5-7, 2-5; Time to protest

Just as it is crazy to the point of giving the impression of being an alien from another planet, to seek Mr Wenger’s resignation because of one bad result at Bradford, so it is silly to consider that the crisis is confidence that has been engendered by some poor performances is over.

But the fact is that changing managers and spending so much money that you can’t qualify for the Champions League under FFP, is no guarantee of success – as Chelsea – only a little above us in the league – have shown.

And yet that is what some people who seem to live in a world of perpetual dark, seem to feel.  Take this little post from another site, which was forwarded to me.

“George Graham would piss all over Wenger with this current lot.   People have to realise that Wenger’s created a fuckin mess & we could be in the wilderness for a while.  One thing is, he MUST NOT be allowed to buy one more player. Join me & get your arse down to the roundabout on boxing day.”

Well, fair enough I guess.  250 can get on the roundabout and be by and large ignored by the members of the press staggering into the press entrance opposite after a little too much imbibing beforehand, and be ignored by the somewhat more sober members of the public attending the match.

Bit of a problem with the logic of course.   George Graham won the league twice, but in between, his favourite position was fourth as this table from the Arsenal History Site shows…

Season League FA Cup League Cup Other
1986/7 4th 6th (Watford) Won
1987/8 6th 6th (Nottm F) Final (Luton)
1988/9 1st 3rd (WHU) 3rd (Liverpool)
1989/90 4th 4th (QPR) 4th (Oldham) Charity Sh. Lost
1990/91 1st (2 points ded) SF (Tottenham) 4th (Man U)
1991/2 4th 3rd (Wrexham) 3rd (Coventry) Charity Sh drewEuro Cup 2nd
1992/3 10th Won Won
1993/4 4th 4th (Bolton) 4th (Villa) Charity Sh drewCWC won
1994/5* 12th 3rd (Millwall) 4th (Sheff W) CWC Final

*Part season

The interesting bits here are the defeats to Wrexham in the 3rd round of the FA Cup, and the 10th in the following season.   I suppose one could also add losing the League Cup final to Luton was a bit of a downer.  I know, I was there with Roger and Ian.

As for the bit about signing no more players, that presumably, if retrospective, would mean no Santi Cazorla and no Theo Walcott both signed by Mr Wenger.

And it wasn’t just that we won last night, it was the way that we won.

Mr Wenger, as always, was eloquent.  “Our game is based on movement and technical quality and that demands freedom of initiative and, when you are in a crisis, that suffers sometimes,” But we have to go beyond that and focus on the way we play football. Have we been in crisis? It depends on what you mean by a crisis. If you call it being slaughtered by everybody, then we were in super-crisis.

“In any bad thing, there is a good thing and you discover who is strong and who can remain united. In our job, you have to be mentally strong. It is a test when you have been in a position like we were in.

“At 4-2, I saw your headlines coming.  Fortunately, we scored a fifth goal.  We were under a lot of tension before the game and at 4-0 we thought, subconsciously, it was done. We had a wobbly period and we became a bit uncertain. We lost our focus and we paid for it. But it was important to play our football.”

“We have gone through a period of restricted financial potential when we moved into the new stadium but we have gone over that and, hopefully, we can be a bit more convincing now.”

As for the game, Wilshere improves every time I watch him, Santi Cazorla who has not been everything he could be in every game, was the star playing in the role that Cesc used to be in, and Theo was great.  As the chant said about Theo, “sign him up sign him up sign him up”.

But there was more good news.  Oxlade-C is not the complete player yet but each game he gets a little bit closer.

So 5-2, the score that we traditionally reserve for games against Tottenham H was handed to Reading, along with a little singing of “Are you Tottenham in disguise”.
A rather nice evening.
Oh and you can read more about George Graham on his own page on the history site.  Unlike the work on some other managers, the series of George is not so well developed as yet – but we are trying to get 126 years recorded on one internet site, so we’ve focussed thus far on some other managers.  But there is still a little bit worth considering.


