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July 2021

Why is it really such a bad season so far?

Why is it really such a bad season so far?

By Cameron Wolfe

We’re currently seventh in the EPl. Sitting on 15 points. So at least we’re still in the top half and we’ve only played ten games. Won four, drawn four, lost three. We’ve only lost one more than Manure. Arguably our worst result of the season so far was the one to Norwich. We just didn’t turn up. It happens.

Being beaten by Manure and Chelski as much as it hurts. Isn’t the end of the world. Or our season. Reading all the press on the run up to the match we were expected to be beaten by both. So we’ve played the “top three” already and lost 1-2 2-1 and drew 1-1 with the champions.

Is that really three poor results? Or is that indeed not that bad at all. We still have to play them again? Next time we might beat all three? Who knows?

Currently Man City are unbeaten but that said in several of their games they were indeed lucky to win or at least escape with a draw. With only ten games gone that they’re not going to go the full season undefeated.  Are they? No. They’re not that good. Neither are the other two this year. They’ve been lucky too? That luck will run out. It always does.

So we’ve lost three. The other teams will lose too. They’ll all have their Norwich game too this season. It happens to every top team every single year. The exception was our “Invincibles” year.

So in the EPL there is more than enough time for us to close the gap.

We’re once again a different team from last year and as if by magic our new players are supposed to be banging in goals left right and centre. We should be bossing the mid-field and winning every game.

See I think that is exactly what is going to happen but we need to be patient? We need to give the team more time to gel? It will come. There have been flashes of brilliance so far and we will improve as the others falter.

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Our next three games are at Home which will hopefully give us an advantage preparation wise.

Our defence has been slated for years now but currently we have the best defensive record in the EPL so far this year and the media give us no credit for it? Let’s see come May how good it is?

Isn’t that what’s really important where we finish? Not where we are with only a quarter of the season gone.

In the Champions we’re second behind arguably the strongest team in the group and if we beat Montpelier next and Shalke beat Olympiacos then we’ll be through. Now I know it’s better to finish top. It makes it easier for us in the next draw. I know but in reality surely qualifying is the most important target in the group stages. We’ll worry about who we are drawn against when it happens. We could still win the group.  We’re only one point behind Shalke.  They could loose their next game then we’d leap frog them.

In fact if you look at all the group tables we have the same amount of points as: Real Madrid, Chelsea, and Celtic. Who are all second in their groups.

One might also ask, in the Champions League where are the Spuds? Where are Liverpool? Where’s Man C? Their having a nightmare campaign. They have only two points from four games. That’s poor for such an expensive acquired team. I’ll bet Mancini would rather be in our position than his.

So in the CL we’re still on target to qualify. Either top or second. Surely qualification is the most important goal in the group stages?

In the Capital cup we have an away tie to Bradford. I’m sure we haven’t played them since they were in the EPL and I’m sure we had the upper hand then. I think we’ll progress. Like the last round I’m sure we’ll field a fairly strong team and I’m positive it’ll be nothing like the last match. You just don’t see many like that.

So we’re in an important month. Imperative that we take maximum points this Saturday, against the spuds and from Montpelier. All well within our reach. By the end of this month we could be looking stronger on all fronts.

As usual I’ll be 100% behind the team no matter who plays. Screaming abuse at the TV every time a decision goes against us. Rejoicing every time we score. It just what supporters do? Or at least should do. Every single game. Support your team 100% regardless. Win lose or draw Arsenal will still be my team.

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84 comments to Why is it really such a bad season so far?

  • NuttnTiddy

    Well said.Reality at last from an Arsenal Blog.

  • ogban

    The bad season is the way we are playing: no zeal, no winning mentality, no…..nothing.
    Even the players who started like a house on fire have suddenly gone cold. The results and positions only belie the true state of things. If it continues like this, then be ready for one hell of a season

  • I think it is more to do with performances than anything else – we certainly have lacked the fluid play of previous seasons and the defensive errors are still there (although credit MUST be given to the defence for conceding only 8 in 10 matches).

    Also, I think this is the worst start points wise after 10 matches that Wenger has ever had – an even lower tally than last year.

    There is time to turn it around, but we must start playing better. Unfortunately I do not believe we are realistic title contenders anymore, so 4th would be the real target. Despite the bad start we are only 2 points off 4th place, so that is indeed a positive.

  • D

    Sorry but if you think this is a good season so far you’re in the minority of what fair minded supporters think, we’re looking like a mid-table team this year, with a possibility of top 4, and with a very weak forward line. Reminds me of George Graham’s last few years at the club but then we still got some great and memorable cups with that defence and Ian Wright. I love Arsene but he’s ridiculously burnt out in the job at Arsenal. Managers ultimately get judged on results, and the results over the past five seasons have generally been poor in the important games. That’s not an insult to him as he’s a great guy and an Arsenal legend, just a reality of what happens when you hang around somewhere too long and go stale. But yes am sure we will still support the team because we are Arsenal fans and love the club and continue to be optimistic at the start of every season. I just fancy a change of direction, the club need to freshen up. Why not? We shouldn’t fear the future with a new manager and owner. Especially a new owner, that’s willing to invest in our ambitions not take huge amounts of money out which is what he’s likely to do in the next year or so, that’s just my opinion.

  • Legolas

    good article and i share the same thing with you , we should get behind the team no matter what they need us now last year they made the great come back and now it’s not too late a couple of additions this January and hopefully securing walcott deal and we can beat the hell out of teams .

  • I would”nt say bad i”d say very depressing !

