pointing this article out.

    I admit that I probably swing too far the other way at times, being an advocate of chance after chance for all, and while criticism is always valid, some people take it far too far.

    As a blogger myself, the one I get frustrated with the most is the list of names that Wenger ‘must buy’ being thrown around. Usually they fall into two categories:
    1) Players we are forever linked with and it is clear Wenger will never buy (Yaya Toure, Martins etc)
    2) Players rumoured to join us in the Sun, that people have never heard of, but is suddenly The Answer.

    Cheers for a great morning read.

  38. Tumi, I think that most people over here don’t care if you are from England or not. Even if you would live on the moon or mars. As long as you are an Arsenal fan most over here welcome that what ever your origins is.
    As I’m not being English and one of those Johhny Foreigner fans I must say that I always witnessed great sympathy and friendship when ever I came to London and to The Arsenal.
    In fact most of the time when we are in the Emirates and people notice we speek a strange kind of language the are curious and ask where we are from and we always get very nice reactions.
    So if any one should say that because you live in another country you are not a real fan just ignore him. I, like you, watch almost every minute of every game on my tv or pc or laptop and I feel a bond with the Arsenal as much as a Gooner living in Holloway road.

  39. Absolutely brilliant and refreshing.

    Tony, I’ve got to the stage of consciously avoiding some Arsenal blogs and actively managing my health and well-being.

  40. almunia is shit and was at fault for the bindippers goal. Why shouldn’t I say that? He should never be wearing an Arsenal shirt. He is by far one of the worst goalkeepers in the premier league

  41. Its quite mastery to me how those people, always find something to complain about. Few weeks ago we had (on our Arsenal-Bosnia forum) fight about Wenger, and they came with theory how Graham was a way better than Le Boss, when I gave tables and showed that under AW never fall under 4th, and with Graham we had some “less bright” seasons, their argument is “truth is only what I say”.
    Second irritating thing is that they never say anything about games we win. They keep silent, and if asked why, they say we dont want have verbal orgasms because minor wins over “low graded” teams.
    If we beat Everton, its low graded team, if Chel$ea drop points against them, its only because there are no “weak teams” in EPL.

  42. Hartwick89

    “I say for the dissenters, complainers et al just provide the logic and reason and allow for proper debate and maybe at the end of it we can agree to disagree.”

    I agree but you very rarely get beyond a simplistic argument based on suppositions lacking any in-depth facts.

    Simply the anti-support is the biggest danger to AW’s great project. Yes there are times when you wonder why he hasn’t done this or that or played him when you would have played someone else.

    That will always be right for reasonable discussion. What you get though is so & so is shit or you get stupid derogatory nicknames. Support Wenger & you get accused of being “rose tinted” & “aknb” etc etc.

    I have been going to the Arsenal since 1956 & I have known quite a few players over the years, albeit not recently. The one thing any player would tell you is that confidence is the most important part of the game. It can make an average player brilliant but lack of it makes the greatest poor.

    At the moment we have very many young players, who are in a very competitive industry. To get into a top 10 PL team you have to be pretty exceptional footballers. To play for the current Arsenal team is another level up. They are under pressure & need our support at all times, not a battering even after a good performance, eg Denilson (who is top top quality believe me).

    So for me you either support Arsenal, taking the good with the bad, or at this particular juncture you deserve anything that the legendry Frank , at ACLF, can throw at you. He is an Arsenal hero in my book.

  43. I’m playing Devil’s Avocado here but I do feel there are some valid points that get lost in between the binary opposition of the AKBs and D&G IKBs. One of the problems is that the more the D&G’s slag and slate, dismiss and grate the more the many of the AKBs harden their stance and go too far to the opposite.

    Any regular here will know I am throughly pro-Wenger but I do feel there are issues that get a little lost in the tug of war.

    For example, I hate the fact that most D&Gs manage to completely overlook the amazing achievement of taking the club into a new stadium whilst keeping us in the top 4 and managing to genuinely challenge for several trophies. This deserves enormous respect but in the minds of the D&Gs is reduced to irrelevance because they are angry we have not actually won anything for 5 years.

    What gets lost in the backlash to this lack of respect, is that there is a decent and reasonable argument to be had that Wenger could have sacrificed his principles just a little and fleshed out the club with a just a few more established, key players. I see much talent coming through but little in the way of cover for our central defence or a DM to challenge/cover for Song.

    In a weird way, though we have had more injuries than any other club this season, we have been lucky. Any injuries to Gallas, Vermaelen or Song could yet derail our season and, having sold Adebayor and Toure for considerable money, it is definitely arguable that he should have done a little more to strengthen.

    Another interesting fact is how football fans have changed in attitude – the culture of expectation is an ugly beast. Look at Czech’s and Chelsea’s treatment for their draw on the weekend. Patience is thinner than ever these days and even great managers or players are only as good as their last game.

    On a separate point I once wrote into Le Grove to complain at the fact that it was ok for several people to refer to Wenger as a c*nt but unacceptable for me to take polite issue with it. My comment though reasonably put and without attacking anyone was not printed. I then asked why this was, especially given that the site claimed to be “A site you can have an opinion, not get one”.

    I was by return accused of not being a ‘real Arsenal fan and had probably never been to a game’ and then told that my comments would find a better home elsewhere.

    Le Grove where you can have any opinion you want so long as it agrees with theirs!

  44. If I may take the reply above by Gooner Michael, as a way of trying to explain what I am saying…

    GoonerMichael said

    almunia is shit and was at fault for the bindippers goal. Why shouldn’t I say that? He should never be wearing an Arsenal shirt. He is by far one of the worst goalkeepers in the premier league

    What I want to try and clarify is that I absolutely have no wish to stop people saying pretty much anything they want, as long as it is not illegal. So I have no desire to stop that statement, and I have certainly allowed it through onto the site.

