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August 2021

Hindsight managers

By Walter Broeckx

Apart from when it comes to refereeing matters I don’t have a really in-depth knowledge about football.

If you read my articles I rarely go in to things like formation and tactics. Because as I have said a few days ago even in my playing days I never took notice of them. I played based on instinct. That will have probably be the reason why I never made it despite having played for a club in the highest division in Belgium, in the youth leagues. A then even famous youth academy. I even was joint topscorer in the competition for one season and was ‘selected’ as it was called in those days.

I now even remember our coach lecturing the other players before a match: do this, do that, run left, run right. And to me he said: just run around up front. As if he realised it was useless to tell me what to do. We won that match 1-0. Me scoring by doing an expected thing. Taking a shot from an angle and from a position that nobody including the keeper expected. Later on I transformed myself in to a goalkeeper. So again no tactics involved.

So I don’t pretend to know a lot about it. So I rarely write about it. Contrary to referees. As I have a career in refereeing that has lasted longer than my own playing days. So I know a bit more about that. So I mention them a lot. I can see referees making mistakes, doing strange things, not following the rules,  much easier than I see who is playing where in a 4-5-2 formation. Or in a 4-4-2 with upcoming central defenders. Which is complete nonsense I think.

When I write about football I write like I played: from the heart and on instinct. Of course I see mistakes when they happen on the field. But if this is down to tactics or to a player making a wrong decision? I don’t know. Do you? Some will say they do. But not me. So how can I write about it? Besides I don’t know what has been said to a player before the match so I don’t know if the manager has told him to move up or to sit back or to hold or to go or to…

So if I don’t know who to blame, then why should I blame someone. As with the refs this is easier. When the ref made a mistake I know who is to blame.

But of course there are other people who usually come on here after we have had a bad result to blame the manager. You never see them when we are doing well. Well I never saw them when we were top of the league all those weeks. And I do read most articles and most comments. And I usually have a rather good memory on who said what.

But then they come and they declare their wisdom to me (ignorant as I am about tactics) and to the rest of the Untold readers. A wisdom that can be summarized to usually two words: Wenger out or blame Wenger. That is also two words.

I usually call such people the hindsight managers. I can imagine that with their managerial capacities unseen (and mostly unheard of) they can analyse matches much better than I can. As I can’t. But talking with hindsight is easy of course.

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Let us take the case of Flamini. AFTER the match against Chelsea a lot of the experts came on here and said something like this: Wenger out as he didn’t start with Flamini. And starting without Flamini in such a match was the same as a cardinal sin for any tactician. And as Wenger did this (starting without him) he has to go.

Now I don’t want to dispute this at all. After all I am not a tactical master or genius. But then I really do wonder how those tactical wizards  can explain our defeat against Everton when Wenger finally listened to them and this time started Flamini. Before the match when I saw the starting line up and having listened to them and them being 100% certain that if that idiot, fool, clueless [insert nationality], manager did what they told,  I was convinced we would win against Everton.

After all they said it was that simple and couldn’t understand that Wenger didn’t see this. Hence the need for name calling and abuse before and after his name.

So now I am confused because Wenger did what they said he should do and despite that we lost.

But then the hindsight managers come up with another name. Oxlade-Chamberlain should have started. After all he hit the crossbar with a wonderful effort. Aha, look at the wisdom of those hindsight managers. Bow your head and sack the manager and bring in the hindsight managers.

Now believe me I have nothing against The Ox. I am a big fan of each and every player. And I will rarely say a bad word about a player. But wasn’t The Ox in the starting line up against Chelsea? And wasn’t it the The ox that opened the doors of hell that day? By losing the ball and costing us the first goal. And by foolishly pushing a ball with his hand that was going wide anyway and costing us a needless penalty and a wrong sending off.

So now saying he should have started with The Ox from the start and it would have been a different outcome is another example of hindsight management. It might but there is no guarantee. There never is. So why the need to do this? To pretend you know better than the manager himself? You might impress people like me who admit that they are tactically not so astute. But when I see contradictions I will name them.

Like the rotating or the lack of rotation. Moyes has been blamed for rotating too much and Wenger for rotating not enough.

But how can Wenger rotate much when on average his team has had 7 or more players injured week in week out. I think the only 3 players that has not been injured were the keepers. So that left him with 22 players of whom 7 or more injured each week and thus only 15 outfield players available.

Now of course he might have played Jenkinson on the right wing in attack you might say. But then the hindsight managers will have crucified him for being an idiot. And I don’t know much about tactics but playing a back up right back in attack looks even for me a bit silly.

This is just an example on how you cannot just play any fit player anywhere on the field like that. So if you have 15 players fit there are some players you cannot put in the team and so you have even less players at your disposal.

So he should have rotated more is just another example on hindsight management. The easiest form of management.

Does this means that no mistakes have been made by the manager? Of course not. But simplifying it and talking with hindsight is the easy way to go. Making no mistakes on the field is the best tactic of them all. And we have just made too many mistakes.  But maybe when 50% of your best team is out, that maybe is not really a surprise that such things can happen.

Anyway I’m looking forward to the astute comments we will see where the master tacticians will tell what Wenger should have done and ‘prove’ how things would have been differently.

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96 comments to Hindsight managers

  • Mick

    Love it Walter. For every Arsene Wenger there are thousands of ‘hindsight managers’. It’s so much harder to be a foresight manager.

  • NepaleseGooner

    100 people 100 minds 100 thoughts!!!I personally find it rather amusing that people here think they are a great manager just by playing some football manager or something like that when they have not played the game even in streets!!! :\

  • Spectrum

    ( quote ) ; “Does this means that no mistakes have been made by the manager? Of course not”.

    Oh really ? Then how about an in depth article on what those mistakes ARE, then ? Instead of a throwaway line like that, as a passing mention ? Of course, this would require you to be totally honest and brutally analytical, which would not fit well with the never ending spin that you pump out. Spin which becomes ever more creative in order to conceal the REAL SOURCE of the problem that has always been there, but is a no-go area for you.

    You admit you’re not tactically knowledgeable, and don’t care much about that aspect of the game. But even a junior footballer and most laymen, knows more about how to approach matches than the man who is paid a fortune to. Which makes you wonder how Wenger was able to attain the position he has, when everyone but yourself it appears, can see that he is clueless in this area.

  • adiiii83

    I’m never a person to tell a manager who to play as I have no clue what the players are like at trainings. But what a manager has to answer for is the style of play according to formation he plays. Whether the team presses or sits back and stuff like that. How does Wenger answer for team selection according to the system he plays? We are the slowest team in the league, yet play a high line and don’t press. That’s just suicide. Big teams have seen that now, and can get in behind us at will. With the system Wenger plays now and the players playing in it, the only way it could work is if play ultra defensive and sign Cristiano Ronaldo to stay up front and do everything on his own. Even then we would struggle. But when you have a striker like Giroud who is too slow to get in behind the defense, or dribble anyone. Then you need lightning quick wingers who have amazing dribbling. But we have wingers who drift in the middle next to the other 3 central players we have, and play to get Sagna into space so he can cross it to Giroud who may just be in the box, surrounded by 3 players. That’s the sort of questions Wenger needs to answer. I think he has that age where he can’t age but is stubborn enough to wanna prove he can and is dragging himself further down. There is a new era of young managers who have guts to try different things, and Wenger can no longer compete with them.

  • Max

    @7amkickoff*Yes, Everton have been very frugal, however, their leading goal scorer (Lukaku – worth at least £25m) and starting midfielder (Barry) were obtained on loan and have contributed hugely to their success. Getting star players in on loan and hoping Chelsea will let you sign them in the off season seems like an even less sustainable business model than not buying players at all. 

  • bob mac

    Excellent article, yet again and just about put things in perspective.

    Unlike you Walter, I am a student of tactics and decision making on and off the field. As a Fully Qualified UEFA ‘A’ Coach with almost 40 years coaching/managing experience from youth levels up to senior ‘semi-pro’ I feel in a position to clarify some of the aspects you relate to.

    The majority of fans do not have a clue what they are watching, and should enjoy the spectacle and atmosphere of the game leaving the technical analysis to those that actually do understand it.

    I do not believe for one minute that Martinez ‘outsmarted Arsene Wenger’ as the media would have us believe.

    Everton set up and played in a totally predictable way, as did Arsenal. The game was won by Everton’s superior play coupled with Arsenal’s poor all round display.Nothing to do with tactics.

