Me and Wayne Rooney. How I nearly changed the world

By Walter Broeckx

I think almost everyone has something from the past on which he thinks : If I had done so and so at that moment in my life what would have happened to the world.

You can imagine that people who have met, let’s say, someone like A. Hitler long before he was known, later could have been thinking: “If only I had killed him before he could do all the terrible things he has done, the world would have been a better place for millions of people.”

Now I’m not going to say I could have killed A. Hitler because I really am not that old. No I carry a deep and dark secret with me and I could have changed the fate  of so many Gooners on so many occasions but I never realised it at that moment in my life who I was facing then.

It all happened in the year 2000. I was going on a holiday with my wife and my 4 kids to the south of Spain. We were going to spend 14 days in the sun in a resort and full of intent to make it a really enjoyable holiday.  On the plane and on the bus to our resort we met some other Flemish people and we met every now and then in that resort.

In that resort there was some entertainment for the kids but also for the adults, and I don’t mean anything “adult”.  A few days each week there was football for the adults. It was on a small pitch with teams of some 5 or 6 people. Teams were made up as you wished, with friends and strangers joining in to create the team.

So we talked with the other Flemish people and we made our team and went to the pitch. Some 5 or 6 teams were there and as new boys in the resort we let the others start and we watched and tried to make some kind of game plan. The games were played until a team scored 2 goals and then the winners continued against another team and so on.

Right from the start we could see an English team that really had something special in it. There were some older men, as we had, but there were some younger lads in it as well.   There was, in particular, a boy who they always had to call for when it was time. He had his girlfriend with him and mostly was lying at the pool with her and had to be called over.

And when he came you could see a young man some 14 years old maybe but with a strong and firm body. Very muscular, some might say a little bit overweight but what is exactly overweight ? But when that boy came on the field and touched the ball, something strange happened. He could take the ball all over the field and do anything with it.

So while sitting there we spoke to an older person, from Liège in Belgium, who was just watching the games and who introduced us to another young man who was sitting there about the same age and who was French. The older man also spoke French and he said that the young Frenchman played in Toulouse and was in the French national youth team and if he could play with our team as he had nobody with him. We accepted it because when we saw those English players we realised we needed some fresh legs as our older legs wouldn’t stand a chance.

We decided to go to our old tradition in Belgian football and you could summarize it in four phases: defence, more defence, even more defence and counter attack.  I’m sorry to admit it but we invented the park the bus in front of goal tactics.

So when we came on the field we did exactly that: we defended in numbers and put that young French player up front, punted the ball forward to him and he was rather skilful I must say and he scored some real cracking goals. But it is not about that French kid I want to talk.

No it is about that young English boy from Liverpool. We found out he was playing for Everton in the youth team and that he was predicted a bright future in English football. The whole family (including his father, uncles, brother and I don’t know who else), all said this.

And so we played that Everton team and our tactics worked. I must say that apart from being a keeper in my younger days I also was a rather nice technical player, well I always thought I was anyway, and a difficult defender as well. I could hold my ground against technical players by just always covering the angle to the goal and never allow a shot in.

And the other English players were screaming at him: “come on Wayne, shoot” “give us the ball Wayne,” and  “bad luck Wayne” (when he accidently did get passed me but our keeper saved).

Well I will not carry on highlighting what turned out years later to be the closest time I ever came to an at that time future world soccer star but I can say that I have played several games against Wayne Rooney.  I even had his sweat on my body at many occasions as we played with tops on against tops off. I did wash myself afterwards, rest assured.

We won a few and I really think we, thanks to our tactics, were the toughest opponents they had those 14 days. We lost a few as when our legs were getting tired he dribbled and shot us to pieces. After a few days the tension got higher between our teams and at the end things went wild sometimes and I must admit that in a game when I got kicked I even gave a pushed the occasional player.

In fact I still feel bad about it, it was only a football game on holiday for Christ’s sake but you know how things go sometimes.  Must say we had one Flemish guy who played some kind of indoor football and was a great strong technical player.

So every time I see Rooney play I think of those days in the sun. And every now and then I think : What if I had kicked him on his knee by accident and would have destroyed his career? Would I have changed the fate of so many fans? What would Manchester have become without him?