    My point (and it is after all just my point of view) is that it would be more helpful to an Arsenal supporter such as myself if that point were made as an debating point, or an argument, rather than a statement.

    I personally don’t think he is the worst in the league, but on what basis are we arguing here? Saves made? Goals let in which others would have saved? Statistics? What?

    And that really was the point of my article. To explain this further I will use an example from my own writing NOT because I think I am God’s gift to literature, but because I don’t want to implicate anyone else in making my point. Everyone can speak for themselves.

    I argued throughout last season that the criticism of Denilson was wrong, and I explained why, analysing the way he stood off players and seemed to have an extraordinary ability to know where the ball would be after the opposition player touched it. As a result, I argued, seeing Denilson in terms of tackles made (for example) was completely wrong, because he was playing in a different way.

    My point is, that is an argument, which can be argued against, and counter points can be put. As the debate continued last season I even spent one game doing nothing but watch Denilson – even when he wasn’t near the ball. OK it screwed up my enjoyment of the whole game, but it was worthwhile to explore the point.

    That’s part of the point I am making. The other point is that we should allow Wenger time to develop players – and if you want an example of why, look at Song. He is now fast turning into one of the top players in the EPL. At the start of the season before last when I wrote a piece in Highbury High, saying that he would become one of the great players, I was laughed at, but on the grounds that “you obviously weren’t at Fulham mate”.

    What I am trying to do is widen the debate, but I am never trying to stop other people being part of this or any other debate.

    All I want is a debate which goes beyond announcements and statements.

  45. Dear Tony is The Problem –

    what a marvelous and concise post. Assuming you are one of the standard-bearing stalwarts of Le Grove, you have made the remarkable achievement of proving one of the central points about the D&G band that populate Le Grove: that they make points as facts and provide nothing of substance to back them up. We could all play at that game, but it isn’t very productive – Le Grove is shit and you’re a muppet.

    Easy see?

  46. Jonny,

    You make a valid point but you have put up a decent example for reasoned discussion.

    I happen to share your concerns re the CBs & Song. At the moment we have Senderos & Sylvestre as back up, with Djourou injured. Now they both have their faults but are experienced internationals, who for the moment are prepared to be squad players. Can you better players than them, to not play? It very much looks like Senderos will be off in January, so I would be very much expect him to be replaced & if Sol is showing anything like, in training, he could make an ideal stopgap, being available for all competitions.

    This is a long term project so it makes no sense to put too many ok players in front of those who can be outstanding. The mystical thing is just how AW has got many so youngsters into the team, since 2006. Young players who can go on to be the very best. They have had to learn under pressure & criticism. All that & we have comfortably kept top 4, in spite of ludicrous spending elsewhere, got 83 points in a season & reached the later stages of the CL.

    That is a major miracle, football wise, so I think you have to accept all the package, as it is, to see where it can take us even though there are no guarantees.

    You see a topic of reasonable discussion but you know & I know that is not what you get from the anti-support.

  47. I think I quite like to be the problem.

    It takes me back to my school days, when I have a distinct memory of being told in an A level English class, “it is not socio-economic basis of the society in which Wordsworth lived that is the problem, Attwood, it is you that is the problem.”

    Mind you the same guy also said on one of my school reports, “What this boy does to the English language should be a criminal offence” and I then wrote that on the front of my essay book and produced an essay which analysed a society in which specific types of writing are criminalised.

    I want Le Grove to be there. I love the fact that we have the internet and blogs and that we can all have our say. And if some idiot in government or in Arsenal or anywhere else ever wanted to start trying to shut Le Grove or any other legit (by which I mean non-racist etc) blog down I would (even at my advanced age) be up on the barricades with them, defending their right to say what they want.

  48. Tumi: From one Arsenal fan to another, I SALUTE YOU. Keep up your support. I support you!

    Mikey, Colonel Custard (or did you say Mustard), Oz-gooner: You see supportting a team is best left to those who really understand what SUPPORT really means. It doesn’t mean disect; Neither does it mean reprimand. It doesn’t mean berate; Neither does it mean denigrate. It doesn’t mean over-criticize; Neither does it mean demoralise. It most certainly DOES NOT mean Hate. According to, Support means:
    1. transitive verb – To bear the weight of, especially from below.
    2. transitive verb – To hold in position so as to keep from falling, sinking, or slipping.
    3. transitive verb – To be capable of bearing; withstand:
    4. transitive verb – To keep from weakening or failing; strengthen:
    5. transitive verb – To provide for or maintain, by supplying with money or necessities.
    6. transitive verb – To furnish corroborating evidence for:
    7. transitive verb – To aid the cause, policy, or interests of:
    8. transitive verb – To argue in favour of; advocate:
    9. transitive verb – To endure; tolerate:
    10. transitive verb – To act in a secondary or subordinate role to (a leading performer). on its own part has these two interesting definitions worthy of note:
    2. to sustain or withstand (weight, pressure, strain, etc.) without giving way; serve as a prop for.
    3. to undergo or endure, esp. with patience or submission; tolerate.

    So, therefore, describes a SUPPORTER as:
    1. a person or thing that supports.
    2. an adherent, follower, backer, or advocate.
    It defines a FAN as: “an enthusiastic devotee, follower, or admirer of a sport” Origin – short for ‘Fanatic’.

    Now according to me, a FAN Supports irrespective of changing fortunes, ie, Win, Lose or Draw.

    So guys, no where does it say “Fair Weather” or “Glory Hunting”. You really need to decide which you want to be; a Fan/Supporter or Fair Weather/Glory Hunter. If the latter, someone already suggested ManShitty or Chavski (those ones have plenty of plastic fans already).

