A view on Bayern Munich and some words about the referee tonight

By Walter Broeckx

We play Bayern Munich tonight in the CL. Anyone who follows football a bit knows that Bayern Munich is the biggest team in the Bundesliga. They are the most successful team in Germany.  And also in Europe they have won lots of cups. And they sit on top of the Bundesliga with an unseen 15 points more than the team in second place.

They are a club with a lot of tradition and who have produced many world class players. The generation of Sepp Mayer, Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Muller, Rummenige, …. Oh nostalgia, nostalgia for in those days in my country we could see the German TV stations I kind of grew up with the Bundesliga.

Bayern Munich has always been a team that had a lot of players coming through their own ranks and staying at the club for ever. And they added the best players from other teams in the Bundesliga. I think most players in the Bundesliga dream of playing for Bayern Munich at one stage in their career. Except the loyal Dortmund youth players maybe.

Bayern usually scores at least 2 goals in each game in the Bundesliga. And only on a rare occasion they let in goals. Only 7 so far in the Bundesliga.  The good thing is that in the CL this season they have let in more goals. Even more goals than Arsenal in the group stages. So in the CL they are not that tight at the back as they usually are in the Bundesliga. Let us hope they stay that way in Europe.

If we look at Bayern in the CL I have seen that they have a little pattern the last seasons. Go rather far one year and the next season go out rather early. In 2009-2010 they reached the final and the season after that went out in the 1/8th finals. Last season they reached the final and so… well…one can hope they keep up this record.

Being the biggest club in Germany it is the most supported club but also the most hated club for supporters of other teams. They can be a bit arrogant in their behaviour. This goes for club, players and supporters. And certainly for the real Bavarian people it goes with a big pride for their region and the fact that Bayern Munich is the ideal advertising board of their region.

The player to watch closely for me is Muller. A 23 year old or young player from their own youth ranks. He is technically very gifted as are most German players but he can run, run, run and run up and down his flank without ever seemingly getting tired. And he scores a few goals also. I think he is their second best goal scorer. People who fear Ribery or Robben are slightly off centre I think. I know those two can have a great day but they also have more frustrating days than good days.

Their defence should be fine in normal circumstances but they have to shuffle it a bit. So they will play with Dante and Van Buyten in central defence. Both have a Belgian past. As Dante played in Belgium for a few years and Van Buyten is from Belgium be it with a German mother.  Van Buyten is an old and experienced defender.  He can score a few goals with a header at times but he is also prone to the odd mistake and error.

So we have to hope he is in one of those days famous and feared by the entire Belgium nation… whenever he plays for the Belgium national team!

He really can mess things up at times at the back. I have seen him make school boy errors in international games. But he can also score a goal and that is the reason he got picked so many times to play for Belgium.  He also usually struggles against small players who are quick and can turn quick. So that might be a possible weakness in his game. And did I tell you he once was half a season at Manchester City some 8-9 years ago? He only played a handful of games also because of injury when he was loaned there from Marseille his club at the time.

Their keeper has a finger injury it seems so I hope Podolski gets his big gun out there and fires a few cannonballs at the keeper and maybe he can beat him a few times.

Up front apart from Muller who can also play in midfield we will probably see Mandzukic. The Croatian striker who came from Wolfsburg and who made a lot of goals and who is their top scorer this season. But the best scorer in the team is still Gomez. But this season Gomez has seemingly lost his scoring form and his place. But they have a lot of quality upfront.

So one could say they are quite a good team.

No big ref preview from me this time. I have heard that the ref will be Moen from Norway. We had him twice in the CL and won both games.  He has done Bayern once and they won their game. All home games in fact. So this will be the first away game with Moen for Bayern. For Arsenal it will be the 3rd home game under Moen. And up to now he was great in both those games. His first visit he got a score of 90% in the old referee review format and the lost points was his assistant missing an offside. We had him also in the group stage this season when we beat Olympiacos with 3-1. So we can hope we keep it up with this ref, who until now has no negative history with Arsenal.

So we should have two teams, a good ref,  on paper this should be a good game. If both teams want to go for it, it could be an entertaining evening. Bayern Munich is not a defensive orientated team so they will try to go forward. Given their league position and European status they are the favourites. But we know the favourites don’t always win.

Oh and if you go to the Emirates please do join in from the start when they start shouting REDARMY!!! I wanna hear you tonight!

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208 Replies to “A view on Bayern Munich and some words about the referee tonight”

  1. And a little word about the ref and a warning for the players: He is not afraid to put the ball on the penalty spot when defenders pull attackers. So our defenders be careful. The Bayern defenders are urged to pull, pull and pull.

    Also no need to put a player in front of the keeper. European refs in general don’t like that and will give a foul from the moment the attacker blocks the keeper.

  2. I just hope BM win and put Wengr out of his misery and let him concentrate on finishing 4th. If BM win I hope they will go on to win the cl.

  3. malaysian gunner is a Bavarian first and Arsenal second, so, ignore him and Up the Arse ! 3-1 to the Arsenal.

  4. Walter,

    This has all the feel of the Barcelona tie. A hugely odds on favourite, European powerhouse of an opponent. Hopefully the atmosphere will be the same, as well as the result (Although I’d prefer a 1-0 victory rather than a 2-1) Even the referee seems similar. In the Barcelona match in London, the referee was very fair. He initially fell for the Barca dives, but quickly adapted and stopped rewarding them for going down.

    In the second leg, we had the current head of UEFA refs, and we well know, the sort of performance he put in. I have this feeling that if we’re in the tie by the end of today, they’re gonna send out one of the big gun refs to shoot us down, or rather just ensure that we’ll be shot down.

    Is that me drowning out the fighting noises from our fans? I hope not. IF anything, it makes me madder than ever, and more determined to win. I love it when Wenger comes out fighting, and I hope everyone associated with Arsenal will do the same tonight.

  5. Malaysian Gunner,
    Well its your opinion, but as for me, the best preparation for next season’s PL is to go as far as we can in this season’s CL. The more we beat big names, the better for our confidence and belief. I believe that even with all the players we have sold, we could still have won something if we could build player confidence. I don’t think Bayern is bigger than Barcelona when we beat them in 2011, I will go for a 3-1 win to the Arsenal.

  6. Very interesting and informative Post, Walter. 🙂

    There seems to be an understated aura of resignation from some Arsenal fans, exemplified by Malaysian Gunner above, but thankfully, that feeling, if it exists in others, is being characterized by an ‘up and at ’em’ spirit that might communicate to the team, and could give us an edge.

    Being a normally pragmatic person, I would be happy if we achieved a draw, especially a 0:0 result which would make it an ‘all to play for’ game in Bavaria. Of course, a neat win would not be dismissed!! 🙂

  7. The referee looks like he has been vetted by Mike dean , he is so bias it worrying. We are getting no 50 50s . He is missing numerous fouls on Jack. Much like the itv Cock presenters. They must have same optician as the referrer. How many late bad challenges have both missed on Jack wilshire #conspiracy#

  8. Safe to say we are done and dusted. Better to send youth team for the second leg and get a draw. Then we can focus on getting 4th. We are losers…

  9. More importantly how badly are we going to mess this up? When are we going to finally admit that the so called ‘AAA’brigade are right and that the Trust Wenger’s Arsenal Team Selection (TWATS) just refuse to accept what is playing out before their eyes? Just how much money are we expected to fork to watch Englands answer to the Keystone cops? Get a grip guys! 0-3 to Bayern

  10. 5th gen, not sure why you are worried about Arsenal, you should be concentrating on your team, you know the perennial thurs nights channel five bunch

  11. I really don’t understand why we never approach a game to stifle the opponent, even the manc’s managed this against Real. Either we’re just too bad or too dumb.

    I can’t see the fans taking this any longer. FFP may just have been a smoke screen, and we shouldn’t celebrate scoring against Bayern, we are already out of the tie.

  12. Enough, Arsene out!! The man has no clue! Who else would keep a manager who couldn’t deliver a trophy in 8 years? Bring back Terry Neil FFS! Arsene has failed the club in more years than he has delivered – FACT!

  13. well its not looking good, but lets see what the second leg has to offer. Too many mistakes.
    Verm collects silly yellow cards, and when you need him to pick up a yellow for a tactical foul he cannot because he’s picked up a silly yellow (I refer to Bayern’s last goal).
    Bayern really took their foot off the gas which is the biggest insult of the night.

  14. Lets face it we would struggle against the Elephant and caste 11! How much longer can the board expect us to keep coughing up cash for a team who can’t even compete against the old second division?

  15. This type of pathetic performance can’t be excused. I have to admit there were tactical errors from Wenger. Substituting Podolski wasn’t an option. Walcott was anonymous whole night whereas Podolski was making things happen at the left. Giroud comes on and misses a sitter. No surprise there as I have already said that he’s not as clinical as one needs to be in big matches. Awful defending for the last two goals from Bayern.
    Starting Ramsey instead of Rosicky was a mistake and we were made to pay for that.
    FFS, someone needs to explain why the #### we can’t play good in the first half.