    A clue, and it is the only one, regarding Arsenal’s tactical approach may be gained from which 2 players are selected for the ‘defensive central midfield positions’. For example if it is Arteta and Flamini it is likely to be a safety first selection; if Wiltshire or Ramsey take one of these places then it will be more adventurous. I must remind you that as an Everton player Arteta was used very successfully as their creative hub, so he is able to play in a slightly more advanced role.

    Arsenal always play both fullbacks high up the pitch, and play their MF wide players off the line to allow for this, making defending against a fast counter attack quite difficult, especially as the defensive block is only 3 players.

    Arsene basically makes subs in a like for like way, normally after the hour. This season he has been somewhat more pragmatic…..trying to defend a lead or win the game from a drawing or losing position.

    Even the loud chelski manager who is noted for his tactic acumen (AT LEAST BY THE MEDIA)does the same, as does the up and coming manager of Liverpool.

    The result of the game is determined by how the players perform, their concentration level and discipline coupled with luck (most American sports journals will verify the importance of luck).

    My basic concern revolves around the speed of attacking play and team pressing of the opposition. When both are of a high tempo we are all in for an excellent Arsenal performance, but maybe not a victory. When either or both are ponderous then a poor result is more than likely.

    Unfortunately, the major factor is the decisions of the match officials. My personal view, arrived at by watching all games with the sound turned off, is that they are ALL completely bloody useless, and make a numerous result defining mistakes every game…………here I am not just talking about games involving Arsenal. Officiating in the PL is absolutely pathetic!!!!!!!!

    I do not wish to appear arrogant, but like your good self Walter, I am sick of so called Arsenal fans commenting on aspects of the game on which they do not have a clear understanding, and are re-hashing the garbage spouted by the mass media.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Thanks for this Walter . Have to agree with what you say. Everyone is a genius in hindsight management .They know it all .So exactly why aren’t they managing us ?
    Not qualified ? Not ‘connected’ enough to get this easy 7 million a year cushy job ?
    You are exactly where you are right now because that is what you are qualified to do .
    Do expand on your resume to convince us that YOU are the real deal . Please ! Let me sit back and laugh my arse off for a change !
    Please refrain from using the mantra of ‘selling club’ and the palpable loss of Cesc,Nasri ,RVP , Song ,Toure. Clichy ,Adebayor etc.
    Also please don’t make a fool of yourselves by implying that you would have bought Cavani , Costa ,Messi etc.
    While you are at it do give us the team for the Wigan match too.

    Am waiting with baited breath ( Yeah ,right!) for your insights and to be enlightened by the grand vista of you immeasurable knowledge .
    Or the vastness of your unfathomable stupidity .

  • Matt

    Hindsight is when you say something after the event. I and many others have been saying Wenger is finished for years that isn’t hindsight but fact.

  • TommieGun

    Thanks Walter and Bob Mac, I really identify with this philosophy: don’t comment on stuff you don’t know. I get very upset (and have to hide it) when clients tell me: “well there must be a way that we can force [insert name] to disclose the documents BEFORE filing the claim”. Or something of that sort.

    No, you can’t, dumbass.

    Since they pay me, I can’t tell them to f*** off and have to listen to their unfounded theories on document discovery.

    I also appreciate the fact (Walter) that you take the effort to point out (contrary to other contributors [well that’s a nice word. I am changing it to “people who post a lot] in UA), who believe that Wenger never makes mistakes, or at least, act like it; same goes to you, Bob Mac, regarding you mentioning that Arsenal had an all around poor display.

    It’s ok to say those things. It does NOT mean Wenger should be sacked, or that the team is rubbish, or that we need to SPEND, or any other sort of bullshit that goes around in the media.

    However, it makes all the other arguments a lot more valid. People who might stumble upon Untold might believe that we think that Arsenal always play perfectly and that Wenger never makes a mistake and that every bad result is down to refs’ errors or some other external factor. When they read this, they think: “those people are delusional”, because it does not sit well with the match that they just saw. But, if you say that bad (and maybe biased) refs’ decisions CONTRIBUTE, rather than DICTATE, the match outcome, then you have a chance to make your point.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Hindsight is an exact science.

    Hindsight shows you how a mistake looks from the rear.

    Deep Thoughts

    Aren’t all questions answerable?

    Before they invented drawing boards what did they go back to?

    Can you confuse an open mind with one that is just vacant?

    Can you ever get tired of sleeping?

    Could you explain what would Happen if in a Book the First Page said Everything in the Book Including the First Page was False?

    Does a Bridge go Over Water or does Water go Under a Bridge?

    Does a sense of humor bestow an evolutionary advantage?

    Does an existentialist map have’ You are here’ written all over it?

    Ever notice how hindsight’s so much better than foresight? And do you think we’d save time if we walked in hindsight first?

    Have you noticed that nostalgia isn’t what it used to be?

    How come things were so different before everything changed?

    How many loud speakers does it take to proclaim the dropping of a pin?


  • Brickfields Gunners


    I’ve just joined the ‘Ban Sickipedia’ group. I thought I would find some seriously sick hardcore jokes ,too strong even for you depraved fuckers.
    Instead, I discovered it was a group of people seeking to ban a website called Sickipedia for publishing sick jokes.
    I initially decided against the tried and tested ‘clue is in the name’ argument and explained to them that sickipedia was simply a platform for aspiring satirists to showcase their comedic creativity to a wider audience.
    Six hours later one of them retorted, ‘Fuck off you thick cunt.”
    Turned out to be the spokesman of the group.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Three Italian nuns die and go to heaven. At the Pearly Gates, they are met by St. Peter. He says “Sisters, you all led such wonderful lives that I’m granting you six months to go back to earth and be anyone you want to be.”

    The first nun says, “I want to be Sophia Loren;” and *poof* she’s gone.

    The second says, “I want to be Madonna;” and *poof* she’s gone.

    The third says, “I want to be Sara Pipalini.”

    St. Peter looks perplexed. “Who?” he says.

    “Sara Pipalini;” replies the nun.

    St. Peter shakes his head and says; “I’m sorry, but that name just doesn’t ring a bell.”

    The nun then takes a newspaper out of her habit and hands it to St. Peter. He reads the paper and starts laughing. He hands it back to her and says “No sister, the paper says it was the ‘Sahara Pipeline’ that was laid by 1,400 men in 6 months.”

  • WalterBroeckx

    no that is not a fact, that is an opinion.

  • Menace

    @ Walter @Bob Mac & my mate the Brick.

    I am depressed at the moment because my team lost. They were not at their best but then again they were not helped by some poor decision making. One aspect that I can comment on is the kicking of the ball. There seems to be very little technique and a lot stray shots. There is no reason other than poor practice for shots to miss the goal by more that a yard. That together with the lack of pace in 3 key players seems to effect the team. Giroud, Arteta and BFG. BFG is a defender and does well because of his height and positioning. Arteta is a liability in defensive positions. Giroud is not a threat unless the ball is crossed to him. He is better off with a long ball that he has to ‘run’ on to rather than one that he has to knock down to a midfielder. Poldi or Vermaellen would be better in that forward position.

    Wenger has not freshened his approach to the offensive play. The defense is caught out on occasion but generally do a good job. It is time to reintroduce the ‘offside’ attacker to force openings for the midfield.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Maybe we could ask the hindsight managers (who are rather silent on this article I must say) to become foresight managers.
    Let them write down which team Wenger has to pick and which instructions he has to give and how to nullify the opposition, how to defend, how to attack, how to …. you know tell us it all.
    Just send it to Tony and we could publish them before the match and then see what went wrong, where it went wrong,… Or where they were wrong….

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Menace – agreed about Giroud – he’s never going to be ‘the traditional English centreforward ‘ ,but would probably play more effectively off one .
    While he tries his best ,he gets fouled but it is hardly given in his favour .The defender almost always get away with it.
    We have lost a lot of pace on the counterattack .TW14 would have caused some damage in some of the games.
    Lets hope that the injured players come back to finish the season in style.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Walter – was gleefully waiting for them to come and ‘educate’ us ,but looks like that have chickened out !
    Here is a very funny article for those who want to quit but are still undecided .Enjoy.

