Where is the deepest gloom and doom? Arsenal, Man C, Chelsea

By Tony Attwood

Arsenal’s doom and gloom, manufactured and spread by the Anti-Arsenal Arsenal, with their allies in the press, has gone further up the scale this week.

Sagna has apparently been offered only a one-year extension to his current contract, which takes him up to the age of 32.  He’s clearly a great player, and it would be a shame to see him go, but we’ve been down this road before.  If he goes at the end of his contract, everyone screams that another player is on the way out.  If he stays, but his ability declines because of his age, everyone screams that his salary is a waste of money, and points out how big our salary bill is.

The AAA will then recite the litany of Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri, Gaël Clichy, Robert Van Persie and Alex Song.

More concerning is the lack of news on Walcott, who has rejected a five-year deal worth £75,000 a week.    One argument that seems to have fallen away is that “if we give in to this deal, everyone will want the same”.  Everyone wants more and more, despite FFP and the 25 rule and the possible Premier League Financial rules that have been proposed.

If Theo really wants to play centre forward, guaranteed, does he really think that other clubs would go for that?  If they do then the manager’s position becomes pointless since the players committee can actually pick their own team.

Being away yesterday I have not heard if Tomas Rosicky came off on Tuesday as a precaution, easing him back from a long injury, or if there was something wrong with him.  I guess we will see on Saturday.

So doom and gloom at around 8/10  (with 10 being the max) at Arsenal among those who like to look for negatives.

What about Chelsea then.   New unwanted manager, big score last night, uninspiring league games, out of the Champions League and a lot of talk about the spine of their team not being right.  First Champions League Champions to go out in the group stages.

Or come to that Man City – finishing bottom of their group and not even making it into the Europa League.  Doom and gloom there?

The problem for Man City is that the country that owns the club have expectations that are primarily insane (given that to some degree football is a game of chance and luck as well as skill).  Retain the Premier League and do well in the Champions League.

So those who own recognise a 50% failure rate already.  It is the championship or every chance that the manager will go.  And the manager kept on buying through the summer to strengthen the squad.   At least Arsenal fans can believe that if only we had bought more we would be higher up the league (as well as in being where Man City are not – in the last 16).

There is also the fact that it is widely thought that van Persie, Martínez, Hazzard and de Rossi, were going to Man City, but they went elsewhere.  Even the billions can’t buy everything.

There is also the point that while Arsenal has never won the Champions League we have been to the final, but Man City’s manager has never got past the quarter finals.

And while Arsenal focus on the players who have left our club, let us not forget that they lost de Jong.  OK, just one player, but an important player in my personal view.

As for Chelsea they have the Europa League to play in but I don’t sense harmony in the camp despite Torres scoring a couple.

Benítez is not everyone’s cup of tea – largely because he seems to have no humility, no sense of humour, nothing that makes him likeable.  He has said that Lampard and Cole will be out soon – which isn’t really the motivation one normally gives players.

The problem is that the crowd don’t much like him, he wasn’t the owner’s first choice, he’s a stop-gap, and I wonder if the players actually like him much.   He maybe can persuade the players to play a bit differently, but that’s about it, which is not much for a top manager.
He looks like the wrong manager at the wrong club to me.  Of course I am an Arsenal fan, so my judgement of Chelsea is always biased, but the manager’s position at Chelsea looks to me the biggest problem of all.
Of course Arsenal have problems; I know I was there last saturday and stayed to the very end.  But somehow, perhaps because of belief, or passion, or love for the club or plain daftness, I still think over the next ten years, our problems are nothing to those of Man City and Chelsea.  Man City’s time will pass once the country that owns them has done its world cup thing.  Chelsea will finally run out of managers to buy and sack.
Just a thought.

The books…

The sites…


59 Replies to “Where is the deepest gloom and doom? Arsenal, Man C, Chelsea”

  1. This is an absolutely extraordinary example of sticking your head in the sand. You have worked yourself into such a defensive hole, that you are actually criticising Arsenal fans for justifiably and rightly waving the disgraceful list of departures in the face of the ambition void that is the clubs current heirarchy.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinions, of course they are. But you need to allow in your narrative tht other fans have opinions, completely contraty to your own, that are at least as valid as your own. But sometimes it seems as though your blog exists only to prempt justifiable criticism by spinning the very concept of disagreeing with the club into some kind of objectionable mania. In actual fact it is the stuff of a free society.

    There are times when I read the blog (well written though it usually is and fair play to you fellows, you are prolific), that I actually think you are engaging in complete parody.

