The Disposables


By Don McMahon


In 2003 we had the INVINCIBLES, in 2008 we had the CL FINALISTS, and in 2012-13 we have the DISPOSABLES. We are no longer the GUNNERS or the ARSENAL to many of our pseudo-supporters, but simply a collection of LOSERS, INGRATES, PROFITEERS, DEADWOOD, UNINSPIRED, and INDIFFERENT individuals.  This sadly does not reflect the reality but the mentality of too many of our supporters and is true, not just for Gooners but for many followers of Football worldwide.

What litany of inane and often insane rants are we constantly treated to across the AFC blogs? Here are a few examples I have paraphrased:

¨Wenger needs to stop paying useless bench warmers enormous salaries and get rid of that deadwood if we are to avoid almost certain relegation¨

¨Most of our players are shit and need to be offloaded as soon as possible, for whatever we can get for them.¨

¨G******o is totally clueless and is a waste of money, R****y is an incompetent fool who will never be anything but 3rd class. ¨

¨AW has totally lost it and should do the decent thing, resigning sooner than later….he is a shell of the man he once was and should retire to Alsace and ignominy.¨

I could go on all day with the offal excreted by numerous ¨in the know¨ Fantasy Football experts but the main point is that these human beings who happen to be Arsenal are being described as if they were disposable razorblades or milk cartons and not people whose lives are crucially entwined with the Club we all love.

This is a prefect reflection of the devaluation of these persons by blinkered and rancorous pseudo-supporters, who seek to blame, finger-point, demean and destroy their humanity. If these same critics were treated at their jobs in the same manner by peers or superiors, it would end up very badly for the perpetrators in court, but it is not only tolerated but encouraged by the AAA and media rodents. I have no issue with constructive criticism and engage in it myself on occasion but this attacking of a person’s integrity and character is far more pernicious and pestilent.

We all have a few bad days at the office and we all have our off days, when much is expected but little delivered but nobody has the right to dispose of us in a few sentences like we were surplus to requirements like weeds in a garden. In actual fact, these pessimistic pundits and perverse persecutors ARE the real weeds in the Arsenal’s garden.  Everyone’s opinion counts but when opinion becomes inhumanity, it is no longer acceptable social intercourse, it is cruelty and disenfranchisement which soon leads to a terribly narrow and facist view of the Football world. It is seen in the following behaviours:

a) The vilification of opposing fans as animals or sub-humans because they live in or near an area that supports our adversaries are are therefore, by definition inferior to us.

b)  The denigration of one or two individuals week in and week out because, in the jaundiced eyes of their critics, they are not worthy of ¨wearing the sacred colours¨ or donning the jersey and are really better off being abandoned to their collective fates.

c) The ignoring of inconvenient truths like the fact that many players have families to support and a very narrow career window in which to prepare for the endless years of non-Football ¨retirement¨.

d) The erroneous belief that the money they make is sufficient incentive to perform to the level demanded by these fickle fan-boys eternally and unerringly each week, regardless of their psychological, familial or physical condition. Interestingly enough, research seems to indicate that very high compensation DOES NOT correlate directly or indirectly to job, life or personal satisfaction, anywhere near as much as being valued does.

e) Because these deniers supposedly pay high ticket prices, gives them the irrevocable right to treat others like excrement and to deny them the basic respect and tolerance normally reserved for people we meet on the street.

Most of us have had the feeling of being disposable, or if not that, then replaceable, at work or socially or in other contexts, and regardless of what the circumstances were, it is a demeaning and unpleasant feeling to endure. Why would any reasonable person want to go to such extremes and dehumanize others, unless they are fully dehumanized themselves!


The books…

The sites…

51 Replies to “The Disposables”

  1. Im by no means in the AAA sect, but your view is one sided also – paying the high ticket prices might not buy you the right to attack people, but it should represent value for money. There is none. All we see is a once great team and manager, now stripped and sold off, piece by piece.
    Also, lying in 10th place, after our worst ever start under Wenger, questions should be asked. Where is the money going? Why are we inept tactically, especially in defence? Why are we lied to, year after year? Where has the quality gone? Why do our best players always leave?
    Our great team is in its poorest state ever. We are a shadow of what we were, teams no longer fear us at all. This is not a blip! We have regressed since 2006, slowly but surely. Im still not sure about Wenger, because we dont yet know the truth about our finances.
    We should be focusing all our attention on trying to find out the truth. We fans need to know the real truth about whats going on. Until that happens, we dont know who to direct our anger toward.

