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July 2021

Solid Arsenal

by Don McMahon


There is no mystery to our ¨sudden¨ solidity and cohesive team spirit which, in my humble opinion, dates from last January and therefore isn’t so novel:


1)Our Germans have a long tradition of loyalty and sacrifice for their comrades. The Wehrmacht’s slogan during the war, despite their horrible reputation, was ¨fur volk und vaterland¨  which expresses the German priorities and it has continued into today with  Germany’s shared sense of social responsibility and sacrifice for their country and the EU dominating their national actions.


2)The English still have that bulldog spirit and a particular ability to develop good team chemistry because of their long local Club history and the common man’s passion for the game. As well, the British kids are young, therefore the team is more homogenous, since they are a nice combination of youthful vigour and also adult experience.


3)Wenger’s, protectiveness, kindness and fatherly concern transmits very well to our players and his iron fist in a velvet glove approach is quite effective with players, particularly those like Ozil who have known lesser managers.  When a player comes to the Arsenal, he knows that he’ll usually be treated fairly and given his chance. Bendtner is a prime example of how patient and tolerant the entire Club is towards their charges.


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4)It is this very heterogeneous mix that encourages a certain internationalism and spirit of unity, since Europe and England have become much closer since the end of the war and are common allies, economic partners and social scions of the new age Europe.


5)Winning always promotes a sense of collegiality and shared happiness as well as an appreciation of your teammates virtues and vices. This increased knowledge and familiarity with a shared positive experience naturally promotes a bonding with your fellow travellers.


6)The fact that individual players don’t seem to be bothered by what the ¨stars¨ are earning in comparison to their compensation packages is thanks to two things; Wenger’s egalitarian wage beliefs and his refusal to allow a superstar mentality to prevail. I am 100% sure that when this attitude begins to show its ugly head, Wenger firmly and gently disabuses the inflated ego and swiftly returns him to earth. This feeling of being treated fairly ensures that every player plays for the Club

and his teammates NOT for the media, a bigger payout, his cv or anything ancillary to the success of the Arsenal.


7) There is also an enhanced sense of security this season. For the first time since 2005, two things have happened; we have not lost a key player(s) in the summer AND we have spent a Club record to bring in a world-class playmaker. What player does NOT want to play with a Club which is stable, ambitious and playing beautiful Football as well?


If there was anything that was and may still be divisive and corrosive of this cohesiveness it was and is our fickle AAA fans. No player wants to be booed in public by a rabid pack of Arsenal-hating mongrels who think themselves better than other supporters because they ¨paid¨ for the right to do what they want during a game. Fortunately our lads aren’t fragile (at least not emotionally)like they used to be and Ramsey has shown this hating attitude to be both ill-timed, ill-considered and basically moronic. I also believe that he has helped solidify the team by showing his courage, will to win, desire to play his heart out for the Club and eagerness to work for his teammates. It is embarrassing for a teammate to show indifference or lack of motivation when you have a guy like Ramsey playing beside you.


Regardless, the Arsenal are definitely headed in the right direction and even when faced with obstacles and disheartening defeat, they come back stronger than ever, ie: Dortmund, Villa, the Spuds last season. I read that our last 38 games performance would win us the title with ease if the same continues into May….here’s to the Arsenal achieving that goal.


Earlier posts

21 comments to Solid Arsenal

  • graham clarke

    Paid for the right to abuse these people leave their brain at home should grow up

  • robl

    “Rabid pack of Arsenal hating mongrel’s” Classic. Sat back with a pint awaiting the fallout! Nice one Don.


  • Sammy The Snake

    A win against Southampton at home will reinforce this solidity.

  • nicky

    All nicely compiled and certainly true.
    My Gran (who cleans at the Emirates) says “Don’t forget the backroom staff though, who show all the attributes you describe, in order to keep our great Club ticking over. Our stars come and go but those who wield the squeegee last for ever”.

  • Neil

    gooner.joe (Arsenal): we’re definitely in the market for a striker and i think there’s only a handful out there of the calibre that we need who might be available or who we’ve been linked with. robert lewnadowski, probably going to bayern. he said he’s decided where he’s going now but if we managed to put together an attractive proposition for him then he would be great. luis suarez, again highly unlikely and would not be available until the summer and even then it would take £60m+, i don’t think we would pay that. karim benzema, ticks all the boxes and a lot more likely than the previous two but has started to come into form for madrid and they will only sell him in the summer if they have a replacement lined up (probably suarez). edin dzeko, there’s no way city would sell him to us in january but he will want to go and play first team football. i don’t think his transfer fee will be astronomical but he’ll have to take a pay cut. christian benteke, would jump at the chance to play for arsenal and £25m would probably be enough to get him. he’s still young and has a well rounded game. i don’t think we showed any interest in him in the summer so i doubt he would be on the top of arsene’s list. diego costa, scoring for fun in spain and he’s a beast. atletico would sell for the right price and at 25 has his best years in front of him, although he’s not consistently proven. jackson martinez, picked up where he left off last season and has a £40m buy out clause but the premier league is a big step up from portugal, would be a bit of a risk. IMO suarez is the best striker in the world so i would love to see us sign him but if i were to be realistic, and it might be a slight gamble, but i would like to test atletico’s resolve in january for costa.