  • Eddy

    admire your optmism but the grim reality is that our squad contains so many average players(like Chamakh,Squillaci and many more)that are so overpaid,that our owner refuses to invest anymore money in wages,until we get rid of some of them,my guess is that he won’t sanction any signings until we reduce our wage bill.We are not challenging at the highest evel but pay the highest level for our season tickets.There is an unprofessional familiarity that is running through our club,that lacks leadership ie how can you moan about being a little short in midfield when you rely on Diaby and Rosicky to fill some of the positions?

  • Matt

    Shouting at the TV? Just about sums this site up.Full of good advice for everyone about supporting the club while sitting on the sofa watching the game.Supporting the club involves putting your hand in your pocket at the games maybe that is why it doesn’t bother you so much feeling ripped off by the club because you’re not.

  • My co arsenal fans our season is bad right from begining of d season.i believe wenger is to blame nt d players due to some facts-1,playin players out of position.for instance as wenger bought podoski from koln,he was been paired upfront making him to school 20 goals last season.wenger now deploy him on d wing to assist.2,wrong selection also contribute,playin player dat are nt meant to make d 1st team squad 4 matches.3,d formation is totally nt working 4 d players.when u play a lone striker upfront,he finds itself isolated bt two upfront will be difficult 4 central backs to handle.d 4-2-3-1 formation is nt working 4 us,wenger needs to go back to 4-4-2 dat won trophies 4 us bt wenger is stubborn to hear d calls of fans.

  • El Gringo

    Of course everyone lives in England, and days off neatly coincide with match days, and money is so plentiful that flights and tickets never rule out heating oil. And also money grows on trees, politicians mean the best for us, and Gnabry will score 35 goals this season.

  • rupert cook

    Let’s just say it’s not a good start and leave it at that.

    As for the CL, each year I wonder what the point is? Who actually believes we’ll win this bloated competition?

    We know the drill. We scrape through our group, or maybe we’ll win it, just. We’ll then proceed to the next round and get beaten by a team of quality players, or if they’re having an off day we’ll scrape through to the next round and then get outplayed by Manu, Milan, Barcelona, Chelsea.

    The club will have made a bit of money whilst the domestic trophies will have been sacrificed on the altar of Mammon.

    The process then repeats itself. We MUST finish fourth otherwise we won’t attract the best players, the likes of Giroud, Gervinho and Ramsey.

    If that’s our ambition, then say so and stop pretending it isn’t AFC. It’s the tedium of it all that wears you down.

    But anyway it’s a long season and if we win anything it’ll be a remarkable feat. Let’s hope we have a REAL trophy come May.

  • elkieno

    Yes good article laying it out for I am to scared to look. I used to think why don’t I go on the net after we lose, I feel guilty as if I am not supporting my team, but then realize that I am avoiding all the bike and nasty stuff from other ‘fans’. When we win I can rejoice with the fans, but when we lose I hate the bad stuff ppl say.
    We will get there eventually this might be a transition season, but I fear we are having then every year…

  • Andrew Ryan


    That is a very good overview of the past few seasons.


  • Eddy

    couldn’t agree more Rupert

  • rupert cook

    The paradox, of course, is that we’re told we need to finish fourth to attract the best players and then promptly sell our best players when we do finish fourth.

  • Lobster

    All I’m saying is, I hope my team proves me wrong this season. I really hope so

  • Sav from Australia

    Well said Cameron!

    Very optimistic but does not make it any less true. Timely article in the face of the negativity out there.

  • Walter

    Probably the worst Chelsea side from the last decade won the CL. In years before they had better teams but couldn’t win it. This is sometimes how things go in real football.

    Unless you play Fifa 2012 of course. Then you just press A or B or left arrow or whatever yo have to press…

    Of course we could just give up before we start playing. I wonder how many would be happy if we would play the U21 in the CL games every time? Because “what is the use we will not win it…”

  • Matt

    If you dont live in England it would probably be for the best you stop patronising and stop telling everyone else how to support the club they have been financialy supporting for the last 30 odd years.

  • Sav from Australia

    Who is this rupert cook fella that keeps spamming the blogs with inane and inept comments? Is he Robin Van Persie in disguise? And what’s with all those comments with random posters ‘agreeing’ with him? Methinks rupert has a certain multiple blogger disorder.

  • owens

    Oh..robin van persie scored again..oh sorry i forgot he is not our player again..f*ck WENGER..we do support our team but wenger and the board gives us reasons not to but criticise the club,.just regret buying the season’s ticket.

  • owens

    We could win the capital 1 cup and be happy we won UCL dis season..hahahaha,is it possible?..can the capital 1 cup come to the emirates? gazidis said we shld wait for 2yrs..FFP.

  • Adam

    Well written Mr Wolfe. The target for me remains and does every season 37-45 points going in to January, the games come thick and fast now so no more Norwich performances, The games are there for this (new-ish) team to gel. 30 points up for grabs before the new year, the margin for error in narrow. The fixture list does not look to bad just the Everton away game, the rest seems favourable.

  • Mick

    I live in England and I have supported Arsenal all my life. Unfortunately I am now unable to afford to go to matches as I am a pensioner on basic pension, so I suppose in your eyes that makes me an ‘inferior’ supporter to you. The only team I can afford to watch is the one at my local park so do you suggest I should transfer my allegiance to them? Or do I have your permission to scream at my telly if I want whilst watching my lifelong favourite team?