    Four Reasons to Quit Right Now

  • Emmanuel

    Well, if half of the squad is out injured at any given time in the season, year after year, people have requested for an inquest. People have also demanded that the manager strengthens the squad accordingly during the transfer windows. However to agree with you on some of the points, especially on tactics, hear this: Roberto Martinez should come and take over as Arsenal manager because of the tactical masterstroke he displayed on Sunday in his team’s 3-0 drubbing of Arsenal. So clamoured some of the hindsight managers. And I ask, where was Martinez’s tactical ingenuity when his Everton were thrashed 4-1 by this same Arsenal two weeks ago in the 1/4 final of the F A cup? Football is a very interesting sport in deed.

  • Arvind

    This is an excellent article Walter. Thank You.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Cow Jokes

    Did you hear about the clairvoyant cow? She could see into the future and the pasture.

    Did you hear about the blonde that died drinking milk? The cow fell on her.

    Did you hear about the cow that jumped over the barbed-wire fence? It was an udder disaster.

    One farmer says to another farmer that he had to shoot one of his cows. “Was it mad?” asks the other farmer. The first farmer replies, “Well, it wasn’t very happy about it.”

  • greencardusa

    Hindsight managers and the utterly inept media dispositions regarding Arsenal share one thing in common: an element in corporate practice called “best practice”. “Best Practice” is not what is really excellent but more of newspeak and spin to sustain a practice. It takes the place of reason, logic and thorough critical practice. In this form it is highly applauded because it conceals otherwise questionable interests. Contradictions, ethical practice, and lack of comprehensive insight are replaced by “assurance” : brands and quantity – number of people that feel that way. To stand out is to endanger a career. As it is in most institutions in our society this corporate culture is dominant in sport. Canned views and news serve an empire more usefully than individual perspective based on comprehensive consideration and reason. Religion may be the opium of the people, fandom may be a way of releasing otherwise harmful energy. Hindsight managers: plain idiots? or unwitting consequences of an obnoxious culture?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I’m done waiting for them AAAAs . Goodnight guys .
    There are some things you just can’t explain.

    A farmer is sitting in the neighborhood bar getting soused. A man comes in and asks the farmer, “Hey, why are you sitting here on this beautiful day getting drunk?”

    The farmer replies, “Some things you just can’t explain.”

    Man: So what happened that is so horrible?

    Farmer: Well if you must know, today I was sitting by my cow milking her. Just as I go the bucket about full, she took her left leg and kicked it over.

    Man: That’s not so bad, what’s the big deal?

    Farmer: Some things you just can’t explain.

    Man: So then what happened.

    Farmer: I took her left leg and tied it to the post on the left with some rope. Then I sat down and continued to milk her. Just as I got the bucket about full she took her right leg and kicked it over.

    Man: Again?

    Farmer: Some things ya just can’t explain.

    Man: So, what did you do then?

    Farmer: I took her right leg and tied it to the post on the right.

    Man: So then what did you do?

    Farmer: I sat back down and continued to milk her, and just as I got the bucket just about full, the stupid cow knocks over the bucket with her tail.

    Man: Wow you must have been pretty upset!

    Farmer: Some things you just can’t explain.

    Man: So then what did you do?

    Farmer: Well I didn’t have any more rope, so I took off my belt and tied her tail to the rafter. In that moment, my pants fell down and my wife walked in.

  • Mick

    ‘Hindsight managers: plain idiots? or unwitting consequences of an obnoxious culture?’
    In most cases plain idiots I would say. Only idiots would advertise their idiocy on such a regular basis to such a large audience.

  • WalterBroeckx

    yeah we got one he was in moderation!

    Ok Spectrum do you take on the challenge? tell us before what to do, what will go wrong or right, … show us….
    After all Wenger is clueless so can’t be too difficult

    In a way it is a bit like the referees. We can tell what they will do wrong before a ball is kicked

  • bjtgooner

    Excellent article Walter. The sensible thing is to leave tactics to the professional manager – but some are unable or do not have the wit to do so – especially those who try to use their misguided perception of tactics as a vehicle to attack our manager.

  • finsbury

    Whilst the Groaners groan, and the same old predictable trolls attempt in vain to troll various Arsenal supporting blogs, like the Groaner “Spectrum” above, who has been booted off various footy blogs, I can’t deny that the tales of the Groaner pin-up Mourinhio losing his bottle (throwing cans or bottles of Red Bull against the wall, crying whilst complaining about leaks and moles) have kept me entertained. I would guess that the Madrid dressing room are ‘avin’ the last larf with this book that is being published.

    “At 5pm on 16 April 2011, shortly before Madrid’s home league match against Barcelona, the newspaper Marca reported in its online edition that Madrid would play Pepe in midfield, along with Khedira and Alonso. The team selection was unprecedented: Casillas, Ramos, Albiol, Carvalho, Marcelo, Pepe, Khedira, Alonso, Di María, Ronaldo and Benzema.

    The 1-1 draw did not help the home team’s title chances but the crowd applauded their team off with a certain relief, Barça’s last couple of visits having ended with scores of 0–2 and 2–6, and filed out of the stadium reasonably content. Not so Mourinho.

    He waited for the team in the dressing room before issuing a torrent of accusations and insults that distorted his face until he began to sob loudly: “You’re traitors. I asked you not to speak with anyone about the team selection but you’ve betrayed me. It shows that you’re not on my side. You’re sons of bitches.

    “The only friend I have in this dressing room is Granero . . . and I’m not even sure that I can trust him any more. You’ve left me all on my own. You’re the most treacherous squad I’ve had in my life. Nothing more than sons of bitches.”

    Casillas did not wait for the outburst to finish. He pretended that nothing was happening, turned around and went to the shower; he was not the only one who ignored the commotion. But Mourinho was filled with such intense emotion that he grabbed a can of Red Bull and hurled it against the wall. It exploded and drops of the sugary energy drink ran down the faces of those nearest to him.”

    I remember Groaners attempting to defend such poor tactics that did not impress the Madrid players on Arsenal blogs. A shame such supporters have never been seen to support the manager of their own football club, but are happy to support a known and conventionally boring and unimaginative Chequebook Manager. Who can be seen to have clearly mis-managed and ruined Gazprom’s chances for baubles this season by wanting to be a Daddy to his loyal players and therefore let Lukaku and Courtais stay on loan.

    Strange behaviour for supporters of Arsenal Football Club.

  • Matt

    That is what Wenger is paid £7 Million pounds a year for.

    Martinez plays Luckaku right wing when he has been playing up top all year to take advantage of our weakness Monreal.

    That is what you call tactical nous something Wenger doesn’t seem to have anymore.

    The fact was that we had been saying for years.

  • Tom

    While it’s true we don’t know what was said to players before the game , it’s also true you could easily figure out what that might’ve been based on players positioning and style of play.

    When Gibbs enterprises far up the field against Chelsea in opening minutes and even at one point presses a Chelsea player with Cazorla all the way by the Chelsea left corner flag, you can pretty much tell Wenger wants him to push up and create mismatches up field.
    If Gibbs was freelancing then Wenger should’ve been off the bench telling him to be more cautious . He didn’t.

    You in your article about tactics , luck and something else , I forget I’m sorry about that , stated that it was individual mistakes that got us undone against Chelsea. I didn’t post although I disagreed with your assessment.
    Loosing the ball for lack of passing options is not an individual mistake. Imagine you playing a one touch “monkey in the middle “and upon receiving the ball you look up and see your other two partners disappear and the “monkey” charging at you. Would you consider your loosing the ball an individual mistake? That’s what pretty much happened leading up to Chelsea first two goals.

    It often isn’t enough to have the right players on the pitch . It’s equally important to have them playing roles they can be successful at . Playing Ox in holding mid role against Chelsea backfired because he is an offense oriented player who’s not known for his defensive prowess. He can be helpful defending from the front and pressing the opposition but that’s miles away from asking him to play defense deep in his half. Much the same as Mourinho would never ask Hazard to play defensive midfield for Chelsea.
    Is it any wonder Ox got rattled , lost his bearings and intentionally handled.

    Tactics in football are often times about creating mismatches to your advantage. Martinez pushing Lukaku out wide created advantage against smaller and less physical Monreal and putting Naismith at center forward on slower and less mobile Mertersacker , created another problem for our back four.

    Now , you could ask what Wenger could’ve done about that and the answer is nothing but the fact still remains this was something Martinez changed specifically for Arsenal and it worked.