And for those who think this is some kind of bullshit I can only say that I only can tell you that it would be a very big coincidence that I played against a really great 14 year old football wizard kid that came from Liverpool, that was surrounded with his family and his girlfriend, who supported Everton and who had a firm body and a face that looked like… well lets’ stay friendly and gentle… a face that isn’t going to win many beauty contests and has a rather typical form and whose name was Wayne.

I had the life of so many fans in my hands, or should I say feet. I could have spared many miserable moments for so many Gooners. But like the ones that saw Hitler when he was young, I didn’t know what and who he would become. Sorry I could have saved you some disappointments in your Gooner live but really I never have hurt another player in my career, let alone deliberate.  Sorry if you feel I let you down.


Now I would like to tell you about a truly wonderful book, it’s called, M…  no, Ma….  No, its Mak….   Hang on a moment I’ll just go and check….

57 Replies to “Me and Wayne Rooney. How I nearly changed the world”

  1. Well, interesting story Walter, but, I am glad you didn’t “beat” that boy hard. You know, every example is appreciated, bed or good, Good ones you use to explain your kids what you want them to became. And bad ones you use as “see kids, if you don’t do it well you ll look (end) this way”.
    So its good we have Rooney and Rooney’s.

    Actually Rooney is extraordinary player and one of rare players who is not in our squad I respect. Not because he is more gifted than others, but because he don’t give up, and that’s substance you desperately need for success (talking about managers, I only see it in Wenger).

  2. Gooner – apart from the fact that you have obviously had a bypass operation in your light heartedness gland, if we all avoid “what if” scenarios then human civilisation comes to an end, and we might as well live in caves and worship the moon.

    (And if you are watching the match today on a TV, just be grateful that John Logie Baird did not stop saying “what if” when he lived in that boarding house in Eastbourne, and Arthur C Clark had a life time of saying “what if” which led to the notion of the prototype of the Astra satellite that will bring the pictures of the match to your house or the pub).

    Anyway, its just on time for me to set out on the long trek south to the Ems. It seems very cold out there.

    So anyone posting for the first time – sorry your post will be held in moderation until I get back from the game tonight.

    If you are going – have a great time. I’m the guy in the red and white.

  3. gooner — I have to disagree. I think it’s a funny and charming story that humanizes the boy Rooney. It’s not something you’ll find anywhere else, especially before a game as hyped as this next one where almost everything possible that could be written about it has already been written.

    Nice job, Walter. I’ve learned something new. Thank you.

    Come on Gunners!

  4. Yeah about Terry…..Just kidding relax

    This was a good piece. I just wonder did Rooney do a lot of diving in that series of games Walter?

  5. @Tony,

    You lucky man! Be safe! Can’t wait to read the post where you describe a 3-1 thrilla. Theo scores a hat-trick. His last goal was a bicycle kick hitting Vandersar in the tooth and going in!

  6. OFF TOPIC: From a very reliable source I heard that Vermaelen is fit and will play. (soure= the parents from Vermaelen) That is if he doesnt hurt himself in the warming up

  7. Would be great to have Verm and Song back in the team. Hopefully we’ll see some magic from the russian and the czech dudes. I personally dont think walcott should play in a highly physical games as this one, not yet atleast.

  8. I think this game has shown different things are compared to the previous two seasons. Before we performed really well against the top teams, and Arsene knew the tricks to beating them. This season we’ve sorted the problems we had against the lower teams, we’re able to break them down much easier and rarely stuggle taking all three points.

    This season we’ve stuggled against the big teams and in particular we’ve been extremely vulnerable against the counter attack, Man City, Man Utd, Villa all gave us problems on the break.

    Still though, we’ve had plenty of chances today and if we’d put one of them in, it could have been a different game. By the same point Man Utd should have had 5 or 6.

  9. I feel a bit ….f..ked right now.

    But this was only one of 16 games we have in front of us. As Napoleon said, the lost battle doesn’t mean lost war.

  10. Mental errors and being caught on the counter-attack. To me, these have been our weaknesses all season, and they need to be addressed one way or the other.