  • lopez

    its very simple! Arsene keeps the same formation over and over again…also some of those players could be rotated more often. Podolski and Walcott should be moved to centre forwards, a 4-4-2 formation would be better

  • Matt


    Not at all mate as i dont recall you telling me that i should support club the regardless of the things they do.
    Your situation is a prime expample of what i hate about Arsenal a pensioner who has supported the club all there life no longer able to afford to go to games because of the extortionate prices and no concessions for older people and very few for young people.All the club is interested in is making money and these web-sites who support that crap encourage them.

  • Gouresh

    reading some of the comments, i have come to a conclusion that we cannot critize our team? its blasphemy if we do that? fans who can afford the tickets make sacrifices and other who cannot afford, contribute by purchasing Arsenal souvenirs. we all want Arsenal to do well and i get really pissed off when people say ‘oh we had a bad day’, ‘oh we have injuries’, ‘oh players are back for international break’, ‘oh new players have to gel’ ‘oh this oh that’. for f**k sake its a football match and players should play to win. whatever happened to winning !! if i could afford a season ticket i would be really really angry at some of the players performance. i will not say x is deadwood or not fit for Arsenal. They are actually playing for the team and we are not…..but get your bloody finger our and put some effort in. i hate when i read comments which clearly indicate there is no winning mentality…. PATHETIC really!

  • Walter

    Matt, maybe there is reason why he has to shout at his TV.
    Maybe the writer once lived in England and came to the games.
    Maybe he had to move to another country for his work? Or for a woman he loves?

    so if such a things happens he just has to quit the Arsenal? Or he becomes an inferior supporter?

    You truly are a great example of the Victoria Concordia Crescit….

  • Matt

    Victoria Concordia crescit has long since past i am afraid.
    Wehen you have to write drivel like this and print it for other fans to read about how we should all supprt the club through thick and thin. Were all in it together,which is far from the truth you’re entitled to be criticised.Lets hope he is not screaming at Spurs(apparently we are playing them this weekend) on his TV this weekend or he will be watching the wrong game,poor love.

  • John

    It should be possible to comment on the team without having to resort to exchanging insults.

    My general view is that positiive support and optimism is necessary to counter the unfair criticism which is widespread in the media, which always seem to have an anti-Arsenal agenda regardless of what the team does.

    As for recent games, I share the view that performances have not been good and the players seem to have had a collective loss of confidence. There seems little point in blaming Squillaci, Chamack, Diaby and Rosicky for recent events!

  • Mick first of all ditch Sky subs, go down your local Weatherspoons and watch for free and then if we lose you can get bladdered on the money you”ve saved which means by May you should be a confirmed Alcoholic

  • I think people get very confused between supporting Arsenal FC and supporting players or the manager. When Wenger is gone, Arsenal will remain. When all these players have gone, Arsenal will remain. Personally I could not give a stuff who is playing or managing the club (with a few exceptions – i.e. I would do everything in my power to do something to oust a player like John Terry if he ever signed). Very few players actually take a place in my heart to the extent I will remember them. Even then I will remember them for what they did for Arsenal, not anything to do with them personally.

    I support Arsenal, and I expect every player and the manager to do what is best for Arsenal Football Club. If a fan wants to criticise Wenger or any player it has NO bearing on their support for the club.

    All this pro or anti Wenger stuff is nonsense – be pro Arsenal. Sometimes being pro Arsenal means highlighting the things that are wrong with the club. Some are so blinded by their support of Wenger that it seems sometimes they care more about him that the club!

  • Andrew Ryan

    @Sav from Australia. In future I’ll ask your permission to comment whenever I see something I agree with on this site.

    Rupert seems to be saying things as they are, not regurgitating Wengeresque propaganda via a Gazidis inspired kaleidoscope.


  • WalterBroeckx


    I quote from the article: “So we’re in an important month. Imperative that we take maximum points this Saturday, against the spuds and from Montpelier. All well within our reach. By the end of this month we could be looking stronger on all fronts.”

    Now I am not a native English speaker but I can only understand this as the writer talking about 3 games. The one this Saturday, the one against the spuds and the one against Montpelier.

    I think the “,” there changes the sentence. Well it would do in my language.

    So having a dig at the writer for this looks rather easy, don’t you think?

  • Sav from Australia

    Ok Andrew…I mean Rupert.

  • Andrew Ryan

    @Sav from Australia.
    I also agree with what jayramfootball has said, especially the bit “Some are so blinded by their support of Wenger that it seems sometimes they care more about him that the club!”

    Maybe I am also jayram football, though its far more likely that you are Rupert.


  • bjtgooner


    A good article and I fully agree with your final thought – that supporters should support their team come what may.

    What we are seeing at present from some bloggers, parts of the press and some pundits, is part of a campaign designed to undermine the club, team and manager so that the club will become vulnerable for takeover – and because the Arsenal has been well managed it is very attractive for anyone with dirty money which needs laundering.


    Don’t worry too much about rupert the rat with acne and a lisp – the inane comments come with the rest of the package.

  • Mick

    Not a bad idea drowning your sorrows and one I have considered. Mind you with the price of a pint nowadays it would cost a fortune to get drunk so you can’t win whatever you do.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Not the greatest of starts, nor is it a complete disaster. Yet again, not helped by injuries. We are a bit like a golfer in the process of changing their swing, there will be progress, setbacks and hopefully more progress. A new team, and assistant, these things can take time. Some players are clearly more naturally suited to things as they are now than others who will have to continue to work. We do not now have the player everyone can rely on to constantly dig them out of a hole, it is now all hands to the tiller….and other cliches, this marks a very different direction than the cesc Henry rvp era.
    On another note, really hope these taraabt rumours are either complete bollox or are designed to conceal another target, on what I have seen, he is the last player we need should theo depart?