  2. Statistical fact: Wherever you are in London, you are never more than 6 feet away from a past, current or future Chelsea manager.

  3. sleepinggiant,

    Your comment is an absolutely extraordinary of self-contradiction. After lambasting Tony for not admitting room for other opinions (which, incidently, are presupposed as he explicitly offers an alternative narrative), you refuse to admit room for his opinion. His argument is a “parody” and undermines “the stuff of a free society.”

    It seems we’re all free to differ, unless we differ with you.

    Anyway, did you not read Tony’s worry about Walcott and acknowledgement that there are problems on the pitch and 8/10 anxiety levels around the club? Feel free to attack Tony (I don’t care if you do), but attack him accurately, for goodness’ sake. He might be more optimistic than you are, but surely you must acknowledge that he actually isn’t painting a perfectly rosy picture. He’s just saying that other clubs don’t have perfectly rosy pictures either.

    This is no comment on the actual substance of your claims regarding the current state of Arsenal, by the way. I don’t actually know what claims you make. I myself tend to be pretty complacent: I want Arsenal to win, of course, but it’s not easy nor is it a God-given right. Sure there problems in the club. But they’re pretty small in the grand scheme of things, and I’ve got other things to make me unhappy; I’ll not add to those.

  4. El gringo

    I have not said that Tony isn’t entitled to his opinion. Of course he is and I enjoy reading them. But there are times when he takes the party line to such an extreme that I wonder if some of it is not tongue in cheek (come on Tony, admit it!). That is not the same as branding somebody with the utterly laughable AAA termsinply for pointing out errors by the club that it could be criminal to ignore.

    I haven’t given my opinion on the club. I don’t honestly have time this morning. But I will say one thing – you talk about not having a God give right to success. I agree. But only to the extent that neither do Manchester United. We are one of the true giants of the English game, and we are insulting our heritage and everything that distinguishes Arsenal from every other London club if we simply ignore that and pretend we are Charlton. To me, that that is the only unforgiveable sin.

    By the way, I hope those things that are making you unhappy clear up!

    At the end of the day, we are all Arsenal fans. And, unlikely as it seems, we do want them to win the league this year!

  5. sleepinggiant,

    The things making me unhappy are quite minor–headaches and lots of work. Nothing too serious, thankfully! I suppose it’s a bit contradictory for me to post on a football blog while rating the importance of football below a sore head!

    And I would love it if we were to win the league or a trophy of any description. The quadruple’s still on, right? Sure I can dream!

  6. Chelsea and City can still win the league. We won’t. And if you think we’ll win the CL you’re going to be disappointed.

    Did you read Tom Fox’s comment about it’s not about winning, it’s about making our global fan base proud to belong to the club. In what way do these people belong to the club? Exactly how will our global fans be proud and happy of a club that wins nothing, plays decidedly average football and refuses to replace the players it sells with equal talent?

    These are bizarre fans who basically take pride in Arsenal being run like Tescos or as Tom puts it, “When the fans see that we can attract, even though we haven’t won a trophy in seven years, one of the top global brands in the world for the type of money and financial commitment they’re making, that makes our fans feel proud.”

    Waffle, Tom. And please don’t think I’m proud of our “brand”. Is that the kind of fans Arsenal want? Those that admire our business model more than our football.

    Of course as gloomy as this statement from Mr. Fox is he’s not far wrong. A friend of mine said you only have to go on twitter and you find loads of clowns, mainly from abroad, who embrace the concept of our refusal to spend money as if it’s somehow morally correct. These are mostly people who don’t have to fork out to watch Arsenal or weren’t fans pre Wenger.

  7. Chelsea now hold the unwanted record of becoming the first holders of the CL to be eliminated at the group stage whilst Man City have failed for a second year to progress out of their group.

    Last season we also had Man Utd embarrassingly falling at the first hurdle in the Uefa Champions.

    If this trend continues then there is a very real threat the EPL may loose its fourth CL berth via Uefa’s co-efficient scoring system.

    Meanwhile German football is very much on the up, with all three Bundesliga teams winning their CL groups and both Dortmund and Munich promising to add further co-efficient points by progressing far in this years competition.

  8. Rupert,

    I sincerely apologize for being a foreign late-comer to football. I became a fan during Wenger’s tenure, but I’ve not seen Arsenal win a trophy. It was the year I moved to the UK, and simply because a good friend of mine is an Arsenal supporter and took me along to watch matches. Please forgive me for daring to be a new fan who doesn’t think that the neauveaux-riche path to success is beautiful. It’s ostentatious, gauche, gaudy, and more than a bit grimy under the edges. Again, though, please pardon my presumption for daring support Arsenal without conforming to your template of a good supporter.