  16. Really?? People expected us to beat Bayern? I can bet that the people getting the most butthurt about the result are the ones who were saying before that we have zero chance of winning..

    All the goals we conceded were avoidable (2 had a bit of luck involved for Bayern as well), but look at the goal we scored. Lucky to get the corner, and then a defensive fuckup from Bayern, who are probably the second best team in Europe right now. Just goes to show, defensive errors can happen to any team (You can imagine some numpties going mad if we’d conceded that), and that luck plays a bigger part in the result than is generally acknowledged.

    We must start games better. I was hoping that at 2-1 we could see the whole 90 mins as our first half sleepy performance, and see the proper Arsenal the next 90. But at 3-1, it is going to be tough. Still, not counting anything out.

  17. Bayern played well, possible CL winners. This is the team we need to look at, defensively strong, great passing with a killer touch.

    Our approach played right into the Bayern plan, Wenger may well be too stubborn but he isn’t blind. Our form is too sporadic playing a game of football with the likes of Bayern.

  18. Noticed that the ‘Untold Arsenal’ boys have been quite lately… Maybe the so called ‘AAA’ actually might have a point or 10,000? Come on lets get our club back and stop living in the past!

  19. Bayern Munich are an excellent team. They will go close to winning the Champions League this season.

    Thought Arsenal tried hard to get back into the game but Bayern are the most complete team I’ve witnessed this season.

    Although I haven’t seen Elephant and castle 11 perform yet.

  20. Arun,

    I wouldn’t have taken Podolski off either, but the choice was between Cazorla and Podolski really. Podolski was on a yellow. Walcott wasn’t anonymous. He was causing Bayern some problems and is pace was an asset.

    All easy in hindsight, but I don;t think the loss can be attributed to any issues with team selection. Bayern are a better team than us at the moment. We still could have gotten better.

    Oh and Giroud didn’t ‘miss’ anything. Those sort of things are down to luck. If he mishits his shot a little bit, like Richards at the weekend, that goes in.

  21. Still do trust wenger 5th gen, he will get us in the top four, qualify next year and improve this team. Hope you did not spend too much money watching them, somehow doubt you did or ever do. Enjoy Europa tomorrow.

  22. Shard – Bayern or Blackburn, what’s the difference? Oh we should have trounced Blackburn!! Another drought full of excuses methinks.

  23. Arun

    Read the part about luck playing a role larger than is acknowledged. I’ll freely admit that luck isn’t our ally at the best of times, so it’s unlikely. But I’m never going to give up on a game before it’s played.

  24. Podolski was on a yellow, looking feisty with a ref booking any of us who put a tackle in. Shame he let so much go on tackles against jack, but we are used to that. Poldi could easily a have seen red over not very much in this game

  25. 5th gen

    Yeah. No difference in the 2 games at all is there. Do you even watch the games or just look at the result?

  26. I was also shocked at Poldi coming off, just as he was starting to make things happen. Bayern are a great side and at half time I wondered if we might get really minced, and second half we gave them a fight, their third goal was a bit lucky.
    Shame as 2-2 might have really stunned them.Jack Wilshire should be the captain, he’s a great player and doesn’t give up.
    Fantastic home support though, it was great to hear the noise generated.
    Its still not over with yet though…

  27. @Shard

    Sometimes we need open our eye’s and be honest, we can’t keep brushing it over. Defensive mistakes and Arsenal have a habit of cropping up. Lacklustre 1st halves are becoming a norm as well. 3-1 is the tie done and dusted, 3 away goals scored and 3 away goals badly needed.

    And yes no one expected us to beat Bayern but neither did any one expected Chelsea to lift the cup. Wenger has been in football long enough to take note!

  28. Mandy Dodd – I went to Wembley when we lost to West Ham. I have been going to Highbury and the Emirates ever since as well as the odd away game when possible. Don’t question my devotion just question your blinkers to see us into the CL next season – NC!

  29. Shard, think we have just seen the joint best team in Europe play, they, as they are now look light years ahead of anyone in The EPL Barca would have to be at their absolute best to beat them this year. Message to wenger, next year, do not finish second in the group stages next year, it is getting costly.. Think the last four years, doing so has bought us barca twice, AC and now this lot at this stage.

  30. @Shard, I agree that Bayern are a better team than us. But still we play awful in the first half of big games and that’s my biggest disappointment at the moment. We always concede early and then succumb under pressure. We did it against ManU away, Chelsea away, Liverpool home, Man C home. These are some of the matches I can remember where our second half performance was much better than the first half. This is the thing that certainly needs to be taken care of.
    As far as Giroud miss goes, had it been Poldi or RVP, it would have been a goal. He shot it straight at Neuer whereas he should have hit it across. Just see RVP’s first goal for Man U. It was a similar chance in which he shot across the face of the goal. And no, it’s not luck, it’s ‘quality’.

  31. umm.. dan..mind telling me what I’m closing my eyes to? The ‘fact’ that the tie is over? I acknowledge its improbability. I’m not going to say it’s impossible. Because well, that would be untrue.

  32. ARun,

    I already mentioned us not starting games well. Yeah, quality. We all know we could do with more players. That has nothing to do with the game.

  33. Is there some virtual weed wafting across this board? We couldn’t defend against Niles Crane in Wellies!

  34. 5th gen

    Ok. And?? What’s your point? Ultimately, you’re just going on about how we’re shit. The truth is we’re not.

  35. Well, 5th gen, if so, a shame you have developed such a hatred for the club as it is now. If you have been a fan since those days, the club you knew is never coming back, you may be better off supporting a lower league club if thats what you want.Have never seen on you on here when we have done well. If you dislike the club so much as it is now may be good for your health and quality of life to divorce yourself from it for a while because I can assure you, the club rightly or wrongly have set on a journey and they do not give a flying toss what you think. There are problems at this club, but wenger is the only football man left there to bring us out of this era, as the BSM quite rightly recognise

  36. My missus just said to me “are you alright”, I said “not really, Arsenal have an emotional hold over me and will continue to do so for the rest of my life”. In return she said “yes more than me”. My reply “no you can piss me off so much more than Arsenal”.

    What i don’t understand about Arsenal at the moment, is all the sideways passing at the back, it must chew up a quarter of the game.

  37. @dan

    Arsene Wenger was grey before and he’s still grey. So what?

    Glad to see from the report on the Arsenal web site the fans stuck behind the team.

  38. Hi Tony, hi Walter!

    Something strange is happening to my posts.

    Yesterday they didn’t go up at all. Now it says ‘Your comment is awaiting moderation’.

    What’s happening? You can reply to my e-mail address if you want.

  39. @Mandy Dodd – Yep and after 8 years we are suddenly going to trounce the Mancs, win the CL and then go on to beat Bradford and Blackburn… Disney would struggle with that. This journey is not the never ending story…

  40. Mediocre – making up the numbers. 2004 we were invincible now we’re duking it out against Fulham and Everton on a good day!

  41. This journey is not the never ending story…

    That’s exactly what football is my friend, with a few prizes thrown in every now and then.
    Football is frustrating a lot of the time. Makes the winning all the more sweet.

  42. Well 5th gen, look forward to seeing you back on here when things improve. Sadly, with all the transition , some self inflicted, some down to relative lack of resources in recent years, this season was always likely most to be about top four anyway. Which we will succeed in. And as you have supported for so long, guess you will remember when we really were shit, so do you want the arsenal of those days back? At least this lot will be strengthened and get better a lot quicker than some of the teams of that era.

  43. @Adam – winning once in a while would be nice. Seriously how tired are you of ‘next season’?

  44. @5th Gen for your sake…stop watching…don’t want to hear that you’ve lost it and gone and shot someone…perspective please.

  45. I’m a fan of football, I will never tire of the optimism of “next season”. However this one isn’t over as yet and the boys need to pull their fingers out and get us champions league football next season.

  46. @Mandy Dodd – Can’t see anything changing anytime soon. I’d go back in time any day. At least we managed a EUROPEAN CUP WIINERS CUP! See you when we change management – transition? How long can we keep harping on about that chestnut?

  47. You can always tell an entitled sod when games don’t matter anymore. It’s all about the payoff at the end with the trophies. It’s ok though. These guys very rarely get to propagate since they don’t make very good lovers either.

    Hey…maybe not getting laid is what makes them need the trophies in the first place.. The classic chicken and egg conundrum. Except the egg isn’t getting fertilised in this one.

  48. Perspective? We couldn’t hit the Great Wall of China but we could certainly leak the odd 10-year old strike at goal. Wenger – Tactics… Think he missed that lesson!

  49. @Shard – This is THE ARSENAL not the Slaughterd Lamb… Maybe it is come to think of it….

