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August 2021

AVB and Lord Sugar in spat, Liverpool run out of players, and if the AAA had won.

By Tony Attwood

On 1 October 1996: Arsene Wenger officially took up duties, and within minutes confronted and defeated a baying horde of journalists gathered on the steps of Highbury, daring them to announce “the story”.

The journalists backed down, but supporters of Man U and other clubs developed the story into the most disgusting chants ever heard in football grounds.

Indeed over the years Mr Wenger has had to take insults both disgusting and ludicrous from journalists and so-called Arsenal supporters on a regular basis.   His resignation has been demanded, the “spend some fucking money” campaign has been everywhere, sucked up by the media on every occasion, and organisations such as Arsenal Supporters Trust and Black Scarf have become (unwittingly or deliberately, I can’t say which since I am not a member of either) fronts for attacks on Wenger’s view of football.

And yet he is rarely if ever heard to complain.

Compare and contrast with André Villas-Boas who has now demanded via the press “respect and an end to insults”.  (Oh and before I go on, can I write, “why are you so fixated on Tottenham?” – someone always writes in with that comment when I mention the tiny tots so I thought I’d get in first today).

When Untold writes about referees we are also regularly told that we are conspiracy theorists and that next we’ll be saying men didn’t land on the moon – a commentary that shows a complete lack of understanding of the main theories of history (that it is inevitable, controlled by the Almighty, plotted by the powerful, or just a series of cock-ups).  All can be interpreted as a conspiracy one way of another.

Now Mr Villas-Boas is talking conspiracy saying that he believes there “is a sinister agenda to undermine him” (the Guardian). He even singled out individual journalists, which is perhaps not the best move at this time given that it is they who write about him.

He pointed out that the Tinies are in the Capital One Cup quarter-finals and the Round of last 32 of the Europa League which indeed is admirable for a club like the Tinies.   He said, “A couple of people insult my integrity, my human values, my professionalism … insult the success that I have achieved in other clubs and I don’t think it’s fair. I think it’s a lack of respect and an attack on a person’s integrity.”

He then asked why David Moyes and Manuel Pellegrini had been spared such  criticism.  Of course if I were to say that money buys the press just as it buys referees I’d be laughed at as a conspiracy theorist, so I’d better not say that.

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AVB’s even taken on the redoubtable Lord Sugar (the man whose claim to fan in footballing terms comes from having fought to put a percentage of the TV income for the Premier League to one side each year to spend on football and small club development.  A brilliant idea – better than his silly little Amstrad computers – and one that the Premier League stupidly rejected.) 

Lord S criticised the Tiny Totts tactics.  AVB made a feeble jest about Alan Sugar having sold his shares in the Tinies.

Lord S then said via Twitter,  “Dear AVB. All I can say about your comment is ‘when the seagulls follow the trawler…'”

How droll.

Meanwhile over at Liverpool Mr B Rodgers has said that Liverpool are short on players, what with Sturridge and Coutinho being injured. He forgot Kolo Touré was also injured, but after seeing poor old Kolo recently, maybe that is for the best.  He was wonderful with us, but now…

But what then of Arsenal in all this, apart from Mr Wenger not doing the criticism stuff, and not complaining about squad size.   This past summer we spent less than Liverpool and only bought one player – but we seem to have so many players in the squad they can’t all fit in.  I mean, what about poor Theo.  Doesn’t he deserve a game?  Monreal?  Vermalen?  Does Cazorla have to be substituted all the time?

Of course these days the Anti-Arsenal Arsenal gang suggest that had they not been there Arsenal wouldn’t have bought anyone in the summer because they “forced Wenger’s hand”.  And yet it seems to me that if the AAA had had their man in power this last year we would NOT have

  • 1.  Szczesny – clearly we needed a decent keeper and he was not up to it
  • 2.  Ramsey – utterly useless, waste of space, should have given up on him years before
  • 3.  Ozil – he has made it clear he wanted to play for Wenger whom he trusted, otherwise he would have stayed at RM or gone to Germany.
  • 4.  Mertersacker who would have left after one season, or never come at all.
  • 5.  Giroud – what we needed was a big powerful centreforward with a proven track record not someone from a minor French club
  • 6.  Flamini – we need to be buying players not be picking up scraps for free
  • 7.  Gibbs – always injured and thus unreliable
  • 8.  Arteta – Merseyside cast off picked up in a mad scramble at the end of the transfer window – we should not be dealing in scraps from other clubs tables
  • 9.  Cazorla – since we don’t spend any money how could we buy one of the stars of the Spanish team?
  • 10.  Theo – what’s the point of buying kids all the time
  • 11.  The Ox – ditto.

