0.3% of crowd join black flag protest pre match. But at the end?


By Tony Attwood

I estimated about 300 gathered on and around the roundabout by the Armoury before the game – about one third of one percent of the crowd.  At the end there was booing, which is harder to estimate in numbers.

The comments are that at least George Graham won us things.   Actually it did remind me a bit of 1997 when we came 12th in the league, were knocked out of the cup in the 3rd round by Millwall.  The only hope came in the European Cup winners cup final, and you know what happened there.

The game yesterday started with a 35 pass movement from Arsenal – no Swansea player got near the ball.  The trouble was it didn’t do anything.

After the game the media asked, did Swansea deserve to win? “Yes,” said Mr Wenger.  “It is very frustrating but it is the truth.”

Of the boos he said, “I can understand that.”

So what do all the people who booed want?  Wenger out?  That’s the popular cry, but who would replace him?   Pep Guardiola?  Seems unlikely he would want to manage a team that has supporters who boo and jeer their own side and organise protest marches.  And although he had a sensational 72% winning record in Spain as a manager he managed in a two team league.

Who else?   Had Wenger gone earlier we could have ended up with Benitez, which would have been enough for me to reduce my attendance at every matches to occasional games, and a failure to renew the ticket.    But that was the man in the market place.

Supposedly there was a mutiny in the AGM.   Well, actually no – and I can say as I was there.  The AGM saw around 7% of the shareholders vote against the re-election of members of the board.  93% voted in favour.   But supposing we had had not a vote by shareholder numbers but a situation like Chelsea in which the owner can do what he likes.   Mr Wenger would have gone long ago, to be replaced by…

well ultimately Rafa Benitez.

The fact is that just as Chelsea can’t find themselves the right manager, so if Arsenal sacked Mr Wenger Arsenal couldn’t either.   It is not the case of a manager who can spend billions and bring in the right players.  It is the fact that we are entering the era of FFP and the Premier League’s own restrictions on players, and as matters stand Chelsea, despite last year’s profit, will not qualify, nor will Manchester City.

Why should we take ourselves down the route of non-qualification just at the moment the new regulations come in?  It really doesn’t seem to make any sense.

I genuinely don’t know if there is a managerial solution to the problem – it is more a problem with the players somehow losing their way, being unable to find killer balls, being unable to play in the way we have become used to in the last decade.

And I don’t know why.  May if you know, and you know how to put it right, you’d like to take over some modest size local team, get them up through a few leagues, be noticed, get taken on by a first division club, and get them promoted and then get the job at Arsenal.  Or come to that anywhere else.

As the figures show, Mr Wenger has been our most successful manager ever, excluding the Joe Shaw (who managed half a season) and a handful of guys who managed the club for just a few games.  To see such an inept performance from our team was thoroughly depressing.  What we do about it I don’t know in terms of practical achievement.  I am just glad we are not Chelsea, did not sack the manager a few weeks ago and did not appoint Benitez.  That, I think, would have been too much.




119 Replies to “0.3% of crowd join black flag protest pre match. But at the end?”

  1. Please, Arsenal are and will never be anywhere close to breaching FFP. So that is not an issue. Also, I am not a fan of blaming coaches for poor play but Wenger put this team together and when it became clear that Arsenal were not deep enough he began experimenting based on desperation, not logic, not solid football tactics. The Swansea game was a tactical nightmare – so many ridiculous mistakes.

    This posting suggests that Arsenal just can’t get better because of FFP and Wenger is coaching just fine. Both of those suggestions are pure nonsense. This is a posting to cover for Arsenal leadership. It almost sounds like the board wrote it.

  2. Arsenal fc,really needs 2 access ongoins at the club n ratify it,before it get out of hands,shareholders are happy because they are making profit,leaving we,the fans to suffer in pains.which to mi,is totally wrong.

  3. what has FFP got to do with players performance or tactics. Arsenal is either losing/drawing against teams with far less of a wage bill.

  4. “”There was about 300 on the roundabout” (actually I would of said more like 200) but the Police figures are reporting 1200 with the majority dispersing once the roundabout was reached so you can sugar coat the situation at The Arsenal as much as you like. The fact is that the majority now know that things need changing, Who’s fault it is for our demise is now the most pertinent question (and the BSM’s aim was always to highlight that there is an issue – regardless of who’s to blame).

    As for the AGM, I was also there and to say because there was no mutiny as you put it, as if it went off ok and it was all the media’s fault, honest guv, is laughable at best.

    Mr Wenger is the most successful manager of all time? Unlikely, as he has now gone longer then any other manager is our history without a trophy whilst in charge, and the most successful manager to make us who we are was Herbert Chapman, so again a bit of realism wouldn’t go amiss. Realism not so much for the rest of us may I add, but I would suggest for your own sake.


  5. I am one of the people who will boo.
    I will never insult Wenger, end of the day he does love the club. but that is not a reason to keep him forever.
    8 years nothing won, no matter what is your history, that’s not accepted. our best players being sold every year and never been replaced.

    but to the main point, why you take Chelsea as only example?
    Barcelona changed managers and they are breaking even more records. Juventus did and they came back as good as before.
    Dortmund almost dropped under thomas doll, and klopp went on to create a team that is now top 4 team in Europe for sure.
    do i need to list more managers ? even on your example Chelsea won CL with there new manager Di Matteo

    Wenger is not untouchable. These players he picked and bought, no one forced him.
    Can you really tell me in last 5 years did we ever get better ? we seem to just get worst and worst.

    Have you been to the game ? did you see the movement of our team ? this is not a drop in form, actually its only that last year we hit over our weight because of VP. and we sold him to Manchester. how much worst it can get until we let Wenger go ?

    Best case scenario he moves to the board to replace Hill-wood to preserve his memory and legend status.

    Didn’t wenger himself say judge me after 10 games ?

    we seem to have 100Million in bank. I rather have a new coach who builds his own team, rather than wenger waste the money to be sacked later and we start rebuilding

  6. I wish you took the blind fold off.

    Your positive perspective is encouraging but it is impossible to take you seriously when your opinion is as extreme as those damning the club and everything about it.

    Were you to at least recognise the issues that are there for all to see instead of trying to justify everything Wenger does, you would have far more respect from the Arsenal fans that are down the middle.

    I respect Wenger and everything he has done. I feel he is the only man for the job currently. He is however not perfect and his decisions recently have been hard to understand.

    The board are an embarrassing lot and the fact that they sanction the sale of our best players season after season is unacceptable.

    The protestors are not anti-Wenger and are completely justified to voice their disapproval in the manner they have. The way you talk down to anyone with an opinion that does not follow your route of blind faith is as poor as the Arsenal fans who use bad language and insult the ones looking to stay positive.

    Lets hope we have a positive transfer window and some improved performances leading up to it.

    Come on Arsenal!!!

  7. Tony,

    More and more fans have lost faith in wenger. We have seen our best players sold season after season only to be replaced with players of lesser quality, to the point now where we are unlikely to compete with the best because there are many clubs better than us on the pitch, including Swansea yesterday.

    Are we really such a well run club when we have such poor strength in depth yet wages on a par with united? We’ve been told funds have always been available yet our net spend is almost zero every season?

    You are deluded if you think Financial fair play will change anything. Man city sponsored their own ground for £400m and no one battered an eye lid.

    Bottom line is that arsenal FC and arsenal wenger are 10 years out of date. Things have moved on and we haven’t and now a very significant change is required to put things right.

  8. Well observed,thought out and written Tony, this is why I like to stop over here at Untold.I often ask my self how would have many fans have coped in the pre-Wenger days? Not very well I’m sure! How would they have reacted to getting dumped out of the cup by York City?
    Somebody commented last week on Brian Talbot, yet I recall him being a good player,the last season he had at Arsenal he ran and chased after everything, sort of midfielder we could do with.
    I also felt that for most of the second half it did look as if we might score, and I think perhaps Swansea are a good team on a good run at the moment.

  9. Not sure who we would get for manager.
    But at this moment in time Fat Allardyce could get more out the players than Wenger.

  10. Truth be told tony, as long as you don’t find any form of blame on Wenger for leading us to this debacle, there is no point debating with you or proffering any solution. You blame the league, referees, uefa, the players for losing concentration, the board for stifling Wenger, FTP, rich owners spoiling the league, the media, protesting fans but you conveniently leave out Wenger!

    That’s just being biased and extremely myopic. Even if the board has been stifling him money wise, he still bought those poor players himself. He has no abramhovic to impose players on him and he is the one penny pinching buying poor players that can’t cut it in the epl. His stubbornness to change tactics when its obviously not working has nothing to do with players or referees. He has lost the will, power and belief to lead this team back to greatness.

    One more thing, all this Wenger is the best coach for arsenal is pure nonsense. I’d he dies today won’t another coach take over and lead us to success too? His PR boys are running out of excuses for him and he is following the Brian clough route and its a shame that an icon is about to rubbish his legacy cos of his stubbornness and obstinacy

  11. Tony, you have not taken your thought process far enough.

    Why is it that a team that on paper looks good and has plenty enough quality to beat Swansea (or Norwich, Villa etc) is failing to perform at an acceptable level? Swansea don’t have anything like the resources we do and yet they produced winning, entertaining football and are above us in the league. You have to look to the manager – there is nobody else who could be responsible.