    Having the core of your team missing with injuries doesn’t help to be tactically flexible of course but you always try to play to your strengths while minimizing weaknesses .

    As for making suggestion for future , some of us have tried that and we’ve been ridiculed for it . I said we needed more pace in our team , Wenger got Kallstrom . Most of you guys said we had plenty of pace and it was a very good move because he came on loan and it cost us nothing while he was injured , but he came in to fill in for Injured Ramsey who’s back now and Kallstrom only played 10 minutes thus far.

    Selling Song to Barca and converting a playmaker Arteta into a holding midfielder was always going to create problems for us because he lacks physical presence and pace. You can be tactically flexible with a player like Yaya Toure or Matic in that role because they feel equally comfortable playing up the pitch and defending deep but not Arteta.

    How many of us went against the main stream of UA and said we needed another striker with a set of attributes different than Giroud’s . We were told by Tony this was a Wenger revolution and Arsenal didn’t need another striker because our superior midfield would rain in the goals. Giroud looks a spent force now and can’t even do the things he excelled at anymore while our midfield was decimated with injuries for lack of rotation.

    Oh yea, rotation. That dirty word. Arsen himself has admitted he saw Ramsey “in red” but it was so difficult to give him some rest because he was in the form of his life and Arsenal needed results desperately . Before Ramsey got injured he looked positively slower and misplaced an unusual amount of passes and some of us posted many times “Ramsey needs rest , he had a stinker” I believe is the exact words I used. I got chastised for it and called AAA. Check the archives please if you like.
    There were other cases as well . No point in bringing them up .

    It’s hard to surprise people with tactics when so few options are available and unfortunately it’s all interconnected . I never believed Wenger wasn’t tactically savvy as many have said but he limits himself with the choices he makes in transfer market and that’s where our biggest problems lie.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Ok Tom that is the hindsight.
    Your team for Saturday, tactics, personnel, what to do, how to do, when to do,….

    Just like we do with the referee previews

  • Mick

    If Wenger is as inept as you seem to think how come in the calendar year 2013 we accumulated more points than any other team?
    Re Song, I think you will find we conceded fewer goals with Arteta playing than in Songs last season in the team. Pace was never a virtue of Song anyway and his physical presence resulted in lots of free kicks conceded in dangerous areas. If he was that good why do you think he was sold?
    Re Buying a striker in the January window. Chelsea were also after one but could not find one even with their resources. Berbatov wanted to go abroad so that was never an option. Who else was available, you tell us.

  • Tom

    Tell me who’s available to play , who caries a knock but can play and I will give it my best shot 🙂

  • Florian

    I am still saddened by the loss, so forgive me untolders for keeping quiet for the last 2 days. However the war is still winnable, albeit for the 4th place.

    Back on topic now.

    I am watching football for 28 years. It’s by no means a record, but you would think by this time I should be able to understand some of the tactical insights by now.

    The truth is that I hardly do. I can probably make the distinction between a 4-4-2 and a 4-5-1, but exotic systems like 5-2-3 or 3-4-3 leave me clueless. No disrespect to Giampiero Gasperini.

    So, here I am, watching stunned how a bunch of people who sit on a chair in the stadium or, worse, in front of the TV, claim to have a better knowledge than a man who spent his last 40+ years on or near the pitch, and the 30+ years coaching and managing players. And we’re not talking about someone that manages a Saturday morning amateur team – it is EPL, the toughest league in the World. As bob mac already pointed out, most of the people have no idea what an incredible amount of hard work, dedication and persistence it takes, not to mention the native talent that one must be gifted with, to reach the heights of managing an EPL club, never mind staying there for 18 years. It’s paradoxical that being good at something makes that thing look simple, while in reality it’s anything but.

    I happen to work in a field that also requires high qualification, and while being by no means an ace, I can tell the difference between the knowledgeable and the bozos. And oh there are so many of the latter. It almost looks like it’s a question of arrogance caused by a total lack of perspective about who they are among the rest of the field, coupled with not actually knowing themselves.

    So, depressive sewer rats yaaapers of yaaapers with an agenda against every thing that was intelligently and sensibly done ever, this is you. A bunch of know-nothings who would rather prefer waste their time firing cannonballs in the wall of a well-run institution built brick by brick with sweat and pain. May your house never be subject of that kind of treatment. And may you someday wake up from this bad dream and realize the enormity of your action, and have the power to ask for forgiveness.

    Long live Arsenal!

  • Tom

    “If Wenger is as inept as you seem to think ”

    And Tom said
    “I never beloved Wenger wasn’t tactically savvy “

  • Tom

    That’s ‘ believed ‘ not beloved

  • Mick

    Well you certainly wasn’t sticking up for him!

  • para

    When i see our players play like they did at Everton, i get this feeling they(Arsenal players) are somehow set back one yoctosecond (is equal to a septillionth of a second (decimal point followed by 23 zeroes, then a 1)) in time and are therefore that much slower than the others.

    But seriously, it looks like a great weight is on the shoulders of most players. I can visibly see the restrained ability, straining at the leash when a bright spark in the game propels us forward, but alas, it soon dies and i see resignation, not because of the score, but from the first minute of the game.

    In contrast, in the other games, Arsenal look so un-restrained, flowing freely around the pitch, the opposition never knowing where they are.

    Surely these two extremes cannot be explained ALONE by injuries?

    Everyone talks about Home and Away, but the top teams have to learn to treat every game as if it was at home, for the mental side, and every game as if it was a cup, for the physical/tactical side.

    Anyway i’m rambling to fight my disappointment, which is slowly abating.
    So FA cup match next.
    Forward Arsenal, i know you have the ability do it.

  • Quincy

    That’s funny, my comment praising the article has disappeared. O.o

  • dan

    Speaking with many people today, most (even the neutrals)think Wenger could leave sooner, some believe the club are to blame for the current poor form. Keeping with the trend many spout the same mantra the media has been spewing for years, blaming board for financial status rather than ambition or Wenger is simply lost.

  • WalterBroeckx

    it is behind another article I think

  • Alex

    To me is not about tactics.Correct me if i am wrong but never heard any manager talk about tactics and outweighed his opponent.I didnt forgot the bully of Sam Alardice for his bullying and kicking instruction come up in the media and says “WE HAVE A METHOD”of playing against certain teams.

    My view of the current situation goes back to January.Reinforcment was a must given our injury record and already without Theo.

    I hate to say this but on match of the day analysis that Robson that is always negative highlighted that Giroud never looks forward.I cannot fault him on that.Most of the goals where coming from the midfield and oncethe injury start creeping the goals dried.
    The plan to go without a striker has led to what we are now.

  • Yassin

    Give me the weekest team in the league and I can win this Arsenal team easily, these are my tactics:
    *any player passing my players can be stopped either by pulling, pushing, or grabing, in the EPL its never a foul.

    *I will go in full attack with the maximum number of players i can, and am not scared of countrr, all it takes is a foul to get back and re organise. And dont be afraid, no yellow.

    * when Arteta, monreal, Sagna have the ball, go with 2-3 players with full force. Yes its dangerous as it might open the defences if they could pass the ball behind those 3players in, but my tactics goes like this, either get the ball and score the goal, or make a foul, and yes no yellow again for sure.

    * always try to dribble into the penalty are or when on counter, and always go with all your players as Arsenal players wont tackle as they are scared of penalty or red/yellow card all the time. And sure, in case they counter, foul them.

    *dive dive dive, we will always get that, didnt u see how everton players tried to dive like Oscar winners? Did they had that in mind before the game, or was it a coincidence.

    * when in penaltu are, dont be afraid, Arsenal get no penalties, u can put your foot wherever u want.

    Its no coincidence we play better against teams that know only football, ex Manchester city and Bayern munich……

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Seems to me we have another match at the weekend. Come on You Gunners!!

  • Micheal Ram

    In a republic, 100 people will tell the president what to do.

    In a democracy, the prime minister will do what the 100 people need.

    In a socialist, a leader will save 50 good people and banish 50 bad people.

    In a communism, a premier will fullfill what he wants and destroy the 100 people.

    Only in Arsenal, a manager will sacriface himself for something that 100 people will take for granted.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Someone sent me this today .I think this article is the right place for it.

    The Law of the Seed
    by: Author Unknown, Source Unknown

    Take a look at an apple tree. There might be five hundred apples on the tree, but each apple has just ten seeds. That’s a lot of seeds!