Makes you think.

Here’s today’s anniversaries – they appear each morning on the home page.  Around 10 new anniversaries are added on the History Blog every day

  • 2 December 1899: Arsenal 2 New Brighton Tower 0
  • 2 December 1922: Frank Bradshaw’s first game
  • 2 December 1922: Andrew Kennedy’s first game
  • 2 December 1933: Arsenal 2 Liverpool 1 making it 8 wins and two draws in last 10.
  • 2 December 1936: Ted Drake gets three for England v Hungary
  • 2 December 1936: Ed Bowden’s last game for England
  • 2 December 1967: Pat Rice debut as a sub in 1-0 loss to Burnley.
  • 2 December 1970: Arsenal 4 Beveren Waas 0 Fairs cup 3rd round 1st leg
  • 2 December 1995: Aston Villa 1 Arsenal 1 – one of four draws in a row, in the mid-season collapse
  • 2 December 2003: Fabregas becomes the youngest Arsenal player ever to score in the League Cup as Arsenal beat Wolverhampton 5-1.
  • 2 December 2009: Man City 3 Arsenal 0 (league cup).  5 Arsenal players booked.

43 comments to AVB and Lord Sugar in spat, Liverpool run out of players, and if the AAA had won.

  • Mandy Dodd

    poor AVB, quite sensitive to the critics isnt he?
    Hope I am wrong because I do not especially rate him, but have a feeling his days are numbered, you can only blame so many other people so many times…unless you are Fergie.
    That Tott team have gone from a reasonably effective brand of football under Arry to what looks to this untrained eye at least….a team who are being over coached

  • Mahdain

    Actually i think AVB did well to call out the twat that is Neil Ashton face to face. He gave him a total pasting which was honestly deserved. Its not the first time either that a manager has lashed at him and his lazy journalism.. This was him too

  • Mahdain

    Just shows you how much agenda driven the English media can be towards foreign managers. What they are doing to AVB(both at Chelsea and now Spuds) is the same thing that they have been doing to Mr Wenger for years without success trying to get him out and did the same to Rafa after he dared to open the can of worms about their master and finally got him kicked out of Liverpool. For me its a win any time a manager calls out these bunch of pricks lazy journalists because honestly they deserve it.

  • Mick

    Good stuff Tony and yes Mahdain, Ashton is indeed a twit.
    Tony your sentence ‘Does Cazorla have to be substituted all the time?’ may be pertinent because I have noticed on a few other Arsenal blogs that he (Cazorla) is starting to get a bit of criticism for a perceived drop in form this season. I have a feeling he could be the one being lined up by the AAA and others for the ‘Gervhino’ treatment, especially if our results have a blip.

  • SurferX

    The post was yet another exercise in commenting on an specific event (this time AVB’s tantrum) and bringing it back to your underlying raison d’etre (defending AW no-matter what); rather than objective insight and independent thought.

    “next we’ll be saying men didn’t land on the moon – a commentary that shows a complete lack of understanding of the main theories of history (that it is inevitable, controlled by the Almighty, plotted by the powerful, or just a series of cock-ups). All can be interpreted as a conspiracy one way of another.”

    This though was interesting- I want to understand more about this.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Mahdain, really, the press have been snapping at Wenger for years? Strange then that up until the last few years Wenger and the press seem to have had a warm relationship. Whenever he has given press conferences he has seemed to have had a great relationship with journalists, most of whom enjoy his transparency and good humour. There will always be some who don’t warm to him, I imagine that’s true of most managers with the exception of Redknapp whom the press seem to worship, although I’ve noticed even he is losing his allure in some sections of the press. I don’t think the press got Benitez kicked out of Pool either, that was the club’s decision, and as for the press having a downer on foreign managers they seem to like Mourinho and Martinez.