  • Nick Lee

    I am curious… the mast header stated 800,000 visits. That works out to 26,666 per day, taking a 30-day average for a month. You could deduce from this that there are 26,666 different persons visiting the site every day.

    But let’s be conservative and assume that every person that visits the site does that twice a day. That would mean an average of 13,333 different persons that visit the site per day.

    Why do you think there are so many visitors? The reason is Arsenal, the club that they supported. And I can assure you that they will not be here if you are writing about your pet dog.

    Which brings me to the oft taunt “… there are many Arsenal sites out there if it makes you happy..’ and something to that effect. I think whoever makes that sort of remark is naive.

    1. this website writes about Arsenal, a club that endears to a lot of fans. The material written is about Arsenal, not something privy to Untold
    2. it is on public domain and about Arsenal
    3. from 1. and 2. above, visitors have a right to comment on something that concerns Arsenal. Differences in opinions is common when a site dwells on a topic that it doesn’t own or privy to.

    In short, if you want to write something that is not privy to you and on the Internet, expect differences in opinion.

    Take it offline or restrict it to your members if you cannot tolerate differences in opinion. and judging by the average daily hits (13,333) and the different nicks used, well… not many really put forth their thoughts. Or are they censored?

  • Nick Lee

    One more thing. Whoever came up with AAA and AKB et el are well… Look, everyone wants Arsenal to do well, I assume.

    I am in agreement with Jayramfootball on Arsenal. Players, managers and management come and go and I don’t give a damn. It’s Arsenal that I cared. There will be differences in opinions.. emotions run high but ultimately, it is for the good of Arsenal. Snide remarks serve no purpose nor are they productive.

    By the way, our service provider paid S$330 million for 3 seasons to screen the rights of BPL. This directly goes to the clubs in BPL. So, if you are in England and paying for the season tickets, it does not mean that overseas fans are not paying to support the teams. Get real, there is so much you can get from gate collections. Its the TV rights that are supporting, in huge percentage, the BPL.

  • ducats

    We all said we would evaluate the team after 10 games and the article did this. Close draws/losses with the top teams, a slip up here, and a few draws against solid clubs there. I think we will take points of the top teams when they come play at the Emirates. I also think we will win a fair few games against mid table and bottom table clubs and have an odd slip up here and there.

    Basically I think we will finish in the top 4, but have a difficult time winning the league unless we go on an absolute tear the rest of the season and the other top clubs under perform. We’re still a couple of world class players/years away from challenging but that’s to be expected given the financial playing field at the moment.

    One gripe I have about the article above though is that it admits that “we’re second behind arguably the strongest team in the [Champions League] group”. First, it’s a bit disconcerting that you do not consider Arsenal in a higher echelon than Schalke. Second, it’s disturbing that you seem OK with that.

    I do think that some have gotten used to not winning and being at the top in certain respects, both among the fans and maybe even the management. I am realistic and know that the financial playing field has been skewed over the last decade or so. But once you are OK with being second best, it’s often difficult to win even if you have the resources to do so.

  • rupert cook

    @Sav, no I do not have multiple personalities. It maybe beyond your conception but not everybody thinks everything is rosy in Arsenal’s backyard.

    @bjt gooner, you seem quite an unpleasant chap. When you learn to tolerate the views of others you may develop a personable character.

  • bjtgooner


    I must admit I do not tolerate fools or the AAA gladly.

    In your case you deliberately and repeatedly post anti Wenger bile on a pro Wenger site – that has to be deliberately confrontational. I suspect you get some form of warped satisfaction from these activities and you happily immerse yourself in self-gratification.

    But when you constantly back stab our team, (maybe not your team), you are fair game for retribution – retribution being probably more appropriate than debate in your case.

  • rupert cook

    Anti-Wenger bile. Hilarious. Go on you little pussycat, roll over and let me tickle your fur.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    A cultured left foot has a good comment.

  • rupert cook

    I enjoyed that but I rather liked the comments by Jon Jon a little more. He makes some salient points similar to ones I’ve made.

  • bjtgooner


    You really are more perverted than the normal AAA sewer rat – and not worth wasting time on.

  • rupert cook

    That’s right sweetie, time for some cuddles.

  • rupert cook

    Getting back to some serious issues. People sometimes claim it takes a while for new players to bed in but at Chelsea it seems quite the opposite. I’m just wondering if Wenger’s willingness to play players out of their favoured positions has any bearing on our mediocre performances.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Rupert, have to say it is taking Chelsea a while with Torres?