  9. El Gringo, I accept your apology. I’m not sure why you’re so embittered. If you go and watch Arsenal every week and you’re happy then I envy you. If you think Tom Fox is speaking for the majority of fans then I may disagree with you. If he does speak for the majority of fans heaven help Arsenal.

  10. @Tasos, very true, it may come to the point when only three teams will qualify from England. That can only be a good thing as far as I’m concerned.

    I’d take Chelsea’s unwanted record if it meant we were champions of Europe.

  11. @Rupert

    Tom Fox also said ‘Obviously nothing instils pride in our fan-base more than winning but there are many things we do that make our fans feel proud,’ Fox continued.
    ‘Developing the kinds of young talent, finding those players in the marketplace make our fans feel proud’.

    ‘Coming to a stadium that the club built really at a time – 10 years ago when the board decided to build that stadium, everything was going our way, it was Manchester United and Arsenal, but we made a very bold decision and we built that stadium on time and on budget, that makes our fans very proud.

    For what its worth I happen to agree with him. I’m proud of the My club, win lose or draw.

  12. Rupert,

    I don’t feel particularly embittered, I didn’t mean to put off that aura. I haven’t paid much attention to Tom Fox, and, for what it’s worth, winning is better than branding. I grew up on American football, supporting the Denver Broncos, who won back to back Super Bowls, and then went all pear-shaped when John Elway retired. I learned at that time to be mostly happy when my club is losing a lot. As they say in Colorado, a bad day fishing is better than a good day in the office. I enjoy sport, so I watch it, and if my side wins, all the better! If not, I like to think what went wrong and what could be done better, but it’s not as if football (either sort!) has even the same importance as running a business or governing a country, much less the same importance as my wife and friends.

  13. @Tasos, yes we’re proud of the stadium. It was a wise decision to build it and necessary if we wanted to remain at the top table of Europe’s elite clubs.

    I have no issue with that. As for finding young talent and developing them, well that’s all very well and good but then selling them on isn’t anything to be proud of. And in recent years our record of finding such players has slipped substantially.

    Having a successful “brand” which Fox obviously wants is not easy when your product is shoddy. If I buy my favourite box of chocolates and they’ve changed the recipe and they’re now inferior I’ll buy another box. Foreign fans, some of them, are likely to be as fickle as I am over my box of chocolates. And new foreign fans are not going to be interested in a club that wins nothing no matter how many times they qualify for the CL.

  14. @El Gringo, a good balanced view. I agree that football is certainly not as important as wife and friends.

    I think I was happiest supporting Arsenal when expectations were low. When we were winning things under Wenger I knew it would come to an end though of course it was enjoyable. This club has always had peaks and failed to consolidate when it’s been at the top. Most clubs are guilty of that. Manu are the exception but I wonder how good they’ll be when Fergie’s gone.

  15. @rupert

    Yes I do appreciate that although Arsenal have reached a point, 5th richest club according to Deloitte, large global fan-base, fantastic stadium, renowned training centre & youth/scouting set up.

    From a financial perspective they have been fantastically well run but now its time for the next phase. Wenger has recently stated the club are back in the market place, we are finally able to compete for transfers on a more level playing field.

    Yes the club has problems, like every other club does, its par for the course, but IMO there is still much to be optimistic about going forwards.

    Q abuse.

  16. rupert cook
    December 6, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Well to tell you the truth i started supporting arsenal in the late 80’s as they represented to me what britain was actually becoming at the time – more Muli-Cultural.

    For me being teased in junior school cause of the colour of my skin hurt but when i seen paul davis, david rocastle, michael thomas all playing and the fans love of them made me like arsenal a lot more and also they always seemed a classy club. Dont get me wrong George Graphams trophies also made me proud but i seen something bigger in Arsenal.

    Make of it what you will.

  17. @el gringo

    The infighting and negativity from us gooners has to stop!

    There seems to be a real split between the fans ATM along the lines of what our ambitions should be. There are those that insist we should challenge for the title every year and those that are happy to finish in the top four.

    Let me dispel a myth. Arsenal have been a big club since the days of chapman, but we were never giants of the world game – until wenger. The success he brought us and more importantly the style of football he gave us propelled us into the elite, making us widely admired. Off the pitch however we were far behind the likes of Real, Barca, utd and Bayern. This is why they decided to build the grove.