    Of course the odious Talk Sport might deplore Wenger’s continuance at AFC but I’m not sure you should equate them with the term journalist.

  • Doctore

    When you spend £100 million on players in a single transfer window and end up getting trashed 6-0 and sitting 9th on the chart after 13matches,you are bound to receive some criticism,he has no reason to fail he was provided with most of the players he asked for,my advice to is to man up,take those criticism on the chin,move on,do his job,and show those Vultures his true class and earn his respect on the pitch rather than beg for it.

  • sam

    I personally think that Tottenham have a very good squad. The problem is that they were assembled quickly, but in time and if they stay together the will be a formidable force and AVB is a good manager with a good track record!

  • mdassa

    when talking of criticism its good to take them in a positive manner than rushing to blame others AVB push on and let as see what you have on the pitch!

  • Here it comes, the Rupert Cook train!

    It is never late.

  • Its not something I understood – the reason alleged “newspapers” come up with opinion pieces is to drive their sales (or clicks in online case), so why feed them by refering to them in a press conf.That will only increase their “reporting” aiding to more sales. Ignore them long enough that they start writing stories about how parking space in your ground is worse compared to others – that is the sort of drivel they are fit for writing.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Doctore, tott are you??? ATT I guess….

    Now during the summer when AVB the young, most intelligent, forwards thinking manager in the league went ahead and spent 100 million, people dint complain did they.

    The very media that are half way up his arse were all singing his name werent they. May be he deserves some time. Or was he, even, in charge of the summer deals. Whats the role of DOF at the lane????

  • TommieGun

    Disclaimer: I don’t know Rupert Cook. I have no idea who he is
    9 out of 10 times don’t agree with his opinions.


    It has gone to a point, that whenever and whatever he posts, there is a pavlovian reaction designed to shut him up in one way or another.

    Now unless I’m mistaken, there should be some room for pluralism and freedom of thought. In my humble opinion, if someone sees things differently, you can explain yourself or just post your own opinion. Shutting other people up is just not the right way.

  • Shakabula Gooner

    So, “why are you fixated on Tottenham”?
    I thought it would be nice to get that out of the way; seeing that you were expecting it. That makes me 2nd after you, Sir Tony, and 1st in the Comments section.

  • Gooner S

    I do enjoy these “I told you so” posts. Of course I agree with the essential premis, otherwise I wouldnt read untold. We haven’t won anything yet though and no doubt the noises will start again, come May, if we don’t pick up a trophy.

    If you go to the BSM website or indeed have listened to any of their appearences on podcasts they were not for Wenger out. They were/are for the board spending more money. But hey they can stick up for themselves!

  • GoingGoingGooner

    I think that AVB just needs time at Tottenham. AW was right that bringing in a shedload of players at the same time unbalanced a team. Sure they were pasted by City but they played a credible game yesterday and they are within shouting distance of 4th place. My impression is the press has only been on his back for the last month, which compared to what AW has put up with is miniscule. This doesn’t make it any more pleasant but he has just demonstrated that he has a thin skin which is like blood to a school of sharks.

  • gouresh

    So AVB is picked on for spending xxxxx £ and is what 9th, what about Moyes? Has the same team as last yr but 10th. Oppps sorry, he manages Manure, that’s different isn’t it!!!

  • TommieGun

    With all due respect I think that if I would have been asked to comment on Manure and Spuds, I would have acted the same way the media are acting.

    Lets put it this way:

    On the one hand, you have Manure. They have a geniunly crappy team: a shitty keeper, old injured defenders (or young mediocre ones); ABSOLUTELY no midfield; and 2 good strikers (with one of them injury prone). They bought bloody Felaini in the summer which is practically not buying shit. And to top it all off, they lost the most successful, most influential figure in English football this year in sir rednose.

    On the other hand you have a team who, despite losing their best player (something we endured for the past 4 years) bought a huge amount of talent in his stead (Lamela, Paulinho), have a world class keeper, solid defense, rich midfield and a striker who avereaged 23 goals per season for Getafe and Valencia – and I don’t suppose he got better service in those clubs. And they kept the same manager who had a very good season last year.