The books…

The sites…

38 Replies to “5-7, 2-5; Time to protest”

  1. GG at the time worked to a budget far more comparable to the other 21 teams in the league and this was at a time when there was far greater parity across the division in terms of quality. Also GG done it with what was largely a home based team with a few lower league division additions. A win last night but there are as many questions as answers from the performance against the worst team the league by a country mile hardly the stuff of legends in the making! Still nice to know we can beat a team in the bottom five!

  2. Santi was great. Theo was good but not great (a mix of great and squandered chances). Jack continues on the upswing, not all the way back. Their consistency against a quality defense will tell us more. Can we start a strong run? Another great turnaround in the offing? Go gunners!

  3. Ok, steady on. We know of your devotion to Arsene and that is fair enough. But hs is not, never was and never will be a God like George. At least when George finished 4th he didn’t try and con us into thinking it was a success!!

    There was a time when when Wenger’s success arguably took him above Graham, and had he continued in that vein, he could even have eclipsed Chapman. But the records are sadly there for all to see that he didn’t. Arsebe’s record will forever show that the latter half of his reign was characterised with mediocrity (however you spin it, whatever excuses you make, 3rd and 4th place finishes, with no acccompanying trophies, are not even worthy of a postscript in the history of a club like Arsena, and are years that happily will be forgotten. See the Terry Neill years if you want proof of this).

    This is not an attack on Arsene – far from it. But your website is very reluctant to see anything that is remotely negative about our current manager as anything other than an attack.
    It is simply my opinion that, excellent and all a manager that Arsene is, his, when taken over the course of his Arsenal career, he is not as good as George Graham. Extolling the virtues of Arsenal’s second greatest manager at the expense of the club’s third greatest manager is not an attack on the latter. It is simply to put the current position of the club into perspective.

  4. George Graham was an excellent Manager who gave Arsenal the belief to win. It’s touch and go who was better between GG and AW in my opinion – both have great records.

    There is really no point in attacking the people who protested at the Swansea game – personally I think a lot of their points were valid. They clearly said they were not there to protest against Wenger.

    We had a great 75 minutes last night – much much better. The team should be praised for it. I would like to see concentration for 90 minutes though – the lapse at 4-0 was unacceptable really. It could eve have cost us the points despite us being 4-0 up. The team has to learn to focus as it has been a problem for us for some time.

    We are in this cycle now it appears as Arsenal fans, where when we win the pro Wenger fans spit out some hatred to the anti Wenger fans, and when we lose vice versa.

    Perhaps its time to just celebrate a good performance together?

  5. @Sleeping giant
    Funny reading your post you’d think Arsene’s reign at Arsenal was over?
    Let’s hope not.
    Let’s hope too he doesn’t get caught with an envelope stuffed with cash like your “God George”
    Let’s hope he doesn’t go on to mangage the Spuds like your “God George”
    Guess you’d be happier if we finished 10th instead of 4th?
    Arsene will be judged on how good a manager he was at Arsenal when he’s done.
    Long may he continue to manage them.
    Gooner for life.

  6. I remember now. During the Graham era the whole world was singing 1-0 to the Arsenal! Who needed Real Madrid or Milan to play beautiful football.

  7. In my view, George and Arsene were quite different animals. The former’s policy was to build from a secure defence. To grind out a one nil win was acceptable and attractive play was a bonus.
    Arsene believes the be all and end all is attack, formed by fast, close passing which itself results in an exciting performance.
    The answer, of course, is to combine the two schools of thought….a sort of George Wenger. The cloning scientists of N5 have a task to perform.

  8. Yes, we were crap, because we only beat Reading 5-2 and they are the worst team in the league, so we should be ashamed at not winning 10-0.
    Their defence is even worse than ours etc.

    Cazorla wasn’t too bad, but not before time. The others were poor and should be sold.

    Wenger should be sacked for his complacency at seeing some positive features in our game.

    By the way, what was the score in Reading’s last home game against Man Utd?

  9. well played boyz, we did give 2 goals ways but then again the leagues leaders let in 3 at Reading.

    The morons here complaining, get real!