  • TJ

    Very good piece this and I cannot disagree with anything. Maybe also getting rid of the non- playing so- called “deadwood” (hate to use that term for anyone who tried their best for us, but you know who I mean)was a good boost as you know how players who are not getting games will bring others down, and that’s at any level of competivive football. Also, getting rid of the Dutch skunk may have been a blessing in disguise. There is an interesting link on Arseblog to an article written by a Dutch guy and buddy of the skunk that I had not seen before. Imagine the team captain running young players down. And imagine asking another player if he wanted to play for us without being asked or instructed to do so by his manager. Cheeky b*sta*d.

  • TJ

    To add, did anyone see Bendtner mouthing off to the press again. Surely he should be kept away from the first team now. I would prefer to see Afobe on the bench and given the chance, than Bendtner who does not even have the brain to realise he is getting another chance that he hardly deserves.

  • Jerry


    Good article! Completely correct, from what I can see, in regards to the solidarity of the team. The team has everything put together to succeed right now – talent, team mentality, manager, and backroom staff. The only thing Arsenal needs is the support of real loud fans at the games to make the Emirates a fortress!

    @Neil, good options for January, but I would rather not stunt Giroud, considering the remarkable progress he has made this year. I would prefer a cheaper option, that can come in with quality when needed, and won’t disrupt the harmony of the team. I would consider Pato if available, since rumors say it would only take 15 million from Corinthians, and he’s only 24 I believe.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Watching England lose the first half to Chilli, and wondering why the commentary does not keep on repeating “England have won no trophy for 47 years…” , the way the do for Arsenal!

  • Yassin

    Even in fifa14, the video game, the commentator talks about the 8 trophyless seasons of Arsenal, even there.
    Its Martin Taylor viice btw.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Not a good night for arsenal players tonight.

  • Pat

    Just have to disagree with one thing, Don. I would hate to think that our German players had anything to do with the spirit of the Wehrmacht, the Nazi army that overran Europe destroying everything and everyone in its way. Their attitude of national superiority was to see Slavs, Jews, Gypsies and numerous other people as inferior sub-humans and thus justify their horrific treatment of them.

    No, I would like to see our German players in the tradition of solidarity of the ordinary people which is also a very long German tradition, the tradition of those who opposed Hitler and the Nazis, even to the extent of sacrificing their lives. The tradition of solidarity between nations and across borders.

    Sorry to be a bit heavy, but this is important.

  • Arvind

    This is an excellent article Don. It’s very true – everything you say about Arsenal and why it’s a great club.

  • Armin

    Good piece Don, rally good one, but have to agree with Pat.
    What is even better in our squad we have best German mix. We have Poldi and Ozil who are mixture of best German virtues plus their “native ones”, Ozil bring a bit of Turkish flame, taste for spices, little details, while Poldi adds typical Slavic “sensibility” not such often with “Germans by blood”. Though it is all prejudice and generalization which is never good.
    But yes this season we have a bit of German steel, British resilience, French artistry, and all well warped and put together.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Just as great materials and metals of old were forged by an amalgam of alloys by great fires ; so too are great teams forged by the inner fire of the individuals’ desire to unite in a blaze of common passion and unity .
    Brickfields Gunners- 2013.

    By faithfulness we are collected and wound up into unity within ourselves, whereas we had been scattered abroad in multiplicity.
    Saint Augustine

    The essence of the beautiful is unity in variety.
    W. Somerset Maugham

  • OMGArsenal

    Pat….I agree entirely. That is why I didn’t write this point 1 with the idea of eulogizing or idealizing the Facists, who were and are, at best pigs and more likely demons incarnate. My point was to highlight the positive aspects of the German character,as you also pointed out. My apologies if it came off as a lauding of the Nazis…NEVER my intent I can assure everyone.

  • bjtgooner

    I would attribute the improved solidity of the team to the blend of experienced players in addition to those approaching their prime and our exuberant youth – rather than go into nationalities.

    In the past few seasons AW has been rebuilding the squad and has now achieved a very well balanced quality filled outfit, which is, I suspect not yet and not quite the finished article.

  • Pat


    Thanks for the clarification.

  • Gord

    The German character predates WW-II by a long shot. And I am another square head. Half my family tree is probably farmers (oats) in Germany or Holland, and half is Germans from the Ukraine. I also fit Canadian character. But, nobody has to follow the path of their ancestors in growing up, or of their country they live in growing up.

    I see a picture of Mertesacker modeling a BFG t-shirt. It looks good on him. I gather some of the proceeds are going to charity? Ramsey looked good with the ears on. One news report said Ramsey has picked up that flu bug, which was why he didn’t play against Finland.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Being politically correct can be funny .Enjoy , from…