    When the board made this decision they knew it would hold us back for the next decade. However after that period we would be in the top four in the world, not just the UK (just look at the clubs turnover, 4th in Europe!). To have a board with that kind of vision and ambition is something we should be proud of and support.

    Knowing all this the board decided that our realistic target should be top 4 finishes. Given what’s been happening at Chelsea and city, to achieve this has been no mean feat (not just because of the competition on the pitch but also because of their effect on wages).

    Wenger had a plan to cope with this environment – bring in cheap young players and develop them into world class players. This worked, we even had a couple of tilts at the title in that time. Infact if we’d kept these players at the club we would have done a lot better (before the Swansea game I heard a stat that without RVP’s goals utd would have been 12th, if RVP had stayed where would we be right now!). Once we had paid down a big chunk of the debt thanks to the property development the strategy changed and we started bringing in older players – vermalen, podolski, giroud, arteta, Arshavin…

    We are now facing the end of this second phase with the end of the commercial deals that had been holding back our income (but were essential to get our stadium built). We shouldn’t expect to see the club spending £80m or even £40m, but we will see them breaking the £20m Mark which should be more than enough (I can think of one striker that we’d all love to see in the arsenal red that only cost £24m…)

    So why so many unhappy fans? Well if you ignore all the keyboard warriors (most of whom are under 18 and don’t go to the grove regularly) the answer is pretty simple – we’ve been playing shit. Personally I’ve been happy for us to finish 4th (and above the dustbins) so long as I get to watch my team play beautiful football. Sure a trophy would have been nice, but good things come to those who wait. Before utd won the title in 93 and had a decade of success, they went 26 years without a title and were even relegated from the top flight. Time to get some perspective!

  18. Rupert,

    You say that the club sells the players on as if the players in question have no part in it.

  19. I’ve seen a lot of ups and downs, the mid seventies was totally forgettable and we were never league contenders until the late eighties. Loved that 89 side. And then when we bought Bergkamp I started to believe that Arsenal had the ambition it had had in the thirties, though I wasn’t around then of course.

    @Tasos, I really want to believe we are going to compete for better players but I have my doubts. I think we need to get a few decent players in January otherwise it could be a bit depressing from February onwards. Also January is not the best time to get bargains so it’ll be tough to acquire good players at the kind of prices we’re willing to pay.

    I’d love to see us win the Capital Cup. I know it’s a crap trophy but it might give the team the confidence they appear to be lacking.

  20. @rupert

    January is not always the best time to find quality although I thought Adebayor, Walcott and Diaby all came together in that particular window once.

    Bergkamp, sigh…..would love to see a marque signing like that.

  21. Compare the record at Chelsea to Arsenal.

    Roman has taken 9 years and 10 managers to become the first champions league winner to not get past the group stages where as Arsenal have taken 1 manager, Wenger, 9 years to become the first club to go unbeaten in the premier league.

  22. Some fair points in Tony’s article but I’d rather not be seeking positives on the basis of other club’s issues. We know that any player of standing leaving Arsenal will be presented in the media as a loss that confirms us a selling club. Sagna is still the best right back we have and Walcott is still the best winger, so to simply see them depart without ready replacements must not happen from both a playing and a reputational point of view.

    As a club we have taken a long-term view in respect of finances, and I’ve no problem with that. But fans in general react to the here and now, and almost exclusively to what happens on the pitch. Balancing the overall health of the club and hoped-for prosperity against disappointing results won’t silence the detractors I’m afraid.

  23. Oh and here’s a question for you.
    With Benitez making comments about the future of Cole, would you take Ashley Cole back?

  24. Ok, here’s another point less article where they keep bashing / ridiculing m’city / Chelsea clubs, their managers etc completely forgetting that they are winners and we are NOT!!!! But not one word against AW. There is every justification on his team selection, tacticS [if there any], players he purchased etc. what about red nose? not comments on him? why?

  25. Definitely at Arsenal.

    City and Chelsea have the money / mental strength to get out of their issues.

    Arsenal are, if reports are to be believed, about to lose Walcott and Sagna. This is getting ridiculous now.

    I’ll always love Arsenal football club but its getting dangerously close to the point where I stop giving them any money as we never see any of it re-invested in the team and getting a season ticket at my local club instead. At least they’d appreciate it.

  26. Don’t be so pedantic.

    Ok their owners have the money, but their owners are going nowhere.