    But to be an Arsenal Fan, you must be in love with an aesthetic way of playing football and a durable sustainace of the club, not just after silverware. great when we win, fine when we draw and not-the-end-of-the-world when we lose. Got it? Thank you.

  49. I actually see what could make D&G happy.I mean, I hear them saying, there is nothing against Wenger,but only about his policy, if he would adjust it than they will support him. And those are only little things AW have to do to make it
    1) to buy Shiva as replacement for Almunia
    2) to buy some big tall defenders from some American basketball team
    3) to buy some handball players (probably from German or Spanish league, they rule that sport lately) in forward whose shoot percent would be about 90% per a game

    But what I don’t see is how it can make Arsenal be more successful in EPL. In circus as Freak show I do, but for EPL I really don’t see point in it.

  50. Tony, interesting and amusing article but you are missing the main point. There are blogs which are not from Arsenal supporters but set up by supporters of other teams to undermine Arsenal, the manager and the team. Met a guy who had taken out an Arsenal Red membership who admitted that he used to support Spurs, his story was interesting and I think was too pertinent to be made up. He and several others had set up a blog (he didn’t tell me which one) with the following purpose:
    1. Couldn’t beat Arsenal so better to undermine the support of the team
    2. Target no 1 was Wenger – he figured (rightly I believe) that Wenger was the main difference between a top team and mid table (especially with a limited budget)
    3. Prey on negativity – it is always more popular than positive news – just watch any news broadcast
    4. Undermine the principles and approach of the team and manager
    5. Feed the anti Arsenal media – phone ins, press, etc with arguments purporting to show disillusionment from “died in the wool” Arsenal supporters (no trophy for 4 yrs, supporters questioning Wenger, booing of players in the stadium, and so on).
    6. Make money – pay per click etc
    7. Its more fun essentially winding up Arsenal fans than endless and pointless discussions on your own teams shortfallings.

    Many football fans are not too bright (another fact they prey on) but this guy was very articulate, he knew what they were doing and had a clear strategy. I asked why the switch of allegiance from the Totts of all teams. He said that one of the requirements was to watch all televised Arsenal games. They needed to pick the holes in each performance or name the usually young player not yet at the top level that could be pilloried. He said after some time he basicly appreciated the football better than what he’d been watching for years and had gone from grudging acceptance of the quality, especially in Europe CL to admiration for what was happening on the pitch (win, lose or draw). He came to the conclusion that the quality of the football was more important than the ultimately tribal allegience he’d been functioning on.

    My own thoughts on the D&G’s is that much of it is a wind up. Although it has unfortunately had the desired effect of poisoning some of the support. Better to ridicule it (as you do well Tony) or ignore it – don’t feed them with comments or clicks.

  51. The funny thing is that those of us who don’t fall into the D&G ranks, gladly embrace the labels they pass on us. I am happy to be an Arsene Knows Brigadier. I am happy to be a blighted optimist.

    Tony here makes it clear the point of his blog is to support Wenger and Arsenal.

    But they always try to run away from the correct tags for their attitudes and behaviour.

    So, deep down they know there’s something wrong with what they’re doing.

  52. lol just look at this comment from Vital Arsenal :

    Arshavin was a shadow for most of the game, put his boot behind one lucky shot (off the post) and based on the qualities of the rather small player, he wouldn’t get a game for Portsmouth. Arshavin – completely overrated.

    the funny part is i saw this comment just after glancing through Tony’s article and his comment is kinda proof of this article :P.

  53. Anyone fancy setting up a Tottenham blog which worries about the fact that Arry wrecked West Ham, Southampton and Portsmouth and might be doing the same economically at White Hart Lane.

    Actually no, I don’t think I want them to realise that truth. Better stay silent and watch the crash.

  54. Well Jack I have seen the game a few times again and it really is surprisingly when you look at Arshavin and see how much work he did in the second half in running around to prevent the Liverpool defenders an easy life at the back. He even got a (harsh) yellow card because he made a few fauls on them. He once got caught out and after that he was so embarresed with himself he never stopped running around working his socks off.

    Indeed just an example on how those twats look at the game. They haven’t got a clue.

  55. I’ve said that when they ran out of arguments they will make a comment such as “u never been to an Arsenal game so ure not real Arsenal fan” and so on….

    What they’re saying is stupid and borderline incrimination talk.

    Does a person who live half way across the world but is dying for a live match at the ems or cannot afford a ticket not real fans??

    Take the fact that most of us who never saw a live match (I saw Arsenal once when the toured the Asia in 1999) see EVERY Arsenal game live somewhere I’d say the argument sucks.

    It’s like saying you can’t be a real Kung Fu fan because you’re not from China….pretty stupid huh?

    Loving something meant sticking and loving it through thick and thin.

    Arsenal is a club for everyone who CHOOSE to support it….

  56. Jack;
    It’s from the same people who slacked Wenger off for buying an unknown Belgian defender……..another thing they had to swallow real hard.

    I really wonder and am looking forward for their reactions when we win things….

  57. One of the common D&G arguments centres around the costs to go and see the team at the Ems (based on the fact we have the most expensive tickets in the country and it costs £4 a pint, the food is shit etc).

    They seem to think that the club has lots of money and Wenger has created a model which allows us to buy cheap and sell players for profit – thus benefiting the clubs owners at the expense of the fans.

    The cry is basically “It’s our club and we want it back”.

    The hilarious thing about this is they want Arsenal to spend big on players thereby putting the club in financial jeopardy. I cannot see how this will lower ticket prices – it merely leaves us vulnerable to rising debts.

