Arsenal’s Cathedral: we build for the future, not just this season
By Walter Broeckx
Sometimes when we have defeats people come out and ask for immediate success.
I think that those people don’t see the whole picture but who am I to tell them otherwise? Well just going to try it anyway.
You can look at football game per game and demand a win every time. It would be great to achieve this but I think this is not possible for the moment. No team can win all their games…or could their be a time when this happens?
For me football is more than today’s game or the last game or the next game. Football and supporting The Arsenal is about supporting a team from it’s origins and to care where it will be long after I have gone.
I think that if you work with other people’s money you have to act like a good father would act. If a father spends all his money on drinking and his own pleasures and leaves the kids with no food then we can hardly call it a good father. I’m not saying that a father should keep all his money tight in the bank and not give his children a nice treat now and then. But to spend all his money for one moment of pleasure and be broke and suffer for years is not wise.
So yes we have a manager who in my opinion acts like a good father should act for his children. He doesn’t spend money on players that afterwards don’t perform. It did happen in the past so I think he is extra careful about it. But he buys his children every now and then a nice toy to play with but he won’t buy you a car for your 18th birthday.
That won’t be enough for the spoiled brats but for the kids that look further than today, they will understand that he does it to prevent his children pain in the long term.
I sometimes compare what Arsène Wenger is doing with the building of cathedrals in the Middle Ages.
In those days important city’s wanted to build churches and cathedrals to let the world see their wealth.
The building of such cathedrals was an enormous work and very costly. Most of the times the architect who designed the cathedral never lived long enough to see the cathedral finished. To build a cathedral took more than 100 years sometimes – and occasionally much, much longer.
You then had two options to build. You did it the right way with good materials and good workers who knew their job and did it like it should be. Those are the cathedrals you now can visit in Europe and who are still standing.
But you could also do it to show off to another city and build a cathedral faster than they could and with builders who didn’t take on the job like it should be done and with inferior materials. Those cathedrals have gone now and are replaced by new buildings.
So the thing Wenger is doing at the moment is not building a football club. No he is building an Arsenal Cathedral. The hardest work has been done with The Emirates. It is a building like a cathedral that will hold the grandchildren of my children if they become Gooners one day, and they had better become Gooners or I will haunt them.
Now he is placing the furniture in the cathedral, the players on the field. During the building of the shell Wenger has been busy building that furniture. He had to replace some old things that couldn’t be used anymore like old an retiring players. Some things got broken in transport like players that decided to leave for whatever reason.
And because of the cost of the stadium/cathedral he had not much money available and had to be very careful like a good father would be during the time he is building a house for his wife and children.
But he was manufacturing some nice furniture’s from fresh delivered wood. And as it is all handwork it takes time to get this right. Not everything worked out straight away but he kept on building and working on it. Like in cathedrals they hang the best paintings of the best painters from that time to give them some kind of eternal life. Those paintings are not one day jobs but took weeks and months to paint.
So now we are close to moving in to the next step. The cathedral has been built with solid materials and is the finest stadium in the world where you have an excellent view all around the stadium. The players are almost ready to do what they have been thought.
We begin to put the two things together and look at the final result. And we see a building that will last for years to come, we have an organisation that will last for years to come, we will have youth coming through our ranks for years to come. And we will have players that can become real legends for years to come.
It’s all right in front of us and we are at the beginning of a new era. Just sit back and enjoy it as in some 10 years time you will be the one who can say to a new generation of Gooners : I was there when they were building and supported it all the way. It was hard for a while but it was the greatest thing that has happened to us and gave us all that we could dream of.
Don’t be like the short sighted Middle Age civilians who were telling others: what’s the use of building this cathedral, I want a church now and I don’t care if it falls my head in a few years. I want it now.
And if you really want something now, why you just don’t start right NOW supporting your team. Your team needs your support right now and if you don’t want to give it now…than you might reconsider if you really are a fan in the tradition of our club who does it their own way and not just try’s to imitate others and could end up like some others might and have.
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- Want to write for Untold Arsenal? Send in your idea or your piece to Tony@hamilton-house.com. Please send as a word document, include your name as you want it to appear in the article, and please assert that the article has not appeared and is not on offer anywhere else. Articles must be in keeping with the this site.