    So comparing the 2 situations, both in real time and especially in light of the exepctations, I don’t think that AVB saying “why don’t you pick on Moyes” is doing himself a good service. ON PAPER, his team should have been fighting for one of the first three places, and the fact that they are fucking it up so royally (and let’s not forget that the Spuds are not in 14th place only thanks to 3 dubious penalty calls) – is obvious.

    Re-reading what I just wrote, I actually think he is handled with silk gloves 😀

  • Stuart

    Gooner S,
    The trouble about the Black Scarf Morons is they have allowed themselves to be used as a mule for the Wenger Out brigade. Many otheir members have this view and are not shy in letting it known.

    Have a look on Youtube for some videos from their boat parties forfurther details of this. Which takes us onto the question to Tony : When is the Untold boat party Tony? 😉

  • insideright

    Inotice that Sam Allardyce has come out and said that AVB was ‘immature to say what he did’ but that ‘he was probably right’. Guess which one of those two made the Sky Sport headlines?

  • Sid

    Rupert Cook

    You should follow the football365 mediawatch articles. As one examp,e, after the Cap1 cup loss to the chavs AW and Arsenal were completely written off by more than a few hacks (how odd that they ALL decided to go exactly the same way?).

    Haywood, Ashton, Howard & the spud Lipton all suggested Arsenal were patently rubbish all because they had lost a league cup game.

  • TommieGun @12.47pm,

    I assume that your “pavlovian” line was directed to me as the only commenter to have mentioned Rupert Cook at the time you posted. Well, I’ll explain my post to you with an analogy:

    If you are an atheist and you go to a website that is dedicated to “the glory of our lord Jesus Christ” to argue with regulars about their faith, the least that you can expect after your comments is:

    “Here it comes, the TommieGun train! It is never late.”

    I don’t need to address his comment because it is pointless to do so. I also consider your comment to be self-righteous when you have already confessed to disagree with him “9 out of 10 times”. The fact that you can ignore his comments (those 9 out of 10) that you disagree with does not mean that everybody else can or should. Besides, Rupert Cook is quite able to stand for himself and he regularly does.

  • TommieGun

    @ Bootoomee,

    Yes I was referring to you on this thread, and to others on other threads, since this isn’t the first time I’ve seen it happenning.

    I’ll respond to your arguments (not by their order):

    (1) I don’t really care about Rupert Cook in particular and the fact that he chooses not to defend himself. I can actually disagree withi him 10/10, and it still does not make me self righteous. I simply don’t want people to have their mouths shut regardless of what they wrote. From time to time I might want to write something that you will not agree to …

    (2) I don’t think that your analogy is a good one. This is a site that supports Arsenal, the players, and Arsene. The current post was talking about media treatment to managers, and RC wrote a balanced assessment on Arsene’s relationship with the media which I tend to agree to.

    (3) I think you helped me prove my point, when you wrote that it is pointless to address his comment: the fact that some member might be annoying, does not mean that ALL their posts lack basis. The fact that someone gets the whip regardless of what they actually wrote, is thought-police, and is wrong.

    * Finally, even by going to your analogy – there might be many ways to worship christ (I wouldn’t know, as a die-hard anti-religion person). As long as you support in your own way, I guess you’re on my side …

  • Shakabula Gooner

    Thinking seriously about Tottenham:
    They are more likely to follow the example of Newcastle. Last year, they acquired a boatload of players principally from the French league. Most people agreed that they were decent players and at reasonable prices. Indeed, their coach got the dubious distinction of being compared with Wenger in his early years at Arsenal even though he was one of the more vocal critics of wholesale player importations to the EPL.

    Suffice to say that Newcastle suffered greatly last season and danced around the relegation abyss most of the time. However, this season, with only 1 additional player coming to the squad, they are currently 6th on the table.

    Moral: it can take the whole season to bed down a team if too many players come in in the season. The club can come under the risk of relegation and the coach’s job, not to talk of his blood pressure, can need serious watching. Newcastle survived but QPR and Hughes didn’t.

    I believe Tottenham is not relegation threatened. If AVB is not sacked on a whim or extreme prejudice, he can hope for a much better season next year.