    I am also sure they all wanted us to move to a new bigger stadium but having got that they don’t seem to realise the financial constraints this incurs.

    If we were to sign one mega-superstar and pay his exorbitant £150K wages this would, in all likelihood, destabilise the club and wreck the wage structure. What if he played less well than the other players – would they demand more come contract negotiation time?? And how would any of that help keep the costs down?

    In short they want the moon on a stick – a club that wins ALL the time with a state of the art stadium, which charges peanuts for tickets and can afford the very best and most expensive players in the world.

    It was probably the excess of the Abramo-Chelsea era that kickstarted this unsustainable and ridiculous way of thinking but with rumours of £1billion Man Utd takeover om the horizon it seems it is here to stay.

    I honestly don’t know if I could support this club if they took the Usmanov route. It holds almost no appeal to me.

  58. @Jack Warner fan

    I take issue with your comment – something other posters have an issue with is statements without justification – just like you have just done. Great article Tony, loved every bit of it. Problem I have with Jacks comment is that I am a regular poster on Vital Arsenal and it is renowned for being one of the most articulate, funny, and newsworthy blogs around.

    Tim Stillmans match reports are a delight, and the site is staunchly pro-arsenal has nothing but respect for Wenger and his achievments.

    DjDutts is not a commentor I know from vital arsenal, the nature of the site means that anyone from any other vital site can comment on any other blog, so with his name not giving anything away it is impossible to tell if he is even an Arsenal fan – and based on my experience there, I am 99% sure he is not.

    Almost all the commenters and forum goers are intelligent and reasoned. It might be worth reading the content of the site before tarnishing us all with the same brush. Cheers.

  59. GoonerMicheal’s comment above about Almunia “almunia is shit and was at fault for the bindippers goal. Why shouldn’t I say that? He should never be wearing an Arsenal shirt. He is by far one of the worst goalkeepers in the premier league” perfectly show the D&G mentality.

    Hands up anyone here who thinks Almunia is top-class? I dont see any hands. We all know Almunia is dodgy to say the least. He certainly was at fault for Liverpool’s goal. But if you take last weekends action as a starting point then Petr Cech is certainly a far worse keeper than Almunia. The fact is that the League is full of worse keepers than Almunia. Would we like to see a world-class keeper at Arsenal? Of course, but who? Everyone loved Mannone when he came into the side and was brilliant at Fulham but then he cost us goals in virtually every other game he played and cost us a win at West Ham. I even saw comments the other day on a blog saying Fabianski should “DEFINATELY” be the No.1 because he was “FAR BETTER” than Almunia. Based on what evidence I would like to know?

    And there is that “he isnt fit to wear an Arsenal shirt” stuff again. Comments like that cant be taken seriously since Alex Song was the most recent person that everyone claimed “wasnt fit to wear the Arsenal shirt”.

    I always wonder what the D&G’s would have done to Tony Adams. Tony Adams was AWFUL his first few full seasons, and fully deserved all the donkey taunts he got everywhere across the country. But people were patient and he turned into one of the great defenders. Patience.

    Debate is fine. I personally think Traore was poor on Sunday, Almunia was at fault for the goal, Walcott was invisible, Nasri was weak, and Arshavin was nowhere in the 1st half. Are any of those players therefore “unfit” to wear the Arsenal shirt? Of course not. Are those players still better than just about any other players in England? Of course they are, because we wouldnt be in 3rd place (2nd if we win our game in hand) if our players were as bad as some make out.

  60. @Paul C.

    Good point regarding Almunia – he’s not shit, but he is definitely not the best keeper we’ve had. I think it would be fairer to say that Fabianski is a talented young keeper, and is probably due a shot between the sticks after coming back from injury.

    Because to be honest, it’s not like he could do much worse now is it? 😉

    Manuel was solid last season, this season he seems to have been affected by personal problems and his form just doesn’t seem the same, kicking is wayward and his decision making is a little odd at times. Judging by Arsene’s previously ruthless attitude towards goal keeping mistakes, expect Fabianski to come in for Manuels almost inevitable “thigh strain”

  61. In short they want the moon on a stick – a club that wins ALL the time with a state of the art stadium, which charges peanuts for tickets and can afford the very best and most expensive players in the world.

    Exactly.And they’d probably still beat the manager over the head with the same stick

  62. wow, this post definitely struck a chord. for the most part, i think it’s a good example of what reasoned debate should be.

    mark–i wouldn’t mind having the moon on a stick, either! sounds pretty cool. but to be serious, i think arsenal already does w/ arsene at the helm.

    arsene has the intelligence and ability to be anything he wants. he could’ve done anything and succeeded. the fact that he’s a football coach, let alone at arsenal, is something that we all should be thankful for. whenever you are in doubt, just think about all those fans of teams that have been coached by harry redknapp.

    oh, the lawsuit against the dutch FA is pure genius.

  63. @Mark

    Amazingly they want all this and more. In my short time commenting and trying to be reasonable on certain blogs you get nothing but a brick wall of flak for suggesting anything other than the common opinion in the comments.

    They actually expect – even considering the almost limitless investment our rivals enjoy – The Arsenal to win every single game regardless of circumstances and are blind to the reasons for failure.

    Whoever noted that every other player on the planet seems to be the answer to our problems pretty much nailed it. It’s amazing how little talent the doom and gloom merchants see in our players despite us being well in the hunt for the title.

  64. I seem to have been in moderation for a lifetime!

    If anyone responds to my points I’ll come back. But before I go I just want to reiterate that Vital Arsenal is a fantastic blog and has a good bunch of regular commenters who are the furthest from D&G merchants.

    There’s the occasional bad egg but they often leave after being unable to respond with more than grunts and whining to intelligent debate.