    And comparing Arsenal to Chelsea is wide of the mark IMHO. We pick good managers and stick with them, unlike Chelsea, but sooner or later you have to accept that good things come to an end.

    We need a di Matteo effect to get 4th this season. We can then get a long-term replacement in the summer – Jurgen Klopp fits the bill.

  12. Tony, I fully understand your support of Wenger – no matter what. That is your choice.

    But I have to take issue with you on something you have written here – you said that you would go to less games and not renew your season ticket if Rafa Benitez had replaced Wenger.

    That makes you exactly the same as those you have been berating. The fact you would put Arsenal Football Club second behind your personal opinion on the manager backs up my point from a while ago that too many people have grown to support Wenger MORE than they support Arsenal.

    Maybe you didn’t mean what you wrote.

  13. All this talk of a new manager is rubbish, just give Wenger the funds and let’s see where he takes us this season.

    We need players who can hit the ground running.

  14. Tony, this is my first comment on any of these sites but here goes. Liverpool are in the mess they are because they allowed Benitez to carry on for two seasons too many. Had they taken the steps to replace him sooner they would have still been in the top 4(just) and could have got in a top quality manager to take them forward. The way things are going we will drop out of the top 4 and what top quality manager wants to manage a mid table team? Wenger has been fantastic for our club but after Tuesday’s game should be replaced by an interim manager and hope he can get us into the top 4, thus ensuring we have a fair chance of a quality permanent replacement.

  15. Seriously tony i respect this blog…but what in the world have u written here?
    I mean why would wenger be replaced by rafael benitez?
    I am not in the position in Arsenal FC to know for sure what is wrong with the club?
    But one thing i know for sure Arsenal need a change.
    We are awfully stagnant right now. Fans judge a club with team’s performance on the pitch. To be honest fans dont want trophies they want a winning chance, a fighting spirit and clearly team does not show that. Clearly team does not play like they believe in AW. Probably problem is not with Arsene. And i am sure main problem is with board. Our owner has no interest in team. Probably he does not even know the rules of game. Wenger will ALWAYS be LEGEND in fans’ mind but he needs to go for the betterment of Arsenal FC.

  16. All is ok in the world of UA.

    FFP will save ‘Lord’ Arsene & the Arsenal & all the others will end up trailing us !

    BTW. I’m damm glad we’re not like that vile west London outfit, but then unlike you I see no reason to use their ‘example’ to compare with ours.

  17. The easiest asset for a sportsperson to lose and the most difficult to regain is CONFIDENCE.
    After a number of unfortunate and unexpected results over the past few weeks, the confidence of the team must be very low indeed.
    ArsenalFC, like many of the world’s top clubs, employ psychologists and it will be their job, where necessary, to restore belief that ability is still present in each player and in the team as a whole.

  18. To be fair there looked a lot more than 300 people marching, however to choose the Swansea game to complain about ticket prices was ironic!

  19. Jayramfootball:

    Excellent call.

    Benitez coming would make Tony head of the ‘AAA’s !

  20. Nicky:

    Perhaps we can send all the players to the Betty Ford clinic. Obviously Arsene is driving them all mad with his confusing tactics.

  21. Bla-bla-bla – this FFP mantra the board started is just another way of selling the future to every Gooner – the one that buys the most expensive ticket, merchandise, etc… The most interesting point is that this future never comes – we are in a vicious circle where, instead of becoming better every year, we are losing our best performers from the previous one /I don’t say best players/. Maybe, it is the big spenders fault that we are short in numbers and jaded even before December?! The injury record speaks for itself – players are constantly run down due to the lack of proper replacements and rotation – and who’s fault is it? Romans? Or the Sheikhs, maybe?And your other argument – who is going to inherit Wenger – another issue from the pro-Wenger propaganda agenda – there are lots of managers much better tactically than him. And I am sure that Guardiola will come – provided that he is given the same freedom Wenger has so far.

  22. 300 people on the roundabout and over a thousand marching !! It’s as simple as this , the team is not good enough ! It’s slm

  23. i was at the game, we were rubbish, no chances, no forward play all sideways and backwards, im sad to say this but arsene has lost his ability to motivate and pick players, its over, everything ends its how you deal with it that matters, he was amazing and now he is 10th, playing crap, only against ten men have we done well. nothing on the bench, no match winners, no goalscorers, no width, no midfield, no defence, no keeper, this era is over… what next? well gazides and wenger will do all they can to hang on to jobs that are untenable and kroenke who has no club about his usa teams let alone his soccerball team wont change things as he has no idea how to so… we have at least a decade in the mid table doldrums ahead of us!

  24. As I was saying, it’s impossible to compete anymore when you sell players for between 25-35 million every season and replace them with players worth 10 million , wengers magic has run out , even a team that’s lacking on quality should still be motivated to fight and he can’t even get that out of them anymore !!

  25. Arsenal had 10 premier league trophies till 1996, the same number of trophies Man utd had then. So we were a big team even before Wenger became the manager. I don’t care if Wenger goes, because I have more love for Arsenal FC than for Arsenal manager

  26. Jayramfootball, you should know by now that the majority of the fans at the Emirates are Arsene FC fans. Don’t forget the club will crumble when Arsene goes!

  27. do u know how dictators are created, people worship them based on past performance and refuse to see their present weaknesses. This is a typical case we have at arsenal where some think there is no arsenal without wenger. Wenger has been successful for eight years and the other eight has been a failure. Success is football is measured by number of trophies won unless you are crazy to think that making numbers in champions league is success. So tony let those who really love arsenal voice their concern and you keep your obsession with wenger. Gooner 4 life

  28. why are you writing about benitez? chelsea fans wont have to put up with him for long and have memories of a glorious past 7 years and one of the most exciting line ups in europe (when they add a proper striker), whilst we have nothing but decline. the board need lynching and the manager, sad as it is, needs changing. in 1995 (not 1997) after loosing the CWC Final, we seemed doomed. After Graham there were rumours of Cryuff but we got this unknown called Wenger, and look what happened. Provided the board go as well, a replacement will not be a problem. Enough is enough.

  29. @DoubleGooner,
    If the problem was merely alocoholic the solution would be simple. Unfortunately it goes a bit deeper than that.
    And I’m sorry to say that some of the home crowd at the Emirates must accept some of the blame for the lowering of confidence. They know who they are and should be ashamed.

  30. Sorry Tony maybe you saw the 300 that remained but there were at its peak around 2000 and it’s disrespectful for you to ignore that fact.

  31. @Nicky

    How can the home crowd lower the team’s confidence? Surely confidence oozes from the management.

  32. I have said in the past & will say it again. when ur target is 4th…..players won’t put in the shift. you don’t need to employ any psychologists. does red nose employ one? the player knows what happens when he does not put in a shift. the players need a kick up their arse.

    reliant on injury prone players, no depth in the squad, players on high wages not capable of the bench even, same formation, going outside the EPL for players and they take 4/6 months to adapt so we are out the running even before we start, penny pinching i can go on.

    Its just getting for bad to worse!

  33. GUN:

    They’re the words of a real fan.

    On this site in the main they believe supporting the manager & the long traditions of the club are one

    Supporting the Club & not the manager,if you dare criticise the manager or players in message boards or to your friends, you are called in a childish way an ‘AAA’.

    I went yesterday as I have been for the last 45 years & as usual sang loud backing the team. I also despaired at the end & called for Wenger’s head. IMO major change is now needed.

    NB: Walter & Tony.
    Unlike you, no way do I advocate or compare what happens at that vile west London hobby by how they are currently being run.

  34. @Mandy

    I agree, all of us should send best wishes for a speedy recovery to PHW.

    Further, the disgraceful attacks on him recently by some of mindless scum who pretend to be fans cannot have helped the guy’s condition. The persons concerned should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

  35. @Andy and guess what? Chelsea is also loosing and look at how many players they bought and how much money they spent. They changed their manager, just what some of our deluded fans want and they have plenty of players who would march right into our first team. And yet they are still not doing well.

    I hope that Wenger will stay. He stuck to this team all these years even if he was offered the PSG project and now we finally start to receive the funds we need. At the same time FFP will kick in and it might be the beginning of a new era.

    I trust Wenger to turn the season around. Our team is playing out of sync. Cazorla, Podolski and Giroud didn’t click yet and it will take some time until they start performing.

    In the season where Manchester City spent more than 100 Million they didn’t even make it into a Champions League spot. The next season they spent another 123 Million and scraped a third place.

    It takes time for a team to click and we are rebuilding it right now. I am sure that if there is one manager who is able to get this team together then it is Wenger.

  36. @Dan,
    The players are only human. When the boos and abuse are directed at the players by the very people who should be supporting them, is it any wonder that confidence lowers and performance suffers.
    One typical example is Aaron Ramsey. Consistently supported by management and consistently rejected by some of the socalled home fans.

  37. Tony, as many before me have asked, what has FFP have to do with the manager employing tactics and proper preparation to beat a team we should be beating at home? Explain to me how this performance and the shambles we have seen this season (much like the highs you always want to remind us of) is not Wenger’s fault.

    Then you write this…

    “I genuinely don’t know if there is a managerial solution to the problem – it is more a problem with the players somehow losing their way, being unable to find killer balls, being unable to play in the way we have become used to in the last decade.”

    Of course its a managerial solution. Wenger recently mentioned, again, that he has managed at the top level for 30 years so he doesnt have to explain his decision making. He is suggesting with these comments that he knows what he is doing therefore he has to have a solution to our problem.