  • colario

    Shakabula Gooner

    I think we are all agreed with you here that introducing 7 new players into your team in one go, is taking a big risk.

    So it is unlikely that the team is going to be one of the best in the league.

    AVB is a young manager who has learnt a lot in a short time.

    Most managers get it wrong in the early stages of their managerial career.

    Some clubs get it wrong! Monaco for example.

    manure got it right, they waited five years! Back in the 20s-30s we got it right and waited 5 years for Herbert Chapman.

    We waited longer with someone else and got it wrong!

    Of course I don’t want spuds to have success. However I hope they give AVB a chance and not sack him just because this year he has not resolved the problem of losing Bale.

    We lost Frank Stapleton to manure replacing a player of his quality proved very difficult.

    We know the problem too well, for the sake of football I hope AVB is given a chance.

  • TommieGun,

    We agree most of the time. At least, we are both “die-hard anti-religion people” 🙂 . My point on that by the way, is that once you know what a forum is dedicated to, it is nothing but looking for trouble if you keep arguing with the regulars, even if they are wrong and you are right in your opinion. From everything that I know about his comments here, I find it extremely difficult to believe that Rupert Cook is an Arsenal fan. Of course, I could be wrong but that that is how he comes across to me.

    I don’t want to argue with you over Rupert Cook who I believe to be a contrarian (just for the sake of it) and agent provocateur. We can agree to disagree on that but how could anyone write this with a straight face:

    “@Mahdain, really, the press have been snapping at Wenger for years? Strange then that up until the last few years Wenger and the press seem to have had a warm relationship”

    I do think that you are guilty of what you accused me of, in the sense that you just tried to curtail my freedom of speech by calling me out for calling him out 🙂 . Just like you don’t like what he writes 90% of the time but still endure such, I plead with you to endure my calling him out on his bullshit too.

    I think fair is fair.

  • colario

    I know this is off subject but I think its worth sharing.

    From an article in the Guardian which has a spot on our game, I quote this:

    Wojciech Szczesny is looking more and more assured – he produced an excellent save to deny Fraizer Campbell on Saturday when Arsenal were leading 1-0 – and the back four in front of him is settled and playing with confidence. “We’ve conceded one goal in November [Robin van Persie’s header at Old Trafford] and if Per [Mertesacker] and Laurent [Koscielny] don’t get nominated for Player of the Month, then there’s something wrong,” Szczesny said.

    Then we are told Szczesny said this of his central defenders.
    “They have been absolutely fantastic.’ It’s a pleasure playing behind them every week.” Stuart James”

    Wojciech’s last sentence warmed my heart just had to share.

    For those who know ‘Hancock’s Half Hour at first I read ‘Stuart James’ as ‘Sid James’

  • bjtgooner


    At 12.47pm you disagree with Rupert Cook’s opinions 9 times out of 10.

    By 4.27pm you were able to disagree with him 10/10.

    One would have thought that as you disagree with Rupert Cook so consistently that you would be able to realise that he posts a lot of twisted anti Arsenal rubbish on this site. It is strange then that his posts do not prompt you to comment in contradiction – it seems that you are more concerned by: –

    “It has gone to a point, that whenever and whatever he posts, there is a pavlovian reaction designed to shut him up in one way or another.”

    So you would be happy if Rupert Cook’s illogical posts – which you do not agree with – were left unanswered! This does not sit with any conviction with your claim that you disagree 10/10 with Rupert Cook.

    Further, assuming you are naive rather than dishonest, you should realise that twisted and inaccurate posts by Rupert Cook or anyone else will always provoke correction.