    Also Tony – first time reading your blog, I think it’s marvellous – great set of commenters too. Good work. Just off to get my fill of ‘holic 😉

  65. From the guardian:

    Wenger added: “I learn everyday, and that is quite interesting. I learn a lot about myself as well, but the problem has always been you are facing people who want to do well in their life, and your job is to try to help them achieve something. That has not changed – today the basic human problems are still the same.”

    yeah. this is what i mean.

  66. Tony@ We will not decend that low to set up a Tiny Totts blog. We love football and respect ourselves far too much to engage in cheap trickery. We are upright! We are the Arsenal personified!!

  67. all the people who make the ‘not fit to wear the shirt’, i wonder what theyre wearing when they say it.

    great post tony.

  68. Good point Diamandave,£24m well spent.
    Has anyone EVEN seen Charmak play??esp with all this hype.

    Arsenal fans just wanna see some brazilian flair!
    Almunia is rubbish though!HOW DID ARSENAL MISS OUT ON GIVEN??????????

  69. new to this blog !!

    Prob gonna get shot down here.

    I like what you have written. It can be linked with another blog that I post on. I actually like your views……. and on the other blog I am pro wenger and think your points back me up.

    However, you have 83 posts for the day and the other blog prob over 600 !!! is this blog new or not attracting bloggers. If neither, then it seems there ar emore people unhappy than happy at the moment.

  70. It seems there are only two types of Arsenal fans: those who complain about the team and those who complain about the other fans.

  71. AFC for Life

    While size is not everything, I think you should note that on many sites a lot of those 600 comments are one liners – like “Great one” etc, while here we tend to attract people who have more of an argument to put.

    The readership of this site was 120,000 different people last month – but it is hard to compare with many other sites as often they dont declare their readership in this way.

  72. Tim: I was expecting that comment from you and you did not disappoint me. Great to know that I know you as well as I thought I did.

  73. Tommo – spot on, that is exactly my thinking as well. I thought Mannone got an extra long audition when Almunia’s was “unfit” as it was and Fabianski might have been in the side as well had he not gotten injured as well. Almunia is on his final stages I would say. AW knows what good goalkeeping looks like but also knows that finding good goalkeepers, especially ones that can do well in England, is tough. I like Shay Given , but I dont rate him as highly as many other people do. Robert Green gets some good press, but the guy has made some awful blunders in his time (he seems to play blinders against us however).

    I dont see any OBVIOUSLY great keepers out there. Lots of hit and hopes.

    (By the way, to me this is the difference between D&G’s and other “fans”, it is almost impossible to have a sensible debate like this with the D&G’s, who seem to think our players are crap – except Cesc, Arshavin and Vermaelen – and all other players are great)

  74. @LRV

    It’s just funny to me. I write every day and each article is how I feel on that day. Sometimes I’m down, most of the times I’m up. Which of the dualistic, simplistic camps am I in then?

    I’d say neither and I’d even go so far as to suggest that both folks, the ones who are down on the squad and the ones who are down on the other fans, as handwringing.

    Do you really think you’re going to convince a person who has a negative outlook on Arsenal that they should be more positive? I’ve tried and I still have readers who come on, week in and week out and say the same negative stuff.

    Conversely, do I really think that I’m going to change the people who want to call some other fans names like “not real” or “doom and gloom?” I’ve tried that as well and still the camp is divided.

    I have started reading a lot of other blogs, blogs that are wider than just Arsenal and I have started to take a much more open, fun, and sort of irreverent approach. It’s football for fark’s sake, it should be something fun! That’s what we fell in love with, I HOPE!

    The point is that there are a lot of fans who don’t fall into either of these two simple camps.

    Does that mean that I’m always fun and irreverent? No, I’m a dude like everyone else and yes, I get down when I see that Almunia has pretty consistently been, well, erm… not, uhh, good, this year. I was nervous watching the Liverpool match and after I was down on Almunia, Diaby and Denilson because I thought they had poor matches.

    So what? According to this particular article I’m a doom and gloomer, because this article is a tautology which reduces supporters to one of two categories and then denounces tautologies.


    Ultimately, I really don’t care if others want to try to cetegorize my blog, my fandom, or me. It’s something I got used to, as an American Goonah, a long time ago.

    I think it was the Zen Philosopher Basho who once said “I am what I am.”

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to “toddle off” and write my little blog, I’ve had an article kicking its way out of my skull for about 4 hours.

  75. after all the talk and arguments, I’d like to sum up a fact:
    Arsenal is 3rd with a game in hand, potentially would go to 2nd with that win being 3 points behind the so called unbeatable rich team.
    A “realist” would take this fact and go with it.

    PS: as things stand, where had the hype around Melo gone? Is he a better player than Song now? At Song’s age was he this good?

  76. Well, because of your undivided support for Denilson even though crap I watched a replay of the game to review my view about him. Nothing has changed, he just don’t have what it takes to play for the Arsenal. The great Denilson was on the ground more often than the passes he gave. He specialises in backwards and sideways passes, passes that takeaway any counterattacking possibilities. He was one of the average players on the pitch including Walcott. He plays because he’s Arsene’s favourite but nothing else.

    I’m happy Diaby is back and will eventually keep him out of the team. I can see him leaving in a year or two because he can’t compete with the likes of Coquelin and Eastmond when they start getting games.

  77. @ Tim: It’s one thing to complain about the team in a reasoned, rational manner. It’s another to insist that each and every player on the team is rubbish/lightweight, and the manager has lost it/is stubborn/stingy. Even Fabregas has been getting stick for “not being a real leader” and “whining about tackles”.

  78. Tim;

    Your writings, at least here, to me don’t fit the D&G criteria.