  50. No point trying to convince the wenger worshippers…even if we went 10 more yeara without a trophy they would be delighted with this idiot in charge..he is to blame,end of. Now he can look fwd to europa next season…lee dixon summed it up perfectly ,we cant keep our best players despite qualifying for champs lge every year and there is no hope for them if theu dont gwt the fourth place trophy….in qenger we rust

  51. @Shard – Just like your previous comment. Do you seriously think that next season we will ‘smite’ all those that become before us? I want what you’re smoking mate!

  52. Yes fifth gen, we did eventually win that, and the FA cup in 1978 but I remember as you will long around then when we were bottom, or near bottom of the league, the thought of what wenger, or for that matter gg would achieve was a distant pipedream. Even in the recent years where some class wenger as having failed, to is a fact that the only English top tier teams consistently more successful than us had vastly more resources. Change of manager…..ok, see you again when we get Martinez then!

  53. Ahh..Another one joins in.. ‘Wenger worshippers’, ‘end of’, some statement taken out of context to supposedly confirm pre-determined position, and hey presto..You have a trollpost.

  54. @Nannu No worries mate, we’ll just talk about how appalling the refs have been – YAWN!

  55. 5th gen,

    Do you? It’s a potent mix of magical drugs called brains, patience, perseverance, pragmatism, and love. I know a lot of those things seem mythical to you, but hey come on. Join up and lets smoke up this shit.

    My previous comment, just to clarify, was meant to suggest that there might not be a 6th gen gooner anytime soon.

  56. Chelsea treat their managers like revolving doors but… Funny how they have a CL trophy and we have never gained one. Seriously do you think we’ll turn things around next season? Like the last, the last, the last, the last, the last, the last..?????

  57. Good for you 5th gen

    The problem is..You have to grow your own. That’s what gives it those ‘magical’ powers.

  58. @5th Gen Gooner – Whether you are right or wrong with your assessment, I would only make the point that generations 1 to 4 will probably have taken worse kicks at some times supporting Arsenal and been through similar troughs. We have spent more time being ‘mediocre’ than ‘great’ over the last 60 years, and most of the great has been under Wenger’s reign. I know that’s not a reason why things shouldn’t change in the summer, but at least stick by the club and the team while they still have something to play for, even if it’s not what we were hoping for.

  59. @Mand Dodd We beat MANU in 79 (lost to Ipswich the year before), thing is we would never have kept Wenger even then after a barren spell of 8 YEARS!

  60. @Stroller – I will always support the club but not blindly! Things have to change and Wenger reading Tolstoy during the game is not the way forward mate!

  61. Do some people have no more intelligence than a moth? It’s like trophies are the flame which blind them to everything. Try talking about the stadium, the billionaire teams, the referee’s being biased, and their eyes will glaze over. All they know is trophies and how long it’s been. Everything else, has to be someone’s fault.

  62. @5th Gen. Did all your ancesters have their kids early? I ask this as im a third generation Arsenal fan at the age of 37. Maybe patience doesn’t run in your genetics?

  63. @Shard – Refs being biased? Have we really sunk that low? Stadium cost… Best check the last accounts mate!

  64. The last accounts don’t account for 8 years do they? And its the refs who have sunk low. I’m just pointing it out. Like I said..Some people’s eyes glaze over.

  65. and like I said.. For some people it has always be someone’s fault.. Thank you for proving my point..

  66. Sorry guys, just fed up with our performance every February like clock work – failure. Something has to change and keeping faith in Wenger simply is not working. No manager gets 8 years to deliver nothing.

  67. Wait for the ref review tomorrow…what a joke….the gulf in class between the two teams was so evident yet we have docile mugs on here blaming refs….

  68. Ahh..The blissful comfort of having a simple existence where factors never overlap, choices are clear, chance plays no part, and dichotomy rules. Maybe I should ask for some of what you’re smoking.

  69. @Nannu – Exactly mate, time we stop blaming the full moon and Easter bunny, we simply are not good enough and if any player starts to shine – sold to the highest bidder!

  70. Some people need to learn to read or need to learn to understand. I dont think Shard was talking about the ref tonight.
    But about the refs in 2007/2008 who took the title away. And on other occasions when the refs screwed us over in the PL.

  71. @Shard – simple economics 101, if it’s not working find a solution. Guess you’re a fan of putting your head in the soil?

  72. Umm..It’s not like the club seeks out buyers. It’s the players who look to move. To keep them, you need trophies(apparently). To win trophies you need the players. What do players play for? Money. Yes, let’s triple our players’ wages every time an oily hand taps them up and all ou problems will be solved..

    In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve signed up most of our best players to long term deals. With the exception of Cesc (and Song), the players who left were in the last year of their contract. The process of selling our best players has to stop. And it should this year.

    Oh, and my mention of refs was not to do with today. You guys are either intentionally being obtuse, or are just not very good at reading comprehension.

  73. @Walter – why are we talking about 2007/2008? Lets talk about 2013 and the continued failing our club? Is the ref to blame for our FA cuap exit?

  74. Your times coming to an end mr wenger, its about time you wengwrites woke up to that. He is no longer the man who could be bold and brave.

  75. Yep the ones who we only see over here when we lose are back see….

    Next Saturday is another game, and the week after that another…

  76. Yes Nannu we thank you for your message.
    We have read it, and now we can go back to supporting the team if you want. Well I will. No matter what.

  77. There are some that resemble little school boys who insist that they are correct and never let arguments rest. They shout louder and proclaim themselves champions only proving themselves obnoxious. “I am right because you shrug and go to bed and I…well…I am right!” They chase you into your back garden to prove that…they are right!

    Go home. Go to bed. Tomorrow the sun also rises.

  78. Here we go… Le Moan.. can’t say a word against his lordship. What positive slant, poor performance of the ref do we have today Walter? Wish I had your glasses mate! @Shard, so we’re just making up the numbers whilst lining Kroenkes pockets?

  79. @5th, its not a february thing. It just so happens that its about this time u begin to meet serios minded teams, teams who have progressed due to quality in the cups, and teams fighting either for titles/qualification for europe or survival in the league. Those are the teams that find us out. It always makes me laugh wen AKBs carp on about going for the quadruple at the beginning of the season, hell even qpr can harp on about goin for all d’trophies at the beginning of the season. Then february comes and they go from quadruple, to triple, to double. To single, to zerople or next seasonple. Fact is, we are always found out at first encounter with quality. But This season we’v been found out too many times by little quality

  80. 5th gen
    A WORD?!! sheesh

    Your questions have to make sense and follow a logical conversational path for me to be able to answer them even in ‘a word’ as you put it. I don’t have the energy nor the inclination now. GoingGoingGooner’s right. I’m going to sleep, and you can exult in your superior intellect proving you right.

  81. @Shard – Where do you buy your blinkers so that I can get a pair? Might even win Epson!

  82. Anyone else notice that those who whinge and moan seem to be very young? Question for those who want wenger out.

    Why? Is it just the trophless years?
    or is it the tactics he employs?
    The players he has brought in?

    If it is any of these could you give an indepth explanation of your views please.

  83. So, here’s to many more seasons like dis. “Lets drink and be merry for tomorrow, arsenal dies”

  84. In Wenger we trust – Whats another year…year…year…year…year…year…year..year…? Zzzzzzz

  85. @5th and many more to come.
    Sorry pal, but Nobody has time to answer such a useless question.

  86. Never really took these boards seriously and so never posted before. Just felt it’s time to participate and put forward my feelings. Sorry if it’s not the party line but as a supporter I felt my voice should be heard.

    Cheers Guys.

  87. How do you term failure?

    Maybe generations 1-4 view you and your attitude towards a family treasure as a failure. The majority of people on this site recognise the toxic intentions of a split fan base who doesn’t have faith in their club. Most will be quietly frustrated and looking forward to change. But if you think we are going to go shopping and out bid the oil rich clubs for players. Don’t get your hopes up as you will AGAIN be disappointed.

  88. Having just been to the game I think Bayern Munich are probably the most complete team/squad I have seen play football for a very long time. I don’t think there is one weakness within that squad, their team work, their movement and their overall play was excellent. If Arsenal had lost 3-1 to Barcelona everybody would be going on about how great they were. Well I feel that Bayern are a more complete team than Barcelona now.

  89. Just a quick word on the bloke who stood in fount of me tonight. He moaned that it was Wengers fault for the first goal, tried to start a fight when somebody said a good word about Wenger, then spent the rest of the game not moving he just stood and moaned. Even when we scored nothing, what was the point in going if your hatred for the manager stops you enjoying the match?