  10. It was all your fault

    This post is a copy of an article that has appeared on another site. Sorry, but Untold only takes original articles. If you spot anything on our site that has been copied wholesale from elsewhere please let us know and we’ll take it down. Tony

  11. I am not going to lie and say I didn’t enjoy the George Graham years, and at the time thought he was a great manager. But to compare him as ‘pissing all over Wenger’ is both ignorant and inaccurate. Graham’s achievements were entirely limited to the playing side, whilst it is recognised that Wenger has done more than any other manager in the game to the long term development of the club.

    The latter period of Graham’s reign were memorable for the cup wins, but the league performances were deteriorating rapidly, and signings apart from IWW were lamentable.

    Even in Graham’s best years there were average spells but at the end the performances were at a far, far lower level relative to what we are seeing today.

  12. Before Lauding Graham and berating Wenger don’t forget that Graham left us with a midfield containing Hillier and Selley.
    In addition he paid a lot of money for John Jensen.
    When he left we were in a long spiral downwards. Wenger cut out the “traditional” booze culture and thus enabled players like Adams to carry on for several more successful years.

  13. the passing years seem to have affected some peoples’capacity to remember the facts.Just as it is a fact that Arsene has given enormous,underserved contracts to useless individuals,who will never improve,it is also a fact that when George Graham left the club,he left is with a dreadful,unambitiuos midfieldand was stealing from the club,employing players that benefitted his pocket,not The Arsenal’s potential.

  14. slightly misleading really. George Graham was manager in an era when only 1st qualified for the ECL place. So it was all or nothing going for first.

    That has to be remembered as there was a lot more incentive to go for a cup win than a 3rd place in the league.

  15. there were times which i feel tat Untold is crap talking non stop about being positive. n a 2-5 win isnt making me feel nothing is wrong at the club. I Detest the board, but i truly have a soft spot for AW. can you people imagine what kind of stress he is in? He can buy any vineyard or island and stay away, but he goes up every week to meet that stress. Yes, he is paid 7M a year, yes he says what we can almost predict what he will say after a humiliating game. But did he walk away n say ok tats it. This man gave us what AFC is today. no doubt, that pedestal is seriously lowered as we want the club to be, but are u sure the next manager will posses that sort of panache n commitment?

    i want what all Gooners want, but I am beginning to see the philosophy of Untold. Stick with the team, endure the sticks from rivals, holding the heads up, post your anger, call the boards head, but show that due respect to a man’s work of the past even it means its not as merry as it is right now.

    It could be Pep, it could be Jurgen. it could be Bergkemp. But, pls take a step back n think, when u are down, what do u wish for? unwavering loyalty perhaps?

  16. Hmmnnnn…..

    Judging Mr Wenger by looking at the teams non silverware years alone is a joke. Mr Wenger has helped lay the foundation for the building of a super club. His successors will reap the benefits for years to come.

    I believe in a couple of decades time, we’ll look back at this period as the most important in the ARSENALs history.

  17. @sleepinggiant at 10:16 am

    If you think that Arsenal would be the global brand it is today by playing the George Graham style you are seriously deluded.

  18. I was born to the Arsenal. I am grateful for that, George Graham did a job at Arsenal. Arsene Wenger has helped secure the future for Arsenal football club. Given the choice I’d pick Arsene every day for the next twenty millenniums.
    George Graham built a team, Arsene builds a club whilst maintaining a competitive team.

    If George Graham is/was such a good manager why isn’t he managing a top team today?

  19. Everyone has a right to an opinion and protest, but , in life, timing is everything, and I bet the person with the wenger out banner yesterday was made to feel a bit silly. Great to hear the fans chanting wengers name. That is how he wants his teams tomplay, even though yesterday, the opposition did give them a helping hand. Some outstanding performances. Just me, or was wenger talking quite a lot to bould on the camera shots?

  20. The comparison AW and GG is inapropriate and wrong.
    The 80s and 90s football to compare it with today modern football is simply not correct.
    Arsene might be compared of his early years performance at arsenal.Today Arsene armed with not silent but a frozen American is facing Russian oligarch and Arab sheikhs.Not to mention the media gross lies and misconduct that lead to revolt fans against their own club.I believe there are many things that have changed since the old days and it is very simplistic your table.