    Do you think it’s acceptable offering Sagna, one of the best RB’s in the world a 1 year contract extension on the same wages (He’ll only be 31 when that contract ends)
    But it was quite alright to offer Squillaci / Silvestre et el longer terms for over 30’s.
    Serial crocks like Diaby and Rosicky got longer deals too.

    Quibbling over Walcott over 5K per week?… they’d get that back in commercial stuff anyway due to him being so marketable.

    We’re a club in terminal decline, the majority can now see that.

    Why can’t this blog?

  27. So when will Arsenal be wound up then?
    Terminal decline was Rangers while winning titles with money they didn’t have.
    We have a bad run of form. That is something completely different

  28. @gouresh
    Seeing that you see articles here as pointless, and not anti-Wenger enough, why do you come here? Perhaps it has not got through to you yet yet that this is a generally a pro-club and pro-Wenger site in terms of editorials? Anyone is free to disagree with what’s said, but to deride articles per se because they don’t reflect your views is ridiculous.

    There are plenty of other Arsenal-related sites out there who go on endlessly about all that’s wrong, mostly in an abusive way to people at the club and anyone who dares post anything contrary to their party line.

    The article ends with ‘Just a Thought’. Just because it doen’t include your thoughts doesn’t make it pointless.

  29. You know, for a blog that loves its ‘oik of the week award’ for pedantic comments, you really love a… pedantic comment.
    One rule for one, another for everyone else I see.

    We won’t be wound up in a financial sense.
    But terminal decline ON THE PITCH is happening, if we’re not careful we don’t reach Champions league, if we don’t reach champions league we have less money, we won’t be able to attract the players we need due to said less money and lack of european football. Results suffer more and a slip down the table keeps happening.
    Before we know it we’re like Sunderland or something.

    I noticed you never answered my questions, so again.

    Why is it acceptable to offer Sagna, and before him Pires and Bergkamp to name a few genuine world class players only 1 year extenstions due to their age but crap players like Silvestre and Squillaci get offered 2-3 year deals?

    Sagna is a top player and we need him so it doesn’t make sense!

    How much syphoning of top talent has to heppen to our club and the replacments coming in are either non existant or an embryo before you open your eyes and see we’re broken?

  30. Thanks Gooner jack.
    Helpful and detailed analysis.
    Unfortunately, that won’t make any difference to some of the contributors to this discussion.
    All the players who have commented on the Arsenal web site have said we have the talent, let’s stick together, and we’ll get out of this bad run of form.
    Let’s support them, shall we?

  31. GoonerPete,
    I love Sagna to bits.
    But if I would be in the board who has to decide what to do with him I would be in doubt.
    We have to face the fact that he has broken his leg twice in one season. So offering him a 4 year deal and then imagine him getting another broken leg…. You probably come on here and tell us how useless the management is for having offered him 4 years wages and now he is eating up the wages of a possible replacement.
    Believe me I would love to have him around for a few more years but his age and his injuries are a big part of what we will offer him.

    And Bergkamp only got one year extensions from a certain part and it never refrained him from signing on did it? But then again Bergkamp is from an other world and is incomparable both in his football skills and his general view on the world and intelligence.

  32. And yes I can be a bit pedantic at times. Not that much because of your comments but I am getting a bit tired of people coming here and using big words to describe us how doomed we are and tell us the end of Arsenal is around the next corner.

  33. Sadly what we see is a lot of hindsight, imagine if we had offered Walcott a 5 yr extension on his contract before last season, their would of been uproar, “what! 80k a week for that plonker” now the same people who would of been first on the blogs slating the manager / board etc, are also 1st in saying we have no ambition for signing walcott up !
    If before last year we had signed RVP, imagine the outcry of some people then, I hope Diaby recovers, then we can have the same clowns saying “why didn’t we sign him up on a longer contract, for more money !?!?!?!
    The point being, football isn’t predictable, however, the only person who doesn’t get the benfit of hindsight and whose decisions count, and examined as right or wrong is Arsenes, unlike us who can hide our mistakes, (when was the last time you saw someone post, “christ i thought player x was rubbish and we shouldn’t have signed him, i got that wrong though didn’t I”)
    right down a list of players who you thought would make it and haven’t, then call yourself all the names under the sun.
    My list is

  34. @rupert (depressive AAA sewer rat with acne but not a lisp)

    With reference to the comment below made in your 11.06 post –

    “A friend of mine said you only have to go on twitter and you find loads of clowns, mainly from abroad,”

    I hope you are not a xenophobic rat, we already have one such character posting on this site when the team is playing badly; xenophobia is not acceptable.