  2. The most important thing for us to do as supporters is to actively support our club and that includes all of our players, yes even those who we might think not as good as those who used to play for us. So starting now lets cheer every effort the players make for us , encourage them when they make good movement, even if it comes to nothing and not moan or groan at misplaced passes etc. If a stadium full of us do that then the players will respond and they will play better leading to an upward spiral. If we as supporters continue to moan or boo the players then we reinforce the current downward spiral. The players know they need to do better, we need to do better as supporters as well. I’ll be there shouting from my seat and hope everyone else does the same.

  3. The point of the article is not that Arsenal or Arsene are beyond criticism. It is that the vilification and vicious abuse that is directed at the club, players and manager is appaling and undeserved.
    There is now some evidence that the abuse is affecting player performance and almost certainly it reduces transfer values.
    That is no way to support your club.

  4. @GoonerDave
    You have totally missed the point of the article. Get your brain in gear, reread the article and try to understand what he is saying.

  5. blinkered and rancorous pseudo-supporters! Don’t make me laugh

    In most workplaces if you consistently under perform you pay the consequences the difference being that its business model doesn’t rely on a captive audience that have a mostly lifelong emotional commitment to your ‘business’. I can see you understand this.

    You are missing one important point. Human nature. in your model of the world its wrong to voice anger, vitriolic displeasure et al. I generally don’t but have been known to.

    Thankfully we have people who do, It’s an important check on what is going on and without it we might be in ana even deeper hole

  6. Great article. Thanks mate!

    “Because these deniers supposedly pay high ticket prices, gives them the irrevocable right to treat others like excrement and to deny them the basic respect and tolerance normally reserved for people we meet on the street.” – Beautifully said.

  7. Arsenal fans are like deluded junkies beating up the pusher!

    They are continually told that the team is the best ever or will be as good if not better than their first fix ( double winning team/ invincible’s ). I am not a druggie but the analogy is apt I think! Fans of this great club keep coming back for more to be told by their pusher ( Arsene ) that the great high they first bought into can be reached again. But like any pusher junkie relationship it is built on a lie. The great high they bought into was always punctuated with lows! Starting back when the club won the double with Anelka leading the line. They are constantly fed the rubbish that the player was greedy or caused problems in the dressing room etc. When the simple truth is the people behind the pusher (Board) will not pay quality players the wage they merit, so they can cash in on vast transfer fees regardless of the fans feelings, or that it leaves the pusher always having to reinvent his product.

    Like druggies true football fans seem unable kick the habit whatever the cost to themselves, even increased ticket prices and commercialisation have not driven loyal fans out of the game they love, they keep coming back for more. So how do we reach those elusive highs again? Time for a new pusher (manager) perhaps? This seems to be the fans favourite right now but it will not solve the problem of not getting “HIGH ENOUGH” (winning the league). The regime behind the pusher need to invest in a better product not hide behind the pusher! I feel sorry for Arsene he has done a wonderful job despite not being given enough funds to compete with.

    Moving to the new stadium was supposed to herald in a bright new future for the club, but this has not happened and in my opinion will never happen with the current regime at the club.

    As for the totally illogical vilification of our own players it is just stupid and short sighted and will in no way help the club or the players to improve!
    Saying that there are far to many sick notes and bench warmers just picking up their wages at the club!

    Long time arsenal fan who thinks it is time for change!

  8. Most of the loudest don’t go to the games, so the ticket price isn’t relevant to them. The just don’t see the bigger picture. They can’t grasp how AW has moved us from a EPL cup team with the odd short bursts at doing well in the league, into a CL team and potentially one of europes big teams. This isn’t the work of 5 or 10 years. It’s a ‘sea change’ and involves the whole club ethos/status not just on the pitch. Hopefully Uefa will uphold the FFP which will firmly put us in the financial position to compete on the pitch with real, Farca, Inte, AC, Manure and Bayern. Even if they only uphold the FFP half way it will still put us in a good position. AW has made mistakes and will continue to do so but I’m pretty certain that no other manager could have carried us through this change within the financial restraints of the whole process and I’ll hold judgement on the way forward until his contract is up for renewal.