    On to the game.
    Congratulation to the team.5 GOALS you earn it and 2 GOALS shipped Deservedly.

    Nothing make me change that the team still needs good surgery.Absolutely.After all We just beat Reading a newly promoted team that is languishing at the bottom of the table.

    We have seen the same performance against Southampton.Nothing new so far. Question is Consistency.

    Will this team be consistent and capable of winning on a trot ? I am not sure about that.Are you ?
    Not to be pessimistic rather realistic.

  21. @ Mandy
    Any idea how the rest of the fans reacted to that banner? The DM has an article on it, which basically tries to make it look like AW is under serious pressure from fans to go (the Arsene Out took a blow with this Reading result, so they kinda had to find something). But somehow I doubt that’s how it really went down. Some in the article’s comments section says the guys with the banner were given some stick by the other fans.

    @ alex
    We’ve had some pretty good performances even against the “bigger” teams. Liverpool comes to mind, as does mn sh!tty, even though we drew. I expect the team to press on from here, I think they’re beginning to gel slowly but surely. I’m not that it’s a clear-out that’s needed – more tht they need games together to gel. From midfield all the way to the front line, most are new or just returned from injury. It’s basically a new team, none have played together much more than 1 season, which is typically how long players take to adapt.

  22. Correct Mandy, Wenger and Bould had quite a lot to say on camera. It was a good performance last night and while Reading are at the bottom of the table, such teams still have to be put away.

    I always feel that if a team struggles, as we have at times over the past few months, then we need to support and encourage the manager and players all the more, not undermine or back-stab them – to do so only reduces confidence further. I do hope the person at the roundabout on Boxing Day is standing there on his own in the middle of a localized Siberian snow storm.

  23. C4
    I thought the same in considering that the team is populated with new faces at first.But not any more.

    Take the likes of jervinho.He is a good player and i rate him high no matter what others say.
    Is maligned for his finishing and passing.
    You see players are comfortable when they play around some other players who understand his movement and his head.When was playing along Hazard is testimony to that.It is not they are assembled on the parking lot or a pub and starting to play for us.This guys football is their profession.Though the verdict is still out on being their first season but lets not forget this are highly professional footballers.Hence i expect by this time to perform as they suppose.17 games if we just count the premier league ones.Here i am not mentioning the pre season games and the daily training and practices.
    People think that still we have a matured team compared to previous season.Wrong.When we throw youngsters like Ramsey and Wilshere and Ox which still learning their trade and still honing their skill will not help as the experted ones they didnt jel fully.

  24. Completely agree bjt. As for the banner, could not see how the fans reacted , only watched it on tv, but did hear them chanting wengers name at the end, so I guess this is the response of the majority. As I say, nothing wrong with peaceful protest, but what a game to do,such a thing! A bit like trying to sell socialist worker during the Blair boom years, the seller may believe he is right, and he may have been in the eyes of some, but a very difficult sell. Not in anyway to big up Blair or anyone else in politics on this site btw!

  25. The guys with the banner looked like twats must have felt like tots fan with scarf in the clock end whether wenger still has it must be given respect he will know when it is time to go if he has got it wrong he will hold his hands up and go FINISHED 3RD BEHIND THE BIGGEST CLUB IN THE WORLD AND THE RICHEST CLUB IN THE WORLD AND IN FRONT OF THE TEAM WHO WON THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE IS THAT FAILURE

  26. When GG’s Arsenal teams were winning 1-0 ,I do admit that outwardly I used to be cocky and boastful in a crowd of friends(especially in 1991 ,when we lost only 3 times that season ), but was feeling rather hollow inside with our boring style .
    That and the fact that he brought the likes of Jimmy Carter ,Pal lydersen and those mentioned above !
    I am thankful to GG for his time at Arsenal ,both as a player
    and as a manager and at the end of his reign ,was quite happy to see him go .And his Judas turn at the Spuds put paid to him ever having a statue outside the Emirates Stadium!
    As for AW ‘s better teams ,I rate them just behind Brazil 1970 ; Holland of the early 1970s and grudging, Barca of the recent past .My heart used to soar with pride when we were on song, which was quite often !
    I would ask for patience to allow AW to build a new team albeit without traitors , quiters and money-go-getters !