    One of the great strengths of Arsenal, particularly under Wenger, is the inclusive nature of the team and fan base. This is a fantastic achievement at a time when there are so many extremists in society trying to knock down anything they cannot control. I suspect there is a xenophobic character within the AAA and this in part fuels their attacks on Wenger.

    I normally do not engage directly with you, but this time is an exception, you have let a little of your true character come out – and it is not acceptable!!

  35. well i think we might see the 30 year rule relax in the case for sagna. this was what wenger said on signing squillaci and I quote here-
    “It’s not over 30, it’s over 32. So when you have a player [who is] 32 he will just get a one-year contract. It depends on the positions as well. If a central defender, then no problem to sign them until 34. But a striker is different. After 32 you go from year to year. A midfielder as well, after 32 you go from year-to-year.”

  36. The country that owns man city isn’t even holding the world cup.Thats QUATAR,who own PSG,Abu Dhabi own City.Still one Arab sovereign state looks much like another.Have you seen the Etihad campus btw? It will be the best facilities of any sporting institution in the world.Thought you would approve of money spent on infrastructure rather than wasted on players.Still can’t possibly give anyone other than Arsenal any credit for anything can we? Oh and i am soooo proud of our new Emirates deal;the team is a shambles but who cares,we have Emirates on our chest;dunno why you are slagging City and Chelsea off,Tom Fox says winnings not important.Jack.we are further behind Real,Barca.Bayern and Man U than we were before the stadium was built.There is no way in hell Arsenal can be considered a giant of Europe.You confuse revenue with the things that truly make clubs great,and until Arsenal win the CL they will forever remain a second tier European club.Oh and i am not 18,i have had a Season Ticket since 1975;i also go to away matches so don’t accuse me of not being a proper fan.If age is such an issue Re Sagna,why are we getting Henry ,aged 54,sorry 35,back again?Why are we looking at Huntelar aged 29? Wenger wants one of our two world class players out because like Clichy,,he questioned the manager.FACT.

  37. “If Theo really wants to play centre forward, guaranteed, does he really think that other clubs would go for that? If they do then the manager’s position becomes pointless since the players committee can actually pick their own team.”
    Very cheeky of you, this one. This as you sidestep the merits of the case either way. You might consider actual analysis instead of the more usual snarky defense of management prerogatives. This is your Song redux. You never properly addressed that decision either, as you sensed the end of his time at AFC. I dare say that we’re now greasing the skids for a “how dare Walcott (or most dangerous player) force the manager’s hand” back of your hand. And this while Gazidis gets his raise, for what? As you say, just a thought.

  38. Aren’t we getting ahead of ourselves regarding Sagna? Unlike Walcott, neither party has come out with anything regarding his contractual position, and as usual it’s the media driving speculation.

    I’m afraid shouting FACT in capitals, doesn’t make it so. In much the same way as the Huntelaar interest is pure speculation.

  39. “Sagna is still the best right back we have and Walcott is still the best winger, so to simply see them depart without ready replacements must not happen from both a playing and a reputational point of view.”
    And also from a passionate fan’s point of view. These are players that we bond with. That we have been led to bond with. Who have shown growing pains, taken severe injuries, and have reached skilled heights under AW. And now to toss them out for a few quid whilst Gazidis gets his raise. Letting those to go to an approving chorus of knee-jerk management can do no wrong hymns will be a bridge too far for some who have loved this side through thick and thin. Fans bond with players cannot be treated like the refuse from an Emirates airline flight or there will be further polarizations that do us no good.

  40. Have to say, if we do lose sagna and theo, seemingly without putting up a fight, especially after all the deals coming our way, it will not look good, it will add to the perception of some we are just about money, it will damage fans morale….and who knows, even players morale. It would be nice to keep a few more of our stars,. I am sure there are issues we do not know about, but our player retention leaves a lot to be desired. Sometimes seems the club are quite keen to be rid of some of that generation of players? Jenks will be a great and hopefully loyal player, but would it be good to rotate the pair of them? Would also like to be hearing some good news on the wilshere Gibbs ox deals, silence at this club over transfer extensions is always a worry these days.

  41. I think people are going a bit far in describing readers of untold as backers of the board and their decisions especially concerning selling players. This is a pro Wenger blog which does not equal pro board. Yes there is a strong feeling in favour of the current board over Usmanov but that does not mean the board are supported, more like they are the lesser of two evils.