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53 Replies to “Arsenal’s Cathedral: we build for the future, not just this season”
Great analogy! Agree completely.
Exactly what makes you think a glazer-esk person won’t buy this club soon and saddle us with crippling debts condemning us to a bad future? I’m not saying we should preempt that by getting into bad debt first, but few ‘spoilt brats’ are saying we need to spend 100 mil to fix this squad. they are mostly asking for just a slightly less tight fisted stance when we are TOLD that we have the money to spend. Nobody knows the future and just as a big signing isn’t guaranteed to work, for all we know none of our youngsters will fulfill their potential and we would have wasted so much time and money on them. And if by not acting now star players like cesc and robin want to leave what next? You think the club wouldn’t miss them badly? If we don’t improve the attendances will fall (as they are) and the revenue falls the belief in the team falls and eventually it becomes a less attractive club for players and it’s very very hard to reverse that trend without much more risky debts llike Leeds. Spending 100 mil might be a terrible idea but the long term result of not taking the situation more seriously is much the same. Around 2 good signings would be enough to stop this in all probability and every transfer window wenger himself says so and continues to not take it seriously
When they built cathedrals they had to plan in advance.
The mortar had to be mixed and left for years before it was ready for use.
And the builder and the architect was one and the same person.(Sic)
…..now , all we need is the mugshots of all the hacks and journos and we can do the gargoyles.
Heard Radio 5 live Phone-in link on the page above. It seems the Financial avalanche is coming faster than anyone might have anticipated (and also good to hear Arsene’s policy praised, even if just for once).
For all of those who demand that we spend .
They might consider asking a potsmouth supporter if they think that Arsene Wenger’s model of self sustainability is the way to go or a quick risky fix that may or may not yield quick gratification.
What we are doing may seem a bit like tantric sex but in the end the trophies will…..cum(sry couldnt resist)
Good point and well elucidated. Therefore, the manager Arsene Wenger, should do everything in his power to keep the maestro FABREGAS and the rest of the team together. Then, after achieved that, it is imperative that, he strenghtens the squad from every department. But both our goalkeepers Almunia and Fabianski should go.
Nice analogy, Walter but don’t forget even Highbury only lasted 93 years.
I somehow cannot believe Arsene sees himself as an Archbishop.
Let’s get behind our team tonight, eh Ryan et al…
Nice and interesting philosophy the way you “built” this article. You forgot one point though,, a cathedral will always be like the one it was built as the time passes but our Arsenal would always improve into something that we can’t even imagine.
Even Hiddink wouldn’t be able to keep up with chelsea and United with arsenal’s budget and injury record.Barcelona also struggled against chelsea with their superstar team,so these negative comments towards Arsene has confused me.
What happened to arsenal dropping out the top4 comments now???
Asking the most over-achieving manager in world football to get sacked is amazing,’don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone’.
Terrible analogy….”Don’t be like the short sighted Middle Age civilians who were telling others: what’s the use of building this cathedral, I want a church now and I don’t care if it falls my head in a few years. I want it now”
Whatcha talking about?
Arsenal was built long before Mr Wenger it will be around long after Mr. Wenger he is NOTHING more than a very talented gaurdian.
ryan, arsenal is nit ripe for the picking by soe ‘glazeresque’ person. if you look into our finances, you will see that we have a mortgage and the bank has first charge over this. it would be almost impossible for a leveraged buyout to happen at any time in the near future. as for attendances, tony has posted many times that there is a waiting list of 20000 people for season tickets. silver and red allocations use uo the rest of the seats and it is rare that tickets go on general sale. the odd gap in our ground are (i believe) paid for seats of season ticket holders who for one reason or another dont come. however our revenue is still maxxed out.
walter, i cant agree with your analogy as i am a non believer, and therefore think that cathedrals et al are a monument to corrupt religions, but taking great architecture as the basis for your analogy, i concur wholeheartedly.