    We might ask, “Why would you need so many seeds to grow just a few more apple trees?”

    Nature has something to teach us here. It’s telling us: “Not all seeds grow. In life, most seeds never grow. So if you really want to make something happen, you had better try more than once.”

    This might mean:
    You’ll attend twenty interviews to get one job. You’ll interview forty people to find one good employee. You’ll talk to fifty people to sell one house, one car, one vacuum cleaner, one insurance policy, or a business idea. And you might meet a hundred acquaintances just to find one special friend .

    When we understand the “Law of the Seed”, we don’t get so disappointed. We stop feeling like victims. We learn how to deal with things that happen to us.

    Laws of nature are not things to take personally. We just need to understand them – and work with them.

    Successful people fail more often. But they plant more seeds.

    When Things Are Beyond your control, here’s something that you must NOT DO so as to be happy: You must not decide how you think the world SHOULD be. You must not make rules for how everyone SHOULD behave. Many times, such thoughts can bring you spiralling down into more unhappiness.

    On the other hand, let’s say you expect that:
    Friends SHOULD return favours.
    People SHOULD appreciate you.
    Planes SHOULD arrive on time.
    Everyone SHOULD be honest.
    Your husband or best friend SHOULD remember your birthday.

    These expectations may sound reasonable. But often, these things won’t happen! So you end up frustrated and disappointed.

    There’s a better strategy. Demand less, and instead, have preferences! For things that are beyond your control, tell yourself:
    You prefer that people are polite.. but when they are rude, it doesn’t ruin your day.
    You prefer sunshine.. but if it rains, it is ok too!

    To become happier, we either need to:
    a) Change the world, or
    b) Change our thinking.
    It is easier to change our Thinking!

    It is not the problem that is the issue, but rather it is your attitude attending to the problem that is the problem. It’s not what happens to you that determine your happiness but rather how you think about what happens to you!

  • Sammy The Snake

    When it’s all said and done, let’s remember that no man is greater than the club, Arsenal.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Mick, yes we got more points than anyone else in a calender year but you don’t get a prize for that. I also recall that we were still poor against the better teams. I think this team has a slight psychological problem when it comes to winning things, hopefully that’ll change this season.

    I’m not an expert on tactics Walter but I certainly wouldn’t have played Ox in the holding mid position against Chelsea, it sort of nullifies his potential. I also wouldn’t want to see all my full backs bombing forward recklessly away at Chelsea who are known for their counter attacking style, especially against us anyway. Also I’d have picked Bendtner over Giroud against Everton.

    I would also pick Bendtner to start against Wigan. Giroud can augment the attack if we’re losing or replace him if we’re drawing at half time.

    But I need to study our opposition first before I decide the team, that’s how I’d prepare the team. As I haven’t a clue what Wigan play like I can’t really pick an 11.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Michael Ram, not sure about that summing up of political doctrines. We have a democracy here and I’m not sure our PM is doing what most of us want. Oh maybe you’re right, he’s probably doing what the hundred richest people want him to do.

    What the hell is Wenger sacrificing? He earns over 7 million a year and he’s manager of one of the biggest clubs in the world. I wish I could make that sacrifice.

  • adiiii83
    Your argument would have substance if you actually provided the evidence to show we are the slowest team in the league. Why have you not done so?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Sure the hindsight experts would have loved that Wenger would have picked Bendtner over Giroud last Saturday.
    The pundits, journalists, the AAA would be all over the place telling us how Wenger now has completely lost it. Whatever ‘it’ might be.
    Last picture from Bendtner shows him doing what looks like rehabilitation exercises by the way. So I don’t even know he is fit.

  • Mick

    No of course you don’t get a prize for that, what a stupid thing to say. As you well know but are reluctant to acknowledge because it means giving Wenger some credit, the point is that to go a whole year and accumulate more points than any other team within that period is an indication that the manager knows what he is doing tactics wise and every other wise you can think of. He occasionally will get it wrong, all managers do including the ones who are supposed to be good on that front eg Mourinho at PSG last week and at Palace the game prior to that.

  • AL

    Good posts Walter, Bob mac. These people who think they know it all are most likely failures in their own lives.

  • nicky

    I would merely ask those would-be managers among us, who think the job is simple….to turn up a photo of Arsene Wenger on the day he joined our Club. And then look at a present-day photo.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Think so many are losing sight of the root cause of all this, one of the worst injury spells combined with a very difficult two months of fixtures. We have lost the majority of the runners and speed merchants, turns out Gnabry has been injured on top of everything else. We have been left with slightly older, one paced players that can do a great job mixed in with the pace, but as a whole unit are vulnerable without it. Wengers philosophy – attack is the best form of defence, we have not had the players to launch team attacks in waves like we do when playing well. Without the pacy players, we have been forced to overcommit our relatively pacy full backs, with disasterous consequences in some games.
    The good news, we have players coming back. Look what Ramsey played like on his return, he also seemed to energise Ox compared with some of the latters recent games.
    But for those who back Wenger and see the bigger picture, this weekend is as importanr as any I can remember. Win, there is a lift and it buys time. lose…unthinkable
    I am not saying we have not got things wrong, we clearly have. It is surely no accident injuries / medical things are being looked at on the cusp of a new deal…is Gazidis gently taking a bit of control here? Nicky mention how Wenger looks these days, not the worst mid 60 year old, but I agree with his point. But some would argue , critics and backers alike that he has maybe taken on too much. If the new deal is signed, he needs to accept a reduced workload for all concerned. Ivan has to use this to play more of a Dein role to help him…or ensure he accepts help. Indeed, this has already started, the mysterious new youth director (assuming Van Gaal does not step in and steal him) is by all accounts a Gazidis appointment, not one of Wengers. Changes will happen behind the scenes for the better that will hopefully focus and bring out the very best of a man who has committed heart and soul to this club for two decades during some very tough years.

  • bjtgooner

    I note that many of the posts criticizing Wenger are repeats of comments already in the public domain having been initially articulated (or invented) by the media – to be repeated again & again by the media and eventually by would be managers, bloggers and posters including the AAA who do not exist. The point I am making is that a small number of punters devise the destructive comments which are then subject to multi-repeats.

    Which part of the media initiates the anti Arsenal & anti Wenger comments? This is difficult to answer, e.g. the newspapers often carry the same story word for word & the various TV channels can also be very similar – further study & analysis would be required, the only comment that seems appropriate at this stage is that a large proportion of the media seem to quickly follow the lead given by the punters on SKY.


    Nice post this morning, very apt.


    I fully agree with your post.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Walter, well exactly what options do we have up front? Giroud is not producing anything at all. Sanogo has never scored for us and has no experience so it’s down to Bendtner. It’s not my bloody fault that we have such poor options up top.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Of course Sanogo has not scored for us. How can he when the assistant raise their flags two times wrong. He would have scored if the assistant would have done a good job Rupert.

  • bjtgooner

    Sanogo scored a good goal against Everton, which was wrongly flagged offside. Sanogo was not to know that would happen & displayed a very cool finish.

  • WalterBroeckx

    TH needed 9 games to score his first goal, Rupert. I wonder what you wrote about him in those days. And now Sanogo only has 5 sub appearance in the PL so far.
    Why don’t we give him some time before we start writing players off.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Mick because you harp on about it but my point is that when the team actually needs to win important games, that is ones that give it a shout to win something they crumble. During that calender year exactly how well did we perform against Manu, Chelsea, City or even Everton? We find it hard to win against the better teams and eventually you have to do that. Yes Wenger does well against the poorer teams, at least he did last year, and bar the Swansea game he’s done well this year but the results against our main rivals have been atrocious. 20 goals conceded away from home to City, Pool, Chelsea and Everton is not progress. Yes injuries have hit us hard but most of that has impacted on our attack. Obviously not being strong offensively does affect the defence too but to that extent?

    Fortunately we have had home advantage in the FA Cup and what looks like an easy game coming up though Wigan aren’t a bad team.