  • hartwick89

    Interesting perspective. I have often thought that AVB wanted to be mentored by AW. He assumed his looks as soon as he went to Tinnies. I actually detest his presence because I thought the press gave him the leeway of a respected manager. We all know that he was fired at Chelsea it wasn’t because of his respectable track-record. It was because he wasn’t up to it. He was allowed to spend like a poor man who won the lottery. The press granted him Champions league and first position in EPL. Now things have gone wrong and he is blaming those who fed him. Secondly, Rodgers. I’ve always believed he was a hollow shell. I have been waiting for his supposed magic as he dared insult Arsene for our symbolic move of 41 million quid. Rodgers is an imposter much like AVB. I am glad that they are being called out! I am glad that Arsene is the man he has always been. he held true to his principles regardless of the short term consequences and held true and now AAA are all exposed. I wish AAA the best and may they seek shelter in the shadows of AVB and Rodgers. lastly, Soccernomics gives credit to Arsene to be the cleverest manager when it comes to the transfer market. He chastises New managers. Hence the current problem with the aforementioned two.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Never argue with a woman who reads

    One morning the husband returns after several hours of fishing and decides to take a nap. Although not familiar with the lake,
    the wife decides to take the boat out. She motors out a short distance, anchors, and reads her book.

    Along comes a Game Warden in his boat. He pulls up alongside the woman and says, ‘Good morning, Ma’am. What are you doing?’
    ‘Reading a book,’ she replies, ( thinking , ‘Isn’t that obvious ? ‘)

    ‘You’re in a Restricted Fishing Area,’ he informs her.

    ‘I’m sorry, officer, but I’m not fishing. I’m reading’

    ‘Yes, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment. I’ll have to take you in and write you up.’

    ‘For reading a book,’ she replies ,

    ‘You’re in a Restricted Fishing Area,’ he informs her again,

    ‘I’m sorry, officer, but I’m not fishing. I’m reading’

    ‘Yes, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment. I’ll have to take you in and write you up.’

    ‘If you do that, I’ll have to charge you with sexual assault ,’ says the woman.

    ‘But I haven’t even touched you,’ says the game warden.

    ‘That’s true, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment.’

    ‘Have a nice day ma’am,’ and he left.

    MORAL :
    Never argue with a woman who reads. It’s likely she can also think.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    How do you do it ?

    A young teenage girl was a prostitute and, for obvious reasons, kept it a secret from her Grandma. One day, the police raided a brothel and arrested a group of prostitutes, including the young girl.

    The prostitutes were instructed to line up in a straight line on the sidewalk. Well, who should be walking in the neighborhood, but little old Grandma. The young girl became frantic.

    Sure enough, Grandma noticed her young granddaughter and asked curiously, “What are you lining up for dear?” Not willing to let grandma in on her secret, the young girl said that some people were giving out free oranges and that she was lining up for some.

    “Mmmm, sounds lovely,” said Grandma, “I think I’ll have some myself,” and she made her way to the back of the line. An officer made his way down the line, questioning all of the prostitutes. When he got to her, at the end of the line, he was bewildered. “But, you’re so old, how do you do it?”

    Grandma replied, “Oh, it’s quite easy sonny, I just remove my dentures and open wide.”

  • para

    The press and media like to have a personality, AND if they can cause him to be flustered and get angry, then they will go for it. They also love a confident, don’t take no crap type, because something always happens. No AW has mastered the press, and gives them a little stick, they respect him, but hover around for the first sign of a slip, then they will pounce. Sadly AVB has now to prove himself against the press, and he will either make it or fail depending on his skill at reading them and replying. If he goes on an all out attack, he will lose, if he learns from AW, be cagey but firm and even a little cheeky, he will do ok.
    Please put the video ONLY on the first page and not the links.

  • TommieGun

    @ BJT – if you knew me you’d know that I’m probably more dishonest then naive.

    And you got that spot on – I get 1000 times more irritated by limitations on freedom of speech, than some idiot trying to say that (a) Arsene is not a great manager (b) Arsenal will win nothing unless they buy XYZ (c) some other defatist bullshit [which in my opinion is the essence of all AAA dimwits].

    You must have missed my point – I would very much like people to reply to Rupert’s posts (and to that effect, any other of the doom and gloom brigade). I don’t like it that regardless of what they have to say, they get a knee jerk “you’re talking shit” reaction.

    Will finish with one of my favorite quotes:

    “I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an ass of yourself.”
    ― Oscar Wilde

    I say, just let them make asses of themselves, thats’ all.

  • @Bootoome I just love your ways and expecially more when you are hittin on the sewer rats just keep it up Booto.

  • bjtgooner


    If you are dishonest (more dishonest than naive) is it worth replying?