Arsene Wenger = Arsenal
Arsenal and Wenger for life, no matter what happens!
p.s love this blog, much better than Le Groan, never going on that site again. Fickle site with fickle fans.
hey i’m as behind the team as anyone and am desperate for us to win tonight. there’s nothing we can do apart from tactical changes from now until the end of the season and i don’t believe sacking wenger before the end of the season could possibly be a clever move so i have to be behind what we have now. i don’t even want wenger sacked, i just want him to take a little more affirmative action. i don’t say we need to spend like real madrid and buy david villa (frankly we could do with a taller striker anyway) and if there is some quality unknown player in french second division going for 2 mil who wenger believes can really do the job then great as far as i’m concerned. but when we are told we miss out on a player of alonso’s quality because we weren’t prepared to pay a couple more million i think we are being short-changed. we can’t afford to blow endless millions on the biggest names, but we *can* afford an extra couple of million for a class player but our transfer policy often just seems half-arsed. we shouldn’t be held to ransom, but i don’t think asking 16 or so mil for alonso was a hugely unreasonable ask, especially if we were prepared to offer around 12.
that’s why i think it’s unfair to compare us to portsmouth if we just don’t be so tight-fisted. i gather we have a big profit every year *over* the annual debt repayments and on top of this we recieved lets say even just 35 mil for toure and adebayor. now correct me if i’m wrong but we had a big enough profit on top of our debt repayments to afford the signing of vermaelen and so what has happened with the remaining 35 million? besides that we all know we made more than enough to afford vermaelen. to say we have no money is simply not true. every year we make more than enough to finance the debt and most years we even make a fair bit from player sales. we don’t contend with astronomical wages like chelsea and there is quite clearly money in the bank- god knows every year wenger *and* people like hill-wood tell us that themselves. then as soon as things don’t go to well we get told we didn’t have any money so we’re over-achieving. unless an awful lot of money is being syphoned out of the club that’s quite blatantly a lie and at the very least a contradiction of what we got told previously. what portsmouth did is beyond any doubt a hugely different thing and to suggest that spending at least half of the *extra* profit we make each year will put us into administration is surely nonsense.
if we fixed those few problems in the team now (or had done in january) we might not even have to spend any money in the summer, it would be less likely that our star players would want to leave. or we could even offset part of the cost by selling 2 or 3 youth/fringe players. for example if we sold denilson we’d more than have covered the remaining couple of mil we wanted to replace him with alonso.
regardless its game time now so good luck to the lads lets have a good performance!
Simon, I did only refer to cathedrals as architectal buildings. They have been built to last for centurys if build properly. As The Arsenal is.
Good morning, gentlemen. 4:45 am here in Japan. I’m glad I found a link to Shanghai TV since I don’t have to hear the crap English commentary (or really any other commentary for that matter).
Walter — Nice article. It seems like the posters are trying to challenge each other for creativity!
I smell a victory!
To build a cathedral, you need scaffolding and A-frames for construction. You need mortar to hold it together. You need money to source the materials. You need expert stoneworkers, glass-makers, carpenters and engineers, and you need to pay them well to attract them to the job. You need enough common labourers to do the grunt work. What I’m saying is that you can’t build a cathedral with nothing more than stained glass, stone and a vision. You need to get your hands dirty.
At Arsenal, we have a lot of fancy, fragile players who pass well but who aren’t particularly penetrative. We don’t teach defence. We have a bad keeper. We don’t spend money to get the experience we’ve been trading away. We have injury-prone key players who get injured for months at a time. We have a lot of money and we have a vision, but we don’t look like we’re putting it all together and making it a reality.
I’ve been reading this site for a while, and while these articles are well-written and interesting, you’ve all got some kind of collective blind-spot. Football is played in the present, not in the future. And there are changes that could help this side NOW that would improve us. We are building for the future, yes, but we build for the future by working on the present.
@ WEG — fair enough. BUT WE JUST WON THE MATCH!
and w/ chelsea losing and man u tying, you never know. if you’re talking about focusing on the present, it doesn’t get more present than that.
What a great night after the nightmare of the fortnight!!! Chelsea and ManU both dropped points and us gaining 3points means the lead is down to 6 at the top!!!!
nice one, tim..
The time of his comment is during the second half!! Not sure if he was watching the match…
Well in the present those leightweight fragile players fought like mad and won 1-0 against Liverpool.
And Debt United only 1-1 at Villa and the sugar daddy Chelsea lost at Everton.
It ain’t over yet. The other top teams still have to play each other and will drop points. We just have to focus on our game and win our own matches from now on.