  90. Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal
    Arsenal what’s that you say
    Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal

  91. Hmm not sure I understand all the Wenger bashing, in the past when he had so much faith in his team and proclaimed that Arsenal can go the season unbeaten, the press made a mockery of him only for him to achieve that feat 2 years later. I think the press and easily influenced fanbase are quick to ridicule Wenger. His supernatural optimism and belief in his team at the press conferences can at times be to the teams detriment. People compare him to Sir Alex, Sir Alex has been in England since 1986 and Arsene 1996, that’s 10 years more where Ferguson was always buying the best talent in England to strengthen his team. Maybe I’m a romantic, but I like the way Arsenal does their business and try to win within their means. The way Arsenal is setup they are always under dogs, most $$$ tickets? It’s coz it’s London, new stadium but also due to demand and supply. Give up your ticket and I’m sure someone else is willing to take it. The philosophy is to play with freedom, there is no defined tactic but more focus on discipline. Players are encouraged to express themselves which is probably why at times the team lacks concentration at the back, it is a dynamic formation which at times leads to beautiful football but also comical defending. Wenger always said he won’t stand in the way of a player who wants to leave, I stand by that sentiment too. I wouldn’t want someone taking up a spot on the team sheet that doesn’t want to be at Arsenal. That sums up RvP, Song, Cesc and Nasri, regardless of what the press says. Arsene is too honourable and always wants what is best for his players, unfortunately, even when they wish to leave :/, he still wants to do right by them. Just so fed up with reading the whingefest. No team has an automatic right to trophies, I’d rather a team who wins a trophy by playing football and sticking to their philosophy than deny that sentiment and pray that luck will give them a goal on the counter by defending in numbers. It’s brave IMO, keeping that philosophy whilst needing to shuffle a team due to players leaving so many times and yet still stay competitive. 8 years no trophy, the problem I see is the amount of transition, teams were built around one or two super talents, then the super talent leaves, a whole revamp is needed. The current Arsenal I find is more of a team, just lacking that cutting edge ATM. I’m pretty sure everyone had written Arsenal off, so why the adverse reaction to a loss? I enjoyed the game as we have nothing to lose, just go out and enjoy yourself. Trophyless, so what :/. I’m satisfied with being able to watch an entertaining match, Arsenal lost yes, but the match itself is good value. How often does Arsenal play Bayern Munich, that itself is good value IMO.

  92. I watched the game, I didn’t think Arsenal faired badly against what most consider to be 2nd to Barcelona in Europe. That said conceding early goals gave way to Arsenal having more possession and Bayern hitting us on the counter. I think we’re a world class keeper away from being a world beater. Szczesny to me has been really weak recently and just too raw, has caught butter fingers disease and needs to be loaned out to a relegation team to become more commanding. The defenders time and time again have to bail him out from his poor decision making. I wasn’t that impressed by Bayern and look forward to an exciting tie at the Allianz, hopefully with an in form keeper and the return of proper left back. Maybe being critical on the goals, but Per needs more steel and initiative, he’s too tidy and passive IMO.

  93. Bayern Munich are considered as the second favorite after Barcelona for the Champions League by the bookies ahead of Real Madrid. Their performance last night completely justifies their odds. At times, Barcelona have struggled to defend, but Bayern seem to have no problem at all either in attack or in defense. They have also played 2 finals in 3 years like Barcelona did in 2009 & 2011. But the difference being that Barcelona won both of them whereas Bayern lost on both the occasions. People should have known better that Bayern are at the level of Barcelona and I think better in defending as well. I am pretty sure most of you wouldn’t have cried if the same scoreline was against Barcelona.
    And some poor substitutions and tactics definitely didn’t help us. Had Giroud converted his chance, it would have been a completely different game.

  94. the game against Bayern was always gonna be hard, Im not that dissapointed with this loss even though I felt our guys could have given a better performance. I am however still grieving over Saterday’s loss to Blackburn as well as the loss against Bradford. Nothing that anyone says can justify those two losses. Its sad to see so many guys in South Africa leaving Arsenal to support other teams. I’ll always support Arsenal even if im the only one left.

  95. There are a lot of factors contributing towards this loss. One reason frequently cited is the players’ inability to click early on in the game. AW always queries why arsenal players get nervous wreck early on. If you have noticed we concede early goals against each and every high-profile teams. Only after the break we respond.the baffling thing is why are our players mentally unprepared. AW is a coach and not some psychoanalyst, so I am presuming he is not quite coming to grips with this challenge.
    Also, since refreeing is part of the game, its only fitting to talk about them.

  96. I wasnt dissappointed with our performance. With the quality we hav we did what we could. It however is funny how so many AKBs come out and say “what did u expect?, bayern is 2nd best team in the world”. Who are u guys decieving? Even if it was malaga or shaktar we lost to, you probably would have still come up wit a good reason to lose eg malaga is funded by oil money or shaktar is ukrainian champ. So bayern is 2nd best team, why isnt that arsenal? Is ther a law that says bayern and not arsenal can be 2nd ‘best team? So we dont have God given right to win trophies, who does? Bayern? I dont see how u can excuse our failure saying the other team is better and then praise the fellas who repeatedly refuse to strengthen our own team

  97. That’s that then.

    Trophies don’t mean anything. Not since supporters have had their ambitions re-tuned by the spin that emanates from Wenger supporters. The players though want to win trophies and you dismiss their desires at your caution because the better players want to appear in finals or win the league.

    Wenger has not improved the team for years and I think he’s a busted flush. You can blame oil rich clubs and biased refs all day long, as is the wont for many on here, but that doesn’t disguise the fact that there is something not clicking at AFC anymore. I notice Manu are top of the league and still in the CL and yet they aren’t bolstered by sheikhs or oligarchs. I also notice they have a team of players who are winners and have the confidence that brings. As success begets success, failure does the same.

    The deepest problems I believe come from the top and will probably not change for years. We appear to have an owner who probably spends more time agonizing over a new wig than he does about our stagnation. Gazidis seems to be inept when it comes to sorting out transfers except when it involves selling our better players. Meanwhile we have a nice healthy bank balance and half of our fans seem more interested in our finances than our poor on field results.

    People glibly announce we’ll finish fourth as if that’ll make a difference. Will we? And if so, so what? We don’t attract the best players anyway. Apparently we have contingency plans if we drop out of the CL. Well that’s good to know except one wonders why the money, which must be there to legitimize these opaque plans, wasn’t used in January.

    And according to those devils in the press Wenger will have 70 million to spend in the summer. How many times have we heard these crazy claims. Even if true the money mysteriously disappears and the best players are sold in order to finance, on the whole, inferior ones. That vast amount may well be needed if we don’t finish fourth though.

    In any other business a manager who has not moved a company forward in eight years has his methods questioned. Is this happening at Arsenal? One feels that Wenger is immune to everything but maybe that’s a misconception. Anyway it’s about time Wenger’s way was challenged.

    One question for those who still defend Wenger, why do you still have faith?

  98. When opposing fans gleefully sing “8 years and you’ve won f@@k all” it’s abit difficult to work out a humourous chant back, as its factually correct.

    Any ideas?

  99. Yes that’s all Forest fans had until we took that record from them. At least Forest could boast they won the European Cup.

  100. Walter,

    Fair point but highlights the dichotomy of Wenger’s reign. 7 trophies in first 9 years, then 0 trophies in 8 years.

  101. First falsehood that has become an established truth is that a lack of trophies necessarily counts as failure.

    Then if you counter that by saying that lots of clubs don’t win trophies but yet they are happy with their lot, it becomes about a club of Arsenal’s stature should have trophies.

    But when you say that Arsenal’s stature is actually not as great as that of Bayern, and Arsenal’s stature doesn’t grant them the same money as ManU, and definitely not as much as the oilers, then you are accused of making excuses.

    If every club is the same, Arsenal still are well above average or as someone said yesterday, mediocre. If every club is not the same, as its not, then Arsenal can hardly be blamed for finishing behind clubs which at the moment are bigger than the, either through being in a later growth phase, or through artificial enhancements. Can;t have it both ways I’m afraid.

  102. Shard,

    Sport is a competition so at the base level not winning is a failure. Having said that Bradford getting to the League Cup final is for a club as bereft of money very much a success for them even if they don’t win. It gives the supporters a day out at Wembley to remember.

    Arsenal historically are the 3rd most successful club in English football, and they have been able to do so by changing and altering the management when required, though not always when they wanted to.

  103. Andrew Ryan
    Sport also has the term ‘sportsmanship’ affiliated to it, which indicates that sport transcends simply winning and losing.

    No Arsenal fan would say we shouldn’t win trophies. But here’s the thing. AT the broadest level, Arsenal’s strategic plan is to a)build a stadium which though will need to be paid for, will boost revenues through increased tickets, especially through corporate boxes. b) Increase commercial revenue by marketing the brand more c) That increased money can then go towards financing the success of the team.

    Nothing you disagree with there I hope? In terms of what the strategic plan was.

    Here are the obstacles they faced. a) the impact Abramovich had. At the time, no one could have predicted this. The inflationary effects on all of football, the tapping up of players etc. b) the recession. Again, no one predicted this. The club was affected more than most others because we rely on our own resources, and we were at a delicate stage in terms of finance, due to an earlier planned stadium relocation.