    Our season isn’t over by any means. We need to believe!

  11. What a great game! We got caught on the counter twice, which is unforgivable, though this is not untypical with an attacking team. The first goal was frustrating too. I believe AW will address defending better on the counter in the off-season.
    This loss does not determine the outcome of the season, hopefully. The team played well together as expected, but I was particularly unimpressed with Denilson.

  12. I really do believe that in our last few games with Man U we have been defeated by a mixture of silly errors and a basic psychological inferiority complex. We do not play our game against Chelsea or Man U rather we let them dictate how we will play. On paper their team lineup (other than Rooney) had nothing for us to worry about and could have been overpowered with more belief. I think once the first goal went in the old fears crept back in and then all plans went out of the window and we cracked.

  13. The first goal was the decisive factor. A miskick from Nani that went in. I never believe he meant to score from that.
    Then we ran forward to much and got cought and from then on Utd could sit in a couch and wait for us to come and do the counter attack.

    If we would have taken our earlier chances we would have won this. One moment of brillant madness from Nani changed the game or I could say one moment when we defendet not well enough made us pay.

  14. On Rooney: Hartwick as it was a concrete floor: no!

    On the game: I agree with toofargone. Maybe we should change our system when we play Utd and Chelsea and go back to the tactics from last seasons ? And then play our football like we do against the lower league teams ? I must say it looks to me that some players are not totally fit. Clichy and Sagna didn’t make their forwards run as usual (change of tactics but didn’t work out ?)

    Untd won a few titles when they had the worst record when you take the games between the top 4 teams …

    But then again: we only lost 3 points today.

  15. Anyone who thinks this game was close is deluding themselves. There was a gulf in class between ourselves and the Mancs. The only Arsenal players who would get in their side are Cesc, Arshavin and maybe Vermaelen. They were in cruise control for the last half hour and could have scored more if they had wanted to. The score line flattered us. Almunia is a disaster waiting to happen. AW must get a decent keeper or it will be the same story next season. Did anyone feel a rush of excitement or a glimmer of hope when Theo, Eboue and big mouth Bentner came on? No? Neither did I.

  16. How hard this is to take, we just got to pick ourselves up and try to play better next week. Maybe we will be written of, once again, and this could take some pressure away from us.

    We were not agressive enough and tried to play to much the technical game and we made some really shocking defensive errors.
    The first goal Nasri should have stopped Nasri by bringin him down. A player from our team would have been kicked on the ground by a UTD player and this we have to learn and do.
    You can get away with this agains lower teams but Utd have the ability to exploit these errors.

    Arshavin had a few early chances but he blew them and well if you don’t take your (early) chances against a team like Utd you can get punished. We got punished and lost 3 points.

  17. Tone, I did see a different game from you, but as I always admit, sitting behind a goal that is bound to be the case from someone watching from the half way line or watching on TV. On TV you get all the action replays, but you don’t see the broader picture, of what is happening in terms of movement off the ball.

    What I saw was our team go for the attacking option as always, with the belief that if we let one in we can score two. That is exactly how we played against Bolton, went two down and came back and won.

    The big difference was not the quality of the opposition (we had Nani do the villa hold your head tactic, and Van der Saar do the Bolton time wasting game). The difference is that we are going through a spell – hopefully a short spell – where shots that were previously going in, are not. It happens to all teams at times, and we are just having our time for that.

    To analyse Arsenal now you need to recognise just how much we are putting into attack – we were playing at times with a forward line of Nasri, Cesc, Arshavin, Rosicky (Cesc playing the Bergkamp “in the hole” position).

    We also had the big defenders coming up at every opportunity, leaving very little in the way of defence. At the end we played with the highly experimental forward line of Bendtner and Gallas supported by Theo and Nasri on the wings. If you were watching on TV (and I have not seen the TV of the match, having just got home from London) you might not have seen Gallas leading the line. It was quite an experience!

    As for the issue of our subs coming on, Eboue came on as a very competent full back to replace Sagna who is clearly not fully fit, while Bendtner and Theo continue their return from long injury layoffs, as does Clichy. Watching Theo today he looked considerably better than Theo last time around (which without bothering to check I think was the Everton home game).