It defenitly aint over yet.
Everton play Man U at home next Saturday after the Champs League fixtures…I’ve just become a short-term Everton fan. Go Sendy!
Don’t be supprised if NONE of the papers highlight Gerard’s diving.
Walter, it’s not over for us GOONERS!!! For the media, it was over even before the first game started and for the fans of ManIOU and post-Roman Chelski fans, it was last weekend..
And wat a night to round off the fortnight!!! The goal celebration showed me how much it meant for the players.. They did give their best even though it felt like it wasnt going our way…
There was only one thing that mattered today and that was to win.
I really think we didn’t played our best match and again an injury forced us to change things around a bit.
You could see some players still having a hangover from the last results and even Cesc wasn’t at his usual level.
But ALL of them fought like lions and with great determination to get the victory. If we can keep our players fit we will come back on the two leaders.
What dive Ibbs ? Gerrard ?? you are joking… 😉
Rest asured they will have to fill the space with Bendtner….
LOL! Even Harry @ spurs got carried away with talk of finishing 3rd.
Back down to earth Harry and stay there.
weg, after seeing almunias’ fingertip save from babels’ power shot should make you eat humble pie. i thought our goalie was class tomight. arshavin had a greta game, tracking back and putting in the defensive work that he has been slagged for not doing lately.
all in all it was a great match, we really showed our true mettle.
if the d&g brigade stay true to form, they will be praising everything tommorrow in their bbboooooommmmm blogs.
the only downer for me is that my missus is really pissed because of the handball incident at 94 mins. oh well, lifes a bitch sometimes.
Simon, it was outside the area anyway so no penalty and it was 2 dives to win the inital free kick. One from Gerrard and the other from Kuyt. So justice was done in the end.
And like I said in my article this week: clichy is coming back to his normal level. You impatient moaners sometimes. Anyone who knows a bit about football knows that after months out you need weeks to be back to your best.
Simon, my wife knows nothing about football be she hopes that Arsenal wins just to see the male members of our family happy. 😉 They sure are tonight
Simon, sleeping on the carpet tonight and not in the bed ? LOL Thats how we say it over here when the wife is really unhappy with me. Not that’s ever the case offcourse… ahum ahum…
Fantastic win tonight.
Walter, despite all the results going our way tonight doomers are already focused on our new scapegoat. Step forward Theo. And Alumnia is not so bad, Clichy only slightly improved and Diaby is ok but still has no football brain.
God, I bet if we win the League they still find something to moan about. Sad tossers.
Notlager, they have been at him the last weeks already… The boy has been out all season with injurys … what do they expect ?
Well done guys tonight. In just three days things change for the better. Let’s see what the next two weeks bring us. From here on things will change so quickly, the only thing I hope for is just focusing on our own games. But, I still want the D & G brigade to build their favorite prototype players for every position in the team. These androids won’t get injured, won’t get off form, don’t make mistakes, and nimble enough to change tactic in real time. What a team that would be!
Job done! Arse-Customers, D&G, iZombies, etc, we won. You are now excused to go back to whence you came, your woodwork.
Bendtner holds, checks, passes out to Rosicky. Rosicky crosses from the right. Diaby with the header. It’s moments like that that make Wenger’s vision worthwhile. I’m happy we won. But, I don’t think we played well. Almunia made one good save, but do you think he would’ve saved that free-kick if Cesc hadn’t stuck out his arm? I saw the replay and he was nowhere near it.
Getty, that team exists, and it’s called Chelsea. It consists of 11 players who are experienced, hungry and talented. They might lose the odd game, but they won’t be exposed by naivety.
well endowed gooner,
worthwile? Since when have you been giving AW any time or patience for his vision? All I hear from you is moan moan moan. Even after we won and your perfect Chelsea team lost you find somethng to moan about. Apparently they loose the odd game, but it’s Arsenal who are loosing all the time. How can a team of invincibles like Chelsea ever loose a game to Everton at all? How dare Arsenal loose to Chelsea and ManU. Disgraceful. Wenger must be sacked.
‘Fans’ like you don’t have the right to be here after a win.
Please cross the word gooner from your name. You’re an insult to every Arsenal supporter.
Well-endowed nonsense. Eating crow is difficult meal to swallow. Poor boy!