  27. As for those who will be going to be massing at the roundabout on Boxing Day to protest ; and as with Bjtgooner (and our)wish that there be a ‘localized Siberian snow storm ‘, could I humbly suggest that none of you drive ,cycle or walk there , but rather play it safe by using the London Underground !
    And don’t forget to wear your black scarves , it’ll be easier
    to find your frozen bodies in all that snow !

  28. @Brickfields, Bit harsh calling players traitors. They’re just employees. And like most employees they will move to more successful employers and better paid jobs if they get the opportunity. I don’t see why this is difficult to grasp.

  29. Rupert,
    so working for a private company (with no supporters, just costumers) is the same as working for a football club (with both)?
    And RVP just to name him is not a traitor because he went to MU. No it is because for all Arsenal and Arsène did for him in the past, it is for the way he painted himself to be a real Gooner-Gunner on every occasion and then forced his way out. It is for his false statement full of lies where he said he wanted the best for Arsenal…. what a joke knowing he would be going to Utd and nowhere else.

    Or he has lied to us all the time or he has lied to himself. But he has all the ingredients to be named a traitor. And a liar.

  30. Fans tend to get over emotive about players Walter. Personally I think RVP’s reaction when he signed for Manu was utterly embarrassing. He looked a right fool. Arsenal didn’t have to sell him to Manu though did they? They wanted the money. Although Wenger claims he sold him for footballing reasons which sounds bizarre considering he was the best player we had.

    As you so often say football is complex. You’ve no idea what went on between Wenger and RVP and neither have I.

    Footballers don’t have loyalty to clubs in this day and age. And yes they’re employees. You and I would no doubt never dream of playing for any other club than Arsenal but then we don’t even get the chance. Maybe if we did our perspectives would be different.

    And anyway since when have supporters been relevant to owners of football clubs? They’re only relevant when they stop going to games and buying the merchandise.

  31. @ Rupert – Maybe it is harsh ,but being an employer for 21 years , I ‘ve seen some prize tits in my time .I’ve now come to accept that as long as they are not ungrateful and backstabbing ,I’d live with that .
    At the same time I don’t expect unconditional loyality nor demand of them gratefulness .I have my own code of ethics and try to stay firm to them .
    I’ve rewarded many on merit and for sincerity to the point that some may view me as a crazy boss or for being a simpleton .Not a problem .

  32. Think someone, or something got to rvp. Apparently, like cesc, his overall attitude and behaviour significantly deteriorated as the move got closer and wenger tried harder to keep them. Not sure it says to much about either. You are correct rupert, rvp did not have to act in that manner. As for selling to Utd, fergie was clear we tried to offload him to anyone other than them, even with a discount. It seems like the player held out for Utd, so it was either them , or keep a disgruntled player, strip him of captaincy and lose him for nothing. Not ideal in any circumstances

  33. @Brickfields, you sound like a decent employer to me.

    @Walter, people lie all the time. I don’t hold RVP in high esteem but I’d love to know exactly what passed between him and Wenger.

    @Mandy, it’s always difficult to keep a player that feels unhappy or wants to leave for whatever reason. If we had kept him then I suspect Manu would have bought another striker and may not have wanted him anymore. We’d still have our world class striker but as you imply his attitude may not have been professional and keeping him may have backfired. All ifs and maybes.

  34. I think it’s imperative we keep Wilshire at the club. The cynic in me suspects we’ll be selling him for a handsome profit within the next three seasons but at least if he’s on a long term contract we won’t be in an RVP situation.

    Gibbs has great potential. I just hope he becomes more resilient. We need an injury free season from him.

    Ox has been rather inconsistent. I’m wondering if he’s starting to believe his own hype.

    Jenkinson is improving but he does have the occasional lapse.

    Ramsey, don’t rate him at all but I think he’ll improve.

    It seems Arsenal are keen to eradicate their poor form regarding player contracts. At least none of those five look like duds we couldn’t shift if we wanted to like certain players we’re all too familiar with.

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