    This might have led to some tactical, rather than strategic decisions which weren;t part of the original plan
    a) Sell players who are tapped up, and demand impossible wages b) Overpay /pay on potential certain young players so that they are inclined to stay at the club (since no one else will be likely to pay them that much) and ensure we have a core to build on

    This in turn hasn’t worked out ideally, which isn’t surprising because it wasn’t a plan borne out of ideal circumstances. The overall strategy still remains, and in fact, selling to Kroenke itself wasn’t part of the original plan, but with growing oiler interest in the league and our club, it was the way to ensure (as much as anything can be ensured) the continuation of our well thought out and correct, if slightly unfortunately timed, strategy.

    So I ask you. Do you disagree with the strategic direction of the club, or the more tactical decisions taken towards trying to fulfil that strategy?

  104. Shard,

    Historically when an Arsenal manager has failed to win anything for far less than 8 years they have either left the club or been asked to leave the club.

  105. Shard,

    I’d do abit more reading as we relocated many times before within Plumstead – would suggest the excellent AHS book about Woolwich Arsenal

  106. Ok.. If you say so.. Is it relevant to the discussion what we did over a 100 years ago? Are they the same circumstances? The point still stands.

  107. Stuart,

    Based on actual English trophies won it is Man U , Liverppol, Arsenal.

    If you include Europe the top 2 are unfortunately even further ahead.


    You ignored the original point being made was that it is unprecedented for an Arsenal manager to go 8 years without a trophy and remain in the role.

  108. I suppose it depends on how you rate the value of each trophy. You can always get to a different conclusion with a different measure.

  109. Stuart,
    How the Independent could place Arsenal above Liverpool who have won the CL (European Cup 6 times when we have never won it, is beyond me.

    We currently have a manager who has overseen the longest serving period of any manager in the history of the club without winning a trophy. Or do you think that 4th place is a trophy?

  110. Andrew Ryan

    Trophies as the only measure of success is too simplistic a logic to argue by. If you can;t see beyond that, then there is no point discussing anything with you because where you are coming from is entirely different to where I’m coming from.

  111. Arsene is the man for the times. His forward thinking vis-a-vis training, diet and his scouting helped and guided(he did after all inherit some excellent players)Arsenal to some great success. His vision (some say stubborness), understanding of economics, his loyalty to the board and the club and optimism have seen us through some tough economic times (recession, arrival of the billionaires, stadium build). Through this all he has retained his honour throughout a never ending night of the long knives.

    We are in a transition stage right now and are still a couple of years away from being on a firm financial footing. You, the AAA, who troll on these boards looking to pick arguments, might wish to visit your physician, move to sunnier climes or change clubs if you think that this transition is over yet…Just warning you. I would hate to see your lives ruined by a short sighted view of AFC; It is unlikely that any short term move (firing AW for example) will make a huge difference in how our team performs.

    Keep the Faith, Gunners! Tomorrow the sun also rises!

  112. Andrew Ryan,
    It explains in there how Liverpool were affected by spells in the lower leagues.

  113. GGG

    Arsene was the man for the times. His time as an innovator and winner is now over. Time for someone else. Once he goes Arsenal will remain. He is NOT the club.

  114. @Andrew Ryan

    Nobody said he was the club. He will move on at some stage but I believe that he remains the right man right now. I can’t convince you of Arsene Wenger’s merits and you can’t convince me that he should be fired.

    I am not certain why you, who are clearly against anything that Wenger might do, are wasting your time on an avowedly pro-Wenger website. Presumably you can find a website that aligns more closely with your point of view. Is it that you just want to pick a fight or an argument? Le Grove might just be for you.

  115. You know what..Fuck it.. I’ve resisted it so far, but now I’m comfortable using the term AAA because I refuse to believe that people can be so blockheaded, unless that is a deliberate tactic. uk is an AAA.

  116. U can call me AAA, its kinda complementary. It means i’m not d’kind of arsenal fan that wud say things like; walcott was responsible for the january transfer window shambles as the club had to sign him up before working on other targets. Or stuff like outlining arsenals ambitions 1. Build a new stadium bla bla bla

  117. No..It means you are the kind who would deliberately misrepresent what someone else said, and seek to destroy any reasonable debate by the same method. I’m sure that is a compliment to you though because it is what you are after.

  118. Well i guess its better than misrepresenting the club. Wenger and the board have consistently said they hav money available, but wen wenger gleefully shops @the bargain market for left overs, and then fumbles with them, AKBs like you shout that its the board’s fault, he’s financially constrained. Wen he sells our best players, and tells you, he’s totally in charge of football matters, you say no, someone else sold those players. You misrepresent wenger and AFC all the time, y r u annoyed i’m misrepresenting you?

  119. Once again, you’re being obtuse and turning the conversation into something it’s not, by twisting the words of people on here.

  120. No i dont. I dont care if you think im misrepresenting u, or your trying to dodge the debate saying so. Wen u say i misrepresent u, i just shrug and say, so what? U misrepresent AFC and wenger all the time

  121. @sav
    Lol @ wenger for making u laugh and jolly. He said he wud do it.. “We will lose, so you will be happy”… And he did it. Yaaaay!

  122. Re: “U misrepresent AFC and wenger all the time”

    UK has a point though, and it’s a phenomenon I’ve witnessed repeatedly with the staunchest Wenger backers. In that no matter how much he says and has said directly, people choose to ignore it and spin that it must be for all these other reasons, or others’ faults, without realizing that means that if that is truly what they believe the willingly accept Wenger lying to them then.

    For example, Wenger, the board, executives have in no uncertain terms repeatedly said money is there and there to spend as he wishes (published accounts support this). He’s mused many times about being in charge of football matters. He’s recently admitted to a “socialist” (his words) wage structure that is built more on philosophy than necessity. He’s recently admitted that though it’s easier to play ready-made players that we can afford he’d often rather go with youth and admits that can and likely has cost us games. Going further back in his own words he even said (Martin Samuel interview) that is was his decision to get rid of Patrick Vieira while recognizing that his invincible winning midfield partnership of Vieira and Gilberto still worked he opted for Fabregas because he was worried that he would want to leave if he didn’t play regularly at 18, thereby showing what his priorities were and admitting they had nothing to do with monetary necessities. He’s talked in his own words about pay parity as a means to eliminate jealously and promote harmony; again these are philosophically driven moves more than anything else.

    The thing is Wenger has never hid who he was, and this goes back to before Arsenal, his thoughts on developing organically are well known, and his aversion to spending big far predates his time at AFC, the building of the Emirates, the global financial meltdown, City and Chelsea riches etc. This is who he always was.

    Perhaps instead of ignoring everything he has said, and coming up with all sorts of reasons why it’s something else (which again means admitting that Wenger lies to you and you accept it), look at the things he has said for years, look at his precedents. As with Monaco he came in and won quickly with more conventional means (relying more on experienced and established talent), earned goodwill and capital, and spent that capital on pursuing his idealistic vision of football. The difference is, they sacked him.

    Again to bring this back to the main point, really internalize this, we all know that Wenger himself (the board, executives, etc) have repeatedly said that significant money is there for him to spend as he wishes, yet his stanchest backers contort themselves into all sorts of positions to ignore what he and they have said with their own words to come up with all sorts of reasons why it can’t be so…

    So are you perfectly happy to be openly lied to then by the man who has you unquestioned, unconditional support?

    You simply cannot have it both ways and have both “truths”.

  123. The heartbreaking truth is that, but for the greed of the owners, we would be standing alongside Bayern Munich now. If our Club had been well-run, if efforts and revenue had been totally devoted to the benefit of the Club (as with Bayern), Arsenal would probably have won major trophies these past eight years, and for sure would have been genuine contenders. Instead we have fallen light years behind Bayern and the rest. 82% of Bayern shares are owned by fans. They have the highest commercial revenue in the world – three times ours – and their ticket prices are something less than half ours (Am I allowed to mention that, Al?) Back then with the Invincibles we had possibly the best squad in European football and a manager generally regarded as one of the very best in the world. Yes, we moved into a state-of-the-art stadium – but so did they. Those who believe that firing Wenger will be like waving a magic wand are living in a state of total self-delusion. Bayern M has won titles, narrowly missed out on CL title twice in three years (and may well win it this year) because their manager has been allowed to keep his best players and to bring in as many others as he deems necessary. Until the same happens at Arsenal, we will continue to decline.

  124. @steve…what wenger has to work on should be beating the likes of bradford or blackburn and many more sides in the prem lge,but it aint working is it.i’ve never seen a team(under wenger) that as not won half of their prem lge games at this stage of the season.i know that our net spent on players over the last 5 seasons is the worst in the prem lge,but that can not be an excuse for wenger buying many poor,poor players out of the 145m he has spent.we can’t keep hiding the fact that our defence,season in season out is so,so poor.in all of this the one person i am sticking up for is jack wilshere himself.he his our future and can never be sold in my opinion.i know wilshere has defended wenger of late,but like every gooner i am more concerned about the day he gives up on both wenger and the club for not being ambitious and wants to move on.it is now getting to every gooner seeing our top players moving on to win trophies at other clubs.there’s both anarcy with the board and what us fans are seeing on the pitch this season.where does it end.