    And people here do criticize players, we just don’t do it every hour.

    It’s just to me, there are many many worse players than Denilson. And people say 21 is not young anymore, pffff….

    I personally always give benifit of a doubt to Arsenal players. Nobody plays great every game but moaners never rate them when they do.

    And we all know Almunia, no one suggests he’s great. But we will never say we won’t win things with him cause it’s a sign of loser who already give up…and it’s one prediction in which we chose not to believe.

    Players like Denilson, Diaby, or Song always get bashed, many times wrongly so. At least Denilson this term had produced the goods often when he plays. And to me Ramsey is at the same stage as those I mentioned, but while the others are labeled not good enough Ramsey aren’t….to me they are all good young players with potential, yes there’s still potential there…

    But enough, I can go on and on all day but I will now watch Arshavin’s goal again and prepare myself for hopefully a comfortable win tomorrow.

  79. Tim – based on what I have seen of your writing I would never, ever class you as a D&G merchant. Like we have been saying, the D&G camp seem to be down on players and events even after we win games, or even when we are high in the table challenging for stuff. They are the types that think most of our players are poor, and all other players are great. And they call themselves things like “realists” and “real fans” and think everyone else is in some kind of fantasy land.

    I think most of us have no problem whatsoever with someone like, say, Barbados above, thinking Denilson is poor and Diaby is a better option. That is opinion and as long as it is expressed thoughtfully, and with reasons, then we can debate and have fun with that. Not all will agree with any point. I disagree with it and think Denilson was one of our better players against Liverpool but hey, that’s just my opinion.

    The D&G’s seem to think Arsenal have a god-given right to win ALL THE TIME and if we dont it has nothing to do with the fact that other teams are also trying to win (perhaps with greater resources) and everything to do with our crap players and crap manager.

  80. Barbados is a notorious Troll who’s been pumping out his anti-Denilson mantra under various avatars over at ACLF, for longer then I’ve been blogging, I’ve heard.

    Unfortunately he won’t give you anything other then his impeccable opinion. No description, video or stats on actual tackles. No passes, no mistakes.

    I guess he/it fits into a totally different kind of category of fan to the two so painstakingly described above.

    I once saw a video at an exhibition by an Israeli architect in Berlin. The video was of an incorrectly advertised architectural exhibition in Tel Aviv. All the great & and good turned out in their Sunday finest. The red curtains went back, and what was revealed was an exhibition of the horrors of peoples lives under The Wall, detailing in specific, incontrovertible detail the expansion and agenda of the settlements. Of course the guests were outraged. Not at the content of the exhibition, but at the fact that they’d been brought to the show under false pretences.

    You can show a bigot where their behaviour has exposed themselves, but they won’t admit it.

    Not sure if everyone will get the analogy there, it is a little vague. For those more curious, check out Jeff Winters home page and his reply to Ole Gunner pointing out his hypocrisy.

    I wonder if they’re still selling French Fries in Dublin?


  81. Quite so ‘The Law’.

    Barbados you seem close minded on the subject. Could it be that you are judging him too soon in his career?

    Le Grove today again slated Denilson but this time using statistics to back themselves up. This is hilarious – last year statistics suggested Denilson was one of the most involved players in Arsenal’s football. He carried the tag of lightweight because he was not given time to settle and because the media wrote him off. He was 19!

    Le Grove and other sites dismissed those statistics with the usual wave of the hand (you can prove anything with statistics) but are now attacking him for his statistical performance this year, in spite of the fact his statistics are rubbish because he’s only played 8 fecking games!

    Ashley Cole was what 22-23 when he rejoined Arsenal? But Denilson has been written off comprehensively by fans such as yourself, just as many had/have with Song.

    I am pretty confident that Denilson is going to go on to be a truly great footballer, he just needs some patient support. He is far from a bad player at present and coveted by a number of high profile managers.

    If the D&G’s had had their way Song would never have made it into the team – he is currently one of the best defensive midfielders in the country and looks better and better as time goes by though still I have to listen to him being written off as ‘too slow’.

    This all goes back to people thinking they know better than the professionals who run the club – I love my football but I am not proud enough to be unable to admit my knowledge is comparatively lacklustre.

  82. This is the first time I have read this site, it is a breath of fresh air !!. The link was sent to me by a mate and I immediately thought the subject matter was Le G***e, but lets remember life is full of people whose cup is half empty as opposed to half full. Like everyone else I have my favourite players and those who leave me scratching my head, but as a coach myself at grass roots I recognise that there are players who look excellent in training during the week, but have difficulty transferring that to matches on a weekend, making the manager look like a chump. As someone said before we are 3rd in the table (fact) despite a horrendous series of injuries let’s enjoy it for what it is

  83. Denilson is fustrating to watch,i’m confused about his role.
    As a defensive mid he gets bullied off the ball easily and i don’t rate his tackling.
    Most say Ramsey plays likes cesc but i think he’ll become a Gerard type player because he’s not scared to SHOOOOOOOOOOOT!,and a good box-to-box player.For me Denilson is more like Fabregas and not as a defensive mid.
    Premiership defensive mids don’t get bullied easily!


  84. Tim: I once commented that you can never qualify as a member of the D&G Brigade. You love the Arsenal and Arsene Wenger far too much to qualify. Besides, you put arguements logically, almost as good as we do here; even though I know that you hate some of Tony’s conspiracy theory (which is fine). Most of the Financial exposé that seemed crazy when first analysed here have all been out and become common knowlege now. The mysteries of Club Ownership was exhaustively discussed here. Some felt that it was all mere rantings. Look at what is happening now? The Notts County debacle is still unfolding for all to see.