  42. @Mandy

    I agree we will send out the wrong message if Theo and Sagna go. What we need is continuity and an end to losing top players – unless we replace with equal quality – even then new players will take time to settle in – and we don’t have that luxury at present.

    I am quite disappointed with Walcott’s attitude, his contract situation has run on for far too long – I don’t believe all the talk about playing center forward being the crucial factor, it has to be a money decision. Like RVP, he has spent a lot of time on the treatment table & just as he starts to become a major player his ego swells. Having said that I would still like to keep him – and Sagna.

    Are these present contract negotiations unsettling a team already traumatized from two summers of being shafted by Dein the Lesser? Possible?

  43. Agree with all you say there bjt, I too will be sad to see him go. I am sure he has agents in his ear telling him the offer will make him one of the worst paid England players etc. but ultimately, not sure wenger really rates him. It they go, we need proper replacements including those needed for rotation, whether players we have, or buys. I know wenger is not a sop to public opinion, far from it in fact, but IF we do lose such players, it places wenger on very dodgy ground should things go wrong, as has the loss of song unless wenger does something in jan. surely it would not be too much to give bac a two year deal while Jenks learns and give theo…say eighty five plus some of the image rights…..because mark my words, theo will come back to haunt when he goes. Many fans are pissed off as it is, such things, if they are true, really will not help, unless replacements are found and things really pick up. Also wonder what message such things send out to the likes of Jack, Ox and SZez, who will find themselves on other teams radar. Wenger needs a very good jan.
    Agree Stuart, we are not all completely in favour of all the board say and do. This owner is not the worst, but he worries me, he does not seem interested. I also think they …or maybe some would say the manager…..have taken FFP too far, too early Ivan is probably doing well enough at what he is paid to do….but would be nice to have a passionate fan….who could maybe help and influence wenger, maybe nudge him a bit on some issues, but I guess some would say we once had that.

  44. Yes Mandy we still need to replace Song, most of our midfielders are relatively lightweight & are not natural DM’s. Arteta is doing a fine job, but if playing alongside a proper DM, our back 4 would have a lot more cover, also Arteta can be very creative going forward & we are missing that just now.
    However, I would like a DM with pace, height & attitude & there are not a lot of those around. Lets hope AW finds one.

  45. Not many at all. Not sure if he has plans for coq or frimpong should diaby not really a make a proper return. On sagna, thinking about it, if these stories are true, we only paid …what seven million a few years back, why not let him run the contract right down….then we keep him for another eighteen months and a much loved player gets the deal of his life when he leaves.

  46. @bob
    I agree with you on the fans perspective too regarding Sagna and Walcott. However I’m not sure it’s a case of ‘tossing them out for a few quid’. It’s said that Walcott wants assurances about playing up front. But rightly or wrongly if Wenger isn’t convinced, how can he agree to it? No manager could. I really doubt that it’s just a matter of £5k per week which is relative peanuts within the overall salary spend.

    Losing good players is never a good thing (and it has happened too often in our case), but in some cases it will happen for reasons not really known to outsiders. What I think we would agree on is that they are adequately replaced (which again hasn’t happened often enough).

  47. Good idea Mandy, but Sagna would need to want to do that. Lets hope we can keep him, apart from being a superb player we need some continuity and also we need to keep senior players like Sagna who set a good example for the younger ones to follow.

  48. the ‘Theo Walcott Situation’ is quite baffling to me. why does he think that he will be getting a CF position elsewhere? he is given freedom to drift to the middle whenever the circumstances fit. but he is using this freedom on every instances leaving huge swaths of greenery on the right. over the wenger years players position have been chabged. notably henry and persie from wing to CF. its because wenger saw some potential in them. if he had seen the same potential in Walcott he would have become a cf by now. plus why is he bringing this issue now? why not last year? it seems there is no leadership in the forward line. everybody seems to want to play the CF position. but nobody seems to transform that desire into the game.

  49. Stroller, Mandy Dodd, americangooner, all,
    Does anyone know where is the quote FROM WALCOTT, that he insists on playing CF as a non-negotiable demand? as a demand at all? as opposed to a wish? if that? Or is this all a media creation? or an AFC creation? or Theo’s actual demand? Where’s the evidence? Indeed, who is informing the fans on the inside discussion? AFC management/AW only? How do we actually know?

