WARNING THIS ARTICLE AND MOST OF THE COMMENTS WHICH FOLLOW IT CONTAIN IRONY. IF YOU DON’T LIKE A LAUGH PLEASE DO NOT READ ON.
1. He doesn’t buy enough players.
Quite clearly we need a new centre forward. Eduardo is done for, Arshavin is too small, Nasri and Rosicky are midfielders not forwards, Vela can’t score, Theo is injured again, Bendtner’s injured, VP will always spend more time out than in. The argument that we don’t need a new forward because we are already the top goal scorers in the league is just plain daft. You can prove anything with statistics.
We also need a new goalkeeper and two new midfielders. Thus this is so obvious the rest of the world can see if but only Wenger can’t.
Note: it is important in this argument to use the word “thus” near the end as if one has put forward a set of axioms and is now drawing a logical conclusion.
2. He doesn’t win enough trophies.
It is said that he won a couple of doubles and had an unbeaten season, but that was in the ancient past and you can’t live in the past. Look at Liverpool. They don’t live in the past.
We’re not winning now, and now is what matters. History is nothing. The world has moved on and Wenger has been left behind. All we get are promises. Look at the other clubs – they don’t hang about, they win things. Chelsea, Manchester U. And soon we’ll have that Manchester City winning as well. Even Tottenham are going to overtake us. Hithertofor wWe’ll be out of Europe, the money will be gone, and we’ll be bankrupt.
Note: it is important here not to mention that it is 20 years since Liverpool last won the league. Hithertofor is quite meaningless, but it gives a sense of something or other.
3. He values style over results
Winning is all it is about. If we win with a series of 1-0 victories that is better than having an exciting style and scoring more goals than anyone else. All this pass-pass-pass stuff is pointless. Arsenal want to score the perfect goal all the time and end up losing possession and giving away a soft goal. People say Arsenal are scoring more goals than other teams, but don’t you believe it. It is just a lie made up by clever-clever bloggers. QED.
Note: you might at this stage wish to team up with people who know that MMR jabs cause autism. QED is rather neat because no one can remember what it stands for, but you do see it in geometric proofs.
4. We’re supposed to be so good with youth players but none of them ever make it through.
All this effort with the kids, the celebrations of the Youth Cup, and for what? If we are that good where are all the kids in the first team. We should go back to the Chapman era when he bought everyone under the sun and we won things. And don’t tell me Chapman went five years without winning anything. That is another myth. Viz.
Note: if you can quote Sarah Palin here it might be useful. Alternatively you might like to note that the youth policy began about six years ago, and a team of 10 and 11 year olds were put together. They are still with us, and won the youth cup and league last season. (Wasn’t Viz a magazine?)
5. The least we can expect is progress year on year
It is quite clear that we have been going backwards year after year and a club of the stature of Arsenal should at the very least have some progress. Progress means wining, and that does not mean the ladies team or the youth team. Or the reserves. Thus, and self-evidently, op cit.
Note: the whole point of this approach is that you make up your own logic, follow it, claim that it proves your point, and then deny that you are giving an opinion, but claim instead that you are just stating facts. It is also not a bad idea to point out that global warming is a myth invented by the EU as a way of increasing taxation.
6. All the great teams have an English spine
Chelsea, Manchester United – they use English players and we don’t so we can’t win anything. English players are genetically superior to all others. They are the only people who know how to play the game. They are the only ones who understand English football. You can’t win anything with a team packed with foreigners. They don’t understand the game. Look at the goalkeepers. To wit.
Note: actually the use of “genetically” might be an error here, because as it stands, nationalism does not equate to racism, until you throw that word in. Under English law it is not racist to call someone “a degenerate Frenchie” but it probably would be against various acts to replace that last disparaging noun with a noun relating to race. So caution is needed.
7. Cesc is going to Barca and then we will be stuffed
Cesc is what makes this team tick and without him we ain’t going nowhere. Nothing is being done about it. And don’t talk to me about the kids like Ramsey he’s not good enough. OK we have Song but he’s going to Africa so now what. Lightweight Denilson and erratic Diaby. We should get rid of them and buy some strong solid midfielders like Peter Storey. Ibid.
Note: the fact is that much of our recent solid run has been with a number of top players missing. That might be because we have built up such a strong bunch of kiddies beneath the top 11 that we can keep bringing new ones in. Best not to focus on that.
8. You don’t win anything with kids
And that’s all we have. Kids. Look at the Portsmouth game – we brought on a guy who is only just out of nappies. What is the point of that? We need to go out and get players who can play, not kids straight from school who are still learning how to kick a ball. To wit to woo.
Note: quoting pundits and journalists is always fun. While you are at it, how about Arsenal to sign Peter Crouch?
9. Arsenal have become a selling club
That’s all we do. We bring in the kids, develop them, and then sell them. It has been going on from the first day Wenger was here – Anelka, Vieira, Henry, Petit, Overmars… That’s all we do, sell, sell, sell. That shows how bad we are. We are a selling club. You don’t see the other teams selling. You watch this transfer window. Chelsea, Man U, Liverpool, they will all be out there buying everyone under the sun. We have half our team crocked or useless and we buy nothing. Therefore I rest my case.
Note: actually there is no case to rest, no axioms, no clarity of argument, no nothing. That doesn’t mean that my arguments have any of those things, but at least I know I am talking gibberish much of the time.
10. Arsenal are hammered by debt.
How much do we owe on the stadium? £350m? And we lost money on the flats. And none of those offices and warehouses have sold. And we were forced to build 500 flats around the ground and give them to the council. We can’t afford the repayments on the mortgage, and that’s why we sell players and bring in 10 year olds. We need to find a rich Arab. Or a Russian. Or a man from Uzbekistan. “The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom,” (William Blake).
Note: well, you know…
Over 1,600,000 pages on Untold Arsenal were viewed in 2009 (these are often called “page impressions”), which is not bad for a site set up to explore and expand one particular point of view – that of supporting Arsene Wenger and all that he stands for. The comments left by readers mostly avoid the one-line notes left on other sites, and every day I learn something new as I read through them.
In return, I hope these pages have offered you the occasional insight, the occasional laugh, and an alternative to some of the more negative visions of Arsenal that are on offer. The site is now two years old, and has grown beyond anything I could ever have imagined. Thank you for your interest.
Can I particularly thank Walter and Phil for their terrific work in bringing new perspectives onto this site, and for their continual efforts to keep some sort of link with reality within this blog.
I also want to thank you if you bought a copy of MAKING THE ARSENAL this year. And of course add that if you didn’t get it for Xmas you can buy it yourself from Amazon or from the publishers (although they are now shut until Jan 4).
To all the blogs that see life differently, a Happy New Year to you as well. If you didn’t exist this site would never have been formed as an attempted counterbalance.
I have enjoyed every second of working on this blog, along with the Woolwich Arsenal blog also which emerged this year. I guess if no one had read it I might still have written it, but it wouldn’t have been half as much fun.
So, unless the bailiffs turn up at Liverpool this afternoon, or we sign that 14 year old goalkeeper from Peru, that’s it for this year. The year in which we saw latest great Wengerian revolution begin to come to fruition, the year in which lots of journalists made lots of things up, the year in which Tottenham brought out celebratory DVDs to commemorate a draw, and the year in which I actually finished what I personally feel is the best book I have ever written…
It has been a fun year. I really enjoyed it. I hope you did. Let’s make 2010 even better.
Tony Attwood, 31 Dec 2009.