    So you see Tim, we do not classify people here. They sort of classify themselves; that’s their doing not ours. What Tony does first and foremost is provide unequivocal support to Arsene Wenger and the team. Consequently, we provide Arsenal Supporters an avenue to engage their intellect in a logical debate about their club in particular, and EPL football in general. In the process, some discoveries that at first seem crazy & illogical are unearthed, which are almost always proved to be correct in the end. After every loss, a witty article will be posted to help people release pent up tension and provide comic relief. So no one here will categorise you unless you categorise yourself.

    If you notice when I come to your blogsite, I accord you the respect you deserve even though I may not agree hundred percent with all of your points. In any case I often agree with more than half, mostly because they are right. Sometimes some of your commenters may put a totally illogical comment just as some people come here to do every so often, but the general witty enjoyment is there to relax supporters. That’s all that is needed.

    Unofficially, I am proud to be a member of the “Untold Arsenal Brigade” just as I am proud of you 7amKickers, even though I am not in America.

  85. Denilson statistically better than Essien, Mascherano but being real, is he better on the field than Essien or Mascerano? Why is Brazil not playing him if he’s that great but prefers Lucas and Anderson? The answer is simple, he’s just not quality. It’s beyond belief for Arsene to travel all the way to Brazil only to bring in such an average player under an ‘exceptional talent’ entry visa?

  86. Barbados;

    Players get picked for their country by ONE man. Why didn’t Ian Wright play more for England?

    And Lucas is NO WAY better than Denilson, I’ll fight anyone ’til I bleed on this subject.

  87. “I think most of us have no problem whatsoever with someone like, say, Barbados above, thinking Denilson is poor and Diaby is a better option.”

    He may be able to fool you Paul C, but those of us who recognise him and his various aliases from another blog know that Denilson is just the latest of his many irrational hate figures in the Arsenal team. He will move on to the next young, player to make it to the Arsenal first team soon enough.

  88. One from many reasons why I have become addicted to this site is the fact that I can find myself mostly in what Tony tells us. When I first came to this site it was so refreshing and totaly different from others I was very annoyed the next day when I couldn’t find it back.
    I found it back with a little help from my friends 😉 and must say the first thing I normally do when I go on the internet is first go to and then as fast as lightning to this blog.
    Not just for Tony but also for the very good comments that appear on this blog.

    Someone mentionned the number of comments on this blog compared to others. Every animal its pleasure is a Flemish idiom and it means that every one has his own way to have fun and over here people mostly try to argue. This has an effect on the numbers of comments I think. I know that when I first came here and saw the articles and comments I was affraid to comment myself. I was thinking that I would tell complete nonsense and make a fool of myself. Well maybe I do, but no one seems to care. 😉

    In some other blogs they maybe get more comments but when I see comments like : “kabooooooom” or all the numbers from “1” to “25” or so… I really stop reading. But then again who am I to condem people who seem to enjoy this but then to compare the number of comments looks rather foolish I must say.

  89. Now Denilson and Traore are out the next victims of the D&G brigade will be:
    Diaby, Walcott and Silvestre. All not good enough to …. you know…

  90. Barbados: Stop looking at facts in a lop sided way. Gilberto was overlooked until he was almost 25. Why? Simple! Brazil has so many talents that they sometimes do pick at random. How many times did Zico play for Brazil? Yet he was one of the most talented footballers ever to play the game. When did anyone here start to hear about Melo? Why did Brazil ignore him until then. Even Deco & Eduardo had to change nationality to play international football. So many other Brazillian are following suit. You seem to be forgeting that almost 98% of Liverpool fans hate your precious Lucas. Just go take a poll to find out, yet Benitez persisted in using him. Why? Because the manager can see what mere armchair fans cannot see. Contrary to your believe in this inglorious hype, Denilson is held in high regard by the current Brazil Manager. It was actually his whisper to Arsenal that led to Denilson being scouted. So, stop torturing yourself. Everyone knows that footballers reach their sharpest peak at 24/25, then they stop developing. At the moment, Denilson is getting better and better because he is still developing. Remind me, What’s his age again?

  91. And the reason Denilson did not play for Brasil: Gilberto and Melo. As some may have noticed an ex Gunner and the worst purchase in Italy this season…..

  92. Not sure whether I’m adding anything new – but a complete disregard of history is also useful if you wish to be a D&G. Arsenal have never got into debt in order to buy a player. Arsenal has always been a producer of players rather than a buyer of players. The first really successful side that most fans remember (and which may well have attracted them to the club in the first place) was the double winning team of ’71. It was overwhelmingly home grown with a few expensive additions. It’s always been like that and that policy has put us in a situation that just about all other clubs envy. A high relative level of success; a regularly full (big capacity) new stadium; a nontransfer-related debt that is easily manageable and declining on an almost daily basis. All achieved with owners who, heretofore, appear not to have any desire to take money out of the club in any major way. If you want instant and consistent gratification then supporting a different club every week (and doing so with 20/20 hindsight) is the only solution.
    Without that, the Arsenal is the only logical option. Keep it up Tony!
    What’s not to like?

  93. Really we have a responsibility for our words though. The players may earn salaries in the stratosphere, but they are still human beings, so I personally believe it is wrong to make an accusation that you wouldn’t make to their face.

    Lol, Denilson may be 21, but I’m sure he wouldn’t be over impressed by soome of the comments made here.

    As a sidenote, I once had a conversation in a bar with a guy where I was joking about what a joke Scottish goalkeepers were. He challenged me on my attitude, and eventually I had to acknowledge that I was just parroting a media stereotype. I even conceded that the present keeper of that time was half decent. Lol, I realized the next day I had been speaking to Andy Goram.