  • Cameron Wolfe

    @ Rupert
    You sound so depressed supporting Arsenal I’m surprised you bother at all? Do you ever ask yourself why you support Arsenal? If they are so rubbish? It seems to me by your comments that they are the worst team in the league? Not worthy of your support.
    As for the CL comment being a bloated competition? Why do we play in it?
    To compete and play against the best teams in Europe. like every other team in the competition. I wonder if Milan, Barcelona, Madrid, Bayern etc. think it’s a bloated competition? Or do they like Arsenal hope to win it every time they enter it?
    It’s not Arsene or the owners fault that they happen to run a financially successful club but I’ll bet their happy they do though. As opposed to being vastly in debt for the sake of winning the odd trophy.
    @ Matt
    I’m not patronising anyone. Club or supporters. I gave what I thought was my own opinion of how we’re doing so far. As for not being as big an Arsenal supporter as you. Why? Because you’re a season ticket holder and I’m not? You buy some merchandise? I buy merchandise.
    Just over 60,000 minus the away support are at the Emirates every other week. Not sure if you know this but currently our fan base world wide is appox. 100,000,000 (a hundred million). Just think how many of them buy merchandise and would love to have the chance to stand at the Ems. and watch Arsenal play? I’ve been lucky too on many occasions but as Walter correctly commented on I no longer live in London I live in Canada. Doesn’t mean I support Arsenal any less.
    You might not be happy paying your hard earned money to watch Arsenal Play but you do have a choice not too. Most Arsenal fans have no chance of seeing them play live.
    Maybe Arsenal could do without supporters like you? Sell your really expensive season ticket to someone who would be proud to go and support their team.
    The article is drivel to you Matt but you didn’t hear me or anyone else begging you to read it or comment on it that’s your choice. Why not write an article yourself? Give other people a chance to comment on it. Go on be brave pen us an article about how crap Arsenal are? If you do remember the rule about how a “,” changes a sentence? It does make all the difference.
    Did you realise it’s a pro Arsene/Arsenal site before you read the article?
    Are Matt and Rupert the same person? or a couple? Couple of T***S Ouch! I know I shouldn’t but it was just to easy.
    @ Ducats
    I understand your point you made about Shalke. Do I think their better than arsenal? No but they were tipped to be the best team in our group and unfortunately even for me I can’t make the table lie. They beat us. They’re top and undefeated. Let’s hope though we can over take then in the last two games.

  • Nick Lee


    I don’t really buy the oft touted ‘we are a few world class players away..’ stuff. Look at MU. I take MU as a benchmark for BPL. Do they seriously have many world class players per se? MU has been there amongst the top teams without visibly world class players like Real and Barca.

    Can’t really explain how but SAF has this ability to get players to give their all and perform beyond expectations. Folks and pundits have been telling all and sunder that the last few teams MU put out are the weakest they had seen. But they are still challenging and always among the title contenders in any competition.

    MU have no real real quality striker for a while until now, and in a fell swoop and calculated gamble, they have wrestled the best in-form striker in BPL. Sadly, $ came out tops for Arsenal and the results tell.

  • zuer

    @Cameron Wolfe.
    Thanks for the article. I believe that this is the best article you have written. It really does capture the spirit of Untold Arsenal. I had great time reading it. Never mind the critics.

    As for the bad season.. Of course, we don’t have an extraordinaire of a season but no, I don’t think we had a bad season either. This is not a disaster as some would like to believe. We have only play 10 games. There’s a long way to go. We had a rather good start, only to suddenly stutter after the international breaks.. The manner of the defeats and performances in those games is somewhat getting to the fans.We are not playing well and the lackluster performance really breaks people heart. Humans really have short attention span and most people likes to indulge in negativity. Most fans focus by now is only on the last few bad games and each and every little (bad) things are put under scrutiny.. and we all are consume into this negativity thus the reality look rather grim.

    What we need right now is a better perspective (one like you offer), better performance and better result. Leave it to Wenger, he’s the Arsenal manager. We are only fooling ourself thinking that we knew better. Let him find the solution. Let us all support our team.

  • Nick Lee

    Another claim that players need to gel, lose confidence et el is totally baffling to me.

    Why are you not paid 60K per week in your job? And why are these players, majority with no college degrees, are able to command such huge wages when half of Europe is struggling with massive unemployment? The only logical explanation is that the players have these talents obviously you and me don’t possess.

    With that in mind, it is not difficult for us to expect more from these professional players. They are supposed to have supreme physiques, technical competency, competitive and above all, the winning mentality and toughness. These are attibutes are what they are paid obscenely for, or am I wrong? I would love the day when I can tell the CEO I need more time, have a long term paid medical leave and hanging out at the staff canteen.

    Successful managers like SAF and Mourinho know that. They are ruthless but then again, they are accountable for success. I like to tell others that AW is a freaking smart guy for rejecting offers from these high-pressured clubs as they are potential potholes for his manager demise.

  • Nick Lee

    Arsene knows best? That’s exactly what Germany, Russia and China said about Hitler, Stalin and Mao. And what about the corporate titans that fell during the financial crisis? Yup.. they knew best and what happened after that is that they went away filthy rich and ordinary folks are left high and dry.

    We are not baying for AW’s dismissal. I fondly remembered his glory days, and the joy and pride watching Arsenal’s brand of refreshing football. We ordinary folks are seeing issues with Arsenal that had not gone away for the last few seasons. What we are asking is that AW has to step up and deliver… 4th is not an achievement given his resources (compare that with other clubs)and the massive manpower and wage structure.

  • rupert cook

    @Mandy, yes Torres is an exception. I’m not sure AVB ever wanted him, seems like Abramovich’s diabolical work.

    @Cameron, your reply highlights the growing polarization among supporters. Criticize Arsenal and the response is similar to yours. “Not worthy of my support”, who do you think I am? The Dalai Lama. “Worst team in the league”, no they’re just not good enough to win the league. “Depressed”, yes well how many performances have you seen that make you happy or perhaps you’re a masochist? Our football has got less and less exciting in the last two years.

    You maybe old enough to recall the Arsenal team of the mid seventies. Now they were rubbish.

    I’m sure every team hopes to win the CL. I think Milan and their ilk buy players to enable them to do so. Why do you think Henry, Vieira, Hleb, RVP etc left? Would any of those players leave if they thought we were good enough to win it?

    And again what’s all this about going vastly into debt? Would we need to? Just because Chelsea have doesn’t mean we need to. Has every team that won the CL been in debt? (I don’t know, that’s a genuine question , not a rhetorical one).