    Tony, if you want to maintain credibility as a writer I suggest you look at all issues fairly and call a spade a spade. It is indeed your right to back who you want but then you need to be clear about who you value more. Arsene Wenger or Arsenal FC, because I can tell you now.. there is NO single being greater than this wonderful club, which will go on even if Rafa Benitez, as you allude to, had to come in.

  38. U can not compare us to the chavs, the reason they can’t get a top manager is they sack them after 3 months. We would interest Snyder top manager. I can’t believe u are still backing Wenger. He has taken US as far as possible. It’s time for fresh ideas. It seems u support Wenger not arsenal. Will u quit this site when Wenger leaves.

  39. Arsene seems to be dropping hints that he may leave at the end of this season, or at least is going to consider his position depending on the clubs situation. I’m sure he’ll do what’s best for Arsenal and hopefully if he does step aside it will be to move to another position of influence within the club.
    As to who his replacement would be will be initially limited to availability of quality manager/coaches. Guardiloa might consider it, but there are a couple of young Premier League mangers who are contracted to clubs with very low team budgets and who have still managed to get their sides playing the type of football we’re demanding who would be an ideal fit. I’m not suggesting we should poach the likes of Roberto Martinez or Michael Laudrup…oh actually I am.

  40. Wenger needs a Director Of Football type role at the club, with the likes of Jurgen Klopp, Dragan Stjokovic, Pep Guardiola been given the reins going forward.

    But also do not forget folks, that our board are very much to blame as well, for accepting and promoting such mediocrity at the club. For us to have a managerial change we need to be in a position to generate good income to support the team.

    Wenger is not the only problem at the club. On the field he is really failing us by not looking at key technical issues which a manager should look at yes, but off the field the likes of Gazidis and co need to be called to account to lay bare the real motivating factors for our club’s decision makers.

  41. Jax, I believe the succession plan has already started – Steve Bould first refusal, Banfield and an attacking legend. Cannot back this up of course, but the club often promote from within where possible. And Henry seems to be around quite a lot! Wenger upstairs – would hinder the manager, not sure Ivan would like it either,but would like to think he keeps involvement when he decides to go.
    But that is hopefully a while from now, things are in a bit of a mess, but not beyond hope, it is up to Wenger to come up with solutions. If he fails, he may well leave next summer, but I do not believe this will happen. But as for signing a new contract….who knows, could be a different matter

  42. Anybody notice that Szczesny had a stormer yesterday? A torrid performance by many but credit where it’s due and hopefully our top class keeper is getting back to his best. Arsenal DID buy in the Summer, and bought quality players. Everybody was romancing about Santi and Podoldki just a few weeks ago. Now that they and a couple more have hit a dip in form, some so called fans are panicking and others are happily using it for their own stupid agenda.
    Arsene Wenger is far and away the finest manager we could have (especially at a time of trouble). His total commitment to the club is self evident and seen by sensible football people across the planet. Were he to leave tomorrow, I’d hate to be his postman, the avalanche of offers for his services would cripple a mortal man. We’d be welcoming a ‘Rafa’ or a Mark Hughes type to the Emirates!!!!
    No thanks.
    3 simple words:
    Le Boss will guide us through.

  43. I have been watching Arsenal since the mid Fifties and am no fair weather supporter. I was one of only 5,000 who attended the match in 65 that saw Billy Wright sacked.I never thought that the dreadful days of the 60s would ever return but I was wrong. They have, with a demotivated team and a manager that has lost his way. It is about the here and now, not what Wenger has achieved in the past. The team tactics, player selection and player purchases are down to him, and he has failed in all these areas badly over the last few years. At no point in the match yesterday did my family, friends and I think that we would win. Everyone could see that Swansea were going to score at some point. Despite a lack of sustained European success, Arsenal are a club of unrivalled stature in the game. Fans like me, whose grandfather first went to Highbury in the 1920s, deserve better than what the highest ticket prices in the game are producing – utter rubbish by and large.

  44. Having had an article published here last year, it should be clear that I am not a paid up member of the Anti Arsenal supporters.
    I have to say though that it does seem to me, from the outside that the club has slipped into some form of malaise. We have failed to keep players signed up on contract and too many players have appeared to be allowed to leave without adequate replacement. The board and management team have undoubtedly done wonders over the last fifteen years, but the club is no longer making footballing progress.
    Arsenal were genuinely innovative and revolutionised english football. Financially secure, tactically aware, technically assured, the club taught the Premier League a lot about how a club should be run. However, the sense of stagnation and drift on the pitch is undeniable. The players are not playing to their best or in their best positions.
    Sadly I do believe it is time for Le Boss to stand down, before the unthinkable happens and he is sacked.
    Who would I have in his place?
    A young manager who is tactically aware and is able to get the best out of alimited budget and squad. I will be pilloried, but I would like to see Roberto Martinez get the job. His management has been excellent; his ability to develop young players is known and his tactics have been copied at other clubs. Oh, and he likes to play good football. I dont believe Pep will come, Jose never.

  45. I think the burden to guide arsenal through to a commendable position in epl and probably a trophy, lies solely on wenger. he needs to do something different now. maybe change position. cazorla to wings, arteta AMF, gervinho bench and maybe we play with two strikers, I don’t know. but something needs to change.

    The thought of arsene quitting at this testing times doesn’t cross my mind. and rafa wouldn’t be even in the radar. arsenal hired wenger when it was presumed cruyff would succeed rioch. so arsenal might have gone for someone at the same wavelength as wenger.

  46. Tony

    Why are you making up lies? All the newspapers reported over 1000 people on the “walk”. Pictures from twitter and video reports show that it was a very large number of people with others reporting nearly 2000 at its peak. I know you are against their aims but it is no cause to lie to your readers.

  47. The current rot at the club is a culmination of many awful decisions by both Wenger and the board over the years. This has provided the likes of Nasri and Van Persie the perfect excuse to quit for greener pastures. And how does Wenger explain selling Song (on the cheap for that matter!), esp when the player was making every effort to renegotiate a new deal?

  48. Theo and Sagna, what’s the score with their contacts? Should they leave then we truly are club only in for the profit.

  49. 300, 1000, or 2000 is still a massive minority. even at its peak 2000 fans wanting to change the board and manager from a fan base of an estimated 1 million is not enough. i too was at the shareholder meeting but have to say that has nothing to do with being an arsenal supporter. My attendance there is purely to take an interest in my investment because i can just like i attend barclays agm. now let me tell you that is a xompany in decline and in comparison to arsenal it is shite. i should now i have supported both worked for both and been a customer and supporter of both for many years as well as a shareholder. people have to remember that they can change the football club they watch football with if they so wish. i have switched most of my bankibg to another bank however i will never switch my support of the club. why dont the 300, 1000 or 2000 simply leave if they are so unhappy? im sure arsenal fc will cope without them. dont get me wrong i would also lime to see the team winning more trophies but i am rwalistic just like the supporters of the other 84 teams that have won no major honours in the last 7 yearz. but football is football you win some you lose some. i wonder how many of the so called 2000 have had a bet or done the lottery in the last 7 years and won every time? i guess none but are they marching against paddy power or camelot?

  50. Arsenal’s success on the field has given it the kind of fan who have the money to watch this expensive entertainment. Nothing wrong with that? With billion dollar TV rights what the fans on the terraces think is less important in the board room than ensuring the entire EPL package is attractive for the global TV audience.
    The EPL package requires the undying support of world wide ManU fans. The EPL can do without the Arsenals, Evertons and Tottenhams because the majority of the world-wide audience is ManU. Here in Asia, the EPL’s growth market, the other teams are merely background actors, a bit like the Washington Generals in the Harlem Globetrotters. When the ManU boat rises in the tide so does everyone else’s boats, well… almost everyone.
    The board’s business plan seems to have factored in a period of burn or lean trophy years with marginal and qualified success on the field in the hope that FFP will level the playing field. But they do not count on the brand being damaged by what is happening on the terraces.
    Football was and in some ways still is a working man’s game and it takes some pretty die-hard support to cheer themselves hoarse twice a week. Arsenal’s growth in popularity appears to be attracting the kind of supporter who doesn’t cheer or sing in support when the chips are down. Certainly through the wonders of TV magic you can’t hear the lack of support on TV and certainly not the jeers.
    But it seems jeering is the only way to be heard from the terraces. At Chelsea.. “The crowd are frightened to death of having a go at him (Abramovich) because they think he might walk away. And then Chelsea would go back to the way they were before.” says Wigan Chairman Dave Whelan.
    For all EPL clubs the numbers all add up in the account books and the board rooms but increasingly they don’t add up for those on the terraces. Just how far the Arsenal board will persist with these lean trophy years remains to be seen. Certainly from a business point of view there is no need to change.
    Sorry if this is a ramble of a comment but the future of the EPL could be the La Liga, a two team entertainment package with two Manchesters. Surely what the fans should be shouting for is not the Arsenal of old but the Wenger of old because only he can bring back the trophy years to Arsenal… but not until the money men feel their boats being rocked.

  51. @bc
    from your post, I gather you are an investor who don’t give two hoots about the fans and the footballing aspects of the club but only the profits generated? You sound exactly like the Chairman, the US entrpreneur and most of the board.