  94. Good to see you managed to extract your foot from your mouth mark! Talk about be careful what you say (and who you say it to!)

  95. Judging by the number of comments you certainly seem to have put the cat amongst the chickens today Tony. Keep it up.

  96. Well written Tony. I am probably a little OTT when it comes to being an AKB.

    I agree that we need some CB coverage if Senderos leaves, but I don’t want any. I do not want some new bloke to stand in the way of Djourou. I would prefer to play Bartley or Ayling. And Nordtveit will be back next year.

    It is difficult without RvP and Bendtner. But to sign Carlton Cole would be a nonsense. Why would he want to jeopardise his England chances by being third choice striker for Arsenal? I fear that Theo will not play in the World Cup due to a combination of injury and not being a first choice for the starting line up.

    I can see the value of AA. In fact, I think he will become more influential in remainder of the season. But I would have preferred it if we hadn’t bought him. For the 4, occasionally 5, attacking berths, we had 2 bankers, Cesc and Robin; we now have 3. That means umpteen players are competing for 1 or 2 starting slots. Bendtner, Walcott, Eduardo, Vela, Rosicky and Nasri are all internationals. Walcott and Nasri need Arsenal games to make their international squads. They are likely to become unhappy unless our current run of injuries continues.

    Could it be that I am an IKB attacking AW from the other side?

    My two best Arsenal memories in the last few years were the way Cesc, Denilson and Diaby dominated the Chelsea midfield in the CC final, and Theo’s run against Liverpool. ( I loved the way that Theo described “hearing “ Anfield hold its collective breath the next time he got the ball, exhaling only when he passed it.) That we lost both matches is a so what.

  97. From this morning’s Le Grove (which also states we need 5 new players)

    “I hear from many of you that another blog chose to write a post about us again, guys thanks, but you are supposed to be writing about Arsenal not us, we appreciate the hero worship and we know you had a record 50 comments as a result, but the whole point of blogging about Arsenal is to talk about Arsenal. Thanks for the thoughts though. I didn’t read it by the way, so you’re wasting your time if you want me to name you, I won’t.”

    Funny I thought their whole point was to slag off Arsene…

  98. @Jonny: Their whole point is… I don’t know if they have a point, but supporting Arsenal they’re absolutely not doing. They’re trash fanblog really, as much as I don’t enjoy calling anything (even the real literal garbage. Okay I kid) trash. And they block sensible (ahem) comments indeed, they do those twats.

    It’s somewhat unwise to go to forums when you’re very upset with an Arsenal loss. You’re very upset. People all around the forum are very upset. You say things about Arsenal you don’t usually think true in the heat of the moment. Other say crazy things too, your anger doubles in intensity, strengthens by others’ outrage. You’re starting to feel better about the loss and about yourself, so you leave the forums/blogs feeling better all over. Then you repeat the action, every time feeling better about the loss but you start to believe the bad things you and others say about Arsenal and consider them as everyday truth, start to love Arsenal less and less, and you keep coming back because you’re addicted to the self-serving bouts of anger you’re allowed to spout and nurture there.

    That is someone else’s ‘theory’ about ‘rage’ in internet forums and actually not about football clubs let alone the Arsenal, but I think it kinda suits some of the doomers’ situation all right.

  99. One point as this debate comes to an end, I thought the comment by Le Grove was most interesting.

    My piece didn’t mention them at all, and in fact in writing it I was not thinking of them in any way. Irrespective of their attitude, whenever I read their site it is well written, and certainly doesn’t fall into all the points I was making in the article.

    But their view that the piece was written in order to get them to mention the site that posted the original is a little more inward-looking and self-referential than I would have expected.

    The article has been reprinted (mostly with acknowledgement) by a lot of other sites, so it obviously gave quite a few people a laugh – which was really my central intention.

    Another group hug is in order I think.

  100. The nonsense from Le Grove just confirms all we’ve said about them. Shallow, self-important loudmouths with nothing of value to say.

    Tony Attwood might not say that but I will and I do. Le Grove….laughing s(t)ock.

  101. I don’t comment on blogs and i do read le grove…
    and i have to say that is one of the worst sites out there.If you dont agree with there view you are in AKB.

    Well mate,Arsene know’s more than your dumb arse’s know, that’s for sure.

    I think they could be tottenham suporters in disguise and agree with one of your posters about spud fans writing crap and trying to unsettle our fanbase.

    I wish the people who do really love Arsenal for what they are…Stand up and outweigh these stupid voices.

  102. Lg…

    homophobic, anti-semitic, reactionary…fuelled by binge drinking, anti-intellectualism and a play ground bully mentality in search of sycophants who duly appear and grovel…and a thin, thin skin if anyone bites back, ban them…

    the shame is P writes a good match report, always, his mind actually stays open…he needs to question his allegiances…

  103. Tony;

    I think we all know that u didn’t intent to write about any site in particular. But as usual, the PEOPLE who are exactly the ones we talk about get pissed and started throwin stones trying to find comfort by doing what they do best, spread the wrong words of wisdom to like-minded people. It’s more like a cult than a group of fans to me.

    After, again, granting Denilson the poor lad the worst player on Arsenal history, they now say it’s Liverpool and not Arsenal who was the cause of the win. And yes, they said Arshavin was the sole good player on the pitch that night, and because he was bought in last Jan they used him as an excuse to buy more players.

    I got a feeling that IF Arsene buys an accomplished player and we ended up winning a title they will say it is because of that buy, not Arsene and the other players.

    I think they are the ones who truly lost the plot. Stupid smart arses….

  104. what a steaming pile of dung that was – title? you’re all so deluded it’s unbelievable….

    no heart, no desire – I would take the draw, but not THAT performance…

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