First and foremost an excellent journey into your mind and into the middle ages and back into the Emirates. The creativity compels everyone to take that journey! I am glad you wrote it!
Also, an observation; funny to see the harshness appear early on in the comment section. But by the end of the comment section when Arsenal have won the lousy bastards retreat! Yay!
I stand by all my criticisms I wrote above but tonight was a fantastic set of results and for all my general frustrations with some things it’s very hard not to be in a good mood, especially as on sky it showed the remaining fixtures for Chelsea and utd and it’s going to be a very tough run in! Come on arsenal don’t waste this chance! I think diaby can become a huge player alongside cesc and song if he keeps improving as he is, he deserved motm in my opinion
YessSSS !GAME ON !Let us keep the faith and get behind this young team.
Let the master builder get on with his work and when the time comes we will marvel at his wonderous creation.
The day will come when we shall worship in the cathedral the Lord Wenger
made for us and we will rejoice and give thanks to him for a job well done.
Till then put your hearts and souls firmly behind the Arsenal and await the day every Gooner sees the light.
WEG don’t bother about the sheep on here. Such people are not worth time. They will continue to be be future minded, refusing to look at the barren wastelanad that is the last 5 years. They will refuse to realise there is no ‘youth project’, there is Wilshire out on loan and Sol Campbell signed, Silvestre Almunia etc. Ramsey, Vela, the kids are Fabianski; the kids are not played while Almunia gets in the team, while the gormless Denilson makes the first XI.
They will refuse to note that this ‘cash strapped club’ is spending an exorbitant amount on a group of players that has not proven anything. Walcott on a huge amount. Crocks like Rosicky rewarded with contract extensions.
Engaging in critical analysis and comparing Arsenal to teams who have actually won things in the last five years does not mean WEG, or anyone else, is not a fan.
Notlager, I suggest you check yourself into your nearest psychiatric clinic. ‘Almunia is not so bad’ LOL. ‘I bet if we win the league etc etc. If we win the league I will personally seek you out and shake you hand for being so prophetic. But it won’t happen, you are seemingly blind to the problems pervading this club. Questions other fans all you like; label people ‘moaners’; it won’t change the fact you are deluded and constricted by a love of Arsene Wenger and his misguided ideologies, and downright lies.
Good result today against a second rate team, but the lack of discpline again was on display. Vermaelen bombing up the pitch when 1-0 i in the 90th minute. Clichy trying to take a couple of Liverpool players, only to lose the ball and expose us. Did it ever occur to you notlager that winning a game does not salve wounds incurred in other games? In seasons and seasons of the same problems permeating this club? You are part of the problem with this ambitionless regime.Blindly accepting all that is fed for you.
Please, seek help.
Arsenal wining and Chelsea losing is the equivalent of drawing with chelsea… we are lucky to be behind by this smaller margin, hopefully the lads can bring the momentum to the Champions League
Bergkamp, your comments are so dumb and insulting it’s unbelievable.
If we are not worth the time, howabout you piss off and leave us to get on living our happy lives and support our club like the sheep we are?
We certainly don’t need help. Least of all from a gold-plated miserablist, myopic, berk like you. You can’t even enjoy it when we win!
And please find a better handle – Bergkamp has far too much class to be sullied by association.
Oh my God Bergkamp did I miss the news that we are third from bottom since the last time I saw the league table ?
I bet you were one of those who said we would struggle to get in the Europa league next season. Maybe you thought we would be out of the top 10 this season.
And the last time I checked the table we were 3rd and for a team of lightweight, fragile losers and no goods that is not so bad at all I would think.
Maybe you were one of those who was moaning the fact that Wenger kept that always injured Diaby and that Song had to be given away to the Spuds as soon as possible. And now look at them….
And yes we are an attacking team and isn’t it just great ? Or would you prefer that we play the Bolton tactics ?
And one final note to you Bergkamp. You say : “You are part of the problem with this ambitionless regime.Blindly accepting all that is fed for you.
Please, seek help.”
Now I ask you did you read the article above ? Because if you read it this is an article that talks about the ambition us (most of us over here) poor and lost souls have.