  • andy bishop

    Wengers greatest burden is his past success. Fans have bought into this promise to the future and have accepted the cost of building a new stadium, increased ticket prices, nearly trophy wins for a return to the “good old days”. Wenger has done a fantastic job over the last few years. The defeats at Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea are some of the worse I can recall. Benefit of the doubt…things will be tighter at Everton..Wenger will get a response from his players he trusts so much with individual responsibility. It did not happen. Blame the referee, blame the injuries, blame the media blame corruption blame Aunt Sally for putting something in the tea at half time. Its the players and managers fault for performances like that. We are a top club aren’t we and have a great chance to win a trophy and get the supposed monkey off our backs. If the same attitude and performance turns up against Wigan even the most ardent AKB’s must admit there is something fundamentally wrong otherwise sanity will be called into question.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Maybe Sanogos time is this coming weekend? Must admit, would like to see Chuba given at least a sub appearance

  • Rupert Cook

    @Walter, yes I know he scored an offside goal, I’m talking about goals that count but kudos for him putting the ball in the net, it’s certainly more than Giroud does these days.

    I’m not writing Sanogo off but I would rather have a player who has actually some experience of scoring goals in important games than a rookie, as bloody hopeless as Bendtner is sometimes. As I said it’s not my fault we have such limited choice upfront.

    I didn’t write anything about Henry in those days but if you must know I wasn’t entirely convinced by him at first. I have yet to see anything about Sanogo that suggests he’s going to be as good as Henry but right now I don’t care. If he scores vital goals in all our remaining games and then turns out to be another Chamakh next season it won’t matter, he’ll have served his purpose this season.

  • Shard

    Mourinho has spent all season moaning about Chelsea’s lack of quality up front? Chelsea have unlimited funds basically. Mourinho is a great manager apparently. Who did they buy in January?

    Sometimes you have to accept that a manager simply will not have options. Sure Wenger could have bought A striker. But that purchase precludes you from buying a striker next summer. (Because we don’t have unlimited funds) Leads to a situation of ‘deadwood’ at the club, which we know Wenger gets castigated for..

    In my opinion, there are really very few classy strikers in the world. Wenger also said something about this recently that there are no real strikers in Europe anymore. South America seems to be producing the strikers. Falcao, Cavani, Higuain, Suarez, Costa etc.

    They are a rare breed and thus in high demand. Most of them will not look to move in the middle of a season (World Cup year at that), not all of them will be affordable, and not all of them would want to come to Arsenal.

    We would have loved a striker. We know Wenger tried to sign Suarez in the summer and he would want one too. But he’s not going to get in someone substandard just to appease everyone. I think it is going to be difficult to get a striker even next summer, an elite striker I mean. So I’d go for a decent option like Morata or someone, and a classy winger to add to the attack (those are more easily available)

  • Rupert Cook

    Anyway Walter you didn’t seem to mind telling everybody we had three strikers. Bendtner, Giroud and Sanogo whenever I criticized us for not buying a striker. Now you are writing Bendtner off. You can’t win on here.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Shard, did you believe Mourinho and all that striker nonsense? I didn’t. It’s like his small horse comment. They have Ba, Et’o, Torres and any number of other players who score goals like Hazard and Lampard. Granted they have struggled to score in games you’d expect them to win but they didn’t find it difficult to put 6 past us. Still if Chelsea were that desperate they could have bought Suarez for 60 million. No, I think Mourinho is reasonably happy with what he’s got as I’m sure he believes his team can win the league. Next season will be different though as I’m sure everyone will strengthen and given the age of Lampard and Et’o (how old is he?) Mourinho will be in the hunt for several upgrades.

    Sure I agree it’ll be hard to get a decent striker in summer. My feeling is we won’t get any big name but,as you say, someone like Morata.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Agree Shard. It is accepted by some that we have a transfer kitty of anywhere between 70m and £140m. As Wenger said of Costa… he with wages wold take up the entire upper end of our kitty alone as would a few of the South Americans now. I dont think Liverpool would have sold Suarez to us for any amount, and TBH part of me applauds them for that. Not sure what if anything happened with Hig. Anyway,Costa shares an agent with Jose , who likes cozy agreements like that.
    Widely reported Wenger tried hard to get Morata

  • Mick

    I made the legitimate point once and I am harping on about it? You then go on to distort the point of my comment by quoting the fact we didn’t beat any of the top teams. So what, the thrust of my comments remain intact despite your effort to deflect them to suit your agenda. Furthermore if you want some examples of posters ‘harping on’ I suggest you look at some of your repetitive comments, should have bought a striker blah blah blah ad infinitum. We all know that but I would guess there were lots of good reasons why we didn’t, one being Liverpool’s self confessed tactic of lying about the existence of the £40 million buy out clause. Chelsea didn’t manage to buy a striker either, with all their resources.

  • finsbury

    The Gnabster @foreverheady
    Has made the following observation:

    “No team playing The Arsenal have received a red card this season. The Arsenal are top of this season’s injury list. What might Sherlock say?”

    If true the MOB cannot be so stupid as to allow this continue for the whole season? There’ll be a token card genius’ that they are. 😉

    I’ve had the impression that the much maligned physios are more protective of their younger Gunners in recent years. Not much they could do about the targeting of St.Jack’s ankles, the stamp on Theo “Goal Machine” Walcott *Still sobbing – How Arsenal played that day against the Tinies with the variation allowed by that starting eleven has been conveniently forgotten by the tika-taka-tactical Experts*. I am happy to guess that players like Gnabry and even Chambo (has a slight niggle atm) have been protected, Campbell allowed to develop on loan to see how he goes

    We know that Arsenal players get kicked in almost every game and consequently some of them will eventually react. Happened with Fabregas after his WC was almost ruined after Gardner’s flying kick (not called a foul, though it whacked him high up the calf, after Gardner flew in from a perpendicular angle. Ref must’ve blinked. Or something.) I’d have thought the football Experts would have, you know, picked up on the F-Words attitude towards the officials etc. after that incident. It is difficult to ignore a player having a go at the officials like that upon the pitch. Game after game! He was not impressed.

    These Experts with infinite hindsight can be seen to ignore the kicking and the impact that this can be seen to have on their squad which for undeniable reason and logic now well understood and appreciated (unless you are a self-declared Expert on finance, football and foolishness) until this season has been a little behind the investment curve of the three clubs above them.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Mick, I’m sure you’ve mentioned it before but well done you if you haven’t. There’s only so much you can talk about so yes things get repeated ad infinitum. Anyway yes it was marvellous, only overshadowed by our unbeaten season.

  • Shard


    Nonsense Mourinho undoubtedly spouts but I do believe that Chelsea would like an upgrade… They ‘could’ have spent 60m on Suarez. Bu they didn’t? Why? Because Suarez is having a breakout year of sorts. Yes he was always seen as talented, but check out his stats and it wasn’t all that clear that he would have the season he’s had. Wenger saw it. Mourinho didn’t. And even then it was a risk. A risk that Wenger was willing to bet 40m pounds on. No one else was.

    Also, why is it ok for Mourinho to plan for an upgrade next season rather than this, but not for Wenger?

    Do you agree that strikers are a rare breed, expensive, and not easy to get even with the money? You seem to. So why then castigate Wenger for not buying a striker?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Thats a quite incredible stat Finsbury, wonder how it compares with other teams?
    Compare and contrast with reds and yellows our players et, usually for first andon violent offences like Artetas joke red in the bent fixture in Bella Napoli.
    Sadly , cannot see this changing while Wenger is there, I am sure some of this is aimed at him

  • TommieGun

    @ BJT 10:03 – exactly what I thought yesterday. There seems to me a lot of unoriginal thinking in the ‘let’s criticize Wenger’ thing that has been going on.

    Fair enough, Neville, Carragher or other commentators can express their opinions. They are paid to do that, and are usually talking out of their (at least) professional experience [which does not guarantee anything, just look at Michael Owen].

    Anyway, my point was, that people who post criticizm (or support, if that would have been relevant) should at least have the decency to post those opinions on behalf of their original authors and not try and publish them as their own.

    The positive here, in my opinion, is that it means that maybe not so many fans are thinking that “wenger was wrong with X” or whatever – they just regurgitate what they read 5 minutes ago, and being unhappy with how the club is doing, are finishing it off with “Wenger out”.

  • WalterBroeckx

    who knows what happened between Wenger and Bendtner between January and now? Wenger is not someone to bring out the dirty laundry when a player has gone over the line. And it looked as if Bendtner had improved on his behaviour in the first half of the season but who knows what has happened?

  • finsbury

    Not as incredible as the indefensible contrast that a sports fan observes when they flick over from the rugby/cricket/etc. (with video/technical assistance for the officials and no tantrums or gibberish from players or plundits) to the football to see the football official, I dunno, sending off the wrong player because the person he is not supposed to be listening to has given him the wrong information.