    And, in any case, here’s a blog in support of Theo’s staying on and urging both sides to enable him to be the longest serving (which at his age he is) Arsenal player who attains and sustains a high performance (if not legendary) level. Have a look:

    Refusing to say no to Song’s flirtation with Barca (with three years left on the contract); and then selling (an affordable) him to attain a zero net balance in the transfer window (the de facto holy of holies of AFC management); has de-stabilized the midfield as the predictable injury toll set in (Diaby crocked, Jack-Rosicky late to join and return to form, and still no consistent link up [as yet?] with the new/old strikers).

    And the chief writer/editor of this website, my once and perhaps future favorite, gave cover (by its silence) to the run up and moment of our getting rid of Song. Why? Because it was management’s decision, right or wrong, and with no analysis to readers here. Just as there has still not been an analysis here of the piss-poor deal (in market terms and in payment re-scheduling) that allowed Fabregas to jump ship back home. Rather than silence, readers should get a reasoned and principled analysis; but, by UA’s lack of in-depth principled analysis of these departures – just as the lack of analysis of Theo’s situation before its resolution – reflects a cagey “failure” to look squarely at our situation and take a position. Yes, yes, the players come and go, the team and badge are forever. Who is Theo to dare to manage the club, says Mr. Atwood. Cliche after cliche. But fans bonding with players mean little to nothing to AFC management and AFC tribalists hereabouts, who have and continue to run rough-shod over that bond.

    Why not start with a proper, in-depth football analysis of who Theo Walcott is to us now? Of what is actually known or not known of his/AFC’s actual bargaining position. And why an affordable raise in pay – repeat, affordable – is not being reached? This website has long been capable of in-depth Analysis of many tougher issues. Except when it comes to transfers of the situations that concern the impedning departures of our best players: most recently Song and Walcott. Is there a fear of crossing the management/board? Is AFC identical to its management/board? I agree with Stuart – the answer is no. Why then such silence in the run-ups to the impending departures of the fans’ favorites – and the team’s best?

  50. Beeing a footballfan isnt always easy, and beeing an Arsenalfan sure isnt these days. But i have to wonder, why does so many Arsenalfans want to make their lives even worse? Why all the doom and gloom ? I know football is about feelings and its easy to let those feeling get abit over the top, but some Arsenalfans are really funny! Not only do they boo their own team, or want to sack the most successful manager in their history(and who is still the best for the job), now they even citizise other fellow Arsenalfans who try to keep the faith and look at the positives, why ??? The only answer i can come up with is that they are Arsenalfans that hasnt followed football long enough to remember the pre-wenger aera, or that they believe all the bullshit the press write about Arsenal. But i hope the positive fans on this site doesnt give up because there are a lot of positives even if our form isnt great these days, i can make a list :
    a)good players dont turn bad over night, even though we have hit a slump, we know that if we find form our upcoming fixtures are not that hard, 5-6 victories will surely make us contenders again.
    b)some clubs are worse off than us, Chelsea are only 5 points ahead of us and are out of the Champions League.
    c)no club has impressed so far in the Premier League, Man Utd is top with 3 defeats already, and they are not playing great and will drop more points.
    d)Capitol One Cup can be won this year !!!
    e)Our young guns are through to the next round of NextGen Series
    f)Its X-mas soon, dont worry be happy 🙂

  51. As for theo, do not want him to go, but as someone once said a few years ago over an entirely different situation “follow the money”

  52. walcott has emphasised his decision to sign a new contract on where he will be playing telling in this sky sports interview that money is not an issue.


    furthermore contract talks had been going on since february.


    so as they say “its impossible to clap with only one hand” . theo is the one who can sort this out. wenger seems visibly frustrated at the moment. its upto theo whether to be a legend at arsenal or disappear into oblivion.

  53. ManCity is owned by Abu Dhabi, capital of UAE. Nothing to do with Qatar who happens to be hosting the World Cup.

  54. This is to all gunners who have brother’s,sister’s,wive’s,uncle’s,auntie’s,nephew’s,niece’s ,dad’s and mums. To those who fall out of this don’t bother. There are times when we are mad at each other but go back and rencocile.If some of you feel agitated f.. off there are many teams to surport what the hell a r u waiting for!@rupert&devils if you canot stand the smoke jump into the FIRE;’. lET’S Gun WestBrom down, i know its not gona be easy but it can be done.GUNNERS let’s get behind the team. Lets go GOONERS.

  55. kampala gunner,
    I consider your frequent F bombs and frothings at the mouth – this time it’s F^%$ off and jumps into Fire – are truly a sign of great quality of character and a future as a teen video game creator.

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