  9. Very good post. The psychological factor of football is often underestimated. And I am pretty sure that feeling secure and valued certainly must be more likely to make you perform on the pitch than getting payed high wages. I think security and comfort is one of the factor that smaller clubs (like Swansea, Fulham and Norwich) can benefit from when they meet the bigger clubs, not everyone can handle the pressure at a big club, especially at young age. So even though everyone have the right to have his own opinion, we might thinks twice about booing one of our own, it certainly won’t make our feel more secure or play better!

  10. All the quoted examples in the article will not land anyone in court. Trust me, or you can consult your lawyer friend(s).

    Hypothetically, if I would post and say ‘Obama is shit. He don’t know what he is doing” or “Obama has a bunch of shit administrators”, do you think I’m liable in court for defamation?

    What will get you into trouble is when you say “… referee XYZ is corrupt”.

    Having said that, it is not civil and/or polite to utter that.

  11. This article is timely and to reinforce and constantly remind posters of civility. And that includes our rival clubs… References such as Manure, M$shity, Farca et al are derogatory. Ditto derogatory references to other posters as sewer rat et al.

  12. Don

    The specific linking together in a sentence of “AAA and media rodents” is exactly the same dehumanising process you accuse your supposed enemy of doing.

    Yet more “tilting at windmills”.


  13. @ Nick, at the risk of being a geek the HP42 was already much bigger

    @ everyone else, let’s get behind the team and help them get through this and hold an inquest at the end of the season. Let’s face it, who else is available anyway? Hughes, Pleat, DeMatteo, Curbishly…..

  14. Good Article. Spot on. The psycological aspect in sport is HUGE…when a fotballplayer goes out on the pitch, it’s a completely different GAME, than playing fotball in the back garden. Like playing the piano in front of my mum, or playing it in a concert hall.

  15. So its ok for this site to make spurious comments about referees being paid off by Sir Alex when you have zero evidence,and its ok for you to slate other clubs through your bitter jealously,but you just cannot take any criticism of your god Wenger and his motley collection of has beens and never will bes!!!!!!If i were Man U,i’d have sued you a few years ago,but they have got more important things to think about like winning trophies.

  16. You are accusing others of something all of us have been doing here for years. Bit unfair.

  17. Oh such deep feelings for MU, Linz?

    And in fact if you read the ref reviews you will see no such things. We only showed possible bias or not.

  18. andrew,
    i think the AAA and media rodents are more like weeds rather than enemies. just a nuisance, not a threat.


  19. Thanks to those UA posters complimenting or fairly critiquing my post…it was not aimed at any true supporters, just those pseudo-fans who claim to love the club but fail to ever take time to truly praise or understand it. In response to some bloggers:

    Gooner Dave – Did you even bother to read my article? This is NOT AFC’s worst start under Wenger, last season was. Why direct your anger anywhere and who gave you the right to be outraged or offended anyway? Why not try a more constructive approach….positive criticism of AFC is always helpful but you ignored the entire point of my post to launch a whiny rant about your favourite targets. The Invincibles were a one off, and likely won’t happen again in this era of oil exorbitance, so get back to reality and try dropping your feelings of entitlement and anger for something more useful like supporting the team come what may.

    Andrew Ryan – I never said these people are enemies or intend to treat them as animals, but their behaviour IS nefarious and duplicitous…that is the point of my article.

    Nick….what is libelous/injurious or prejudicial to a person’s reputation and can be litigated is beyond the aegis of this article BUT lack of civility and scurrilous diminishing of their humanity is just plain horrible ignorance, akin to the fascists antisemitism.

    Chris – Football is NOT your typical workplace. In an average business setting, factors such as training, support, mentoring, experience, expertise, leadership, etc. are almost always individual issues. Teamwork may or may not be a factor but most employees manage to do an adequate job without too much stress since they don’t have 60,000 +/- watching their every move, twice a week!

  20. @Domhuail, this season is the worst start under Wenger. At least that’s what I’ve read and heard everywhere else. Please clarify what you mean.