    As an investor of companies myself, I take an interest in what feedback customers say about the companies I have vested interest in. Well… to each his own.

  52. @semeotistic

    I don’t totally agree with your opinion on the fringe clubs bar MU. Asia has sizable fan base for MU, Liverpool and Arsenal. And to a lesser extend and in recent times, Chelsea and MC. It used to be faked MU jerseys parading, but if you noticed, there appears to be a diverse club representations these days at major asian cities.

    A big part of the football interest, besides the love of the game, is the massive betting interest inherent in Asian culture. The amounts that change hands every week is staggering.

  53. Arsene Wenger should not step down and neither should he be sacked. The project which was started 12 years ago is finally starting to come to its fruition. The money that was promised from new sponsorship deals is just about to start rolling in which will enable the manager to bring in new players. It is only because of Arsene Wengers ability as one of the worlds best managers that we are in the position to be able to command such deals, thanks to his astute buys and ability to get us into the champions league season after season. Being consistently one of the top 4 teams in one of the worlds toughest leagues seems not to be enough for some people who don’t seem to consider that the opposition have unlimited budgets compared to ours. It’s all very easy to say we shouldn’t lose our best players but if we offer £100k a week, ManC will offer £120k we offer £125k, ManC offer £150k… Where does it end?

    It’s down to Arsene Wenger that we have been punching well above our weight season after season, now the playing field is about to be levelled, people want him out. If you can’t imagine what he will be able to do with a massive budget then you really do show a serious lack of understanding of what had been going on all these years. The man is a genius. He loves the club. He deserves respect. He deserves the opportunity to reap the rewards for all the hard work he has put in over the past 16 years.

  54. For betting to be successful, there has to be live matches and some unpredictability in outcome. La Liga is not that attractive because like Tony puts it, its a 2 horse league. The German, Italian and French leagues are not popular due to the viewtime and time difference. I suppose these European leagues don’t fancy the Asian market. The EPL best suits the Asian markets. Matches are broadcast live at earthly hours and there is some unpredictability for outcomes which make betting more profitable (odds)and exciting.

  55. @Nick Lee
    Yes, I agree there is the betting element to consider but that is part of the problem too if the board and its main shareholder’s main interest is in the long term profitability of the club and the quickest return to their respective investments. The TV revenues ensure that Arsenal are not required to win a trophy to stay in the black. I’m sure winning is the core of Wenger’s philosophy but I am trying to say that this where Wenger and the board differ, the outcome of performance on the field. Booing the team, Wenger or indeed Gazidis my be misdirected but the only action left open to some who very rightly have paid good money to watch the team they support. It hurts and its a fact. I’m not sure how Arsenal PLC will respond. We’ll only know in January.

  56. @bc

    You sound just the sort of investor/supporter Stan wants.

    The reason 2000/3000 committed passionate fans went on a march is because they LOVE The Arsenal. They march because they care. There areany fans questioning what is going on at the club. There are many who do not, shrug their shoulders and just go to ‘the ems’ as they like to affectionately like to call it and enjoy the experience no matter. I bet the majority have never sung in their lifetime. I sit in front of them. They are pleased we have money in the bank and do not worry that we are not reinvesting some of those funds into stock aka players. Thats what business do.

    So if you dont like or feel like mocking those that care, why dont you sell your shares and you clear off and support another club.

  57. @Stevie E

    “It’s all very easy to say we shouldn’t lose our best players but if we offer £100k a week, ManC will offer £120k we offer £125k, ManC offer £150k… Where does it end?”

    How about Man City reputedly offering RVP £300K a week.

    FFP can’t come in quickly enough. This insanity must stop.

  58. This could be turning into a potential scary situation, a self-fullfilling prophecy of failure. When a team goes out and hears boo’s ring round the stadium OF COURSE it will affect the players negatively…I’m a musician, and if i had to play in front of a hostile audience, no matter how pro. i was, it would affect me, even if in the subconscious. And to those calling for mr. wenger….at least, suggest a replecement, and until then, SUPPORT HIM. There is no point saying: ” I don’t like plan A, but i don’t got a plan B”.

  59. Doublegooner, judging by his comments, would obviously gamble everything on FFP not actually coming in to effect and go spending beyond our means because FFp is not going to do anything and is certainly not going to work in our favour for our current model. Good luck with that gamble.

  60. dan,
    I agree on Sagna and Walcott. Letting them go means unaccountable accountancy rules the kingdom. Why? It’s not that they couldn’t be replaced (but not without paying the price of several to many more lost games while their replacements – if like for like – bed in); but it is that fans being fans, and human (mostly), we form bonds with players (to say the obvious). An organization that consistently sells off its own best products and its own best players is wreaking emotional havoc on the fanbase. Yes, emotional. To continue to asset-strip to fatten the bottom line, season after season — whilst proclaiming that there is money to spend, and whilst enjoying real estate sales, a fat new TV contract (that doesn’t get discussed), CL qualification, and a zero transfer balance — is not at all about the fans. January will be an acid test and, imo, a time of reckoning. This business crew at AFC is playing with fire and better wake up before before Captain Boycott starts to rear his ugly head. And I do not write this as AAA or black barfer, but as an Arsenal lover who is capable of reading the tea leaves.

  61. Dan
    You ask a ridiculous question (not sure if you actually are asking seriously) about how the support can affect the teams motivation.

    I’m pretty sure if it were you, you’d hear close 60000 people over the manager.

  62. Nick Lee,
    In your view, are there Asian players in increasing numbers who are attaining EPL-levels of quality? That said, do you know whether there is an expanding scouting operation going on in Asia by EPL/La Liga/Bundesliga sides? I would think that a team that was able to establish/expand its Asian scouting is likely to come up with several gems as overall interest in Asia deepens and intensifies. (With AFC, of course, I dream of Miyachi’s potential.) What would you say?

  63. tbh Dan,
    Tasos was just illustrating that we will lose a bidding war against the Manchesters and Chelsea.

  64. I think to be honest we have been trying to survive to long with no funds available to spend forced into selling top players year after year to survive and forced to play a sysytem where there is only one striker as strikers are the most expensive of all players to buy.

    I would love to see wenger like in the early days have the funds to spend and keep players at the club whether these deals have been renewed in time or not I dont know.

    But booing the players wont help the grounds to quite at 0-0 and we dont get behind the team enough to create that atmosphere that makes it difficult for opposing teams.

    Personaly I hope wenger gets to manage the team next season and is able to start re investing and re building I think its a bad season and just that no more. Ive seen a lot of bad seasons before AW arrived and really only this one looks awful since he has been here.

    Some friggin perspective is needed were competing against teams with way more financial clout and we havent done that bad since leaving highbury despite not winnning anything.

  65. bob

    The issue isn’t whether we let Walcott and Sagna go. We can’t force them to sign on after all, and there is a limit to what we can, and indeed should, offer them. The issue is whether we can ably replace them. Even if it costs more money to do so. We’ll see. It’s still early, and we won’t have as many funds in Jan as we will next summer, but January is crucial.

    Out of curiosity..If you could only keep one of Walcott and Sagna, who would it be?

  66. @Stuart

    points taken, however I’m just illustrating that with some players it’s not just greed.

    Yes 60,000 booing will not help but I’ve always been lead to believe it’s only the minority. I also think a team’s confidence is an expression of the management, just think of old red nose, looking at Wenger the confidence in this team does indeed appear to be shattered.

  67. I do think it is strange how an article about the BSM (who proclaim to be very pro-Wenger but anti the way the board works) has turned into many people commenting that the problem is Wenger and he needs to go.

  68. He first get betrayed by the board then the players, then all the media against him, the referee give him no justice, no well deserved penalty, no red card not even yellow card and all other team start playing physically, HIS OWN FANS turn on him, boos him, his players is mentally destroyed….
    Still he stands and fight, so if u want to be quitters be, but leave the no quitters alone and go boo somewhere else..
    7 years he has waited to create the mighty arsenal and in the final time, when he is so near the end, in the hardest moment you want to take the credit and all the financial status, and give to another manager….
    till january there is no transfers, till then either support the team the way Arsenal Fans always support, as in the 8-2 against manchester, or as the CL final against barca or just leave the war field for the brave, cause we are coming back !!!

  69. Objectivity is a very important trait of good journalism,and by saying 300 fans protested,u gave your readers a false rerport since over 2000 supporters protested.You don’t have to let emotions affect your reporting.I also think you love Wenger more than you love the club ‘cos to you,Wenger’s failure over the last 7 years should never be questioned even if this trophyless run span for decades;that in my book is loving the manager more than the club.Season after season,Wenger sanctioned the sales of our best players.We have been surviving such ill advised policies,but this season,the loss of Song and especially Van persie(remember according to PHW he was sold for footballing reasons and yet he is the highest goal scorer in the epl now),has really made it too difficult.By selling our best players,all the team chemistry and understanding they had built would be destroyed.Why do you think Barca are so compact and with telepathic understanding?Its because they keep their best players.I believe if our board members were barca board members,and Wenger their coach,they would have sold Messi,Xavi and Iniesta for ‘footballing reasons’.