    Consider the vast financial gain of winning it. The worldwide support that is engendered by success. As I’ve said before think of all the kids at school now becoming Chelsea supporters because kids, being the fickle squirts they are, ally themselves to successful teams. They’re the season ticket holders of the future. Think of all those Chelsea shirts being bought worldwide in Africa and Asia. You may decry success and the way Chelsea have obtained it but that’s how the modern world works. And they even play more exciting football than us.

    I started supporting Arsenal because I watched the 1971 FA Cup Final, the first final I ever saw, and was in awe of Charlie George, who seemed flamboyant and mischievous and oozed character. I didn’t come from a footballing family. My dad’s from NZ and his passion is rugby. Yes I supported a side who won a trophy. That’s often what kids do. Kids aren’t interested in made-up trophies (fourth), they like to see marquee players and their team win things.

    See I’m not sure our owners care about footballing success, I think they care about financial success above all else. one feeds of the other though, which is why they’re happy with the bare minimum, which is CL qualification every year. I’m not sure Wenger is totally onside with these people either. Whatever his feeling regarding the club’s policy he hardly makes life easy for himself by often being tactically outwitted by lesser managers. And some of the players he’s bought in recent years are just not up to standard.

    I don’t believe a manager of his insight couldn’t have found better players for the same money as Squillaci, Gervinho, Ramsey, Almunia and Santos to name a few. Managers can grow stale, even Wenger.

    So let me ask you this? Would you still be happy with things if the last five years repeat themselves for another five?

    Would you be so happy if Wilshire is sold in the next three years? Or Walcott is sold in January?

  • rupert cook

    @ Nick, I agree. I think Wenger’s a lucky man, he manages a club that is quite happy with a limited ambition. It seems that Wenger is accountable to nobody but that will only be tested if we finish mid-table.

    Personally I’d love to see Wenger win another major trophy. It would be a victory for the good guy.

  • zuer

    Sure, Arsene knows best. Well, of course Wenger need to step up and deliver. So does the boys. Comparing to other clubs we have done better then them. Of course, you can’t include Manure, Chelski, and Mancity, do you? Considering the riches and resources available to Manure, Chelski and ManCity.. We have done reasonably well.. Well, their resources makes it possible for them (and Barca too) to take away some of our core player during our rebuilding phase and thus we have to keep rebuilding, still… In fact, we could have done better, if not for injuries problems and the refs…

  • rupert cook

    So I finally got to read this AAA thing. I find it fascinating. At one point you claim that lots of abuse aimed at you came from the same ip address therefore implying that very few people agree with this AAA stance and yet for the last two years other blogs have been awash with doubts about the way the club is run. They can’t all be from the same person, the guy would have to be Superman.

    Yes football is complex behind the scenes. It’s not so complex on the field. But just because it’s complex behind the scenes doesn’t mean people can’t question the way things are done or have different views. You might consider that people with opposing views also do plenty of research to support their beliefs.

    As for abuse, you say that someone called you deluded. Is that abusive? I mean I know I’m not the most sensitive guy but I’ve seen far worse on many other Arsenal sites.

    And how come when I raise issues that other fans are obviously incensed by responses can be littered with expletives and abuse? Surely that’s against your rules?

    Or are these people above reprimand because they support your views?

    Personally I think it’s healthy that the supporters question the clubs motives. After all Arsenal fans pay lots of money to watch their team, they should be allowed to voice their concerns. Take away the fans and there’d be no club.

    Lastly, I have respect for your views, I don’t agree with all of them but wouldn’t it be a boring blog if everyone agreed with everyone else? One thing we all want,I’m certain, is Arsenal to be the best club it can be.

  • Tasos

    What’s happened to UA?

    Its become the rupert cook show.

  • rupert cook

    Sorry Tasos, I spend far too much time on the computer. There’s only so many books you can read.

  • Nick Lee


    are you a recent Arsenal convert? Our historial records on injuries run into volumes. Any responsible manager would have taken some risk management. Banging on injury-prone players… come on… I’ll be surprised any insurance company would undertake this unless the premiums are loaded to the hilt.

    Refs… personally I wouldn’t say the refs in general are totally ‘clean’. No league in this world can guarantee that. But looking at BPL, the refs come out more as being incompetent than corrupt in most cases.

  • Andrew Ryan

    Rupert @ November 9, 2012 at 8:59 am and 9:58 am

    Yet more insightful posts.

    Though just saying that will no doubt be met with accusations that I am you.

    It appears you can’t say a word against the manager, even though its been obvious for the past few years he is past his best.

    I suspect when the history is written his reign will become known as the Wenger dichotomy. As Wenger in his first 9 years obtained 7 trophies; yet Wenger in the next 7 years and counting has managed 0 trophies.


  • Stuart

    Matt – you haven’t really got a clue. Your narrow mindedness wont get you far in life.

    How has location got ANYTHING to do with level of support? Tell me? After all, so many so called Arsenal fans would be prepared to sell out to a fat Russian who proclaims to be a long standing Arsenal fan yet someone else cannot be a supporter.

  • zuer

    @nick lee
    I am well aware of our injury history that is why i said that we could have done better should have better luck with injury.. Well you could choose to slate Wenger for that but i rather have faith in him.. That’s where we differ.. The incompetent-corrupt-bias ref sure help us a lot, right…

  • A. Stewart

    @ Zuer regarding injuries and Wenger…

    A prime example is Diaby..After his initial injury by getting his ankle snapped in 2006, he’s suffered repeatedly with injuries, for roughly the past 6 years (some seasons better than others). It didn’t take Nostradamus to predict that for this season he would *gasp* struggle with injury once again. Yet Wenger outright admitted that he decided to “GAMBLE” on him, and thus our midfield on him (my inferrence) and got rid of our most successful midfielder last season (whether one rates him or not) in Song hedging bets on Diaby (and a very young Wilshere returning from a very long absence). And (imo) to achieve (by selling Song) the unspoken mandate of a profit or at worst net zero transfer period balance.