  125. A.Stewart
    I just want to pick up on something you said which has become a regular theme for many, and that is the bit about Wenger lying to us in the press conference.

    Here is your quote : “(which again means admitting that Wenger lies to you and you accept it),”

    Do you not realise that when he is taking at these press conferences, he is not talking to you and me (the fans), he is talking to the press, a collective who repeatedly and habitually look for a weakness to exploit in everybody and exaggerate it 100 fold. He also can’t say what is really going on as there are many sensitive issues that the competition must not know about. Do you honestly believe for example a company such as Tesco would reveal their next move to the competition before they have decided / agreed it? Of course not and for the very same reason Arsenal do not announce what we are actually going to do.

    It seems to me that fans somehow have this unfounded belief that they are entitled to know absolutely everything that goes on and I’m not surprised to be honest, with the 24 hour media merry go round that we have nowadays, everyone has become accustomed to information being readily available at the click of a button, it’s a shame some have gotten caught up in all the hype. I too had been caught up in it all in the past and can compare it to a drug, you just want more and more information every time but luckily I realised my own gut instinct is better than what a journalist / newspaper will serve up for me. The reality is, and you don’t have to think back that far to remember this, we never knew what was going on at the club until it was made official, this was across all teams in the leagues. I suppose what I’m saying is, people need to get over themselves.

  126. Stuart, first of all I didn’t limit anything to press conferences, as this is not the only outlet these statements have been repeatedly made by him and the club, just check Arsenal.com over the last few years if you don’t believe me. If that makes you feel better for being lied to so be it.

    Also I don’t feel entitled to know everything that is going on in the club…or as PHW thanks for your interest in our affairs.

    Anyway I merely am stating that Wenger’s own words and actions show who he is and much of his decisions are made based on philosophical reasons rather than financial concerns, and if you believe otherwise you’re simply being and willfully being manipulated because he’s never hidden who we was, is and will be, what he believes in and what he is in charge of.:

    For example:

    “When Cesc Fabregas was 18, 19, I would play him in a 4-4-2 with Patrick Vieira and I saw it did not work. Then I had the decision to make about letting Patrick go, because Gilberto Silva and Vieira worked, Fabregas and Silva worked, but I could not play Fabregas and Vieira. But Fabregas was 19 and if he did not play I knew he would want to go, so we risked destroying everything, all the work we had put into this player. ”

    There you have the man in his own words admitting his priority was giving in to a teenager and fearing losing him over keeping together his most successful midfield pairing, still in their late 20s at the time, with much on and off field value to contribute still…This was not a financially borne decision but rather a choice made from philosophy..

    “It is easier to take a player of 25 and put him in the team. You know what you are getting.

    ‘If you put them in at 17 or 18, you have to stand up for them. You risk losing games while they are learning their job. Once you have produced them you want to say, ‘Okay, let’s stay together and win together.’”

    There in his own words you have a manager admitting it is easier to do well with mature players (that we can afford) but perfectly willing to lose games (as we arguably have) while they are learning on the job arguably at the expense of the team performing better. That’s a choice driven by philosophy not financial constraints, and a choice that is further supported by his own words on his “socialist” wage parity pay structure that pays these youngsters more than they would arguably get elsewhere…


    “‘Diaby’s injury record is not good,’ said Wenger. ‘I was concerned about him of course. It was a gamble, but I was calculating as well that Wilshere was coming back, Francis Coquelin is here but was sick and Emmanuel Frimpong is back.

    ‘Tomas Rosicky is coming back so we have many midfield players. We don’t have many physical players but Mikel Arteta has shown he can be a great defensive midfield player.”

    There in his own words you have the man admitting what everyone (who hasn’t worked a half day in football, managed for 30 years, or made 50,000 substitutions) knew, that hedging bets on Diaby coming fit, who had fitness problems from his Auxerre days was a gamble, and then further compounded in the context that he admits he doesn’t have many physical players, he gambled by also relying on 3 more players with their own injury problems and a player in Arteta who isn’t a defensive midfielder, in the context of getting rid of his only physical midfielder in Song, and more importantly a player who is always fit. Those are CHOICES he made.

    Then there are the countless statements about funds being available, he can spend on a 30 m player if he wanted, and then of course only if it’s top top quality etc etc, all from his own mouth (and the club’s), in various venues not just pressers.

    Not to mention the times he said he’s in charge of all sorts of things with relation to player matters, various contradictory statements like at the start of a season saying age cannot be used as an excuse, and when we fail at the end saying remember how young the side is..not to mention the judge me in May comments, followed up by the next May and so on..

    So I don’t feel entitled to know everything at all, I just listen to what Wenger says and have said for years during his time at Arsenal, and even predating Arsenal. He has never hidden who he was.

    Do we have some financial constraints, especially in recent years, and in relative to certain big spenders? Of course, but that doesn’t negate that the choices Wenger has made during that time were largely choices, based on his philosophies that existed long before, and he could have chosen to do things different regardless of financial constraints..(Heck we’ve added a net of 40 pros to our books since the stadium move.)

    Instead of ignoring what he says, maybe you guys should try listening to him; he’s never hidden who he was and what he believes in. He’s not going to change his spots, even with this supposed 70 m “warchest”.

    Again if you make all sorts of excuses for causing factors and ignore the words out of the man’s own mouth, then you are saying that he is lying to you, and you are fine with it.

    Not only words but actions, again the precedent was set at Monaco, wherein he won early by conventional means , used to capital he earned to embark on his long held idealistic football project. He did the same at AFC. And the timing of the stadium, gave him perfect cover to do so, and later the global economic meltdown, and City/Chelsea gave him perfect cover to continue doing so (to some of the more gullible at least) unfortunately his own words often betrayed this is you just listened.

  127. “Do you not realise that when he is taking at these press conferences, he is not talking to you and me (the fans), he is talking to the press, a collective who repeatedly and habitually look for a weakness to exploit in everybody and exaggerate it 100 fold. He also can’t say what is really going on as there are many sensitive issues that the competition must not know about. Do you honestly believe for example a company such as Tesco would reveal their next move to the competition before they have decided / agreed it? Of course not and for the very same reason Arsenal do not announce what we are actually going to do.”

    Also, sorry but this is just nonsense… Please tell me what possible strategic advantage does the club gain from dilberately “misleading” the press/competition about Wenger having lots of money available to spend? Exactly, if anything it would be disadvantageous to do so (if indeed there was an intention to spend lots) because prices would raise etc. Moroever, do you really think AFC is fooling the press, and our competitors with this I guess, cunning deception? Seriously, you can only cry wolf so many times until people start calling you on your BS. Thus next season you’ll hear (usually either near a transfer window or when WEnger is under acute pressure) that there is loads of money available if he wants to spend it, and predictably you’ll then hear only if we find super quality etc. Erm do you really think the press and our competitors are “fooled” by this oh so clever tactic, and again what advantage is gained? So erm imo, these musings are for the audience of gooners who hope beyond hope that he will spend (wihtout weakening first)on what seems like obvious needed improvements that he, the club and our accounts say we can afford. And these reports of warchests and funds available have a tricky little habit of popping up when he is under accute pressure well, like, now. 70 m warchest anyone?

    Arsenal don’t announce what they are actually going to do? Anyone paying attention in the last few years, knows exactly what will happen, as it generally always follows the same script.


  128. And these reports of warchests and funds available have a tricky little habit of popping up when he is under acute pressure AND season ticket renewal time well, like, now. 70 m warchest anyone?

    Apparently you think this tactic is clever, the only people that it cleverly deceives are not the press, not our competitors, not free thinking gooners, rather just the people who are willfully and gullibly fooled by it, through justifying it. Well like you, Stuart.

  129. The press put out these stories and use it as a stick to,beat wenger when he does not spend,this ampunt…i do not have the financials, but wouldn’t a seventy million net outlay almost blow us into oblivion in ffp terms? Money needs spending, and we should not make the mistake of last season on selling song to put us into the positive, but seventy million outlay on transfers…..prove me wrong, but sounds like mischief. Looks like unfortunately we will sell bac, and a few fringe squad members, some will leave on a free…..I predict at most a 15 million net outlay….at most. We need a player or two, but mainly for what we have to perform better….this may or may not be down to coaching and confidence.

  130. @stewart,
    Great try mate. But you need to understand, once a person has made up his mind “to support the lord wenger in all that he does,” what do you expect? They will twist everythng to exonerate “their lord” even their lord’s words (which you’d have thought wud be sacred). Even wenger himself become drawn into this modus operandi. He said judge me in may, wen instead they gave him a trophy, he must have thought, wat the hell, i’m beyond reproach. We know the truth, we know about arsenal’s finances, we know wat club management has said in pressers, supporters trust meetings,AGMs etc.it tallies with info from numerous sources. If an AKB wants to cook up excuses, thats fine, but dont expect anyone other than an AKB to take u seriosly wen you do.