    Three wise monkeys once said:
    “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”

  • Mandy Dodd

    very true Finsbury, would add American football to the mix, a complex technical, tactical game, players in multitudes coming onto and off the pitch, rushing all over the place, but the officials hardly ever get it wrong, and despite the guys wearing helmets, not aware of the refs there sending off / sin binning the wrong black guy…..tho of course stand to be corrected!

    Walter, sadly, I think though circumstances conspired to give NB a shot at redemption, looks like he has not taken it. Shame, there may be complex issues, may not even be his fault deep down, but what we do know about his behaviour since last summer…well two incidents came to light, not good. I do not for one moment think he is not a better player at the moment than Sanogo..but guess these things just happen. Guess we should remember NB by his last gasp goal this season, there were flashes when I thought he could do a job

  • bjtgooner


    Nice post. I do remember that yesterday you wanted me banned, today you agree with me!

    Progress? 🙂

    Perhaps there is hope for you yet. 🙂

  • finsbury

    And the historical reason why they have all these aids for the officials in these stateside sports is because….No! It could never happen here. Never. Ever. 🙂

  • TommieGun

    Sorry no progress and no hope for me BJT…

    I don’t do “personal” on the internet. For sure not when it’s a brother Arsenal supporter. You wrote something I agreed to, and that nobody else wrote (or that I didn’t notice they did…) – so I comment positively.

    BTW I don’t want anyone banned who does not write racist or otherwise explicit and derogatory stuff (sewer rat, or KGB, is still not offensive enough :-D…).

    Just relax with the policing mate …

  • bjtgooner


    You should never give up hope!

    The absence of hope leads to the dark side! 🙂

    Do remember that when you write “Just relax with the policing mate …” that you have taken it upon yourself to “police” those who contradict the “naysayers”. I did outline this for you on the previous thread.

    When a “naysayer” comments – I have no objection to him/her voicing his/her opinion – what I do find objectionable is that some of the “naysayers” become extremely snide, sarcastic or defaming about our team/manager, often using half truths or non truths to support their attack. I have explained this to you before!

    If you describe some contributors as KGB type or Stalinist you are in no position to lecture anyone else about using much milder zoological terminology. 🙂

  • Shard

    ‘zoological terminology’ 🙂

  • TommieGun

    @ BJT you don’t get my point.

    1. There is more than one type of “naysayer” (which you refer to as AAA or sewer rat or pumpkin pie). But generally there is the type that writes shit, baseless stuff, cynical, derogatory, and does not really want to start a dialogue. Burn those mate.

    However, there is another type (maybe a minority, I did not check), which actually write stuff which is not in line with what most of us think, but is nontheless written in an inoffensive way. Those people are usually trying to create some sort of dialogue. Those people deserve a matter-of-fact reply, and some of the regular posters do provide those replies, whilst maintaing the UA main line of thought. I think that they are doing a much better job in “contradicting the naysayers”, because they actually might have a chance to convince.

    2. Due to point 1 above, I don’t think it’s ok or beneficial to generalize, a priori, and say something like “the rats are out of their sewer holes”, or “the AAA brigade”.

    3. If like you wrote, you have no objection to a “naysayer” expressing their opinion polietly, then we have no quarrel. It was not the impression I got.

    For instance, when you write that “believers” should avoid writing criticizm of the team or the manager, even if they believe it, because it will be used against us by the AAA. This means that you don’t want to read anything which is not in line with what you think.

    It’s absurd. And this is the policing I’m talking about.

    4. This is why you saying that we are both “policing”, is wrong. We don’t do the same thing. I am not trying to shut mouths, you are. I am not calling people names based on their opinions; you are. You are trying to control the content – I’m trying to stop you from doing that.

    5. I did not call YOU a KGB operative, or Stalin. I said that you use Stalinistic methods, which is different to calling a person a sewer rat. On that note, I can only hope that your belief that calling a person a sewer rat is “milder” than a KGB operative or whatever, is down to ignorance, and that you did not watch Goebbles propaganda pieces, which explicitly use sewer rats as the worst example of what society should get rid of.


  • Rupert Cook

    @Shard, because I think we should have bought Suarez rather than Ozil as I think we needed a prolific striker more than another midfielder. Everyone I knew thought Suarez was brilliant two years ago, maybe you thought otherwise which is fair enough.

    And I didn’t expect Wenger to buy a fabulous striker in January, just a decent back up to help Giroud. I’m sure we could have found someone ok for a few months, it’s the league title we’re going for here. It only has to be a striker better than Kalou. I wonder if we’d been way off fourth if we’d have struggled to buy some players then. Who knows?

    Why is it alright for Mourinho to wait to upgrade? Well Chelsea have a team that is superior to ours, never mind their impressive squad depth. Their side is awash with players who appear to be able to deal with pressure and ours appear the opposite. If we had that squad I wouldn’t be too disappointed if we didn’t add a striker in January. I am very surprised Mourinho didn’t go for Suarez in summer though as I think Chelsea would have wrapped up the league by now with him.

    If we win the FA Cup it might give some of our players just a little more belief and confidence which at times they appear to lack. A trophy can be a foundation to further success.

  • Shard


    I will let bjtgooner respond to the rest of your accusations (for lack of a better word) against him, but I want to contradict you on point 3. More specifically the example you give in point 3.

    I have often felt the same way as bjt on this. Any true critique of the manager or team, can get out of hand and misrepresented by the noisier elements in the AAA (again, for lack of a better word) Basically, in a surcharged environment, reason is lost.

    You wrote, “This means that you don’t want to read anything which is not in line with what you think.” I really fail to understand how you made that jump because I think bjt’s comment was quite clear that the incessant negativity prevents even those who are ‘positive’ about the club in general, from having a genuine discussion about the club’s and manager’s failings/problems. I think it shows a desire for genuine debate, without of course the mind-numbing, head against the brick wall, loop-the-loops (of logic and reason) that occurs through twisting of statements, and the resultant manipulation of the direction of debate.

    A prime example of which was given by someone who you were campaigning for as a voice of reason yesterday. Surfer X. Wilfully misrepresenting what I said to suggest that everyone on this site cares more for Wenger’s success than Arsenal’s. From that point onwards, I have treated him as a troll and ignored all of his comments. Just because bjt counters that with something that can be termed a ‘swear word’ or in your estimation propaganda of the Goebbel’s kind, doesn’t mean that some of those who you support are any more polite or less inclined to ‘propaganda’ (twisting of words and misrepresentation to present an agenda while discrediting the other’) As such, I agree with bjt that you are not being even handed in your ‘policing’ and in your desire for there to be respect for all strands of thought.

    I say ‘fuck you’ to people like that sometimes. Mainly because I can’t be bothered to invest my time in coming up with cute ways to insult them, and I’m not patronising or two-faced by nature to come up with them without effort. That doesn’t make me more ill-behaved than those that would enjoy calling me names without having the courage to do so in a straightforward manner. That just means I enjoy mud-wrestling less than the pig (I hope Goebbels didn’t have anything to say about pigs)

  • Rupert Cook

    @Walter, well I agree with you, we haven’t a clue what’s happened between Wenger and Bendtner. I hope if there are problems they can be sorted out because we may need him at some stage.

  • Shard


    Agree with the last sentence.. Let’s just leave the rest of it. We all agree a striker would have helped. I also think Wenger knows this and wants this. But I don’t know anything else as regards why we didn’t/couldn’t buy a striker. (Except maybe that we bid something like 30m for Draxler in January but weren’t willing to pay 37m..Again, I pass no judgment on the merits of that, even though I would have liked Draxler)

  • Jax

    I see poor old SurferX is still getting bad press. Anyway, that’s not why I’m posting today. Is this hindsight about who we would’ve, should’ve might signed? If it is then I’ll get one in very early (as I did with Flamini last season) and suggest that we sign Micah Richards who we could get in a deal involving Bacary going the other way. Richards was one of the best young defenders (right back & central defender who could score goals) in the Premiership and his progress was only held up by some serious injuries. He seems to be over all of that now and is frustrated at not being able to get into the City squad, and reportedly looking to leave. He is also a Gooner. Apparently James Milner is also a bit unsettled. Now he’s someone who attacks & defends excellently.

  • TommieGun

    @ Shard – thanks for your comment.