    Further, is it any surprise, Gibbs and Rosicky are out? these guys have been struggling with injury for season after season…

    We can’t keep claiming “bad luck” with injuries, if we keep relying on and outright “Gambling” (per Wenger) on injury-prone players, or rather players with a long documented history of injury problems. Moreover, not only do these players regularly get injured, but they seemingly always exceed their initial expected return/recover once again it’s not a surprise that Gibbs, Diaby and Rosicky are out much much longer than initially anticipated.

    That’s not a luck issue, that is a managerial negligence issue imo. It’s the same situation every year with certain injury prone players, yet magically the results are supposed to be different this season? And also unfortunately especially in the case of Diaby he is reportedly amongst our highest paid players and for what? Talent, promise, potential? It makes no sense especially when we are led to believe that resources are skint, to effectively waste resources on a player who while talented, and who due to know fault of his own suffered a catastrophic injury 6 YEARS ago, and then to be surprised and curse our luck when the pattern once again repeats itself.

  • Gouresh

    Wel… Diaby is ruled out till December…..what’s new eh?

  • A. Stewart

    Gouresh, (if true about December) apparently that’s “bad luck”…and questioning why Wenger “gambled” (his words) on Diaby’s fitness given the reasonable predictability of him getting injured this season, means you are not a true supporter of the Club, to some Gooners at least.

  • Gouresh

    @ A.Stuart: so just because i said that Diaby is ruled out till Dec…[thats news on the internet, so we will know if AFC come out and give us the correct info] .u immediately come to the conclusion and claim that i am a not a true Gooner?? i am just stating the obvious.
    i am following Arsenal since 1984…& what makes a true gooner according to u??? some1 who has all the reasons for a bad performance? u need to get of ur high horse….oh by the way…diaby injury is not bad luck….u know his history, i will say no more.

  • asd

    Chelsea are not in debt, they made a profit..
    I know the biggest companies in the world have the biggest wage bill and usually spend more on getting talented individuals, yet Gazidiz and Wenger tell us about FFP.
    If Gazidis and Wenger were really serious about winning and not lining their pockets, we would be spending the profits the club makes on better players not blaming injuries for the nth year in a row.

  • Cameron Wolfe

    Why you’re mentioning Chelsea not being in debt on this article’s comments section?
    If it’s aimed at me due to a previous article I wrote that was months before the latest figures were released. I’m not that good I can’t predict who’ll be in profit/debt months in advance.
    But Kudos to Chelsea. They managed to make £1.2m profit from over £250m turnover? Outstanding. Wonder where the bulk of the money has gone? Operating costs? Wages? or servicing their debt? Just because you make a profit doesn’t mean your not in debt? Maybe one day Mr Abramovic will want his £800m + back?
    Arsenal make @ £30m per year but we still have debt. Difference is our’s is managable and in several years time hopefully will be paid off completely.

  • rupert cook

    @ Cameron, a few cogent points I made. Feel free to respond.

    Also I suspect Abramovic is here for the long haul. Some thought once his team had won the CL he’d disappear. Seems quite the opposite considering the money he’s spent on talent.

  • Nick Lee


    ‘better luck with injury’? You think injury management is luck-driven in modern football?

    Wenger is accountable for his ‘gambling’ on injuries. We did not conjure this up. He publicly stated that. Do you think we are slating him from these injury records?

    And note that Wenger did not say he will not do it again. So for how long do we have to put up with this? It has been many seasons of the same and still counting.

    And we have not even started with his bizarre transfers.

  • bob

    “We can’t keep claiming “bad luck” with injuries, if we keep relying on and outright “Gambling” (per Wenger) on injury-prone players, or rather players with a long documented history of injury problems.”
    Reckless Gambling and in the midfield. Not long ago, Untold trumpeted the overstocked midfield as (imo) a way of rationalizing the Alex Song clearance (with 3 years left). Alas, what appears to be a Gamble is really the prevailing policy under Silent Stan: that is, the requirement of a net zero transfer balance at any window.

    This gamble is the worship of parsimony at the expense of a clear-headed analysis of how fragile was this midfield. And this is not being written in retrospect. Indeed, against the laundry list of midfield NAMES tossed out by a lead writer here, a handful of commentators stated this much in August: that the otherwise imperious Diaby was LIKELY to be injured (which not a few pooh-poohed by citing that RvP was crocked until he came good, so why not Diaby you mindless twits); that it would take Jack a several weeks to first come back, and then not a few games (a dozen or so) to begin to round back into form; that there was, in fact, no telling when/if Rosicky would return; that, wishful thinking aside, Ox and Coq were not yet finished enough to be starting XI; that Ox was not yet the superhuman jack-of-all trades of our on-demand fantasy lives, the wondrous manchild who could seamlessly slot in anywhere and bring the requisite quality to every position he occupied; that Aaron Ramsey was not yet a proven consistently quality performer, and too often ineffectual; that Arteta is a wonderful player and a creator from the back, but that he too was returning from his own injury and thereby subject to being overstretched (and) at a new position to boot; and, in the end, that quality and affordable defensive insurance was Essential to cover for the rapid-fire sale of Alex Song — a high-quality, still developing defensive player with offensive-minded tendencies that could hurt, but having enough consistent high-quality skills to be a formidable stopper in the midfield.