We don’t have the ambition to win one title and then face bankrupcy. No in the article above I express the ambition of building our way not for one seasons but for many, many, many season to win things based upon the strong foundations that are being made now. You talk about one title, we believe in lots of titles to come.
In fact I think we, if I may use it, are far more ambitious than you are.
Well said, Jonny & Walter.
You’d think that with all the D&G blogs out there, these guys could find somewhere else to write – somewhere a bit more “Customer-Focussed”…
Thirty eight predictable results out of thirty eight at Arsenal and Chelsea this season…….and counting.
And with only slight shifts here and there, Liverpool cementing the hallowed 4th place (open top bus ride anyone?…..Shankly must be spinning in his grave) and Everton finishing above Birmingham, the final table could be the most predictable in 130 years of top-flight competition.
Still, at least the rest of the Football League shows signs of competitiveness!
@”Bergkamp” — If you are coming here to sling personal insults, you should just leave. As Jonny said, you are just sullying the great man’s name.
You say: “They will continue to be be future minded, refusing to look at the barren wastelanad that is the last 5 years.”
OK, so the “barren wasteland” characterization of the past 5 years is probably something you and I would never agree on.
But if you want “critical analysis,” then let’s take a critical look at the “future-minded” comment:
1. Being “future-minded” is not a bad thing. See Portsmouth, Liverpool, etc…but it’s apparent that you are using being “future-minded” as an insult, so:
2. If being “future-minded” is an insult, then I would say that your comments are just as “future-minded” as any other comment on this board.
The transfer window is over. Wenger will not be leaving anytime soon. And we are “stuck” with the players we have until the summer. I think we would both agree on this.
But what you are doing is calling for an Arsene-less Arsenal that would spend, spend, spend. That, I would say, is very “future-minded” because the a.) the Board loves Arsene (as, I think, do most fans) and b.) the club’s finances indicate that “spending big-time money” is not going to happen for a very long time.
If you want Arsenal to be more focused on the present, then you should SUPPORT THE PLAYERS WHILE WE ARE IN A TITLE RACE, and save your comments about getting a new goaltender, centre-forward, etc. for the summer. This is as presentist and rational as it gets.
It’s fine to criticize, but please do so constructively without the personal insults. (For example, I think Ryan’s comments above are well-argued, even though I may disagree with them). Saying “x player sucks” and “y player is a crock” is not helping. All you are doing is providing fodder for a press that uses negative comments like yours to sell papers.
I just don’t f&*king get it. We won. It’s like certain “fans” want the club to lose just so AW leaves. It’s sad.
It really pisses me when some one says last 5 years(including this season which hasnt finished yet and we are still in contention for 2 trophies) have been a barren spell. If it is regarding the trophies, then yes we are having a barren spell. But for me it has been as successful period as the ones before.
We would have won the CL in 2006 if not for some decisions not going our way. We reached within 10-15mins of lifting the trophy even with having just 10men on the field against the full strength team of Barca.
We had unexpected run in the PL 2seasons back from a squad of young but talented players and would have won it if not for that horrific injury which took away everything from the team and it took a good 8-10 months to come back.. I’ll remember that run for a long time for the simple fact that most of the people including me believed it. The Carling Cup run of that season too stands out for the fact that out youngsters taught the full strength Chelski team few lessons in football.
We did all this when we were handicapped by the new stadium. yet we played some great football and even taught some of the best clubs in the world a lesson or two.
And because of this, when I read some of our fans say ‘We have not won anything for 4 years’, I consider them as ‘Glory-hunters’ and ignore whatever they say. They just need the number of trophies won and nothing else.. I too would like us to win trophies but not just for the sake of it. The trophies should be considered as the cherries on top of the ice-cream.. Wonderful to have but can do without it..
Diaby’s run for that goal was fantastic, he near the half-way line when he passed the ball to Fab4!
Players’ wages are an issue everywhere, but we are already into debt deflation, see WHU suggesting their players take 25% wage cut, it will come, even though we have just renewed 15 players. (As far as I understand it, these are renewed to avoid FIFA Article 17 under which players can get away on a cheap transfer by buying out the remainder of the contract.)
And @Terence: Arsenal = tantric sex, now there’s a mental image I can go with!
awsme!!!!!gr8 rytin!!!!!cummon goonerzzz!!!!
i love u, man…
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