  70. Seems like a lot of angry football fans all over the place at the moment. If fans boo everytime things do not go as expected, it will get easier and easier for the players to ignore them. we seem to have a lot of angry, disenfranchised, possibly emotionally retarded amongst our ranks. Some of these have been long standing, loyal fans…but the question is, are we better off without some of them if all they offer is anger, resentment and negativity? Some seem to want to return to the days when we had our Arsenal, and you could go into Frank McLintocks pub and ave a jar or two with Merse. Those days are gone forever.
    But the fact is, things are not going as expected. Wenger uses the term jaded, and from what I have seen recently, I would not disagree. The wheels seemed to come off a bit after the nth interlull of this season. Just about all of our team are internationals, then there is the intensity of the games in the league, then there is the fact that most of our midfielders /attackers were constantly kicked at Goodison, with little to no protection from the ref. I know for a fact Theo, Giroud and Arteta were carrying knocks. But no excuse, Wenger knows the international and league programme, he should have given us a stronger squad. But lets not naively believe the board have been full and frank with the money they claim Wenger has at his disposal. Why did Wenger have to wait until CL qualification at Udinese before he could spend the summer before last even with the Cesc Nasri money? Why is it always Gazidis and not Wenger who uses that phrase “Keeping his powder dry” Our accounts show a lot of money in the bank, but serious funds will not be available until next summer?? What is being done woth this money built up – FFP claims do not explain it all.
    As pointed out, Jan will be telling on many levels.
    In the mean time, worth backing the team and manager – those players are nowhere near as bad as recent results suggest, or the media will have you believe.
    Off topic, on the subject of the media, anyone else pick up Gareth Bale booked for diving two games running? You probably didnt, the UK media silence is deafening!

  71. I think Wenger has done more than enough to earn the right to decide when he wants to retire into a Director of Football-type role. If it is in fact a case of players starting to tune him out or something fixable with a change in role… I mean, why is Theo taking set pieces week after week? I’m more interested in process than results, so while I can take a couple draws on the bounce, I’m really concerned that Theo continues to shank corners away from the danger area.

    As for replacements, if we wait til the end of the season, I’d be interested in someone in the Bielsa/Sampaoli mold — tactically innovative, bringing something new to the premiership.

  72. Wenger will get it right, he always has and always will. We need to get behind him, even if we don’t believe this team at the moment. Yes we are worse in the points tally than last season but so are those around us. Even a Spurs fan told me, you’re mad doubting Wenger, Wenger has got some decisions wrong this season but I’m sure he’ll iron those out. Let’s get behind our manager, believe it or not he’s given us the modern Arsenal.

    Rant and rave all you want got if off your chest because it will be testing!

  73. There’s nothing wrong in criticizing arsene wenger as long as its respectful and logical. His teams for the past 4-5 years have regularly gone in a meltdown during the season. This has either seen us go out of the title race or made it quite difficult to eventually finish 4th or 3rd as last season.

  74. i think your a bit wrong.
    yes the players have not been great

    they play to much tippy tappy from the midfiled to the back
    that dose no harm to the other team.

    and whos foult is that ?
    that is the managers doing.

    the players that we have should be beating teams most of the players our good. they are just not clicking and showintg what they can do.

    weneger has made lots of mestakes with the team.
    arteta a play maker playing in his own half ?

    we need someone big and strong.

    its not like its been one game its been about 20 games of the same thing we look boring and easy to out play.
    3 games in a raw our keeper has been our man of the match.

    there needs to be change at the club 8 years and won and not even come close to winning anything is not okay unless your not a top club.

    its 8 years how many more yesrs before something changes 20 more years untill the board fill all there pockets.

    the club spends 0 each year on buying playing is that okay
    our we the only team with no budget.

    all we do is sell our best players each year to fund for 3-4 cheaper ones.

    no real arsenal fan will be happy about how we have become.

  75. and if you think the club should be run with not spending and paying players over the top..

    why is wenger the highest paid manager in the league
    and why has this gazidez givin him self a pay rise
    and his the highest paid director in the league.

    but ofc the board are over the moon happy with
    them selling our best plays and yet still geting 4th.

    and ofc we have the highest paid tickets in the world
    for what a team who fights for 4th.

    i feel sorry for all of us arsenal fans.

  76. @dan

    Well said mate.

    Don’t worry about the nonsense from the xenophobic double talking Doublegooner – that rather nasty piece of work rejoices in the team failing so that he can try to further undermine the club and in turn advance the ambitions of a fat Russian.

  77. I agree with the majority of fans who feel that the boo birds are right but that the anger is misplaced. I don’t have any ideas about the inner workings at the management level but i have worked in management, which gives me a management perspective on what is happening (from what i see). Those who criticize Wenger are totally out of their minds. They are frustrated, angry and need a scapegoat and since you cannot fire the workers (unless you are closing down the club), you fire the manager. In their point of view, it is the simple solution to get the players scared and worried about their futures and therefore work harder. I am sorry to say that in all my years, this has worked for a very short time until the workers figured out the next move. Too many managers and the players gain power. It does not work unless the manager is Tony Adams or Grahaeme Souness. They both seems to be unemployed and have not worked in years. Todays players are of the highest caliber and you have to understand how to “motivate” them. This is not easy to do with young millionaires who drive better cars than anyone else that they know. Robert Mancini thought that he could motivate Mario Balotelli using the carrot and stick approach. Did not work. Ultimately, it comes down to how intense their desire is to achieve their best.

    Lets talk injuries. Their best is often based on competition with others who are competing in their sphere. Suddenly, they get one injury. This makes them take pause for reflection. They hate the bastard that hurt them but as professionals, they cannot do retribution. They get injured a second then a third time and now they think about their future without football. This becomes the main motivator behind their desires. This now applies to a majority of Arsenal’s first team. We criticize Theo, Vermahlaen, Ramsey, and now I am very sure that Wilshere will get his time in the criticizing zone. He has made some horrendous passes in the last two games. I am sure that he is as confused by this as we are sympathetic about his play. So when we look at the players as a group, their point of view about going gung ho into plays and coming out injured, plays a major part in their psyches.

    What is the eventual outcome for this season ? Second or third place is possible at this point. If Wilshere can command his physical body to do what he is asking it to do, he will take control like Fabregas did. This will allow Cazorla to roam free with Arteta staying in and controlling the middle. As a trio, they are going to be dynamite. If Theo remains, he will solidify the other two, Podolski and Giroud. Theo’s confidence is very strong right now and he is delivering at all levels. This helps Giroud to adapt to the English game. Think of what Joey Barton in his comedy routine said about the French League and you will realize that all French and Spanish players have an adaptation process to go through. But for the moment they are struggling to work as a group. I predict that by the end of the year, we will see a very strong group of players who will give us the performance that we desire to see. As for the back four and the goalie, they will deliver. All the signs are there. Our problem is the midfield as it has always been. This will be worked out.

    As for the fans who want it now because for seven years now there is no trophy to be had, rebuilding a team is never easy. Think about children for a second. How do you build a great adult from such a tiny being ? You give them confidence, ability, desire and hope that you have shown them how to do things right. They show you your efforts have been wonderfully understood and appreciated. What do you do if they do not show you appreciation for your efforts and turn out differently than imagined. Now think about what Wenger has had to deal with in these youngsters that he worked so hard on. Now think about where this club would have been if those youngsters turned out as he had planned.

    So what you say ? The Arsenal did not, from my viewpoint, want to get into heavy debts since they already had the Emirates to pay for. So they worked on building their youth system and prepare the club to move these youngsters into the first team. Money brought them to the team and money kept their hopes of being in the first team alive. This is part of the psychological edge of the wage structure. This meant that players from all levels got paid according to their abilities. Arsenal kept to its wage structure and is keeping to it to this day. Why? Simple answer. Administration. They were there once before and if i understand the club philosophy correctly, they will never again head into administration. We as fans need to understand this and work with the club to prevent this from happening. I know that many fans do not see this as a possibility, but this is only because The Arsenal FC has been vigilant in preventing this possibility. To those who wish for Wenger to be fired and up the wage bill and make expensive player purchases, be careful what you wish for. I thank Wenger for his diligence in his managerial duties and for not bankrupting the club. I for one hope he remains for as long as he is able to manage.

  78. The most ridiculous part of all these is that these same fans and media will tear down this team as being so bad to be unworthy of a top 4 finish, yet when it makes top 4 again, the manager gets no credit.

  79. I love Wenger, but these players are not playing for him and they are not playing for each other. I feel like Walcott is playing to prove he can play ST. Giroud is playing to show how good he is (he is great by the way). Gervinho is playing not to make mistakes. OX is playing to not upset anyone. Cazorla is playing to win all by himself. Jack is playing with a bunch of people he is not familiar with. Arteta is playing passing lanes a la Denilson. Podolski is trying to learn how to play as the 3rd attacking option instead of the 1st.

    There has been too much turnover at key positions over the last 3 years and it has finally caught up with Arsenal. It is catching up with Chelsea as well.

    The squads that are playing the best football right now are the squads that have been together the longest:

    West Brom

    Why do you think QPR is sitting at the bottom of the table with a roster filled with great talent?

    The fluidity isn’t there. The build up is not natural, therefor creativity cannot flourish.

  80. There are many aspects of the game that accumulate to create a bad performance. The primary one is the support of the fan. The black scarf negative movement cannot call themselves Arsenal supporters. You support or you don’t attend matches. But to demonstrate outside your true loves home with a black scarf because you don’t like the position your parents make love!!!!! you wouldn’t would you?