    Further, you are the one who has missed the point – correcting Rupert’s bletherings is not a denial of freedom of speech – your comment is not logical and especially when you state that you want people to reply to Rupert; but when they do you think his freeedom of speech is denied.

    No-one has a knee jerk reaction to Rupert or any other contributor, but if someone like Rupert is talking nonsense or is backstabbing the club do you wish to deny everyone else the right to correct him?

    You come across as a very confused person.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Bootoome, though of course it’s pointless telling you seeing as you don’t believe posters when they say they go to matches or are ex footballers, but I happen to have been an Arsenal fan since 1971.

    There are many posts I agree with on here but I find it rather boring just agreeing with everything written. There are certain people like OMG Arsenal, Shard and even yourself who make cogent and valid points. Contrarian, maybe, but I do enjoy bantering with people and seeing if they can change my perceptions or I change theirs’. Of course this is a rare occurrence but it’s still illuminating hearing how others view things.

    What I find exasperating is this conviction that ref’s decisions seem to be the sole reason for Arsenal’s lack of trophies. And that there is some sort of conspiracy against us which nobody seems to have a reason for. As I’ve pointed out numerous times refs’ decisions very rarely conclusively decide games but this is consistently ignored by the evangelistic sorts on here. Also what I hate is the way Arsenal fans have become whingers and whiners and moaners. Very few can ever admit that the winning team, if it isn’t Arsenal, is actually, sometimes, the better team. It’s always the refs fault or the grass is wrong or the other team tackles too hard. When I started following Arsenal they gave as good as they got and didn’t play the victim. I realize it was very different times in the 70’s and football was more of a brutal contact sport. Also I lost a lot of respect for Wenger when he turned into a petulant bad loser. Here was a man who was intelligent, sophisticated and calm and measured when we were winning things and then he slowly gave in to tantrums and frequent moaning, mirroring Fergie’s antics. It was all rather dispiriting. Where was the grace, that class he used to exude?

    Of course it’s frustrating for him when he believed he had a great team and each year his expectations are dashed, either by players jumping ship, poor player purchasing, those accursed refs and myriad other things but ultimately where Arsenal are ends with him; which is why he maybe petulant because he’s failed his own targets too often. Who knows?

    As to your remark about not going to games, I’ve explained before that I can’t afford to go to games hence my sporadic visits to Oxford Utd., also top of their league. If I can I watch games on dodgy streams or go to the pub but there are many other commitments in my life. I may love Arsenal but I love music and reading just as much, there’s not enough time to devote equally to all three.

  • Rupert Cook

    @TommieGun, I appreciate your defence of free speech on my behalf. There are certain individuals on here who take great pleasure in being rude and poisonous. I guess that’s there natures and I feel sorry for them. Why they’re terrified of different opinions baffles me but it tells you plenty about them.

    I’m sure we may not agree on many points but isn’t more rewarding to debate than just shout obscenities at one another?

    Maybe you think I’m AAA, whatever that is. I despise this stupid labelling whether it’s calling someone AAA or AKB. It’s divisive.

    Tony seems to think that these AAA types agree with this list of things he imagines they wanted. Really? I can’t think of one Arsenal fan who wouldn’t have Ozil in his team whether he supports Wenger or not.

    As to the other points Tony makes:

    1. Didn’t think signing a keeper was essential.
    2. Had my doubts about him but wouldn’t say he was rubbish.
    4. If Mertesacker hadn’t have come we would have bought someone else which could have turned out worse or better. I was pleased when we signed him.
    5. Wanted a higher profile striker. Still do but Giroud is worth every penny we paid. Hard working, unselfish player.
    6. Wasn’t convinced because he had a poor injury record but pleased that Wenger seemed to be willing to get a proper DM.
    7. Always liked Gibbs from the time I saw him play at the Emirates Cup many years ago. Injury prone maybe but a great talent.
    8. Arteta, must admit thought his best years behind him. Turned out to be a good acquisition.
    9. Anyone can see Cazorla was a great purchase. Who’s moaning about that?
    10. Walcott, an enigma. Can be blindingly brilliant but too often is anonymous.
    11. Too early to tell whether Ox is going to be essential.

    Wow, that’s so AAA or whatever.