    It was a reckless gamble to get rid of Alex Song – that is NOT to say No (to him and Darren Dein) for a change. And, imo, it was done to achieve the bean counters’ holy grail of net zero transfer balance. Rationalized by the laundry list of names, names, names, there still remains a massive missing dimension in our midfield. And it need not to have occurred. And with no like for like replacement. Indeed, no purchase of AFFORDABLE quality insurance because, went the mantra: oh, stupid, how many midfielders can you really have on tap, you jerk. Imo, we have been jerked around by the cold business side of the equation; and are paying the price with fielding a mid-table team, when saying no the wantaways and showing some spine; or, by replacing them with an affordable like-for-like splash was something we could have done.

    Everything about the midfield was supposed to work out fine; but so much has predictably not yet come to fruition: that is until Diaby and Rosicky return, and Jack and Aaron return to form, and Ox and Coq start to mature, and….all of which is still supposed to happen. The gamble of wishful thinking to rationalize an iron-willed zero net transfer policy. Hopefully, come January, the big stash o’ dosh will be spent on whatever needs can be addressed with quality. Better is better; and there is a lot of room for improvement in the current squad. And not every player needs lots of time to get with the program; some do right away, so it’s a gamble not to try and use that lame excuse as a reason to defend inaction. The question is begged: are we shadow bean counters, or fans with an appetite for quality winning football.

  • Shard


    I have to agree that we need to buy some players in January. The next two transfer windows are now very essential. I still think we have a good side, definitely the basis of a title winning side. But we need to build on that over the next two windows. January is essential because we need to make sure of the top 4. And even though the plan might have been to sit tight till 2014 (and the new commercial deals), the club have got to have some flexibility in that regard, and give Arsene Wenger and the team, the best chance they can have of becoming a title winning side again. It might be too late after that.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Shard, what this team needs is for you to come back over as a lucky talisman, like you did last season….with spectacular results!

  • Shard

    haha Mandy. I do have a chance to come again this winter. Maybe around December, but it seems that career related issues will keep me away. If at all possible, I’d love to be able to come over and watch my Arsenal play live.

  • Shard

    Well, with the recent comments of Julio Cesar (Weird comments I might add), we now ‘know’ that Arsenal tried to sign a Goalkeeper (Cesar), a Striker (Mirallas), and a midfielder (Sahin) in addition to the players we got.

    We didn’t get them because of various reasons (Post-retirement plans, lack of guaranteed playing time, and Liverpool being spoiler in loan and purchase negotiations with Madrid) But I think it at least shows that the manager isn’t blind to the state of the squad, and I am hopeful we’ll address those issues in January. Hopefully, with more success in acquiring our targets.

  • bob

    Yes, the next two windows are that crucial. It’s bad enough we can’t/won’t stop Don Fergus’s anointment to Lord Football (which too many refs are in seeming lockstep), but to use the fact that talent is overvalued in the January window as an excuse not to buy (when buy we must for the next CL and the future) will be too much to bear. Tribalism should not excuse self-inflicted fatal woundings and there is that much at stake in how/whether we emerge from the present moment toward, as you rightly say, “becoming a title winning side again”. As the money to spend well (as well as wisely) is admittedly in hand (both by Gazidis statements and by any analysis of CL+real estate+new TV deal+ net zero transfer balances), then not to spend would be a breach of faith with the fans.

    Imo, it is possible for a particular management group to go so far as to disrespect and abandon the fans that they lose all legitimacy. This happened in NYC baseball in the 1980s when the NY Mets broke up a championship squad of brilliant, colorful, passionate louts in order to re-brand themselves as the team of a suburban, non-ethnic, more upscale fanbase. They broke our bonds, our hearts, and our loyalties. I hope and pray that the current regime under SS keeps the faith with the fanbase that would bring joy and genuine unity. And to do so starts with the next transfer window.

  • bob

    p.s. meant to say, above, that the NY Mets baseball example of the 1980s created something of an exodus from the team which had decided to become a new brand (rather than a team). Today, they are an accursed team enduring and inflicting a multi-year rebuilding process on a self-loathing fanbase, all amidst the patience-free caldron of NYC sports. It is a cautionary tale with potential lessons for what a management can do to alienate fans and harm the teams that we love. A management’s self-serving greed is the bane of quality performance.

  • Shard


    Just out of curiosity, were you a Mets fan? I always thought you liked the Yankees? Did the betrayal by Mets management affect your feelings towards that club? (even if you were never a fan)

  • Mandy Dodd

    well, dont leave it too long Shard! I would add Essien to the list of players we seemingly tried to get hold of. Maybe we should have waited with Song…like Liverpool with Carroll?

  • Shard

    We should have Mandy. But I think that’s where we gambled on Diaby to be fit. The only way that could be justified is if it had worked. Otherwise it was all too predictable. Getting a player on loan would have been ideal to give both Diaby, and Jack a chance at getting back to fitness, as well as giving us adequate cover, and then judging the midfield situation in May. Hence I guess the rumours about Sahin and Essien.

    By now though, it is clear that we need another midfield option. Cazorla looks tired, as does Arteta. Coquelin is a good squad player but cannot be counted as a real option. Wilshere is good, but bound to have issues with fitness and performance. That leaves Ramsey and Rosicky. Both decent options but not going to set the world alight (at this point at least)
    A midfielder, a striker/winger, and more and more I’m beginning to think a left back, are required. Andre Santos did quite well last season, but this year, he’s had too many problems, both on and off the field.