    The secondary one is the officiating. Which part of a kick in the back of your legs is not a foul? Arsenal players have been enduring kicks for more than 7 years but I do not see a black scarf outside the FA. Jenkinson was fouled prior to the ball falling for Michu’s 2nd goal. There are several instances of physical contact after the ball has been passed by so called ‘pressurising the ball’. The referees do not react to that. One particular instance of bad officiating was ‘advantage’ when there is an offside flag. The advantage in those circumstances is only if the ball is in the opponents half. Yet the official thought possession was sufficient to be advantageous even when the play demanded a free kick.

    Arsene Wenger has put together a team of footballers consistently that play beautiful football. Swansea have copied Arsenal’s style with more aggression and in this match better precision. They won the match with better finishing against poor defensive positioning.

    Wenger is the best manager/coach in the world. His economic brain and his long term view is incredible. Very few fans can really understand how well we as a club have done in terms of ‘football business’.

  81. That’s a brilliant post Weslee. I could not ..or I doubt anyone else could have said it better.

  82. @ Weslee, brilliant write up.

    Are the fans responsible for whats happening … YES.

    For a child to grow up to be a confident and successful adult, he/she needs the support of the family and society. Its the combined work of the three. If we take one thing out of the equation, the outcome will be different. Fans are the society. Our support has an indirect effect but a very important one.

    As for the game yesterday……..off the ball movement, rather lack of it. Jenkinsons mistake was a forced one. He had to move back as no one was available for a pass. ARE WE MISSING RAMSEY?????…..YES. If we look back the last two games, yes. Right now he is the only player who works his @#$@ off to make himself available for a pass all over the pitch.

  83. @yj – The sale of our players is not always the best timed but money that you cannot earn in many lifetimes decides the timing and that element of greed cannot be suppressed in dim talented footballers. Wenger has to make do with whatever is left after the financial decisions.

    Dim – you can see examples of them on TV. Only Gary Neville has shone as an intelligent presenter.

    My view is biased but it is based on a passion and love for my Arsenal football club and our unique Mr Wenger. He has brought joy to many and equally has created a jealousy that is just waiting for every slip up to bring his downfall. I am loyal and no matter how much money others might have, I am satisfied with my team and I love them more now than ever.

  84. I am beginning to think emirates has been reduced to a roman colosseum and the field has become more like an arena. a particular player enters the field and if he doesn’t perform as per the exacting taste of the spectators he gets booed. if he fulfills their expectation he’s cheered. but some, though maybe performing better than others, aren’t given due credit, instead its seen as a mere flicker.
    expecting support they enter the field. some in trepidation if they will be vilified when they make a minor mistake. but none get the support. maybe now they are quite expecting a non-support and their aim is reducing this negative noise rather than uplifting the positive ones. so they play cautiously. but at some point they had to take the risk.
    the risk isn’t rewarded but punished. they failed to lower this discomforting noise. their effort, or a lack thereof, seems only to amplify this horrible noise.

  85. Thanks to the guys who ask that we get fully behind the team, give the manager the time and support to righten it.
    We all are dissapointed with that loss and our general form of late but booing is not going to help.
    I still think we can turn it around this season though we may need some reinforcement /replacements in the Jan window.
    Keep the faith .Up the Gunners !

  86. @Arsenal 13, oh I see it’s all the fan’s fault. No wonder we’re doing so badly if some 18 stone beer drinker is playing midfield. That’s right, let’s blame the fans, not Wenger, not the board, not the players, not Kroenke, it’s the fans. Well don’t worry, all the fans will have been replaced by day trippers because the ordinary fans can’t afford to watch Arsenal. The club will get the fans it wants in a few years time.

    And as for this myth about Wenger doing a grand job securing a place in the CL for all these years, well exactly where do you expect Arsenal to finish in the league? From 1998 to 2004 there were only two teams that could win the league, Manu and us. CL qualification was certain. From 2005 Chelsea joined the party and we started a slow slide into stagnation, or self-sustainability as some would call it, but we were still the third best team because we could still get good players and Wenger was still doing a good job. Then City joined the party around 2009. Luckily CL places had been extended and we were by 2010 the fourth best team financially. So we’re achieving exactly what we should achieve and probably would do under any number of managers, what Wenger’s doing is no miracle. What I will concede though is that Wenger has been fortunate enough to find a few outstanding players like RVP, Cesc and Nasri to counterbalance the utter flops he’s invested in like Chamakh and Squillaci and the rather average likes of Gervinho, Djourou, Denilson, Bendtner and Almunia to name a few.

    There’s a long way to go but one thing is certain we won’t be winning the league. Fourth is not impossible but I doubt we’ll be securing that “trophy” unless we buy some quality in January.

  87. @Weslee, I’m sorry but Wenger isn’t a father to teenage footballers. If you or AW thinks he can expect loyalty from footballers then you both need to wake up to reality.

    And the reason we’re rebuilding the team every season is because we’re selling our most effective players every season.
    We should have augmented the team we had, in other words Podolski, Cazorla and Giroud should have been additions, which for a few months we all thought they were, and not replacements.

  88. Rupert cook
    You’re happy to point out the problem, we can all see that by selling our best players the quality of the squad will suffer, we are (mostly) adults here. What you fail to do is acknowledge why this happens and why Arsene Wenger is pretty powerless to prevent it from happening. We cannot win a wage bidding war with ManC, ManU or Chelsea. He is trying to build a team of players who love the club by bringing young players through who have “Arsenal DNA” but these players also have very influential agents constantly whispering in their ear about how much money they can earn elsewhere. Look at Walcott… No doubt you were one of the people who has been booing and moaning at the lad whilst he’s been learning his trade. Wenger has stuck to his convictions and played him when everyone else said he was crap and look at him now. Everyone screaming to sign him onto a long term, whatever he wants contract and if it doesn’t happen, it’s all Wengers fault. They ignore the fact that Walcott is a fully grown man who knows exactly what he’s doing. This waffle about playing up front is utter bollocks, surely everyone can see its just a smoke screen? The guy wants more money. His agent is telling him, come on Theo, work your socks off for a few months and I’ll get you that big money move. Utterly pathetic. And you know what? He could probably come out and say, I was sick to death of playing in front of a crowd who booed every mistake I made, I’m going to go to Liverpool, where they get behind their players, no matter if they make horrendous mistakes or are racist twats.

    There many factors at work here, it’s all to easy to pick a scapegoat which sadly and shamefully, Arsenal fans seem to be the worlds best at doing. And as to your comment about any manager being able to do what Wenger did, really?! I don’t see any other team going unbeaten all season. Even the mega money teams can’t manage that.

    So come on Rupert, you seen to be able to see exactly what’s going wrong, what’s the answer? Wenger out? Get rid of the “dead wood”? Get Usmanov on the board do he can invest his billions into the club (which he’s already said he won’t)? Or something else?

  89. Thank you for the article Tony. It is nice of you to illustrate clearly how tiny the BSM folks are. They seem like the Bolsheviks – they claim to be the majority when actually being the minority (though even more so than that historical example).

  90. Arsenal as a club are set to rapidly increase revenues in the next few years, as illustrated by the recent renewal of the deal with Emirates. This means any incoming manager will have funds to invest and be able to better compete, as people like Mr Wenger and Mr Gazidis have been saying.

    My two questions for the folks at Untold (except the AAA, boys and girls of the AAA do not answer, you are the people I am talking about). Does anyone think that the campaign to get rid of ‘Wenger and/or the Board’ is a conspiracy by certain parties who wish to take advantage of the above increase in funds for their own nefarious purposes? e.g. getting rid of Mr Wenger now, just before the funding floodgates proverbially open means that the next manager gets much more in the way of funds plus a very decent current squad and can take advantage of the success that anyone can see is on the way.

  91. @Stevie E., please don’t make assumptions about me booing anyone. I have never booed any of our players, not even the manager.

    I must admit I find Walcott a most frustrating player, capable of brilliance but then so often disappearing for long periods in games. Sort of reflects the whole Arsenal team these days. Do I want him to stay? Yes because he’s one of the best players we’ve got.

    Also I wouldn’t make assumptions about him using his desire to play upfront as a smokescreen to ensure he gets more money. You are casting aspersions on him which he may not deserve.

    I don’t believe there was any need to sell Song on the eve of the start of the season. A crazy decision. Also relying on Diaby for a whole season is mad.

    Yes Wenger had an unbeaten season, something Graham would have done had he not lost that one game to Chelsea, but Wenger did that when we had a great squad, superior to any other team. Well done Wenger but that still doesn’t alter the fact that this is one of the richest clubs in the world never mind the league, and any decent manager should be able to finish fourth.

    What’s the problem at Arsenal? I suspect it’s a mixture of many things including the continual offloading of our best players which will affect team morale, the crazy decision to sell as many players as we buy therefore never strengthening the team especially as the players we buy are becoming more inferior, Kroenke’s lack of interest, Gazidis being complacent and Wenger possibly losing his ability to find good players and failing to address issues like our poor defence which has been dire for four years and having one effective striker whilst all the others are out on loan because they’ve failed, and who bought them in the first place?

  92. Some people love re-writing history to make their point. Wenger just did what any other manager could have done. No way to disprove it, so it is true. We were a great team in Wenger’s years and not in Graham years and both achieved an unbeaten season (well..not quite) so Graham’s the better manager.. Who built that great team that just gifted the title and unbeaten record to Wenger?