    Bendtner looks like a player who is getting the hang of it all again. But in those opening weeks he was thoroughly instrumental in making us a team that could score four goals a game. If, as the idiot who sits behind me wants, these players don’t get a chance again because “they are clearly not up to it” then we throw Clichy, Bendtner and Theo into the dustbin on the basis of a couple of games each, ignoring all they have done before.

    The fact is, given the way we play, if we are going to be beaten it is more likely to be 3-0 or 3-1 than 1-0. OK that hurts but it is simply the other side of the coin of the 4-0 and 4-1 wins that we get.

    Remember the way we saw off the Totts? The first day of the season against Everton? The fact we are the leading scorers?

    We are breaking new ground in the way football is played, and when the system creaks a bit you get grotty results. But it is one match lost, and really with our ability to score goals, it hardly matters that it is 3-1 rather than 1-0.

    Of course I hurt too, and of course I wanted us to play and win like we did a year ago. But we are so far along the path towards the new type of football, we must not turn back now.

  18. I like to bring under yout attention that we also are facing the fallout of the media hype from the Eduardo penalty against Celtic by not getting any penaltys anymore.(not referring to the game today ) but today we saw the first “media hype yellow card” awarded against Song.

    In a clear challenge Song won the ball against Nani when they both tried to kick the ball in a 50/50 challenge. Because of the ball getting loose instead of being stuck between their feet Song ended upon the feet of Nani who did as if he was kicked in to peaces. This was no foul, this was nothing just two players kicking the ball and colliding with each other.

    The bode language of the ref expressed the same for a second, he wanted play to continue. Then Nani did his showpeace and you could see the ref thinking: “hey wait a minute Arsenal – Bolton, Gallas, goal for Arsenal’ and then he blew his whistle and even gave Song a yellow card. Ridiculous.

    If the media wouldn’t have reacted like they did after the Bolton game the ref would have let play carry on like he intented first as could see from his body language and the delay before he blew his whistle.

    Now Song was not in London when the Bolton game was played so he didn’t know this as he was really annoyed by the decision and even more with the yellow card.

  19. Oh The Sky Is Falling! Tone **Ck off! Walter has it right…The first goal made every difference…I think AW maybe should have been more patient w/Cliche. Looked like he was penetrated and was the focal point of SAF’s tactical approach. If you play chess this check and Fergie played his move correct. I think AW should have started Traoure for the sake of game time. It was obvious Cliche was weak (not to say he is not # 1). But, SAF knows his Shiot. ANd, that’s where the opportunity lies…We need to prepare these big matches months in advance and then slightly alter our plans when the game comes nearer. So Fergie got us this year that’s it. Game over bring on Chelsea! For the D&G’s **ck off it was a tactical error that’s it! I have seen 3-1 games where there was absolutely no chance for the team with the 1 goal to win it….Not the case here. We were just outsmarted today and believe you me we will come back and take it out on the Cheater Terry! Now that’s something tough for Chelsea to prepare for! Just my opinion!

  20. We now got an extra week for the players just coming back from injury to get fitter and stronger. It ain’t over till its over.

  21. “It ain’t over till its over.”

    Some people would do well to remember this.

  22. Does this game mean anything (except it hurts our vanity)?
    Not really. We have bunch of games ahead us, and we are same far from silverware as Chel$ea and Manure.
    Manure won EPL last season without defeating us, so why shouldn’t we win it in same stile?
    We have to forget our vanity and think about final goal which is still reachable.

    I agree with you Walter…but it still hurts..
    The only thing I blame Arsene for is my hangover I ll have tomorrow morning…

  23. It does hurt. But for me it will hurt even more. As I don’t drink I will have no hangover but I have the bad habit of sleeping very bad after a defeat. The game then comes to haunt me during the whole night.

    But tonight I will have even worse nightmares. I will be reliving my holidays again and I will be dreaming of how I could have changed it all….
    “I should have kicked him and destroyed him…” will be running through my brain and I will see Wayne Rooney laughing at me like he did after he dribbled our whole team and beat the keeper.