  21. @Domhuail
    If this blog can refer to Wenger as Lord Wenger, why can’t refer to a player as sh*t?

  22. @Don

    This is a good article, but I would qualify part of you argument. I agree is is wrong for the AAA types to be nasty about the players, managers etc – esp when most of this criticism is made behind the target’s back, i.e. the victim does not have a chance to reply or defend himself.

    However, the people who snipe in this way, apart from being cowards, dehumanize themselves. When such people continue the attack on our players, manager and club, deliberately using a pro-Wenger site as the medium to carry their bile – then they deserve all the retaliation they get.

  23. @GoonerNW5,
    You describe arsenal fans as deluded in your comment and typify a deluded arsenal fan.
    Why deluded?
    1.You assume that other arsenal fans expect to slate his own team or even begin to describe them in less than glowing terms during his tenure at the club, he is extremely clever at media speak, and if you really listen, he is more or less honest. why would it even cross your mind that the manager would slate any of his players in public, or even privately, his job is the exact opposite, to encourage and nurture.
    2.The work the club is doing to improve the revenue streams to facilitate cash for the high wages for players of the calibre everyone wants to see at the club is in earnest seeing as the stadium move is nearing completion needs patience, business is not like magic, we need cash reserves to keep our various projects afloat, we are operating on a tight budget, like it or not,that is the reality of the situation. no amount of booing will make it any different,i think supporting the team in your blood and behaving like a stupid small child, will only benefit all concerned.
    3. the whole drug metaphor is valid for all supporters, we love football almost slavishly, we will be here no matter what happened.
    I’ll finish by begging you to refrain from screaming and booing too loudly, some of us are deluded also, we follow our club no matter what, we understand the clubs position and despite the results think our team is pretty decent and are producing encouraging performances, we like arsenal because it is the club in our blood, you bash the club you bash us.
    Thank you.

  24. @UgandanGoon people like GoonerNW5 and the rest who fall in that caliber are the one who are deluded. After today’s win you will cease to see them not until when we take the capital-cup. I pity them,lets go GUNNERS

  25. Im hearing some crazy commentary on my TV right now . When the keeper of westbrom wastes time, the commentators call it cooling the temper is it a new word?

  26. “our various projects afloat, we are operating on a tight budget, like it or not,that is the reality of the situation.”
    Ugandan Goon,
    Two questions:
    (1) “our various projects” – am I supposed to identify as a real estate mogul, a frequent flyer of the airline, an accountant to whom only the bottom line matters, or a fan? Please clarify who “our” refers to exactly and why.
    (2) “we are operating on a tight budget…is the reality of the situation” – is your reality here a reflection of the reality of AFC’s ACTUAL financial resources? (And how would you/we know?); or is that reality you invoke just an acceptance of management’s decisions no matter what and a way to tell everyone who cares enough about the side to advocate improvements (to say it politely) to be silent?
    You confuse your loyalty to a presumed business reality with a fans’ loyalty to the team. They are not the same in the board room/management suites but, imo, you equate the two. I don’t mind, but, please, don’t tell anyone who disagrees to shut up. Oh, and if you consider yourself bashed by this, well you surely do protest too much.

  27. Now the commentators have turned into referees!!!The FA,these days in nolonger recruite reeferes ?We have had 2 crazy offside desicion by they dont say anything what happeneed to some individuals! Yeah apart from the chosen few. (All Animals are equal but others are more equals than others).They talk of how jack was terific in his early days ! so jaci is old now.Mulumbu goes down without anything from arteta and that was okay but not the penality.WHEN YOU ARE IN TROUBLE YOU NEED SOME HELP??? I told it came from the ass’s mandiballs i mean he ssaid that!! Such a prick.

  28. @kampala gun
    Don’t know why you are complaining about. Carzola should be booked for simulation but instead referee awarded a penalty and we are 1 nil up.

  29. Great write up, however, Arsenal did not feature in the 2008 CL final!

    Lady luck was on our side today, now we’ll branded the divers from north london.