    Oh it was Graham’s back 4… But was it? Toure, Campbell, Lauren, Cole, and Lehmann. None of them were there in Graham’s era. Oh..but still Wenger can’t get credit for what he did because we don’t like him now. So obviously, there was something wrong with him back then too but it was just that we didn’t notice it.

    If we’re talking about Arsenal as being among the richest clubs in the world, that is due to Wenger. Our turnover in 2002-03 was 44million pounds. Aston Villa’s? 45.4 million. Everton’s? 46+m Tottenham’s? 66.5.. Liverpool’s 102.5m

    People don’t realise how difficult it was to make the stadium and find the funding for it. And that is a testament to the smoothness of the transition. Which is down to both, the board, and Wenger.

    Those rich lists, in any case, don’t include City and Chelsea. Because the ‘richness’ doesn’t come from money in the bank. It’s the overall value of the club. Our spending has been restricted. Wenger has even said (ONCE) that the club needs to make 15-20million in the transfer market. The ‘wastage’ on players salaries comes from having a wage structure which is maligned now, but was essential then. You can pay the squad players less and have one or two stars. But if the squad players leave, then the stars can do nothing. Would you rather have a team like Cologne? One star in Podolski, and the rest names that no one knows? That turned out well for them didn’t it?

    The wage strcuture allowed us to finish in the top 4 year in year out. It’s outlived it’s utility now, and should be changed, but to moan about it without acknowledging its purpose is foolish. All the weakening of the squad is a result of not being able to spend. Our wages are higher than Tottenham’s because our wages reflect 16 years of CL football. Their’s doesn’t.

    Wenger’s not lost his ability to find good players. The good players are just more expensive than we can afford.

    The stadium move has propelled us to the top 4-5 biggest clubs in Europe. The benefits of that haven’t been immediate, mostly because of the oil clubs (which weren’t around when the stadium was planned) Wenger’s done more with a lot less. The wage bill being 4th highest is not everything. It is important and has a high correlation with league finishes. But so does transfer balance.

    None of this even includes the ref shite that has stopped us, which like it or not is a factor. One that some people might be willing to overlook, but that desn’t change it.

  93. @Shard, I agree with much of that. I really do take issue with this ref thing, that’s just a cop out. Still if you believe it fine, but I hardly think it explains how poorly we’ve played in the last 18 months.

    Also I think there are plenty of players that Wenger could have found that are relatively cheap. How much did Michu cost? I’m not saying he would solve all our problems but I think it would be good if we had a few more striking options.

    Has anyone said Graham is the better manager? I think he would have dealt with our defensive problems by now but that’s all. There are deep resources at Arsenal and I still believe finishing fourth would be possible under many decent managers.

    Qualifying for the CL seems to be the end of all ambition at Arsenal.

    Here’s a question. Would anyone rather have won that infamous CL final against Barca and then failed to qualify for the CL ever since?

    I would rather have won it.

  94. rupert

    That’s an incomplete question. Yes and no. Would you want to win a CL trophy? Of course.. But if in exchange, it means your club, in the middle of a financially straining stadium move, would end up going into administration as a result of lost revenues from not qualifying again, leading to a much greater exodus of stars, relegation from the league etc..then..Not so sure..

    Basically, those are extremes, but there is a balance to be found there. Not sure why you bring up the CL victory, since that has nothing to do with it, except trying to make the record of consistently qualifying for the CL pale in comparison.

    Qualifying for the CL is NOT the be all. It is the MINIMUM ambition FOR NOW, and it is, realistically, the most we can achieve..for now.. There is absolutely nothing Arsenal can do to catch up with City’s spending. They have spent an average of 120m pounds per year more than us. Nothing the board can do can bridge that gap, for any real length of time. An inexpensive team can maybe win the league, but watch it be broken apart next year and then watch them decline. That’s why consistency is so important and so difficult. Also why FFP is important. Without it, we will slip away, as will ManU, and anyone else who doesn’t find a billionaire with deep pockets. And we know the risks associated with that, the examples of Chelsea and City notwithstanding.

    I don’t know how bringing up the odd bargain that someone else manages and using it to disparage Wenger makes any sense. It’s like saying Ferguson is a clueless idiot spending so much money on the likes of Djemba Ba when Gilberto (who was a world cup winner) was available. A transfer market doesn’t work that way. You basically rely on your contacts, your scouting, and your judgment, and even then, it is basically a gamble. Wenger obviously doesn’t know every player in the world. Nor does any other manager.

  95. There is still a lot of “promise to the future” belief amongst fans. The clubs main priority is to service the 200 million plus debt left over for the stadium. Anyone believing the 30 million a year we receive from the sponsorship deal will go on players is naive. Wengers main strength is his ability to spot inexpensive players and turn them into expensive ones..good for business. He has kept us in the top flight of european football for years. Top players used to come to Arsenal because they could win things..not anymore..the best players go elsewhere and win things. Spending money on big transfer fees is not the answer..if thats the policy we need to spend at least 150 million which we have not got and service a massive increase in wages. Getting rid of the so called dead wood to service the wage budget would leave the squad far too short. Blaming referees and the media for our downward spiral is just an admission the squad is not good enough for what the fans expect. I feel our problems are tactical. Not being able to protect a two goal lead with our full backs bombing on and struggling to get back, our midfield intent on attacking the ball rather than man marking. All premiership teams play the ball well ala early Wenger..all have improved fitness and stamina ala early Wenger…more and more premiership players are buying the better african players ala early Wenger. Wenger has taught the premiership well and the pupils have grown up. Things have changed…so I am now asking where is plan B from Wenger and Arsenal? Sacking Wenger is not the answer

  96. Rupert cook
    The assumption was made based on your overall stance, you seem to revel in poor performances as it gives you the opportunity to castigate the club. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to assume as you are happy to constantly poor scorn on the manger, the players would hardly escape your wrath.

    I don’t believe I am casting aspersions on Walcott. He joined the club claiming to want to emulate TH who certainly wasn’t on out and out striker, he played pretty much the same position Theo is playing now. Theo is getting a great return of goals and assists from his current position, does he really believe he’ll get a much greater return playing up front? I’m not do sure. To me it smacks of the “hey, you guys” bollocks that RVP come out with (or his agents came out with) before he left for his big money move. The premier league these days is becoming more and more like the WWE and I find it hard to believe anything anyone says, it’s all press releases written by experts designed to manipulate us into thinking he’s good guy but isn’t getting the chances he deserves. If you want to allow yourself to be manipulated, cool, but I don’t believe a word. If he stays, great, we need him in the ranks, he’s a very useful weapon. If he leaves, fine, that’s his choice and good luck to him.

    I agree selling Song was an unusual move, but we don’t know what is going on behind closed doors. I’m hearing he was becoming a big time Charlie and a disruptive influence in the changing room. We’ll probably never know. I disagree about Diaby. RVP was he most fragile player I’ve ever seen, but after overcoming his injury problems, he arguably saved our season last year and seems to be fine now. If uninjured, Diaby is one of the best midfielders I’ve seen at Arsenal, reminiscent of Vieira in more ham stature. Was it a gamble? Sure, but so was RVP last season and that payed off. I hope Diaby can come back, I do fear his career is over though but I certainly don’t blame Wenger for trying with him.

    Ok the unbeaten thing. Graham could’ve but he didn’t, he lost to Chelsea. Wenger did. That’s the difference mate. 1 point between 3rd & 4th. 1 goal between champions and first losers. One loss between unbeaten and beaten. Could’ves don’t cut it in life, I could’ve been a famous musician if I hadn’t broken my wrist. But I did. So I’m not. And as Chelsea proved last year, limitless amounts of money don’t guarantee a top four finish, it takes so much ore than that. If it was that easy, ManC would still be in the champions league and would be top top. The unpredictable nature of sport is the whole point of watching sport. That’s why I love Ronnie O’Sullivan. The greatest player I’ve ever seen in my life time (and I grew up with Davies and Hendry), but you never know which Ronnie will turn up, and that’s what makes him so exciting. He might clear up in 2 minutes, or he’ll iss everything and go down 5-0. That’s sport.

    So, the problem with Arsenal. Continually offloading players… Haven’t I already covered this with you? The inability to compete financially with a bottomless pit of cash is something which is the bane of football and needs to stop before it ruins the game for good. I’m proud Arsenal don’t walk down this road, let the other clubs buy glory. Would you really want Kroenke interfering with the way the club is run? Honestly? Like Abrahamovich? No thanks, not for me. Gazidis complacent? Come on Rupert! The man has just been appointed to two of the most influential posts within EUFA, if you can’t see what he’s trying to do, I really do wonder if you are as intelligent as you try to make out!

    I take real umbrage to your comment that Wenger has lost ability to find quality, particularly in defence. koscielny was one of our best defenders last season, plucked from nowhere. Our defence has been ravengened by injury, when we put out our first choice four, we’ve got one of the best defences in the league. It’s an incredibly lazy argument to say poor defence if you don’t look at the injuries which affected it. I honestly expected more from you. I will concede the striker point, however I feel this is an area in which AW will strengthen in January. I hope so because we really do need to.

    The points I put across about the crowd, agents, oil money teams have been ignored by you. I take it you have no answer to that as you fall back on your same old arguments. That’s why you’re boring Rupert. You don’t engage in debate, you just put on the scratched record, repeating the same old thing. Like a really bad troll. The mask slips further.