    Oh my God, this is going to be the longest night of my life… again….

    Just 7 hours before my clock radio tells me to get up….
    I am doomed, I tell you…. I am doomed tonight…..

    followed by a sinister laugh.

    No this aint funny, you know… 🙁

  24. Oh, I will survive this night, you know. After all it isn’t the first time such a thing happens.

    But it still will be a long night. I’m off to bed now. ….


  25. Walter,

    Why didn’t you clean his clock? It is all you fault! But, you are forgiven for tomorrow will bring another day that we have the opportunity to even talk about the title. Imagine being Stoke, Burnely or Portsmouth…. They can only dream! Keep up the good fight!

  26. Tony, Your observations were very astute-yes, we just got caught on a bad day! Our team plays very attacking football, but we left the back open a bit much.
    I really don’t see this game as defining the team though. Yes Denilson and Almunia were terrible today. My wife actually observed that D did not want to be there!
    I just get tired of some fans who believe the heavens are falling, who think AW spending money on the market is the answer(they have not told me who to buy yet!), etc. Remember, we are competing against the other top 2 teams in the league. Who counted us in at season start or 3 months ago?

    The conventional wisdom that AW must buy(unless one can assure me of David Villa, Torres, Etoo or Ibra)is nonsense. On the other hand I will concede that we may not want to leave our destiny in the hands of Almunia.

  27. Hartwick89, I have never heard such drivel in all my life! “Plan this game months in advance and then slightly alter our plans when the game comes nearer”, “start Traore”, what are you on about!? Goals may change games but they will change them for the worse if you are the team conceding them. We will lose to Chelsea and draw at home to Liverpool. So after having rested players at Stoke and lost all our momnetum as well as going out of the cup we will have taken 2 points out these 4 ever so important games. Season over. Oh not quite, I forgot, we are going to win the Champions League with Bentner scoring a hatrick in the final. Wake up!!!

  28. Tony, why was Gallas leading the line? That in itself smacks of desperation. I watched the game on telly and you are right you do not see the whole picture. What I did see was when MU broke it was often 4 V 2 with Gallas being about the 5th player to enter the screen running back to goal!? That to me sets off very loud alarm bells. Don’t get me wrong I am a big AW fan and think he has massively over achieved on a limited budget, built a new stadium and we play attractive football. Things like playing a B side in the cup drive me nuts though. ManU played a full strength side in the League Cup because they understand the importance of momentum. Even Alex McLeish gets it. My only concern now is that Fabregas may want to leave and so might Arshavin who we know hates paying 50% tax.

  29. Tone,

    Nothing worse than RAW response! Granted a loss hurts but why attack me? I was just trying to be in the mind of SAF. On this day if you care to read he praised who? Was it Giggs? Or Vidic? Or Scholes? No it was Nani. And well he should. What I saw was penetration from Nani into the left flank and ultimately created goal #1. After that well it was what it was. My only point was SAF planned this on this day and it worked out. What have you offered? Hopelessness complete failure? No not the case. My only point is when considering the opposition you must plan well and be prepared or the response will be pointed and direct. As far as the rest goes… I have said what I said and it is this game is over. We played well but not good enough to win. On to the next match. Fortunately, it is against the EPL leaders. And, if we win I am sure with the likes of you it will be happy times again. But, for me it will be can’t wait until Liverpool and Porto and Walcott (not Bendtner) with a hatrick. I will never underestimate this team or Wenger I can only observe and hope we win every match. I bleed red my team is Arsenal and my manager is Arsene!

  30. Anyone sitting at Block 110 upper tier? What was the Ruckus about? All I saw was a brawl between Arsenal fans…

  31. Went to the game today. The first goal was because Nasri by virtue of his body position invited Nani to go in between him and Clichy- Mistake no1. Denilson ‘s attempt to tackle was not very good leaving Nani time and space to cross to the far post- Mistake no2. The second goal reminded me of how WE used to counter attack against teams. I was disapointed that knowing that Rooney usually scores against us and also that he is in a rich vein of form that no one tracked his run. The 3rd goal was just suicide. But I still have hope.We can still beat Chelsea next week !!