  131. Selling Vieira instead of allowing Cesc to leave is absolutely about money. Vieira, at his age, performs for what 2 years more, or 3? Leaving aside his habitual flirting with Real Madrid of course. With Cesc you have a player who can contribute to the team’s cause for a decade or more, even if it means some short term drop off in quality while he gains experience.

    “It is easier to take a player of 25 and put him in the team. You know what you are getting.

    ‘If you put them in at 17 or 18, you have to stand up for them. You risk losing games while they are learning their job. Once you have produced them you want to say, ‘Okay, let’s stay together and win together.’”

    There in his own words you have a manager admitting it is easier to do well with mature players (that we can afford) but perfectly willing to lose games (as we arguably have) while they are learning on the job arguably at the expense of the team performing better.”

    Nowhere in that quote does he say about players of 25 being that we can afford. You added that context on your own. He was simply talking about the difficulty of bringing in younger players in general.

    But the major mistake you make is considering finances and philosophy as mutually exclusive reasons for Wenger’s actions. They’re not. Bringing through younger players is part of his philosophy, but it also saves the club money. Allowing a team to grow together and WIN together (a part of his quote you conveniently overlook) also saves the expense of having to buy players every few years to replace the aging ones.

    How do you explain the signing of Arteta, Podolski, Koscielny, Giroud, Cazorla, Monreal, Santos, none of whom were below 25?

    And as for the socialist wage structure. Firstly, socialism doesn’t mean ‘parity’. It still has a provision for giving payments based on merit. We did, and do, pay our better players more than the others. It just means there is less of a gap. While you may disagree with the policy, there have been studies to show that a more equitable wage distribution raises the level of a team’s performance. As I said, you may disagree, but his philosophy is not without any practical basis.

    The stadium move gave him ‘cover’ to act on his philosophy is simply your contention. It certainly did provide an opportunity to accelerate the academy’s growth, but yet again, you are compartmentalising philosophy and economic reality into exclusive entities. It doesn’t work like that in the real world.

    And his, and the club’s often contradictory statements are part of the way business is done. It is called misdirection. What benefit from saying we have money? You are only thinking of the buying aspect. That it’ll increase the sale price. What about the selling aspect? Oh we’re broke will invite other clubs to not just pick up our players but also at a lower price. The truth is, no one really knows how much money is there at ARsenal.

    However, the money is there, but it is substantial now, only because it has been kept. We haven’t spent it. Why? Here’s the thing. If the first thing you want to assume is that Wenger doesn’t care about getting in good players, and the board/owner only care about boosting the share price etc. then that’s your call. There are other explanations. Mainly that spending at a certain level does nothing. Sure, maybe we could have spent in 2008 or 2010 for one or two players, and we MIGHT have won something. We would also have exhausted our entire reserves of cash. Which would be what Liverpool did before going into administration.

    Why would it be different now (or in another year)? Because now, not only do we have some cash, we also know there is an assured future supply with the new marketing deals. If in 2 years time, the club still doesn’t spend money on buying and retaining its players, then it would perhaps prove the theory of the greedy board and living in lala land Wenger. But right now…. There are far more credible theories than that.

    Oh and the comparison with Monaco is pure fluff. Just because he brought through young players there like he did at Arsenal, and just because he also bought some senior players there, like he did at Arsenal (they weren’t actually two separate phases like you suggest), doesn’t lead to a comparison. Surely that is what every manager is supposed to do. Get in some good players, and seek to also bring through youngsters?

  132. @nihirealist
    Unfortunately u seem to be agreeing with stewart. Let me paraphrase wat stewart says, wenger has no excuse, he doesnt make one for himself, so AKBs like you shouldnt cook him one. If you say his excuse for failure is the age of his squad, stewart says, nobody stopped him from buying mature players, he did so himself. You say, wenger bought sufficient mature players… Final analysis, you both agree youth players werent wengers problem, he got players he wanted.
    Stewart says, other clubs do not have more to pay their players, just the way we distribute our wages is the problem. You say, we pay our players well enough, and our flat system even has been scientifically proven to do a better job… Bottomline, u both agree, the money for wages isnt a problem.
    Now where you both disagree is;
    Stewart says, those issues cannot be used to excuse wenger therefore. You say ???

  133. uk

    I don’t think Wenger has failed. I do think that Wenger can do better.

    I don’t necessarily agree with the ‘socialist’ model, but I don’t necessarily disagree with it either. Even if we paid RVP the same percentage of turnover that ManU pay him (ie align the model to a less socialistic method) we still wouldn’t be able to match the big spenders. Sometimes, it makes sense to go another route when you know you can’t compete in one way. (Building the stadium is about changing that fact by increasing turnover) Wenger got the players he wanted within the confines of financial limitations. He also got the players he had taken away because of those same financial limitations.

  134. uk

    Also, most of those older players have been bought in the last 2 seasons. This is actually what gives me confidence that the club are becoming more comfortable with spending since they can’t really hope to get much resale value from these players. The fact that they’ve been bought recently, just goes against Stewart’s contention that Wenger operates in 2 phases of bringing in senior pros before embarking on a cherished dream of building a team of young players.

  135. @nihirealist,
    If u say since the mature players were bought in the last two years and that gives you hope, does that mean the preceeding years were spent buying youth, and that didnt give you hope? If thats the case are you saying project youth was a failure? Albeit an attempt to get around financial difficulties which club management before and after the stadium move hav denied?

  136. And you keep saying big spenders, if we r small spenders wage wise, why is our wage bill almost as high as man utd’s yet they are big spenders and we are not? We r are big spenders(i think u acknowledged that in your earlier post), but equitably(or sociably) so. Man city and chelsea are the highest spenders in the league(wage-wise and otherwise) man utd will probably win the league despite this, with a wage bill a little more than ours, how come that is true for man utd yet not supposed to be true for arsenal?

  137. uk

    There’s no hope for you is there? Still twisting words around trying to find a proverbial chink in the armour of any logic. I already said I don’t think of Wenger as having failed. I can’t build a narrative of the last 8 years in a few sentences, and if I actually try and explain it to you, you’ll just look for flaws by any means, including thinking up some, instead of trying to find common ground. Which is what a debate is about.

    You got one thing right, however unwittingly. The so called AAA and AKB divide..It isn’t really all that big. There are certain things everyone can and does agree on. It’s the gaps in knowledge that are filled up based on some suppositions, that creates that divide. Any point of view COULD be correct. But no one KNOWS. If people would just acknowledge that they don;t know, and then seek an explanation, even if based on certain parameters, there would be grounds for actually figuring it out.

  138. @nihirealist
    I said u said wenger failed? Where?
    That wud spoil my argument wouldnt it? Cos my point is wenger has failed and that by his own making. As against the AKB argument that he either hasnt failed or if he has, it was someone else’ fault.
    So maybe you’re the one word-twisting here.

  139. uk
    ” If thats the case are you saying project youth was a failure?”

    You implied it.

    Wage bill is a fairly accurate measure in most circumstances. But transfer spend has its value as well. Especially if it is over a period of a number of years. Because it implies that a side has had to rebuild rather than build on something if their transfer spend is too low. Nothing too major there, and another part where we can have common ground. Selling our better players year on year has disrupted our play on the field.

    Also, Arsenal’s accounts do not separately mention wages for playing staff. ManU’s does. The two figures that seem so close, more likely are not as close as you think.

    But let’s say it is, and let’s say we’re not as efficient as ManU. No other club is either. (Although as I said, ManU’s transfer spending is consistently higher) I’m willing to accept that in a case of constant flux and regular readjustment, certain inefficiencies crop up. That isn’t just excuse making. Things work that way.

  140. @ Mandy:

    The press put out these stories and use it as a stick to,beat wenger when he does not spend,this ampunt…

    You cannot say that’s always the case though, the Club, the Manager the executives often speak about money available too, sometimes being as specific as saying buying a 30 M player wouldn’t be a problem if Wenger wanted to…Moreover, let’s not be naive to think that when stories about Warchests come about usually around season ticket renewal time/ when Wenger is under pressure, that it’s somehow inconceivable that the club itself leaks these stories or some of them.

    Be real.

    To think that “the press” is some nefarious homogenous “enemy” that the club doesn’t strategically utilize when necessary for the benefit of its own PR is pretty naive imo.