  97. “There is still a lot of “promise to the future” belief amongst fans. The clubs main priority is to service the 200 million plus debt left over for the stadium. Anyone believing the 30 million a year we receive from the sponsorship deal will go on players is naive.”
    Andy Bishop,
    Have we not yet heard of the new TV deal – a historical landmark – and not factored that in? Why not? Why is that not specified and discussed hereabouts? Does it take away the plead (comparative) poverty card? Plus last season’s CL qualifier’s worth. Plus the real estate sale. Plus Gazidis and AW’s repeat acknowledgements that there’s now money in the till. Plus the shrine whose supplicants pledge to maintain a zero net transfer balance. So many use the service the 200 million stadium argument to cloud the matter when, in fact, there have been many public assurances that it is highly manageable. And assurances from on high that if we couldn’t qualify for the CL there is no panic because there’s a Plan B, so no worries. It’s really maddening to hear all this on one side of the ledger, and then to constantly be reminded that – no matter what – the reason we don’t compete at the top is because of the stadium debt. To me, absent full disclosures, this is a mantra that is being used to becloud problems in judgment that have affordable solutions and management practices that go on in the dark. Today, I do not see AFC in fiscal distress because of the stadium payback, and our problems ought not to be continually explained away by resorting to it – not at this stage. Let’s then start at the new TV deal. Does anyone have the exact figures? The boss at Crystal Palace says its worth a king’s ransom to each Premiership team…

  98. Rupert,
    What I find strange is that a player that wins a game for another team suddenly becomes a player “that he/we should have bought”. You now name Michu, others have named other before. Hell I think at one point we should have bought Rose…

    The problem is if we would have bought Michu and what if it wouldn’t have worked out like it did for Swansea? What then?

    Who says that Michu would still work when he has to play against a team defending with 10 players behind the ball? It is not because a player works in one system he can do the same in another system.

  99. Many of the same players have been getting injured in our defence for some seasons now. Stop sticking with crocked players and you might get a different result.

    I know all about oil money teams and that excuse is becoming boring. That doesn’t explain why we have bought some real duds and the likes of Newcastle and Swansea have bought better for less money. City and Chelsea can’t buy everyone. And Manu aren’t financed by oil money yet we see them doing well.

    So Chelsea didn’t finish in the top 5 but they didn’t have to did they as they won the CL. Oh and the FA Cup. Let’s see if we can win the CL because at the moment we’re going to have to to get CL football next year.

    Yes Gazidis is complacent because he comes out with being able to compete when FFP comes in but we need to compete now. Two years maybe too late if we don’t finish with our illusory trophy because what top player will come to a team not in the CL?

    God knows why you should trust Gazidis if you don’t trust Walcott. Why one deserves special treatment and not the other is bizarre. And you claim I’m unintelligent.

    Agents, yes they’re unpleasant but they’re part of modern football. The crowd have been remarkably patient with our lack of ambition and you still hear pro Wenger chants. The booing has only been a very recent phenomenon and it’s not one I condone.

  100. Of course Walter but then why buy anyone? You could aim that argument at many of the players we’ve bought, we’ve hardly had many great purchases recently.

  101. @Shard, I think we’ve bought a lot of duds in the last five years, more than Manu anyway but I take your point that it’s difficult to keep tabs on every footballer in the world.

    I’m not sure FFP is going to save us but we’ll see. It would be a good idea definitely but just how easy it’ll be to implement it remains to be seen.

  102. Rupert cook
    Yet again you don’t engage in debate, you put on that same old boring record…

    Ruperts way to run a football club –

    1. Sell any player who gets an injury. Long term injuries are detrimental to winning trofies, fuck contracts they don’t put silver in the cabinet
    2. Ignore the competition. It’s boring that they’ve changed the football landscape, much better to pretend they don’t exist so we can get on with winning trofies.
    3. You don’t need consistancy cos winning a trofie in the last minute by the skin of your teef will do.
    4. Win a trofie at any cost cos no player has ever signed for a team that isn’t winning trofies.
    5. Ignore what other people say. Someone saying they don’t trust anyone means they do trust anyone
    6. Flipping agents. Don’t wory about them, they’re just an irritation that will go away if you ignore them.

    To surmise… Ignore the facts, don’t listen to anyone, win trofies.

    Rupert, you use Chelsea as an example yet choose to ignore (as is your want) the fact that they are in disarray at the moment, just 5 points ahead of us but with the crowd chanting for the managers head but not daring to insult the owner in case he pulls he billions and demands the loan, yes LOAN, not gift, be paid back which would utterly destroy the club. Would you really want to be sucking off that teat?

    Honestly, come on Rupert, put up a fight mate. This is just too easy. But I suppose, as you’re a troll without any real understanding of the subject, you can only spout others opinions. I guess I’m gonna have to wait for the next instalment from The Sun before you have anything newl to say.

  103. its easy to say we’ve not had many purchases. henry had only scored 8 goals for juve during the whole season. yet we sold anelka to bring him in. if form was a factor we wouldn’t buy henry. bergkamp was the joke of italian media with dedicated section “bergkamp of the day” or something like that. viera was bought on a paltry sum. its not the purchases but how the players put their full potential into the game.
    its easy to be carried by the whim of the moment. michu would have been a good signing on the hindsight but would he have done the same thing with arsenal. we can only fantasize. giroud was a top scorer but even that couldn’t convince some section of fanbase he was a replacement to RvP. so I am wondering if a 2m signing for a player scoring 15goals for a low tier Rayo would’ve convinced the same fanbase?

  104. bob,
    the new TV deal will bring in something in the region of an extra 25-40 million for Arsenal, depending on where we finish, how often we are on tv, and what the league decides will be the new parachute payments etc. It’s not a simple calculation, but it will be a substantial sum of money.

    I’m not worried about the stadum debt. The club have basically announced their intention to spend money. That is the way they proclaimed the Emirates deal and they will have to utilise those funds on the team, or there will be an unstoppable uproar. More to the point, I think they recognise the need to invest in the team, and Arsene Wenger certainly does. No matter what he says in public.

  105. @Stevie E, You’ve spelled trophies and teeth wrong.

    1. Ludicrous, I didn’t say that. It’s all very well having great players but if they’re prone to injury you buy back ups.
    2. Let’s blame City and Chelsea’s riches for these average players we’ve bought: Denilson, Stepanovs, Senderos, Vela, Park?????, Almunia, Djourou, Squillaci, Gervinho, Bendtner, Santos, Cygan, Traore and of course the genius Chamakh. Are you telling me no other manager could find better players than those for the same money?
    3. Does it matter how you win a trophy? So City won the league in the last minute. Now how exactly did a certain team win it in 1989? Or the FA Cup in 1979.
    4. Players may sign for a team that isn’t winning trophies but a team is more likely to attract good players when it’s successful.
    5. Not at all. Read and understand.
    6. Agents are an evil that I’m afraid aren’t going to go away. Every club has to deal with them.

    I’m not ignoring Chelsea’s problems at all. They have a crazy owner which I suspect some of them don’t mind as he’s bought them years of success. Yes they’re in disarray, long may they stay that way but they only need a few tweaks here and there whilst I think we need a major overhaul. You disagree, fine we’ll have to agree to disagree.

    As usual you resort to insults. You also have nothing new to say, you just tow the party line and never let an original thought upset your happy little Wenger world.

  106. rupert,
    ref point 2, I would argue that the likes of Chelsea and City are the reason we are not able to purchase higher class backups. They’ve pushed the price up.

  107. We can’t compete with $ity, the chavs and Man u is Tony and all the Arsene fc fans say but they fail to realise that these teams (Everton, villa, Norwich, Swansea, Sunderland, Stoke) can’t compete with us and 4 out of the 6 teams above actually out played us.
    The problems the club is currently facing is down to Wenger. He has instilled a culture of laziness and excuse making at the club and that is the bane of our problem. Wenger is happy to finish 4th so why would the players be assed to put in a shift against Swansea or villa when they know those clubs are not a threat to their 4th place trophy?
    Don’t believe me, take a look at David Moyes everton; They always play with heart and determination which is something that cannot be said about our players, an attitude that started since Wenger started publicly accepting 4th as a “trophy”

  108. For those of you who think Wenger publicly stating that 4th is a trophy is not a problem, ask yourselves this question.
    Who would you rather fight with
    General A who tells his troops that other army were bigger, stronger and all of them would probably get killed but as long as you lasted an hour more that the last army destroyed, they were fine or
    General B who tells his troops that although the other army where bigger and stronger, they will win with team work and grit.

  109. Shard,
    Yes, the TV deal will be a substantial range. Enough to bring in one world class striker. A needed element. Perhaps a January element? As we two are still watching for January results, I hope.
    Let’s compare notes soonish.
    (And agreed, the stadium debt is not a substantial factor anymore. I was slating our colleague above, who trotted it out to excuse all and any flaws that need constructive correction.)

  110. By ‘nefarious’ do you mean a oligarch type who then appoints a Mourinho(shudders)-type manager? Hmmm…Curiouser and Curiouser.

  111. @Stuart, we could argue this point all day long, what I will say is of those players I’ve named plenty were signed before City appeared on the scene. We only had Chelsea’s money to deal with.

    We endlessly argue the same points over and over again. We’re all guilty of that. The argument will only be settled by the end of the season when we can count are “real” trophies. Or for those who detest trophies our final league position.

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