  30. @bob,
    In all fairness, my response as a whole needs clarification as it was written in anger, and is riddled with typos aplenty.
    1. you are supposed to identify as a fan of the club, the whole club, including recognising the achievement of the commercial arm, the real work ahead of them after the stadium is paid for is to generate income for the club, and as the old saying goes, you need money to make money, i don’t expect anyone to whoop and holler about the 70 mil spent on our medical centre last year, i don’t know how many other clubs may have state of the art medical centres, the point is that it was necessary and it was exactly the sort of forward planning that has typified our club for years, that money could have been used to buy 2 Andy Carroll’s instead.
    The club cannot run it’s many projects around the globe responsibly, without the cash reserves so many seem to think just lie around in the bank waiting for the shareholders to pounce on.
    The club and it’s staff deserve some recognition and respect for their achievements, this narrow focus on the fortunes of just the mens first team ignores the fact there are other arsenal fans, the ones that see the reserves and the ladies and the scholars, the ones that get a football pitch in deepest africa, the many who watch the progress of the gibbs, the walcott’s, the song’s, fabregas’, van persies of this world and know wenger had a significant part in nurturing and developing that talent, and they have flourished because they were not written off early and the cheque book flashed, which all ties in with what the club’s long time strategy.
    Taking into account all that concerns the club before asking for “change”, is all that is being asked, the same old shrill arguments about wage structure, and the manager’s mendacity is a lot of meaningless waffle because the situation is almost the best it can be in the circumstances, the club and board are on course to turn this club into a super club that boast revenues close the barcelona’s of this world, without the debt.
    2. I am advocate of the club’s present course, even at the expense of trophies in the short term, i enjoy all our games and it really sours my enjoyment when certain people pipe up with the kind of half baked opinions that are just lazy media sound bites.
    We may or may not have deserved the results we have had recently, but the shrill demands send our squad and manager to the glue factory and ruin the enjoyment of our club for many football fans not least the next generation. I ask that my right to enjoy my club not be ruined by some trigger happy idiot, why must his right to bleat on about half empty his trophy cabinet is trump my right to enjoy my half full one?

  31. Great article, Don.
    Seems like the fans were behind the team today, and the combination of that and determined and skilful play by the team, some of whom had also had a sorely needed week’s rest (mental and physical), got us a victory.
    Your plea for common humanity in our attitudes is timely.
    Respect and decent treatment in the workplace is becoming an ever rarer commodity.
    We are lucky to have a manager in Arsene Wenger who believes in supporting his players, and who treats them like all-round human beings. Many present and former players testify to that.

  32. Rupert, here is a comparison of our position last season and this season at the start (first 10-11 games?):

    2011-12: by 5.11.2011 we were in 7th, had 19 points, allowed 21 goals and scored 23, had lost 4 including our worst loss to any EPL team in our history, won 6 and tied 1

    2012-13: by 3.11.2012 we were in 7th, had 15 points, allowed 8 goals and scored 15, had lost 3 – all by 1 goal, won 4 and tied 3

    We have improved our defensive record by allowing 15 fewer GA, lost 1 less than this time last year and all this without our top scorer from last season and a key midfielder. Basically we are a little better off this year than last defensively and the same standings….but without being embarrassed like we were at Old Trafford last season. Hardly the worst season Wenger has ever known mate….but don’t let this get you down….I am sure you’ll find something to moan about over the next 6 months or so.

  33. ASD……this blog refers to Wenger as Lord Wenger because he is the EUFA manager of the decade, brought us the Invincibles and won more trophies than you have teeth. they don’t need to prove or justify their judgement about Wenger, but your effrontery and arrogance calling a player s**t is based on obvious ignorance, amateurishly myopic narcissism and a general lack of class. If I called everyone who I considered as poor or under-performing s**t,then you’d be at the top of the list mate.

  34. another way to look at things is. What would you be doing if Wenger and arsenal no longer existed? dull? dreary existence. I like to think that the fact that there are so many fans up in arms is because of what arsenal has created. This is the definition of life… fun watching. debating etc.

  35. I agree with the basic premise of this article. There is no place for the vitriol I see directed at most players. If people disagree with a person’s character, I would hope that it is based on something (i.e.John Terry) but to pour such hatred on someone like Gervinho is beyond the pale. He might not be our most productive player but should he be treated so poorly by his critics? No. Nobody deserves that. The sad thing is that if he bothers to hear or read what these sad people are saying it is hardly going to help him play better and thus help our team.