  • andy bishop

    @ TommieGun. Well said..Why do so many revert to the insults when someone disagrees. Respecting someone’s freedom of speech seems fundamental if there is to be a healthy debate on all matters Arsenal. The minute you insult you lose the discussion. Personalising a debate is boring and only serves to highlight a lack of integrity and substance. We all know or should by now the blogs agenda regarding Arsenal and those self appointed Untold police who are closing down healthy open debate.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Andy Bishop, there are a few on here who detest opinions that differ from theirs. One especially who seems to think that vicious name-calling equates to correcting (whatever that means) those that disagree with him. Nobody has “corrected” me, they’ve merely offered their alternate opinions which they have every right to do.

  • TommieGun

    @ BJT –

    Your reply only strengthens my belief that there are some people who post here, who see the support of Arsenal Football Club as a religious dogma.

    [I’m crediting Bootoomee for giving me inspiration for this analogy]

    My point is: we all support Arsenal. We are happy when they win, and we are sad when they lose. We have that in common.

    Now, some supporters show their support in a different manner. Some are more devoted than others. Don’t you know people who used to support the club when you were a kid, but kind of lost interest over the years and grew further away, and now just make sure they read the results on They might miss 50% of the matches on TV, but still make themselves informed with what the club is doing, and in the end of the day, they are supporters just like you and me.

    So yes, we are more devoted supporters than those who just have a warm place in their heart for the club – but then again, there are more devoted supporters than us – the travelling supporters, for instance. I support the club since 1995, and only started supporting Arsenal because of a scumbag who really loved Manure. So can I say I’m a better supporter than someone who has been with the club since 1970? I don’t know.

    It’s probably like religion (and why I hate it).

    The problem is the dogma, and I fear it.

    I believe in god. But I don’t think that somebody who believe that they know how to worship god better than me, or think that the orthodox way is the only way, will tell me how to do it, or that I’m doing it the wrong way, or that I don’t really believe in god. Those people are fundamentalists, they are dangerous people, and usually cannot be reasoned with.

    So, in my opinion when you call a supporter like yourself, a fellow Gooner, who might see things differently, a “backstabber” – it makes you into a dogmatic, narrow minded person, similar to a religous fundamentalist, who is just as bad as an AAA or any other letter combination of your choice.

    People who don’t think like you, are not traitors. You best get it into your head.

    As for me, I’d rather fight with the supporters of other clubs, and just have an exchange of opinions with other people.

  • andy bishop

    @BJT seems a reasonable assessment lets hope the Untold Police
    take your views on board.. I say agree or disagree if you disagree give your reasons with respect..end of. Off to watch the Hull game

  • bjtgooner


    I hope you noted recently that a certain person used his undiminished freedom of speech to make disparaging remarks about the integrity of Walter’s referee analysis. Did you support Walter or did you acquiesce to the attack by being silent?
    Perhaps the Untold Police should look closely at the person who made the attack?


    You too – did you defend Walter or did you acquiesce? After all you stated that you do not agree with a certain person 10/10!

    Having noted you confessed to dishonesty one can never be sure just how honest your response will be.

    However, you still seem to be labouring under some misapprehensions – a backstabber is not someone who sees things differently – a backstabber is someone who attacks someone else in a sly way, maliciously targeting reputation and competence and launching the attack in such a way that the victim is not in a position to defend himself. In other words a totally cowardly attack. When people launch such attacks on Wenger, Walter, the team, individual players etc – they face direct retaliation (not in the back) – at which point they usually bleat for sympathy or help.

    So guys – Rupert is not subject to retaliation because he expresses differing opinions; he has regularly, over quite some time, made backstabbing attacks on the Manager, team and players – he has shown he is immune to logical debate – he also shown more than one writing style – so if he behaves badly he knows what to expect.

    Let me see the pair of you debating with Rupert the next time he attacks the club and lets see his response – unless you really really are in agreement with his outlook!

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Good to see Sian Massey in typically good form in the United game a great decision from her to rule out RVP’s goal for him being in an offside position. In my opinion she is one of the best assistant referees in the premier league. Just a pity she hasn’t done one of our games yet. I have always had confidence in her decision making.