  32. @deaftone,

    I think you are an imposter… You start trouble leave and cite false facts. I am on to you. Maybe you are what you write?

  33. @All,

    Remember it is easy for all of us to comment, judge, and remark on what would have or could have or should have been. But every Sat, Sun, and sometimes Tues-Wed nights Arsenal get the glory and the blame. So keep that feather in your cap every time you do that. Imagine your jobs the evening after a big day if you had to face the “critics”. These young men need to be given the respect first and then the love because the life of a footballer is not easy. Just my opinion.

  34. Ugh, work is miserable. 3 hrs of terrible “sleep”. To all you overseas Gunners fans who stay up into the wee morning watching our team, I am in solidarity with you. It’s one of those mornings.

    The gut reactions are all understandable. At least here they are somewhat logical. @Tone — I completely disagree with almost all of your comments above, but I agree that having Gallas leading the line set off my alarm bell, too. We may need to change our tactics against teams with great counter-attacking abilities (this is Walter’s point, I think).

    The next game will be the bellweather game of the season. We need a performance. And we need to believe!

  35. Ugh, still depressed and miserable…

    If this is what we are feeling, imagine what Lord Wenger and our players are feeling. They need our support.

    C’mon Gunners!

  36. Yes Tim, that was my point.

    I would have my team playing like we normally do for lets say 32 games. But the ones against the other top teams I would change the tactic. MU and Chelsea are the current masters of playing the counter attack so I would not attack them at all.
    I just would sit back and let them do the hard work and we do the defending in numbers. I would play for the 0-0 in those games.

    But then again this is easy talking from someone like me in my comfortable chair with no responsability at all.

    O yes I survived the night some how…;-) (should have kicked him…. )

  37. @phil

    that’s the spirit..


    u have lost it….”””The fact is, given the way we play, if we are going to be beaten it is more likely to be 3-0 or 3-1 than 1-0. OK that hurts but it is simply the other side of the coin of the 4-0 and 4-1 wins that we get.”””…lol..ha ha ha ha…:-p
    when did u score 4 against likes of chelsea, utd, i mean top2???

    gallas leading the attacking line quite an experience??? :-p
    tell u what, with ur screwed analysis, this blog cud be the required laughing fodder for opposition team….

    get hold of urself and start chanting financial mantra….

    arsenal needs to get over this mentality….if concede 1 – to hell with defence, iam gonna score and eventually concede another and BANG game over….instead ARSENAL shud ensure tht they shud n’t concede another one and in last 5-10 minutes if they still can’t get the equaliser then yeah that kind of tactics is accepted….it’s the same thing that happened at mancity and chelsea….and of course it’s the mistake of D n G group and not wenger’s :-p,..u guys may not need striker but u needed defender desperately…and they don’t come that expensive…here i agree it’s the fault of D n G group b’coz they mindlessly scream for striker instead of a cover for defenders…..b’coz STRIKERS CAN WIN MATCHES BUT IT’S DEFENDERS THAT WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS….sadly wenger’s clueless about it…

  38. tell u something, tony, if gallas again decided to lead the line after conceding at stamford be prepared for a tennis scoreline…and no…not in favour of ARSENAL…

    p.s- i am writing ARSENAL in capitals b’coz in my opinion they are a big club.

  39. @ walter

    iam waiting sir…..waiting since henry left….i have a solution if u guys are ready to listen…it may sound ridiculous but atleast a new idea…it contradicts wenger’s philosophy but not the core one….which i respect…

  40. Critic, with respect to you as for a fellow Gooner, I see no point in it. Last night we lost game, and that’s all we lost (and I repeat again a bit of pride, but that heal quite fast).

    I tend to see what you talking about (as you mentioned Henry), but if you were with Arsenal when Henry joined us, I guess you know Henry wasn’t some “big signing” nor signing him broke any Club record. Also I don’t know did you sow Henry’s first season and half in our shirt.
    So what I want to tell you is that diamonds in shape you see them, you never find in nature, than you make them look that way. Diamonds you see on the end were art of craftsman, which, by my humble opinion Wenger is. And I tend to believe, one day someone of this lads you see on pitch will be new Henry (actually isn’t Cesc already new Henry, isn’t RvP new Henry, isn’t Song new Viera, isn’t Vermaelen new Adams). All we need is patience and belief.