  36. Ugandan Goon,
    I disagree with two of your points:
    “i don’t expect anyone to whoop and holler about the 70 mil spent on our medical centre last year, i don’t know how many other clubs may have state of the art medical centres, the point is that it was necessary and it was exactly the sort of forward planning that has typified our club…”
    Well, one obvious reply is, sadly, that the 70m state of the art medical expenditure has meant not a thing with respect to our chronic injury problems. What’s your tangible evidence that this has helped the team on the pitch. Alternatively, this may well be something to examine with respect to the stadium debt that you worry about (the great obstruction to our achieving greatness in your portrait).

    “the real work ahead of them after the stadium is paid for is to generate income for the club…”
    I think it’s now bollocks to continue to cite that same old saw about the stadium debt being the problem. It’s not a worry, going by Gazidis and AW’s assuring comments throughout 2012. And, more so, in 2012 there’s been the real estate sale, the CL qualification, the new TV deal and the zero net transfer balance in the last window and a profit in the prior window. Neither of us have access to any actual information, but your defense of the realm – essentially saying that fans should care about the totality of projects rather than the men’s first tier squad is a businessman’s gambit. That’s saying don’t critique the squad because there is so much else is going on to be proud of. Well, that’s just a diversion from what matters most to most fans (that is, first team performance). So, Let’s just say that our respective logics are hugely incompatible.

  37. Those who wanted their Arsenal back…did you watch the game??? The same team and the same coach and we are only going up now…so shut up!

    Last season was a poor start not this…just don’t go by the points table but the overall state of the team…even Rednose had commented that Arsenal fans do not know what the fans are wishing for…when everyone was clamouring for his head!!! This guy is a genius…and you will see it sooner than later..

  38. The supposed crappy defence is the third defence in the league!!!
    Stop repeating what some moron has been spouting!!!
    The problem has been the midfield. We missed Diaby much more than the AAA are willing to admit. Arteta clearly needed a breather. After a week off he was nearly back to his best level. The same with Cazorla, whose dip in form can also be attributed to the adaptation to the physical side and pace of the EPL and to the first time having to play mid-week for the Champion’s league. Giroud is only starting to find his feet. Wilshere and Rosicky are coming back from long term injury.
    With all those good news in mind, Top 4, a Capital One place and a good run in the Champion’s league is a real possibility.

    first premier league seas. After Cazorla

  39. Just wonder where are the ruperts and their Devils; back 2 hell !just waiting to pounce on anythin any day. Danm i had 4goten that lucifer was thrown on earth.

  40. Football is dead. Arsenal is a bit dead also. When you have to sell your best player who is one of the world’s stellar strikers, to your bitter enemies, you know the game is up.

    No gloss I’m afraid Tony can paper the facts. As usual inner wrangles enervate the team. (Walcott saga this time). Barring world recession, or a new model of football ownership, football will remain dead.

    Interestingly SAF has developed a kind of aphoristic football.
    Lots of good strikers and a really solid defence, and nothing much in between. Works well in the EPL but not so convincing in Europe. It shouldn’t really work, but somehow it does. Like that thing where you miss out letters but the sentence still reads ok.

  41. Andy Mack, Arsenal wage bill is very similar to Bayern and bigger than AC Milan. The problem is Bayern and AC don’t pay similar wages to their top players and average ones.
    Arsenal’s wage bill is making the team less competitive on the pitch. You cannot reward players according to a utopian view. Wenger is responsible for this.
    Does anyone see Song being paid almost the same as Messi or Ronaldo earning the same as Albiol ? We live in a real world and Arsenal’s wage structure is based on fantasy.

  42. Sperez…..what is AFC’s wage bill details exactly? Can you compare it, player by player to Barcelona’s? You post is based on fantasy, join the real world where real people don’t pretend to be in the know when they haven’t,like you, got a clue but can’t miss an opportunity to shit on Wenger and the Club.

  43. At least we have Chamakh the record holder. Scored in 6 consecutive Champions League games. Makes Messi’ record look small fry 😉

  44. Stuart…..I wonder if Barca will trade us Messi in exchange for such an outstanding record holder like Chamakh? Why don’t you contact them and find out since you think so highly of Chamakh and of your opinion as well?

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