    * Before beginning – it doesn’t really matter whether I think that one animal is worse than the other. The fact of the matter is that what we all mean by “rat”, “AAA”, etc., is “traitor”. So I will use that word from now on.

    1. I will begin with the most important thing – I say “fuck you” a lot, too. When people piss me off I say stuff which is generally worse than that.

    2. I don’t recall defending Surfer X specifically. For sure I did not invest time to read all or even most of his posts. If he wrote that we care more about Wenger than about AFC, then by all means, fuck him (However I do remember that I stood up for Rupert once, and a few days afterwards, had a go at him. I think that is pretty even handed).

    3. If our (me, yours, BJT) goal is to enable an open debate which would also accomodate discussion which includes the negatives of the club/manager/team, and not just positives – then we are in agreement.

    Sadly, I do not think that is the case, as my problem is precisely when people who are trying to have a real debate are tagged as traitors/backstabbers. If I’m mistaken then I do apologize.

    4. Having gone through all the important things, I’ll get to the famous “point no. 3”. I find it absurd that, in order to prevent some dickhead from twisting my words, I’ll refrain from posting my true opinion. If a dickhead twists my words afterwards, I will tell him he is a word twisting dickhead. Why should I limit myself, or recommend my fellows to do so, a priori, just because there might be some douche who might try to use it against me? Bring it the fuck on, I say.

  • Shard

    Tommie Gun

    I think we are all broadly in agreement. Perhaps why you perceive some posters as differently to say bjt, is because you have not read the person’s comments as often as bjt has, and do not recognise their intent. Some really aren’t as apparent initially. Or you could be right and bjt (or anyone else) could be wrong about some comments. But I think the general idea is to have a proper debate.

    I also feel it is incumbent on those that are of a view completely different to the stated views of the site, to behave with more patience and make their point with more respect for an alternate view. All views are welcome but if you start off with an attitude of belligerence, and ill-disguised superiority, you can hardly expect a hearty welcome. A lot of comments I have read may make valid points, but they also feel the need to dismiss the other valid points that are raised on the site in order to make themselves heard. It doesn’t work like that. You come in to a site, you should show some respect. I haven’t yet noticed any bullying of those that do show respect, although I have been away from the site a lot recently.

    And yes, your attitude is healthy. Say what you want and to hell with the consequences. But try dealing with the shit storm afterwards on the site. It can be quite fun, for a while, but gets draining, and certainly takes away from the intended debate. It’s happened before. It’ll happen again. Or not… considering Tony has decided to crack down 🙂

  • Shard

    PS.. @ Tommie Gun

    Just because you view the meaning of ‘rat’ or ‘AAA’ as traitor doesn’t mean that is necessarily the meaning the original author ascribed to those terms.

  • TommieGun

    @ Shard –

    One of my dad’s favorite sentences is – “you don’t knock on somebody’s door, walk into their living room, take down your pants and shit on the carpet”.

    Which is more or less your point, just so much better articulated (and which naturally I totally agree to).

  • bjtgooner


    Thank you very much for your comments. As you know I always appreciate your views and whether we agree or disagree on a particular point I always admire the clarity and logical progression of your thoughts. Fortunately (for me!) we usually agree.

    Your response to Tommy’s point three was masterful, you responded much more clearly than I ever could and you have my thanks.

  • bjtgooner


    Wrt your post @ 3.16pm, lets start at the end shall we – point 5: –

    “I did not call YOU a KGB operative, or Stalin.”

    I did not state that you called me a KGB operative, but you did state on the 07 April @ 5.12 pm : –

    “I was not contending that your 10:35 post is your only offensive, KGB style, Stalinstic (and not Satanic) post.”

    The term “KGB style” is open to interpretation, but you were not accused of using the word “operative”.

    Having read a number of your posts and your introduction of Goebbels and by association all the evil that he stood for I will not use the term “sewer rat” in future posts in case by accident I offend anyone of the Jewish Religion. That was never ever the intention. However, I reserve the right to describe the particularly nasty AAA types using alternative terminology. I may use, where appropriate, the term “weasel” which Tony has already aired.

    Moving to point 1, you said: –

    “There is more than one type of “naysayer” (which you refer to as AAA or sewer rat or pumpkin pie). But generally there is the type that writes s**t, baseless stuff, cynical, derogatory, and does not really want to start a dialogue. Burn those mate.”

    Kindly note that I have sanitized your foul language. Further, I have never used “pumpkin pie” – I don’t know where you got that one from.

    So for this type of AAA you instruct me to burn them. Very helpful, but I don’t like the “burn” expression – too much Nero in there – I am a bit disappointed that you would use such a thoughtless expression – a large group of people could be offended.

    But what else did you say in point 1?

    “However, there is another type (maybe a minority, I did not check), which actually write stuff which is not in line with what most of us think, but is nontheless written in an inoffensive way.”

    I have NO PROBLEM with this. Were we disagree is that you apparently classify Rupert in the second group, (correct me if I am wrong here), but having read Rupert’s comments over the last 18 months or so I consider many of Rupert’s posts to be offensive, some very offensive. So we may have to differ on that point. I only mention Rupert by name as he seems to be the one/main anti Wenger contributor you seem to have empathy with.

    Do remember that this is a pro Wenger, pro team, pro Arsenal site – those who repeatedly use the site to attack Wenger or members of the team disrespect the site – as Shard put to you much more eloquently earlier. You silence to such contributors is very noticeable.

    Lets move to point 4, you said: –

    “You are trying to control the content – I’m trying to stop you from doing that.”

    Wrong and wright. It is quite obvious that you are trying to target me and prevent or restrict me responding to members of the AAA when they use this pro Wenger site as a vehicle to attack Wenger. Do you have the authority to do so – no you don’t. Further, as I posted earlier, you do not appear to respond directly to contributors who attack/defame team & manager – so by displaying partiality your motivation is questionable.

    Am I trying to control the content – no – never. This is your assumption/accusation and a wrong one. Do I have the authority to do so, or would I want that authority – no to both. But I will respond to those who attack Wenger/team unfairly whether you like it or not.

    Our main disagreement, apart from your wanting to control me, is how we classify Rupert – whether or not he is in the group you instructed me to burn – or is he in the milder caring AAA group – who despite disrespecting the site you consider as: –

    “However, there is another type (maybe a minority, I did not check), which actually write stuff which is not in line with what most of us think, but is nontheless written in an inoffensive way. Those people are usually trying to create some sort of dialogue.”

    This time you are right and wrong and wrong. Rupert does indeed write “stuff which is not in line with what most of us think”. He does not write in an inoffensive way, he is not necessarily trying to create some sort of dialogue – although I would qualify this point in that Rupert at times seems to want to derail the debate of the day to a subject of his own choice.

    I don’t think Point 2 merits any serious response, Shard has answered Point 3 much better than I could – I don’t think you understood the point you were replying to – hopefully Shard’s lucid explanation has clarified matters for you.

    In conclusion, while your strange affinity for those who disrespect this site continues, and as you extrapolate that affinity into trying to defend those who offensively attack/undermine our manager and team – there is no way we are not going to agree – and as for your attempt to muzzle me – do come down to earth.

  • bjtgooner

    Wrong and right (too late at night!)

  • TommieGun

    @ BJT there one thing I agree with you for sure – I like Shard a lot better than you.

    I give up, you win, there is so much confrontational energy I can invest in someone with way too much time and an apparently a huge (can’t say what it is, seems like a telephone pole?) stuck up their ass. I do hope it’s comfortable.

    Just one point before I go: it beggars belief, that a person like yourself, who is so hugely into taking texts apart, pulling out bits out of context, and twisting them into a new meaning, has the audacity to talk about people who would twist other people words.

    For the record/general education:

    “Sewer rat can taste like pumpkin pie for all that I care. I still wouldn’t eat the filthy motherfucker” [pulp fiction]

    With that, I promise that I will not comment anymore about the alleged “policing” issues. You win, congratulations.

  • Jax

    And Rupert’s being put through the mangle again. What did he do to offend this time? It’s rarely dull on UA is it?

  • bjtgooner


    You do lose Tommie – you know why – because you have resorted to very crude insults.

    Yes I did dissect your posts – but I did not twist – I’m sure if I did you would respond – twisting the meaning is something that diverts from the core of the debate – I don’t think it is helpful. Your accusation re twisting, like your other accusations are figments of your imagination.