  141. @nihirealist
    I asked a question, because u seem to have said you developed hope or at least increased hope 2years ago wen the older players started coming in. That to me means u entertained less hope in the earlier years wen the players bought were not so mature. You see, i’m not one to beat wenger with the stick of a players age, wilsher is our best player now, he’s also one of the youngest. The same applied to fabregas, or a player like rooney in ’04, or messi in ’05. I’m of the opinion that if u are good enough now, you are old enough.
    I think wenger is a failure because he has loaded the club too many below average to mediocre players. Thers a difference between experienced and over the hill. Cazorla is experienced, silvestre is over-the-hill. Its a bad situation to hav many mediocre players, its even worse to have them on fat salaries.
    But that wasnt the point. The point was, project youth, failure or success wasnt imposed on wenger, it was a choice he made supposedly as his strategy to get us to the top. We didnt get there, the man ought to be able to say, my plans failed, i take responsibility.

  142. @ nihirealist…this is exactly why UK has a point when you he says that gooners like you often misrepresent Wenger’s own words to absolve him of blame…

    “Selling Vieira instead of allowing Cesc to leave is absolutely about money. Vieira, at his age, performs for what 2 years more, or 3? Leaving aside his habitual flirting with Real Madrid of course. With Cesc you have a player who can contribute to the team’s cause for a decade or more, even if it means some short term drop off in quality while he gains experience.”

    When Wenger’s own words in quote with no ambiguity said the reason was explicitly this!

    “When Cesc Fabregas was 18, 19, I would play him in a 4-4-2 with Patrick Vieira and I saw it did not work. Then I had the decision to make about letting Patrick go, because Gilberto Silva and Vieira worked, Fabregas and Silva worked, but I could not play Fabregas and Vieira. But Fabregas was 19 and if he did not play I knew he would want to go, so we risked destroying everything, all the work we had put into this player. ”

    Yet you have the temerity to nitpick about me adding in (that we can afford) which of course we can, in relation to the statement about players around 25.? C’mon dude, do better than that.

    Again you are ignoring Wenger’s own words, and coming up with your own reasoning, which means you are willfully accepting he is lying to you then. It had to do with his philosophy not money, a philosophy he has held before his time at Arsenal, before the building of the Emirates, before the global financial meltdown, before City and Chelsea becoming rich..He’s never hid who he was, from as far back as Monaco.

    Anyway let’s break down what you said..

    1) “Selling Vieira instead of allowing Cesc to leave is absolutely about money”

    Yet Wenger explicitly said it was about worrying that an 18 year old kid would want to leave if he didn’t get first 11 playing time that Vieira alongside Gilberto were then occupying.

    2)”Vieira, at his age, performs for what 2 years more, or 3?”

    Vieira was 29 at the time, hardly old, coming of repeated seasons of winning trophies, more importantly Wenger admitted that he and Gilberto (his most successful midfield pairing that went unbeaten) STILL WORKED. Moreover, if you look at all/most of the title winning sides of recent times, continuity, experience and passing on a winning culture/leadership to up-comers is a crucial ingredient for a team’s success and more importantly continued success. Even if Vieira lost a yard, and would lose a yard further each year, he and many of the other vets who were imo too hastily discarded to gift playing time to undersized kids still had good to offer on and off the pitch. Not to mention the youngsters would not only become better players from learning from them, but harder workers by having to earn their place (not having it gifted).

    3) Leaving aside his habitual flirting with Real Madrid of course

    Big players get interest from other clubs, top managers are paid well to deal with it.

    4) With Cesc you have a player who can contribute to the team’s cause for a decade or more.

    This one is too easy,… he didn’t! Not only did he not stay that long (yes technically I realize you said “can”) we didn’t win a thing, and our last title was Vieira’s last kick of a football for AFC. Coincidence? No-one was saying change wasn’t necessary for a variety of reasons, but it was done too hastily, and we could have had a better chance of a) winning things post 2005, b) better preparing young players c)held on to our better players if we had phased the dismantling of our champions better.

    5) even if it means some short term drop off in quality while he gains experience.”

    And therein lies the major problem..while HE gains experience. The for the better of the team, was sacrificed for what was for the better of HE. The absolute irony of it all is the situation that was gifted to Fabregas which allowed his to blossom into a great player, was the exact situation that made him and subsequently others want to leave, as the lack of quality, top experience and competitiveness around him didn’t match his ambitions. And that culture of gifting things to kids and paving an easy route leading to complacency has continued ever since imo, and in that of many, who while you may disagree are true gooners just like you regardless of differing opinions.

  143. “Oh and the comparison with Monaco is pure fluff. Just because he brought through young players there like he did at Arsenal, and just because he also bought some senior players there, like he did at Arsenal (they weren’t actually two separate phases like you suggest), doesn’t lead to a comparison. Surely that is what every manager is supposed to do. Get in some good players, and seek to also bring through youngsters?

    Call it fluff if you want, I call it precedent, and never spoke about it in isolation but in combination with Wenger’s long held views about how he prefers to build football teams, and his aversion to spending big, which again, predated his time at AFC, the building of the Emirates, the global financial meltdown and City and Chelsea becoming rich.

    Unfortunately as people and more importantly as professional we are linked to our professional track record. Assuming you are in the working world, you would know that there’s a reason why prospective new employers examine your professional (and personal) history to form a reasonable judgment (may not always be correct or exact) of who you are and how you work.

    Again at Monaco the situation is not an exact correlation but it’s alarmingly similar when summarized. He came in and won quickly with more conventional means (more experienced and established players), he earned a lot of goodwill, and capital, and he spent it very quickly thereafter on pursuing his idealistic vision of how a football team should be built, and the results went south.

    Call it fluff, I call it precedent, and ACTIONS espeically when combined with his own WORDS and views, and well known and often spoken philosophies on these subjects.

  144. Sheesh.

    wenger said If Vieira doesn’t go, Cesc does. Ok. Let’s just leave it at that. But let’s make it that it was simply about a philosophy, and nothing else shall we. Why? Simply because some quote from some interview years ago doesn’t mention it? Is that a full context to it?

    Would keeping Vieira cost more money or not? Would his wages be higher, and his resale value be lower? Would he play for as long as Cesc? If you want to ignore all of those things, that’s up to you. But those issues are monetary issues, which have real relevance to the example you give. And whether Cesc stayed or didn’t wasn’t to be known 6 years previous should it? Or should Wenger be clairvoyant as well?

    I already said Wenger doesn’t say everything, he often contradicts himself, and no quote of anyone ever provides the complete context. SO don’t put up this straw man of me thinking Wenger speaks gospel. He doesn’t. That he doesn’t, doesn’t make him a liar, nor does it make his statements of no value. You have to extract value from them, like with anything. But no, critical thinking hurts the brain too much for some people.

  145. A.Stewart

    Provide the evidence for Wenger’s work at Monaco. Give me a list of his signings with their ages, and show a significant drop off in results. Without that, sorry, this argument that Wenger won with conventional methods and then discarded those and any chance to win in pursuit of some ideal, is just fluff. I’m not arguing with you on which there is no supporting evidence unless you provide it. I’m not doing research to counter an argument that you make no effort to substantiate. That’s on you.

  146. uk

    Hope was your word, not mine. What I actually said was, “This (buying older players) is actually what gives me confidence that the club are becoming more comfortable with spending since they can’t really hope to get much resale value from these players. ”

    It was nothing to do with hope, or with project youth. It was to do with increase in spending, and willingness to absorb the cost of players not yielding money through resale. And still you say you don’t twist words?

  147. @nihirealist
    Oh pardon me for using the word hope instead of confidence. And for associating d search for resale value to the age of a player. It wud seem that you insinuate that the focus on younger players was driven by the need for resale value, would that be correct? Or is that another word-twister?

  148. uk

    It is. It doesn’t mean buying younger players was driven by that consideration. It means that the scope of selling the player for some decent amount of money exists if they are younger, and is diminished when they’re older. A safety net of sorts. Which the club seemingly are comfortable operating without.

  149. How is the youth project a failure?

    We have only been doing it for about 15 years so were hardly likely to have an abundance of talent available for the first team. I read it quoted somewhere that Ajax took 20 years to start seeing this come through and in a period where they didn’t build a new giant stadium

  150. Wengerrr out, gazidiz out, kronke out, anyone the media hate out, all arsenal playerrs out…..

    Well when bayern fans make more noise than arsenal fans in our own stadium, Fans out
    when we concede a goal, the fans sit putting their hands on their cheeks watching with no commetment shown, fans out
    instead of saying wenger cant motivate the team, start doing yr own job, u shall motivate the team, but no you cant make a noise except when booooing it own players, shame on you

  151. Uk and A. Steward have won this round, for the first in the history of this blog (as well as Arsenal fc blog) someone has won an argument against Nihirrealist A.K.A Shard. Boy I enjoyed this debate, you guys are all very clever but Shard is still the best. By the way what does AAA stand for?I know Im stupid for not knowing what AAA means, its not my fault that Im a product of Bantu Education in an apartheid South Africa.

  152. @tony
    Theres another name u can call us that’s trending now (sorry ur AAA never seemed to catch on outside of UA), its ABW -“anyone but wenger”. Developed from our response to the popular AKB question, “if we sack wenger, who wud u replace him with?”

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