    Yesterday Vermaelen goal made me feel proud, almost as that we won. Lets enjoy in supporting the greatest team in world.

  41. Yes I agree more moaning does not help- all gooners are feeling enormous pain at the moment. It also does not help to do a Hitler and in the face of a catastrophic failure of policy blame the people (i.e. the players) for failing him! Why did the attack AND defence perform so badly? -Did any part of the team play well – who is left……..the bench does it matter?
    Lets get this right. This comprehensive defeat at home to Manchester United, did not occur as a one off or because United had a wonder player in the side. He looked a world beater because our defensive game plan was so inadequate- like last time and as a big club it was EMBARRASING. Not that it was any more inadequate than it had been against Bolton or Everton- only the oppositions defensive game plan was better.

  42. Armin you are dreaming. Vieira and Henry were great players, Song and RVP are good players. THAT is the difference. Almunia is a mediocre player and no amount of polishing is going to make him a world class keeper. So far we are a good side, not a great side and it’s time Arsenal fans faced up to the truth.

  43. agreed, armin and others, but wenger needs to hold on to players so that they can bcome great….but on such low wages and such disappointments, although fan can forget it in a small time but it may leave a scar on players, who wud want remain at arsenal? when they bcome gr8 they will leave…u shud have looked the face of fab after the match…

    and arshavin….lesser said is better…he is playing for self glory in past few games, if he had paased the ball to nasri or fab things might have been different….

    it’s the same mistake done by team again again and again, defence is not upto the mark, who’s to blame???financial condn?? no…it’s has to be be wenger’s tactics….

  44. @critic — The last I heard, Arsenal’s wage bill was the 3rd highest in the league, at around 100 mill pounds…perhaps it’s not Man City or Chelsea level, but I’d hardly call that “low.”

  45. Oh, and Wenger IS holding on to those players. If you’ve been paying attention, I think he’s signed close to 20 1st team players in the past year or two, including our captain.

    It’s all part of Wenger’s plan for long-term sustainability and domination.

    Wenger’s plan is by no means perfect, and it has and will continue to have setbacks, so I understand the criticism. But I think you, like so many other angry fans (ahem…Le Grove), are missing the forest for the trees.

  46. Believe me Sharkeysure, I didn’t have a lot of sleep last night as Rooney came haunting me in my nightmares…

    And yeah, this is what being a fan means: deeply hurt by such a defeat but the next win will blow all those bad memory’s away and we will be delighted and jumping around the place with joy…

  47. Contrary to popular opinion I think that this year’s Premiership will prove as predictable as the last few.

    Arsenal pretty much go into cruise control at home against those outside the Bore Four, yet get tonked against Chelsea and Man. U.
    Arguably the only ‘rogue’ result at the Emirates this season was the Everton draw, until you remember that Everton are the only team to get a point at Chelsea this season!
    So the league is, especially if Liverpool pick up a bit, ENTIRELY PREDICTABLE!

    Quick question.
    If Liverpool and/or Arsenal do get dislodged from the Bore Four how long will it be before said teams badger UEFA into creating a fifth Champions League place?
    I’ll give it the time it takes to boil an egg.

  48. Sorry, warming to my theme!
    I’ll answer myself.
    Done a bit of detective work see.

    Both Arsenal and Chelsea have played 18 home games this season.
    That’s 36 games.
    Now, we can’t really take as read that the Arsenal-Everton draw was a surprise because Everton got a draw at Chelsea as well.
    So the only ‘surprise’ in 36 games is the 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge in the Bloated League against a bunch of Danish fishermen or something.
    Until…….you consider that being the Bloated League this fixture didn’t actually matter!!!!!!!! Chelsea had long since qualified.

    So in 36 matches at the two stadiums this season, pretty much every result has gone the way the bookies would have predicted.

    Still think the Premiership is all that?

    Don’t expect anything other than a home win on Sunday if these 36 games are anything to go by.

    Dull isn’t it.
    Any response?

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